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Living Longer vs. Living Better

In Children and Family, Health, Local News, Opinion, psychology, Science, Senior Lifestyle, State News, Technology, Uncategorized on December 26, 2017 at 8:07 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

Modern medicine is an incredible thing, with breakthroughs almost daily that range from simple treatments for common ailments to advanced organ transplants. Through those great medical innovations, the lifespan of the average person is now well into the 80s, with better living through chemistry, or so they want us to believe.

But while we treat one area of illness another continues to progress making it seem like we’re falling apart in little pieces. Where we once just dropped dead from something simple like a heart attack, now it seems we deteriorate bit by bit, with each component of our bodies being held together by a separate roll of medical duct tape.

Think of it this way. We take a pill for blood thinning so we don’t have a clot and get a stroke or heart attack. We take a pill for diabetes to keep our glucose levels down. But at the same time, our mind is intact, with virtually no deterioration. Or maybe it’s the opposite, Alzheimer’s shreds the mind while the body is still healthy. Eventually, the body follows in decay since the Alzheimer’s begins to affect how the nervous system functions.

Thanks to modern science, we’re living longer than ever, but I wouldn’t call it healthier or with much of a quality of life. There’s something to be said for just having the lights go out all at once. One of the most horrific things I have had to endure is watching my mother’s mind go as her body still functioned reasonably well. Or what might be worse, having an active, clear mind trapped in a degenerating body that refuses to follow the brain’s instructions any longer.

At what point are we living too long for our own good and quality of life? Can medical science develop a plan to help the entire body and mind maintain the same or reasonably similar level of health for as long as possible? I don’t think that’s really possible.

So, here we are, a pill for this and a potion for that, all in the name of better living through chemistry. Granted, much of what’s wrong with us is their our doing – smoking, drinking, sugar, fat, it goes on and on. Personal responsibility as one ages should at least be taken into account here. We are what we eat, and boy, it’s a mess.

Formaldehyde and chemicals in our water, the carcinogenic material in our meat, pesticides in our vegetables, super-sized everything at the fast food counter, vaping (yeah, like that’s not smoking, whatever). It’s all killing us. But don’t worry, there’s a pill to counteract the effects of all that, so don’t worry about it.

Isn’t it idiotic, though, how much of what happens to us as we age is our own fault? We’re getting older, but we’re sicker when we live longer. When we won’t take care of ourselves even in the short term, someone else has to pay for that later on.

Last year, for example, obesity-related illness cost Americans nearly $200 billion and treating sickness related to smoking cost more than $300 billion. But wait, there’s more! Excessive use of alcohol costs Americans $249 billion.

Fighting obesity is sadly not as simple as trading a cheeseburger for a celery stick. It takes a full and complete lifestyle overhaul that may require generations to affect a family line. But you can totally prevent alcohol and tobacco illness by never lighting up or popping open that cold one.

Addiction may be a disease, but even that is 100-percent preventable because that first drink or smoke is a choice. A penny toward prevention is worth billions toward a cure.

Well, some of this we have control over, some we don’t. It’s so hard to imagine how people can just not care about their own well-being and how that affects those around them. As we age, we need more help from others. Wouldn’t it be great if that burden were just a little easier on our loved ones?

Yes, we’re living longer. But, despite what the big pharmaceutical company advertisements tell you, the quality of that long life is not measured in milligram doses.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd. More at gerydeer.com

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Christine Soward and DMS ink to be honored at 2018 Prevent Blindness Ohio, People of Vision Award

In Education, Health, Science, Senior Lifestyle, State News, Uncategorized on December 6, 2017 at 4:21 pm

Dayton, OH – The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness, Shaun Yu, Discover Classical WDPR and Karen Levin, the Levin Family Foundation are pleased to announce that DMS ink and President/CEO Christine Soward, will be honored at the Annual People of Vision Award Event for their outstanding visionary leadership and philanthropic work in the community.

The award will be presented byShaun Yu, Discover Classical WDPR and Karen Levin, the Levin Family Foundation at a luncheon ceremony on February 14, 2018 at noon at the Dayton County Club. The Master of Ceremonies for year’s luncheon will be Gery L. Deer of GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., who also holds the position of executive council chair for the Miami Valley of Ohio Chapter of Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate.

DMS ink President and CEO, Christine Soward (center) with staff and members of the 2018 People of Vision Steering Committee

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to prevent blindness and preserve sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight.

Nearly 200 people attend the People of Vision Award Luncheon each year and the event raises more than $50,000 to support the sight saving programs of Prevent Blindness including vision screening training, advocacy to widen access to vision care and vision research support.

“DMS ink and Christine Soward possess an exemplary commitment to serving our community and providing resources to people in need living in Montgomery County,” said Deer. “Their support of the community provides a strong foundation for families to build upon and Prevent Blindness is proud to honor them with this award. I encourage anyone who has ever been affected by a vision-related problem to join us at the event in February and help support Prevent Blindness and honor Christine and DMS ink for their service.” Click here to see Christine and Gery discussing the POV event on WDTN-TV2’s Living Dayton.

The People of Vision Award was established in 1985 by the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness to honor and recognize visionary organizations and their top leadership for the outstanding work they have undertaken to enhance the quality of life within their communities. The premise of the People of Vision Award is that our community is enriched by such leadership which reflects a “vision of community” to be celebrated and emulated. It’s been recognized as one of Montgomery County premier charitable events.

For more information or purchase a table or individual seat for the luncheon, click to download the sponsorship packet, call 800-301-2020, or visit the website at www.pbohio.org or on Facebook and Twitter.

Avoid Election Misdirection

In Education, history, Local News, Media, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on October 19, 2017 at 6:08 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

With an election coming up, it’s important to keep focused on what’s going on here at home rather than be distracted by the childish circus that has become Washington. Do you know what local governmental seats are up for grabs or the effect the next school levy might have on you if it fails?

Most of the time, we focus our attention on big stories from national news sources and lose sight of the things that really matter. Sometimes, that’s exactly what the politicians, pundits, and issue-pushers want to happen. Politics might seem, on the surface, about an open debate between candidates or issues, but it’s mostly about misdirection.

In the 2016 presidential election, the Trump camp used misdirection and the divided state of the Democratic base to push their message. While people who could greatly alter the outcome of the election were busy with the chaos on the left, Trump’s people had more opportunity to manipulate the right and win over some middle-of-the-road and undecided voters. The same thing happens on a much smaller scale right in your own backyard.

Most local candidates, regardless of whether they are incumbent, hope that simple name recognition will do the trick. Buying a few local newspaper ads and planting hundreds of signs everywhere can give them just that, not so much recognition but a hope that people can’t remember the names of the others.

Think about it. When you step into a voting booth and there’s a seat open for township trustee (and you barely know what a trustee is, much less any of their names), you’re going to pick the name you remember. In the back of your mind, you’ve seen the signs and ads everywhere of the guy who spent the most at the print shop so you touch the screen on his name and that’s that.

Then there’s some human services levy up for a vote and you have no idea what the fine print says, but it’s for the hospital, or children’s services issue right? What kind of person would you be if you say no to that, so what if you have no idea that it’s going to double your property tax for the next five years? This might seem exaggerated but the point is clear – learn about these candidates and issues before that Tuesday in November.

In this year’s election, the state issue that stands out as most confusing to people seems to be Ohio Issue 2, the drug price standards initiative. Both sides have spent a fortune in print, digital, direct mail, and broadcast advertising trying to sway your vote one way or the other, and it’s only going to increase.

We won’t spend any time on the issue here, but suffice to say that it’s controversial because it involves Medicare drug pricing agreements between the state government and pharma companies. Talk about an unholy alliance. Can you think of any two organizations that have proven to care less about the plight of the average citizen? That’s why it’s so confusing to people.

But, you’re going to have to go look up the exact wording, but take your lawyer with you. Actually, that may not help, because the language of these proposals is made overly complicated for a reason – so you can’t understand them. That’s no accident. The more complex the wording, the more confusing it is to the voter. Mission accomplished.

Remember that the local elections mean far more than the national ones in the grand scheme of things. Pay as close attention as possible to these smaller ballots because the outcomes have a far more immediate effect on your day-to-day life.

Most of these candidates have little or no money to spend on advertising so you may not even see their names until you get to your polling place. You’ll have to do some digging. Your county elections board has all the information you need to get started understanding these issues before it comes time to punch a chad, pull a lever, or tap a screen.

Take the time to know for whom and what you’re voting. It’s up to you to make the best choice for yourself and your community.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. More at deerinheadlines.com

DMS ink celebrates new facility with ribbon cutting

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Economy, Local News, Media, State News, Technology, Uncategorized on July 15, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Yellow Springs, OH – July 12, 2016 – The management and staff of DMS ink celebrated the grand opening of their new headquarters in Yellow Springs this week with an exclusive, invitation-only ribbon cutting and reception. Guests were treated to a tour of the new facility and the opportunity to network and enjoy refreshments in the building’s architecturally stunning atrium.

DMS ink (formerly Dayton Mailing Services) has thrived in the direct mail, digital print, and data management industries for more than 30 years. The company purchased the facility at 888 Dayton St. earlier this year and began moving corporate operations and subsidiaries from the original Dayton, Keowee St. location in April.

In her remarks, owner and president, Christine Soward noted, “It is my sincere hope that our expansion into this new facility will continue to inspire our creativity and innovation to benefit not only our financial security, but also contribute to fulfilling the lives of our employees, customers, vendors and anyone else affected by what we do here.”

DMS ink provides innovative, cutting edge solutions using the latest technology to increase capabilities, improve efficiency and reduce costs, while maximizing consumer response and meeting the needs of the client. DMS ink is a minority and woman owned certified business serving clients nationally. In order to demonstrate the speed of production at DMS, each visitor received a personalized memo book and a mock newspaper featuring a photo of the actual ribbon cutting ceremony that was printed during their tour.

While some production operations will remain in the downtown Dayton facility, most have been relocated and expanded in Yellow Springs. This includes The Bricks Agency, the company’s creative strategy firm and Barrett Brothers Legal Publishing. More information is available online at dmsink.us.

Here is a photo gallery from the event. Photos by Kris WellsThe Bricks Agency  www.thebricksagencyohio.com

If Trump gets nomination, I’m done with GOP

In Business, Economy, history, Jobs, Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology, State News, Uncategorized, World News on February 25, 2016 at 9:37 am

Deer In Headlines
By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOBecause I’ve always tried to get people to think about my subjects from more than one perspective, I’ve rarely shown my personal political leanings within the wording of my columns. In fact, I so often take opposing views in any given article, after any given Deer In Headlines column is published, I could be called, in the same day, a “bleeding heart liberal,” and a “right wing conservative.”

But, here it is, for the record and publicized for the first time anywhere – I am a registered Republican. (If there was a pool going somewhere, I’d like a cut please.) I am certainly not, however, what you might think of as a typical modern conservative. In truth, my considerations often demonstrate a far more liberal position but I’m also frequently sickened by the level of hypocrisy in both parties.

So, I should explain, “why Republican?” Well, I didn’t go with the GOP from any ideological position. Many years ago, during the first presidential election for which I was old enough to vote, I had to choose a party in order to participate in the primary election. At the time, I knew more about the Republican candidates, so I picked that one. Really scientific, wouldn’t you say?

No, it wasn’t the best way to choose, but I was 18 and had to make a fast decision. As the years went on, I always avoided just blindly voting the party line and chose whichever candidate I thought was best based on the facts at hand. So, my party affiliation really didn’t make much difference. But today I think that affiliation does matter, possibly more so than any other time during my life.

Trump rise indicates hateful path of GOP. Photo courtesy NYTimes.

Trump rise indicates hateful path of GOP. Photo courtesy NYTimes.

Donald Trump has managed to do exactly what he set out to since the day he announced his candidacy for president. However caustic and cartoonish his campaign, The Donald has ripped through the fabric of the Republican Party and scattered the conservative base.

My problem here is that any group that would allow and encourage a self-aggrandizing buffoon like Trump to climb to the top of the party has obviously lost its way. Poking around in the dark for the lesser of who cares, people have desperately searched for a non-politician. Sadly, they think Trump is that person. Still, Americans need a good leader and someone who understands the complexities of the world stage on which America is just one player.

To be an effective president, Trump would have to work on a team, listen to more knowledgeable advisors and make decisions based on the best interests of the people, not just to get his own way. I believe, as do others, that Trump is totally incapable of this behavior.

As Trump plowed through the rest of the party making his way to the top, he has repeatedly shown he is not ready or personally equipped to be that kind of leader. As a businessman, he comes across more like a dictator. In other words, it’s his way or nothing. Ironically, Republicans have repeatedly criticized President Obama for the very same behavior citing executive orders.

At this point, I need to be clear about something else regarding my political leanings. I don’t like Hillary Clinton either. She’s a proven liar from a deceptive family and a political insider. Bernie Sanders isn’t much better. His blathering on about so-called democratic socialism is idealistic nonsense lacking even the most basic economic foundation.

So why come out about my party affiliations now? Well, there are a couple of reasons. Over the years I’ve watched in disgust as this party that revels in moral values seems hypocritically more bigoted, angry and hateful than ever. A fact made more clear every time Trump opens his mouth to denigrate Muslims, minorities, women or whomever he’s attacking that day and is met with unbridled cheering from ignorant followers.

The party of Lincoln would certainly cringe if he were here today. In recent times, the GOP has argued harder for the right of someone to own an AR-15 assault weapon than for women and minorities to be treated equally. Honestly? It’s just embarrassing.

Trump’s shocking rise from joke to frontrunner proves that the Grand Old Party is nothing of the kind. It has become, instead, little more than another corporate sell-out run by rich, old white guys with followers who seem to thrive on hate, bigotry and fear.

A Trump nomination will be the last straw for me. When it happens, although I disagree with a great many liberal policies and ideals, I will march myself to the board of elections and change my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.

Since, I tend to think for myself rather than be a political lemming, I’d obviously rather go “independent” but I wouldn’t, for two reasons. First, the idea of an “independent party,” is an oxymoron. You can’t be independent about something if you’re just going to follow a group. Secondly, I still want to have an effect in the primaries.

Many people are angry about the direction of the current administration and the country and I sympathize. I have many friends, family and business associates who are Trump supporters for those very reasons. And for them, I am simultaneously surprised and disappointed, but I still support them and their right to choose the candidate that best reflects their views.

So, I certainly hope these revelations have not put you off of reading my work, but I felt this was important enough to make a stand and let you, my readers, know where my head is in this election. In the coming weeks, I’ll be discussing more about what happens next in my political participation, so stay tuned to Deer In Headlines.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at deerinheadlines.com.

Community colleges are vital to economy

In Business, Economy, Education, Politics, State News, Uncategorized on October 26, 2015 at 9:42 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOAs college tuition continues to climb, more students are going into debt from loans or even dropping out because of the expense and the cycle is getting worse, not better. According to a 2013 estimate by Forbes magazine, students in the U.S. owed a whopping $1.2 trillion in tuition loans and that number is climbing.

Upon graduation, the average student will need to work enough to live while trying to pay off nearly $25,000 in loan debt. This is one reason community colleges are gaining ground as the first, best option for people who want a solid education that leads to gainful employment – and for less money.

Not too long ago the Obama administration announced the importance of community college and an effort to make them tuition-free for low-income families. While there is merit to the sentiment, the idea that an Ivy Leaguer, like the president, speaks as if he just discovered the value of these institutions always comes across as elitist and insulting.

When highbrow critics slam community college curriculum as easier, less valuable, or someplace only the low-performers go, it only serves to make those ivory-towered onlookers appear less intelligent. For some people, the community college serves to fill in educational gaps left by their high school experience.

College_graduate_students (1)The department of education reports that 40-percent of students who set out to earn a four-year degree still have not completed it by year six. Even so, many guidance counselors don’t suggest community college to lower-income or poorly performing students out of a sense of political correctness.

If the counselor sincerely suggests to a low-income individual, particularly a minority, that community college might be their best option, he or she could very well appear racist or the like. As a result, many students head for universities who may either not be ready for it academically or who simply cannot afford it.

Of course, not all community colleges are created equal. There are certainly those institutions that need curriculum improvement, which is why these schools must make every effort to attract talented faculty.

The Dayton, Ohio area has about a half-dozen, highly rated community colleges including Edison Community College, ITT Technical Institute, and, the fastest growing and largest, Sinclair Community College. Established in the basement of the Dayton YMCA in 1887, Sinclair is the oldest and often rated as most popular in the region and a leader in healthcare and high tech education.

Sinclair established university parallel programs more than 25 years ago, providing students the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in engineering and other programs that transfer directly into four-year schools like University of Dayton and Ohio University, Athens. Many community colleges today offer this type of continuing program to allow students to build momentum in their college careers and nail down the academic path that most suits their goals.

Community college is an amazing opportunity for many students, allowing for more hands-on training that is generally possible at the university level and from people who have worked in the field. Most community college instructors and professors have spent years in real-life work situations, not just in academia and theory.

As it has been since their inception, community colleges also tailor programs for adult and continuing education students. From evening courses to satellite classes, adult students can earn their associate’s degree or work toward a certificate required to advance in their current job. Some larger employers even collaborate with the colleges to offer the course work on site.

Whatever the reason, lower tuition, work advancement or kick starting a longer academic career, community colleges offer a great many options for students and are not merely the “last resort.” Education and knowledge are what grow an economy, not political rhetoric and empty promises.

The university experience is simply not for everyone, regardless of academic prowess and financial means. Americans must relieve the stigma associated with community college programs and present instead a unified front for educational options in the 21st Century. Everyone benefits from education, workers, employers, the community and the country.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines syndicated by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

What happened to real news?

In Business, Entertainment, Media, News Media, Opinion, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized, World News on June 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOIn my long, diverse career, I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the best news and media people in the business. I have provided content for Pulitzer Prize-winning publications and even earned some award nominations myself, in part thanks to my association with so many talented colleagues.

But, and I admit it freely, there are times when I am thoroughly embarrassed to be a member of the media in any capacity. Most recently, I feel that way regarding the nauseating, continuous coverage of the Kardashian “family” and their talentless train wreck.

I just don’t get it. Am I missing something here? I keep hearing them referred to as “superstars,” and, for the life of me, I can’t think of any reason they have even come close to earning that moniker.

But my point here is not to rant about these ridiculously out-of-touch people, but to ask my colleagues, what happened to the news and stories about real people? The world is filled with incredible stories of success, survival, family, and even plenty of dysfunction, if that’s your thing, so it’s not like there aren’t better subjects out there.

91389965_36f4f323cc_oBear in mind, I’m not referring to tabloids, celebrity blogs or grocery store gossip rags, but media outlets who claim to have journalistic integrity and brag about their commitment to bringing real news to the forefront. My favorite example of this kind of hypocrisy has got to be CBS, which now uses the social media hashtag “#newsisback;” really guys?

Recently, CBS News social media and even their morning show, which is advertised as, “responsible, intelligent information,” reported details about a Kardashian baby announcement. First, who cares? Second, can someone explain to me how something like that qualifies as “real” news?

One of CBS’s early morning competitors, NBC’s Today Show, can’t seem to get enough of the ridiculous Kardashians. This is primarily because E! Entertainment Television – which carries the Kardashian reality show – and NBC TV are both owned by NBCUniversal.

But, although I think they spend too much time on this nonsense, they get a bit of a pass because their program is more entertainment than news. That is, the format allows for more light-hearted stories, entertainment information, and so on.

However, in the case of CBS This Morning, if they are going to spend their ad budget slamming competitors while claiming to be the leading news resource, they need to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. If the producers and executive bean counters (because that’s who makes the real decisions) want to actually “be” the news leaders, they need to drop this stuff and stay focused. Let the cable entertainment shows promote this junk and give the audience what you promised.

As mentioned before, looking more closely, you find that media giants like CBS and NBC are connected to all manner of media, from publishing companies to film studios. The news programs are used to promote these endeavors and make more money.

For example, say some actor has a book coming out by “publisher A,” which happens to be owned by “media company B,” which produces “morning TV show C.” How better to promote the book and subsequent movie and rake in more cash?

Speaking of bean counting, a big chunk of the responsibility for this problem has to lie at the feet of the consuming public because if they weren’t “buying,” the media wouldn’t be “selling.” Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a self-propelling monster because if stuff like this were never aired in the first place, the public would never have seen it to demand more, and the cycle goes on.

I regularly struggle with content myself, albeit on a much smaller level, but I do my best to consider my audience. I ask myself what they would want to know and how my information will help them in their day-to-day lives. So should the big guys.

The production of news media is big business with lots of complex nooks and crannies, and, honestly, no one wants to see how the sausages are made. All I am asking is that news media practice what they preach.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. All Rights Reserved. More at gerydeer.com.

Greene County Treasurer a Panelist in National Legislative Conference

In Local News, News Media, Politics, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized on March 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm
Gould

Gould

Xenia, Ohio, March 10, 2015 — Greene County Treasurer, Dick Gould, served as a panelist educating attendees about county investment policies and practices at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference February 21 – 25 in Washington D.C.

Joining Gould on the panel were David Messerly, Director of Global Investor Relations for FHLBanks and Jim Powell, Senior Vice-President of Multi-Bank Securities, Inc. Included in the discussion were the impact of interest rates, strategies for approaching investment opportunities, policy restrictions, and best practices.  The session included a question and answer session with participants.

“For counties, interest rates are a double-edged sword,” says Gould.  “Given the historically low rates, investment income has decreased dramatically.  Yet borrowing costs are also down and the county has been able to restructure much of its debt to save costs.”

More than 1500 county leaders attended the national conference, which offered workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Vice President Joe Biden, who began his political career as a Delaware County council member, was the opening speaker at the event.

Dick Gould has been Greene County’s Treasurer since 2011.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Accountancy from Miami University, Ohio.

New laws won’t stop bullying.

In Children and Family, Crime, Education, Health, Local News, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology, sociology, State News, Uncategorized on January 26, 2015 at 11:25 am

DIH LOGOOn January 1st of 2015, a new state law took effect in Illinois giving school district officials broader power to investigate accusations of bullying – including cyberbullying – even if the activity took place outside administrative jurisdiction. After word spread of the bill’s passing, some media outlets reported, somewhat mistakenly, that school officials now had the right to order students to surrender social media passwords.

According to a report by The Huffington Post, however, the wording actually says, “that if cyberbullying is reported to the school, school administrators can investigate the claim even if the cyberbullying occurred outside of school hours and buildings.”

The report goes on to explain that a bill which took effect in January of 2014 made it unlawful for school officials to force parents or students to hand over online passwords. Brian Schwartz, general counsel for the Illinois Principals Association, told The Huffington Post, “I think there’s some misinformation about [the new bill], because that’s been on the books for over a year.”

bullying2There is no question that schools need to do more to curtail bullying. But, while all the attention has focused these new laws and free speech infringement, the media, and pretty much everyone else, missed the more important issue. Where are the parents in all of this?

School administrators have always been charged with maintaining discipline within the confines of their educational responsibility. However, it was never intended for educators to police kids after school hours or away from district property. They have neither the manpower nor the training to do so.

Worse still, civil liberties organizations have managed to tie the hands of educators to the point that, eventually, even detention will be a violation of a student’s civil rights. Regardless, the big question remains, when did parents abdicate the responsibility of actually “parenting” to school administrators?

Without question, this is a complicated issue, but the long and short of it is this: maintaining discipline after hours should be up to parents. If people are going to have children, they should be prepared to educate them in ways of civilized behavior and establish consequences if those rules are violated.

If a child is threatening or causing harm to others outside of school, it should be dealt with by parents and local police or other authorities – not the district administration. To repeat, they have neither the manpower nor the training for this kind of work.

Expanded powers like those granted in Illinois might seem like a good idea, but granting investigative overreach to teachers and administrative bureaucrats just seems, on every level, like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Imagine if a dangerous bully skipped through some loophole in the legal system simply because the investigation was handled by amateurs?

Such legislation is a knee-jerk reaction during midterm election season which will result in skyrocketing education costs and, in all likelihood, increased legal expenses for school districts. There is no reason school administrators should have such broad-reaching power outside of their areas of responsibility. Once again, it begs the question, where are the parents?

Instead of focusing on it after the fact, it might be a good idea for more parents to take a look at the problem and take responsibility for the behavior of their children before such events occur. Many parents overlook bullying as normal, growing pains. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, bullying consists of any and all of the following: fighting, threatening, name-calling, teasing, or excluding someone repeatedly and over time, an imbalance of power (such as size or popularity), physical, social, and emotional harm, or hurting another person to get something.  Cyberbullying includes similar issues, but inflicted over social media.

Some parents might ignore some of this behavior as “just kids being kids,” but it’s not. Kids who bully won’t come out and say so and neither will their victims. Bullying is a form of assault and it’s already illegal. New laws and stricter schools are not the solution. It’s up to parents to be more involved and help prevent this terrible problem.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer and distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. More at gerydeer.com.

WOWA’s Beatnik Cafe, “Here Be Dragons,” Jan 16 at Books & Co.

In Books, Children and Family, crafts, Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, Literature, Local News, Media, State News, Theatre, Uncategorized on January 5, 2015 at 9:50 am
Graphic design by Michael Martin.

Graphic design by Michael Martin.

Beavercreek, OH – Once upon a time, sailors threatened to hang their captains from the yard arm if they ventured beyond a certain point in the sea. Venturing out into the unknown is something about which writers are far too familiar. At 7PM on Friday January 16, authors from the Western Ohio Writers Association will perform their own original tales of uncharted territory at their Winter 2015 Beatnik Cafe event at Books & Co. at The Greene. This quarter’s theme is, “Here be dragons, stories of adventure, exploration and uncharted territory.”

The WOWA Beatnik Cafe reading is a quarterly presentation that pays homage to the hole-in-the-wall poetry clubs of the 1960’s, but with a more modern style. Performing original work, each writer will take the mic to dazzle audiences with short stories, poetry or who knows what. The event is free and open to the public.

Jamestown writer, Barbara Deer, is the co-founder of the organization. “WOWA was intended to provide a regular resource for peer critique, educational programs and networking opportunities to local writers of all genres, both amateur and professional,” she says. “The Beatnik Café offers the public a chance for a glimpse at some of the most talented writers in the region as they showcase their work, in person, to entertain and enlighten.”

“Our group consists of professional and hobbyist writers, all of whom check their egos at the door,” Deer continues. “All are willing to offer help, a fresh eye and, sometimes more importantly, an honest opinion about the quality of the work – good or bad.”

600_376854182Writers come from all around the region – southwest central Ohio, eastern Indiana and northern Kentucky – to attend monthly workshops, critique sessions, educational lectures and write-in events. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the month at the Event Connections, 4140 Linden Ave. in Dayton, near the intersection of US 35 and Woodman Drive.

About to embark on its seventh year, WOWA members definitely have plenty to celebrate. In addition to the many individual members who have been published on their own, in May of this year eleven of them were featured in an anthology titled, “Flights of Fiction,” produced by GLD Enterprises Commercial Writing and published by Loconeal Publishing (ISBN: 978-0-9885289-4-9). The book features stories set in and around the southwest Ohio region and is available in print and electronic formats from the WOWA website as well as Amazon and BN.com.

The Beatnik Café is a family-friendly presentation of WOWA and GLD Enterprises Communications. Books & Co. is located at 4453 Walnut St. at The Greene in Beavercreek. For more information, go online to http://www.westernohiowriters.org or call (937) 902-4857.

Watch the Video Interview from October’s Beatnik with co-founder Barbara Deer on WDTN-TV2’s Living Dayton

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