I have authored a column called: “Can You Believe This?” for more than a year. Basically, the premise is that real news is ALWAYS stranger than fiction. Moreover, in my job as a journalist, I’ve covered cops/criminals—always fodder for general insanity of humans against humans. If I used every article I came across, I would be dead for decades before I’d run out of stories to print. Some of the articles are happy, some sad. Most are simply inane and leave you shaking your head. These are stories you could live without…but you won’t want to! Here’s the latest:
—9th graders must deal with trans-gendered. I wrote that headline exactly the way I meant it. It sounds inflammatory, but if you hear the story, there aren’t many ways to tell it or think about it. This is exactly what one freshman class is dealing with this year. I generally err on the side of protecting the feelings and/or rights of children so we don’t end up with a generation of screwed-up adults leading our country.
I checked this out through no less than 12 reports…not many national as it is being downplayed (surprise, surprise). Note that the media sources I got the information from are generally left leaning as the media is considered the liberal left—and I’m a card-carrying member of that group. Still, facts is facts. You make your decision.
Here’s the case:
A male teacher who had been in the Science Dept of a Batavia, New York High school started school this year with a very different look. He came in dressed as a she.
Before the start of the school year, a meeting was called replete with medical experts, lawyers, and the school board to speak to parents to advise them that the teacher would now be thought of and referred to as a she. Basically, it was laid out that the kids had two weeks to adjust. After that, if the teacher were addressed as Mr., it would be considered sexual harassment, the student would be punished, and that would be reflected in the student’s permanent record.
It was presented as a serious non issue. If it’s a non issue, then why did was a doctor brought in to explain that this was a “Gender Identity Disorder” beyond the teacher’s control. He will be undergoing a physical sex change, but for now he is living as a woman without benefit of surgery.
Laywers were brought in to back the medical experts up, saying that as this is a disorder (as opposed to a life choice…I dunno about you but I make a choice on which clothes to wear when I get up in the morning) the teacher cannot be fired. As the New York Examiner reported: “Under state and federal laws, a person with a transsexual disorder is considered disabled, is protected from discrimination and must be reasonably accommodated by an employer.” Okay, that explains why the school district is wholeheartedly behind this. I get that. Still, you’re asking 9th graders and their parents to say “Okie dokey” in a two-week period. Kids are depressed, frenetic and everything in between at that age.
I don’t care what an adult chooses to do. I may have to learn to live with this or that in the interest of freedom. A 9th grader who had been calling someone Mr. the year before can hardly be expected to automatically (or in 2 weeks) conform to the same standards we adults may or may not go along with for fear of being hit with a sexual harassment charge. (Can you see a 9th grader being told he or she is a sexual harasser?)
Parents wrote in support of the teacher, empathizing, as many adults will. Others wrote in, not arguing about the person’s life choices, but contending that it would—at the very least— be a distraction to learning for his/her child. Five asked to be transferred and were denied, the school saying they didn’t meet the requirements.
One parent, Amber Robinson wants to remove her son from the teacher’s class, but said school officials will not allow her to do so. She said, “Academically my son will fail.”
The Board of ed doesn’t seem to be as accommodating to the many parents and students as it is being to the one teacher. Their only answer was to put together this informational meeting saying they just didn’t want there to be an elephant in the room when the kids started school.
Are they kidding? Have these people met 9th graders.
—Monkeys seek feng shui. According to an Associated Press report, the Los Angeles Zoo has paid $4,500 for an expert in the art of feng shui to make sure that the environment setting for three endangered golden monkeys on loan from China presents a strong and healthful life force.
While feng shui is in demand among the elite set, the Zoo’s foray into the field may be the first time it has been used in an animal enclosure. “It’s very experimental,” Simona Mainini, the feng shui expert, said. “We don’t have any books on feng shui for monkeys. We just have to assume that Darwin is correct and that there is a connection and what is good for humans is good for monkeys.”.
—Good people do exist. A good moral question always involves whether or not you would return an item left behind by a stranger. A New York cabbie passed the test when he returned 31 diamonds he found in his cab shortly after a Texas lady’s ride. To make it more magnanimous, the woman had left him a mere 30 cent tip on a $10.70 fare. “All my life, I tried to be honest,” said Osman Chowdhury, a native of Bangladesh. “Today is no different.”
It turns out that the woman is a jeweler. She left a better tip upon the receipt of her lost 32 diamonds—$100.
—Brotherly (or sisterly) love. It’s all good. We’ve all heard of the selfless deeds of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the organization that grants wishes to children with terminal illnesses. Here’s a take on the theme I’ll bet you haven’t heard:
The hospice in Britain run by a nun, granted a 22-year-old man afflicted with muscular dystrophy an unlikely wish for a nun to grant. According to London’s Daily Telegraph, the man wanted to lose his virginity before he died, so the hospice arranged for a prostitute to come to his family’s home. As they say, you might as well ask for what you want. The worse that can happen is someone will say no. In other cases, you’ll get your wish.
—-Valentine’s Day is like Herpes. That is, it’s as insidious as any STD according to the Web site: www.meish.org/vd/. Cards contained sayings like “At least my cat loves me” and “You’re chucked.” The problem is the site, created in 2001 by two singles living in London. It took off. In 2005, more than 200,000 cards were downloaded before the server finally collapsed under duress. It seems many more people relate to the anti-Valentine sentiments offered by traditional companies such as Hallmark.