Monday, April 09, 2007

NY: Another kid-hating Principal

13-Year-Old Arrested In School For Writing On Desk

In this day and age where young students are frequently charged for serious school offenses such as possessing weapons, dealing drugs, or assaulting other students on school property, one Brooklyn teen's arrest may come as a surprise. A 13-year-old girl was handcuffed and placed under arrest in front of her classmates in Dyker Heights after she wrote "Okay" on her desk. The "suspect," Chelsea Fraser, says she's sorry for scribbling the word on her desk, but both she and her mother are shocked at the punishment.

"I'm appalled, because here we have rapists, murderers, and you're taking a 13-year-old kid? Wasting valuable manpower to arrest a child who wrote on a desk?" Fraser's mother Diana Silva told CBS 2.

Police confirm that that's exactly what's written on her arrest record and for the crime, she's been charged with criminal mischief and the making of graffiti. Fraser says the day she marked her desk, she was wrongly grouped together with troublemakers who had plastered stickers all over the classroom.

Fraser was arrested at the Dyker Heights Intermediate School on March 30 along with three other male students. She says she was made to empty her pockets and take off her belt. Then she was handcuffed and led out of the school in front of her classmates and placed in the back of a police car. "It was really embarrassing because some of the kids, they talk, and they're going to label me as a bad kid. But I'm really not," Fraser said. "I didn't know writing 'Okay' would get me arrested." "All the kids were ... watching these three boys and my daughter being marched out with four -- they had four police officers -- walking them out, handcuffed," Silva said. "She goes to me, 'Mommy, these hurt!'"

The students were taken to the 68th Precinct station house where Silva says they were separated for three hours. "MY child is 13-years-old -- doesn't it stand that I'm supposed to be present for any questioning?" Silva said. "I'm watching my daughter, she's handcuffed to the pole. I ask the officer has she been there the entire time? She says, 'Yes.'" On her report card, under conduct, Fraser has earned all "satisfactory" marks and one "excellent" mark.

"My daughter just wrote something on a desk. I would have her scrub it with Soft Scrub on a Saturday morning when she should be out playing, and maybe a day of in-house and a formal apology to the principal," Silva said. CBS 2 contacted both the NYPD and the Board of Education for a response. The police say the arrests followed a request by the school's principal. The Board of Education said the matter is under investigation, adding that graffiti was found on several desks.


Australian 6-year-old expelled from school for "sexual harassment"

A SIX-YEAR-OLD Perth boy has been kicked out of his Year 1 class for allegedly sexually harassing a girl he sat next to. Jonathan Townsend is believed to be the youngest person in WA ever accused of sexual harassment. Despite denying everything, he has been removed from his class at Bramfield Park Primary School in Maddington after the girl's parents complained to the school principal.

Jonathan's mother, Veronica, is outraged. She says her son doesn't even know what sex is. The girl alleged Jonathan touched her inappropriately in class and made inappropriate sexual suggestions. She also said he threatened her with a large pair of scissors.

Ms Townsend said her son, who has not attended school for three weeks, would not know how to sexually harass a girl. "I'm strict with what he watches on telly, I only get the Walt Disney movies _ he doesn't watch any adult programs,'' she said.

"He has been found guilty, he's not in school any more and there's been no evidence. "Jonathan feels he's been punished, but he doesn't know what he's done. My son has been run out of class. "It's an absolute nightmare. It's bizarre - these are six-year-olds.'' Ms Townsend's lawyers have written to the Education Department, saying Jonathan is ``deeply hurt and confused'' and asking that he be allowed back into the class.

The Education Department refused to answer any questions from The Sunday Times about Jonathan's situation. Canning Education District director Greg Thorne said it was not appropriate to discuss the details of individual cases. "`There are behaviour management and child-protection policies for schools to follow where disputes between students arise,'' he said in a statement. "Depending on the nature of the incident, the support of psychologists and other professionals may be sought. Such issues may also be referred to other agencies.''

WA Equal Opportunity Commissioner Yvonne Henderson said the case was extremely rare. "In my time as commissioner, I've never seen any complaints of sexual harassment by anyone of that age,'' she said.

Ms Townsend said it was alarming children could fall victim to unsubstantiated claims. "Anyone can go in with a statement and destroy another child's life,'' she said. ``No one is concerned about Jonathan. I am beside myself and I don't know what to do. "He was happy in class, he was starting to read and write. "He sits at home now and tries to learn things. He wants to go back and learn.''

Ms Townsend said the school principal at first told her he regarded the accusations as baseless and said Jonathan could continue in the same class. But the decision was reversed, she said.


Australia: Dubious Leftist approach to the proposed national curriculum

Developing a national curriculum has become the Lasseter's Reef of education, says Kevin Donnelly. Lasseter's Reef is a legendary "lost" Australian gold mine that many have tried to find -- but none have. Donnelly fears that a national syllabus may be a dumbed-down one

Next week's meeting of Australian education ministers, under the auspices of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, has much to consider. Issues include performance pay for teachers, national benchmark testing and implementing a national curriculum. The proposal to introduce a national curriculum is especially contentious and politically sensitive.

The ALP has taken the lead on the issue with the publication of a document outlining its plan to establish a national curriculum and to improve our children's educational outcomes. Apart from suggesting that the states may be forced to implement a national curriculum by linking it to federal funding, the Coalition has yet to detail its plans.

Superficially, the idea of a national curriculum, as with a unified railway system or a common approach to Australia's environmental problems, seems worthwhile. But, judging from past experience, mandating what all Australian schools should teach and how it is measured and assessed - what in the US are called content and performance standards - is fraught with problems.

The idea of developing a national curriculum has become the Lasseter's Reef of Australian education. Beginning in 1980 with the publication of Core Curriculum for Australian Schools, continuing with the Keating government's national statements and profiles and, most recently, embodied in what are termed "statements of learning", millions of dollars and thousands of hours have been wasted in the search for a curriculum that can be used by all schools.

Although the 1980 core curriculum document had little, if any, effect on schools and it is too early to judge the effectiveness of the statements of learning, the substandard state of Australian education can be traced to the influence of the outcomes-based education-inspired national statements and profiles developed during the early 1990s.

Failed experiments such as Tasmania's Essential Learnings, Western Australia's attempt to introduce outcomes-based education into years 11 and 12, and fads such as whole language, fuzzy maths and a feel-good assessment system where everyone wins, are all children of the Keating government's national curriculum plan. Imagine the consequences if next week's MCEETYA meeting agrees to impose an outcomes-based education-inspired, politically correct curriculum on Australian schools, government and non-government, and all teachers, as a requirement for promotion, have to acquiesce to a second-rate, government-mandated curriculum.

Such an outcome is more than likely if the Kevin Rudd-Stephen Smith model is adopted because the federal ALP, if elected, has promised to give the Curriculum Corporation and the Australian Council for Educational Research key roles in developing a national curriculum; two organisations responsible for the present mess.

There is an alternative to a centrally imposed curriculum. The first step is for the federal Government to establish a body to evaluate and rank state and territory curriculum documents against one another and international best practice. This is the case in the US, where groups such as the American Federation of Teachers and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute evaluate state-based curriculum documents on an annual basis.

In contrast to Australia's approach, with its politically correct orientation and promotion of progressive shibboleths such as constructivism and developmentalism, the US approach is premised on the conviction that curriculums must be concise and teacher-friendly, related to year levels, internationally benchmarked and based on the academic disciplines. For too long curriculums in Australia have been the preserve of an educational cabal more concerned with promoting its own remedies, however misguided, and excluding the public, and the media, from debate. The second step is for the federal Government to develop syllabuses in key subjects across all year levels, including years 11 and 12.

Such intended curriculum documents would be unashamedly elitist - based on the assumption that not everyone is suited to a university education - and academic, given the consensus that generic skills and competencies are best taught within the context of the established disciplines. Instead of being centrally developed, far from the realities of the classroom, such a national curriculum would be primarily developed by practising teachers and discipline specialists within university departments, not schools of education, and offered to schools on a voluntary basis and in competition to state-developed alternatives.



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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