Where I agree with conservatives (sort of)

In this climate, saying that your political opposition even has a hint of truth on their side is a good way to alienate yourself from, well, everyone. Your opponent still knows you’ll vote the opposite ways, and your “allies” will see you as a traitor.

But here goes: let’s talk about some of the issues affecting schools.

The rhetoric I hear is fundamentally dishonest. Yes, we have too many guns in society and yes, I’d like to see weapons like the AR-15 (weapons that fire military grade rounds at military type muzzle velocities) out of civilian hands.

But that issue is disjoint from the other issues that affect schools.

Drag shows: this is an inappropriate school activity. Period.

Now if parents want to take their kids to such a show on their own time, that is their business and none of mine. I am saying this is not a good school activity, and THAT is what is generating the debate.

Books: I am in half agreement here: schools should make choices as to what is in their library; depending on the level of school, not any old book is acceptable. Now of course, some controversial books might well have a place: The Bible for literature, Mein Kampf for history, the unedited version of, say Huckleberry Finn (when the kids are old enough to see the racist language in context).

And what I find inappropriate might anger some conservatives. For example, a “creation science” book has no place in the science collection; it isn’t science, at all. Now it might have a place if filed under “creation myths of the world” or the like.

But yes, school libraries should make choices; not “everything goes.”

Advanced classes Schools should help students of a wide range of abilities become the best that they can be, and yes, that includes those students with the highest academic aptitude. (disclaimer: that was MY “ticket out.”) Students need to be challenged, and watering down material in the name of “equity” is outrageous; I totally oppose that.

But..what about the teachers?

In the dark days of the COVID pandemic, especially when we were flying blind about exactly what we were up against, I was very angry with those who seemed to discount the health of the teachers WRT “in person vs online” school.

We had the situation of overcrowded classrooms, poorly ventilated school buildings and parents who weren’t exactly to keep covid positive kids at home. And most of the discussion was about “the kids” (oh, the kids will be fine) and very little about the teachers and other staff. Note: I know it was more nuanced than that..remember that the schools were understaffed to begin with and there was a dearth of substitutes.

Well, now we have the problem of violence in schools, and in particular, violence against teachers. Example:

So, the discussion now revolves around…the minor in question? (what sort of criminal charges, if any…expulsion, etc.

But..what about the teachers? We walk about “the kids”, but what about the teachers? Would YOU want to work in such an environment? I wouldn’t.

Teacher welfare and safety have to be a major part of conversation. Teachers are not disposable robots.

3 Jan: more decadence

Well, I did watch the Bears get whipped by the Packers..and slide into a playoff slot anyway.

I did a few other things; one of them was a short outdoor snow hike and an HOT indoor treadmill walk..

The good news is that piriformis pain is negligible. But my hips and hamstrings (that “posterior chain”) is sore. I think the Wednesday (deficits 10 x 214) and the Saturday were too much, ..should have taken Wednesday easier or gone a big lighter on Saturday.

Other topics

I think that our whole system: economic, social and political, was tailor made to fail during this pandemic.

One is the family structure: many see large, coherent families as a source of strength, and it can be.

But when it devolves into stuff like “Granny is lonely and wants to see ALL her kids..pandemic or no..” being able to stand up to family pressures is essential.

Government wise: being able to have some sort of national plan to distribute vaccines would be highly beneficial ..as would being able to say “ok, nationwide shutdown and we’ll compensate businesses and workers “..and of course, we don’t have that. We’ve failed.

And there is our economic system. Yes, I remain a capitalist. But this “do more with less..let’s run EVERYTHING like a business” has hurt the educational and medical fields.

Yes, customer service is dreadful but people don’t want to pay more to get better customer service.

But this “cut to the bones..” get “lean and mean” has left us badly understaffed at health care facilities thereby leading to unsustainable conditions for health care workers.

And teachers are suffering too; we already have a shortage and the current environment is more toxic than ever. You can go on and on “it is about the kids” all you want, but when you lack the resources and yes...a sufficient number of teachers and substitutes..

And, understandably, the remaining teachers won’t tolerate being viewed as “expendable.” Some are refusing to return to “face to face” and understandably so.

Parents can scream “fire them” all they want, but where are the replacements going to come from?