~Why We Homeschool

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Research Worth Reading

Brain Size Is Linked to a Gene
If you can read this, you probably have about 100 billion more nerve cells in your brain than a roundworm -- with 302 -- has. Now scientists say they have located the gene that determines the size of a brain. While studying a genetic disorder called microcephalitis, which results in the development of small brains in human beings, researchers found a genetic difference in people with microcephalitis. Their copies of the gene from both the mother's and father's side carry a one-letter change, or mutation, in the DNA sequence. The mutations produce an inadvertent stop signal in the gene, causing the cell to make a shorter version of the gene's normal protein, and thereby, a smaller brain. And as it turns out, the same gene varies in length by species, being proportionately shorter in animals with small brains.
So when granny opines that it's stupid to homeschool, remind her that you inherited your intelligence.

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Homeschooling Step-by-Step
Everything you need to know about how to homeschool legally and effectively! How does your state rank? What's your child's learning style? What about college? Find teaching tips, teaching strategies, and more than 100 solutions to homeschooling's toughest problems!

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More than 1200 free resources for teaching your child at home. Includes a complete scope and sequence, and information about teaching every subject from kindergarten to college.

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This Week in the Public Schools

Houston Music Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sex Charges
A Houston-area band teacher who had sex with her 15-year-old female student will spend 30 days in jail and surrender her teaching certificate. The girl's parents discovered the relationship between their teenager daughter and the 37-year-old woman when they became suspicious of the teacher's practice of keeping their daughter out late at nights. Their concerns lead them to read her journal, in which she described a number of sexual encounters. The woman was arrested after they called police.
Now watch the girl sue her parents for reading her journal.

Textbook Torture for Students
Worried over health and safety concerns, California legislators have passed a bill to limit the weight of textbooks. Throughout the nation, schools have been eliminating school lockers, forcing students to lug all their textbooks from class to class, and back home again each night. In a one-year period, more than 3,400 students between the ages of 5 and 14 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to heavy backpacks.
Most of those injuries, interestingly, also involved the class bully swinging the backback.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Homeschooling In the News

Vermont Homeschoolers Take To the Streets
Vermont homeschooling activists held a street rally Wednesday protesting the state Department of Education policies on homeschooling. Organizer Cindy Wade told reporters that the department is trying to squeeze more money out of the state by pressuring school districts to crack down on homeschoolers who aren't enrolled in a state-sponsored home-study program. According to Wade, Vermont homeschoolers are being told that if their children are not enrolled in the state's program, they must enroll in their local school until their enrollments are approved. She said she believes the effort is intended to inflate public school enrollment and bring more money into the schools.
Want to give your kids a real education? Have them fill out all the paperwork and try to cut through the red tape. Call it "Intro to Adulthood 101."

Research Worth Reading

Support This Web Site

Keep the news coming! Recommend our books to other families!

Homeschooling Step-by-Step
Everything you need to know about how to homeschool legally and effectively! How does your state rank? What's your child's learning style? What about college? Find teaching tips, teaching strategies, and more than 100 solutions to homeschooling's toughest problems!

Homeschool Your Child for Free
More than 1200 free resources for teaching your child at home. Includes a complete scope and sequence, and information about teaching every subject from kindergarten to college.

Make a Donation
Your small donation helps keep this page operational. Help us help the homeschooling community document our successes!

This Week in the Public Schools

Texas Teacher Admits Bomb Hoaxes
Click here to read about the student who was falsely accused
A San Antonio teacher who says she was frustrated with school administrators has pleaded no contest to charges that she made fake bombs and placed them in two schools where she used to work. A student was arrested and charged in one of the bomb hoaxes -- apparently because he was an "argumentative loner" -- but the case against him eventually fell apart. The teacher who planted the fake bombs was caught on videotape and later admitted to investigators that she had committed the crime.
Attack of the Unateacher!

Asthma Risk May Be Cut by Dirt, Study Says
Is it possible your spotlessly clean home is harming your child. Yes, say researchers who have found that children who grow up on farms or in less fastidious homes. The research shows that children who have relatively large amounts of microbial dust in their bed linens are only half as likely to be asthmatic as children whose sheets contained little of the residue. According to the Washington Post, the findings are the latest evidence supporting the theory that modern man's obsession with cleanliness may be leading to a rise in disorders of the immune system, including asthma.
So when someone asks, tell 'em you homeschool to protect your children from disinfected classrooms.

Oklahoma Suspends Student for Finger-Pointing
An Oklahoma elementary-school student who pointed his finger like a gun at classmates has been given five days of in-school suspension. The school superintendent said that pointing a finger like a gun is not specifically addressed in the district handbook, but that it could be construed as threatening. According to the boy's mother, the school subjected the boy to a metal detector test, and isolated him from eating breakfast with other children. The mother told a reporter her son and other children were pretending to shoot back and forth at one another while standing in the cafeteria line. She accused school officials of racism; the boy is of African descent, and most children at the school are of European descent.
The next day they expelled a girl who sat on her chair swinging her feet, because it reminded them of kicking -- a forbidden violent act.

Philadelphia Expels 13 Students in First Two Weeks
The Philadelphia school district expelled or transferred 13 students in the first two weeks of school for violent behavior.One school reported five incidents of violence in the first ten school days, the most recent of which was a fire set in the girls' bathroom. The principal of that school was shot in the leg by a student in 1999.
In civilized countries, it's actually illegal to send children into war zones.

What's Working

From time to time, the Why We Homeschool column shifts focus to report on some of our favorite homeschooling resources. This week, we're investigating free online classes for you and your teenagers. In a future column, we'll focus on resources for younger children.

Free English Classes

Guide to Grammar and Writing
A college professor maintains this site, which is chock full of easy-to-read grammar guides and self tests. Teach yourself everything from Identifying Sentence Parts to Spelling Rules to Five-Paragraph Essays. *****

Learn How to Write
Learn nine writing skills with these online exercises. LearnHowToWrite.com is a great resource for teaching parents and for early/intermediate writers. Brush up on basic writing by comparing your writing to the author's writing. ****

Monday, September 09, 2002

Homeschooling in the News

Is Classical Education Dead?
"A classical education forms the mind by classical models of thought and language and gives us a past," says author Tracy Lee Simmons in this interview with the National Review. But it's a "parched world out there" for classical education, says the author of Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin. According to Simmons, it's only homeschoolers and a handful of good private schools who are keeping classical education alive. Even Catholic schools, once stalwarts of classical education, are falling by the way side. And it's "certainly a lost cause as far as the educational establishment -- the NEA and AFT and so forth -- is concerned," says Simmons. "Talking to them is like talking to a mud fence."
Hey! You stole my line!

Growth Spurt for Colorado Homeschooling
Click here for a related story on advice for starting homeschooling
Over the past five years, Colorado's homeschooling population has grown more than 50 percent faster than the public-school population, says the Rocky Mountain News. In a positive profile of homeschooling in the state, the News found that last year alone, the number of registered homeschoolers grew another 3.2 percent, to 9,680, meaning registered homeschoolers make up 1.3 percent of the state's school-age population. But one state-wide Christian support group has a membership of 14,000 families, making the official numbers suspect.
Not that it matters.

Homeschoolers Continue to Make Gains
Related: The Little School in the Living Room Grows Up
And an editorial supporting Christian parents who homeschool.
Homeschooled students continue to outpace their public-schooled peers on college entrance tests, says Christianity Today, and even children with learning disabilities make "significant academic gains" at home.
But none of them, unfortunately, can sing the theme song to the tv show Friends.

Homeschooling Grows Among Black Americans
The September issue of Essence magazine profiles the growing homeschooling phenomenon in the African-American community. "Many Black parents who go this route contend that it may be the only way for us to control the value messages our children receive in school," says the author. The article includes references to the newly formed National Black Home Educators Resource Association , a Christian support group for African-American families.
Best line: In response to a question about socialization, a homeschooling mother replies: "If socialization means wearing baggy jeans and expensive labels because everyone else is doing it or hanging out in the halls, I'll pass."

Colorado Homeschoolers Open Shop
Two Loveland, Colorado, homeschooling families have opened a Christian curriculum store that gets profiled in this Daily Camera article. The store sells all its material by consignment, but the owners plan to eventually offer new curriculum, games, and other items.
And the book Homeschool Your Child for Free will not be prominently displayed.

Sacramento Bee: State Meddling In Homeschooling
Additional stories: WorldNetDaily: Homeschool Battle Heats up in California
The Claremont Institute: Homeschool Backlash
Update: CNS: California Educrats Eye Home Schooling
California's assault on homeschoolers continues to make news as publications across the country report in on the debate. Even the state legislature has been dragged into the brouhaha, as the department of education asks legislators to step in and settle the turmoil that it started when it issued a memo asserting that homeschooling is not legal in the state.
Note to legislators: If the department has this much free time on its hands, it's obviously over-funded. A round of budget cuts will solve the problem in no time!

From Our Mailbag

Interesting letter this week from a homeschooling family that -- to their disappointment -- has to public-school for a year. The father sent me this report: "After one week, our first grader, with his unregimented regimen, unprussian discipline, and assertive individuality, proved too much for his teacher. She sent a note requesting a conference with herself, the school counselor, principal, 'Title I' teacher ('special ed' which isn't as much special as it is slower and sometimes demeaning), and the parents. The reason: James didn't hold his pencil correctly...The next week, he received a school 'ticket' for laughing in class. ...The teacher wrote that he laughed for 'really no reason'. What reason does a child need to laugh?" On top of everything else, he says, "You'd think a first-grade teacher could teach everything she needed to in the seven hours she has the child each day; but he is given homework -- at six years old. He reads at the top of his class already, and the homework is, well, silly things invented by childless college students." The bottom line? "I look forward with all my heart to next year, when we will again homeschool. It's much easier than public school."
And Terri from Texas writes: "I just wanted to thank you for the time and effort you put in to this publication. We just started homeschooling 'real' school (kindergarten) this year. Each time I read your publication I am reminded why we chose to homeschool." Good luck Terri, and good luck to all of you who are taking responsibility for teaching your own. Until next week, happy homeschooling!

Research Worth Reading

ADD 'Not a Real Condition'
A new report out of Australia questions the legitimacy of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder as a medical condition. The report, which was commissioned by the Youth Affairs Network of Queensland, labels the disorder a "questionable diagnosis", and calls for a moratorium on and inquiry into the use of the amphetamine-based drugs Ritalin and Dexamphetamine to treat ADHD. The author of the report, psychologist Dr Bob Jacobs, said non-medical treatment of children with behavioral problems and learning difficulties, such as improved parenting and teaching techniques, is being ignored in favor of a "quick-fix pill."
The New Parenting: "Take two, and sit quietly in the morning."

Teens Close to Mom Less Likely to have Early Sex
Research from the University of Minnesota says teens are less likely to begin having sex if their mothers are actively involved in their lives, have a close relationship with them, and stress the importance of education. The study is based on ongoing research on 20,000 adolescents from across the United States. The findings hold true for both boys and girls, but the good maternal relationship seems to have a longer-lasting impact on sons.
And on girls who don't run in packs.

Flashing Lights Probe Fetal Defects
New research suggests it's possible to check a baby's vision and general brain development while it is still in the womb using non-invasive flashing lights directed at the mother's abdomen. A similar technique has been used to test for deafness by evaluating a baby's brain response to sounds. Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences say the research may be helpful for determining whether babies can benefit from corrective surgery before birth, and also for working out the safest time to deliver growth-restricted or sick babies.
So next time you drag the kids across K-Mart for the blue-light special, just tell 'em you're testing for brain development.

Florida Hires Criminal Child-Welfare Employees
A Miami Herald investigation has discovered that 183 employees of Florida's Department of Children & Families have been arrested and punished for an "array" of felonies that include child molestation and abuse, sex crimes, drug dealing, and even welfare fraud against the agency itself. The article provides a list of outrageous offenses by workers, including the Tampa family-services counselor who kept her job despite charges that she beat up her 68-year-old mother in the front yard during an argument, and the mental services supervisor who fired a gun at his wife when he was drunk, because she tried to stop him from whipping his son with a belt. The agency told the paper it was aware of most of the charges and had "reviewed" the backgrounds of the employees to make sure that DCF clients would not be imperiled.
Which they could do because the faeries gave them a magic crystal ball.

Support This Web Site

Keep the news coming! Recommend our books to other families!

Homeschooling Step-by-Step
Everything you need to know about how to homeschool legally and effectively! How does your state rank? What's your child's learning style? What about college? Find teaching tips, teaching strategies, and more than 100 solutions to homeschooling's toughest problems!

Homeschool Your Child for Free
More than 1200 free resources for teaching your child at home. Includes a complete scope and sequence, and information about teaching every subject from kindergarten to college.

Make a Donation
Your small donation helps keep this page operational. Help us help the homeschooling community document our successes!

This Week in the Public Schools

Oklahoma School Reverses Suspension
School officials in Midwest City, Oklahoma, have changed their minds after suspending a boy for a year because the car he drove to school had two pocketknives in it. The student parked his parents' car at school on August 21 and went to class. The vehicle didn't have a parking decal, so school security officers decided to search it. During the search they located the knives, which were tools belonging to the boys' father, and which had been in the car for several weeks, unknown to the boy. The boy was ordered to leave school property and suspended for a year for being "in possession of any object that may inflict bodily harm." After the parents threatened to file a lawsuit, officials allowed the boy back in school, but said "conditions" would be placed on him.
"Condition one: Stop telling people we're stupid."

Teacher Takes Heat for Vocabulary Word
A Wilmington, North Carolina, teacher who included the word "niggardly" in a vocabulary list was forced to send home letters of apology to parents, and may lose her job. "Our position is that it was an inappropriate action in terms of using that word," said the district's deputy superintendent.
Next up: British-Americans sue Coca-Cola for promoting "lemony-limey" soft drink, and Protestant-Americans sue over the use of Wonder Bread in school lunches.

Las Vegas Teachers Arrested for Sex Crimes
Click here for more information
Another Las Vegas-area teacher has been arrested in connection with sex-related crimes against a student. Last week an elementary-school teacher was charged with three counts of sexual assualt on a victim under 14. This week, a 32-year-old high school teacher admitted to having an "inappropriate" relationship with a female student. Although he denies having had sex with the then-16-year-old girl, the girl turned over to police about 30 cards, letters and e-mails from the teacher that referred to sexual contact between the two. The teacher denied a relationship until police began placing evidence in front of him. At least 15 other school-district employees have been charged with sex-related crimes since 2000.
So these men are just keeping up the pace?

Georgia Teacher "Lures" Boys Home for Sex
A Georgia high school soccer coach and teaching paraprofessional has been charged with more than 20 counts of child molestation and enticing a child for indecent behavior over allegations that she had sex with two 14-year-olds on 12 separate occasions. Police say the woman sometimes lured the boys to her home for sexual intercourse. Police say they also have evidence she engaged in sexual intercourse with a number of 16-year-old students, but she won't be charged in those incidents because the teens are not considered "underage" according to Georgia law.
Yes, this would be the same law that says 16-year-olds haven't the maturity to vote.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Homeschooling in the News

Boston Homeschooler Wins National Charity Prize
Erin Rosen-Watson, a Boston-area homeschooler, has been named an "Angels in Action" as part of a nationwide search for youth who help their communities. In addition to her schoolwork, Erin creates care packages and afghans for foster children. She has created more than 2,000 of each and utilizes a network of more than 400 volunteers to sew the afghans and cloth carrying cases. Next month, the 15-year-old will meet TV personality Kelly Ripa, and will receive a $5,000 prize and a year's supply of bath tissue.
Which she'll promptly stuff into care packages.

Rock 'n Homeschool for Aerosmith Guitarist
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry tells the Boston Globe that he and his wife Billie homeschool their two sons. An interviewer asked the rock legend whether it's difficult to maintain structure for his children on the road, to which he replied "We're kind of particular about where they go, and we keep a tight rein on them. They see how hard I work outside of the band. They know it isn't all gravy."
"He say one and one and one is three..."

Life is a Classroom to Ontario Homeschoolers
Life experiences -- from shopping to travelling to examining bugs in the back yard -- are teaching moments for a Belleville, Ontario, family profiled by the London Free Press. The family participates in a local support group with about 30 other families, and intends to homeschool through high school. "You don't need an educational background to teach your kids," says homeschooling mom Michelle Doyle. "There's lots of material out there. You just need a desire to do the best for your children."
Yeah that, and a backyard full of creepy-crawlies.

Sacramento Families Homeward Bound
A "snowballing" segment of the US population is taking up home education, says a Sacramento Bee profile of local homeschoolers. One homeschooling mother talks about how perceptions about homeschoolers have changed over time. "We were taught that only teachers -- those with a teaching credential -- can do the teaching. Well, the truth is, a lot of very good home-schooling parents don't even have a high school diploma." The two biggest hurdles to homeschooling, the Bee says, are finances and "unlearning everything [you]'ve ever learned about education."
Followed closely by hurdle number three: Telling your mother.

Boston Homeschoolers Get Escape from Testing
A well known anti-testing activist is starting a Boston-area program to provide guidance to families looking for an alternative to testing-focused public schools. The program is designed to supplement homeschooling. "Kids have such talents and gifts," says founder Lynette Culverhouse. "Why try to homogenize them and make them learn all the same things at the same time?'' This Boston Globe article examines the growing backlash against testing.
"I'm a Little Robot, Short and Stout. Ask Me a Question; Answers Come Out."

No Place Like (Diversified) Homeschool
Secular homeschoolers are in it for the academics, says this St. Petersburg Times profile. The homeschooling movement is becoming increasingly diversified, as more and more parents grow frustrated with crowded classrooms, peer pressure, conformist teaching and safety concerns. Diversity in the movement means families across the spectrum, from the very religious to the completely secular, are teaming up in support groups that forego statements of faith, and "make inclusiveness their selling point."
At last: A place for the children of vegetarian Chinese Mormon Democrats.

From Our Mailbag

Had a discussion this week with a loyal reader who also contributes many news tips to this space. The article that prompted this discussion contains this line: "Under the provisions of the Iowa Code, a home-schooled child and parent must have contact with a certified teacher four times every quarter and one of those contacts must be in the form of a home visit."

This reader asked what I think of homeschool/public-school partnerships, and I thought I'd share my response:

"I think that as an option -- ie, like the public library -- they're great. With a lot of provisos: Parents can be in attendance, parents are respected, kids can drop in and out at will, kids can take just one or two classes if they wish, and there's no consequence to droppping out if it's not working out. In other words, if they're run like the city library, I like the idea.

"But when they're run as they are in some locations in California -- as the only legally-recognized alternative to standard public school, with all the intrusions and demands of regular public school -- I think they're awful.

"And when they include home visits? It makes my bowels churn. Can you imagine the reaction if the town librarian were to say "You can't have a library card until a social worker investigates your home"? Why should government-school administrators be in anyone's home? It's an absolute outrage!"

So now you know.

Another reader -- er, former reader -- sent this letter in response to...well, I don't actually know. I've never previously corresponded with her; It just sort of arrived out of the blue: "I wish you well, but would NEVER contribute to a web publication that feels that they can think for me. After all, that is why we are home schooling our family. We were tired of the school system teaching them what they wanted them to know, instead of learning to think for themselves. -- Helen"

Helen didn't provide her last name, but something makes me suspect it's "Wheels."

Finally, several readers sent great followup stories to articles we published in previous weeks. Rather than republish the stories, we simply added them as updates to the earlier articles. Take a peek through our archives from time to time and you'll see a bright red Update! indicator where we've added related stories.

On another subject: We're coming out a little late this week. My dear cousin -- a sometimes-homeschooler and an adoptive mom of special-needs kids -- had a baby on Wednesday, and the baby is having serious problems. She was removed from life support last night, but continues to fight for life. Please keep Baby Abigail and her family in your prayers. They've already lost one newborn, and this is just heart-breaking.

Our thanks to everyone who supports this site with contributions, book purchases, news tips and kind words. Until next week, Happy Homeschooling!

This Week in the Public Schools

'Left Behind'? Tough Luck
Read related stories in San Francisco, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and two from Chicago, as well as national stories here and here.
Across the country, schools are failing to comply with the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act that requires them to allow parents to transfer children out of failing schools, and fill all teaching positions with certified teachers. Children are starting out the school year in the same underperforming schools they left last spring, as schools drag their feet over implementing the policies.
Parents: Revolt! Transfer your kids to the best-perfoming school in your neighborhood: Your kitchen!

Florida Board Plans Pre-K for 4-Year-Olds
Florida's Board of Education has voted unanimously to back a plan for creating pre-kindergarten classes for four-year-olds. State economists say pre-kindergarten classes would cost the state $425-million to $650-million annually.
Only half a billion dollars to institutionalize all the four-year-olds? Where do we sign up?

Massive Failures in Baltimore
More than a 28 percent of Baltimore's elementary and middle-school children will have to repeat a grade in the coming school year because they failed to meet academic standards. About 20,000 of the district's 70,000 students will be held back, even after most of them attended a five-week summer school session.
On the plus side, holding kids back turns out to be a terrific fund-raiser for the school system!

Parents Pay for 'Free' Education
The parents of Utah public schoolers are learning that free public education -- isn't. The Salt Lake Tribune says that parents of middle- and high-school-aged children are required to pay a "litany" of mandatory fees for everything from textbook rentals to locker fees to library usage fees. Half of Utah schoolchildren qualify for free lunches -- and with it, fee waivers, says the Tribune -- so the other half of students are required to make up the difference.
Yup, there goes yet another excuse for not homeschooling.

Mother Sues Chicago Schools Over Drowning Death
A woman whose son was pushed into a "murky" motel pool and drowned on a school trip has filed suit against the school district and the hotel chain. The 14-year-old boy didn't know how to swim and there was no lifeguard on duty as the class milled around a pool and another student pushed him in. The boy couldn't be seen in the dirty water, so a pole was used to feel around the bottom of the pool to locate him. Police weren't called until 40 minutes after he went missing. "There was too many students and too many chaperones for my son to drown," said the boy's mother. "I would've been in the water trying to get my son out even though I can't swim. No one is going to watch his or her child better than you."
Sometimes taglines write themselves.

Teachers: Boss Favors 'Provocatively' Dressed Instructors
A group of nearly a dozen veteran teachers has complained to the EEOC that they were forced out of their jobs so that the school superintendent could replace them with younger, more attractive women. The teachers say the superintendent discriminated against them in order to get them fired, and that he personally vets applicants and hires female teachers who are slim and attractive. "Every new teacher that's coming into the few schools I've been in have been young, right out of college," said one fired teacher. "They've been Italian. They have a look about them, like they just came out of a gym. They dress very provocatively."
Under the theory that leotard-clad teachers might cure ADHD.

Support This Web Site

Keep the news coming! Recommend our books to other families!

Homeschooling Step-by-Step
Everything you need to know about how to homeschool legally and effectively! How does your state rank? What's your child's learning style? What about college? Find teaching tips, teaching strategies, and more than 100 solutions to homeschooling's toughest problems!

Homeschool Your Child for Free
More than 1200 free resources for teaching your child at home. Includes a complete scope and sequence, and information about teaching every subject from kindergarten to college.

Make a Donation
Your small donation helps keep this page operational. Help us help the homeschooling community document our successes!

Sex Crimes and Misdemeaners

Vegas Elementary Teacher Arrested for Sex with Student
A Las Vegas elementary-school teacher has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a student at his school. The 34-year-old man is accused of using his authority and position to seduce the girl into having sex with him. Police have not disclosed the age of the girl.
No need. We can do the math.

Schools Culpable for Sex Abuse?
The number of underage girls being sexually exploited by adult men has reached "epidemic" proportions, says a Denton, Texas, research organization, and schools across the United States are covering up the crime by covertly referring girls to abortion and contraceptive providers. The organization has sent a legal brief to every school district in the country warning them that steering teenage girls impregnated by adult men to abortion clinics, and failing to report the age of the girl's partner to proper authorities may have criminal implications.
Not to mention the implication of angry parents shaking their fists in the faces of sanctimonious administrators.

Chicago Teacher Nabbed in Pedophile Sting
A Chicago-area music teacher has been arrested and charged with attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, after he arranged to have sex with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The 29-year-old high-school teacher was arrested at a convenience store, where he had arranged a meeting with a police officer he met on the Internet. The officer was working with the attorney general's Internet Task Force.
Technically, it turned out to be an inconvenience store.

Jersey Teacher Keeps Job Despite Sex Games
Click here for more on this story
A North Bergen, New Jersey, special ed teacher whose students engaged in sex acts in the classroom under her supervision will be fined, but won't lose her job. The state education commissioner ruled that the woman had failed to adequately monitor and supervise her class, and decided she should lose the salary she accrued during her two-month suspension and that she wouldn't get a pay raise next year. Officials say that while the teacher was doing paperwork in her classroom last March, her eighth-grade students played "truth or dare." One of the nine students in the classroom told a reporter that during the game students fondled one another and performed oral sex.
Someone should have dared her to supervise her students.

Mississippi Coaches Plead Guilty to Abuse Charges
Click here for more on this story
Two Brookhaven, Mississippi, high school coaches have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and surrendered their teaching licenses in connection with several incidents in which they used lewd and sexual language with female high school students and touched students in a sexual manner. Under the plea bargain agreement, each man was fined and received a suspended sentence.
They used the get-out-of-jail-free cards from two Monopoly sets.

Arizona Teachers Nabbed in Sex Cases
A middle-school coach in Laveen, Arizona, has been sentenced to a year in jail for three counts of having sex with a student under 15, and a Glendale, Arizona, charter-school teacher has been indicted on five counts of sexual conduct with a minor, two counts of supplying drugs to minors, and other charges. The first man was caught having sex with the teenager in a Phoenix park in March.
Ahhh, spring. The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the coaches are...never mind.

Iowa Exhibitionist Back in the Classroom
Click here for an update
Parents in Ames, Iowa, are outraged that a local middle-school teacher who once confessed to showing his genitals to a 13-year-old girl is still being allowed to teach. But officials say even if they had known about the man's criminal past, he'd still be in the classroom. In 1984 the man pleaded guilty to pulling up the leg of his shorts to show his genitals to a girl after he asked her for directions. The man received a suspended sentence and was ordered to seek counseling. He spent several years in a non-teaching position, but this fall will be teaching math and working closely with at-risk children.
More at-risk than anyone knew.

Cleveland-Area Teacher Impregnates 12-Year-Old
A Shaker Heights, Ohio, girls-school teacher has been arrested for having sex with and impregnating a 12-year-old student. The local police chief says the 30-year-old man had been having sex with the girl for a year. When police forced their way into his Cleveland apartment they found him with his wrists slashed, so they rushed him to the hospital. Doctors expect him to be discharged soon.
Sometimes the police are just too darned efficient.

Florida Science Teacher Arrested
A Sarasota, Florida, high school science teacher has been arrested for killing his parents in a drug-related incident. The man is on probation for stalking his former girlfriend and is also being investigated by the FBI over threats that caused a plane to be evacuated at Orlando International Airport. The man was hired last week as a teacher after a cursory background check. He began teaching on Friday, and was arrested on Sunday.
Not to worry. They found someone to replace him on Monday.

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Everything you need to know about how to homeschool legally and effectively! How does your state rank? What's your child's learning style? What about college? Find teaching tips, teaching strategies, and more than 100 solutions to homeschooling's toughest problems!

HAVE HOMESCHOOLING STORIES? We'd like to share them with the world. We invite anecdotes about cute homeschooling moments, and brief explanations of why your family homeschools. Your stories may be published in this column, or included in one of the author's books. Please limit your submissions to about 50 words, and include your geographic location. Please send your stories to mykids@whywehomeschool.com

NEWS NOTE: We need your watchful eyes! Read a homeschooling news story on line? Let us know! We spend a lot of time searching, but we don't catch everything! You're invited to e-mail us about HS'ing news at editor@whywehomeschool.com.

Copyright LauraMaery Gold, 2002, 2003, 2004
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