Saturday, January 27, 2007

In the news

One of the problems with our public education system is that it is hard to monitor. Parents are essentially entrusting their children and our tax payer money to complete strangers. Many of these strangers are talented and trustworthy, while many are not.

Here are a few of the "not" category who made the news recently.

Yonkers Teacher Under Fire For Anatomy Assignment

(CBS) YONKERS, N.Y. A 7th grade health teacher at the PEARLS Hawthorne School in Yonkers is facing termination after apparently asking his class to participate in a questionable anatomy assignment.

Jeffrey Kirby was removed by school officials Wednesday for starting off his anatomy lesson by asking the children to come to the chalkboard and draw male genitalia. Students then complained to the parents, who then complained to the school....

"To just ask individuals to come up and draw freestyle male anatomy is insensitive to the children," Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio told CBS 2.

Even my 6 year old daughter knows what male anatomy looks like. We have wonderful children's encyclopedia that shows the male and female reproductive system. It is very tastefully done. Having students draw male genitals on the chalkboard in a mixed gender class was just plain vulgar. My 12 year old daughters would have been mortified. This type of activity also breeds a certain disrespect for gender and sexuality.

Moving right along, we have another cheerleader scandal.

Ware Shoals High School principal arrested

WARE SHOALS, S.C.- Accusations of sex, lies and scandals run rampant at one upstate high school. On Monday, deputies arrested the principal of Ware Shoals High School for allegedly covering up for the school's cheerleading coach. The coach is accused of giving alcohol to her cheerleaders, and a whole lot more....

Last week, Greenwood county deputies arrested Jill Moore, the cheerleading coach at Ware Shoals High School for "moral offenses" involving some of her cheerleaders. On Monday, deputies also arrested Principal Jane Blackwell at the school. She's accused of knowing about the offenses and doing nothing about it.

The allegations against the coach get pretty ugly. She was basically "pimping".

According to FOX Carolina sources, Moore was dating a National Guard recruiter and was recruiting cheerleaders to party. In at least one incident, a 16-year-old student had sex and drank alcohol with another National Guardsman.

This article contains more information on the role the principal played in this scandal.

S.C. principal arrested during probe

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The principal at Ware Shoals High School lied to deputies investigating the school‘s cheerleading coach and was taken into custody at the school Monday, charged with obstruction of justice, police said.

Blackwell wasn‘t directly involved in those incidents but when investigators began asking questions, she told the cheerleading squad to keep quiet, Frederick said.

Frederick said immediately after Blackwell and others were told by investigators they planned to talk to each cheerleader, the principal called a squad meeting and told them not to discuss the case with anyone.

Blackwell asked investigators if they knew whether any calls were made from the school to the media and disciplined at least one student who mentioned the Moore case at school, according to a sworn statement filed with an arrest warrant.

Parents are making a big mistake if they think the school staff is going to police themselves. And now for a wonderful federal program for disadvantaged students.

Couple Accused of Ripping Off School District with Textbook Scheme

Tim Fuhrman/ FBI Special Agent in Charge: "Lining their own pockets with the proceeds of their ill-gotten gains. Approximately 4.5-million dollars in the last five years alone is staggering."

Susan Ross directed federal programs for the Davis School District, while her husband was in charge of getting grant money from the U.S. Department of Education. Both retired last year.

Each year, the district received more than 2 million dollars of federal grant money, including money for disadvantaged students.

Susan's job at the District included ordering books for Title One tutoring programs designed to help disadvantaged kids. But the district says the books were actually spiral-bound stacks of unauthorized color copies.

Bryan Bowles, Davis School District Superintendent: "They were barely photo-copied and bound with a binder you could have done at a local copy shop."

For example, the indictment says Ross and others made unauthorized copies of the book "Away We Go." The publisher's list price for the book was $13.22. However, the company she was tied to, charged the Davis School District $93 per copy. In all, it cost the district over $44,000.

This crime particularly ticks me off. The government keeps taking away our hard earned money under the guise of helping children. Time and time again, we see that much of the money is wasted in programs like this. A federal grant is just an invitation for fraud. The school was also at fault for not paying attention. What idiot pays $93 for a little book.

This is what the accused had to say:

Susan Ross: "We've done nothing but help."

I've heard the argument that these are just isolated incidents. They sure are easy to find in the news.

I've heard the argument that there are homeschoolers who do some pretty awful stuff too. That is true. But, their actions usually only involve their own children and their own money. When a teacher, principal or coach does something inappropriate it effects other people's children and wastes other people's money, and lots of it too.

I wouldn't be so mad if we could opt out. While they don't get my children, they still get my money.

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Judy Aron said...

What is more incredible is that parents tolerate this kind of behavior from the "educators" in their school and that the administration doesn't fire these people. I heard some time ago that they could not fire these teachers.

Maybe some parents don't see these issues as problems?? Perhaps many people just do not comprehend what inappropriate behavior is.

blue thistle books said...

In my area this kind of inappropriate behavior happens often. Several years ago a male teacher was arrested for abusing cocaine and arrested. Shortly thereafter he was brought back into the school to continue teaching.

If I were abusing drugs and was drug tested with a positive result at my local grocery store, I would be fired, no questions asked. So why can this man be brought back in to the school to continue teaching these children? I've stopped asking these kind of questions. I guess no one cares. No accountability.

Janine Cate said...

The system makes it so hard to hire good teachers and fire bad ones. Teaching is one of the few jobs where hiring, firing and salary have nothing to do with performance and skill.

I'm amazed that the good teachers are willing to stick it out.