A Glimpse Into A Pre-Awakened Life…

The leaves were turning various colors as Kit began her daily walk to school.  She recounted the events of the evening prior as the dark circles under her tired eyes didn’t reveal the more traumatic events of that point in time.  She had just walked in from school and went into the kitchen.  She was about to get a glass of water when a torrent of shit came out of what seemed to be nowhere to hit the fan.  This was one episode of rage from step-bitch #3 that Kit was not prepared to deal with.

“You little bitch! Why were you late?!,” her stepmother Karen screamed as she picked her up and threw her against the cabinet,”I told you to be here by 3:30!”

“We don’t get out of school until 3:30 and you know how long it takes to walk home!” Kit, for whatever reason snapped as she rose to her feet.  It was different this time.  She was becoming defiant in the face of the witch that constantly bullied her.  She had enough of it all.

“Don’t you threaten me!” Karen snapped as she pulled her by her hair and threw her into a wall across the room this time.

Kit stood back up and ran for the back door but Karen caught her…With that she dragged 13-year-old Kit back toward the counter and pulled a large wooden spoon out of the drawer.  She tried to hit Kit but missed and it broke on the counter so she slapped her hard across the back of her shoulders and knocked her to the floor.  Then she grabbed her and threw her again.  She didn’t know her own strength, but Kit was small for her age and she landed against the wall again.  She then picked Kit up by the front of her shirt and got into her face and yelled, “You will never talk back to me again!”  Then she slapped her but Kit refused to cry.  She slapped her again.  Same response.

“Get in your room and stay there you little–”

Before she could finish the phone rang.  It was the school.  They needed Kit to come back up there because she left her change purse with her money in it in the gym and it got turned in.

“Oh she’ll get it as soon as she comes back. I’ll be sure to tell her.” Karen told them in a sweeter tone of voice than she would ever use in a normal setting.

Karen didn’t tell her but the principal called her into the office and gave it to her.  He then saw a mark on her face at her jaw line.

“What happened Kit?” he asked.

“Dodgeball at P.E.” she lied.

“You sure about that?  Kit nobody has the right to–”

“That’s what happens when you have all grades in a P.E. class together.  It’s one of those things.” she shrugged.

She then went on to class, but the principal knew she was lying.  However  back in the 1970’s, unless it was talked about, nothing could be done.  Kit went inside the house quietly and slipped into her room.  She hated everything about that room.  The dark green window shades were like bars to her.  If Karen ever caught her with any of those shades up, there was hell to pay.  The walls were white and the carpet tan–but it was the shades that made it seem more like a prison for Kit.  Until Karen and the onset of puberty, Kit could look out her window at the birds and flowers just outside her window.  Then Karen put the shades up while she was at school one day and told her, “If you open these shades, your ass will get beat!”   It had been like this since she was 12.  The first year wasn’t as bad, but this particular year, Karen always went off of the deep end over anything and took it out on Kit. 

Kit was sore from bruises Karen left on her this particular day.  She stayed in the room and pretended to be asleep when Karen looked in to see if she was indeed there.  Kit was so sore that she could barely move, but her father had to work late that day.  Karen then went into the kitchen and drank her usual–sloe gin mixed with 7-up.  She then took a handful of various pain killers and such.  Kit saw this happen daily and it would always be the day after that all hell broke loose. 

Kit stayed perfectly still and waited for quite some time.  She then crept quietly out of her room and across the hall into Karen’s room.  She had reached her breaking point. Although every movement was painful, she was very stealth in her movement.  She opened the top left hand dresser drawer in that room.  All the windows were open and the curtains as well.  This did NOT make a good impression on Kit either. 

She reached into the drawer and pulled out a silver .22 caliber pistol.  She knew it was loaded because Karen made sure it was every time she threatened Kit with it.  One time she hit her with the handle of it because she was reaching for anything she could grab in her maniacal rage. 

Kit was shaking now.  She had tears forming in her eyes, but it wasn’t because of the beatings as much as it was the rape earlier in the year–when Karen wouldn’t hear any negative talk of her cousin Michael.  In fact, Karen believed anything a boy told her as gospel.  It was always girls that bore the brunt of the bullshit. Karen said they were going back to visit that aunt the next week and that is when Kit snapped.  “I will never go back there.” she thought as she took the safety off of the pistol, while remembering every detail of the two times Michael had forced himself on her and raped her. It happened once when she was 10 and once again just the past summer when she was 12.  NOW Karen wanted to visit Aunt Tess again–and in Kit’s mind, she was filled with dread while experiencing flashbacks to the memories of both incidents–not wanting to get out of the shower after either time.

Trembling, Kit took the safety off of the pistol.  Still wearing her Bay City Rollers T-shirt that her brother Jack purchased for her, she raised the pistol and pointed it right at Karen’s left temple and was about to pull the trigger.  She trembled with fear and then, suddenly, she stepped back and lowered the pistol.   It was as if she heard or felt a presence in the room telling her that she couldn’t do this.  She felt that presence also tell her that things would not be the way they were for very long.  She quietly crept back to the dresser and stuck the pistol into the drawer. 

She then crept back into her cell and cried herself to sleep.  Years later she would understand her thought train much better than the 13-year-old mind she possessed at the time ever could have:  “If I had shot her, then I would become her. I am not going to be like her.”  

She also was throwing up the night before and ended up staying with her grandmother.  She learned how to make herself very ill when it came to going to Tess’s house.  Sometimes she threw up at the mention of Michael’s name directed at her–like when Karen came back the first time after Kit faked being ill and said, “Tess misses you and Michael would love to see you again.”  As much as Kit hated Karen for not listening to her, she hated her more because the comments to her were like rubbing salt on an already wounded and slashed soul.  On some days, Kit would rather endure Karen’s physical abuse than hear the mere mention of Michael’s name.

Within less than a year, Karen would kill herself with the very gun she tortured Kit with again and again.  More beatings and such were endured, but Kit knew she would make it.  Ironically, Kit feared guns and had never handled one prior to that evening.  She was one of two in her entire family that didn’t have interest in firearms, until Karen came into their lives.

Slowly, it Evolves…Victims Can No Longer Isolate Themselves.

I was very reclusive in my youth. I joked around about drinking and partying and such, in the fashion of Cheech and Chong.  I discovered after a while that I was merely trying to “fit in”.  I have since discovered that I don’t have to fit in to any particular niche.  I am who I am. People can accept me or not accept me, but there are two things about me that never change over time. I am honest.  I speak my mind.  Not many people can handle that trait.  It comes from having been through a lot of hell, much I do not really discuss, but when I hear people talk as if their pain is the only one that matters, I can come unglued. 

There are different types of suffering and abuse in this world.  I know it from a place no one should ever have had to experience it–at home.  I am currently writing a book on this, but for those of you who follow my bullying blogs, I don’t see how we can possibly stop bullying or get anything productive done in society by  isolating ourselves from one another.  The pain of the homosexual child being bullied is every bit as real and intense as the child who gets beaten, raped and abused at home–only to come to school to suffer the taunts of those bullies (and sometimes get assaulted even further). 

Here is the point of my post.  Anyone who has ever been bullied has experienced their own type of prison.  That prison was the closest thing to Hell on Earth for many people.  However, as intense as our pain is, we must unite with others who have been bullied and abused to make our voices heard as one voice.  If not, we are failing every generation that follows.   It does not matter if one is homosexual or not, or if one is from another country or not.  What matters is that a united front stands a better chance of accomplishing anything than a divided front.   We are failing our children if we do not address this as one voice, one people and one nation.

I am no activist and do not wish to be so now.  However there is/are voice(s) out there that people  will hear.  You voice might prevent the next Jonesboro.  Your voice might prevent the next Columbine.  Your voice might stop the next child from taking matters into his or her own hands to address his/her abusers and ruin the rest of his/her life.

Where are you?  This country needs you to get together and speak up.  The children are depending on you.  Forget the news networks.  None of them talk much about this until something major happens!  It is time to be proactive and not reactive.  You do not have to have a child in public school to ask a school board what is being done to stop school violence and make them answer.  People around the world must unite to stop bullying on a global scale as well.  

It is time to quit comparing battle scars with each other (and with other groups and unite).   My pain is no less or more intense than yours even if it is a different situation. Being separate does not solve anything.  You will get told what you “want to hear” and then nothing will come of it, but if people who have been severely abused and bullied were to rally together–someone would listen and take notice.

I am going through a healing process myself–even after all these years. I am starting to see some things differently, yet some things are unchanged.  I suppose we will all be evolving and changing throughout life.  Give me time. I am getting there and so will you.  We can work on this together,  can we not?  I do not feel that isolating ourselves as groups from one another is an option any longer.

Bullying a Teacher is not Free Speech!

Bullying a Teacher is not Free Speech!.   And people wonder why there is a teacher shortage…Give me a break!

Mother of 13 Year Old Hailey Dunn Makes Statement

Billie Dunn, the mother of missing teen Hailey Dunn, issued a statement on 1-31-2011.  You can read the article and hear her statement here.  Mrs. Dunn claims that the police have been negligent in not naming other persons of interest in the case.    Here is the link.  The reward is $25,000.00

http://www.ktxs.com/news/26683465/detail.html

Please stay vigilant and on the look out for her.  Her father has been  handing out flyers along his work route all the way to the Mexican border in an attempt to raise awareness and in hope that someone, somewhere has seen his daughter.

Womens’ Rights Under A Threat? They May Very Well Be…Please Read…

Before I go further into this, let me inform you that I am a Christian.  I will also inform you that I am an ANGRY Christian.  I will not apologize for that because all women right now face a threat to their own autonomy greater than has ever been faced since our Suffragette ancestors got us the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are turning over in their graves, I’m sure. 

I have read some rather ridiculous stuff in the news lately, but this one really got me upset. WHY would anyone consider Sharia Law when it comes to sentencing for crimes? I am referring to the article in this link I will post here:

 http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2011/01/plea-deal-for-muslim-dad-in-arizona-who-murdered-his-20-year-old-daughter-for-being-too-americanized.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

This man, who incidentally took an oath to be an AMERICAN citizen is now trying to claim that the cold-blooded murder of his 21-year-old daughter is an “honor killing”. Scrap the religious argument here for a minute. This guy SHOULD be considered an infidel for even TAKING an oath of citizenship–especially since our constitution is founded on the principles of Christianity.  Does that mean that the United States is a “Christian Nation”.  No.  However, Christianity involves free will–Islam does not.  THIS is what needs to be made clear.  Anyway, no Islamic nation should excuse this “oversight” on his part when he took an oath of citizenship either. If he were a true Muslim, he wouldn’t have taken the oath to defend our constitution. THAT is my opinion on that issue. That being said, as far as I am concerned, he is only seeking to escape the death penalty. That MIGHT fly in Iraq, where he is from, but he is in OUR country and is now being tried under OUR laws.  I am not in support of the death penalty, but I am also not in support of losing my right to voice that opinion either, and I don’t think the females who do support the death penalty want to lose their autonomy either.  That is the danger if judges start ruling in favor of such a system for ANYONE.  Mark my words, Sharia Law being used in this country will erode the rights of women and that cannot be allowed!

If he says his daughter was “too Americanized”, then what the heck did he expect to happen when he became an American himself? Hello! Is anyone out there listening to this question? When in ROME, as the cliché goes, you do as the Romans do. WHEN in America, you do as WE do–or don’t become a citizen. Simple? It should be…

Evidently the girl’s parents were not happy when she divorced a cousin she was forced to marry. HELLO AGAIN! We are in AMERICA. Divorce is LEGAL. Sharia Law is not applicable in this country! Are any judges reading this? She was also an “American”. WHO is defending her rights as a victim? Read the text messages she sent to her friend. Her father was a threat to her right to live the American dream. She was a threat to his macho “I am a god” authority, which is protected under the culture from which he CAME, but NOT here. OR is it?

I want everyone to think about some of the history of the United States for a few moments. HOW LONG have women had the right to vote, divorce, etc…? Not that long, right? Well, if you want to refresh your memory, check the following link:

Read more: Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S.: Timeline of Events (1848-1920) — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline1.html#ixzz1AJ8jjzfz

As you can see, our female ancestors went through Hades to ensure the future generations that they also had certain inalienable rights that men had no right to take away–and it does not matter what religion they might be either. How does this tie into the case regarding THE plea bargains? Think about it. It sets a dangerous precedent allowing judges to re-interpret existing laws beyond their own jurisprudence, for starters.

It also violates the principal of separation of church and state to allow Sharia Law to be implemented in to our penal codes in this country. It relegates women to being chattel, a practice which too many American women went through hell to put a stop to in the past two centuries. All of these “laws” were written for the benefit of men being in control of their spouses and daughters as if they were to be used merely to breed and keep them happy. If anyone thinks that this law will only be applied toward the members of the Muslim faith in this country, they had better think again. It will ultimately extend to all when judges of this faith get appointed to the judge’s benches around the nation. I ask the American people this. Do they really think if Muslim Extremists were to end up running our country that Hollywood celebrities who embrace homosexuality and women’s rights would be allowed to live under their rule? I don’t think so. If men will kill their own daughters for being too “American”, what makes these people think that they will stop with their own offspring? Please don’t come back and tell me the ones doing these acts are “extremists”. They aren’t when they first come here for citizenship. They come in suits, ties and are well dressed, and some of the women who are in this will also be well dressed for show and tell, to get women to think “Oh, this isn’t as bad as they say.” I guess that when this country is finally subjected to the forced marriages and (in extreme cases) the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, that people will finally wake up and see that this is more than a real threat. Don’t kid yourselves. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. These are educated oppressors sent to accomplish one goal–to take the world for Allah by whatever means necessary even though their Quran CLEARLY states for them to not make war with anyone who doesn’t make war with them first. I know what the Quran says, because I’ve read it. If they cannot do it by gradually implementing Sharia Law, one can rest assured that they will take a lesson from Lenin and Stalin and start a war in due time.

If nothing else, women should be standing shoulder to shoulder, and toe to toe with the gay community in opposition to this implementation because it puts ALL of us at risk–and it doesn’t matter if one is gay, straight, celibate, or whatever. IF you are not a Muslim, you are an infidel.  Below is an absolute WORST case scenario:

Their goal will be to convert you if you are not a homosexual and to kill you if you are one. If you don’t believe that, then do your homework. Look at how Sharia Law handles such matters. As for heterosexuals, they will kill you (most likely) regardless–especially when they realize that you would rather die on your feet than to beg on your knees. In other words, in their eyes, if you do not submit to their so-called divine authority given by Allah, you will die anyway.  I realize this is a worst case scenario, but one must realize that this is the law that extremists are trying to enforce in other countries as we speak! 

I know many Christians do not want to hear the above statement, but it is my opinion. God loves homosexuals, and it is not my job to judge or condemn them, but I do feel that they will not turn to God if the god the church continues to show them offers no hope of redemption, but of condemnation. I have seen churches with people in them who do not show an example of Christ’s love, but of hatred. This is NOT godly behavior and he will not honor it. Judgment does begin with the house of God if the bible be true, and let’s just assume it is…That means the church gets theirs before the non-believers they failed to lead to the Lord are to be judged. I also feel that the bible says “Judge not lest ye be judged” for a reason. Think about it. Now back to my point about Sharia Law:

As Americans this is one issue we should all be united on. We should not be worried about whether we are being “sensitive to their religion” when it is a religion that seeks to conquer others and destroy their way of life. Given the supreme court rulings in 1962, I would say we are covered since the court at that time wasn’t sensitive to anyone else’s needs but Madeline Murray O’Hair’s.  That is fine.  So be it.  But they have NO right to try to allow subversive judges and attorneys to inject this form of religious law into our system NOW.  That ruling covered that.  It is unconstitutional and I really don’t think the atheists will put up with it either since AGAIN, it is now an issue of WOMENS’ RIGHTS–not Christian, Jew, Atheist or Hindu rights–but WOMENS’ RIGHTS FOR ALL WOMEN.  It is time we learned the lessons of what is going on in Britain and the rest of Europe. In 2012, we do have a chance to make this right. Not one more citizen’s murder should have to go unpunished because they are “too American”…If you aren’t American enough to go by our laws, go home. IF you didn’t want to be subject to AMERICAN LAW, you shouldn’t have become a citizen in the first place–again, go back.

If I were given the choice to be forced to live in communist China or live under this type of regime, which do you think I would pick? It wouldn’t be in a culture that wants to force me to marry someone I could not stand to be with or enslave me under a system of misogyny, that is for sure. In fact, I would rather be dead. It is possible that this will happen IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO. I shudder to think of what type of rule my grandchildren and nieces might be under in less than 20 years at this rate.

The people who are trying to accomplish this feat come from places that also sell their women to the highest bidder. Even if that bidder is a sex trafficker, they will sell their women in to fake marriages at young ages in order to force them into slavery. This is especially true in Iraq. Then if the women get away, they kill or imprison them for bringing shame to their families. If you don’t believe that, check it out.  There are links.  Why is government giving any aid to countries with such practices? I am of the opinion that by doing so, this government is complicit in the business of oppressing women worldwide. If it were up to me, all aid would be stopped where forced marriages and/or the selling of children and/or the practice FGM are allowed. I would then take that money that would have gone to those nations and put it toward paying off the deficit.

For the lack of action I see from the National Organization for Women, I would have NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM simply because I see nothing in the way of pursuing the rights of women as of late. Women must unite among themselves. Nobody is going to listen unless women become one united force–and believe me there are women of all faiths in this country that if they united under the cause of keeping women free in this country, the government would have no choice but to listen.

However, if Sharia law were instituted, you can rest assured that the subversive cultures within this country would try to revoke the right to vote for women–and that is when the real problems will begin. They will blame the female rape victims in court again for being raped, molested, etc…, rather than face the fact that each person must be held accountable for their own actions.

When we have video on Youtube of women fighting each other on a bus in front of their own children, it is used by the people of other countries to show how “out of control” we are as a nation because of our “freedoms”. They don’t address the fact that the women on the video are breaking the law because that would imply that if caught they would be properly punished. They are not mentioning that fact because that feeds into their propaganda machine about how western civilization and capitalism are evil.

The fact of the matter is, the way this country is allowed to conduct itself–glorifying socially unacceptable behavior, is why this country has become a laughing-stock. Discipline at all levels of society must be restored–starting with the home, then the school, then the counties, states and then our country as a whole. By not educating our children properly, we are feeding a beast that has run dangerously out of control. When will the people of America reunite and take back the schools and their cities from people who will sell the soul and it’s own females for the sake of conforming to a One World Order–which Islam right now is probably going to be running? Stop trade with nations who allow women’s rights to be trampled in such a manner–which would shut out the Middle East for the most part, and let them fend for their own. They do not deserve the aid of free nations. Oh my gosh! We would have to depend on our own oil and/or open up trade with South America–which would be a good thing.

Not all people of the Muslim faith allow for such practices on their women. These people should unite behind us and not allow these barbaric, inhumane creatures that dare to call themselves men exert control over anyone else. The mullahs and imams know that an uneducated population is a controllable one. Why do you think some of these men sell girls as young as two off? They know if women were educated, and if they were free, they would most likely NOT marry anyone chosen for them. They also know that the women outnumber them by far. I will let the reader think about that one. Here is the link referring to the cases in New York and in Arizona as well:

  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jan/28/no-safety-in-shariah/

I am of the opinion that the judge that made such an idiotic ruling betrayed every woman in this country and should be taken off of the bench. The Constitution never gave ANYONE in this country the right to “not be offended”…Where has common sense gone in this country that judges can get away with such incompetent actions on the bench? Any judge who tries to do this is sending American women down the river! If it were up to me, she would face charges of sedition AND treason.  Sedition for encouraging the radical Islamists with her ruling, and TREASON for betraying American women everywhere–including the victims of these crimes! It is time to stand up and make it known! If you are with me on this issue, email me! If not, don’t come crying to me when the stuff hit’s the fan! Women must do something NOW to get this information out!

Regardless of what one’s faith is, or the choice to be of no faith, it doesn’t matter.  Neither does your sexual preference. This threatens us all and we must never let ourselves be divided on an issue as vital as this. Our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren depend upon that. Can we not unite for once to win this ONE cause?  Division has been a big problem when it comes to our own rights.  We can no longer afford to be divided.

The late president Abraham Lincoln knew the dangers a divided America would be. Our leaders need to be brought into the light of this fact again.  We cannot have two Americas–one system of law for one group and another for another group.  Ignorance of our law is no excuse to commit a crime.  Now we face a fight to wipe out another type of slavery–one that thrives on ignorance and fear.  It also thrives on the subjugation of all others to its own benefit.  If you do not understand what I am talking about, I suggest you take a good hard look at what is going on in Europe–especially since the UK has already tried being “sensitive” to this.  I am of the opinion that a worldwide cauldron is brewing and we must NOT allow ourselves to be thrown into it.

Another form of Bullying…

The type of bullying I will address today has nothing to do with children.  It has to do with adults who are supposed to be working in a professional capacity.  This is not an opinion on sexual harassment (although that is a form of workplace bullying that all are familiar with), but of another more devious kind of bullying.  I will call it professional libel.  In this I will address it as it occurs in the educational environment, but whether it takes place in the educational system or in other areas of state employment such as corrections, mental health, etc…It is ever-present in every lounge and in every aspect of state business.

When a person commits professional libel, they spread rumors or talk of something they do not like about a professional in such a manner that it results in the person being unable to teach effectively and/or creates a hostile work environment.  New teachers have their own ideas to bring into a classroom as they are taught new ideas at a university.  If a teacher with years of experience sees a way that this teacher can improve, it would behoove him or her to try to give feedback and/or mentor the new teacher during times when he or she is not busy.  It is a known fact that many new teachers burn out and/or quit the field within five years.  I feel a study should be done on the real reason behind this trend. My opinion is that the new teachers are “outsiders” and often ignored.

An administrator or senior teacher who does not sit and have a talk with that teacher, but goes to complain behind the back of that person is NO professional.  It is not the new teacher that is in the wrong field, but the person doing the complaining.  In some states, that results in complaints of creating a hostile work environment which are successful, largely in part, because nobody has tried to help the new teacher improve upon his/her practices.  Often it is not the practices these people who these complainers  have a problem with, but the fact that the new teacher has his or her own ideas or opinions that do not fit with those of the clique.  Yes you have read that correctly.

When it is found that a “clique” is operating in this fashion against a new teacher, then it is the clique that should be transferred to other schools in the district (different ones) and if an administrator is found to be a part of the problem, demote that person for setting an improper example.  All employees need feedback and if senior teachers and administrators are  not willing to give it in order to address or correct the issue(s), but then work against the new teacher, then they are not leaders.  They are problem children and should be moved or dismissed from their positions.  If that new teacher is not doing anything in violation of a code of ethics and others are willing to slam and talk about this person behind his/her back, it is NOT the new teacher that is violating anything but those doing this garbage behind closed doors. In many states, these people can be also be brought up on ethics charges in front of their state education agency.  This is why they will never leave anything in writing, and will not work to address issues, but junior administrators that are in on this will not renew contracts and/or bully a teacher into resigning their position at the end of the year.  Some superintendents are aghast when they find that a teacher suddenly resigns, only to find out through third parties that one of those under him/or her had been practicing this trend of bullying because the new teacher didn’t tend to “blend” well with staff…THEN that superintendent has to take action against that person because the new teacher was harassed not for what he or she did IN the classroom, but for what he or she did not do outside the classroom, such as attend a soiree at the principal’s house on super bowl night.  What they don’t understand is that if that new teacher is savvy enough to contact their union and the board finds that the new teacher was not properly mentored, trained and then slammed, those who did it CAN LOSE THEIR jobs and certifications (worst case scenario) and probation for that offense is not something that they want on their records.

SO these types of “bullies” (which is what they are) resort to other tactics…They gossip…They complain…they want to feel important so the new ideas being brought in are some sort of threat to them and their ways. They never bother to talk to the new teacher or include him/her into certain things they all do together.  They are resistant to anything new being brought to the school environment because they fear a loss of their own control.  They fear change.  They won’t listen to the new teachers’ ideas for fundraising and such because “the old ways are the best ways”.  If we expect a change in the way we are educating our children, we had better take a very hard look at how new teachers are treated and why.  A five-year burn out rate is unacceptable as is ostracizing a new teacher for not being part of the “clique”.

Perhaps districts should be made to include something that the Wal~Mart Corporation has done.  All new teachers should be given “Grass Roots Surveys” statewide that they can mail in themselves.  This will give the education agencies a good idea of why the new teachers are quitting and whether or not the problems that are causing the shortages are due to the fault of administration or personal circumstance.  Just make the forms to where they are available for teachers to request and then to ensure their identity being protected, allow them to do the survey ANONYMOUSLY.  This way, over the next few years, the agencies can learn more effective ways of addressing the needs of the new teacher and ensuring that the “problem children”  (if a majority of surveys indicate hostility and improper treatment of the new teacher) are properly removed from the payroll.  It will also cut down on lawsuits resulting from such behavior.

A lot of these new teachers are also ostracized for their beliefs.  If they are Christian, Jew, Hindu or Muslim–they are (more often than not) ignored.  Ironically in my careers both in corrections and as a teacher,  the only group of people who seem to be treating these new personnel with any amount of decency are those in the fields who profess to be atheists.  Atheists do not judge by the faith one professes to be but by their strengths and weaknesses and they often try to help them to improve when those of opposing faiths literally shut them off.  Not all atheists are closed-minded and don’t care what one’s faith is because not all of them ascribe to the hate speech given by the likes of Bill Maher and Joy Behar.

Because these administrators don’t have a faith in a supreme being, they are more apt to judge the new person by how the kids improve both academically and behavior wise.  It has been my experience that when an atheist administrator sees a student who was about to end up in jail change because of the positive influence any teacher has had on his/her thinking, that atheist is grateful that someone got through to the child.  In some cases where the atheist is the new teacher, I have seen them get ostracized by those of faith also, which is equally unfair.

Professional libel should be addressed long before it comes to a point where the new teacher ends up going to the board for help. If it gets that far, the administrators failed in doing their own job.  In a professional capacity, it would behoove these people to sit down with that new teacher (whether a probationary teacher or certified substitute) and discuss what they are hearing and make suggestions for improvement.  Many schools cannot keep teachers or get substitutes to stay due to this problem.  For example, when a savvy superintendent sees that there is one school in his/her district that cannot get and keep substitutes (both long and short-term) and teachers are quitting in the middle of the school year he or she should be asking “What is the REAL issue here?” and call the substitutes in that removed themselves from that school’s substitute list.  When a particular school has to resort to using aides as teachers, then there is a big problem somewhere.  Substitutes who removed themselves are more than willing to tell things as they see them.  They are not bound as the regular classroom teacher.  I can personally attest that in the district I work at, a fifth grade math teacher quit in November, and then the long-term substitute  hired to replace her quit two weeks later.  The math teacher was so stressed she left many of her classroom tools behind–ones she personally paid for.  I know because I had her class for about 3 days before the first long-term substitute came in.  I am friends with about 8 teachers there who have known me for years.  I know the real reason behind much of it.

Many of the others subs have taken themselves off of that school’s list–myself included because of what I have seen and experienced.  Everything that is happening is due to a few individuals who don’t know how to NOT complicate things.  The total number of substitutes that removed themselves from that schools list is between 10-20 in less than 6 months.  That is tragic. My parting shot to that school came when a student asked “Why is it that you and Ms… are the only subs who ever come back to work with us?”  Another student said, “Because we are bad.”  I asked, “Did someone say that to you?”  Several students said, “Well yeah…Duh..”  I told them all, “Whoever said that is not being honest.  It is not your fault and you shouldn’t blame yourselves for it.” They had already heard from another teacher that I might not be back next week.  One asked, “You will come back won’t  you?”  I told them I most likely wouldn’t, but it would be because I’m seeking positions elsewhere and my mother needs for me to move close to her.”  IF there is one thing I will not do, it is lie to my students.  The teacher who told them that had already discussed this with me because some of them had already heard about my mother and were upset that I might quit too.

Sadly, there is an ugly truth behind why the other teachers and substitutes drop from that school.  It was even sadder that a group of three are to blame for the whole issue that led to the teacher leaving and the long-term substitutes walking out.  One of them telling the kids that  they are to blame was the last straw for me, but I am sure that those responsible for the powder keg are tenured…They’ll come back until death or retirement–whichever comes first.  That includes an administrator that I once respected, but have since found him to be as hypocritical as those who cause the problems in the first place.

So I will end this with ONE simple question…How are we supposed to create a positive learning environment for the students, when the working environment can be so negative that even the students know what is going on before the teachers who are being hurt by it do?  Four students knew why the math teacher was quitting before the rest of the staff did because they were sitting in the principal’s office while the assistant principal (with his door wide open) was relaying to the math teacher things he was hearing from the “gossip train”.  Hell, no wonder she quit mid-term.  That was VERY unprofessional.  If this happens in other areas of employment (especially state employment), it needs to be swiftly addressed.

Bullying–Then and Now Part II

If you read my previous blog on bullying, then what I am about to say may be of some surprise to you. Yes, I do feel that forgiving others enables us to move forward, but what about those that are broken and can take no more? I have my own ideas on this.

We have different types of bullying–but in all cases I feel that there are common threads in all.  Some bullies go after anyone they perceive to be different and/or lesser than themselves. I feel that they gain a false sense of empowerment at someone else’s expense because either they themselves have been bullied and now this is an outlet, or they simply feel that they are above anyone else. I also feel that all bullying can stem from resentment or hate.

Bullies are EVERYWHERE. They are in school and in the workplace. If you don’t believe me, look at all the lawsuits. Bullies all use different tactics. Some use physical violence (especially in schools) and others use either cyber bullying and/or they use a position of authority they have in the workplace to exert their will over those they perceive to be beneath their station. I also feel that bullies look at their victims as a step below the species of mankind on the evolutionary chain.

The abused tend to become abusers–but not always. Now substitute the words “the bullied” and “bullies” in that sentence. Bullying is a learned behavior–not an instinct or a mental disease. If you want to stop this in our society, then it has to be stopped at the schoolhouse first! To stop it in the schoolhouse, there are many ways–mediation, sensitivity training, etc…I think the best way is for school districts to hit the parents where it counts–their wallets, especially when it is a severe case and/or a repeat case. I am also willing to bet that  if a study were done, those conducting it would find out that the children who are bullies also had parents who were bullies when they were in school. Parents who were like that tend to dismiss their own children’s actions as “kids being kids”. Today this is simply false. As I have  stated  previously, “kids being kids” will get people harmed physically and psychologically nowadays–if not killed.  It is important to hold parents accountable even if it entails parenting classes and/or going to school handcuffed to their darling boy or girl  for a few days. 

If districts could impose fines (like $25 per offense) on parents whose children are out of control, the money could be used to do many things–fund classroom supplies so teachers won’t have to pay for it–etc…Face it–parents often don’t buy the kids what they need, so use the fines for “bullying” to provide things like pencils, paper, crayons, map colors, etc…Also parents love their pocketbooks enough that they will eventually control their children when they get tired of paying fines for their ridiculous behavior.

Kids who are bullies and get caught should also be suspended from extracurricular activities and sports for at least three weeks after each incident. For severe cases of physical bullying, charge the kids with assault because that is exactly what they are doing on school grounds! Some districts and state laws already allow for this, others do not.

It should also be mandatory for victims of severe and/or repeat bullying incidents to see a crisis counselor as soon as possible  after the incident is made known to school officials in order to try to ensure that there are no suicidal thoughts (or thoughts of harming others) developing. Also, in less severe cases, transfer the bullies–NOT the victims. In fact, find out if the bullies are running in a clique and split them all up into different schools. When the cliques see that their buddies can’t go to school with them anymore, then they will back off of everyone else nowadays. If there is one thing a group hates it is having their social lives monkeyed with for someone’s actions.

It just seems to me that unless the case is extreme, transferring the victim should be a last resort–with the PARENTS, not the administration making that judgment call. Why should the bullied child be punished? It would be more of a punishment to the bullies to separate their groups into different schools. It would also send a strong message to other students that there would be no tolerance for THEIR behavior. To me, transferring the victim is virtually equivalent to punishing the victim. However, in the case of severe physical assault, and/or sexual assault of any kind, then I say move the victim to a new district to lessen psychological trauma and lock up the assailants in a juvenile facility.  I do not think many will object to this for the simple fact that removal of the worst types of bullies from the learning environment in a regular public school would only ensure a more positive and cooperative learning atmosphere in the classrooms, and thus the entire school.  

Being bullied does not justify the victims taking the situation into their own hands and they need to be taught this. That is why it is important to get the victims to a counselor. When a person cannot take any more, they can become irrational and they can do things the normal person would not normally do–like harm others and/or themselves. I believe that we have to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to this subject. There are lives at stake and the last thing I want to hear about is another school shooting or bombing by some kid(or kids) who were victims of bullies (and/or abuse) who were themselves out of control.

 The handling of bullying cases should be treated with no difference as to the reason behind the bullying. A bully is a bully and whether the victim is gay, straight, pretty, not pretty, athletic or whatever (insert your own word here)  is not important. All are created equal and should be treated no differently–whatever the reasoning behind it. This is true for the victim and the perpetrator. All bullying is equally horrifying and I do not want to see it continue. I worked for 4.5 years as a corrections officer and spent over a year of it as a sergeant. Anyone can draw a parallel between the bullies who beat up kids for stepping into “their corner” of the playground and the offenders who will beat up other offenders for sitting at “their” tables or simply playing handball on “their part” of a recreation yard.

I also am a certified teacher. The same behavior exhibited by bullies in the school yards is also exhibited in the prison systems. IF you don’t believe me, then do a study. I’ll bet my last $10 that if a study is done comparing this behavior in the school with the behavior of the offenders who do this in the prisons, they will find so many similarities that it will shock them–especially when they find out how many of the schoolyard bullies are in families where one or more of its members are behind bars for violent crimes.

 Our public schools should be a safe haven in America for these children, but to me it seems that they are growing in similarity to correctional facilities. At some schools, there are armed guards, fences, gates, etc…Is it any wonder that such a comparison can be made? What has happened in our culture that has made this so? I won’t go deeply into this subject here, but part of the problem lies in the devaluation of Education in America. We now have a culture that doesn’t view education as being necessary and important. Until power is given back to parents and educators to stop this ongoing problem, schools will continue to evolve into something reminiscent of correctional institutions. After all, it is teachers who try to instill social values into these children and they when grow up and get to the prison system–it’s up to the officers to do that. Am I right or wrong? I really want somebody to prove me wrong on this. I challenge anyone to do a study on it.  The children who visit family members in prisons can easily make comparisons to their own schools–right down to the high fences and such. 

I have seen grown offenders where I used to  work who felt “fated”, and young people who now feel “fated” to end up in a correctional facility because it appears to be somewhat akin to a family tradition.  A whole lot of offenders will tell you openly that their dads, grandfathers, moms, grandmothers, etc…had all been in prison and saw it as their being headed down the same path early on.  Trying to inspire young people to take a different path is challenging for any teacher, but it can be done, and it HAS been done.  The teachers who influence children in such a positive manner deserve medals.

America really needs to start thinking and re-thinking. The clock is ticking and our childrens’ futures are at stake because of what society has done to them. The school system has to be changed. I think we should seriously take a look at overseas educational systems and find out what makes theirs different. What makes them work? Something is working well for them because you don’t see nearly the problems there that you see in our country right now–especially school shootings and such. What are they doing right and what are we missing as a nation?

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