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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Cases For Home Schooling

The Criminal Compliment

     An elementary school principal in North Carolina recently suspended a fourth grader for sexual harassment after the 9-year-old called one of his teachers "cute." (One can only imagine what would have happened to the kid if he had called her "ugly.") The reason behind the school suspension caused such an uproar the school board forced the principal, after a 44-year career in education (I'm thinking of the Peter Principle here), to retire. While admitting that he may have been a little quick on the sexual harassment trigger, the public school administrator blamed his fall from grace on media overreaction to his overreaction. The principal wanted people to believe that because he lost his job, he, not the sexually abused teacher, was the victim.

No Holding or Biting

     A fifth grade teacher near Albany, New York, during an arm wrestling contest with several students yanking on his arm, bit one of his opponents. The girl on the receiving end of the bite, suffered a deep bruise on her forearm. The principal placed the biting educator on administrative leave, and the local prosecutor charged him with endangering the welfare of a child. If the defendant pleaded not guilty and denied inflicting the wound, one could imagine a battery of prosecution bite mark identification and DNA analysts testifying at his trial. While this case did not reflect the best in American elementary education, it had the potential of  becoming a triumph in forensic science.

All Students in Illinois Are Above Average

     An investigation by the Chicago Tribune in 2008 revealed that elementary school teachers in Illinois, to produce better state required test results, helped their students cheat. The cheating involved excessive coaching to providing kids with answers to the tests. While the state legislature, since 2009, had given the Illinois State Board of Education $1.3 million to investigate educator misconduct, teachers throughout the state caught in the test cheating scandal were not disciplined. They were still teaching, and I presume, still cheating with their students. (When I was a kid we learned to cheat on our own.)

Left Hanging

     A special education student at an elementary school in Baltimore complained to his teacher that he was being bullied. The teacher, apparently busy with another student, ignored the kid. To get her attention, this student threatened to hurt himself. When the distracted teacher didn't respond, the boy stood on a chair, tied his coat around his neck, attached the other end to a hook, then kicked the chair over. As the boy dangled in the air, the teacher grabbed her cellphone, and instead of calling 911, photographed the boy as he gasped for air. "Now that's the picture I want," she reportedly said before placing the chair back under the kid's twitching feet.

     When summoned to the school, the student's grandmother was shown the photograph of her dangling grandson. The boy survived his swing, but spent a week in the hospital. Grandma, claiming gross negligence, sued the school for $10 million. The school district settled out of court.  

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