Category Archives: Children

Southern Oregon elementary school will change “harsh” consequences for tardiness

 

lunch kid

Oregon Live: Officials at Lincoln Elementary in Grants Pass say they plan to change the consequences for students who are tardy after a grandmother’s photo of her first-grade grandson stuck behind a cardboard wall in the school lunchroom prompted widespread outrage on Facebook and in phone calls to the district.

In a posting on the school’s web page, district officials wrote Thursday that their practice of separating students behind a cardboard shield during lunch “was never intended to isolate or stigmatize students.”

But that was exactly what it looked like to parents, grandparents and anyone on Facebook who saw the photo of little Hunter, dejected behind a screen as his classmates eat together at a nearby table.

Students who are chronically late to school or who miss too many days of school are in serious jeopardy of not learning to read and not graduating from high school. For that reason, good schools stress the importance of regular on-time school attendance and take steps when a student is frequently late or missing. In Oregon, the problem begins in kindergarten and is pronounced in kindergarten and first grade.

But experts and educators recognize that when 5- and 6-year-olds are late to school, it is the parent, not the child, who is doing something wrong and needs to do better.

That is exactly the point that Laura Hoover of Grants Pass made in her angry Facebook post:

His momma’s car sometimes doesn’t like to start right up. Sometimes he’s a couple minutes late to school. Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him… for something that is out of this baby’s control! They make a mockery of him in front of the other students! His mom found him there, crying, and took him home for the day.

Nearly 50,000 people shared her post. Many people who send or have sent their children to Lincoln Elementary commented.

They explained that the school has an official policy, instituted by the principal,  that students who are tardy four or more times will be subject to “lunch detention.” Students are forbidden to talk during that time and are put behind a screen if they try, parents wrote.

District officials posted an extensive explanation and pledge to make changes on Lincoln Elementary’s web site:

“There has been considerable general and social media attention regarding the Lincoln Elementary School Attendance/Tardy Academic Catch-up Protocol, which is intended to help support students address learning gaps arising from chronic tardiness/absenteeism. Principal (Melissa) Fitzsimmons immediately reached out to the parents involved in order to meet, and we are looking forward to addressing their concerns regarding Lincoln’s current practice in this area. Lincoln’s current attendance support protocol was communicated to parents via newsletter and is intended to provide the students with an above average level of tardiness, supervised additional learning time in a non-distracting setting. It was never intended to isolate or stigmatize students.

The District is taking the concerns raised very seriously and are reviewing alternative approaches for Lincoln Elementary to accomplish this worthwhile objective while avoiding any chance of adversely impacting a child, which was never intended. Lincoln Elementary is a warm and caring learning community receiving Student Success Champion School recognition from the Oregon Department of Education in 2012 as an inspiring example of what is possible when teachers, administrators, parents, students, and communities come together behind a shared vision of excellence for all students.

The District is open to constructive criticism with respect to current practices which can almost always be addressed and resolved informally. Modifications are already being made to the Lincoln tardiness support protocol in order to ensure “catch-up” learning opportunities are being provided in a supportive and caring setting.  In order to minimize the disruption of Lincoln’s ongoing educational process, please submit any additional concerns or input to the District Office at info@grantspass.k12.or.us.”

A call to the school went straight to voice mail and Fitzsimmons has not yet responded to the request for comment.

Personally, I don’t  think that punishment is harsh. And if grandma is so concerned about it, maybe she should help get the baby’s momma a new car.

Then again, public school indoctrination policies are always messed up.

DCG

Is this Adam Lanza’s doppelgänger?

. . . or the undead Lanza himself?

Max Maisel

That notion isn’t so far-fetched given the fact that:

  1. The American public, to this day, have not been shown the death certificates of Lanza or his 27 victims, although like birth and marriage certificates, death certificates are considered to be public records. After Newtown clerk Debbie Aurelia refused to issue Sandy Hook victims’ death certificates, despite repeated FOIA requests by the AP and other media, the Connecticut State legislature actually passed a new law (HB 5733 – An Act Concerning Access to a Child’s Death Certificate) to restrict the public’s access to birth certificates “when the disclosure of the death certificate is likely to cause undue hardship for the family of the child.’’
  2. Genealogy websites had Adam Lanza’s Social Security Death Index as December 13, 2012 — a day BEFORE the alleged massacre. Only when the date was discovered by FOTM and other bloggers did the genealogy websites change his date-of-death Dec. 14, 2012.

Jesse Gosselin reports for WTNH that search teams in New York state are looking for Max Maisel, a 21-year-old student from Fairfield, Connecticut, Max Maisel, who was reported missing Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Maisel is attending the Rochester Institute of Technology.

According to the R.I.T. University News, Maisel was last seen Sunday leaving the Perkins Green Apartment Complex on campus. His car was located Monday near a pier on the Genesee River, where officials said Maisel and his family spent summers for several years.

“We don’t know where Max is and that’s hard to deal with,” Max’s father, Ivan Maisel, a senior writer for ESPN, said in a press conference at R.I.T. on Thursday afternoon. “We love you and we miss you,” said his mother, Meg Murray. Max’s parents are pleading with the public to come forward with any information that could help them locate their son.

To compare, here’s a pic of Max Masiel (r) next to one of a teenage Adam Lanza (l). Note that the American public were never shown a pic of the adult Lanza. Lanza was 20 years old when on the morning of December 12, 2012, he allegedly first shot dead his mother, Nancy, at home, then drove to the Sandy Hook Elementary School where, in less than 5 minutes, he shot dead 20 children and 6 adults.

Adam Lanza; Max Maisel

To me, the eyes, lips, and chins of Lanza and Masiel are different: Masiel has fuller lips, different-shaped eyes that slant down at their outer edges, and no horizontal indentation in his chin. But, from what I can see of the two men’s ears, they seem to be the same.

What do you think?

Meanwhile, just as Sandy Hook Elementary School was razed to the ground and the demolition workers sworn to confidentiality, allegedly because of asbestos contamination, Adam Lanza’s home will also be torn down.

On January 21, 2015, the Newtown Legislative Council approved a proposal by the board of selectmen to raze the 3,100-square-foot home on Yogananda Street and keep the land as open space. First Selectwoman Pat Llodra (Newtown doesn’t have a mayor) said she expects the Lanza house will be razed once winter is over. The 2-acre property was given to the town in December by a bank that acquired it from Ryan Lanza, Adam’s older brother.

It should be noted that the homes of Elin Patricia Llodra and Newtown’s other two selectmen, William Rodgers and James Gaston Sr., all share a sale date of 12/25/2009 and sale price of $0. (See “The strange purchase date and price of Sandy Hook homes”)

H/t FOTM silent reader Ann

See also:

UPDATE:

Investigative researcher Martha Trowbridge of the Terrible Truth blog alerted me to a demon face under Max Maisel’s right ear.

Max Maisel1 Yikes!

~Éowyn

States that restrict abortion have lower maternal mortality rates: Mexican study

unborn baby

LifeSiteNews: An international team of medical researchers comparing maternal mortality rates and abortion laws in 32 Mexican states claims it has disproven the claim of abortion promoters that easy access to abortion will reduce maternal deaths.

Comparing 14 states with constitutional protection for the unborn with 18 states with varying degrees of permissiveness over 10 years, the Chilean-Mexican-American team found that the less permissive states had a maternal mortality rate 23% lower, and a post-abortive mortality rate “up to” 47% lower.

Team member Dr. John Thorp of the University of North Carolina medical school said in a video released along with the study that it “pretty much refutes the conventional wisdom” that freer access to abortion will reduce maternal fatalities because abortions will be done in safe conditions.

The research director, Dr. Elard Koch, director of the sponsoring MELISA Institute and an associate researcher with the University of Chile’s faculty of medicine, said in the same video that the study does not show “making abortion laws less permissive will automatically decrease maternal deaths.”

But what it does show is that more difficult access to abortion has none of the negative impact on death rates claimed by organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Guttmacher Institute.

At the same time, the study shows that states with more permissive laws had higher rates of violence against women. Meanwhile, those states with less permissive laws regarding abortion provided better prenatal care, more skilled maternity staff, and better emergency obstetrics.

Out of 10 factors examined, the one bearing the strongest relationship with reduced maternal mortality rate (MMR) was the mother’s literacy and education levels, which bring knowledge about pre-birth health and hygiene and dispel counter-productive folk “wisdom.” Less permissive states had better literacy rates.

Thorp said the results were not a surprise.  A similar study tracking Chilean MMR through several changes back and forth in abortion laws showed the same factors correlating strongly with a reduced MMR, especially female literacy maternal and access to modern medicine. It also showed that legal abortion access had little to no relevance.  Thorp also noted a study comparing abortion laws and the rate of complications arising from abortions in 23 U.S. states also showed that tighter abortion laws went with fewer complications.

Other factors the study found to be related to higher maternal death rates were “Poverty, malnutrition, and exposure to infectious diseases during the fertile age of women increase the risk of maternal death,” according to Sebastián Haddad, MD, a researcher at the Universidad de Anáhuac in Mexico.

DCG

Washington State spends millions on convicted teachers retirements

say what

King5.com: In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime retirement after working for as little as five years.

KING 5 asked the state for a list of all the teachers who have had their Washington teaching license revoked and compared that list to a list of all the public employees receiving a pension.

The state has multiple retirement plans for teachers. Two of them would be considered a traditional pension plan, the third includes a private component. KING 5 only focused on the first two.

That led to a list of 22 teachers, most who had been convicted of crimes against children, who together have received about $5.1 million above their own retirement contributions, interest included as of the end of 2014.

That’s about $236,027.95 on average per person.

The list includes people like Norman Standley, David Lloyd Anderson, William Pickerel, Ruben Carrera, Alfredo Castillo and Ande Strittmatter, who were all found guilty of child molestation, Larry Pierson who was found guilty of assault with sexual motivation, Craig Figley who is serving a life sentence for molesting children and Christopher Loftus who was convicted of child rape.

messed up

In one specific example, KING 5 looked at the records for Laurence “Shayne” Hill. Hill was convicted on multiple counts of child molestation in King County in 2005 after he admitted to molesting his 10-year-old and 11-year-old students.

By the end of last year, Hill had received about $334,471.03 from the state retirement system; just over $208,568.16 was money above and beyond what Hill contributed into his own retirement, interest included.

“What! It’s that gut reaction of, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ This person is in prison for this and they are receiving several thousand dollars a month? What?!” exclaimed Anne Marie Gurney, a researcher with the Freedom Foundation, a conservative policy group in Washington state.

Gurney contacted KING 5 with concerns about the state’s pension laws. “To a certain degree, we need to protect our taxpayers,” Gurney said.

At least 25 states, including Alaska, California, and Arizona, have pension forfeiture laws, in other words public employees and/or elected officials convicted of a crime lose at least some aspect of their taxpayer funded retirements. Washington does not have a pension forfeiture law.

“I really think that probably it has never really come to the surface,” said State Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. Bailey is the chair of the Select Committee on Pension Policy.

“I would agree, you know some things are so egregious you really can’t understand how these things can happen,” Bailey said regarding teachers who have committed crimes against children and are still receiving a pension.

Bailey said she’d consider whether public employees who commit a crime should be required to forfeit a portion of their pension, for instance to help pay for incarceration costs. “I think that is only fair, and I think taxpayers would agree,” Bailey said.

Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, said he would be open to considering some kind of pension forfeiture law for future hires, but he would want to make sure whatever penalty was imposed only negatively impacted the person who committed the crime and not his or her dependents.

“I would fight it,” said Kit Raney, President of the Washington Teacher’s Association-Retired. She represents the interests of retired teachers. “So, this is just pure noise and a non-issue as far as I’m concerned,” Raney said.

Raney said she doesn’t believe teachers should lose their pensions under any circumstance. “If a worker commits a crime, it is handled by the legal system. The trial, the conviction is part of the legal system. It is totally separate from the pension system, which they contributed to and earned throughout their career. It’s apples and oranges,” Raney said. Raney accused the Freedom Foundation of being anti-teacher and anti-pension.

Gurney said the issue is not teachers or their pensions, but creating the legal room for taxpayers to have a choice. “I think taxpayers should have a choice if they are going to fund the pension of hardened criminals,” Gurney said.

Any new legislation would be met with by lot of resistance.

For now, Senator Bailey said she’s studying her options and the earliest she would propose a bill would be next year.

DCG

Lesbian CNN political commentator wants her daughter to also be lesbian

A platitude about homosexuals is that they were born that way, not made. In other words, same-sex attraction is biologically-based, not a choice.

So it’s curious, to say the least, why a lesbian CNN political commentator named Sally Kohn states in a Feb. 20, 2015 Washington Post op/ed, “I’m gay. And I want my kid to be gay, too,” that she wants her daughter, Willa, to also be a lesbian.

r to l: Sally Kohn, daughter Willa, and partner Hansen

r to l: Sally Kohn, daughter Willa, and partner Hansen

Kohn presents being homosexual as a CHOICE, much like a person choosing a profession or a religion. More than that, Kohn says being homosexual is actually desirable — “an asset and a gift” — and is dismayed that her 6-year-old daughter shows every sign of being heterosexual. Here are excerpts from Kohn’s op/ed:

The idea that no one would choose to be gay is widely held — even in the gay rights movement. In the early ’90s, partly as a response to the destructive notion that gay people could be changed, activists pressed the idea of sexuality as a fixed, innate state. Scientists even tried to prove that there’s a “gay gene.” These concepts about sexual orientation helped justify the case for legal protections. The idea that folks are “born gay” became not only the theme of a Lady Gaga song, but the implicit rationale for gay rights.

[…] Until 1973, the American Psychological Association considered homosexuality a form of mental illness. And while gay-positive culture has flourished since, our aspirations haven’t kept pace. It’s more widely acceptable to be gay in America today, but that’s not the same as being desirable. In my house, though, it is.

[…] If I lived in, say, North Carolina, with an adopted son from Morocco, I’d like to think I would encourage him to be Muslim, if that’s what he chose. I’d do this even though his life would probably be easier if he didn’t. It’s also easier to succeed as a dentist than an artist. But if my daughter wants to be an artist, I’ll encourage her all the way — and work to destroy any barriers along her path, not put them up myself.

Plus, I’ve never for a single second regretted being gay, nor saw it as anything other than an asset and a gift. My parents were ridiculously supportive from Day One, and I had a great community of friends and mentors who made me feel unconditionally accepted. By the time my daughter comes of age, she’ll have even more of a support network, including two moms, for crying out loud.

More than that, though, being gay opened my eyes to the world around me. Learning that not every gay person had it as good as I did helped me realize that a lot of people in general didn’t have it as good as I did. I wouldn’t be a politically engaged human being, let alone an activist, writer and TV personality, if I weren’t gay.

[…] I want my daughter to know that being gay is equally desirable to being straight. The problem is not the idea that homosexuality could be a choice but the idea that heterosexuality should be compulsory. In my house it’s plainly, evidently not. We’ve bought every picture book featuring gay families, even the not-very-good ones, and we have most of the nontraditional-gender-role books as well — about the princess who likes to fight dragons and the boy who likes to wear dresses.

When my daughter plays house with her stuffed koala bears as the mom and dad, we gently remind her that they could be a dad and dad. Sometimes she changes her narrative. Sometimes she doesn’t. It’s her choice.

All I ultimately care about is that she has the choice and that whatever choice she makes is enthusiastically embraced and celebrated.

Time will tell, but so far, it doesn’t look like my 6-year-old daughter is gay. In fact, she’s boy crazy. It seems early to me, but I’m trying to be supportive. Recently, she had a crush on an older boy on her school bus. […] I confided in a friend who has an older daughter. […]

My friend wrote back with a slew of helpful advice, ending with a punch to my gut: “Bet it wouldn’t bother you so much if her crush was on a girl.”

She was right. I’m a slightly overbearing pro-gay gay mom. But I’m going to support my daughter, whatever choices she makes.

There is another reason why Kohn’s op/ed is disturbing: it lends support to a belief among same-sex marriage opponents that homosexuals’ hidden agenda is the recruitment of America’s children to their “lifestyle.”

Though homosexual activists and the media heap ridicule on that notion as the paranoia and bigotry of knuckles-dragging-on-the-ground troglodytes, prominent homosexuals themselves have admitted to recruitment as a goal.

In 1987, a homosexual activist named Michael Swift issued the Gay Manifesto, that was first published in the Gay Community News of Feb. 15-21, 1987, then reprinted in the U.S. Congressional Record. The Manifesto declared:

We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

More recently, in 2011, queer activist Daniel Villarreal, writing in the gay advocacy website Queerty, also admitted to recruitment:

They accuse us of exploiting children and in response we say, ‘NOOO! We’re not gonna make kids learn about homosexuality, we swear! It’s not like we’re trying to recruit your children or anything.’ But let’s face it—that’s a lie. We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it. […] Recruiting children? You bet we are.

And now we have media personality Sally Kohn openly stating that “I’m gay. And I want my kid to be gay, too.”

~Éowyn

Texas man spits on woman’s car, hurls racial insults during terrifying road rage incident

NYDailyNews: A Texas man caught on camera spitting at a woman’s car and threatening her during a terrifying road rage incident has been charged with reckless driving. Rashaad Ben was driving down an Austin highway earlier this month when he allegedly started veering aggressively from lane to lane and trying to run others off the road, according to KVUE.

Julie Nowlin, 39, saw what he was doing and went to record his license plate on her cell phone.

driverBut Ben soon realized he was being filmed, and jumped out of his car when the traffic slowed down. He approached Nowlin’s vehicle — and was recorded calling her a “b***h.” The 23-year-old also spat on her windshield, called her a “white b***h,” and raised his fist while saying “F*** you, black power.”

Nowlin, whose 4-year-old daughter was in the back seat, tried to drive away. But her pursuer chased her around the neighborhood. The petrified mom dialed 911, and later lost Ben. She then went and hid in a Starbucks for two hours before cops arrived.

“I was just running for my life, I didn’t know what to do,” she told KVUE.

Nowlin posted the shocking clip online, which sparked a flurry of responses from other locals who all claim to have endured similar behavior from Ben. The driver was tracked down and arrested, and now faces a reckless driving charge.

driver2

It later emerged that he’s previously been busted for drunk driving, marijuana possession, theft, resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license. And just last month he paid a fine to settle an incident where he spat in a woman’s face, reports The Smoking Gun.

If convicted of his latest alleged crime, Ben — who’s since apologized for his actions — faces up to 30 days in jail. “I came here to apologize to my family and Mrs. Nowlin and to the community for acting the way I did and for my obscene language and obscene behavior,” he told KVUE.

“To not let your anger get the best of you because it could get you in trouble or it could have someone hurt. And to just let things go. It’s not that serious,” he added.

DCG

New study finds children of homosexual parents have more than twice the emotional problems as children of opposite-sex parents

gay parenting propaganda

Until recently, a long-standing conviction of sociologists is that children do better — as measured by their educational achievement, behavior problems, and emotional well-being — in married, heterosexual, two-parent households, when contrasted to single mothers, cohabiting couples, adoptive parents, divorced parents, and same-sex parents. As an example, in their 1994 book Growing Up With A Single Parent, sociologists Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur wrote, “If we were asked to design a system for making sure that children’s basic needs were met, we would probably come up with something quite similar to the two-parent ideal.” (Slate)

However, one of the arguments by supporters of same-sex marriage is that children of same-sex parents don’t do any worse than children of opposite-sex parents. Due to the Tyranny of Political Correctness, as well as flawed research methodology (e.g., small sample size), there’s been a scarcity of scientific data on how children of same-sex parents fare.

As Michael Cook points out in MercatorNet, Feb. 9, 2014, until recently nearly all studies of same-sex parenting were very small. One researcher found in a survey of 49 studies in 2010 that their mean sample size was only 39 children, and that only 4 of the 49 studies were random samples. The number of children being raised by same-sex couples is so small – 0.005% of American households with children — that capturing them in a random sample is like finding a needle in a haystack. The small and non-random samples, in turn, raise legitimate questions about the validity and generalizability of the studies.

But now, a study by Catholic University of America sociologist Donald Paul Sullins has overcome those methodological problems by employing more data than any previous study — a representative sample of 207,007 children, 512 of whom with same-sex parents, from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey.

Sullins writes in “Emotional Problems among Children with Same-Sex Parents: Difference by Definition” in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science. that the two groups of children (same-sex vs. opposite-sex parents) were compared using twelve measures of emotional problems, developmental problems, and affiliated service and treatment usage, with controls for age, sex, and race of child and parent education and income. Instruments included the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Kessler Scale of Psychological Distress (SPD).

Sullins found that “Emotional problems were over twice as prevalent (minimum risk ratio (RR) 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7-3.0) for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents…. Joint biological parents are associated with the lowest rate of child emotional problems by a factor of 4 relative to same-sex parents, accounting for the bulk of the overall same-sex/opposite-sex difference.” The emotional problems included misbehavior, worrying, depression, poor relationships with peers and inability to concentrate.

In his study, Sullins examined whether other factors could explain the difference in the children’s emotional welfare, but concluded that none of them does. Those factors include:

  1. Instability: Children do not flourish in unstable environments. Gay and lesbian parents tend to rent rather than to own their own houses, which involves the trauma of pulling up stakes and resettling. Parental psychological distress is also associated with children’s increased risk of emotional problems. But Sullins found that neither renting nor parental psychological distress explains the differences in emotional well being of children.
  2. Homophobia: The most widely-accepted explanation of poor emotional and behavioral results amongst children in same-sex households is homophobia. Supporters of same-sex parenting attribute poor emotional well-being to stigmatization. These kids are damaged, it is said, because they have been singled out, teased and bullied. If their peers were less homophobic, things would be different. But Sullins dismisses this. “Contrary to the assumption underlying this hypothesis, children with opposite-sex parents are picked on and bullied more than those with same-sex parents.

Sullins concludes that “it is no longer accurate to claim that no study has found children in same-sex families to be disadvantaged relative to those in opposite-sex families.” As he puts it:

Joint biological parentage, the modal condition for opposite-sex parents but not possible for same-sex parents, sharply differentiates between the two groups on child emotional problem outcomes. The two groups are different by definition. Intact opposite-sex marriage ensures children of the persistent presence of their joint biological parents; same-sex marriage ensures the opposite. However, further work is needed to determine the mechanisms involved.

Sullins emphasizes that it is not that all children in same-sex homes will be emotionally damaged — “Most children in most families achieve a level of psychosocial function that is not characterized by serious emotional problems.” However, even if most kids are all right, more of them are all right in intact marriages with their opposite-sex biological parents.

According to MercatorNet editor Michael Cook, Sullins’ defiant rebuttal of the “no difference” hypothesis is sure to stir up a hornet’s next as the Supreme Court prepares to trawl through arguments for and against same-sex marriage, because it will be impossible for critics to ignore Sullins’ research findings.

But Cook also warns that Sullins should be “ready to go all 15 rounds” because he surely will be besieged by detractors. Cook points out that when University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus attacked the “no difference” hypothesis, his career was almost destroyed by trolls who trashed his data, his competence and his integrity.

Please pray for Donald Paul Sullins, a married Catholic priest with three children (he used to be an Episcopalian), and Professor of Sociology at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

To send Professor Sullins a message of support, here’s his email address:

psullins@gmail.com

~Éowyn