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Just to Stir the Pot Even More...
A while ago I wrote a column on "Teaching Disabilities", which got quite a few teachers mad at me.

I commented on that phenomenon here.

And now I've got further proof that my thesis is correct! Apparently in California, it is extremely rare for a teacher to be fired for classroom behaviour. It's other stuff. They can teach horribly, and they still get a pass.

Here's an example of one guy who obviously needs to be fired:

The eighth-grade boy held out his wrists for teacher Carlos Polanco to see.

He had just explained to Polanco and his history classmates at Virgil Middle School in Koreatown why he had been absent: He had been in the hospital after an attempt at suicide.

Polanco looked at the cuts and said they "were weak," according to witness accounts in documents filed with the state. "Carve deeper next time," he was said to have told the boy.

"Look," Polanco allegedly said, "you can't even kill yourself."

The boy's classmates joined in, with one advising how to cut a main artery, according to the witnesses.

"See," Polanco was quoted as saying, "even he knows how to commit suicide better than you."

Initially the guy was fired, but a review board overturned that decision.

Apparently in my home province of Ontario it's easy to get fired--but I think that's only in the first two years. After that, the union thing kicks in and your job is pretty much protected. And I still think that's a crying shame.

If we truly value children, and truly value their education, why don't we demand the best possible teachers for them? Why is it so hard to fire them?

There are some areas of our society where unions have done an incredible amount of damage, and I truly believe this is one of them. Many marvelous, gifted teachers I know have left the teaching profession because they get no reward for standing out from the crowd. It is really heartbreaking.

We homeschool, so I don't deal directly with this. But many of my friends have spent an entire year grappling with bad teachers, bad principals, bad everything. And often it seems like nothing can be done. And the kids are the ones who suffer.

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At 7:47 AM , Blogger Neal Ford said…

My kids are in catholic School in Belleville, and there is no way on earth I'd ever put them into a Public school. If (as happened in Quebec and Newfoundland) Catholic and other confessional schools were abolished, I'd either homeschool or move heaven and earth to get them into a Christian private school.
As important as it is to pray for their wisdom as well as their safety, It is equally important that they spend their days in a place-home or school- where the values and worldview they learn are re-inforced, rather than attacked, or worse subtly chipped away at.
Thank you for this article and others similar to it, Ifpeople really knew that the kids are getting more than reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic, and not in a good sense, maybe there's be an outcry that could lead to some corrections for those who cannot homeschool, or can't afford private schools. keep stirring the pot! We need more Rosa Parks out there, not politically correct Uncle Toms.


At 8:55 AM , Blogger Tina Hollenbeck said…

Sheila, it's not just CA. I live in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and not too many years ago, the union here protected (and paid legal expenses for) a male teacher accused of inappropriate sexual contact with students. He was put on leave during the trial and was eventually acquitted (not because he was cleared, per se, but because of legal hoop-jumping; it was obvious from several things that he actually had been inappropriate with students). And guess what? The school district wanted to fire him anyway (they had just cause), but the union threatened to sue the district and so he got his job back!

That's one example of many I could give, as I taught in the public schools here for 9 years before having children (it was my mission field in that season of life and I have to say that, while God gave me joy in working with the kids and I served them well, the rest of it - the union and bureaucracy and how hard it is to actually educate young people in such a system - made it a very, very hard situation at times). We homeschoolers are criticized (unfairly) all the time, but when the "best" state for grad rates in the US (New Jersey) can only graduate 82% of its students...well, that was a C in my gradebook, and that's horrible if it's the top of the curve!


At 9:28 AM , Blogger Tara said…

I read an article about government school employees who were suspended for doing inappropriate things with students. They couldn't be fired because of union contracts, but they were being paid with our tax dollars to sit around, surf the web and play scrabble. Nice.


At 6:21 PM , Anonymous Keri Wyatt Kent said…

I think it's dangerous to say that all public schools are bad because of a few incidents. My kids are in public school in the chicago area. We've had nothing but a positive experience in our suburban school district. Why? I think it is because of parent involvement. I think the way to change schools is to be involved. When Christian parents volunteer in classrooms, serve on PTA and booster clubs, pray for and and communicate with teachers, you'd be surprised at the good things that can happen.


At 7:30 PM , Blogger Holly said…

I am very happy and thankful to God, that I can say that both our kid's have had very good experiences in the Public School system.

I wish I could say the same for my school years. I had some really really hurtful experiences with teachers.


At 8:26 AM , Blogger Mélanie said…

Sorry you've "heard" of bad experiences... seeing as you haven't experienced them yourself... but again... so easy to generalize and make blanket statements about anything really... I personally have much faith in the public school system in Ontario... room for much improvements... but that's true of any education system to be honest... what does complaining when you're outside a system lead to anyway?? It's from the inside that you can be an agent of change... not sure why you're taking up the complaining cause when you can't do anything but get others to join the complaining band wagon instead of doing something positive about it... I love your blog, but not sure why you keep going here... negativity leads nowhere...

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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