"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." -- John Adams
"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." – Thomas Jefferson
I went to pick up a group of first graders on Monday. As we walked out the door I noticed that Ryan, the shortest one of the bunch, had his shoulders hunched forward as if he was freezing cold. In his scrunched up fist was his t-shirt collar which was obviously soaking wet.
I said, "Ryan, are you ok?"
In his most dramatic voice he responded, "I can't help it. I chew on my shirt."
So I suggested that he let go of it...and let it dry.
To that he replied, shivering slightly, "I can't let go of it...if I do I will freeze myself up."
"Ryan," I said, "If you let go of it and it dries you will get warmer." He just shook his head.
Later on, in my classroom, I noticed that he was chewing on his shirt again...
On my way to school today, maybe I'll stop at a pet store and pick up a couple of "chew toys."
Read the Declaration of Independence From High Stakes Testing