TRIGGER WARNING FOR PHOTO
I have three items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
When I was in elementary school, I loved school. Of course I was fortunate. I probably got teased because I was overweight, but frankly, I don't remember it, because it didn't take long for them to find a new name – "walking dictionary" – and then no one wanted to get on my bad side bcause they'd lose assistance. But I remember all my teachers as being kind and caring, even if I did something dumb, and believe me, I did.
Today – and probably then too, depending on the School District, but, as I say, I was lucky – you don't know what your kid is going to run into until it happens. Take the case of Taraji Edwards, 6, of Simpsonville, SC.
Chartrese Edwards said her 6-year-old daughter, Taraji, started crying when she got ready for school, saying she didn’t want to wear the shoes her mother had picked out for her, reported WSPA-TV.
She asked the girl what was wrong, and she said her teacher had taken them away from her the previous day in school.
“I was messing with my shoes, and the teacher told me eight times or seven, and I never listened,” Taraji Edwards said.
The girl said the sandal strap was bothering her during math class at Bryson Elementary in Simpsonville, and her teacher threw them in the trash and made her walk around barefoot for part of the day.
Of course she was teased and laughed at by classmates (don't kids that age occasionally remind you of sharks who smell blood in the water?). Obviously she did get the shoes back (since Mom wanted her to wear them again the next day), but she'll never get back those hours during which she was humiliated over the punishment by a teacher who claimed to have done nothing wrong.
I give credit to the District, which issued a statement saying that "embarrassment and humiiation" were not acceptable forms of punishment, and that the teacher was under investigation. I will also credit the district for authorizing a homebound teacher for now. But teachers who think this is acceptable tend to have a blind spot, and she may need extra tutoring to actually see the error of her ways – which I'm sure Megaera will be happy to provide.
While you're there, you might also provide some age-appropriate tutoring to the classmates, the little sharks.
Some days it just seems it's not a good time to be a kid. You may already have an image of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence as a homophobe who signed into law one of the worst of the new anti-LGBT fad laws – Indiana's "religious freedom" law. I expect everyone here has been upset, if maybe not shocked, at how this law was written specifically to oppress LGBTQ people. But it now appears we weren't upset enough.
An Indianapolis woman who beat her 7-year-old son with a coat hanger is citing Indiana's religious freedom law as a defense against felony child abuse charges, saying her choice of discipline comes straight from her evangelical Christian beliefs.
The woman quoted biblical Scripture in court documents. She said that a parent who "spares the rod, spoils the child," and: "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol."
The coat hanger was apparently a plastic one with a metal hook – that's not in the story but it was volunteered in the comments. The young man suffered 36 injuries, mostly straight bruises, but including a few hook marks.
Mom's defense team appears to know this is a major outrage, because they also have a backup defense: cultural differences between the US and Myanmar, whence Mom is a refugee. I've seen some articles lately about how liberals who value multiculturalism need to learn to be more conscientious at drawing a line between simple cultural differences and criminal behavior. The right is correct to say we haven't always done that well. But it is the right which she is calling on to justify her – both right-wing pseudo-Christianity, and a right-wing Indiana Supreme Court decision from 2008, when the court ruled that parents have a right to discipline children as they see fit.
Alecto, since Megaera is tied up in South Carolina, and since this case appears to relate to a continuing (unceasing) discussion, perhaps you would supervise this court case and give it a little push.
Don't feel neglected, Tisiphone, I have one for you. Tailor made. It happened in Ohio. A woman of color was driving across an intersection on her way to work, when a white man came along and ran the red light, striking her car.
So, naturally, he shot her.
Deborah Pearl was a mother of three children. She was shot twelve times with a 5.56mm high-powered assault rife. When police arrived, she was on the ground, bleeding to death. She was taken to University Hospitals Medical Center, where she died.
The killer, Matthew Ryan Desha, 29, was arrested (they say without incident) and is in jail, charged with murder, with bond set at $1 million (maybe that's a little low).
Probably everyone here is aware that I am a veteran myself, in fact a Marine Corps veteran, as is Mr. Desha. As a veteran I say, DAMMIT, there is NO excuse for this. PTSD, mental health issues, granted the system failed him, there is still no excuse. Charged two montha ago with a felony count of carrying a concealed weapon, and when a search of his car revealed "a 9mm handgun, three additional magazines, straws with suspected drug residue and other contraband;" accused of fleeing the scene of a drunked driving crash he caused in 2007 – why was he walking around (OK, more accurately, driving around)? Tisiphone, besides a killer on your hands, I believe law enforcement has some 'splainin' to do. And you might also take some time to put on your Eumenides hat and try to comfort Ms. Pearl's three children. I don't know their ages. I do know it's a mess, but I'm sure you can handle it. Oh, and make sure he doesn't get out of confinement before the election. He'd be sure to vote for Donald Trump.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4008623