October 2007


Today is my 16th birthday.

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If I lived in another country I might be working full time or married. I am glad I live here and only need to worry about finishing the 10th grade and spending time with my friends and trying to keep this country from becoming a fascist dictatorship. Back to politics tomorrow. For now, fun fun fun!!!!

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bumblebee puppy

cowboy dog

dino2.jpg   ipod dog (more…)

Kwgrlup sent me these. Not sure which one I like best.

firedog firepup

Hawaiian dog

piglet and pooh pups

(more…)

These kids care about their health and the health of all their classmates. They protested, got suspended, got press, and MADE A DIFFERENCE! Now their school will be cleaned and even the other schools in their district. Good for them! (The part about their protest is at the end of the article in bold.)

Entire school system to be scrubbed after superbug case

PIKEVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — An eastern Kentucky school district with one confirmed case of antibiotic-resistant staph infection plans to shut down all 23 of its schools Monday, affecting about 10,300 students, to disinfect the facilities.

 

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Workers clean a classroom in Chicago, Illinois. Staph infections have spread recently through several schools.

The project will involve disinfecting classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, hallways, locker rooms, buses and even external areas such as playgrounds and sports fields, said Roger Wagner, superintendent of Pike County schools.

“We’re not closing schools because there’s been a large number of breakouts, but as a preventive measure,” Wagner said.

One Pike County student was diagnosed with in September with MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The bacterial strain can be treated with other antibiotics, but without treatment it can be deadly.

The bacteria was blamed for the death of a 17-year-old Virginia high school senior and a 12-year-old New York City middle school student this month.

At least seven students on New York’s Long Island were recently diagnosed with MRSA, as were 10 members of an athletic team at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.

However, a government report has estimated it may sicken more than 90,000 Americans each year.

Two weeks ago, students staged a sit-in at the lunch room of Pike Central High School in effort to get school officials to clean the school as protection against the bacteria.

Most abandoned the sit-in after Principal David Rowe threatened them with a three-day suspension, but 33 stayed and were given the choice of one day of in-school suspension or two days out-of-school suspension.

Three chose out-of-school suspension.

I liked the movie Spy Kids when it first came out, and parts of the second movie were filmed near where I live. Never saw the third one. I know some middle school kids that want to be spies when they grow up, and Valerie Plame seems pretty cool. But ……

Should kids be spies NOW when they are kids? Here in America?

In the book 1984, the adults are afraid that their kids will rat them out, and some kids really did that in Germany during World War II. But it is NOT part of what the United States is about

The NSA has a website where they’re teaching kids how to spy. Learning codes seems fun and the brain teasers are cool, but the section called “How can I work for the NSA?” seems a little extreme for kids that like websites made of “crypto-cat” and other cartoon rabbits and puppies.

This case is just wrong. Kids should be able to choose their books at school and at the library. The parents and the administrators here are in the wrong. Let the kids read, especially if it’s a book that has won awards and can teach things and not just a book that is violent for no reason.

Teacher put on leave after book complaint

By ANGELA K. BROWN

TUSCOLA
— A popular English teacher has been placed on paid leave — and faces possible criminal charges — after a student’s parents complained to police that a ninth-grade class reading list contained a book about a murderer who has sex with his victims’ bodies.

Kaleb Tierce, 25, is being investigated for allegedly distributing harmful material to a minor after the student selected Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy’s Child of God off the list and read it.

Tierce, a third-year teacher and assistant football coach at Jim Ned High School, has not been arrested, but his case has caused an uproar in this West Texas town of 700 people. Last week, more than 120 parents and students crowded into a meeting where the school board voted to keep Tierce on paid leave.

Most parents say Tierce should be reinstated, regardless of whether the book is too graphic for teens.

“He’s a great teacher and coach and motivates the kids like no one else can,” said Chris Garcia, whose daughter was in one of Tierce’s classes. “If you’re trying to protect your kids from things in books, you may as well turn off the TV and video games. You try to protect them as much as you can, but these days kids are just exposed to so much.”

Tierce, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing, declined to comment when
asked by The Associated Press about the allegations.

Some students and athletes have worn armbands to school and football games
emblazoned with Tierce’s initials, hiding them under clothing. Others said teens were meeting secretly to decide how to help the teacher they believe did nothing wrong.

“He was the only one who understood us,” said Patrisha Ramirez, 15. “He would joke around. He would make English interesting, for once.”

In Tuscola, south of Abilene, Child of God was on a list of titles compiled by all the high school English teachers for a pre-Advanced Placement class.

Although administrators’ approval was not required for the list, school officials have since removed the book because they deemed it inappropriate for ninth-graders.

The book tells the story of a town’s outsider who is falsely accused of rape, then begins killing people. The character ends up living in a cave with his victims’
decomposing bodies. The 1974 novel “plumbs the depths of human degradation,” according to its back cover.

The parents of one ninth-grade student filed a police report on Oct. 1 with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office. Before contacting law enforcement officials, they complained to the teacher and principal, said district Superintendent Kent LeFevre, who declined to reveal their discussions.

The superintendent placed Tierce on administrative leave on Oct. 9.

Sheriff’s Sgt. John Cummins said the case will be turned over to the district attorney once the investigation is complete. Distributing harmful material to a minor is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Dear Mr. Friedberg,

When I was in middle school, I knew three girls who had babies before we graduated. One has had a second baby already. By the time we graduated in 8th grade, many of us were 14 and a few were already 15. Two of the kids I know turned 16 the summer after 8th grade. And a lot of people had been having oral sex. Some had been having intercourse.

Did you read this, which was also in the Huffington Post?

“One in eight youth are sexually experienced, having engaged in intercourse, oral sex or both before the age of 14,” the Journal of Adolescent Health reported in 2006. According to the Project Connect study, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

* “9 percent reported ever having sexual intercourse…and 8 percent ever had oral sex (active or receptive).”

* “Of those who reported intercourse, 36 percent were age 11 or younger at first sex, 27 percent were 12, 28 percent were 13, and 9 percent were 14 or older.”

* “Alarmingly, 43 percent of sexually experienced participants reported multiple sex partners.”

Here in Texas, most of our sex education at school is abstinence-only. They teach us about the existence of condoms and other birth control, but they don’t teach us how to use anything safely or where to get it. I don’t know how much birth control will make kids decide to have sex that didn’t have sex before, but I do know that it will make a lot of kids who are already having sex safer. And it will mean fewer abortions and fewer teen pregnancies and less AIDS and less STD’s. Which is more important?

—-Freckles

Malcolm Friedberg: Sex, Condoms in Schools

Eleven-year-olds shouldn’t be having sex.

A middle school in Maine is handing out condoms
. Middle school children are as young as 11 years old. Is it just me, or is 11 just a tad shy of an appropriate age for intercourse? I don’t think I had even made it to second base by then. In fact, I don’t even think most 11-year-old girls had a second base.

According to an op-ed in the New York Times Republicans in Congress are attempting to add $28M to the State Children’s Health Insurance bill that was vetoed by the president. The money goes specifically to teaching abstinence. The editorial states that studies show that abstinence doesn’t work, and abstinence programs teach false information.

Clearly, if kids are getting bad information, that issue needs to be addressed.

But the fundamental point remains: Isn’t handing out condoms encouraging 11-year-old kids to have sex?

In the Maine article, a supporter of the handing-out-condoms program states that society can’t rely on parents to protect their children. So, does that mean its now the State of Maine’s job to make decisions on the behalf of parents? And, even assuming Maine has the ability to make the “right” decision to protects kids (although I’m unsure how one could determine that), under what rationale is handing out condoms the best decision?

The government should not be the forum for imposing personal values, but aren’t there some lines we don’t want to cross?

Malcolm Friedberg is the author of Why We’ll Win, a set of books that explain the law behind hot-button social issues to laypeople.

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