A letter to a misguided judge…

Dear Mr. Utah Judge,

Sometimes I am, admittedly, naive. I have always associated “justice” with my personal definition of a “judge”. I have defined a “judge” as a thoughtful academic, an individual who upholds the constitution of our great country- one who seeks to make decisions based on fairness and humanity. The decision you made last week, to remove a foster child from the care of a married lesbian couple, was not only unfair and inhumane, it was a slap directed to the faces of our Supreme Court justices who, like most honorable Americans, embrace marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Apparently, however,  you’ve had an epiphany. After the media backlash, you have rescinded your decision. You have allowed the couple to keep the child, with the understanding, as reported by CNN,  that there would be “further hearings”. You have temporarily appeased the masses, but these “future hearings” reek of suspicious motives…

Again, my naive mind wonders if it could be possible that you have truly changed your mind, and realized the error of your ways? Maybe you’ve had a sincere change of heart? As a believer in rehabilitation, I do believe everyone can change and make themselves better humans. In fact, if I were a judge, I would send you to my own sort of rehabilitation facility. I would order you get to know one of a million same-sex couples who are raising loving families. I can suggest a handful in my small world who would reshape your misguided prejudice.

These “two-mom” or “two-dad” families ARE traditional, Mr. Utah Judge. They love their children. They pray with their children. They go to sporting events and activities and cheer on their children. They provide kisses for booboos, hugs for tears, and consequences for misbehavior. They worry, they smile, and they live for their children. Their kids go to school and they come home and tell their two moms or two dads about the day’s activities. There is nothing untraditional about the way that these families raise their kids. They are human beings, and great parents.

You made your initial decision without knowing these two mothers. You, a judge who makes life and death decisions every day, threw away your impartiality in favor of discrimination. The implications of this sort of reckless disregard for the law is alarming.

But you corrected your error, Mr. Utah Judge, and for that, I am grateful. My internal optimism for humanity is willing to believe in you, cautiously of course. I am willing to take your backpedaling as a sign that you’ve come to your proverbial senses.  Thank you for that. Thank you for accepting the oath of your position which understands that “all men are created equal” in our country.

You have taken a step in the right direction. I encourage you to follow the laws, and refrain from allowing your own personal prejudices to corrupt your societal decisions. I hope that you will think of the best needs of the children in our communities, children who are loved and cared for by same-sex parents.

Stay on track, Mr. Utah Judge. Please help me, and others,  restore our faith in the judicial system of the United States. Discrimination is an unwelcome intruder in our courtrooms.

Sincerely,

Heidi Campbell

A modest proposal for a digital world…

Each day, at any given moment across American High Schools, students sneak a text on their cellular devices. They hide their phones in pockets, under their thighs, inside their bras, and along the tops of their book bags. I am a teacher, and, as entertaining as I like to think I am in my classroom, I cannot compete with the allure of these devices. I have spent hours pondering the possible ways to thwart the sneaky methods of in-class texting, and I have finally hit pay dirt!  I have the foolproof solution to the problem of cell phones; I just need medical backing and an educational referendum.

My plan will allow teachers of cellphone-aged children to ensure that cell phones are “up” at a glance. By “up”, I mean that cell phones, under my simple plan, will find a natural resting spot on the tops of the heads of students. Indeed, a teacher will be able to look out to her attentive pupils and see them sitting upright, eager to learn, their cell phones resting comfortably atop their craniums.

Now, my eventual plan does require the reshaping of the human skull, and it must begin with the current newborns. We must mold the very skulls of infants, when they are most pliable. Doctors can easily create this “mold” using any available rectangular block. Actually, a small book would be best, since no one reads them anymore- it would be a great way to use up these antiquated dust collectors. Using the book, the doctor, who would certainly be adequately trained, would only need to press for a matter of minutes, and the indention would be set. Parents would then take the book with them, upon leaving the hospital with their new babes, and continue “book press therapy” throughout the child’s first year, to ensure that the bones set correctly. Parents will undoubtedly pack these books away with other sentimental baby items- first cups, bibs, and locks of hair.

Once a child hits the age of 7,  which I render the age at which most children will have their first cell phones, his or her skull indention would be mature enough to house a phone. It will be imperative that students sit still while resting their cell phones on their indented heads, so as not to wiggle and have the cell phones fall to the floor. Obviously, this would be distracting and costly to families. The necessity of stillness in elementary schools, so not to “tip” the cell phones,  will do away with the need for classes that require movement, which will, in turn, save money in district budgets.

For the kids who are too old for the infantile head reshaping, schools will need to provide each student with my patent-pending “Cell Phone Cap”, which shall be worn by all students, every day. This cap will be fashioned after a painter’s cap and made from the cheapest burlap, so as not to infringe on local budgets or anger governors who try their best to adequately pay teachers. The caps will have a Velcro belt system at the top, so students may easily secure their cell phones. These caps can be made in China for under $2.00 each, which will only be necessary until the book-pressed infants matriculate into the schools; upon which time manufacturing of the hats may cease.

Any educator will agree that this cell phone plan is truly the only solution to the digital disease inflicting our schools. It will ensure that students pay attention to their teachers, rather than their devices.  They will sit still, face forward, and be completely engaged. I’ve already spoken to a doctor who is excited about it, especially considering there is little to no pain involved. I have a more detailed proposal ready to present at the next area board meeting.  I hope that my caps will be in every school before the 2016 class graduates.

-HC