We need to speak up

I read a book recently based on the Holocaust and while fictional has many factual locations, dates and statistics in it that are riveting and horrific all at the same time. I did not know the details about the round up of the French Jews by their own police after the German occupation. The Vel d’ Hiver Roundup is a part of history that many French would like to forget, as they had a part in it that went beyond Nazi orders. Their orders were to leave the young children (under 16) behind, but instead children were targeted as well as their mothers and fathers. The families were torn from their homes on July 16 and 17, 1942 never to return. They were held in conditions worse than livestock for two days in a cycling stadium with little to eat or drink, beaten and crammed together with no washrooms and nowhere to sleep. Then, taken by train to concentration camps - 13,152 Jewish people were suddenly slated for death at Auschwitz. They went from living a life as a family in Paris to living in unspeakable conditions under the leadership of unspeakable sadists.

I read a book recently based on the Holocaust and while fictional has many factual locations, dates and statistics in it that are riveting and horrific all at the same time. I did not know the details about the round up of the French Jews by their own police after the German occupation. The Vel d’ Hiver Roundup is a part of history that many French would like to forget, as they had a part in it that went beyond Nazi orders. Their orders were to leave the young children (under 16) behind, but instead children were targeted as well as their mothers and fathers. The families were torn from their homes on July 16 and 17, 1942 never to return. They were held in conditions worse than livestock for two days in a cycling stadium with little to eat or drink, beaten and crammed together with no washrooms and nowhere to sleep. Then, taken by train to concentration camps – 13,152 Jewish people were suddenly slated for death at Auschwitz. They went from living a life as a family in Paris to living in unspeakable conditions under the leadership of unspeakable sadists.

I will not say anymore about this except to say that over 4,000 children died. Many before even reaching the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

The thing about history – even the unspeakable is that we all need to know the details of the how and why and learn from them. Why did the French not do more? We can condemn them or empathize with them because of their own terror and desire to protect their families. The French did not know the depths of horror that were to be the Jews fate.

I get so mad when I hear about people who are incapable of learning from the past even in its most simple of forms. A California teacher reported to her administrators about a bully. Every child in her class had a awful story about their interaction with this bully. Mrs. Brown talked with all the parents of her students about the problem and was reprimanded for wanting to inform and protect. I am sick to death of administration hiding behind policy b.s. and guidelines instead of reverting to commonsense—how about compassion and being a decent human being. Pathetic is what every one of those people who are speaking out against this teacher are.

This bully, if left unchecked, might be the next Columbine psycho, the next Jared Lee Loughner or Seung-Hui Cho. History people…it will repeat itself if we choose to sweep it under the carpet.

Hiding behind policy guidelines and blather is incompetence and highlights inadequacy to fulfill an assigned position. When a teacher tells administration about a bully, deal with it and quickly. A whole bunch of small children are not going to lie. In fact, they are probably the most honest of us all. Those who have turned on Elaine Brown should be ashamed of themselves. We need to speak up about crimes against others and when we are, listen and do something or we are no better. Shame is ours to wear.

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