For some time now, Oklahoma policymakers have been subsidizing--even completely paying for--non-parental child care, choosing to fund these child-care subsidies by taking tax money from families who have made financial sacrifices to keep one parent at home with their young children. This strategy continues to find advocates despite clear evidence that it is parental care that best serves almost all young children.
Oklahomans would never know about the virtues of parental child care by listening to Governor Brad Henry, who actually boasts of the state's status as a "national leader" with 70 percent of all four-year-olds in state-sponsored developmental programs. He now aims to spend an additional $15 million to expand such programs by starting to enroll three-year-olds. "All of the research," Gov. Henry explains, "tells us that the early years are critical to a child's future success."
The governor is right: a child's early years are critical. However, despite his implicit claim that he is drawing on "all the research" in drafting his child-care policy, the governor and his child-care allies are actually reading the available research quite selectively.
True, those wanting to spend yet more state money for non-parental care can point to studies linking high-quality preschool instruction to some educational benefits. But these advocates of enlarged preschool programs ignore the overwhelming body of evidence indicating that the benefit of these programs is almost exclusively limited to children from impoverished and severely disadvantaged households.
What is worse, by promoting surrogate parenting for three-year-olds while disregarding the research exposing its risks, Henry and his allies are actually hurting children.
After all, anyone who is truly attentive to "all the research" on child care will take note of studies showing that young children in non-parental care are distinctively vulnerable to epidemic jaundice, childhood meningitis, giardiasis, otitis media, hepatitis A, and various other diseases.
Anyone willing to learn from "all the research" will also pay close attention to an exhaustive study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development showing that putting young children in day care makes them more aggressive and belligerent--even when that day care is of high quality.
Those willing to investigate "all the research" on child care will also want to attend to a 1994 study concluding that maternal employment--regardless of the mother's occupation--translates into a reduced likelihood that children will graduate from high school or college. Likewise deserving attention is a 1996 study concluding that "the more hours a mother works, the lower [her] children's grades and the poorer their work habits."
Fortunately, there's a better way. House Speaker Lance Cargill has introduced a measure (HB 1295) that would allow households with a stay-at-home mom (or dad) to claim tax credits equivalent to those now claimed by Oklahoma parents who put their children in daycare.
The Speaker's proposal is excellent. It is past time to end policies that push young children out of the loving care of a parent and into the bureaucratic care of a stranger.
Cry of the Children: Life of Street Girls and AIDS
The phenomenon of street children and girls has been a major concern for most areas of Dhaka city. Thousands of street children and girls all over in Bangladesh, primarily in the urban areas, work and live in the streets. Urban poverty, increasing dissatisfaction with the public educational system together with the difficult living conditions and broken families has led to a growing problem of street children and girls.
Different categories of children in especially difficult circumstances can be identified; some of them maintain family links while undertaking apprenticeship or street hawking to help their family survive, while others are completely cut off from their family , making the streets or park their home and community.
Life in the streets is hard and unsafe, especially for a girl who, in the first place, has no business being there - begging, selling flowers, drinking-water, chocolate or toffee, sometimes even their bodies. Street girls are vulnerable to all sorts of risks: the reckless motorist; the abusive police officer; the drug, crime, and prostitution syndicates; even the bigger, older street boys who taunt or intimidate them.
Despite these, or maybe even because of these, most street girls develop both a resistance to destruction and a capacity for positive construction. These are the two components of resilience -- the capacity to do well in spite of difficult circumstances.
There are many teen girls living on the streets, some are living with parents and few (living) alone. Several spots of Dhaka city where we can see easily, such as Kamolapur railway, Shodorgat river port, Polashi bazaar etc. They lived in a very ill position. Sometimes we find Floating Sex Workers (FSWs) also live with them.
Teen girls living on the streets experience most of the same problems as FSWs and, in addition, are frequently subjected to sexual violence.
'Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation' recently reported that 70 percent of street girls have been victims of sexual abuse, while another study by 'LRB Foundation' puts the figure as high as 80 percent. One study by ' Several Education And Polli Development Association-SEPDA' found that girls who turn to the streets are generally younger than street boys.
Street girls are often invisible because they do not travel around in city at night as FSWs do, staying generally on their own or in small family.
As mention Prof. Abdul Quader Palash, "Street girls are seen as a socio-economy phenomenon rather then a social category - a phenomenon created by social systems, gender rules, political and economic".
A 2005 survey by Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation on sexual activity among street girls underscored that street girls are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
More than half of the boys interviewed and more than three quarters of the girls, including 20 percent of those under fifteen, admitted they were sexually active. Sixty-one percent of the boys said they had forced a girl to have sex with them.
Some times street girls and Floating sex workers are closely associated with the terminal, port and transport industries where they find a large supply of potential clients and customers. Terminal, Train station and port, which provides additional clients for floating sex workers as well as street girls get enough customer for selling something or bagging, This link diverts them for nasty-work and continuous sexual irritation help to take fast step of them.
Being obviously related, Street girls and Floating Sex Workers (FSWs) were not regarded as complex social phenomenon in Bangladesh. There are no monitoring and no logical studies of why street girls gradually become FSWs in Bangladesh.
Mohammad Khairul Alam
Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation
No. 24/3 M. C. Roy Lane
PO. COD- 1211
HYPERLINK "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" email@example.com
Editor's Note: A lot is made of the growing connectivity of peoples, cultures in this shrinking world of global economies and the internet. We get letters from all over the globe, but this one we have chosen to run as an eye-opener.
As far as supporting the foundation the writer represents, however, we have not researched its background and cannot recommend your contributions. We publish it as is to tweak your international social consciousness.
Just a question where are barry friedman and jaime pierson ?...it really was nice to have some breathing space between the overall conservative thrust of urban tulsa and the seemingly endless alchoholic/phone sex/ massage offering advertisers...what's a couple of loud mouthed liberals more or less ?... i'm sad because now, on top of having to convince the city to clean the Arkansas and create some
destinations...(shopping, by the way, is not a destination, it is a chore)...we are going to have to find a way to publish an alternative newspaper...i work 50 hrs. a week and am tired just thinking about this...
Editor's Note: Dude, have fun. All you have to do is find a publisher who is smart (writes well), loves Tulsa and needs no pats on the back. Our liberal credentials cannot be touched. We'll answer your questions in a minute, but our question is this: why do conservatives and liberals, left and right, black and white continue to make these distinction and wish the world in their direction. Anybody care for truth?
And as for the two erstwhile columnists, it takes great energy, imagination and discipline to write a weekly column. Our publisher saw potential in these two, gave them a chance and they could not take the grind. Were they liberal? We couldn't tell. Did they have great gifts of opening eyes and entertaining? Yes! We miss 'em.
If you know of any intelligent liberals who would be interested to promoting their ideas in a column format, and a pulpit that we have created and pay for, and can keep it up on deadline every week, let us know.
Until then we'll continue to give you the gift you love to fantasize about: the city's most open-minded, un-biased, balanced, unconventional publication.
Wake Up Call
Has America once again lost its moral courage? To listen to the Democrats, America has come to the conclusion that Iraq is a lost cause and that we should pack up and leave. This non-binding resolution sponsored and supported by the Democrats opposing the increase in troop levels in Iraq is just the first step towards the defunding of the war. Once the war is defunded the Democrats will guarantee the cause in Iraq will be lost.
The Democrats act as though the President has no strategy in Iraq, but the President has been clear. The President has said, "Our goal in Iraq is victory. And victory means a country which can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror"; We can all argue as to what level of success has been achieved in Iraq, but to say there is no strategy or definition of
victory is simply dishonest on the part of the Democrats.
I think most Americans have forgotten what happened the last time America leaders listened to liberal Democrats and anti-war activist and walked away from a tough war without achieving victory. Most people probably have forgotten the Cambodia Genocide under the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot who murdered over two million people between 1975-1979 after America decided that fighting the communist in Vietnam was too tough of a fight and left.
Instead of hanging tough and giving the military all the means necessary to achieve victory, the politicians of the day started micro-managing the war efforts, restricting funding and once the support of the American people diminished, America pulled out leaving over 75,000
Americans dead and millions of innocent Vietnamese and Cambodians men, women and children murdered and laying dead in the killing fields of Vietnam and Cambodia.
America is on the verge of repeating history once again. Instead of Pol Pot, it will be radical Islam whose stated goal is to destroy all Christians, Jews and non-Muslims. If we walk away from Iraq now, we have the potential to see catastrophic genocide not seen since World War II. However, this time around it may not only be millions in the middle east dead, but hundreds of thousands of Americans laying dead in our major American cities should one of these terrorist groups get their hands on a nuclear or biological weapon and manage to get it them in our country. The last thing America needs to do is to embolden our enemies by passing resolutions that weaken our country and demoralize our troops.
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