Secrets to a Successful Education

Recently, I revisited a contemporary, classic book on education for a discussion group I participate in by John Taylor Gatto.  This reminded me of 14 educational principles he compiled from personal  research on the top, elite high schools in the US.

Gatto’s history spans a successful career teaching public school in New York for over 30 years, and in retirement advocating with a loud voice for educational reform as a writer and public speaker.  His passion for teaching sparked a personal interest to discover what exactly, if anything was different about what is taught in the elite high schools. He learned that although each school carries its own academic mark of distinction, they all share a core that proves key to their students’ success.

Gatto summarizes the core into 14 areas, which he believes provides the foundation in determining what education for success really looks like.  The programs in these elite schools genuinely equip students with skills, knowledge and tools to launch them way beyond academic success.  These schools continue to produce a large portion of today’s leaders.  This study lends a revealing yardstick of measurement to apply to institutions of learning as students resume school this fall.

 The core list is as follows:

#1 Students form a complete theory of human nature, through theology, classic literature, philosophy, and history, and interestingly enough, not through psychology.  Students reason through  the universals and particulars of man with authors who pondered and wrote about the ultimate questions, inviting them to participate in the great conversation of human existence.

#2 All the schools provide consistent and frequent opportunity for student’s to practice in the active literacies- writing, and speaking. Writing and speaking well, reinforces thinking well and is essential  in the great exchange of ideas for commerce, politics, religion etc. Think of Bacon’s quote, “reading maketh a full man, speaking a ready man, and writing makes him exact.”

#3 Students gain insight into major institutions, and the ideas that drive them by study of their form, history and hierarchy. US public schools do include US government as part of the required curriculum, but the foundation that the government was built upon is generally missed. How many students today read John Locke, and can explain that the US went the way of Locke, rather than Hobbes, two contemporary philosophers; whereas, Western Europe decidedly embraced Hobbes’s “Social Contract.”  Other important institutions in the US that would benefit student understanding might include; universities, hospitals, libraries, the Pentagon, the New York Stock Exchange and so forth.

#4 Students behavior in all the schools is reinforced with a civil tone by repeated exercise in decorum and manners.

#5 Most of the academic work is independent, what I call active learning, as opposed to passive learning. Students do not wait around for the teacher to tell them what to do, read, answer etc., but are actively engaged in directing their education.

#6 Students participate in an energetic, physical sport that Gatto says in addition to the many obvious benefits, the important two are that it helps to confer grace upon the human form, and strengthen endurance. To carry oneself well, and with confidence benefits the person and those around them.

#7 Students apply a theory of access towards gaining access to any person or place. Gatto shares many enlightening, and successful stories of his students venturing around New York City, strategically executing their plans from his classroom.

#8 Personal  responsibility in all areas is driven into the students at these schools. In fairness, the private schools are able to provide a little more opportunity here because most are boarding schools, so house tasks are shared. However, this ethic expands into taking leadership positions in clubs and such, and promoting the ideal of personal excellence in always delivering more than is asked.

#9 By the end of their 12th year, students are expected to have arrived at a personal code of behavior and morality that they’ve decided to navigate life by.

#10 All students emerge from their high school experience with comfort in the arts, both visual and performing, and architecture.

#11 Students acquire the power of accurate observation and recording that includes accurate notes as well as basic drawing. This skill was essential for the men who laid the foundation in modern science.

#12 The schools are able to meet each student with flexibility and skill because of an understanding of the individual. Each person brings with them weakness, so the schools are able to challenge a student in their weakness, so as to strengthen it.

#13 Another practice in the schools is student development and testing of their judgement, or what might be called correct thinking. We always hear about the importance of critical thinking, but a better term is correct thinking. Reasoning demands discrimination in the evaluation of things, then mental follow up on personal predictions and consistent mental correction.

#14 The last principle is an extension of the above.  It is the developing a habit of caution in drawing conclusions instead of jumping to rash ones.

Now I’m not so naive as to not know, that it is often “who you know” that can make the big difference in certain life endeavors, but mastery in the above would certainly prepare an individual to know, who to know,  how to go about knowing them, and where to find them.  It’s also noteworthy, that many of the knowledge, skills, and understanding included in the core are relationship oriented. By the time these youths graduate high school, they understandably will be at ease with the world, and ready to lead wherever life takes them. The beauty of this type of education is that it’s not just for youth, or high school, but is an educational formula that anyone can follow at anytime in their life.

School Districts Over-Stepping Their Bounds

Austin, Texas parents have a Texas sized problem. “Austin ISD has broken the sacred trust between school and parent” said Texas Values spokesman, David Walls, when interviewed about Austin’s new elementary and middle school sex education policy. Walls was referring to the Austin School District mandate to change sex education to include the teaching of children about how to have anal sex and how to put a condom on an erect penis as well as much more.

The Austin School District hadn’t changed it’s sex education policy for elementary and middle school students for “over a decade” and so they figured it was about time. WOW is disappointed that school administrators would allow themselves to be swayed to change a long standing policy that was working well for students with the illusion that somehow time changes the need to present sexual morals and proper sexual conduct differently. If something was improper ten years ago, why would it suddenly become proper 10 years later? It doesn’t make logical sense.

One frustrated father told Austin ISD, “You have overstepped.” While advocates for the change were focusing on the importance of advocating new gender identity and sexual orientation theory, parents were feeling disregarded. Who should make moral decisions for schools; bureaucrats and activists or parents? WOW stands with Texas parents by thinking parents hold that sacred right, and should be respected.

This new policy change will not only expose elementary aged children to the intricacies of sex but is also designed to remove important and key words from the vocabulary of children. According to Todd Starnes, “The school district will also begin instructing students to no longer use words like ‘mother’ or ‘father’…and ‘mom’ or ‘dad.”

The district materials insist that “gender inclusive language” be used. This means terms such as “male” and “female” would also be inappropriate words to use in class.

Parents are outraged that the school district they trusted is forcing word censoring based on ideological agendas, and forcing content that sexualizes children. Parents are calling this “pornography” and “government sanctioned child abuse.” But, advocates for the policy change are simply calling it “other options.” Will the policy change really be presented as having more “options,” or will parents who haven’t been following the school district debate be caught unaware and have their children sexualized right under their noses?

One of the three pillars that the WOW organization is founded on is sovereignty. This new Texas sex ed policy violates the sovereignty of parents and families in Texas. Until parental rights are honored by government and school administrators again, over the social pressure of sex activists, the children will have no true protection.

Respecting Yourself Never Sounded Worse! -UK

Does every good term have to be hijacked, turned around and sent back out to the public as a wolf in sheep’s clothing these days? WOW is constantly disappointed at the international manipulative use of seemingly good words. We have to fight against dangerous terms like “maternal health” and “age appropriate” because these terms and others like them are striped of their moral or factual foundation and given a subjective/moral relativistic spin instead. Such is the case with the term “Respect Yourself,” which is the name of a government funded British educational website for youth ages 13 and up that boasts having a “sextionary” for kids to access anything they want to know about sex and sexuality.

This tax money funded, controversial website has been live since 2013 in Britain, but has just recently been disabled due to the public outcry from a diverse British population. WOW applauds the The Family Education Trust, hardworking parents, and citizens in Britain who have put so much time and effort into drawing attention to the problem website and getting citizens informed and active at solving the problem.

Amy Danahay of “Respect Yourself” told Huffington Post: “We have completed the young people’s wish list. They asked for the sextionary, pleasure zones and the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered honestly.”

I seriously doubt that young people wanted to know the majority of the grotesque sexual acts. As I was looking into the problem website in the UK I found myself, as a married woman with four children who has had sex more times than I’ve ever counted, asking “what on earth is that term?” The site explains more kinky behaviors than a person would ever need to ask, or has even thought to ask for that matter. Clearly, the sextionary website is just another way the sexualization of children is happening under the guise of education.

Speaking of education, I’d be curious to know how the site information is delivered to the children. Are they told about it at school? If so, has it been approved by a curriculum board or governing body tasked with keeping children safe? It is completely unethical for tax money and government employees, who have a position of trust with students, to be used for the sexual grooming of children.

In a day and age when child trafficking is becoming an increasingly serious problem, I’d think that officials would connect the dots and not promote any educational materials that would groom children to be targets for traffickers. Years ago top porn producer was interviewed. He was asked how they train the children for their porn performances and he replied, “We don’t really have to do much. They come porn ready.” This tells us what kinds of children are easily trafficked; the ones who have gotten into sexual stuff.

How could a child come to a trafficker/porn producer “porn ready” unless they have already been experimenting with porn or graphic sexuality? Children aren’t sensual and explicit, that behavior has to be trained by someone else. As a foster parent I was trained to look for children who were too sensual, so that we could detect possible sexual abuse in the child’s past. Is it possible that western society has lost all common sense when it comes to keeping children’s bodies safe from predators? Isn’t this “Respect Yourself” website just another manipulation of a good term that is preying on the children of Britain?

The Comrade Who Rocks The Cradle…

This piece about how British liberties are being systematically taken from families was contributed by British WOW members.

For the last few days, we in the UK have had a reprieve from the Great Brexit Betrayal, as our Parliament of Traitors has gone into recess, in order for our MPs to enjoy their party conference season: a time when politicians and their party members retire to the seaside, congratulate themselves on a job well done and scheme for the reopening of Parliament in a few weeks’ time. And, oh, hasn’t it given us some laughs? A cursory glance at Twitter will show just about anyone how hilarious it has been – how the country’s conservatives (with the notably small “c”) have chuckled at the Labour Party, in particular, and their folly. “What larks, Pip”, they giggle. “What larks!”

We have seen, for example, Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Minister, standing on a podium before her party delegates, addressing them all as “comrades” and regaling them all with tales of her youthful dalliances. With a wink and a nod reminiscent of Hattie Jacques in the old Carry On films, the venerable Ms. Thornberry told the packed room that, as she was lying with her head in a gutter following an accident, her life flashing before her eyes, she thought: “Blimey, that was fun … and it wasn’t running through fields of wheat, comrades!” The compliant BBC dutifully let the camera pan the room, showing how the audience laughed …Oooh, Matron! Saucy! All the while, conservative Twitter shook their heads and collectively smirked at her silliness. What larks!

Then there was the risible Diane Abbott, Shadow Home Secretary, butt of a thousand memes and alumnus, no doubt, of the same School of Mythical Economics as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, cheerfully informing a BBC reporter that, despite having sent her own child to a fee-paying school, she nevertheless supported the Labour Party’s proposals to “abolish” private schools and “integrate” their wealth into the State Education system…

… and it is here, I am afraid, that the laughs began to die down. Just a few short months ago, this suggestion was being floated by a handful of backbench MPs, whilst the country’s middle classes smiled and thought that such a thing could never, really, happen. Surely nobody could seriously believe that the long arm of the State would reach into the privately-owned property of independent schools and appropriate their wealth, to redistribute it as they see fit? No, certainly not. To remove parental choice from hardworking mothers and fathers who go without, in order to give their children the very best start they can afford? Never.

Yet, here we are. In Britain now, our Opposition Party openly states that it intends not only to prevent parents from choosing the best school for their child but, moreover, to repossess the finances of those schools (which are only slightly less constrained by The National Curriculum – something similar to the American Common Core) and redistribute them into State Education. Naturally, there is one, very notable exception: as pointed out by redoubtable journalist and conservative talking head, Katie Hopkins, this plan does not, of course, apply to the many taxpayer-funded Islamic schools which have sprung up across the nation in recent years. 

To each according to his needs, indeed.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-49798861

In this country, The National Curriculum “sets out the programmes of study and attainment targets for all subjects at all 4 key stages” and “all local-authority-maintained schools must teach these programmes of study.” https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum. There is no room for manoeuvre and all teachers must adhere to it. But what of its content? 

In December last year, we learned that, “in a victory for transgender rights campaigners”, a school in Brighton had begun teaching primary school children (ages four to eleven) that “boys can have periods too”. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/12/16/boys-can-have-periods-schoolchildren-taught-latest-victory-transgender/

In March, fiery stand-offs took place outside of a primary school in Birmingham, as Moslem parents removed their children from classes in protest at the “No Outsiders” sex education programme, which “they claimed promoted gay and transgender lifestyles” and told Moslem children that “Gay is OK.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/09/protests-against-lgbt-lessons-in-birmingham-primary-school-resume

Recently, a friend and home-schooling parent drew my attention to a Key Stage 2 reading comprehension assignment which she had discovered in the National Curriculum English handbook. Focusing on the children’s story Bill’s New Frock by Anne Fine, the tasks are designed to “make children aware of gender inequality” and ask them to “imagine waking to discover that they are a different gender.”  All very worthy, I am sure you will agree.

The same Labour Party that wishes to remove parents’ choices when it comes to independent schools has also put forward proposals to “make climate change a core part of the curriculum” addressing “the ecological and social impact of climate change.” Irrespective of the controversy that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that manmade climate change actually exists, children are, under these proposals, to be taught its effects as undisputed fact, in order to prepare them for the “human impacts” (read “immigration”, “increased governmental control” and “higher taxation”) which will inevitably ensue, turning our youth into anxious, Children of the Corn clones of the terrifyingly totalitarian  and pitifully exploited Greta Thunberg. https://www.tes.com/news/make-climate-change-core-part-curriculum-labour-says 

Even more worryingly, those who question the received wisdom of manmade climate change could soon be facing legal sanctions, as was debated on 17th September on BBC Radio 2’s daily phone-in programme, The Jeremy Vine Show. At present, of course, this is only a discussion but as my earlier examples illustrate, discussion has its way of intruding into policy … and policy has a way of becoming Law.

From Cradle to Grave

The purpose of this article, however, is not solely to discuss the tenets of The National Curriculum in depth, although I may write another on this topic at a later date. Rather, as the title suggests, its intention is to explore the ways in which the long arm of the State increasingly invades the private family lives of citizens. Which leads me to a few more suggestions which have recently come to light.

Some years ago, I visited the Museum of East Germany in Berlin and saw an exhibition of the Communist Party’s pledge concerning State governance “from the cradle to the grave.” Under the guise of promoting equality for mothers, babies were taken into State-run childcare at a few months old, in order that both parents could quickly return to work. They then stayed in government facilities until the end of their formal education, ensuring, of course, that their indoctrination could be absolute and that they would not encounter dissenting opinions which opposed those of the Communist Party. It should come as a surprise to absolutely no-one, then, that similar ideas are now being discussed in Britain, where debates are taking place regarding longer school days, increased childcare, shorter school holidays and the free provision of breakfast, lunch and dinner – all at the taxpayer’s expense and all designed to ensure that parents’ working days are uninterrupted and that their children’s daily care is provided by professionals, rather than their own loving family. Why run the risk of allowing parents to promote dissenting opinions, when the State can raise a child so much better? Similarly, the Media’s insidious drip-feeding of anti-home-schooling programmes and articles which imply that only dangerous cranks and oddballs would remove their children from the school system, just as the practice is becoming more popular, can be seen as part of the same process: “trust us”, says the State, “we know what is best for your family”. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/home-schooling-department-education-damian-hinds-radicailation-illegal-schools-offrolling-a8849841.html

“Surely this is enough?” I hear you cry. “Surely there can be no more? Surely it will suffice, at least for now, to propose the removal of parents’ school choices, to indoctrinate their children with uncorroborated pseudoscience, to propose the care of their children from morning to night and to demonise those who opt-out of the educational system?” Well, not quite – because the socialist Scottish National Party went one step further still and put forth a proposal to allocate a “named person” for every child in Scotland, to monitor family life, provide a point of contact outside of the home and to ensure that no child is being exposed to ideas or practices which dissent from the ideological aims of the Scottish Government. Mercifully, the plan has been revoked – at least for the time being – as parents argued that it amounted to nothing more than a “Snoopers’ Charter”, terrifyingly reminiscent of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eight-Four – but the proposal was made and, as we have already seen, proposals do have a tendency to wend their ways into legislation … eventually. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-35752756

Be Warned

So why am I telling you all of this? Well, firstly, I am giving you a warning. 

To my American friends: we in the UK have become so accustomed to Government interference that many people now passively accept this growing encroachment upon our private lives; that which seemed impossible just a few short years ago is now being openly discussed at party political conferences and proposed as legislation. Whilst all of this may sound outlandish to you now, please bear in mind that it did once to us, too – but the gradual drip-feeding of these notions has already begun in the USA, where States like California have shoehorned the LGBT agenda into the school curriculum and proposed making ethnic studies mandatory. 

Secondly, to my fellow Britons: this has to stop. There is no end to the incursions which the State will make upon our family lives – no proposal will be too extreme, no interference too great. The long march through the institutions began many years ago – it will not cease; it knows no bounds. If we do not wrest back control of our family lives now – right now – it will be too late. As the silent majority of the country sit back and shake their heads, tittering at the folly of the likes of Abbott and Thornbury, they miss the vital point: the conservatives are losing, the Right is losing … unless we fight for our children now, we will very soon have lost. The hand is hovering over the cradle: don’t let it rule the world.

Sowing Seeds of Local Self-Government in Kenyan Fields: WOW Launches Fundraiser for The Gutuka Project This Fall

This month, WOW is conducting a campaign to generate funds in support of our Kenyan sisters and the children they are caring for in Homebay, a peanut growing region of the Nyanza Province.  The women participating in The  Gutuka Project  are members of a local  SACCO,  a savings and credit cooperative,  chaired under the leadership of The Family Resource Center and Jenipher Otieno.  All Funds generated from WOW’s campaign will go directly to the project. The Family Resource Center provides training and support for orphaned children and families caring for these children. 

The Heart of the Program:

 

The purpose in the forming of the coop initially was to provide sustainable solutions for the many orphans in the area. The women who help take in these orphaned children are essentially doing foster care for them, but unlike other places in the world, there is not government funding for these families.

It is often very economically difficult to add an extra person to a household already struggling in this region. There are currently about 30 women involved in the coop. Most of the women in the Gutuka program are the bread winners in their households. They provide for their families through small businesses that include the farming of peanuts, making baskets, raising poultry and making of foods. What makes these women and the program so special is that many of the women have opened their hearts and homes to orphans, that had no place to go. The Coop makes it economically possible to care for the children as well as their families. Please help these children by making a donation

 

The How of the Program:

 

Each family will be responsible for their own planting and harvest. At harvest, the individual families will be paid cash for their crop. The peanut grinding machine will be kept at a center, where the peanut butter will be ground and packaged.  Proceeds from the sale of the peanut butter will go toward food subsidies for the children, and the future purchase of more peanut seed, which the families will receive for free to replant the next crop.

The Cost of the Program:

There are three financial components to the proposed project. The first is to raise money for the purchase of seed for planting peanuts, estimated around $800 US dollars. Planting time for peanuts begins in November. There are generally two successive plantings for the peanut crop. The second is to purchase a peanut grinding machine estimated at $700 US dollars. The peanut grinder is a means for the women to produce peanut butter, which is a nutritious product as well as cash generating for their families. The third component is continuing education for the women, estimated at $1000 US dollars. Building their capacity through training in business skills, will help them improve their income generating and saving activities. These families have already raised $500 US dollars toward the project themselves by saving $2 US dollars a month consistently.

Gutuka is a Swahili word meaning “self-realization,” or as we would say in the US, self-reliant. This is the type of genuine investment in women that WOW advocates for. Please join WOW in making a donation today to help plant seeds of local self-government in the fields of our Kenyan sisters’ gardens. Just go to WOW’s website, and press the donate button. Enter your donation amount. Tag the donation as “Gutuka Program.” We appreciate your support of this project, and all donations are tax deductible.

International Database Scandal Uncovered At World Congress

This year at the World Congress in Verona, Italy, WOW uncovered the international database scandal that is targeted at children all over the world. Here is a video of the presentation done at the congress.

Database companies in schools, libraries, even online homeschools are subjecting innocent children around the world to pornographic content and calling it “safe”. Sadly, teachers and school officials don’t know this problem exists, so children get exposed without anyone stopping the exploitation.

We call upon responsible citizens and leaders of governments, churches, and communities everywhere to hold these database companies accountable for the harm they are doing young people via schools, libraries, universities, and more. We need to remove EBSCO, Hoopla, Cengage, Gale, etc from our services until they actually clean up their databases.

WOW Africa: Changing Children’s Lives in 2018

The Worldwide Organization for Women Anambra State in South East Nigeria is led by Mrs. Ethel Eruchalu. The WOW group of women regularly meet to plan and execute how to best assist the girl child and vulnerable women with the resources they are able to procure. In 2018, they were able to reach their goal of providing critical resources to many young women and girls.

They began the year by making a plan to adopt 3 schools-one primary and two high schools. In the primary school, WOW provided tuition for 12 orphaned students, grades k-6. The rest of the 137 students received 6 exercise books each. This helps to reduce the burden on their guardians.

At the Umuokpu secondary school, WOW provided a series of health talks, which culminated in counseling the students in developing healthy habits for daily living during their summer break. This included talks on washing hands and bathing regularly, keeping clothing clean, cleaning toilet facilities, keeping a clean kitchen, and proper food handling. They emphasized bacteria as the cause of much disease, such as E. coli 0157, which is responsible for food poisoning and kidney failure in that area. WOW taught the students that proper cleanliness prevents the development and spread of bacteria and disease. They followed up at the school again in November.

The students at the secondary school in Asuamocha received similar health instruction, but the visit also included the distribution of treated mosquito nets to 390 students and 10 teachers. This region has experienced high mortality rates due to mosquito borne illness.

In November, WOW Africa held its forum at Awka. The topic was, “ Promoting strong Community, and Religious, and Family support for Combating Violence and Rape Against Women and Girls. The format was a round table discussion, which listened to the victims and included boys and girls. WOW-Africa resolved to work in cooperation with religious, civil leaders and women’s groups to effect changes beginning from within the family. Charity as they say begins at home.

Ethel and the WOW women of Anambra State serve the South East region of Nigeria with wisdom, diligence and love.

Back to School, Back to P*rn?

WOW is issuing a WARNING to all parents with school age children, that  po*rn  purveyors have pushed explicit material into the digital pages of our schools that almost all students have access to.

This is how it works. Schools, both  public and private, online and charter, purchase online library resources. It is akin to the old fashioned reference section of the library. One leading supplier  across the nation is acronymed  EBSCO. Colleges, universities and libraries also purchase from them, which allows all students and patrons  access. The problem is these online reference centers are filled with hardcore p*rnography.

WOW began an investigation into this and within 3 hours was able to document around 8,000 explicit images, articles and advertisements. This raises many questions such as Why are s*x ads in  the student reference library?  Much of the explicit so -called reference material comes from  sales magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Glamor, Marie Claire, and many others within this closed system.

Every student in Utah, whether elementary, middle or high school, who has online access at school also has access to EBSCO through the Utah Education Network. As a matter of fact, it is a recommended place for research, and often preferred above a direct internet search for being safer. This is not true. Schools generally have filters for the internet, but because these reference libraries are a closed system, they CAN NOT BE FILTERED. As a matter of fact, when the reference library is searched the only URL  that appears is the reference library name.

WOW discovered that EBSCO is listed as one of the National Center of Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen. You can link to their website for more detailed and graphic information and access to some great action items. https://endsexualexploitation.org/ebsco/

Two other news stories have recently broken about the EBSCO database problem in Colorado and Kansas as well.

Colorado https://www.9news.com/article/news/parents-fighting-porn-claim-victory-over-cherry-creek-schools/73-593150722 

Kansa https://www.kwch.com/content/news/Mcpherson-school-district-responds-to-internet-safety-issues-494091541.html

WOW is currently working to get the UEN to sever ties with EBSCO. Nicholeen Peck was able to interview with KTVU channel 2 news in Utah.  Link to that interview:

https://kutv.com/news/beyond-the-books/beyond-the-books-utah-mom-finds-pornographic-pics-on-utah-education-network-database

UEN said in a statement that they will continue to leave EBSCO available over the weekend, and have contacted EBSCO about the explicit material. This is not a satisfactory response.  Ray Timothy, CEO of UEN was unavailable for an interview until Monday or Tuesday. Please contact UEN 801 581 6991, [email protected] , your local school, your school board and your legislator  and let them know this will not be tolerated in UTAH.

Update on This Situation:

The UEN held a special board meeting on October 1, 2018 just to discuss the EBSCO issue and intended at that time to vote to re-enable the database resource for schools after it had been disabled for about a week and a half. There were 8 of the board who were able to attend the meeting. The 6 men voted to keep EBSCO out of schools until it could be proven safe. The 2 women voting didn’t protect children well. The representative for the state school board, Patty Norman, abstained from the vote because the school board had a split opinion. And, Colleen Eggett, the head of Utah libraries and the Utah Online Library, which hosts EBSCO, said that children had a first amendment right to see whatever they want, and that it is up to parents to teach children what to do if they come across something bad.

Colleen claimed no responsibility for protecting children or honoring parental rights to keep their children safe when in public. She said the problem was 30% a technology problem and 70% a problem with children not being taught skills by their parents. This claim is very concerning. First, if I governed over any product that had 30% of the blame in hurting my customers, I would pull the product and fix it immediately. That is a very large percentage. Is she saying that 30% of the database is problematic? Second, everyone concerned, parents, students, and teachers, were all told the databases were safe because they were not linked to the internet. The items in the database had to be intentionally put there. So, to put 70% of the blame on parents and teachers is a shift of the blame.

This claim that access to pornography on a public computer is a first amendment right is something the ALA [American Library Association] made up. It is not actually a right. Just as a person doesn’t have the right to scream fire in a crowded movie theatre when there isn’t a fire because it can endanger other people, pornography on a public computer that children have access to is not a right.

WOW blames the ALA for the faulty thinking of Ms. Eggett, and does not see the ALA as a trusted authority on keeping children safe, especially since the ALA has been trying to undermine the Child Internet Protection Act [CIPA] laws since 2001. They even went as far as to sue the government as well as create a day of the year called Banned Internet Sites Day and create their own library bill of rights. The ALA is acting as if they are their own government and that the government owes them respect, instead of the reverse.

Parents, please don’t allow your children to access library databases without you there, and speak up against databases at the schools in your area too that might be subjecting your children to pornography. Do some checking. And, tell other parents.

We commend the UEN for voting to keep EBSCO disabled for the time being and for their efforts to keep pushing toward cleaning up the pornography problem on school databases. Even an article in the EBSCO database titled “Top 10 Security Risk Factors for Public and Academic Libraries” said that pornography being seen at libraries by minors and non-consenting adults was number 4 of their 10 risks. . So, they know about it. The good thing is, now parents know about it too. We must protect the children.

Also, Thursday, October 4, 2018 the Utah State School Board met to vote on what their position would be on the EBSCO databases being reinstated. Even though multiple board members were opposed to the idea, the majority of the school board voted to reinstate EBSCO databases when the vote comes up again at the UEN board meeting. WOW cannot believe that a school board would be so careless with the protection of children’s safety. We don’t feel we can have confidence in a state school board who takes something this serious so lightly. They have more of a duty to protect the children and families of Utah than the interests of a few librarians and teachers.

 

 

 

Christian Families in Pakistan Uniting to Learn Self-Government

YounasANDMarthaGroup photo with Pastor Sharoon.jpg

Younas and Martha Martin are from a small Christian community in Lahore, Pakistan. While looking for a school to send their daughter to, they researched the top U.S. universities to see which ones had the strongest family values. They ultimately decided upon Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. After their daughter married and settled down in early 2015, she learned about a type of family communication and parenting called, “Teaching Self-Government.” This began a chain of events that today is transforming whole communities of families in Pakistan.

How It All Began

It’s not every day I get Facebook calls from Pakistan, but that’s just what Younas and Martha Martin did. They called me.

Through phone calls and emails, I learned about the work they were doing in Pakistan with a Catholic program called “Family Life.” This program helps women and children in their Christian community and around their area. It’s designed to strengthen family relationships, improve character and protect the sanctity of human life.

“What a small world!” I thought. Our family had also just been approached by the “Family Life” office for the Catholic Diocese in Kenya. They requested for us to come to Kenya for 3 weeks to train the leaders in the Catholic church who are over family programs. I mentioned this coincidence to the Martins and they said they would love to have our family do a similar training in Pakistan.

Sadly, we just can’t go everywhere we’re requested to go for multiple reasons, so I had to tell the Martins I wouldn’t be able to come to Pakistan to train their families. However, helping the families in the Christian communities in Pakistan is a perfect match for the mission of Teaching Self-Government, so I suggested that we donate an online training course to them to use for the “Family Life” group there.

Each month the Martins invited their community to gather in their home for lessons about being calm, strengthening couple relationships, and establishing loving but firm parenting skills. They have been helping many community members transform their family cultures so that their homes are more emotionally and spiritually safe, as well as empowering.

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After a few months of teaching the group, it became too large for the Martin home to handle. They had to look for a larger location. With help from The Worldwide Organization for Women, a nonprofit charity, they located and rented a larger facility for their monthly meetings.

Monthly — and sometimes more often — the Martins open the doors of their Family Life center in Lahore to teach the self-government principles that are bringing needed peace and understanding in their homes and community.

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One recent attendee to the Teaching Self-Government classes emailed me to tell me how her family has drastically changed. She said it was due to focusing on strengthening their family relationships by learning new skills for communication and understanding.

As part of their family outreach and healing, the Martins also prepare clothing and food packages for poor children and women in their community. Each year the Martin’s funds have decreased, but they still do what they can and try to get others to help too.

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No matter where we are around the world, the human family shares one thing in common: the love and need of family. We all have families. Families are our greatest influencers and learning environments for our lives. So, if family life is not feeling calm, loving and united, then the whole family struggles. In fact, our societies and the world also struggle. It’s inspiring to see people dedicate the golden years of their lives to making the world a better place and sacrificing so much to bring families closer together.

To donate to the Pakistan Family Life Project, visit worldwideorganizationforwomen.org . Since WOW is a registered nonprofit, your donation is tax deductible.

 

Lest We Forget: The Vision of Educating Young People

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This is the time of year the focus of the world is on education and preparing our children to learn and grow toward success. We enroll the children in classes, schools, programs and activities in hopes they will get an education to prepare them for the future. Is our current educational plan adequate for the future our children will face? How can we know what they will need when the future is uncertain? Will foreign languages, advanced math classes, and programs designed to enhance talents be enough? What is most important?

The Beginning of Schooling in America

Today there are a few educational theorists who believe that if parents would get out of the way then children would be free to get a better education. However, the majority of society still knows that children need direction and instruction from wise adults and parents throughout their education because proper moral development requires guidance. From the time parents took education upon themselves, prior to common schooling practices today, adults have acknowledged two kinds of education: intellectual education and moral education.

Moral education encompasses learning honesty, respect for others, responsibility, duty, virtues and good citizenship. It helps young people acquire virtues and develop moral habits that will prepare them to live good and happy lives. It also helps them become valuable and contributing members of society.

When common schools were first started in Dedham, part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the New World, moral education was the top priority. The New England Puritans were concerned that their children learned to be good people by following the examples of those from the Bible more than any other books. The early colleges and universities followed this format as moral as well as intellectual places of learning.

What Are Youth Preparing For?

It’s often said that the only constant in life is change. Innovations consistently change the world. We regularly must adapt and learn to use new devices and machines as old ones become obsolete. The Ironrite ironing machine my mother learned to use a child didn’t prepare her for the computer I had to learn as a child. She had to adapt. Likewise, the hover boards of today will not prepare our children for the advancements of tomorrow. Clearly education for our youth isn’t about gadgets or learning to use technology. Anyone can do that. We all did it.

So, what are we preparing our youth for? Are we preparing them for a certain kind of career? Jobs phase in and out. There used to be jobs that don’t even exist anymore like typesetters, lamplighters and log drivers. What did those people do when their jobs were no longer needed? They adapted. We have jobs today that are getting replaced by software and powerful economic engines that will make some current jobs obsolete in no time. What will happen to manufacturing, editing, underwriting, teaching, farming, and many other such jobs? What will we do when we’re reduced to facilitator when we used to create lesson plans ourselves as teachers? Well, I guess we will need to adapt or innovate in a new direction.

Additionally, the political and economic climates will also always be changing. So, if technology, finances, politics and jobs will change, this means that no matter who the student is, when they complete their educational experience, the future is always uncertain.

Getting the Best Education for Adaptation

In a time when children and adults are becoming less confident in their skills and more fragile in their emotions and relationships, it’s clear something is generally missing from our current educational experiences.

Many parents are seeing this deficit and going back to historical values-based learning, which usually involves good old fashioned work. Why do parents tend to look to work when the children seem to be becoming more selfish, entitled, and emotionally fragile? Something inside every successful adult points back to the steps they made to become who they are. They know they conquered task by task and that it took years of determination, persistence and grit. They pushed themselves toward their goals by working. They remember doing chores and being made to work as children. And they  realize when looking at a selfish child that work must be an important part of a good moral education.

And so it is. Philosopher Samuel Smiles said in the 1800s, “Work is the antidote for a sick character.”

The best education we can give our children is a character-building education; a moral education. Since character is crowned with duty, a person can’t have good character without morality — meaning a commitment to follow what is good, right and true. A person learns to have duty by feeling bound to serve goodness and do what is right.

So often today’s youth are taught to look at only what is self-serving. They ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?” And “What do I get out of it?” In fact, serving themselves is almost made to sound like a virtue. “Be the real you” and “achieve your dreams” are catch phrases of the day that they are indoctrinated with. These phrases don’t serve a higher power or morality. They create a new morality where the child or the person is the supreme authority.

Lest we forget, no matter what lies ahead of us, the greatest education is one that teaches character, industry, faith, intelligence, loyalty, duty and determination. This type of education will fit a man or woman for whatever lies ahead, no matter the impending changes. When individuals have a good moral education, they will always be hired, always lead and always be prepared to innovate solutions for the days ahead.

A united family environment is essential for teaching character development. These resources can help the family become more united.