A School Valentine…About Lockdown Procedures

If this isn’t a 2014 Valentine, I don’t know what is. (See below.) This is a real email a reader got from her kid’s school and it hits every button, from lockdowns, to valentine-and-candy policy, to police involvement, to absolutely confounding instructions. (I have highlighted the sentence I don’t understand AT ALL in green). It’s also so heartwarming to know that if you, the parent, are a little slow to get to the classroom, you will NOT be recognized as Ava’s mom, but left to die. xxoo!  – L 

Happy Valentine 2014!

Love and Lockdowns.

Let’s be always be prepared.

Rally at 1:00

Parties at 2:00

Lockdowns

Parents:

Did you know that a practice lockdown could happen at any time even during a rally or party?

 You need to know what to do!

Go to the nearest open room to you when an announcement is made!

If a teacher has already locked her door, he/she will not let you in. They don’t know who it is and can’t take your verbal answer. They will try to clear halls and grab students and parents with tags.

Rooms should lock, lights go out, blinds close, and members of room hide in silence. There are green and blue cards that teachers put under doors. Green- we are good, blue- we need help. Your safety is more important than cards so if there is not a teacher in the room and you don’t see them, it is okay.

We will give an all call to resume activities when we get a go ahead from the McKinney Police.

Best to be proactive and once again, we appreciate you!

Love

Remember that valentines are for all members of the class. Candy that comes in valentines is to be taken home and not eaten at school. (Nut free items please! )Also- any deliveries for students are kept in office until end of day. Students will be notified they have a delivery. <3

 Thank you  See you as you sign in the office tomorrow.

 
Roses are red, blood is, too. Schools aren't safe and neither are you! (Photo:

Roses are red, blood is, too. Schools aren’t safe and neither are you! (Poem by Lenore. Photo by D Sharon Pruitt)

 

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138 Responses to A School Valentine…About Lockdown Procedures

  1. Suzanne February 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Wow, just wow. I think that a school who employs the person who typed this email and sent it to parents has a much bigger problem than practicing safety. You cannot teach that which you do not know – this school representative doesn’t know how to write sentences that make sense. I am pretty sure the author meant all “clear” rather than “all call” signal and I was unable to understand the highlighted sentence either.

  2. Jennifer February 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    “All call” was the correct term. It is the announcement that goes out to the whole school via the loudspeakers (which are typicaly on radio silence during a lock down).

    I had to read the sentence in green 6 times but I got it in the end. If you enter a room without a teacher and you can’t find the cards, don’t worry about it. “Your safety” is more important than finding the correct card to slide under the door. Just sit tight and don’t worry about the (useless) cards.

  3. QuicoT February 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    So will they go into Lockdown if candy that’s not Nut-free is detected on school grounds?!

  4. A Dad February 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I read that line as “If you don’t know the card signals, the police will only tazer you instead of tazering you, then shooting you because we’re freaking out due to some overreactive school administrator.”

  5. Papilio February 17, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    Facepalm…

    If there’s no teacher and no cards (assuming “them” = cards), you can go in to hide??? Otherwise the teacher will shoot you dead when you try to open the door??
    But I don’t get how they dare to still claim your safety is important…

    “xxoo! – L” That’s a long hug to receive from someone with 70% frozen body water…! :-O

  6. K February 17, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    What color card do you use if you are the shooter? What color card do you use if the teacher is the shooter?

    What a load of useless security theatre. Making us feel more helpless moment to wasted moment.

  7. Cin February 17, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Regarding the unintelligible sentence: I once sent my kids’ school newsletter back to the teacher, covered with red grease pencil. I found and corrected more than 25 basic grammar and selling errors in the first two pages.
    It drives me bananas that no one at the principal’s office seems to know the basic rules of grammar and sentence structure.

  8. Donna February 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    My head is spinning.

    I am not even going to touch the lockdown stuff because, despite being highly educated and spending most of my career untangling statements made by idiots, I can’t understand it at all.

    But if the kids can’t eat the candy in school, why does it have to be nut free?

  9. Teri February 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    I don’t get what the cards are to be used for in the first place.

    Are they hidden in the rooms and the teachers slide them under the door, from the inside, to let people outside the room know they are safe or in need of help? In which case the shooter need only look for cards on the floor in order to locate rooms where people are hiding. If the cards are not visible from outside the room how can the “need help” card be seen in order to render the needed assistance? If they are produced on request, how is the teacher to know that the person outside the door, asking for the card, is not the shooter? If they won’t even let parents in, how can they be sure whoever’s asking is going to help them?

    The first sentence that doesn’t make sense in this is “There are green and blue cards that teachers put under doors.” What does that even mean, and how does that help anyone?

  10. Uly February 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Doesn’t the simple fact that you’ve shoved a card under the door announce to a potential attacker that one or more people are hiding in the room?

  11. lollipoplover February 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Donna, because nuts are weapons of mass destruction.

    I cannot believe this came from a school. Perhaps if they taught more and held less drills and lockdowns, teachers could be more effective.
    “Let’s be always be prepared”
    This is my favorite. Not be smart, kind, thoughtful, but prepared…and grammatically incorrect.

  12. SOA February 17, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    The lockdown stuff is kinda extreme but from what I understand standard protocol on how they are done. The worst part is when I substituted I knew if a school shooting ever happened when I was there our class was screwed. Because they don’t give subs keys. So no way to lock the door. So we would just have to barricade the door or hope nobody tries the door.

    I don’t see the problem with the info about Valentines though. Yes, every kid should get a Valentine and its okay to tell the kids to wait to get home to eat all the candy. Because they are already getting candy, cupcakes, ice cream, etc at the party if they have a party. Also because of food allergies not a good idea to eat lots of candy in the classrooms.

  13. Stephanie February 17, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Crazy stuff.

    Re the nut-free policy: If an entire school has a nut free policy, it’s probably because they have a severely nut-allergic student (maybe more than one.) Most nut-allergic people only react if they ingest the nut products, but severely allergic people can get a reaction from merely being in proximity to the allergen. So if I sent peanut butter balls in plastic baggies, it would only take one kid to open the baggie to endanger the life of the severely allergic student. Best policy in this case is to have a strict no-nuts rule. My son has a mildly nut-allergic child in his class (ingestion only) so their classroom is nut free. (It’s kindergarten, so it’s not entirely safe to rely on the allergic child to not share snacks.) But the school as a whole is not nut-free. Nuts are allowed in classrooms where there is no allergy and in the lunch room. They maintain a nut-free lunch table for those children who need it. But if there were a severely allergic child in the school, these measures would not be sufficient. I’m glad our school is using common sense to apply the best policy year by year. Without evidence to the contrary, I assume other schools are doing the same. (I know it’s not always the case, but I don’t see any point in mocking a policy unless I know for a fact that it is not necessary.)

  14. Marcie February 17, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    When discussing the lockdown procedures our kid’s school had just been drilling right after they implemented them, my then 9 year old said “what if someone comes and starts shooting when we are outside at recess?”. Something I guess the adults never considered. Here they are drilling some scary procedure into my little kid’s minds about where to hide in the class if someone comes in shooting, and my kid gets out of it all that they are still completely vulnerable and basically screwed if someone decides to shoot at them on the playground (which to her is realistic because the school has them practicing for shooters in the school). I am trying to minimize it all saying how it is not going to happen, they are safe at school…but everyone knows teachers are smarter than moms. She wouldn’t stop worrying about it being a reality no matter how much I told her it wasn’t going to happen so I ended up telling her to lay down on the ground and play dead, which felt horrible to say, like I was playing into the hysteria.

  15. Donna February 17, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    “Re the nut-free policy: If an entire school has a nut free policy”

    Nope. Many schools have nut-free policies just because. I know that my daughter’s daycare had one despite not having a single child with a nut allergy (allergies were posted on the walls of every room).

  16. ifsogirl February 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    Marcie’s comment is the saddest thing I’ve read today. It does make me wonder how often these lockdown drills are done and how much attention and detail is given during one.

    In my part of Canada all we have are fire drills that are only done two to three times a year, yet my children aren’t worried there will be a fire at school. They were always a surprise to the students,everyone would line up all nice and orderly, giggling and happy to go outside for a break. Teachers would keep everyone in line but of course very calm. Never did we feel like we were in danger.

    Reading what message kids appear to be getting from the lockdown drills it seems it’s more of an EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION BECAUSE THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH AND YOU NEED TO BE PREPARED BECAUSE IT WILL HAPPEN AND YOU WILL DIE lesson as opposed to a in the unlikely event that (an earthquake/fire/gas leak/suspicious person/Bengal tiger) happens we (go outside/on lockdown/call Sigfried and Roy etc..)that kids remember because the drill itself is an unusual event, a happy break from class a couple times a year.

    If anyone has been part of the lockdown drills can you give some clarity to this. It can’t be that bad can it?

  17. Lola February 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    There are no lockdown policies where I live, so I’m curious… At which point do they take roll to know everyone’s okay? I assume the “all call” is just a “coast is clear” sygnal, but the protocol should include some way to make sure everyone’s accounted for, shouldn’t it?

  18. Art February 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    I can explain at least some of that word salad.

    Essentially each class is given a set of colored cards with the room number, which in a lockdown or evacuation situation, tells the status of that particular class.

    For instance, if the evacuated class is on the playground with the rest of the school, and there are no problems, it’s a green card. If the class is missing a student, or there is some other issue, that class has the “red” card, and denotes there’s a problem.

    This usually means that a student was caught in the library,etc. and they need to check status of that student.

    As for the rest of that note. What that is, I don’t even…

    Homeschooling is starting to sound pretty good right about now…

  19. Lola February 17, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    …and now my sick mind pictures a scene where someone hits their head in the dark, and the teacher fumbles with the cards, trying to figure out by touch which one’s the blue one…

  20. Lola February 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    …always assuming there aren’t any daltonic teachers, of course!

  21. SOA February 17, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    with a school shooting I always kind of had my own plan I devised. It happened when I was in high school right after Columbine. I always said forget sitting there and being a sitting duck. I would think about jumping out the window or climbing up on the roof or something. That was my plan. Our school was only 2 stories high and I can handle a second story jump and some classrooms were where you could go out the window onto the roof.

    I know for fire drills and other drills they can be a nightmare for special needs kids. The loud noises from the alarm. The flashing lights if they have that kind of alarm. The crowded hallways. The disruption of the routine. The special ed teachers like to know about them so they can get the kids ahead of time for them.

  22. Papilio February 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    I suspect they’re all high on hamburgers.

  23. ChicagoDad February 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    Here’s a dadaism perhaps suitable for autotuning:
    Your safety is more important than cards so if there is not a teacher in the room and you don’t see them, it is okay. The teachers have a job to do and and playing with cards isn’t one of them and so you know you shouldn’t move them. You need to be mindful of danger and the teacher isn’t Buffy so never approach them exactly. If you want her to be exactly she’ll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she’s gone who?

  24. hineata February 17, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    @ifsogirl – you’ve got the solution right there. Every school needs a Bengal tiger patrolling the corridors. Said tiger is in the perfect position to institute its very own ‘nut free’ policy, beginning with whatever nut wrote the Valentine.

    Personally, I love nut-free policies. Were I in the States, I would extend nut bans to cover, for example, every member of the NRA……

  25. Charla February 17, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    @hineata Mot one NRA member has ever shot at kids in schools. I think you may be looking for the wrong kind of nuts. Gun-free zones were created by nuts who don’t understand that criminal nuts don’t obey the law. That is what makes them CRIMINALS.

  26. hineata February 17, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    @Charla – hmmm, can’t quite believe that. No member of the NRA has ever gone mad with a gun?

    Anyway, was just being a bit naughty. I know trying to convince roughly half, if not more, of the American population that guns aren’t actually as necessary to life as, say, oxygen, is a lost cause. Even my US based brother has joined the madness, and can’t wait until he becomes a citizen so he can carry a concealed weapon to, you know, battle all those criminals who are after him every day. Hopefully he won’t resort to defending himself against , say, random black teens in SUVs playing loud music he doesn’t like, but who knows? The crims are everywhere!!

    Even likely to be wandering around school corridors everywhere, if this sort of silly lockdown nonsense is to be believed…

  27. hineata February 17, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    And, Charla, what is truly amazing is that in some countries, such as my own, a majority of criminals do not actually carry guns, legally or otherwise. Because by and large we as a populace do not worship the gun. We use guns mainly for legitimate purposes, like hunting – we do not feel the need to carry them to dispose of our fellow man.

    A difficult concept to grasp, but try it sometime….

  28. Warren February 17, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    Lockdowns are useless, and counter productive. Fish in a barrel comes to mind.

    There is absolutely no reason for the kids not to be able to junk out on candy. One day of candy won’t kill them.

    As for bringing Valentines for everyone in the class, that is ridiculous. Recieving something from a friend has meaning. When you make it mandatory to give to everyone, it is now meaningless. Completely against this.

  29. Warren February 17, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    @hineata,
    Personally, if I felt that I needed to have a firearm to keep my family safe………….I would be looking to move to a better community.

    I have a few rifles for hunting, and would never consider using them for safety. By the time I got them out of a locked cabinet, the trigger lock off, unlocked the ammo, and loaded it……….well you get the picture.

  30. SOA February 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    really Warren? So you are okay with the unpopular kid who maybe has special needs not getting any valentines? Or the only black kid not getting any valentines from any of the white kids?

    They are stupid little paper valentines you get at CVS and they have enough in a box for the whole class so why not give one to everyone? I understand some people actually hand make them valentines but most people don’t. And so it is not any more effort to give one to everyone.

    I really doubt you would be okay if your kid was the only kid in the class that did not receive a single valentine. You will probably come on here and say you would be fine with that, but that is nuts.

    My kids bought some special Valentine gifts for their little girl friends who have given them presents over the school year and we are giving those out just to a few girls but we are still giving the little cheap character valentines to the whole class and our school requires you to do so anyway and I don’t have a problem with that.

  31. SOA February 17, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Warren: as far as the candy, um it can get bad. We also have parties for Valentines day. So last year we did make your own ice cream sundaes with ice cream, whipped cream, mini choc chips, mini marshmellows, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, etc. So the kids were allowed to put any or all of that stuff on their sundae and make a decent sized sundae. Then we allowed the kids that ate it all to have a second one if they wanted.

    Well that is enough. Because one little girl who is kinda heavy ate 2 whole sundaes and then when we would not give her a third sundae proceeded to eat her candy from the valentines. I had to get the teacher to stop her because I think she would have puked if she kept eating. Some kids don’t know how to stop themselves and nobody wanted a kid puking everywhere at the party and ruining it.

    Now if they don’t have a party and that would be the only candy they get, yeah it is okay to eat it. But if they are already having a party with cupcakes, ice cream sundaes, pizza, etc they can wait to eat the candy and it is not going to freaking hurt them and is actually the reasonable thing to do. It also has to do with food allergies because even though they say no peanut candy, parents will send it anyway. They always do so the kids don’t need to be eating it in the classroom.

  32. SOA February 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    Hineata: Guns are a requirement for anyone in this country that lives in rural areas. There is no patrolling police nearby. There is no animal control. There are wild animals that come on your property daily that can harm you. The police will take about an hour to get there. For rural people, guns are an absolute necessity. They use them to put down injured farm animals or scare off wild animals or hunt for food.

  33. Donna February 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    SOA – Party need not equal junk food fest. While our Valentine’s Day party got snowed out this year, there was nothing to indicate that the kids were going to be able to gorge themselves on ice cream sundaes until they puked. The parents in the school would pitch a fit. And since all party snacks are provided by the parents, not the school junk orgy wouldn’t even be an option.

    As for Valentine’s, I don’t have a problem with mandatory Valentine’s for everyone, but certainly would prefer a world where it was not mandatory because all the parents taught their children to want to give Valentine’s to the whole class. We didn’t get to do it this year, but in previous years my daughter wouldn’t have considerd for a second not giving Valentine’s to everyone. She is just a sweet kid. And she had to make them individually because store-bought Valentine’s didn’t exist in A. Samoa.

    Her current school’s rule is to bring for everyone if you want to bring any, but nobody has to bring anything if they don’t want to.

  34. Donna February 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

    SOA -Hmmm, didnt realize that we were in such danger when we lived in the middle of nowhere in rural Georgia without a gun. Only thing dangerous that ever wandered into our yard was a rattlesnake and we handled that just fine with a hoe. The one and only time that a gun would have been nice was when we were out walking and found a deer with a leg caught in a fence. It would have been nice to be able to put it out of its misery faster, but a call to a neighbor got it taken care of eventually.

    New Zealand is plenty rural. And if I remember correctly, hineata is a farm girl herself. Don’t think she’s going to buy the absolute need for guns in the country than I do. I don’t have a problem with guns (although I agree that the US obsession with them is insane), but you can live anywhere in the US without them. In some areas, they are definitely handy, but I’ve known many people who live in some of our most remote and dangerous places without them just fine.

  35. Cynthia February 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    This is somewhat off-topic but I really wish commenters in this forum would stop spreading a common MYTH about peanut allergies — that a person could have an allergic reaction from smelling or being in close proximity to peanuts or food containing peanuts. This is just FALSE!

    It’s the protein in peanuts that cause allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Pyrizine (not the protein) is what gives off the smell in peanuts. This means that, for the most part, peanuts have to enter the body (eaten or licked or applied to broken skin) to cause a reaction. The only way the peanut protein can get airborne and inhaled is if crushed or powdered peanuts are tossed in the air, for example, in sports bars that serve shelled peanuts.

    So to me, the comment about a kid having a “mild allergy” because he reacts through “ingestion only” is so odd. People can die from eating peanuts. I’d say that’s pretty severe.

    The public elementary schools in my part of the world (near Toronto, Canada) have a nut-free policy to avoid the risk of accidental ingestion. Kids love to share food! At least mine do. Most high schools do not have this policy since one would hope that kids this age can read food labels, recognize the danger-foods and self-regulate. My 8 and 6 yo sons have a peanut and tree nut allergy, respectively. Our rule is that “mystery treats” (ones with no nut-free label) they get from friends and teachers need to come home. For the most part this has worked out except on 2 occasions when my then 7yo ate a mystery food because his friend told him to.

  36. Warren February 17, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

    No I do not have a problem with uneven Valentine Card tallies.

    1. Kids do not need cards because people are forced to give them one.
    2. Where we live the KKK does not run rampant, so race is not a problem.
    3. A mandatory card is no different than the trophy for everyone idea. Meaningless.

    Your description of rural is exactly where we live. Bears, wolves and coyotes, and no patrolling police. Yet nobody here carries a firearm for protection.

    Like I said, if you live somewhere that to feel safe you need a gun…………then find somewhere better to live.

  37. Reziac February 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    @Cynthia — I know someone who is so allergic to shellfish, especially shrimp, that just being at the same table where someone else is eating it is enough to make her have a reaction (albeit much milder than if she were to consume it). She is not an alarmist about it, just aware. I don’t find it out of the question that airborne particles (ie. microscopic dust) from peanuts could suffice as well.

    That said, you can’t control everything. If you have an issue it is up to you to control your own environment, not up to the rest of the world to do it for you.

  38. SOA February 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Warren: Not enough room in the cities for everyone to live there. Some people have to live in rural areas to farm or just to not overpopulate cities and suburbs. But unless we want to kill off all wildlife, then there will always be a risk of having to deal with and occasionally shoot wild animals. That is just reality.

  39. SOA February 17, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    My parents live not too far from rural Georgia and have had to shoot feral cats and feral dogs, coyotes, poisonous snakes. They have seen bears, mountain lions, and bobcats but luckily did not have to shoot them as they were not in a threatening position at said time. You don’t go walking in the woods without a fire arm per the Game Warden’s advice.

  40. Warren February 18, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    Okay Dolly, I will be the one to say it.

    GO GET SOME HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Warren February 18, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    Dolly,
    I see packs coyotes every night out my patio doors, I see bear tracks in my driveway on a semi regular basis. Wolves have been leaving tracks in the snow all over my property. Moose, deer and the occassional elk all of which are at times more dangerous than the predators. Never have I had to shoot an animal in defense.

    I am an avid hunter and angler and have never shot an animal in defense in all the thousands of hours I have spent in the woods. And I would check your source, because I highly doubt game wardens want the woods filled with trigger happy idiots.

    I also have a pretty good idea about your parents. That they take any chance to shoot anything they can get away with killing. The ones you list they don’t shoot are protected by law, and that is the only reason your trigger happy parents don’t shoot them.

    Do not try and tell me you have to shoot wildlife if you don’t live in a city. Because I don’t live in the city, and unless I am actually hunting an animal in season, I have never shot one. I have sat at my firepit late at night and watched wildlife stroll by. Even shared a full moon conversation with a wolf not so long ago.

  42. Cynthia February 18, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    @reziac – Not all food allergies are alike. You cannot make inferences about one food allergy based on your understanding of another. Google “can smelling peanuts cause an allergic reaction” and you’ll find a wealth of information about how this is a myth and why. My kids’ allergist who himself has a peanut allergy told me that this was a myth. There was even a scientific study done where people with a peanut allergy smelled peanut butter and a placebo (soy butter) … No reaction in either case.

    I don’t consider myself an alarmist when it comes to my kids’ nut allergies. They go to plenty of places were nut products are around but I don’t freak out because I know smelling or being around nut products doesn’t cause reactions. Ingesting does. In other words, I am informed about facts about nut allergies and not relying on hearsay.

    However, young children being … uhm, young, I am vigilant about them not accepting or eating food that have unknown ingredients because nuts are often “hidden” in a lot of food products (e.g., chocolate, candy bars, baked goods, etc). And, unlike wheat or gluten that is even more prevalent in food items, ingesting small amounts of peanuts can kill quickly — not just cause a very bad tummy ache. Have you read the back of a candy wrapper lately? Lots of scientific ingredients, written in very small letters. How can people expect an 8yo to decipher that? I even sometimes miss the “May contains nuts” fine print, myself.

    Valentines and halloween makes me a little nervous for my young kids but I am thankful for the nut-free policy at school. It’s not fool-proof. Peanut candies have come home on several occasions (e.g. M&M peanuts, Resees Pieces) so that’s why I tell my kids that treats need to come home (not eaten at school) unless the package clearly says nut-free.

  43. Jenny Islander February 18, 2014 at 3:56 am #

    No, guns are not an absolute necessity. I live in* the wildlife refuge that protects the biggest bears in the world. I know plenty of people who live way the heck and gone out there, so far that they have to catch a ride on a fishing boat just to get to one end of the local road. They may own a bird rifle, and they may own a deer rifle. They are much more likely to own fishing equipment,** because it’s a lot harder to miss with a fishing net than it is with a rifle. And many, I might even say most, of them don’t own bear rifles, because they know that they are not good enough shots to hit the one or two spots that are almost certain to put down a bear within seconds. The one thing worse than a bear in your cabin is a wounded bear in your cabin.

    *According to the map, the refuge actually begins a few miles away. The bears do not seem to be aware of this. They move through town at night to get to nearby islands, and every fall there is at least one bear alert in an outlying neighborhood.

    **Note that this may include a pistol. If you are fishing for bottomfish and you haul up a mattress ‘but (a halibut weighing more than a hundred pounds), you’ll want to shoot it before you haul it aboard. Clubbing is not effective for a fish this size.

  44. hineata February 18, 2014 at 4:31 am #

    @Dolly – Donna is right, I grew up in rural areas. The lone policeman is usually hours away when you need the poor chap – that’s why we had a wrestling club, fire brigade etc :-). Still we didn’t generally (ever, actually, in my area) use guns to protect ourselves from people. We don’t have wild animals we need protection from, and if a cow or something decided to go you, the last thing you’d have time to do, as Warren aptly pointed out, is get out your gun, unlock your ammo etc.

    Guns are great tools. They have some use in rural areas. However they are completely unnecessary in urban areas, (unless, I suppose, your urban area is Anchorage or somewhere that bears or other huge beasts generally roam, though what Warren said, again) as their only purpose would be to kill people. If the general populace wasn’t armed, then where would all these criminals who supposedly carry guns get them from?

    In the five years my brother, for example, has lived in Seattle, home once upon a time to BTK and the Green River Killer (or are these the same guy?) he has never come remotely close to needing to protect himself with a gun. Neither has anyone else of his acquaintance. Yet somehow, somewhere, criminals are running rampant threatening ordinary citizens, and it is up to those ordinary citizens to protect themselves and others (aka Rambo or Arnie) using, of course, a gun. I am not sure why his brain has turned to mush like this – he was raised with more common sense.

    Out of interest, have any of you ever been in a situation with people threatening you where a gun was useful?

  45. Donna February 18, 2014 at 6:43 am #

    Dolly, any game warden who told your parents that was an idiot. I spent hundreds of hours in the woods by our house alone (well the dog was usually around somewhere). Never saw anything remotely threatening. Wild animals are not exactly looking to be near us.

    The dog I can see if it was actually hanging out instead of just passing through, but feral cats are just cats. Lived around them my entire life. Unless they are rabid, there is no need to take them out with a gun. If you want them gone, there are plenty of other ways. Shooting is probably the least effective way to deal with them unless you are a great marksman. Same with snakes.

    Unless you walk around your own yard armed 24/7, I fail to see how a gun is even helpful for spontaneous wild life. If you can get into the house to get the gun and come back out, your life was not threatened. I can see where you would want to get rid of a dangerous animal hanging around, but there are other ways to do so if you don’t have a gun.

  46. Emily February 18, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Okay, a few points here:

    1. Yes, I agree that lockdowns with coloured cards are a stupid idea, because they indicate to the shooters that “people are hiding in the library/music room/science lab/whatever,” and thereby make the shooters’ job easier.

    2. About the Valentines, where I am, the “Valentines for all,” and the Valentine parties in general, are only really a thing in early elementary school. I only remember them in grades K-3, and there might have been one in grade 4 also, but I remember feeling “too old” for it that year, so my dad took me and my brother skiing that day instead. My brother was only in grade one then, but I guess he wanted to be “mature” like me. Anyway, I don’t see the harm in younger kids doing a Valentine for everyone. At that age, they’re mostly too young for cliques, etc., so Valentines for everyone make sense. If they want to do something special for their closer friends, they can invite them to a private Valentine party at their house (I went to a few of those as a kid), and/or make them a special Valentine, or a Rainbow Loom bracelet or something, and give it to them in private. I don’t believe in the “must invite everyone, or all of one gender to your birthday party” edicts, because it’s a true imposition on a child to have to have the class bully in their house on their birthday, but a nominal “punch it out and sign your name” Valentine card is maybe thirty seconds worth of effort, and the whole ritual helps to lighten up a depressing February. I agree that Valentine’s Day parties could be done without the cards, and kids could make Valentines for their parents instead, but the ritual is so ingrained into our culture at this point, there’s really no way around it–if you say “no Valentines,” then kids will still bring them for their BFF’s, less popular kids will have their feelings hurt, and it’d precipitate all the problems you’re trying to avoid.

    3. About the “don’t eat the Valentine candy in class,” yeah, I agree with previous posters–the candy should be saved for later if the class is having a party with other sugary treats. You wouldn’t want anyone making themselves sick to their stomachs, and also, some parents TRY to get “peanut-free” candy, but mess it up. For example, a hurried parent might walk into Wal-Mart, see a sale on plain M&M’s, and think, “Okay, Sam’s friend Susie can’t eat peanuts, so I’ll get these M&M’s, because they don’t have peanuts. Done and done.” In actuality, this isn’t true–plain M&M’s contain peanut oils, because they share a production line with the peanut M&M’s. So, if there’s a party in class, OR if there’s an allergic student in the class, then the treats should be saved for later. Even if the allergic student is only ingestion-sensitive, it’s no fun to have to wait to eat your candy while everyone else is enjoying theirs, because you’re five years old and you can’t independently read food labels well enough to be safe. If I was planning a Valentine party for little kids, I’d probably just do a craft that they could take home to their parents, an indoor game or two, with punch and cookies for snacks, then take the kids outside to play in the snow, both to burn off the sugar, and also, to streamline dismissal/pick-up time. I don’t know why this isn’t a universal thing.

    4. I also agree that school officials should use proper spelling, grammar, and syntax. My mom had this same complaint with a lot of my teachers (and a few principals) when I was in elementary school. There was the grade two teacher who spelled “research” as “reaserch,” the principal in grade eight who posted literature about heart disease without reading it (nothing like seeing “heart disease causes erectile dysfunction” plastered all over a K-8 school), and many, many other incidents in between.

  47. lollipoplover February 18, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    My kids didn’t get to exchange Valentines on Friday as they had a snow day…again. Our school doesn’t do a party and giving to everyone in the class is not mandatory (even participating isn’t) but everyone knows to include the whole class- it’s just good manners.
    Since the exchange was rescheduled for today, my daughter’s teacher sent an email over the weekend asking for a favor. She has a new student starting today and hoped everyone could introduce themselves by sending him a Valentine and including him in the exchange. So, “Roses are red, Violets are blue, Welcome to our class, to the friend that is new” is what the 7 yo came up with and she is very excited to meet him. Smart teacher.

    I don’t know how this thread went from lockdowns and Valentines to shooting innocent animals to defend yourself, but I thank heavens no one thought to shoot our feral cats we adopted years ago. They are such a joy to our family and for the life of me I cannot imagine anyone feeling threatened by 9 lbs. of fur. Yesterday, my daughter went sledding with friends at a nature preserve and they spotted two bears and were proud they didn’t run and made noise to deter the bears (who were far off and not interested at all in humans). We have an insane amount of development happening around us, and wild animals continue to loose their habitat. Shooting at small cats or other wild animals who make the mistake of not knowing your property line sounds like the makings of a sociopath.

  48. SOA February 18, 2014 at 9:27 am #

    You have obviously never dealt with a real feral cat. Those things are huge because to survive in the woods they are tough and large. Like 15 to 20 pounds huge cats. They are not domesticated at all. Strays and ferals are different things. Ferals no longer have the relationship with humans that domesticated cats do. They will attack humans and domestic cats and dogs. They will kill domestic cats.

  49. SOA February 18, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Hineata: My mother has. She has random men trespass on her property regularly ignoring the no trespassing and private property signs. She asked them to leave and they got smart with her and started acting threatening. She pulled her gun out and they magically had a change of attitude and left.

    Their neighbor has had to defend his livestock from coyotes and theives with his firearm multiple times.

    My stepfather shoots poisonous snakes that are up near the house regularly. He is disabled and is not willing to get close enough to hit them with a shovel because he cannot move quickly or jump out of the way if he needs to. You may be willing to get in striking distance of a poisonous snake, but he isn’t.

  50. SOA February 18, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Warren: You don’t know what you are talking about. My mom hates hunters. She has had to chase hunters off her property multiple times. She feeds deer on her property, feeds birds, feeds gophers. That is why she moved out in the country to interact with wildlife. But some wildlife can be dangerous. They would rather have a gun when going walking in case they meet a mountain lion or bear.

    That is worst first thinking thinking that just because someone has a firearm they are a gun toting maniac who shoots first and asks questions later and goes around killing things all the time. Most gun owners are responsible citizens. Now who is the hysterical thinker?

  51. Orange Roughy February 18, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    My children’s school went on lock down last week, right before their very regulated Valentine festivities. I guess somebody tried to climb the fence to retrieve a piece of trash. They had helicopter come to the scene. My daughter was really worried, my younger boys didn’t really understand. I explained to my daughter they will lock down the school if someone is jogging with a hoodie on or their is a feral cat near the campus. The school sent out a recorded message right before school let out. That way we couldn’t freak out and show up at the school.

  52. Stephanie February 18, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    Cynthia wrote: So to me, the comment about a kid having a “mild allergy” because he reacts through “ingestion only” is so odd. People can die from eating peanuts. I’d say that’s pretty severe.

    You are right Cynthia. My use of terms wasn’t very well put. I know a couple of children with peanut allergies so severe that they are at risk short of ingestion. Maybe I misunderstood, and the risk is from skin contact or something. (Which of course makes anyone near them eating a peanut product a risk because surfaces could become contaminated.) One child that I know is so allergic to so many kinds of foods that after countless hospitalizations and near-fatal reactions, he was put on artificial food fed by tube! (It was amazing how quickly he became hale and hearty after he started to tube feeding. The change was dramatic.) I know for a fact that he has numerous allergies that are sensitive to proximity alone. I thought peanuts was one of them, but it’s possible I misunderstood about that. Thanks for the correction. Obviously, a child with allergies as severe as his can’t safely attend school anyway. He is homeschooled. Most kids with his condition are.

    In any case, I think you and I agree that nut-free policies aren’t necessarily wacko. In many cases there are legitimate reasons for them. :)

  53. SOA February 18, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    I have a son with a peanut allergy and he won’t react from just smelling it. It has to be on his skin or ingested. The prob with peanuts is the oils are very messy and they are great at getting smeared around and then they stay on surfaces. So if my son gets the oil on his hand he could have a skin reaction and if he sticks his hand in his mouth with the oil, then he could become a serious deathly reaction.

    That is why they do the peanut free tables to keep the residue and oil away from the allergic kid’s food. Also why they try to keep it out of classrooms.

    And the poster was right about parents don’t understand how to real labels if they don’t have allergic kids themselves and send in stuff processed with nuts so could still be dangerous to the peanut allergic kids. Or whatever allergy they have. So its better to let the parents read over the candy and pick out what is safe and not safe at home which is what I do. The best part is I get to eat the stuff he can’t eat. 😉 The teacher really does not have time to monitor that stuff herself so I don’t blame them saying “eat it when you get home and let your parents check it”.

  54. Warren February 18, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    SOA
    Yes I do know what I am talking about. By your accounts, your parents are shooting and killing many times. I live in an area with just as much wildlife, other than snakes, as them, if not more. And the only time we even hear gunshots is during prescribed hunting seasons. Niether me nor my neighbors are out there shooting at animals, because they are around our property. That is sociopathic behaviour.

    It is also obvious from your posts here and on other articles in FRK, that you live your life in fear. You have more excuses for unacceptable fears and behaviour than one can shake a stick at.

    Your mom hates hunters yet they kill animals all the time, for nothing more than the kill. She also threatens people with her gun. What I do know for a fact is that I would stay far away from your Mom, she is a danger to herself and society.

  55. Donna February 18, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    SOA – As I said, I’ve been around feral cats my whole life. They tend to come with farms. My own cat is a former feral cat. He tops the scales at about 15 pounds. His presumptive father (only male ever seen around) was slightly larger than him, but certainly not something that I ever feared enough think I needed a gun to protect myself against him. His ladies were often within sight distance, although never close enough to touch, but he rarely even got close enough to see let alone threaten anyone.

    That is the thing about all wild animals, especially those who live in rural areas. You are highly unlikely to ever stumble onto them as they want nothing to do with you and their senses of hearing and smell are far above your sense of sight. Where problems arise is in areas where the people have moved in in large numbers – towns, national parks, campgrounds, hiking trails. The animals become too used to humans and don’t bug out as quickly.

    But nobody is saying that guns don’t have a use in rural areas. You insisted that you HAD to have a gun if you lived in a rural area. That is simply patently untrue. Many people live safely in rural areas without owning guns.

  56. Puzzled February 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

    On lockdowns – I am in charge of health and safety where I work. I’ve been sure not to have a single lock-down drill. We do have a shelter in place procedure, but it only goes into effect with an order from Command.

    After Sandy Hook, my job went from emergency planning to getting everyone to stop panicking about emergency planning. We had procedures before, they’re still adequate – we had thought of the possibility, know what to do, know how unlikely it is, and need to spend our time teaching.

    On Valentines – I’m against ‘Valentine’s for everyone.’ There is rejection in life, learn to live with it. Giving them to everyone makes them meaningless. Who wants a Valentine they know they received only because someone had to give it to them?

    Why not require that if I buy my date dinner, I buy dinner for the whole restaurant? Or the whole country, for that matter?

  57. Emily February 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    @Puzzled–Valentine’s Day in early elementary school is an entirely different thing from Valentine’s Day for older kids, teenagers, or adults. It’s not about love, or romance, or dating; it’s about being kind to one another, wearing red, white, pink, and purple clothing, and spending some time with your classmates making crafts (usually Valentine mailboxes/mailbags), and eating a bit too much sugar and red food dye. I participated in “Valentines for everyone” as a child, but I still knew the difference between a participation award and a real award when I got older, I still understood why it wasn’t feasible to invite everyone to every birthday party (I learned that lesson early by reading “Moira’s Birthday,” by Robert Munsch), and I absolutely wouldn’t get my nose out of joint if someone in a restaurant had a boyfriend buying her dinner, and I didn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t even go to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, because they’re always so crowded on holidays. Also, a lot of little kids in preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary school, ARE friends with the whole class, or at least on friendly terms with them, so again, for that age group, universal Valentines are the way to go. If nothing else, the kids get practice printing their names, and classmates’ names, and they learn about doing a (small) kind deed for another person.

  58. Warren February 18, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    Emily,

    If someone wants to give cards to everyone in the class that is fine, should that be their desire. Good for them.

    On the other side of the coin, why is it acceptable to force a kid to give a card to someone they don’t like, or want to give a card to. Oh and by the way, if you want to give cards to just your friends, you can’t unless you give one to the people you don’t like.

    I understand that their are social outcasts, and special needs kids, but I also understand that my kids do not have to constantly make meaningless gestures just to appease them. On holidays my kids have the right to enjoy the day without having to constantly be politically correct and a social worker. They have the right to like and not like people, and I am tired of others saying that isn’t right.
    I have people I love, like and tolerate. I also have people I wouldn’t wave at from a distance. Life is life, live with it.

  59. Donna February 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    “Why not require that if I buy my date dinner, I buy dinner for the whole restaurant? Or the whole country, for that matter?”

    Overreact much? This is not remotely akin to going out to a restaurant. It is equal to saying that if you want to bring a treat to school to celebrate your birthday, you have to bring one for everyone. I don’t think most would actually say that it is okay for a child to bring cupcakes for everyone in her class except two boys and that the whole class should then eat the cupcakes in front of those two boys during class time.

    “Giving them to everyone makes them meaningless.”

    At elementary school level, at least for most of it, Valentine’s ARE meaningless. Valentine’s Day isn’t about love or even friendship for most of the pre-puberty years. It is about having a party, drawing hearts and getting candy. My daughter likes giving and receiving Valentine’s but she is not spending hours trying to parse out whether little Madison really wanted to give her a Valentine or was made to do so. I think some here are projecting waaaaaay too many adult feelings onto young children.

    Now around 4th or 5th grade, these things do start to gain more meaning, but personally I think that is too old to have classroom parties involving the exchange of cheap Valentine’s anyway.

  60. Emily February 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    @Warren–Fair enough. Would you be happy if it was a “Valentine craft made at school, followed by snacks and outdoor play, not necessarily in that order” party, followed by an OPTIONAL Valentine exchange that could take place after school/off school property? That way, the kids could give Valentines to whoever they like (or not), the kids who aren’t likely to receive any won’t have to see Popular Polly getting 30 Valentines while they get none, and the kids with parents who forgot or don’t have the time/money/energy to buy or make Valentines, wouldn’t have to participate at all. Of course, this is all hypothetical, because I think you told me that your kids are past the typical “school Valentine party” age, but it seems like a decent compromise for kids who are in that age bracket. I know that rejection happens, but it’s really not necessary to create as many opportunities as possible for the less-popular kids to get rejected. They already experience it regularly, when nobody wants to play with them at recess or sit with them at lunch, or pick them for their team in gym class, or choose them as a partner/fellow group member for collaborative projects or field trips, or attend school dances with them, and so on, and so forth.

    Many people are tempted to blame these kids for having “poor social skills” or similar, but often, kids get rejected for wearing the wrong brand of sneakers, or being overweight, or being introverted, or doing too well in school (or not well enough in sports), or liking the wrong kind of music, or having a stutter, or glasses, or braces, or any number of really stupid reasons. It’s possible to be a perfectly nice kid who just doesn’t fit in, and often, being constantly told you don’t fit in, makes those perfectly nice kids, not so nice anymore, because of having their faces rubbed in the fact that they’re somehow “less than.”

    So, I’m not saying that school Valentine parties where kids can give cards to just their friends, are the cause of this, but I agree with the majority that feels a bit icky about the practice. Also, when I was in the “school Valentine party” age range, there was just something about that day–we’d all be nicer to each other, maybe because we’d gone through the act of doing Valentines for everyone, maybe because of the general atmosphere of the day, but it seemed like a day to bury the hatchet for a bit, and I’m reasonably sure that “selective Valentines” wouldn’t have had that effect. I know you don’t agree with this, but that’s how I feel. I’m not going to attack anyone for disagreeing with me, but FRK has always been a place where people can safely express their opinions, so that’s what I’m doing.

    One more thing–if the school in question decides to go the route of “no Valentine exchange at school,” it’s better to rephrase that in positive terms. So, instead of “We’re not exchanging Valentines at school,” most kids would do better hearing, “We will be making crafts/playing outside/going ice skating/watching the Charlie Brown Valentine movie/making cards and cookies and delivering them at the local retirement home.” Actually, I like the “community outreach” idea best, because that way, the kids are focused on working together to do something kind for others, rather than individually keeping a running tally of how many Valentines they did or didn’t get.

  61. Warren February 18, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

    Okay, then when you order lunch at work, you better damn well order and pay for everyone’s. Cause god forbid someone feels left out. And that is a direct comparison, Donna.

    So if my daughter brings her friend a birthday card on her birthday, does that mean she has to for every other kid on theirs? That is BS. Also blackmailing the kids is BS. You can only bring cards for your friends if you bring them for everyone, including those you don’t like. Wrong message. Not real, and not something that should be taught.

    Nice is holding the door for people. Nice is not about giving up individuality.

  62. Emily February 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    @Warren–Ordering lunch at work is a “basic sustenance” thing, and it was always meant to be individual. Celebrating Valentine’s Day (or Halloween, or Christmas) at school, is supposed to be about the whole class (or sometimes even the whole school) celebrating together, and therefore, the festivities should (reasonably) allow everyone to participate. This might mean doing Valentines for everyone, for the very littlest kids. For older kids, it might mean thinking a bit outside of the (mail) box, and planning a sledding-and-hot-chocolate party, or a movie-and-popcorn party, or a co-operative mission to make Valentines for the elderly/infirm/homeless/whatever, instead of (or even in addition to) yet another Valentine’s Dance. In any one of these cases, the kids would still exchange Valentines on their own, as they like, but keeping it out of school, or at least out of the forefront of the festivities, would help ensure that everyone can at least enjoy SOMETHING about the day. Yes, rejection happens, but in my mind, part of the “in loco parentis” deal that teachers sign up for, is helping to protect young people’s emotional well-being. That could reasonably include making some effort at giving ALL of the kids at least some positive memories of their time in school, instead of setting things up so that their lives at school are a nonstop parade of rejection all day, every day. That’s not blackmailing; it’s being a responsible and compassionate adult, and setting the tone for the celebration. Most kids like when adults do this, because it gives them some idea of what to expect, and what’s expected of them.

  63. Emily February 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Also, I forgot to mention, birthday cards are different from Valentines, because they can be quietly slipped to the “birthday friend” at recess or lunch. Also, only one person has a birthday at a time (generally speaking), so it’s a much more low-key day. Valentine cards are generally delivered and opened in class, so EVERYONE knows who got the most, and who got none, and everyone’s excited and hopped up on sugar, so emotions can run high. So, yes, in that case, it would make sense to have an “all or none” rule for Valentines, but no such rule for birthday cards.

  64. Warren February 18, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Emily,

    Mandatory giving and mandatory sympathy are just wrong.

    What is so wrong about a child not giving a Valentine Card to someone they do not like, do not hang with?
    Sorry bout the kid that gets none. Maybe a wake up call to be more outgoing, and friendly. You have to also think of the others. My daughters both had classmates they really didn’t want to give cards to during the years. It was actually something they resented having to do, and were uneasy about actually giving them. I told them they didn’t have to. You cannot force people no matter what age to be nice to everyone, and to do so is wrong.

  65. Emily February 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    @Warren–Fine, we’ll never agree on Valentine cards, or on whether or not social exclusion should be blamed on the excludees, but what about just making the whole Valentine celebration into something different, that isn’t conducive to exchanging cards, and making that sound SO MUCH COOLER than a boring old class party and Valentine exchange? I’ve already suggested a community outreach project, sledding, ice skating, and a special Valentine movie (made special, on a large screen in the gymnasium or auditorium, possibly with popcorn or something), but I’m sure there are other options as well. In any case, if the school were to set up the Valentine festivities this way, they could say that the request to exchange the Valentines outside of school is because of the logistics of the activity–I mean, who wants to juggle a bag of Valentines per kid, along with backpacks, ice skates, and winter apparel, to and from the skating rink? Who wants to deal with kids getting upset because their Valentines got blown all over the sledding hill? After making Valentines for the entire children’s ward at the hospital, aren’t we all a bit “Valentined out” to make them for the class too? Anyway, this could also take a bit of the focus off of the candy and the sugar, which a lot of parents would appreciate–their kids would come home tired from ice skating or sledding (or whatever), rather than being sugared up after being fed cupcakes and candy all afternoon, even if they were given a small amount of candy to save for later. The kids could also do ad-hoc Valentine exchanges, but they wouldn’t be The Focus Of The Day, like they would be in the context of a traditional Valentine party. That way, the less popular kids would remember, “We went on a field trip to the skating rink/the sledding hill/to give Valentines to the kids at the hospital,” rather than, “I was embarrassed in front of the whole class when I didn’t get any Valentines.” If you remember that popularity in the pubescent years often isn’t determined by friendliness and social skills, but by appearance and possessions, then, well, that alone makes a powerful case for at least attempting to “level the playing field” for those kids. Of course life isn’t fair–they’ll still get picked last for teams in gym, passed over for dates for school dances, end up sitting alone at lunch time, etc., but this way, they’ll at least get to participate in communal school celebrations as a full member of the school community, which they definitely are.

    As for “mandatory sympathy,” a good teacher would give the kids some choice in the matter, by having them vote on whether to make the Valentines for the hospital, hospice, retirement home, shelter, etc., but he or she would also help them develop compassion by teaching them something about these establishments, what they do, and why Valentine cards (or a positive gesture of the students’ choice, like maybe a variety show of sorts) might make the residents feel a bit better about their circumstance. In my mind, that’s not “mandating” anything; it’s teaching kids to think of others, and it’s not “mandatory giving,” because the school would be providing all the materials to make the Valentines (or whatever), and they’d be made during class time. It’s really no different than having a canned food drive or taking kids carolling at Christmas time.

  66. anonymous this time February 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Ugggghhhhh… I freaking HATE V-Day. Awkward for everyone, it would seem. I’m with Warren on the “mandatory giving” thing. I am allergic to receiving “have-to” offerings from people who are just avoiding shame and guilt. Blah!!

    That said, I have done my turn preparing “mandatory” classroom valentine cards for everyone in the class. I did it with resentment, I secretly wondered if anyone would even notice if my kid didn’t participate, I didn’t like the whole exercise. The manufactured Valentine cards for little boys to give out just floored me. Superheroes shoving their fists out of the card with captions saying something anti-social. Jeez. Really? What is the freaking point? To waste more card stock?

    My earliest memories of 1970s-era Valentine’s Day school celebrations involved shoeboxes covered in tinfoil, and tons of disappointment. There wasn’t any candy to speak of, if I recall correctly.

    Then I transferred to a school that was single sex. And we drew names out of a hat. So we just made one Valentine for a random kid in our class. I remember liking that arrangement.

    In Junior High, I seem to remember it being a non-event.

    In High School, there was a fundraiser where the Student Council pre-sold carnations in different colours to be delivered to recipients throughout the school day. Oh, man, was that mortifying. I remember being in grade 9 and getting not one. The cheerleaders with the flowing, hot-rollered hairdos and lip-gloss smiles had armfuls of the things. Awkward, as I say.

    As a grown-up, I don’t touch V-Day with a long pole. In my relationship, it is a non-event, like the “Parent Days” and Christmas. Even on my birthday I don’t want gifts. It all feels false and mandatory to me, and unless it’s actually coming from the heart, it means nothing but obligation. What could possibly poison a relationship more than that?

    And lockdowns? Oh. My. God. “Love and Lockdowns.” That’s a classic.

  67. Donna February 18, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    “Okay, then when you order lunch at work, you better damn well order and pay for everyone’s. Cause god forbid someone feels left out. And that is a direct comparison, Donna.”

    It is not even close to a direct comparison. I don’t think that this idiot comparison even justifies an answer, but here goes.

    First, I would never order lunch at work and not ask my coworkers if they wanted something. I wouldn’t pay, but I would always be willing to place their order or pick something up for them. Even the ones that I don’t like would receive the offer. They can choose to partake or not.

    Second, my failure to buy all my coworkers’ lunch is not based on meanness. It isn’t a personal statement against them. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like them. It means nothing other than I can’t afford to buy them lunch.

    Third, my coworkers don’t come to work expecting me to buy them lunch only to be disappointed and hungry while I eat. They actually come to work expecting to provide their own lunches. In fact, they would think it incredibly odd and would be bothered if I started buying them all lunch. Since they are all self-respecting adults who take care of themselves, they wouldn’t even allow it.

    Fourth, they are not being held hostage and compelled to watch me eat my lunch. It isn’t a job requirement. They don’t have to take a day off work just avoid watching me eat. Heck, they have their own offices so I really don’t understand why they are sitting in mine watching me eat to start with. How rude!

    Fifth, and most important, I don’t control my coworkers food consumption. They do! Even if I hate all my coworkers, I can’t prevent them from getting pizza. I have absolutely no control over who Pizza Hut sells pizza to. If they want pizza, they are 100% capable of obtaining their own pizza. The only reason that they don’t have pizza is because they didn’t buy pizza.

    Sixth, my coworkers are all adults; they aren’t 5.

  68. Donna February 18, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    “I am allergic to receiving “have-to” offerings from people who are just avoiding shame and guilt. Blah!!”

    I have to ask, are some of your kids really think like this?

    I can’t name a single kid in any of the 3 schools my child has attended who would, at this young age, choose to exclude specific people from valentines. I can name many who would rather not be bothered by the whole thing at all and I don’t think giving valentines should be mandatory (and isn’t at our school). But I can’t think any any who would want to give valentines to some kids, but not others. Not at ages 4-8.

  69. Donna February 18, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    that should be — do some some of your kids really think like this?

  70. Emily February 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    @Anonymous This Time–I like the “Secret Valentine” idea. At a co-ed school, it could probably be modified so that the boys draw names out of one hat, and the girls out of another, or the boys and the girls write their names on colour-coded slips of paper (blue and pink, or something like that). I remember colour-coding when we drew roles in drama class in high school, because our teacher didn’t like the idea of females playing male roles, and vice versa. Anyway, here are some other things that we did to celebrate Valentine’s Day in high school, that were meant to be inclusive:

    -The Heart Game: Each person gets a heart with his or her name on it, worn on a string like a necklace. For Heart Day (usually Valentine’s Day itself), nobody can talk to anyone of the opposite sex. If you do, you have to “give that person your heart.” The people who have a lot of hearts come to the office at the end of the school day, where the principal does the final tally, and the person with the most hearts wins the game and gets a prize. I don’t remember if we played the game with just one winner, or one boy and one girl winner, but it was all in good fun.

    -The Post-It Game: This was done one grade at a time when I was in high school, usually beginning with the grade nine students the Monday of Valentine’s Day week, and finishing with the OAC’s on the Friday. Anyway, the members of the student council would get a whole bunch of Post-Its (heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day, or regular squares if United Way Week or Spirit Week didn’t coincide with Valentine’s Day), write one student’s name on each Post-It, and post them around the school. The object of the game was to find your name by the end of your grade’s designated day. Once you did this, you could take the Post-It to the office at the end of the day, and claim a prize (usually a chocolate bar, or something smaller than the Heart Day prize, because only one person, or maybe it was one boy and one girl, could win at Heart Day).

    -The Dating Game: A “game show” in the cafeteria at lunch time, where couples would sign up, and it was like Match Game–they’d have to answer questions like, “What would your partner say his/her favourite song is?”; and the couple with the most matching answers would win. Watching this was as much fun as playing it, because a lot of the answers (and mismatch between the answers) was funny.

    -School dance was deliberately advertised as a low-key event where it was perfectly fine to go alone, as platonic friends, or in groups. In fact, it was kind of dorky to get completely dressed up for one of those “casual” dances, like you would for semi-formal or prom. We’d usually underscore the “casual” theme, by making it a blacklight dance or something.

    Anyway, these are just three examples that I remember. It helped that Valentine’s Day usually fell in the middle of Spirit Week, so there’d be theme days, movie buy-ins, make-your-own sundaes, a student-teacher hockey game, and all kinds of other fun activities throughout the week, so Valentine’s Day was celebrated, but it wasn’t the be all, end all of the month, or even the week–so, if you didn’t have a date on Valentine’s Day, you still had a whole week of fun, games, and ice cream at school. None of this was done to spare anyone’s feelings, per se; it was just a tradition we had. Some people didn’t participate, but for those who did, I think it was a great way of building community. I know that some of the events were “buy-ins” (so, you’d pay a dollar or two to go to the movie or the student-teacher hockey game instead of going to class), and they might have been a bit of a disruption to the normal class schedule, with so many people attending the events, but they were set up in such a way so that you were either in class or at the event, and you couldn’t just pay to skip. Also, my school valued community, and felt that students learned better in a place where they felt like they belonged, so they let it happen. We usually had United Way Week in the fall, Spirit Week in February, and scattered events at other times in the year as well. I was on student council (and on the Morning Show, and in the band, and on the band executive), and I learned a TON from helping with events around the school. I learned about teamwork, and community spirit, and the value of making people happy. I think our teachers knew this, so they looked the other way if we missed a few classes to make it happen. Anyway, those are my memories of Valentine’s Day in high school, and none of them involve rejection, or “mandatory giving or sympathy either,” even though I wasn’t really one of the “populars.” So, maybe there’s something to be said for doing things this way.

  71. Warren February 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Change it to something else? Make it an outreach, blah blah blah. Sorry Emily but ideas like that are what’s seriously wrong with this country.

    Giving up of traditions because someone might be offended or have their feelings hurt. This is no different than alot of the other so called politically correct crap that we are seeing with Halloween, Easter, and Christmas. I am so sick and tired of the fragile and oversensitive minority getting changes made to traditions because they don’t like it.

    Well too damn bad. If you don’t get any or as many Valentines as the next person, get over it. Life isn’t fair, and suck it up.

    You don’t like our traditions, then don’t participate, but keep your yap shut and leave.

  72. SOA February 18, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    We did the whole have to bring a Valentine for every kid in the class when I was a kid. It did not bother me. Even when I had to take the one second to make one for the one or two kids I did not like. It was not a big deal.

    And yes, to what someone said about it gives the kids practice writing their names if nothing else.

    I have never heard of a school that did not do the bring everyone a Valentine if they actually did Valentine parties and celebrations at school.

    I can’t believe someone is pitching a fit about having to give a Valentine to every kid when those boxes you buy have 25 in them which is enough for every kid.

  73. Emily February 18, 2014 at 11:24 pm #

    @Warren–You really can’t ask someone to “keep their yap shut and leave” in a public school setting, when they’ve done nothing wrong, besides being unpopular by adolescent-girl standards. Also, the Valentine’s activities that I described from my high school years WERE traditions for us–casual dance, Heart Game, Post-It Game, and so on, and so forth. Some of these traditions were established by myself and other student council members, and others predated me, but that’s just it, right? Traditions have to start somewhere. The standard tradition used to be “Valentines only for BFF’s, hand them out in front of the class, and make it clear who got the most, and who got none.” Then people complained about that, because the unpopular kids got left out. Fine, then it became “Valentines for everyone.” So, people (including you) complained about THAT because it meant that kids had to give Valentines to classmates they disliked, or give them to nobody at all. I actually feel that both of these complaints are valid, so logically, the next option would be to take the focus off the Valentine cards (which most parents think are a P.I.T.A. anyway), and put it on something else. There are ways to do this without making kids feel deprived–for example, “Oh, we do that every year, let’s try something different,” or “Why have a boring old Valentine party in the classroom when we can have a Valentine field trip?”; or, for older kids, “Gee, Valentine parties are really more for little kids, I thought you’d prefer sledding/ice skating/whatever.”

    As for the outreach idea, well, that’s just one idea, but if Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love and kindness (that’s one interpretation, anyway), then why not spend it helping others? I read somewhere that some Scout troops and similar organizations, deliberately forgo the carolling/gifting/whatever at the hospitals and retirement homes at Christmas time, because EVERYONE wants to help at Christmas time, but February is the really depressing month. We didn’t do exactly that in high school, but we did have a partnership with United Way. Every fall, we had a United Way Week, and all the money we raised, went to them. However, if the outreach idea isn’t feasible or appealing for a specific group, there are a lot of other options that don’t involve anyone either feeling left out, or feeling pressured to pretend to be nice to the class bully.

    As for Christmas, Halloween, and Easter when I was in school, those holidays were all done fairly traditionally, so I really don’t know why you accused me of making people give up traditions. Halloween in elementary school would generally be celebrated with a costume parade and a party in class (with lots of candy, of course), which morphed into a Halloween Dance when we got older, Christmas would include various crafts and themed activities, a play or concert, a classroom Christmas tree, carolling, a party in class with snacks, and/or a Secret Santa exchange (grade seven was epic; we did everything I listed). In high school, my experiences of Christmas were mostly band-related: Santa Claus Parade(s), Christmas Concert (technically called the Holiday Concert, because we’d throw a song about Hanukkah somewhere in there), and a Christmas-themed band social night at some point. We also had a dance for the whole school, and participated in the local Christmas Cheer food and toy drive, and we also did door decorating in homeroom, and then there was the “teachers’ assembly” on the last day of school before Christmas, where the teachers would sing and dance and do comedy acts for the students. Easter was more low-key in elementary school (maybe crafts and candy, but that was it), and was largely ignored in high school. As I said before, Valentine’s Day consisted of class parties and “universal Valentine exchanges” in early elementary school, and when we got older, we’d have dances.

    Again, that all seems fairly traditional, and I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t “married” to any of those things, EXCEPT the teachers’ assembly. Even then, it wouldn’t have mattered if that was done at Christmas time or before another break, because it was more of a “school tradition” than a Christmas tradition….and we felt that strongly about school traditions, because our school made the effort to establish traditions that were unique to us, and make us feel like a community.

    Still, most of my memories of holidays celebrated in all levels of school were positive, even though my best “school holiday celebration” memories were from high school. I had no problems with the Halloween parades, Secret Santas, universal Valentine exchanges, et cetera, but obviously, some people do have a problem with it. Some people are saying that “Valentines for all” doesn’t work for them, and it’s already been established that “Valentines for the chosen few” doesn’t work for a lot of other people, so in that case, maybe it’s time to take both of those complaints seriously, and come up with something else, that’ll make everyone happy. It doesn’t always have to be a binary choice where one side wins, and the other loses–there are some situations that can be resolved in everyone’s favour. It requires some give and take on both sides, and the solution might not be what anyone expects in the beginning, but it can happen. Besides, some schools simply eliminate in-school celebrations altogether, rather than just changing the part that causes contention, so everybody loses out. So, by that logic, redirecting the focus towards a communal activity rather than the Valentine cards, would be a much better approach than getting rid of the whole thing.

  74. SOA February 18, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    Warren: Sorry but I am doubting you actually have an autistic child. You would never say that someone should be more outgoing or friendly like it was something someone can just decide to do if you dealt daily with a child with autism. Some kids with autism are really likeable (like my son) and have lots of friends. Others are not sociable at all and have no friends. It that somehow their fault? Its not their fault.

    My son has a friend that is in fifth grade that literally had no friends till he met my son. He said my little 5 year old was the first friend he ever had. He is autistic too and they met through the special ed room. He is a sweet boy but has issues he can’t help. It breaks my heart thinking how hard school has been for him. He does not have an ideal home life either so that makes it even worse.

    Instead of being all “maybe he should be more outgoing” our family has gone out of our way to make him feel special. He started out not even acknowledging me to greeting me by name and talking to me. Because I took the time and effort to reach out to him and try really hard to get to know him. If I just wrote him off as not outgoing and unfriendly I would not have made that progress. He never got a Christmas present from a friend at school before he met my son. We make a point to give him Valentines and presents and invitations and cards for every little school event because he is not getting them from kids in his own grade.

    Maybe instead of telling others how they fail at life, we should try to help them succeed at life.

  75. SOA February 18, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Anonymous this time: We did the colored carnations too at my high school and like you it was pretty embarrassing when I never got any. I think the only year I got some was when my boyfriend who was in college came to the school and bought some for me to be delivered.

  76. Emily February 18, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

    Also, Warren, I forgot about the inevitable “kid who tries to participate, but still gets shafted.” This kid (who may be unpopular because of shyness, lack of athletic ability, or wearing the “wrong” clothes, etc.), will dutifully bring Valentines for the whole class, only to get few or no Valentines in return. That kind of throws a wrench in your edict of “Don’t like it, don’t participate,” which is why I feel that the focus should shift to activities where everyone CAN participate. As adults, we have the perspective to understand that a paper bag full of generic punch-out Valentines from classmates isn’t a huge deal, but to a five-year-old, or even to an insecure pre-teen, it is a big deal.

    Anyway……we both still agree that school lockdowns are stupid, right?

  77. Emily February 18, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    P.S., Dolly, your son is awesome, and so is your whole family. :) If your five-year-old son can reach out to a lonely boy TWICE HIS AGE, and help make school better for him, then you’ve done something right. Also, this makes me understand even more why you’re not stressing over the breakfast Pop-Tarts. You have a kind, compassionate son with good values, who also eats Pop-Tarts for breakfast. Most parents would be over the moon if their kids were like that.

  78. SOA February 18, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Emily: thank you. that is really sweet. I see my own son in that boy in some ways and so my heart just wanted to treat him as I would want my own son treated. We are going to miss the heck out of him next year when he goes to middle school. They hang out together in the special ed room every Friday and he is so sweet and patient with my son showing him how to do things with Legos and play computer games. I hope he does okay in middle school. I know how hard middle school can be socially.

    On a good note I found something slightly better than poptarts my son will eat for breakfast before school. He likes biscuits a lot so we are going to start baking those the night before and saving them for breakfast the next morning. He ate two this morning. I just gotta mix it up because if he gets them every day it will burn him out on them and then he will refuse to eat again.

  79. Donna February 19, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    “Giving up of traditions because someone might be offended or have their feelings hurt.”

    I’m not sure where you are getting that giving valentines to only select kids in elementary school is “tradition.” I was in elementary school in 1975-1980. I distinctly remember having to give valentine’s to everyone because I remember intentionally selecting my least favorite ones in the box for the kids I didn’t like in the older grades (4th-5th). Maybe it is YOU who want to change tradition and not us.

  80. Emily February 19, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    About the carnations, etc., we might have had those in high school too; I honestly don’t remember. We also did candy-grams, and one year, we did singing telegrams, but we didn’t make it just a “couples” thing–platonic friends could send them to each other too. I don’t remember exactly how it worked, but nobody felt badly if they didn’t get one (most people didn’t get them), and nobody felt (too) embarrassed if they got an obviously romantic one from someone who they didn’t like “that way.” Like I said, I think it was the fact that there was just so much activity going on in the days surrounding Valentine’s Day, that there wasn’t really much time to fixate on any one thing, and the “focal point” activities were always things that everyone (or at least most people) could participate in. It was, literally, “Oh, I didn’t get a candy-gram. That’s okay–there’s a dollar sundae bar outside the cafeteria, and then this afternoon, the teachers are playing against the students in the hockey game. It’ll be SO funny to see the principal on skates.” So, that way, the lack of whatever-o-gram became a mere blip in the day/week/month, rather than a major tragedy.

  81. Gravy February 19, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    Lenore, Are you going to address the little 10 year old girl who was abducted by a stranger and killed in Springfield, MO? She was walking to her friends house. You and your followers claim that the risk of abductions by strangers isn’t high enough to take heed. You slam “helicopter” parents because they see the risk of abduction and murder for their children as too high. You are basically encouraging parents to make their child the one that gets abducted. I hope that we find out that her parents followed your teachings and the media slams you for encouraging parents to be neglectful.

  82. Emily February 19, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    @Gravy–Your line of reasoning is akin to telling people who’ve been raped, that it was their fault for walking outside after dark, or wearing a certain kind of clothing, or drinking alcohol, when none of those things are true. It’s also akin to telling someone that it was their fault they got robbed, because they shouldn’t have left their house. Rape is caused by rapists, robbery is caused by robbers, and child abduction is caused by child abductors. It wasn’t the girl’s fault for walking to her friend’s house alone, or her parents’ fault for letting her, if they felt she was responsible enough to handle it. That’s what Free-Range Kids is about–not denying your kids age-appropriate freedoms and responsibilities out of fear that “something could happen.” The answer is for the police to crack down on TRUE crime–not things like letting your kids play outside, or walk to school/friends’ houses/the park alone, or being male and taking your kid to the playground/library/mall/kids’ section of chapters/swimming pool/theme park one-on-one. The answer is for people to start embracing community more, instead of fearing “strangers” and hunkering down in their houses with their various screened devices and junk-food snacks (although, the occasional round of Candy Crush Saga, or snack of actual candy, is okay). Seriously, though, if people in a neighbourhood know each other, then someone could have thought, “Gee, that’s not Jenny’s father, and she’s kicking and screaming. Jenny’s father would never forcibly pick her up/drag her into the car, Jenny doesn’t normally kick and scream, and that’s not Jenny’s father’s car either. This looks suspicious. I’m going to take down the license plate number and call the police.” Concerned Neighbour would call the police, not because Jenny was outside alone and “something could happen,” but because something WAS happening, and someone was actively trying to hurt her. See the difference between community spirit and being a busybody? Anyway, my point is, community spirit presupposes that kids and young people are a part of the community too, and have the right to come and go and interact with the community as they wish and are able to, and only stepping in if there’s actually a problem. The approach people are taking now, of “Keep kids inside/supervised,” presupposes that kids are second-class citizens who can’t be trusted with one second of independence until they’re eighteen, at which point they’re cut loose and expected to be magically “adults.” That is, unless they’re male–they’re cut loose from the leash of “child protection,” but promptly tied to the leash of “suspected pedophilia,” by virtue of being adult and male. Now they’re the ones who people are trying to “protect” their children FROM. See how toxic this is? The chances of Something Happening are so slim, but the chances of kids being stunted if you keep them tethered to you for eighteen years, for fear of Something Happening, are pretty much 100%.

  83. SOA February 19, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    As far as that little girl being abducted Gravy, are we sure its not by someone she or her parents know that took her? Since most cases turn out to be just that. Someone in the family over custody disputes.

  84. Papilio February 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    The more comments I read (ignoring Gravy), the gladder I am Valentine’s Day over here is just for teens and adults in a romantic relationship (I’ve never heard of someone getting a card from an anonymous lover, so…).
    It all sounds so meaningless. It also seems like just another excuse to give candy to little kids, and to reinforce that love = candy, and attention = candy, too, and friendship is, and even a declaration of “I do not absolutely despise you” to a classmate.
    And that with all the added trouble of food allergies, pffffff…
    (Okay, I admit that a bottle of good wine probably wouldn’t work with 5yos 😛 )

  85. hineata February 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    @Papillio – you are so wrong! How I wish I could ply some of my five year olds with a good bottle of wine – the afternoons of peace and quiet I could enjoy, LOL! :-)

  86. hineata February 19, 2014 at 4:50 pm #

    @Donna – your daughter sounds lovely. Unfortunately, though, there are some pretty nasty 4 to 8 year olds out there, believe it or not. I am thankful that we also do not celebrate Valentine’s Day in our schools, usually – the odd teacher might get flowers sent to her class by her partner, and at high school they sometimes use the day as a fundraiser, but certainly where I live it’s a non-event school-wise.

    @Warren – one of my daughters was pretty much rejected by her classmates between ages 4 – 9 (when she switched schools, due to the other daughter needing more academic ‘rigour’). She was tiny (still is), speaks like a whiskey-drinking lifetime smoker (strange stuff down her throat), was physically very delayed and was sick often. She couldn’t run at much more than a snail’s pace, is partially deaf etc, etc. None of the issues that made her very different from her classmates were things she could do anything about, and neither could we do much about them (in spite of the mucho dollaros we spent on gym, speech therapy, glasses, tuition etc., etc.). In spite of being a very social little girl – she was always willing to attempt to talk and play with those around her – she simply had to deal with getting shut out, ignored, pushed around occasionally (fortunately most bullies around here will not physically take on someone much smaller, as it doesn’t add to their street cred) and talked about. She is blessed with perseverance and a great deal of toughness, so she did manage to ride it out without being crushed, but it was very hard work. I will say also that watching her walk off to school every day determined to find good friends, and seeing her wander in the door after school dejected was certainly tough on we parents too.

    In the end the new school was her saving grace (medically speaking, too – the buildings turned out to better insulated).

    Anyway the point I am making is that much of the time kids are bullied and excluded through no fault of their own. In my daughter’s case she got on fine in the new environment, but some kids are not blessed with that inner toughness that allowed her to retain herself to that point, and social exclusion etc can be soul-destroying.

    At the end of the day, thinking about others and reaching beyond yourself to give a card to every child in a class is not that difficult, and it would be one less area in which the ‘different’ child has to face rejection….

  87. Donna February 19, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Since some here are so opposed to being nice to others because it is the right thing to do, what about actually using valentines to teach your own kids a valuable lesson in life – being pleasant to people that you don’t like but still have to deal with on a daily basis. It is a skill that you will need as an adult in the workplace.

  88. lollipoplover February 19, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    @SOA-
    Biscuits sound YUMMY for breakfast. Mmmmm. Changing habits (especially picky eaters) is hard work. Good job!

  89. Papilio February 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    @hineata: Alcohol is never the solution, tssk tssk tssk 😀

    “fortunately most bullies around here will not physically take on someone much smaller”
    Good that Lenore looks the way she does then…

  90. hineata February 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    @Donna – amen! :-).

    @Papillio – damn… :-). And there I was sure I had a solution to Friday afternoons, LOL!

  91. Jessica February 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    I remember picking the least favorite cards for the kids I didn’t like as much, too.

    I think “cards for everyone” is common sense, especially for littles – it’s not the same thing as “trophies and gold medals for everyone”. We have 24 kids in my son’s kindergarten. They filled out their names as “from” but did not fill out the “to” section – can you imagine the nightmare of having 24 emerging readers try to read a name, find the matching kid, walk it over to hand deliver – rinse and repeat 24×23 times? The kids don’t even care about the cards – they just want to know how may fun dips and pixie sticks they can eat before Mommy has a nervous breakdown.

  92. Warren February 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Why are kids not allowed to not like, and therefore not have anything to do with someone?

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    And Donna, no my kids do not have to be nice to everyone. They must be civil, and not mean, but I will never insist they be nice to everyone.

  93. Emily February 19, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

    @Jessica–When my brother was in preschool, they did the “generic Valentines” as well. I don’t remember what they did when I was there, because it was too long ago to remember. I do remember the Valentines I gave in kindergarten, though–I had to write both my classmates’ names and mine on them, and the set included two slightly larger “teacher” cards as well, which worked well, because we had two teachers in our class. Anyway, the cool thing about these Valentines was, the pictures on the front were just outlined, so they were “colouring book” style Valentines. I had a lot of fun colouring them in, which broke up the drudgery of the writing, and made them a bit more “personal,” even though they were pre-fab.

  94. Emily February 19, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    @Warren–Disliking someone isn’t the problem; publicly snubbing them is–and, obviously giving everyone a Valentine EXCEPT the one unpopular kid in the class, is a public snub, and even more so if everyone does it. Like I said before, “selective Valentines” were phased out years ago, long before my childhood, because of hurt feelings. Now you and other people are saying that “universal Valentines” are a bad idea, because they don’t allow kids to choose their own friends. Well, with my proposed solution of separating Valentine exchanges from class parties, and having the kids celebrate by ice skating, or sledding, or painting ceramic plates (or whatever) for their parents, or helping people in need, kids still wouldn’t be pressured to give Valentines to anyone they disliked, and the unpopular kids wouldn’t have their faces (yet again) rubbed in the fact that they’re unpopular. One would think that that solution was a “win-win,” but you seem fixated on returning to the old tradition of “selective Valentines,” which can unfortunately devolve into a school-sanctioned popularity contest, even if that isn’t the adults’ intention. But, if you want to talk about wake-up calls, teaching life lessons, etc., why is it always the unpopular kids who have to learn the “lessons?” Why not teach ALL the kids the lesson of, “Our class is a safe space, where we value everyone equally?” It might even be possible to have the kids vote on (or discuss and come to a consensus) whether or not they want to do a class party with Valentines for everyone, or a different activity where Valentines aren’t involved.

  95. Donna February 20, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Not giving Valentines just for spite IS MEAN!!!! We are talking about something that (a) you already have because they come in boxes big enough for more than a classroom of kids, and (b) take the grand total effort of writing your name (the horrors!). It takes you longer to actually conceive of the idea of not giving one than to just slap your name on a card. It is exactly the kind of minimal effort things that they are going to have to do as adults to get along in the world.

    In the work world, this type of juvenile crap – refusing to sign the birthday cards of people you don’t like for example – just reflects negatively on you, not them. The one co-worker I had who did these type of things is not remembered fondly. She is actually remembered, even by the boss, as being juvenile, difficult and unpleasant despite the fact that none of her little antics were directed at any of us.

    However, Warren I am sure that your children are being raised to be just like you. How sad for them.

  96. Donna February 20, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    “Why are kids not allowed to not like, and therefore not have anything to do with someone?”

    Kids are. Just like adults are. This has absolutely nothing to do with feelings whatsoever. However, we do all have to learn to deal civilly with people that we don’t like. They will be in every aspect of your life. Any group outside of your social network is going to include people you don’t like. Heck, even your social network will possibly even include people you don’t like in the form your best friend’s significant other.

    You can’t just “not have anything to with them.” If you want to maintain a relationship with your best friend, you have to be able to be civil to the wife. You don’t need to heap love on her, but you do need to be able to exchange pleasantries and the occasional nicety. If you want last in the workforce, you have to be able to get along with people you don’t like. You don’t have to heap love on co-workers that you don’t like (or the ones you do), but you do have to offer them a treat if you offer it to the rest of the office, invite them to lunches involving the whole office, join in birthday celebrations for them just as you would anyone else, etc. Doing otherwise reflects badly on you.

    Nobody is saying that a child needs to bring heart-filled boxes of candy or roses for everyone in the school. But, come on, a $.01 card that you do nothing other than slap your name on is not a great statement of friendship by any stretch of the imagination. Refusing to do that minimal effort for everyone is just mean.

  97. Emily February 20, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I see the problem here. Valentines were (and are) traditionally a symbol of love. School Valentine cards for elementary school students are meant to be given to everyone in the class, so nobody feels left out, as a symbol of basic civility. Some kids chafe at doing that–they don’t want to give even an innocuous Mickey or SpongeBob or Superman Valentine to the class bully, or the kid who eats paste, because they read more into these cards than adults would. I mean, a lot of people here have told stories about picking out their least favourite Valentines in the box, for the kids they liked the least, and I’m sure that kids do the opposite as well, and pick out their favourite Valentines for their friends and “crushes.” Anyway, I think Warren might have been pointing out the disjunct here, as an argument for returning to the “Valentines for the selected few” tradition. I can still see the disjunct, and I don’t object to kids giving Valentines only to their friends, but not in the classroom in front of everyone, because there’s another disjunct there. If Valentines have to be given to everyone, then the gesture seems hollow. However, that doesn’t change that fact that school celebrations should be inclusive, and allow everyone in the class/school community to participate. That’s why I think the kindest thing to do would be to have an alternative activity, and let the kids hand out Valentines outside of class.

  98. Donna February 20, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    “Some kids chafe at doing that–they don’t want to give even an innocuous Mickey or SpongeBob or Superman Valentine to the class bully, or the kid who eats paste, because they read more into these cards than adults would.”

    I disagree with this entirely. Kids read far far LESS into these valentines than the adults here seem to be. My daughter understands that they are not declarations of love or even friendship just like she understands that the clerk at the grocery store is not in love with her simply because she says “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    The reason I gave the ugliest card to the kid I didn’t like (and I think that I was the only one who said it) was to be mean in my own extremely immature way. I didn’t do it because I was chafed at having to give him/her a card. I did it because I wanted to give him/her something ugly.

    Giving cards to the select few (which again is not a universal tradition unless it dates back beyond my own 43 years) isn’t about love any more than giving to the whole class is. It is about social power. The kids fall all over themselves to give cards to the popular kids, despite the popular kids being mean to them, and refuse to give a card to the kid who eats paste, despite the fact that he is their best friend outside of school.

  99. Warren February 20, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Yes Donna feel sorry for them. They have been raised to have minds of their own.
    As compared to yours being raised to be two faced and mindless followers.
    I will take mine over yours anyday.

    Listen to all of you, you agree it is meaningless, you agree it is basically going thru the motions. Then why do it?

    Also there is a difference between being civil, and giving someone something.

    I also, love how you twist words, I never said anything about spite.

    I stick by my call, that even children have the right to not like someone, and the right not to be forced to include them.

    And guess what I do have a good friend that’s a real bitch, sorta like Donna. He knows we do not like her, and that is why he does not get invited to alot of things. That is life, and why Donna doesn’t get invited to things either.

  100. Warren February 20, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    correction….it is the good friend’s wife we cannot stand, like Donna, not the friend himself

  101. Donna February 20, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    “Listen to all of you, you agree it is meaningless, you agree it is basically going thru the motions. Then why do it?”

    I agree totally. I think the idea of giving out valentines to kids who can barely read and have no concept of romantic love is completely and utterly ridiculous. If I taught school, it wouldn’t be part of the valentine party because I think it is stupid. If my child wanted to opt out, we would happily opt out of the whole valentine giving thing. However, she doesn’t, so she can give them to everyone to be civil (not that she would want it any different).

    And dear misguided Warren. You can’t insult me. At all. I find you such a repugnant human being that the fact that you call me a bitch means nothing more than I am doing something extremely correct in life. I couldn’t possibly care one bit what you think of me, though I do enjoy making you mad enough to start spewing your meaningless insults. It gives me a good laugh for the day. Thanks for making me laugh early on this dreary day.

  102. Emily February 20, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    When did this devolve into a whirlwind of vicious name-calling? I never meant for that to happen, just because I don’t agree with Warren on “Valentines for the selected few” being the best way to go. We agree on a lot of other things, so this isn’t a make-or-break debate that determines who is Right and who is Wrong for all time, and disagreeing doesn’t make anyone a bad person. I don’t think Warren is a bad parent–bad parents don’t help with their kids’ sports teams and Girl Guides, and hold nonstop pool parties for the whole neighbourhood all summer. That still doesn’t mean it’s okay to call Donna a bitch, because, besides the fact that it’s inappropriate, she isn’t, and I’m sure she gets invited to a lot of places…..but, my point is, I think that, a lot of the time, the subject at hand gets obscured by personal insults. Maybe we should just collectively agree that we’re not going to go for the jugular anymore–so, no more attacking anyone’s character. I’m not a parent, but I believe that calling someone a bad parent is an attack on their character, because even though kids are individuals, parents put a lot of themselves into raising them–or, at least, they should. Maybe this forum should have a private messaging system, so that if anyone has a problem with a specific member (or if people just want to exchange phone numbers or something), they could handle it privately. I know there’s Facebook, but not everyone has it. Anyway, this would be Lenore’s decision, and she’s away until the 26th, but maybe she’d be open to setting that up when she gets back.

  103. baby-paramedic February 20, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    The concept of having both evacuation and lock-down drills make sense. Sometimes it makes sense to leave, sometimes it makes sense to shelter in place. Sometimes you have an on fire school during a major weather event so a judgement call has to be made!

    Our lock-down drills were never “if a shooter was about”. Mostly if questioned teachers mentioned major weather events as a possible reason (although we don’t get hurricanes often, we did get the occasional hail as big as your fist storms). Only time I remember it ever being used was at another school in town when an armed offender ran onto the school grounds (a VERY large school grounds with numerous buildings including boarding houses etc) being chased by the police. School quickly went into lock-down, person was caught, everyone (except the person caught I guess) lived happily ever after.

  104. Donna February 20, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    Emily, Warren has shown a total lack of civility in every single thread that he posts in. It isn’t just this one where he is specifically saying that civility doesn’t matter, even when talking about very young children, but every single time his fingers hit the keyboard. He can’t make through a single thread without spewing insults and obscenities at everyone who disagrees with him. I have serious doubts that this is truly how he acts at home, but if it is, it amounts to teaching a lack of civility to his children and I imagine that his children will be chips off the old block because that is all they know. I do find that sad for them. Take that for what you will as a state of his parenting.

  105. Donna February 20, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    And, Emily, I don’t think Warren takes the comments that I made as a statement of bad parenting. Warren has always taken great pride in his complete lack of civility on this board. If this is how he acts at home, I am sure that he finds it equally acceptable there. It probably gives him great pride when his children also respond to every disagreement with insults and profanity rather than intelligent arguments. He thinks that it is job well done as a parent.

  106. Warren February 20, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    LOL, so it is fine for Donna to make veiled insults, but for me to be upfront about it is wrong.

    And yes, I should not have been baited by Donna’s insult, but I did.
    Emily just don’t fool yourself. Just because Donna does things in a way that is under her breath, does not make her civil or upstanding. Personally I have much more respect for someone that is upfront and honest. Two qualities people like Donna sorely lack.

    Dear Donna,
    I love how you seem concerned for my kids. Darlin, they have integrity and are not afraid to take a stand. Unlike what you are teaching yours. The children to whom sympathy needs shown are yours. Being taught to lie, sit on the fence and follow. Sorry but someone that would allow a person to assault their child, because they don’t want to offend them should not be critisizing another’s parenting.

  107. Emily February 20, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    This is exactly what I mean–if we had a private messaging system on this blog, then people could resolve their one-on-one arguments away from the rest of the forum members.

  108. Puzzled February 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    Donna – good points on universal Valentines. You’re right, I was filtering it through both adult eyes and high school teacher eyes. Now that you explain it from an elementary perspective, it makes more sense. Thanks.

  109. SOA February 20, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    Kids honestly start out typically being nice to everyone and loving everyone. They learn how to socially exclude and mock and ridicule others from watching their parents. I have found kids to be way more accepting of my son’s autism and my other son’s food allergies than most adults I know.

    So I doubt your kids have a huge problem giving Valentines to everyone in the class. They are just picking up on that exclusion and meanness from you Warren, congratulations.

  110. Warren February 21, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    SOA
    So not liking everybody makes someone mean? Are you really that freaking stupid?

    I have met some real morons in my time, but you Dolly are the dumbest of them all.

  111. Warren February 21, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    BTW, that was not being mean. That was just stating the obvious.

  112. Emily February 21, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Disliking someone isn’t mean, but publicly insulting/excluding them is mean. So, calling someone a dumb moron is mean, making a show of inviting everyone EXCEPT the person you dislike to a social gathering is mean (I was taught as a child not to mention these things around those who weren’t invited), and again, I think making a show of giving everyone a Valentine card except the person you dislike, or everyone except the “weird” or “unpopular” kid, is also mean. It’s fine to not seek out the company of those you dislike, but that has to be done quietly.

    I think this practice is good training for adulthood–for example, I had a few people in university glom onto me, when I didn’t particularly like them, so if I didn’t want to hang out with them, I stressed what I did want/need to do that day–it was always, “Oh, I have plans with Sarah,” or “I have orchestra that night,” or “I have a painting that’s due tomorrow.” After so many times of not having time for them, they figured I wasn’t interested, and moved on. Sometimes, the reasons/excuse I gave were true, and other times not, but if I did want to spend time with someone, but had a scheduling conflict, I’d offer an alternative plan. This method also worked well for me, because I went to a small university for undergrad, so there was a good chance that I’d run into one of the people I was trying to avoid later, around campus, at choir practice, the dining hall, the library, the gym, etc., so being civil but distant helped prevent any awkwardness and hurt feelings.

  113. Warren February 21, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    No Emily calling Dolly a moron is not mean. It is just conveying the facts. And actually it is an act of kindness, since most people would be afraid of hurting her feelings, they won’t tell her how stupid she is. At least now it has been pointed out, and she can maybe, hopefully do something about it.

    Later in life? That all depends on whether you are going to live your life worried about offending people.
    People have got to stop worrying about who they are going to offend, and how that will happen. Live your life, and if someone is offended that is there problem.

  114. Emily February 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    >>Later in life? That all depends on whether you are going to live your life worried about offending people.
    People have got to stop worrying about who they are going to offend, and how that will happen. Live your life, and if someone is offended that is there problem.<<

    Yeah, if someone is offended, then that's their problem, until I run out of friends because I've offended everyone. Warren, there's no way around it–being rude has social repercussions. Even if you don't like someone, they could be somehow connected with someone who you do like, you might work, volunteer, go to school, or participate in an extra-curricular activity with them, or any number of things. For example, I play in a steel band. It's open to people of all ages, all ability levels, and it's free, so naturally, we get all kinds. Not all of these individuals are people that I'd seek out as friends outside of steel band, so I just confine my interactions with them to steel band-related activities. I don't see any need to insult them because we don't see eye to eye on everything. Besides, even if I did, who's to say that I'm right and they're wrong? They might turn around and insult me right back, and nobody needs that. So, when we're at steel band together, we get along for the greater good of the band.

  115. SOA February 21, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    Had the Valentine’s parties today and every kid looked so happy to hand out Valentines to EVERYONE. Every single kid had a huge smile on their face as they handed out one to everyone. So I am really doubting Warren’s insistence kids get offended by this.

  116. SOA February 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Emily nailed it. In life I have found that everyone is connected in some way. Facebook has proven that to me because I will see two people I know that I had no idea they knew each other and I will find out they do know each other. So pissing off a bunch of people is not going to do you or your kids any good. You will be the family no one wants their kids to play with or invite over.

    People I did not like who I got into it with, end up having a kid in the same class as my kid so I have to see them every day and interact with them during class parties. If you work for a living you better damn well learn how to play nice with everyone whether you like them or not or you won’t have a job for long.

    If you run a business you better learn how to please your customers even if you don’t like them. Or they will not give you business and go tell everyone they know not to do business with you either.

    In reality, you can’t go around snubbing and pissing everyone off. It does not work out well. You have to learn how to go along to get along.

  117. SOA February 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Warren: I will put my intellect up against yours any day. What is the highest level of education you completed and what were your marks on said education? I have a BS degree and graduated Cum Laude. Not sure how a moron accomplishes that.

  118. Warren February 21, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    LMAO, really? Dolly give it up. I know people with gr. 7 educations that are far more intelligent than someone with a Masters. And vice versa.
    Formal education is not a measuring stick for intellect. A degree is nothing more than a certificate for what you have been taught.
    1. Person is so afaid of home invasion they won’t answer their door.
    2. Person admits to getting life lessons on teens from movie plots.
    3. Person thinks poptarts are an acceptable breakfast food everyday.
    4. Person whines constantly about food allergy kids, wanting people to not do potlucks and so on.

    These are just some of the examples that make you a whining moron.

    Your BS in whatever is great. I only have gr. 13 and my technical training, hazardous material training, health and safety training, my DZ licesne, and my life’s experience.
    I will put all that up against your BS anyday. And where I come from……..BS means something completely different.
    YOU LOSE.

  119. Warren February 21, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Emily,
    You need to step back and take a deep breath. Living your live unafraid of offending people is not the same as being rude.

    Never mistake someone’s lack of caring for rudeness. I do not care if my ways offend anyone. The great thing about freedom…….you are always free to leave.

  120. SOA February 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Ha just like I thought, no former education. I had a feeling that would be your answer. I also had a feeling you would fling more insults and try to somehow convince yourself that your high school education somehow measures up to someone who graduates College and High school with honors.

    You failed to mention what your marks were in high school? Let me guess? Less than stellar?

  121. Warren February 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    Dolly,
    Do you actually think because you “claim” to have a BS you are better than anyone with a high school education?

    We call that being a stuck up bitch, where I come from. No wonder you had/have no friends. Stupid and arrogant is a bad combination to live with Dolly.

  122. Emily February 22, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    Always free to leave, eh? That’s true, but I don’t WANT to leave the gym where I work, the YMCA where I volunteer off and on, the steel band I play in, the arts collective I belong to, or polite society in general. So, since I don’t want to leave, and since I know that going to those places and offending people willy-nilly would get me ASKED to leave, I think before I speak. It doesn’t mean that I stop being who I am–I’ve made a lot of life decisions that are different from the mainstream (I’m vegan and atheist, to start with), but it does mean that I have to be civil. That means that not every difference of opinion becomes a hill to die on in my world, and not everyone who disagrees with me is stupid, dumb, moronic, weak-willed, etc. It means that not everyone with more education or material wealth than I have is a snob, unless they act like one. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’d rather be happy, and get along with the people I see on a regular basis, than be Always Right, and even when I am right, I don’t have to make sure EVERYONE knows it, because, besides not wanting to alienate myself from the world, there’s a good chance that someone else might be right the next time, and I might be wrong.

    As for your reasons for believing that Dolly is stupid, well, a lot of (good) teen movies do teach life lessons (The Breakfast Club is about acceptance, for example), she feeds her son Pop-Tarts for breakfast because he’s autistic and he has some issues with food, but he’s slowly branching out, and as for fearing a home invasion, did it ever occur to you that she might have experienced one in the past? Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is real. In the city where I grew up (Barrie, Ontario), there was a tornado in the late spring/early summer of 1985 that devastated a large part of the city. I don’t remember this, because I was only one year old, although I’ve seen pictures, and been told about it. My parents, however, do remember, and ever since that incident, my mother has been afraid of tornadoes–even a strong thunderstorm makes her a bit antsy. I remember a lot of times in my childhood when we’d all have to go down to the basement because she was afraid that another tornado was coming, although none ever did–but, she’s gotten a lot better since then. Anyway, even if PTSD is a thing now, I’m not sure if it was in 1985, or else my mom would have gotten help, but my point is, would you make fun of her for being afraid of tornadoes? In that case, why is it okay to make fun of Dolly for being afraid of a home invasion?

  123. SOA February 22, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Warren: Who said I had no friends? When I was a kid for about 3 years I had no friends. That was a short period of time in the whole expanse of my life.

    I have probably 40 friends right now I hang out and talk to regularly. My children and I are quite popular and get invited to parties several weekends a month.

  124. Warren February 22, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Emily
    If you cannot see the difference between living your life without worrying that it offends someone, and intentionally offending someone, you have a problem.

    I am who I am, and if you do not like it or it offends you……..well I really do not care. You are free to take it up with me, not that I will change to not offend you, or you can just exercise your freedom and suck it up. Either way, I don’t give a damn about what other people think. What do you think about that?

  125. hineata February 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    @Emily – I do like the way you put that last post. Very well-worded.

  126. Emily February 22, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

    >>Either way, I don’t give a damn about what other people think. What do you think about that?<<

    I think that it's a fine line to walk, between living your life the way you see fit (which I definitely support), and having no self-regulation whatsoever, so that you offend people without meaning to.

  127. Warren February 23, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Well Emily, self regulation? As long as I can look myself in the mirror the next morning, I really do not give a rat’s ass if I offended dozens or noone the day before. You see I know I am a good man, and if anyone is sensitive enough to be offended by my life……..

    It really sucks that they are like that, and it is entirely their problem to deal with.

  128. Donna February 23, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    Emily, Warren doesn’t offend people without meaning to. Warren fully intends to offend. He knows that he is being insulting and offensive to everyone on this blog. He doesn’t care.

    Warren, I have never insulted you. I have said repeatedly that I don’t like you. As you said many times in this thread, it is perfectly acceptable to not like someone and even tell them that. I have, however, never called you stupid, moron, weak willed, bitch, bastard or any of the other things that you like to call anyone who disagrees with you. In fact, you are the one and only person who regularly comments on this blog who ever does any of those things.

  129. Warren February 24, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    That’s okay Donna. As I have explained before, you do all those things under your breath in veiled ways. I do it to your face in an upfront manner.

    One is honest the other covert, but still the same.

  130. Donna February 24, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Warren, no I don’t. I don’t happen to think that you are stupid, moronic, weak willed or any of the delightful things that you choose to call other people so I wouldn’t say so in either a veiled or direct way. If you have an inferiority complex and read those thoughts into other people’s words, don’t blame it on me.

    I do think that you are one of the most unpleasant people that I have ever had the misfortune of coming in contact with and have said so very directly on a couple different occasions. Nothing has been veiled. I think everyone here fully understands that I don’t like you. Because of that, I couldn’t possibly care less what you think of me or my opinions or anything else. I do occasionally find it entertaining to watch you lose complete control over stupid crap and make yourself look like an idiot (note that I said LOOK LIKE an idiot and not that I think you actually are an idiot), but beyond that your presence here is completely inconsequential to me.

  131. Warren February 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Dear Donna,

    Kindly worded insults are still insults. And you can deny it all you want, just makes you a lying bitch that uses ten words instead of one.

  132. Donna February 24, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    So we have established in this thread that it okay not to like someone and express that dislike as long as the person you don’t like isn’t Warren. Then you are a self righteous bitch for doing so. Got it. We should really make a list of Warren’s Rules on Life. It would be pretty entertaining. Of course, it would also change every 5 minutes since his only consistent rule is to pick someone you don’t like and then disagree nastily with everything they say, even if you totally agreed with it 10 minutes before.

  133. Warren February 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Cute Donna.

    Thank you for proving my point.It is so nice when they hang themselves.

  134. SOA February 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    ha for someone who is so secure in himself and doesn’t care if nobody likes him and doesn’t care if he offends someone, he sure tries to get defensive and argumentative. If you don’t care then why bother even arguing?

  135. Donna February 24, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    And what point would that be Warren?

    That I don’t like you? I’ve said that repeatedly. Sorry if my dislike of you is an insult, but such is life.

    That you often speak in circles just so you can disagree with specific people? Not the first time I’ve said that nor am I the only one who has pointed it out. Again, sorry if you find that observation of your comments an insult. Maybe you should stop doing it if you don’t like hearing it pointed out.

    That your comments often don’t make sense? You proved that with your last comment that made no sense.

  136. Warren February 24, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    Poor Dolly, why? Because it is so much fun watching small feeble minds like yours twist in the wind.

    You whine, complain, and make excuses for being a fearful lazy parent. And that is just pathetic.

  137. SOA February 25, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    I guess that is good it amuses you Warren, because it is boring the heck out of the rest of us.

    Also lazy parents are typically what people call free rangers. They say we are lazy for not following our kids around 24/7 and watching their every move. So probably not a good word to use here.

    If I am lazy and fearful why do I come to this site and support it? Answer me that. I send articles of interest to Lenore at least once a week that she puts up here on the site. Why do I do that if you think I am so against the philosophy of free range?

  138. Warren February 27, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

    Dolly,
    I have never said you were against free range.

    I have said you are lazy, fearful, and a stupid bitch that lives by excuses. But never said you were not free range.

    You can say all you want. I have your posts to back up the laziness, the fearful and living by excuses. The stupid bitch is just my educated opinion of you.