Children in Venezuela are fainting and skipping class as a result of the food crisis in the country.
For Klaireth Díaz, a teacher at Elías Toro School, one of the biggest public schools in Caracas, Venezuela, attendance in class has been low because of the economic situation in Venezuela. In an interview with Fox News Latino, Díaz, who once saw a child faint during a school event, admitted that out of 30 students, 10 would miss class on a daily basis.
“The reason was always lack of food,” she told Fox News Latino, recalling that Elías Toro School used to provide lunch to its students before the feeding program came to an end a few years ago.
As demonstrated by a More Consulting poll conducted to 2,000 people in Caracas last month, 48 percent of the times children were absent from school it was food related. This either means they’re malnutrition and too weak to function or they’re accompanying their parents at the long lines to buy food as early as 3 a.m.
According to the poll, which was unearthed by Fox News Latino, 36.5 percent of the children eat twice a day; whereas, 10.2 percent of the children eat only once a day. For some children, the school lunch, – which the government spends barely 5 bolivars per meal – is their only meal of the day.
Meanwhile, 30 percent of the parents surveyed said their children attended private school; however, 17.5 percent of those parents said they’re changing their children to a public school. Five percent of the parents, on the other hand, are considering of removing their children from school altogether.
“A child who does not eat well does not learn well,” said Venezuelan politician Miguel Pizarro to Fox News Latino. “Some children fall asleep and when you investigate what’s going on, you find out it is because they don’t eat. When we see that a child does not bring lunch we have them share; we handle the situation so that they do not feel affected. Children are supportive in that regard.”
Just two months ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that mandates vaccination for children old enough to attend schools, and participate in education with other children, unless otherwise advised by a doctor. The legislation came after the spread of misinformation about vaccines caused a series of measles outbreaks in the spring. Scientific literature based on decades worth of data from tens of thousands of children has proven vaccination safe and effective for the public.
Attorney’s Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Michael Sussman filed a class action suit for about three dozen parents who claim that vaccinating their children goes against their faith. Wednesday, Albany courtrooms were packed with over 1,000 anti-vaxxers who wanted to hear how the judge would rule in a debate around religious freedom vs. public health.
The crowd of anti-vaxxers wore white in reference to the Argentine mothers who wore white as they protested their government’s brutal killings and disappearances of their liberal children.
The anti-vaxxers feel that the implication of the government forcing them to vaccine their children from measles is tantamount to the Argentine government killing or “disappearing” 30,000 young, leftist political activists from existence in the 1970s.
In April 1977, 14 mothers, wearing images of their missing children’s faces around their neck, marched around the Presidential Palace in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires. They took a stand against a violent government in a defiant act to demand justice for their children.
These New York parents also feel the law doesn’t allow enough time to find proper education for their children.
The demonstrators told Gothamist reporters, Gwynne Hogan and Claire Lampen, that “the new law effectively disappeared their children from the school system.” If the religious exemptions aren’t upheld, their alternative would be to homeschool their children or move to a different state.
“[We’re] hoping that our kids are granted the right to go back to school. Our children have been kicked out,” Long Island mother Amy McBride, 41, told Gothamist. “We’ve all been meeting, trying to look at curriculums, understand how to make it work, what the regulations are, understanding what it takes to actually do that…Our beliefs are steadfast and sincere and true and we’re not going to cave.”
The lawyers in the case argued that legislators demonstrated “active hostility toward religion.”
“[These children] are going to have nowhere to go to school…They have no idea what they are going to do with these children,” Sussman said. New York State attorney Helena Lynch refuted that claim. “The actual legislative record is so clear that the motivation was public health,” Lynch said. “The right to religious expression does not encompass the right to place others in danger.”
Lynch also expressed that legislators aren’t targeting religious groups but are genuinely “skeptical” that those choosing not to vaccinate their kids were expressing personal beliefs rather than religious ones. The crux of the argument seems to rest on public health risk for allowing the religious exemption, especially when an approximate 26,000 children would be unvaccinated in New York schools.
The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Senator Brad Hoylman from Manhattan, specifically wanted to eliminate the religious exemption as the key reason for the recent spread of measles.
You have a First Amendment right to practice your own religion, but you do not have the right to endanger your children or worse other people’s children,” he told a press conference. Already, 14 percent of pre-school aged children in Williamsburg are estimated to be unvaccinated for religious reasons or otherwise. Another 28 percent in Rockland County were unvaccinated.
The anti-vaxxers expressed that they wished New York followed in California’s suit by allowing a year for the law to take effect. But public health advocates cite a sense of urgency for public safety measures, “This needs to be done, not tomorrow, not in a week, not in a month, and not in a year,” said one activist. “It must be done immediately, the numbers are gaining strength.”
Crowds packed even this overflow room as they waited for the judge’s answer.
They never heard it. Judge Hartman hasn’t made her decision yet about whether to allow 26,000 unvaccinated children go to New York schools in time for school start dates just three weeks from the hearing. The anti-vaxxers want her to put a stay on the state law which would allow those children to go to school while she continues to hear the case and make a final, permanent decision.
Prepare yourself to desperately want kids if you don’t already. Possibly the cutest kid alive went to Kindergarten for the first time on Monday, and was feeling very ready. That said, his mom was far less ready to see her baby boy go off to school for the first time. So she did what any other mom would do–she asked him to “tell [her] something to help [her] feel better.” Oh, and she recorded everything and his response went viral on Twitter because it’s 2019.
Now, Twitter is begging the Universe to impregnate them so they can have a perfect muñeco lindo like this one.
“You’re going to your first day of Kindergarten.” his mom says. “How do you feel?”
“Good,” he says matter of factly. “Good? You feel good?” she asks. “No,” he says. Incredulous, she double checks with her son and he answers her again, “No!” He’s not nervous, auntie.
“You’re not nervous? I’m nervous. Can you tell me something to make me feel better?”
Just two weeks prior, a white supremacist drove 10 hours to El Paso, Texas to specifically target Latinos. He killed 22 people with an assault-type rifle. Everyone is scared. Except for this pequeño.
“Umm… Just please don’t be scared ’cause there’s nothing to be afraid of,” he comforts his mom. At this point, all the comments look like this: “THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I’VE SEEN.”
What the hell how is this kid 40 already?” asks one fan.
Another commented, “I feel like 1 conversation with him, he can help me file my taxes, figure out why I’m depressed, tell me what foods to eat that can burn fat while I sleep and tell me the meaning of life. He GENIUS smart, I can tell. Lol”
Other parents could relate to Liz’s fears and are hoping their kid feels as confident as this little one.
Another dad was commiserating with the mom’s fear, knowing he had to drop his daughter off at school soon, too. “This is awesome!” he tweeted. “Next week my baby starts kindergarten and I swear daddy is gonna be in tears to see my princess go somewhere without me being there! So I feel you on this”
His official “First Day of School” pic is even more precious.
Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Liz is clearly cultivating a bright kid. She captioned this photo, “So masterfully created and crafted. Wildfire-setting all things in his path ablaze.” she An uncontrolled, genuine, grateful, innocuous, exuberant, kind, and messy version of two humans. A concoction of inquiries with very little answers, yet the burning question still rises within me…how am I so fortunate to know you? How giving Mother Earth has been for gifting us you.”
Folks have asked, “how is he so emotionally intelligent at such a young age?” Liz is raising him so, so right.
She captioned this photo from March: “Boys will be boys, with respectful demeanors who hold the aptitude to take no for an answer.” I’m sobbing.
“Trust your offspring and they will deliver honesty,” she continues. “Remind them that it’s okay to cry, then laugh with them when the tears subside. Teach boys to water their gardens so that they can watch their flowers bloom until they are old enough to pick the right one.”
Everyone is wishing him a happy first day of school, and even offering to send him care packages.
This new fan is just enamored with him. She tracked down Liz’s Instagram and commented, “Twitter brought me here, amazing kid with a big future ahead. Keep him protected at all cost. I don’t know of your life, but if you are a single parent. You are doing an amazing job 💙 reminds me of the bond I have with my mom. If you can send me anything he likes, books, snacks, toys. I’d love to send him a care package!
Seems like his first day might have been more boring than anticipated.
Just 17 more years to go, pequeño! Chin up! Well, not *that* up. This kid has gotten more bendiciones in one day than most of us have had in our whole lives, so we know he’s going places. He’s been dubbed a “hero” and folks are looking to him “to do soo much in the future.”
Shoutout to this kid for giving Texas something to smile about.
Also, Liz, can you write up a brief parenting course for everyone else out here? Brava.