Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Florida educators nearly as unbalanced as the murderous Cho

Post below lifted from Taranto -- which see for links

Well, this was predictable. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the nation has been "shaken to the core by a gunman at Virginia Tech who took the lives of 32 people and then himself." Not only that, but last Friday was "Hitler's birthday[*] and the anniversary of the Columbine High School killings."

So naturally, when a student in Boca Raton behaved unusually, folks were on edge:

"Spanish River High School phones were clogged on Thursday with calls from parents concerned about security. . . .

The 18-year-old student was removed from school Wednesday and will not return, said principal Constance Tuman-Rugg. . . .

School police searched the home of the student, who is a senior, with the cooperation of this mother. Police found no evidence of danger at the home, the principal said. "Nothing was found, no letters, no lists, nothing," Tuman-Rugg said.

Parent Crystal Palmquist of Boca Raton said her two sons begged her not to attend school on [Thursday] because they fear for their safety. She said Allan, 16, and Harrison, 15, both ninth-graders, believe a threat against students is real. . .

"You can't take these things lightly," said Palmquist, who decided to keep her children home. She wants more assurances from the school that there is no danger to the students.

Extra school police are on duty at Spanish River [Thursday and Friday], the principal said.

So what did the student do to set off all this fuss? He "pointed out people in the yearbook he liked and didn't like."

Germany's modern-day Nazis defeated by their own law

German homeschooler Melissa Busekros finally returned home early this morning on her 16th birthday after having been forcibly separated from her family by the government 3 months ago. Back in February, Melissa was seized from her family home in a dramatic police raid for the crime of home schooling - illegal since 1937 by edict of Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler - and placed with a foster home in a location unknown to her family.

The International Human Rights Group (IHRG), which has doggedly championed the rights of Busekros and other German home schooling families, reports Melissa penned a note to her foster family and left in the dead of night, arriving on her doorstep in Erlangen at 3AM to the astonishment of her family. IHRG President Joel Thornon told that German law entitles Melissa Busekros to far more rights after turning 16, "giving her virtual control where she lives."

So as soon as she turned 16, Melissa Busekros - the same girl a state official of the Jugendamt (Youth Welfare Office) falsely described as happy in state custody - headed out the door for home. There is a danger the Jugendamt may order police forces to seize Melissa again. However, confident of her new legal rights, Melissa is prepared to refuse to leave home on the advice of her attorney, Dr. Hildebrandt.

Richard Guenther, IHRG's director of European Operations, contacted the Busekros family this morning urging them to inform Dr. Hildebrandt immediately so that he can be fully prepared to respond to any visit from state police. Joel Thornton, President of IHRG, said he spoke with Gudrun, Melissa's mother, who is "relieved to have her entire family back together." Tonight, the dinner table will have its one empty spot filled for the first time in 3 months for a birthday celebration.

"A lot of those home school families are at the Busekros house celebrating her coming home, and there's a bit of a bonding that's going on right now," said Thornton. "For the first time, they're able to get together and kind of celebrate and have a party for a victory."

Thornton expressed hope that Melissa's return home would cause the government to slow down and reconsider its harsh line toward German homeschooling families. Thornton says Melissa now wants to finish her education by an accredited correspondence school, which is permitted by law at 16, and he urged supporters to contact the Mayor of Erlangen to put a stop to any further action by the Jugendamt. "The bigger battle is to continue to pray for and support this family so the government does not come back in and take her back" said Thornton. "We don't want this to become a half-time moment, where everyone takes a breath and we start all over again."

A state psychology evaluation last week also showed that Melissa Busekros is a "stable person" and does not suffer from "school phobia." A professor of psychology who directs the institution that oversaw Melissa's care while she was held in state custody performed the evaluation in the presence of a second psychologist at the request of the Jugendamt in Erlangen.

Both the positive evaluation and Melissa's new legal rights considerably weaken the government's case, and Dr. Hildebrandt has already asked a higher German court to recognize the findings of this new evaluation and order Melissa's custody returned to her family immediately. "Hopefully, the fact that this case drew so much attention to the way Germany treats home schoolers will cause the authorities to pause before they in the future do something so draconian as the Busekros case," said Michael Donnelly of the Home School Legal Defense Association. "There is still a long way to go for home schoolers in Germany, and there are still families that are being treated like this in Germany."


Basic subjects return to Australian schools

The catch-all subject Studies of Society and Environment will be dropped in the nation's high schools and replaced by the traditional disciplines of history, geography and economics under a schools action plan to be released by the states and territories today. A report on the future of schooling prepared for the Council for the Australian Federation, comprising the Labor state and territory governments, outlines a 12-point plan for the implementation of a national framework for school education.

The plan, agreed to by all state and territory governments, commits them to refocus SOSE in response to criticism that the subject has become too crowded by areas such as environmental and legal studies at the expense of history and geography. "Studies of Society and Environment has been criticised by a number of commentators, partly because its focus is not clear from the label," the report says. "It has become increasingly clear that what should be studied under this label, are the disciplines of history, geography and economics." The report explicitly outlines those disciplines under the umbrella of humanities and social science as part of the plan to develop a national curriculum.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, who will release the report today, said the report advocated a return to traditional disciplines to ensure a well-rounded education. "It reflects our belief that there are key disciplines that are best taught within the school curriculum," Mr Bracks said. The governments will also introduce three benchmark levels for reporting students' literacy and numeracy results in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, under a new national test to start next year. The present system under which students are reported only as passing very low, minimum standards - giving no indication of the breadth of student performance - will be replaced by three levels of minimum, medium and high achievement.

The plan also commits the states and territories to developing a plan for reporting school performance, with a focus on how much it has improved its students' results, and processes for reviewing teachers' performance based on "improved student, classroom and/or school performance".

The release of the plan follows a meeting of the nation's education ministers in Darwin last week, where the states and territories rejected the federal Government's blueprint for national curriculums, performance-based pay for teachers and the reporting of national test results. School curriculums are designed by the states and territories, hampering the federal Government's efforts to impose its will in this area.

Mr Bracks said education heads from around the nation would meet this week to start the implementation of the plan, which invites the federal Government to participate as part of a "collaborative federalism".

The COAF report, The Future of Schooling in Australia, reaffirms the primacy of literacy and numeracy in primary schools and the "fundamentally important" disciplines of English, maths, science and languages other than English for high school students. It also notes the importance of physical education, the arts and technology and identifies two areas to be added to school curriculums - civics and citizenship, and business. "The study of business and the development of commercial and financial literacy skills can assist students in their middle and later years at school to prepare for work in the 21st century," it says.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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