If you ever wondered just how bad it could suck to be a kid in Arizona just start combing through the education/child-abuse/teen-pregnancy/poverty/wage/ stats for the state. I may not be able to sleep again for months; I feel like I am going to be sick right now, for reals.
And then I pop onto good ol’ social media for some cheer and see a posting about that Plumber idiot wanting to help us with our immigration problems by shooting ‘suspects’ at the border and another post about how everyone should have to be drug tested for welfare coz that’s worth the money it costs for labs just to give scary/crappy childcare to a family who makes LESS than $16,000/yr!
Maybe ya do hate other people’s children enough not to care about my petty political rant. But those kids go to school with our kids and they are all growing up together where nearly 80% of all school kids don’t make adequate yearly progress towards graduation to learn grade-level required basics like reading & math. Which correlates with the 70% pass rate at all grade levels for white kids; if you’re brown, the numbers drop to to between 40-55%. And then you’re not qualified to attend college and therefore can’t get a good job so it becomes a vicious cycle of trying to earn enough to feed the kids that you can’t prevent having (biological urges and all) without access to medically accurate sex education and birth control. I couldn’t bring myself to trip over to the hunger stats to see how shitty it is, but if you make that little money, you and your kids are not eating well either.
There are approx. 1,732,019 children under 18 years in this state.
Nearly 25% of those babes live under poverty rate. Of the 10,000 total neglect cases reported in the state, 6000 are physical abuse cases. And less than 10% of all those children removed from sad circumstances go to adoption; the rest languish in foster-care which is the worst kind of hell! Even more alarming is that 20% of the child abuse cases involve babies under 1 yr; with 40% of abusers being parents ages 20-29 yrs. who are too damn young and ill-equipped to care for their unplanned children.
So gawd forbid the state legislature care about access to birth control. Wouldn’t want to prevent those 65-85% teen pregnancies dependent on which county you live in. Yeah, this group of winners passed no less than 8 anti-choice/anti-woman bills in just one legislative session during 2012. Some of the highlights include allowing your selfish employer to claim having a morality issue with your birth control use, or banning abortions for almost any reason after 20wks even if that fetus is not gonna ever be able to breathe in a gasp of air outside your womb; that’s fucking disgusting, isn’t it?
And as an aside, today it was 117° degrees outside. Last year we 33 such days. In this state, our kids go to school the first week in August. June thru September we endure 100 days that are +105°. Walking from the car to the schoolhouse for picking up the lilEinstein this afternoon, it was so hot I almost passed out. If the east coast can have a damn Snow Day I think we should demand Heat/Pollution Advisory days for our kids too! Should we start finally talking about budget cuts to education and raids on tax programs by our governor that we thought we had voted for during the last election cycle in order to save our schools?
Can’t we just care a little fucking bit about the lives of your youngest citizens?! I feel so angry about the self-serving bullshit of people who have stupid jobs they hate but they can’t be bothered to help the less fortunate all around them here. FUCKING WAKE UP! State leadership doesn’t give a crap about your kids or mine or even those other kids you don’t want to think about. And the only damn way to change state leadership is to VOTE these fuckers out! Vote for people who will really Really care about changing things here where we must band together and demand more and better and dream bigger; help our neighbors learn to help themselves toward a tomorrow that won’t make my heart ache in this TooHotCityInThisRedHotStateOfHate.
Thank you Morrison Institute and the U.S. Health and Human Services Report on Child Abuse and Neglect as well as the Guttmacher Institute. Now I’m sure I’ll never sleep again, so long as we live here.