It seems that several children were publicly shamed in a Utah (Uinta County school district to be exact) school lunchroom because there was an outstanding bill for their school lunches.
The children, AFTER they had been through the line and were standing there with full lunch trays, were told they had outstanding bills and then, with the entire lunchroom watching, had their trays of food taken away and DUMPED into the trash. THROWN AWAY. Perfectly good food. Tossed in the garbage. The children, after this horrific experience, in front of God, Allah, Yahweh, Buddha, Gamesh, the Great Spirit and everyone, were then given some fruit and milk. Because, as I read, this is what is given to those students who do not have money for a hot lunch.
If you read further into the story, it seems that the parents of these children were notified on Monday of the outstanding bills. By telephone. Not sure if messages were left. Heck, some people don’t have old-fashioned answering machines anymore. Some people actually work during the day, so aren’t home to answer a phone call. How many messages do you get during the day because you’re away from your phone? Anyhoo, on Tuesday, because the accounts weren’t paid in full (presumably within 24 hours….let’s say the phone calls went out on Monday morning and by Tuesday morning there weren’t any payments), the nincompoop, the ASININE, idiotic person in charge of whatever there is to be in charge of there in Utah, Uinta County School District, decided that the best course of action was to shame the children, who don’t really have the responsibility for paying the bills, in front of all of their peers. Growing up is hard enough as it is. Now there are adults out there who want to bully the children as well. What on earth were they thinking????
Oh. Yeah. They weren’t thinking. Not one itty, bitty, teensy, weensy bit. And then to THROW AWAY the lunch trays full of perfectly good food just to prove a point? What are these people? Two year olds who get mad and take their ball and stomp away?
I’m pretty sure that wasting food in that manner is not cool in ANY part of this world. How many starving children are there, not just all over the world, but in this damn country as well??? (And no, don’t get all flippin’ rightwing, batshit crazy on me because I said “damn country.” I ain’t no Jeremiah Wright, and I ain’t bashin’ on this country. And he wasn’t either…you needed to read the entire transcript of his words to understand what he was trying to say. So don’t go there.) I’m pissed off that people can bully children and think that’s an answer to some transgression that they think has been committed.
We have gotten to the Rise of Christianity in our history studies, about to embark on the fall of Rome. So I have spent the better part of several days enlightening the brilliant mind of the dear darling diva of a 7 year old that I live with about the trials and tribulations of the great people that have gone before us. Jesus Christ being one of them. He was a great man with a great message who lived a long time ago. He was persecuted for his beliefs. Just like Socrates was. Jesus was put on a cross. Socrates was made to drink hemlock. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot. So was Abraham Lincoln. So was John Fitzgerald Kennedy for that matter. And his brother too. Buddha didn’t fare so well (in fact the Dalai Lama isn’t welcome in some places still to this day). Confucius didn’t make a lot of friends. And so on and so on and so on, down through the ages. Hell, how many people want Barack Obama dead? Really. Think about that one for a while.
I have not wanted to discuss so many of these things with my daughter who is one of the most cerebral beings I have ever met. I do not know how her mind catalogs these things, what images she sees when she puts her head down on the pillow at the end of the day. I want her to be a child. To have a childhood filled with wonderment, dreams, happy thoughts, wishes and rainbows on rainy days. I don’t want her to have to face reality. There is plenty of time for that later. When she enters the adult world. For now I just want her to revel in being a kid. I want her to meet each day with the excitement of wondering what fun is going to happen today? I want her to trust that her world will be safe, her world will be protected, the Arctic ice will not melt completely away and the polar bears will not be gone by 2050. I want her to not be haunted by nightmares of bad people doing bad things. I don’t want her to see the horrible, evil sides of people. There was a moratorium on the news around here when the massacre occurred at Sandy Hook, as well as the movie theater in Aurora. I want her to grow up thinking the world is OK. And venturing out into it is OK. Just like I did. We rode our bikes to school, waving goodbye to our mother who remained standing on the porch. We made our way down to the first crossing guard, then along the park to the second crossing guard and finally to the bike racks where Mr. Tjardes, the school principal, was standing outside greeting the students. Our world was safe. School was the safest. Never, never, would students have been humiliated in the way they were in Utah earlier this week. We were protected.
What has happened to our world? And, I ask you, do you really think this is what those wise men had in mind when they spoke of doing unto others as you would have them do unto you? Confucius had a version of the “Golden Rule.” Socrates emphasized being kind. Muhammad. Buddha. I could go on. There have been many, many wise ones imparting lessons of right living, of loving kindness and compassion. And what are our children learning today? Bullying. Public shaming. Hate, for those who are different from oneself. Intolerance. But I digress.
Wow. Things that make me truly nutso, crazy, off-my-rocker insane…just plain mad. And as it is now the wee hours of the morning and the rest of the inhabitants of this house are sound asleep, I cannot go concoct the perfect triple shot, 1/2 caffe, dark chocolate mocha with whip as it would wake them all from their perfect slumber. So, I will have to find something else to bring down the elevated blood pressure. Ahhh…maybe sleep too. What a novel idea.
I’m off to slumberland, hoping for sweet dreams.