Oct 31 2011

School Axes Halloween

No Tricks or Treats

by: Mummy Buzz

Halloween didn't happen at a Hamilton elementary school this year, a decision that has left many parents and students at St. Therese of Liseux in a ghoulish mood.

“All of the kids are upset,” says mom of twins, Lynda Fraser.

The principal of the school sent home a letter about a month ago advising that “Halloween, as we traditionally know it, would be cancelled this year at our elementary school.”

Students in Grade 6 class were so devastated by the news, they started a petition in the hopes that principal Linda Chittick would change her mind.

“But [Chittwick] isn’t listening to the kids and that’s really sad,” added Fraser.

A week ago, a reminder was sent home, reminding parents of the 'no costume' ban, although kids were permitted to wear "black and orange all day".

I must admit, I was also somewhat taken aback to realize my son's preschool wasn't doing any Halloween themed activities, not even a pumpkin craft. I get that candy shouldn't enter the school premises, but is it fair to rain on the kids' parade? Or should Halloween festivities be saved for evening?

Chittick reasoned that dressing up detracts from “instructional time in the classroom” and creates “safety and security” concerns as parents may take photographs of children without permission.

Fraser claims that in just two years as school principal Chittick has already cancelled three things -- Halloween, talent show and an air band contest.

“The kids are frustrated and they’re wondering what they’ll lose next,” says Fraser, who claims Halloween and other holidays breaks up the "monotony of the school year and gives children something to look forward to".

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Indeed, childhood is short enough without school officials curtailing some of its frivolous highlights. What do you think?

Oct 31 2011

Freak Snowstorm Ravages New England

Let it Snow (But Not in October)

by: Mummy Buzz

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A freak snowstorm which stretched from Maryland to Maine left over 3.2m homes and businesses without power, disrupted transport, and killed at least eleven people.

With record breaking snowfall levels, the storm hit communities in western Massachusetts hardest with 68.6cm (27in) in Plainfield, and 66cm in nearby Windsor.

At least six deaths were reported, and states of emergency declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York.

Flights were cancelled, roads and railways blocked and more than 800,000 customers were without electricity in Connecticut alone – more than those affected in August by Hurricane Irene.

"It's going to be a more difficult situation than we experienced in Irene," says Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy. "We are expecting extensive and long-term power outages."

According to The National Weather Service the storm "absolutely crushed previous records that in some cases dated back more than 100 years".

This weekend was only the fourth snowy October day in New York's Central Park in 135 years.

Those dead include an 84-year-old man in Pennsylvania who was crushed when a snow-laden tree fell on his home, another in Connecticut from slippery road conditions, and a 20-year-old Massachusetts man electrocuted by downed wires.

Let this not be a portent of the winter to come!

Image Credit: www.ibtimes.com

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Oct 31 2011

Aggressive Kids Made, Not Born

Bad Seed?

by: Mummy Buzz

Perennially aggressive, defiant and “explosive” tots aren’t born that way, they're made according to a new study published in the journal Child Development.

More than 260 mothers and their children were tracked from birth to Grade 1 according to temperament and how "well" the infants were parented from the first six months of life, then again at two and a half and three years old and finally in first grade.

“Our findings suggest that it was negative parenting in early infancy that mattered most,” says lead author of the study, Michael F. Lorber.

By 'negative parenting,' Lorber refers to rough handling children as well as expressing negative emotions toward them.

“Negative parenting in infancy appeared to set the stage for both moms and their kids being more hostile and angry during the toddler years, bringing out the worst in one another,” says Lorber, who hopes his research will help spark early interventions which will in turn prevent kids from developing behavioural problems.

Do you agree, or do you think that some kids are simply born with aggressive temperaments?

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