Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bathrooms and Education

The biggest story I am seeing right now is about who uses the public bathrooms.

Let me tell you what I worry about when I go into a public restroom. I worry about the bathroom being clean and if there's toilet paper available when I need it. That's it.

What do I worry about when our children use a public bathroom...the exact same thing. Why?! Because I don't let them go alone. I am right there with them. And guess what....I have always worried about them being in public bathrooms. Why?! Because there are people out there who will hurt our kids.

Our girls are 10 and 13, and I still do not let them go to a public bathroom alone. Call me overprotective, I do not care. They are mine and I will protect them. When we travel, I stick to Starbucks and a few gas stations chains because I know the cleanliness level I will be dealing with. I even use my Starbucks app to find the bathroom sometimes. For safety reasons, I also prefer the large open single bathrooms rather than the big ones with several stalls. This is mainly because I can have eyes on my girls the entire time and I control who is in the bathroom with them.

Want to know what a much larger issue is....the state of our education systems! I am still waiting on the equal level of outrage.....looks like I'll be waiting a while.

Our children are being taught to test to take the test to take the test to (wait for it) take the test. And now in Tennessee our wise leaders have now cancelled the test. They dumped over one million tax dollars into a testing system that show us what exactly?! I am not sure, but I know our teachers were going to be held "accountable" for their students' performance. But wait, we'll never know what that means and what our children were going to learn from this massive "investment" because (wait for it) they cancelled the testing.

So teachers, students, administration and staff, you spent the entire year preparing....whoops, sorry about that. Teachers, you poured so much time and effort into planning and teaching for these exams rather than teaching like you always wanted to, whoops, the state just said, "My bad."

Kids, y'all have tested to test to test to test. You are now so full of anxiety you cry to your parents and some of you are even seeking treatment for the unnecessary stress of it all. Some of you don't even want to go to school because of all of this testing. Turns out our state was just pushing you to see how you would cope. I hope you survived their test without needing a prescription. 

I can only speak for the state of Tennessee because that is the system our girls are in, but I know this issue is not exclusive to our state. Kids everywhere are developing anxiety and other stress related medical conditions thanks to the insane amount of testing they have to go through. We are setting the kids up for failure, but we are not outraged about it.

Our teachers are NOT being listened to at all. Let me assure teachers do not teach for the money, the fame, or the summers off. They teach because they were called to teach. The teachers I have been privileged to receive my education from and those who are teaching our children are amazing and they are deserve our respect. Our state just basically showed us they are oblivious to the needs of our children and educators. To me, the state told the teachers that this year they did not care about them teaching, they wanted test results. To me, this entire school year was a waste of time and who knows what damage it will have on our kids.

Apparently the state didn't think to test drive the (one million dollar plus) testing system because it crashed upon going live and then they ordered the kids to paper tests. Apparently they didn't think that through either because they couldn't get the tests out to the schools and the schools that received the tests received incomplete tests and/or the tests were assembled in the wrong order.

What a disaster, disaster, disaster we have on our hands. Time has been wasted and our educators and children are the victims. Our communities will suffer for it in the long run. And what has the state said you ask, the word "whoops" about sums it up.

They used our tax dollars on this system that was supposed to do something for our children. I am still looking for exactly what it was supposed to do. The only thing I have seen is stress, stress and more stress in our girls. As a parent, I am horrified at what our state has done to our education system this year. I feel that the Governor should clean house. I propose that he put actual educators in there to fix this mess ASAP! I would hope real educators wouldn't burn a million dollars on something as ludicrous as this debacle.

Here's the thing with the bathrooms. You have the right to boycott the establishments, make sure and do your business at home only, and various other options. You can end that issue with your individual actions.

Our schools are an entirely separate issue. These kids are our future leaders, doctors, teachers, and citizens and they are being screwed!! Where is the outrage over our children being put on an assembly line and experimented on? Where is the outrage over our teachers spending an entire freaking school year teaching a test because that is what the state said to do?!

When you get out into the real world you do not spend a year preparing to take a test to take a test to take a test year after year after year like what our school systems are forced to make our children do. Life is full of tests, but amazingly bubble sheets don't randomly appear.

We are setting these kids up for failure in life, but making sure the right person uses the right bathroom appears to be a higher priority. I guess I shouldn't confess I have used a few bathrooms marked for men, because I could not hold it any longer. I am so glad laws dictating against that didn't exist then, because I would have totally have went to jail a few times in my past. ;)