just call me hester prynne…only b for blogger.

Hester Prynne. I bet most don’t know what I am referring to. Some will recognize the reference to The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. And before I get into the crux of this post, allow me to reflect on why many wouldn’t understand the Nathaniel Hawthorne reference. The Scarlet Letter as a novel is about shaming and social stigmatizing of Hester Prynne. But do students even read it any longer? Are they allowed to?

I wear my scarlet letter as B for blogger.

The Scarlet Letter is about 17th century New England. Today one could say the similar behaviors portrayed in this novel (written in the 19th century about life in the 17th century) is sort of life imitates art and art imitates life…and today it plays out nearly every day on social media somewhere. The masses used to whisper behind their hands to their pals in the market square, now they just vomit their word salad thoughts all over social media.

This novel by Nathanial Hawthorne also can be distilled down to a society punishing a woman for refusing to conform to what they determined the acceptable standards to be. Judgement of women. Nothing new there. It takes different forms as time progresses, but it comes back to Different = Bad and one of the Sheeple = Good.

You see these parents who don’t want masks, vaccines, and whatever else the flavor of that particular week is, they are also busy, busy, busy trying to ban books. The dumbing down of their children and turning public education into a circus side show act. So this book might no longer be taught, which is of course rather ironic because if you look at fiction today, even television and movies, where and what are the roots? No new breaking of ground, unless based upon fact, they take their cues from classic literature and plays. Just like current events take their cues from history, another thing they don’t want their kids subjected to — actual history.

At the bottom are screenshots from some of the Downingtown Area School District people. I call them crazies because in my opinion what else can you call them? Rational, normal human beings? They hate everyone who is not in their limited world view, they judge everyone and everything the least bit different from them. They are brainwashed and led around by groups outside the area who simply manipulate them. These are people who as individuals are afraid to have opinions that differ from the next mom in the car rider line.

I am their sworn enemy (as in all of this ilk) most probably because I am at the most simple of trying to understand pretzel logic, just different from them. And I dare think and process differently from them. I don’t speak in emojis and weird text abbreviations so I don’t have to write the actual words, and form actual sentences. With these people, no matter who and where they are, they are the kind of people that Different = Bad.

The theory of Different = Bad is why someone else whom I don’t know (or care to know) posted a photo of me in a hospital gown from over a decade ago when I was about to start treatment for breast cancer after having one half of my left breast lobbed off during surgery. I still think that was supposed to ultimately shame me, and it did not. But it sure did piss off a lot of people I did not even know who either knew someone currently being treated for breast cancer or had been, along with breast cancer survivors themselves.

Of course, slightly different topic, but undoubtedly why they have such a hard time with sexual preference and gender identity. And I do not pretend to be an expert on either topic, or even understand all of the gender identity terminology (there is a lot of it and it is simply just new to me and I admit I am learning) , but I do know that these people deserve love, understanding, and respect. And I have quite a few friends whom are with same sex spouses and partners, always have had. They are just my friends and I love them. People like this are also giving someone whom I don’t know in West Chester the business because she must find their views on same sex relationships and gender identity lacking. That screenshot is included with the ones I am referring to. Also interesting to note is one of the commenters is the wife of a big builder in Chester County, so it makes you wonder how will their customers react to her perspective? And is it just me or does it feel exceptionally distasteful?

The bottom line is I can’t control their behavior, I can only control my own behavior, but they don’t seem to grasp that in reverse. I thought I left this petty behavior behind with the days of eminent domain in Ardmore. I mean do these people from their beige, beige worlds really think this is the first time anybody’s called me out by name? Or that people don’t know my name?

Heck, I had two business owners in Ardmore once upon a time write a letter to the editor of the Main Line times that was published. It was literally a pre-cancel culture letter talking about how horrible I was… and naming me, just another community member, by name.

This is their big “Aha” moment. Only I haven’t been hiding. If I was hiding, I would not be signing my name to each post.

These people and people like them are doing this to others all over our communities. They do it everywhere. They think that their behavior is justifiable and decreed by God in the heavens above. Their God must be different from mine as theirs is rather hateful. Oh and on the topic of God, I do indeed mock faux Christians. You see, when you know the real deal actual Christians, you know the difference between them and the ones who perform exorcisms at school board meetings in bad pearls.

And then there are those who harass small businesses about their mask policies as a privately owned company and they video them as they are harassing them. Neat trick when one of the people who makes videos of these things has a mother who owns a very popular business in Downingtown. A business I might add that suffered catastrophic damage during Ida and we all (myself included) supported them when they reopened. Sadly, some of my friends and I will no longer feel comfortable patronizing that business at least for the time being. No that isn’t a boycott, it’s personal choice for the time being. That business was not judged for their masking policies were they?

These people like to essentially project their behaviors onto everyone else. And again I ask you how they don’t understand how their kids learn bullying and other bad behavior they blame school districts and everyone else for?

It’s time to take back our communities from these people. Stand up for yourselves, they only have the power we allow them to have, don’t they? They are mean, they say mean things, they do mean things. They live little lives they try to project upon all of us, every day. It is O.K. to say you think they are wrong. No one needs any of these people as friends, and the fact I say that is yet another thing they don’t like…..bless their hearts.

Well, I must Hester Prynne along now and wear my scarlet letter B, so below here are the screenshots and have a wonderful sunshine-y day. Don’t let the little bitches get you down.

jesus made me write this post or maybe just my inner devil? (does it matter?)

Jesus, please forgive me. I do not actually mean to take your name in vain. But bearing witness to abject blasphemy as the most recent Downingtown School Board Meeting was a bit much. Meet Downingtown Karen (don’t know her name, so I will add her to a general classification of ilk.) She was really, really upset and was exorcising a school board meeting in your good name:

You see dear Jesus, I don’t think you are an angry guy, or would approve. I kind of think these folks would string you right up on a cross again if you were here. Oh I know, these budding exorcists/theologists are an expert on everything, so I am quite sure I have been already cursed to eternal damnation.

But this meeting was yet another study in insanity.

Now the entire meeting wasn’t welcome to crazy town but let’s break down Karen of Jesus Lane: she hates masks. Probably hates COVID-19 shots. Probably believes in banning books AND she had her bestest Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism outfit on last night. Cute vest, bad necklace. It’s a shame she can’t behave in public. But her whole angry Jesus thing? Kind of offensive. Oh and she thought a school board member was turning her back on her to deny her very presence (confession: I would have) but the woman WASN’T, she did what they had been doing during the meeting — the lady turned her chair around to pull down her mask so she could HAVE A SIMPLE DRINK OF WATER! And Karen of Jesus Lane has more balls than all of the men there too apparently. (Good to know, buy her a big ol’ jock strap in pink or something.)

Last night the headline should have been “Local Elected Officials Receive Exorcism.”

“Child you touch me let hell fire rain down on you”

“I have bigger balls then you and all the men up in here”

“In the name of Jesus Christ I bind you child abusers”

Oh and they were fake served too:

Right or wrong, I thought the above “service” video would have been better with the following dubbed in:

But wait, there is more and it was a preamble to the intra-meeting exorcism/service:


Sigh….you can’t make this stuff up. And when they aren’t barraging school boards about mask vs. anti masking, vaccines vs. anti vaccines, it’s banning books, denying alternative lifestyles exist, and on and on and on. I wonder, what do their children really think about all of this? Are their kids amused, embarrassed, groomed, or just exhausted?

This whole mask or not to mask debate is honestly confusing and somewhat conflicting as states are lifting mask mandates, leaving masking decisions up to individual school districts. But these people? They aren’t reasonable in their approach, they see it as their inalienable right to be combative and ignorant. It also gives them the right apparently to get literally physical outside of school board meetings and why the violence? What does that gain them? It is pretty clear from their videos what they started.

These folks are big about the inalienable rights of Americans. Only their views are somewhat subjective because they feel, act, say, and demonstrate that THEIR rights are more important than everyone else’s. How does that work exactly? I don’t get any of it, any more than I don’t get people living with family members who have cancer and won’t get a COVID shot. So sure, it’s their right not to get a shot, but when you are literally putting a loved one at risk, how does that work?

So why are their rights more important than my rights, for example? I don’t see my rights superseding theirs although I would prefer not to be around them. But what gives them the right to be so vile, physically and verbally combative and they don’t even own their behavior and then they wonder why they get escorted from meetings?

Let’s talk respect. And just like we all try to teach kids that respect is earned, these “adults” do nothing to earn it, they merely demand it. Life doesn’t work that way. And someone’s purported Constitutional rights doesn’t actually give them the right to behave as poorly as they do at meetings. And I say that as someone who has indeed in years past lost my temper at public meetings, although I wasn’t screaming at them in Jesus’s name (or dropping the F bomb.)

Then there is their argument that masks are causing mental health issues, well ok I will give them that EXCEPT the mental issues seem apparent ONLY in the adults protesting the use of masks. Most kids don’t care because they are just glad to be in school with their friends and classmates and not stuck at home with their parents complaining. I mean jeez can you imagine living with these self-anointed Constitutional scholars?

The local Stepford Wives for Totalitarianism are also being whipped up by their cult leaders and camp followers from out of state. (Think they know what a camp follower is?) They tag Tucker Carlson and his ilk because they are close personal friends. They wish they could vacation at Mar a Lago one would surmise. And guess what? They can do all that, believe all that. That is their right, even if they are quack pot crazy (and wrong.) But they do not get to tell the rest of us how to feel and think, which is of course so amusing because they are quick to call those with opposing points of view “Communists” and “Nazis.”

These types have been literally been hunting after people like me. And for what reason? Because I think they are nuts or because they are easy to mock? Or both? For having my own opinion? The irony is these folks are responsible for raising their own profiles. We wouldn’t know they existed if it wasn’t for their undying egos and desire to be noticed and attagirled on social media. And then they bully those who they are bullying if they say anything. Me personally? I am a bad evil person and I can’t write….only they are like a human gaper delay: they don’t have to read this blog, yet they practically drool on every word.

And what are they teaching children? Violence and bullying are the solutions? Being mean and disrespectful in public is O.K.? And then they will turn around and lament (and complain about) bullying in schools? And then they proclaim Jesus at school board meetings? How, pray tell, is their behavior Godly or Christian? And why is their God so punishing and angry? And what about the separation of church and state?

I don’t have the answers. Probably because I just don’t understand this brand of craziness that makes everyone’s world, including their own, so unnecessarily stressful and unpleasant.

So please forgive me for going on about this Downingtown meeting, I literally couldn’t believe we are seeing this yet again. I guess when democracy is set back 100 years or so these folks will be happy. Only they won’t be, will they?

America, I cry for you.

Lady Liberty, I mourn you.

Intelligence, normal conversation, and discourse how I miss you.

COVID19 I am sick of you, mostly because of these people who literally make things worse and lengthen your grip on us.

To our founding fathers I humbly apologize for people regressing to the point that they have become the people you originally liberated us from.

And to God, Jesus, and the blessed Holy Mother I am sorry everyone uses your names in vain with the whole fake Christianity of it all. I don’t profess to be super religious, but I know and appreciate my roots. And I know you teach us to turn the other cheek and forgive, but my word it is difficult and some things are somewhat unforgivable. And sorry not sorry what these people are doing and trying to do is not forgivable.

Thanks for stopping by.

unacceptable

I am starting this post with humor. Why? Because by the END of this post, you will appreciate a little humor.

Saturday Night Live had a skit recently on what school board meetings have become from coast to coast.

Why?

Because from coast to coast, people have just plain lost their damn minds.

I have written about the school board meetings here. I have written about the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer protests. I have written about the QAnon school board candidates…and the anti-masker, anti-vaxxer candidates.

Now it occurred to me with posting the cartoons and Saturday Night Live skit and cartoons that this is what I find unacceptable. Ummm, no, and nice try. I find the election season bull sheit unacceptable.

Let’s start with Caroline O’Halloran’s startling revelation in the recent Savvy. I will be quoting liberally:

For the last month, we’ve been trying to decipher the new forces in play in local school board races.

It hasn’t been easy.

We sought answers from four new groups: Reimagine Radnor PAC, Back to School PA PAC, Pioneer PAC and Neighbors United PA. In an age when campaigns clamor for “transparency,” our questions were straightforward: Who are you? Do you have ties to statewide or national groups? How are you funded? What is your purpose?

At the same time, we reached out repeatedly to Conservative Women of the Main Line (CWML), a one-year-old PAC with T/E roots that hosts monthly speakers for paid members.

CWML’s September speaker was high-profile Stop the Steal activist Scott Presler, who’s been traveling the country helping the GOP “take back the school boards.” A lightning rod for progressives, Presler has been blasted for his work supporting the anti-Muslim group, Act! for America, and for calling the January 6 insurrection “the largest civil rights protest in American history.”.For weeks, we didn’t know if we’d even run a story. We were simply gathering information to see if there was a story worth reporting.

And then a few days ago, we received this from an encrypted – and therefore, untraceable – IP address. A pre-emptive strike to scare us off the story? You decide. Here it is, copy-pasted, unedited and word-for-word:

~ Savvy October 21, 2021

Now before I get to THAT, let’s talk about the other part of this article:

About that photo with far right activist Scott Presler: 

Tredyffrin Republicans Chair Raffi Terzian and CWML President/Tredyffrin Republicans Vice Chair Rosanna Hagg ignored our repeated questions. We tried three times.

We did, however, hear back from T/E’s best-funded school board candidate, Deana Wang, who was also pictured with Presler. Wang said she was “not aware of any of those events associated with Scott Presler” and attended the CWML event “to meet more voters.”

When we asked in a follow-up email if she regretted posing with Presler, Wang suggested that Presler may have been mistreated by the press. “We should stop basing all our opinions about a person … based on what the media publishes,” she said.

We also took the opportunity to ask about her funding. Wang had already amassed $16,000 in the spring and who-knows-how-much since then – huge dollars for a school board candidate. Hence, her omnipresent yard signs and polished mailers.

~ Savvy October 21, 2021

Deana, Deana, Deana…if you expect us to believe that you knew NOTHING about this long haired conservative Jesus, is the Tooth Fairy your running mate? If you actually for reals know nothing, you are a dangerous candidate for your ignorance alone, but my take? You all in that dumb photo thought you would enjoy 15 minutes of Internet fame, so honey how is that working out for you?

These people are exhausting. PACs popping up faster that dandelions in June.

Now back to the nasty-gram sent to the ever so nice Savvy Caroline:

So now this journalist is getting nasty comments threatening her publication?


This is unacceptable. I will note that I have had comments come in from protonmail as well. The latest one was from someone who didn’t like me mocking the anti-masker anti-vaxxer protest I saw on 100 in Exton in front of the mall.


These people told the writer to stick to writing about Kentucky Derby Hats and her writing was poor and she was political, etc. etc.


Really Trolls? She’s a great and seasoned writer, is polite and respectful to those she writes about and interviews, and then you threaten her site and advertisers?

And her writing isn’t remotely political – she is covering local stories and hey now y’all do your crap for attention, right? And then you complain when you get attention and threaten? Nice. Pretzel logic. Awesomesauce.


These are total troll moves, what many of you attempt with me a blogger quite often. It’s not acceptable with me either, which is why some comments over the past few months have actually been reviewed by police in more than one jurisdiction, and PS they came to me after they read them. I actually didn’t go to them.


The first amendment entitles me to my opinions and Savvy to their local reporting of whatever THEY choose to cover. It’s not Pravda on this bus, Comrades.


This is why no matter where you are in Southeastern Pennsylvania whether it’s on the Main Line or in Chester County you need to send these school board candidates that these threateners, meeting disrupters, and harassers are backing… packing.

I will also note that although Caroline O’Halloran has always written about fashion and style (she had an awesome section once upon a time when Main Line Media News/Main Line Times was still a real newspaper, as opposed to the hedge-fund eviscerated shell), that is not all she has ever done. And for what it is worth, she has never written about Kentucky Derby Hats BUT she has been a guest judge at Devon Horse Show’s Ladies Hat Day. THAT makes me laugh because I am sure many of those broads in Conservative Women of the Main Line have paraded in front of her and other judges like tarted-up Thanksgiving turkeys and well the humor in the hypocrisy of it all much?

Keep exposing the nasty comments, Caroline. Bullies breed in the darkness. Bring them into the light. You keep doing you, it’s why we think you are wonderful, no matter what our political persuasion. With the distinct lack of local news reporting, you keep us in the know, accurately and fairly. You share all sorts of things with us of all topics, and we thank you.

The Daily Cartoon and Live Briefing: Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - FlaglerLive

These school board races.

They are hideous.

Can we talk West Chester Area School District for a Nanosecond? We’ll start with Anonymous Ada Nestor. After all, she claims she ain’t no QAnon Hussy BUT…

And of course lil’ Ada isn’t Q’Anon according to her mouthpiece Stacey Whomsley, until you see this:

For more on the crazy that is West Chester Area School District candidates please visit HERE. And HERE.

There are all sorts of pages and blogs cropping up which seem to be targeting West Chester and Downingtown. Can’t keep up with them, don’t want to it’s like the fake news express with a few thees and thous thrown in and potential “a-ha” moments that are more accurately “D’oh we already knew that so what?”

In the Great Valley School District the “Republican” candidates are as scary as their counterparts in Downingtown School District and West Chester Area School District. Here is their latest propaganda (their mistakes included):

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No photo description available.

I like fiction, don’t you? So is Lauren Dicranian able to legally drink yet? You have to laugh at the home printed literature that is being distributed by the 2 Region 1 candidates- ZERO attempt to look professional by having a real flyer. A bunch of nonsense put together on lunch break or something, with typos…By the way…The survey mentioned has been around for years and it is not mandatory, it’s an easy opt out; students also have the option to skip questions they don’t want answered.

5 cartoons about America's school board battles

Now onto the other “unacceptable” because the Great Valley School District loving hands at home literature isn’t unacceptable, merely pathetic. West Chester Area School District’s triplets of crazy (Whomsley, Nestor, Edgarian) are also ridiculously predictable in their onbviousness. Everyone knows they are generally unacceptable, but we go next to Downingtown.

Yes that sign is popping up all over the Downingtown Area School District.

This is the crappiest campaign stunt yet from the lunatics in Downingtown. These women referred to (Rebecca Britton and LeeAnn Wisdom) also happen to be friends of mine. They are among the nicest, most genuine, thoughtful women I know.

I stand with them, and condemn the bull sheit being hurled and spewed at them. No one is claiming production of these signs and a lot of them are appearing where not invited, so I am guessing a lot are disappearing, as well they should. One little child of one of these candidates keeps asking their mommy why these people say these things? How do you explain to an innocent child that there are just people as mean as snakes? Oh wait, I just did.

But these signs? Unacceptable.

Folks this is all I have got on this topic. At least for now. Send the nutters packing on election day. Our democracy and public school system depend upon it.

Peace, love, and candy corn (it is almost Halloween, after all.)

The Daily Cartoon and Live Briefing: Thursday, August 19, 2021 | FlaglerLive

in downingtown area school district, someone needs to fact check margie miller and those backing her….facts matter…

The crazy train stopped at Downingtown Area School District last evening at what should have been a lovely back to school evening.

And innocent LOOKING kindergarten teacher (but not employed by DASD), Margie Miller is once again the Fibber McGee candidate for DASD. She’s backed by Republican PAC Keeping Kids in School, founded by Clarice Schillinger who used to work for State Rep. Todd Stephens (R., Montgomery).

…But this PAC doesn’t care about facts or coloring outside the lines as they also back the WCASD candidates like the QAnon gal, #AnonymousAda, Ada Nestor who was in Washington DC 1/6/21 but Keeping Kids in School PAC don’t seem to be bothered by this candidate’s actions and squirrelly politics.

This PAC claims to be non-partisan but I call bullsh🤬t on that. And they should just be who they are, not try to hide who they are. I don’t know what the end game is for this political action committee (PAC) except to get Republican candidates in office which wouldn’t be a problem for me if they were backing sane, rational candidates because in Chester County they are backing the super screwy. Even the Philadelphia Inquirer has asked lots of questions about the QAnon and anti masker candidates and more so really, what do they want? Sister Wives for School Board? The Handmaids Tale candidates for school board?

So I have to ask where Margie Miller and “Friends of Margie” gets data?

Margie teaches kindergarten at a school NOT in a public school district (in essence private) and she is running on a platform to not raise taxes, right? It’s interesting that the increase in taxes being discussed is for an all day Kindergarten program for Downingtown students? She hasn’t offered a way to generate this revenue to fund an all day Kindergarten program that I can find and would a public school all day Kindergarten be a threat to her current school or something?

I have no problem with someone saying they don’t want to raise taxes, but when they essentially accuse someone of being solely responsible for any taxes being raised in the DASD they should offer alternatives.

So last night was a back to school event and Margie Miller’s pals blanketed all of the cars in a parking lot with their crap. And their crap is aimed at my friend, Rebecca Britton. And these people didn’t clean up the mess they left, which means school personnel had to, which means taxpayers paid for Margie’s Mess, correct? How is that saving money?

A back to school night should be about the kids, not Margie Miller’s selfish political motives. I mean my gosh one would think that Margie should have put as much effort into her campaign paperwork correct?

Yesssss….and is it true Margie Miller didn’t file her PAC paperwork on time so she was fined? So then is it true she not only filed the late paperwork but she only filed one page of the 17 page document? So yo’ Chester County Voter Services why did you accept incomplete paperwork? Chester County Voter Services when will a new letter of campaign violation be issued on bad paperwork?

This woman cannot even follow basic election laws, so does Downingtown Area School District really need this hot mess in office? IMHO that should be a resounding NO.

Margie I hope you are a better teacher than school board candidate but you have to wonder what you teach kids judging from your campaign actions? And who exactly is running you since you don’t ever seem to want to answer questions on your campaign Facebook page either but you (they?) delete any comment or question that makes you uncomfortable?

Dear Margie Miller oh gurrrllll, we’ve got your number. And my final comment is you would holler like a stuck pig if they blanketed your kindergarten parking lot with flyers from Rebecca’s campaign. Your behavior is disgraceful and if you were a kindergartner you would be in time out facing a wall wouldn’t you?

Folks don’t put DASD in time out, keep Rebecca Britton as a School Board Director in your Region 4.

here we are again, what can we do?

The online local news outlet The Daily Voice reported some incredibly sad news yesterday:

State Police: 17-Year-Old Boy Takes Fatal Leap From Route 322 Bridge In Downingtown
Nicole Acosta
05/24/2021 2:19 p.m.

A 17-year-old boy took a fatal leap from the Route 322 bridge in Downingtown (Chester County) Monday afternoon, PA State Police told Daily Voice.

Lanes in both directions on Route 322 between Bradford Avenue and Downingtown Pike were reopened as of 4:35 p.m. after being closed for nearly two and a half hours, according to Patty Mains, spokeswoman for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services.

The boy, whose name has yet to be released to the public, committed suicide by jumping from the bridge, Trooper Kevin Kochka told Daily Voice.

~The Daily Voice 5/24/21

This occurred in Downingtown , but a similar railroad trestle teen suicide also occurred in Berwyn in 2015. Also male.

In 2019, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on a “suicide cluster” in Downingtown. But before that year, there was the suicide of a beautiful 14 year old girl named Rose Rondinelli, also from Downingtown.

Why I am mentioning Rose? Because her poor bereaved friends and family had to suffer again in May of 2019 when she was left out of the yearbook. Now according to the school district she will be in the 2022 yearbook which would have been her senior year. I remember Rose’s story. I think Rose needs to be remembered, and all of these other kids who left the world too soon.

I have not seen the news pick this latest tragedy up yet except for The Daily Voice. I went back to PA State Trooper Kevin Kochka today to see if there were any updates. Truthfully I didn’t expect anything, because it’s too new but thought I would ask.

Trooper Kochka is an incredibly thoughtful human being and he replied to me in part:

I agree, this year has taken a terrible toll on all of our children and mental health is not only a major issue right now with our teenagers, but this pandemic is going to have a longer effect than just the virus itself.

Education and services for mental health is more important now then ever and we need our kids to know that there is NO SHAME whatsoever in talking about it. We have to make mental health feelings/episodes are something people know are ok to have and completely normal to get help for.

More importantly training/education for early identification is key. The early identification of signs/symptoms that someone may be having a mental health/crisis event, could save someone’s life and keep themselves and or others safe. I’m sorry I can’t provide more on the actual incident but want you to know this is something that is important to me.

~ PA State Trooper Kevin Kochka

Trooper Kochka is so right about the need for mental health services and resources. And it is so hard at times for parents to pick up the cues. I have written several times before on teen suicide. I will note another wrinkle COVID has caused is often how almost impossible it is to get a professional your kid can talk to. I know people who had to wait weeks to even get someone to contact them back. And contacting them back, didn’t mean granting an appointment in most cases. Or that the parents can afford the costs of therapy.

Yesterday, former Downingtown Mayor and Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said:

Our hearts are broken today. In this community we’ll do everything we can to help our neighbor, our friend, or a child.


As we mourn, let’s find ways to help.


Chester County has resources that I hope you’ll share with your network.


If you or someone you care about is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 610-280-3270 available 24/7.


If you are feeling lonely, depressed or anxious and just want to talk, call Chester County’s warm line, 1-866-846-2722. This line is staffed by trained individuals in recovery.


Teen Talk Line ensures seamless referral to Mobile Crisis for youth in need of immediate or higher-level support. The call line is 855-852-TEEN (8336) and the text line is 484-362-9515
.”

~ Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell

Of course when Josh posts this there is immediate discussion of the endless circle of headaches of the PRO-open school set vs. the STAY AT HOME-keep schools closed set. To those people I say for Christ’s sake! Get your political jollies elsewhere no matter which side you are on! A family is grieving, this poor child’s friends are grieving. There are no winners in this equation right now, it’s a devastating local event that speaks to a problem within many communities.

The absence of in person interaction has had a lasting affect on kids, especially boys. Boys bottle stuff up more, are far less communicative about feelings than girls. That is not to say girls won’t clam up. They will. What I am saying is boys internalize a lot. Societal mores – men/boys don’t cry, right? Wrong. They should. Everyone needs a good cry every now and again. If we can’t get those feelings out, they poison us.

And yes, mental health crises for teens was around pre-COVID, and then COVID ramped up the issues because the kids feel isolated. We were all home because that is what we had to do. I am not entering the debate of schools open vs. schools closed but it had an effect, a profound affect on kids.

Ironically May is mental health awareness month. Independence Blue Cross actually sent an article out today to insureds:

Stress:
Get help when you’re hurting emotionally

With the COVID-19 pandemic likely came a flurry of emotions—fear, excitement, stress. But of all the ups and downs most of us have confronted during the past few months, intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, and loneliness might be the most prominent.

A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation reported that depression rates have surged among American adults since the start of the pandemic, up from 11 percent in 2019 to 36 percent in 2020. Increased reports of loneliness have been occurring as well, with one survey from SocialPro noting that roughly one-third of adults consider themselves to be lonely.

While it’s entirely normal to experience these negative emotions, it’s also important to seek help—and ultimately get treatment—if you’re struggling. Depression, when left untreated, can have a number of harmful impacts on your health, including increasing your risk for heart disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and a weakened immune system.

The sooner you’re able to identify your needs and receive help, the sooner you’ll start to feel better.

~IBX/ Independence Blue Cross

Now I will be honest and say over the past few years there have been too many suicides within the Downingtown Area School District, right or wrong.

Schools need to talk about mental health. They need to talk to their kids about it and not talk down to them. Some school guidance counselors are wonderful, some I think are less so. I think school districts need to make sure their guidance counselors are taking advantage of continuing ed on mental health and school districts need to give these counselors and teachers more resources.

A woman on Josh Maxwell’s post left a comment which truly spoke to me:

“Why does it take a tragedy to get folks to discuss mental health? This should be an issue every school board and admin discusses at every meeting. They should all have a plan.

We desperately need school-based mental health services and family peers in EVERY school. Finding services can take months. Kids spend months on waiting lists. Hospitals haven’t had beds pre-Covid.

Let’s fix the system. The systems are falling our kids. Not enough services, poor pay, high turnover in staff, lack of staff been adequately trained. I can go on and on. Why is it no better than 20 years ago? I have been working on this for 30 years. When are our communities going to say “enough ” and demand change? How many more kids need to die, be hospitalized, not have services or services that are meaningful? What does it take? A hotline is great, but it is far from a fix.”

~ Concerned parent.

11 Artworks That Define Depression Better Than Words Ever Could - Learning  Mind

Freshman year in college the night before parents’ weekend a male friend jumped out of the top floor of the dorm I lived in. I was on the first floor, I woke to sirens and emergency lights. It was right outside where I lived. I never forgot. I was 18 years old. They offered no one for us (students) to talk to. I remember a student organized memorial service in the quad, and someone played the Genesis song Follow You, Follow Me over a loud speaker. I am 57 years old and I still remember this.

Parents in Chester County, please put your politics aside and realize that our kids need us.

Hopewell UMC in Downingtown has responded to this tragedy and is offering a safe space tomorrow for kids and parents to be together. 852 Hopewell Rd, Downingtown, PA 19335 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM. It won’t solve the problem, but I applaud them for caring enough to wish to provide solace and community fellowship even for one night.