Taking Note of a Few Things: The Who is Really to Blame Edition

I recently saw a video of a Michigan teacher being struck in the head with a chair thrown by a student and knocked out. The teacher was trying to intervene between students arguing and once she was struck, students continued to fight while she lay motionless on the ground. The video was instantly used to point out all that is wrong with the school system in Michigan.

Videos like these are not a reflection of our failed school system nearly as much as they are a reflection of a culture that no longer expects adults to raise decent kids. Why are schools to blame for behaviors taught and reinforced in homes?

We’ve all seen grown adults act pretty much the same way in stores, restaurants, theaters, and even waiting rooms in doctors’ offices. Why are we blaming a failed school system when kids more or less act as they have seen modeled by their parents? Why do we turn on-campus police when they are called in and need to use force to take control of kids who clearly lack respect for anyone, much like their parents?

This is not a color issue. I have seen kids of every race and every socioeconomic background act in this manner and in almost every case, it can be linked to the attitude they learned from their parents. As I once said to a parent, “If kids are not the same today as when I was growing up it is because parents like you are not the same when it comes to raising them.”

Parents need to be bothered a lot more. This idea that they are too busy with their work to take time off for a conference is bullshit. So is the idea that a kid can’t be suspended because there isn’t a parent at home. You can also add in the concept that the kid is better off at school where he can be supervised. It is not the job of the public school system to raise the brats parents bring into the world. Bring in Child Protective Services if mom and dad won’t do their jobs.

Class sizes are not the issue nearly as much as poor parenting. I’ve had classes with over 40 kids in a room performing great and can still remember a small bunch of 15 who were absolute turds because there was no support at home.

Well-raised and respectful kids will make up for a bad teacher far more than a great teacher will make up for 35 students from horrible parenting.

Parents have a head start of five years before they hand their kids off to our schools. That’s over 1,800 days of programming they have been privy to before setting foot in a classroom. If your kid does not know how to address an adult, wait their turn, speak politely, and show concern for others, you probably have an asshole for a kid and it’s all your doing.

We can’t even blame our liberal legislature in California, or any other state, that goes to the extremes of making suspensions and disciplining students more challenging for schools. It becomes a moot point if parents are proactive instead of reactive to how they raise a child.

Your potty mouth becomes your kids’ potty mouth. Your abusive behavior becomes your kid’s abusive behavior. Your impatience becomes your kids’ impatience. Your insistence that your child can do no wrong makes them believe they can do no wrong. If you are a monster to others, expect to have a little monster of your own at home.

“My mother says…” Words that every teacher just loves to hear a student volunteer. Your kid has been brainwashed by you, mom, and/or dad that they know more than their teacher. You might as well pull him from the school system and give him that corporate job with the corner office they have been told they are entitled to.

“My dad says…” This is almost always followed up with being given permission to fight when bullied or just looked at in a way you are convinced is disrespectful. Go ahead and just send him off to your local prison where he is far more likely to end up than anywhere else in life.

Teachers may or may not be able to fix stupid. However, if the kid is well raised, he can be trained to perform to their maximum ability and contribute to society, which, in case you were not aware of, was the original purpose for our public school system. Responsible adults create responsible kids who grow into responsible adults. Rinse and repeat. It’s nothing fancy, but it goes a long way toward maintaining a decent nation.

If you want to see the end result of horrific parenting, look at the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Matt Gaetz. They are what we end up with as leaders when self-absorbed children who were never held accountable for their actions growing up get elected. Yes, and you can add anyone named Trump to that list. Sorry, but no amount of school prayer can fix them either.

The same type of student who fans the flames of violence and disrespect in school are much more apt to do the same when set loose in society. Maybe they loot, rape, embezzle, or overthrow. Whatever they do, you can bet it was instilled in them long before they attended school.

Fixing schools before fixing bad parenting makes about as much sense as putting new tires on a car that needs a new engine. If your child arrives at school in need of a 60,000-mile tune-up before they know their ABCs, everyone loses out. The kid loses. His classmates lose. The teachers, counselors, and administration lose. Why? Because mom and dad are losers.

If raising a child is not the most important thing in your life, do everyone a favor and don’t have kids. Get a vasectomy. Use birth control. Have your tubes tied. Just make damn sure the rest of us do not pay a stiff price for your inability or unwillingness to raise a child with kindness and respect for all people.

Always remember the 15% rule. One hundred percent of all rules, laws, and regulations are meant for the 15% who have no intention of following them. They are of no use unless the powers who can employ the consequences for failing to follow these rules do so. Fifteen percent of the general population is screwed up. However, it’s not always a static bunch. We all come up short from time to time, but the ones who point fingers, scream the loudest and make threats are the heads of society’s snakes you want to lop off. The rest of them are either a bunch of followers, do-gooders, or too apathetic to care.

It doesn’t help that we live in a nation that values underpaying its labor force more than it values quality parenting. It also doesn’t help having a prison system that is great at incarcerating and releasing prisoners but fails miserably at rehabilitation.

Dianne Feinstein’s passing was a sad ending to a long and successful career in politics. Yes, she hung around one term too long, but that should not take away from her 30 years in the Senate where she championed liberal causes while also pragmatically working with others across the aisle. This nation would be better served with leaders like her than jokes like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Living outside of San Francisco when she ascended to that city’s Mayorship after the assassinations of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, was a huge turning point for me in my life. Like many young men my age, I was conditioned to think of men as leaders up to that point. Dianne Feinstein brought instant calm while navigating the challenging male-dominated world of San Francisco politics and in the process convinced me that women were more than up to the task of serving as leaders.

She was also a primary reason I have tried to vote for the person more than the politician. To blindly vote along party lines only creates greater divisiveness in society. When you have seen how a candidate has handled leadership under the most difficult situations, that says more to me than whether he or she meets any other litmus test.

I have not yet seen the footage of Democrat Representative Jamaal Bowman to say for certain he deliberately pulled a fire alarm while Kevin McCarthy spoke to the chamber. However, I will say that in 30 years of teaching, no kid ever accidentally pulled a fire alarm. Again, more childishness from someone the people voted to represent them. Vote his ass out of office.

Governor Gavin Newsom signing into law a new minimum wage for fast food workers of $20.00 an hour has received a lot of blow back from people my age. However, I am not one. I would say most people my age, if they stopped to think about it, would agree paying a 17-year-old high school kid $20.00 an hour to make your burger is not much different than when we were paid $2.50 an hour in the 70’s. The big difference is good luck finding a 17-year-old who will do what is now all too commonly done by adults trying to hold down a second job to meet the family needs.

A perfect example of white hypocrisy is bitching about a person of color being paid twenty bucks an hour and demanding we keep them on the other side of our border while also raising their own brats to think they are too good to do that sort of work. Did it ever occur to these hypocrites that if they just cooked their own burgers at home, there would be no fast-food industry making white people rich off the sweat of people they hate?

Now that a shutdown was avoided, there is no cause for celebration. Congress turned a requirement of their job into another nail-biter all because they failed to conduct themselves in a civil manner and do their jobs. They’re no different than any middle school classroom. In fact, they are worse because they only end up serving to reinforce our youth that no one has to get along with anyone. The troubling part is the GOP is to blame for it all and they call themselves the party with family values.

I’m surprised they didn’t ask for an extension because their dog ate their spending bill.

It’s one thing to drag your feet and threaten a government shutdown this year, but does anyone believe the GOP will do this again in a year with national elections a month away? This was more about a select few members of the far right busting the balls of Kevin McCarthy than anything else. As usual, it had nothing to do with what is in the best interest of the nation.

We got to watch Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz go toe-to-toe over who will lead the GOP house. This was not going to be Ali vs. Frazier or even a decent schoolyard brawl. It was more like two turds fighting over who gets the flies.

Speaking of turds, how much lower does our society have to hit when I see an article on my news feed explaining to ADULTS how to wipe their butts? I thought kids were supposed to be toilet trained before they enter school. At what point do they forget how to take care of their business? Is it on their way to crushing calculus? Maybe they got overly focused on their science project and forgot how to wipe. Or perhaps they were too busy hoping to shut down the government to remember what to do in the bathroom.

What sort of training does it take to become known as an expert in wiping? Is it a growing industry and does it pay well or do people who do it for a living think their job stinks?

When I was in college, a band by the name of U2 began to get a lot of airplay and I felt an instant connection to their music. I was convinced they were going to become the biggest band in the world, and in less than a decade, they would be. However, now that they are in the midst of a 25-night residency in Las Vegas, I am reminded they have gone where all my dad’s favorite artists went as they headed toward irrelevancy. Maybe I am just old, but I much prefer seeing artists performing live without all the distractions of light or video shows going on.

When I moved to Chico, California in 1979, it was to attend college. Besides a great education, I received a lifetime of wonderful memories. I am beginning to think maybe it is time I returned there after the events of this year have turned my life upside down. When you are 21 years old, you have a lifetime to fix the mistakes you make. Now that I am 65, I am not even sure what it is I seek which makes any move all the more frightening.