Tag Archive | accountability

Dear Ferguson –


Dear Ferguson – ACTIONS speak louder than words.

You had a chance to change things, and you did, you certainly did. You turned your town into a nightmare, you added to the divide. You incited anger, you stood on pedestals of ignorance and instead of coming together to heal and move forward, you came together to cause more pain.

You had the opportunity to open a dialogue, to find ways to prevent future conflict, to become a voice of hope, to uplift and encourage your youth to choose a better way. You had a chance to come together and support each other as parents who do not want their precious children to lay dying on a cold sidewalk because of their actions.

What you did instead was turn away from any responsibility for the state of your city, for the young people who wander through it. You refused to take accountability, you refused to seek solutions. You became more of a tragedy than you claimed to be outraged by.

Dear Ferguson –  If you took just a portion of the rage you’ve used to burn your city, you could rebuild and renew, bringing peace. You can still change things. You have to change things.

Crystal R. Cook

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Report – CDC – LINK

Something has to change.

Our country is in trouble. Our youth, our future, their future, is at risk. Every generation paves the way for the next, today’s parents and educators are shaping tomorrow’s leaders, or are we letting the government and society shape them for us?

The decline of morality, educational values, and accountability in this nation is setting a frightening precedent for what will come. The recently released 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance from the CDC highlights this decline with startling statistics.

If this report does not convince you the youth of our nation are at risk, that parents and educators need to step up and return to the basics, you are deluding yourself. Kids are kids, they don’t always make the right choices, the key word here is choice. This is something they must be TAUGHT to do.

I realize there is a lot to sift through, but even scanning the text is enough to show where we are heading and it’s a downhill spiral if the kinder, gentler, politically correct, everybody wins, no consequences or accountability parenting continues.

Say no. Make rules. Enforce them. Discipline . . . Kids from toddlers to teens are growing up feeling entitled, they are told they have the right to do and have what they please. What they do have, is the right to be loved. They have the right to be cared for, nourished, sheltered, clothed, and educated, the rest of it they need to learn to earn.


Children need to learn respect from the beginning, they need to know right from wrong, they need to have consequences . . .

Elementary school children know more about political rhetoric and alternative lifestyles than they do about compassion and responsibility. They are conditioned to accept the unacceptable. They are no longer required to strive to be their best, just enough is good enough. Make them read, write, study, speak properly. Stop numbing them to reality by allowing violent games, movies and television to invade their minds.

Backseat parenting is destroying their future.

Teachers are no longer allowed to teach the individual, they now teach to achieve tests score high enough to keep their positions. Many are dissolutioned with the profession they entered because they had a passion to teach and help shape the future and they have now been stifled.

Parents are no longer allowed to parent, or no longer know how to. Something simply has to change.

On the Street Where I live – Where have the Children Gone?

Where have the children gone?

On the street where I live there are children at play. From the window I see them and my heart smiles. I think back to my own yesterdays when I would race the wind on two wheels, my hair flying about like wings to guide me. Climbing trees and playing tag filled our afternoons as the sun kept watch. Dandelions were treasures bringing twinkling stars to my mother’s eyes. One, two, buckle my shoe, we sang the afternoons away. On bright red swings we tried to reach the clouds with little sandaled toes. Before the sun set on each day we were home, safe and surrounded by our family’s love.

Oh how these memories move me. I open the door to hear the laughter I know will warm my soul and find none. The rose-colored glass of memory I’d been looking through only clouded my vision to the reality of today. Nothing is as it once was. I watch and I listen, my heart aches as I stare helplessly into the face of the world.

The songs they sing have lost their innocence. Foul expressions spew from angelic lips. The little boys are playing handheld games of electronic war, do they even know war is real and ugly and sad? A gangly little girl in last year’s shorts twirls her hair for the old man next door and he watches her, too closely. I find myself in silent prayer.

Schools are as dangerous as the streets they wander. I wonder how many fear each day could be the day someone brings a gun. Too many little girls are pregnant, their childhood given to the care of another. When I was their age I played hopscotch and boys had cooties. Games and movies depict atrocities no child should be witness to, let alone see as entertainment. We played Mad-Libs and Chinese checkers.

I don’t know just when it changed or why. Society stopped watching and teaching and caring. Parents no longer parent. It’s not okay to tell them no anymore. Everybody has to win. If they fall they know someone will pick them up so there is no need to learn to rise. Bad choices are brushed off as mistakes, excuses are made for behaviors when discipline is actually required. Thankfully, there are still those who value the way things once were, the way they should be still. Glimmers of a life once lived still sparkle now and then. I wish it was enough. I want to look out my window and see what I see when I close my eyes.

Children no longer see the beauty in the dandelions they crush beneath their feet. Sometime after the sun goes down and only porch lights and the moon brighten the night, a father drives the block in a pickup truck yelling for his babies to come home for dinner. I hope they can hear him.

On the street where I live there are children at play, I wonder what they will remember when they drift off to dream of their yesterdays.

Crystal R. Cook