Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Steel Cage Learning

The decades old mantra of getting tough on public schools is reaching a fever pitch. And a consequence of that fever is that children and parents are cracking under the stress of it all.

Just yesterday it was reported that child was given the equivalent of a water-boarding torture because she could not recite the alphabet for her dad.
According to a police report obtained by CNN, Tabor's girlfriend called police to their home in Yelm Sunday because Tabor had dunked his daughter's head in the kitchen sink. Yelm is about 65 miles south of Seattle.

According to the police report, Tabor admitted to holding his daughter in the sink because she was afraid of water, CNN reports.

When investigators asked the little girl about the bruises on her back and scratch marks on her neck, she told them "Daddy did it."

"It was hot, the water was hot. I told him I would say my letters then!" the girl told police, according to the police report obtained by CNN.
In Detroit, citizens well indoctrinated in the get tough lynch mob mentality are calling for the jailing of teachers and administrators who are blamed for the city's low test scores.
The Detroit scores on the progress test were the lowest in its 40-year history. The sample of students included 900 of Detroit's 6,000 fourth-graders and 1,000 of the district's 6,000 eighth-graders.

Sharlonda Buckman, CEO of the Detroit Parent Network, called for jailing and civil lawsuits against anyone in the city's educational system that is not doing his or her share to help properly educate children.

"Somebody needs to go to jail," she said in a tearful address to 500 parents gathered Saturday for the organization's annual breakfast forum. "Somebody needs to pay for this. Somebody needs to go to jail, and it shouldn't be the kids."

But, increasingly school is becoming a police state that entraps kids in a legal quagmire that makes a fool of everyone. In New York students indeed go to jail for the silliest of reasons.
A 12-year-old Queens girl was hauled out of school in handcuffs for an artless offense - doodling her name on her desk in erasable marker, the Daily News has learned.

Alexa Gonzalez was scribbling a few words on her desk Monday while waiting for her Spanish teacher to pass out homework at Junior High School 190 in Forest Hills, she said.

"I love my friends Abby and Faith," the girl wrote, adding the phrases "Lex was here. 2/1/10" and a smiley face.

But instead of simply cleaning off the doodles after class, Alexa landed in some adult-sized trouble for using her lime-green magic marker.

She was led out of school in cuffs and walked to the precinct across the street, where she was detained for several hours, she and her mother said.

"I started crying, like, a lot," said Alexa. "I made two little doodles. ... It could be easily erased. To put handcuffs on me is unnecessary." Alexa, who had a stellar attendance record, hasn't been back to school since, adding, "I just thought I'd get a detention. I thought maybe I would have to clean [the desk]."

"She's been throwing up," said her mom, Moraima Camacho, 49, an accountant, who lives with her daughter in Kew Gardens. "The whole situation has been a nightmare."

There are even studies claiming that smacking children is a healthy exercise.
Professor Gunnoe questioned 2,600 people about being smacked, of whom a quarter had never been physically chastised.

The participants' answers then were compared with their behaviour, such as academic success, optimism about the future, antisocial behaviour, violence and bouts of depression.

Teenagers in the survey who had been smacked only between the ages of two and six performed best on all the positive measures.

Those who had been smacked between seven and 11 fared worse on negative behaviour but were more likely to be academically successful. Teenagers who were still smacked fared worst on all counts.

Parenting guru Penelope Leach disagreed with the findings.

'No good can come from hitting a child,' she said. 'I do not buy this idea that children will learn positive behaviour from being smacked.

'The law says adults hitting adults is wrong and children should be protected in the same way. Children are people too.'

The assault on children and schools is becoming a crisis and organizations such as Stop Schools to Jails are responding. Stop Schools to Jails has issued a free action kit that helps anyone interested in the issue to begin taking action. In it you'll learn more.

Across the United States, there is an ominous trend that is cutting short the opportunity to succeed for huge numbers of children and youth. Zero tolerance policies and practices are, in many instances, pushing young people off of the academic track and onto a track to prison. This approach, which was originally intended to address the growing concerns over school safety, has been expanded to include overly harsh punishments for behavior that has no bearing on safety. Students across the country are being pushed out of school through the over-use of out-of-school suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests, mostly for minor misconduct. While this trend is harming children and youth of all ages and races, it weighs most heavily on children of color, who are being pushed out or thrown out of school at alarming rates.

School districts are not acting alone. In most places, school districts have teamed up with law enforcement to create this “schoolhouse to jailhouse track.” School districts are literally delegating their responsibility for school discipline to police, resulting in a large number of incidents that are now handled by school police and juvenile courts that could be – and were once – handled by a trip to the principal’s office or a call home to a parent. If the schoolhouse to jailhouse track is not stopped now, there will be serious negative consequences for generations to come.

It's important to look at their material and get involved.

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