Archive for parenting

School Bus Fight

Posted in In The News, Point of View, School Buses, WLEX with tags , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2014 by Joan Graves

NOTE: This post is the opinion of Joan Graves and may or may not make up the entire or partial opinion of other Stand Up Clark County associates. 

schoolbusSadly, it’s not an uncommon event.  Out of the blue a fight starts on a school bus.  The driver of the bus must make immediate choices about how to handle the situation.  Recently, this transpired on a Clark County school bus traveling down Lexington Avenue.  Now the driver of the bus is under fire by the mother of one of the students involved.

My heart goes out to that mother.  It’s a sickening feeling to think of your child being in a fight.  The mother is questioning why the driver didn’t stop the bus immediately when the fight started.  As terrible as this is going to sound it is the absolute truth.  A bus load of students cannot have their safety jeopardized for the safety of one, even if that one was my own son.

Lexington Avenue is extremely busy.  Bringing that bus to a halt in the middle of the road with no warning to other drivers, puts not only the students on the bus at risk but also all other drivers around the bus.  And since people frequently walk on Lexington Avenue, pedestrians could have been injured should an accident have occurred.

When you encounter a school bus you expect it to put its stop sign out before it stops.  A stopped bus without its stop sign out will confuse drivers.  They won’t know whether to drive past it or stop.  They won’t know if students or getting off or if the bus has a problem.  Confused drivers cause accidents.

It’s unsafe for any car to suddenly stop in the road. That’s why police officers, pulling over a car for a traffic violation will have the driver move the car if they stop in an unsafe area and they have blue lights to signal them.  It’s also why, if there are no injuries, cars in an accident are told to move their cars out of the roadway.  The road is for moving vehicles not stopped ones.  In this case the bus driver acted appropriately.  However, it should be noted that if the bus driver saw the other student take off his shirt to fight she should have began searching for a place to pull over and perhaps she did.  I don’t know.

Now, for the real issue.  This fight was a 10th grader pounding on a 7th grader.  The problem is the alleged “parenting” of the 10th grade thug.  It takes a real spineless coward to pound on someone so much younger than him.  The thug’s parents should be brought up on charges and he should be completely banned from EVER riding on a Clark County school bus AND not be allowed to drive to school next year. ( See the video of the fight here.

It’s time we start getting our schools thug proof.  If this kid wants to act like a thug then let’s treat him like one.  He should have every single extra-curricular activity removed from him, though doubtful he’s involved in anything except himself.  We cannot let people raise their bullies, take no responsibility for them then inflict them on the rest of us. I am sick of it and it’s time we deal with them with a very heavy hand. I encourage Superintendent Paul Christy to deal swiftly and mightily with this thug and boot him out of school for the rest of the year before he unleashes his unconstrained ire on another kid much younger than him and hurts him significantly.

Should this thug act again the school system is now liable because they know they know they have a loose cannon.  We cannot allow thugs and poor parenting to hijack the education and safety of all other students.

Stand Up Clark County and demand that Superintendent Paul Christy put an end to this thug’s brutal rein.


KY High School Athletic Association – KY’s Black Eye To The Nation

Posted in In The News, Louisville Courier Journal, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on October 11, 2013 by Joan Graves

Regardless of what local and state leaders would like us to believe, The Kentucky High School Athletic Association did in fact, ban postgame handshakes. When the bonehead move hit the national news, the back-pedaling started. Now, the KHSAA states that though they banned handshakes they do not intend to enforce the ban. Wow. Way to lead. Make a rule, do not stand by it, and do not enforce it. It is ridiculous and shameful to say the least.

What we now know is that the purpose of the ban was only to free KHSAA from being at fault should a fight breakout during the “good sportsmanlike conduct” of the postgame handshake. Without a doubt sports game violence is on the rise. Rather than actually address a problem KHSAA opted to find a loophole that might clear them of at least a little liability. KHSAA sent their message loud and clear, “Let the kids fight but don’t blame us”. And sadly, the entire country heard.

Violence in sports is a chronically unfolding disaster in our country that few are willing to tackle. I find it profoundly sad. From Little League to high school, regardless of what sport I was playing, not one of my coaches would have ever accepted fighting under any circumstances. I think we can all agree that I am more than a little sassy. Yet, it took only once for me to be benched by a coach to shut me up. Sure I was mad about it but when I complained to my mom she informed me that I would either listen to the coach, quit the team or be kicked off, but she would absolutely not go against any coach teaching me respect. The lesson was well learned.

KHSAAIf the KHSAA truly wants to curb fights at games, they could require higher standards from the coaches. Rather than attach a higher standard clause as a means to clear KHSAA from liability perhaps they should actually investigate claims made against coaches. What would happen if a questionable coach was forced to wear a microphone during games AND practices?

Too many coaches tolerate a bad kid who is a good player because of the pressure to win. What if we recognized coaches for forcing their star player to follow the rules despite a losing season? What if coaches receive bonuses based upon the moral climate of their team and their overall positive influence in the community? What would happen if a coach’s pay grade was determined by his/her positive interaction with players, parents and the community rather than how many games they win? Here is the magic of it all. When we take the time to build good, moral players they naturally morph into a good, winning team. Yet, even if they don’t we must become a society more focused on winning in life rather than the fleeting, good feeling of winning in a moment.

As long as we allow the KHSAA to acknowledge the problems such as Sanford but act only to protect themselves, then we allow them to hold Kentucky to longest, disreputable, shameful and wholly destructive losing streak of all time. The KHSAA has turned KY into a laughing-stock of the entire nation once again. How many times are we going to tolerate this? How long are we going to allow our kids, schools, and ourselves to be led by individuals who seek only to relieve themselves of liability? Until we get serious about leadership, no one else will take our leadership seriously.

Stand Up Clark County and have the courage to lead KY in athletics.


Better Future For Our Kids Worth The Cost Of Squaring Off With Bullies

Posted in Board of Education (General), Encouragement with tags , , , , on September 9, 2013 by Joan Graves

Better Future For Our Kids Worth The Cost Of Squaring Off With Bullies

injustice anywhere threat

The red-lettered link above will connect you to a post written by attorney Jim Bordas. The post is his reflection upon his life and the things he is teaching his children. He eloquently states the high cost for those with enough courage to stand up to bullies. He doesn’t sugar-coat the ramifications for the pioneers of change. Yet, his words manager to encourage us to continue on in our fight regardless of how we may suffer personally. Like us, he knows the best way to stop bullying in our schools is for kids to see adults standing up to bullies, no matter who they are. Read the post to discover the plan he has to back up the message he is sending.

Stand Up Clark County, we are not alone!

Not All Football Players Would Have Done This

Posted in Encouragement, In The News, National Stories, Point of View, Sports with tags , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by Joan Graves


Four William Patterson University football players entered a local store to find no cashier. They called out but no one answered. They selected their purchases, counted out the money, tossed it on the counter and left. Little did they know what was about to happen.

The players have received national exposure because they did the right thing. They could have stolen their items but did not. Somewhere along the way, a coach and/or parents taught these guys that when they take from another no one wins. They learned, no doubt, by example, that integrity is always more valuable than money or wins. These guys had opportunity but no motive. They knew there are ways to treat people and there are ways not to treat people. Now, they are enjoying the feeling of having a reputation of being men of honor in a sport that has far too high a crime rate. Being men of good character does not happen it is learned. And when it is displayed, it is celebrated and people never forget.

Read the story for yourself by clicking on the link below. Stand Up Clark County and teach our players to be men of honor.


The Back Pack Attack

Posted in Point of View with tags , , , , , , on January 5, 2013 by Joan Graves


There’s a lot of controversy over the school district’s “new” backpack rule. Yet, it isn’t new at all.  The regulation has been in place for years. What’s new is the sudden obsession of enforcing of it.  What is angering parents is being forced to adhere to a rule that has previously been treated as optional.

I applaud the district’s attention to safety, but the cancer of school violence requires more than the band-aid of a mesh backpack.  Aside from Paducah shooter Scott Pennington, school killers generally don’t conceal weapons in backpacks. They disguise them as art projects, conceal them under trench coats, stuff them in their pants or dispense with secrecy all together and come in with guns blazing.

A mesh backpack rule that isn’t applied to all school bags, including those in athletics, can create more problems than it solves. School shooters may not use their backpacks to hide weapons but they do use athletes as justification for murder. Almost without fail, school violence erupts from bullying or feelings of inferiority that stem from thoughts that athletes get preferential treatment by the school. Such was the case at Columbine when murderers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold singled-out athletes for assassination.

Allowing athletic bags to remain canvas sends the message that athletes are trusted to carry concealing bags while others are not.  Not to mention the fact that athletic bags are larger and could more readily hide weapons.  Additionally, the majority of school attacks are carried out with rifles.  So, what would hide a rifle better, a backpack or bag for baseball bats?  Our focus should be less on what kids carry in their backpacks and more of what they carry in their hearts and minds.

Well-adjusted kids have firm boundaries not ever-shifting ones. Kids don’t want rules that apply to some but not all. It is absolutely imperative that we say what we mean and mean what we say. All the rules in the world will never replace involved parents and school employees committed to leading by example. Our best defense against school violence will always be diligent parenting and school leadership that is as transparent as the backpacks they require.

Stand Up Clark County and be transparent.