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Old 04-10-2009, 03:44 PM
 
14 posts, read 34,813 times
Reputation: 11

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If you are worried about bullying a great deal I would recommend some of Omaha's great private schools. I'm not sure about your religious affiliation, but there are a number of private, catholic, and christian schools in Omaha. I went to catholic schools here for my whole education and loved it. There were never any bullying problems. Of course there is going to be the occasional teasing but thats kids for you, some of them are just going to be mean. I grew up in west omaha, or what I should say was west about 15 years ago (Omaha is expanding west at a very fast rate!). The schools, shopping, and community is very nice out here. There are plenty of schools, both private and public nearby. I would recommend this area to avoid any bullying or violence in schools. Also Millard, Papillion, Ralston-Lavista, and Elkhorn are very nice suburbs of Omaha, you may want to check those out too for a smaller community feel. Though you can hardly tell anymore whats a suburb and what's "Omaha" because its growing very fast.
As for football... As some have mentioned earlier the sport is a second religion to many Nebraskans. The huskers are a big deal and many children grow up dreaming of playing for the huskers. But from what I've seen, it doesn't get too serious until high school (and then it depends on which school you are at, some are more competitive than others). There are tons of ymca and youth leagues that your son could play on if the school team is too intense. I had some friends growing up who were very serious into sports and played on the school's teams and also various other leagues all year round. So I would say the door is open for your son to be as casual or serious as he wants to be in football.
Oh and as far as winter activities, I hope your kids like snow! Playing in the snow, snowball fights, building forts, sledding, snowmen, you name it, those were all very fun memories for me in my childhood here. And kids LOVE snow days off from school! (We generally get about 3-5 days off a year from winter weather)
There isn't much skiing here though since Nebraska is very flat, but there is a small lodge in Crescent, IA that has tubing and a little bit of skiing (not anything close to say the mountains in Colorado).

Overall Omaha is a great place to raise a family and has tons of job opportunities (numerous fortune 500 companies are here as well as the home of Warren Buffet!). The only downside I see from having lived here my whole life is that once you get outside of the Omaha metro area there is nothing. You would have to drive to Kansas City, Minneapolis, Denver, Des Moines, until you hit another big metro area. So if you're keen on weekend trips, theres really not a lot of close options.
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:02 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
872 posts, read 2,599,703 times
Reputation: 487
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattpoulsen View Post
Okay, the bully thing is way over blown. My son has zero issues. And I would say its nothing abnormal and nothing above what occurs and has occurred throughout the nation. Of course, bullies exist, but I don't see Omaha being a "hotbed" for bully activity.

I would also say that sports is what you make of it. Again, I see no difference between Omaha and other parts of the country. Nebraskans may love their football, but not as players...as fans. Its not like Texas.

I think you need to visit Omaha to get a better feel. Once you do I think some of your preconceived notions of Omaha may be put to rest. The Omaha metro is pushing a million, but people who have never been here tend to think its a small little cow town.
I think everyone posting has clarified that Omaha has no more bullying than any other part of the country. It is a valid question from the OP, though. Just because your son has zero issues does not mean that everyone will have zero issues. Bullying does exist, especially at the middle school level, and if he knows he has a sensitive son he is just trying to make sure that it is not an overwhelming problem in the Omaha area. From teaching in Omaha myself, from speaking with fellow teachers, and from discussions with family members there as well as my former students still living there, I don't think it is any more of a problem than elsewhere in the country. It's unfortunately just a problem that shouldn't exist, but it continues anyway. Concerns about bullying certainly shouldn't preclude the OP from moving to Omaha - or anywhere else - but he can work on factors that will help his son deal with any bullying he does encounter as well as lessen the difficulty of adjusting to a new school/city.

I'm just curious how Nebraska and Texas vary regarding football since you said "Its not like Texas"... especially since in the next paragraph you talk about not having preconceived notions?

For the OP... I forgot to mention that there is a skate park (skateboarding) as well as a place for BMX bikes. These would be more spring to fall, but still something that might interest your son? Here's a link to Omaha Parks & Recreation that might give other ideas...City of Omaha Parks and Rec. (http://www.ci.omaha.ne.us/parks/default.htm - broken link)
For your daughter, several of my female students plus other kids I know in the area are involved in dance, baton, pom, or gymnastics. That's something that can be done year-round. One studio several of them attend is Sue's Stepperettes, but there are many more around.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:10 PM
 
Location: West Omaha
1,181 posts, read 3,646,494 times
Reputation: 477
Ok. Then I'll hold my opinion back.

My point is bullying in Omaha is NOT different than anywhere else. So, if that's the case, then why is an analysis of Omaha bullying relevant?? My point is that everyone was focusing on bullying so much that I wanted to reassure the OP that bullying is no more an issue in Omaha than it is anywhere else.

You're being paternalistic explaining bullying to the OP. I'm sure he/she thoroughly understands that bullying exists and that its everywhere. He/she was asking if bullying was particularly bad in Omaha. I answered his question in the context of having a child myself. I also stated that I clearly understand there is bullying in Omaha. I pointed out my son has no problems because that's relevant to my personal experience and its anecdotal evidence that bullying, at least in his school, isn't wide spread. So am I to assume that you can write 4 pages about your experience but I'm not to give my experience??

I mentioned Texas because I have BEEN TO TEXAS! And personally know people who grew up in Texas and played highschool football in Texas. The OP stated he had never been to Omaha. I have experienced Texas personally. THAT is why I bring up preconceived notions that the OP may have and THAT is why i wasn't being hypocritical.

Finally, there is a HUGE difference between Texas football and Nebraska football. High school football in Texas is a religion! College football is big here but high school football here is nothing compared to that experienced in Texas.

Have I justified my opinion enough for you??

Last edited by mattpoulsen; 04-10-2009 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:43 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
872 posts, read 2,599,703 times
Reputation: 487
Of course your own personal experience - or actually your son's personal experience - is relevant, as it is from any other parent, relative, or others who are with these kids 8+ hours every day. I think we are all on the same page regarding bullying. And since others before me ALSO posted stating that bullying exists elsewhere just as it does in Omaha, I am sure that your statement regarding being paternalistic is extended to them as well.

At a middle school where I student taught in Omaha, bullying was quite a problem for a period of time. Part of the problem was that the administration worked on dealing with it at the school level, but also tried to reach out to the parents on the issue and were met with, "Oh, that's not a problem at our school. My child has never had a problem with it, so it must not be here" (or "My kid isn't a bully" from some of them when administration discussed with them several recent events). I realize that is not how you intended your response regarding your son not experiencing any problems and I'm sorry if that portion of my response offended you. It just sparked memories of the struggles the school had and a couple of kids who really needed to be there because they were making progress for the first time in quite a while, but who ended up leaving because they were not able to put up with the bullying any longer.

Despite this issue that I saw and often intervened in personally, I again state just as I, you, and others have alread y mentionedthat bullying is not any more of a problem overall in Omaha schools than it is elsewhere.

Now, on to football... been to Texas or lived in Texas? And since Texas is so large and has so many major cities, small cities, and smaller towns... lived in a few different types of cities/towns in Texas or just one? I've lived in more than one city in Texas (in addition to Omaha and the other places I have lived in the U.S. and Europe) and attended schools in Texas, and so of course I know a plethora of people who played high school football in Texas and elsewhere as well. The experiences of those from Texas are as varied as one might expect, generally from those living in smaller towns - even if those small towns were quite close to one of the major cities - encountering more of the "religion" aspect to those living in mid- to large cities having more of a "yep, it's just a sport - no more important than baseball or basketball" situation. Oh, well, people's life experiences certainly do vary. The assertion that high school football is a religion throughout the entire state of Texas rankles many Texans I know... just as the perception of Omaha as a boring cowtown of a city rankles many in Omaha.

Now, back to the OP's queries. I have posted a few specific links and ideas for craft fairs and recreation opportunities for him. Perhaps someone could help him out by providing more, especially for the winter recreation for both of his children as my former middle schoolers really weren't much help and all of the other kids I know in Omaha are either quite a bit younger or quite a bit older and can't provide much relevant input for kids aged 7 and 12.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:45 PM
 
Location: West Omaha
1,181 posts, read 3,646,494 times
Reputation: 477
Of course Texas is varied, but I would argue there is no place in Nebraska that comes close to approaching the "religious-like" football havens in some of the smaller Texas towns. Small towns in Nebraska like sports and they're avid fans, but they know for the most part their kids are playing for fun and that's it.

My point is I have noticed a vast difference in the extremes in Nebraska and the extremes in Texas. I was just trying to point out that "football fever" in Nebraska is related to the Cornhuskers and NOT related to the high school sports scene, as it stereotypically is in many areas in Texas. Again, I was just trying to explain to the OP that he/she had nothing to worry about in terms of undue pressure on her son in regard to sports.

Anyway, this is at risk of being off topic, so we can move on.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Omaha, NE
1,119 posts, read 3,813,005 times
Reputation: 405
Default ..

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmm317 View Post
If you are worried about bullying a great deal I would recommend some of Omaha's great private schools. I'm not sure about your religious affiliation, but there are a number of private, catholic, and christian schools in Omaha. I went to catholic schools here for my whole education and loved it. There were never any bullying problems. Of course there is going to be the occasional teasing but thats kids for you, some of them are just going to be mean. I grew up in west omaha, or what I should say was west about 15 years ago (Omaha is expanding west at a very fast rate!). The schools, shopping, and community is very nice out here. There are plenty of schools, both private and public nearby. I would recommend this area to avoid any bullying or violence in schools. Also Millard, Papillion, Ralston-Lavista, and Elkhorn are very nice suburbs of Omaha, you may want to check those out too for a smaller community feel. Though you can hardly tell anymore whats a suburb and what's "Omaha" because its growing very fast.
As for football... As some have mentioned earlier the sport is a second religion to many Nebraskans. The huskers are a big deal and many children grow up dreaming of playing for the huskers. But from what I've seen, it doesn't get too serious until high school (and then it depends on which school you are at, some are more competitive than others). There are tons of ymca and youth leagues that your son could play on if the school team is too intense. I had some friends growing up who were very serious into sports and played on the school's teams and also various other leagues all year round. So I would say the door is open for your son to be as casual or serious as he wants to be in football.
Oh and as far as winter activities, I hope your kids like snow! Playing in the snow, snowball fights, building forts, sledding, snowmen, you name it, those were all very fun memories for me in my childhood here. And kids LOVE snow days off from school! (We generally get about 3-5 days off a year from winter weather)
There isn't much skiing here though since Nebraska is very flat, but there is a small lodge in Crescent, IA that has tubing and a little bit of skiing (not anything close to say the mountains in Colorado).

Overall Omaha is a great place to raise a family and has tons of job opportunities (numerous fortune 500 companies are here as well as the home of Warren Buffet!). The only downside I see from having lived here my whole life is that once you get outside of the Omaha metro area there is nothing. You would have to drive to Kansas City, Minneapolis, Denver, Des Moines, until you hit another big metro area. So if you're keen on weekend trips, theres really not a lot of close options.

Kansas City and Des Moines are not weekend trips.. Des Moines and KC are 2-3 hours away..
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