Thursday, November 04, 2004

The ‘Purple Peace’ Saga that Won’t End…

OK…you all read about the ‘Wear Purple for Peace Day’ at Bustas’ school. Well, I decided that since a 5 year old was involved that I wouldn’t make a big stink –and just a personal ‘silent protest’ by keeping him home from school that day. I thought that would be the end of the story. Wrong. Today he came home with a Kid’s Creating Peace Pledge that is supposed to be signed and returned. It was authored by a woman named Dr. Cheryl Landy..now keep in mind that this is for grades K-6. I believe that Dr. Phil’s son has a program about ‘bullying’ that would be much more appropriate and germane to the experiences of this age range. Now I am forced to confront the situation head-on. I have never been good at keeping my mouth shut or at social conformity…I try, I really do.

…When you are presenting something that a child doesn’t have the capability to understand, it is not teaching …its indoctrination.

This is the letter I intend to send in his folder tomorrow:

Dear Mrs. B,
I am returning this pledge unsigned on Bustas's behalf.
I do not disagree with the notion of a peace pledge. However, I feel
this pledge is not age-appropriate and furthers a political and
sociological agenda that dishonors our military and therefore my family.
We espouse the notion that everyone should be treated fairly and equally
and champion the ideals of a non-violent world, however, this material
does not address the very real necessity for security in a world such as
ours. These are selfless positions of sacrifice that are undertaken by the
members of our military and domestic law enforcement with the ultimate
goal of peace in our midst.
Our country is currently at war and it is my belief that we need to stand
firmly behind our troops.
I have read the author of this pledge's work and while I appreciate the
notions that you are trying to further in school children, I disagree with
the fundamental ideological tenets of the author's position. This is not
kindergarten-level material and should not presented as such.
I am available to discuss this further at your convenience.
As Always, 
ALa71
 Any thoughts?  Am I branding my child as the ‘kid with the kooky mom’?  
Will he be ‘punished’ for my outspokenness? Should I send the letter to
his teacher or just make an appointment with the principle –or both. Or
should I just not send the pledge and not say anything? …help!

25 comments:

PunkAssBitch said...

jesus de christo on a bicycle! I'd be mad too!

"I pledge to practice peace, not war or fighting, when I play. I will not play war games or violent video games. I will not play with pretend weapons. I will not pretend to kill someone when I play."

okay...I don't push my kids into playing that way, they just DO. We don't have any toy guns here, with the exception of water pistols & bubble guns. The only real gun in the house is my dad's shotgun (locked away from his suicidal hands) & a pellet gun...oh, and my oldest son's BB gun. That doesn't stop them from making their own out of legos, sticks, even freakin' PILLOWS. Try finding ONE single video game out there that doesn't have some type of hitting or something on it...my 5 yr old's favorite game is SpongeBob Squarepants...and in order to collect the shiny objects & get to the golden spatulas...guess what? SpongeBob has to hit the things, kick them, throw them, and swipe them with his bubble wand. (fun game, takes forever to figure out how to make him do stuff though LOL).

"I pledge to practice peace at home. I will not hit or tease my brothers and sisters. I will ask my parents or caretakers if we can please all work together to create a peaceful home where there is no name-calling or hitting, and where love is expressed with caring words and actions."

BWAAHAHAHA...sibling rivalry happens, it's a fact of life. Sure, in a perfect world, there would be NO fighting at all, but even I have to resort to calling my hubster an asshole when he is being one....and I've bonked him over the head with a loaf of bread once too...for being a passive-aggressive ass LOL.

These things that they are expecting the kids to "pledge" (whatEVER! LOL!) to...these are NORMAL behaviors for kids of that age. If they don't know already that it's not okay to walk up & smack someone upside the head just for the heck of it...they will learn it in their own time, and with help... from their PARENTS!

I am not in complete disagreement with the message they are trying to put out, but I think they're expecting WAY too much for these kids, and I do agree with you that it's ill timed, we are at war, some of those kids probably have a relative or two fighting in the war...it's too confusing for them to understand. Besides that...I just really dislike the schools pushing their freaking agendas & conformist bullshit LOL. I get quite bitchy about it...that & school fundraisers....grrrr!

I think the letter is good...and fuck 'em if they don't like it. I swear, if I could handle it & knew that he'd be okay with it (he LOVES school), I'd homeschool my son 100%. I am so SICK of the schools doing this kind of crap.

This all comes from your friend, the liberal & the practicing Buddhist. I do believe in non-violent thoughts, actions & speech, and try my very level best to practice that in everything I do...but...I'm obviously not anywhere close to full enlightment and becoming Buddha, because I am HUMAN, and I live in today's society....and I'm not delusional LOL.

1138 said...

"Should I send the letter to
his teacher or just make an appointment with the principle –or both. Or
should I just not send the pledge and not say anything?"

Do the first two.
There are many things you and I disagree on, but this steps directly onto the rights of parenting.
It also steps over the line on gender roles - most boys have a natural tendency to like loud noises and rough play, it's part of our physical make up.
It is one thing to teach kids to 'play nice' - it is an entirely different thing to have them pledge pacifism and demand that little boys not be little boys.

Go gettem with the encouragement of this centrist.

folkgirl said...

This is a bit much to ask of little KIDS! Maybe they should send home a letter encouraging parents to monitor what their kids are watching on TV and which video games they are playing as a way to curb violent natures instead. And Spongebob is a bit different than Grand Theft Auto - my hubby would freak out if The Boy's school told him not to play the likes of that.

We keep the TV off around The Boy, try to have non- violent toys around and would never lay a hand on the kid, but he still learned to hit and knows that biting and pinching can get quite a reaction. It is in their nature.

I still don't think that using the fact that we are at war is any reason to disagree with the idea of a "peace day" or whatever. I stand by my belief that we should teach children to solve differnces using non-violent means - in ways they can understand. What if terrorists stopped recruiting kids to detonate bombs? What if they stopped teaching kids to hate westerners? I know this is idealistic, but someone has to start.

And by opposing this war and wanting our troops to come home does not mean we do not support the troops. Period.

And The Boy couldn't have been Bam Bam at school anyway since witches are offended by Halloween. UGH!!!

Kat said...

I agree, it needs to be addressed and I think it needs to go to the principal and maybe the school board. I also agree that the references to war might need to be re-worked or taken out. Your main message should be about what the school is responsible for teaching and what is the responsibility of parents. This is one area in our current education system that I have had a major problem with. Taking the responsibilities away from the parents.

My thoughts on wording:

Dear Mrs. B, Mr.___________, and Members of the Board,

My son, Justice ________________, attends kindergarten class at ______________________. On November __, 2004, his class sponsored a "Wear Purple for Peace Day". On November __, 2004, he came home with a "Kids Creating Peace Pledge".

I am returning this pledge unsigned on Justice's behalf. I do not disagree with the notion of a peace pledge. However, I feel this pledge is not age-appropriate and furthers a political and sociological agenda that is not the responsibility of the teacher nor the school to address, rather, it is the responsibility of the parents of the children to explain what is right and wrong and appropriate actions in response to those issues.

I have read the author of this pledge's work and while I appreciate the notions that you are trying to further in school children, I disagree with the fundamental ideological tenets of the author's position. This is not kindergarten-level material and should not presented as such.

I am available to discuss this further at your convenience.

Sincerely,

Mrs. ALa71 Tescosuicide

Bigandmean said...

Ala,
I'm not saying that I'd do it this way but I can tell you how it would be handled by many mothers in the East Texas bible belt.

Mrs. B,

If you send any more kunbaya crap like that peace pledge home with my kid I will personally come down there and kick your ass. Tell your principal if he doesn't like it he's next.

Now have a nice day.


Justices's Mom

Tom said...

Dear Mrs. B.:

May I recommend an excellent orthoscopic surgeon whose services I'm sure you will require as a result of the injuries to your knee caused by its constant jerking.

Peace, Love and Sooooooooulllllllllllllllllll

Mr. & Mrs. ___________________

Tom said...

Dear Mrs. B:

Justice has a .357 Magnum in his lunchbox and is instructed to use it the moment you look up from reading this note.

Sincerely,

Mrs. ____________________



Dear Mrs. B.:

Justice will gladly take the peace oath once we have annihilated every raghead terrorist.

With Affection.

Mr & Mrs. ________________________


Dear Mrs. B.:

If Justice takes the oath of peace, does this mean he won't be allowed to kick the shit out of his classmates whose parents voted for John Kerry?

Your prompt reply will be appreciated so that we can discontinue the martial arts classes.

Respectfully,

Mr & Mrs. _________________________________

ALa said...

Maybe I should have explained why I felt it important to include the troops...
1) Any type of 'peace' demonstrations after war has been declared on our country (and troops are in harm's way) make me very prickly...I'm not saying people don't have the right to do it, but it doesn't sit well with me personally...as I feel they are fighting to acheive peace. Maybe that's it--we all have a vision of peace, but different ideas on how to get there.

2) I was reading the 'Doctor's' peace-page to The Man outloud...Justice was, of course, listening as usual...
J: Mom, does my school think army men are bad? Pop Pop isn't bad...
Me: No bud, I think they are saying...
J: AND MOM, I thought army guys were getting bad guys...why is that bad if they're getting the BAD guys...I don't get it...

folkgirl said...

And you should definitely take it up with his teacher or principal rather than just ignore it. There are those teachers out there who would inevitably say, in front of the whole class, "Justice, where is your form??"

The Oracle said...

A 1999 cross-cultural study of aggression done at McDonald's playgrounds, pre-schoolers in France playfully touched each other twice as much U.S. children did, but while the French children acted aggressively only 1 percent of the time, the U.S. youth did so 29 percent of the time.

Is this an attempt to French-ify American boys?
It should be noted that the French haven't won a war in modern history.

Tom said...

Does anyone need a stronger argument in favor of home schooling?

Of course, it's conservatives' own fault. They went to sleep while these Maoist re-education camps were being constructed. What the hell did everybody think liberals were going to do when they were handed this country's education system - both public and private?

Now conservative parents have to sweat out these issues that in another time would have been no-brainers: Try to brainwash my kid with your left wing political claptrap and I'll shove a baseball bat up your ass, stick you in a freezer and turn you into a popsicle.

Kat said...

Ala,

I understand how you feel about the military, but if you go there they may dismiss your concerns as just some right winger warmongerer. I think if you address the general issue of them overstepping the bounds, you might get their attention more.

Maybe you should word it more strongly concerning the conflict that they have caused in your son. Vis a Vis that conversation you just pointed out. Let me think on it some.

I know you want to rain fire and brimstone down on them, but maybe you could get some other folks to agree with you and sign the letter as well as long as it did not appear to be advocating war. Know any of Justice's class mates parents?

The main issue isn't war and peace. Really, it is about what the school is responsible for and what you as a parent are responsible for. They should stick to reading, writing and arithmatic. That should be your message.

Because it's not just this. The next thing they'll be doing is passing out those little books about why katie has two mommies. I don't have a problem with why katie has two mommies but it isn't the schools place to explain.

The schools are trying to do social engineering via education. Not their place. never has been. never will be.

Kat said...

Second round of thoughts:

Dear Mrs. B, Mr.___________, and Members of the Board,

My son, Justice ________________, attends kindergarten class at ______________________. On November __, 2004, his class sponsored a "Wear Purple for Peace Day". On November __, 2004, he came home with a "Kids Creating Peace Pledge".

I am returning this pledge unsigned on Justice's behalf. I do not disagree with the notion of a peace pledge. However, I feel this pledge is not age-appropriate and furthers a political and sociological agenda that is not the responsibility of the teacher nor the school to address, rather, it is the responsibility of the parents of the children to explain what is right and wrong and appropriate actions in response to those issues.

My son has already questioned whether this means our soldiers are bad and if they are, does that mean his grandfather, who served in the military, was bad.

We espouse the notion that everyone should be treated fairly and equally and champion the ideals of a non-violent world, however, we also stress the honor, duty and sacrifice that is represented by our military and domestic law enforcement officers with the ultimate goal of peace in our midst.

I have read the author of this pledge's work and while I appreciate the notions that you are trying to further in school children, I disagree with the fundamental ideological tenets of the author's position. This is not kindergarten-level material and should not presented as such.

Therefore, Justice did not participate in "Wear Purple for Peace Day" and I will not be signing the peace pledge on his behalf. I ask you to reconsider using this program in your curriculum now and in the future.

I am available to discuss this further at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Ala

****************************

All the "I"s can be "we's" if the man wants to join in on the fun.

If you really want to stir up a hornets next, get the names and phone numbers of Justice's parents and start asking them if they had ever heard of Dr. Landy and what the peace pledge was about.

Some of them are bound to be concerned as well about it. More than one voice is always a nice resounding echo. Of course, you may find some who have no problem with it but that's why I say you need to stick with the rational of what is the parent's responsibility and what it the teachers. Even the ACLU would have to agree on your rights I think. That's how you get the others involved.

Infringement on the rights of parents, not discussions over the rights and wrongs of war.

folkgirl said...

Right on Kat! Make it a parenting issue. Schools are there to teach facts and what the differing opinions about those facts may be (age appropriate, of course), but not to tell the kids which ones are correct.

My Boy is not old enough to start asking all of those deep questions and I can completely understand your concern about how Justice has responded to this. Again, my belief is that we have no business in Iraq and that Bush really screwed this one up. But our schools should not be sending the message that our troops are bad because they are fighting. Maybe, tell Justice that they don't mean that his grandfather is bad, it's just that they wish everyone got along so that wars don't have to happen.

I feel bad for the poor kid. He's supposed to trust teachers, but is getting the message that this as a slam on his family. That's got to get a little mind a bit confused and frustrated.

Good luck, ALa!

The Cassandra Page said...

Seek out likeminded parents (there are more of them than you realize). Go to the school board meetings and raise he--. (School board members HATE that.) The school will respond only to pressure.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

As I was reading that pledge, at first I was thinking it to be pretty benign stuff, and was wondering what all your fuss was about, but then I got to the part where it says "I will not play war" and pretty much equated role-playing being a cop or a soldier, to role-playing being a rapist or a drug dealer. I think I myself would refuse to sign such a pledge.

Not fighting other kids at school is one thing, but trying to pretend this world can go on without anyone ever offering any resistance to evil men at home or abroad, is a suicide pact not even worthy of the mantle of an "ideology".

CylentBob said...

I think your response was very appropriate. You stated your argument clearly, and refrained from calling Justice's teacher a "cheese eating surrender monkey". Very tactful.

Some parents are considered to be "cool" because they get high with their kids. Others are considered "cool" because they burn copies of their kids' newest Eminem and Ludacris discs to listen to on the way to work. I think your kids will someday tell people "My mom is cool because she understands the value of a free-market economy and realizes that deterrence doesn't come from rolling into a fetal position."

J. Marquis said...

Ala71, even though I'm a Dem I am totally on your side on this issue. Your kid is way too young to have to deal with this stuff at school. I don't blame you for being pissed. I would be mad regardless of whether it was about purple peace or supporting Dubya.

ALa said...

Thank you SO much everyone that commented (and emailed while damn blogger was giving us what we pay for...). It really helped to have the moral support. I really didn't consider this a political issue --just one of respect and MY right to teach my child. I don't usually feel insecure about doing things once I make up my mind -but this was bothering me and I am glad I could run it by all of you!
I sent the letter this morning and not a peep when I picked him up...I have a feeling that I haven't heard the end of this.

Cig: I wasn't that upset about the pledge (except for the bit that you pointed out -if Justice signed it -it would have been a lie because him and his brother are out in the backyard helping our 'Army Men' catch Bin Laden every day.) Anyway --click on the link to her name and read her 'philosophy'...that's wear the problem was ...she even goes into women 'dressing slutty'?! It's insane...so< I should have said that it wasn't so much the pledge -but her web page.
ALSO -had he gone to school Wednesday I am sure they would have had him sign this there and I would have known nothing about it (maybe none of the other parents do).

Thanks guys (and gals of course)...seriously!

Bigandmean said...

Ala,
I started to recommend, seriously this time, a response to Justice's teacher but then I read what Kat wrote and decided there was no need. I think she nailed it. And I think Tom is a good guy to have on your side and about as full of it as I am.

91ghost said...

One really has to shudder at the true intentions behind such a Stalinist as "Dr." Landy. If you really think about it, the woman is a rapist.

ALa said...

GHOST! You're back!...and you don't have to board up your house or move to a bunker!
I was dying to tell you about this 'peace' program! Can you believe this crap!

Vadergrrrl said...

hey sweetie. came by to give you a hug and tell you how fuckin rad you are. im going to link you on my crazy blog, i hope thats okay.

you definately should get haloscan. i currently have both. whenever i make a post, each time, i turn the blogger comments off. that way, i never got rid of my old blogger comments. if you go to my blog and right click view and source you can see my html codes. you can see where i placed the haloscan. that way it wont kill off your old comments, but each time you make a new post you have to click the blogger button at the bottom that says "no comments". i didnt want to get rid of my old blogger commnts either. adn if they are all still there.

you definately need haloscan here, with the amount of comments you get. it makes for such easier discussion cuz you can read the comments as you comment.

anyway, have a good saturday.
xxooo

ALa said...

Hey Vader! I was actually going to link you and PAB this morning, but was telling The Man that you guys don't fit into any of my link headers...I have to think of a special designation...maybe 'Vital Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll Blogs'....? LOL!
I think I am going to give-in and do the Haloscan...Blogger has been giving me ulcers!
Have a great weekend!

AuntiCraker said...

Dude that is so a bunch of CRAP! My son's tutor keeps making comments to him about the war. They need to stick to teaching our kids.