While I was on vacation, a small journalistic brouhaha centering on homeschooling erupted near Lansing, Michigan. A reporter for the Lansing State Journal published a column on the response of a teacher to finding out that there was no recourse by school officials to keep a child in school after the parents withdrew the child.
Lack of oversight for home-schooled alarms educator, 26 October 2007, Lansing State Journal, Lansing, Michigan
“It’s insane,” Head gasped. “Apparently, nobody ever checks up on these kids once they leave school. I assumed there was accountability. This causes me to question the whole system. I just really want to know; can it really be true that there is no follow-up?”
Apparently, more readers than usual commented on the story, prompting a heartfelt cry from the journalist.
Readers vigorously defend home schooling, 31 October 2007, Lansing State Journal, Lansing, Michigan
I am NOT the Anti-Home Schooler, sent to earth by the Great Demon Public Educator to meddle.
You wouldn’t know that from the 100-plus comments posted on the State Journal Web site – not to mention the barrage of e-mail, phone call and fax flak I’ve taken since Friday.
I wrote ONE column about ONE teacher worried about ONE girl being pulled from Perry Middle School under circumstances that would make anybody shudder.
And what do you want to bet that everyone in that school now knows one side of the story about that family? Imagine the flak the family will take in the community.
If there is, indeed, justified worry about actual neglect concerning the child, why didn’t the teacher take action before the child was withdrawn from school? Neglect is neglect. If there was no neglect before the child was withdrawn (since the columnist reports no action by the teacher), why is it insanity that state officials are not overseeing the family?
And speaking of oversight of kids (or parents) gone bad, do you think teachers had the same amount of concern about another local school incident, that of two girls brawling in the hall at school? Did that story spark as much flak?
Mom upset after school brawl video posted, 24 October 2007, Lansing State Journal, Lansing, Michigan
Here’s a scenario your father’s high school principal never had to worry about:
On Oct. 12, two girls got into a knockdown, drag out in a hallway of East Lansing High School during the school day. Security cameras in the hallway recorded the whole thing.
Both girls were suspended for five days, but that was hardly the end of the story.
Now, a video of the fight is playing on the Internet – on a Web site I won’t name here because the girls are, after all, teenagers and I see no value in piling on the embarrassment.
There is no value in piling on the embarrassment? Tell that to the family from Perry Middle School.
posted by Valerie