It’s a time for Sir Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. It’s a time for formal dances and the robes of academia. For many, it signifies the end of childhood and the start of their adult life. Graduation from high school is no minor event and should be treated with the reverence it deserves. In Duncan, South Carolina, school officials and law enforcement are serious about making sure that’s the case.
Archive for May, 2011
Six years ago, if you wanted to show the video of your kid’s first day of preschool to your friends and family, chances are, you plugged your camcorder into the television set, fiddled with channels and inputs, and eventually got it working. If you had family far away or were just technologically inclined, you might have loaded the video onto your computer and burned a DVD to pop in the mail. Not so anymore. Today, everyone just uploads their videos to YouTube. This month, the service we all rely on turns six years old.
Kids like critters. Even the ones that say they don’t like them or who are scared of them are generally fascinated by them, if they can view them from an appropriate distance. So, of course, they make for great lessons — lessons the students won’t soon forget. After a day with non-human guests in the classroom, kids will rush home to breathlessly tell their parents that a lizard’s tail can grow back or that snakes lay eggs like a chicken. So why would anyone get upset about a lesson featuring geckos and clownfish?
It’s a good idea to regularly review what schools are teaching in their science classes and update the curriculum as new discoveries are made and old theories evolve. That’s going to happen in Texas but the problem is that they’re not so worried about science down there. Or, rather, they are worried about science and are doing their best to eliminate it from the public school curriculum. Creationists on the State Board of Education have been appointing other creationists to the review panels and selecting materials that attempt to make the idea of an intelligent creator (i.e., God) sound all science-y. Aside from the idiocy and blatant illegality of that, the problem for the rest of us is that, in large part, Texas determines the content of science books for the rest of the nation.
If you’re reading this, no doubt you’ve realized that the rapture, predicted by Harold Camping of the Family Radio Network to occur on May 21, 2011, came and went and you were left behind. Chances are, this also means your kids were not taken home to Jesus either and, almost certainly, they’ll notice Monday morning that some of their friends aren’t in class and won’t be ever again. This will likely result in some confusion for your children and, as is so often the case in times of tragedy, they will need your support, guidance, and wisdom to cope with their new situation.
I gather it’s not easy being gay in Tennessee. If you listen to country music, most of it seems to be about the value and nobility of small town life — hard labor, cheap beer, and church on Sunday. There’s not much room in there for difference, let alone anything not considered manly. It seems the rest of the state isn’t much different from Nashville’s music. The state senate has recently approved a bill that would prevent teachers from discussing anything related to homosexuality before the ninth grade.
About once a month, we let our kids buy the school lunch. It’s a welcome break for my wife who normally puts together their midday repast and there are a few menu items they really enjoy. More so than any other, their favorite meal is the chicken nuggets. They really look forward to that. Apparently, they’re not the only ones with a special fondness for school lunch nuggets; two men in Florida really, really like them as well.
How much responsibility does a restaurant have to ensure that healthy options are available for kids and families? At some restaurants, the only healthy item available might be a glass of water and that’s okay, if that’s the sort of establishment they want to be. How about, though, restaurants that try to be “family-friendly” and that offer a “kid’s meal”? Do they have any obligation to make healthy options available, at least as part of the kid’s meals?