Posts Tagged ‘school’

San Francisco History — The Project

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Sara in her pride shirt and mouse earsA few weeks ago, my daughter came home with a list of topics and an assignment to do some sort of project about something related to San Francisco history.  She had been instructed to pick one that her parents knew about so she could get help with it.  I scanned the list of possible subjects and spotted The Gay Rights Movement.  That was a no-brainer.  I grew up in San Francisco and remember the assassination of Harvey Milk as if it were yesterday.  I spent a lot of time — for a straight kid with straight parents — in the Castro because it was close to where I had rehearsals and not too far from the Opera House.  It was a neat place to hang out on the way home.  So, it seemed obvious which topic would be best.  After all, what do I know about cable cars?

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An End To Homework

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

One of the biggest parenting challenges, at least in our house, is homework.  Perhaps not so much in terms of having the kids learn and understand the material — although that can be a challenge too — but just getting kids to sit down, focus on their work, and get it done.  For us, this involves a lot of whining, wailing, and general gnashing of teeth.  And the kids don’t enjoy it either.  To make matters worse, my oldest will be entering 4th grade next year and the amount of homework sent home is reportedly kicked up a notch.  If we lived in Los Angeles, however, it wouldn’t be a problem anymore.

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Getting Kids to Stand Up

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Even one would be too many.  Sadly, there were a dozen in one month last September and thousands more attempted.  If those numbers were kids injured by a faulty toy, there would have been a nationwide recall by now.  If those were kids who got pregnant before they were teens, there would by television specials and public outcry.  What those numbers represent, however, is something far worse: teenagers committing or attempting suicide because of anti-LGBT bullying.  These are kids who either are gay or are perceived to be and who are so tormented and alone that death seems their only option.  Luckily, however, there are those working to put an end to this tragedy and some of those folks are kids themselves.

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Anti-Vax’ers Lose In California

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Remember the bit I posted a while back about autism causing whooping cough?  Some parents, afraid that vaccines caused autism despite plentiful evidence to the contrary and even outright debunking of the original “study” that first made the claim, have been deciding not to get their children immunized, including opting out of the whooping cough vaccine.  Not surprisingly, that resulted in an increase in the incidence of the disease.  That won’t be happening in California any more, however, thanks to a new law going into effect.

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Teacher Tapes Student To Desk; Gets Off Scotch Free

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

One would like to think that we’ve evolved beyond the use of corporal punishment in our public schools but it appears that’s not entirely true.  Even if teachers aren’t rapping on knuckles with wooden rulers, some are still using pain and humiliation in order to maintain order and instill discipline.  Not surprisingly, some parents take offense at this.

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Kids Banned From Playing In The Snow

Monday, December 6th, 2010

“I’m a trained risk assessor,” says one parent “and this is not a health and safety issue.”  That’s the point of view most parents would take, I think.  In fact, some pay a lot of money just so their kids can enjoy this activity.  But what is this situation that is so dangerous that some schools in Scotland are banning it?  Playing in the snow, of course, because snow is, well, wet and cold.

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What Schools Must Have

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

As insane as it might seem, when times are tough, economically, it’s always education — the future of our society, our country, even our species — that seems to get cut first.  School nurses get laid off, along with librarians and counselors.  Art classes are pretty much gone, as are the band and orchestras of our youth.  There’s no money for after school activities and lunches are made off-site and trucked in like military MREs.  Now, however, a California court has ruled that there is one part of the school day that simply can’t be cut, regardless of how bad a fiscal crisis a school district is facing.

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Coming Together With Kids

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Yesterday, I took a long lunch and joined more than a million others Downtown for a parade honoring the San Francisco Giants baseball team that beat the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.  I wasn’t there alone, however; I, like many others, pulled my kids out of school to join the throngs of screaming fans.  Now, why would I, one who is known for dismissing team sports, choose such an event over my kids’ education, especially since I value learning and knowledge as much as I shun sports?

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Long Hair and Pre-School

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

It’s clear that a child cannot possibly learn, let alone be a good catholic, if their hair is too long.  I wouldn’t know, actually, being neither a good student nor a good catholic and, currently, having pretty long hair.  But it seems that the lesson St. Dominic’s Pre-School wants to teach 4-year-old Jack Szablewski is that proper grooming, according to their standards, is more important than, say, helping the sick.

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Talking To Kids — Does It Work?

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

It seems that radio stations play the “talk to your kids about drugs” ads almost as much as they do music these days.  Aside from the fact that they aren’t music, that’s not a bad thing.  After all, I don’t think anyone would argue that parents shouldn’t talk to their kids about drugs or that doing so would lead to increased abuse.  Mind you, it’s certainly not foolproof prevention, but it also certainly can’t hurt.  So why is it that parents don’t feel the same way about sex?

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