Produced by Gary Drevitch
WHICH RAISES THE OBVIOUS QUESTION: WHILE THE OB/GYN HAS HER UNDER, CAN HE GIVE HER A POST-HYPNOTIC SUGGESTION TO DO THE DISHES, OR AT LEAST TO CLUCK LIKE A CHICKEN WHENEVER SHE HEARS A PHONE RING?
Hypnobirth is sweeping into delivery rooms across the country, as thousands of moms-to-be put themselves in such a calm state that they hardly notice the births of their babies. Hypnobirthing even has its own euphemisms - a contraction is a uterine surge or wave, pushing is birth breathing, and false labor is practice labor.
"When you hear 'hypno,' you think weird, hippy, earthy type stuff," said Kelly Yeiser, 31, of Ashville, N.C., who had her first baby last August using the technique. "But it's really more about meditation and getting yourself into a calm, relaxed state."
Yeah, that doesn't sound weird or hippy at all.
WE'RE PRETTY SURE THE FILTHY PEACENIKS ARE BEHIND THAT iPOD, TOO
battle over cell phones in classrooms rages here this week, as New York City
school safety agents have been confiscating scores of phones during
random security screenings, sparking fierce complaints from both students and
parents. Moms and dads consider the phones to be an essential life line for older kids
who commute alone and regularly confirm their safety upon reaching
school, exiting the subway, and arriving back at home. There's also, of course, the
fear of kids being without a phone line in case of a school shooting, terrorist attack, or natural disaster. Every parent's worst
nightmare is being separated from their kids during a major crisis,
and this is why the city is going to lose this battle, and might as
well give in sooner than later. They've got a rule on the books that is only spottily enforced to begin with, and by the time they construct a defense of how they choose where they enforce it, they'll have no support left.
In the Times today,
some school officials complained that the bad outweighs the good with
cell phones, such as illicit locker-room pictures, cheating on
tests, or friends calling friends to join brawls. However, we didn't catch
any administrators claiming that students are unduly disrupting teaching time with
cell-phone use, or any students or parents arguing that schools would
be unjustified in confiscating the phones of students who did disrupt a
class in session. Some administrators did claim if weakly, that cell
phones were unnecessary even as a lifeline, since schools could call
parents in case of emergency, or allow kids to use school phones in a
crisis. Fine - you run a middle school with 450 kids. A shooter breaks
into the building. Who gets to use the office phone?
Taking a different, wackier approach to the issue is the right-wing New York Sun, which never passes up an opportunity to use today's public debates to bash yesterday's enemies. In a column on Tuesday, the dean of Jamaica High School argued that we wouldn't even be talking about cell phones in the schools if the country had only heeded the warnings of Justices Hugo Black and John Harlan thirty-odd years ago, when our schools were overrun with hippies daring to oppose the war in Vietnam by wearing black armbands to school, and the jurists dissented in Tinker v. Des Moines, refusing to accept that the armbands were protected speech:
Justice Hugo Black issued a prophetic dissent warning, "... I repeat that if the time has come when pupils of state-supported schools, kindergartens, grammar schools, or high schools, can defy and flout orders of school officials to keep their minds on their own schoolwork, it is the beginning of a new revolutionary era of permissiveness in this country fostered by the judiciary."
We've long since crossed that Rubicon. Justice Harlan joined Justice Black in opposing the expansion of these free speech rights of students. He observed that "The original idea of schools, which I do not believe is yet abandoned as worthless or out of date, was that children had not yet reached the point of experience and wisdom which enabled them to teach all of their elders. It may be that the Nation has outworn the old-fashioned slogan that 'children are to be seen not heard,' but one may, I hope, be permitted to harbor the thought that taxpayers send children to school on the premise that at their age they need to learn, not teach."
Unfortunately, Black and Harlan were on the losing side of the argument, and we are living with the consequences today in our schools. Don't expect any changes in the schools . . . until the wisdom of Black and Harlan once more dominate our sensibilities.
Black and Harlan were indeed prophetic, as we have now clearly skidded down that slippery slope from students protesting a war in schools to students, um, calling their parents.
April 28, 2006 | Permalink |
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