SOS

*This draft is so rough, it may as well be 40 grit sandpaper.  Please bear with me while I continue to revise and edit my thoughts into a cohesive use of energy (and hopefully less of a rant). *


SOS: SAVE OUR SCHOOLS

 

MISSION:  TO REINTRODUCE CREATIVE AND CONSTRUCTIVE OUTLETS TO STUDENTS BY WAY OF VOLUNTEER AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS.  TO PROPEL FURTHER STUDY AND AUDIT OF CHILD/ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY; STATE AND FEDERAL SCHOOL PROGRAMS; AFTERCARE AND RELIEF PROGRAMS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY SCHOOL SHOOTINGS; AND THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS IN A COMMUNITY.

 

I’m going to keep this short and sweet for the sake of urgency. 

We took art classes out of schools.

We took music classes out of schools.

We took auto shop classes out of schools.

We’ve taken every form of outlet these children could have ever had a chance in hell with and either abolished it completely or turned it into some sort of paperwork laden nightmare that even the most bureaucratic of us would shudder at.

The children are drowning in paperwork.

The children are shooting each other.

The children need healthy outlets.

Let them throw paint.

Let them sing at the top of their lungs outside together.

Let them write short stories and act them out in groups.

Let them be children again.

 

I am absolutely abhorred at the current lack of interest, enthusiasm, involvement, effort, and overall lack of presence by most of today’s “parents”.   We need to put an end to the constant diffusion of responsibility.  Your kid may not be the one causing disturbances, but there’s a good chance that they’ll share a classroom or hallway with whoever is.  THIS IS A COMMUNITY EFFORT.  WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE.  AND WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE THE SCHOOL SYSTEMS WE HAVE IN PLACE ARE ACTUALLY FOR OUR CHILDRENS’ BENEFITS. 

 

So here’s what we’re going to do:

IF YOU HAVE AN OUNCE OF CREATIVITY IN YOUR BODY AND YOU ENJOY SEEING CHILDREN SMILE AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES BUT SUCK AT ART, IF YOU SING IN THE SHOWER, IF YOU DANCE AROUND THE HOUSE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING, IF YOU BUILD MODELS OR CRAFT, IF YOU KNIT OR CROCHET,  IF YOU COOK OR BAKE, PAINT OR SKETCH, CARVE OR ETCH*, IF YOU DON’T HAVE A CREATIVE BONE IN YOUR BODY BUT WANT TO HELP ANYWAY – WE WANT YOU, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE CHILDREN NEED YOU.

This is neither mandatory nor mandated, but please believe me when I say it is necessary.  Both the school systems and your children need to see this effort.  They need to see that we will not let them make scapegoats out of the parents with struggling children while the school systems aren’t held accountable at all.  THIS IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A SINGLE PARENT OR EVEN A MARRIED COUPLE OF PARENTS.  THIS IS THE FAILURE OF OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS TO PROVIDE OR ATTEMPT TO RESTORE BALANCE PROPERLY.  THIS IS A BLATANT MISUSE OF POWER AND MANIPULATION THROUGH BASIC SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY 101 COURSE MATERIAL.  AND IT’S GOING TO TAKE EVERY SINGLE LAST ONE OF US TO FIX IT.  It is completely beyond me why on earth else we could have gun and rifle clubs in schools across America for the better part of 30 years WITH LITTLE TO NO INCIDENCE OF ACTIVE VIOLENCE.  And yet, when we take art and outlets away from children, suddenly we have an increase in school shootings or threats of violence this drastic.  


Source: Center for Homeland Defense and Security  https://www.chds.us/sssc/charts-graphs/

The children do not need more taken from them.  By only ever integrating art into other classes, it’s stripping away the very heart of what makes it art in the first place.  Students do not need to listen to classical music during math classes.  They need an ungraded, unbiased, unrestricted way to channel themselves. They need help rebuilding and they need to feel safe.  They need their trust restored in their school systems and education if there’s ever to be any hope of good coming from all of this. 

This needs to be taken off the “table for discussion” because frankly, it’s not a discussion anymore.  This country is in crisis.  Our children are in crisis.

They need to see us taking our communities back. 

And make no mistake, we will take our communities back because it takes a village to raise a child and we have over 70 million of them to be accounted for.

Gone are the days of bystanders, my friends.   

It’s time for action.

It’s time for parents to stand up and do right for their children regardless of political red tape.  You know what’s safe for your children.  You know what they need.  Stop waiting for someone else to hand it to you and stand up and take it for yourself. 

The simple act of parents volunteering their time to help students achieve balance in their already hectic, hormone-fueled lives will not go unrewarded.  We all remember what it was like to be a child, to be thirteen, to be seventeen.  For most of us, it was hell even with all the outlets our schools provided.  I could not even begin to imagine what it’s like for students now.  As far as I can tell, it’s become all to akin to prison lately.  It’s time to help your children find freedom.  It’s time to help give them the space to create without judgement.  They have been starving for this.  Do not continue to deprive them of this any longer.  We can no longer afford to wait.


*This is not an all-inclusive list.  If you have suggestions or something else that you’d like to offer as an option, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  The more interested and excited you are in something, the more the children will be.  Bring us your passions!


For more information, please visit the following links:

 

CHDS SCHOOL SHOOTING SAFETY COMPENDIUM: Shooting Incidents at K-12 Schools (Jan 1970-Jun 2022) – Graphs from the Homeland Security Digital Library showing the publicly available data of each and every instance a gun is brandished, fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason.

 https://www.chds.us/sssc/charts-graphs/

 

ARTS INTEGRATION RESEARCH: EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT, ESSA EVIDENCE REVIEW REPORT

https://wallacefoundation.org/sites/default/files/2023-08/Arts-Integration-Research-Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA.pd

 

THE DECLINE OF ART IN SCHOOLS -- “Arts education steadily increased throughout most of the 20th century. But in the 1970s, the arts began to fall victim to fiscal crises and budget cuts. Arts classes were further squeezed out after a 2001 federal law required schools to test children annually. Schools with low test scores felt pressure to devote more time to reading and math. Then the 2008 recession slashed school art budgets even more. The poorest students were sometimes left with no art in school at all.”

https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/60686/why-teach-the-arts-large-randomized-test-finds-improved-student-behavior-and-no-harm-to-test-scores

 

NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS: ARTS EDUCATION POLICIES 2018

https://nces.ed.gov/programs/statereform/tab2_18.asp

 

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES: NEW REPORT MAKES THE CASE FOR ARTS EDUCATION: RECOMMENDS ACCESS FOR ALL SEPT. 1, 2021

https://www.amacad.org/news/arts-education-report

 

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES: ART FOR LIFE’S SAKE: THE CASE FOR ARTS EDUCATION

https://www.amacad.org/publication/case-for-arts-education



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