Tag Archives: End Bullying

Stop Corporal Punishment in Moroccan Schools – Petition Request

A reader of my blog asked for our help. Please consider signing and sharing the petition initiated by Charmaine MacDonald:

Say No to Corporal Punishment in Moroccan Schools.

love-is-light-image“Let the mothers consider that whatever concerneth the education of children is of the first importance. Let them put forth every effort in this regard, for when the bough is green and tender it will grow in whatever way ye train it. Therefore is it incumbent upon the mothers to rear their little ones even as a gardener tendeth his young plants. Let them strive by day and by night to establish within their children faith and certitude, the fear of God, the love of the Beloved of the worlds, and all good qualities and traits. Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well, let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart; and if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if he be subjected to blows or verbal abuse……” Bahá’í Writings

According to a report by the Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, “Morocco is committed to reforming its laws to prohibit corporal punishment in all settings.” Unfortunately Morocco faces many of the same challenges as the USA enacting laws to protect children. Corporal punishment isn’t allowed in prisons nor can it be used as punishment for a crime yet corporal punishment of children is allowed. It is lawful in the home. There is no explicit prohibition of corporal punishment in early childhood care, day care for older children, schools, nor for abandoned children or children in foster care for abandoned children. Just like in the United States people convicted of crimes are treated more humanely than children.

In a study by the National Human Rights Council punishment of Moroccan children in protection centres (which are responsible for children without parental care or children in legal trouble)  included hitting children with pipes and sticks and slapping them. (Conseil national des droits des homes (2013), Enfants dans les centres de sauvegarde: une enfance en danger – pour une politique de protection intégrée de l’enfant, Rabat: CNDH)

UNICEF reported 91% of Moroccan children aged 2-14 experienced violent “discipline” and nearly 24% of children experienced severe physical punishment, 89% experienced psychological aggression (being shouted at, yelled at, screamed at or insulted. (UNICEF (2008), Enquête Nationale à Indicateurs Multiples et Santé des Jeunes, ENIMSJ 2006-2007, Rabat, Maroc: UNICEF)


While in Morocco a travel blogger observed “I’ve noticed that kids here, well at least the ones around us, physically fight a lot. They think nothing of slapping each other on the back of the neck or head, especially when they are upset or angry. Parents more or less stay out of it, until it escalates. Then the parents will physically punish the child. Maybe with a shoe or with their hand.”  Visit Amanda’s blog MarocMama  for her full article Raising Global Kids: Cultural Norms and Discipline of Children

I agree with the petition statement “There are other ways of disciplining children that are just as effective. Alternative punishments which are not demeaning and humiliating to children should not be tolerated either! Children should not be afraid to go to school for fear of being hit.  We want our children educated within the school system; NOT damaged!  There needs to be an emphasis on positive encouragement and a reward system for good behaviour.” 

Don’t you want to know what’s going on?

“What’s going on” troubles me deeply. The vast majority of the children I teach are not white. These delightful kids are sweet, curious, loving, funny and smart. If you met them you too would love them – all of them.

“What’s going on” is that more than 15 million children, or roughly one in five, are living in poverty. The poverty rate for children of color is more than double the rate of white children. Also the longer a child lives in poverty, the harder it is for a child to get out of it later in life.

By now you’ve got to know that poverty and crime are linked in a morbid dance and that crime and poverty negatively impact our economy. If you don’t know that open your eyes and look at “what’s going on” because your help is needed.

With our country’s abundant wealth it is a national embarrassment that only three other countries in the developed world have a higher child poverty rate than us. Where’s your national pride? Where’s your patriotism? Do you only bring it out for the National Anthem at sporting events?

All children are your children even if you didn’t give birth to them or raise them, or teach them or coach them or see them playing in your neighborhood. If you need a selfish reason to help… who do you want taking care of you and your country when you’re old and feeble and need help?

I know a woman who’s old and worried about her safety. She keeps her curtains closed, locks her windows, bars the doors and keeps a gun in case there’s ever an intruder in her suburban white affluent low-crime neighborhood. When arthritis finishes taking over her hands how is she going to lock everything up? How will she be able to pull the trigger? 

If you truly want to protect yourself… protect the children. Feed them, clothe them, educate them, protect them and for God’s sake love them.

This song has been echoing “what’s going on?” for 44 years — time for you – yes you – not the person next to you or down the street or in the next cubicle – you – to step up and change the current answer to the question. 


Hugs will get more cooperation from your child than spanking

hug your kidsThe more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking. For more information on the research and parenting help visit the website: Action Team to End Hitting Children

Standing up to Bullies: One Woman VS. 300 Neo-Nazis

Inspirational Power: “If one person can do it – anyone can.”  This one-woman protest against 300 uniformed neo-Nazis has become a symbol of defiance against Sweden’s right wing. “Hell no, they can’t march here!” said Tess Asplund, whose photo has gone viral. [Source – AJ+ is a global news community for the connected generation. They highlight human struggles and achievements, empower impassioned voices, and challenge the status quo. They bring you the stories that are shaping our world.] 

Mississippi Schools Are Rethinking Their Barbaric Corporal Punishment Practices. Finally.

Source: Slate Magazine Slate.com

Mississippi has gotten a lot of bad press in the past year for its in-school corporal-punishment practices, which is perhaps one reason its State Board of Education announced last week its plans to propose its first-ever policy regulating the restraint and seclusion of students, according to the Associated Press.
Under pressure from special-education advocates and civil-rights groups, such policies have proliferated in recent years, and Mississippi remains one of the last states with no guidelines governing the use of restraint and seclusion in schools in response to behavior problems (New Jersey, surprisingly, is another).
And in case you’re wondering what exactly “restraint and seclusion” might look like in a school setting, Mississippi has furnished us with some stunning examples, like when teachers handcuffed kids to the metal railings of the school gym for the dress-code infraction of “sagging pants,” or confined an overexcited first-grader to a three-sided pen on his eighth birthday. (“If I had that contraption in my house,” the mother of the boxed eight-year-old was quoted in the Clarion-Ledger as saying, “and my child told his teachers, ‘My mom puts me in a box when I’m bad,’ I would have been arrested and my kids would have gone to foster care.”) 
According to the Clarion-Ledger story, in the 2011–12 school year alone, nearly 1,000 students were restrained or secluded in Mississippi schools, though that number is probably much higher, since data is self-reported and spotty, and districts aren’t required to track these incidents.

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