Sunday, September 08, 2013

Anti-Education in the Media


This is a screenshot of a headline I caught on the local news website. How horrible? They are making a homeless kid pay for his lunch? What?

Headline ambiguity is driving me crazy, particularly in the area of education. The media so frequently blasts headlines like above that, upon first (or second) read-through make schools, teachers, and other educational personnel and groups bad guys out to get students. But if you read further, the schools/teachers are most often following procedures and someone got their feelings hurt.

This article is ACTUALLY about a FORMER STUDENT (who has either been expelled, moved from the school zone, or dropped out- an important detail left out, mind you) who snuck onto campus with a friend to eat lunch because he is now homeless. Because it violates school safety, the student who brought him on campus is facing punishment and Logan Santos, the former student grabbing a lunch at school where he was not enrolled, has a warrant out on him for disturbing schools. The tone of the article headline places blame and has a negative tone towards the school, which was doing exactly what parents would hope schools would do- stop and prevent strangers and other possible dangers to students from coming on to campus.

My outrage lately about working in the world of education (besides NC legislators punching teachers right in the gut lately) has been this negative media for schools doing what they fundamentally must do to keep order and make sure learning is occurring. Schools aren’t just failing because they want to. We as a country are failing our schools! I am so fortunate to work at a school that values community and holds parents accountable for student behavior… a place where we do not tolerate anything that jeopardizes student safety or learning, and we are supported by our community for holding true to what some would see as rigid rules or principles. It’s a beautiful place for students to learn, and a fantastic place to work because of that. So many other schools aren’t like this, though. If the school expels a kid, the school is horribly discriminating, over-reacting, or otherwise messing up and is thrust into negativity, even IF expelling a child is what is necessary for school safety and learning.

Couple this dynamic with the decay of the moral fiber of our nation and the lack of basic parenting (respect, responsibility, manners, and humility), no wonder our plight!


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