Blame No One . . . We Are All Responsible For This One

The Photographer responsible for this awesome picture is unknown to me. I take no responsibility for it.


Much like this picture we seem to be attracted to the extraordinary and then become run over by it. I’m like that with some of the news lately since I just can’t understand who or why people don’t get what is going on around them. It is sad really because young people are dying or at least are finding themselves in situations that can only be described as extremely ‘high risk’. Unfortunately these happenings are much more frequent and now becoming ‘ordinary.’ For example: A young woman was interviewed on TV. Her 14 year old daughter had been senselessly shot to death by a 17 year old man while attending a garage party last summer. The mother, understandably so, was distraught and angry beyond belief.  She could see no reason why this happened–none. Apparently there were other young men there with guns as well. Where do 17 year old kids get guns like that? Why would they have them at a garage party? Didn’t Mom question anyone about who might be there? Where was Mom? In case no one is looking these are very dangerous times to be a kid any kid-any where.

Regarding another story, unrelated to the story above, a 17 year old man was arrested this past week after the Toronto police had been notified by an American police force that a young man had been threatening (on Facebook) to commit a massacre the Oakwood Collegiate Institute. Their ‘tip’ turned out to be quite accurate and a young man was arrested with swords, machetes and arrows along with a plan to commit murder to commemorate the massacre back on December 6, 1989 at the Ecole Polytechnique Massacre. This kid wasn’t born when that went down and yet he felt compelled somehow to bring our attention to his event.

Blaming does not solve anything  and we need to solve this one. It’s growing like a social cancer especially among our kids. So this is to parents of older kids, younger kids and those kids who will attend school soon. To be clear I am not ‘blaming’ the school system for all of this violence. What I am saying is that our school system needs to do one very important thing and parents need to do at least one major thing if we are going to begin the task of wrestling back our influence around what kind of a community we want to live in. First the school system:

1. The school boards and those responsible for curriculum and creating exciting learning environments need to look at what other countries are presently doing to deal with reducing drop out rates. Don’t let it be said they are doing all they can because they are not. There is much that can be done to work away at this huge social issue. Look at Finland who has a non existent drop out problem. Other countries, as well, have accepted the risk of wholesale change regarding their approach to educating their children with amazing and fruitful outcomes. Violence is way down among their teens. Why? What do they know that we won’t acknowledge.

Students in our system have become bored to tears with what passes for education. They are disenchanted with what they have heard regarding jobs. They know this type of education doesn’t guarantee anything. It used to suggest there would be a job for those who studied hard–not now. They are dropping out of school because they are feeling disconnected, hopeless and nothing is changing to offer an alternative that engages them. No one is listening to what they are trying to say.

1. Parents need to get on their phones and have public meetings to ask the important questions about what school boards and local governments are doing about the drop out rates? What plan do we have regarding lowering them? Parents are tax payers and they are getting little for their tax money. Don’t settle for double talk. Demand a plan, some discussion and some answers. Parents need to be strong, unified, united and relentless. Our children’s futures and their very lives depend on it.

Anyways, that’s how I see things. Comments can be sent to me at: OR  Please sent this along to your friends, family and neighbors.

All the best, Jim

Forward Thinking Program:

This is a program designed to help inform parents, caregivers and citizens of possible solutions to much of what is happening or not happening using the current and antiquated school curriculum. I explain why we are failing at preparing our kids for the next generation of career choices. Check out the Alpha ll program in the GTA for some insight about what can be done differently. Then ask your trustee why more school boards are doing what they are doing.

I am just finishing up the 3rd phase of a 6 phase process to create a educational focus that will help to generate some excitement and enthusiasm for our next generation of students–‘learners’. Much more on this to come as the weeks go by. It can and will get done.

Truth Talkin’ Thursday:

Jane and I were back at it this week. We got talkin’ about whether or not we really help people or enable people by granting everyone social assistance. This is not about being heartless-of course people need to eat and have a place to put their heads at night. That is not the question. IT’s about HOW we provide the assistance. For more or if you want to get in on the conversation go to my web site at:–click on “Truth Talkin Thursday”-episode 12 for the whole discussion. You can also find it by contacting Jane at: and click on “Blog” then click on “Truth Talkin’ Thursday”. Either will get you there.

That’s it for this week-thanks for dropping by.



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Author Jim Cloughley's 
Brand New Blueprint For Learning