Never Believe Anyone Who Says “IT TASTES LIKE CHICKEN!”

This is especially true if you are being served alligator.  I tried it recently.  All I can say is–NEVER AGAIN!  I will admit the cocktail sauce made it a little better…However, while I am NOT opposed to trying anything new at least once, I can now cross this off of my “bucket list” of things I have never done before, and shall NEVER do again! 

I am taking an online TESOL course.  My snack of choice tonight was good old-fashioned POPCORN!  I am now going to go to bed and put on my earphones. It is time for me to tune out the world, the rotten news going on in it and just chill out for the night! Tomorrow I will be back on my mountain and working out a double again!  Have a wonderful evening and PLEASE, alligator is good for handbags, but I do not recommend it for supper!


The Mountain Embraced Me Today!

Yes! You heard it here! I got to walk my mountain today for the first time in a very long time!  My spirit was joyous with every step on my 2.25 mile trek, and I got to see a few finches and sparrows!  They seem to hang around.  I didn’t get to see any cardinals or blue jays, but I once again heard the all familiar rustle of the mesquite beans as the wind brushed them with its warm fingers and then went through the grass.  It was a great symphony of sounds and silence!  I love it when I can just go up there, enjoy the sunshine and listen to everything. 

I feel so alive when I come home from the mountain because the peace it gives me is perfect. I feel as though I am experiencing an embrace, as if I had a strong shoulder to lean on and share things with.  That is the only analogy I can come up with to describe it. I have left an entire life of negativity behind me, and discovered the person I would like to be in that process.  Learning not to depend on others for my identity is a terrific thing.  I can stand alone, yet know I am not because others reciprocate that beautiful flow of energy.  When that mountain embraces me as it did today,  I realize that I am one with it and it with me, and even God has made it that way as far as I am concerned.  It is my duty to help others as I am able.   Now I do still get into the occasional political debate, but it does not change who I am even for a second. 

As I walked, I noticed that nothing is blooming yet, but I did crawl out of my hole and I saw my shadow.  Then I realized a few things on that mountain.  Sometimes birds signal that protection is there…While I was at my mother’s house last week, I saw a blue jay.  Then I saw another one.  I didn’t know why but I felt that everything would be alright and felt a peace about coming back home again.  I found out today that in a lot of Native American tribes, the blue jay being present is a sign of  protection.  My mother always feeds the birds.  In turn, they give her peace of mind, I think.  They definitely gave me that.

There are days on which I wonder what my purpose really is.  I think we all do that.  I feel that mine is to find ways to help others find their own peace.  There are so many good people in the world  who cannot see the good within themselves because they carry guilt around about past mistakes and such.  It took me many years to understand that today is the only thing over which we have some dominion or control.  Many times  as we focus on this present, the past likes to throw up the darkened shadows of our past into our faces.  This dark shadow, or spirit, likes to tell us “You do not deserve this or that!” and all to often, we are dumb enough to listen to that voice.

When the time is right, what you really need will return to you in some fashion because of your own good spirit.   It may be a simple matter of the idea that someone needs someone who not only loves the good qualities about him or her, but who actually believes in the magic he or she can produce.  Everyone can create their own type of magic.  It may come in the form of the kind word during a time of loss, or the lifting of your brother’s spirit when he has lost his faith in himself.  Sometimes all that brother needs to know is that one person believes in what he can do, and then he can see the light at the end of a tunnel.  A kind word can go such a long way toward this.  Many people turn to drink, saying they enjoy it, but it is really the escape from the dark shadow that is lurking behind that they are trying to avoid. 

Light will kill darkness every time.  Most of the time, if one really listens, his (or her) footsteps move toward that person, or those people who come their way in order  to lift their spirits so that they can carry on.  A person who really loves and cares about that person will be the one staying sober to drive this brother (or sister) home when partakes too much of the booze.  In time, as the love grows, he may not need to lean toward that dark shadow as much.  It will kick up worse for a while and try to hang onto him out of fear, but when the light of the person meant to be there is at its zenith, the darkness has to go back and the person can reach out in faith for help.

As the wind embraced me and the sunlight planted its kiss upon my forehead, I discovered that as I have healed, I can use this for others.  I am not able to cook really well, but I can provide a strong shoulder to lean on and let a person know why I feel as I do.  In other words, I can be that friend people really need.  That way I am paying respect to the mountain that never fails to embrace me and to teach me all that I need to know about this life, and those who will come into my path to enrich it.   If I can give them just that wee bit of light to get them through the day,  then that is the best thing that I could ask for, isn’t it?

I truly hope that all of you have a wonderful week!  Don’t forget to tell your loved ones that they are loved, and do not forget to spend time with the child(ren).  It is your light that might just enable them to follow a right and just path in life.  When we are old, only then we see how these life lessons have helped them.  The only important thing we need to remember is that we may not see why it is important to be good right away because if everything is in a circle, like the seasons, love, life cycles, etc…Then whatever you give will ripple outward like the rings of water produced by a stone being skipped across the pond or thrown into it.  It just depends on how wide a scale your one-act can reach.  Either way, others are somehow touched by that energy (I think) and then it just radiates toward the people intended–only to return later like a boomerang, but much more smoothly (and gently)! Good night all, and Happy Valentines Day!

Decision is made-Despite the Voices in my head!!!

I am going to resume Insanity workouts when I get back home.  I will order Brazil Butt Lift too!  Why not? I have nothing better to do with my time when I’m not at work…If you want to know anything about that, email me and/or friend me on FB.

Besides while I am waiting for the weather to get WONDERFUL again, that is if the Russians will quit playing with their bloody electromagnet so the ice will melt,  I can still find a place to go to get in touch with nature and such.  Cold weather really doesn’t stop me…Hold on! What do you mean it’s the Chinese playing with the electromagnet now?!  Why is it you want to blame China for everything from our political woes to not being able to buy anything Amer–what?!  What do you mean a lot of our clothes come from Pakistan, India or Viet-Nam?  Well, I’d rather buy from China than Pakistan…What’s that?  Only buy American?  Tell me where I can buy American made stuff that doesn’t have parts of it imported from–YOU GUESSED IT!  CHINA!

What?  What do you mean we have nothing made domestically anymore? I KNOW that’s a lie!  Wanna know how I know?  Because the soap I buy is home-made from Strawn, TX!  Yes!  There are still companies that make their own soaps, candles, jewelry and such domestically!  Now I need for you to quit popping in my head because you are NOT the voice of reason! You can google it and find the site–it’s the only soap co. in Strawn, TX.

Whew!  Isn’t it amazing how those thoughts can creep in?  Anyway, back to my original point–SHUT UP! I AM TIRED OF YOU POPPING UP IN MY HEAD NOW SHUT UP ALREADY!  There…Dealt with that voice in my brain…Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! Brazil Butt Lift and Insanity 2 a days…This should get very interesting huh?  I’ve been iced in too long and will head home today! 

I’m getting ready for the summer, baby!  Some beach…Somewhere…Is waiting for me to park my butt on an empty chair~!  Have a great day!

This is a time for our nation to remain CALM, people!

As with any mass rioting in the world, there is always the potential to start finger-pointing, making angry outbursts at others, and for LACK of a better way to put it, lowering ourselves to a level that none of our ancestors would be proud of.  The danger lies in this world in much the same fashion that it does in any prison system.

Are you wondering what I mean?  I’ll share it with you.  A gang starts fighting in the chow hall.  It gets contained after being hit with CS gas and such…Just as that mess gets cleaned up, another building kicks off when the news gets there from one of the other offenders who happens to be watching things unfold from the exit door.  THEN the team has to go clean up another mess–and it continues.  It spreads from building to building.   Before long, the news is statewide.  THEN other units start kicking off, putting countless non-participating offenders and a whole lot of officers in mortal danger because each gang is struggling to gain control.

Do you not think for one minute that given the messes in Egypt and Tunisia right now that there is an extremist group in the wings waiting to “step in” to “solve the problem”?  If not, you had better think again.  If they gain the upper hand, what makes you think the rest of them in other countries won’t try to kick off at some point?

There is only one response that can be done.  Contain the chaos.  Then deport non-citizen participants and jail the others who cause the violence and throw the key away.  Changing regimes is one thing.  Trying to establish a stranglehold to prevent a natural progression into a new government is another.  We saw that happened in Iran in the 70’s. 

I said after the Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman murders that the catch phrase for children hundreds of years later would be “O.J. did it!”  Damn…I was wrong…It is going to be “Assange did it!”  He will be vilified if WW3 breaks out and somehow, it will all get pointed back to him, true or not.  Personally, he should be tried by various countries for sedition and/or treason.

The public has a “right to know” some information–unless it might cause the lives of our service members to be put at risk, or our freedoms that we do have to be put into jeopardy.  I don’t see that (for example) knowing that the troops cornered Osama Bin Laden in a bunker outside of a mountain range in Northern Afghanistan, and that they are about to commence bombings of that bunker, is going to matter to me one way or the other until after the fact.  There should be a media blackout until it is done. I am sick of journalists acting like little demigods telling where the troops are and telling THEIR version of the truth to promote their own personal agendas.  Enough is enough!  Either report responsibly and quit trying to convert America to your “my view is right and you need to agree” attitude, or get into the business of being televangelists, because that is what such reporters are well suited for–and are looked at in the same light by many in the nation.

As for the people, we need to stay calm and take these journalists with a grain of salt.  There is still some good reporting out there, but not much.  Much of it is what I call “propagandizing” of the news.  BOTH the far right and far left do this.  I am not concerned with what is going on in Egypt per se, unless extremist groups try to take it over, which I don’t think will happen.  Egypt’s army is known for quashing all rebellion just like the Turks do.  Neither army will put up with extremism.   The Coptic Christians in Egypt always remain neutral, so if these extremist thugs try to convert them, they will be in for a rude shock.  They will defend themselves or die trying.  They will not convert.

When enough of the extremists upset the world balance in the way of trade, one of two things will happen.  Russia will step in and shut them up, and the Turks will assist, OR China will do it for them and save them the trouble.  Do not think for one minute that any of those nations will stand by and let these gangs of extremists gain a foothold when their own countries could come under threat.  Germany is already contemplating deportations because of what is going on in their own country, and I am sure other countries in Europe may follow suit. Why?  It is simple, the populous is getting sick of being told that they have to be “sensitive” to other peoples’ cultures on their own blood bought, freedom-loving soil.  The forefathers in our countries did not fight and die so that we would have to accommodate every foreign national that chooses to emigrate to this country.  IF they want to be a part of the culture they are now living in, and be accepted, they shouldn’t be trying to change the new country into another version of the country they left behind.

I don’t care what country anyone who lives here comes from–they came to America.  If they cannot embrace  our culture, they should leave.  It’s that simple.

While the U.S. needs to keep an eye on this stuff, it is best to NOT get obsessed with it.  What extremists do not realize is that we DO remain calm until WE get messed with directly.  Regarding Obama’s speech in June 2009, I have only this to say…This nation has no business telling others how to conduct THEIR affairs until we straighten out our own problems within our own borders. 

For one, we need to stop extremism here.  It should NOT be permitted.  Any foreign national who is trying to practice law here, and attempting to insert Sharia Law into our penal codes (state or federal) through court cases should be deported immediately.  Any foreign national teaching that this land is not American’s land but theirs (or their God’s)–same thing. Deport their asses!  They don’t belong in America.  Anyone who is found guilty of  murder in process of honor killing should have mitigating circumstances added because of the fact that they KILLED  FEMALES due to their own hatred for them as well as their basic human rights.  Misogyny is a form of hate and if they want to push that Sharia Law crap, then try them for hate crimes against women–period. END OF DISCUSSION.  Not all Muslims espouse Sharia Law.  Many left their countries to get away from extremism.  They are in as much danger as an infidel, and it is important to keep that in mind before joining in the “bash all Muslims” bandwagon.  If America is going to allow one religion to dominate the textbooks, they should ALL be given equal time.  IF not, then none should be mentioned.

I cannot speak for all women, and neither can NOW since they don’t do much for women’s rights on these issues anyway, but I can say this. I will not give up my autonomy or my right to vote–let alone my right to keep my body in tact and marry who I damned well please.  My ancestors fought too long and hard for me to have those rights.  The Suffragettes will not have died and fought for us in vain so long as we as women hold onto those rights and FIGHT to defend them. 

Our leaders must not think much of women either to even let anyone entertain the thought of allowing this into any American document.  To allow it is treason and violates the Constitution.  While we need to remain calm as a nation, it is time for the women of America to wake up.  We must make our voices heard, or face extinction if stuff does hit the proverbial fan in this country.  We must be willing to stand up not just for our rights but for those of our daughters and granddaughters, nieces, etc…

The time to stand up is NOT when we see fighting in our streets and chaos everywhere else.  The time to put a stop to this crap is NOW.  We must stand toe to toe and shoulder to shoulder, regardless of what party we are in.  We must stand straight with gay, black with white, Asian with Latino, etc…ALL MUST UNITE and say NO to this crap!   If this is how some people want to live, let THEM relocate.  The rest of this nation shouldn’t be expected to accommodate those who hate our culture and our way of life.  I will vote for nobody–Republican or Democrat who thinks this is alright or doesn’t address this either.  To me, it is the women of this country who are in the greatest danger should a worst case scenario occur. 

Stop giving money to nations who carry out such misogynistic behavior toward women.  If they don’t let their women marry whom they choose–cut their funding.  If they sell young children into any kind of slavery and legally allow it, CUT THEIR FUNDING. If they practice FGM–CUT THEIR FUNDING, if they don’t espouse educating boys and girls equally, same deal.  WE should not continue to feed a beast that will only turn around and bite us afterward.  Not only that, the money that is saved would be better suited going to cover our deficit and not earmarked for unnecessary crap.

It is also time to remove presidential  privilege of issuing executive orders and put it back in the hands of congress where it belongs.  The Wilsonian pattern must be abolished and the original powers of government restored to protect the governed from the unjust powers their rulers now seek.  Executive order privilege gives the president way too much power over the lives of our citizens–and essentially makes him a “new monarch”.  Remember the ‘czars”?  I suggest that people do not  forget THAT point.  It is definitely NOT what our founding fathers intended to happen and it sets  a dangerous precedent for those who value freedom.

While for now we must remain calm, one can rest assured that women in this country are silently seething at the thought of someone else telling them how they should “live their life” regardless of the reason for it.  It is up to nobody to dictate to women who to marry, how to pray, how many children to have (if any) and the list goes on.  One can also rest assured that if our freedom in this country is threatened, we will stand against anyone trying to destroy our autonomy.  Our Suffragette ancestors fought too long and too hard to prevent the subjugation of women in society.  Their memory must never, ever be forgotten.

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?