Schools stem behavioural problems?

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Response to Mr. Ryan’s August 14 column, “They are not good parents”. It’s easy to blame parents but no one knows for sure what the causes are for the increase of violence in our society. Another explanation is just as valid: the emission of waves from electricity interferes with the release of certain chemicals in the brain.

Response to Mr. Ryan’s August 14 column, “They are not good parents”. It’s easy to blame parents but no one knows for sure what the causes are for the increase of violence in our society. Another explanation is just as valid: the emission of waves from electricity interferes with the release of certain chemicals in the brain. Some people are more susceptible than others to power lines, plants, and towers. Some develop behavioural problems and others develop cancers.
What about the environment our children have to endure while at school? Often the stress of spending even one more day there leads some kids to think suicide. We are responsible for a community’s wellbeing but some parents of sick children live in hopeless poverty. I’m the mother of two autistic young adults; one is nice and quiet and the other has been kicked out of day care, schools, parks, etc for extreme violence. He has a kind soul and his violence has diminished enormously since he no longer goes to school nor plays video games.
I dare not increase my children’s stress level just so they can fit in to our school system. Children without handicaps live stressful enough days at school; at age 5 they are expected to fit in with more than 300 students who are not supervised adequately.
The school system has become a big industry where money matters more than the health of the population. We increase the number of students per class. The more special needs children enrolled the more money the school gets. There are budget cuts and not all schools are equal; some have a gymnasium, others don’t. Parents can volunteer to serve juice or supervise students during recess and lunch hour, but we are not allowed to directly help our child learn in class. School could be a pleasant experience, and less stressful for all, if more grown-ups were involved in the process.
Maybe our children are trying to tell us that video games are less terrifying than their everyday reality.

Carole Marcoux
PONTIAC (Breckenridge)

Mr. Ryan’s reply: Ms Marcoux is addressing issues far larger than my column about the likely ill effects of violent entertainment in our children’s lives. I did not suggest all video games are harmful, but encouraged parents to pay attention to their children’s activities and to intervene, and not claim they “tried their best” when things happen to go sour. Ms Marcoux is obviously not such a parent, and she points to several major problems in our schools and communities where administrators themselves claim to “try to do their best” while not doing so, although they too face a bureaucracy organized upon socially destructive attitudes and systems.