Archive for the ‘life lessons, paternity fraud, bad teachers, teachers inappropriately involved with students, child support, prescription drug addiction, women in prison, blended families, freedom of speech’ Category

Although not one of them would admit it, and you’re to self-absorbed to realize it, you don’t know your own children. You may have carried them inside you and gave birth to them, but you don’t truly know them. You know the version of them that they MUST show you. The mask they must wear to receive your love and approval.

It started long ago. It’s gone on as long as I’ve been in the picture. Most likely from their births. The stories you made up, the responsibilities and lies you laid on them. Early on in my relationship with them it was evident they craved motherly love and attention. I didn’t set out to “steal your kids” or usurp your position in any way. If you were truly bonded to them, how could I? How could anyone?

Their love for me threatened you. It shouldn’t have. But you are weak. You are insecure. You hadn’t really “mothered” them much at that point, had you? Their Daddy was the one who took care of them. Even after your divorce, he was the one to stay home with them when they were sick, to feed them, clothe them. True to form, then as now, you were all about show. What people saw of you isn’t what went on behind closed doors. The kids watched all this. They took it all in. When they found safe haven at my home and in my arms, you couldn’t cope. You took it as a personal blow.

They would beg to stay with me even before I married their Daddy. We had so much fun on our adventures. Hiking, cooking, picking apples, playing with my dogs. It was safe at my house. No strange men coming in and out. No high school boys hanging around. No yelling. No having to fend for themselves. No drama. They got to see a Mom in action as I mothered my own children. They obviously liked what they experienced.

The oldest child loved my son. He was fascinated by the fact that he didn’t speak. He loved to play computer games with me. In elementary school he asked me often to visit his classroom. Once I gave a talk there. His class wrote thank you notes. He wrote an extra special note. I treasure it. It was written from his heart before you were able to poison him.

The second child saw right away her Daddy’s love for me. She watched me carefully. I loved that about her! She was shy. Her self esteem virtually nonexistent. I did my best to build her up and make her aware of her own unique talents and beauty. She and I had a secret code we would use to make puzzles out of our notes back and forth. She would make art for me.

The third child tried so hard to be happy and carefree but underneath she was angry and insecure. She would cling to me. Almost every night I would hold her and rock her in my rocking chair as she sucked her thumb. She loved to play games. I gave her a nickname that she was so proud of! I have a little wooden strawberry she gave me that says “I love you” when you open it. It will be mine forever.

The youngest child was always so quiet. He was only three when I met him. He wanted to be pretty much anywhere I was. A few months after I met him he asked me if I would marry him so he could be with me forever. I have the little ring he gave me to wear even though I told him I couldn’t marry him because his Daddy was my boyfriend. We would write stories and draw pictures to match. He was an artist, a creator. You took that out of him, didn’t you? Instead of being allowed to follow his own interests, he had to participate in whatever the dude you were “dating” at the time was doing. Pathetic.

They were happy. They were safe and secure. They loved the family rituals we had…”special plate” each night at family dinner, family game night, date night one on one with each child. They will remember these things. They will also remember the lies you told and the chaos you exposed them to on a regular basis. They will understand that they weren’t “stolen” but that your own actions caused you to be proven unfit and to lose custody. They will understand that was when the war began. Maybe, just maybe, they will realize that if nothing else, you had to step up and at least attempt to be a decent mother to them. The best you could be, anyway. Their Dad had a moral obligation to take them from you and keep them safe which is what he did. I supported him and loved him all the more for it.

Another Mother’s Day as rolled around. Lot’s of praise for you on Facebook as usual. “World’s Greatest Mom!” It’s funny, infuriating, and sad, all at the same time. All of the water that has gone under the bridge and they still can’t be honest with you. They fear your temper tantrums. They shudder at the thought of your disapproval. It’s just easier to lie and make you feel important. No, you don’t know your own children. You never will.

Enjoy your accolades whilst they last Momma. Sooner to later, all of the hate, the lies, the hurt, you have spewed out over the years will make it’s way back to you. Deservedly.

Symptoms of Parental Alienation

Parents Acting Badly (Book)

Helping Adult Children of PAS

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Today marks seventeen years since my husband first asked me to meet him for coffee. Seventeen wonderful, love-filled, fantastic, fun-having, wildly sexy, adventurous, glorious years! Yes, REALLY, all that and MORE!

I had no idea that my life would take the many turns it has since that day. So many paths that at the time I had no idea even existed. Through it all, my husband and I walked hand in hand together. On the darkest of days, he knew I had his back and I always knew he had mine. When we tell people we have been to hell and back many times, we mean it sincerely. We have grown closer together. We are best friends, lovers, and partners in all things. For that, above all else, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s to strong coffee and snickerdoodles!

It has been well over a year since my last post on this blog.  It’s been a busy year.  Lot’s of exciting happenings in our lives.  The time has passed quickly.  I have filled my days with many wonderful experiences, friends and family, even grand adventures, yet I have continued to neglect that which constantly calls to me.  My writing.  I aim to remedy this.

There is someone new in my life.  A mentor of sorts if I am to give her a label.  We are in the early stages of our getting to know each other.  She’s asks lots of questions.  Interesting questions that make me think.  Sometimes, most of the time, I can give her an immediate answer.  Other times, I am left to ponder her inquiry for the rest of the day.  This is fascinating to me.  I know myself fairly well and yet she is gently pressing me to know myself better.  I suppose this is a good thing.  That’s what we’re here for  right?  To peel back the onion.  To learn.  To grow.

Today when my mentor and I met, the topic she most wanted to discuss was my writing.  Or rather my lack of writing.  Today she has given me much to think about.  There are some corrections I need to make in my priorities.  I need to make time to share the things I have experienced in my life; the challenges and pains that have been faced.  These posts (and any articles I write on these topics) spring from real people, events and circumstances in my life.  It is healing for me to write it all out.  And, maybe in the process it helps educate people, effecting change, which hopefully helps others through their struggles.

I’m gonna dust myself off and get busy writing!  There’s so much to tell!

Tell your stories

From time to time, when I really get to thinking about all that has happened with the school district as it relates to my husband’s ex, my mind wanders to the “mandatory reporters.”  Where are these people?  Who are they required to report to?  Why have they gotten away with NOT reporting?  So many questions, so few answers.

When my daughter was in high school, what caused her so much grief was that SHE was reporting a teacher who was known to have sex with students.  She told the administration on many occasions.  She told the Superintendent straight to her face about this teacher.  She sat with my attorney as I stood in front of the district Board of Education and not only told them, but we provided documentation from this teacher’s own testimony in family court about her relationship with one young man.  In the end, my daughter was the one punished.  Ostracized.  Alone.

The man who was the principal at that time has since retired.  He knew.  He had been this teacher’s principal when she was in high school.  They had been friends for many years.  His wife, also a teacher at this same high school – both when the ex was in high school and at the school my daughter attended where the ex was (and still is) a teacher – was also a close friend.  Can one honestly be expected to believe that neither of them knew about this woman’s history with students?  Especially with as much time as they spent together both in and out of the school setting.  Impossible.  Regardless, they were both mandatory reporters.

What about this teacher’s sister?  Once again, also a teacher at this same high school.  For many years their classrooms were right next to each other.  Is it possible that this sister was unaware of her sisters sexual habits with students?  Possibly.  But I find that unlikely.  The teacher and the student would often make trips to the home town of these sisters, visiting a family member, to spend together and avoid being seen in this area.  This sister is also the woman who called my husband the day after he got the test results that the third child wasn’t his and tried to shame him for uncovering that truth.  She is still a teacher at the high school and she is and always has been required to report suspected abuse.

Years ago, when my husband was first told about the rumors of the ex having sex with some of the football boys, he went to the administration of that small school.  Once again, mandatory reporters.

So what I wonder about often is exactly WHO is it these mandatory reporters are supposed to report suspected abuse to?  What happens to them if they don’t?  Clearly the list of people who stood by, knew this was going on – or strongly suspected it – and did nothing.  Actually, that’s not true.  What they did was allow countless students to be sexually and emotionally abused.  They promoted the exploitation of countless students by keeping quiet.  They are guilty of professional misconduct too.  But what happens to them?  In the case of the former principal and his wife, both are now retired.  Drawing a pension from teaching.  Personally, I don’t care how many years they taught, I don’t believe any of them should get one red cent of that State retirement.  They shirked their responsibilities to the students, their parents, the tax payers.

And what of the teacher who has sex with students?  What will the school district and the state board of education say when it is made known that the father of one of her children was a student of hers at the time of conception?  In this state, she cannot be prosecuted as the boys are all now over the age of 21 and the statute of limitations has expired.  Will she have her teaching license revoked?  Or will they try to quietly urge her to move to another district?  They did this before (she actually called my husband and told him that!) but she wasn’t smart enough to go. Maybe they will put another note in her personnel file that says she is not allowed to be around male students outside of the school setting?  (yes, she told my husband about this too and it was even discussed in family court.)  What is their liability in all of this?  What I really want to know is how do they live with themselves?

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

Do you know anyone in prison?  I mean, do you actually KNOW anyone in prison?  Up until the time my daughter went to prison I did not know anyone in prison.  Never had a face to put on the mental image I had of an inmate on the very rare occasion I did give thought to someone being in prison.  I never gave much thought to the people in prison.

Furthermore, I never gave much thought to what prison was actually like, although I was certain it wasn’t TOO horrible.  I had in my mind the idea that there was constant supervision, that the environment would be monitored throughly and controlled.  Perhaps I even believed some of the ignorant emails that float around and tout prisoners getting three free meals a day, being able to hang out and watch TV, spend their time getting a college degree and working out at the prison gym.  Much like the majority of the political emails I get, whoever wrote them doesn’t have a clue about the reality.  It has been my experience that you may think you feel one way about a situation, but when that situation becomes personal and effects you or someone you love, your opinion is likely to change.  Suddenly, you develop an understanding that you couldn’t have had without the experience.  You grow.

When my daughter was first sent to prison she went to a maximum security facility.  Not because she had done something so horrible as to deserve that, but simply because that is the only facility this state uses as the intake center for women.  It is a very scary place.  When you drive up you see the facility across a field.  Big.  Cold.  Surrounded by layers of fencing topped with rows and rows of razor wire.  There is razor wire in the fields should anyone possibly make it over the fences or through the doors.

When a woman arrives at the prison, the first sixty days are spent on what they call “Hoe Squad.”  You get up early and walk out into the fields and do exactly as the name implies; you hoe.  Or you chop with a sickle.  The armed guards on horseback watch over you.  If you happen upon a field rat or snake you had better not run.  They warn you before you ever go out that it will be determined that you are trying to escape and you will be shot.  Rain or shine, out into the fields you go.  The only exception being very severe weather.  It’s not easy.  Then again, it’s not meant to be.

There is no privacy in prison.  You use the toilet and shower with other women.  They search you thoroughly in places I prefer to keep private.  My daughter tells me you grow used to it.  This would be a stretch for me.  Then again, if you have no choice, I guess you get used to a lot of things that are outside of your comfort zone.  After visitation the searches are especially invasive.  Unfortunately, many times this is when inmates receive contraband.  It is unbelievable to me but I understand that many times easier to to get drugs on the inside than on the street.

For the most part, the day is pretty structured.  Inmates have jobs in prison.  Depending on their classification (behavior/danger level) they are assigned to various areas.  Kitchen, laundry, legal library, field work, maintenance to name a few.  They are not paid.  If they have classes, they are in the classroom half the day and work the other half.  Classes can be focused on personal behavioral issues such as anger management, or parenting skills.  Or they can focus on helping the inmate learn a skill which will allow them to be released back into society with knowledge that will help them be employable.  For some of the women this is cosmetology or culinary skills.

Mail is precious when you’re in prison.  That connection to friends, family and the outside “free” world is often one of the few things to help stave off depression.  Prison is a scary place.  Even to visit.  Some of the women here are very dangerous.  Thinking about this is enough to make me cry.  My daughter is 5’4″ tall and weighs about 125 lbs.  There have been many instances that have caused us to fear for her safety.  As a mother, there is no way to not worry.  It is difficult to think of my baby girl inside those razor wire fences, in a cement block building.

Every Sunday I talk to my daughter.  Every Sunday a little piece of me grieves.  Every Sunday has a little crying time.  I wish you knew my daughter.  She is smart and funny.  She has a big heart and is always trying to help people.  Now that part of her is forever overshadowed by terrible decisions made while under the influence of legally obtained prescription medications.  It is heartbreaking.  It has been two years since she went away.  It is still so surreal.  How did this happen?  Why did this happen?  Is she going to be okay?  Why is she in jail over others who have done much, much worse?  These are questions I wrestle with constantly.  She has two more years to serve on her sentence.  Two more years of limited contact.  Prepaid phone calls.  Two more years of visiting under the watch of armed guards.  We drive down to see her when we can.  Two more years of praying night and day for her safety.  And more than anything, we pray for her healing.

Please take time to check out this website. Very helpful information.

http://www.shrink4men.com

A Shrink for Men

Company Overview
A support site for men in relationships with abusive women and the non-abusive family and friends who love them.

Mission
To educate and empower men who are being emotionally abused by their wives, girlfriends or boyfriends. To help people realize that love isn’t synonymous with control, shame, pain and guilt. To remind people that it’s never too late to break free of the trap of abuse and find happiness.

How is it decided who gets punished for which crimes?  This is a question often on my mind, based on several different instances I am aware of, but none more often than when considering the crime of fraud.  Why does it seem that so many cases of fraud go unpunished?

Fraud is defined to be “an intentional perversion of truth” or a “false misrepresentation of a matter of fact” which induces another person to “part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right.”  The synonyms are almost as descriptive as the definition: cheat, deceit, deception, swindle, fake, trickery, sham.

Fraud is a serious crime.  A felony in criminal courts, actionable in civil courts, in many cases a Federal offense.  It is rampant in our society, yet much of the time appears to go completely unpunished.  Why?  Shouldn’t someone be punished for “an intentional perversion of truth” especially when it costs another?

Paternity fraud is, in my opinion, one of the most despicable crimes there is today.  I have watched first-hand the damage it imparts.  Financially, mentally and emotionally.  Men are held hostage paying for children that are not biologically theirs; women are rewarded for their cheating, lying and continued deception.  And this is just on the surface.  The ramifications of this behavior runs deep.  Not only for the men and their families, but also for the children being raised in an environment with a woman who would do this.

In our case, we have been in court many times related to the children.  My husbands ex named all the children as biologically of the marriage in their divorce.  She collected child support for that child KNOWING it wasn’t my husbands.  When we had the DNA testing done, unbeknownst to us she told all four children on the day we had their cheeks swabbed that my husband wasn’t the biological father of one of them.  She defrauded the court by keeping all of this knowledge hidden when WE asked for a sealed order to protect this child.  The ex has used this sealed order as a weapon against my husband and myself since it entered into the file.  She KNEW she had already discussed this with all four children when this was written.  Is that not fraudulent?  Obviously, she does not want the biological father of this child identified because it confirms she committed a crime and although she cannot be criminally charged due to statute of limitations in this state, she would most likely lose her teaching license.  One would hope anyway.

When my husband and the ex were separated but not yet divorced she wanted a new car.  She had been driving a sedan, something appropriate for a woman with four small children.  Apparently sedans are not very attractive to teenage boys.  She went behind my husbands back and bought a Mitsubishi Eclipse.  We have a copy of the signed contract where it is obvious she forged his name.  This didn’t come to light until my husband and I were married and unfortunately by then too much time had passed to have her prosecuted.  When he confronted her about it she laughed.  At that point there wasn’t a thing he could do.  What really stinks is that in their divorce, my husband got stuck with the Eclipse because all four children couldn’t be safely transported in that car and she, being the “custodial” parent needed to be able to haul all four kids.  He had to give her the SUV.  How is this fair?  Why wasn’t she ordered to trade the vehicle and then forced to suffer the consequences of her own stupidity?  What really upsets me is that I know my husband isn’t the only man this type of thing has happened to or will happen to.  That is just plain wrong.

You know, here is the way I see it.  If any of us lied on our tax return and defrauded the IRS out of thousands of dollars the way my husband and many men like him have been defrauded, there would almost certainly be jail time.  At the very least there would be thousands of dollars in interest and penalties on the money and you can bet your bottom dollar they would see to it that every penny was repaid.  How is this any different?  Working men and their families need that money more than the IRS yet we knowingly allow them to be defrauded.

The thing to remember is that it doesn’t stop.  These people feel a sense of entitlement that is unbelievable.  What has to happen for us to stop allowing this behavior?  When are we going to treat paternity fraud as the crime that it is?

Don’t kid yourself.  There are no secrets in small towns.  In fact, I don’t believe there are secrets in big cities either, there are just more people so word of mouth has more ground to cover.  Think about it, isn’t this how all the politicians get caught in their shenanigans and how the self-righteous religious leaders get caught with their pants down?  Sooner or later, a secret comes to the attention of someone who knows it is wrong and is willing to step up and make it public.  Sadly, the people with the moral fortitude to come forward are few and far between.

Secrets, and “not airing your dirty laundry” in public, are how predators get away with their crimes.  Statistics tell us that only 30% of sexual assaults are reported.  They also tell us that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys will suffer sexual abuse by the age of 18.  90% of those crimes are committed by people known to the victim.  (See http://sex-offender-registry-review.toptenreviews.com/protecting-teens-from-sexual-abuse.html)   Open, honest communication about any type of personal issue is a must if we are going to protect our children and bring about change.

Airing our dirty laundry?  I don’t call it that.  I see it as making people aware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing.  It is my belief that this is our responsibility.  To know of a crime being committed and to do nothing about it is in my book making yourself an accessory to that action.  People are arrested every day as accessories to various other crimes (not nearly as damaging in my opinion as any crime against a child) how is this any different?  The worst part is, the people committing these crimes against children are predators.  The behavior doesn’t stop.

Over the years, I have managed to compile quite a list of people who are aware of the behavior, or who have been sexually involved, with my husband‘s ex.  Believe it or not, I haven’t had to dig for this to happen.  People just talk.  Due to my profession, I am out in the community almost every day meeting and interacting with people.  It usually starts with the statement, “Are you related to … ?” to which thank God I can answer NO.  It is then followed by the “do you know…?” stories and comments.  I will never forget the time my husband and I walked in and sat down with a banker who happened to be one of my husband’s former students.  Apparently, this guy was often at the home of my husband and the ex.  Right there in the middle of the bank he says to my husband, “Just so there are no misunderstandings, I want you to know that I was never involved with your ex-wife.”  OMG!  I wanted to die right there on the spot!  This has happened too many times to count.  I just write it all down, add it to my file, and send it off for safe keeping.  You may think all this information is welcome.  It isn’t really.  I am long sick of hearing about all the disgusting things that have gone on.  It is embarrassing to me that I have any connection at all to a person such as this.

You see, this is what I find so disturbing.  That so many people can come to me with stories and names, yet nothing has been done.  And it has gone on for years.  So many lives affected.  So much damage done.  It is way past time for all of this to come out in the open.  The children are older now and have heard the rumors at school first-hand.  Can you even imagine how devastating that must be?  We have done our best to shield them and give them a safe place to come and share their feelings.  As they grow older, they begin to understand what has gone on in their home.

Here is my plea:  Please don’t contribute to harm done by predators.  If you know the “dirty little secrets” then share them loudly and persistently with someone who can effect change.  Will it be easy?  NO.  Will you experience adversity for standing up for what’s right?  YES.  Is it worth the headache, the heartache, the frustration?  ABSOLUTELY.  Your only other option is turn your head and allow the behavior to continue.  How can you possibly sleep at night if that is you?  Please, air the dirty laundry.  Get it out there for everyone to see.  It’s the only way we can make a difference and hold these people accountable for their crimes against children.

Websters dictionary describes justice in this way:

1

a: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b: judge c: the administration of law; especially: the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity

2

a: the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1): the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2): conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness c: the quality of conforming to law

3: conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness 

The best fit for my personal definition of justice is number three.  Conformity to truth, fact or reason seems like common sense to me.  Correctness a must.  But how often do we see TRUE justice?

This is a topic that is often on my mind, but more so ever since this past weekend.  On Saturday, my husband and I drove south to visit my daughter.  She was transferred a few months ago to this minimum security facility which is a little over three hours from home.  My husband and I enjoy our time together and road trips are no exception.  Sometimes we have great discussions.  Other times, we just enjoy the quiet and the nearness of each other.

On this particular drive down the mountain, I caught up on reading information related to the release of the West Memphis 3.  The more information I read, the more questions I had.  How did these boys end up in jail in the first place?  Why wasn’t there more investigation into family members?  And now years later, when they have proven that there is no DNA evidence to connect them to the crime, why do they have to take a guilty plea to be released?  I didn’t live in Arkansas when all this happened, but my husband did.  From his point of view, he said it was a “witch hunt.”  I don’t see justice here.  And what about those three little boys that were horribly murdered?  Where is their justice?  Someone, or maybe even more than one, who brutally assaulted and murdered three little boys, has walked around in society for almost twenty years.  Free as a bird.  Most likely has been around other children.  There is certainly no justice in that.

As we sit in the prison visiting area, we often talk about what people have done, how much time they have served, how much time they have left.  Everybody has a story.  Sometimes, I understand.  Most of the time, I don’t.  So many women locked up.  Most of them on some type of drug charge, many of them because they were involved with the wrong people, making the wrong choices from simply not knowing any better.   Is it really justice to lock these women up in prison right off the bat?  Many need rehab, many could serve time in local county jails closer to their families where they could see and maintain some type of contact with their children.  Yes, I believe some people truly belong in prison.  But I also believe it should be the punishment of last resort for many crimes.  Specifically, non-violent offenses.

I have watched the joy experienced as mothers are reunited with their children.  I have also watched the anguish as those children are torn from their mothers arms at the end of visitation.  I have heard the guttural sobs associated with this separation.  You cry too.  You can’t avoid hearing the heartbreak.  I don’t believe we are doing our future generations any service by not getting to the root the problem.  For them, this is not justice.  People are not disposable, yet perhaps it will seem that way to them.

Then, there are the people that walk around every day, never convicted of any crime, that have done and continue to do harm to humanity.  They are a curse to society.  Clever enough to not get caught, or lie their way out when they do.  Many times it comes down to who has the shadiest lawyer, who is the best liar.  None of that is justice.

So how do we go about getting things changed?  I don’t know all the answers, but I do know this, we can all do something.  However small, an act in the interest of truth goes a long way.  In our case, I don’t know why or how all of this hasn’t come out before now, but I know it will.  A friend commented the other day that all of this is so much a part of me.  Yes, it is.  How can it not be?  Look at all the wrongs that have happened (just that we KNOW about), all the damage that has been done to my personal property, the stress on my children and my stepchildren, the attacks on my marriage, the incredible financial hardship over the years.  You damn right it’s part of me.  And I intend to see that justice is done.

What kind of person would I be if I didn’t see this through to the end?  Isn’t it our duty as members of society to value the truth and bring it to the light?  Whether it be a hugely sensational case such as WM3 or simply a teacher having sex with students who continues to make a mockery of our family court system, none of it is right.  People need to get involved.  There needs to be justice.  You never know when it could be you who needs it.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”Martin Luther King Jr.

Recently, I made a trip to my local big box hardware store.  The service was terrible.  The help anything but helpful.  As I stood at checkout I was voicing my thoughts to the woman cashier.  She quickly changed the conversation to the paint I was purchasing, telling me that the blue and the orange represented the colors of her son’s school.  Really? I asked, my son too.  Maybe our sons know each other she says.  Her son, she tells me, is a football player.  My son, I say, has autism and is in a special education classroom.

As we continue to chat, she tells me what a heart her son has for people with special needs.  She is proud of him.  This is all wonderful from my perspective.  I have loved people with special needs long before I had my son.  To hear of a teenage boy with this in his heart brought me joy.  What she said to me next made me angry and sick all at the same time.  She told me that her son had learned about people with special needs from what happened to his cousin, her nephew.   It seems that the young man (the nephew) had done something deemed a punishable offense in our local high school, during the last year before it split into two schools.  One of his teachers thought the appropriate “punishment” was for this young man to eat lunch for two weeks with the special education students.

My legs began to shake with anger, and my mouth – which usually has no trouble spitting out words – was suddenly silent.  What do you say in response to that?  Dumbfounded, I asked her to repeat what she had just said to me.  Unfortunately, I heard her right the first time.

What is it with people?  Why do so many of us fear and despise that which is different from us?  Or that which we don’t understand?  In the instance of people with disabilities, it seems especially heartless to me.  Maybe that’s because of my son.  I don’t know.  I have been around people with special needs most of my life.  The first special needs person I remember interacting with was a girl my age named Linda, when I was in second grade.  Linda had Downs Syndrome and was severely affected.  When I was finished with my classwork, I was allowed to go down to her classroom.  I guess it was a sort of “buddy system” and I think we both benefited from our time together.

Different is not bad.  It should be welcomed and encouraged.  Whether it be intellectual ability, race, religion, whatever.  Why would any school system continue to employ a so called “teacher” who would see the above behavior as appropriate?  Ah, I guess for the same reason they continue to employ a teacher known for having sex with students.  We wonder why society has the flaws it has and where our morals have gone.  What can we expect when this is the type of example we have as role models in our schools?  What can we expect when administrators know and refuse to do anything about it?  And let’s not forget the parents.  Shame on them for knowing what goes on in these schools and not doing anything about it.  If more people would speak up and come forward with what they know and have seen, change would be forced.

I do not know the name of the teacher who issued the above “punishment.”  But  I do believe in karma.  I do believe that when we choose to victimize others that comes back on us with incredible tenacity.  To the credit of the young man who was forced to sit with the special ed kids, he chose to remain with them.  I am told that for the rest of the year he ate his lunch with them.  Hopefully he continues to share his experience in a positive light.