"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 money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution." -- Indiana Constitution Article 1, Section 6.

"...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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

2022 Medley #1 - School Shootings, Religion, Lead, Pedophelia

School shootings, Religion in schools,
Lead poisoning our students, Attacks on teachers

Lots of stuff below, some of it is old news...forgive me, I'm still catching up.


More kids were killed in the latest school shooting. No surprise. The Onion posted it's repeating story just a few days after the last posting...

No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed at least 21 individuals and injured several others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Tuesday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them..."
The argument is that criminals will get guns and use them illegally, so why pass gun-control laws. They won't work anyway.

Someone might respond, why have laws against abortion? Pregnant people will ignore the laws and find ways to get abortions anyway. The laws won't work.

Why have laws against drunk driving? Drunks will ignore the laws and drive while under the influence anyway. The laws won't work.

Already we hear calls for "good guys" to arm themselves...aka give teachers guns. Even though the latest shooter got past armed police officers.

Maybe we ought to study this phenomenon. Why does it happen so often in the USA? We should study gun violence. Nope...can't do that....
...the so-called "Dickey Amendment" effectively bars the national Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from studying firearm violence -- an epidemic the American Medical Association has since dubbed "a public health crisis."

If You Don’t Support Gun Control, You Support School Shootings
We’re told that gun control is useless because new laws will just be pieces of paper that criminals will ignore. However, by the same logic, why have any laws at all? Congress should just pack it in, the courts should close up. Criminals will do what they please.

We may never be able to stop all gun violence, but we can take steps to make it more unlikely. We can at least make it more difficult for people to die by firearm. And this doesn’t have to mean getting rid of all guns. Just regulate them.

According to the Pew Research Center, when you ask people about specific firearm regulations, the majority is in favor of most of them – both Republicans and Democrats.

We don’t want the mentally ill to be able to buy guns. We don’t want suspected terrorists to be able to purchase guns. We don’t want convicted criminals to be able to buy guns. We want mandatory background checks for private sales at gun shows.

Yet our lawmakers stand by helpless whenever these tragedies occur because they are at the mercy of their donors. The gun industry owns too many elected officials.


The Best Question During Today’s School Prayer Arguments Came From … Brett Kavanaugh?

Justice Kavanaugh (of all people) asks the question that underscores why church and state -- especially when it comes to public schools -- should be separated. The pressure to use religion in a coercive way is hard for certain religious groups and the pressure on students to "go with the crowd" is hard to resist.

Complete separation of church and state in America's public schools would prohibit "pray to play" pressure for student athletes. Kavanaugh is right...though we've yet to see who he sides with then the case is decided.
I guess the problem at the heart of it is you’re not going to know. The coach is probably not going to say anything like “The reason I’m starting you is that you knelt at the 50-yard line.” You’re never going to know. And that leads to the suspicions by parents—I think, I’m just playing out what the other side is saying here—the suspicion by parents that the reason Johnny’s starting and you’re not is [because] he was part of the prayer circle. I don’t think you can get around that. That’s a real thing out there. That’s going to be a real thing in situations like this. I don’t know how to deal with that, frankly.
Luckily, the Constitution already provides a way to deal with that. It’s called the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Enlarging The Already-Big Hole In the Wall

The recent leak threatening to repeal Roe v. Wade, from the US Supreme Court is proof that the decision about abortion is just one more way the High Court is breaking down the wall between church and state (and if you don't think that "separation of church and state" is one of the Founding Fathers' goals, then read this: Separation Of Church And State: The ‘So-Called’ Principle That Has Been Protecting Our Rights Since 1791).

Former Republican and current blogger, Sheila Kennedy, wrote about another case before SCOTUS. It pertains to a town in Maine where no public high schools exist. The state decided to fund private schools, including religious schools. Will the High Court allow this break in the Wall of Separation or will they force Maine to fund actual public schools as required by the state constitution?
Plaintiffs freely acknowledged that the curricula of these religious schools is divisive and discriminatory.
One of the schools at issue in the case, Temple Academy in Waterville, Maine, says it expects its teachers “to integrate biblical principles with their teaching in every subject” and teaches students “to spread the word of Christianity.” The other, Bangor Christian School, says it seeks to develop “within each student a Christian worldview and Christian philosophy of life.”

The two schools “candidly admit that they discriminate against homosexuals, individuals who are transgender and non-Christians,” Maine’s Supreme Court brief said.
Justice Elena Kagan wanted to know why taxpayers should fund “proudly discriminatory” schools. The answer, evidently, is that six judges on this Supreme Court believe that when discrimination is required by Christian theology, it is entitled to special deference.

Lead Poisoning: A Known Learning Loss Threat

What? You mean there's still lead in the water our students drink? 

Can we still blame our public schools for not being able to raise test scores of children who are poisoned with lead?

Lead poisoning poses a threat to children through the water they drink from lead solder/pipes, dust exposure involving old paint in homes, and living near land contaminated by old mining and smelter plants. Here’s a more complete list of objects with lead.

Often the lead problem is ignored. After the Flint water catastrophe, Republican Governor Rick Snyder discussed reading problems. From Detroit Free Press reporter Rochelle Riley:
One of the important metrics in someone’s life on the River of Opportunity is the ability to be proficient-reading by third grade,” he [Gov. Snyder] said in January 2015. “How have we done? We were at 63% in 2010, and we are at 70% today. … But 70% doesn’t cut it.”

Snyder and his administration didn’t cut it either, apparently ignoring the reading mission the same way they ignored the Flint water crisis: Third-grade reading proficiency in Flint, where Snyder allowed the water — and children — to be poisoned by lead, dropped from 41.8% in 2014 to 10.7% last year.

That’s a nearly three-quarters drop.


And finally, this is what we're up against. Here is a person who literally accuses all teachers of being "inclined" towards pedophelia...and the danger is even greater if one is a male teacher. Does he offer any proof that this is true? any statistical evidence that teachers sexually abuse children more than the general public? more than the Catholic Church?

It's no wonder that teachers are heading for the exits.


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