Even More Reasons To Home School

Loretta Nall has already highlighted this story:

Bayou La Batre parents can now be arrested and fined $100 if their children misbehave in school or have excessive unexcused absences, according to a recently passed city ordinance.

State education officials say Bayou La Batre is the only municipality in Alabama to have such a policy.

To that, Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright said: “Shame on all the other cities.” . . .

Wright said it’s up to a principal’s discretion to determine when legal action is warranted. He said principals at the four schools now have forms in their offices, requesting what is known as a citizen’s arrest.

From there, a police officer would arrest the parent, who could avoid actual jail time by putting up $500 bail, Wright said. The case would eventually go to municipal court.

Bayou La Batre’s ordinance, which passed by a unanimous vote of the council back in September, is taken directly from a section of the Alabama code concerning student attendance and behavior. . . .

the city plans to arrest the parents as soon as students have five unexcused absences or the principal reports that a child is being too unruly.

“If the student misses another five days, we’ll arrest (the parent) again,” Wright said. “We’re going to prosecute them every time they mess up.” . . . .

Wright said he got the idea for the ordinance after spending time in the classroom of his daughter, who is a teacher at Booth Elementary.

“The discipline problems, the absenteeism are just extraordinary,” Wright said.

What also concerned him was the high dropout rate, which, he said, is a direct result of parents not making their children go to school. Dropout rates are difficult to calculate, but some have estimated Alabama’s to be as high as 40 percent.

In Bayou La Batre, Wright said, some parents who work in the seafood industry will take their children out of school to go fishing or shrimping.

“We’re talking 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 years of age,” Wright said.

Loretta’s take:

Future headline for the next story in this series:

“Principal gets ass kicked by parent who got a gut-full of state meddling”

I have to agree with her disgust. What galls me the most is the attitude of Fuhrer Wright.

One the one hand, he’s just appalled that a parent could possibly think anything is more important than school. How dare some PARENT decided to take THEIR kid fishing instead of dutifully delivering THEIR child into the benevolent arms of the state. Outrageous, really; who do these parents think owns their kids?

But then when said child revolts against the school, who is responsible for the kid? Well, the parent, of course. What, you thought because the school is so important and wonderful that it can put you in jail if you do not hand over your kid, that the school would also be responsible for those kids when it has them in its talons? Ha.

In short, parents, you are too incompetent to decide whether or not your kid ought to go to school, but if your kid misbehaves while at the school and out of your hands, then your are at fault for failing to use your omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient parenting skills to remotely control your child.

Fuhrer Wright also reminds us that we must submit to his authority because society would collapse without mandatory education laws. How will our children learn to reason as adults if they do not go to school? We must entrust them to our superiors. People like the good folks in this Seattle School District:

This week in Federal Way schools, it got a lot more inconvenient to show one of the top-grossing documentaries in U.S. history, the global-warming alert “An Inconvenient Truth.”

After a parent who supports the teaching of creationism and opposes sex education complained about the film, the Federal Way School Board on Tuesday placed what it labeled a moratorium on showing the film. The movie consists largely of a computer presentation by former Vice President Al Gore recounting scientists’ findings.

“Condoms don’t belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He’s not a schoolteacher,” said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who also said that he believes the Earth is 14,000 years old. “The information that’s being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is. … The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn’t in the DVD.”

Yes, you need to trust the welfare of your child to the same group of people who would bow down to that kind of absolutely incredible stupidity. If the parent had said “I think the teacher only presented one side of the issue and deliberately omitted opposing scientific views” that might be something to investigate. But to ban the movie because Frosty thinks it contradicts some Biblical passage about the world burning up is just stupefying.  

I have no idea what to say, other than instead of the students learning from these folks, perhaps the parent and the board members could learn from the students:

Students contacted Wednesday said they favor allowing the movie to be shown.

“I think that a movie like that is a really great way to open people’s eyes up about what you can do and what you are doing to the planet and how that’s going to affect the human race,” said Kenna Patrick, a senior at Jefferson High School.

When it comes to the idea of presenting global warming skeptics, Patrick wasn’t sure how necessary that would be. She hadn’t seen the movie but had read about it and would like to see it.

“Watching a movie doesn’t mean that you have to believe everything you see in it,” she said.  

An attitude like Ms. Patrick’s is the whole point of an education.

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4 Comments on “Even More Reasons To Home School”

  1. Willie Says:

    Mayor Wright is a oysterman, we are not talking about a politician with a Yale Bs and a Harvard MBA, oops, bad analogy. But, he is not a bad mayor. Real can do kind of guy, shoots from the hip sometimes and a real character. Bayou la Batre is a tough town, made tougher with hurricane Katrina. A real mix of old families, Vietnamese/Cambodians, Mexicans and a dirt poor black population. I can only imagine the school has some real problems and this is way a tough guy handles them.

  2. Kathy Says:

    I guess you’d better home-school then, because I can assure you that you won’t be happy when your child’s teacher has to take class time over and over helping truant kids catch up with what they missed rather than teaching new concepts to the kids who’ve already mastered the material previously presented. This particular ordinance sounds draconian — I don’t think arresting parents is the way to go — but remember that it’s addressing unexcused absences. Absences of the “I couldn’t be bothered to get the kids to school” type, not “the kids were sick” or “we had the opportunity to travel somewhere really amazing and we notified the school in advance” types. Sorry, but I don’t think parents are doing their kids any favors, in terms of advancing their education or teaching them responsibility, by pulling them out of school to go fishing or just letting them stay home for whatever reason.

    If you don’t see any value in public education, then by all means home school. But don’t fault the public schools for expecting parents who do choose to use the public system to get their kids to school on a regular basis and to prepare them to behave properly while they’re there.

  3. Willie Says:

    I think this ordinance is aimed at the Vietnamese and Cambodian population who use their 10 year olds as help on the shrimp boats and at small family run shrimp and oyster processing houses. I had a construction guy doing some work for me last year that had his 12 year old kid working everyday in heavy and dangerous work. Said he was home schooling him, but I can’t imagine a kid working construction all day getting home at 4 pm ready for 4 or 5 hours of school work.

  4. walt moffett Says:

    Cheer up, just remember some of the more progressive European countries ban home schooling as a matter of protecting Human Rights. I suspect a similar movement fueled by teacher unions eventually here.


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