Curious . . . Looking for opinions- education related


#1

I home teach for my county’s school system. I go to the homes of kids who are out of school for various reasons (physical, emotional, psychological etc) and teach the core subjects so they don’t get behind. Great program . . . it hardly seems like work to me!

This week I was asked to teach a 7th grade boy. He was expelled from school for “inappropriate touching”. The hours I’m available didn’t work for his family, so I won’t be teaching him. However I’m left wondering . . . why does the county have to pay to educate a student who has been expelled?

I often wonder, if the parents had to pay the hometeacher ($25/ hour plus mileage!), perhaps they would make more of an effort to discipline the kids and make sure they stay in school. When I was a kid, if a public school kid was expelled, the parents had to find a private school to accept the student. Otherwise the kid would be truant. Why can kids break all the rules and still get a hometeacher paid for by the county? I don’t get it. Does anyone have opinions about this? Do you think the parents should be made to pay? Do you think the county should pay? I just can’t figure out how I feel about this. —KCT


#2

[quote=KCT]I home teach for my county’s school system. I go to the homes of kids who are out of school for various reasons (physical, emotional, psychological etc) and teach the core subjects so they don’t get behind. Great program . . . it hardly seems like work to me!

This week I was asked to teach a 7th grade boy. He was expelled from school for “inappropriate touching”. The hours I’m available didn’t work for his family, so I won’t be teaching him. However I’m left wondering . . . why does the county have to pay to educate a student who has been expelled?

I often wonder, if the parents had to pay the hometeacher ($25/ hour plus mileage!), perhaps they would make more of an effort to discipline the kids and make sure they stay in school. When I was a kid, if a public school kid was expelled, the parents had to find a private school to accept the student. Otherwise the kid would be truant. Why can kids break all the rules and still get a hometeacher paid for by the county? I don’t get it. Does anyone have opinions about this? Do you think the parents should be made to pay? Do you think the county should pay? I just can’t figure out how I feel about this. —KCT
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Sexual touching? Maybe he’s a “bad” boy who watches too many sexually-charged shows on TV, but it is also highly likely that this far beyond a discipline issue.

You don’t know the circumstances around the “inappropriate touching”. He may be getting psychological help because he is a sexual abuse victim that acted out with his classmates. He can’t go to school, because he has shown that he currently poses a threat to the other children, but he still deserves an education.

He may have “only” had one offense whose magnitude he didn’t appreciate. That doesn’t matter. This isn’t like getting into a fight, where the kid is out three days or a week on the first offense. School districts can’t afford to take a wait-and-see attitude when it comes to sexual abuse and sexual abusers. The stakes are simply too high. But sexual abusers, especially at that age, are often victims themselves. It isn’t right to leave a possible victim high and dry because the kid’s situation wasn’t diagnosed before he abused himself. Paying to have him schooled at home while the problem is sorted out seems like the best solution to a difficult problem.

Look at it as if you were his mother. You didn’t even know he was being abused, and one day this boy of yours, who has always been so sweet and compliant, does this at school. That is how you find out the truth.

How could you afford to pay both for psychological help he’d need and for home schooling or private school, too? For that matter, since your son was expelled for sexual abuse, what private school would take him? Even if you could afford private education, would feel that your son’s right to an education evaporated because he had a mental or emotional problem, rather than a physical one?

Let us make it worse. Let us say that your husband was the abuser. Your marriage and family are falling apart. If society doesn’t support you, what will become of you and your son?

This family may be one of the most deserving you serve, a very heart-wrenching case. It is hardly likely, at any rate, that a 7th grader has any appreciation of the magnitude of damage his actions might have caused. In a sex-saturated culture, the incident might have seemed like nothing. Now he knows better… but let’s not ruin his life over it.


#3

I posed this question to my husband, who is on our local school board. I asked him if state law required tutoring for expelled students. He replied “no”. Not in our state anyway.

I then asked why they provide tutors for a child in such circumstances. He replied that it’s basically out of kindness. The kids who get expelled are usually high school age, and usually have a host of other problems (including typically a bad family situation) and the tutoring is to keep them from getting behind and maybe help them get on the right track.

Eventually an expelled student will be back-- later that sememster or next, etc. When they come back to school, or go to a new school, if they are behind then it’s bad for everyone-- student, teacher, and classmates.


#4

[quote=BLB_Oregon]This family may be one of the most deserving you serve, a very heart-wrenching case. It is hardly likely, at any rate, that a 7th grader has any appreciation of the magnitude of damage his actions might have caused. In a sex-saturated culture, the incident might have seemed like nothing. Now he knows better… but let’s not ruin his life over it.
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They may be a deserving family and I certainly don’t want someone’s life ruined.

What I don’t understand is when schools become responsible for solving everyone’s problems. Free breakfasts, free lunches, free counseling, immunizations, vision tests, dental care … the list goes on. I don’t see how schools can be faithful to their mission of teaching academic subjuects if they’re burdened with all these other issues.

With the money the county spends on private teaching for expelled kids, I wonder if they’re short changing the kids who are in school following the rules. Those students live w/ budget cuts while expelled kids stay home all day and have a teacher come to them. —KCT


#5

[quote=KCT]I . . . why does the county have to pay to educate a student who has been expelled?
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It is probably because there is a state law which says that every child is entitled to an education.

This why there are kids with the mental capacity of a one or two year old attending high school. They have a teacher to work one on one with them. In addition, there are aids who do other things for them like change their diapers and help them eat.


#6

[quote=KCT]They may be a deserving family and I certainly don’t want someone’s life ruined.

What I don’t understand is when schools become responsible for solving everyone’s problems. Free breakfasts, free lunches, free counseling, immunizations, vision tests, dental care … the list goes on. I don’t see how schools can be faithful to their mission of teaching academic subjuects if they’re burdened with all these other issues.

With the money the county spends on private teaching for expelled kids, I wonder if they’re short changing the kids who are in school following the rules. Those students live w/ budget cuts while expelled kids stay home all day and have a teacher come to them. —KCT
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KCT, you can correct me, but the kids who get home tutoring aren’t getting it because they chose it, right? They’re getting it because they want a public school education but cannot avail themselves of it. That kid who did the inappropriate touching may have an emotional or mental illness, rather than a physical one. Many of the kids under long-term expulsion may be in the same boat.

Keeping a child in a position to achieve to their ability academically is pennies on the dollar compared to the problems with having illness or some other treatable problem put them behind. It isn’t just better for the one kid. It is better for everybody.

It would be nice to concentrate on “just education”, but education cannot take place properly in an unhealthy child. Screening for vision and hearing problems prevents years of schooling being wasted on a frustrated child who can’t even hear or see properly. Those other extras are pennies on the dollar compared to chaotic classrooms, incarceration, and epidemics. The reason these “extras” are everyone’s problem is because everyone is better off when these problems are solved.

With regards to vision: I was one of those kids. I had some idea I didn’t see as well as the other kids, but I tried to hide it. My parents didn’t know I couldn’t see, because I didn’t want them to know. I did not want glasses, because I didn’t want to be different. I had no idea how wonderful life would be with vision correction. Kids are like that.

Besides, how can we say, “We’re interested in your education, but you, we could care less about you”? How is that going to prepare them to take their place in society, a society that takes care of its elderly who are past contributing anything? It is the person we need to concern ourselves with, not just what return we’re going to get on our tax dollars.

Still, I hear your point about the need to be frugal. We have more good things to do than we have resources to do them. It can get frustrating to think that a few, by their poor choices, may be taking the resources from those who need help for reasons that they could not have prevented.

Nevertheless, we’ve all made poor choices, even if they were sins of omission rather than the sins that get one expelled. Most of us have done less with our bounty than we expect some others to do in their want. So I’d rather err on the side of generosity there, too.


#7

Interesting replies. I’m still pondering what I think about it. —KCT


#8

[quote=BLB_Oregon]This family may be one of the most deserving you serve, a very heart-wrenching case. It is hardly likely, at any rate, that a 7th grader has any appreciation of the magnitude of damage his actions might have caused. In a sex-saturated culture, the incident might have seemed like nothing. Now he knows better… but let’s not ruin his life over it.
[/quote]

Well said basically you would be helping to educate the young man and hopefully he learned a lesson and doesn’t turn out to be a juvenile delinquint because he could not get an education.


#9

[quote=KCT]They may be a deserving family and I certainly don’t want someone’s life ruined.

What I don’t understand is when schools become responsible for solving everyone’s problems. Free breakfasts, free lunches, free counseling, immunizations, vision tests, dental care … the list goes on. I don’t see how schools can be faithful to their mission of teaching academic subjuects if they’re burdened with all these other issues.

With the money the county spends on private teaching for expelled kids, I wonder if they’re short changing the kids who are in school following the rules. Those students live w/ budget cuts while expelled kids stay home all day and have a teacher come to them. —KCT
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I was actually having a conversation about this yesterday. Think of how the cost of educating one student who needs super-individualized attention and all the other things you mentioned…that could hire an extra teacher to cut class sizes and provide better learning for more students. Does requiring public schools to provide a free education mean that the kids who are following the rules get shortchanged? It’s an interesting point.


#10

[quote=Chris Jacobsen]It is probably because there is a state law which says that every child is entitled to an education.

This why there are kids with the mental capacity of a one or two year old attending high school. They have a teacher to work one on one with them. In addition, there are aides who do other things for them like change their diapers and help them eat.
[/quote]

Exactly. A century ago, that child might have been no more than an object of pity and shame, locked away in a mental hospital, with only the diapers changed and food provided, in an atmosphere with less stimulation than zoo animals get now, and even that much given out of everyone’s sight. Without a parent who refused to go with the status quo, that’s what they got.

A child who has less mental or social capacity to start with needs a bit more help to make the most of that. The more help they get in childhood, the more they can make of what they have, the less their life-long dependence and the greater their ability to contribute is likely to be.

That is no small thing, from a Christian standpoint. Maybe a person of low mental capacity won’t give that back in a dollars and cents way. But being able to contribute to the best of one’s ability, to work to one’s full capacity, that’s part of one’s dignity as a human being. Every person has a service to render to God. Likewise, a child with social or emotional deficits cannot be left behind. It is not a waste to help them. Rather, it is a waste not to. Sometimes, too, it plays right into the hand of evil when we fail those kids, pure and simple. In those cases, we are “lucky” if the cost of incarceration is the greatest of the costs incurred.

These are the least of our brethren, the ones Jesus set before us as special charges. It isn’t for us to say, “Your potential just isn’t worth the trouble.” Rather, to each according to need, from each according to ability, and all for the greater glory of God.


closed #11

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