Insight News

Saturday
Dec 20th

Commentary

School bullying: It's killing our children

School bullying: It's killing our children(NNPA) - One year ago, I was an ordinary working mom, looking after my family and doing the best I could as a parent. But on April 6, 2009, my life changed forever.
While I was cooking dinner for my four children, my son Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover excused himself and went to his room. When I checked on him, I imagined he would be doing his homework or playing video games. Instead, he was hanging from an extension cord tied around his neck.  He was only 11-years-old.

Carl liked football and basketball and playing video games with his little brother. He loved the Lord and he loved his family. What could drive a child to take his own life? 
That question haunts me to this day. I will probably never know the answer, but what we do know is that Carl was being bullied relentlessly at school. He didn't want to tell me what was bothering him, but I kept at him, and he finally told me that kids at school were pushing him around, calling him names, saying he acted "gay," and calling him "faggot." 
While my heart instantly broke for him, I was furious that he was being subjected to this treatment. Immediately, I called the school and I expected they would be just as upset as I was. But instead, they told me that it was just ordinary social interaction that would work itself out.
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The dangerous drift back towards segregated schools

The dangerous drift back towards segregated schoolsTwo recent decisions by school boards in North Carolina are local signs of a troubling national trend towards resegregation in public schools. In New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, parents and advocates spent much of last year debating a new middle school redistricting plan that would focus on “neighborhood schools,” essentially resegregating the schools by race and economic class because our neighborhoods look that way. School board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh was the only White and only Republican member to join two Black Democratic colleagues in opposing the new plan.
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Post racial? Bah humbug!


Perhaps it was unfair to expect that the election of Barack Obama would “bend the curve” on hundreds of years of racial attitudes and the politics that developed around those attitudes.  Then again, for a man that entered office with a promise to calm the seas and heal the sick doing “post racial” should have been a piece of cake.  Moreover, with all the talk of “hope and change” it was not outrageous to imagine that there might be some positive change in the tone surrounding discussions of race.  Certainly it was not unreasonable to imagine that at the very least this President- who was going to win back the worlds respect -- would not stoke the fires of racial enmity here at home.  Well, as my mother used to say: “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”  Instead of bringing Americans together, this President is proving to be the most divisive and racially polarizing president in recent memory.  And France still isn’t all that crazy about us.
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Monitor armed militias

Last week, the federal government arrested several members of a Midwest militia who allegedly planned to kill a Michigan police officer then wreak havoc at his funeral by attacking those who attended. Their goal? To jump-start a war against the federal government. While these individuals are in custody and will soon have their day in court, the danger that groups like them present is far from over.  According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups, the number of radical extremist groups has tripled over the last year.  The government must dedicate resources to monitoring such activities and work to keep citizens safe.
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Making the "Missouri Model" an American Model

(NNPA) - The state of Missouri has created a juvenile justice system that has proved so successful over the last thirty years it's known as the "Missouri Miracle." A number of practices combine to make Missouri’s system unique: It's primarily made up of small facilities, generally designed for between ten and thirty youths, located at sites throughout the state, that keep young people close to their own homes.
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NAACP issues call for civility in gang database discourse

NAACP issues call for civility in gang database discourseThe Saint Paul Branch of the NAACP, the Minneapolis Branch and the Minnesota/Dakota State Conference, conveyed their disappointment at what looks like a breakdown of respectful relations between the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and guardians for civil rights.

In a letter to the Pioneer Press editor, the two organizations shared their dismay in the antagonistic content of the March 1h article, “Ramsey County sheriff fights to save gang-member database that bill would eliminate.” In the article, undersheriff  Nick O’Hara is quoted as stating that the author of gang database reform legislation, State Sen. Mee Moua -DFL-67,  “must have some kind of a perverse support’ of gang members”.
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Haiti’s restavèk children: The child servitude crisis

The recent earthquake in Haiti gave the rest of the world a glimpse of a form of child suffering that often goes unseen. When a group of American missionaries were accused of child trafficking, many people were confused by the story that unfolded. How could parents have been desperate enough to agree to simply give their children away to strangers? Sadly, this wasn't just an isolated event that only happened because of the earthquake. Thousands of poor Haitian parents send their children away to live with strangers every year, desperately entrusting them to people who tell the parents they will help provide their children with a better life. But not all of these children are transferred to well-meaning caregivers who plan to give them an education or help them find adoptive families. Instead, many poor Haitian children end up trapped in child servitude.
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