Monthly Archives: April 2013

Trudeau and Public Education are a Great Mix for Canada

Justin Trudeau is a foregone conclusion.  And what a hunk of man, too.  We have it all with this one (stop rolling your eyes, guys, you’re just as bad). Don’t you westerners start whining about how JT will follow in papa’s footsteps and ruin your (oh so prosperous) economy. If anyone is following JT”s campaign they would be aware that he has criticized his father’s financial ruin of much of Canada, in an admirable albeit misguided attempt to bring Just (in?) Society to the nation.  It was a lovely concept and I respect old PT for it, but it didn’t work.  I’m not sure multiculturalism does either. People are too racist and pig-headed for that. Sustainable Development technology 185218Systemic racism still exists in the most stubborn manner in terms of employment and social acceptance (or at the very least tolerance). Personally I love a multicultural mix and I do believe most people I know feel the same (probably because I tend to associate with good people….tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are…)

Speaking of friends, I am a complete JT supporter, especially after the recession Harper did nothing to alleviate and in fact worsened by granting tax concessions and incredible $12.5 billions annually to corporations and conglomerates.  Meanwhile, the employment rate went up and the social economy went down.  What’s wrong with that picture?  Or should I say what’s right with it? I love Harper’s comment upon hearing JT became the Liberal Leader this weekend. He congratulated Justin and in the same breath added he doesn’t believe the Liberal poster boy has sufficient experience to become PM. Harper should know all about that.  He wrote the book.

I am well aware that education is not a federal issue.  Eggerton Ryerson proved to us that trying to nationally control individual provincial education programs and policies is a disaster. Harper, however, was keen on public education, I have to give him that.  He supported the Pathways to Education program across Ontario, an inner city initiative to prevent borderline kids from dropping out of school, regardless of their low income neighbourhoods and rough families. Dalton McGuilty…oops…McGuinty made sure he participated in photo ops in schools across Ontario (a Kindergarten class in my very own school, in fact). He was at an opening for an Africentric secondary school in 2010, the first Toronto school only for black children, that focused on a “black curriculum” (not entirely sure what that means, really). McGuinty stated it was a proud day.  I don’t think so.  It was segregation.  60 years ago, blacks fought for the right to attend “white” schools. Now they fight for the right to attend their own exclusive schools.  Sounds a bit backwards to me.

bag_of_moneyBut I digress. Our future is with education and with educated young adults.  The more graduates and the less debts students own, the more prosperous our future will be.  We need tuition grants, tuition relief, and lower tuition rates so kids who are not born with a Harperesque silver spoon in their mouths can attend university or college without sweating over their finances instead of over their books as they should be. Happily,  OSAP still offers grants – in fact, once a student applies for an OSAP loan, s/he automatically receive 30% off the entire cost of tuition. Sweet.  They didn’t offer that deal in my day. Mind you, some grants are expected to be repaid – in which case, I have no idea why they are called a grant.  How about the word loan?

I expect great things of JT.  I expect significant financial and social support from him and the Liberal party.  I shall keep my fingers crossed that the conservative party doesn’t get a majority seat in this election.  Anything they wish to get into the House will have to be approved by the NDP and the Liberal party.  Bye-bye conservative, pig-headed, hypocritical party. Hello social justice.  And maybe, just maybe, with the right influence, better financial incentives for post-secondary students.

It’s a new dawn.  A new day.  A new life.

And I am lucky to be part of it.

Mohawk + Dress Code = Suspension

If E=MC2 then M + DC = S. An article ran a few days ago on Yahoo about a 5-year-old Kindergarten boy  (Ethan Clos), whose mother “gave in” and allowed him to get an utterly ridiculous (and rather offensive) mohawk….not the kind with short hair on the sides. The original Punk Rock scene mohawk where the entire head is bald except for a strip of hair down the middle.  Nasty. The school suspended our little Mohican on  s-ETHAN-CLOS-MOHAWK-largegrounds of defying the dress code and not looking presentable for their school.  Bravo. I really don’t care about politically correct or incorrect. I care that finally the lunatics aren’t permitted to take over the asylum (temporarily).

“Our dress and grooming policies are designed to ensure that clothing and  hairstyles do not cause a distraction to the learning environment” is a quote from the superintendent and I like it.  I totally agree.  The kid looks ridiculous. The author of the article (Lyla M. Alphonse), defends the silly style by stating “ Madonna’s 4-year-old son David  Banda, and Cruz Beckham (whose parents are sport-and-style icons David and  Victoria Beckham) have also sported modified mohawks, where the sides are cut  close, rather than shaved bare, and a strip of hair on the top is left a bit longer. Ah, dare I suggest that celebrity hairstyles are not the best example?   Celebrities smoke crack, pawn off their kids on nannies, and spend $10,000.00 a day on throw-away junk. Should people emulate that too? 

Some people don’t get that. Parents don’t get the fact that these multi-millionaire kids who are probably home-schooled can do whatever the heck they want. That’s what happens when ordinary people compare themselves to extraordinary people.  Suspensions. And hallucinations, probably.

Another supportive issue for suspending the little kid is this: while (Caldwell, spokesperson), doesn’t believe this is the case in Tyran’s situation, symbols in the hair at the middle and high school level have been tied to gang affiliation, which is why some principals have been banning them.

haircut6n-3-webIn a sense, the hairstyle thing runs in the Clos family: the kid has trouble in his hair, his mother has rocks in her head.  She is setting herself up for an episode of Tough Love .  Since when is a mother or father supposed to allow their children to bully or nag them into getting their own way? Little Ethan is showing signs of running the household in the not-too-distant future. He is 5. Schools have a lot of experience with dysfunctional families whose children take over the family dynamic and make life a significant challenge for everyone else. That is another reason why schools take a stand and react in an appropriate manner when a kid shows up looking stupid and controversial.

Along the same line, a high school superintendent suspended 100 students for defying dress code: solid colours only and no shirt logos or graphics.  Listen, if you don’t like the dress code, send your kid elsewhere. North Americans are lucky: there are private schools, charter schools, religious schools and home-schooling as alternatives to public schools.  We have several options outside of a particular school or school system that doesn’t sit well with family ethics and views.

The door was closed to the Clos until Ethan’s mom shaved the middle strip down to his scalp. My hat’s off to you, superintendent ….unless I’ve shaved something into my hair that I shouldn’t, of course.