Category Archives: child advocacy

Punishment Must Meet the Crime

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It seems the news is following my blog. This refers to a recent post

explaining how I stuck my ‘foot’ in my mouth in February. I may have

rubbed someone at work the ‘wrong way.’ I think time will help heal

this situation and I am cheerfully talking to the persons involved

while ignoring their one or two syllable responses. (“Yes” and “No,”

are ones most being expressed.)

 

**My ‘punishment’ may or may not ‘fit’ my crime of being passionate

about equal rights.**

 

Now, I see on the news, that college students are really in deep trouble.

They ‘should have known better.’ The Columbus students at Ohio State

University piled many people into their apartment, plugging multiple

technological devices, television, stereo and probably phones charging.

Fifteen students were all standing outside a large and old house, where

the place had caught on fire early this morning. Fortunately, only the

one sleeping on the mattress pushed up to the plugs got minor burns.

 

The fire department member who spoke to Channel 10 news let all the

listeners know there was a mattress pushed up against this messy and

dangerous conglomeration of plugs into an outlet. They are now,

what the newscaster ominously stated, “homeless.”

 

**Their punishment should be to have spend time in a beginner’s

course called, “Electricity for Dummies.” They should have to show

a ‘graduation’ certificate before any other landlords allow them to

rent again. This was a mistake they will never make again. **

 

The second group of college students you may have seen their hateful

video, come from Oklahoma University. They are making national news

for spouting derogatory comments and racial slurs in their thoughtless,

drunken filmed tape. These men from the SAE fraternity, should be

‘ashamed of themselves.’

 

The fraternity boys ‘know better,’ too. If I were their parents, I would

never spend a dime on them again. They would have to find their own

way home from college, the car keys taken away. I could not believe

this insulting SAE group of men.

 

My Dad, brother and first ex-husband all belonged to a different type of

fraternity men. They may have ‘partied’ hardy, but there was definitely a

higher level of integrity. They participated in philanthropic projects and

during Christmas, collected toys, food and clothing for needy children.

My brother and my ex-husband also were participating in the seventies

movement of wanting diversity in their membership.

 

My friend, Melvin when the lunchtime noon break came around and

he saw the news story about the fraternity, stopped to ask me what I

thought of them.

 

Melvin and the guys were watching television in a different direction

from our table. Their t.v. was on the Sports Channel. I assume more

“March Madness” going on. He said he could not believe the college

boys had actually filmed their mean-spirited rant or rap.

 

My friend, Melvin exclaimed,

“What were they thinking, Robin? Are they stupid or what? Now,

you know you need to blog about this one. Preach it, Robin! Tell

them what kind of penalty or punishment they need to serve.

I don’t think picking up trash on the side of the road matches the

hate leveled in their words.”

 

Just in case you don’t wish to search for what is called, “Racist film

by college fraternity men,” I will tell you the content.  It said they

would not want to have any  “N-word”  joining their fraternity. It

goes on saying more nasty stuff. It is posted on many sources of

social media, just look it up.

 

With Melvin’s encouragement a few of us brainstormed, (women

who are mothers.) We came up with the following service to keep

the men ‘on parole’ rolls. This would have to be closely supervised,

parole officers checking in on the guys at ‘work sites.’

 

**We think the young men from the Oklahoma U. SAE fraternity

should participate in both an elderly and youth oriented program.

The programs should serve a diverse community of people and help

the boys to ‘see the light.’ (Melvin, I preached it!)**

 

The places we came up with were for them to volunteer for 100 hours

of community service at an inner city soup kitchen, homeless shelter

or an impoverished area’s nursing home facility. They need to meet

the elderly face to face, help them with more than just surface

projects.

 

We added an extra 100 hours of working at an inner city daycare

facility. We would like them to look at the faces of a wide range of

children representing ethnic groups at a center for children. We

would like them to think about the hateful words they said in their

‘chant.’ Another punishment would be to change dirty diapers.

Well supervised by the daycare center’s staff. Careful use of wipes

and special lotion, so the babies and the toddlers will not experience

any discomfort.

 

The discomfort should be for those young men who felt they could

express themselves in such a disrespectful way towards many

who may never have wanted to join them anyway.

 

The amazing and positive result of this film coming out in the media,

was college students and other people gathered on campus. Many

joining hands, some putting their hands upon each other’s shoulders.

There were a few past SAE fraternity men who came forward, were

vocal and expressed displeasure at the film. The group consisted of

more than one race in their unified peaceful demonstration.

 

The result of their protest was at least two young men were expelled.

I hope their punishment will be to do some of our suggested activities

mentioned above. This would help clear their conscience and hopefully

‘clean the slate’ they muddied.

 

Going from the sloppy electrical mess some college students

resulting in their now smoky and damage apartments in Ohio

to the Oklahoma University debacle, you can see a very huge

downward slope in behaviors.

 

The news moved on to this sick subject.

 

The last headline story, you may just wish to skip.

 

It is always a tragedy.

 

One that seems to happen at least once a week.

 

I wish I knew the statistics on boyfriends, family members

or caretakers who harm

young children.

 

The most recent story horrified me. I worked for a couple of years

at a battered women’s shelter, where usually the woman were the

ones who were hurt. There were also children’s stories which made

me sob at night. This ‘hardened’ woman will share the fact that

yet another person, in the U.S. raped and killed a little baby. The

most recent case was in Arkansas. The little baby girl was only

8 days old.

 

By the way, you don’t want to search this subject. There are

many stories, one after another on this subject. Steven Smith

in Ohio, on Death Row, asking for parole, a man who raped a

6 month old baby girl, Autumn. A woman who raped her

10 month old son.His name was Ashley, like the character

in the movie, “Gone with the Wind.”

 

I quickly closed the pages of articles on this subject.

 

**Everyone was thinking the death penalty for these persons.

Another table beside us, with some young men from Heavy

Bulk pitched in, agreeing with many in consensus.

I feel the person who does anything to a defenseless person,

child or elderly, should have their sexual organs taken away.

(Since women do this crime, sadly, I could not just use the

word, “castrated.”) The person should not get to just take

the drugs that ‘kill’ their deviant sexual appetites. This is

too dangerous, the consequences too extreme. I would not

want to trust them to take the drugs. Surgery is all I could

think of. . . I don’t advocate the Death Penalty. **

 

I am not sure how the justice system will handle any of

the above cases.

 

What I sometimes hear as a defense, but am in disbelief of, is the

thought of “freedom of speech.” (As in the SAE fraternity case,

Oklahoma University.)

 

Anyone venturing a ‘judgment’ or opinion?

 

 

 

“You do the crime, you pay the time.”

 

 

Small Town

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Someone recently accused me of becoming a “small town mind.” I think they

meant having a “small town mind” or mindset. But just to settle that subject

on my posts, I am a transplanted city girl from Cleveland’s west side and hope

to always be considered open-minded, cooperative and friendly. Some of those

traits are from living in a small town, like being friendly!

I am so accepting of differences that I really don’t feel them, notice them nor

point them out unless it helps to be able to describe someone. My parents put

us in front of a mirror and if we weren’t close to a mirror, sometimes they just

plain said these valuable and insightful words: “You are white, you are middle

class and you already have your foot in the door in almost any business or

occupation you will choose. Don’t whine, don’t complain because you are blessed

with so much more than others, it isn’t funny!”

All of us did a lot of chores, we went to a babysitter that lived on a farm so we had

fun doing chores there, too. We loved feeding baby sheep in the kitchen of their

house with a baby bottle. We loved jumping down onto big mounds of hay from

on top of the hayloft. We loved tons of little things like barn kitties and hiding in

the cornfields.

This did not change us into farmers nor did we become less liberal. We were not

raised by conservatives and we did not become anything different as time has gone by.

So, how did someone come to view me as “small town minded?” At first, I was not sure!

I have posted about my mother telling me that my spinster cousin who lived with a

woman was probably gay, we just called them “the aunts.”

I have mentioned several diverse nationalities that have come around in my different

circles of life. Each one I met (so far, and I mean this sincerely!) have been so nice and

very sharing and open towards me.

My brother once said I reminded him, in appearance, to the actress who played in the

hit t.v. series, “The Flying Nun.” He thought I looked like Sally Fields, for years and

years.

Heavens! I am not a nun! I am not strict, judgmental nor only believe in one religion. I

have mentioned my father’s faith, my grandfather’s faith and then there is my mother’s

faith and my grandmother’s faith. None of these four important people thought or

practiced the very same religion! (One is an agnostic/atheist, too.)

When I asked him directly, “Why do you think I have a small town mindset?”

The man ansered, “Well, about relationships.”

Oh! That may be true! Gosh, never thought someone would describe my sexual orientation,

strong need for serial monogamy and my lack of interest in threesomes as “small town

minded.”

Funny! I had to laugh and actually chuckled on the way home from my dinner with this man!

I have lived in Delaware, Ohio for 27 years now and I feel like it is not too small minded since

it is on the edge of Columbus and I have met several friends who are open-minded, vote the

same way, and agree with acceptance of all people helps us all to become a closer and happier

world. The Cleveland roots got me into a job interview twice, though. Both times the men

who were interviewing were superintendents of schools. Each time they were from big cities

and were at that present time, employed by county schools.

The first time I interviewed for a teaching job, I was all of 22 years old. I had just finished

college, was newly married and was asked to become a language arts teacher in a middle

school. When I said where I went to high school, this tall, lanky forty-something year old

relaxed his shoulders and said, “Thank God! We need a city girl on our staff!”

I asked at the time, in a rather timid voice, “How does being from the city help me get this

job?”

He replied, “There are several new families that have moved into Wood County and the staff

are developing a negative attitude towards them. I am hoping you are open-minded. I hope

you won’t let them, because they are older, influence you to also think negatively towards

these new kids.”

I answered with a more confident tone, “My parents taught us that we are not such hot stuff

and  just because we were born white we should never, ever look down our noses at others’. My

mother, my brothers and I piled into a station wagon with some of our best toys and games

all summer long to go teach Head Start in Sandusky, Ohio where it was held in thecool basement

of an African American church. We did this for several summers until we moved to Cleveland,

Ohio.”

The superintendent leaned in intently during this exchange, then he said, “Good! Now, how do you

feel about migrant workers?”

I was able to honestly say I was fluent in Spanish (at the time this was true, it does come back while

with those who speak it) and my mother was a Spanish teacher so we ate Mexican foods, too. I

remember mentioning the spices, including saffron, which are used in those foods. I also said I was

lucky that my Spanish Club and my Mom’s Spanish Club traveled to Mexico and Spain.

The second job interview that had a selective Superintendent was up in Mount Gilead, Ohio. He is

no longer there but I loved that big, burly man! He instantly made me feel welcome and let me know

that my background on my resume of working at a battered women’s shelter and also, working with

elderly in a nursing home would prepare me for the diversity of population that have special needs’

children in their care. He told me being from Cleveland and then, my profession as a Child Advocate

in Lancaster, Ohio would help me to stand up and be an advocate for the children who were sometimes

“falling into big cracks in the local educational mainstream.”

This will end my summary of how being from the city has helped me, but of course, having some

amazing parents and forebears really were the ones who opened my horizons. I am always thankful

that I never closed my mind or door to any person, even when there have been kind of scary ones

knocking on the door!