Category Archives: Education

Being ‘Hot’ vs. Being ‘Pretty’

You probably all heard about this really stupid story – they are happening more and more and more – when a kid misbehaves in one way or another and the parents call attorneys and the ACLU.  It seems everything is self expression, which then is supposed to be protected speech.  You may remember a long time ago in England, if you spoke against the royal family, you would end up in the Tower of London and your head would be chopped off.  The point of freedom of speech is to be able to speak up against the government and not end up beheaded.  It’s not used for things like this little “twit” — I’m sorry it’s my opinion she’s a twit.  I’m not going to say an “alleged” twit because I think this falls under the category of twit. 

Here’s the story: a Colorado high school rejected 18 year old Sydney Spies’ senior photograph she submitted for the yearbook.  In the photo, she’s on some wrought iron stairs with a light yellow, very, very, very short, little skirt and she’s got a shawl around her arms, covering whatever boobs she has — so she’s not even dressed.  She’s got the long lashes, the kissable lips, the platinum hair and her body is arched.  You see, that’s the important part.  Her body is arched so her butt is sticking out backwards.  Now, in the rest of the primate kingdom, that means “mount me.”

“…The yearbook staff initially accepted the photograph of Sydney posing provocatively in a yellow mini skirt and wearing nothing but a shawl across her chest. But after the holiday, school administrators deemed the photo unacceptable. The yearbook editors invited Sydney to hand in an alternative picture but they also rejected a shot of her in a skin-tight, strapless lacy dress…”

This broad wants to be a model, so she’s using an inappropriate opportunity to advertise herself.  And, of course, the Today Show had her on, so she got her wish: She got a public forum.  She is very upset the picture she paid for (a professional modeling photo) would not run in the yearbook.

“…Sydney isn’t backing down. She is paying $300 for a yearbook ad featuring her photo, and the staff has confirmed that the ad can run in the back of the book…”

How desperate is this little twit?  And of course, her parents are horrified her First Amendment rights are being besmirched.  People in our military died to protect our freedom and she’s using it is to dress like a tart.  I mean, you would see this on one of those websites for when you need a girl for the night or if you want to masturbate to a picture.  Here it is… send your $500.

It proves the point the whole feminist movement should really be down on this little twit.  Because…what was the saying? .. It was equal pay for equal abilities and equal opportunity to jobs.  But the other thing was they didn’t want to be treated like sex objects anymore….HA!  (And interestingly enough, a huge growing population of CEOs of porn sites are women.)

So, that got me thinking… In the National Catholic Register (they advertise themselves as the nation’s most complete Catholic news source), there is a terrific essay by Pat Archbold.  It begins:

This post is intended as a lament of sorts, a lament for something in the culture that is dying and may never been seen again.

Pretty, pretty is dying.

People will define pretty differently.  For the purposes of this piece, I define pretty as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.

Once upon a time, women wanted to project an innocence.  I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is.  But some things were different in the back then.  First and foremost, many beautiful women, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue.  And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as pretty.

Read the rest of “The Death of Pretty”

It’s funny, I’ve had women’s lib folks tell me I’m sending women back 100 years in their search for equality because I think it’s important mommies raise their own children, but Sydney Spies posing like a whore doesn’t set women back 100 years to being an object?

You Don’t Need Preschool for Your Kids

You know how negative I am about anything having to do with preschool, daycare, or any of that.  We’re raising children here.  If you don’t want your kids around, I guess you could use preschool and daycare for that.  If you don’t want to program your life around your kids, you’ll use preschool and daycare to help you.  If you know you are a really crappy parent, you can use them too.  If you are in dire straits and don’t have another option right now (temporarily), I guess you’ll use them.  There are many reasons to use preschool and daycare, but many of them can’t and shouldn’t be supported.

A recent article I read (entitled “Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School“) reported new research showed that trying to “teach” kids at younger and younger ages backfires.  Anxious parents are so eager that their child “gets ahead” that they’ve even taken to reading books to babies still in the womb.  Teachers are pressured to make kindergartens and nursery schools more like school, and even the “No Child Left Behind Act” urged more direct instruction in federally funded preschools.

But direct instruction actually limits a young child’s ability to learn.  Teaching allows kids to learn specific things, but they need more opportunities for exploration and play so they can “discover” on their own.  They need a Mommy and a Daddy to give them a stable, supportive home and lots of love.

Head Start has always been a failure.  I knew it was a failure back in the 1960s.  And now, one study shows that 75% of mothers hand their iPhones over to their kids, thinking that will make them smarter.  App makers are marketing directly to parents who are looking to help their children as young as 4 months old get a head start on learning.  If you type in “toddler” and “educational” into the App Store, you’ll find more than 800 apps specifically marketed to children under the age of 3.  One town in Maine is spending $200,000 on iPads for its entire incoming kindergarten class.  So the question is, do iPads or smartphones or toddler-marketed apps really make young kids smarter?

The bottom line?  NO.  In fact, the American Association of Pediatrics says children under the age of 2 should not be seeing anything on a screen of any kind, whether it’s an iPhone or a television set.

Parents are too often looking for that edge to make their children the smartest.  The most important thing you can do as a parent is interact with your child.  You do not need an iPad or fancy software or a preschool or a daycare to make your child learn.  They do it every day, all day, in many different ways.  Let kids just be kids.

Vote for Non-Union, Single-Sex Classrooms

New York City recently issued a progress report on the difference between non-union and union charter schools.  The 49 non-union charter schools operating in New York City significantly outperform the charter schools whose teachers operate under a contract negotiated by the United Federation of Teachers, which puts a stranglehold on what the school can do.  Non-union charter schools earned an overall average score that converts to a B-.  The union charter schools’ average was nearly 10 points behind the non-union schools, earning these schools an average grade of C-.  In each of the three categories in which the schools were graded (attendance, student efficiency rates, academic progress or improvement on New York State English, Language Arts, and Math exams), the non-union charter schools outperformed the UFT-represented charter schools.

We ought to drop-kick the unions out of our schools.  The unions are not there to make sure your kids get a good education.  The unions are there as a political bully group and money-making apparatus.

I’ve said it a zillion times and will continue saying it whenever given the opportunity:  in addition to non-union schools, our children should also be educated in single-sex classrooms.  Simply putting girls in one room and boys in the other is not the point.  In fact, there have been public schools which did just that, and had everything happen the same as usual.  That gives you a bad outcome.  The idea of the single-sex education format is it creates opportunities that don’t exist in the co-ed classroom.  Teachers can employ strategies in the all-boys classroom and in the all-girls classroom which don’t work well or at all in the co-ed classroom.  So, the teachers need appropriate training in professional development.

In parts of Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa and Illinois there has been a dramatic improvement in grades and test scores after adopting single-sex classrooms, but that’s because they did more than just put the girls in separate rooms.  In each of the schools examined, teachers received training in practical gender-specific classroom strategies and the best practices for gender-separate classrooms.  Researchers at Stetson University in Florida completed a three-year pilot project comparing the single-sex classrooms with co-ed classrooms at a particular elementary school.  Students in the fourth grade were assigned to either single-sex or co-ed classrooms.  All other relevant parameters (class size, teacher training, etc.) were matched.  Here’s how it came out:

 Boys in co-ed classes:  37% scored “proficient.”
 Boys in single sex classes:  86% scored “proficient”
 Girls in co-ed classes: 59% scored “proficient”
 Girls in single-sex classes: 75% scored “proficient”

What’s interesting is, when they do the training, you see a whole difference in how the boys’ classrooms and the girls’ classrooms look.  For example, in the boys’ classrooms, you’ll see boys all over the room.  They often have music on, they’re given something to do with their hands and they’re given individual projects.  In the girls’ classrooms, they’re all sitting there lined up, sweet, compliant, and listening.  Girls and boys are different.  Boys bounce off walls and do much better when you don’t constrain them to a seat.  When some of the boys were in co-ed classrooms, they were labeled as “learning disabled” or with ADHD.  Many of the boys who scored “proficient” in the single-sex classroom had previously been labeled as having ADHD.

The proof is there.  At minimum, there’s no distraction in single-sex classrooms.  But you’ve got the ACLU, the National Organization of “I Don’t Know What Kind of” Women, the American Association of University Women and other groups jumping up and down screaming that this is some kind of discrimination.  This kind of blind, ignorant hysteria is really annoying because it doesn’t speak to the needs of the children.

So, in non-unionized charter schools, kids do better.  Single-sex classrooms, where the teachers are specifically trained to deal with how girls and boys learn are superior.  If you don’t have access to those, then try homeschooling.  Notice how you teach your sons and daughters differently, because you know how to get their attention, and it’s different with each gender.  The little girls are just dying to please, and the little boys are bouncing off the walls.  They don’t have to be ADHD to bounce off the walls.  They just have to be male.

Bullies CAN Be Stopped!

If it seems to you that bullying is getting worse, you’re right.  It seems to be happening at earlier ages, with more frequency, and now we’ve got “cyberbullying” so the entire universe can get in on humiliating someone.  This is not just about kids – “poop” rolls downhill and kids are the last stop.

If you look at our society, you can hardly find a place where there isn’t bullying.  Kids hear about the drug cartels coming into the United States and being in the hills in Arizona and other places bullying and threatening others. 

I also made a decision recently.  My decision is it will be extremely rare for me to ever be interviewed on television again, because it’s mostly a format for bullying.  When I started out 35 years ago, and you were invited to a TV show, basically, they wanted to learn something from you, so they’d ask questions to get information.  There are almost no journalists left – because TV is basically a pulpit for bullying.  Talk radio has become that too.  The tons of yelling and screaming and name-calling and beating people up who can’t defend themselves is just standard.  Then there’s music – the music that many young people listen to is ugly, mean and threatening.  Look at the videos – they’re all “macho:” threatening, mean or hyper-sexed, or hyper-sexed and threatening and mean.  There’s hardly a place kids can turn.  It’s become abusive.  Our society is largely abusive, so I’m not surprised that we’re seeing kids acting it out. Our kids are a product of this culture, which has gone to hell in a handbasket, in my opinion.

I have a bunch of statistics about this stuff, and then I’m going to tell you what will stop all the bullying.  Unfortunately, I don’t think what will stop bullying will ever actually happen.  Here are some eye-opening facts:

  1. The top 5 states for school bullying are California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington.
  2. 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally, and physically, and half of these incidents go unreported, because nothing happens if it is.
  3. Every 7 minutes a child is bullied on a playground.  Adult intervention?  Only FOUR PERCENT of the time.  No intervention? More than 85% of the time.
  4. 46% of the males and 26% of the females reported that they had been in physical fights, according to school bullying stats.  Keep in mind this is not conflict, yet they keep introducing “conflict resolution” into schools.  There IS no conflict in a bullying situation.  There’s a bully and a victim.  Only one of them has aggression in mind.  In a conflict, both of them do.
  5. Bullying is the most common form of violence in our society.
     

The impact on the victims is horrible.  In middle school, I was bullied because a mother was an immigrant – a legal immigrant, but that didn’t matter.  I got bullied anyway.  A couple of times I got into a fist fight when someone called my mother a name, but it was nothing like it is now. 

So they tell kids if they’re a victim, avoid the perpetrator; avoid areas where there are no teachers around (only 4% of them intervene anyway, so what’s the point); never go into the locker room or bathroom by yourself, sit in the front of the bus, and on and on.

What the hell is this?  Telling a little kid that he or she has to be completely paranoid? 

Hell no!  You need to take them to martial arts and teach them self-defense.  All children should learn self-defense.  One thing bullies of any level enjoy is that good people tend to be total wusses.  Frightened, passive wusses at that.  So teach your kids to stand up for themselves and other people.

I want to go back to those numbers about people who intervene – 85% of the time no one intervenes, and 4% of the time someone intervenes (I’m not sure what the other 11% do).  Usually, other kids just stand by.  That’s why there are bullies. You can say all you want, but bullies aren’t important because they’ve done good deeds or are the best students in the class.  They’re important because they’re considered dangerous.  And the reason there are bullies is because other people do nothing, so they get even more dangerous.

Bullying would stop if the kids who stand by are taught by their parents to intervene, whether physically or verbally.  Bullies need to be shown they’re not getting the fear or the respect they think they have (in their own minds of course).  But I know this will never happen. 

Do you raise your kids to take on “pieces of garbage” bullies?  I bet not.  It’s the job of each one of us to stand between evil and the innocent, but that’s not how we bring up our kids, is it? 

I’ve said many times:  “You don’t swim with the sharks and you don’t feed the sharks.”  So the reason bullying will continue to grow is because we’re producing more “piece of garbage” kids, we defend them, protect them, show sympathy for them, and don’t stop them.  So I’m not surprised bullying is growing – that’s all kids see around them. 

Teach your kids how to defend themselves physically and how to be stronger against verbal nonsense, while teaching them to pound the heck out of bullies one way or another.  Report them.  Reward kids who report them.  Reward kids who stop them.  It’s time we started rewarding people who put themselves in harm’s way to protect someone else instead of just saying “Oh, we have a ‘zero tolerance’ policy here,” which only forces people into not responding.

The Cheerleader and the Athlete Who Raped Her

When I first heard this story, I had to think about it for a bit:

A one-time high school cheerleader who was sexually assaulted – raped – by two star athletes was kicked off her cheerleading squad for refusing to cheer for her attacker.
 
They were all at a party, drinking.  The two star athletes took her into a room alone and locked the door; they fondled and then raped her.  When she screamed louder and louder, other kids finally pounded on the door and when they got it open, discovered the high school cheerleader naked from the waist down on a pool table, and the boys escaping through an open window.

The third attempt at an indictment was the charm, but this case was pleaded down to misdemeanor assault, sentencing the rapist to a one year suspended  sentence, community service, two years probation, and a $2500 fine.  After the sentencing, the young male rapist was quoted as saying: “I have no hard feelings towards the girl.  It was a misunderstanding.”
 
If I had been the judge, after hearing this obnoxious and self-serving statement, he would have seen hard jail time.  But….he is a star athlete and, as we know, they have special rules.

The other kids at that party who came through the door to find a sobbing, ravaged, half-naked cheerleader, one of their friends, knew what had gone down.  Nonetheless, when the first indictment attempt failed, he came back to school to play in important basketball games.  Cheerleaders cheer each player as they come on the floor.  When he came out, she stepped back and crossed her arms.  The principal allegedly took her into a hall and read her out.  The principal, assistant principal, cheerleading team official and superintendent gave her an ultimatum:  cheer for him or go home.  She was kicked off the squad days later and banned for the duration of her high school career.

Now, that’s the story.  Legally, he hadn’t been indicted yet (that did eventually happen), but everyone knew that she had been sexually assaulted.  They knew he was guilty, because they were there to see the aftermath.

She and her family are in court, losing a lot, trying to make a statement for her First Amendment rights of free speech by her silence.  I don’t know how all that will eventually pan out.  If she couldn’t do the job she was selected for (i.e., cheer the team and its members), perhaps she should have stayed home.  After all, that was her responsibility – to present her school’s team with support.

However, I will tell you what shouldn’t have happened.  The entire cheering squad and every student in their school should have been silent when he came out on the floor.  Everyone should have shunned him.  Everyone should have made a statement that he gets no free pass to rape because he is a big-time basketball player.  This is where the lesson starts.

Do you hear that, NBA?