January 25th, 2012

unschooling

Tell me again that we don't live in a police state....

President Obama has called upon the states to increase the mandatory school attendance age to 18 or graduation, across the board. Joy.

Leaving aside those kids who do better outside of a traditional classroom; or those who benefit from more focused education but can't get into magnet schools; or those who sadly opt out by suicide because of bullying; or those who cause behavioral disruptions for the students who want to be there; or the sexual assaults, drugs, and criminal activities that run rampant in some areas; or the massive amounts of infrastructure upgrades and repairs to the physical plants; or those who literally find better things to do with their time (the short list) than snooze through homeroom... here's another solution in search of a problem that parents nationwide would have to deal with for an additional couple of years:

Mom handcuffed for tardy kids
Here in Loudoun, VA, I am a the mother of three little girls at an elementary school who was just ARRESTED for getting my girls late to school. After the fifth offense there was a meeting with a truant officer. We were late twice since then, which resulted in the surprise of three officers showing up on this Sat night ( 1.21.2012), where I was literally handcuffed and brought to the Adult Detention Center to meet with the magistrate who chose to release me with a $3,000 bond promised to be paid if I fail to show up for the arraignment in a few days.


Apparently it's not just the kids we need to worry about.

My take: I'm an unschooling parent who was a tow-the-line straight A student in high school. I'm extremely proud that we followed an alternate path with our now-grown son, because I've seen that not everyone is meant for the standard educational experience. While I think there should be some accountability for parents who simply don't give a damn about their kids, what we see more and more are zero-tolerance policies for everything except what actually works for the individual child. I believe that our schools are more like prisons, designed to keep people in when they may want out. Common sense is dead.

And I loved school. Now I know I really loved learning. Whole 'nother ballgame.

ETA Jan 27: I'll just drop this here, then. It's official. Mother Arrested in Apparent Truancy Case
toon

Occupy the igloos!


It's that time of the year again in Switzerland. Between hotels where the room costs $ 500 per night, and the security cordons of armored limos, in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos a strange camp has appeared. It's made of igloos! Protesters have built it as a warning to the super-powerful dignitaries who've gathered inside the hotel: "Be careful, or you could be sleeping in the snow by the same time next year". Or maybe that's just some wishful thinking. Certainly so.

The thing is, the prospects for prosperity are getting ever slimmer in most countries, the public trust for both government representatives, corporate CEOs and the systems they represent, has been plunging. There's a sense of uncertainty floating around the Euro zone, and don't get them started on the ulcers that are Afghanistan, Syria and North Korea! Now the Occupy movement of course registered some presence at the annual global economic summit in Davos, where a couple thousand famous and not so well known but still VIPs from more than 100 countries are meeting as we speak, presumably to find solutions to the world's economic problems.

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