Thursday, December 19, 2013

Abuse at home and/or school; who is being regulated?

This just in courtesy Matt Walsh
[Ohio State Senator Capri Cafaro] wants to require all homeschool parents to undergo a Social Services investigation [before they will be permitted to teach their children. Her proposal comes following] the child abuse death of a 14 year old kid. Teddy Foltz-Tedesco died last year after his mother pulled him out of school to hide his abuse from authorities. The boy was finally beaten to death by the mother’s boyfriend. . . .

[Teddy]’s abuse was already reported to Social Services. Social Services failed to act, and now, in response to THEIR OWN failures, politicians want to give them MORE power. . . .
Walsh has more to say about tyranny in Ohio. But then he brings up something that completely blew me away. VERY disturbing.
[I]f the rare case of an abusive homeschool parent can serve as an indictment of homeschooling, why can’t the more common case of a sexually abusive teacher serve as an indictment of public schools? By this politician’s . . . logic, all government schools should have been shutdown long ago. In fact, there was a 2004 study titled Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature, commissioned by the Department of Education. It received no attention from anyone, but the findings were terrifying: nearly 10 percent of all public schooled students had been raped, abused, or sexually harassed by teachers someone at school. Over two percent by teachers. teachers [NOTE: I made the correction, here, based on the fact that I actually read the referenced study. (Walsh never referenced it directly. He merely referenced a Psychology Today article that referenced the study. I was the one who replaced the link in the article to the actual study by Charol Shakeshaft. If you go to the original study, see pp. 16ff (PDF pages 24ff) and pay particular attention to the paragraph that straddles pp. 17 and 18 (25 and 26). There you will read, "This analysis (Shakeshaft, 2003) indicates that 9.6 percent of all students in grades 8 to 11 report contact and/or noncontact educator sexual misconduct that was unwanted." Many reports--like Walsh's--have run with that number alone. They have not gone on to note (what appears three sentences later, in the same paragraph) that "Of students who experienced any kind of sexual misconduct in schools, 21 percent were targets of educators, while the remaining 79 percent were targets of other students" (emphases added; JAH). Multiply 9.6% by 21 percent and you wind up with 2.016%. So--adding in one more caveat made by Shakeshaft (p. 17 (25)), that her "findings can be generalized to all public school students in 8th to 11th grades at a 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points"--we can conclude that approximately 2 percent of all students may, indeed, be sexually abused or harassed by adult educators at school using "civil and criminal definitions of sexual abuse and harassment." --I find that figure more believable. But every bit as much disturbing!--JAH] [NOTE (23 January 2014: Following Melissa's comment on 22 January, I re-read the article and did some further study. Walsh was correct all along. My emendations of the text of his article were unwarranted. Please see my follow-up article here.]


That makes the sex scandal in public schools many, many, many times more prevalent than the abuse epidemic in the Catholic Church. It’s not even close, actually. The Hofstra researcher who conducted the study had this to say: “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” [Quote found here. NOTE: It is well worth your while to study the larger context in which the quote appears. The multiplier might be far lower than that. Perhaps "only" 5 or 10 or 50. As the author of the article writes: "Ms. Shakeshaft acknowledged that the accuracy of such comparisons might be thrown off by any number of factors, including undercounting of youngsters abused by priests. But that uncertainty only underscores the need for better research on the prevalence of sexual misconduct in the schools. . . ."Educator sexual misconduct is woefully understudied." Despite all of these qualifiers, I think Walsh's point remains. --JAH]

And homeschool kids are the ones at risk?

Add school shootings, gang violence, fights, bullying, and administrative abuse in the form of zero tolerance policies that brand and label young kids as criminals, and public school is clearly a much more dangerous proposition.

But what serious attempt have our politicians made to curb the sexual abuse of kids in public schools? It’s hard to address a problem if you’ve decided that the problem doesn’t exist.

Some teacher’s unions even think teachers ought to be given cash rewards after being found guilty of serial rape. A severance package for a man who sexually abused a young boy for three years? That’s not just “inappropriate,” that’s co-conspiratorial, as far as I’m concerned.

The government has no place pointing the finger of suspicion at parents. We are the ones who have every possible reason to be suspicious of them. The vast majority of us are doing our best to raise our kids in a hostile environment; an environment made all the more hostile by the very government entities that pretend to be concerned about the health and safety of our children.
If you got this far, I hope you are as enraged as I am at the duplicity. Something about the pot calling the kettle black. Or people in glass houses throwing stones. Or, simply, justice, even playing fields, and getting your own house in order.

But Walsh continues. He's on a roll. Why not?

We have a problem, America. We seem to be under the impression that our kids are safer in government buildings than they are in our homes. We have succumbed to a brainwashing campaign. . . .

Homeschooling laws vary by state. Some have virtually no regulations, some make moderate efforts to “keep tabs” on those dangerous homeschooling terrorists, while others are ruthless in protecting and expanding their government education system. In these states, homeschooling parents have to (among other things) register their curriculum with the education department, and even endure home visitations from government agents.

Surely, we can all see how terrible that is, can’t we? A government agent invading your house to investigate what information you’re passing on to your child? Can any substantive notion of freedom coexist along side such a thing? Extremist that I am, I don’t think homeschool parents should be required to make any effort to “check in” with any government agency, no matter how convenient they make the process. But even if you aren’t ready to meet me there, even if you can’t quite get on board with full parental liberty, aren’t we at least on the same page that homeschool parents shouldn’t be treated like sex offenders on parole?
I'll buy that!

Full original article: Politician: “Let’s treat all homeschool parents like felony child abusers” | The Matt Walsh Blog
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