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Posts Tagged ‘Addiction’

Data Gathering Without Financial Support is Worthless… or Worse

January 9, 2020 Comments off

This article from a periodical touting the benefits of technology suggests that the mere collection of data can help schools address mental health issues, a notion that implicitly assumes that teachers have the time and training to intervene. Unless schools are able and willing to take on mental health issues as part of their mission and the public is willing to provide the funding to make that possible there is no way that data collection will help. Indeed, If the data is collected in schools and reported to the public it will be viewed as one more area where schools are “failing”.

Universal Free Lunch Program LOOKS LIKE A Good Idea… but COULD Be a Terrible One

October 19, 2019 Comments off

Common Dreams writer John Queally wrote a piece earlier this week supporting the proposal  advanced by Bernie Sanders and MN Representative Ilhan Omar that the US offer every child a free school lunch. This is an easy proposal to get behind for several obvious reasons, one of which was expressed in the subheading to the article:

“In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, no child should be turned away from a meal if they cannot afford it,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar.

It IS difficult to imagine how our country cannot provide free lunch to every child, especially when 1 in 5 children are going to bed hungry and a majority of students in many schools qualify for free and reduced meals. But there is one problem with offering a free lunch… and that is determining the contents of that meal. I’m listening to a book tape of Michelle Obama’s memoir and in it she describes the politics of school lunch, politics that have been in play for decades. The politics is not about Red and Blue: it’s about Green. The mega-corporations that grow and process food control what ends up on the trays of children because they can make cheap products that yield them big profits and result in result in over-sized children. Tater tots are easier to prepare, are more desirable to children, and yield higher profits for corporations than just plunking a potato on a child’s plate. The more food is processed, the greater opportunity for profits up and down the food chain, and the more likely it is that children’s diets will be compromised.

Universal free lunch is a good idea if and only if the lunch that is offered is healthy and well-balanced. Otherwise, it is unlikely to be contributing to the well-being of children though it may contribute to the bottom line of corporations.

 

Criminalizing the Disease of Addiction is Wrong Approach

September 4, 2019 Comments off

As reported by apple.news/AboIG8hxxRZ-, an NBC news story indicates that 38% of the school districts in the US will be doing some kind of screening for drugs, up from 25% a year ago. At the same time the money being spent on prevention programs at the elementary level is declining. The bottom line is that we have decided to spend scarce dollars on law enforcement instead of spending it on medical prevention. This same approach is also being used to address the issue of school shootings where we are devoting billions to hardening schools to protect students from alienated outsiders while slashing budgets for student services. Fear is a potent force and protecting children from bogeymen is a powerful narrative. We need to use medical science and data to guide our decision making… not fear and compelling stories.

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