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05/13/2010
IconReuters' Julie Steenhuysen wrote a news essay recently which was a real shocker.' She quoted Janis Wolak of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham: A lot of the characterizations that you see in Internet safety information suggest that sex offenders are targeting very young children and using violence and deception against their victims.... Especially since social networking sites became popular, people are suggesting that these offenders are using information to stalk and abduct their victims.' We are not seeing those types of cases.' The great majority of cases we have seen involved young teenagers, mostly 13, 14, 15 year old girls who are targeted by adults on the Internet who are straightforward about being interested in sex. From the perspective of the victim, these are romances. Among the study's other findings:* Internet offenders pretended to be teenagers in only 5% of the crimes studied.* Nearly 75% of victims who met offenders did so more than once.* Youths at risk have "buddy lists" including strangers, and they discuss sex online with strangers.* Boys who are gay or questioning their sexuality are more susceptible to Internet-initiated sex crimes than other populations, resulting in 15% of criminal cases.Other than religious institutions, there is virtually nothing in our society that elevates sexuality to a spiritual status.' This is the result of a society which takes kids out of school (without parental notification) for abortions; which has peer sex classes showing how to put condoms on bananas; which has "sex fairs" at major colleges and universities; which has porn as mainstream, primetime television and advertising; which has practically naked models in store windows for Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret; which has families repeatedly torn apart by busy, "two parent career" homes, divorce, re-marriage, shack-ups, and other adult misbehaviors that emotionally devastate children who look elsewhere for love and comfort.'What is normalized is yearned for by children who want to be "adults." More >>

Tags: Budget, Economy, Family/Relationships - Teens, Internet-Media, Internet/Media, Sex, Social Networking, Teens
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05/13/2010
IconLast Thursday, I posted a blog about "passing the trash," a practice known within the educational system in which teachers who've allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with a student resign and leave their school districts in exchange for confidentiality about their behavior.' I received many comments about that story, but this is one I want to share with you.' I've kept the writer's name confidential: Dr. Laura, as a former administrator of a small school district, let me tell you who the real villains are in these cases.' No school administration will admit it, but it's the teacher's union.' It's like going up against the mob, to come against one of their members.' And they don't care if their member is guilty or not.' They will use every tactic in the book to intimidate you into dropping your complaint.' Any time an administration tries to discipline teachers or even look into a complaint, the union is there fighting the administration.' They file lawsuits and nit pick at your procedures.' The teachers have free counsel and unlimited representation, covered by their dues.' Just to inquire into a complaint, the school [incurs] a great deal of cost, precious money that has to be taken from some other program or someone else's pocket. These types of complaints are the duty of the school board, and school boards are made up of volunteers - they don't get paid, but they can get sued, and must defend themselves with their own money.' It is a fight to correct an untenured teacher, and in fact, there is no way to fire or discipline a tenured one. We had a horrid teacher (and many complaints), and we tried everything under the sun to get him away from kids.' He had his ego stroked by being mean to kids.' We tried to pay him off and offer him early retirement, but he wouldn't go.' We were a small district with limited funds.' Eventually, the school had to close, and the man finally lost his job.' And no one around would hire him.' Our teacher was not a molester, but he was a "demeaner" - he enjoyed insulting kids. Although I do not agree with what these schools have done, I am not surprised.' If you have no proof that would hold up in court and kids who don't want to officially testify, but you know in your heart that this person has done these things, the teacher's union will spread [the word] that your school district is being very unfair to the teachers, and...will turn the hearing into a circus.' As parents and board members, you will do whatever it takes to get them out of your school - and hopefully, away from kids. More >>

Tags: Education, Family/Relationships - Children, Parenting, School
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05/13/2010
IconThe Boston Herald (February 25) reported that, in 2007, a record number of newborn babies were given up by their parents (in reality, probably just the mother) under Massachusetts' Baby Safe Haven program.The law came to pass after state Representative Barry R. Finegold (D-Andover) proposed the bill, which would allow a parent to legally surrender a baby, aged 7 days or less, at a hospital, police station, or manned fire station without facing criminal prosecution.' In other words, under certain conditions, Massachusetts legalized child abandonment.Honestly, I cannot understand the critics of this law.' They argue that the law creates an "easy out" for reluctant mothers.' Darn straight!' The fact is that these girls and women didn't legally kill the baby in their bodies, nor did they abandon them in a dumpster or toilet.' They knew that they couldn't raise a child and had an option which contributed to the well-being of that child and the adoptive family.Another criticism is that this strips children of their heritage.' Are you kidding? Since when does one's place on a genetic family tree trump a loving home environment?' They also say that this law promotes irresponsibility.' What?? What is more responsible than giving a child over to people who will arrange for the child to be loved and nurtured, when they know they cannot?The Department of Social Services, which oversees the Safe Haven program reports that the Baby Safe Haven hotline has helped thirty women to get into a parenting or adoption plan.' They also said that "parents give up their babies for various reasons, including post-partum psychosis, emotional immaturity, and social isolation."' Whatever the reasons, the woman is still making a conscious choice to "save" her baby from her own emotional and social problems.' I say these women are heroes. More >>

Tags: Children, Parenting
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05/13/2010
IconOnce Mom and Dad have covered the $45,000 for room, board and tuition at Yale University, the students get to compete free to win a porn-star "look-alike" contest as part of the school's "Sex Week," which also includes learning and using various sex toy gadgets and tips on making your dorm room a college love pad.The rationale, as we've often heard before, is that they're probably gonna "do it" anyway, and this way, they'll have information on how to do it properly.' You mean there's a "proper" way to hook up?' Oh, yeah, use a condom for your genitals.' But what do you do for your soul and psyche' after mis using your sexuality so frivolously?Let's hear it for the reputation of "Yalies" who come to school to become leaders. There are those at Yale who are not so amused: "Call me a curmudgeon, but I find that my daily ritual of waking up with a cup of coffee, a cigarette, and a copy of the Yale Daily News is a little less pleasant when a smiling freshman holding a" [sexual aid'too graphic to mention] "is staring back at me from the front page..." -- Blogger Will Wilson wrote on the Yale Free Press blog. ( FoxNews.com, 2/15/08 ).Seems that Yale is just trying to keep up with the other "party" schools. More >>

Tags: Education, Sex, Sexuality
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05/13/2010
Icon"The family is one of nature's masterpieces." -- George Santayana, The Life of Reason More >>

Tags: Education, Family/Relationships - Family, Marriage, Quote of the Week, Relationships, Relatives
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05/13/2010
IconBrace yourselves for this one: The Oregonian on February 18 exposed a demonic deal made in 2004 between the Salem-Keizer Public Schools and a teacher.' Here's the deal:' if the teacher resigned, they would conceal his alleged conduct (touching and grabbing butts) from the public.' Moreover, they promised not to reveal the teacher's behavior if potential employers called looking for a reference.' They would attribute his departure to personal reasons and make no reference to the agreement. The Oregonian confirmed 47 similar confidential settlement agreements. "During the past five years, nearly half of Oregon teachers disciplined for sexual misconduct with a child left their school districts with confidential agreements.... Some promised cash settlements, health insurance, and letters of recommendation as incentives for a resignation. The practice is so widespread, school officials across the country call it 'passing the trash.'" I think school systems around the country should be examined to ensure this "trash passing" isn't happening in your area.' Also, every parent has a moral obligation to every other parent and child to report such abuse to the police - in spite of embarrassment - so that these worms will be forced above ground.' And by "worms," I don't just mean the molesters.' I mean the administrations that would clean up their yards by dumping trash in another's yard and put unsuspecting children at risk.Disgusting. More >>

Tags: Children, Education, Family/Relationships - Children, Parenting, School
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05/13/2010
IconScathing criticism of the lack of maternity care insurance for women in the United States recently appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer : "Barely two months into her pregnancy, an ultrasound triggered some alarming' news for Meagan Armington.' The fetus, thankfully, was fine, but Armington's health insurance was not.' To Armington's dismay, the policy she bought from Aetna about three years ago did not provide maternity coverage, forcing the 31 year old single-mom-to-be to pay for the prenatal visits out of pocket.' Due to give birth in April, Armington faces labor and delivery costs of at least $7,500." I know a lot of folks don't want reality to interfere with their completely unfettered personal activities, but the main point of this article should have been that she's not married - and not that the insurance companies are bad guys.' The sure-fire method for avoiding financial issues during pregnancy and child-rearing is a marriage.' She bought the insurance for her single lifestyle.' At thirty-one, you'd think she'd know about birth control, adoption, or marriage.' Instead, we have the same nonsense that defends irresponsible behavior and looks for some institution to blame for not coming to the rescue.At best, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.' At worst, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense. More >>

Tags: Parenting, Social Issues, Values
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05/13/2010
IconOne mother in Huntington Beach, California went through ten lawyers until she found Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute ( pacificjustice.org , a non-profit that advocates for the rights of students and parents) to help her.' All the other attorneys suggested she was a "prude" and chastised her about not being up to speed with 2007.Her advocacy prompted the Huntington Beach Union High School District trustees to consider a proposal that would regulate movies in the classroom.' The proposal would require teachers to obtain parental permission before showing portions of R-rated movies.' The policy essentially discourages the use of R-rated movies in the classroom.' Evidently, the Huntington Beach district did not have a written policy.' How convenient.'Mr. Dacus is quoted in the Orange County Register of January 15, 2008 ( www.ocregister.com/news/movies-kazor-policy-1959439-teachers-school ) as saying: "The garbage they showed these children...was a very serious breach of parental trust." The mother said: "These teachers are supposed to be us when we're not there.' They're supposed to be role models.' I wanted the opportunity to have the permission sent to me in the form of a permission slip." Taking up classroom time showing a whole movie seems to me to be a lazy way to approach a teaching job.' Recommending a movie to students and then sending a memo home to the parents making that suggestion and explaining its value, seems a more responsible and professional means to what is supposed to be an "educational" aid. More >>

Tags: Education, Internet-Media, Internet/Media, Parenting, School
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05/13/2010
IconSince today is George Washington's actual birthday, I thought it appropriate to hear from him this week: Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected. -'George Washington More >>

Tags: Education, Family/Relationships - Family, Marriage, Quote of the Week, Relationships, Relatives
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05/13/2010
IconThe "Work and Family" section of The Wall Street Journal recently had an essay describing why some single women choose to freeze their eggs.' Mind you - the essay was about single women.Evidently, only 2-4% of frozen eggs once thawed yield live births.' Also, it's not yet clear whether babies born from such eggs will face any long-term health problems.' So it would seem that many women risk making important life decisions (like staying with a career long in life) based on false assumptions that their fertility is secure.The procedure (which ranges from about $9,000 to $14,000) has been used as a way to preserve fertility for cancer patients facing treatments likely to render them sterile.' This is a benevolent use of this budding technology.'However, most of the interest seems to come from women delaying marriage and child-bearing because they are ferociously career-oriented and/or can't find or keep a good man.' I would like to send them each a copy of my book, " The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands ," because it is cheaper and more to the point.These women want to "make a close family" (never mind that there would be no Daddy in this "close" family), or give their parents the "gift" of a grandchild (making a child a present).' Nowhere in the article did the notion of a single woman making a baby for herself point out that this may not be in the best interest of the child!' I guess that doesn't matter. More >>

Tags: Motherhood, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting
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