How do we prevent our school system from doing more harm? We have an antiquated school system that is creating little serfs. There is no getting around this fact. We should have a school system that creates entrepreneurs who leave school with apprenticeships and a business plan. Of course, that would start to infringe on …
How do we prevent our school system from doing more harm? We have an antiquated school system that is creating little serfs. There is no getting around this fact. We should have a school system that creates entrepreneurs who leave school with apprenticeships and a business plan. Of course, that would start to infringe on …
School is becoming an obsolete idea. Not the idea that children should be taught but the methods and model that is used in public school is just getting to be a bit much. In fact, its a scary! The risks of putting a child through public school are growing each year. Every time we see a …
Prepping in School
James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below!
These terrible school shootings have called us to question how school has changed. They have also called us to question what should change about school. We know that we are approaching a time of great change and that school should not be left out of that change. I would like to put the killing and the gun control talk aside and talk about what else we can improve in schools to better prepare our kids for the real world.
There are some articles that come out with great points and some with eye-catching titles. Look at this thing! Who would ever allege that the right move would be to shut down public schools? Not only is it an answer this article gives 7 reasons while it should happen now and happen immediately. With such …
The post 7 Reasons to Shut Down Public Schools Immediately and Permanently appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.
Schools throughout North America are banning cartwheels and even balls as threats to children’s safety.
“The activity can cause concussions, and neck and wrist injuries,” Principal Todd Gribbon told The North Bay Nugget, referencing cartwheels.
New playground rules at M.T. Davidson Public School in Callander, Ontario, ban cartwheels, even though no injuries have occurred.
The rules are in a new school handbook that is scheduled for approval this week.
M.T. Davidson is far from alone in going to great lengths to protect kids from ordinary activities.
Cartwheels have been banned at some schools in the United Kingdom and Australia. Earl Beatty Public School in Toronto banned all hard balls in 2011, the CBC reported. That ban included soccer balls, which are considered hard.
“Kids were coming in complaining of injury, or being scared,” Principal Alicia Fernandez said of the ban.
What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:
It may not be every parent’s very worst nightmare, but it certainly ranks up there if your kids are in public school. What if your kid has a forbidden item in school? It could be an accident, or something they found that wasn’t originally theirs, especially for older kids who find something in their car or truck.
What should they do if they reach in a pocket and realize that a shell casing (garbage, to anyone who knows anything about firearms) is still there from their last hunting trip? What if, God forbid, they have a pocket knife in their backpack after a camping trip?
Medical and First Aid Supplies
One of the more popular articles on the blog recently was this one, Backpack First Aid Kit for Kids. The author listed a number of tiny, handy items that could all be contained in a small plastic container. When this was posted on The Survival Mom Facebook page, the results were shocking:
“In schools around here, this would get the kid an out of school suspension. Over the counter medication of any kind has to be accompanied by a doctor’s note etc.”
“Can’t do this any more. It would be taken from your child and you would go to jail for pushing drugs. We have become a stupid society.”
“You might be able to sneak a Band-Aid into the backpack, but nothing else. Our school district here in north Texas wouldn’t allow any of that stuff.”
“It’s a great idea but it would be taken from my girls first thing. Our school doesn’t even allow the kids to bring in cough drops.”
Harmless items, such as eye drops and Neosporin, may be considered illegal contraband in public schools these days, apparently! So what if your child does have one of these in a pocket, purse, or backpack, innocently and unintentionally? I’ve been known to tuck a couple of ibuprofen in a pocket, just in case.
The news is full of incidents in which kids have been suspended or expelled just for something this simple.
How should they handle this?
So, what would be a smart strategy if this happens with one of your kids?
One high school kid realized that he had left a pocket knife in his pocket after a Scout camping trip. The panicked kid faked sickness and went to the nurse saying he had to go home. His mom picked him up and took him home early and the problem was solved.
In another incident, a high school student grabbed what he thought was a can of soda on his way out the door. When he got to school, he realized it was beer and immediately turned it over to his teacher. The teacher turned him in to the principal, and the boy was suspended for 3 days and had to attend an “alternative” school for 3 months. His mother claimed he was just being honest and was punished in return.
If your child finds himself or herself in a situation like this, what would you advise them to do? Do they know how to handle it?
Amidst the joy of summer time swims, cold Popsicles, and sleeping in, the new school year sneaks up on us. I dread the whirlwind back to school shopping as advertisements plague the airways, and other media. I feel my wallet emptying before I even make the shopping list. Not to mention the kids exclaiming, “I want this one!”
Here are a few things I have learned to prep for back to school season. It will help save money, time, and some sanity.
Every year, we use the same basic school supplies. Most stores overstock these items. I’ve learned to wait until the end of the back to school rush, when the stores mark the items for clearance, then I stockpile crayons, ruled paper, printer paper, composition books, pencils, glue, etc.
Also, the teachers will love you in the middle of the year when they run out of some supplies. With the low cost, I never mind sharing from my stockpile.
My ongoing school supply stockpile also saves us a bit of money each year. With the savings, each child can pick out a few of their “must have” items without breaking the bank.
When picking out a back pack, I spend a little bit more money for one with a lifetime warranty. That way if it gets over filled and breaks a seam, I simply return it for a new one.
One way I save on school clothes is not to buy them only at the back to school sales. Instead I buy clothing year round. At the end of the seasons, when items are on clearance, I try to buy the next size up for the following year. This especially great for basic items like jeans, socks, undergarments, etc. (Side note on underwear: all tightie whities look the same; if you buy every male in the house a different brand, sorting laundry goes sooo much faster.)
On gift giving holidays, I buy each child a new outfit and shoes. I work it into the gift buying budget. This helps balance out the cost of clothing my ever growing brood during the year. Plus, it freshens up their wardrobe.
Skip all the driving around and shop online. Scoping out deals is a click of the mouse and most websites offer free shipping over a certain amount spent.
I highly recommend Amazon Student. I sit down at the beginning of my college semester, and put in one big order for the kids and myself. With the student discounts and Amazon Prime shipping it is a double win. (Living overseas as a military wife, Amazon Prime has been a true life saver.) Another plus: I can find all my college books used and sell them back later, or I can simply rent and return books.
While online shopping I also use MyPoints.com, a free online points system resulting in gift cards, and RetailMeNot.com. You can look up any website you are shopping at and get online coupon codes. Both of these web sites yield a good return, $5-$25 on average.
Setting a Budget
The most important part of school shopping is setting a budget. Even more important is including the kids. I sit down with them, show them how a budget works, and what our plan of attack is.
They help me compile our supply list. When it comes to the actual shopping part, I usually give them a small budget of their own to buy their wants. The catch is they do the math, and I help them make conscious decisions on quality and usefulness. The rest of the list, which is mostly basics, comes from the stockpile.
Prepping for the school year can be a tedious repetitive task. Enter the new school year fully prepared by creating a small stock pile of the basic necessities. This will save you time, money, and some sanity.
With back-to-school time approaching, have you ever thought about whether bugging out from school was something that your kids should know how to do?
A few years ago, I posed … Read the rest
The post Bugging Out From School: Build a Kit and Make a Plan That Won’t Get Your Kids Expelled appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
Just “liking” a picture of a gun on social media can get a student suspended from school in New Jersey.
Zachary Bowlin discovered this the hard way when he was suspended from Edgewood Middle School for 10 days because he liked a picture of an airsoft gun on Instagram.
“The reason for the intended suspension is as follows: Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence,” a note from the school to Bowlin’s parents read.
Bowlin liked the photo outside school hours.
“I liked it, scrolling down Instagram at night about seven, eight o’clock I liked it,” Bowlin told Fox 19. “The next morning they called me down [to the office], patted me down and checked me for weapons.”
His father said Zachary never should have been suspended.
“I was livid, I mean, I’m sitting here thinking, ‘You just suspended him for 10 days for liking a picture of a gun on a social media site,” Zachary’s father, Marty Bowlin, said. “He never shared, he never commented, he never made a threatening post.”
The suspension was lifted after news media contacted Edgewood City Schools. Zachary will face no further discipline, but parents of students received an email from the district that indicted officials were responding to a threat. Superintendent Ross Fussnecker released the following statement to the media:
Concerning the recent social media posting of a gun with the caption “Ready,” and the liking of this post by another student, the policy at Edgewood City Schools reads as follows:
The Board has a “zero tolerance” of violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students.
Furthermore, the policy states:
Students are also subject to discipline as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct that occurs off school property when the misbehavior adversely affects the educational process.
As the Superintendent of the Edgewood City Schools, I assure you that any social media threat will be taken serious including those who “like” the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.
What is your reaction? Share it in the section below
It apparently is going to take a change in state law to give kids the right to use sunscreen at schools in Washington state
Senate Bill (SB) 5404 would allow children to possess and use over-the-counter sunscreen on school property, AP reported. Under the current state law, it is illegal to have sunscreen at school without a note from a licensed healthcare professional.
Sadly, though, the law was not proposed until two children were badly burned at a school function.
“Two of my three children experienced significant sunburns,” Jesse Michener, the Tacoma mother credited with inspiring SB 5404, wrote on her blog in 2015. “Like, hurts-to-look-at burns.”
Michener’s daughters, Violet and Zoe, experienced the sunburns at field day because officials with the Tacoma Public Schools would not allow them to use sunscreen. Disturbingly, one of the teachers who refused to let the girls use sunscreen was using it in front of the girls as they burned.
Zoe Michener suffers from albinism, a condition that makes her white vulnerable to sunburn. But school officials said they could not allow the girl to use sunscreen.
After she posted the story on her blog, Michener heard from parents across the country whose schools have a similar policy that treats sunscreen as a drug.
The Washington State House of Representatives passed the bill unanimously, Reason reported. Legislatures in California, Texas and Oregon have passed similar legislation.
The Tacoma Schools banned sunscreen use because some chemicals in the lotions might cause allergic reactions in children, District spokesman Dan Voelpel told ABC News in 2015.
What is your reaction? Do you think sunscreen should be allowed? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Eight police officers surrounded a couple’s home and took their seven-year-old son away because of a disagreement with school officials over ADHD and mental health, the parents say.
Christian and Katie Maple lost custody of seven-year-old Camden because they disagreed with school officials’ assessment of the boys’ mental health, they told Health Impact News. He attends Bowman Primary School in Lebanon, Ohio.
They describe him as a normal American boy: He has five siblings and enjoys Star Wars, Pokemon, football and Legos. He even has tested a grade above his current grade, the website reported.
“The school thinks he is ADHD, we as parents disagree,” the couple told Health Impact News. “We believe that it stems mostly from boredom and not being challenged in the classroom. The school has tried on several occasions to get us to have him diagnosed, so that he can be medicated.
“We as parents do not have the problems the school claims to have with him, at home. We know how to deal with a rambunctious 7-year-old, but the school is content with making him believe that he is a bad child, we disagree.”
The controversy began when the parents were called to pick up Camden following an incident at school. Camden had been disruptive in class and had told a school counselor that he was upset because he felt that he was bad and he wanted to “erase himself from the earth.” The counselor asked how he would have done that, and he responded that he would have stabbed himself in the eye, Health Impact News reported.
Christian and Katie had a lengthy conversation with their son after they left school. They saw the incident different than the school saw it.
“Camden said that he did not want to hurt himself and just said that because he was upset and wanted to see what the counselor would say,” they told the website. “The school thought we should have taken him to the hospital emergency room for a mental health evaluation, but upon assessing the situation and speaking to him at home, it was clear to us that he posed no threat to himself and just said it to get a rise out of the counselor. He has never said anything about harming himself prior to this incident or after. This was one time, one day … most likely repeating something he heard somewhere.”
They added, “If we really believed that he would have really hurt himself, then we would have taken him to be assessed. They’ve blown this way out of proportion.”
The next day, school officials phoned the couple to ask if they had taken him to the hospital. They also wanted to know the details of the couple’s conversation with the boy. When the parents refused to disclose what was said, the school contacted CPS, according to the parents.
Two weeks later, Christian and Katie learned that there was a court hearing “later that day” on March 3. The judge sided with the school and CPS, and police officers were sent to the home to assist in the boy’s removal. He remains in state custody.
The parents were ordered to get a psychological evaluation and drug and alcohol tests. The psychological tests came back normal. The drug and alcohol test results were clean.
“How can this be?” Katie asked. “How can CPS get away with ripping children from loving homes without just cause? … CPS should not have this much unchecked power.”
They added, “There is nothing to stop this from happening to anyone.”
What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:
FOLSOM, Calif. — Tag, touch football and any sort of physical contact are now prohibited at California’s Gold Ridge Elementary School.
Principal David Frankel banned such activities to protect children from getting hurt.
“Today we implemented new procedures at school aimed at reducing physical contact and related problem behaviors,” Frankel wrote in a note to parents. “Student(s) were instructed that physical contact, including tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed in the yard.”
Frankel emailed four parents with a warning and a description of the discipline their children will face for playing too rough, The Sacramento Bee reported.
“Today your child received a warning for unsafe/physical play (i.e tag/pushing),” Frankel wrote. “They walked with the yard supervisor for the remainder of recess.”
One child interviewed by the CBS affiliate in Sacramento said some kids were playing too rough.
“My principal, he doesn’t want us to have tag at school because people, they touch too hard,” fourth-grader Mallory Giddens said. “I don’t really like it. I mean, I don’t really play tag but I don’t think it’s fair to everyone else that plays tag”
Students at the school in Folsom, a Sacramento suburb, face three levels of punishment for playing too hard, The Bee reported. The levels are:
- Warning and walk with yard supervisors.
- Referral to the principal’s office and removal from yard for a day.
- A “parent-teacher-principal disciplinary conference.”
The ban is only at Gold Ridge and not throughout the entire Folsom Cordova Unified School District.
What do you think? Should tag be banned if some kids are playing too rough? Share your thoughts in the section below:
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. — Some parents of middle school students in a South Carolina school are upset with a social studies curriculum that requires sixth-graders to learn the Five Pillars of Islam and affirm that Islam “is a religion of peace.”
“Allah: There is no god but Him, the Living, the Eternal One. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes him,” was one of the passages listed on a fill-in-the-blanks worksheet, EAGnews.org reported.
The local TV station, WCSC, also covered the controversy at Alston Middle School in Summerville.
The lessons are part of a class called the Survey of Civilization.
One fill-in-the-blank question included the statement “Islam is a religion of _____.” The correct answer was “peace.”
Among other fill-in-the-blanks:
- “If I believe in Islam, I am called a _____.” (Muslim.)
- “In the Islamic religion, we call God _____. (Allah.)
- “I feel ___ that a few people of my religion committed terrorist acts. I do not believe in terrorists’ idea of a ‘holy war.’” (Bad.)
The Five Pillars of Islam are a basic expression of the Islamic faith. They include reciting the Muslim profession of faith, daily prayers (Salat), alms giving (Zakat), fasting during Ramadan, and a pilgrimage to Mecca.
A group of parents want the lessons stopped.
“Our concern is that if they need permission to teach sexual education, they should be getting permission to teach religious values,” an unidentified mother told WCSC.
The school is defending the lesson.
“Worksheets on all these features of a civilization are used as teaching tools, including all religions involved,” Patricia Raynor, a spokeswoman for the Dorchester District II Schools, said. “One of the next civilizations beings studied in the course will be ancient Rome that will include the study of Christianity. South Carolina curriculum standards specify the material covered in this study of civilizations. This curriculum is taught in all school districts in South Carolina.”
There have been complaints about similar curriculum in other school districts. In 2015, Pastor Greg Locke of Global Mission Bible Church alleged that students in Mt. Juliet, Tenn., were being subjected to “Islamic indoctrination.”
Among other things, Locke said that students were tested on Islam on the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, EAGnews.org reported.
What is your reaction? Should the history of Islam be taught in public schools? Share your thoughts in the section below:
ANDERSON, S.C. — A high school student was charged with assault and battery for throwing a paper airplane in class. If he is convicted of the charge, David Michael Elliott, 17, could be sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Elliott was arrested, booked into the Georgetown County Detention Center in South Carolina, and released on a $1,087.50 bond on Jan. 10, The South Strand News reported.
He was arrested and charged after throwing a paper airplane that struck teacher Edward McIver in the eye during class at Andrews High in Georgetown, S.C.
“That’s the law enforcement side,” Andrews High School Principal Michelle Greene said. “That is a violation of school policy, but if law enforcement … deem it necessary to get a warrant for it, then that’s what happens. The school does not interfere with law enforcement business, and they don’t interfere with ours.”
School resource officer and Georgetown County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Glover decided to charge Elliott with third-degree assault and battery, a misdemeanor, after the 17-year-old said he was trying to hit McIver in the head with the paper plane. McIver instead was hit in the eye, which appeared very red, The South Strand News reported. McIver recently had had ocular surgery.
“If any employee believes a crime has taken place, we report it,” said Alan Walters, the director of Safety and Risk Management for the Georgetown County School District. “Law enforcement makes a decision if a crime occurred or not and, if it did, whether they choose to file charges or not.”
The teacher apparently told Glover that he and the student had had past confrontations and “something needs to be done.”
Do you believe the student should have been charged? Share your thoughts in the section below:
FREDERICK, Md. — A school employee in Maryland apparently was fired after correcting a student’s spelling on Twitter.
Katie Nash lost her job as “web experience coordinator” at the Frederick County Public Schools after telling a student how to spell “tomorrow,” The Frederick Post-News reported.
On Jan. 5 and with bad weather threatening, a student directed a Tweet at the school system that read, “close school tamarrow PLEASE.”
Nash, who ran the school Twitter account, responded, “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?’ :)”
Her response was certainly popular on Twitter, generating 1,000 likes and leading to the hashtag #KatiefromFCPS going viral.
Viral Tweet Gets Mom Fired
Even though the unidentified student did not mind the response, Nash’s superiors told her not to send out more Tweets. But she kept Tweeting calendar updates.
Then on Jan. 13, Nash was told she was being terminated from her $44,066-a-year job. Michael Doerrer, a spokesman for the Frederick Public Schools, would not say why she was terminated.
Nash is now tweeting from her personal account, @KatieNash. The mother of two is not ashamed of what she did.
“It was really positive and great to see so many students engaged with their school system,” Nash said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
She’s received lots of support on social media, with people inundating the @FCPSMaryland feed with words of criticism for the school. One wrote, “Rehire this lady if you want to save your reputation.” Another wrote, “No wonder kids today have so much trouble with grammar and spelling.” Still another wrote, “Will you explain why u fired someone for a spellcheck tweet? Story not going away. National laughingstock.”
Which side do you take – the school’s side or Katie’s side? Share your opinion in the section below:
KILLEEN, Texas – A Texas state judge has ordered a school district to allow a Charlie Brown Christmas poster be put back up, days after the district affirmed the principal who ordered it taken down.
Charles E. Patterson Middle School clinic aide Dedra Shannon had placed a large poster of Linus on her door with the words from the classic cartoon, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown – Linus.”
On Thursday, a Bell County judge issued a temporary order, ruling the poster could be placed back on the door as long as it also had the words “Ms. Shannon’s Christmas Message.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also appeared in court, supporting Shannon.
“Religious discrimination towards Christians has become a holiday tradition of sorts among certain groups,” Paxton said following the decision. “I am glad to see that the court broke through the left’s rhetorical fog and recognized that a commitment to diversity means protecting everyone’s individual religious expression.”
Said Shannon, “I am so thankful that the court ruled in my favor and that Killeen ISD’s efforts to ban my Charlie Brown Christmas poster have failed.”
Story continues below video
The Killeen Independent School District board on Tuesday voted 6-1 to develop new guidelines for the school system related to Christmas decorations, essentially affirming the principal, who had ordered it taken down.
The suit, filed by Texas Values, had argued, in part, “The inclusion of Bible verses or religious messages on student or teacher-sponsored holiday decorations does not violate Texas law.”
The poster is based upon the 1965 animated special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, which has aired on broadcast TV every year since then.
Do you agree with the judge’s decision? Share your thoughts in the section below:
KILLEEN, Texas – First, an Oregon school urged staff not to put up Santa decorations. Now, a Texas principal has ordered a staff member to remove a Charlie Brown Christmas display.
The latest crazy holiday controversy involves Charles E. Patterson Middle School clinic aide Dedra Shannon, who placed a large poster of Linus on her door with the words from the classic cartoon, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord … That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown – Linus.”
Earlier this month the principal told her to take it down because of its religious nature, and on Tuesday the Killeen Independent School District board voted 6-1 to develop new guidelines for the school system – although the staff member still won’t be allowed to put her display back up. School board President Terry Delano was the lone “no” vote and told a local TV station he had no problems with the display.
“I didn’t feel like the poster violated the Constitution or based on what I read from the attorney general or publications that it did not violate the Constitution and in fact may have violated the Merry Christmas Law,” Delano told Fox 7 in Austin. “I believe that we have come to a place in our nation where we are taking Christ out of everything and in this case the very word ‘Christmas.’ And it concerns me that someday we won’t even be able to say that.”
The Merry Christmas Law was signed by former Gov. Rick Perry as a way to protect religious expression.
Jonathan Saenz, an attorney and president of the group Texas Values, has urged the school to permit the poster. He is representing Shannon.
“Just about everyone that you hear from cannot believe that we’ve reached a place in America and in Texas, where a Charlie Brown Christmas poster is being torn down in our public schools,” Saenz told KCEN.
Said Shannon, “I believe it is discrimination not to allow Christians like myself to put up a display that is simply an expression of the story of Christmas.”
What is your opinion? Should the poster be banned? Share your thoughts in the section below:
An uptick in violence has taken place in the United States in recent years. With over 10 incidents of school shootings in 2016 so far and additional incidents expected before the end of the year, it’s more important than ever that school staff prepare themselves for these and other so-called “random” acts of violence.
Students and adult campus visitors acquire weapons from:
- Family members and friends
- 3D printer designs shared freely online
- Merchants who don’t follow gun control laws
- Domestic and international terrorist groups
To keep students and yourself as safe as possible when violence erupts, do the following at your school immediately.
Educate Students and Staff
Educating students and colleagues about random violence is critical to their safety. Speak with your school administrator about providing classes that deal with situational awareness and recognizing the signs of a potential sudden violent event, protocols for reporting these signs and appropriate reactions to violence. Run live drills involving different scenarios to help students and staff better understand what to expect so that they’re more likely to remember their lessons during the real thing.
Involve Parents and Guardians
A community that works together to prevent violence has a better chance of doing so. Beyond asking parents/guardians for permission to teach their children critical survival skills, ask them to become active participants in the process. If any parents/guardians or their relatives are emergency first responders, ask them to speak at the school about their jobs and their protocols for responding to different worse case scenarios of random violence. Prepare parents/guardians for the potential questions about random violence that they might receive from their children. Additionally, talk to them about their own situational awareness and the actions they should take if they observe questionable events taking place when visiting the campus.
Take Self Defense Classes
You can’t hope to protect others if you don’t know how to protect yourself. Seek out a self-defense teacher who has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Keep in mind that the degree is important as post-graduate studies often focus on individual and group security measures related to random acts of violence. Take notes so that you can pass the knowledge and guidance you receive from your own teacher to students, teachers, other staff members and parents/guardians.
You can’t always prevent violence from occurring on a school campus, but you can help reduce injuries and deaths. Be as prepared as possible by implementing these techniques into your educational routine. Preventative safety measures save lives.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
A public school official in Florida has urged citizens to fight truancy by reporting any children they suspect might not be in school or being educated — including homeschool families.
It is all part of an “anti-truancy” initiative called Operation Round Up, in which residents of Jackson County, Florida, are urged to be on the lookout for children not in school and to report them to school officials or to police.
A truancy report can lead to a home check by sheriff’s deputies or police and possibly the arrest of the parents, TV station WJHG reported.
The policy of the Jackson County School District is to send law enforcement to the homes of suspected truants.
“Sometimes if these citizens don’t call me, I have no way of knowing,” Shirl Williams, director of student services for the school system, told the TV station. “So if it’s a nosy neighbor, be a nosy neighbor. Just call me and let me check out the situation.”
Williams acknowledged that homeschool children can be mistaken for truants but urged citizens to report them so school authorities can investigate.
“Sometimes the community will see them around town and they think, ‘Hey, they’re not being educated.’ Sometimes the community is right,” Williams said.
Home School Legal Defense Association attorney TJ Schmidt wrote Williams and the Jackson County superintendent, saying that while truancy is a problem, homeschoolers should not be targeted.
“Your statements suggest that everyone should report children they think aren’t being educated,” the letter read. “In our opinion, this is a threatening practice, and will instill a spirit of suspicion and hostility against homeschoolers in the community.”
Schmidt wrote to Williams after a parent saw her on TV and complained to HSDLA.
What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:
It’s time to update the plan Yay! (Insert happy dance). School is back in session and I can hardly contain my happiness at having order, (or something like it) return to my home. Even the chaos of the first month while getting settled in school is superior to the craziness of summer break. I love the […]
An unidentified mother in Mississippi lost custody of her 12-year-old son last month because she withdrew him from public school on doctor’s advice.
Police actually came to the woman’s home and seized the boy away before the family was reconciled.
The tragic story began during the spring, when a doctor recommended the boy stay home from school because he suffered from migraines and a mass in his chest, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSDLA) reported. Staying in school could make the boy’s health condition worse, the doctor said.
Despite that, a prosecutor charged the mother with child neglect due to the boy’s absences, and in June a judge ordered the woman to send the boy to school or “provide a valid excuse for nonattendance,” HSLDA reported.
But the woman, wanting to do what was best for her son and wishing to follow the doctor’s advice, chose what is known as a public-school-at-home program, which would provide her with special resources.
“But in August, police showed up at the mother’s home to take custody of her son—even though his doctor had provided letters excusing his absence from school,” HSLDA reported.
She only was able to get her son back with the help of two local attorneys. One of those attorneys, Steve Thornton, represented her at a hearing the day after her son was seized and helped reunite the family. The boy was returned.
“Failure to attend public school is not grounds for the state to take custody of a child,” HSDLA contact attorney Dan Beasley explained. “And here you have authorities trying to show child neglect when a mother is basically keeping her son away from an environment that is injurious to him.”
The mom currently is “working on establishing a homebound program” for her son, according to HSLDA.
What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:
Off-grid living has many shapes and forms, but living on a 1970 converted school bus generally isn’t one of them.
Yet one American family is doing exactly that, and on this week’s encore presentation of Off The Grid Radio, we talk to a member of the family, Sarah Springfield, who tells us about the joys and challenges of off-grid bus living.
She, her husband and their four children have lived on the double-decker International school bus for a year and have lessons that every American – on and off the gird – could learn.
Sarah tells us:
- How much money they’ve saved living on the bus – and why they’re doing it.
- What she doesn’t miss about living in a house – and what she does miss.
- How they’re obtaining electricity and water.
- What life on a bus is like with three small kids and an infant (yes, child No. 4 is a baby).
- Where they purchased the bus – and where you can get one, too.
The bus has an electric kitchen and a bathroom and other modern-day luxuries we take for granted. But it doesn’t have all the “junk” and “stuff” that piles up in every American room. Why? They don’t have room for it.
Do you think you may be interested in living on a bus? Sarah gives advice on that, too. But even if you’re fine staying in your house, you’ll learn something you can use in your everyday life.
Listen as the mother from one of America’s most unique and inspiring off-grid families shares her story!
Every September is the official National Preparedness Month in the U.S. If you don’t have one of these special dates in your country, you can either establish one for yourself and your family or begin a letter-writing and petition campaign to convince your government that one is needed.
Over the years of encouraging people to get prepared for everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios, I’ve always known that most people give the idea lip service. Knowing the importance of “getting prepped” is not very different from knowing that it’s better to be a healthy weight, eat right, drink lot of water, and exercise. We all KNOW that stuff. We just don’t all DO it.
And right there is what makes the difference between a family who is ready to quickly and quietly load up the car with supplies, the kids, and the pets and hightail it away from danger to one who either scrambles at the last minute, deep in the black zone and forgetting what to pack, like these folks did during the huge Fort MacMurray fires. Worse are those who are totally unaware until there IS no escape. Honestly? Most people fall into those 2 latter categories.
I don’t want even one of my readers to be caught unaware by fire, flood, extreme weather, or any other type of disaster. (Take my 5-question Threat Assessment Quiz here to figure out what are the most likely dangers you face.) This blog is chock full of over 1700 articles, my family survival manual, Survival Mom, should be on every family’s bookshelf (no kidding!), and my second book, Emergency Evacuations: Get Out Fast When it Matters Most, details exactly what, when, where, and how you should evacuate from a dangerous situation.
I’ve worked hard over the years to provide you with the very best advice I could, but this last spring, I realized it hasn’t been enough. Most of you know you should prep, you read about prepping, maybe put a few things in place, and then get distracted by life, as I did myself earlier this year. When that happens, you still are not ready, especially for a true worst case scenario. And what could those be? We don’t have to look very far to see examples all over the world — and please don’t lapse into normalcy bias and think, “It could never happen here.”
- Venezuela, once the most prosperous country in South America, utterly collapses in economic turmoil, with empty food shelves, food riots, and desperate people.
- Random terrorist attacks in places most would have considered safe.
- A rising tide of anger and unrest, resulting in extreme and violent riots that sometimes last for days.
- A government that can be slow to respond to true and desperate calamities, such as the flooding in Louisiana this summer. Did you realize this disaster is the third worst to hit our country after Katrina and Hurricane Sandy? I’ll bet you didn’t, since only scant attention was given in mainstream media. Federal response was described as “pitiful”.
I’m determined to never be one of the hungry, desperate moms lining up, or rioting!, just to get some bottled water and a bag of groceries. I’m far too independent-minded for that, and I’ll bet you are, too.
The Prepping Intensive
So, here’s what I’ve done so that you and your family are prepared for all types of scenarios. I created a 10-week live course, complete with actual classes, assignments, assessments, and…accountability! If you’re serious about getting yourself, your family, and your home prepped, you can’t afford to NOT take this class.
The timing is perfect! Not only is it the start of National Preparedness Month but the kids, and grandkids, are back in school. It really is the perfect time to direct your attention to something of vital and life-saving importance — and, you can teach what you learn to your other family members and friends.
The course covers just about everything:
- Water and sanitation
- A complete food storage education
- Power outage readiness
- Natural disaster preparedness
- Survival when you’re away from home
- Health and fitness for survival
- Setting up a survival retreat no matter where you are
- Worst case scenarios
We’ve covered all the bases but then we’ve brought in some amazing guest speakers for you:
- Dr. Arthur T. Bradley — This guy wrote the book on EMP preparedness, literally.
- Merriwether — A nationally known foraging expert and author
- Jim Cobb — Author of 9 prepper books, ranging from home security to surviving the end of the world
- Selco — Bosnian war survivor who write about his experiences on SHTFSchool
- Fernando Aguirre (FerFAL) — Lived through Argentina’s economic collapses and tells it like it is
- Patrice Lewis — Author, blogger, and expert homesteader. She contributed this very popular article to my blog.
We have more speakers scheduled, but you get the idea. If you’re wondering if you’ll be able to attend all these classes, each one is recorded and will be available to you, 24/7.
Here’s the Sneak Peek
I don’t expect you to plunk down your registration fee without actually seeing what you’re buying. I’ve written too many articles about the importance of frugal living to want you to do that! So, if you would like to see a sample of one of our training modules, here you go!
And, we’ve expanded just a bit to offer more than a 10 week course (which you have access to for a year!). We’ve also created a separate Student Center for members only. This separate site has a forum, webinar recording archive, a Book of the Month Club (all prepper/apocalyptic/survival books — I promise!), and coming this fall, mini-courses you can take any time, 24/7. You get a 1-year membership to the Student Center with your class registration!
Check out the Student Center at this Sneak Peek link. Since this is all so new, we have a lot of room to grow, with lots of ideas for things that will help you get fully prepped. Just talking and thinking about it will never help you and your family survive.
We start on 9/11
Someone asked me if our start date of September 11, was significant in any way. The answer is no! We want you to take this course and take action, every single week, and then take a break just before Thanksgiving and the holiday season arrive.
However, this doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to sign up. Registration closes for good on September 18.
If you’ve ever wished you could just TALK with someone about prepping and ask all your crazy questions, get expert advice on your own special circumstances — this was designed for you. Not only am I very active in the course, teaching a handful of classes myself, but Daisy Luther, author, blogger, and homesteader, is right there, too.
We want to help you get fully prepared for an uncertain future. Join our group of students today and start working through our Student Orientation to be ready for launch day, September 11. This is the perfect time for this!
*The course is fully detailed at this link, Preppers University.
P.S. If you can’t join us this time around, we have another session starting in January. Sign up here to get updates whenever new classes are starting AND to get our Prepping To Do List every month!
If you live in a homestead and try to homeschool your kids, then doing so may be one of the most challenging tasks you have to face every day.
On top of gardening, food preservation, animal care, mucking, cooking meals, child care AND a dozen more chores in the home and farm, homeschooling is an added responsibility that doesn’t always fit neatly in your day-to-day schedule.
Depending on the number and ages of your children, homeschooling can be either a complex or tedious job that places constant demands on you – mentally, emotionally and time-wise. Whether you use structured curricula or opt for more flexible, non-traditional teaching methods, and whether you do it alone or with others’ help, it’s still a ball to include in the juggling act you already do every day, keeping a family and a homestead together.
And, whether you’ve just begun with a single preschool child, or you are a seasoned veteran who’s homeschooled three or four middle and high schoolers, you know how things can go crazy both in the home and in the farm without warning. A nanny goat gives birth to a kid who gets goat chill, needing emergency care; a fence gets broken and needs repair before nightfall; baskets of fresh produce sit in your kitchen, awaiting canning; one of the children gets a fever.
Life on the farm is a far cry from the routine of an office job. At times, in fact, it can be downright dirty and unpredictable. How on earth can you provide a semblance of order, regularity and sanity in the midst of chaos and complexity?
Here are a few tips that can help you manage the homesteading-homeschooling lifestyle without practically losing your mind.
1. Follow your own time. Choose a time of day that works for you and your household. If you prefer finishing the morning chores first – watering the garden, taking animals out to pasture, baling hay — do so, while the weather is mild. Then get indoors when the sun is too hot so you can settle down and shift to your role as teacher. That goes for months and seasons as well. There are those who choose to follow an agrarian calendar, since the autumn months are spent harvesting and canning. Others spread the school load throughout the year, stopping to enjoy one- to two-week breaks on different months only as needed.
2. Integrate homesteading into homeschooling. If you desire and foresee your children pursuing the same lifestyle as you and your spouse’s, begin training them in the farming way of life as soon as they’re ready. Children as young as five or six can already be taught simple skills like watering plants, weeding, feeding chickens, harvesting eggs.
Whenever any of our goat dams give birth, I immediately stop class; rather, I transfer the class into the barn for an on-the-spot training in animal husbandry. My 11-year-old daughter started serving as “birthing assistant” when she was eight. Holding a tray in her hands containing gloves, scissors, iodine, cotton balls and towels, she’s assisted my husband many times in the birthing process and already knows what to do. In a few years she can probably birth a kid on her own.
Remember that homesteading is a lot of science education in itself. Seed-starting is botany. Composting is soil science. Animal processing teaches anatomy. Fermenting kombucha is chemistry. Where else can you find a diversity of real-life, real-time lessons on the spot and on a continuing basis?
Story continues below video
3. Provide the basics, then take it from there. In terms of courses, provide the “3 Rs” — reading, `riting, `rithmetic — then see where your child’s skills and interests take him. After setting a rudimentary course, add and tweak as you go. As years progress and he matures, decide which path he (and the Lord) wants for him and choose which subjects to give priority to. Will it be the sciences? Math? Language? The arts? How about non-traditional lessons that complement an off-grid lifestyle: Beekeeping? Carpentry? Aquaponics? How to harness renewable energy?
4. Include lots of fun stuff. Take the class outdoors. Camping, hunting, bouldering, building a fort, making a small waterwheel, designing a hover craft, the list goes on. For every age and stage in a child’s life there’s a hundred things to learn and discover that can’t be taught in the classroom, and aren’t dependent on the grid. On days that are way too busy or when emergencies arise and you can’t follow the day’s assignments, keep books, analytical board games, puzzles and Sudoku on hand to keep a child mentally busy for several hours. Meanwhile…
5. Don’t forget the “university” of the Internet. There are countless sites online that teach lessons, academic or not, for free. Our children have acquired dozens of skills from YouTube — from piano to sewing to bushcraft to baking.
6. Take periodic breaks. A weary, burned-out, unhappy parent-teacher makes for an unhappy home, homestead and schoolroom. Try to enlist the help of a husband, grandparent, friend or sitter (if your children are young) so you can go to town and take a breather. If you can’t leave your kids, bring them with you and go on a bi-monthly or quarterly field trip where they can learn without your direct supervision. A trip to the museum, zoo, the ballet, a permaculture farm. Even just a half-day visit to the library every couple of weeks can take some load off your back.
Story continues below video
7. Realize you can’t do everything. Homeschooling takes a whole lot of patience, commitment, sacrifice AND the humble admission that you won’t be able to do it all, all of the time. Find a homeschool co-op. Start one if you can’t find any. Look for other homeschooling families in your neighborhood, church or county. Even just joining an online forum can provide the encouragement you need when you’re in distress, overwhelmed and ready to give up.
8. Ultimately, major on the majors. What skills, habits and values do you really want to develop in your children? For my husband and me, it’s their love for reading. Writing. Research. Critical thinking. Finding alternatives. Innovation.
What work ethic would you want them to have? Are diligence, self-motivation and perseverance encouraged? Over the months and years, as you see your student improve in these traits, give him – and yourself — a pat on the back. You’ve both done a great job! These are attributes not usually applauded or emphasized in traditional schools, where rote learning is the norm and the highest praises are reserved primarily for getting good grades.
What advice would you add on homeschooling while homesteading? Share your tips in the section below:
Zero tolerance run amok almost destroyed the lives of two high school students in Escondido, California. Brandon Cappelletti, 18, and Sam Serrato, 16, faced expulsion from school and criminal charges because security guards found knives used for fishing and other chores in their vehicles.
“Sometimes I can’t sleep and I wake up in the middle of the night,” Serrato, a junior, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “If I end up getting expelled, I’d have to go to a community college. It’s not what I really want to do. My whole life would change.”
Security guards found a pocketknife with a blade more than two and a half inches long – the maximum allowed length under state law — in the glove compartment of his SUV while it was in the parking lot at San Pasqual High School. The knife didn’t even belong to Serrato; it belonged to his dad, who had put it there after purchasing it weeks earlier.
For that transgression, Serrato could have faced up to a year in jail and expulsion from school, which would have made him ineligible to play football. Serrato is an honor student who is hoping for a football scholarship to a four-year school.
Cappelletti almost saw his dream of serving in the Marine Corps disappear. The branch’s high standards make even a misdemeanor a disqualification for service. Cappelletti had left three knives in his pickup truck following a fishing trip in January and forgot about them; the knives were used for cutting fishing line and fileting the fish. Like Serrato, he never actually took a knife into the school.
State Law Mandates Zero Tolerance
The two ran afoul of a California state law that makes it a misdemeanor to bring a knife with a blade longer than two and a half inches on school property. Security guards found the weapons while searching for drugs with drug-sniffing dogs, although the guards found no drugs.
School officials tried to expel the two, but that provoked a backlash which prompted a large crowd to fill a school board meeting. Even some school officials turned out to support the two.
“I’m willing to stick my neck out for these kids because they are the kind we want representing us in society,” football coach Tony Corley told a reporter. “They made an honest mistake. They will learn from it and I hope their lives won’t change because of an innocent mistake.”
Officials apparently listened, and on February 13, The Union-Tribune reported that no criminal charges would be filed and the two will be able to return to school. That will enable Cappelletti to report to Marine boot camp this summer.
“Following the review, and based on the totality of the circumstances, the Escondido Police Department has decided to not submit the cases to the District Attorney’s Office, or to the Juvenile Diversion Program,” Lt. Ed Varso of the Escondido Police Department said in a statement. “No charges will be pursued in the case.”
What is your reaction to this story? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Taking kids out of school – even if it’s related to the death of a relative — can cost a fortune if you live in the United Kingdom.
Kerry and Richard Bowering were fined $1,350 (£950) for taking their three school-age daughters on vacation to Spain to heal after their grandmother’s tragic death.
“In January, their gran (grandmother) died of cancer and then at the end of February their mum had a hysterectomy for cervical cancer,” Richard Bowering told Yahoo News UK. “They were really badly affected by those things – it was a nightmare time – so we thought we would give them a break and take them on holiday. I asked for a bit of compassion to allow us to do that. I asked the headmistress (principal) for permission and she refused.”
The family that lives in Bristol, England, decided to take the trip anyway. That led the Bristol City Council to fine them around $85 per parent for each of the children. A local court then increased the fines to $1,350 when the parents did not show up in court.
“The council has a duty to follow the current legislation and national guidelines relating to pupil attendance, as set out in the Department for Education’s guidance,” a spokesman for the Bristol City Council told the website. “This includes fines which are also set out by central government.”
In the United Kingdom, schools are administered by local governments but all school policy is set by Her Majesty’s Government. This includes mandatory attendance, which can be very costly as the Bowerings discovered.
Even pictures of fantasy weapons are banned under some schools’ zero-tolerance policies. A seventh grader in Texas was told to cover up a T-shirt because it had a picture of a Star Wars stormtrooper with a laser gun on it.
“You’re talking about a Star Wars T-shirt, a week before the biggest movie of the year comes out,” the boy’s father, Joe Southern, told TV station ABC 13. “It has nothing to do with guns or making a stand. It’s just a Star Wars shirt.”
Administrators at George Junior High School in Texas told Southern’s son, Colton, to cover up a Star Wars: The Force Awakens T-shirt because it has a picture of a fictional character, an Imperial Stormtrooper, aiming an imaginary weapon on it. A spokesperson for the Lamar Consolidated District said the shirt violated a dress code than bans “symbols oriented towards violence.”
Southern was not told to get rid of the shirt. Instead, he was instructed simply to zip up his jacket to cover it up. Southern’s dad is perplexed because his son had worn the shirt to school several times prior to this, without incident.
“He’s a Boy Scout, active in church, volunteers at Brazos Bend State Park,” Joe Southern said of his son. “There’s not a violent bone in his body. He’s just an excited kid for the movie.”
School administrations could have suspended him but chose not to do so.
Parents had better be careful what their kids wear to school these days. Even clothing that’s been around for decades can violate some zero-tolerance policies.
Do you believe the student should have been required to cover his shirt? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Pathfinder School, Knife, & Self-Reliance!
Josh “The 7 P’s of Survival”
Hold on to your hats Ladies and Gentlemen this show is a barn burner and race against the clock! Tonight we will have Jamie Burleigh (lead instructor at the Pathfinder School) on the show to talk about all things Pathfinder! This will be a Special episode of the 7 P’s of Survival and we had to secured an extra ½ hour of air time to allow for all the questions in the Chat Room.
A large part of the show was dedicated to the introduction of the Pathfinder Knife Shop (henceforth “PKS”) a subsidiary of the Self Reliance Outfitters (henceforth “SRO”). Currently PKS offers four knives: Phantom 2, Scorpion, Scorpion HD, Kephart, and maybe a special announcement about upcoming knives! See the knives and visit the website HERE!
While I haven’t got a chance to get one of these knives in my hands yet they look amazing and have the specifications and lifetime guarantee to back up their products just like the other major players in the custom self-reliance knife business. Also being that it is backed by the SRO, I’m positive that you will enjoy your blade just as much as their other products.
We then transition over to a few staple products at the pathfinder school that I love: Stainless Steel Bottle Kit, Stainless Steel Bushpot, and many more products just to name a few. There also may be a few new product revelations in this section of the show. I know many or you want to know about the decelerator that pairs with the stainless bottle kit mentioned above and I also ask and see if any information can be given at this time as it seems like the perfect pairing for that kit! We talk about upcoming events and upcoming specials and what we can expect from the pathfinder school going forward. We also talk about a couple of the products Jamie designed himself: 1) Burleigh Blam and 2) Bug Shot. I have personally used Burleigh Balm and it works amazingly.
Once we got through that section of the conversation we talk a little bit about the Pathfinder School, its classes and survival philosophy. We talk about all of their course offerings at the Ohio School location, the 10 C’s of survivability and remote/correspondence courses. We talk what you would need to make it through a PF Class, what to do to prepare for a PF Class and the general order in which you should take your PF Classes. We also discuss Pathfinder TV (a YouTube subscription service) that has a ton of instructional videos as well as the Schools old YouTube channel that has some of the best self-reliance related material on the internet.
Visit the Pathfinders website HERE!
Visit 7P’s Survival Blog HERE!
Listen to this broadcast “Pathfinder School, Knife, & Self-Reliance” in player below!
There’s a new addition at some upstate New York schools that may make many parents uneasy. Workers from Erie County Child Protective Services (CPS) will have a physical presence in each school, monitoring children every week.
“So, instead of having their office down in 478 Main St., they will work out of that school,” Erie County Social Services Commissioner Al Dirschberger told The Buffalo News. He said that among other duties, the CPS employees will be able to quickly investigate children and their families.
“If we collaborate better, we can provide better investigations and better services to the community, but also we can identify families that have needs and we can prevent CPS calls,” Dirschberger said. He also said teachers and administrators will be monitoring students and reporting to CPS.
“If a school identifies a family that needs help, whether it be a mental health issue, struggling with a drug or alcohol issue, they can talk to the CPS worker and make connections back to our department,” Dirschberger added. “And we can refer that family for services so we can prevent a CPS call.”
Not surprisingly, some parents and others are not very happy with the presence of CPS in schools. A number of negative reactions were recorded at the ParentalRights.org Facebook page. That group is pushing for a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ParentalRights.org is headed by Michael P. Farris, president of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
- “My child would be pulled from this school system,” Teresa Swango wrote. “Under NO circumstances should DCF (Department of Children and Families) be given an office or be involved this closely with the school.”
- “I love how these freedoms are being taken away so silently, so in the backdoor so that so many unsuspecting folks are thinking this is a good thing …,” Teresa Firek wrote.
- “You know … in Scotland, they just passed a law that designates a social worker to every single child, even in utero,” Diedre Caldwell Johnson wrote. “These social workers rights over the child trump parents. Watch out … it will be coming this way someday soon. Seems like it’s already here.”
- “More reason to homeschool,” Janee Campbell wrote. “Almost weekly I hear things that make me glad I don’t have to send my kids to public school. I know many don’t have a choice but more and more public school is becoming an unsafe place as far as family is concerned.”
- “Don’t get me wrong. There’s a place for CPS,” Kirra Armour wrote. “… But placing CPS workers in the school will put them in a position of needing to find children to remove from their homes to justify their existence. As another poster put it, this is a ‘make-work’ program; but the only work they can make up is to take children when they would be far better off at home.”
As Off The Grid News reported, in 2014 the Scottish Parliament passed a law called the Children and Young People Bill that mandates a government-approved guardian for every child in the country.
Three children in recent years under Erie County CPS supervision died, The Buffalo News reported. The county responded by hiring 37 additional workers and 12 more part-time investigators.
CPS workers will be at the schools once or twice each week.
There are a growing number of organizations that provide legal services to parents entangled with entities such as CPS. Two such organizations are The Family Defense Center and the Home School Legal Defense Association.
What are your thoughts on CPS workers being in schools? Is it a good idea or bad idea? Share your thoughts in the section below:
When I think of school starting, I still imagine red and orange leaves and cool temperatures; it wasn’t that long ago that we thought of fall as schooltime.
Not so today. Many kids in the United States are meeting their new teachers right now, in early August—one of the hottest months of the year. If you have children, do they know how to deal with the heat on their own, on the playground, sports field, or school bus?
Because it is downright hot out there. This week, a chunk of the Southeast has been under a heat advisory or excessive heat warning; temperatures have reached above 100. And throughout much of the rest of the U.S., temps have been in the 80s and 90s. How is it where you are?
Last week, a French couple died while hiking sand dunes in New Mexico. Their 9-year-old son, who was with them, survived. How?
Benny House, the local sheriff thinks one big reason is simply that the couple gave their son more water. “The parents would take a drink, give him two drinks,” he told KVIA, a station based in El Paso, Texas. (They had to ration in this way because they didn’t have nearly enough water for everybody, according to CNN.)
Water helps your body cool itself. You need it for sweat. And you need more of it in the heat because you sweat. When you get dehydrated, you’re at higher risk for heat exhaustion and then heatstroke.
So if your kids play outside for recess or partake in after-school sports, make sure they know to drink plenty of water. They should drink it not just while they’re being active but throughout the day so they’re already well hydrated when they start the activity. Kids often don’t think about staying hydrated, and they can’t always rely on their thirst to tell them when they need more water. Ideally, if they’re playing in the heat, they should take a break about every 20 minutes and drink a glass.
Break It Up
When I was in elementary school in Mississippi, our building had no air conditioning. Today, there are still some schools like that in the North. But for most kids in the U.S., cool schoolrooms provide a healthy respite on those hot days.
However, when kids are participating in outdoor sports, they’re out working hard in the heat for a long time with no indoor breaks. Make sure they wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, and encourage them to stay in the shade when they can.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends not having kids jump into long, high-intensity activities but rather to increase the activity gradually. They also suggest being especially careful on humid days.
This Is Your Red-Flag Warning
Teach kids the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The more people around them who also know the signs the better because confusion and disorientation are two of the signs, and they can be hard to recognize in yourself. You need someone else to be watching out for you. Unfortunately, the French man who died in the desert reportedly fell victim to disorientation. Per CNN:
[H]e repeatedly told his son “the truck is right up there,” though they were more than a mile into the trail, the sheriff said.
His wife was apparently not with them at that time. (She’d tried to return to the truck earlier because she wasn’t feeling good.)
Above all, besides your child, the coach should be well-versed in heat-related illness—both the signs and on-the-scene treatment. Ask what the coaching team’s protocol is.
Playing outside and participating in sports is a fun, healthy part of growing up. If your kids have been playing outdoors a lot and it’s been hot this summer, they’re probably pretty well acclimated to a certain amount of heat. So that’s good. But excessive heat, prolonged exposure, or increased activity can still put them at risk for heat-related illness. Taking a few simple precautions helps keep them healthy and safe so they can enjoy these sunny days to the most—before the leaves do turn orange and the temperatures turn cool and the back-to-school weather gets back to what it used to be.
You May Also Like:
- How to Keep a Heat Rash From Turning Dangerous
- My 15 Ultimate Beat-the-Heat Tips
- What I Learned as Lifeguard Could Save Your Child From Drowning
- Knee Injury Prevention: Lessons Learned From Girls Soccer
- Pop Quiz: Do You Know How to Survive the Heat?