Blog Posts: Vacation Edition

It’s a holiday week (yeay) which means I won’t get any work done, so I have some quick updates instead.

First, take a look at this excellent and moving blog post by my friend, Jennifer Levi, reflecting on the transgender rights bill that was passed in Massachusetts last week.

Also, I have a new Gazette article taking aim at a pretty easy target: the Penn State debacle. But am I taking a cheap shot, or speaking the truth that no one else can afford to?

And the brandy-new post I just included below, originally featured on OwnaDayCare, which started quite an interesting debate over curriculum standards. I feel they’re too high, and I’m reminded of it every time I attempt a curriculum project (such as the handprint turkeys we made today while one child who doesn’t like projects threw a tantrum, and one really did a good job, and one painted the entire table with glue, and we all got frustrated and/or bored at some point during the course of the activity).

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

4 thoughts on “Blog Posts: Vacation Edition

  1. Amy

    Great piece on the Penn State crimes. There was an interesting piece I read somewhere about how this would have played out differently if the victims had been girls; that one of the reasons this was covered up was homophopia. It’s one thing to acknowlledge that Sundusy was a serial abuser and yet another to out him as gay. But of course, these labels have no meaning in the context of using children sexually. Rape is rape.

    The use of language has also been interesting. Why do we use serial abuser when the more accurate term is serial rapist?

    As you might guess, sports talk shows have been all over this and caller after caller seems to be just as angry at McQueary for not stopping the rape as at Sandusky. It is hard to believe that he just left the scene of the crime… and of course I like to think I would have behaved differently. But I truly do not know. To witness violence causes trauma and shock. We all react differently. Some returning veterans are without physical wounds but are forever scarred and changed by what they witnessed. Factor into this that coaches (especally at the insular world of Penn State for a kid who was raised there) are family to athletes.

    Very few of us will ever be in McQueary’s position where right/wrong are so clearly delineated. But all of us will witness abuse at subtle levels. What do we do? If anything comes out of this I hope it is more reflection and more awareness of where all of this comes from. Does it start in the touchdown run of a child and the subsequent celebration? I’m not sure but I’m glad that you are bringing it up and am hoping that families, friends and communities continue to talk.

    Dennis Caraher

    • I’m so grateful for the thoughtful comments on this post. Thanks for bringing up these interesting points, Dennis. I also read an interesting piece about how news outlets should use their words more carefully. It said that sometimes they use the wording of the crime that’s been charged rather than what the crime was exactly, but that can lead to confusion. I agree that abusers don’t necessarily come from sports and that could’ve been unclear in my wording (didn’t have room to delve in a column!). I think that’s why I work so hard to teach adults how to treat children and really, how to behave around them, because they are learning everything from us. Thanks again for your thoughts!

  2. I read your article about the Penn State sexual abuse scandal and felt grateful for your clarity about what one needs to do when we think a child is being abused. That said, it’s not easy nor is it (always) well-defined how to help. An organization in our own backyard ( has been called in to guide and advise. Here is a link (of many) that anyone can read and become more informed. We know that power corrupts, so figuring how to prevent harm to children is key.

    • Thank you so much Rosie – I think we are all sometimes in the position of wondering how to handle an abusive situation. We like to think we’ll do the right thing but don’t really know what will happen in the heat of the moment. I will definitely check these links out!

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