Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pick Your Battles, Are we focusing on all the wrong things?

by: Cindy Pitts Gilbert  Buford Weekly Illustrated June 22, 2016

photo credit: mosiacprep.com
Summer is upon us the graduations ceremonies a memory Yet, there are students who worked hard and made the grade yet didn't receive their diploma.  I have always told my kids as they were growing up pick your battles.  I lived that  as a parent  as well. There were just some rules not worth fighting over with your kids, So what, if my kid didn't want to change their or yours wants to sleep in the bathtub one night. 

Crazy stories on the news recently that caught my attention.   A straight A student had a beard  throughout high school and was given a choice shave the beard or don't get a diploma,  Really? The kid was a the top of his class and he made a choice. He shaved all but just a small portion of his beard and sat in the audience and cheered on his fellow classmates.  I applaud his decision.  What are we thinking when it comes to educating our children are we really so narrow minded that we can't pick our battles any better than this. 

The Board of Education in South Carolina  passed a skinny jeans policy as improper dress.   They are too distracting. My question is who is it distracting?  Apparently, it is distracting to the clothes police at the school.  Are they are so busy policing student attire that they are forgetting about the real issue. Educating our children to become the leaders of tomorrow.  I am a big proponent of the dress for success philosophy in business. 

I also believe in being yourself and expression through clothes are how teens express themselves.  It is somewhat puzzling that the U.S. specifically here in the south with Georgia being right in the middle of the "Bible Belt"  is unlike much of the world.  

We spend so much time worrying about who is going to be disturbed we lose focus on the really important issues.  Is the fact that they wear jeans that are form fitting  or have a beard worth all the hoopla?  Teens dress the way other teens dress. They want to be popular, accepted or perhaps  they take the other route and dress completely unique. I am not going to dwell on the transgender bathroom issue in the school system I just have to ask myself and those who make the rules?  

Here are some staggering statistics:  
 28% of all students report that they have been bullied ages 6-12 according to  stopbullying.gov.  According to bullyingstatistics.org. one in four kids are bullied in the United States on a regular basis.
-According to the Department of Veteran Affairs' National Center for PTSD 13-35 percent of students have intentionally harmed themselves at some point. 
-Teens 16 to 19 years of age were 3 ½ times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape according to the 2012 maltreatment report released by the US. Department of Health and Human Services
-According to a 2013 survey titled "Youth Risk and Surveillance" ten percent of high school students reported physical victimization from a dating partner before they were surveyed. 
-According to dosomething.org the United States represents five percent of the world's population and 75 percent of prescription drugs taken. 60 percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them free from friends and relatives.        

Our teens face a great deal more at school than facial hair which bathroom they use or how baggy or tight their jeans are.   Why are we drawing attention to all the wrong things?

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