Posts Tagged ‘Suicide’

Hitchens: Dyslexia is NOT a Disease. It is an Excuse For Bad Teachers!

March 2, 2014

 

dyslexia

While I cannot comment on a report that claims there is no easy definition for dyslexia, I do agree that learning difficulties and ADHD labels have been helpful to poor teachers looking for an excuse.

Mr Hitchens has gone a lot further than I would, but the fact that many teachers rely on labels such as dyslexia to avoid full responsibility for a child’s lack of progress is hard to dispute:

I doubt there has ever been a society so easily fooled by pseudo-science and quackery as ours is. Millions of healthy people take happy pills that  do them obvious harm, and are increasingly correlated with inexplicable suicide and worse.

Legions of healthy children are drugged into numbness because they fidget during  boring lessons, and countless people are persuaded that they or their children suffer from  a supposed disease called ‘dyslexia’, even though there is no evidence at all that it exists.

A few weeks ago I rejoiced at the first major cracks in this great towering dam of lies. Dr Richard Saul brought out his courageous and overdue book, ADHD Does Not Exist.

I also urge everyone to read James Davies’s book Cracked, on the inflated claims of psychiatry since it sold its soul to the pill-makers.

Now comes The Dyslexia Debate, published yesterday, a rigorous study of this alleged ailment by two distinguished academics – Professor Julian  Elliott of Durham University, and Professor Elena Grigorenko of Yale University.

Their book makes several points. There is no clear definition of what ‘dyslexia’ is. There is no objective diagnosis of it. Nobody can agree on how many people suffer from it. The widespread belief that it is linked with high intelligence does not stand up to analysis.

And, as Parliament’s Select Committee on Science and Technology said in 2009: ‘There is no convincing evidence  that if a child with dyslexia is not labelled as dyslexic, but receives full support for his or her reading difficulty, that the child will do any worse than a child who is labelled dyslexic and then receives special help.’

 This is because both are given exactly the same treatment. But as the book’s authors say: ‘Being labelled dyslexic can be perceived as desirable for many reasons.’ These include extra resources and extra time in exams. And then there’s the hope that it will ‘reduce the shame and embarrassment that are often the consequence of literacy difficulties. It may help exculpate the child, parents and teachers from any perceived sense of responsibility’.

I think that last point is the decisive one and the reason for the beetroot-faced fury that greets any critic of ‘dyslexia’ (and will probably greet this book and article). If it’s really a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. But it is somebody’s fault. For the book also describes the furious resistance, among teachers,  to proven methods of teaching children to read. Such methods have been advocated by  experts since Rudolf Flesch wrote his devastating book Why Johnny Can’t Read almost 60 years ago.

There may well be a small number of children who have physical problems that stop them learning to read. The invention of ‘dyslexia’ does nothing to help them. It means they are uselessly lumped in with millions of others who have simply been badly taught.

It also does nothing for  that great majority of poor readers. They are robbed of one of life’s great pleasures and essential skills.

What they need, what we all need, is proper old-fashioned teaching, and who cares if the silly teachers think it is ‘authoritarian’? That’s what teaching is.

Click on the link to read my post on Valuable Tips for Teaching Children With Autism
Click on the link to read my post on Autistic Boy Gives an Inspiring Graduation Speech

Click on the link to read my post on Girl Banned from Museum because Her Wheelchair May Dirty Their Carpet

Click on the link to read my post on Disabled Children: A Missed Opportunity for Us All

Click on the link to read my post on Meet the 14-Year-Old on his Way to Becoming a Nobel Prize Winner (Video)

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Teacher Runs Suicide Note Writing Workshop

May 24, 2013

simon

Anyone interested in the aptly named School of Death? I hope not:

Philosophy professor Simon Critchley from New York City’s New School said he believes that the only way to really learn how to live is to prepare to die.

So, as part of a larger theatrical installation this spring called School of Death, he offered a suicide note writing workshop to anyone who was interested in appreciating its literary art form.

The notes studied ranged from the terse and emotionally conflicted — “Dear Betty: I hate you, Love George” — to the narcissistic: “Now you will appreciate me.”

“The worst thing that can befall us is to die alone,” said Critchley, 53. “And the suicide note in some strange way is not to die alone. It’s always addressed to someone. It’s a failed attempt at communication.”

The Short Video You MUST Watch!

January 27, 2013

 

The teacher that had the courage and drive to make this heartfelt and inspirational video must be congratulated. Catherine Hogan, a teacher from Lindsay Place, has captured the very essence of what drives a caring, passionate teacher and her message is bound to alter some misconceptions felt by many students and parents. I was deeply moved and touched by this poignant and heartwarming clip.

Please watch this video and get your friends and family to do the same. Please notify others about its existence on Facebook and other social media devices. Only 12,624 have watched it from YouTube as I write this. This number doesn’t properly do justice to the quality and raw power of the clip.

lindsay

Click on the link to read Dying Teacher on Journey to Find Out if he Made a Difference

Click on the link to read Introducing the World’s Oldest Teacher

Click on the link to read School Shooting Showcases the Heroic Nature of Brilliant Teachers

Click on the link to read Meet the Armless Math Teacher

Click on the link to read The Case of a Teacher Suspended for Showing Integrity

Click on the link to read Teaching is Worth It!

Teachers Can’t Afford to Make Light of Suicide

December 11, 2012

teens

I am sure many will fiercely oppose my view that a teacher who asked her students to write an essay from the perspective of someone about to commit suicide, should not be suspended.

Whilst I am of the belief that suicide should not be taken lightly in the classroom, I can understand the intention of the teacher and can see the benefit of exploring themes of self-esteem, frustration, self-loathing and loneliness, all of which can be conjured up through this essay topic.

A teacher has been suspended after asking a class full of teenagers to write suicide notes.

The man, who has not been named, is a French teacher at the Antoine-Delafont school in Montmoreau-Saint-Cybard, near Angouleme, France.

He told the 13 to 14 year olds to imagine what they would say to themselves if they were about to end their lives out of ‘disgust’ for their lives.

The assignment, set in October, read : ‘You’ve just turned 18. You’ve decided to end your life. Your decision is definitive.

‘In a final surge you decide to put in words the reason behind your decision. In the style of a self-portrait, you describe the disgust you have for yourself. Your text will retrace certain events in your life at the origin of these feelings.’

Teen suicides are becoming a growing problem, made worse by the proliferation of social media and mobile technology, experts say.

A recent study by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America, found that one in 12 US teens have tried to kill themselves at least once.

On a larger scale, suicides made up 13 per cent of all deaths among US youths ages 10 to 24 last year, according to the study.

Neuropsychologist Hector Adames said the rise of communication through technology is a major reason why suicide rates are on the rise.

‘What happens with an increase in communication among students is that there’s more pressure. There’s more bullying.’

‘When adolescents and children feel embarrassed, it’s kind of like the end of the world for them.’

Jean-Marie Renault, the school head, confirmed that the teacher had now been ‘officially notified’ of his suspension, following complaints from parents.

‘It was suggested that a student was on the point of putting an end to his life and describing it,’ said Mr Renault. ‘This appears quite disturbing’.

He said the teacher had confessed to feeling ‘confused’ when he set the writing exercise, and later regretted it.

As bad as this story can be made out to sound, let’s not overreact!

Parents Failing to Protect their Young Children from Porn

December 9, 2012

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The internet has made the job of parents a great deal harder:

More than four in ten parents say that their children have been exposed to internet porn, an official survey reveals.

Almost a third say their sons or daughters have received sexually explicit emails or texts and a quarter say they have been bullied online or on their phones.

Many others have been exposed to websites promoting anorexia, self-harm and even suicide.

The frightening insight is contained in a round-up of responses to a Department for Education consultation on parental internet controls obtained by this paper.

Click on the link to read A Case of Parenting at It’s Worst

Click on the link to read The Most Popular Lies that Parents Tell their Children

Click on the link to read Dad’s Letter to 13-Year Old Son after Discovering he had been Downloading from Porn Sites

Click on the link to read A Parent that Means Well Doesn’t Always Do Well

Click on the link to read A Joke at the Expense of Your Own Child

 

The Disgusting Act by a Teacher that Drove a Schoolgirl to Attempt Suicide

November 26, 2012

Not only doesn’t humiliation work in promoting and nurturing good citizens but it is an absolutely appalling practice. To strip a student naked and parade her in public amounts to disgusting conduct regardless of her infringement.

This story upsets me no end:

The scale of cruelty and corporal punishment in Indian schools was highlighted yesterday by the attempted suicide of 13 year girl who was paraded naked by a teacher for ‘stealing’ £15.

The girl was forced to remove her clothes by a female teacher at a school in north-west Delhi after being accused of stealing money and a mobile phone from a classmate. She returned home after school and jumped off the balcony of her four-storey block of flats. Her relatives said she had been distraught by her public humiliation.

Her case emerged amid a series of reports of brutal attacks on children by teachers throughout India. A four year old boy was forced to drink his own urine by his nursery teacher in Andhra Pradesh to punish him for wetting himself. A five year old boy in the same state was beaten up by a grammar school principal, while a seven year old Dalit girl was thrashed by her mathematics teacher for failing to solve a problem. A teacher was arrested in Madhya Pradesh for partially scalping an eight year old girl .

After reading this, I want even one person to come forward and explain to me how corporal punishment can be legal in some civilised countries.  How is it possible that we can allow any kind of harassment, humiliation or physical consequences, often in the hands of a person who have a clear emotional detachment of the child in question?

Click on the link to read Legalised Corporal Punishment = Legalised Physical Assault

Click on the link to read The New Form of Spanking

Click on the link to read Teachers Who Beat Kids Should Be Put Away!

Click on the link to read Corporal Punishment Reveals the Worst School Has to Offer

Click on the link to read Calls To Allow Teachers To Use “Reasonable Force” on Students

Schools Have an Even Bigger Responsibility than Educating

October 13, 2012

I am by no means making allegations against the due process taken by the school of a suicide victim. I am definitely not accusing them of a failure to act.

However, it is important to note that some schools forget that the most important responsibility of a school is to ensure that each child is given the respect and care that they so richly deserve.

Some schools seem to get carried away with standardized test results, appearances, marketing and uniform. These considerations are certainly not unimportant, but they do not compare with the importance of knowing every student, being aware of any bullying problems that may be prevalent (even if it’s cyberbullying) and doing everything in their powers to create a culture where bullying behaviour is not given oxygen.

It breaks my heart when bullying leads a child to take their life. These incidents can often be averted by a perceptive school community and classmates that refuse to sit by idly and watch a classmate suffer:

A Vancouver-area teen who used YouTube to share her heart-wrenching story of being bullied online and beaten at school has killed herself, unleashing a torrent of social media condolences and soul-searching.

Amanda Todd was found dead in Coquitlam on Wednesday night, less than a month before her 16th birthday.

News of her torment and death are being shared on social media through Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, where #RIPAmanda is trending.

“I’m saddened to see that this was the only [way] this young girl could escape such torment. May she rest in peace,” posted one woman on Facebook.

Last month, Todd posted a nine-minute video on Youtube featuring her holding up cue cards that chronicled the cyber-bullying and cruelty she suffered, despite changing schools and cities.

All schools can revise their operational procedures to see to it that less incidents of child suicide come at the expense of school bullying.

 

Click on the link to read The Rise of Teacher Approved Bullying (Video)

Click on the link to read Nowadays There is Nowhere to Hide From Bullies

Click on the link to read Social Media: A Playground for Bullies

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

 

Labelling Children is Extremely Harmful

July 27, 2012

We have all cheated on something in our lifetime. I’m not endorsing cheating by any means, but we have all done it.

A child who is found to be cheating should be confronted, but not in front of the class and should definitely not have to put up with unnecessary and unhelpful labels and be subjected to gruesome corporal type punishment:

Unable to bear the trauma of being labeled a ‘cheat’ and unable to bear the taunts of her teachers, an 11-year-old girl jumped to her death from the roof of the five-storied apartment building of in which her school. The incident took place is located in Howrah’s Bijoy Kumar Mukherjee Road on Thursday morning. The incident highlights the poor state of affairs in educational institutions across the state. In spite of a blanket ban on corporal punishment, students are regularly falling victim to high-handedness of teachers. This is, however, the first time in recent years that a child has been driven to suicide by those she is supposed to trust and respect.

The principal of the school and the concerned teacher were detained following a complaint from the girl’s father Shiv Narayan Mishra. He claimed that principal Dilip Kumar Dubey gave his daughter a tongue-lashing, telling her to ‘go to hell’ and remain uneducated for the rest of her life. This may have led the Class-VI girl to suicide. While the school operates from the first floor of the building, the other floors have residential flats which had given the kid access to the roof.

Click on the link to read Child Commits Suicide Due to Alleged Systematic Bullying and Inept Teachers

Click on the link to read The Cure for Suicide Isn’t Another Educational Program 

Click on the link to read Sick Teachers Need to be Arrested not Fired!

The Difficulties of Parenting a Bullied Child

March 2, 2012

It must be so difficult on parents to keep their child’s spirit up when they are getting bullied at school or online. My heart goes out to parents of bullied children. It must take quite an emotional toll.

None more so, than father of bullied teen Catherine Bernard:

A government partnership with Facebook is also on the cards to try and stamp out the scourge after schoolgirl Catherine Bernard took her own life earlier this month.

She died after returning home from her first day of year 12.

The 17-year-old Emmaus College student from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs told her dad Michael the night she died she had been bullied at school, and later on Facebook.

An emotional Mr Bernard this morning thanked Education Minister Martin Dixon for taking the issue seriously.

“He has pledged money to support the cause and if he does what he says then it can only be a good thing,” he said.

“All I wanted is to open people’s eyes and I think that is happening.

“People have to take this issue seriously.

“If we can save just one person then it means Catherine didn’t die in vain.”

Psychologist Jodie Benveniste has outlined some tips for parents who suspect their child is a bully.

SIGNS TO LOOK FOR
- Aggressive behaviour beyond the usual sibling spats at home.
- Talking aggressively or negatively about others at school.
- Coming home with money or items that don’t belong to them.
- Spending more time on the internet than usual.
- Being hyped up, aggressive or arrogant after time on the internet.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO
- Model good behaviour. Don’t be aggressive towards your child.
- Teach them appropriate ways to interact with others from a young age.
- Teach them appropriate coping strategies to deal with life’s challenges and disappointments.
- Keep the lines of communication open with your child. Talk to them often.
- Don’t be in denial. Work with your child’s school to address the bullying.


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