Showing posts with label school children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school children. Show all posts

Thursday 11 April 2024

Obvious. Kids' health benefits from green spaces.

NEWS AND OPINION: Kids benefit from nature. They benefit from being in green spaces, by connecting with nature. This is a vitally important statement. It is known to me and many others. A study recently confirmed that green spaces may help small children avoid black moods i.e. depression ultimately.

Young child enjoys woodland. Image: MikeB (Canva).

The lead author of the study, in America, is Nissa Towe-Goodman. She is a researcher from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University Of North Carolina. The finding is that children between the ages of 2-5 were less likely according to the study to show signs of loneliness, low mood and anxiety if they lived within 0.75 of a mile of somewhere with plenty of vegetation. A reference to woodland or parkland. And they found that children who were able to connect with nature like this were less likely to be withdrawn in social situations.
Green spaces are linked to mental well-being in humans.
Nissa said: "Our research suggests that the early childhood years are a crucial time for exposure to green spaces."

She added that, "In the future researchers could look into what kinds of  experiences in nature are connected to kids' early mental health. Also we should study how creating or preserving natural areas around homes and schools might make a difference in a child's mental health."

I'm surprised that it appears to be revealed as some sort of revelation and new knowledge. It isn't. Every day I go into a park to connect with nature because I know it is good for my personal well-being particularly my mental health. To deny children the opportunity to connect with nature in this way is really denying them something very fundamental in my view.

The research is very important because we read so much today about children having suicidal thoughts or self harming. I'm referring mainly to schoolchildren but the problem probably goes back to toddlers. They must be taken away from their phones and living a life internally which is what social media can achieve, to living life externally, going into nature, going into beautiful spaces where there are trees and where wildlife thrives. This is a connection with nature.

The study found that high levels of green spaces within about 20 minute walk of a child's home were linked with low anxiety and depression.

What's this got to do with cats? The same can apply to cats in my view. Humans are human-animals. We need to connect with our roots which is connecting with nature. Cats need to be able to express their natural desires which means being allowed outside to prey on animals. To hunt. That goes against the current trend of keeping cats indoors. It will upset some people but ultimately the domestic cat is a top predator and it needs the opportunity to exercise that fundamental skill and innate desire.

Keeping cats indoors full-time is laudable and it protects wildlife but almost no cat caregivers ensure that the inside of of their home is enriched in terms of a feline environment. A failure in this indoor-cat MO.

In the meantime, mothers and dads should ensure that their child takes a moment out every day, perhaps an hour, to walk in woodland. Enjoy nature. That may be difficult to achieve for many people but I feel that it is very important.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 8 March 2024

UK primary school teacher sacked for tapping the hand of a child!

NEWS AND COMMENT/OPINION: This is a story from the UK which concerns me deeply. It's not about cats I'm afraid but about the human condition and the way society and culture have shifted dramatically in the UK and I suspect other countries but perhaps less so than in Great Britain. It affects society generally and is relevant indirectly to cat caregiving.

In an act of what I would call - or looks like - extreme woke behaviour, a teacher in charge of child safety at a primary school in Hackney, East London accused the head teacher of assaulting her three-year-old son because she tapped him on his hand to get his attention.

I think you would agree that that is extraordinary. And to some people - particularly old people like myself - it seems absurd. When I was a youngster, we were routinely caned which by today standards would be probably be grievous bodily harm, a serious crime with up to 10 years imprisonment on conviction!

But to tap a boy on the hand to get their attention and to characterise that as an assault which ultimately led to the sacking of the head teacher is really going far too far.

The head teacher's name is Shelly-Ann Malabver-Goulbourne and the teacher who accused her of an assault (and I'm talking here of a criminal assault) is Samantha Bhagwandas.

Bhagwandas saw the incident and accused the head teacher of hurting her son. She filed a complaint which led to a police enquiry and the head teacher was suspended.

The police found that the head teacher's actions were "reasonable chastisement" but despite that reasonable assessment, Malabver-Goulbourne was sacked.

Extraordinary again! That was clearly wrong which has been confirmed by an employment tribunal which assessed the sacking on an application by Malabver-Goulbourne who sought compensation.

The court upheld the head teacher's claim and the judge noted that the school's code of conduct did not prohibit all physical contact between pupils and teachers and that there was sufficient evidence to support the view that the head was simply trying to prevent injury to a child and addressing his behaviour.

What happened was the child picked up a hand sanitiser bottle and had injected some hand sanitiser onto the floor. Previously, it is reported (The Times) he had got hand sanitiser in his eyes. His mother was concerned and as she spoke to him he turned away so she tapped him on the hand to gain his attention. Malabver-Goulbourne behaviour was entirely appropriate within the context of the history of this matter.

The court couldn't find any judgement than what they made and the teacher who accused her and reported her was really out on a limb and acting in a highly unreasonable and overly sensitive and overly-woke way in my considered view.

The story is indicative of the general mood in the UK which is why think it's important to write about it. It's a story too which must put the fear of God into many primary school teachers as to what they can do in the classroom. How can they be free to teach in a comfortable and confident way if they can't even tap the hand of a child before being accused of a criminal assault!?

I would hope that the government read this case and provide some clear, firm guidance to primary schools as to what is and what isn't allowable by way of contact between teachers and children. 

They must be allowed to touch children and sometimes handle them with a little bit of firmness but with respect in order to maintain discipline and a productive learning environment for all. 

This should not be characterised as a crime which is beyond belief.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 14 July 2023

OFSTED has no concerns with the school where a pupil identified as a cat

NEWS AND VIEWS: There is a short article in The Times today which states that OFSTED "lauds school in cat pupil row". In other words, OFSTED, the government body charged with ensuring standards in education in the UK, have accepted that the standards are okay at the school concerned namely Rye College.

Pupil identifying as a cat. This a fictional image by DALLE-E.

Kemi Badenoch, the woman and equalities minister, had asked OFSTED to visit Rye College because she had fears about safeguarding. OFSTED decided that after an inspection they had no concerns about the school.

Earlier there were worries around the use of different pronouns by children at the school. Some senior figures in the education system said that pupils were identifying as animals, the moon and gay holograms!

The head teacher, Katharine Birbalsingh, of Michaela Community School said that she knew of at least one school were a group of pupils identified as cats. Comment: notice the word "group". This obviously means substantially more than one individual who wants to identify as a cat. That's a bit concerning.

However, OFSTED has praised relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) lessons at Rye College. The school is in East Sussex and it is for pupils aged 11-12. There is a culture of kindness at Rye College according to OFSTED.

Their report said: "Pupils enjoy weekly life education lessons and take them seriously, alongside linked work in tutor time and assemblies. They are enthusiastic about participating in discussions, including regular activities such as the Thursday debates. The concerns relating to the teaching of RSHE that led to this inspection do not reflect pupils' normal experiences at school."

In a statement in June of this year, the school said that no pupils had identified as a cat or any other animal. The incident which led to the inspection was an alleged recording of a teacher telling a pupil that she was despicable for not accepting her classmate identifying as a cat.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Kids pretending to be cats are taking over the classroom in wokery nonsense but there are serious undertones

 The argument from the right-wing is that pupils pretending to be cats are taking over the classroom and undermining the teacher who's probably too sensitive to the woke movement. They've allowed kids to become furries and in doing so undermined their authority. It's worse. One teacher admonished another for refusing to accept the concept of gender spectrum (non-binary). This is a merging of two wokery movements. 

Note: there is a wide spectrum of sexuality to which we must be enlightened and sensitive but I believe - without being disrespectful - that there are two sexes. Sex is biological. All the rest is in the head.

This is impossible and it must be stopped with firm leadership and guidance from parents initially and supported by teachers. Image: DALLE-E.

One girl self-identifies as a male cat and insisted on being addressed as 'kit'. The girl had merged the furries movement with the trans gender movement. Highly complicated and confusing. The culture becomes very fraught.

It disrupts the classroom and the education process. The UK education secretary, Gillian Keegan, has said that it is silly for pupils to self-identify as an animal. She takes the common-sense viewpoint. I feel sure that most Brits would agree with her. But is it just silliness? It may be a symptom of much more troubling mental processes in pupils and girls in particular. Too many are suicidal.

In Britain the classroom is becoming an impossible place for teachers which is why huge numbers are thinking of quitting.  It is a disturbingly high percentage. According to the BBC four out of ten teachers are planning to leave the profession! It is a catastrophe. The British education system is in a silent crisis and it is deteriorating. You can add inflation into the mix. Teachers have been striking for a huge pay increase. This is partly due to the difficulties of the job. Who'd be a teacher in Britain?

It will need a much firmer approach from heads and teachers. I'll be sexist and state that there needs to be more men in teaching. There are far less nowadays than in the past. In 2021/22, 75.5% of school teachers were women. Women have moved into teaching believing that it will suit them but no clearly not for a huge percentage.

They can be too gentle. Perhaps they sometimes lack sufficient confidence to stamp their authority over the classroom. That said the teachers are asking for guidance from the Dept. of Education on how to deal with this problem. Keegan will provide it, she says.

To be fair, it is very difficult for a teacher to deal with a child who wants to identify as a cat because of the modern snowflake culture. If teachers are too firm with pupils they can get into trouble when the child complains to their parents who then complain to the head teacher. It is toxic.

Teachers are having to be surrogate parents as parents abdicate their duties. Too many are capitulating to their children's fads to be trans or cats!! There is a merging of these movements as mentioned. Is this all about confused kids bossing around parents and teachers because they are too frightened to be firm and provide old-fashioned guidance?

Kids are also in crisis with an astonishingly high percentage of girls self-harming or having suicidal thoughts (30%!!). This can't go on. To me it is clear that there is a link between the high level of suicidal thoughts and wanting to opt-out by self-identifying as a cat.

Thursday 1 June 2023

Is there much worse than teaching kids to torment baby animals? Goat tying is cruel.

I am referring to that human entertainment - at the expense of animal welfare - called 'goat tying'. It is an acceptable form of animal abuse and has become normal. This is bad.

The tweet:

Is there much worse than teaching kids to torment baby animals? The goats used in #GoatTying are less than a year old & less than 60 pounds & can be tormented by up to 5 contestants in a row until they are switched out for another victim:

The accompanying picture disturbs

So, what is "goat tying"? Right away, to me, it sounds unpleasant at least. Let's remind ourselves that this is a form of human entertainment at the expense of goat welfare. Does that sound right to you?

Goat tying is a rodeo event. It's a sort of competition. The competitor rides to a tethered goat, dismounts, catches, throws and ties any three of its legs together. The goat stays tied for six seconds after the contestant has backed away. No score is awarded if the goat becomes untied before the six seconds has elapsed.

Is there much worse than teaching kids to torment baby animals? Goat tying is cruel.
Goat tying is cruel. Image: MikeB

The competitor may be disqualified if they are too rough on the goat (so they are too rough on goats sometimes!). Goat tying is typically done by girls in high school and at college rodeos. And by both girls and boys a junior and youth rodeos.

My conclusion is that this human pastime teaches children animal cruelty. And if it doesn't teach them animal cruelty it teaches them that animals can be used and abused for their entertainment.

This is exactly the kind of thing that PETA detests. And it is the kind of thing that I detest as well. Our children are the future of animal welfare. We need to teach them the highest standards of animal welfare in order to make advancements in animal welfare across the world.

How are we going to achieve this if we teach kids the wrong things? Look at the picture. Does that goat look happy and contented? Or does he or she look abused, confused and anxious?

Goats are sentient creatures. They form relationships with people and other animals. They are sweet animals. They can become pets and often do. Goat tying is essentially cruel and abusive. It must stop.

Friday 3 February 2023

New Zealand's state sanctioned animal AND CHILD abuse by indoctrinating kids to kill non-native species

New Zealand's Ministry of Education encourages children to kill non-native mammals including cats which they label 'pests' (yeh, not 'pets'). It is state sanctioned animal abuse and the abusers are indoctrinated kids. Horrible.

In an astonishing conclusion to his lengthy analysis, Michael C Morris of the Royal Agricultural University, concludes that "even the Ministry of Education resources, encourage children to kill non-native mammals, show them how to set traps, and emphasised to teachers how they need to impress on children the importance of eradicating pests."

New Zealand's state sanctioned animal AND CHILD abuse by indoctrinating kids to kill non-native species
New Zealand's state sanctioned animal AND CHILD abuse by indoctrinating kids to kill non-native species. Image: MikeB

Other organisations in New Zealand including four government agencies, three conservation NGOs and one education NGO, promote the killing of non-native species by children.

"Non-native" means a species of animal which has not evolved in the country concerned. The domestic, stray and feral cat in New Zealand is a non-native species. It is therefore an alien species and regarded as a pest by New Zealand's authorities despite the fact that there are many cat loving care givers with cat companions in that beautiful country.

Shame, therefore, that despite being visually beautiful, the mentality of the Ministry of Education is far from beautiful and indeed quite ugly.

All the organisations promote trapping and poisoning to eliminate feral cats and other non-native species. The objective? To preserve biodiversity. To conserve native species because feral cats are very good hunters.

Shockingly, no consideration whatsoever, according to Mr Morris, is given to alternatives "such as changing human activities, non-lethal contraceptive or gene drive techniques, more localised and targeted pest control or translocation techniques such as Operation Nest Egg."

Mr Morris has not mentioned a very well-established alternative with respect to feral cats namely TNR which is widely practised in America where they, too, have a feral cat problem.

TNR is simply not on the radar in New Zealand. Well, it might be in the minds of some decent citizens of New Zealand who want to help feral cats but it is not in the minds of the country's administrators.

New Zealand introduces words such as "war" and "invasion" to describe the "pests" that are the feral cats in their country. For me, it is the feral cats who are the victims as much as the native species upon which they prey. 

The feral cats of New Zealand were introduced to the country as is the case in Australia by immigrants to the country bringing domestic cats with them and allowing those cats to return to the wild and procreate.

The back story, the root of the problem, is not the feral cat which is the 'messenger' of the bad behaviour of humans.

It appears that New Zealand is unique in mandating and encouraging children to kill non-native species which are perfectly good and decent animals. It is entirely inappropriate to single out non-native species as a target for eradication. It's a happenstance due to human carelessness that they are non-native and feral.

For the state to encourage children to kill animals is a form, in my opinion, of state sanctioned child abuse. 

It is indoctrinating them to believe that the cute possum or the cute feral kitten is an enemy of New Zealand. These children probably love the sight of cute possums. That is their natural instinct. And then, the Ministry of Education reprograms their brains to think that they are pests to be killed. It is simply unacceptable.

There are studies which have found a causal relationship between children who've witnessed animal abuse to then being more likely to be animal abusers themselves. 

If the children are animal abusers (which is what this program makes them), they are certainly more likely to become animal abusers and even human abusers when they are adults.

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