Report on chronic absences: Kindergartners miss as much school as middle schoolers

A report released tonight shows chronic absences – viewed typically as a problem in middle and high school – occur even in kindergarten.

The report, “Mapping the Early Attendance Gap: Charting a Course for Student Success,” calls for more investigation into children who miss 10 percent or more of school a year, the causes of those absences and possible remedies.

“It really is something that affects our youngest children,” said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works and an author of the report, in a media call this afternoon. “And many of these are excused, not unexcused absences.”

TimBrinton.NewsArtA lot of children miss school for chronic health problems, such as asthma, obesity and diabetes. Among American students, asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism.

(I ran an excellent essay a few days ago by a UGA professor emeritus on this same issue. )

These chronic absences are being masked because schools report daily average attendance, said Chang.

While valuable for schools to know how many students show up on average each day, a daily tally conceals the number of students missing so much school they are at risk for academic failure.

Research shows missing 10 percent of the school year — 18 days to 20 days — undermines learning, said Chang.

Most policy discussions center on countering unexcused absences and truancy, both of which represent serious problems. But schools cannot afford to overlook students with high numbers of excused absences as they, too, suffer academically, said Chang.

On the media call, Chang and Rochelle Davis, president and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign, emphasized that while schools ought to collect the data on chronic absences, they cannot solve the problem alone; the greater community has to be part of the solution.

For example, asthma in children has been linked to environmental factors including outdoor air quality, which schools cannot address on their own. A family’s ability to control a child’s asthma depends on access to affordable health care, which also entails a larger community response.

Chang and Davis noted schools can promote student health by improving indoor air quality, employing a school nurse and providing screenings, nutritional foods and daily exercise. Parents also have to be reassured their child’s medical needs can be met in the school setting.

For example, parents may keep an asthmatic child home as a precaution, said Chang, explaining, “It is not always whether the asthma is debilitating, but whether or not the parent is comfortable with what can happen at school to address it.”

“Health and wellness should be incorporated in every aspect of school experience,” said Davis on the media call. “They need to be in school in order to learn. When health prevents them from being in school that is obviously a problem. The problems of chronic diseases, asthma, obesity and diabetes, have doubled among children over the past several decades and behavioral health issues continue to be a problem.”

While both women cited the oft-quoted estimate that one out of 10 students is chronically absent, there is no reliable nationwide data. That will change in the spring when the federal government releases a long-awaited count of chronic absenteeism in U.S. schools.

Here is the official release on the report:

Disparities in school attendance rates starting as early as preschool and kindergarten are contributing to achievement gaps and high school dropout rates across the country, according to a new report released today by Attendance Works and Healthy Schools Campaign.

“Mapping the Early Attendance Gap: Charting a Course for Student Success” documents that absenteeism, while a concern for all students, disproportionately affects low-income children, students from certain racial and ethnic groups and those with disabilities.

Moreover, many of these absences do not involve truancy or skipping school; rather, the absences are excused and tied directly to health factors such as asthma and dental problems, learning disabilities and mental health issues related to trauma and community violence.

“These early attendance gaps can turn into achievement gaps, which contribute to our graduation gaps,” said Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works and an author of the report.

“It’s not enough to say we have an absenteeism problem. We need to know who is missing too much school, when and where absences are mostly likely to occur and why students are chronically absent. This information is essential to targeting the right resources so we turn around poor attendance, especially for the students most at risk.”

The report, released at the start of Attendance Awareness Month, maps the nation’s attendance gaps using available research, including a state-by-state analysis of testing data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress given in 2011 and 2013. It builds on 2014 research by Attendance Works that showed students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests.

Key findings in today’s report include:

The youngest students – those in preschool and kindergarten – have absenteeism rates nearly as high as teenagers. While poor attendance is often seen as a problem in middle and high school, research shows that it is also an issue in the early grades. State reports show, for instance, that in Rhode Island, 16 percent of kindergarten students missed too much school compared to 17 percent of 8th graders and 22 percent of 9th graders. In Utah, the kindergarten rate of 16 percent was higher than that in 8th or 9th grade. Research show that these missed days in the early years can lead to weaker reading skills, higher rates of retention and lower graduation rates.

Health concerns – physical and mental – cause many of the absences in the early grades. Asthma is a leading cause of absenteeism at all ages, accounting for 14 million missed days nationwide, health studies show. Dental problems contribute 2 million more. Absences due to depression, anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder are harder to quantify but rob many students of valuable instructional time. Too many absences of any kind – excused, unexcused or disciplinary – can erode achievement.

Low-income students face an attendance gap that undermines achievement in every state. The analysis of 2011 and 2013 NAEP data shows that 23 percent of low-income fourth graders missed three or more days in the month prior to the test, compared to 17 percent of their peers. At the 8th grade level, the gap is 8 percentage points nationwide with much wider gaps in some states. Weak attendance often reflects the challenges that accompany poverty such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and limited access to quality health care. For all students – rich or poor – higher absenteeism correlates with lower test scores.

Children of color have higher overall rates of absenteeism than white students. The NAEP figures, bolstered by state and local studies, show the highest rates nationwide among American Indian/Alaskan Native students. Black and Hispanic students typically have higher levels with some variations in localities and states. A deeper analysis can help schools and communities determine how much poverty, health considerations or ineffective school discipline practice is affecting attendance rates.

Students with disabilities are more likely to miss too much school than other students. The NAEP data show that students with disabilities are 25 to 40 percent more likely to have high rates of absenteeism than their peers. Some of these absences can be attributed to the health concerns of physically disabled students, but others occur because of inappropriate placements, bullying or school aversion that often affects learning-disabled children.

The report also highlights the power of states to tackle absenteeism by tapping key champions, using data to identify students and schools with high chronic absence rates, especially in the early grades, and learning from places that have improved attendance despite challenging conditions. It emphasizes how chronic early absence can be turned around when school districts and community agencies, especially health providers, work together to partner with families to get students to class every day.

“Student health issues, including physical and behavioral health, are a leading cause of student absenteeism,” said Rochelle Davis, president and CEO of Healthy Schools Campaign. “Ensuring that students are able to go to school each day in a healthy environment and have access to health services is a key strategy for reducing absenteeism. Health providers and public health agencies can and should play an important role in working with schools to turn around poor attendance.”

The release of the report comes as schools and communities across the country are marking September as Attendance. More than 50 national organizations and hundreds of local communities are planning activities, issuing proclamations and beginning to map their own attendance gaps.

“The national data can point toward the patterns but local and state leaders must find out what is happening in their communities, especially for our youngest students, in order to improve school attendance and with it, achievement,” Chang said.

Reader Comments 0

94 comments
Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

Are truancy stats going into the teacher bonus formula when standardized tests suggest that the kids didn't learn much that term? 

class80olddog
class80olddog

No, that is included in the "pay for performance " for administrators.

Hahahahahaha

class80olddog
class80olddog

Maureen, just for kicks and grins, why don't you call up DeKalb County School System and ask them why Brockett Elementary School has been active for over four weeks and has no air conditioning in all of its classrooms?  I would be interested in hearing the answer.  This article talks about how many children are absent, but the school will not provide a suitable learning environment.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@thenoticer 

I remember having read this article.  I think that it is important enough a topic considering the educational politics at play in Georgia to let the people be aware.  Thus, I have excerpted the essence of your link, below.  Thank you for sharing this.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"The Chester Upland School District (CUSD) has struggled with economic and academic problems for years, but now a budget impasse in the state capital, combined with the explosive growth of public charter schools in the district, have conspired to put it on the brink of insolvency.

Districts in states such as Florida, Illinois, and New York are dealing with similar issues as charter schools strain local budgets. But Chester is seen as an extreme case.

CUSD officials informed teachers and support staff last Thursday that they wouldn’t be able to make payroll for the start of the school year. That day, the roughly 200 members of the local teachers union voted unanimously to work without pay. Secretaries, school bus drivers, janitors, and administrators will also be working without pay."

class80olddog
class80olddog

@thenoticer  "Years of financial mismanagement and a poor tax base have left CUSD with a $22 million operating deficit"


Sounds sort of like DeKalb county.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

 "Research shows missing 10 percent of the school year — 18 days to 20 days — undermines learning, said Chang."


What about the students who lose 1 hour per day because the teacher is dealing with behavior issues?  That pencils out to about 25 days per year of lost instruction time.


Or, how about the teacher who has a special ed student in second grade who is still wearing a diaper - and said student soils diaper twice per day.  Teacher then has to stop class, get the student to the special ed teachers for a diaper change, and then get the class back on track.  Another hour per day lost.


Or, the teacher who has to take time away from the class because of the need to spend more time with the ESOL students.....



AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

"Low-income students face an attendance gap that undermines achievement in every state"


No. Not true.  Reads like they are on their way to school when, dang it, 

they run into a special, low-income "attendance gap" that they just can't get across.


A better description:

"Low-income students' lower rate of attendance undermines achievement in every state"


It's always interesting when writers use the passive voice.

AlreadySheared
AlreadySheared

@MaryElizabethSings It has been written that, if the positive effects of regular exercise were available in a pill, people would be lining up for a prescription.


Similarly, if there was a government program which duplicated the positive effects on household income AND overwhelmingly positive sociological effects experienced by children of being raised by a married mother and father, we would all be clamoring for said program to be fully funded.


If you build a house with a lousy, shifting foundation, you can spend a lot of money repairing and replacing problems you would NEVER have had in a house with a solid foundation.  And after you caulk cracked walls, fix where the roof leaks between the attached garage and main house, fill in gaps between window frames and walls, rehang doors that won't shut and repaint, you know what you have?  A house with a lousy foundation.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@AlreadySheared 

The key is not to blame.  The key is to help others build a better foundation. How would you begin to do that?  I have suggested some interventions within my below post which would help to build that stronger foundation.  What are your interventions to help build that stronger foundation, without blaming, but only through aiding those who have not been able to build that strong foundation for their families for a myriad of reasons?

class80olddog
class80olddog

At some point you HAVE to blame. This generation has grown up taking zero responsibility for their choices. If you commit s burglary, it must be someone else's fault. When a man deposits semen in a woman and she gets pregnant, make sure he pays child support for 18 years. If a girl gets pregnant at 15, she needs to accept that she is responsible and do what needs to be done. Don't rely on society to solve your problems for you.

class80olddog
class80olddog

If you hold people responsible for their actions, you may find that people quit doing wrong things. We can see exactly what happens when you don't hold them accountable

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog 

But, what are your specific strategies which you think would "hold them accountable" and be effective?


I take the opposite point-of-view than you expressed in that I think that showing these (usually) dysfunctional families care and help, more than giving them punitive measures, are more effective. Below were some of the specific strategies I had offered on this thread to improve attendance, k -8, through care and help:


"I think that direct intervention programs for children in grades K - 8 who are missing school and fall into one of the categories need more home visitation by staff members and/or social workers to encourage their attendance. Letting these students talk for themselves as to why they miss school should be an eye-opener for some.  I believe that just targeting these students and talking with them and their parents about their absences - not in a punitive way, but in a compassionate way - will bring more to the school setting each day.  Perhaps, a school program of having school buddies who would help one another get to school each day might be effective. At least the students would know that school personnel (and their peer buddies) care for them and are trying to develop positive intervention for their changing of their previous life styles of missing school too frequently."

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

One subheading in the article was: "Health concerns – physical and mental – cause many of the absences in the early grades."


A second subheading in the article was: "Low-income students face an attendance gap that undermines achievement in every state."  (4th and 8th grade students were compared relative to the specific effects of poverty, such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and limited health care, on attendance.)


A third subheading in the article was: "Children of color have higher overall rates of absenteeism than white students." (Including Native Americans Alaskan natives, Hispanics, and Blacks)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Once these individual children in K - 8 have been evaluated in terms of their specific absentee problem(s) as being  mainly health related, or poverty related, or ethic/racial group related, the solutions for each category should be broached. Sometimes these categories overlap.


Poverty often seems to instill a lack of hope which translates into missing school. Bullying, likewise, causes students to miss school.


The children of color, named above, often have lost hope and faith with the American promise for themselves and their families

.

I think that direct intervention programs for children in grades K - 8 who are missing school and fall into one of the categories need more home visitation by staff members and/or social workers to encourage their attendance. Letting these students talk for themselves as to why they miss school should be an eye-opener for some.  I believe that just targeting these students and talking with them and their parents about their absences - not in a punitive way, but in a compassionate way - will bring more to the school setting each day.  Perhaps, a school program of having school buddies who would help one another get to school each day might be effective. At least the students would know that school personnel (and their peer buddies) care for them and are trying to develop positive intervention for their changing of their previous life styles of missing school too frequently.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings

"The children of color, named above, often have lost hope and faith with the American promise for themselves and their families."


Bullcrap.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2 

I disagree.  I worked in an all black high school that last 15 years of my teaching and instructional leadership career.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

I actually have high expectations for all children.  I want all of them to reach their individual potential so that they will not feel unfulfilled or bitter.


So many of my black students came back to my school to thank me for believing in them and telling them that they could go as high in life as they wished to go. One even even told me the fact that I was a white teacher telling her that inspired her to become all she could become because of my belief in her.  She is in broadcasting now. Even in the past few months, a 48 old former, outstanding black student, a leader hired in a university now, had complimented my work with him when I had worked with him in my high school reading lab 30 years ago.  He was already a brilliant student when he walked into my reading lab and said during his lunch break, "Show me your reading machines.  I want to double my reading rate before I attend college next year."  He did more than double his rate - all by his own volition - during his lunch time every day for several months.

Black students, like all students, respond to knowing you truly care about their lives in the future, and that you, as their teacher, believe in them, and that you have the in-depth knowledge to share with them that will make a difference in their lives. That is why my reading lab was always full of those precious black children reading on 3rd grade level through grade level 16 in high school - hope for their futures and faith that they could achieve a good life.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@popcornular 

Let us all try to get off of personalities, which is pettiness, and get into content, which is how to help struggling primary and middle school students, and their struggling parents, attend school without undue absences, please.

popcornular
popcornular

@MaryElizabethSings

And you were certainly a big fish in that teeny pond. And I am sure you reveled in the flattering contrast. Doesn't mean you know poop though. 

Astropig
Astropig

@MaryElizabethSings


"The children of color, named above, often have lost hope and faith with the American promise for themselves and their families"


People like you rob them of their hope and faith with your ever lower expectations. Your bigotry,cloaked as "compassion" sends the message that they can't do any better than genteel poverty and endowed dependency.

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings

Schools need to do what they know and leave social work (as much as possible) to other agencies.  Otherwise,they spend a bunch of money on things they really aren't qualified to do.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Little kids get sick more often. You would expect middle schoolers to have better developed immune systems.


What I noticed was that children of stay at home moms were more likely to be absent, while working moms sent them on,sick or not.


Also,the more behavior-disordered kids never got sick!

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

I believe it is "kindergarteners."

TaxiSmith
TaxiSmith

There is one reason, and one reason only, that public schools care at all about attendance. It has nothing to do with children and everything to do with money. Public schools receive funding from the State of Georgia based NOT on enrollment but on Average Daily Attendance, or ADA. ADA is the carrot at the end of the public school funding stick. The higher your daily attendance average, the higher your funding. Never mind that you have to hire teachers to teach your enrollment of 1200. If your ADA is 1005, that's your number.


Now you know.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@TaxiSmith 

To say that "there is one reason, and one reason only, that public schools care at all about attendance," is faulty and prejudicial judgment, imo.  Your data is correct and should be known, but that is not the ONLY reason that public schools care about attendance problems with students.  We must expand our thinking beyond simple dichotomies. But, thank you for that data, which is also true.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

The below information by posters, for the most part, has been valuable information.  However, I would like to change the focus of the posting, somewhat.  Please reread this from the article:


" 'Mapping the Early Attendance Gap: Charting a Course for Student Success' documents that absenteeism, while a concern for all students, disproportionately affects low-income children, students from certain racial and ethnic groups and those with disabilities."


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We, as a society, tend to label people into categories and then make harsh judgements regarding those labels or categories assigned in our own minds.  I want to expand our thinking from that type of perception because I think expanding our thought processes can help more students to succeed in school.  As the article states, 1 in 10 students are chronically absent from school.  My experience (and my reasoning) has shown that poverty is generational and must be tackled in a disinterested, not biased, way.  We cannot continue, imo, to label "truant" students, or students who skip school without excuses, as "bad" students as opposed to those students who are absent with excused absences caused by physical and mental illnesses.

Judging does no good.  Understanding why students are truant with unexcused absences is important for us to do as a society.  The student whom I described in the learning disability thread had been truant for a week and I knew that s/he was about to drop out of school, and that fact was confirmed in my talks with this student's mother.  Had my focus been on "disciplinary" actions with this student, I have no doubt that this student would have been a high school drop out instead of having become a high school graduate at age 20.  Reason and care are more effective antidotes to truancy than is discipline, as I see it.  We still know so little about the impact of poverty and generational home environments, as well as learning disabilities which may have gone unaddressed for years, as with the student I had mentioned.  Let us give some attention to how to "save" truant students through wisdom rather than through punitive discipline rather than to medical reasons, alone.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings 

This thread is about pre-schoolers and kindergarteners (not high schoolers) who very often miss school for health reasons.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 

No where did I state or imply that I wanted to limit the discussion to high school students.  The example I happened to give was of one high school student.

I wish the discussion to focus on poverty, racial and ethnic group problems, and learning disabilities as it affects absenteeism in all grades k - 12.


The idea I believe is to help with absenteeism from the beginning to the end of the school years. Truant students who are absent in primary grades are often the same ones absent in later grades.


It was only a suggestion.  Obviously, as the interest unfolds naturally, so will be the posting.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 

No, it is not "a hijacking of the original topic."  The quotes below are the words straight out of the article, itself, today.  If we want to limit the discussion to k - 8, that is fine with me.  My point was to change the focus from strictly medical reasons to poverty and racial aspects of absenteeism, without judgment of those students and their families (that is not "unfocused"; that is simply a shift of focus):


"The analysis of 2011 and 2013 NAEP data shows that 23 percent of low-income fourth graders missed three or more days in the month prior to the test, compared to 17 percent of their peers. At the 8th grade level, the gap is 8 percentage points nationwide with much wider gaps in some states. Weak attendance often reflects the challenges that accompany poverty such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and limited access to quality health care. For all students – rich or poor – higher absenteeism correlates with lower test scores.

Children of color have higher overall rates of absenteeism than white students. The NAEP figures, bolstered by state and local studies, show the highest rates nationwide among American Indian/Alaskan Native students. Black and Hispanic students typically have higher levels with some variations in localities and states. A deeper analysis can help schools and communities determine how much poverty, health considerations or ineffective school discipline practice is affecting attendance rates."

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings @OriginalProf 

Again, the topic is not "K-8" but pre-school and kindergarten! You're trying to take things in a totally different direction, that of race, poverty, and school discipline as factors in elementary and middle school absenteeism. And again, that's unfocused and unorganized--three different topics relating to two different school levels.


Been there!  Done that! Let's hear about the little ones, as they start out.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf @MaryElizabethSings 

You wish to deny what was actually written in this article?  The content was not simply on the "little ones"; it was on how the absenteeism of kindergarten students compares with that of students through grade 8.  Please read what I excerpted from this very article in my post, above, especially this last sentence straight from this article:


"A deeper analysis can help schools and communities determine how much poverty, health considerations or ineffective school discipline practice is affecting attendance rates."

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings @OriginalProf 

It sounds to me like a hijacking of the original topic, which dealt only with absenteeism in pre-school and kindergarten years, because you wish to discuss"poverty, racial and ethnic group problems, and learning disabilities as it affects absenteeism in all grades k - 12."  (An enormous, unfocused topic, I might add.)  Maureen has had umpteen blog-topics on this in the past, and it's nice to focus instead upon the kindergarten years.

redweather
redweather

I'm not too surprised by the kindergarten absences, especially if the mom stays home. Then there are the first time moms who are often loath to do anything their firstborn finds disagreeable.  Once the second child comes along, it's off to school with you, buddy boy. 

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

What gets me are the kids with asthma who live in a house of smokers!

hssped
hssped

@Wascatlady


But they only smoke outside!!!  hahaha!!  


Whatever, these problems have existed forever.  Read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or any Laura Ingalls Wilder book......the same problems.....different century. 

BCW1
BCW1

It seems the more conscience we are of health issues, the sicker our kids become.

class80olddog
class80olddog

From one of Maureen's links:

"That same year Erika von Mutius, an epidemiologist at Munich University, was looking into the effect of air pollution on asthma in what was then East and West Germany. Children from dirtier East Germany, she was shocked to find, had dramatically less asthma than their West German counterparts living in cleaner, more modern circumstances. The East German children, unlike their Western counterparts, had spent more time in day care and thus had likely been exposed to many more viruses and bacteria."

straker
straker

If we had universal health care, like EVERY OTHER Western industrialized nation has, maybe these absences would be lessened.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@straker Why do you think that?  The mother STILL has to TAKE her kid to the "free doctor" - a lot would not even do that.

Astropig
Astropig

@sneakpeakintoeducation @class80olddog @straker


A lot of parents won't even feed their kids. We're told all the time in this space how their free breakfast and lunch is the only square meal they get all day. Considering the amount of time and effort required to see a doctor (not to mention cost), I'd say Class80 is right on the money.

Astropig
Astropig

@MaryElizabethSings @Astropig


The "stereotype" is promulgated by people like you,who tell us ad ad nauseum that because we have too much, the kids of the poor have too little and have to exist on whatever a benevolent government doles out to them daily. You and your ilk stereotype both the poor and the rich so frequently that you don't even know that you're doing it.

Astropig
Astropig

@straker


"If we had universal health care, like EVERY OTHER Western industrialized nation has, maybe these absences would be lessened."


Oh? The United Kingdom has universal healthcare (and has had since WWII ended) and their absenteeism/truancy rates are abysmal. 

(http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10587203/Truancy-rates-holding-back-performance-of-UK-schools.html)



And thats just in Britain. Anybody that has ever traveled in eastern Europe during the school year knows that the streets are teeming with school age kids just wandering around. (Especially in Kiev)


MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Astropig 

It is easy to judge another as a stereotype in one's own head.  It is harder to refine one's thinking and assess others individually.  It is also more humane and more wise to assess individuals as you actually know them as people in the flesh rather than to assume categories of people as stereotypes. 


(This is not intended as a personal insult, but as a means of expanding the awareness of all who may read my words.  Stereotypical thinking is limited thinking, by definition, and it can be dangerous thinking.)

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@MiltonMan @MaryElizabethSings


Mary Elizabeth can stand up for herself but she keeps the discourse very civil unlike you. You resort to name calling and insults. I love a discussion that is lively and puts out a variety of points of view but when it starts getting ugly, the blog should be moderated. Please do something Maureen.



OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@sneakpeakintoeducation @MiltonMan @MaryElizabethSings 

I have a good memory, and must stand up for MiltonMan, although his conservative political viewpoint is most unlike mine. There was a previous blog-thread in which he noted his upbringing to be poor, trailer-court Southern, but because he worked very hard he managed to get through college (UGA, as I recall) with fine grades, and got a good job. MES replied with a very negative comment that got several negative comments in reply. My guess is that MiltonMan has remembered that.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

@MaryElizabethSings


Give us a freaking break Moon Bat Mary.  You judge me all the time in these threads without knowing one cell in my body.  You are a freaking moronic hypocrite who throws in the Holy Spirit to compensate for your judgmental lunacy.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

"Negative," like "beauty," is in the eye of the beholder.  To encourage those who daily practice anger and hate to release themselves of those traits is not negative.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings 

It is when you state that MiltonMan's "anger and hate" came from his impoverished, trailer-court upbringing. You need to refine your thinking, and expand it past cultural, class stereotypes.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 

That is not what I had written from memory. I am most certain that you have misinterpreted what I had written.  My perceptions were (which I did not state, but simply thought) that MM has written, for years, with disrespect to those poor people who have not helped themselves (as he has perceived it), as he had done. 

I believe that anger and hatred toward some others (which I and others have perceived in his words over the years) are difficult to overcome on one's own without the help of the Holy Spirit. I remember encouraging him to release himself of those feelings.I believe I encouraged him to allow the spirit of the Holy Spirit to enter his being, as I, myself, have done when I needed spiritual lifting.  My words were meant to be a positive suggestion to him, not a "negative," as you perceived. I wrote those words with no sarcasm in my intent to him.

I believe that no one should be seen in stereotypical ways and that MM's negativism did not come from his "cultural, class stereotypes" as you stated, but from his unique soul.  I was trying to help assuage some of what I saw as his anger  - just as an individual.  That is the truth whether you, he, or anyone else perceived, otherwise.


I had just recently posted the writings of the 14th Dalai Lama's writings on "Compassion" on my blog, as well as on other AJC blogs, so my giving that positive suggestion to MM was authentic to who I am.


It seems that you have too frequently been misinterpreting my posts lately and pulling me into these defensive positions to which I have felt I needed to respond in order to speak for my intent and purposes.  This is not what I wish to write about in the future.  I prefer writing about content, not these personal matters.


If I fail to answer a post of yours to me in the future, that is the only reason. That is what is best for me.  Best wishes, Mary Elizabeth

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings @OriginalProf 

I remember your post to MiltonMan quite distinctly.  After he had shared his upbringing in his post, you stated that explained where his hatred and anger came from. I don't blame him for his subsequent posts to you.

You really need to follow the advice that you give others so frequently (and patronizingly) to "refine your thinking." As it is said in Matthew 7:5: ".... first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."


MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 

Facts, not opinions:  (Goodbye, Original Prof)

Milton Man; ". . . I busted my tail off in college when most peers were partying and became an engineer.  Further my education to include two more degrees.  This in despite of teachers in high school who were convinced I would be a farmer."


MaryElizabethSings:

'And, your resentment still shows.  The only way to love yourself and to love others is to release yourself from feelings of anger and hate.'

MiltonMan:

"Poor kids were brainwashed by the moon bat Mary."

MiltonMan:

"..and you are a judgmental little twit.  If I would have listened to morons like yourself who said I would amount to much of nothing, I could blame it on being poor."

 http://getschooled.blog.ajc.com/2015/08/24/big-picture-of-georgias-demographic-shifts-not-a-pretty-picture-for-schools/

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@MaryElizabethSings @OriginalProf 

You did not cut-and-paste MiltonMan's full post, which read: "I grew up dirt poor in lower Alabama - went into the military to serve the country and to accumulate college money since my parents could not afford it.  I busted my tail off in college when most peers were partying and became an engineer.  Further my education to include two more degrees.  This in despite of teachers in high school who were convinced I would be a farmer."  That first sentence is the significant one.


Your patronizing, condescending reply, which you give here, did not show any "Compassion," but rather was a "gotcha" moment. And MiltonMan's two most recent posts to you that you include here show how your reply stung. 

Again, as you post so often, "refine your thinking" and "expand your thoughts beyond stereotyping."

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf 

Facts, not opinion, again:  I had first included all of Milton Man's words, and everyone else's word in that series (through Starik's words about Milton Man) which I will post below, but the red flag would not let me post all of that, stating that I had to cut down my words to be posted.  Thus, I followed its computer directions to be able post anything at all.  As you can read, all that I had said to Milton Man were, in the entire series, were simply:

 "'And, your resentment still shows.  The only way to love yourself and to love others is to release yourself from feelings of anger and hate.'

I was specifically referring to his resentment of his high school teachers whom he had mentioned had underestimated his ability. (not his background)

You continuously get my intent and the content of my posts wrong, Original Prof.  This is not healthy between us and I am not going to indulge in this kind of negativism with you about my motives, again.  I think you would be better off exploring your own motives rather than misinterpreting mine, as the 14th Dalai Lama teaches us to do (i. e., look inside for peace).