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GIRLY NATION
Townhall.com ^ | 15 September 2008 | Andrew Roman

Posted on 09/15/2008 6:28:47 AM PDT by andrew roman

There is a frightening penchant in today’s gradually feminizing America for people to abandon their God given ability to think and reason. True authority – the kind that summons respect, reverence and even a touch of fear – is being pushed aside, condemned as antiquated patriarchal nonsense, for more “progressive” methods of trying to maintain order. Thus, authority itself is emasculated, common sense is effectively castrated and unintended consequences create new difficulties where there should be none.

In New York City, for example, students are not permitted to carry their cell phones into school with them (except in very specific circumstances). Apparently, the beeping, chirping and ringing in classrooms was enough of a distraction to prompt a flat-out city-wide ban – even though the vast majority of students do not use them while in school.

Most kids, in fact, use their cell phones to stay in contact with parents after school. Seeing as city-street pay phones are quickly going the way of the eight-track tape, cell phones have proven – at least in this context – a positive thing. So, what’s wrong with that? Yet, instead of each school being allowed to formulate its own rules regarding cell phone usage during classroom hours, an easy, dismissive, all-encompassing, band-aid-type fix was applied to a bigger wound, namely the weakened hand of authority.

When void of reasoned thought, ban, ban, ban.

I must ask … Why not just confiscate the phones of disruptive students the way teachers used to take away sling shots, secretly scrawled notes or, when I was kid, those hand-held electronic football games? Blaming the technology instead of the student sends the wrong message and it tenderizes the backbones of those charged with power. Instead of just prohibiting cell phone use during school hours and, say, making it compulsory for phones to be turned off upon entering the building – and then having the backbone to actually enforce it – a cowardly ban was made law.

One unintended consequence? Having kids out of touch with parents or guardians after school when they absolutely don’t have to be.

Perhaps more importantly, banning the phone doesn’t teach or enforce the value of having to exercise discipline. Despite the popular notion from leftists everywhere, technology is not the problem. As citizens of the greatest, freest and most advanced country the world has ever known, we should want to improve our standard of living, shouldn’t we? Why are cell phones somehow beyond the sphere of influence when it comes to teaching our kids restraint, responsibility and self-control?

I make this point, not as an advocate of the cellular phone industry, but as an authentic lament for the changing and misguided role of responsibility and influence in our society.

People simply throw their hands in the air too easily.

To make a somewhat peculiar comparison, it is precisely this thinking that is behind those that blame guns for crime instead of those who use them recklessly or illegally. Indeed, the argument of everything having a time and place is well-taken. However, law abiding citizens who possess firearms are absolutely no threat to society. Only criminals are. Banning guns doesn’t keep bad people from acquiring or using them. By the same token, students who abide by the rules (and have the value system to know what’s appropriate and what is not) by keeping their cell phones turned off during school hours are no threat to disrupt the classroom – not with the phone anyway. Conversely, kids who have no regard or respect for the school and its authority will still manage to sneak them in and disrupt things.

It is about values, not technology.

In Cedar Lake, Indiana, the latest move by school administrators to foster a culture of safety has been implemented – namely, the banning of all carry bags in school, including purses. Apparently, the ludicrous rule has been on the books for three years but is only now being enforced. The reason? To make it more difficult for students to carry weapons and drugs into school.

Nice.

Book bags, purses and other lethal carriers must be left in lockers during school hours. One student commented, “People even got yelled at for carrying fanny packs and too big of a pencil holder, which is ridiculous."

How about a push to ban pockets?

Perhaps an all-sandal policy should be executed to keep students from sneaking things into school via their sneakers?

At one time, clearly defined boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable were the norm. If rules were violated, the offender was punished. Behaviors that once had stigmas attached to them became more accepted. What were once good old fashion expulsions from school became in-house suspensions. Fostering discipline and maintaining order were replaced with getting in touch with one’s feelings and having the “right” to express them. The line of thought that endorses the handing out of awards and medals to kids for simply “participating” in a given activity (so as to cheapen the kid who genuinely earns the award) is prevalent almost everywhere. The burden of actually having the courage to instill and reinforce good values in students is apparently too much for educators these days, lest they offend anyone. Citizenship classes have been replaced with “save the earth” curriculums, safe-sex programs, and free condoms on demand.

How delightful. It is the feminization of society.

Denene Reppa, mother of one of the Cedar Lake, Indiana students who now must run to their lockers in between each class to get the needed book instead of being able to carry several in a book bag, said, “Those types of organizational skills will transfer when she goes to college. Very important … She can keep her other things in there as well that kind of relate to her being a female."

Priorities, I guess.

I mourn the slow death of authority.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: authority; bigbrother; feminization; nannystate; responsibility; values

1 posted on 09/15/2008 6:28:47 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman

I don’t support the cell phone ban but I understand why it’s in place.

Do you think the 12year old kid that pulls a knife on you is going to listen when you tell him to stop texting his weed connection during class?


2 posted on 09/15/2008 6:35:31 AM PDT by NYCynic
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To: andrew roman

My GAWD!!!

I must be dead —

I mean, how did I *ever* manage to survive my 20-umpteen years of schooling - and even more-umpteen years of living, up until this very minute - without owning a cell phone...

Being *out* of touch occasionally teaches values like self-sufficiency and independent thought....


3 posted on 09/15/2008 6:35:47 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes I jus' sets.........)
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To: NYCynic

My point precisely. It isn’t about the cell-phone ban per se, or the book bag ban ...
It’s about the loss of instilling proper values.

Thanks for the reply!


4 posted on 09/15/2008 6:37:49 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman

My first question is: do the teachers & administrators get to keep THEIR bags & cellphones? If so, why?
The usual Lefty rot- rule by decree, with no thought to actual consequences.
Wouldn’t want the slaves to have too much freedom, after all.......


5 posted on 09/15/2008 6:37:58 AM PDT by 95 Bravo ("Freedom is not free.")
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To: andrew roman
Denene Reppa, mother of one of the Cedar Lake, Indiana students who now must run to their lockers in between each class to get the needed book instead of being able to carry several in a book bag, said, “Those types of organizational skills will transfer when she goes to college. Very important … She can keep her other things in there as well that kind of relate to her being a female."

Denene, if your daughter is as garbled as you are, I suggest you spend the college-tuition savings on a cruise.

Good article, in some ways, but the real surrender of authority occured when parents turned child-rearing over the the state. All the rest is just details.

6 posted on 09/15/2008 6:38:51 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Even for a thin-skinned solipsistic narcissist, Obama seems a frightful po-faced pill." ~Mark Steyn)
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To: Uncle Ike

I agree with youy whole-heartedly.
The over-arching point of my article is not to praise cell phones. It is the lament of the loss of values.

It isn’t about the technology.

Thanks much for the comments!


7 posted on 09/15/2008 6:39:08 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: Tax-chick

You wrote:

“the real surrender of authority occured when parents turned child-rearing over the the state. All the rest is just details.”

excellent point!


8 posted on 09/15/2008 6:40:37 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman
They banned guns. What chance has a poor wee cell phone got?

There's too many people to be thinking and making decisions about every individual situation. Especially when the thinkers and deciders would be school authorities.

9 posted on 09/15/2008 6:42:33 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (diogeneticistical...esque...ish...)
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To: andrew roman

I think that the *newer* reasons for the cell phone ban has more to do with students cheating during tests. Students can now text questions and answers to others; they can even photograph them to others waiting to take a test.

Even the private schools in our area have joined in on the ban.


10 posted on 09/15/2008 6:45:48 AM PDT by getmeouttaPalmBeachCounty_FL (****************************Stop Continental Drift**)
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To: andrew roman

I agree with your basic thesis — I argue with your choice of example...

The core problem is that the “DECENT CITIZENS AGAINST JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING”, and the Legal System Lottery, have conspired to attempt remove any risk from human exixtence — hence kids on bicycles more heavily armored than Crusading Knights, and draconian Zero Tolerance Policies everywhere...

Advocating cell phone use by children on the theory that they *need* to be ‘in touch’ with parental units 24/7 would seem to be part of the cotton-wrapping.....


11 posted on 09/15/2008 6:47:10 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes I jus' sets.........)
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To: Uncle Ike

I appreciate your points very much.
The point, as I attempted to articulate, was not that children NEED to be in touch with parents - that is, unless the parents themselves feel that way. That cell phones make things easier for many parents is not the thing to question here, in my mind. That’s a separate issue altogether. The fact that the instilling of values, limits and discipline has gone by the way-side is my point.

The extent of “cotton-wrapping” by parents is entirely a separate issue. My issue is with the nanny-ing of children by the state through regulations, rules and lack of common sense.


12 posted on 09/15/2008 6:51:23 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: Uncle Ike; andrew roman
Advocating cell phone use by children on the theory that they *need* to be ‘in touch’ with parental units 24/7 would seem to be part of the cotton-wrapping.

I agree.

13 posted on 09/15/2008 6:52:23 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Even for a thin-skinned solipsistic narcissist, Obama seems a frightful po-faced pill." ~Mark Steyn)
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To: Tax-chick
Exactly! Vouchers, and home school, or home school groups beat the public system. However, the system needs to be fixxed with old-fashioned discipline.
14 posted on 09/15/2008 6:52:23 AM PDT by Issaquahking
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To: Issaquahking
However, the system needs to be fixxed with old-fashioned discipline.

Unfortunately, it can't be. The legal climate won't allow schools to flunk or expel students who violate school rules, any more than they're allowed to fire teachers who are scr*wing the students.

Want to get cell phones out of the classroom? Issue a hammer to each teacher, and if a cell phone is in use, whether it's for cheating or just disruption, WHAM. Never happen, though.

15 posted on 09/15/2008 6:56:27 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Even for a thin-skinned solipsistic narcissist, Obama seems a frightful po-faced pill." ~Mark Steyn)
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To: Tax-chick
but the real surrender of authority occured when parents turned child-rearing over the the state

Yes. Government schooling, the NEA and our universities were infiltrated by Marxist-socialist Frankfurt School minions. And our government is grabbing them at an ever-younger age through early childhood $$$ for public schools.

16 posted on 09/15/2008 6:56:50 AM PDT by polymuser (Taxpayers voting for Obama are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.)
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To: andrew roman

I think that we’re talking about the same thing - from a couple of different perspectives....

” The extent of “cotton-wrapping” by parents is entirely a separate issue. My issue is with the nanny-ing of children by the state through regulations, rules and lack of common sense. “

These are not, IMO, ‘separate issues’ — they are both symptoms of the same phenomenon: belief in the modern mythos of absolute feel-good at any cost....


17 posted on 09/15/2008 6:58:42 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes I jus' sets.........)
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To: Tax-chick

“Want to get cell phones out of the classroom? Issue a hammer to each teacher, and if a cell phone is in use, whether it’s for cheating or just disruption, WHAM. Never happen, though.”

You have captured the spirit of my article perfectly. ALLOW the students to make the mistake of bringing the damned thing into school. Most students will learn self-control and the concept of limits ... Some won’t - as is the case with kids everywhere. This isn’t an article advocating cell phones for kids. That is not the issue. (Perhaps I’ll write an article about that).

It’s about issuing hammers to teachers!
;)

Thanks for the comment.


18 posted on 09/15/2008 6:59:28 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman; Uncle Ike
The extent of “cotton-wrapping” by parents is entirely a separate issue. My issue is with the nanny-ing of children by the state through regulations, rules and lack of common sense.

I think it's part of the same point. Weak-willed parents turned over the upbringing of their children to the state, and they've created an equally weak-willed culture in their proxies. For example, why can't the schools exercise firm discipline? Because parents will sue them. Why can't children run, jump, throw a ball, or ride a bicycle? Because their parents will sue if they get hurt.

The problem is with the public at large, and it's perpetuated in the schools only because the public puts up with it.

19 posted on 09/15/2008 7:01:15 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Even for a thin-skinned solipsistic narcissist, Obama seems a frightful po-faced pill." ~Mark Steyn)
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To: andrew roman

See my #19 - the parents would sue for the cost of the cell phone and the incredible emotional trauma to their precious little darling. Even with limits to liability for government employees, this is still going to massively disrupt the (presumed) education process.


20 posted on 09/15/2008 7:02:54 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Even for a thin-skinned solipsistic narcissist, Obama seems a frightful po-faced pill." ~Mark Steyn)
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To: Uncle Ike

They are separate issues in that the article is not about parenting skills. Each parent sets his or her own boundaries, decides what is right and wrong for their children and will define what priveleges they have - including a cell phone. That is entirely a different matter, and not the point of the article. I could write an article about whether cell phones is a good idea for kids, and we would probably agree on that.

This particular issue is an indictment on decaying values and the loss of will to enforce authority.

The key issue with me is the “lesson” or “value” being taught to the child - namely, no discipline or restraint needed. We’ll just disallow it.

I do sincerely appreciate your perspective very much. You are thoughtful, indeed.


21 posted on 09/15/2008 7:03:25 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman

” You are thoughtful, indeed “

More ‘old’ than ‘thoughtful’, probably....

I compare/contrast the joys of my childhood (not affluent) with the absolute grimness that I observe in the world around me today — and I shudder.....


22 posted on 09/15/2008 7:07:20 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Sometimes I sets and thinks, and sometimes I jus' sets.........)
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To: Tax-chick

Thanks much for the reply.
Your point is very well-taken!

The parent, if he or she decides that a cell phone for the child is appropriate, is also charged with teaching the child the rights and wrongs of how and when to use it.

Again, it is about discipline involved - not the cell phone itself. Many - including parents - neglect this very important issue and succumb - whioch is why I included the quote from the mother who thinks the book bag ban is a good thing.

I don’t disagree with you at all.

But as I wrote, it is about “values” not “technology.”

Again, many many thanks!!


23 posted on 09/15/2008 7:08:10 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: Uncle Ike

You are certainly wise.
I don’t think we disagree on this issue.

You are a good man and your points are well-taken. I mean that sincerely.

I may do a follow-up to this at some point focusing more on parenting today - which is a slightly more touchy subject, of course. I hate to sound preachy, because we all have our own ways of parenting.

I need to tread lightly there.

Many thanks!!


24 posted on 09/15/2008 7:10:37 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman; Calm_Cool_and_Elected

ping for later


25 posted on 09/15/2008 7:14:07 AM PDT by Calm_Cool_and_Elected (So many books, so little time!)
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To: andrew roman
But as I wrote, it is about “values” not “technology.”

I agree with that 100%.

26 posted on 09/15/2008 7:14:29 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Even for a thin-skinned solipsistic narcissist, Obama seems a frightful po-faced pill." ~Mark Steyn)
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To: NYCynic

Use back of hand.


27 posted on 09/15/2008 7:16:29 AM PDT by Vaduz (and just think how clean the cities would become again.)
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To: NYCynic

My point exactly ... You make it for me as good as I could have..
I wrote that the kid who will be disruptive will be so anyway, regardless of the rules in place - just like the criminal who will use the handgun will do so anyway regardless of the regulations on the books.

It is about values here.

Whatever punishments are deemed appropriate constitute a different discussion.

You want to ban the kid for texting his weed connection? Please do. Expel him as far as I’m concerned. Get him or her OUT of the school.

This is more about those kids who are still developing their value set, learning how to be responsible and an adult - who make up the overwhelming majority of kids.

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.


28 posted on 09/15/2008 7:22:13 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: andrew roman

I question the conclusion. It’s not the death of authority. It’s the death of responsibility. In all of the cited cases the authority isn’t gone it’s simply been pushed higher up the food chain. The students aren’t taught responsibility nor are they held responsible for their actions and the teachers responibility has been taken away.


29 posted on 09/15/2008 7:45:42 AM PDT by BubbaBasher (NEW: www.HypocriteLibs.org - Tracking the Slandering Liars in the MSM)
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To: andrew roman
Why are cell phones somehow beyond the sphere of influence when it comes to teaching our kids restraint, responsibility and self-control?

We don't have the time or resources to teach such antiquated ideas.

We're too busy teaching them about Che Guevera, birth control, global warming and of course, self-esteeeeeem! < /barf>

30 posted on 09/15/2008 7:51:57 AM PDT by uglybiker (1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly n33d 2 g3t l41d)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Why not have the kids go to class nude?

no place to keep drugs or cell phones or weapons....you know for safety reasons..../sarc


31 posted on 09/15/2008 7:55:19 AM PDT by Ouderkirk (I will not vote for Obama not because he is black, but because he is RED)
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To: BubbaBasher

Yours is a fair point.

Perhaps the death of authority “as we know it” is a more appropriate angle.

However, in the cases I cited, the authority - as it always was - has seemingly died, replaced with a more feminized, less-authoritative variation. The lack of responsibility being instilled in students or the lack of accountability, I believe, are the symptoms of dying authority. When boundaries become clouded, kids will adjust accordingly.

There have always been children who are disruptive and break the rules. The “softening” of school authority over time has only encouraged that ensuing irresponsibility.

Thanks much for your post!


32 posted on 09/15/2008 7:58:53 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: Ouderkirk

Hand out condoms to nude school children ... There you go. Liberalism at its finest!


33 posted on 09/15/2008 8:00:42 AM PDT by andrew roman
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To: uglybiker

..and don’t forget ... both Washington and Jefferson were slave holders.

Can’t forget that.


34 posted on 09/15/2008 8:01:40 AM PDT by andrew roman
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