Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Almost Fall and it's Back to School Time!

It' s now been over a month since most of the kids in the local Fresno, Central, and Clovis Unified School Districts( besides the private faith-based schools) have resumed their daily routines and attendance. Oh, but the mad scrambling of schedules to accommodate the after-school activities that are no longer available on campus. Transportation is a big deal. And carpools only work in a limited fashion.

Gone are the days when a school's auditorium or classrooms or playing fields were readily available for use by groups whose members were students at that school. Remember Camp Fire Girls? Girl Scouts? Boy Scouts? Pick-up basketball,football, baseball, and soccer games? No after-school meetings of student groups for extra-curricular activities unless it's a strictly organized rehearsal or practice. or "extended daycare" with an actual teacher or administrator present. Hey, now a days a bunch of kids aren't even allowed to hang around after-school to even kick a ball around on their own. And we wonder why kids aren't getting as much physical play time?

Gone are the overloaded bike racks of yore, when everyone rode their bikes or walked to school. We're too scared to allow our kids the independence that we had. And if we do, and something does happen to them, then we run the risk of being accused of bad parenting. What a "Catch-22". Children must now be promptly picked up...heaven forbid that a parent's vehicle should have mechanical problems! The school has the authority to report such dereliction of parental duties to Child Protective Services. Public transportation? The bus system is so inconvenient. It doesn't go where you want and when you want it. And again, children riding unsupervised? Such an idea!

I know, I know. The schools' cannot assume the liability for what happens to student's once the school day has ended. But they barely want to assume the liability during the regular school day also. Common sense doesn't seem to prevail as regards students and medications. Asthma inhalers are kept locked up in the school office, and the office workers aren't allowed to administer them to the kids. So if your child has an asthma attack on the playground or classroom, that inhaler is really going to do them a lot of good in a locked cabinet? Same thing for diabetes medications. The extra syringes and needles and insulin aren't going to anyone much good if the child cannot keep them in his backpack and readily available. Ditto for anti-bee sting adrenalin pre-loaded syringes. And the zero tolerance policy on medications makes those Pamprin or MIdol tablets that we used to take during "that time of the month" ( especially when adolescent cycles are just establishing themselves with varying degrees of discomfort) totally banned and grounds for suspension and expulsion! Didn't know we were such subversive elements in our youth!

All the legal mumbo-jumbo twists things around to point that those that the rules and laws are supposed to protect, are actually harmed by the threat of legal action based on the very language of those rules and laws. I still maintain that it seems that oftentimes something may be legal, but it's neither moral nor ethical to continue down a certain path to accomplish a goal.

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