Saturday, April 13, 2013

Education Roundtable Discussion including Common Core

Dr. Jesse Register and members of this Senior Team met with the Council Education Committee and Council members to discuss the changes in the Administration Office and throughout the schools, including a discussion concerning core curriculum, alternative learning, community achieve, project based learning, charter schools, the proposed budget and more.

For an explanation of Common Core see 34:00-40:27 in the video. Forty-five states have adopted common core at this point.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Alexander and Corker join in voting to end Rand Paul led filibuster of background-check compromise bill

In a 68-to-31 vote yesterday 16 Senate Republicans sided with Democrats and voted for cloture ending the filibuster led by Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee of a bipartisan background-check compromise bill sponsored by Harry Reid.

The compromise bill would close the gun show loophole on background checks and the Internet loophole but would exempt all "personal" transfers of weapons between individuals. It also does not contain bans on either assault weapons or high-capacity magazines which gun control advocates had hoped for. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)who has a perfect A+ rating from the NRA led the Republican effort to reach the compromise.

Pro gun rights advocates got some of what they wanted in the bill. The bill permits gun permit holders in one state to carry their gun in another state which is currently not permitted. The NRA initially did  not oppose the compromise saying it was better than the universal background check proposed by President Obama, but then later came out with a denunciation of it.

Tennessee Senators Alexander and Corker were among those voting to cut off debate. Below is the full list of Republicans who voted for the cloture motion.

  • Lindsey Graham (SC) 
  • Lamar Alexander (TN) 
  • Kelly Ayotte (NH) 
  • Richard Burr (NC) 
  • Saxby Chambliss (GA) 
  • John McCain (AZ)
  • Tom Coburn (OK) 
  • Susan Collins (ME) 
  • Bob Corker (TN)
  • Jeff Flake (AZ) 
  • John Hoeven (ND)
  • Johnny Isakson (GA) 
  • Dean Heller (NV) 
  • Mark Kirk (IL) 
  • Pat Toomey (PA) 
  • Roger Wicker (MS)  
The compromise bill was an amendment to the main bill and the finale bill must be voted on again, and no doubt will face another filibuster and if it passes the Senate, it must still pass in the house, so this is far from a done deal.

For more on this issue follow this link, this link, this link and this.

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Sponsored by
Davidson County Republican Party
SATURDAY, April 13th, 2013
8:30 am – Dutch Treat - Breakfast & Social
9:00 am - Meeting
546 Donelson Pike  37214
Guest Speaker
Bob Ries
Candidate US Congress 5th District
Reaching out to win!
For Country, Constitution and Flag
Presented by Alex and Kathyrn Stillwell
Chairmen of the Donelson-Hermitage Conservative Group
Join the Party!!!

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The April 16th Metro Council agenda is now available

The April 16th Metro Council agenda is now available. If you will wait I will read if for you and tell you if there is anything important on the agenda and tell you what I think about it. If you can't wait, you can find it at this link: April 16th Council Agenda.

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Tennessee Freedom Coalition listed by U. S. Army as a hate group

The Tennessee Freedom Coalition is a conservative organization headquartered here in Nashville. Recently, a Fort Campbell Army colonel advised his subordinates to be on the lookout for soldiers who might be members of “domestic hate groups.” "When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values," he wrote, " – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem."  On his list of "domestic hate groups" was the Tennessee Freedom Coalition. (link)

Who is TFC?  On their website they respond to the question, "who are we?" like this:

The Tennessee Freedom Coalition is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization designed to educate Tennesseans on policy matters relating to equitable tax structures, education reform, vibrant economic paradigms, immigration issues, limited government, health care, Islamic radicalization, job creation, and our proper constitutional relationship to the federal government.
There Chairman and Executive Director is Andrew Miller.  Andy Miller is well known to local conservative political activist. He is a wealthy individual and a major Republican  fundraiser and well-connected in Republican circles. Second in command and also holding the title of "Executive Director" is Lou Ann Zelenik. Zelenik has ran in a Republican primary twice against Diane Black in very continuous, hotly contested races. She was also a leader in opposition to the establishment of the Muslim Mosque in Murfreesboro.

Another well know members of Board of TFC is Jeff Hartline who  ran in the 5th District Republican Primary for the U.S. Congress in 2010 and who led Kerry Roberts’ successful 18th District Senate campaign. Another name you may recognize is that of Glen Hughes who was, until recently, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Assembly, a group that thinks they are the only real Republicans and all other Republicans are RINOs.

The list of advocacy issue that TFC focuses on is below: 
  • Educate citizens on the realities of Sharia and stop the growth of Radical Islam
  • Promote Positive education reform
  • Promote a fairer and flatter tax structure for America
  • Promote cultural cohesion by opposing Illegal Immigration
  • Promote market-based healthcare reform
  • Promote job creation In Tennessee by reducing government interference
  • Promote a return to the Constitutional principles which made America the land of individual liberty
  • Promote citizens rights to keep and bear arms
  • Promote the Sanctity of Life for the unborn 
I agree with TFC on many issue. The issue that TFC has focused on most however, as far as I can tell, is the anti-Sharia movement. They sponsored  Geert Wilders'  appearance at the Cornerstone Church in Nashville last year. Wilders is controversial Netherlands politician know for his campaign against the "Islamisation" of the Netherlands. He attempted to ban the Quran in the Netherlands and he was, for a while, banned from entry into the United Kingdom because he was considered "a threat to society."

In addition to making the Army's list as a hate group, TFC is also on the list of the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Is TFC a "hate group?" Are they a danger to society? Not in my opinion.  I take issue with their anti-Islam zealotry and think it borders on spreading irrational fear.  In my view, TFC and others in the anti-Sharia movement tend to paint all Muslims with the same brush.  I recognize a broad spectrum of Islamic thought. There is diversity among Muslims. I believe that most Muslims can assimilate into American society and be good Americans and I do not believe all Muslims are fundamentalist Jihadist.  Neither do I thing that we are in any danger of waking up one day soon living under Sharia law.

On the other hand, I recognize that there are terrorist sympathizers among some in the Muslim community. We should be concerned about the establishment of schools that teach a radical brand of Islam. I hope the FBI is keeping tabs on potential terrorist and I support restricting the immigration of undesirables. However, I believe Muslims have as much right to build a Mosque as do Mormons to build a temple. I am not comfortable with the tone of the anti-Muslim message of TFC.  That however does not make them a "hate group"  I know some of these people. Jeff Hartline is a good guy.  I would vote for him for US Congress and would prefer Jeff Hartline representing me in Congress over Jim Cooper. While I think TFC is off-base on some things, they are not a "hate group."

Another "hate group" on the Army's list and the list of the Southern Poverty Law Center is the Family Research Council. Apparently FRC made the list because they believe they homosexuality is a sin. View there website. This is a group of good Christians who take their faith seriously.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a private group and can name anyone they want as a hate group. I can start my own list of "hate groups" and I can list the Southern Poverty Law Center if I should want to do so. Unfortunately, much of the mainstream press gives credence to the SPLC list and if a group makes that list they are considered a hate group by many.  I, however, take making the SPLC list with a grain of salt.  Along with neo-Nazis the SPLC include many who are simply politically incorrect by mainstream liberal standards.

Being on an Army list is a different matter than being on the SPLC list. I think it is dangerous when the Army can create a list of "hate groups" and have on that list groups like the FRC and TFC along side violence-prone groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The army's list may become a standard that is use by others to label as subversives those who belong to or attend functions of groups like the FRC or TFC. A list like this can be used to stifle descent. Will churches that teach homosexuality is a sin be added to the list?  Will those that have views outside of politically correct mainstream liberalism live in fear of being added to the list?  Will conservative activist monitor what they say in order to avoid being added to the list?  A government list of "hate groups" is dangerous. A greater threat to our liberty than TFC or FRC is for the Army to arbitrarily, without any standards for doing so, and without due process, to create a list of domestic hate groups.

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Why were all Republicans replaced on the election commission

Will the city's newly appointed election commissioners do a better ...
Nashville Scene

The outgoing Republican commissioners, Dickerson says, were "all very good people, all good public servants." Asked directly why the GOP delegation decided to replace the trio, Dickerson says that as a result of a number of factors in and out of the commission's control, a "contentious situation" had developed. In light of that, he says, the delegation felt "a fresh start was the way to go." (link)

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First Lady Michelle Obama To Speak At MLK's Graduation

Metro Nashville Public Schools plans to announce that First Lady Michelle Obama will be the commencement speaker at Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School's graduation. Full Story

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What happend at the Nashville School Board meeting of April 9

This school board meeting is only 48 minutes long, which is kind of short for a Metro School Board meeting. The meeting ends abruptly mid-sentence instead of continuing to adjournment, so I don't know if more occurred than is what on this video or not, but I assume nothing else important took place. It looks like they were about through the agenda. The school board produces good agendas with all of the attachments. To follow along with the agenda follow this link.

One thing I like about School Board meetings is the effort to involve students and recognize outstanding student achievement and the opportunity for public involvement. School Board meetings really have a much more community town hall feel than do Metro Council meetings. If you have never watched one, please do. Anyone may address the board during the pubic comment period, so if you have a complaint or suggestion to the school board, you can to be heard. School board meeting are not simply about school policy and passing resolutions.  One can really get a feel for what is going on in the schools from watching a school board meeting.

It is announced that two school board members will be attending the National School Board Members Associations in San Diego. I do not have a problem with members of our school board attending a national conference. I tend to think it is a good thing that members of our school board are networking with school board members from across the nation. National conferences, however, can be occasions for a vacation at taxpayers' expense and I hope there is adequate accountability to insure that this is a justifiable use of public funds. While in general I think it is a good thing that members of the Council and the School Board attend national conferences, I think there should be a report of how much this is costing the taxpayers.

At 34:35 in the video the Board begins the discussion of the proposed annual school budget and presents a slide presentation on the budget. The proposal is for an increase in funding of approximately $43.7 million or a 6.1% increase over the current budget. To see more detail of the draft budget see the agenda starting at page 67 at this link.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Will a voucher program be a Trojan Horse for control of private schools?

Rep. Frank Nicely posted this recent comment on a Facebook post:

We need LESS federal involvement in education, not more. My fear is that any federal voucher program would be used as Trojan Horse for more federal mandates, not just on public education, but private schools as well. $1,300 dollars per child will do little to make better private schools more accessible, but will let the federal bureaucracy in yet again to steer the course for our children's academic curriculum.
He also posted a link to to an article from the Cato Institute. Below is an excerpt from the article and the link:
GOP Senators Playing With Federal Education Fire

It’s easy to understand why several prominent GOP Senators, including Sens. Lamar Alexander, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio, are sponsoring federal school voucher legislation. State-level voucher programs have raised student achievement, increased high school graduation rates, and boosted college matriculation. School choice programs are also market-based initiatives that aid and appeal to low-income voters. As Senator Paul argued:....

It is very likely that a federal voucher program will lead to increased federal regulation of private schools over time. While there’s no law of the cosmos that states that federal dollars must come with strings attached, they most often do. And while the GOP legislators proposing the vouchers will likely keep regulations light at the outset, when the political pendulum swings—as it inevitably will—opponents of vouchers might find that it’s politically easier to add regulations to the program than to kill it outright. Once private schools become dependent on the federal money that their students bring with them, the vast majority will accept the new regulations rather than forgo the funding.
I have generally been in favor of school voucher programs. The most widely used education voucher program was the GI Bill.  Hundreds of thousands of adult students attended the college or trade school of their choice using the GI bill. It served us well.  

I support more school choice. However, I think the concern of Representative Nicely and Cato are well-founded.  Some people have expressed concern that vouchers could be used by some parents to send their child to a Muslim school.  I would not be overly concerned if a parent wanted their child to be educated in a Muslim school. However, there is a branch of Islam, the Wahhabi sect, that is being financed by  the Saudis and they are aggressively establishing schools around the world. These schools teach a radical form of Islam and are radicalizing many Muslims. I do not think it far fetched to think that there are or will be Wahhabi schools in America and I would not want tax dollars flowing to these schools. So, would we prohibit the use of vouchers to Muslim schools?  Would authorities have to examine curriculum to separate the good Muslim schools from the bad Muslim schools?

I can also see a group of white nationalist establishing a school.  Maybe far fetched, but it could happen. What about schools that do not teach hate or radicalize students but simply teach ignorance?  Should a Christian school that teaches as fact creationism and Biblical accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, the parting of the Red Sea, and that the earth is only 6,000 years old be financed with vouchers?

I see no way to have a voucher program without the funding authority regulating content of the curriculum.  I think Cato is right that what might start out as minimal regulation would grow.  I think we should reject a Federal voucher program and leave it up to each state to develop their own voucher program if they desire. I am also concerned about a state dictating to private schools but I fear state authority less than Federal authority. I would still like for the State to experiment with vouchers but think we should take if slow and realize the dangers. The Cato piece and the embedded links within the piece provide good food for thought.

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Joe Carr raises over $200K in bid for 4th District race.

The, April 09, 2013- State Rep. Joe Carr announced Tuesday that his Exploratory Committee for Congress raised over $200,000 in his effort to become Tennessee’s next Congressman from the 4th District.(read more)

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Margaret Thatcher RIP

Margaret Thatcher died of a stroke yesterday at the age of 86, becoming the last of the great leaders of the 20th century to have passed away.  She will be remembered for turning Britain away from their slide into mediocrity, poverty, and insignificance, for privatizing many of the socialist enterprises of England, and for standing shoulder to shoulder with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul in declaring Communism to be an evil in the world and helping to bring about the end of the Communist era. The world is a much better place because of Margaret Thatcher.

For tributes and comments see below:

Heritage Remembers Margaret Thatcher (VIDEO)


At a time when the Soviet Empire was still a powerful force, oppressing millions of people, Lady Thatcher tackled communism head on as prime minister of Great Britain.

She believed in the crucial need for America to exert international leadership in the cause of freedom and partnered with conservative American leaders like Ronald Reagan and The Heritage Foundation to ensure individual liberty.

Her commitment to the principles of free enterprise, limited government, and individual freedom lace the eternal friendship between The Heritage Foundation and Lady Thatcher.

Corker Statement on Passing of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement on the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

“Margaret Thatcher will rightly be remembered as a plain-spoken and aggressive advocate for democracy and free markets and for her strong leadership in the fight against communism, which helped preserve and strengthen Western values and institutions for generations to come. Her courage, clear thinking and lifelong friendship with the United States continues to inspire us all,” said Corker.

Margaret Thatcher’s vigorous virtues 

By George Will, April 8, 2013 - .... She aimed to be the moral equivalent of military trauma, shaking her nation into vigor through rigor.

As stable societies mature, they resemble long-simmering stews — viscous and lumpy with organizations resistant to change and hence inimical to dynamism. Her program was sound money, laissez faire, social fluidity and upward mobility through self-reliance and other “vigorous virtues.” She is the only prime minister whose name came to denote a doctrine — Thatcherism. (“Churchillian” denotes not a political philosophy but a leadership style.) When she left office in 1990, the trade unions had been tamed by democratizing them, the political argument was about how to achieve economic growth rather than redistribute wealth, and individualism and nationalism were revitalized. (link)

TNGOP Chairman Statement Regarding the Passing of Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 

“I had the opportunity to meet Margaret Thatcher a few years ago in a private meeting with former Senator Phil Gramm. I would describe Mrs. Thatcher as tough but graceful, bold but effective. The ‘Iron Lady’ was a dear friend to America who believed in the ideals of democracy and blazed a path for women across the globe. She often said, ‘In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.’ That certainly was the case with Mrs. Thatcher. She leaves a legacy of accomplishment for the United Kingdom and all who cherish freedom. She will be dearly missed.”

‘Iron Lady’ Who Set Britain on a New Course 

New York Times - the time she left office, the principles known as Thatcherism — the belief that economic freedom and individual liberty are interdependent, that personal responsibility and hard work are the only ways to national prosperity, and that the free-market democracies must stand firm against aggression — had won many disciples. Even some of her strongest critics accorded her a grudging respect.(read more)

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Who is minding the store at the Farmers Market?

by Ken Jakes

Ken Jakes
"Who is minding the store" is an expression I use when referring to the Nashville Farmers Market. Before the new farmers market was built, the old farmers market always generated revenue and even created a surplus. This was when the market had produce wholesalers and allowed traffic to pull into the market and stop at the sheds to trade with the farmers and produce vendors.

Now, the design is for traffic is to park outside and people to walk in and stroll down the isles of what few vendors there are remaining. A successful market should be designed to support the farmers. Can you imagine buying a bushel of beans, a bushel of sweet potatoes, and three watermelons and carrying them to the parking lot to your vehicle?

I wonder how much tax dollars Nashville wasted paying some out of town consulting firm to design the new farmers market that has been a losing design for the taxpayers ever since it was built. Not only is the design of parking outside the market a totally wrong approach for a farmers market, not allowing produce wholesalers, like at the old farmers market, is a totally wrong approach as well. I know first hand; my uncle, Ellis Jakes started Ellis Jakes Produce in 1982.

Jakes Produce and Ernest Williams Produce were the largest wholesalers at the old market and there were others as well. It takes wholesalers to help move sufficient volume for the farmers to make a profit. It took truck load volume to make it practical for the farmers. Where are the many farmers who used to bring their truck loads of agricultural products for sales? They are now going to the markets at Birmingham, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Louisville, and Atlanta.

The wholesalers were the revenue producing stream for the Market. They operated large numbers of sheds year-round. With the wholesalers gone and a short growing season for Tennessee, the taxpayers are left with the burden of carrying and paying the way for the market. Again, I wonder how much Nashville paid some consulting firm to create this total mess.

Enough said about the design, so lets me just state a few of the serious issues I have uncovered in just the last few weeks just prior to the Nashville Farmers Market seeking from the Council hundreds of thousands of dollars on the backs of the taxpayer. My load to carry as a taxpayer is getting more then I care to carry.
  • The Nashville Farmers Market had a contract employee without a contract. (what!)
  • This contract employee invoiced herself for labor for the Farmers Market for services. (Really!)
  • This same contract employee, who was not listed as an employee of the Market, had keys to the administrative offices to go and come at will without an employee of Nashville Farmers Market present. (Ridiculous!)
  • This contract employee opened an account in her personal name and was using it for receiving credit card funds of the Nashville Farmers Market into this account. There doesn't need to be a policy in place to know that this is wrong. Anyone with one ounce of common sense would see the error of depositing public funds into a personal account. By the way, the Nashville Farmers Market was already receiving credit cards into the Market's account. I wonder why there was a need to open a new personal account to receive public funds? (Unspeakable.)
  •  The Market starting having night time markets and selling wine by the glass at five dollars a glass. This was being done by the Nashville Farmers Market itself with the proceeds and revenues to go to the Nashville Farmers Market. How could they break even on this venture when 94 cases of wine was unaccounted for in funds or surplus? (1882 glasses of wine at five dollars a glass equals revenues of $9,412.92 not accounted for.)
  • The Market collecting cash and not giving receipts for cash collected? Does anyone else besides me see a problem in the accounting?

Tammy's Produce, who has now left the Market since the summer of 2012, had two empty coolers that were hooked up to the market's electricity. I visited the market on Wednesday April 4th and I noticed the coolers still running. I walked over and opened the door and I was shocked to see both coolers were cold and had been running non-stop since the summer of 2012!

This was just after the Nashville Farmers Market went before the Mayor for the budget hearings seeking hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to keep the market open. I reported this to the Nashville Farmers Market and they have now turned the breakers off and shut down the coolers. How many thousands of dollars have these commercial walk-in coolers drained from the taxpayers wasting electricity?

The Nashville Farmers Market accounting system has been in shambles. Even an accounting done by a CPA could not confirm all of the revenues collected by the Market as they were operating in cash without receipts.

The last wrong approach of the Nashville Farmers Market is that they have just increased the rent on the produce sheds to $644.00 per month for the ten foot wide sheds. There is no way the produce vendors can pay this ridiculous rent for outside sheds exposed to freezing conditions and other elements of nature. Some of these vendors have cut their teeth on the market you might say. Some have spent more then thirty-five years operating sheds at the market but this ridiculous rent will, in time, drive the few remaining vendors away. The Market is trying to make the produce vendors pay for their mismanagement.

The successful business approach would be to lower the rent, fill up all the empty sheds that have been vacant for years, and net more revenue for the Market. If the board doesn't change direction they will be back seeking hundred of thousands of dollars in revenues again.

The Market has been in the past, and could be today, a self supporting enterprise eliminating the burden off the backs of the taxpayers. However, in order to be a thriving market the Board will have to start applying common sense and a sound business model.

I could go on forever and I am still going over the books and going through public records, but what I have seen so far is an absolute mess.

Ken Jakes is a citizen activist discovering and exposing government corruption and waste. He is a former and probably future candidate for public office

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Sunday, April 07, 2013

Thoughts about the Nashville School Board Youth Safety Summit

When I got up this morning it was such a beautiful day that I almost decided to skip the Youth Safety Summit sponsored by the Metropolitan Nashville Board of Education and instead work in the yard. March was so dreary and cold and wet that today seemed like spring burst forth all at once. I wanted to plant some seeds and play in the dirt. Instead, I am glad that I went. Unfortunately, most people who otherwise would have attended must have decided to stay home and enjoy the spring day.

In light of the tragedy of Newtown, I thought that a summit on school safety would be packed. I do not have school age children myself so I was interested simply as a concerned citizen but I thought that there were enough school teachers and guidance counselors and parents of school age children more vested in this issue than I, that this conference would be packed. Unfortunately, the auditorium at MaGavock High School, which can probably seat 2000, was mostly empty with barely a hundred people in attendance.

I was not sure what to expect. What I experienced was an emotional and inspirational and thought-provoking program that offered a message of hope. The general session was a presentation by Darrell Scott on a program called "Rachel's Challenge." Rachel Joy Scott was a charming young girl who was a high school senior and the first person killed during the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. Darrell Scott is her brother. "Rachel's Challenge" is program started by her parents in her memory to impact the lives of school children in the hope that future tragedies such as Columbine can be prevented. The program provided a recap of event on that tragic day and profiled both Rachel Scott and her murderers.

Despite the overwhelmingly depressing topic, occasional humor and levity lightened the mood. The theme of the program is that we need moral education and a focus on character development. Darrell Scott made the point that for two hundred years America led the world in education and now we are rapidly sinking, but for two hundred years we did not focus on academic achievement alone but focused on developing character. There used to be an emphasis on "heart, head and hand," he said. There was a realization that developing the whole child was important and that developing character was an important part of education. He said that we need to teach people to speak with kindness and teach kids that words can heal or hurt. We need to cultivate a culture of compassion and kindness and caring.

The message of this meeting parallels some other things I have been thinking about. I am reading a great book called, "Quest for Community" written by John Nesbitt. This book was written in the 50's which may seem like an idyllic time now, but Nesbitt saw the seeds of what was to come. As economic growth and raw individualism combines with centralization of power and bureaucratization of societal functions we experience a demise of those institutions that keep us grounded and we see an anatomization of the society. The autonomous individual loses a sense of accountability and expectation of norms of behavior and there is a price to pay for this. The glue that holds us together is no longer there.

After the meeting I engaged in conversation with a teacher for maybe an hour. He shared his insight of twenty-five years of teaching and the changes he has seen in children over that time. He told me some things I already knew but with his personal experience and insight he made it more real. With many children raised by single moms or two working parents and with a decline in church attendance and the absence of the extended families and with advances in technology that mean children may spend hours in their own world on the internet or playing video games, many children never have any moral education. They do not eat meals with their parents and they do not even experience the same TV programs. Family no longer fills the roll that it once did. And, with diversity and secularization that does not allow mention of God in school there is a lack of moral education. Many children never learn basic manners and may never think about issues of right and wrong.

I don't know what the answer to school violence is but I think the problem of school violence is a symptom of a bigger problem. We must find a way to strengthen family and community and church and those institutions that make us a part of something bigger than ourselves. We must find a way to instill a sense of morality and accountability in people. For a Democracy to function, people must be self-governed; they must have a sense of right and wrong. There must be a moral compass.  Values must be instilled and passed down.  Maybe, programs like Rachel's Challenge can be part of the answer.

For more on Rachel's Challenge, see this link and this link.

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