When my children started school, I volunteered as a mothers helper in the classroom. I witnessed a lack of phonics education for reading skills, a lack of proficiency in math facts, and classroom teachers asking third graders how to prevent global wars. I wondered why they were not teaching the children solid, academic curriculum. When I inquired, the school administrators told me that school was as much of a socializing experience as it was an academic experience. Thus, I began my self-guided education ON education. During the Clinton Administration, I read every word of Goals 2000 and recognized it as a huge federal take-over. I attended numerous meeting ranging from local school board and to teacher in-services to state board of education meetings - including the Goals 2000 reform committee meeting, to testifying before the Idaho House/Senate Education Committees. While at some of the state in service meetings, I was appalled to see boxes of condoms being distributed free of charge to the teachers for their students.
After the implementation of Goals 2000, I was disheartened to see the federal takeover of education expand under President George W Bush and No Child Left Behind. Now with President Barack Obama’s Race To The Top, we continue with the vast waste of tax payer money on ineffective techniques and dumbed-down programs. Having home schooled our own children for several years, I am a strong proponent of education options. I subscribed to President Ronald Reagan’s position that the federal department of education should be dismantled. When I'm in office, I will work aggressively to allow local, elected school boards to strengthen local control.
The language manipulators created the term "prochoice" to camouflage the horrific result of "pro abortion" or "partial birth abortion". Where is the mother's heart that would inflict death on the most defenseless? The tiny fingerprints of that little life will never duplicated; you can't "have this baby later when life is more convenient" - because the next baby has a different set of fingerprints - a whole unique and different being. I saw posters accusing defenders of the pre-born as being terrorists because they want a mother to understand it is a life within her womb not a blob of tissue.
My own mother was encouraged to abort her last baby; she was being prescribed many medications at the time she conceived and the side-effects were unknown. My parents put their faith in God. The baby came early, but was healthy. My baby brother was the best gift to our family; endless hours of love and laughter entered our home. And now his children are sure thankful he was not disposed of like some infected tonsils.
My favorite bumper sticker reads: "As a former fetus, I oppose abortion."
The entire concept of urban renewal needs to be reconsidered. I understand urban renewal to be a shell game of tax payer dollars. It disallows the tax payer the opportunity to vote on projects and it also enables the abuse of eminent domain.
I am sorry the paper did not print that I said we need to teach common courtesy. But I do believe that our life experiences - even being victims of teasing and bullying - can make us into better people. I suppose 'nurture' was an inaccurate word; but we do evolve from hardships. One of the best object lessons that presented itself to me and my children was when I went to a high school reunion many years ago (I graduated in 1972). One of my school mates, that had disabilities, spent the afternoon with me and my girls at the picnic during the reunion. My school mate was also a victim of teasing and bullying so I always went the extra mile to try to make her life just a little bit more pleasant. Had I been the pretty cheer-leader who never had a zit, do you think I would have learned empathy? My school mate certainly never sought out any of the other people there that day to spend time with; my children got to see that I meant what I said when I instructed them in being kind and considerate.
I never wish for hardship and sadness to come into one's life; but that is life. Better we learn coping abilities as we grow up, than to arrive at adulthood and crumble when adversity comes our way. If you have not read my website, I would encourage you to locate the paragraph where I relate how my mother was near death (when I was 11 yr. old). I had no choice about having to help to cook, do dishes, clean, laundry - I was the oldest sister and I had no mother to do it for me. She was in the hospital for weeks and weeks at a time. So perhaps that is why I am so much a 'realist' about hard knocks in life. Use the hard spots as stepping stones to a better 'self' instead of sitting down in a discouraged-heap.
Thank you for your concern for victims of bullying. But I'm still certain passing a new law will not change human nature.
For additional viewpoints, please contact Ronalee@ronaleeforrepresentative.com.