Thursday, September 22, 2011

School District to Eliminate All Celebrations

The school district in which my son is a Kindergartener is looking to implement changes that would eliminate celebrations [incuding but not limited to Halloween and Valentine's Day]... all in the name of, [you guessed it], POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. 

* Hisses and bares her teeth * 

Isn't it sad that what was once an ideal created for the protection of those who faced intolerance has come to morph into some menacing, sinister excuse used by any nitpicking ass-hat wishing to promote his or her own twisted agenda?  Honestly, if I hear someone use the coupled phrase "political correctness" one more time I'm going to vomit in my own pointy black hat!!

Because my work at the University will prohibit me from attending the board meetings in which these policy changes will be discussed, I drafted the following letter expressing my disapproval.  Comments and opinions please!!!


To Members of the School Board for the District of XXXX XXXX:
It was brought to my attention recently that pending changes in school policy seek to eliminate celebrations in the school(s).  I am disappointed to learn that at the suggestion of a bitter few, you [a group formed to make decisions to better the learning environment for students] would altogether eradicate social engagements for current and future student populations.
When did “political correctness” become some four-letter word defined as “a necessary depriving of our own children in order to appease the belly-aching of a small handful of overly opinionated objectors”?
And at what point will it end?  We are robbing our students of the simple joys that create lasting childhood memories, and at a rate equivalent to an overzealous bride running through the aisles with her registry gun!  [Zap – there go birthday cupcakes!  Zap – go the jack-o-lanterns!  Zap – go the shamrocks!]  Can no one recognize that we have already crossed the line into absurdity?!  What will you seek to steal from my child next?!
School years should offer far more to a student than just decent test scores.  While it is a home setting that instills a child with the compassion, manners and confidence needed for interactions with others, it is in their school environment that just such values are put into practice.  It is the social endeavors shared with classmates that, joined with one’s education, ultimately produce a well-rounded individual.  Remove these communal opportunities and what you can expect to create are empty shells; generic and average.
Where faculty of the past sought to ignite fires of encouragement, individualism and passion within the spirited young hearts of its students, you wish to stifle with demoralizing policies.  And for what?  Out of a fear that you may offend a minority of faultfinders [whom, you will come to learn, will never be satisfied]?  Toddlers learn to use whining as a tool to get what they want if their mommies give-in to such tactics.  Should the educated members of a school board react with similar enabling actions?  (My family’s pediatrician would be appalled!  And rightfully so!)
I think back to my own school-age memories and cannot fathom giving up costume parades and handmade envelopes stuffed full with Valentines.  FOR SHAME that a committee designed to protect the development of each child would elect to simply erase such fundamental moments.
Keep pushing such idiocies into standard policy in the name of “political correctness” and I think you’ll find that future children will have no room for self-expression or creativity in the smothering atmosphere that such policies will generate. 
Let us not teach our children that “only the squeaky parts get oiled,” even to the detriment of the entire working machine. 

If you have similar stories, please share!  Suggestions?  Send them my way!  Wanna play Devil's Advocate?  Have at it!  I would love for someone to tell me how it will be politically correct to ban a Kindergarten class from showing off their costumes and exchanging Valentine cards. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fitting Signs to Reflect the Spirit of America

It was inevitable that as this tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks drew near we would be surrounded by reminders, signs and reflections of this tragedy and also the ensuing herosim, but it crept into my morning in a rather unexpected and refreshingly optimistic way. . .

I began the day like always-- with a quiet moment at my alter, which also happens to be just the right spot where the sunrise enters the room and warms the hardwood floor where I sit.  With the light of my God encasing my ritual, I laid herbs just-gathered, dipped my fingertips into a bowl of water, lit a purple candle and sparked to life the cedar incense of my choosing. 

I cast my circle of elements and took a deep breath to prepare for the rush of emotions that I knew were coming.  As an empath I am no stranger to taking on the feelings of others and with the profound sense of remembrance and remorse in the air this day, it was no surprise that a wave of tears overtook me. 

I cried for lives lost, for memories missed, for the feeling of exposure and vulnerability that we were all left with on that fateful day as we watched the billowing clouds of smoke rise from New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.  I didn't try to hold back the flood that washed over me-- just permitted it to flow as I sobbed into my hands.

Image by Drago Art
 And in the silence that followed, just after the last hitch in my breath had ceased, I heard two soft "tink, tinks" as a pair of charms fell from the melting wax of my charm candle.  I took a deep breath and glanced to my alter, curious to find what symbols I had been graced with on such a significant day. . .
the castle and the wolf.

I instanty smiled, closing my eyes and turning my face towards the warmth of the sun that poured through the sliding glass doors of the sitting room.  Small signs bring simple blessings.  And these two charms would prove to fill me then with a contented comfort.  You see I knew that the castle, a symbol of home and shelter [where we feel safe and protected] represented this grand country that houses me.  And that wolf [sitting on his haunches, snout raised high in molded howl], he displayed purely the spirit of man within the great castle--  free will, unity, loyalty, fortitude.

What a perfect descriptive of the coming together of humanity in the wake of cruelty.  And as I watched the last of my cedarwood smoke rise above, I understood that I was not the only soul sending such healing positivity into the skies today.  No, we will certainly 'never forget' and in-fact have transformed an act of evil into a network of unified compassion.