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More Thoughts on How Things Have Changed
I've received a number of emails criticizing my column from today--the one that's printed here.

They come in two groups:

1. Life was horrible fifty years ago because of the injustice (racial, religious, etc.)


2. School was horrible fifty years ago because the school system didn't understand learning disabilities/ADD.

One of the problems of writing columns is that I only have 700 words. I can't deal with everything, and obviously I'm always going to leave out some point. And it is an opinion column, so I have to try to make a point. I have to go somewhere with what I'm saying, so yes, there are other issues that I may not bring up because they're not part of what I'm trying to say. If that makes any sense.

To all of you out there who would be in the second category, and feel that schools are far more responsive today to your children's legitimate needs, I realize what the moms were saying. You do need that extra help at school for your kids, and that just wasn't available before. That is important.

What I was talking about in the article, though, wasn't so much learning disabilities as simply disruptive and dangerous behaviour because the children are out of control because they have had no parenting. There's no doubt that these kids were more controlled in school fifty years ago than they are today. Just ask teachers how much things have changed even in the last decade.

And I think we underestimate the effect of having such kids in a class on the other kids in the class, especially the quiet and timid ones. It can make them detest school, fear school, and resent school. If these kids were controlled, school would be a much better place for the average, everyday child. Today, many of these children are really suffering because of poor parenting that the schools just can't compensate for and can't deal with.

Many schools are horrible places for kids today primarily because of the other kids. We do need to deal with this.

For the other group of people, I'm not quite so sure that these comments are entirely warranted, because in the last paragraph of the column I said that things were better in terms of justice, safety, etc. today. What we have lost is common sense. I never said that things were universally better fifty years ago; I simply said that we have lost something important.

So I hope that people understand that! I didn't mean to offend anyone! That's just the way I see it!

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At 10:07 PM , Blogger Amy said…

My husband and I loved your article!!! Our kids our in public school and it is so frustrating at times. We agree 100% on everything you said. Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged by our liberal society.

Thanks for the great article!!!!


At 10:43 PM , Anonymous Jacque said…

Speaking of the pss and children with learning disabilities/ADD, my good friend Christina Brown gave a testimony to that in her article on GGM. She has experienced both the pss and homeschooling with her son who has Asberger's Syndrome, a form of autism. He is highly functional, and her article is wonderful. I thought you might enjoy it.
Maybe you know Christina; she wrote with us on HSBA for awhile.
Here is the link:

blessings, Jacque
p.s. traced this post from a Re: on Twitter! :)


At 9:01 AM , Blogger Mel said…

Sheila I agree with your post about kids in PSS. I have 2 special needs kids who are products of the foster care system. The school is not set up to deal with traumatized children and the school system is no longer willing to allow outside help in to help kids with issues. The other point you brought up is true, while my kids are not bad their behaviors to cause issues for other children who cannot understand a melt down and who are then traumatized themselves by behaviors. We spent the last month of 2007-08 school year at the school every day to get our boys through the each day and this year they are hmschooled.

The issues are deep and I don't think you article was against SN kids at all, but pointing out how a lack of parenting and the lack of discipline effects kids in school.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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