Note: Comments of readers are their own and do not reflect the feelings of Bob Lonsberry or lonsberry.com.
94 Responses to:
YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER
# 1. 12/14/12 12:56 AM by Scott - Henrietta, New York
This uncaring attitude by parents is not limited to Rochester. Millions of families across the United States have the same attitude toward education. Why bother, the welfare checks for the young ones will start soon enough. Then, they won't have to count, their case worker will do it for them
# 2. 12/14/12 2:58 AM
The squirrels outside my window care more for their young, the "entitled" will reap what they sow, and their shackles will remain unbroken.
It is everyone's problem, and it has to be fixed - soon.
# 3. 12/14/12 4:39 AM by timmy
And I suppose you think this kind of tirade will help?
The problems are known; the solutions are more elusive.
# 4. 12/14/12 6:22 AM by Tom Bastian - Fairport, NY
# 5. 12/14/12 6:23 AM by Bill - Rochester NY
I agree, but what do we do? Build gigantic orphanages with schools attached?
# 6. 12/14/12 6:39 AM by Skippy
If he thinks the plantation Obama voter cares, then he is for a rude 47% awakening.
# 7. 12/14/12 6:45 AM by rjd
A good institution? is that possible? run by whom?, the government? you mean like public school? Sadly I think these kids are doomed. We could start by NOT paying people to have babies, because if they don't care about their kids then why are they having them?
# 8. 12/14/12 6:50 AM by Poplar Beach
The kids are victims and I have been thinking about this a lot lately. The parents of many of these kids were parented the same way, (at that time they were the victims) so they learned nothing about parenting, likely there parents too. For two, three, four generations, how they live is "normal" to them, the lack of parenting does not compute.
These kids would be far better off in an institution where they could learn and have a genuine chance at a future.
But I am afraid that the ACLU, the NAACP and dozens of activists will never let that happen.
Perhaps if Oprah, Bono, Clooney and others focused their attention on this shameful crisis in the USA, instead of other countries, many of these innocent American kids could be saved.
# 9. 12/14/12 7:05 AM by Souper Fly
How different are these parents (and grandparents) of our nation's future 3 time losers (Attica! Attica! Attica!) from the trash that has run Kodak into the ground for their own benefit and enrichment, leaving retirement aged widows to fend for themselves in their golden years as waitresses, bussers, and dishwashers at the corner greasy spoon?
Why can the "entitlement" of retirement benefits be arbitrarily stripped from those who have faithfully paid into them each week? As recently as 2006, Kodak was bragging about their retirement funds being "well overfunded"!
Who took the money? Where did it go? Desperados?
Look at Detroit, look at Chicago, look at all of New Jersey!
You are looking at Rochester's crystal ball, and it don't look pretty.
It's a good thing that Attica is so close. I believe there is even a direct rail spur that goes there. It's a good thing. It will save the taxpayers a lot of money in the not too distant future...
# 10. 12/14/12 7:11 AM by DD
It's despicable that Romney/Ryan placed seniors, retirees and the disabled on the same extermination list as welfare cheaters and frauds. It destroyed our chance to reform welfare and save the current and future castaway children. Don't just blame the democrats. Blame the GOP too.
# 11. 12/14/12 7:15 AM by Tom Dey - Springwater, NY
Adding to the irony, conscientiously home-schooled students are running rings around those who attend the public ones. So given this and that - it seems 90% is the parents' doing. Not money, not unions, not nanny-state --- just the home environment. I believe this is as it always was. Only difference is (poor or not) most families were intact and dignified decades ago. As you know, there are a few exceptions – but that is exceptional.
# 12. 12/14/12 7:27 AM by Sean Avery - Rochester
Bob, since you're some kind of expert on teaching, I suggest you get off your ass and get into a classroom. You would be singing a different tune about the staff pretty quick. Save your insults and nonsense and step up to the challenge Bob. The teachers will thank you for showing them the way and thousands of students will thank you for helping them become productive citizens.
One more thing: keep going Mr. Vargas! The attendance problem is huge!
# 13. 12/14/12 7:42 AM by Rick G. - Spencerport, NY
Maybe this is just viewed by these parents as kids going into the family business.
# 14. 12/14/12 7:51 AM by little john - Mount Morris, NY
The Motivation, Inspiration, Perspiration, and Aspiration of the human mind is lost behind a clouded mirror of a bureaucratic mindset that more money can fix everything, from the top down...NYS's Excelsior tenure of the incompetent, unknowing, leading the unwilling, trying to do the impossible; the same way, over and over, just using more and more money from the lower invisible end of the spectrum. (infra-red)...The Catch-22 of teaching from the top down...It don't trickle. It don't tickle. And the strangest "trick"of all is that Albany feathers their caps with notions of more money spent will improve the results...(more money in Albany pockets)
# 15. 12/14/12 7:53 AM by Jen - Livonia, NY
What a terrible shame, and waste of potential. And the sad thing is that none of the things we constantly debate about: unions, merit pay, longer school hours, new teaching methods - none of it can help these kids.
The only thing that can help them is to change the culture they live in. Make it unacceptable to be a single parent, unacceptable to have kids at 12, unacceptable to spend your life boozing and doing drugs and sleeping all day. If kids have no responsible person to raise them, how can they possibly be successful?
# 16. 12/14/12 8:00 AM by Sammie
What a very sad state of affairs when a superintendent, principal, etc. has to go door to door begging parents to be parents and send their kids to school! The cycle just keeps repeating and it will as long as people are paid to breed children. We are very close to the takers exceeding the workers in this country and when that happens I am afraid there will be another civil war. There will not be enough money to pay for all the free stuff the takers get and they are NOT going to be happy about that. The sad thing is we have a president who just keeps promoting class warfare so I think this is going to happen sooner rather than later. We are in very scary times!
# 17. 12/14/12 8:12 AM
#10 is right! The Republicans really pulled a boner this time around. It wasn't Romney, it was the perceptions and miscalculations of the Republican party.
Vargas must not be a good administrator. It should have been clear to him long ago that while it's good he has been on the front lines, generals don't win wars by personally killing every one of the enemy. I would have been impressed if he visited me, but him being at the front door means nothing to those parents he is trying to impress. Maybe next time he should bring some crack for them. At least that will get their attention. He is acting like a desperado.
# 18. 12/14/12 8:18 AM
And now the Kenyan communist sends missiles and troops to Turkey. No wonder the parents don't care. We need the draft, not institutions. Lincoln abolished what?
# 19. 12/14/12 8:28 AM by Poplar Beach
#12 Sean, I see nowhere in his column where Bob blamed the teachers?
So I presume you are a teacher with a chip on your shoulder, what is your solution to this problem, more money, better classrooms, more diversity classes? Please enlighten us!
# 20. 12/14/12 8:54 AM
You would probably have better luck if the Grandmothers of these children took over. Statistically speaking, it appears that Grandmothers have a different way of reaching their grandchildren.
Editor's Note: but the grandmothers raised the failed mothers. they screwed up their first bite of the apple, why believe they would do better the second time.
# 21. 12/14/12 9:11 AM by Mike
If we believe that these kids will likely end up in prison and therefore fed and clothed by taxpayer dollars.....then how about we try a new program. For every kid that has 75% attendance (start small, allowing for sick kids to stay home too) the parents get $100 gift card and a 12 pack of beer! Sure, we'd pay for it, but it could be cheaper than putting all the kids in prison.
# 22. 12/14/12 9:11 AM
My stepson didn't receive grades for his second grade year or for half of his third grade year, all because he hadn't been at school enough to receive grades on anything.
His mom was always too hung over to care if he got up and went to school. A couple times each year she would receive a summons to court to explain why none of her three kids were ever in school. She would tell all kinds of sob-stories to evade fines or jail or whatever they threatened her with. She'd promise her kids wouldn't miss another day. Then she'd go back home and not change a thing.
My husband tried to get custody, but was denied. It required her death from a drug overdose for her kids to start getting an education. How sad is that. Now my little stepson is a fifth grade, straight A, honor student.
The courts failed us. Is it really so hard to believe that a child could be better off with his father than his mother?
# 23. 12/14/12 9:13 AM by HGF - %$#@chester,NY
Good writing Bob. Not much can be done when individual responsibility is left out of the equation. There's only so much an agency (or a school superintendent) can do for people who will not help themselves.
Sometimes, drowning people end up dragging their rescuers down with them. At that point, are they worth saving?
So sad that people who do make it out of the hood, are labeled by those still in the hood as 'sellouts'. As if making a worthwhile life for yourself was a bad thing.
# 24. 12/14/12 9:25 AM by RC - Bloomington
If this isn't the best example of Central Planning at work, I don't know what is.
# 25. 12/14/12 9:29 AM by Homer - Manchester
They should teach creationism to turnaround the science classes and make us more competitive in the 21st century global economy.
# 26. 12/14/12 9:30 AM by Randy - Williamsville, NY
Funny...all of the private schools I've been exposed to and sent my kids to have at or near 100 percent college placement and they aren't funded by taxes or run by the government and unions.
# 27. 12/14/12 9:33 AM by Fred - Ovid, NY
Get the damn unions and federal government out of education. Give it back to the local community and hold them accountable.
# 28. 12/14/12 9:33 AM by Wayne - Webster
Those people should be spayed. Period
# 29. 12/14/12 9:36 AM by Mark
Until we stop blaming white people for their failures; until we stop with the white guilt; until we eliminate the welfare system that perpetuates this probem, nothing will change.
# 30. 12/14/12 9:37 AM by Tom - Fairport
I had a parent insist that her child could not fail my class, because she was incapable of understanding the literature.
# 31. 12/14/12 9:40 AM by Mark
#26 The reason private schools are successful is primarily because parents who care send their kids there. They see to it the kids attend and do their homework. Also, those schools are not burdened with unions.
# 32. 12/14/12 10:01 AM by tom - penfield, ny
Could just be low IQ. Nothing much you can do about that. Have a nice day.
# 33. 12/14/12 10:07 AM
"American exceptionalism" indeed.
# 34. 12/14/12 10:10 AM by Captain Kirk
Spock, Bones, come with me! Bring Vargas too! Click on the Chromebook ad, and bring your Chromebooks with you! Scotty, beam us down ASAP!
I think I have finally found an intelligent form of life on this planet!
I want to visit #22 at her home to see what she is doing right!
# 35. 12/14/12 10:28 AM by Chris
What would absolutely fix this? A metro school district and busing. Shipping these city kids early on to schools with atmospheres of expectation and success will combat their parent's lack of interest. Expose them to the possibilities of actually getting an education. And shipping little Johnny's privileged butt from Mendon to the hood will make that school a different place because his parents care and will fight like crazy to make that inner-city school better.
# 36. 12/14/12 10:29 AM by Anne - Webster
I read last week that a town in central NY is planning to shoot deer with Norplant to make them infertile. Too bad we can't make norplant a condition of receiving public assistance
# 37. 12/14/12 10:35 AM by Barb - Canisteo Valley
The parent should be charged with criminal neglect for their child's truancy. One of the results should be reduction in monthly welfare payments. The courts would have to back this up & follow through.
# 38. 12/14/12 10:50 AM by right wing wacko
Andrea Yates comes to mind. Too bad no none bothered to checked on her kids to pull them out of her crazy home while she bible thumped and played Abraham because her kids were so evil. Then she played God and drowned them.
But then on the other hand aren't the schools taught by commie libs??? And now you want the government to step up and raise our kids by commie libs? You are wishy washy today Bob.
# 39. 12/14/12 11:03 AM by I'm throwing up
bob being judgmental yet again - too bad you just read the bible and don't really follow the teachings. What part of do not judge don't you get?
# 25. Homer - many schools do teach creationism with federal funding although I think anything that ends with "ism" is pretty dysfunctional especially when it doesn't really go against science. Maybe if you really read both theories and your uneducated pastors taught that one day in the Bible isn't really one day you'd get a clue
to #26 Randy if you think private schools are not being funded by the federal govt I have some swampland I'd like to sell you.
Meanwhile it's alright if Republicans get on welfare such as Mitt Romney, whose family got welfare handouts when he was a kid. Oh that's different innit?
# 40. 12/14/12 11:07 AM by Carol - Fairport
Shooting at Connecticut elementary school.
Now can we talk about gun regulation....?
Bob? what do you think?
well okay then.
# 41. 12/14/12 11:29 AM by Matt - Rochester, NY
Actually the solutions are known----end welfare and kill the welfare way of life. Necessity for survival will get these lazy people off their asses and off to McDonalds to work. NOTHING will change till we take the jump and end welfare!!!!
# 42. 12/14/12 11:40 AM by Wimpy
To #40 The NRA should try to get kids to carry concealed weapons to prevent this from happing in the future.
# 43. 12/14/12 11:43 AM by Karen - Letchworth
Another day .. another shooting in America.
How sad is it that a High School shooting would seem normal. It takes a shooting at an Elementary School to open people's eyes. Any voices out there demanding a change.
# 44. 12/14/12 11:48 AM by Oscar - Walworth, NY
Another shooting in another Obama voting state.
# 45. 12/14/12 11:50 AM by Ron
#12, Sean Avery, it sounds to me like Bob is defending, not demonizing teachers. "Staff" can mean everyone in a school, especially administrators, who are infinitely more to blame than teachers whose jobs have become more blue-collar every year. Standardized tests are not the teachers' idea. "new ideas" out of the Ivy League are bought into by administrators (read, failed teachers), not classroom teachers.
Teaching is the teachers' responsibility, learning is the students'. I'd say he's on your side here.
# 46. 12/14/12 11:52 AM by John - SLC
Great observations, Bob, proving you care about everyone.
How about if the Supe passes out free birth control on his visits. That might at least reduce the numbers of future children doomed to failure by their worthless and despicable parents. (Well, not actually parents, just sub-humans following their animal instincts and gave birth.)
I would like to see mandatory sterilization for all welfare recipients.
# 47. 12/14/12 12:05 PM
Unfortunately there usually are not "Good Institutions" They are run or regulated by the government and Washington destroys anything that is good or productive
# 48. 12/14/12 12:08 PM by Cal - Rochester, NY
Fatalities at Connecticut elementary school!
Another example with what happens when the blind commie libs are in power, with the blind leading the blind!
# 49. 12/14/12 12:09 PM
Reply to #12. Bob would make an excellent teacher. To bad the unions would never allow someone without a Degree to run circles around their teachers.
# 50. 12/14/12 12:32 PM
So I'm sure you'll have no problem with massive government funding to set up a system of institutions for these children, right?
Frankly, it would probably be a great public investment, but nobody on the right would ever fund it.
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