Saturday, March 31, 2007

America the weird

David Seaton's News Links
I don't think most Americans fully appreciate how weird we look to other people around the world nowadays.

The United States has always been picturesque and different for others, but I think nowadays it just looks weird and perhaps sinister.

I'm 62 years old, a middle westerner, born and bred. I grew up on Chicago's North Shore and I attended both public and private grade schools there in the 1950s. Believe me, my school days had more in common with the madrassa in the picture than with the Louisiana school described in the AP story below. And I think the schools most parents send their children to around the world have more in common with the madrassa in the photo than the one in the article or to Columbine etc, etc.

Are the children in the AP article going to grow up and become the voters, the citizens and the soldiers of the only superpower... with their fingers on the atomic trigger? I don't the world is ready for that, and I don't think any amount of money spent on public diplomacy will be able to sell it. DS

Kids allegedly had sex in classroom during assembly about killing - Associated Press

Abstract: Two fifth-graders had sex on a classroom floor while two others fondled each other in the classroom, according to a teacher at Spearsville High School.(...) First-year teacher Michael Walker, who teaches fifth- through eighth-grade English, said three students were either expelled or sent to an alternative school and two others got detention. Students at the kindergarten through 12th grade school are unruly, disrespectful and rarely disciplined, Walker said. "They cuss at the teachers and throw things at them, and nothing is done," Walker said. "There was even one student who grabbed a teacher in the butt and nothing was done. The students run the school." Walker said teachers learned Wednesday about the incident, which allegedly occurred during an assembly Tuesday to talk about a 15-year-old student accused of stabbing another student to death over the weekend. The assembly was for sixth- through 12th-grade students. Fifth-grade students were not told about it, he said. But one class of about 15 fifth-grade students that routinely moves from a portable building to a main building classroom during the second hour of the school day was unattended on Tuesday. "The teacher thought it was a normal day and sent the kids to second hour," he said. "She didn't know the teacher that would normally be in there was still at the assembly." The students were alone for about 30 minutes.(...) School officials notified the Union Parish Sheriff's Office on Thursday morning and detectives questioned students. "This is one incident and everyone is making a big deal out of it," Futch said. "I never had a teacher complain to me, but I have heard them complain to each other." Sheriff Bob Buckley said charges are likely. "I have zero tolerance for drugs, violence or anything like that that goes on in school," he said. READ IT ALL


anansi said...

I also grew up in the mid-west in the 50s and early 60s but have lived most of my adult life in Canada. The US has become incomprehensible to me. Just read this article in the Guardian that seems to show the flip side of American the weird.

The rest of my family, most of whom remain in the US, just do not see that this is not a normal state of being. They all lead "normal" lives (more or less) so just dismiss it all. "People are the same everywhere", they say. "In the US it just gets publicized" When I beg to differ, I get accused of being anti-American. And these are primarily liberal leaning working class Americans who hate Bush. Strange.

Anonymous said...

Here's the root of the problem:
"This is one incident and everyone is making a big deal out of it," Futch said. "I never had a teacher complain to me, but I have heard them complain to each other."
"Futch" is the principal. Hmm