Monday, March 23, 2015

What In the World Are They Thinking?

Two stories from our local news:
Teen Threatens to Blow Up Graduation
Middle Schooler Writes Graphic Story Describing How He would Attack and Kill Classmates

In the first story, a 17 year old Hispanic honor student is immediately, and I think correctly, arrested when three classmates came forward and told authorities of his threats on social media to plant IED's at the graduation ceremony. In this case, either because his family wasn't affluent, or because he wasn't a student who had special education dispensation, he was arrested. End of story.

The second story is more problematic. A middle school student posted online a graphic, detailed and specific ELEVEN CHAPTER story on how he would attack, kill and molest other students. He had been removed from the school in the Fall term for undisclosed reasons but re-enrolled in January. The story was discovered and the specific students were alerted, but the general population, including parents, didn't know of the situation until after Spring Break. 

Stop for a minute. How would you feel if your son or daughter was on this kid's "kill list?' I know that my kid wouldn't be attending school until the student in question was removed, but the authorities are saying it's a free speech issue.

Then come the other excuses:
He's been bullied because of a physical disability.
He's a special education student.
The tacit message is that because of ADA and the wealth of the parents, this kid can do just about anything he wants. This is a message saying that the needs of one student should outweigh the peace of mind of every other student and staff member. This is what ADA has wrought.

What was meant as a means of making sure that kids capable of learning with assistance to overcome physical disabilities has become a catchall bullyclub for providing outrageous and expensive education in the same public schools struggling to pass average kids in regular subjects. When I walk down the hall and see one teacher with one student all day I honestly wonder what is the purpose? When I witness special education students dropped into regular education classrooms without aides, without help and without consideration of the needs of the rest of the class I have to wonder at what point the parents of other kids say enough. I've witnessed how a lawyered up special ed student's parents can bully and cajole, and yes bribe, officials to do whatever they want in regards to their child's education whether it is appropriate or not. I've seen how a six foot four bipolar out of control can bully a teacher and peers. Is being a special education student an excuse?

I hear far too many people making excuses for outrageous and potentially dangerous behavior. Does anyone remember that they tried to justify both Columbine and Newtown on bullying? Isn't it possible that emotionally disturbed students may view anyone who doesn't suffer as they do as a bully-thereby justifying their own unchecked rage? 

Let's say that the school let's this kid fester in his self-created rage. Let's say he gets hold of instructions for an explosive or poison or brings a weapon? Would the school be willing to take the blame for failing to stop this student when they could? Would the parents? I'm sorry, I want all kids to feel safe and all kids to get the education they need. But what has happened in order to serve very few is hurting many students in many ways. 

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