The easiest place to render oneself disconsolate regarding the pit of warped values we must send our public school children into every day is Fark.com, which cheerily documents the child predators in the teaching ranks and their exploits. Let’s see, I haven’t checked in a while…I wonder what the tally is for February? Hey, February’s a light month! I have to go all the way back to the 19th to find the first, LaShawn Simmons, a 41-year-old former Pasadena middle-school math teacher who had sex with four students. She’s charged with sexual assault of a child, two counts of improper relationship between an educator and a student, online solicitation of a minor and possession of child pornography.
Actually, February was a terrible month to go to school, just not one with a bumper crop of child-molesting teachers. For example, in Port St. Lucie, Florida, we had a female teacher who didn’t have sex with a male student, she only purchased drugs from him and went drinking with him. It would be hard to top the teacher who poured pencil shavings in the special ed student’s mouth (and who wasn’t fired), but I think the Linden, California gym teacher who was caught on video stealing money from her students’ backpacks gets the prize. She was caught when a suspicious student and aspiring Nancy Drew hid in a locker to see if she could solve a string of thefts, and recorded the teacher’s larceny on her phone. It gets worse: when she brought the video to the attention of the principal, he told her to destroy the evidence. Luckily, she had already sent the video to her father.
What has the student, Justine Betti, learned from this episode? She has learned that institutions often close ranks to protect their own, not those they are supposed to serve. If she had followed the principal’s directive, what would have happened then? As it is, the school is “investigating” and the thieving teacher has only been put on administrative leave. Justine knows now not to trust her teachers and administrators, at least I hope she does—especially if either the gym teacher or the conniving principal are still working there a month from now. (By the way, you readers who are constantly chiding me about my frequent failure to use the term “alleged,” news reports on this story routinely said that the video showed the teacher “allegedly stealing.” That’s nonsense. The video showed the teacher taking money from students’ backpacks. There was nothing alleged about it. It wasn’t alleged, it was recorded.)
Or, perhaps Justine has learned that the whole purpose of authority is to use it as an opportunity for enrichment. We shall see how corrupting this experience was, won’t we?
It’s fair to say, I think, that 14-year-old Michael McIntyre wasn’t corrupted by the experience of having his teacher tell him that he would be suspended if he didn’t turn his T-shirt with a U.S. Marines logo on it inside-out. He merely learned that he was being instructed by an idiot, and will presumably be wary of future insructors. This won’t help his education any, but might protect his values from people like the teacher, Karen Deverell, who believed the interlocking rifles on the shirt violated the school’s dress code. That code commands that “Student dress…may not advertise, promote, or picture alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, violent behavior, or other inappropriate images.” You see, Deverell, who is typical of a lot of the people, including too many journalists and elected officials in high places driving the anti-gun hysteria now running rampant, apparently believes that the mere picture of a gun is the equivalent of violence, and that references to the armed services are “inappropriate.”
By all means, I’d trust her judgment in instructing my children.
Deverell is just one dumb and biased teacher, however: at least her superintendent backed the student. In Texas, 80% of the public schools apparently follow curriculum plans that require that teachers teach “both sides” of the World Trade Center bombing and must call the terrorists “freedom fighters.” This is just one of the features of the infamous CSCOPE curriculum, which carries a leftist political agenda, all the better to indoctrinate your child with.
Oh, there was lots more mirth and mayhem in the schools this month: a substitute teacher who thought first graders were ready to play “The Sandy Hook game,” with him playing the shooter; the history teacher who lassoed a seventh grader around the neck. Remember, these are only the tales from February, and its a short month.
Who is at fault for this? We are, of course: for not reading our children’s textbooks, for trusting phony and falsely credentialed professionals, for entrusting the minds and bodies of our children with untrustworthy people we do not know, for being so busy and self-involved that we are willfully blind to dangers and trends that we would rather not know about, because then we would have to do something about them, or, more likely, feel guilty about doing nothing.
Pointer: One of the helpful commenters: I lost the e-mail. Thanks, whoever you were.
Sources: Yahoo!, Daily Caller, TC Palm, Yahoo! 2
8 thoughts on “Our Sick, Sick, Untrustworthy Schools”
I’ll bet you my last dollar that that “terrorists are freedom fighters” story is bullshit. Don’t you usually have a problem with anonymous sources? Because all we have to go on for that story – from what I’ve found – are the comments of one “unnamed student.” Most of the articles on the incident seem to be parroting one another without any of them including confirmation or denial from the school, other students, or any other witnesses. One article has the unnamed student reporting the teacher as prefacing her remarks with “I don’t necessarily agree with this, but I’m supposed to teach you…” If that’s the case, it should be pretty easy for her to be reached for comment, right?
All I can do right now is guess, but my instincts tell me that what we’re looking at is one arguably controversial but relatively innocuous story about five girls voluntarily wearing burqas as part of a geography lesson, which was quickly embellished with gossip, misrepresentation, and conjecture. It seems that your own blog provides an example of that trend, since ever other story I’ve seen mentioning this dubious “freedom fighters” lesson says that it happened in one Lumberton classroom. But now you’ve linked it so tightly to CSCOPE that you’ve made the claim that this is routine practice in eighty percent of Texas public schools.
Incidentally, the article at Huffington Post about the burqa picture actually quotes the school district. It says that that exercise was not part of a written CSCOPE lesson.
I think you are right that skepticism is justified. But that curriculum is a nightmare, and there are plenty of pockets where the approved political correctness approach to avoiding anti-Islamic bias would be to avoid the term Islamic terrorists. There was a lot of the “freedom fighter” stuff in 2001, don’t you remember? Other details of the story, like the confusing stuff about Egypt, sound like what i can hear on Right Wing radio any day of the week, at least up to the Muslim Brotherhood part. I have relatives in Texas who have complained mightily about the anti-Christian tenor of the textbooks. Here in Virginia, we had textbook just as bad, but from the opposite angle, with total fiction about American history. This story sounds pretty plausible. The canned curriculum business is a mess nationwide.
I didn’t even mention the burqa exercise. I don’t see anything wrong with it, frankly.
Here in Texas, a lot of us are still trying to get a clear picture on exactly to what degree this CSCOPE plan extends itself into the curricula and exactly what it entails. Some of the claims sound a little fantastic, but we’ve learned not to put anything past educrats these days when it comes to subversion and depravity. The very concept, though, is unsettling. We’re supposed to have Independent school districts in this state. Tying them to some master plan that’s been concocted and disseminated by- who?- and pushing them en masse on the schools works against that very spirit of locally controlled schools. And that’s even before the allegations as to content. It seems that the more centralized, unionized and politicized the educational systems become, the more expensive, corrupt, dangerous and ineffective they become. Maybe be SHOULD just turn the clock back 50 years- to when American public schools were working- and re-institute a successful formula. But taking back local control of the schools is key to any meaningful reform. That includes the problems of criminal teachers and pupil security.
You can’t read the textbooks anymore, the teachers caught on to that. Now, they don’t have textbooks! Not even in math. You have to check every assignment to follow what they are ‘teaching’ in class.
I found out that Algebra I only teaches linear equations now and that Algebra II is where the quadratics are covered. That explains why my college students who all have Algebra II on their transcripts don’t know how to do any Algebra II material. It is harder to follow English and history since they don’t seem to have any homework or other assignments, and the teachers keep the tests (they hand them back to let the students see them and then take them back up). My college’s Algebra I classes (yes, there are Algebra I classes in college now) are overflowing in a state that requires all students to pass Algebra II and take state year-end tests in Algebra II to graduate.
I couldn’t agree more. Parents have abdicated their children’s education to government schooling. This has a ripple effect over our entire society. It’s the age of the idiot. And they’re teaching kids!!!! And causing hell all over.
My ability to become even mildly angered by these tales is hampered somewhat by the fact that I really don’t like kids
You have a career waiting for you as a school administrator, then.
No… Apparently offering to supply your own duct tape puts you on a list or something…