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Updated: 02/24/04

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Tuesday, 24 February, 2004

Gary got a new car this weekend! It's the BMW X3. Looks just like this:

This is it - without the mountains

[Without the lake and mountains, of course.]

Here's a story about the discipline problems teachers seem to be having in some Cincinatti kindergartens:

More than 200 times last year, Greater Cincinnati kindergartners were expelled or suspended from school for at least one day, an Enquirer analysis of city and suburban school records shows.

Kindergartners were expelled eight times in Cincinnati Public Schools - one of only four of Ohio's 612 public districts that took such extreme action. At least 15 local school districts also took the next most drastic step, suspending kindergartners and sending them home for a day or more.

The region is becoming known for its unusually strict discipline, beginning at the earliest stages of public education. Already this year, one child has been suspended from three kindergartens and asked to leave or be expelled from a fourth.

Experts blame many factors: Sex and violence on television and in video games, undiagnosed mental illness, poverty, fractured families and zero-tolerance for trouble at school. Kids are stressed out. And many kindergartens did away with naptime a decade or more ago.

Some teachers and administrators say they have to get tough when intemperate students - even 5-year-olds - make it impossible to teach well-behaved kids who are ready to learn. When children pose a danger to themselves or others, they must be removed from the classroom, these people say.

But others, including some parents and child advocates, say biting, kicking and temper tantrums are normal behavior for 5- and 6-year-olds. This group says that expelling or suspending kindergartners just sets children up for failure - at a far too tender age.

Mom? Question for you: If I had been sent home from kindergarten, much less expelled, for stabbing another kid in the face with a plastic fork or for punching my teacher, you would have blamed which of the following:

a) Sex and violence on television
b) Undiagnosed mental illness
c) Stress
d) Lack of naptime
e) Zero-tolerance policy at school

What's that you say? None of those? You mean, you would have let me know that you had "zero tolerence" for that kind of behavior and made sure I understood exactly what that meant? How un-PC of you! Don't you realize that implies that it is the parents' responsibility to teach the child how to behave?

[It's amazing I managed to grow up with that kind of attitude.]

Of course the danger of expelling these stressed out, violent kids is that someday they might become TSA airport security screeners:

A security screener at Denver International Airport has been reprimanded and several others at airports across the country put on administrative leave for sending their bodies through checkpoint x-ray machines to see what their brains look like.

The Transportation Security Administration is not saying exactly who x-rayed themselves or when because of privacy reasons, but a source tells 9NEWS the six screeners were working at passenger checkpoints when they decided to x-ray their own bodies.

Like a piece of luggage, the screeners would have rolled down the conveyor belt into the opening, about 2.5 feet high and a foot and a half wide.

"There's enough training, enough education available in the public domain, let alone the circumstances of the TSA, to know this is a foolhardy thing to do,” said David Forbes, president of Boydforbes, Inc. “The questions that come out of this though are what is the level of supervision?"

[I think it's the lack of naptime.]

Quote du jour:

"The doctors X-rayed my head and found nothing."

-- Dizzy Dean (1911 - 1974) US baseball player, sportscaster

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