Archive for March, 2011

Elementary Schools and the Parental Loss of Decision-Making (P. 1)

This is an issue I deal with every year with our local elementary school. The policies set forth by the district and state are not necessarily what the school adheres to. Part 1 (absences) Let’s go…

The main concern here is the child’s welfare and attendance at school.¬† Well, a couple of “unexcused absences” and you as the parent are now looking at possible hard labor in the county jail along with hefty fines. The first obvious flaw I see in this punishment is quite simple: you WILL lose your job and DHR may come take your children from you. Now you go to jail for 90 days, have no job, your home is gone, and your children are no longer yours. Is that a better solution than allowing the child to miss a couple of days of school? According to the state of Alabama – yes, that is what could be waiting for the parent who does not have an “excuse” for being absent. Like mentioned before, five unexcused absences in a single year, and the parent is sitting in court now. Sound harsh or fair? You decide that, but for now, look at these scenarios before casting judgments:

  • A divorced family attempting to exercise weekend visitations with the non-custodial parent – this becomes not so clear anymore. All it takes is for the non-custodial parent exercising their visitation to wake up late a couple of times, and the parent who has custody (although not during the particular time of the absence) is held responsible. By no fault of their own, the child now has an unexcused absence.
  • Inclement weather is another situation the school takes into their own hands. Let us say you go on vacation to TN for the weekend, but the roads are iced over Sunday leaving you stranded with your family. You are concerned about getting them home and finding suitable accommodations during the foul weather you are experiencing. The school sees this: The school was NOT under any weather advisory b/c the weather in AL was just cold, so guess what? Unexcused absence because the school determines there was no weather related detriment relating to the SCHOOL which basically means the child has no excuse for not attending on Monday.
  • The child wakes up one morning throwing up. You as the parent CALL the school and inform them of the issue. They say “It is our policy that a child who is throwing up stays home for 24 hours”. The school knows about this and has further informed you (the parent) to keep that child at home. So you do. The following day, you send the child with a note, and find out weeks later the absence was unexcused for some reason. Well the principal is the deciding factor on excusing children, and you as a parent are incapable of making that decision without medical advice. Since there was no Dr excuse, the absence was made unexcused even though the parent who knows their child did not think it serious enough to visit a Dr office AND the school informed the parent to keep the child home.
  • A parent or step parent is coming home from a deployment in Iraq, and flying in around 9:30 on a Tuesday morning. The children are excited to see the parent who has been in harm’s way for so long and the mother decides to take these children to the airport to welcome home a loved one. Well, that is unexcused because¬† a parent is unable to make a decision like that (look at this way: as a parent, you have no rights when it comes to your own children)

Herein lies the problem: the manner of excused and unexcused. The state and local boards clearly label reasons for excused absences and basically anything other than that is at the principals discretion. Well, when the principal decides on issues as these above, all of which actually happened by the way, they see no Dr excuse… so unexcused they are. A conference is made to explain what happened and words fall on deaf ears, the principal states “this is our policy, and out of my hands” which gets the parents out of their office that day. Truth is, that is NOT the policy of the local school district, and complaining to the Superintendent results in nothing – he fully backs and supports the decisions made by his principals. So now what? What do you do when you are clearly being punished for what the district says is a legal and just reason to keep a child out of school for a day? Nothing.

This is the point where the nanny state hits home, when you realize you are no more in charge of your own kids’ destinies than the guy next door. The school, local, and state governments are in charge of what happens with your child. This is made quite apparent by the lack of enforcing the rules and punishing parents as the principal sees fit. The dangerous side of this coin stretches further than mere losing everything you have and love, imagine if you will that the principal at your child’s school does not like you for personal reasons (Not my case, but you get the gist). That principal can destroy your life, and you have no avenue of protecting yourself. Amazing, this is so blatant, they even send letters stating what they are doing and why – all the while contradicting local school policies.With a system like this in place, there is no avenue for the parent of the child to suggest they may know what is best for their children (like not risking their lives on an icy road, or taking them to see their returning relative from overseas).

Land of the Free… What an oxymoron

– Me


US Involvement in Libya

There should be no person out there in blind-America land that does not know about the situation in Libya. I find it quite interesting the arguments from both sides, but more in the actual reaction of our current administration.

You can scream and holler about the legitimacy of bombing Libya or the decision to take a “back seat” on this particular engagement, but let us look at what actually happened.

First worth noting is the Arab League’s involvement – which comes to no surprise to those of who understand Islam. The Arab League has the equipment and manpower to handle this situation, but sits on its hands. Why? Easy: a Muslim country will not attack another Muslim country in order to stabilize it. They will attack each other for greed or religious reasons, but have no interest in humanitarian causes. Simple reason really, this is God’s Will (Insh Allah). So they offer lip service to the West asking for assistance, that way the Arabs can deny any involvement while appearing to care about what happens.

Second worth noting is the UN Resolution. The UN does not work or is inefficient b/c they NEVER deal with the cause of the problem; rather only the problem itself. For example: Muammar Gaddafi is a known sponsor of Islamic terrorism, oppressor of his country, murderer, and an all around great guy. This did not happen yesterday like some of the Liberals will have you believe. Gaddafi, similarly to Hussein, has been a target of his citizens for decades due to his oppressive regime. Ronald Reagan even cast air strikes against him for crying out loud – that is how long this guy has been in power and doing uncouth things. Well the UN makes no notion whatsoever on removing him although he holds a long record of human rights violations. Instead, the UN approves a “no fly zone” in northern Libya to ensure civilian safety. Once again, the UN shows its inability to take action against the problem.

Third is the response from our administration. Our administration was pretty fast to jump on the Egypt bandwagon that assisted in ousting president Hosni Mubarak (who was a long time ally), but for some reason said nothing about long time terrorist sponsor Muammar Gaddafi. We sat around and waited until the UN made a toothless resolution, then took a backseat on that resolution, which is supposed to make the US not appear involved somehow. Why are we so scared to call a terrorist a terrorist these days? Why did Obama not make the same directed comments at Gaddafi that he made at Mubarak – when Gaddafi is obviously much worse? Interesting to note that when dealing with our allies, Obama is harsh and threatening, but when dealing with Islamic terrorists he is cautioned and non-abrasive.

Fourth is the lack of Arab nations to be involved with any of this. The US will be the ultimate bearer of the conflict no matter how hard Obama attempts to ignore what is going on. There is a reason the Arab League requested Western assistance – and that reason is NOT because they somehow lack the resources to act. There is a reason Northern Africa and Arab Peninsula countries are sitting on the sidelines (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Morocco to name a few). That reason is they are predominately Islamic and therefore only see that non-Islamic countries are “invading” another Islamic country. Sound unrealistic? History will show it soon enough; and our administration refusing to label these people for who they are is a dangerous game.

Ask yourself this: With the weak UN resolution, and our current administration, what happens if Gaddafi stays in power?Do you think Islam will just turn its back on ANOTHER Islamic attack from the West (Libya)? Also, if we are going to take actions like this, why are we not helping in other countries like Sierra Leone and Somalia that also have serious human rights violations occurring daily? Intersting

– Me

Japan is in Trouble – Heeeeellllllp!

First and foremost let me start this blog by stating that everyone with a television and a service provider knows Japan is in trouble right now. That being said, why does everyone expect the US to magically do something when people are in need. We get pummeled by foreigners and liberal media for trying to be the world police, and then when Haiti needs money, their hands are out. I say natural selection – let em fend for themselves. Volunteers will inevitably go there and offer their services for free and donate personal wealth to the cause. That sounds pretty ok to me. Why should our already skyrocketing debt be more-so to help those out of our own country. I say if we are going to add to the debt, let it be our people who reap the benefits.

Nuclear disaster is the staple conversation for the region – let’s face it, though – not the first time for that country. (Too soon?) Stop the madness people, they are fully capable of taking care of themselves.

– Me

Another Lie? From our Gov’t? Say it Aint So

Our government is going crazy. Flat out. I am quickly getting to the point where I am ready to move to another country.

– Me

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