Sunday, January 23, 2011

I'm starting to understand the appeal of homeschooling...

When I was 14, I went on a missions trip to Chicago with some other teens from my church. We were partnering with a local church to run a Vacation Bible School in the very dangerous and gang-ridden neighborhood of Chicago Heights.

Despite the fact that I was 14 and the VBS was for kids up to age 10, I got put in charge of recreation (i.e. find games that require no equipment, can be played, literally, in the street, and that will keep entertained about 50 inner-city kids ranging from ages 3 to 10). Surprisingly enough, recreation time went relatively smoothly. Sure, there were a few near-scuffles, and a couple of kids that would try to wander off unsupervised, but we kept an eye on them, and there were no major problems.

But then, there's the trick...we kept an eye on them.

If you haven't been watching the news since yesterday, an Oakland 2nd-grade school teacher has been barred from campus during investigation of reports that, on at least one occassion, students partially stripped in his class and that, on a separate occassion, two students engaged in oral sex in his class, all while the teacher was in the room with them.

The teacher claims that, on both occassions, he didn't notice.

And to be honest...I'm not buying it.

I was barely in high school when I was expected to keep an eye on those Chicagoan kids. We were outside, in a non-partitioned area, with kids who witnessed their parents conduct drug deals on a regular basis. Some of these kids' parents only saw each other on conjugal visits. Quite a few of them were a decent bit older than 7 (at that age, 2 or 3 years is a big difference).

Yet this guy (yeah, him being a male makes me more suspicious) claims that he looked out at a class of 40 students, in a confined classroom, and, more than once, didn't notice them stripping or having sex.

Do Oakland students sit in cubicles? Were they all sitting under one of those big gym-class parachutes while he taught the class from outside of it? How do you not notice two 7-year-olds having oral sex? Is the teacher legally blind?

Something is rotten in Oakland. I have a hard time believing that these children's natural curiosity played out this explicity in front of their (male) teacher, and he simply didn't see it. Those kids had to learn that behavior somewhere. Oral sex isn't the same as playing doctor.

And all the reports say that it was other students who reported the behavior. Which means that, if a few other kids hadn't spoken up, this could still be going on.

Even if every investigation finds the teacher innocent, I wouldn't let my child sit in his class.

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