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What Went On Behind Closed School Doors This Week?

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What Went On Behind Closed School Doors

This Week?

By Linda Dobson

Ah, school days, a time that many adults still look back on as “the good old days?” Have you ever wondered what today’s children will look back on? Will they remember the time fondly, or have schools changed so much under the tightening control of the federal government that school days will be best forgotten? To answer these questions, here’s a look at some of this week’s school news.

School Discipline Sends Student to Emergency Room

LittleBoyCrying schoolIn Kentucky, it’s legal to spank a child as a disciplinary measure for school mis-behavior, with parents permission. (Tip #1 – don’t give someone else permission to paddle your child.)

“When the child returned home from school that afternoon, his parents say he was upset and in pain. When they looked at his buttocks, the parents say they were shocked. The bottom half of his were allegedly bruised,” states the report in The Williamson Daily News. The parents rushed the boy to the emergency room, where personnel contacted the Kentucky State Police, who in turn felt compelled to contact Child Protective Services.

Now, the parents will become involved in a series of court hearings that begin later this month. The principal claims he did not use excessive force (only one other parent had ever complained, mind you!), and the superintendent won’t talk to the family. The Board’s policy on allegations of abuse sets forth a procedure. “We investigate to make sure the teacher or principal followed procedure,” Kilgore said. “We always ask for an independent investigation,” he said, to ensure all the information is unbiased. And then, of course, the board has to go through its own process.

The principal said many parents ask him why he doesn’t paddle more often. “Sometimes, it straightens them right up,” he said. “But sometimes there is abuse at home, or something we don’t know about, and it doesn’t help at all. Sometimes staying after school is more effective.”
The beaten child’s father stated, “The system failed our child.”

Real-Life “Soup Nazis”

Remember your school cafeteria lunches? Yum, right? Now, on top of that, imagine that your tray is bar-coded, so that the camera aimed at your full tray can identify you and your food choices. But wait, there’s more.

When you’re done eating, another camera is watching what you throw away, so someone can figure out what you’re eating and BoyEatingSandwich schoolhow many calories you’re consuming. Not to worry; the $2 million dollar USDA grant covers four whole years at five schools…bet you were thinking it was costing taxpayers a lot more, eh?

What’s the point, you ask? Aside from a great potential of creating eating disorders in kids whose every bite is counted, the closest thing to a “point” included in the article: “Researchers hope parents will change eating habits at home once they see what their kids are choosing in schools. The data also will be used to study what foods children are likely to choose and how much of if they’re eating.”

So, next step just may be into your kitchen to check out your refrigerator…stay tuned.

No Excuses from Standardized Testing at This Charter School

Even as public school teachers protest on the streets about not wanting to be judged by standardized test scores, it appears the children – sans union – aren’t supposed to be exempt.

The Innovative Educator” blog introduces us to Gretchen Herrera and her tween-years son, “who was bullied and struggled in mainstream school due in part to having Asperger’s Syndrome and Type 1 diabetes.” Like many other families, the Herrera’s found a charter school using k12 curriculum online, and thought their problems were solved. But then standardized test time rolled around.

See also “Special Needs Children Better Off at Home.”

“Like thousands of other parents around the nation, Gretchen and her child’s doctors knew that opting out of standardized tests was in the best interest of her child’s physical and emotional well-being yet, when she contacted the curriculum provider K12 Online and the local provider South Carolina Virtual Charter school (SCVC) her concerns were dismissed. (See ignored doctor’s note here.) K12 Online passed the buck and refused to get involved and South Carolina Virtual Charter school informed her that her concerns would be disregarded.”

Gretchen offered to administer an alternative assessment. The school’s response? “They indicated that failure to comply would result in him being kicked out and denied an education.”

Blogger Lisa Nielson asks the question: “Isn’t America a country that provides opportunities for learning rather than forces compliance at the risk of our children’s emotional and physical well-being?”

Looks like the answer from school is a resounding “no.”

 

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