kitchen table math, the sequel: my life and welcome to it

Sunday, March 4, 2007

my life and welcome to it

So Thursday I went to school to pick Christopher up from the nurse's office & discovered, in the foyer, an immense display with photo copies of 6 celebrites taped on:

Clay Aiken
Mary J. Blige
Shaquille O’neal
Charlie Sheen
Drew Barrymore
Eminem

The photos surround a manila file folder on the cover of which is pasted a question:

“What do these celebrities have in common?”

Open the file folder & you find:

“They all grew up in a home with a parent who drank or drugged too much.

Ever think you are the only one with a parent who drinks or drugs too much? I bet these celebrities thought they were the only ones, too.

Come see your student assistant counselor, Ms. Fernandez. Get it off your chest and feel better in Room H220.”


14 comments:

Anonymous said...

kids do relate to celebrities, so what a wonderful way to let children know they are not alone in homes where there is alcohol or drugs. It may make them more apt to open up to a counselor. A really good read is Clay Aiken's "Learning to Sing," Hearing the music in your life. He not only touches on the subject of an alcoholic, abusive father but also on what it is like to be bullied by fellow classmates. Having read the book I feel every child would benefit from reading it. Good idea on that teachers part. Always try to keep the communication open........

Anonymous said...

kids do relate to celebrities, so what a great way to let children know they are not alone if they have problems at home with drugs or alcohol. A great read is Clay Aikens "Learning to sing" Hearing the music in your life. Not only does he talk about life with an alcoholic and abusive father, but also about what it is like to be bullied by other students. Having read the book I truly feel every child would benefit from this book. Kudos to this teacher for a great idea. It is so important to keep the lines of communication open..........

Catherine Johnson said...

see also:

Pa. Principal Accused of Selling Meth

Interestingly enough, this story appeared on Drudge the same day I saw the billboard display on drinking/drugging parents at the middle school.

Catherine Johnson said...

"What do all these celebrities have in common?

They all went to school with a teacher or principal who drank or drugged too much.

Ever think you are the only one with a teacher or principal who drinks or drugs too much?

Come see your student assistant counselor, Ms. Fernandez. Get if off your chest and feel better in Room H220."

sauce for the goose

Catherine Johnson said...

this display didn't come from a teacher

it came from a person hired by the county and installed in the schools

anyone can call this person and report that he or she suspects a student (or a parent?) of using drugs

the person doesn't need to provide evidence; nor does the person need to give his or her name

the person simply needs to call the "counselor" and make an anonymous report

then the counselor can call the named student into her office and confront him or her with the anonymous report. (It's not clear whether the parents have to be called first.)

this is a Westchester-wide county program

the one piece of common sense our district has managed to display this year was to send out forms to parents asking permission to have their children confronted with an anonymous report

we told them no

I assume most parents did the same, though I don't know

I would say this billboard-size display is the counselor's effort to drum up business

Catherine Johnson said...

I don't think Ms. Fernandez accepts anonymous reports of suspected drug use by teachers and principals.

I don't know this, but certainly such reports have not been solicited.

LynnG said...

In the realm of unintended consequences, how many kids are going to look at that billboard and think,

boy there sure is a lot of drugging and drinking going on, and kids can still be big celebrities and stars raised in this way, maybe drinking and drugging "too much" is not so bad? And what is "too much" anyway?

Did Eminem "get it off his chest" with a counselor?

Anytime you link drugs, drinking, and celebrity, you run the risk of normalizing and glamorizing, even if you don't mean to.

Barry Garelick said...

The principal of the elementary school I attended was arrested for drunk driving. Someone died and she was convicted of manslaughter and did a short jail term, after which she was reinstated as principal of our school.

Catherine Johnson said...

what?????

Catherine Johnson said...

boy there sure is a lot of drugging and drinking going on, and kids can still be big celebrities and stars raised in this way, maybe drinking and drugging "too much" is not so bad? And what is "too much" anyway?

Did Eminem "get it off his chest" with a counselor?

Anytime you link drugs, drinking, and celebrity, you run the risk of normalizing and glamorizing, even if you don't mean to.


The whole thing is just bizarre.

Six celebrities.

You should NEVER associate celebrities with "drinking and drugging too much."

Catherine Johnson said...

Our school desperately needs parent involvement.

Catherine Johnson said...

Our last superintendent was arrested for stalking.

Catherine Johnson said...

He was stalking his girlfriend, a superintendent in another Westchester district who had rejected him.

He was a married man.

When the story broke there were reporters out in from of the 4-5 school interviewing parents. Christopher said, "They must think our school is really good."

I spent the rest of the day racing to turn off the damn TV every time the story came on (for some reason Martine seemed to want to watch the Westchester channel that day...)

rightwingprof said...

We had (back in Indiana) a state representative who was arrested for stalking, and assaulting his girlfriend (who he'd been stalking; he broke into her apartment).

A month after the arrest, he was elected mayor in a landslide. Go figure.