Ok, it’s been quite a while since my last ranting post. In fact I can’t even remember what my last rant was about it’s been so long, but the last few days reading the news is just REALLY firing me up. There are 2 really big ARGH issues that I have come across in the past several days, but if you give me a few more days I’m sure I will find some more!
photo credit Free Digital Photos
ISSUE #1: Drugging our kids for better test scores.
YES – you DID just read that. Please understand, I DO know that there are children (and adults) that need medication for different reasons. (although I believe our kids are HIGHLY over medicated but that’s a different issue!) I get that. But dosing up our higher poverty kids with good ‘ole rounds of Adderall (an ADHD medication) JUST so that they can perform better on tests in my book is just absolutely out of the question. There IS no diagnosis of needing the medication – they take it just so the kids can have the pleasure of getting better grades and feel better about themselves. I can’t even begin to list the ramifications of this – physically and mentally! Just recently in the news this story has been displayed about Dr. Michael Anderson (see article here) and this is what he had to say:
“We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”
Does ANYONE ELSE see a problem with that statement? SERIOUSLY?! OOOOOH this just makes me SO mad! Let’s just make perfect little clones of happy smart kids so we don’t have to deal with anything. And let’s give this medication to the poor kids so we can teach them that they can only amount to something if they are doped up with medication to get them there. I REALLY see that as being a positive effect. (* sarcasm dripping*) Kids are now blaming their poor behavior and outbursts not on themselves but because they aren’t being medicated. Don’t worry about side effects such as stunting their growth, blood pressure problems- even psychotic episodes ….. just take your pill for mommy so I can feel better about your grades and what I’m NOT doing to help and we’ll be all better. Now I know that some will say it’s the teachers fault, some will say it’s the parents fault, etc. etc. Let’s face it – it *could* be either or both. In GENERAL in our country a lot of our problems with children stems from home issues BUT I definitely know that there are teacher issues as well. Now that everyone is a bit miffed that I’ve called them out simmer down and listen. SOMEONE is failing our kids. And it’s not JUST the education system, it’s not JUST the parents, it’s not JUST the teachers. EVERYONE needs to look at themselves and ask if they have any part of that. Obviously parents the most because they are responsible for their own children. Teachers because they are responsible for how they teach their classrooms and their attitudes towards their students. If something is failing your child – don’t just medicate them and MODIFY them to suit your desires – find out what the problem is! Is it your parenting, is it a sensory thing, are they getting picked on at school, do they have an issue with their teacher, are they too sucked into an unrealistc virtual world? There are SO many reasons that it could be – but don’t DON’T MASK the problem with drugs. I am NOT calling out those of you who medicate your children nor do I look down upon you if that is what you have chosen for your child – please know that. I understand that every situation is different as is every child. PLEASE for the sake of our country and for the sake of YOUR children just think about what you are doing. These medications are meant to help a child who truly needs them, not to over abuse the ignorance of your child’s needs because you just don’t know what to do with them.
Issue #2: Changing standards for different races.
This one is another huge hot button for me. You may have seen my Facebook post here about the new Florida academic plan to have different proficiency levels depending on a child’s race. I know that where we lived in Florida our gifted program requirement scores were ALSO based on race. It seems as though from the comments Virginia has the same idea. Really? What happened to equality? What happened to individuality? It’s OK to be different! It’s OK NOT to be the smartest kid on the block. Life is NOT all about test scores and who’s the best. Just because you’re a certain skin color does NOT mean you are dumber or smarter than others. There are MANY MANY MANY people who have come from those dirt poor scary hard home lives that have made something of themselves – and you can NOT tell me it’s because they had money or because of their skin color. Viola Davis, a well known actress (plays in The Help and Won’t Back Down) is one of them. So is Halle Berry – she used to live in a homeless shelter. What about Jim Carrey – his family was homeless for a while too! How about Charlie Chapman? William Shatner? Harry Houdini? Ella Fitzgerald? YES – EVEN David Letterman! Don’t EVER let anyone tell you that because of your color of skin you are allowed to have sub par stands or because of your skin color that you have to be smarter. Yes, I understand the statistics about poor economy and all that jazz. I have a 4 letter word for that:
Yep – I said it. It’s LIFE. Life is NOT all about being equal. Everyone does NOT have the same opportunities and they NEVER will – no matter how hard you try. Yes, you should provide every opportunity that you can for your child. We want kids to have amazing opportunities. It’s just a fact of life – some people will have more than others, some people will be smarter than others. You cannot reduce the entire human population to fit in the same box. I can tell you I am not on the same intelligence level as the genius’s over at NASA. SO WHAT? Every individual is unique and the color of your skin does NOT define who you are or your outcome. That is just simply an excuse.