Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another example of socialization in government schools

Joanne Jacobs has a sad tale of a boy being voted out of kindegarten:

Five-year-old Alex Barton was voted out of kindergarten class by his fellow students in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Before the vote, his teacher told classmates to say what they didn’t like about Alex: He was labeled “disgusting” and “annoying.” They voted 14 to 2 to kick him out of class.
The boy apparently has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism that’s linked to poor social skills. Children can learn how to function in a group but they need to be taught explicitly and they may always be awkward, withdrawn or odd.


Alex has problems. The government school is suppose to have a plan to help Alex. As Joane Jacobs says: "I’ll bet the plan doesn’t call for public humiliation and isolation."

Now Alex cries as his mother takes him along to drop off his siblings at school.

I think we should vote this teacher out of school. As one of the comments says "... she was astoundingly cruel."

Technorati tags: government schools, public school, public education, education


Jessica said...

I was convinced I was going to homeschool all my children and the socialization argument always got on my last nerve. Then I was 9 months pregnant with my 4th baby and diagnosed with cancer the year my oldest son was supposed to enter Kindergarten. I decided that it was best for him to go to public school because I didn't have the time or energy to school him myself.
My son was diagnosed with Aspberger's syndrome and has had a very positive experience with school. Not only has he had one of the best teachers in the county, but he's had resources that I am not trained to provide (speach pathology, occupational therapy etc.) I would never have imagined that I would feel that public school was the right thing for my son until I sent him there. All of our family and people at church have commented at how much my boy has "come out of his shell" this year. The change is remarkable.

This poor kid getting voted out of the class is just horrifying. But I really believe that wheter you put your children in public school or teach them at home, their education and welfare are the parent's responsiblity. If one of my kids had a teacher who was that cruel I would pull them out in a heartbeat. I doubt that if the boy's mom was volunteering in the class and developing a relationship with his teacher she would have pulled that kind of stunt.

DJ said...

Oh my, this is the second post of yours about the goings on in Port St. Lucie that I find disturbing. I live there too and you just keep giving me reasons why I know I don't want me son in the public school system. That teacher should be removed! I hope the parents of that child are making a huge stink about this! That poor dear child needs a hug!

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I have two autistic children. One is being homeschooled after being locked in a closet on several occasions by staff.

Jessica, I don't really care if the parents dropped the kid off for years without a word to staff let alone volunteering. These public school teachers are SUPPOSED to be professionals regardless of whether we have the time, energy or inclination to butter them up. I know that it being partly Mom's fault is not how you meant it based on the rest of your comment, though.

I will grant you my son Elf could use all those benefits like speech and OT but I don't trust those people one bit. The entire system is faulty and when abuse happens in public school it gets covered up or worse, your family is turned in. (No, I'm not kidding.)

I think there are a LOT LOT LOT more stories out there than just this one. School abuse only happens when the superintendent says it did in our state.

"10. Spanking or the use of force to protect persons or property, when administered by [certificated] personnel of a school district in a reasonable manner in accordance with the local board of education's written policy of discipline, is not abuse within the meaning of chapter 210, RSMo. The provisions of sections 210.110 to 210.165, RSMo, notwithstanding, the children's division [of family services] shall not have jurisdiction over or investigate any report of alleged child abuse arising out of or related to any spanking administered in a reasonable manner by any [certificated] school personnel pursuant to a written policy of discipline established by the board of education of the school district. Upon receipt of any reports of child abuse by the division of family services pursuant to sections 210.110 to 210.165, RSMo, which allegedly involves personnel of a school district, the division of family services shall notify the superintendent of schools..." and he gets to determine if it's abuse or not.

See for yourself:

Of course, they can turn YOU in for "suspected abuse" with immunity, however.

Jessica said...

Mrs. C
Well I agree the teacher should definately be fired. But my point in responding is just to point out that I think this is an isolated incident. Bad things can happen in school but bad things can happen at a neighbor's house too. Or even in your own home. Like that 13 year old girl who was bullied by a neighbor mom over myspace and killed herself. Like I said, never in a million years would I have guessed that public school would be what is best for my son. It is an amazing feeling to have other teachers and professionals involved in my son's education who I know care about him and want him to succeed. I don't think you can ever have too many people caring about your kids. I really believe that there are more good teachers and therapists in public school than bad. Its our job as parents to know the people who work with our children. I plan to homeschool my children eventually. The moment I don't feel good about the people working with my kids I'll take him out of school. Or sometime around 3rd grade. :)

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Well, I'm glad for you that it's working, I really am... but I think Alex's situation IS NOT ISOLATED. And as I quoted the law here in Missouri, it doesn't matter if it is or not because it's only abuse when the superintendent says so.

For all the criticisms of homeschooling (usually based on very isolated incidents), there ARE ways that parents would be caught and punished for abusing children... not so much in the schools.

FWIW I have an older autistic son in PS, so I'm not criticising your choice with this child. With autism, you do what you gotta do and that's whatever works with that kid that year. I hear you. ;]

Cates, the autism blogs are totally humming with this story and the Adam Race story. Thanks for bringing this to a wider audience.

Melissa Markham said...

I have an 8 yo nephew with Asperger's Syndrome who has been given wonderful treatment by our local school system.

It is distressing to me that a teacher would lead students to gang up on a child in this manner and I sincerely think she needs to find a new occupation.