start stabbing one another and attacking pregnant teachers, does it
mean the children have become Beasts of Terror or that their parents
are simply Complacent in their duties as Parents of Vigilance?
Find out how Terrorism seeks and destroys a child's Power of
Vigilance, and how it can be restored with love and caring.
16, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 460
Kindergarten Terrorism On Rise In
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
|GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 16-- Paul
Vallas is a Terror Hunter. He hunts the kindergarten
classrooms of 200,000-student Philadelphia school district for the
Seeds of Terror. When he finds a "Terrorist In Training," he
banishes him or her from the classroom. The process is
So far this year Paul Vallas,
appointed new schools chief in July, has overseen the expulsion of 33
kindergartners. One of the students hit a pregnant teacher in
the stomach after being warned not to. Another stabbed a fellow
student with the sharp tip of a pencil, and still another exposed
himself. Seventy-nine percent of the
expulsions were boys. The penalty for "Terrorist
Behavior" in the class can be as much as ten days.
It doesn't seem kindergarten
expulsions are the privy of Philadelphia.
Walter Gilliam, a child psychologist at Yale University's
Child Study Center, reports that in Connecticut in the 1999-2000
school year, 311 5-6 year olds were "tossed out" of class for behavior
designed to Terrorize others.
Gilliam is studying the effects of
suspensions on the children. "I
think it's a bad move because it absolves the school from feeling that
it's necessary to deal with that problem within the school building,''
Gilliam said. "You push it out to the community, you push it out to
the family home, and that's where it started to begin with.''
Violence in the home negatively influences children
In opposition to the researcher's concern that the
school's have a duty to deal with violent behavior
Gwen Morris, who oversees alternative education for the
200,000-student district, says the "goal is to get the attention of
Morris said suspensions, combined with counseling and other
measures, are helpful in the city's crackdown on school violence. None
of the kindergartners have been suspended a second time, she said.
I found the comment by researcher
Gilliam falling into the Parental Complacency arena.
His comment that you "push the problem out to the community, you push
it out to the family home, and that's where it started to begin with,"
seems to be the exact and proper way to address Terrorism rather than
Parent taking Right Action
It makes little sense to not indict the parents and
community for the children's actions. It further makes
sense not to make the school systems learn how to reverse Terroristic
A school system is nothing more than
a mini government. Asking a school system to be
responsible for errant behavior is taking a giant step away from the
role of the community and parent in teaching a child how to be a
Sentinel of Vigilance rather than a Beast of Terror.
"Criminalizing" behavior such as
stabbing another student or hitting a pregnant teacher or exposing
ones self to the class sets up an Amber Alert in the community that
the child in question has been kidnapped by the Beast of Terror.
It brings the problem to the surface rather than buries it in
government's already bursting "womb of responsibility."
We forget that incorrigible
behavior starts with incorrigible parenting. Parents who
live in the quagmire of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency tend to
transfer that primordial ooze into the pores of their children.
Society, commonly used to turning its head and assuming parental
duties of guardianship over children despite their parents, has only
so many arms to hold the children. At a point, there are
too many to be managed and the system collapses.
But when society
sends a Terroristic child back to its parents and demands that the
behavior be altered, one of two options exist. Either the parent
is going to climb out of his or her Complacency quagmire and take
action and responsibility, or, the parent can ignore society's demand
for parental responsibility and remove the child from its educational
In Philadelphia, it
seems the suspension rule is working. Repeating cases of
such behavior leading to suspension the second time haven't risen.
Draw your Line
me, the issue is about where the Line of Vigilance is drawn in the
sand--is it closer to the parent or society in duty and responsibility
to protect the children, and their children's children?
Without question, I
believe that line is a circle encompassing the parent. I
believe any parent who tries to shuffle off his or her duty to raise a
Child of Vigilance is in fact a defacto Terrorist.
Through Complacency, such a parent denies his or her duty to the child
I'm also a
believer that any "crime" a child commits should be punishable not to
the child, but to the parents. They say the apple doesn't
fall far from the tree, and a child's Acts of Terror against others
reflects clearly the mirror of Complacency the parents hold. It
reflects mismanagement of parenting back upon the parent. The
child, in essence, is a Victim of Complacency.
Grandparents Form a Circle of Vigilance
I see the Philadelphia edict for
kindergarten suspension a way of taking away parental hiding places
for a child's behavior. That's good. Vigilance only
works when society demands parents shoulder the job of responsibility
for their children's actions. Only when parents are
Sentinels of Vigilance, teaching a child at least one percent more
Courage than Fear, one percent more Conviction than Intimidation, and
how to take at least one percent more Right Actions than fall
Complacent to foul behavior that stems from moral or social
Complacency--only then will society move up the evolutionary ladder of
problem with Terrorism is that it's not so obvious most of the time.
A child can be a "Terrorist in Training" without stabbing another
child with a pencil, or hitting a teacher's pregnant womb, or exposing
himself before a class.
A child of
Children of Terrorism just sit in a catatonic state, staring blankly
at the world going by. They are the Quiet Terrorists,
children who sleep with covers pulled over their heads, fearful of the
sounds oozing under the door from their parents' arguments, or fearful
of the rage of one of them bursting through the door.
Others brace themselves when
they come in the door for a verbal assault, or, worse, no recognition
of their need to be loved. We think of Terrorism in
schools in terms of inner city areas where crime and violence roars
like Dante's Inferno and neglect to recognize it seethes just as
nefariously in the up-scale communities where the parking lot is
filled with SUVs dumping off children and dotted by nannies taking
little ones here and there, all dressed in bright clothes with shiny
Lyle and Erik
Menendez, alleged victims of abuse, savagely shot-gunned their
But inside the
children are the Menendez Brothers, or the child who rushes home to
show the bright star he or she got in class only to find the parents
far too busy with "their lives" to take time out to become part of the
child's life. What Terror is there in a child being
slapped across the face by the hand of Indifference versus being
backhanded for interrupting a soap opera?
Movies like the popular
seventies' Breakfast Club depicting the alienation of teenagers in
detention, and their sad souls spilling out on the floor, illustrate
that Terrorism isn't just about stabbing other children or hitting
teachers, or setting fire to the school, or bringing a gun to show
your friends you are "cool."
"My parents don't care,"
is just as Terroristic a statement as "My parents are drunk, they
won't know..." Indifference is indifference, whether it is
induced by parental social degeneration or social climbing.
And the same solution is
necessary. Parents need to be held accountable.
I am always amazed to hear a
parent say: "My child would never do that!"
I find such a statement an
example of Parental Denial, of Parental Negligence, of Parental
Disassociation. Any child is capable of anything.
A parent who assumes his or her child is "above the Beast of Terror's
grip," is like the negligent parent who leaves the door unlocked on
the assumption the bad guys will swerve around their house in the dark
of night to fill their bags with loot.
Children are human
beings. They have within them the power of Vigilance and
the power of Terrorism. Which power is trained, nurtured
managed, or which power is neglected results in the child's stature as
a human being. If Vigilance is polished by the parents
through their acts and deeds of love and consideration for the child,
the Beast of Terror is restrained. Odds are the child
won't grow up looking in the mirror and seeing a loser, a failure,
someone who is less than others, or a victim of life surrounded by
people who only care about their outsides and none of their insides.
Sending kids home to their
community and parents who express violent behavior is only the tip of
the iceberg. What about he kids who don't feel their
parents love them? Which is a more important crime against
society, and more threatening to everyone?
It would seem to me that the child
who feels unloved is the bigger concern.
Perhaps instead of waiting for a child to
stab another child, or attack a teacher, we should have a test each
morning for all kindergartners. It's a simple test.
Each child is asked to come to the front of the room
and tell the class how their parents gave them a big love before they
left them off.
If they didn't get one, their parents would
be called and summoned to the school. And, before the entire
class, write on the blackboard one-hundred times "I AM A PARENT OF
VIGILANCE. I LOVE ______!"
Perhaps if this were done, we wouldn't have
to wait for a child to stab another, or attack a teacher, or take a
rifle and shoot people at random.
16--Felling The Terrorist Tree
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