Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bullying is a Safety Issue : From the School Building to the Home Life : Keeping Kids Safe Everywhere #LivLife

Bullying is a Safety Issue : 
 From the School Building to the Home Life :
 Keeping Kids Safe Everywhere

Bullying tends to begin with some sort of unwanted label upon someone, and the label is used over and over again.  I like to keep my posts short and to the point.  If the word or repeated unwanted expression was or is a racial slur,  then the bullying tends to be taken more seriously as it could be linked and called a "hate crime" . In this same fashion, bullying words should also be linked as "hate words".  Once someone is repeatedly picked on and the aggressor is using the same words and/or synonyms of words over and over in order to harass a person then leaders need to realize this is similar to a hate crime.  The leaders [ principals, head masters, head mistresses, superintendents, pastors, bishops etc....] need to sit down with parents of the aggressor and spell this out to them.  "If this does not stop we have to get the police involved."  The goal here, is to stop this behavior, and this is a way to stop it. Parents do not want  to have juvenile court records on their child.  If they really do care, the parents of the aggressor will make the behavior stop.  If the parents do nothing ,then that is the family who really should be encouraged to find another place to educate their child.  This is part of education.  Remember, Children see how adults handle problems. This is part of the education of our kids. Are we really handling problems the way we want them to handle the very same problems in the future?  This problem leads to other violent problems like suicide and or built up aggression toward unsolved problems that can lead to violence on others. One day our kids just may be having to handle a bullying problem in the nursing home.  Think about it.  #LivLife Stop Bullying Everywhere !
I am writing this as a thinking point on a current news report :  parents sue catholic school over bullying

Here are the links to the news reports:

Thinking Tiger Geaux Think ! 
Positive Problem Solving :)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Home and School:The Goal of Children's' Positive Growth: Being prepared for successes, but also being prepared for a bad day.

Home and School:

The Goal of Our Children's' Positive Growth: 

Being prepared for successes, and being prepared for a bad day.  These two ideas are equally important.

Having Positive Places and Safe Havens in our human world are what gives each individual human person a sense of belonging.

Being positive to a child is everything!  But also being truthfully concerned for the wrong things that are going on in the child's life is part of being positive. 

I am a 46 year old mother (living in Baton Rouge Louisiana) who wants to protect my 3 kids from physical harm every day. As parents/caregivers we look to ourselves in how we treat our own kids. We then look at the home/car environment and remove safety hazards and add safety precautions (like outlet plugs and car seats).  We then move on through the day as we go out into the world.  We interact with other families at parks and play groups, day cares and eventually preschools, elementary schools, and colleges; this is where we, as parents, cannot control things.

 Safety insurances on our children's physical well-being are something all parents want for our kids.  I am sure I will never give up on working to make each day a safer day for my kids.  The thing is, not all parents are protective of their kids. and then, also: not all parents are making their children's upbringing a positive one. Child abuse and neglect happens in all socio-economic groupings and classifications.  Kids from caring homes are interacting with kids from uncaring homes.  In educational environments this is where "School meets home".  School meets home every day but home does not meet school every day. Yes, in a way school enters the home via homework, school notices about fund raisers, robo calls and emails. But the privacy of our homes is kept from everyone's judgmental eye.  Our kids are our homes.  They are the ambassadors of our family home life. They enter the school doorway, follow daily routines  socialize with their schoolmates, sit in desks, look and listen to teachers, tend to their personal needs of water fountain and restroom visits, follow up on their scholarly responsibilities, eat lunch, play and interact at recess and P.E., learn and memorize songs.  Then the bell rings and they attend aftercare or go to school clubs or come home.

 Why are schools (for the most part) so clean, decorated and cheery?  The answer is: Because society needs them to be. They are our safe havens.

Bad things happen in what we work to be safe havens: Our Schools.  Bullying happens, and schools try to address it. They can stop incidences of the bullying of one child.  It is possible ( On top of all their other responsibilities).   **sigh**  This is where I will say once again.  "When I was a kid we had 1 nurse and one counselor".  This has not changed.  There is still only one nurse and counselor in our school.  Clearly we need more.  Teachers need to teach. That is their profession,  They cannot be everyone's nurse and counselor too!

I am writing this blog because something tragic happened that has touched every single person that is

associated with our school.  It is something no one understands.  It also has touched other concerned parents and grandparents at other schools.  One Thursday, a beautiful, nice 12 year old boy decided to kill himself in our school during school hours.  Everyday, home meets school and school meets home.  This precious child was burdened. My child, while in his classroom, heard the yell and commotion upon the discovery of his body.  He saw a leader run toward the direction of where the 12 year old boy was. He saw the ambulances and his school was on lockdown.  These memories are forever.   Most of what I  learned was from word of mouth.  The diocese sent 14 counselors yesterday.

 Yesterday, I called and talked with the assistant superintendent. Currently the programs that are given that are on student safety are mostly focused on child sexual abuse.  Sexual abuse is one type. I am hoping the caring programs will be broadened.  The burden of the secrets of ANY and ALL type of abuse, unsatisfactory living conditions and familial conflicts  upon a child is something that must be lessened.  Each day is an effort for all of us. We can do this for children.  Not just for our own child but for the child next door.

here is the first article in the press about Ethan's death.
Here is a website with statistics on child suicide in the 10-14 age group

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Local Arrest of a Teacher and Mom has made National News: drunk-teacher-released-from-jail-on-1680-bond- dwi-hit-and-run-mom -baton-rouge-suburb-gonzales

I really hope that the school administration considers all aspects of this. This is complicated. But the important part of this is: What kind of example are we setting for kids? Kids witness how adults handle problems. I understand that the school community should pray for this teacher;  but, what if she killed someone? This behavior is a repeated habit. This story has made national news via the A.P. wire: it has been reported in Ohio and Washington D.C. area news agencies. Also this particular school is a faith community. I find it heart breaking that a mother and teacher has a problem like this, but the victims have feelings too! The hit and run victim: I am glad that person tracked this drunk driver down, holding her accountable. The first offence DWI (even at a high alcohol level ) does not get very much punishment at all! Just an offer of a pre trial program. Yes, I do understand that this is all sensitive, but people could have been run over on the school property at Ascension Christian. Did you know that kids know more about alcohol levels than school administrators themselves?  I think teachers, principals , ministers, priests should also take the D.A.R.E. program as there is way too much ignorance of this problem. The kids are smarter !
links to and about the story:

Please !  Geaux Think!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

From New Orleans to Baton Rouge and Beyond - Santa knows when you've been drinking

From New Orleans to Baton Rouge and Beyond - Santa knows when you've been drinking
Please put the brakes on your drinking.  Brakes are slow when you're drunk !

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Affluenza was used as a legal defense in a drunk driving vehicular homicide case in Texas : 4 people died in the June 2013 accident

Affluenza was used as a legal defense in a drunk driving vehicular homicide case in Texas : 4 people died in the June 2013 accident.  Affluenza is a condition where a person defines their self worth based on materialism. If I were a family member of one of the 4 people who died, I would be pushing for an appeal of the decision that sentenced the offender, Ethan Couch, to only 10 years probation and no jail time.  He was 3 times the legal limit. In Michigan, being this drunk would be termed "super drunk" which carries stiffer penalties.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

School Safety in the News: Focus on Violence is important. A Parent's Questions: On my mind for over 12 years From New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

School Safety in the News: Focus on Violence is important. A Parent's Questions:
On my mind for over 12 years From New Orleans to Baton Rouge.

     This week: School safety is in the National News as the 1 year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Massacre approaches.  As a parent of 3 kids and, also one day, a future grandparent and great-grandparent. I care !  I really do care:  I care about how little toddlers see things and if they feel safe and are safe. I care about them growing up each day and being prepared for success, but also being prepared for a bad day. Being positive to a child is everything!  But also being truthfully concerned for the wrong things that are going on in the child's life is part of being positive. 

     Here is a website about school security and a list of questions that parents should ask their schools. .  The questions are good but I have run up against unsatisfactory attitudes by: principals, pastors, teachers, other parents, school boards and administrators through my 13 years of being a school age parent; and the questions raised  on this website:  remind me of  when I lived in New Orleans and used the Public school program for gifted Pre- K (1998-2000).  I attended a school board meeting and I also watched the meetings on the local cable T.V. (they were yelling matches) and I had no interest in having to yell to be heard.  But, I never gave up on keeping my own kids safe, whenever it was in my power to do it:   And I have been in that power being a Girl Scout leader, substitute, and as a preschool teacher, room mom and volunteer.
      As I left the public school option of having my kids educated and entered the Catholic School system: there were opportunities where I took having the responsibility of young kids pretty seriously, relatively speaking, when it came to safety. I use (d) the written policies, and honestly, whenever I quote(d) rules, it is/was not always appreciated by the other coworkers / bosses / parents and other caregivers.  When your kids are in your presence, it is your responsibility to keep them safe.  Now, when your kids are in another person's care and control, how should this be regulated? "Regulated" yes.  Because anybody who is being paid (or non paid) while your child is under their watchful eyes is the one who needs a set of rules. This is where I, as a parent, have been turned away when I talk about my expectations of principals, pastors, teachers, other parents, school boards and administrators regarding mine as well as other's children's safety. 

    So, when I used written rules as a child care worker I was not fully supported. And also, when I look for and ask for written rules for adults who are in charge, at any given time, for my kids.  I am not given them.  My most recent encounter with this is when I asked if our school could talk about the dangers of having a known habitual alcoholic driving on our school campus.  This happened October 17, and I called and talked and met in person and voiced my questions and concerns.  I went to the extent of having my questions and concerns voiced through  a local television news reporter. Now?  It is almost 2 months later and there is no dialogue with me, or to me, that answers my questions of whether our school campus is being kept safe from people who habitually drive drunk and are know to do so. Now, this is just one example.

     I am glad that now, after 10 or so years of being a school age parent (that bullying issues are being more addressed).  I understand the complexity of all of these issues.  And that is part of it.

     Stepping back and letting teachers be teachers.  Yes, as a parent that is all I want. I am actually an advocate of having a social worker for every teacher.  But that is laughed at.....O.K. then? How about a nurse for every teacher?   Kids need attention and we as a society are not giving them enough of it. Someone needs to help regulate children's social safety and health safety.  I do not expect teachers to have to do this.  But, right now, their bosses charge them with this responsibility and so I expect the safety expectations to be met.

As the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre approaches I am reminded that "home meets school" everyday:  for good and for bad.  Also "school meets home" everyday as well.  This exchange of  children from one's care to another's is the opportunity for checks and balances. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I like Shreveport's Safety Town: A Louisiana Family Fun Safety Venue , even though I've never been!

Throughout life, we are faced with accidents and violent encounters that happen, beyond what we think we can control. Sometimes we just can't control, stop or prevent things from happening. Children grow up so fast. The way adults decide to talk, or not talk, about the everyday dangers in life are the teaching moments taken or not taken. We live in Baton Rouge and also lived in New Orleans, for 8 years, before that. Finding family fun, while staying safe, has always been a center piece in my life. When we gear our lives toward things that are positive without anger, drugs, alcohol and tobacco then we are aiming toward a safer happier life. Today I searched for community resources, to reach toward, for this effort. We live about 4 hours away from this really great idea ! But I really wanted to share it.