Traveling With Toddlers


Traveling with your toddler can be difficult.  A mother and her 2 year old son were kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight from Amarillo, TX to San Jose, TX because her son was disruptive.  According to a Southwest Airline representative, the child was so disruptive passengers were unable to hear pre-flight instructions. The child repeated over and over, “Go Plane Go” and “I Want Daddy”.
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Is Your Child A Domestic Violence Victim?

Is your teen involved in an abusive relationship? Have you talked to your teen about domestic violence? I talked to my daughter during her teen years because I never wanted to make the assumption that she would never allow herself to be abused.

Violence among our youth is real. They’re violent on the streets, in the schools, and in their relationships. An article caught my eye several days ago, which validates this fact. Rhode Island is requiring public middle and high schools to add dating violence as a part of their health class.

The Lindsay Ann Burke Act, pictured, is behind this mandate. Lindsay Burke was 23 when she was killed at the hands of her abusive boyfriend. He cut her throat and left her to die. Her mother stated that she saw trouble in her daughter’s relationship. Her boyfriend was very controlling. Unfortunately, many women young and old don’t recognize they are being abused. Lindsay’s mother stated that education in the school would have helped her daughter recognize that her relationship was dangerous. Schools teach students to not do drugs, drink or have unprotected sex; however, domestic violence is not taught. Reading this article reminded me of my daughter’s teenage dating years. She had been visiting her boyfriend whom I disliked, but I couldn’t figure out why. There was something about him that unnerved me. I had mentioned this fact to my daughter again and again. She thought that I was being an over protective mother and no one would ever be good enough for her at least by my standards.

We were having one of our mother daughter talks one night, and she stated that she was asked by her boyfriend’s mother if he had ever hit her. I froze. I felt ill, dizzy as if I was having an out of body experience. Somehow I managed to repeat what she had said to ensure that I had heard her correctly. I had. She had just validated my thoughts of him, I knew than my instincts about him were right. I explained to my daughter that she needed to end that relationship and end it immediately. No mother would ask that question of her son unless she knew that he was capable. I could see the wheels turning in her head. Mind you she was 16 at the time. I further explained that I had 7 brothers and my mother, her grandmother, would never ask that question about any of her 7 sons. Something was wrong! I prayed that she would end the relationship. I continued to ask questions and remain as close to the situation as I could without pushing her away from me. I talked about books that I had read about abusive relationships. Two came to mind, The Burning Bed and Shattered Dreams. At that time there was no internet access, so my knowledge of domestic violence was limited and so were domestic violence resources. I had previously confided in a friend about my feelings toward my daughter’s boyfriend. She too believed that I was over reacting. On the surface he was well mannered, a high school track and basket ball star, and handsome. He was a teenage girl’s dream. After I discussed my conversation with my daughter with my friend, only than did she take my instincts seriously. Ladies please don’t assume that your daughters will remove themselves from abusive situations. If you have teen daughters, educate yourself and if you see signs help them take action. Abuse knows no limits. Thankfully my daughter left for college, out of state, shortly thereafter and the relationship faded. She is now married to a wonderful young man who adores her. Lindsey Burke was not as fortunate. I believe teaching domestic violence in our schools is a great idea. Let me know your thoughts.

School Sued For Ignoring Bullies

Image-Bullies

 

This post is a follow-up of my July 23, 2006 post Don’t Bully My Child. Casey County High School in Kentucky is being sued because administrators and teachers failed to take the appropriate action to protect five students on school grounds from bullies. In my previous post, I stated that parents should meet with school officials, and ensure that their child is safe while they’re on school property. Here’s a story of the parents and students taking the appropriate action and receiving nothing in return.

Rachel Weddle has a bald spot from when a bully pulled her hair and punched her in the face at school. Bethany Buis received letters with death threats and eventually transferred schools. Lacy Griffith skipped her high school graduation fearing harassment. Charissa Gosser was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, which involves feelings of depression or anxiety. Nikki Rayborn spent most of her time at school trying to avoid bullies. These are the five students that are suing for unspecified damages.

The suit states that school administrators told the girls and their parents on several occasions that nothing could be done by the school to stop bullying. One student was told to “ride it out.” The vice principal told one student that she needed to “toughen up. ” The lawsuit also stated that a teacher witnessed a physically aggressive act against one of the girls, and responded, “Whew, she’s mad at you.” One student stated that the vice principal told her that she “got more trouble than most girls” because she was pretty. ”

How can students get an education when they spend the day avoiding bullies, defending themselves, or reporting the harassment and hearing administrators tell them that they can’t protect them? I believe that it’s unfair for a child to miss their high school graduation, one of the most important and memorable days of their life, because they’re afraid of being bullied. I also believe that it is unfair for a student who is being harassed to have to transfer to another high school to avoid the harassment. Why not transfer the bully? I find it hard to believe that school administrators haven’t received training to handle school bullies. Personally, I won’t spend a lot of time, energy, or money on school bullies. Call the parents into the school, turn the problem children over to the parents, and remove them from the system until they learn self-respect, self-control, self-esteem, and learn to respect their school and fellow students. I believe the problem starts at home, and that’s where it needs to be worked on and corrected.

Did these school administrators fail these students and parents? If school administrators don’t know how to handle bullying, they can use State Senate Bill 1621 co-written by 15 year old Caitlyn Nolan in Tenneesee as an example. Nolan was bullied in middle school for years by the same person. She said she lived in constant fear. Administrators say Nolan was a prime target because she was an overachiever, president of the school council and an honor student. I thought these were traits that all parents and administators wanted to see in students, but bullies despise these type of students. Caitlyn said, “When she was pushed face first into her locker, she decided to take action.” She lobbied for guidance on how to deal with bullies in her school district. Her bill goes into effect just in time for the new school year. Caitlyn hopes the bill “shines a light on the problem that students are facing.” Congratulations Caitlyn for stepping up and taking action!