Protecting Children and Childhood

 

*** TRIGGER WARNING ***

Before starting, I do feel duty bound to caution that the content of this TEDx presentation is disturbing, challenging and for some people might link to strong and powerful memories.

(We need to allow for the sound quality on this video in order to understand these critical issues)

I know this will be the reality for some readers because the issues discussed have actually impacted such vast numbers of people. I consider myself very fortunate never to have been a victim. However, over the years I’ve had so many girlfriends, other friends and people close to me who have opened up and shared about the experiences of their childhood. Every story, every retelling of experiences is etched on my mind as something I’ll never forget. I am talking about incest and the sexual exploitation of children.

This has become more talked about in Western countries over the last twenty years or so. However, it’s still a massively difficult thing to talk about in conservative countries or cultures. Worse, in many countries, as I’ve experienced in my years working in K-12 education,  when a child speaks up there are not just simply the issues of whether or not the child is believed (that happens everywhere). There’s the additional factor that, whether the child is believed or not, even if there is irrefutable evidence, the honour of the family is seen as so important that the child may often be forced in to silence, making an already horrendous situation even worse.

Bringing cases to light and resolving them is made at least a little easier in the West by strong protocols and laws that, for example, make it legally enforceable that if a teacher suspects a child is the subject of abuse they are duty bound to bring their suspicions forward for proper investigation.  Too often in more conservative countries even where a teacher has suspicions or evidence it’s made very difficult for them to bring that evidence forward without risk to themselves, the child or the Institution.

Against this background I have enormous admiration for Ms Supreet Dhimon for her bold courage to bring the matters to light through her TED X talk at an event in Indore, India. In fact, even her strength and fortitude to carry out the research in the first place to attempt to understand the problems and issues at a deeper level.

If I take issue with her on one thing it is her description of this as “India’s Dirty Little Secret.” The reality is it’s the dirty little secret of pretty much every society and country in the world. The evidence and the impact are enormous and horrendous. The vast majority of victims suffer in silence, carrying the scars, physical and mental in to their adult lives.

The home and the family should be the place where any growing child feels at their safest. The problems are vast and the solutions complex. There’s a need for both micro and macro approaches in every country. The micro approaches are about how individual cases are dealt with, how victims are protected and treated, how they are questioned, how they can assured of the physical and mental support for as long as its needed. The micro level is also about how families are supported when cases arise and how the perpetrators are dealt with.

At the macro level there is a need for education and awareness building, education programmes that ensure victims do not believe they are obliged to suffer in silence. The overall perception of adults about children is a part of the issues. In a country like India it’s important to make clear that this is not somehow an issue of poor families, uneducated or rural communities. I remember once reading a commentary that purported to put it down to poor people living in close proximity with a lack of privacy. The perpetrators and victims cut across all levels of education, social status, rural and urban, rich as well as poor. I’ve also been aware of cases in wealthy families where the separation of the extended family through a large rambling house actually contributed to the opportunity for the victim to be isolated and abused.

In the Twenty First Century we owe our children so much better. There needs to be a major and significant energy and drive from all parts of the society to bring such issues out in to the open, to address the educational needs, to ensure that the legal frameworks work to protect victims and deal appropriately with the guilty. The apparatus of support, understanding, care and respect must be in place consistently, so that victims can have the chance to heal and move on with their lives.

 

 

Hurting the Ones You Love

Punk'd_logo

Putting others down to raise ourselves up is, in my view, one of the most invidious forms of bullying. But, we’ve got a problem that needs to be called out – young people’s environment today is full of it.  It’s doing enormous harm and hurt, but nobody’s supposed to say anything about it.

As far as I can tell a big part of it has come out of American culture alongside cultural icons like WWE wrestling. In this pseudo sport, athletes (sic) who are supposedly friends turn on each other, cause each other physical pain and injury and this is all supposed to be terribly entertaining and fun.

It’s part of a major theme of American entertainment culture sold to young people over the last 25 years or so that, I believe deliberately bends and distorts friendship, loyalty and other positive aspects of human relations. And then people wonder why, in parallel we have a generation of young people who’ve grown up more needy, more flaky and vulnerable, more lonely and lacking in human closeness than any before.

There are some particularly sickening aspects of this phenomenon. One of the very worst is “the roast”. When I was growing up i was always taught that good comedy laughs with people, and not at them – that laughing at people was not clever, kind or reflecting positively on the perpetrator. However, the roast manipulates these norms and principles horribly. They take place usually on TV. A specific person is treated as the Guest of Honour (but there’s no honour in this) and is subjected to a barrage of jokes made at them, at their expense and this is intended to entertain the event’s wider audience. We even now have a President of America who was the subject of one such MTV channel roasts (he’s also paraded as part of a stupid, purile storyline in WWE (because that’s what friends do to each other).

The idea is that somehow, personal and brutal humour is the modern equivalent of jousting and the strong person can ‘suck it up’, taking criticism and insult with a smile on their face. This is like friends putting on velvet gloves before punching each other in the face.

Another media manifestation is the Punk’d style of hidden camera shows where practical jokes are played on people by their friends. The more the trick entails a betrayal of friendship and trust, apparently the more entertaining it is. If the person being punk’d shows themselves to be human, hurt, ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated so much the better. I’ve often wondered what the conversations are like that happen just after these humiliations. In most countries it must be necessary for the person to sign something that permits the TV company to broadcast the incident. In all honesty, if I was on the receiving end I wouldn’t sign. No amount of waffle about 15 minutes of fame, popularity etc. would win me over. They would have been wasting their time and expense. But, sadly, the pressure is obviously applied so cleverly that many people are lured by their 15 minutes of fame, just as Andy Warhol predicted 50 years ago.

My belief has always been that friendship is a relationship that is especially important for children and young people growing up today – one that provides something different to relationships within the family. It’s a relationship in which it should be safe for youngsters to explore their views on the world, with someone who has their best interests at heart, where there is strong trust, caring and loyalty. It should be a relationship that children feel can be relied upon, to fall back on for advice, help and support in dealing with life’s challenges and uncertainties.

Instead, I fear that all that all too often what we’re getting is relationships that appear to be supportive and protective, but are in fact the environments within which young people’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses are most abused. Around nine years ago i was so alarmed by what I was seeing that I took the support and guidance of our school clinical psychologist and counselors to write an article to address myself to parents and particularly to students aged around 9 – 12. What we were seeing was an almost incessant needling and digging by children in to each other’s vulnerabilities. Children who claimed to be friends were engaged in almost continuous insults and innuendo about whatever were their greatest weaknesses or vulnerabilities. One child might be carrying some excess weight, another had a mother who didn’t buy him/ her the top designer label clothes, another had parents who were separating, yet another had given an unfortunately wrong and thoughtless answer to a class question in Maths. Whatever makes you most vulnerable is most likely to be known by your friends. However, when friendship starts to consist of parading each others’ vulnerabilities in public for ridicule and belittling there has to be something very wrong.

We had concluded from research and interviews with children, parents and teachers that often this was a deflection method to protect themselves from feeling vulnerable. In other words – I tear you down in order to feel good (or at least a little less bad) about myself. The best analogy might be a playground seesaw. in order to raise me up, you must be pushed down – as though there was only so much self esteem to go around.

Just like the victim in a roast, the child being ridiculed was supposed to show resilience, hide all evidence that the comments and criticisms hurt and, if really ‘playing the game’ to come back with equal vigour in the battle. This may have been the face children were showing each other. However, teachers, parents and school councilors were seeing the evidence of the harm and damage done as children were repeatedly being betrayed by those they trusted, or feeling guilt because they had betrayed their friends (or both!) This was not victimless fun, but a massive erosion of self worth and self esteem.

In the most extreme of cases, I’ve had a group of 16 year old boys admit to me that amongs their friend group they had instituted ‘safe words’ – words that individuals could speak with an unwritten rule that when spoken, then this meant enough was enough. These young people were hurting each other so much and with such disregard for each other’s health and wellbeing – all while convincing themselves and others that they were friends. The safe words came in to play when an individual couldn’t take the emotional battering any more, when they were likely to act violently towards their friend or themselves or take some other drastic action.

This is tragic in the extreme and a gross distortion of anything that can be called friendship. This wasn’t a little harmless leg pulling amongst people who cared for each other. This was risk taking on a gross scale, mirroring the worst of TV and media habits where people appear to bate each other, probe the festering wounds of each others weaknesses, vulnerabilities and shortcomings in ways that make them look big, clever, witty and popular. The one who is ready to risk their friendships most is the coolest?!

What an awful state to have reached, and what terrible prices are being paid in the alienation, loneliness and low self esteem of our young people today. What can be done about it? Well, for starters, those who believe in a healthier, more wholesome and uplifting/ empowering model for friendship need to model this for young people.

More needs to be done to counteract the negative messages of the media and entertainment. We need to put more emphasis on social and emotional learning, the development of emotional intelligence, empathy and caring. Above all, we need to convey the messages to children about how they have choices about whether to build another up or pull them down, the implications of both and the understanding that self esteem is not a zero sum game. If my friend’s self esteem is emboldened today, then he or she is more likely and available to boost mine tomorrow when i need it, going in to a difficult conversation with an adult, a sports event or an exam.

Less emphasis on anti-bullying campaigns and more focus on building strong, resilient emotionally intelligent children who place as much importance on holding up their friends and peers as on boosting themselves up. It’s not always an easy world in which to grow up and our children need all the help they can get. In the words of the theme tune of long running and ever popular comedy, ‘Friends’;
“I’ll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be there for you
Like I’ve been there before
I’ll be there for you
‘Cause you’re there for me too”

 

 

Global Collaboration Week

Global Collaboration

Just a quick heads up on this one for any educators who look to integrate project based real world learning and global themes in their teaching.

Starting today, the Global Collaboration Week commences:

Global Collaboration Week

If you click on the link above this will take you to the website that explains how the week works, instructions on how schools can participate and the enormous array of projects that students can engage with.

Enjoy

 

Teacher Remuneration Around the World

teaching

The World Economic Forum recently shared updated OECD data on teacher salaries in different countries.

World Economic Forum – Where are teachers Paid the Most?

The source data also carries some other interesting data from many different countries splitting the remuneration down according to teacher experience and the age of the students they teach. There’s also data on class sizes, ages of Principals and teaching hours that are also very interesting for comparison purposes;

OECD Data –  Teacher and Education Data

(For both links, simply click on the link and it will open as a new tab or window)

Authentic Learning/ Project-Based Learning

empower-every-learner-webinar-thumbnails-02

Many teachers have changed the way they teach a lot in recent years, or at least added to their repertoire of teaching approaches. However, the pace of that progress has varied in different places and some teachers still struggle to transition.

So, it’s always useful to have access to resources and information from any source. This week I came across some very useful and interesting resources from a US Company, Hapara:

Hapara  – Resources – Authentic Learning

When you click on the link above it takes you to a resources page. if you scroll down or use the menu on the left side there are a number of useful infographics, some e-books and around 14 webinar recordings.

Some of the most useful resources include an e-book:
Real-World, Hands-On and project-Based: An Instructional leader’s Guide to Authentic learning
(PDF includes some useful links to further reading, sources and resources on the last page)

And two webinars stood out in particular:
What does it mean to prepare students to be succesful?
Leading the shift to authentic learning

There are also some interesting resources for making effective use of Professional learning Communities (PLCs). Quite rightly, they highlight that if the aim is to enable and motivate teachers to bring authentic learning to the classroom for students, so they learning methods for teachers should also be built upon authentic learning lines.

Enrollment & International Schools

Admissions Interview

In the past there was a very good chance that when someone decided to build or open a new international school in a particular town or city it faced little or no direct competition or at least the market was so immature that barring big mistakes they were pretty much guaranteed opening with a decent number of students and a solid progression to a break-even number within a relatively short number of years. In business terms we can really think of the experience of most schools as ‘picking the low-hanging fruit.’

However, I believe in most parts of the world now the scenario has moved on and schools need to reconsider their approaches. In most markets of the world the twin effects of market saturation and uncertain economies are combining to mean that suddenly many school owners find themselves scratching their heads, trying to determine why they’re not achieving the student numbers they had intended. This is a critical issue for a school owner. If the break-even number of students per class is 15, then every student above that number represents surplus, with little or no extra marginal cost. Thus, a drop in average number of students per class from 18 to 16 can slash surpluses, especially if it offers no scope to reduce class numbers.

When I was in India, as Director at The Shri Ram Schools we had the luxury of always knowing that demand for seats massively exceeded demand. As a result, processes were geared around selecting those children where there was the best ideological fit between the parents’ desires and the school’s vision. This even remained the case when constructing to increase capacity. So, there was next to nothing spent on marketing and admissions work was handled largely as an administrative task by academic secretaries. The schools even went as far as to place ‘security’ as priority over parent openness so no open days, guided tours or opportunity for parents to see the schools at work. My experience was that parents were so fixed on getting seats in the school that they accepted this, even though they didn’t like it and found it arrogant! Here in Malaysia we’ve seen some of the earliest International Schools who have started to hold open days and to pay more attention to admissions in the last two-three years as they’ve realised they can no longer rely on passive response to demand to retain full enrollment.

When involved in setting up new schools, in India and UAE there was obviously a far greater emphasis on marketing and more importance placed on admissions. However, there were a few things that became clear, even as most new schools were achieving their admissions goals;

a) Marketing methods were often blunt instruments lacking subtly and ‘copycat’ in nature. There was lots of use of billboards, newspaper and magazine advertisements to create brand awareness. Most schools were simply watching what others were doing and copying them. This included bland and vanilla visions, missions etc. paraded as evidence of the type of education a child would get in a particular school. Adverts made endless use of images related to young plants, green shoots etc. etc. all of these things can only create the awareness. Admissions and enrollment has to go way beyond this to get face to face and ultimately to enroll the right children for the school in the required numbers.

b) Enrollment or admissions is so important for the wellbeing of a school that it needs to be given major importance. However, in my experience, I’ve seen worrying numbers of cases where Principals and school team leaders wanted to have little to do with the whole process. Without due leadership from the front it’s liable to get inadequate attention. It’s not just something to simply be left to its own department with minimal attention.
Apart from anything else, the very way the school runs and the way it presents itself in the wider community plays a key part in driving admissions. This requires a continuous two-way flow of information about how the public are perceiving the school.

c) Too often there’s a lack of clarity and certainty about what admissions is really about. Firstly, I’ve been alarmed to see the number of cases where staff directly engaged in admissions had little clarity about the actual number of admissions they needed/ were expected to get in a year. Even when they knew this number they didn’t have clear objectives regarding how many enquiries would be needed to achieve those admission numbers.
School admissions staff and Heads are often uncomfortable with words like sales, yet that’s exactly how the admissions process should be treated, especially as competition increases. In sales there is a sales target. In this case the target number of students required has three elements;
(i) the target total enrollment for the end of the year minus the total enrollment at the start of the year,
(ii) the number of students due to graduate at the end of the year,
(iii) the estimated number of withdrawals/ attrition over the year – an intelligent estimate based upon current trends, the previous year, economic climate and competitive forces combined with the leadership team’s perceptions of current parent relations and satisfaction levels.
(iv) There might then be some modest adjustments to allow for classes that are at full capacity and/ or situations where the creation of a new class could only be justified if a certain number of admissions are secured to join that particular year (with availability of a classroom etc.)

Once a team has this single key number, they can then move on to the next stage of pipeline planning. There should be more than adequate data available to know how many face to face interactions take place to achieve a given number of admissions. This can be stated as a ratio and sets a second target for the number of face to face interactions required.

Then, the next calculation, again drawing on existing data, is how many enquiries are required to achieve that given number of face to face interactions. Let’s show this as a simple example:

School XYZ

June 2019 student numbers                                                  1,600
June 2020 student numbers budget goal                            1,800
Net difference                                                                             200 (i)
Students due to graduate in June 2020                                  130 (ii)
Attrition estimate (consistent 6% for last 2 years
and other factors unlikely to change this)
1,600 x 6%                                                                                    100 (iii)

Total (i) + (ii) + (iii)                                                                     430 admissions target

If we have a conversion ratio of 1: 2.5 for those seen face to face, then this indicates that we need 1,075 meetings for admissions. If our ratio of meetings from enquiries (with a common shared understanding of what constitutes an enquiry) is also 1: 2.5, then this indicates total requirement of enquiries for the year of 2,700.

A good team can map out all three of these numbers over the year, aware of when are busy and quiet times, so that there are targets for all three key numbers for each month. Now, regular review meetings can assess progress against all three key numbers. If, for example, two months in to the year, the enquiry numbers have been on track, but face to face are 20% below expectation and there’s a corresponding shortfall in admissions to date, then intelligent conversations can happen. Does the team need to have a push on enquiry follow-up, arrange a special event to bring in the undecided and hesitant. Has something changed in the market that may require rethinking our numbers? Do we need to accept a lower conversion ratio, so take some actions to increase the number of enquiries (a social networking campaign or some advertising?) Alternatively, can we improve our conversion skills so that we can manage with a smaller number of face to face interactions to still produce the desired number of admissions.

The key is maintaining accurate and timely data and having sensible and realistic conversations around that data. However, if the work above hasn’t been done, then admissions staff and school leaders can only shrug and cross their fingers if asked whether they are going to achieve the goals for which they’re accountable.

However, the duty to achieve these numbers is critical to the wellbeing of a school. This is not simply about meeting obligations to school owners/ promoters, but also to the staff, students and parents. If the admission numbers are not achieved, then inevitably discussions turn to cost savings and/ or fee increases. This can be detrimental to all stakeholders.

d) The achievements of these numbers are so crucial that it is right and reasonable that the people with direct engagement in admissions and student enrolment have a seat at the table when major school leadership decisions are being made. It’s also important that the manpower for admissions is appropriate, trained and motivated. Returning to our example above and the likelihood that the admissions team will need to conduct approx. 1,075 face to face interactions, then in most schools this is likely to require a team of three, keeping in mind that they must also have enough time for follow up, appointment setting and their involvement in other marketing work and event management.
School leadership must avoid temptations to use these staff in other peripheral administrative work in the school, otherwise its easy for the targets to quickly slip out of reach.

In this one article I’ve only really skimmed the surface and there are, undoubtedly many other aspects that can become part of the discussions, training and professional development of admissions personnel. As competition increases significantly schools need to raise their games in this area. Gone are the days when admissions staff could just act like passive application processors. They now need to see themselves as professional sales people with the responsibility to sell the benefits of their school to the right parents for the right children. I haven’t touched upon the aspects of admissions work that actually shapes a school’s ethos. Over-emphasis on the targets at the expense of all else, especially if they are very stretching, can see every attempt made to admit every child, even where either the child or the parents may not be an ideal fit for the school. For example, parents who demand and expect large volumes of homework may be a weak fit for a school with a progressive approach that believes in very minimal amounts of work at home. Schools are not, or shouldn’t try to be, all things to all people – one size fits all. There are also important aspects that relate to how students are assessed for admissions, but that’s for another day, another article.

The skills required are considerable, so I’m not surprised to see the emergence of professional training and  development/ affiliation organisations targeted specifically at admissions professionals. I expect to see more focus in this area as the work of admissions becomes more professionalized. This promises to make it a richer and more rewarding professional field. There are undoubtedly skills and knowledge that are domain specific, so it’s not going to suit anyone and everyone coming from a sales background. Also, it’s work that a teacher needs to think carefully about transitioning in to as there’s a lot to it. And, as stated earlier, it’s a crucial part of the portfolio of school leaders and they need to acknowledge this when allotting their time and energies. They also need to raise their skills in this area – the easy pickings are history.

 

For more information:
The Enrollment Management Association
Association of Independent School Admission Professionals
(the latter, as far as I’m aware is purely US centric)

 

Children’s Backpacks – The Lack of Drive & Energy to Change

Backpack

Backpacks should never weigh more than 10 – 20% of the child’s weight.

That’s the strong and firm recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In India at least. i would reckon that the angst about the weight of children’s school bags has roiled around for at least 15 years, and yet there’s still all the evidence that little has changed and that those bags are still way too heavy.

It’s become one of those problems and challenges where everyone seems to agree it’s wrong, but everyone is waiting or demanding that someone else should take the action to solve the issue. In the meantime, children keep suffering as everyone blames someone else.

There have been some creative attempts to solve the issues. I was aware of a textbook publisher in the South of India who replaced the separate textbooks for English, maths and Science in Primary classes with combined books for Term 1, Term 2 and Term 3. The idea was that the child would just need to carry the one book. The idea had limited success. People somehow believed that knowledge is compartmentalized according to subjects and therefore were not completely comfortable with these combined books. Teachers sometimes wanted to jump around the syllabus and not be tied to the earlier decisions about allocating the work across the three terms. Then, when exams came around they wanted the children to carry all of the books.

Here’s a recent article that highlights some of the issues – issues that really don’t seem to have changed much over so many years:
MSN – Mom Article – Here’s What Happens When a Child’s Backpack is Too Heavy

There are some key issues that people need to own up to if solutions are to be found;

a) Teachers retain their freedom to shift lessons around at short notice, so children can’t leave books at home and simply take to school the ones for the scheduled classes for that day. The more chaotic the scheduling and planning in schools, the more books the children carry each day – to avoid getting in to trouble. Teachers, all too often, don’t tell children to bring all the books related to the subject because they KNOW all the books will be required, but to retain maximum convenience for themselves.

b) Where lockers are provided to children, too often they’re not convenient or the timetable doesn’t permit sufficient time to use them. Or, quite simply, they’re not taught the skills and benefits of effective planning. I’ve seen too many situations where the lockers were in classrooms. So, if the room is engaged, students can’t enter to access their locker.
Even going back to when I was in school (and that was a very long time ago!) the timetable was set up with lessons in blocks of two (never more than three). The expectation was that we collect and carry the books for the lessons in that block. So, you didn’t have to go back between the lessons when there wasn’t time. It was my responsibility to plan this correctly. Between those blocks of lessons there was ample time to go and get books. So, if I was late to a lesson because I left getting my books until too late or arrived with the wrong books, that was also my responsibility. That said, human error happens and it’s through making mistakes that we get better. Missing a book occasionally is not the end of the world, but we can learn from it.

c) The first day of a new term/ academic year is one of the worst for heavy bags. Too often we see children carrying everything. Teachers can plan for this by providing information to parents and students about what to carry with the aim to bring everything gradually over the first two to three days. We’ve done this effectively in some schools where I’ve worked with the leadership team in the past. It was necessary to plan accordingly in age appropriate ways (for example making sure that the entire contents of the bag didn’t go back home at the end of the first day!)

d) There are similar issues about the end of the term/ academic year. The entire content of a child’s locker need to go home generally (or at the parents’ insistence). If we know this, we need to plan for it to avoid a last day when the children will carry a bag bulging with every piece of scrap paper and bag built up in the locker over a whole term Again, in the past, I’ve been involved in situations where communication with parents and the children ensured that the contents of lockers were first tidied and sorted and then moved home over two to three days at least. This effectively spread the weight burden.

e) The article advocates trolley bags as a way to avoid the issue of bag weight. In my experience this isn’t a good solution – in fact, it can make the situation worse, because all restraint on what goes in to the bag goes away. As stated trolley bags also don’t work when children need to go up or down stairs. This also troubles children when getting in and out of vehicles. There’s a bigger issue with younger children that lead us to outlaw these bags in at least one of my past schools – the potential for children to run over each others’ legs and feet, causing at least hurt if not injury.

f) Parents who want everything to go home every Friday pose a challenge and make themselves part of the problem instead of part of the solution. I’ve seen this quite frequently, often tied to their own perceptions that to prove themselves as effective caring parents who take a personal interest in their child’s learning need to go through the books at least once a week. Sadly, too often, I’ve seen these occasions lead to children dreading the weekend, feeling the need to defend their teacher and getting stuck between home and school. I’m sure few of these parents micromanage employees in their workplaces in such ways, yet they do it with their child and the teachers! Children learn to own their learning better by less frequent reviews of their learning. I prefer twice a term student-led conferences where the child gets to present the work they’ve been doing and reflect on their own learning with the teacher and parent.

g) Being cool is highlighted in the article, but especially in secondary schools is a massive issue around school bags. I remember being particularly frustrated in Bangladesh where the older boys wore their bags with the straps loosened off to the maximum so that it bounced below their bum. The strain they were doing to their backs was awful to see, all on the pursuit of peer pressure, being cool and fitting in. I used to applaud those who had the sense and personal strength to not feel the need to go along with the silliness.  The ‘one shoulder’ thing is also an issue.
Ultimately, the way to address this issue sits alongside so many others where peer pressure causes children to engage in behaviours that are not in their best interests. We can’t necessarily win all the time, but as parents and educators we need to do all in our power to stress individuality and the strength to pursue goals and objectives through independent thought, rather than going along to get along. That’s an issue for another blog post!

The reality is these heavy bags are harming children and have been doing so for many years. We haven’t done enough to address the issues and past solutions aren’t going to be enough. It’s going to require that parents and teachers care enough and combine their care for the children to create effective solutions.

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