Unsuspecting Danger at Boarding Schools

Boarding schools have long been revered as a optimal choice for children to receive the best education. Aside from behavioral boarding schools, these schools provide quality and maintain rigorous education standards. Students stay at these schools for extended periods of time and it does come at a hefty price tag. According to College Bound Network , the average boarding school in the United States is roughly $38,350 per year. Elite boarding schools can average upwards of $60,000 per yer.

These exclusive prep schools are designed to rear students for success and sustain their legendary status through their reputation. The benefits of attending some of these institutions include a lifetime of benefits: preferred college acceptance and an invaluable network, are just a few. While these schools surpass expectations of quality education and instilling structure, some students have a different experience.

Private institutions have the benefit of being just that—private. These schools handle matters in house, with little outside regulation or authority, whereas public schools are largely governed by outside forces. In recent years, many abuse stories have come to light regarding faculty and other students.

St. George’s School in Rhode Island is a noteworthy case of sex abuse, after 40 students came forward reporting that they had been assaulted by staff in the 1970’s and ’80s. Many other boarding schools have been the center of sex abuse allegations, that highlight potential dangers of this environment.

Students that are sent away to these boarding school have limited contact with parents and are under the constant supervision of strangers. It is often perceived that they are in good hands. Many parents rely on the integrity of the school’s reputation or their legacy status when deciding whether or not to send their child to a specific institution. The problem in this, is that these children are in fact, defensless.

Traditional boarding schools in the U.S. start accepting students that are 9th-12th grades, and some even accept students entering in the 6th grade. Behavioral boarding schools for ‘troubled teens’ can accept students as young as eight. Children are very impressionable and more susceptible to manipulation or abuse, especially when discipline is strictly enforced.

A group of students from the behavioral boarding school, CEDU Educational Services in California participated in a documentary, sharing their experiences of physical abuse at the hands of staff. Many of the students recall trying to warn their parents of the abuse, only to have their calls ended and their parents reassured by staff, that they are safe. The school has now been closed, but it had significant impacts on their lives.

In today’s society, abuse victims have slightly better chance of their stories being taken seriously than in other decades. Previous generations would have preferred to keep a lid on misconduct, to protect their status. Proven predatory teachers were just shuffled around to other schools with recommendations in hand.

The age old code of silence to protect the integrity of the institution is slowly coming to a head. Although, students have a better chance at improving their situations in the present day, parents and educators must do their due diligence. The promise of success is an invalid excuse to turn a blind eye to abuse.

 

 

Daily Inspiration: Speak Up

Terry Crews is an actor who has made us laugh in many movies and tv shows. He was recently in the news after coming out against a sexual assault that he experienced. He uses his platform to talk about very important issues.

In today’s video, he discusses the earliest memories he has of the trauma he endured throughout his life. As a domestic violence survivor, he talks about the importance of speaking up and not looking the other way. The quality of your life and the lives of the people around you, depend on it.

Sears Pioneered Catalog Homes

Today Sears is known for appliances and other products that you find in department stores. With the recent closing of hundreds of stores, it seemed as if their run is coming to a close. Sears may have become a casualty of the modern shopping era but they once were the pioneers of innovation.

In the early 1900s, home buying was as simple as opening up a Sears catalog. Sears Modern Homes were sold factory to consumers and the consumer assumed the responsibility for building the actual home.

From 1908–1940, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold about 70,000 – 75,000 homes through their mail-order Modern Homes program. Over that time Sears designed 447 different housing styles…Customers could choose a house to suit their individual tastes and budgets.

Sears was not an innovative home designer. Sears was instead a very able follower of popular home designs but with the added advantage of modifying houses and hardware according to buyer tastes. Modern Home customers had the freedom to build their own dream houses, and Sears helped realize these dreams through quality custom design and favorable financing.

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Sears Hamilton, from the 1923 Modern Homes Catalog- Sears Homes of Chicagoland
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1607 Techny, Northbrook- Sears Homes of Chicagoland

Without going into specifics of applicable laws on home building and land ownership in the early 1900’s, that process was most likely easier and required less hoops than home buying in today’s society.

The average home price hovered around $1,000 and the average financing term for a home loan was 5 years at 6% and could extend to 15 years. In today’s market that would roughly put a home purchase at around $25,000. That may be remarkable considering the average price of a home in the United States is $217,300, according to Zillow

The Great Depression eventually ended the boom of Sears Modern Homes and their last catalog home was sold in 1940. However, they did help familiarize many families with modern conveniences that we now enjoy in standard American homes. Indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity were new developments at the time and eventually became common in construction of homes.

The architecture of many of these homes have been replicated throughout the country. Some original catalog homes are still standing and have served as a declaration of the time and society they were built in.

 

Daily Inspiration: Lebron James Opens Elementary School

Professional athletes have recently received some backlash for being overpaid and not contributing to society in a meaningful way. However, that doesn’t apply to all, since many donate their time, skills and resources to help many communities.

Lebron James opened up a tuition free elementary school in Akron Ohio that is dedicated to providing support and resources for children and parents that need it the most. His dedication to helping children from similar backgrounds and philanthropy is truly met with gratitude by those on the receiving end.

Daily Inspiration: Practice Makes Perfect

Watching a child develop athletic abilities is truly an amazing process. This dad was inspired by his daughter to learn the moves she does in gymnastics.

In today’s video, the father eventually gets some of the moves down after much practice. It’s a great reminder that the body can always do great things.

Daily Inspiration: Sing Your Heart Out

America’s Got Talent is a collection of different people showing of their skills whether amazing or weird. The judges never know what they are going to get and this contestant blew there socks off.

Andrew De Leon surprised the judges with his rendition of “O Mio Babbino Caro”. It is a reminder to go after your dreams no matter how unlikely others think they are.

The Future of Jobs is Nothing New

Retailers and restaurants across the country are jumping on the bandwagon—the automation bandwagon. Chances are, you may have noticed an influx of self check-outs that are easily outfitted to complete your transaction. That unsurprisingly, is the line with the permanent direction of the future and it is nothing new.

Automation launched the textile and other industries into mass production during the Industrial Revolution. Some of the most notable inventions during that time were the cotton gin, steam engine and telephone. These inventions notably powered society in the past and new and improved versions of this technology still do today.

Large factories still use machines to do a lot of the brunt work of making products that assist daily life. By now, we have become accustomed to using technology to assist us in doing things like pumping gas and calculating change. Many people are thankful for these machines because it saves time, money and keeps us moving everyday.

The same efficiency sentiment has carried through with the introduction of these automated machines. Self check-out and ordering machines have replaced face to face interactions in the name of saving money. In a recent article by Forbes, the new uptick in automation for Mcdonald’s is accredited to companies now meeting the demands of a higher minimum wage.

While some consumers may appreciate the novelty or added convenience, the conveniences come at the cost of entry-level jobs…This trend is nothing new. Chains have responded to rising labor costs and technological advancement accordingly and McDonald’s has been leading the way as a pioneer in productivity among employees, concepts, and machines.

However, with labor costs continuing to skyrocket, it’s inevitable that restaurants and other fast food chains will continuously search for ways to reduce labor costs–particularly as customers get comfortable with new technology.

It is a surprise that this hasn’t happened sooner. Companies of all industries are looking for ways to increase their bottom line—cheaply. Technology has continued to be the answer to that problem. Requiring that customers actually meet with another live person is a courtesy not a necessity. Calling a bank and having to get through the initial pleasant voiced robot, will probably be permanent once voice recognition software has been perfected.

People will eventually need to assert their skills elsewhere, as those who found their jobs taken away in the past did. There is money to be made everywhere and in any evolving industry. Until machines have completely infiltrated society, a living brain is still paramount for them to function.

 

 

Daily Inspiration: Wrestler Plays Tug of War

Adam Cook is a wrestler for the University of Michigan Wolverines. He knows what it means to still be a kid at heart.

In today’s video he tests his strengths against 50 kids in a game of tug of war. While the odds seemed to be in his favor, they gave it all they had and were declared winners. It serves as just a little reminder to always find the fun in life.

Daily Inspiration: Recognizing Talent at Any Age

Talents come in many shapes and sizes. They can also develop quickly and at a very early age. Kareem Waris Olamilekan is an 11 year old artist from Nigeria. His portraits are very skilled, beautiful and rooted in hyper realism.

In today’s video he describes how he gets his portraits done and the symbolism behind them.

The End of Child Marriage is Gaining Traction

Marriage is thought to be a sacred union between two consenting adults. However, in most of the country, you don’t necessarily have to be an adult. New Jersey recently became the second state (after Delaware) to ban marriage for people under the age of eighteen.

Forty eight states still allow children to get married either on their own volition or with the approval of their parents and/or a judge. A hundred years ago someone may not have batted an eyelash at a sixteen year old’s tying the knot but times have changed along with general life expectancy.

The idea behind children getting married used to be attributed to the fact that most people dropped dead by fifty, so it didn’t make sense to wait until 35 to get married and have children. In today’s society, child marriage can mostly be attributed to religious and family preference.

In an article by CBS news, child marriage survivor and founder of Unchained At Last, Fraidy Reiss sheds light on the issue.

“There’s nothing easy about escaping a forced marriage,” Reiss said.

National forced marriage statistics are hard to come by. In a survey of marriage licenses compiled by Unchained At Last, at least 167,000 children under 18 were married in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010. (That number is likely on the conservative side, as Unchained At Last could obtain age data from only 38 U.S. states.)

The vast majority of those children were girls married off to adult men, Reiss said.

The argument against the forced marriage of minors is clear, it is a distinct violation of human rights. A person should not be forced to enter into a legal contract with another person they do not choose or before they are ready.

On the contrary, if a person under eighteen chooses to get married, should the law prevent them? That depends on how the law measures the aptitude of children to make decisions that affect their lives.

Laws already exist to regulate the  purchase of alcohol and tobacco, voting, serving in the military and gambling. Does marriage fall in the same category? Perhaps it should, since it is a legal contract.

Legislatures in other states seem to agree as California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania are now considering passing bills to limit or end child marriage.

Daily Inspiration: Sometimes Creativity Finds You

Vincent Bal is a shadowologist and filmmaker from Belgium. His unique style of art is made by using the shadows of ordinary objects to complete a drawing.

Today’s video displays some of fun and quirky drawings in action. The inspiration for these projects came from a coffee cup. It serves as a reminder that the most unlikely thing can get creative juices flowing. See more of his doodles on his Instagram.

Daily Inspiration: Women in Finance

Lauren Simmons is surpassing expectations at just 23 years old. She is currently the only female floor broker at the New York Stock Exchange.

In today’s video she talks about her journey and the empowerment she feels by accomplishing this goal. She is an inspiration to girls looking to find their place in STEM fields.

Digital Marketing Has Changed the Way People Internalize Ads

Advertisements are everywhere—on tv, in movies and in print. Companies have found new ways to market their products using technology. Mostly to their benefit and not the consumers. Photoshop showed society that too much of a good thing definitely exists.

Perfection gleamed across pages and screens so much so, that magazines had to admit that their models were heavily airbrushed(edited). Although, some of these ads were frowned upon, the culture of perfection intensified.

Recently, a model named, Shudu, made waves across Instagram. People seemed to be enthralled with her beauty and amazed at her hyper realistic features. Why? Ironically enough, because she’s not real. She was created with a computer program, making her the first digital model that we can openly identify.

The fashion and beauty industry is known for breeding perfectionism within itself; the growth of advertising and social media has greatly increased its influence. Ads are a symbol of what society deems beautiful, worthy and acceptable.

Self-esteem is directly correlated to how one sees themselves in the world. When young people and adults are constantly viewing ads, it is common to project what is being marketed inward. Suddenly it isn’t just about the shade of lipstick or the shirt with the logo on the model.

The consumer sees the features of the model: glowing perfect skin, white porcelain teeth, those long flowing locks and  perfectly sculpted abs. Internalization is the unintended symptom for the consumer. Companies are counting on the individual viewing the ad wanting to emulate what they see.

Dove’s Real Beauty campaign in 2004 was aiming to counter act the photoshop dilemma in magazines. The sentiment was nice in that they focused on how real women look. They were striving to give a face to the regular mom, sister, and overworked teacher.

The ‘real beauty’ campaign still exists today for Dove and other companies, but it will forever remain the step-child of regular ads that find no fault in the perfectionists game. Artificial intelligence is sure to advance this culture and society will have to stay vigilant in reminding itself that not everything in magazines and sponsored pages is real—its just marketing.