The NEA bursts forth onto the national scene to remind us all that they're really, really GLAD that there is a proposed bill restricting the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. They're really, really glad. No, really. And they've been working a long time with disability groups and stuff and are heralding this great step forward blah blah blah and et cetera.
Have you puked yet? I'm kinda getting the angry dry heaves coming on here. When was the last time they have "advocated" for any teacher who slaps, restrains, secludes and/or otherwise abuses a student to be FIRED ON THE SPOT? Hmm? You just wow me with that overwhelming evidence *right now* and maybe we'll talk about how sincere this press release really is. Cue the "evil" music:
“We must work together to ensure the safety of all students and educators and create supports that provide proper training for school staff,” states NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.
Is this the same "working together" on common educational goals that the staff at my son's elementary wanted to do when they continually refused to provide a one-to-one aide, preferring instead to seclude him in a closet for his "manipulative" behaviour? I'm just wondering.
Maybe I need to stop being so cynical. Maybe we really DO need to work together. But I'd sure like a little more power on my side of the "bargaining" table when we're doing that. Is the union just giving in on this because it knows some of its members are abusers and need clear guidelines so they don't make the union look worse than it already does? I'm just trying to think of what it is about this bill that would make it in the teachers' union's best interest. More money for training/ higher pay for "qualified" disability teachers? That's a compromise I could certainly live with if it means that children's civil rights are respected.
What's your take? Am I just casting the NEA as the villain in every act of every play? Could they actually just get around to doing something right for a change, because they made a mistake and did something nice that would benefit a non-union member? (Gasp! LOL)
Or... wait. Wait. Don't tell me. It's political/liberal stuff, right? Is treating kids with respect a "liberal" thing now? "They" own that? Maybe that's it. Um... the more I think about it, the more I think probably that's it. At least on paper, "they" at least know we need to be nice to people. It's a pity more can't be said about conservative leaders who advocate swatting with belts as a logical consequence for common misbehaviours.
Um... and that's the moderate conservative. The extremists advocate absolute parental freedoms and all (you know, parents "free" to abuse their kids with no repercussions because God put 'em in the family, so God must like what's going on). These folks also think schoolteachers shouldn't do that, though... because there shouldn't BE any teachers outside Sunday School if y'all are being GOOD parents and homeschooling, right?? Though if it happens in Sunday School, that's ok because of some verse in Romans 13 about the powers that be being ordained by God, so shut up if the Sunday School teacher slaps your kid...
Siiiiiigh... Or worse yet, on another blog I read about how it is ALL YOUR FAULT, Mom, if your child is sexually abused in church because of some verse in Deuteronomy. And um, the verse means that you have to keep your kid with you at all times until she is married. If anything bad happens, you are 100% responsible (not the abuser; you've just placed "temptation" in his way with that hot 7-year-old of yours and her wily ways... *barf*) because you did not tomato-stake her properly.
I'm not going to link to the extreme stuff because it's so brainless and authoritarian that any good Christian should resist it. (Really. Read Galatians sometime. It's ok to think for yourself and figure out what the Pharisees don't want you to know about grace. And I am beginning to suspect that some legalism is a cover for very sinful behaviour; that of CONTROLLING OTHER PEOPLE, whether what they're advocating is right or not.
And MOST Christians don't buy it; they really don't. Please don't confuse "I agree with you that families are important" with "I agree that parents should be able to swat their kids with paddles until they bruise and gay people should be burnt at the stake." There's kind of a jump in logic that the simple questions of, "Do you support traditional marriage?" and "Do you think gay marriage is ok?" are not going to tease out... a jump in logic that differentiates most Christians from people like Fred Phelps.
Though maybe that is NOT a jump in logic if you find gay sex to be an absolute right akin to beating your kid senseless with a paddle. (!!??) Nothing really makes sense to me... no one's viewpoint really seems to be consistent on everything, including my own. That line between freedom and responsibility to others can be very tricky to draw indeed.
I tell you, the world is a topsy-turvy place sometimes. Sometimes, the people we think are evil don't turn out to be *wholly* evil... and the people we think are our allies? Well, you need to look out for them because you just never know, friend, what tomorrow may bring.
I am ready for the NEA to do something right. I'm ready for it to earn my admiration and respect, even. I'm going to try to keep an open mind on things.
But even as I tried to contact my congressman about this issue, I couldn't categorize it properly under "Civil Rights." The fellow had NO "Civil Rights" button, but there were about fourteen different words for "abortion" (pro-life, abortion, etc.) and tea party protest/ tax helps. I hope that doesn't mean that civil rights aren't important to him and that he wants five times as many comments about tax reform than education. Just an oversight? Will he listen?
I have a lot of questions about everything.