School Officials Bully, Harrass, Intimidate and Embarrass students over school lunch money


Humiliation, intimidation, and bullying at the hands of school officials at Uintah Elementary in Utah this week decidedly has me questioning what  other similar events are occurring.  We expect our children are treated with kindness love and respect by schools and their staff’s, and that they should feel safe and secure with those individuals meant to educate them.

How is it that 2 employees all of a sudden decide that past due accounts with extremely small balances should result in shaming, embarrassing, bullying, confusing, and intimidating children 10 and under?  To make matters worse, the meals that were taken from the children AFTER they had already been given them were then discarded into the trash!  Can someone?  anyone? explain the logic in this?

Apparently the district has a policy that prevents cafeteria employees from giving food to any student when that food has already been served to someone else.  District officials announced today that the cafeteria manager and a district employee whom was present at the time and overseeing this have been placed on a, get this, PAID administrative leave, while the district investigates.

  • The district is willing to pay employees who bullied, harassed, intimated and embarrassed children while they sit at home and not work because the child was a couple dollars short in their lunch account.
  • What was the district official overseeing this doing at the school if not of official district business?  What then is there to investigate?
  • The School is obviously insistent in following district policies in throwing out food that has already been served, why then are we to believe that this too wasn’t directed by the district?
  • If the food was to be wasted due to this policy of not serving food that has already been served to another student, why then were the students who did eat allowed to share with those that didn’t?
  • Why did the district wait to suspend these employees until after it went to media?  Apparently this has happened at this school before, the parents just stayed quiet the other times.

In my opinion, the School superintendent knew about this all along.  He and everyone associated with this mess, including the school principal and the teacher who is supposed to watch over these students and protect them should immediately be fired for creating a hostile learning environment where the children are subject to these bullying behaviors at the hands of those meant to protect and educate.

We can no longer sit quiet on issues such as this, the safety of our children require that we speak out.

additional links to this story: via @usatoday


The Hayride…. 40 years later


The other day during a moment of pondering I found myself reflecting back to my childhood when I was in the 1st grade.  Few memories in life have stayed with me like the one I found myself remembering, one I have relived many times.

It was a warm fall afternoon.  The leaves were changing color and falling from the trees.  I was an excited 1st grader who was about to embark upon his first field trip with my class.  We took with us our jackets, our  sack lunches and most importantly our excitement for the new adventure we were about to embark upon.  We headed off to a local and historic farm where we were able to see the animals, see how farms operated and of course the hay ride. 

The day started off just as planned.  We piled into the school bus and off we went.   After spending time with the animals and the farmer we had our picnic lunch under a large tree.  It was a perfect day, the kind that only dreams can create. We were so excited and so full of energy as we chased each other around that tree after lunch.

Finally the big moment arrived.  We were all loaded up onto the wagon and ready to go for our very first hay ride.  I was one of the lucky ones who snagged a premier spot along the edge of the wagon where we could dangle our feet over the edge as we rode along the dirt trail.  It was a beautiful fall day with the many colors and a slight breeze blowing. 

We listened to the roar of the tractor as it pulled our trailer around the farm, along the stream and through the trees. 

Some of the other boys seemed jealous of our perfect seats along the edge of the wagon.  Soon I found myself pushed off the side of the wagon and running alongside as I attempted to jump back on.  My friends grabbed my hand as they lifted and pulled me back up onto the edge of the wagon.  Relieved to be back in my seat, I sat there irritated by their actions when suddenly the boy sitting next to me found himself in the same predicament, having himself been pushed off of the wagon.

Quickly he ran alongside the edge of the wagon, along the bumpy dirt road.  The road was more narrow here and the dirt a little less secure.  As he got close enough to the wagon he reached out and grabbed my hand to help him.

As we gripped each others hands he slipped on the sand. I watched in horror as his little body, still holding my hand was pulled under the trailer.  I held on as tight as I could but my little hands weren’t strong enough to pull him back up and suddenly we hit a bump, he was gone. 

I cried. 

The bump we felt was actually the wagon wheel as it crossed his tiny little head, while holding onto my hand.

I have never been able to forget this day.  I have had many nightmares in my life as a result of it.  If only I had been stronger and could have lifted him up.  If only he hadn’t been pushed off the wagon by the others.  I can still feel that bump of the wagon wheel as it crossed over his tiny precious little body.

The other day I thought about this event as I reflected upon my life. Throughout the majority of my life I have been what many refer to as “a rescuer.”  Even as a little boy I always imagined myself as a knight on a white stallion riding in to save the day.  I found many of my friendships and relationships were fueled by this need to rescue others. 

I finally came to realize last week, that I have spent my entire life wishing I could have rescued my little friend sitting next to me.  That I could have made a difference.  My life as a rescuer has been a result of my trying to atone for what I was unable to do 40 years ago.  I was unable to rescue my friend so I have tried to rescue everyone else.

It has been 40 years.  These memories haunt me to this day.  I continue to learn from this experience and pray that one day I will be able to tell him how sorry I was that I wasn’t strong enough.  That I couldn’t lift him up. 

From moments of reflection I learned and now I understand my need to rescue others.

Tim’s Birthday – by my son Bridger


Tim was so excited when he woke in the morning it was his birthday.

When he got downstairs his mom said nothing and noone said anything all day.

He was sad during school and walked home alone.

His friend Rich had ditched him, he was so sad he could have cried.

When he got home and was heading for his room when everyone jumped out and yelled


He was finally so happy that everyone remembered and was there.

The end
By Bridger Isbell

The Color Perspective


Our lives are filled with color.  We are surrounded by vividly contrasting colors in nature.  Most plants change color depending upon the season, our skies are filled with color and even our water can seem crystal clear to brightest of blues.  Flowers come in every color imaginable as do the many animals that roam this earth.

Many people, while surrounded by color live what I would call the gray life.  One where they merely exist and fail to see the wondrous beauty that we live with, they become blinded to the colors around them.  They see only the black and white of the snow in winter and fail to notice the varying shades of gray in the clouds.  Some even fail to notice those rare moments when the sky is bright blue against the whiteness of the recently fallen snow.

Our lives vary, much like colors do, from one person to the next.  Most of us at one point or another in our life find ourselves struggling to see anything but the black and white of life.  At time we must fight daily to even open our eyes to see that.

Not all of us however have experienced those moments when life is full and colorful.  When the world seems new and life seems wonderful and grand.  For some, this experience never happens, for others their lives are full of the color that surrounds us.

For me, when my days were darkest and the color was the most difficult to see it was the time spent on my knees that changed my world from the black and white to one full of color.  Our lives are relatively short, time spent seeing without color reduces our opportunity to see life in the grandest of ways possible.  As we let color back into our lives and begin to notice the beauty in all things  surrounding us, the colors become brighter and more vivid with each passing day.

The old saying, “take time to smell the roses” has a whole new perspective and deeper meaning when you also notice the color of the rose.

The Little Penguin Who Could Fly by my 9 year old Daughter Londyn


Once upon a time there was a penguin who really wanted to fly.

Everyone knows that penguins can’t fly.

The little penguin built an airplane so he could fly.

Then he realized that it needed and engine and didn’t have one.

So the little penguin made bird wings, but they didn’t work either.

At last he built a balloon that could fly.

Finally the little penguin got to fly.

The End….

By Londyn Isbell

Winning Over the Bullies – By my 11 year old son Bridger Isbell


Tim was cornered by 3 bullies as he cowered in the corner. 

These were the same bullies that had stolen his lunch money. 

Tim was not about to let that happen again as they appeared around the corner.

He said to them “Do those who pick on me do so because they are sad themselves. Don’t you have any other way to let it out than picking on someone smaller than them, just as someone else is doing to you?”

The bullies then sat next to him at lunch and thanked him for showing them a better way and for standing up for themselves.

The End…

By Bridger Isbell

My Life’s Adventure with My Beloved Karla


Life is an amazing adventure when you are able to journey through this existence with someone you love.  The little things don’t ever matter and the big things all become little things. My wife and I do not always see eye to eye on things, in fact we are on opposite sides of the spectrum at times.  We have discovered that most of the areas where we disagree really don’t matter anyway as most often they are political or social in nature and truly have no impact on our lives.  I believe this is the way we have been able to build such a magnificent, loving and beautiful relationship over the years.

We have both experienced painful pasts where trust was violated and the journey back to being able to love and trust has been a difficult one for both of us.  The honesty with which we communicate with each other, while not always easy has given each of us the ability to trust one another and in turn has allowed our love to grow.

The journey through life can be a challenge and sometimes painful experience.  Understanding that we have each carried with us those heavy burdens also allows us to lift them from each other as we walk through this life hand in hand.  While most of our goals and desires in life are the same, we share with one another the enjoyment of discovering the differences each of us bring.  It is through our differences that we actually grow the closest, as we discover new things in life from each other, it also drives us to discover new things we can share.

Our life is perfect.  We are different but equal.  We share everything while enjoying things the other doesn’t.  We explore this world together, parent together and dream together.  There isn’t a single morning that passes when I don’t get to listen to my wife’s sometimes crazy dreams.  We laugh together and we cry together.

The journey to find one another has been hard, filled with heartache and sorrow along the way.  The darkest of nights have led us each to the brightest of days in our lives.  The journey has been worth every step, and for this I am deeply grateful that we have been brought together.

My world is enriched, blessed and filled with love and wonder with you at my side, thank you my beloved wife for being the amazing woman you are and making a me a better man.