# child abuse and society

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Rita, Mar 18, 2013.

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1. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Assigning motive to anthers post is irrational and subjective, is it not?

I submit that they will choose to close it if they judge it against the rules somehow, likely without consulting any of us.

You may also consider that your personal definition of "the standards of science" may be incongruent with some other members definition.

The same suggestion goes for Buddhism/ Buddhist practice.

Keeping an open mind when you are conversing with others via text on a screen is beneficial to all concerned IMHO. You had a question, you got an answer, then the conversation moved on.

This is neither "good" or "bad", it is just how it goes. :shrug:

3. ### wellwisherBannedBanned

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Say we work under the premise this is true, then that form of behavior would also be child abuse. If two adults acted this way in the workplace, and thereby made the workplace a hostile environment for other adults, they would need to figure out how to bury the hatchet or there would be a penalty, not an exemption. If adults can't take handle a hostile environment, and would expect change or would punish the culprits, then why would children not feel abused in a similar situation? Is this based on the dual standard?

Society would prefer let the fighting adults abuse children, rather than restrict the adults. Again it would be interesting to do a poll with the children, rather than depend on the biased imagination of adults to define child abuse. Divorce does not come up in that imagination because they prefer keep this option open, regardless of the impact on the children.

Say a divorce lawyer encourages his client to use the children for leverage to gain more compensation. Would the lawyer be accused encouraging child abuse? Or are these lawyers exempt, since they police themselves?

I like bringing up logical inconsistencies in the dual standard of child abuse. If neighbors hear the adults arguing they should be able to call law enforcement to give them overnight jail therapy; it is for the children.

5. ### RitaRegistered Member

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Domestic violence is against the law where I live and children can be taken from the parents if they become violent. However, this is physical violence. Being verbally abusive is still accepted, even if it is a child being verbally abused.

I love your statement that such bad behavior would not be allowed in a work setting, and we might greatly reduce poverty and homelessness by preparing our young for socially appropriate office behavior.

Here is the importance of public education and culture. We would have a terrible police state if we attempted to regulate all forms of abuse and enforced these laws in private homes. If we are to stop abuse, it must begin with cultural change and that begins with education. In the past government has turned to churches to preach a message and this is effective. However, not everyone attends a church. We used public education to Americanize the flood of immigrants and teach them a set of American values, knowing the parents would learn from the children. We used public education to mobilize for both world wars. Public schools should be our front line defense in creating culture that prevents social problems, and this should include protecting homeless children at night. We could work together with schools, churches and media to create a culture that is healthy for children.

We did have censorship of media to protect social decency and I think this is a good idea. Freedom of speech needs to be understood as freedom of reason, not freedom to say and do anything a person wants to say or do. Burning the flag is not the meaning of freedom of speech that we should defend. Just as in forums attacking each other in a personal fight, is not freedom of speech we should defend. This actually comes back to avoiding child abuse. If we live by principles rather than our feeling at the moment, everyone is protected, without an authority enforcing laws/rules and taking away our liberty. There was a time when every child learned, we protect our liberty by speaking and behaving well. I think we need to get back to understanding living with principles instead of the emotion at the moment.

7. ### RitaRegistered Member

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I would rather there be no need for moderators because people understood the reasoning for good manners and used self discipline to protect our liberty. I am usually arguing in favor of freedom of speech, and objecting to moderator's action that prevent freedom of speech, and this has brought me to the brink of being banned more than once. People become defensive and don't notice I am saying we need to protect our liberty by accepting the rules as our rules and following them. However, what goes with this is having a say in the rules and the rules being the result of good reasoning. Rules that give moderators too much power are not good rules, and I am talking about democracy. If we truly understood democracy is about relationships, at home and on the streets, our lives would be pretty good.

I think one rule we need to exercise is to protect the dignity of others. Marvelous things happen when we protect the dignity of others, and terrible things happen when we attack the dignity of others. If we can do this here, we will automatically start doing it in our homes, and this would be good for everyone.

8. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Ah yes, in a perfect world....it is not, however, and thus the need for rules.

That, however, was not the point, as I am sure you are aware.

9. ### OphioliteValued Senior Member

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You would be mistaken then. Over the years I have observed you pontificating, with great confidence and eloquence, upon subjects where your knowledge is sketchy to say the least. A little learning, when expressed with the aforementioned confidence and eloquence, is a dangerous and unscientific thing.

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The war on poverty, has spend $15 trillion since President Johnson. Yet there are more children living in poverty today that when this was started. Is bad and wasteful government policy child abuse? Let me rephrase, if government policy is design not to solve the problem by to perpetuate dependency for a voter base, would this be child abuse? 11. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member Messages: 24,690 You need to check the demographics of this website. Last time I checked the average age of our members was 17. And that's the chronological age. I daresay that the average IQ here is way above 100, and I remember from my own adolescence and early adulthood that at that age there is a negative correlation between intelligence and maturity. Not all the rules are of our own making. We report to the owners of the website. This requires us to squelch free speech which would be okay in a town hall meeting or your living room, but would get us blocked out by the filters in schools and corporations, by parents looking over their children's browsing history, and by virtually the entire continent of Europe, where free speech is considered just another of those crazy Yanks' goofy inventions. This is not a democracy. You have been invited into the parlor of the people who own this website. If they don't like the way you behave they will ask us to escort you out. Rather than the Jeffersonian model of libertarian democracy, this is more like a European social democracy. Social justice is valued more highly than individual freedom. The concept of dignity is not within the range of understanding of the average high-IQ adolescent male. They think fart jokes are worth disrupting a discussion, and that girls were made to be teased. So you might as well forget about it. My wife and I were aviculturists for many years and she still is, although I've temporarily escaped to a quiet, parrot-free home on the other side of the country. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image! We've worked with some of the most respected people in the business, such as Raymond Kray. Please show us your credentials in avian biology. This can hardly all be blamed on government policy, as tempting as that is. In the U.S., corporations have tremendous power and corporations have been steadily offshoring their jobs to places like China where wages are lower (and rights are a joke). This poverty has percolated upward. Children who were raised well by their parents and made it through college are now unemployed, sleeping on their parents' sofa, and carrying$100,000 in student loan debt that cannot be erased even in bankruptcy.

It's time to accept the fact that the United States' era of being the world leader is coming to a close. Long ago, when my wife was studying Latin American literature in her master's program, she told me that Latin America would be the next cultural and economic center of the world. She just didn't expect it to happen so soon that she'd get to see it. In one generation Mexico has transformed itself from a banana republic into a middle-class country, and Brazil is now the world's sixth-largest economy, with Europeans begging to borrow their money.

Sure, I guess so. But it's so much more than this, that I'm reluctant to give it such a narrow description and ignore the other 99% of what's wrong with it. After all, the child abuse is merely a second- (or even third-)order effect of its general rot.

I have often presented my model of government as an organism. What do we know about organisms as they evolve to be larger? They move more slowly, they become less sensitive to external stimuli, and they allocate more of their resources to the maintenance of their own internal metabolism than to interaction with the universe outside their skin. Is that a perfect metaphor for a government with sixteen layers of civil "servants" who do nothing but "administer" each other all day? One that routinely enacts laws containing so many words that no single person has read the whole thing? One that has regally announced that all the resources and attention of this country will henceforth be devoted to reducing the deficit which it created, when every poll of the citizens shows that the deficit is not important to us at all? We actually care more about child abuse than the debt-to-GDP ratio, but they don't!

12. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Good analogy, Frag. :itold:

13. ### RitaRegistered Member

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Government can invest in a neighborhood and make a bad neighborhood good, but it can not resolve human relationship problems, except perhaps through education, and possibly creating something like a church. Churches bring people together in such away they are motivated to help each other and form community. Because of this thread, I started thinking, what if we used our schools as shelters for homeless families? Schools like churches have always had a social community function. Let us think community. What kind of community do we want to teach our children? Don't we want to teach them about belonging and cooperating and human goodness? Why not more fully use our schools for being the communities of caring people we want to have?

14. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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Uh..not all homeless people are nice or law - abiding. Hows about that homeless fellow who set that other fellow on fire in his car yesterday? Do we really need that kind of behavior in our schools as well? Let us think common sense and not encourage the government to either take over raising our children for us because we are too lazy or stupid to do that or to start a religion which is expressly forbidden them by our constitution. A parents responsibility is just that and no one elses.

If you want to start teaching people about human goodness (a highly debatable issue) start with Kim Jong Un, see how that works out.

15. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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Mrs. Fraggle was a social worker for most of her career. In the USA, most homeless people have mental problems. This started about 40 years ago when, as a country, we decided that we didn't have the right to lock people up permanently in psychiatric wards "for their own good." Now, it's three days and then they have to be let out, except for the worst cases.

I don't remember ever getting to vote on that. But I understand. If you were missing a couple of pieces from your puzzle, would you rather be safe and healthy with a full belly but imprisoned, or would you rather be free but cold and hungry?

It's rather difficult to answer that question, because who among us can imagine how crazy people think?

He's obviously one of the ones who needs to be institutionalized for his own safety. (Not to mention the safety of his entire country.) You have to wonder if the entire North Korean government consists of people like that. Why hasn't somebody pulled off a coup? The whole family appears to be nut jobs.

The rest of the human race is descended from chimpanzee-like creatures. Their ancestors must have been lemurs!

16. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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12,901
I disagree here. Only the people who live there can do that. The government can help, of course, but no amount of government intervention will fundamentally change people.

I assume you didn't really mean that government can solve problems by creating churches . .

Agreed. But from my experience churches (and community centers, and Little League, and all the other ways that people form communities) are the product of those good communities, not the other way around.

Because many of them are mentally ill, and are generally not compatible with educating kids.

However if you wanted to use school facilities (gyms etc) at night as homeless shelters, just to share the space when the school doesn't need it, that could work out.

17. ### RitaRegistered Member

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You are saying because some mentally or emotionally disturbed people have been dumped out of sanitariums and are left on the streets to fend themselves, although they are unemployable, we should also leave our children on the streets, where they must hide from the police because it is illegal for them to be on the streets, and we should all expect these children to grow up as self confident and stable adults ready to hold down jobs? Is that good logic? What kind of civilized people behave this way?

The original and sole purpose of public education was prepare our young to be good citizens. Vocational training was added in 1917. In 1958 the training for good citizenship was ended for a complete focus on education for technology for military reasons. What is the logic of offering Kin Jong Un as example of what 12 years of education for young children, for good citizenship, can do? He is as adult in a very different country, with motivations very different from a 8 year old child living in the US.

18. ### RitaRegistered Member

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That decisions to not lock up mentally challenged people was one of many mistakes made because of unrealistic hopes of what technology can do for us. All this people were to be put on the drugs and everything would be okay. This was wrong.

Not all places for these people were good, but a neighbor worked in very nice one. People who worked there were paid low wages but were also given free education to be nurses. The residents were taken on outings and some could come and go as they pleased. Right now one of these folks is sleeping on my couch. He went into foster care when people were put out. He stays a friends foster home and this is his special time with me, and it is time me to wake him up. Just wanted to say, I have worked a lot with special needs people and it is a shame that not all of them get the help they need. Some do need a camp site, because they can not tolerate living in apartments. Humans are different and we can do better in caring for each other, That is what civilized do isn't it?

19. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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I think it was primarily the "touchy-feely" mood of the era. Oh those poor people, how can we lock them up in padded cells? Let them run free like the raccoons! (And I see at least one dead raccoon on the highway every day.)

Yes, it was a golden age for Big Pharma. The drugs they were giving us "sane" people weren't much better. My doctor had me taking 20mg of Valium every night, just as a sleeping aid! She didn't bother to tell me (and perhaps hadn't even bothered to look it up) that the benzodiazepines have a 36-hour half life! That means that after reaching equilibrium in a week or so, at any given moment I had about fifty grams of that stuff floating around in my system!

Sure, but they're not all like him. Some of them really feel uncomfortable under a roof. That's why they sleep outside--and why so many of them end up in L.A. where you can sleep outside about 340 nights a year.

Actually it's what humans do. We have a pack-social instinct like wolves, elephants, dolphins, and many other mammals. Even in the Paleolithic Era (nomadic hunter-gatherers) we cared for and depended on our pack-mates, whom we had known and trusted since birth.

After we invented agriculture and became sedentary, we began to increase the size of our "packs" because we discovered that economies of scale and division of labor make a large village much more prosperous than a small one. We kept doing this as those villages grew into towns, then into cities, then into states, then into nations, and now into trans-national hegemonies. It's a bit of an internal conflict, because many of our new "pack-mates" are nothing more than anonymous strangers, not people we've known and trusted since birth. So we've invented institutions like government, which more-or-less keeps us working together in harmony and cooperation, most of the time.

This is why most of us care about the unfortunate. Here in the Washington DC region, where the majority of the population works in rather secure, rather easy, rather highly-paid jobs for the government and its contractors, people are extremely generous to the homeless. It's a guilt-trip. Our homeless people here don't carry their belongings around in rusty shopping carts, they have wheelie suitcases! At the first sign of cold weather they all magically appear with brand new cheap-but-warm jackets, and a few months later when it's really cold, they've got down sleeping bags. I personally keep a stack of dollar bills in my console to hand out at stoplights. At Christmastime, I stick in a few fives.

As I've repeated so often that some of the readers of this thread know it's coming and are already scrolling down to the next post, there is no better illustration of the success of our transformation from a pack-social species to a herd-social species (abetted by the communication revolution--three cheers for technology!) than the gunning-down of Neda Agha-Soltan on June 20, 2009, on a street in Tehran, by agents of Iran's evil theocratic government. Her friends immediately spammed out real-time cellphone photos of her death to the entire world.

Despite the fact that our s**t-for-brains government has spent the last three decades trying to brainwash us into believing that the Persian people are our enemies, Americans wept for Neda. Country music singers, representing the most xenophobic portion of our population, wrote songs about her! She was our sister, our daughter, our neighbor, our friend, even though she lived on the other side of the planet and we'd never met her personally or even knew her name. We cared about her because that's the way we're programmed.

20. ### RitaRegistered Member

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Someone who appears caring of others is very attractive to me. Not many appear to be so caring, so we must question how caring we are programmed to be. We are not taking good care of our children, and that is why I started this thread.

Our local electric company has an on site child care center for its employees. From what I see these children receive good care, but the staff is always changing. Still these are the fortunate children. Young parents with very little money tend to leave their children with anyone willing to care for them, and to me this very dangerous. Just a couple of weeks a grandmother was caring for a child and drinking, and she feel asleep. The small child almost drowned in a river, because the grandmother was not alert and did not know he went outside. A neighbor's dog began barking and was obviously very disturbed so the neighbor looked for what was wrong and found the child in the water. Or babies are left with young men who do terrible things, such as shake a child so badly the child has permanent brain damage. Older sisters forced to watch younger siblings may attempt to use physical force and why should a younger brother listen to her anyway? Like this just is not a good situation. Once in awhile it is not big deal, but everyday, because a single mother is working, is not a good thing.

Children left on the streets with their homeless parents, tend to become as feral cats. Civilizing a child requires a home with bedrooms and a dinner table. It is nuts to ignore the conditions children grow up and expect good results. However, yesterday I watched a movie based on a true of story of a teach in a low income neighborhood, who was able to get his students to pass calculus test. Before this was possible he had to teach them self discipline. It was an awesome story. There are other stories of teachers making a huge difference, but the numbers of teacher who complain they should not have to raise people's children is greater and our schools are not longer set up to make good citizenship a priority. Our school system is better set up for failure than for getting the children over the disadvantage of poor homes.

Most of us might have a spot and we might respond in a caring way to stimulus, but we can avoid the unfortunate reality and we do. Especially men seem to resent paying taxes to educate other people's children, and they sure don't want to pay for anything else. Not welfare or subsidized housing or food stamps or day care.

21. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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Scientists recently made a startling discovery: Our "caring" instinct is tuned for individuals, not large groups. When a kid falls down a well, the entire nation stays glued to their TV screens until he's rescued. But when a whole city is wiped out by a storm, we watch for a while and then go back to our sitcoms and cop dramas. We're just not programmed to deal with tragedy on such a large scale.

I haven't yet seen a scholarly analysis of this phenomenon, but from my perspective of paleo-anthropology, I can see how this instinct would be exactly right for the pre-agricultural Stone Age (the Paleolithic Era). People lived in small groups. Disasters tended to be small. One kid is grabbed by a sneaky glutton (in North America we call them "wolverines" and just one can take down a moose), and the whole tribe goes running after them with their clubs and spears. But if a whole family has a crisis, what can be done by a small group of people limited to stone age technology? There's no significant surplus of food or anything else. Very little medical knowledge. The only heat is fire and there's no ice to cool down a fever.

They'll do their best because they love these people, but what if they come across another clan that has caught the Black Death or been ravaged by a pack of lions or their homes were destroyed by a flood and all their food and weapons were swept away? There's no way they can help these people and everybody knows it.

So what are they going to do, feel bad about their loss? Grief is a counterproductive emotion. It's distracting and weakening and could make it easier for them to be caught by a bear or take a dangerous route home. Not losing any sleep over a large group of people in trouble is the most rational way to deal with it.

As I've often reminded us, we're separated from those people by only a few hundred generations. Our technology has advanced impressively, but our instincts are still straight out of the Stone Age. (Unlike our dogs, who have had several thousand generations for their instincts to become very much different from wolves.)

Speaking of dogs, this is a perfect illustration. I don't have the names and dates anymore, but about three years ago a cargo ship from a southeastern Asian nation caught fire. It was spreading way too fast for anyone to remain on board safely and try to put it out. There was another ship with them so everyone just went over to it and left their own ship to burn and sink.

Well, it turns out that the captain had a dog on board, but they couldn't find him and ultimately decided that they had to leave him behind for their own safety. When Americans found out about this they raised hell. They wrote to their congressmen, petitioned the White House, and implored the Pentagon to do whatever it would take to save that poor doggie.

The government is not stupid, although most days they appear to be. They realized they had a golden opportunity to win everyone's hearts. They sent a squadron of planes out over the Pacific, methodically searching for that ship. Miraculously, the fire had burned out without destroying the hull's integrity so it was still afloat, and they found it! One plane did a flyover and caught sight of the dog, who apparently had found the ship's kitchen and had plenty to eat. Of course now they had to send a ship out, which took several days. They pulled the dog to safety and the world (at least the dog-loving Western world) cheered. They notified the captain and the stupid sonofabitch actually told them that he didn't want his dog back. Talk about not having any karma with the media! That guy would have been on the cover of every magazine in America and would have gotten rich off the talk-show circuit. The dog was adopted by an American family and they all lived happily ever after.

So:
• A. The entire island of Manhattan is underwater and without electricity. Millions of people are stranded.
• B. One dog is lost.
Which is the greater tragedy for a Stone Age human, and therefore for a Computer Age human?

Q.E.D.

You have a very sad personal perspective on contemporary American life, and it affects your view of your countrymen. But your view is skewed. In fact most people take quite decent care of their children. They're not Mary Poppins but they're competent. There have always been children who had problems growing up; in the old days it was because their families were poor and couldn't give them enough food, whereas today it's because both parents work and even though they make good money the kids are being raised by a nanny who speaks Xhosa and lets them watch PBS all day. Most of them overcome those handicaps and grow up to be fully functional adults, with no more weird idiosyncrasies than the rest of us.

The children with the real problems live in the inner cities, and that is no different than it was 100 years ago! For every middle-class Euro-American kid who is disadvantaged by absentee parents and a diet with too much chocolate, there are fifty poverty-class Afro-American or Latino kids who have no father figure in their family and don't get enough to eat. The black community has a phenomenon so common that it's been given a name: "play-moms." A play-mom is a sweet lady who lets all the throw-away kids in her neighborhood come to her house. She feeds them, gives them a place to sleep, keeps them out of trouble, and loves them. If you ask one of these kids in D.C. Southeast where he lives, he'll tell you, "Well my mother is up on J Street, but most of the time I live with my play-mom down on R Street."

If you want to work on this problem, go camp out on your shit-for-brains Congressman's doorstep and tell him you're not leaving until he halts the War On Drugs. It's enforced disproportionally on black drug users, whose drug consumption is virtually identical to white people. They're eight times as likely to be in prison than white drug users, and when they get out they can't get jobs and their women won't let them live with them, so their children have no father figures.

These are the children who need our help. Less than half of them graduate from high school and almost every one of them has a friend who was killed by gunfire. (So in addition to lobbying your Congressman to halt the War on Drugs, tell him to do something about all these goddamned guns too! Fuck the NRA! Send them all to Afghanistan where, apparently, it's perfectly legal to shoot people.)

I try to be compassionate, but some of this shit just makes me steam. Why the hell do people who can't afford to have children have children??? Are they all Catholics who don't believe in contraception and abortion but would rather flood the world with undernourished children???

No. We resent paying taxes and discovering that 80% of that money goes into the pockets of sixteen layers of bureaucrats who do nothing but sit around all day "administering" each other. I've worked on many federal contracts and the way the government is run just makes me sick.

If you give a dollar to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, they'll spend about fifteen cents of that money on overhead and administration. The rest goes to the poor. If you give a dollar to the shit-for-brains government, they spend eighty cents on overhead and administration and there's only 20c left for the poor. If they just took all the money that they put into their social programs and simply divided it up and sent it out to the poor people, every poor family would suddenly have an annual income of $40K, putting them in the lower half of the middle class. Instead, they can't even raise their annual income to$20K, which would at least no longer qualify them as "poor."

Don't paint all of us with the same brush. There are lots of us unrepentant old hippies out here. We still believe in our ideals, although we've had to temper them with a little reality. The government is simply NOT the answer to our problems. In most cases they're more likely to be the CAUSE.

22. ### Stoniphiobscurely fossiliferousValued Senior Member

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No, actually I didn't say any of that. :shrug: If you desire clarification, quote and ask.

23. ### RitaRegistered Member

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This is the quote. I said we should use our schools as places to protect children who need our protection and you used a nut case to say why this is not a good idea. Or did I misunderstand you? I am thinking the way we treat people who need help causes some of the problems we have, and you seem to be saying because there are seriously troubled out there, we should not use to schools to prevent the problems?

However, I can not think about this subject without reflecting on a movie taken from a real life story of a teacher is in poor neighborhood. He got the school to allow him to teach calculus in a school where the expectations of students was very, very low. The students worst enemy was well meaning female teachers who thought the students could not do better unless the whole neighborhood was economically improved. I agree with this social concern but would rather be as the teacher who got the kids to pass calculus, by believing they could.

However, water, food and shelter are basic survival needs, and children who are so insecure because their parents can not meet these survival needs, have trouble doing well in school. Besides it is against the law to sleep on the streets. A shelter is essential to survival and to being civilized. We as human beings are failing our children if ignore this.