Category Archives: Children

Two hundred classmates (and their parents) protest at decision to let transgender boy use the girls’ bathrooms in Missouri

These kids still understand basic biology.

transgender

Daily Mail: Almost 200 high school students in Missouri walked out of their classes to protest one a transgender student in senior year being allowed in the girls’ bathroom.

Members of the Hillsboro High School in Hillsboro, Missouri, ditched two hours of lessons to object to Lila Perry, a 17-year-old senior, being granted access to female bathrooms. Perry, who started identifying as transgender earlier this year, was using the female facilities to change for gym classes, which upset many other girls at the school.

They objected that Perry, who has not had any gender reassignment therapy, is still biologically male, Fox News reported.

transgender2

Perry, who wears a wig, makeup and skirts to school, used to use a unisex facilities meant for staff – but decided for this academic year she wanted to be allowed in the girls’ bathrooms.

She said: ‘I’m not going to expose myself. I’m not a pervert. I’m a transgender woman. I’m a girl. I’m just in there to change, do my business, and… if they have any questions about being transgender, they are more than welcome to talk to me, and I’ll be happy to explain it.’

One student, Sophie Beel, told local station Fox 2 St Louis: ‘I find it offensive because Lila has not went through any procedure to become female, putting on a dress and putting on a wig is not transgender to me’.

The unrest comes as transgender issues are taking a higher profile on the national stage, partly thanks to the highly public transition of Caitlyn Jenner from her former identity as Bruce.

According to the St Louis Post-Dispatch, the protest lasted for two hours before school officials told students to go back inside.

During the demonstration, Perry was locked in a staff member’s office because there were fears for her safety.

The paper reported that some of the students protesting supported Perry’s right to use the bathroom she wants to, though most were in opposition. Tammy Sorden, a mother of a Hillsboro High student, said: ‘The girls have rights, and they shouldn’t have to share a bathroom with a boy.’ She said she objected to Perry being given what she asks for ‘while the girls just have to suck it up’.

The School Board also organized a meeting to deal with the situation, which attracted a large crowd of parents last Thursday, where school officials pointed out that denying fair access to a transgender student could bring reprisals from the federal government.

Perry has since dropped gym class due to the outcry, but still intends to use female bathrooms.

special snowflake

DCG

Japan’s worst day for teen suicides. “Collective thinking” part of the problem?

japanese youthJapan’s “killer collectivism” has been around for some time.

CNN: Nanae Munemasa was at elementary school when the bullying started. The 17-year-old student says she was beaten by boys with broom sticks, slapped in the girls’ bathroom, and even attacked during a swimming lesson. “I was the last one to get out of the pool,” she said. “A brush flew out of nowhere and it hit me underwater. I nearly drowned. I had a huge bump on my forehead.”

Nanae started skipping school, and even thought about taking her own life.

Suicide spike

She’s not alone. More Japanese school pupils commit suicide on September 1 each year than on any other date, according to figures collated by Japan’s suicide prevention office over a period of more than 40 years.

The grim spike in the statistics is linked to the typical start date of the new school term after the summer holiday has ended. “The long break from school enables you to stay at home, so it’s heaven for those who are bullied,” Nanae said. “When summer ends, you have to go back. And once you start worrying about getting bullied, committing suicide might be possible.”

Japan has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, and it is the leading cause of death among those aged 15-39. The government’s figures show that in total 18,048 under-18s took their own lives between 1972 and 2013.

Nanae said she became a target for bullies after she transferred schools for a short time before returning — meaning she was branded as a truant. When the bullying worsened, she considered suicide, but did not go through with it. “I thought that actions such as cutting my wrist would cause trouble for my parents, and committing suicide would not solve anything.”

collectivism

Collective thinking

In the end, Nanae decided to stop going to school and stayed at home for nearly a year.

Nanae’s mother, Mina Munemasa, was supportive of her daughter’s decision. “Nanae was saying things like, ‘If I jump off the Tokyo Tower, I think I can fly,” Mina said. “I don’t think school is a place where you have to risk your life to go.”

Nanae thinks the Japanese education system’s focus on collective thinking is at the root cause of the problem.

“In Japan, you have to fall in line with other people. And if you cannot do that, you’re either ignored or bullied,” she said. “You are required to have a unified opinion, and it crushes the uniqueness every person has. But that uniqueness is not something to destroy.”

Some experts agree. Child psychiatrist Dr. Ken Takaoka said the suicide rate increases when school restarts because schools “prioritize collective (action). Children who do not get along in a group will suffer.”

Living hell

To raise awareness of the issue, a Japanese non-profit organization, Futoko Shimbun, is even printing a newspaper for children who stay home to avoid bullying. Keiko Okuchi, one of the organization’s representatives, said the problem is exacerbated by a culture that dictates that going to school is the only option. “It is a living hell for children who know that they’ll be bullied at school, yet they have no other choice but to go,” she said.

Now, Nanae has returned to her studies and is also singing in a pop band called Nanakato along with her brother. Nanae hopes that one day they will have enough fans to fill Tokyo’s famous arena Budokan, and play their music in a foreign country.

Nanae is also trying to help others being bullied by writing a blog about what she went through. “It would be great if (the blog) helps at least one person stop thinking about committing suicide,” she said.

Nanae’s mother said her daughter’s time on the Internet was a key factor in helping her get through the bullying. “By creating connections with people in Japan as well as other countries, she was able to regain her confidence,” Mina said. “Adults tend to say that the Internet is dangerous but there are definitely some children who are saved by it.”

DCG

Pope Francis praises homosexual children’s book

In 2006, when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William J. Levada authored “The Family in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in which he states that The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that “The vocation of marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator” (1603) and that “In creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution” (2203). Levada writes:

Since marriage and family have their basis in the created order, confirmed by the explicit Revelation of God, the Church necessarily opposes the adoption of human laws that would abandon or overturn this order, such as is the case with laws that would recognize same-sex or polygamous “marriage.” Human laws and judicial decisions that fail to respect this fundamental and perennial teaching are contrary to God’s law, and are rightly considered unjust.

And yet Pope Francis is praising a children’s book celebrating homosexual parenting and same-sex families.

Rosie Scammel reports for The Guardian, Aug. 28, 2015, that the Italian children’s book is titled Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg), with a cover adorned by cute hippos, kangaroos and penguins. While following the adventures of an egg may seem harmless enough, its discovery of different family types – including same sex – has prompted a backlash by conservatives who accuse Italian author Francesca Pardi of promoting a pro-homosexuality gender theory.

Francesca Pardi (l) with wife and adopted children

Francesca Pardi (l) with wife and adopted children

Pardi is a lesbian in a same-sex relationship with her business partner, Maria Silvia Fiengo. The two women traveled to Spain to be legally married and adopted four children in the Netherlands.

In the book, the egg encounters a pair of gay penguins, lesbian rabbits successfully bringing up a family, as well as other family models, including a single parent hippo, a mixed race dog couple, and kangaroos that have adopted polar bear cubs.

Piccolo Uovo

The book was met with disapproval by Venice’s new mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, who in June banned Piccolo Uovo and about 50 other titles from schools. The decision led more than 250 Italian authors to demand their own books be removed from the city’s shelves, a move one writer described as a “protest against an appalling gesture of censorship and ignorance”.

Now Pardi has found an unlikely supporter in Pope Francis, who through his staff has written to the author praising her work. Peter B. Wells, a senior official at the Vatican secretariat of state wrote in a July 9 letter to Lo Stampatello, the publisher of Piccolo Uovo, commending the book for spreading “Christian values”:

“His holiness [Pope Francis] is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values.”

Msgr Peter Wells

Peter B. Wells

Msgr. Peter Brian Wells was born in Oklahoma, was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1991, and is now the number 3 man in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.

Wells’ letter was a response to a parcel of children’s books sent by Pardi to the pontiff in June, all published by Lo Stampatello. In addition to Piccolo Uovo, 7 or 8 books also deal with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues (LGBT). Pardi accompanied the books with a letter bemoaning the attacks she has come under in recent months:

“Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us. We have respect for Catholics … A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?”

Pardi said she had not expected a reply and was surprised to receive the letter at her Milan home.

The Vatican said the closing blessing of the private letter was addressed to Pardi and not in support of teachings which went against church doctrine on ‘gender theory’.

The Vatican deems homosexual relationships “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law”, preaching that gay people must live a life of chastity in order to be good Catholics. While such a doctrine has effectively excluded people in same-sex relationships from the church, Pope Francis has adopted a more welcoming approach during his papacy. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” he said in 2013. The same year, a gay man in France told his local newspaper he had received a reassuring phone call from the pope – a claim the Vatican denied.

Catholics worldwide have started campaigning against the pope’s openness, with more than half a million signing a petition calling on Francis to reaffirm church teachings on gay people and divorcees. Signatories of the Filial appeal aim to have an impact on the Vatican’s synod on the family in October, when church teachings will be discussed by the world’s leading churchmen. The petition has notably been signed by traditionalist Cardinal Raymond Burke, who was demoted by the pope last year.

As in the United States, attitudes on homosexual marriage in Italy are changing, with recent polls showing the majority of voters are in favor of “gay” marriage and adoption. Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has pledged to legislate for same-sex unions this year. He has come under growing pressure to fulfil the promise following a decision by the European court of human rights, which ruled that Italy failed to protect same-sex couples.

See also:

~Éowyn

The cat who goes to school

Bubba1

Anne Gelhaus reports for the San Jose Mercury News, Aug. 19, 2015, that the Marienthal family adopted Bubba the cat in 2009 and tried to make him an indoor cat. But Bubba likes to roam and has become a fixture in two nearby schools — Leland High School and Bret Harte Middle School in San Jose, California.

Amber Marienthal said “He’s really loud” and that she still gets calls from staff and students who see him on campus and think he’s lost.

Like many members of Leland High School’s student body, Bubba is a social animal — he attends sporting events, hangs out on campus with his buddies and has a Facebook page dedicated to his exploits. Bubba even has a Leland student card.

Bubba's Leland High student card

But unlike Leland’s other students, Bubba can roam the school’s halls freely during class. And if he wants to be excused, he doesn’t have to raise his paw; he just meows.

Bubba is known and loved by many at both schools, as his 600-plus Facebook followers attest. Marienthal, the administrator of Bubba’s Facebook page, says Bubba’s fans want him to branch out into other social media. She says, “People want me to get him on Instagram” but “I only have so much time to devote to my cat’s social life.”

Bubba has been featured in other media. He’s been written up in the high school’s newspaper, senior magazine and yearbook. Marienthal says “The students at Bret Harte petitioned to have a statue erected in his honor,” but their petition was denied.

Both of Marienthal’s sons attended Bret Harte and are now at Leland. She says Bubba started hanging out on campus about a year before her oldest son Matthew, who just started his sophomore year at Leland, entered sixth grade at the middle school. And she says the cat is likely to stay in school even after both of “his boys” graduate.

Marienthal says she’s gotten no complaints from staff or students at either school about Bubba prowling the campuses. Her main worry is that Bubba has come close to shaving off one of his nine lives on several occasions. She’s seen him lay down on Leland’s soccer field in the middle of practice and wait for one of the players to pet him. “He’s really social and he has no fear,” Marienthal says. “I’m surprised he’s still around.”

While he usually makes it home at night, Bubba did have a scare when he wandered onto the Leland campus during registration last month and accidentally got locked inside a classroom for 36 hours. Luckily, a security guard heard him meowing and set him free.

Bubba conducts a locker investigation at Leland High

Since Bubba meanders freely in and out of classrooms, teachers have learned how to deal with his presence. “One teacher made the mistake of buying treats for him,” Marienthal recalls, which led Bubba to sit by his classroom door and wait to be fed. “Bubba would meow for treats. [The teacher] got sick of the noise.”

Marienthal says she’d like to see her cat included in another important campus activity: “We’d love it if they let him do cap and gown in 2017. That’s the group that’s been with him through Bret Harte and Leland.”

Meanwhile, Bubba has developed attendance habits that students may want to emulate. “He waits for school to start, and he doesn’t come home until all the sports are done,” Marienthal says. “As long as he’s alive, I think he’ll hang out at the school.”

Bubba’s Facebook page is at facebook.com/bubbatheschoolcat.

~Éowyn

3 killed, 23 wounded in weekend shootings across Chicago

No where to be seen in Chicago...

No where to be seen in Chicago…

MyFoxChicago: Three people were killed and at least 23 others, including a 7-year-old girl, have been wounded in shootings across Chicago since late Friday.

The most recent fatal shooting happened about 1 a.m. Sunday in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, police said. Two boys, ages 16 and 17, were standing on the sidewalk in the 8200 block of South Ingleside when someone walked up and fired shots at them, police said. Crime

The 16-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was later pronounced dead, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office couldn’t immediately confirm the death. The 17-year-old was shot in the leg and was also taken to Christ Medical Center, where his condition was stabilized. A police source said the 17-year-old is a known gang member.

About two hours earlier, a 44-year-old man was shot to death in the West Englewood neighborhood on the South Side. He was standing on a sidewalk about 11:05 p.m. Saturday in the 6000 block of South Throop when someone got out of a black SUV and opened fire, police said. The man was struck in the head and back and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, police said. The medical examiner’s office confirmed the fatality, but did not release additional details early Sunday.

The weekend’s first fatal shooting happened shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. Two men, ages 28 and 34, were sitting in a parked vehicle in the 2900 block of West Lexington when a black vehicle pulled up alongside them and someone inside opened fire, according to Chicago Police.

The older man was shot in the chest and shoulder and pronounced dead at the scene at 4:36 a.m., authorities said. The younger man was shot in the neck, chest and shoulder and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where police said his condition stabilized. Investigators think the shooting was gang-related.

The weekend’s first shooting left a 7-year-old girl and 32-year-old man wounded in the Kenwood neighborhood on the South Side. They were in a vehicle about 10:40 p.m. in the 4600 block of South Ellis when someone walked up and opened fire, police said. The man then drove them to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

The girl was shot in the arm and was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was expected to be treated and released Saturday morning, police said. The man was shot in the back and was treated and released at the University of Chicago. A police source said the man is a documented gang member and a convicted felon.

The most recent shooting happened about 4:45 a.m. Sunday in the Calumet Heights neighborhood on the South Side. A 52-year-old man was sleeping in his car in the 9100 block of South Anthony about 4:45 a.m. when he heard gunshots and felt pain, police said. He was shot in the ear and taken to Christ Medical Center where his condition was stabilized.

Less than an hour earlier, two men were shot in the East Garfield park neighborhood on the West Side. About 4:05 a.m., the men, ages 28 and 30, were standing outside in the 3300 block of West Walnut when someone walked up and fired shots, police said.

The 28-year-old suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said. The older man was shot in the left thigh, police said. He was also taken to Mount Sinai, where his condition was stabilized. A police source said both men are documented gang members.

At least 16 other people have been shot across Chicago in separate attacks since 11:45 p.m. Friday.

Additionally, Chicago Police officers shot and killed a man who they claim tried to run them over with a car early Saturday in Pilsen.

Welcome to Chicago sign

See also:

DCG

The boy who was held by his Angel

As America grows ever darker and more corrupt, here’s a reminder that God is still with the faithful.

A true Angel story by a mom named Ida C, from Opus Sanctorum Angelorum:

I am very grateful to God for blessing me with my Guardian Angel. He has protected me many times throughout my life. I have a Guardian Angel story that involves my Angel and that of my three children.

It was a snowy day in February, the year was 1989, and after picking up the children from school we drove about three miles into town for banking and groceries. The bank teller at the drive through said “Drive carefully,” and as I finished my transaction, I assured her that I would.

As I said, it had snowed earlier in the day, but by early afternoon the sun had started to melt some of the snow. Unfortunately it was less than an hour when the temperature dropped and the melted snow began to freeze. After our groceries were purchased we started our drive back home. As I rounded a sharp turn which was shaded by large fir trees my left front tire suddenly slid on black ice.

The roadway, which had appeared wet to me, was a sheet of ice. My first reaction was certainly the wrong one as I slammed on the brakes and turned sharply to the left! The vehicle I was driving at the time was a 1975 Toyota LandCruiser. The LandCruiser rolled over and into a deep ditch with the front end facing the opposite direction in which we were traveling. We were sitting top side up, but at a very steep angle. My two older children were buckled up in the rear of the vehicle. My youngest son was in the front passenger seat. The top was torn off of the LandCruiser, the windshield and the right front passenger window and door were broken and mangled. My youngest son, without my knowing, had removed his seat belt before we left the store.

As our vehicle started to roll I could see the roadway coming up to my side window. I cried out “Oh God” as I gripped the steering wheel with all my strength. As we landed back on our wheels I could hear my two children who were seated in the back. My daughter was crying hysterically and my son was moaning. They both had received bumps on their heads from the roll-bar. Thankfully their injuries were not life threatening.

As I looked to my right I could not see my son in his seat! I looked up and saw his lifeless body hanging over the broken and mangled window/door frame. I took off my seat belt and tried to extract him from the broken frame. We were sitting at such a steep angle that I could not leverage him down. He wasn’t moving or speaking. Very soon a large, helpful gentleman was able to remove my son from the broken frame and place him in the passenger seat. My son had sustained lacerations to the side of his head and a cut tendon on the top of his left wrist.

As my son’s injuries were made known, and as he was not yet speaking, my daughter began saying “Is he going to die, is he going to die!!!” I said “NO, he is NOT GOING TO DIE!”

David and all of us survived that horrible accident because God was Gracious and heard my cry. Sometime later, months later, my son, David, said to me. Thank you mom for putting your arms around me and holding me in my seat! I was astonished. I had wondered why he was not thrown out and crushed under the vehicle as it rolled! I told him that I would have put my arms around him and held him if it had been possible, but it could only have been his Guardian Angel that he felt holding him in place.

The only injury I sustained was a slight cut to my finger when I put my hand in my pocket that was full of glass from the broken windshield.

I thank God everyday for the loving protection of our Guardian Angels.

Guardian Angel

A Prayer to My Guardian Angel

By St. Bonaventure (1221-1274)

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom His Love commits me here,
ever this day be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide. Amen.

For other true angelic encounters, see:

And remember to tell your Guardian Angel you love him, for he loves you very very much.

~Éowyn

School Bans Child’s Wonder Woman Lunchbox – Considered Too Violent

Get me off this crazy train…

wonder woman lunchbox

Yahoo: A child’s school has banned her lunchbox, because it features the comic book character Wonder Woman. 

The school sent the unnamed girl home with a letter for her parents, explaining why they deem it inappropriate – which a family friend and Reddit user has posted online for the world to weigh in on.

Reddit user twines18 posted a photo of the letter sent, along with a couple of snaps of the child’s lunchbox, explaining that the school finds Wonder Woman to be a figure that represents violence.

But it’s not just this particular superhero that the school has it in for – they don’t allow any superheroes to be worn on clothing, backpacks or lunchboxes of the children.

“We noticed that Laura has a Wonder Woman lunchbox that features a super hero image,” reads the letter. “In keeping with the dress code of the school, we must ask she not bring this to school. The dress code we have established requests that the children not bring violent images into the building in any fashion – on their clothing (including shoes and socks), backpacks and lunchboxes.

“We have defined ‘violent characters’ as those who solve problems using violence. Super heroes certainly fall into that category.”

wonder woman letter

Seems fair enough, superheroes do tend to throw a few punches. But anyone who’s ever picked up a Marvel or DC Comics book, or watched one of their films, will know that superheroes only turn to violence as a last resort and it’s always in a quest to save and protect others.

So surely aspiring to the likes of Wonder Woman (one of the only female superheroes, let’s not forget) is a positive thing?

Reddit users commented on the irony that the picture on the lunchbox isn’t even violent – it’s not like it’s an image of Superman punching something or someone or Iron Man shooting someone with his repulsor blasts. She’s simply holding her Lasso of Truth – which is never used as a weapon.

“I really thought that the lunch box would have a picture of Wonder Woman kicking or punching someone,” commented one person. “Nope, just Wonder Woman is enough to indicate violence.”

And another Redditor, who clearly knows a lot about Wonder Woman, delved into her character traits. “One of the things I find most ironic here is that Wonder Woman specifically was designed to be different from other superheroes from her inception.

“Her creator saw how other superheroes utilised violence to solve problems so often, and he felt there was a different way, he felt that was a very ‘masculine’ approach, and that a feminine superhero didn’t have to just be a copy of a male superhero, solving problems in the same ways, and acting and thinking the same way, but could be uniquely a woman on top of being a hero.”

The same Reddit user also explained a little about Wonder Woman’s lasso. “That’s a magic lasso, she can get people to confront the truth of what they’ve done, and tell the truth to her especially,” he wrote. “The Lasso is basically a magical psychiatric session, it doesn’t maim, it doesn’t mutilate, it contains, and makes whoever contained in it have to be honest for maybe the first time in their lives.”

We appreciate the school’s consistency, one rule for all and all that, but banning ALL superhero images seems a little extreme. After all, who didn’t have a Batman pencil case or a Catwoman lunchbox as a child?

And we have to wonder – does the school’s ban stretch to Disney memorabilia? After all, there’s violence in almost every single Disney film. Elsa hurt a number of people with her icy blasting powers and let’s not forget Scar virtually pushing Mufasa off a cliff…

DCG