Toxic Environments - Businesses VS Schools Comparison

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I remember when the term “going postal” first arrived. I remember it vividly. It was slang used to describe the workplace shootings that occurred beginning in 1986 onward.
I remember vividly the response from the media and the changes in business that occurred following those events. The focus for the media and government was on the toxic work cultures of the businesses. Experts were paraded one after the other in the media to show the symptoms of a toxic work environment and evidence that showed how that toxicity could lead to that kind of violence. The anti-business pundits came out of the woodwork. Of course they used the opportunity to go after gun rights but the real focus was on the evil business practices where the shootings occurred.
They educated us to the stress, low pay, inexperienced management and general toxicity of the work environments. Companies including the one I worked for scrambled to address issues.
Human Resources Management combined with legal groups, who once operated in the back office, in the shadows were brought to forefront to assist management. They were given considerable authority in their new role often putting leadership in the backseat. Human Resources had to sign off on new hires and worked with managers on stricter hiring, disciplinary and termination guidelines, to make sure there was some level of fairness in place and in practice. Everything employee related had to be ran through legal and HR departments for oversight.

HR management spearheaded the improvements to correct and remove toxic cultures. Training’s for managers at all levels were initiated. Over-bearing and overly aggressive managers and supervisors were held to account. Businesses were overhauled in an attempt to improve workplace conditions. There were more employee functions like annual picnics and employee benefits deployed. ALL of this to remove toxic cultures that existed that were blamed in the post office and other work related mass shootings.
The media and liberal politicians hammered these companies for their toxic workplaces, and employment laws were hardened, that protected employees and gave them avenues to voice their complaints and people would actually listen. The shootings subsided and became less frequent.

In contrast, when the school shootings began to occur, it was blamed on the gun!
It was NOT because of a toxic culture or environments all of a sudden, because the school systems were above this type of criticism. In the media, not once was the school blamed for having a toxic culture or environment like the businesses were. That is the hypocrisy of the media.
Schools did not do much in the way of broad aggressive changes to combat inequality and toxic environments, like businesses went through to improve conditions. Sure, they had active shooter drills but It wasn’t until things got worse, and not much beyond that. Hell, they didn’t even beef up security or even start locking the doors. With COVID, I bet their locking the doors now! You sure don’t want someone with Covid just walking in. Crazy stuff!

One common denominator easily recognizable from the media reporting was that the shooters, kids themselves, were alienated from the others. Most or all were on anti-depressants also, but medical professionals and psychiatrists assured us there was no science behind that coincidence.
The reason I bring this up is that I have concerns that the environments and culture in schools are being made toxic by their not so well-intentioned segregating of students and forced mandates with the end result of alienating children. Have we not learned anything about allowing children to be alienated, and isolated from the other kids? Now were not just allowing it, we are doing it deliberately. Is a toxic culture being allowed to infiltrate our schools? This madness needs to stop and it needs to stop NOW! Somebody needs to back down, and it needs to be the schools since they are the ones doing the alienating & segregating. We are in a paradox over masks, vaccines and treatments, with groups embracing sides of that paradox. None of it is good.

People are routinely throwing around the word “segregation” as described by the school system and I cannot believe they would even elect to use a word like that, which has been tainted with such a dark past.
Because of this health scare we have panicked into regression back to a modified version of the 50’s & 60’s segregation.
School segregation is back but this time it is not based on race, it is based on a health scare and we are putting all our hopes into a flimsy paper mask that can’t possibly stop, at 100%, the particulates of a microscopic bug. I have read estimates of 100% use resulting in 67% effectiveness. I am reading information that children and teachers have been seen wearing their masks with their nose exposed? What is the damn point then?

What happened to monitoring temperatures, masking if you have a cold, sinus issue or any respiratory symptoms? How about segregating the sick by sending them home or to the sick room? A segregation practice that parents AND children can understand. (I think sick rooms have been eliminated, but they sure would come in handy these days.) How about keeping your kids home if they are sick and don’t worry about competing for that perfect attendance award? What are the army of qualified school nurses saying about all this? Oh, that’s right you don’t have armies of school nurses, that’s what the teachers do, along with their duties of security guard, disciplinarian, crossing guard, hall monitor, school uniform enforcers and enforcer of Emperor Edwards mask mandates. If teachers are doing all of these tasks who is doing the teaching?

The evidence suggests that most are going along with the mask mandate with a quite a few hold outs and their children are being segregated like lab rats but what happens as time goes on and the compliant kids get tired of compliance? You know kids are like that! What then? When I saw the mask exemption with sports participation, that told me everything I needed to know. Some things are just too precious to interfere with.
All of this segregation and alienation is beginning to look a lot like a toxic environment building and schools is one place we surely don’t need it.
Joe Semmes
jsemmes@charter.net
www.jeffdavisparish.com

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