In Jackson, Mississippi, They Handcuff ‘Em!

Monday, July 11th, 2011

(A mom sent me this story. It’s very sad, indeed. The more I researched it, the more disgusting it got. If you believe in public education, read this and think again.)

Not too long ago, I wrote about a young boy in a school who was pepper sprayed by police. The reason? Well, he was throwing a tantrum and the two teachers in the room, along with two policemen, couldn’t quite handle the eight year old. (Yes, four adults, an eight years old). I thought that was about as far as “school discipline” could go wrong.

I was wrong. Enter the Jackson, Mississippi Public School District, where one school has taken disciplining of students to a new high (or low, depending on your view).

They shackle students.

A little background. Capital City Alternative is one of 61 schools in the Jackson Public School District. Lucky Jackson! At Capital City Alternative, they destroy children, grades 4-12.

Here’s how it works. When a student gets out of hand in any way, they shackle him. They shackle him or her for hours, sometimes. Students are not apparently shackled in classrooms, but rather wherever the adult in charge pleases to shackle them. The student does not continue to receive instruction. (Well, educational instruction. Not that it was likely they were receiving much, anyway.) Students are shackled for seemingly any and all infractions. Examples:

One young student was shackled for an entire school day. He violated the school dress code. He failed to wear a belt to school. Oops! Well, Johnny, we don’t actually send notes home, or hold children in detention, not for such dastardly crimes as forgetting your belt. Nope – sorry to say, we shackle such perps. All day. Guess you won’t forget that belt again, huh, Johnny!

Another young girl greeted a friend too loudly in a school hallway. Shackled. Well, they taught her a lesson. Bet she’ll be whispering for the rest of her days.

A third student wore what one official decided were the wrong color shoes to school. Well, we can’t have that sort of thing going on, can we! When we say brown shoes, down here in Mississippi, son, we mean brown shoes. Shackled!

“Students have been shackled to railings, poles, other inanimate objects and left unsupervised,” said advocate Jed Oppenheim. In fact, students were apparently cuffed to chairs, bathroom railings and a gymnasium pole.

Apparently there is a policy allowing handcuffing of a student – if the student is a danger to himself or others, or if he is destroying property. And I know that I certainly consider a student who forgot to wear a belt a danger to the community!

Four boys and one girl, between the ages of 14 and 16, claimed that they were handcuffed by the wrists and sometimes the ankles, for up to six hours. A 19 year old who escaped this bastion of education also claimed that he was handcuffed by a security guard for his shirt not being properly tucked in. Some students say they were forced to eat lunch while handcuffed, and had to yell out to be released to use the bathroom, sometimes without success. Others didn’t get lunch. One bus driver handcuffed a student for making a sarcastic remark. Students claim that school principals often ordered the shackling.

Why would a school do such things? Why does a school district in Mississippi protect such flagrantly unlawful behavior? A lawsuit was filed against the district (on June 8), in the belief that they are using such outrageously punitive actions to “weed out” troublesome students from Mississippi’s stellar schools – historically amongst the worst performing schools in the world. In fact, the Jackson School district kicks out about twice the number of students as the national average!

I don’t think Capital City Alternative’s actions will raise Mississippi school’s profile much in the eyes of…well, anyone but sadists.

About that lawsuit? It’s a start, but it’s clearly not sufficient. The teachers and administrators who perpetrated the handcuffing or who condoned it are guilty of crimes. They physically abused minors. Unreasonable physical restraint comes to mind. The students certainly had their Constitutional rights tossed aside by the very people parents and students trust to protect the student – teachers and administrators.

At the least, teachers, guards and administrators are most certainly guilty of the “crime” of being miserable failures as human beings, and as educators. Off-load them. Fire the lot of them. Close down the torture chamber that they call a school. Hey, the Spanish Inquisition supposedly ended centuries ago. We’re “civilized”, now!

Send the guilty teachers and administrators to jail, where they can play for a few years with handcuffs adorning their own wrists. Won’t happen, will it. Not while there are teachers unions to defend criminals with degrees…um, I mean, teachers.

For those of you amongst the uneducated and unwashed who actually condone or support such acts under the guise of “them young people need to be taught a lesson”, I hear they’re holding a meeting of International Child Abusers Inc., in hell. Hey, you’re invited! Get there as quick as you can! You won’t want to miss the pre-meeting floggings! Fun for all!

For those of you on the fence, just ask yourself what an appropriate punishment might be for you, if you, say, spoke a bit too loudly in welcoming a fellow worker on the job, or wore mismatched socks one day because you dressed in half light, or left your belt at home in your rush to get to work. Would handcuffing you for a day suffice? Say, let’s bring back the iron maiden while we’re at it, and the thumb screw and the rack, since we’ve clearly reinstituted the stocks – in a school. You know, that place parents send their precious children? Remember – these are CHILDREN, not criminals.

By the way, if you live in Jackson, you can look up Capital City Alternative under “find good school”. (It’s ungrammatical, but then, hey, what’s language?) They’ll even provide a map! Lucky day!

Or you could do the right thing by your children. That would be homeschooling.

The pepper-spraying of a single child, even in the circumstances involved, might be seen as something out of the normal, a mistake, a momentary lapse of any good sense or judgment. Such cannot be claimed by Capital City Alternative School. The teachers and administrators there must have felt “safe”. They must have felt they could get away with torture. Those people are simply criminal, and so are the unions and others who defend them. Let this stand as yet another shining example of the systemic failure of public schools. Let’s get rid of them.
_____

As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.

But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.

In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.

CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)

Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.

Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.

Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.

Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.

Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.

For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.

We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!

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38 comments on “In Jackson, Mississippi, They Handcuff ‘Em!”


  1. Mandana says:

    I’m the mom who sent this in, and as I told Steven, it makes me wanna puke! And scream! I have to bite my tongue when people ask me, albeit with good intentions, about how I plan to ensure my child gets “socialization” since we’re homeschooling. I’m so glad she won’t have to learn how to get along with sick people like this. It brings back a bad memory of being verbally abused by a teacher in grade school for a similarly inconsequential “wardrobe malfunction” that got totally blown out of proportion. Lucky for me handcuffs weren’t part of the equation in my grade school.

    Clearly, we’ve got to stand up for our children! And not just the children we raise, but the ones who will grow up to fill prisons en masse if we don’t do something about the Titanic that is American Public Education!

  2. Agreed on every point. And just a thought – things are getting worse, not better, in regards the public schools. Pepper spray and handcuffs today. What tomorrow? We can’t want this for our children!

  3. Please tell me where I can find good home school teachers

  4. Hi Angela,

    I have no idea how to advise you, not knowing where in the world you are. If you are homeschooling, I’d say that YOU could well be a “good home school teacher” with the right approach and curricula. I’ve written many articles along these lines at this blog, and at Homeschool Hows & Whys. I also have a book, Poor Cheated Little Johnny, which you may find helpful, along with parent/teacher training courses (ten of them), all available at http://www.stepsed.com. Take a look!

  5. I’m all for homeschooling. I don’t have to elaborate on how and why public and private schools have gone to the toilet.

    Another reason I advocate homeschooling is the rampant problem of bad parenting/juvenile delinquency.

    When a student- of any age, 6, 8 or 18- is allowed to prevent a decent teacher (rare and elusive, I know) from carrying out his/her duties by deliberately exhibiting unnecessarily hostile/rude behavior, or by bullying/abusing classmates, or by screaming at the teacher “F*ck you, you ain’t my mama” when asked/instructed to do very basic/acceptable things (like “don’t cheat on exams” or “don’t push your classmate” or “please come see your grade”), then there is a SERIOUS problem. Deranged students who do this sort of thing are a dime a dozen in today’s school system.

    Believe me, not all children are innocent little angels. When a parent refuses to hold their kid accountable for bad behavior, allows them to become sociopaths then sends them to school to terrorize classmates and teachers, that’s unfair to the students who want to learn and excel and it’s unfair to the few (and I mean FEW) teachers who care and want to teach. It’s becoming increasingly necessary to homeschool one’s kid to protect them from rogue classmates as well as rogue teachers and government indoctrination.

    The system is so screwed up and administrators are so stupid that schools either end up criminalizing all students or coddling all students, and administrators/teachers are too incompetent and lazy to identify and separate the good from the bad then treat them accordingly.

    Another part of the problem:

    There’s a ton of crackheads and selfish, irresponsible women who have 4 different kids by 4 different men solely for the purpose of drawing welfare who see the school system as little more than free daycare. These types are notorious for teaching their kids to bully peers and instructing them to ignore and verbally abuse teachers, then calling the media and protesting when their incorrigible brats get suspended, because they don’t want to be inconvenienced by the regular, daily presence of their own hellspawn.

    The only way to solve this problem (aside from serious welfare reform) is to eliminate all public schools and leave these degenerates to their own devices. You want to teach your kid to be a minimally literate, non-thinking, materialistic, booty shaking tramp or crack dealing, gang banger thug, that’s your business, but sane and decent parents should not be forced to expose their kids to yours!

  6. Wow! That’s quite a post. I agree with points, and I disagree with other points, but I have to admit I’m impressed with the passion in the post.

    To the points;

    I agree that schools should be closed (but for entirely different reasons than the one stated). I agree that good teachers are very rare indeed, in institutionalized education. I agree that there are many terrible parents out there who, in numerous ways, provide their children terrible guidance and examples and which can lead to violent and misbehaved children. I even accept that some children (not very many) are born “to be bad”, though I think that almost ANY child can be worked with. When teaching in a private school (which I did for about 10 years), I had a zero tolerance policy for student violence against other children. I thought schools were supposed to be safe. Unfortunately, administrators didn’t always agree, though sometimes, after numerous infractions, they finally dragged themselves together and took action. (This might have something to do with the fact that the more students attend school, the more money the school makes. Expelling a child means one less tuition check.) That action generally took the initial form of a parent meeting, several of which I sat in on. And yes, often the students who were the most misbehaved had parents who found ways to justify their “sweet baby’s” violence. A school can always expel a child, of course – but what can it do to the responsible parents short of reporting egregious problems to horrible government agencies such as the jestingly entitled “child services”.

    You know the old line on this – “people should have to get a license to be parents”? Or “people should have to take a test to be parents.” Well, who would create the test? What would the criteria be? How many people would actually pass? What would we do when the population hit zero, as it most certainly would in a few hundred years. I don’t mean “zero growth”, I mean zero as in “no people left” except for those providing the test which we all would fail. Because we are all flawed, I’m afraid, there are absolutely NO perfect parents. Any parent blessed with any degree of honesty will confess that this is so. We most of us do our best with the cards we’ve been dealt. There are cruel, destructive exceptions, of course. So far, we really have come up with no good way to address this issue, have we?

    Yes, of course we need welfare reform. In America, we are BITTERLY complaining about unemployment numbers today – but we know there is a fair percentage of unemployed people who do not wish to work. They just want to be cared for. And of that group, many of them certainly could work. Such people are a drag on civilization, eating up resources and not contributing back in any way. They make life harder for everyone else.

    All of that said, I don’t think I would call any child “hellspawn”. I wonder what you mean by “a ton” of such women abusing the welfare system. What number really goes there, in place of “a ton”? And as for a student getting riled when asked to see his grade, he SHOULD get riled. Grades are nothing but a control mechanism used to degrade and limit students AND THEIR FAMILIES.

    I’ve been involved in professional education for about 40 years, and I’ve seen the results of grading too many times to have any doubt. An “A” student is stigmatized, just as an “F” student is. “A” students must “live up to expectations”. “F” students have failed before they ever started life! What do grades actually TEACH, how are they educative? Why would we compare one student with another when, supposedly, we cherish each person’s individuality? (Institutionalized education certainly does not cherish individuality, it fears and tries to control it – hence, grades.) Not only children, but their parents should get in teacher’s faces, and in the face of all institutionalized education, when it comes to such garbage as grades, grade levels, testing, student evaluations and the like. All the tools of the “critical approach” to education, so built into education as it is delivered today, are loathsome and demeaning, and exist only to control. And you wonder WHY so many kids are bored in school, hate school…even become violent or verbally abusive in school? Believe me, friend, what school is and what school does has a lot to do with it.

  7. I’d always suspected public schools were a kind of veiled prison system.
    1. It’s mandatory; you don’t have a say in what is taught.
    2. You get marked down for expressing other viewpoints than the accepted norm.
    3. They use prison terms like, “Early Release” and “Lock down” and “Your Record”
    4. Free expression only applies to minorities, everyone else must kowtow to political correctness.
    5. The standards are artificial and geared for proper order and the whims of the taskmaster unions.

    After all is it a correctional facility or a public institution?

  8. Precisely. I think that your understanding of public schools is exactly correct. I’m writing a book right now about closing all our public schools over a six year period and replacing government mandated public education with universal private education in which government would play exactly no part. I think you’ll appreciate the book. I should have it ready in December some time.

  9. GREAT PASSION FOR CHILDREN, I CAN APPRECIATE THAT BUT…
    It makes me want to question whether the passion is not sourced by your feelings about public schools and not seeing sources that might not be so valid. If there are accusations that come from students that were put out of their regualar school for things like drugs or weapons what credibility does that offer. What will you do with these that you don’t want influencing YOUR children in the public classrooms” Put them on the street for a year right? Then you have the Jackson tax payers saying these kids should be in school, right. of course right.
    I would recommend you take a day off, have a nice lundh and then go to the alternative school to just see how hard the staff at this accused school work to ensure the education of these “students”. I’ll bet you don’t fine any students handcuffed or tied down, but i’m sure you will be safe.
    I’m supportive of home schooling and have many friends who home school. I’d say to the parents of those home schooled children, “don’t judge a book by its cover” and keep up the good job.

  10. Thanks, William, I’ve had lunch. I also TAUGHT AT A MAGNET SCHOOL for a year in Los Angeles, and in fact stopped numerous fights (knives and all) between students there, so I’m not concerned with my safety, thanks again. I also saw that the public school teachers I worked with almost uniformly HATED their students, and said awful things about them – always behind the student’s backs. Letters I’ve received from various teachers over the past few years tell me that nothing has changed in this regard.

    Grand of you to support homeschool and my passion for children. You might want to have a nice breakfast (the most important meal of the day, we’re told…) and reconsider your own unsupported view of the situation. The teachers DID HANDCUFF CHILDREN – and that is simply abuse. I hope those teachers were FIRED, and that no teacher at that school today is plain STUPID enough to repeat such an abuse!

    Your post’s a bit hard to understand, but if you’re arguing that such teachers are doing a great or necessary job, you need serious help, a lot moer than a good breakfast will provide. We’re not judging the “book” of public schooling by its cover, but rather by the fruit of the tree. And for you to imply that thousands of children lied about being abused (while the teachers are all good, hard working, caring people) tells me that you don’t get it at all. I’m willing to bet that you’re a teacher, William, and in a public school. As such, you’re not a credible source to defend offending teachers.

  11. Where are they finding these administrators?

  12. Public School administrators are often teachers who have “risen through the ranks”. Sometimes, though, they are career administrators. Whatever they are and wherever they come from, they are dangerous to our children.

  13. More has got to be done to protect our children from these idiots.

  14. I couldn’t agree more. This sort of abuse is happening all over the country. This week in California (where I live), a teacher was indicted for over 30 counts of sexual abuse of students! Personally, I advocate for the closing of all public schools, and for many, many reasons. I’ve authored a book about this and just released it, which I would hope people would read and consider the arguments presented. Regardless, this sort of abuse is rampant, and the penalties should be severe.


  15. Bill Dilworth says:

    The shackling is outrageous, clearly illegal, and dangerous. It probably should be noted that this school isn’t just another district school : it’s where students who have been suspended for 10 days or more are sent. It doesn’t excuse the school’s actions, but it does make clear that it’s not just a case of a student messing up once and the school’s overreacting – these kids have messed up numerous times before they ever see that school.

  16. Hi Bill,

    Where did you come by your info on this school? ALL the students there had been suspended before. That TRULY speaks very poorly for that school district! They put all their “problems” in one school – and there were that many? What a prison mentality! These are KIDS.

    And by “messed up”, what are we talking about? These are children. Children do all kinds of things that schools don’t like, and which schools should never have the right to discipline. I’ve got to say, your post (above) just convinces me all the more that this is a school that needs to be shut down, the land salted, and may it never open again.

    Anyway, thanks for writing, I appreciate the input.

  17. This is very alarming. After some of my own research I can agree with your points. However, you should list your sources so that your readers can follow-up and come to their own conclusions.

  18. Hi John,

    It is alarming.

    Sorry, no, I won’t list sources, this is not a school assignment or even “reportage” – it is an opinion page based on reportage I’ve read or seen. I then do research, and offer my impression of the story. If people want more info, they can certainly do as you did and look it up. Thanks for writing.


  19. GinevraCat says:

    Hi Steven,
    I was talking to a friend the other day about school discipline gone rampantly bad. It’s horrendous that teachers can do this to children. I wanted to point you to an article about a school that is doing things right to help children, in situations where the students have awful home circumstances, so wouldn’t be able to benefit from homeschooling anyway. This is also a place where the students have been sent from other schools and it clearly shows that inhumanity and shackling are completely unnecessary. It’s a real pity that institutions that help rather than tear down students are the exception and not the rule :(. (The article I mentioned is here http://acestoohigh.com/2012/04/23/lincoln-high-school-in-walla-walla-wa-tries-new-approach-to-school-discipline-expulsions-drop-85/)

  20. Hi, is it Ginevra?

    Unfortunately, this sort of abuse and other forms of abuse seem to be growing more common in U.S. schools. And yes, it is “inhumane”…but what sort of representatives of humanity would do this to kids? By the way, I went to the article in your link and the site said they couldn’t find the article 🙁


  21. Christy Lane says:

    How are these types of punishments supposed to help these children behave better or learn? I think the use of this type of punishment demonstrates a lack of common sense from people who even try to claim that they know what is best for children as opposed to parents. The sad thing is that there is no easy solution to help the children. It would be wonderful if all the parents were involved enough and cared enough to homeschool. I somehow doubt that is the case for these kids. Instead of this government run school, maybe the community needs to form a charter or co-op school that appeals to the individual interests of the kids. Let them choose subjects they want to study. Ask for community volunteers or mentors to come in and spend time. It takes a village of people who care, not a government run big-union “institution”. I will bet the techniques used by this school are making the kids worse. If they are being treated this way with shackles surely their rebellion and distrust of those in authority will only grow. I would bet that if the students were showed some respect and offered choices and maybe offered some grown ups who would give of their time, this would win their hearts and maybe then we could teach their minds.

  22. Hi Christy,

    I’m a big fan of homeschool groups. These consist of perhaps 3-4 families, perhaps 5-8 children of varying ages and abilities. Parents take “shifts” working with the children, and share financial burdens for the group so no one has to come up with very much in the way of money or time. A small group like this can be totally responsive for individual children and their needs and interests. One parent out of 6-8 might take a day or two of “teaching” service, leaving lots of time for work, and other things an adult must do.

    And I agree, schools are bad news, especially public schools. They do not service in any way individual children. Teachers in public schools need a seating chart as a visual aide to remember student’s names, so how on earth could they ever claim to service individuals. They don’t.

  23. As appalling as shackling children is this is not the worst issue I regularly come across. Public schools are using tazers on children, strapping them down, locking them in isolation, insisting they be medicated, and having them arrested for misbehaving.

    This is happening all the way down to kids as young as pre-school age. Add that to parents being told vaccinations are mandatory and if they do not consent to any medications specified by the school authorities that their children can be taken away and put into a CPS system that has an outrageous percentage of children on prescription meds and refuses to release them.

    What is going on in America is insane. This comment links to a page on another blog I write on that has links to so many issues that you should only look at it when you have time to handle the emotions that will occur in those who are still alive and thinking for themselves.

  24. Hi Gail,

    Yes, I’ve written about all those abuses in other articles. I agree with what you say, here. The system is broken, and it favors entirely authoritarian views and the “people in charge” – even when it comes to the care and education of our children, and in contravention of agreements we signed such as the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in 1948 or ’49. It’s pretty disgusting and has been for a long time. Thanks for writing.

  25. It is so sickening that school administrators are taking it upon themselves to “discipline” students. I am 100% supportive of homeschooling and I wish that I had been homeschooled during the 1980s and 1990s when I was attending school. I don’t support the public school system at all and I refuse to support any of its causes. Sadly, public schools here in Canada are not much better than the public schools in the U.S.A. More people need to learn about the benefits of homeschooling and refuse to allow the government to control education. Parents and families need to stand together in support of homeschooling and keep the government OUT of their educational lives.

    The Bible indicates God’s desire that PARENTS be the ones to raise and train children. God did not indicate that government strangers take over a parent’s role.

  26. Hi, Akua,

    Sorry to hear that about public schools in Canada! From my own studies, it appears to be true just about everywhere that public schooling has failed or is failing students and families. Reading a very good book, The Beautiful Tree, by James Tooley, that clearly spells out the failure of schools compared to forms of private education. I recommend it (as well as my own two books). Thanks for writing!

  27. Hello Steven David!

    Thanks for replying to my comment, and you’re welcome! Yes, I agree with you; public schooling has failed families and students for a LONG time all around the world. I’m glad that some people are waking up to realize that the public school system simply is not appropriate for the majority of people. I feel the same way about the 9 to 5 corporate life; not everyone thrives in that type of environment either. Some people will thrive in the 9 to 5 lifestyle and others will earn their fortunes working in the fields or working from home, etc. I am a firm believer in private education and I personally embrace entrepreneurship, though I understand that entrepreneurship isn’t a choice that everyone is interested in making. I’ll be sure to look for your book, and I’ll be recommending your website to homeschooling families I know here in Ontario, Canada.


  28. Nancy Bell says:

    Homeschooling is an awesome experience for parents and their children. But it comes with a host of challenges, including what information to teach them and what the best way to teach them may be. Professional teachers take a completely different approach to lessons, having to accommodate a large number of students, wherease a parent can give customized attention to each child. Letting the mutual interests and reinforced self-motivation help drive the passions to learn and teach. I often did the assignments with my children, especially in writing, science and art. Knowing something must also include the manner in which to demonstrate that knowledge, so presentation is an important aspect of homeschooling.

    I successfully homeschooled my two youngest children, who went on to be honors students in college and now I assist my niece and my sister in their new homeschooling experience. The Internet provides a wealth of information and other resources and with the guidance of an attentive parent, the students in homeschooling are free to enjoy education as well as to take ownership of it. I appreciate the information provided online for parents, there was no such help when I did my homeschooling. I am currently attending the free M.I.T. Creative Learning class (Learning How to Learn Almost Anything) and I recommend it highly. It is FREE, online, and provides incredible insight into how to make use of the Internet to learn, and to teach. Encourage creativity and reward success.

    There are so many different ways in which institutionalized education can be criticized that it has become redundant beyond ridiculous. Unfortunately, as a nation, we continue to recycle the old problems, and generate an influx of new problems, leaving our children to fend for themselves. I sometimes teach in schools, but more often, work directly with children who have become disillusioned in school. They are so easy to please, and so easy to discourage. It is a big responsibility to keep love and balance in a child’s education. Children are so precious, if they only could always know that! In homeschooling, at least, we can show them that they are our hearts! Who could ever feed their knowledge as lovingly as we can?

  29. Hi Nancy,
    It is true that there are more resources available today to assist in homeschooling than ever before, and that there is likely to be more. And yes, children are easy to encourage and discourage. Keep homeschooling! Homeschoolers do not need to recycle the garbage that passes for education in public schools today.

  30. I read the article, and many more like it. I am a successful homeschool mom (my children went on to be successful college students). I am also involved in working as a curriculum specialist for several family and friends’ children. I strongly support homeschool, not just in response to bad things happening to children, but for its own merits as well.

    I believe that fleeing the public school system in droves is not the answer to fixing the schools. Parents who take part in and understand education within the schools do instigate change. I have seen it, and been a part of it. With that said, I DID pull my children out and take responsibility for their education for a variety of reasons.

    The problem with the young student who was handcuffed for wearing green socks (outside the school dress code) is a cog in a much bigger wheel: The pipeline from school to prison, a growing profit-bulging business in the South in a legal Convict Labor System. The schools do not teach the children how to protect themselves from unfair and often socio-economic and racially motivated disparities. I taught my children about American Law, even in the context of atrocities AND their progenitors. In addition to recognizing and fleeing social problems, do you offer any courses or lessons on this problem that also infects our schools? As citizens, our first Civic Duty is to be aware.

  31. Hi, Nancy,

    Nancy,the fact that you pulled your kids speaks volumes. AS you say, you fled the schools – why shouldn’t the rest of us? As to your statement about this new and disturbing business in the South, why am I not in any way surprised? And yes, you’re absolutely correct – kids AND parents need to know their rights.

    As to my courses, I offer in Upper School a massive Civics course detailing your rights. It is an American Civics course, subtitled “An Owner’s Manual.” It is intended to fully make a person (of any age) fully aware of their rights and responsibilities as Americans. You can find it at http://www.stepsed.com/upper–history.php?course=21292 Thanks for your comment, and I find that last part VERY disturbing.

  32. That is plain disrespectful to a child. This types of punishment usually goes to people who broke the law.
    I know several people who have reported this same stuff going on in jail. Or for actually breaking a code law.

  33. This is a lie. They do not shackle students here in Mississippi…Jackson! This is a horrible representation to put out there about this state, as I am a teacher. True enough schools across America has their challenges and NO! Jackson MS doesn’t have the best schools, but to say they are SHACKLED gives the state a terrible look! Terrible! lies to say that we shackle here. I will have to report this website to the Jackson MS Board of Education. This is just wrong

  34. Oh, Kay, so sad. You’re a TEACHER there, so no one is going to buy in to your nonsense. The story was reported by NATIONAL PRESS, Kay, I just picked up on it. And the teachers and administrators involved ADMITTED they did it! So, um, you “report me” to whoever you like, and I’ll try not to shake too much with fear. I don’t bother with your board of education, they mean less than dirt to me. You people are murdering the futures of kids, so you are in absolutely no position to make any sort of argument. YOU’RE “just wrong”, Kay, this did happen, and you’re either a shill for your school district, or blind to ignore it. Shame on you.


  35. Julie Stewart says:

    Hey Steven,

    I have homeschooled my oldest about three years ago but have since then had to return to work. I am so disgusted with the public schools as well. Especially with the “Common Core Standards” being implemented. I have had the same idea of Private schools with no government interference whatsoever!!! However, the price of private school here in Jackson, MS is outrageous and not worth the price. I am on the fence not knowing what to do currently, my good friend that has been homeschooling my youngest too is moving to Indiana. Now we are having to figure out where my youngest two will be attending school.

  36. Hi Julie,

    have you thought about forming a homeschool group? 3-5 families sharing the responsibilities for educating their kids. That limits the hours each parent must spend. It handles the “socialization” nonsense of having others for your kids to work with, as well. You can find others who have left the public schools recently – they will be looking for solutions as well.

  37. I don’t disagree with the article, of course. I just want to mention that an 8 year old (or younger) can certainly be uncontrollable. I have children with bipolar disorder. When my youngest was in a manic episode once, it took three adults to prevent her from running out of the house and into oncoming traffic. She’s a small child. At age 11, she wears the clothing made for 7 year olds. At the time of that particular incident, she was only the size of a 4 year old, although she was 7.

    The size of a 4-year-old. Whether from a mental illness or an autistic child or some other disorder that brings along mood issues with it, that much adrenaline overrides your typical physics logic. I’m not saying that 8 year old child was a special needs kid, but he was so upset that four adults couldn’t control him. So maybe he was. All the more reason for homeschooling.

  38. Hi Jennifer, Much of what you say is true, of course. That said, if 4 adults can’t handle one distraught child, and he’s not that big – look at photos of him – well, they’re doing something seriously wrong. And yes, absolutely, all the more reason to homeschool!

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