Thursday, January 30, 2014

Teach Those Kids Who Has the Power

Children learn by example and the first examples they have are via the adult figures in their lives and this would include, initially, their parents and then it would proceed out from there to the school. Anyone working in the school has a position of authority and this presents, for the authority figures, a unique opportunity to help the children form healthy behaviors such as empathy. That doesn't seem to have been the case at Salt Lake City’s Uintah Elementary School because, if that were the case, the employees working the lunch counter would not have acted in such a horrific, embarrassing manner in terms of how they treated the children waiting for lunch the other day. A little background information might be helpful here.

As a fifth grader told it, after she went to get her lunch it was taken away from her and she was told to take milk instead and she also had an orange denied to her because, it seemed, her parents, or someone responsible, hadn't put money into her lunch account. According to a story that appeared on the NBC News site on the Internet, 40 children were treated in this callous, unkind and unthinkable manner. How do you, in good conscience, deny children lunch? If it were their children, how would those authority figures have reacted to this behavior? I'd like to hear their responses. I don't want to hear excuses because there are no valid excuses for treating children this way.

Not only was this totally unacceptable, and I believe unacceptable really doesn't go far enough, but one of the mothers indicated that she had paid all the money that was required for her child's lunch. So not only did she pay the money that was due and her child should not have been treated this way, it really didn't matter. Now her child has been traumatized, humiliated in front of other children and will have to go back to school to who knows what as she continues to attend the school. Children can be very unkind when they see something like this and they can model behavior that is just as barbaric as this.

Of course, a school spokesman standing up for the school and this type of reprehensible behavior indicated that it was the parents’ fault and that the employees seem to have been justified in their actions. Am I stating this correctly? Should anyone stand up and support this type of behavior? What are schools supposed to be all about? Teaching, correct? What does this teach children? What do you suppose this will cause in the future for these and other children? Oh, so many good questions to be answered.

Wait a moment, I forgot to tell you one thing. The children who were denied the lunch also had the lunch thrown away in front of them. How's that for putting the cherry on top of this delightful dessert? Not only do you deny them lunch, you throw the food away in front of them. All that was really, really smart, wasn't it?

What happens now? Does the school call in everyone concerned and have some kind of sensitivity training? Do people really need to be trained in sensitivity to know how to treat young children in schools? Who are they employing, anyway? Maybe these people should be put on unpaid leave for a while and see what it's like to go without a few meals. No, we shouldn't go to their house, snatch their meals and throw them into the garbage in front of them. Even though this was what they did to the kids. No, that wouldn't be right just as it wasn't right what they did to the kids.

What was the reason the food was thrown away in front of the children? Ah, this is really a good response. You see it has to do with keeping the kids healthy and employing good sanitation because once food is served to one student it cannot be given to another. So, of course, for the health of the children, it must be thrown away. Aren't they really being considerate of the health of the children as they deny them a meal? Wonder if they still have paddling at that school?

If you are so inclined, I guess you could send a note to the school and just give them a few pointers on how they should handle these kinds of situations in the future. That might be helpful. You might even suggest that they could give some kids lunch even if the parents hadn't paid for it because maybe they couldn't afford it, or they had slipped up sending the money in for any number of things.

The bottom line is it shouldn't have happened to these kids and it shouldn't happen to any other kids in the future.