This week, many kids, including my own, are headed back to school. And, like anything parenting-related, school brings along with it its own heaping pile of judgement. What school do you send your child to? Public? Private? Charter? Or do you homeschool or unschool? Regardless of what might work best for your own child and family, there is plenty of public opinion that will tell you that whatever you’ve decided is inherently wrong.
Slate.com decided to take the helm with a piece by Allison Benedikt called “If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person.” We’re not even into the article and the judgements are flying. Clearly we’re off to a great start. But at least Benedikt acknowledges it:
“I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve.”
I am a former public high school social studies teacher. I am a product and proponent of the public school system, and do my best to support to support local public schools (especially when it comes to music and arts programs) whenever possible. I also send my son to a local private elementary school. And I totally understand Benedikt’s line of thinking.
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I can’t say that it was ever my concrete intent to eschew college altogether, but by the time I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth (yet with inexplicable honors in Astronomy), disillusioned and perpetually anxiety-ridden, I knew with all certainty that I didn’t want to see the inside of a classroom again for as long as I could possibly manage. A gap year would suffice, I concluded, and my parents agreed. I would get an internship, do something productive with my time off, but I’d be able to clear my head, recalibrate, take better care of myself (something I’d long neglected), put some effort into figuring out what I really wanted to do with my life and career path before I invested tens of thousands of dollars of my parents’ money in something I was not certain about and would likely dislike with vehemence and not wish to participate in within a matter of weeks or months, as I had in the past with: karate, horseback riding, the violin, classes in art and screenwriting, and a handful of other hobbies and activities that I have either forgotten or conveniently blocked out. This was the logical reasoning behind my decision. Keep reading »
Plenty of women decide early on that having children is not for them, while others realize later on that their lifestyle will not allow for the time, money, and commitment that raising a child demands. A new study, however, shows that the decision to not have children may have a lot to do with something else — a woman’s IQ. Keep reading »
Here’s a film that will bring tears to your eyes: the story of Malala Yousafzai, the then 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was attacked by the Taliban for advocating on behalf of girls’ education, is set to become a documentary! After being shot at last October in her head and neck while on her way to school, Malala was airlifted out of Pakistan to a hospital in the UK to recuperate. She has persevered despite her extensive injuries and serves a huge inspiration to young girls and women throughout the world as she continues to fight for access to education for everyone. Davis Guggenheim, director of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Waiting for Superman,” will direct the film Malala’s documentary, which will follow her attack, her recovery, and the activism that has earned her a nomination for both the Nobel Peace Prize and for the International Children’s Peace Prize. Congrats, Malala! [Guardian UK]
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is currently facing three investigations by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights over the school’s handling of sexual assault reports.
The issues at UNC first became apparent when rape victim Landen Gambill (pictured here) was found in violation of the school’s honor code and faced the threat of expulsion. (Charges have since been dismissed.) After reporting UNC to the federal government for mishandling sexual assault cases, Gambill was accused of an honor court violation for exhibiting “disruptive or intimidating behavior” towards her alleged rapist, even though she never released his name. UNC eventually dropped the charges, but only after the case received national attention. The school is now under investigation for retaliating against a sexual assault whistleblower, underreporting sexual assault cases, and failing to adjudicate rape at the school. Keep reading »
Summer camp is the quintessential summer experience for many, but at this Manhattan-based camp, there isn’t a campfire or s’more in sight. This is Feminist Camp.
Created by Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, the co-authors of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future, Feminist Camp aims to teach girls what being a feminist really means. Young women can expect to “hone their leadership skills, meet inspiring activists, and tackle the real issues that impact their lives.” Sounds rad! Keep reading »