The Teachers Dilemna (and what is not talked about in education)

Assaults on teachers, starting with first graders hitting teachers with chairs & stabbing with pencils & knives. In some of the bigger inner city schools, teachers are afraid to walk to their cars after the school day ends and guns are now appearing in classrooms with growing frequency. Too many districts are suggesting that teachers be armed.

*The lack of books & basic resources for educators to complete their tasks is unacceptable. Detroit teachers were threatened this spring with working without pay this coming summer. If they had not reacted as they did, that might have actually happened.

To not support the people engaged in the important work of building our next generation of service providers, business people and lawmakers is an atrocious mistake. We will benefit by or suffer from the things that are happening in our schools today. We build and support those schools (or we don’t).

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The State Of Child Protection in Texas (655 under-reported deaths of abused children)

With one of the nation’s largest child abuse agencies, 2.5 billion dollar budget, & 8000 employee, Texas struggles to keep up with the increase in child protection cases, not enough quality foster and adoption families, and cases that stay in the system far too long (federal lawsuit).

For a long time now, Texas has ranked last or near last among the states for prenatal care (50th), low birth weight babies, health care expenditure (48th), spending on mental health (49th) graduation rates (45th), SAT scores, child abuse deaths, uninsured children, births to teen moms, WIC benefits per person (50th), 4th highest in women living in poverty, and 6th highest in child poverty (2013 Texas Legislative Study Group/83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature).

Texas is also first in executions, 2nd in larceny, theft, and property crime rate, 4th in rate of incarceration, and personal bankruptcy filings, (March 2013).

Nearly half of the 655 under-reported child deaths occurred to children on CPS radar. That’s what happens with extraordinarily high caseloads, too few resources for existing cases, lack of transparency & reporting.

Each year, over 100,000 Texas children between the ages of 7 & 17 go missing, many of them while in child protective services.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 60% of children likely to be victims of sex trafficking have fun away from foster care or group homes.

The high turnover in child protection workers and broken foster care and daycare system are just the tip of the iceberg of at risk children in the state.

Child protection workers and children did not make the mess and they can do little to fix it. Lawmakers, voters, and concerned citizens need to look to other states and nations to find solutions.

26% of Texas population (1.7 million Texas children) live below the federal poverty level & Of the 804 Child fatalities reported in 2013, 156 were related to child abuse or neglect according to Child Protective Services.

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The State Of Child Protection In America Today

American institutions are producing exactly that which they were designed to stop. Almost all the youth in juvenile justice have come through child protection programs. Virtually all criminal justice candidates have been juvenile offenders. 2/3’s of these people have mental health problems (fully half of this number have multiple, serious, and chronic conditions (these are the dangerous and dysfunctional folks that so often make the news).

Much of what I write and speak makes people angry. Imagine what it’s like to be child protection worker or volunteer CASA guardian ad-Litem and meet a seven year old boy that’s been tied to a bed, left alone for days at a time, starved, sexually abused, and beaten to a pulp with bruised covering his body or come to know very young girl that was prostituted by her mother.

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The State Of American Schools (& Stop Blaming Teachers)

Average reading level of America’s Senior High Students; 5th grade proficiency

Math questions for Georgia grade school children;

“Each tree had 56 oranges,” the first question starts. “If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”

The next question went a step further, referencing violence. “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”

Hiding the truth about Georgia’s terrible test results (teaching teachers to lie)

Science in Tennessee public schools (soon Indiana, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, & Missouri) GOD Made It All

Not one third of Kansas City’s elementary students read at grade level.

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The Science Of Neglect (Harvard University 6 Minute Video)

This scientific approach to child neglect is a strong argument for early childhood programs like crisis nurseries and subsidized daycare. The costs of not providing these things far outweighs the front end investment is children.

http://www.cmhnetwork.org/news/science-of-neglect

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University has published a new 6-minute video,InBrief: The Science of Neglect (2013), which explains how significant neglect can harm to a young child’s development, including cognitive delays, impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress response. It also looks at why effective interventions are likely to pay significant dividends in better long-term outcomes in learning, health, and parenting of the next generation. The video provides an overview of The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain (2012), a working paper by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. A two-page summary is also available.

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The Sadness Of Child Protection – 2 Year Old’s Murdered by Caregivers

These past weeks have been awful for vulnerable children in MN.

Stomped on, kicked, torn liver kidney & pancreas Sophia O’Neill was violently murdered by 17 year old Cary Faran-Baum died because she wouldn’t stop crying. There’s been way too many violent child deaths in MN this past year – many of these children were known to child protection services.

Sophia was known to child protection (they didn’t investigate the case because caseloads are high and resources did not allow it).

In a family video taken before her death, Sophia explains that Faran-Baum had hit her in the face and left bruises noticible in the video. Sophia died not only of Cary Faran-Baum’s violent mindless attack. She died because there are too few crisis nurseries, inadequate daycare facilities and a general lack of concern in my community for other people’s children.

Too many of these children are known to child protection, a poorly understood and undervalued system fraught with serious problems. It’s wrong to blame the people doing the work – the problems begin with us – the people making the rules and designing the system.

As a long time volunteer Hennepin County guardian ad-Litem, it’s clear to me that my community has never cared much for the problems of young families (or their babies & 2 year olds).

If we did, there would be more crisis nurseries and daycare and children would not be left in the care of drunk uncles, violent boyfriends and child molesters.

As it is today, we only read about the dead kids. Thousands of children traumatized by violence and abuse inflicted on them by their care givers don’t make the paper (unless there is a death).

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The Real World of Child Abuse (statistics)

There is more to child abuse than bruises, rape and starvation.

27 states allow withholding life saving medical treatment from children if you tell people your religion forbids it . Criminal and civil immunity means it is not murder when the child dies.

A few years ago, Kansas State Rep Gail Finney vowed to pass a bill that allowed caregivers to leave bruises and cause bleeding. Arkansas State Rep Charles Fuqua promoted the death penalty for rebellious children (based on religious grounds).

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The Race To Incarcerate Women (this does not bode well for children)

Why a Prison Birth Project?
Since 1977, the female prison population has increased by 872% (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2008). Over 85% of the women in prison were the primary caregivers to their children before incarceration, and approximately 25% of women in prison have either given birth at some point during the year prior to or are pregnant at the time of their arrest (U.S. Department of Justice).These women have little access to services or rehabilitation related to birth preparation and parenting while in prison.
Labor, delivery, and birth rarely involves family, friends, or support, and most often consists of the woman being searched, shackled, and taken to a hospital under the watch of guards. Their babies are taken away from them soon afterwards. Some mothers will not see their children again then until their release; some may never see them again. These women experience shame, powerlessness, and fear during labor, and are left exposed and likely to suffer to post‐partum depression, life‐long parent‐child attachment issues, and an overwhelming insecurity in their ability to be a successful parent.

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The Problem With Accommodating Hate (& hateful people)

Wanting to get along is a blessing and a curse.

Most of us lean towards accommodation and away from conflict.

We avoid conflict and accept behaviors & beliefs in others that stretch us to our limits. Caring friends may argue or give guidance to hateful people but once the poison of hatred and bigotry has been ingested, tepid arguments and kind suggestions just don’t work.

The failure of a “reasoning” strategy becomes evident when hundreds or thousands of hateful mean spirited racist people gather to spread their vile and pernicious message in the public square. Poisoning the people that talk to and the people they hate, great fear is spread and great harm is done.

Can you imagine what it was like for the five year-olds on the buses carrying only women and children from Central America when they were attacked by hate groups in Arizona and California screaming obscenities and “send them back”?

What will the six year-olds of Charlottesville learn in their first year of schooling about the screaming haters that filled their streets and televisions with maniacal hate mongering?

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The Power of Coping Skills & Life Without Them

A sad personal email this morning from a grieving mother has caused me to reflect on friends who ended their own lives and the four, five and six year old children I have known, or known about, who tried or succeeded at suicide.

My cousin Ron Mahla (Actor and brilliant person) and my dear friend Tommy Garretson (Vietnam War Vet with a winning smile and great sense of humor) were both gentle and bright souls that were squeezed to death by sadness and a growing inability to cope with their lives.

In both deaths, I’m almost certain that neither told anyone or thought to get help to cope with the events in their lives (there were no signs of impending suicide).

Coping skills are everything. Have them and we can make it – without them, we are at risk.

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The Only Nation in the Developed World (American Exceptionalism)

Young families in the U.S. don’t have any mandated maternity leave when the new baby arrives (we are the only developed nation in the world to not offer paid leave to new parents). Families and babies really do suffer because of it.
There is almost no paid paternity leave for fathers in America either (almost all of the developed world – and about half of the 167 nations tracked by the International Labor Organization, offer paternity leave to dads).

American exceptionalism has become the opposite of what we want it to be – especially when it comes to young families and children. We talk a big game, but we don’t really value other people’s children.

All adults are the protectors of all children – communities will be safer & happier when this becomes a truism.

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The Most Important Child Friendly Sites of This Week

http://acestoohigh.com/ Read a few of these smart and powerful articles and you will know more about at risk children’s issues than anyone on your block.

http://safepassagemn.com/landing-page.html This video will be the best six minutes you can spend this week.

We are all in this together. Let’s all pull in the right direction (pro child) Support KARA’s TPT documentary project

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The Longest Day

From a legal perspective the most under-protected persons in America are sexually abused children.

One study indicated that 11% of judges and 51% of prosecuting attorneys admitted that they had deliberately confused the child (witness) during the proceedings.

What this means in practice, is that the nine-year old girl sitting on the stand in the courtroom is being bullied by intense and deliberately confusing cross-examination about her abuse.

Everyone at the sysmposium agreed that children are not mentally capable of undergoing adult type cross examination, but it is clear that this still happens in many cases.

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The Laws We Live By

George Zimmerman, If not prosecuted in Florida for killing 14 year old Trayvon Martin, opens a whole new world of hate, violence, & death for America’s children.

Similar to Brazilian police hatefully murdering street children last year, American vigilantes can now murder at will the children they deem not fit to live. The harm will fall mostly on poor Blacks & Hispanics if history is an indicator.

Now that virtually anyone can conceal and carry a gun on the street in America, the fact that a self-defense claim works in all instances means that murder is a much easier crime to commit.

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The Language of Child Abuse (& why it is critical)

It hurts me to hear discussions of child abuse and neglect in the language of business that fails to convey the horror of the thing that was done.

Tiny defenseless human beings in terrifying circumstances written and talked about as if highways or funding issues are the issue.

Language is critical to a clear picture of what happened.

When we don’t talk openly about a terrible thing it just does not exist (or it’s not terrible or not a problem).

Too much of the time we use words that mask painful things because we are uncomfortable speaking about them. hout food or water.

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The Importance of Performance Measures (from Safe Passage for Children)

  From Safe Passage for Children today; We often emphasize the importance of measuring outcomes for children. But performance measures are important too. They tell us current information about program operations. The metrics currently on the Department of Human Services’ Dashboard Report don’t cover enough parts of the system to give a well-rounded picture. However…

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The Impact of Trauma and Neglect on the Developing Child: Focus on Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. ChildTrauma Academy When: Thursday, June 17th Registration: 8:30 a.m. Training: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mystic Mystice Lake Casino, Shakopee MN Cost: $40 Standard, $30 JJC Community Member, $30 Student Rate Scholarships available Targeted Audience: Policy makers, professionals and practitioners in education, the court system, law enforcement, corrections, human services,…

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The Holocaust of Innocence Tour and Documentary

The National Holocaust of Innocence Tour and Documentary/Research Project August 1, 2012, we will be kicking off from Shreveport, Louisiana and will end after May 25, 2013 Washington D.C. two day Rally and Million Survivor March, at the Jefferson Memorial. We will tour the U.S. prevention and education of child sexual advocating prevention of child sexual assault, researching the current needs of our communities, and producing a film documentary of the process. The Holocaust of Innocence is the time someone is sexually assaulted, their lives are never the same, causing them to have trust and emotional issues the rest of their lifetime. http:// theholocaustofinnocence.blogspot.com/

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