Saturday, January 21, 2006

Homeland Security For Kids

Many students may not be able to read, write, or do math all that well, but it appears that the Department of Homeland Security is about to spend a whole lot of money to tell them to "get ready" for terror attacks and natural disasters:
After more than a year of delays, the Department of Homeland Security says it plans to launch a preparedness program next month aimed at alerting and preparing children for terror attacks and natural disasters.

The program, called Ready Kids, is scheduled to roll out with TV ads, school programs and other events.

"Ready Kids is a tool for parents and teachers to use to be able to speak to their students and children about how to be prepared for any type of disaster," said DHS spokeswoman Joanna Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said the program will include age-appropriate activities and lessons on preparedness.

FEMA, an agency within the DHS, already has a program preparing children for disasters. "FEMA for Kids" ( ) includes a pudgy and nervous-looking airplane leaking a trail of smoke, a hermit crab mascot named "Herman," and a song with a rap beat:

"Disaster . . . it can happen anywhere,

"But we've got a few tips, so you can be prepared,

"For floods, tornadoes, or even a 'quake,

"You've got to be ready _ so your heart don't break."

Gonzalez said she didn't know how would differ from FEMA's program. FEMA spokeswoman Barbara Ellis said FEMA for Kids will include information about Ready Kids "as part of a coordinated promotional launch."

Federal officials originally announced plans to launch Ready Kids in September 2004, in conjunction with National Preparedness Month. Then the department announced launch for National Preparedness Month 2005, this past September. Gonzalez said she could not explain the delays, but said the program is definitely scheduled to launch Feb. 2 in Chicago.
There's more to read in the whole piece.

The government might not be willing to secure our borders, unable to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, or even get relief supplies to a stricken city in a timely manner, so is it any surprise that the implementation of this program has been delayed for over a year?

Who should be held accountable for all these delays? Who should be held "accountable" for "Herman the Crab" (I can just imagine the jokes about that one...) and that "pudgy and nervous-looking airplane leaking a trail of smoke?"

Maybe it was the same people who
brought us this and then made their gettaway, apparently unscathed and well-compensated.

Is "accountability" a concept that the federal government applies solely to classroom teachers and school site administrators?

It sure seems that way.
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