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Let’s Talk About the Fight in Urbana

Have you heard or worse seen the video?

Sadly, I have and as a parent its gut wrenching. To the mom of the boy injured, I speak for all of us when I say we are thinking of you and hope your son knows we all have his back.

The local paper says all the things you would expect. An investigation is ongoing, punishments handed out etc. On social media you will hear others defending the school as…the fight wasn’t on school grounds. Sure it happened elsewhere, but it started in school. You can hear the details in the video. The beaten child apparently told someone the other child had a joule. Whats a joule? Its the new cigarette in schools. Since the kids know cigs are bad, they use e-cigs to get all the teenage rebel cred less the whole cancer thing.

Some people want to blame the bully’s parents. Ok, pitchforks and torches it is, but did the parents know about the e-cig issue in school? What if they never heard about it? It is possible the school simply took the joule had the student serve lunch detention and go on with their day.

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How can the school do that you might ask? As a parent you would rightfully expect a call, an email, a meeting request. Unfortunately, most dont know in 2014 a letter was sent to all schools. You can read this letter by searching for dear collegue letter 2014, and you should read it if you have a school age child.  The letter from the previous administration determined that schools gave to many suspensions and as such must be racist. The letter then details all schools now will have federal funding cut if too many suspensions are given in year. Schools in turn started under reporting, giving lunch detentions instead of more severe consequences and in general trying to deal with issues inside the building. The students started noticing the lines in the sand were no longer hard set. They soon learned they could get away with more and being kids took full advantage.

Five years later, our schools are more violent. Parents blame video games, social media, lack of parenting, tv and celebrities. They do play a role in our kids lives that is true, but when the one place they are at 5 days a week no longer has consequences for actions that becomes the greater issue.

So what’s a parent to do? We call all help eachother by asking questions, lots of questions. Schools are service providers and we always ask questions of service providers to make sure they help and not harm. Talk to your kids they are growing up in a place much different than us and while your child might be ok, they probably have friends who are struggling. Find out if they are and reach out.

The new catch phrase is elections have consequences. So let’s remember that next election. Don’t accept the apple ballot provided by our local school union, who only cares about their members. You are your child’s best advocate and together as parents we can make schools safe and secure from our doorsteps to school and home again.



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