Monday, February 3, 2014

Woman jailed for bringing up chidren in a 'P' (Methamphetamine) lab!

I can understand a parent stealing to feed her family although I do not approve of that action. I can understand why a parent will break other aspects of the law in order to keep their children safe, although once again, I can not condone such actions. BUT---for the life of me, what parent would bring up two children in a 'P' lab? Methamphetamine is a scourge on society; yes there are others, but the damage done to those around the process of  'cooking' P is one for which we are finding more and more serious consequences, including cancer and ultimate death. The chemicals are so dangerous that they linger in the immediate environment for years, often making the home (which is usually rented for the specific purpose of conducting the illegal regime) uninhabitable. The sad case before the NZ courts resulted in the judge labelling the parent as being an 'abysmal failure.' Harsh words or right on the mark? The reality is that there are many children being raised in homes where the processing and selling of 'P' is being carried out, with no regard for those, especially children, living in the same space. For the case in question it was found that food was stored close to the chemicals used for 'cooking.' The children had traces of the chemical in their hair and were suffering from skin rashes. What damage long term is something that will only become apparent at a later date, well after the parent leaves prison. She has 'lost' her children, who have been robbed of a 'safe' childhood. New Zealand has a serious problem with 'P' and until we as a nation face the fact that lives, businesses and families are being destroyed, then the 'scourge' will  continue. We need to understand the issue at a 'base level,' and intervene when things go wrong in a family where one or both parents are involved with this insidious drug. Children need to know who to turn to and partners of the 'P-slave' need to reach out.
I have written  a book---ROSKILL that tells of a family who struggle to find answers when one of the parents enters the world of 'P.' Download it onto your Kindle by going to my website.  Hard copies will be available by going to my website and contacting me through the 'send me a message' section.

Ipad for every student in school will solve the 'deficit' problem? I wish it was that simple!

If the solution to ‘bridging the gap between rich and poor schools was as simple as giving every student (particularly those in lower decile schools) an I pad, then I would say---go for it. It would be a magnificent and relatively cheap way of solving an issue that has perplexed us for generations. I reluctantly have to point out that it is not that simple. Schools struggle to get students to bring bags with their books and other ‘necessaries’ each day in lower decile schools as it is. How many teachers can tell stories about providing kids with books (sometimes out of their own pockets) only to see that the next day the said ‘giveaways’ no longer exist. It is a continuing frustration for teachers to observe the gains being dissipated in such a manner. It all goes back to the old ‘cultural capital’ paradigm, in which so many students start on the back foot and never quite bridge the gap.
Yes, you will hear many stories of students who have broken the mould, sometimes through good teaching and excellent backup from parents but the more usual story is one in which schools battle to narrow the gap. The issue is intergenerational, described by poverty in all of its forms. Teachers and other commentators have argued about ‘what to do’ for as long as I can remember and I am not one who wishes to locked into ‘deficit theory’ but the sad fact is that schools can only be effective if the partnership between school and home (along with other factors) is a strong one. There have been real gains for the students in schools who have developed positive relationships with their community and I applaud those schools that have successfully gone down that pathway.
I am not against ‘giving all students’ I pads, but I am concerned that it becomes a ‘one stop solve the entire problem’ issue, sometimes cynically exploited by politicians. Let’s always keep the bigger picture in focus when discussing how to narrow the gap between those who have and those who are missing out. There is no one answer.
WE must never give up, and keep looking for newer ways of helping all students and there will always be so-called’ new strategies, often under a new name for an old programme, which is touted as the latest ‘solution. I am sure many ‘older teachers’ will know exactly what I mean. In the meantime, keep those I pads safe, because like the books and freebies of old, they have a way of ‘disappearing’ as fast as they are given out. Maybe there is a half way position whereby the I pads are kept at school, until schools are sure that the items will be used for the purposes they were given!