Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Should Pit Bulls Be Banned?

In December 2007, a New York City official proposed banning pit bulls from the city, saying the dogs are dangerous. Some cities, such as Denver and Miami, have already forbidden their residents from owning pit bulls. Many people believe that American Pit Bull Terriers are dangerous dogs. Pit Bulls have a bad reputation for attacking people, but aggressive Pit Bulls are consequences some irresponsible people who have neglected or abused their dogs or even trained them to be aggressive. According to the Chako Rescue Association for the American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bulls are actually very stable, intelligent, and highly trainable. They are strong athletic dogs, and they require a guardian who is responsible and will give them plenty of exercise and training. They are very loving and loyal and make excellent animal companions.
Pit Bulls are also use as therapy/service dogs. The Chako Rescue Association has Pit Bull therapy dogs in Texas, Utah and California. Helen Keller even had a Pit Bull as her canine companion and helper. Petey, the faithful dog on the TV show, The Little Rascals, was a Pit Bull. He spent countless hours with children day after day and never hurt anyone. He was one of the most intelligent Hollywood dogs of all time.
Pit Bulls are one of the most stable people-friendly dogs in existence which can make them good family dogs. The National Canine Temperament Testing Association tested 122 breeds, and Pit Bulls placed the 4th highest with a 95% passing rate! As was noted earlier, they are strong, athletic dogs who need people who are able to care and train them properly.
Therefore Pit Bulls should not be banned, but people who cannot provide the right training for them should not be permitted to have them

Should School Reward Good Attendance?

Some schools reward students for good attendance with prizes like movie tickets, cash (as much as $10,000), and even cars. Some people think that this is a good idea because it keeps some kids from skipping school. By rewarding the kids, schools are trying to concentrate on the positive and give rewards for good choices kids make. Schools’ goal is to keep kids in school as long as they can.
On the other hand, some people say that kids should be expected to attend school because education is important. They also say that rewarding kids with good attendance creates jealousy among other kids who don’t have good attendance which will lead to conflict. They claim that kids can’t help it if they are sick or have appointments somewhere, and as a result they do not have any choice other than miss school that day.
I believe that it is great that schools are trying to concentrate on the positive instead of always dealing with bad behavior by giving some kind of punishment as a consequence. Kids need to learn that coming to school is important because they will benefit from it in the long run. At the same time they need to be encouraged to continue making good choices. I also believe that it is not necessary to go to extremes, giving away huge rewards like a car or $10,000 dollars. This would definitely create jealousy among other kids. School should continue rewarding kids with good attendance, but kids with an accepted excuse should still count. One reward idea that kids would benefit from might be contributing a reasonable amount to a fund every year they have a good attendance and once they graduate they can use that fund to go to college.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Snack Attack

Because of a new law, schools all over America are limiting what students can eat. Previously many schools had vending machines stocked with the common vending machine fare: chips, candy bars, soda, etc. Now schools can still have vending machines, but only offering healthy snacks: juice, pretzels, fruit, yogurt, etc. The Institute of Medicine guidelines call for no more than 35 percent of daily caloric intake be from fat and sugar, and a maximum of 200 mg of sodium per day. Naturally occurring sugars in fruit are excepted. The report does not set a standard for artificial sweeteners in food, but does not endorse them in beverages, says registered dietitian Tracy Fox, an IOM committee member.
There have been many complaints from parents claiming that “parents should decide what children eat and not school.” They strongly believe that schools should not take candy away from everyone just because of few unhealthy kids. They point out that soda and chips are fine if kids would also eat fruits and vegetables. But the truth is that once children eat soda and chips, they are not hungry for fruits and vegetables.
Even if parents do not provide healthy snacks at home, my belief is that schools should always provide a healthy environment to their students, including healthy meal and snacks. We should not need to have a law for this to happen. School should also provide information on how important it is for kids to have a well balanced meal in order to have more potential with their learning skills. I don’t see any reason why parents should get upset with schools providing healthy snack options to their kids. Kids do not naturally make good choices. That’s why they need parents to make good choices for them and to teach them how to make good choices. Kids would eat candy, chips, and soda for every meal if it was available. And it is available through many school vending machines. It is time for schools and parents to start acting the part by educating and raising healthy and strong communities. We can start by providing healthy snacks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Do Girls Want?!

Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High
By KATHLEEN KINGSBURY Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2008
As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies — more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year.

17 girls decided to make a pact and get pregnant at the same time to raise their babies together. Whenever something like this happens, adults (especially parents) tend to look for sources to blame. Some people have blamed movies like Juno and Knocked Up; others blame young super stars who are pregnant. Other people have blamed the school for making pregnancy test available or for embracing young mothers “too good.” I believe these people who are so quick to look for things to blame, are people who do not want to open their eyes to reality. They are missing what is important to these girls.
In the article, they tell a story about a girl who was pregnant at the age of 18; and when she was interviewed, she said that other girls were saying to her “how lucky she was to have a baby and to finally have someone to love her unconditionally," These teen girls like many other ones, are missing something in their lives; and that is exactly what parents, principals and other adults around them do not want to admit. Younger than 16, these girls are still children. These girls don’t even know why they did this. They say they did it because of the pact they made. The reality is that these teen girls and teenagers in general are looking for someone who would love them unconditionally. Not matter how they look, not matter what they wear, not matter what their grades are, they want to feel accepted and loved. As simple as it might sound, it is easy for parents to get busy and caught up with other things and to neglect our kids. And it is also easy for school officials to offer birth control pills instead of looking into what is causing this. When these girls were going to the school nurse to take pregnancy tests, the nurse should have notified their parents. Parents are notified when their kids take an aspirin during school; why not notify them when their children take a pregnancy test?
It is time for parents and school officials to stop playing the blame game (that is just for politicians) and work together for the welfare of our precious children.