Kids! We Want To Protect And Molest You!
The first is in USAToday and says that to some schoolmarms, the children on the right are doing something that's nothing more than high-risk behavior:
Some traditional childhood games are disappearing from school playgrounds because educators say they're dangerous.
Elementary schools in Cheyenne, Wyo., and Spokane, Wash., banned tag at recess this year. Others, including a suburban Charleston, S.C., school, dumped contact sports such as soccer and touch football.
In other cities, including Wichita; San Jose, Calif.; Beaverton, Ore.; and Rancho Santa Fe., Calif., schools took similar actions earlier. ...... [S]everal experts, including Donna Thompson of the National Program for Playground Safety, verify the trend. Dodge ball has been out at some schools for years, but banning games such as tag and soccer is a newer development.
"It's happening more," Thompson says. Educators worry about "kids running into one another" and getting hurt, she says.
How hurt? Baby got a boo-boo? How often? Legions of little ones on life support?
Despite the obvious -- our increasingly heavy kids should be encouraged to excercise more, not less -- this attack on physical games probably has as less to do with safety than with educators' -- especially the PhD professional education administrators' -- current abhorence of competition and superiority/inferiority issues.
Teachers didn't go into teaching because they sought a competitive lifestyle. And as the butt of the "those that do, do; those that can't, teach" jokes, they're not big fans of superiority/inferiority comparisons (even though Americans still admire teachers on the whole) (but when was the last time you saw a survey saying Americans respect school administrators?). So they take it out on the kids, depriving them of valuable skill-building, confidence-building, muscle-building fun.
Come to think of it, it might be that last word that's sticking in the educators' craw.
The second article is much more troubling. Appearing originally in Crisis Magazine and just reprinted in Focus on the Family's Citizen (sorry, I can't find the article on line yet),Francis X. Maier's look at child molestation in schools is a condemnation of legislatures, school boards and trial attorneys.
The article makes a simple point: There's more sexual abuse in public schools than in Catholic schools, but because legislatures have set low damage limits to protect public schools, shark litigators take their lawsuits elsewhere.
A 2005 Associated Press report noted that in some states, sexual abuse is now the main reason public school teachers lose their licenses. A 1999 probe by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ... found that during the 1990s, "by far the most common reason for teacher discipline" in Pennsylvania "was sex-related offences...." In January 2006, New York City's special-schools investigator Richard Condon reportede that 250 public school teacher misconduct cases had been substantiated in his jurisdiction alone during 2005. Of these, 92 confirmed cases involved sexual misconduct ...Overall, 3 million public school students now in public schools will be the targets of sexual exploitation by a public school employee by the 11th grade, the article says. Worse, when a bad apple is found, often he or she is simply let go, often with a recommendation, to teach again elsewhere.
But when was the last time you heard a story of a class action lawsuit against a public school board for allowing this to continue? Never. That's because most states limit damage awards to a low amount, like $150,000 -- and that doesn't make justice worth the while of the likes of John Edwards.
Maier sums up by focusing on the excuses offered for this sick system:
Our favorite is the excuse that opening public schools to litigation might "bankrupt" them -- as if bankrupting Catholic schools, charities and parishes were OK. We've even heard the bizarre claim that churches and other nonprofits should be held to a "higher standard" because of their tax-exempt status. But this ignores the fact that governments grant tax exemption precisely for the benefit of the communities they govern and to reduce their own expenses. It implies that the abuse of a minor by a priest is somehow more loathsome simply because his parish gets a tax break, and that public school districts should be held less accountable because we pay taxes to support them.Besides, when was the last time a public school filed a tax return? If the church should be held to a higher standard, so then should schools.
It's too bad this article only appeared in a Catholic journal then a Christian journal. The story deserves exposure in pubs like the New York Times or Washington Post. But they're too busy destroying our security to protect our kids, and too blind to see that readers would find an expose on molestation in public schools far more interesting and helpful than their latest salvo against the Bush administration and the War on Terror.