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some random thoughts and questions re shooting rampage
1 (a madar)
salaam doostan,
like you all I was very sad to hear the news of school shooting. I have some questions (excuse my random thoughts):
-do teachers and school staff check the students lockers regularly? is it up to them to do it, or is it their duty, or they don't have the right to do it?
-my children sing songs about "killing Barney" brutally. I asked their teacher if I should worry about it, and she said, "Oh, no! It is a tradition and we used to sing songs about killing our teachers and burning the school..." and was I shocked! after all, we grew up with "jor-e ostAd beh ze mehr-e pedar!" so, is it really okay??? I just don't feel comfortable hearing them sing this kind of things.
-I remember the article posted about how new generation of Americans are growing up with media and dramatic movies and have no sense of what real life is about! this incident exemplifies it. it is scary! our children may not have violent behavior, but how much are they really impacted by TV and video games?
-is it the violence that is glamorized in this society, or the "power" and wanting to have the power is what leads to violence in this #1 nation? what values (if you can call them values) are children getting from this society?
BTW, thanks to the mother who mentioned the Turn-your-TV-off week, we have our TV off this week. interestingly, it was on the news last week that parents of some school shooting victims have a lawsuit agains the makers of violent films and video games. (Since their attorney is the ex-attorney general of their state -I forget which state- they might prove some substance of their claim.)
I wonder what kind of thoughts this incident has stirred in your minds bout living in America?
I am surely getting to understand why some people prefer home-schooling for their children though I will not consider it myself.
2 (a madar)
> -do teachers and school staff check the students lockers regularly? is it
i think this actually violates the constitution. but, after kids started bringing drugs to school, some states made it legal to randomly search the lockers. however, the school has to prove the search was random and they were not targetting a special person or group. > -my children sing songs about "killing Barney" brutally. I asked
if it makes you feel uncomfortable, then it's wrong. that's my motto. killing barney is a joke. but, cruel jokes like this make the action seem little bit less wrong every time.
> -I remember Reza posted an article about how new generation of Americans
a lot. kids have a hard time distinguishing reality from fiction at times. when all that kids get from tv, movies, video games, toys, etc. is violence, then they start believing that violence is actually the way of life.
> -is it the violence that is glamorized in this society, or the "power" and
our kids learn that being on top is the most important thing in life. the big message these days is to get up there no matter what the consequences. they learn this from their role models, from actors to politicians to athletes. even parents teach the same lesson to their kids by spending every hour of their day trying to make more money and becoming better than the rest financially.
> I wonder what kind of thoughts this incident has stirred in your minds
i, for one, was very upset. i cried and cried for a long time. every time they showed the school kids, i kept seeing my daughter's face amongst them. this society is getting way out of hand. moral standards are becoming the thing of the past. when a 17 year old can shoot a schoolmate right in the face and laugh out loud about it, you know there's something seriously wrong with the society.
the only remedy i can think of is to spend lots and lots of hours with your children trying to teach them the REAL values. i read a book some years ago called "emotional intelligence". that's what we need to keep improving in our kids. i recommend reading that book to all parents of young children.
and, trust me on the sunscreen :-)
2 (a mother)
In my daughter's school they don't have lockers and backpacks are not checked. As for the high schools here in our town, I'm not sure if they do, but there is security in all schools. I believe that teachers, school administrators and security do have the right to check lockers if there is even the slightest concern regarding weapons or drugs. Then again, that wouldn't stop kids from taping weapons to their ankles under pants either, but then again, we can never be sure or safe period.
In my personal opinion I think kids have been left to their own devices way too long. Parents become too busy to touch base with their kids and talk heart to heart. I know when something is bothering my children and I make sure they understand that I'm there to listen. Kids need sounding boards and when you don't have an adult that you respect around to talk to, who do you talk to? A friend who may or may not have the best morales or ideas in the world. I think that video games and movies play very little role in the behaviors of these kids, but more it's the combination of everything rolled into one that sets off terrible sprees.
As for my thoughts as to what has recently happened? Do you know how hard it is for me not to tell my husband to sell lock, stock and barrel and move to Iran. . .granted this sort of thing is everywhere in the world, but I have had more then enough and want to live my life in peace and my children to live theirs in peace with minimum fear that they may not make it to the next day.
Just my opinion ;-)
3 (a mother)
I was also sad about the shocking news, but unfortunately a few of this traumatic cases are on the increase. A few things are still under our own control if we want our own kids to have a better and brighter future that those kids:
-As someone already mentioned, TV has a major impact on what kids learn about what's happening around them, either glamourizing fashion, body shape, guns, violence, sex, etc. etc. The types of cartoons we grow up with have changed, they are part now of the "Special Channel", you got to pay extra, which is worth it and I rather do, than having our kids to watch sleeky, evil figure type cartoons that are nonsense, never speaking a decent word, etc. In our household, TV is off during weekdays and Saturday and Sunday mornings the kids can watch a couple of cartoons from the extra paid channel, only because I remember how much I enjoy watching "good" cartoons myself. Another option we got is watching a video, which have already been chosen from the list, we as parents, have prepared for the kids.
-The more options you let to the kids, the more they will have a hard time to make up their mind. Choose a couple of good videos and let them choose their favorite from "those", seat with them to watch it and enjoy while having "home made popcorn".
-Make your kids aware that there are some types of videos, cartoons, that are not good, because of the contents. Show them why. Make a point on saying why is it that as parents you have decide not to have them watch that sort of videos/program. Never leave the kid wondering why is it that you have taken that decision.
-Same thing about fashion/body shape/music. Teach them to feel proud of their body, but to keep to themselves what was made to be private. To teach them to feel proud of who they are, as Human Beings. To dress with "class" and not like the "class". As someone mentioned in another subject, "TO BE A LEADER AND NOT A FOLLOWER". To the girls, to speak up their mind, with respect to herself as a human being first and respecting others as well. To the boys to care about everyone, putting always both, in everyone else's shoes, before doing something.
-I as a Spanish madar, I love music and enjoy it, and we have exposed the kids to different types of music. From classical, instrumental, relaxation to Spanish and Iranian music. Why to leave to their peers to teach them when teenagers how "cool" is the music, when we can teach them a good "hearing" to the music. To enjoy it in themselves. To differentiate what is music from the "massive mess" and "bad messages" some songs might have.
-To teach our kids to take care of their mind the same way we take care of our bodies. The same hygiene customs, brushing our teeth a few times a day, our face, our bodies, feed it, to teach them the mind needs to get feed and wash on a daily basis as well. To teach the kids that the videos mentioned-above don't contribute to keep our minds clean and "in shape". That GOOD READING is an excellent exercise our bodies enjoys and expand the muscles in it. That 1 hour of TV does not necessarily increase our knowledge of what we are watching, but one hour of reading, can provide us with knowledge that might help us in an emergency situation.
-To make learning an EXCITING and not a boring subject. To MAKE THE TIME, we owe to make for them, as they are our children, we are their parents, and no job in this entire planet has the value our kids have.
-A major reason for the kids that end-up in gangs or wrong peers, is that sometimes in the "high-speed" society/business life we have, we let them go to join their friends, just to get out of our way and have more time for ourselves and other things.
Having a family is not an easy task, and having a GOOD family it means lots, and lots of sacrifices. Very well worth. We can do our best at home, starting when the kids are little and not trying to do something when the kid is already grown and gone. WE CAN DO IT. We as parents, have the capacity to turn our kids lives in the right direction, with the right approach into their lifes, interests, checking on their peers and families, following our six-senses when we feel something might be wrong. The kids might not always be happy about our decisions, but conscientiously if we know we are doing our very best for their own interest, putting ourselves in their shoes, one day they will appreciate.
Don't expect that in a society in many ways different to Iranians and Salvadoreans, our kids have to be 100% the same way as them or make them feel they ought to. We have to take the best and discard the rest. We have to take caution when we feel we have to. They might get upset at our measures sometimes because John and Jane's parents don't do that way, but you know, dear, each parent has their own ways and beliefs and that's what make us INDIVIDUALS. With love and respect to each other, till the end.
Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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