Yes, teachers should be paid what they are worth. It is one of the most important professions and vital to the future of our country. The teachers that are dedicated to teaching and care about student development along with challenging our youth to be the best they can be should be paid with a pay scale equivalent to what corporations pay executives because that is what they are. They are executives of a classroom. They manage between 30 and 150 students a day. They develop lessons, create evaluations and are responsible for getting their students to meet a particular standard among many other responsibilities they have. Let’s not forget to mention having to do this while dealing with discipline issues, students that don’t show up and other factors that would cause a business executive to quit within 3 months. Let alone an executive that does not see opportunity to make a decent wage in time. The small percentage of teachers that are burned out, waiting for “something better” or like to project their own political/social or other biases into the classroom need to be removed. Tenure does not exist in business and should not in the classroom. However, teachers should not strike or walk out during a school year. It hurts the students and causes other issues. Let’s fix the Education system as a priority and make teaching a profession that attracts the cream of the crop for an entire career and allow them to earn what they deserve. The future of our country depends on it.
I am writing this because I am sad…today more innocent lives were taken from us. My sadness is not about politics, guns or differences on what laws and regulations should and shouldn’t be. We were reminded today that far too many people in this country are angry, feel alone, have mental illness and carry so much hatred in their heart that perpetrating such a horrendous and evil act is becoming more common today than ever before in our history. We shy away from discussions on what has happened to our society and what factors are causing more and more individuals to lose their conscience and choose to hurt others. We are seeing a trend of many that are overcome with so much anger that they no longer can think rationally and choose actions which are pure evil. Over the last 10 years we have seen an increase in suicides as well as acts that have caused mass harm to many. Whether it be guns, cars, knives, fists etc. that are used as a weapon our society has shifted and the result has penetrated the psyche of many individuals that were born with love in their heart but learned to hate and be angry towards the society in which they are a part of. I don’t have the answers but I do know we, as a nation, need to be asking different questions and looking for different solutions. The innocent lives that were lost today as well as all of the victims of the past should not be in vain. We must change our culture, we must change our society, and we must find a way to reduce the anger and hate before it becomes the predominant force of our Nation. Praying!
As an MSU Alumni I listened to the brave women who gave their testimony this week regarding the Larry Nassar abuse and I had many mixed emotions. Very sad for these women who had to suffer for years and feel as if no one cared, especially those who may have been in a position of power to stop it. They are brave women who endured both physical and emotional pain in a place that was supposed to be safe and educational. They are heroes to all of us and will be in our prayers as they start their road to recovery. It also reminded me of the state that much of our country has been in for many years. We have seen the recent exposure in Hollywood of those in power using their influence to abuse others. We have seen those in Congress and the Media who did the same thing. It seems on a weekly basis we also hear of High School teachers having a sexual relationship with students. These acts of abuse have been going on for years. The many victims who have had the courage to come forward are exposing a long pattern of abuse by the powerful. Universities are a microcosm of society and the issue at MSU was not the first university and sadly won’t be the last. The culture in America over the past 50 years has seen the acceptance of Movies, TV Shows, Music and other forms of entertainment that would have been unacceptable or at least shunned by the majority of society. We have seen lawsuits to stop those that want to pray in public or those that want to mention GOD or put up religious symbols in a public place (The Ten Commandments etc.). We listen to the constant middle school bickering and name calling by elected officials and professors at universities all across this country speak out with vulgar and intolerant language. Yes, those in a position of power who could have stopped the evil acts of Larry Nassar need to be punished both at MSU, the NCAA, USA Gymnastics and any other entity that had an ability to stop this. Beyond that, we as a society need to look at how we let the culture of the United States of America get to the point of allowing those in a position of authority to use their power to hurt others and use fear of repercussions as a deterrent to stop it. We are all responsible for the culture that has evolved in our society and all of us are responsible for changing it. We need to move more towards a country that respects one another and need all the influences from the Media, Hollywood and Washington to reiterate the importance of moral values. If we can change our culture then maybe the evil actions of a person like Larry Nassar will be the rare exception and not a common occurrence. Praying.
Eric Grunor, MSU class of 1990
As we near the final push of holiday shoppers and bumper to bumper traffic, it is a good time to remember the power behind a simple smile. No matter what kind of day one might be having or the stresses one is dealing with, a sincere smile, to a friend or stranger, is a great way to brighten one’s day. The receiver of a smile will appreciate it and the giver should feel good in providing a positive moment to another. Try it. Smile and hold a door open for someone. Smile to the person in the drive thru. Smile as you walk by someone in a crowded store or in a waiting room. It is truly amazing how powerful a smile can be. A simple nonverbal gesture is a universal way to express joy, appreciation and kindness. If everyone tries to smile just a bit more every day then maybe kindness becomes the norm and not the exception. Smile And The World Smiles With You !
All one has to do is watch a recent episode of NBC’s “Will & Grace” to see that Hollywood is the epitome of hypocrisy. In a particular story plot we see Grace and Karen making sexual comments to a work place sub-ordinate and joking about how great it would be to be intimate with him before they start talking to their own body parts. We also see Jack and Will make inappropriate sexual comments about another individual as if these comments and behavior is perfectly acceptable. One has to wonder how any actor, musician, director, producer or writer, that participates in any way actions that tries to normalize behavior that society can consider criminal, can cash their paycheck and then act surprised and appalled with all the stories coming out of their peers actually doing these same despicable things. These actions have always been well-known but the “Just the way it is” and “Don’t rock the boat” attitude was the way to keep everyone’s bank account happy. The characters of The Seaver’s (Growing Pains), The Keaton’s (Family Ties), the Winslow’s (Family Matters), The Evan’s (Good Times) to name a few, would never be considered for broadcast today because they talked about values and respect for one another without resorting to joking about sex, alcohol and drugs yet they tackled these topics and how it relates to both adults and children. If the “Self-Proclaimed Elites” in Hollywood truly are upset with what the rest of the world is learning about their “secrets” than they need to stop making this type of product and start doing what is right.
Hollywood is the example of what is wrong with our society. The recent exposure of the perversion of a producer and those who stayed silent is not surprising. This type of behavior has been going on for decades in the “Land of Make Believe”. Many victims were too afraid to come forward and those that have made it to the pinnacle of stardom were too afraid to rock the boat and lose their ability to get lead roles and subsequent wealth. We have seen these hypocrites stand up and preach about the topic of the day, and against politicians and others that are in opposition to their view-point. However, these self-proclaimed celebrities are only famous because many choose to participate in Movies, TV Shows, and Music that glorifies violence, sexual perversion, adultery, drugs, alcohol abuse, and many other actions that are in opposition to how a society that puts GOD first would behave. Their “art” takes what should be shunned behavior and makes it funny, makes it trendy, and worst of all makes it acceptable. Before any actor/musician/writer stands up and preaches about how others should act maybe they should check their own actions and see if they are prostituting their morals in order to earn a paycheck under the disguise of “entertainment”. In the end, people will repeat what they see and hear, especially if it is glorified on a big screen or weekly TV show.