So… Bullies in schools are all Rush Limbaugh’s fault?

Some believe that the popularity of shows such as “Gossip Girl’’ and the talk radio shout-fests that kids listen to from the back seat of the car have fanned the flames, which are spread face-to-face and through cyberspace.

via Mean girl behavior begins at early ages – The Boston Globe.

Seriously? They are trying to blame bad behavior on TV and Talk Radio? Um… What ever happened to parental responsibility? Seriously people.

My kids listen to Rush Limbaugh and Dana Loesch with me sometimes, when the subject matter is appropriate.  My kids don’t run around bullying other kids, because they know that we consider that to be unacceptable behavior.

But out there in Massachusetts, people are pushing for a bill that would require adults in the school to report bullying to the principle, who is then required to report it to the parents of the bully.  Of course, critics claim that the bill doesn’t go far enough because it doesn’t “criminalize bullying” or hold the school liable for not protecting children.

Really?  I admit, I was not the popular kid in school, in any of the 5 different schools I went to.  I was the kid the other kids picked on.  I was the one being bullied.  I know from experience that simply alerting the bully’s parents isn’t going to change a thing.  Do you know why? Because kids learn these kinds of behaviors at home.  Not from Talk Radio, but from their parents.  I find it funny that this article at The Boston Globe website is linked to another article titled “Parents can help prevent bullying by modeling kindness, empathy”  Really?  Ya think?

“Parents need to help their kids see that everyone has dignity and worth, that they don’t put someone outside a circle of caring, they don’t make someone an ‘it.’ You don’t have to like every kid in the classroom, but you do have to honor their humanity.’’ (source)

So, it’s parents, and their behavior that the kids will emulate.  Huh. Whodathunk?

It’s about Parental Rights.

The problem is not that he wants to talk to the kids, but how the White House went about this.  Most people who are opposed to the speech are not necessarily opposed to President Obama speaking, as they are opposed to the lack of parental notification ahead of time.

(hat tip Dana Loesch)

If those parents had not caused a ruckus, the “materials” would not have been changed.   The original question was “what can you do to help the president?” but it was “poorly worded” and changed to “what can you to achieve your educational goals?”   Because, yea, I can totally see how those two questions could be confused for each other right? /sarcasm.

Here is what the Governor of Missouri has said about this:

“The distribution of teaching curricula from the White House to the classroom clearly usurps the authority of our local school boards and school administrators. We have seen the federal government intervene into our lives in ways that many of us thought we would never see. This is a clear infringement on the rights of our students and those of Missouri parents.”

Dana Loesch, a conservative talk show host and homeschooling mother of two says about the curriculum:

“The focus is on being submissive to government. Anyone with the reading comprehension of a three-toed sloth can deduce this. Yes, we obey our laws and give respect to what our elected officials say but THAT IS A TWO-WAY STREET. Our elected leaders don’t shove legislation down our throats that we, the majority, are against. Our elected leaders don’t threaten to pass things with reconciliation.”

Her point is the government is elected to serve us. Yes, it’s a “public school issue” right now, but it’s also a parental rights issue.   As a teacher, I’d be pretty pissed, because I’ve been working my butt off on lesson plans and the like.  Then along comes the Federal Gov’t and they say, screw the lesson plans, here’s what you will be doing this day. Excuse me?  The White House did not follow proper protocol when announcing this, and quite possibly broke the law by distributing the curriculum to match the speech.

And quite frankly, this commenter on the website brought up quite a few interesting points. (it’s a copy of a letter he wrote to his local school board.)

“First, if the President is simply delivering an innocent “stay in school” message, he is requiring Katy ISD and all other districts nationwide to use precious time and other resources just to deliver a message they hear frequently from people closer to them. Hearing such a message means more from parents, family, and teachers locally. This address is, at best, a waste of time and money.

Second, few people on either side of the political spectrum would argue the fact that our current President excels at campaigning and persuasion. And given the massive programs implemented, pending implementation, and proposed by this administration, it is logical that the President has been using any and all avenues to reach the American public to convince them of his programs. As an staunch opponent of higher taxes, larger federal deficits, unfunded mandates, and expanding entitlement programs, I would be extremely upset if Katy ISD was the vehicle for the President to advance his economic agenda.

Third, some of the teacher tools that are on the Department of Education website contain talking points that I find patently offensive and contrary to our basic form of government. Questions such as: “Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials” and “What is the president asking me to do?” imply that we, as citizens, should look to those in power for answers and guidance. Quite the opposite is true; this nation is run by men and women who were chosen by the citizens to serve them for short periods of time. During that limited tenure, these elected officials represent the people of the United States. It is the President and other elected officials who should be listening to the citizenry, not the other way around.

Finally, I know that the President’s supporters will argue that a message about “persisting and staying in school” is a noble message and one that our children should hear from many sources, and I agree. But I am uncomfortable with any politician, regardless of office or political party, that would use the public school system and my children as an opportunity to stay in the public eye. There is a reason that this event is unprecedented; every President until now has seen it as inappropriate to start their next election campaign by aiming at high school students who will be eligible to vote in 2012. I think this event is narcissistic and improper.”

So it’s not that addressing the students is a bad idea per se… it’s how they are going about this, coupled with the takeover of the banking industry, the auto industry, and the attempt to takeover healthcare, that is troubling.

Also, considering the inclusion of illegal aliens in the “47 million uninsured”, I am skeptical where this “30%” number is coming from. I notice I haven’t heard anyone close to the admin say “30% dropout rate.”  They all say “the dropout rate is staggering! 30% of our nation’s children do not graduate high school.” Found this today, from Hawaii, says that the dropout rate there is grossly overestimated.  Hmmm… Wonder where they got the “30%” number?  I wonder if they are including illegal alien kids and homeschoolers in that number?

Bottom line. Opposition to today’s address to the children is about parental rights. Not “indoctrination”, not “silly stuff”. Our rights as a parent to have approval over what our kids do in school. When the Nation’s Education Secretary dismisses parental concern as “silly”, parents need to take notice. When a member of today’s media declares that anyone opposed is “not smart enough to raise their kids effectively” and possibly racist, parents need to take notice.

Oh, and by the way, wasn’t it just a few years back when the first Bush was going to address the nation’s schools (and permission slips had to be signed, btw) that the Democrats had their panties in a wad?  But since it is our Fearless Leader, who is a Democrat, those opposed are just plain “silly.”  Arne Duncan and Robert Gibbs even said so.