Lies About Public Education (Part Four) – Teachers LOVE their students!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Who would purposefully hurt a child?

What sort of an adult would go out of his or her way to harm a child, particularly a child placed in their protective care?

No adult in their right mind, right?

I mean, well, you know…I believe the children are the future and all that. What sort of person would willfully go out of their way to damage a child in their care?

You’re probably not going to like the answer.

Last weekend, a teacher in Florida was arrested for having sex with her 16 year-old student. The teacher’s name is Amie Neely, and she’s 38 years-old. That’s a rough age for many people, 38. Kind of a rite of passage in a way, as one’s youthful energy and even one’s looks begin to step gingerly toward middle age. I understand.

Still and all, a pre-middle-age-crisis probably doesn’t excuse Ms. Neely from having had sex repeatedly with a 16 year-old student, who I will not name here. (By the way, I just read another report of this crime, and low and behold, Ms. Neely claimed she is suffering from a mid-life crisis! That was a good guess!)

You’ll note I skipped the obligatory “alleged”. You see, Ms. Neely was caught in the act – by her husband. He tracked her using the GPS on her phone, and found her just in time to catch his wayward wife and her student in a nearby parking lot, in the process of. Later, the poor man discovered that the eager couple had utilized his own and his wife’s bedroom for at least one other tryst. Ms. Neely now faces a felony assault charge. So much for an apple for the teacher.

I know, you’d like to not believe it’s so. No teacher would ever do such a thing! I understand how you feel. For those of you with children who you leave in the care of a public school, this is a difficult reality to confront.

I’m afraid that doesn’t make the story untrue. Nor does it make thousands more stories of this sort untrue, either.

Did I say thousands. I apologize. I know “thousands” is a big number. But I actually need a bigger number, I’m afraid, like “tens of thousands”… “hundreds of thousands”.

Stories like this one reach the public and we are all surprised and disgusted. Why we should any of us be surprised after so many abuses does not speak well for us. We’re not paying attention.

But remember that for each such abuse that is reported, hundreds if not thousands of abuses remain unknown, hidden, festering. After all, who’s going to believe the word of a child over his or her teacher?

I do. So does the Department of Education, though they are loath to admit it. According to a Department of Education report from 2004, some 6-10% of all public school students will be sexually abused by staff or faculty during the years a student attends public school. Given that there are close to 80 million public school students, that would be a lot of kids – millions of them. By the by, that report was published and then very rapidly, mysteriously sopped being discussed.

Some of these criminals…sorry, teachers…do get caught. I’ve written numerous articles on this site about some of them. Of course, you say, those who are caught are immediately fired, right? They are instantly abandoned by their fellows for having committed a crime that most prisoners in jail find reprehensible, right? My understanding is that no one is more hated inside a prison population than a child molester. So these people entrusted with the safety and well-being of our children, who are well respected and very well paid for that trust, when they abuse they quickly feel the full brunt of societies fury, right?

Wrong.

They usually just keep teaching.

Often, teachers who abuse children are moved around from school to school to “hide” them. But they almost never lose their jobs, not for “merely” molesting a student. And why would this be so, you ask?

They’re TEACHERS, that’s why!

As I’ve written about many times, teachers have very powerful unions. Those wealthy unions, supported by the fees collected from over three million teachers (out of salaries that YOU pay through taxation), can afford to hire the very best lawyers. And so they do and often – in defense of abusive teachers.

Teacher unions essentially are using our money, folks, in order to protect their members who molest our children. It generally costs upwards of $500,000 for a school district to get a teacher fired, thanks to this perverted idea of teacher protectionism.

Of course there are many ways a teacher might abuse a child. One article I wrote a few months back discussed teachers who had fed an “unpopular” child moose droppings, claiming it was a treat. See, I guess those teachers thought this was funny. It’s not funny, but it is abuse. It’s a crime, just like when an adult has sex with a minor.

There are more subtle forms of abuse. There’s the tale of teacher Natalie Munroe. Last year, she published on the Internet some horrible comments about her students, degrading comments for all the world to see. And before you start thinking Ms. Munroe is an exception, allow me to point out that during my brief time teaching for Los Angeles Unified, I regularly heard teachers say the most awful things about their students and behind their backs. That was over 30 years ago! That’s how far back I can verify personally that a lot of teachers hate their students. Ms. Munroe simply made the tactical error of going public with her commentary.

We were raised to believe that teachers were good and loving people. We were told that we could in good conscience and with justifiable faith leave our children in their care.

We were lied to. Repeatedly, and destructively.

All the “psychological profiling”, finger-printing and other hoo-haw the state puts teachers through to “guarantee” that they are fine, upstanding guardians of our young has not in any way prevented abusive people in large numbers from joining the ranks of public teachers.

In fact, one can easily see why such people would clamor for teaching jobs. Where else can an abusive personality go where their accuser will habitually not be believed? What other profession provides so many easily victimized subjects? Where else can an abuser go where a powerful and wealthy union will rush to their legal defense when (or if) they are caught? In what other line of work is job security so out of control that even a repeat abuser knows he or she will have a high-paying job, one they do not have to be particularly good at in the first place?

YES, there are certainly teachers who care for and even love (in a caring and real way) many of their students. Not all teachers are monsters, I’m not saying they are. I have my gripes with ALL public school teachers, but not for the reason that I suspect them of such crimes.

One problem we have here is that the monsters look just like all the other teachers. The law, the psychologists who are supposed to keep monsters out of the educational system, have no idea how to accomplish their task. Witness the results.

This is not to suggest that we string up all teachers in the hope of getting the monsters. It does suggest, however, that there are enough “teachers” who are abusive to have a real and genuine concern for one’s children. Knowing that the system will protect abusive “teachers” rather than send them to jail (or at least firing them) is just the icing on an increasingly rancid cake.

What protections exist for our children against such abuse? Well, you could homeschool. That’s one, and a good one.

Another is that you could listen to and try to believe what your children tell you about such things. Yeah, I know there are children out there who make stuff up. I saw “The Crucible”, “The Children’s Hour” “The Bad Seed”, and other works of literature featuring lying and dangerous children. Do some kids lie? Did I just hear a little boy cry “wolf?” of course they do! Just about everyone tells a lie from time to time, for whatever reason.

With all of this in mind, you, mom and dad, will need to be discerning. But you know your children! You should generally be able to know when they are trying to tell you something important and true and disturbing. At least provide them the benefit of a doubt and set about finding out for yourself the truth of your child’s accusation, if at all possible. Do so in a quiet, judicious manner if you suspect it may not be so. But once you are certain of abuse, skip talking to the school and call your lawyers and the police.

Don’t expect much real assistance from your kid’s school. Given teachers and their overall track record, I’d say that you’re far more likely to get the truth from your children than from a public school.
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I am a proponent of homeschooling.  (You have probably figured that out.)  I’ve authored two books about education which help make very clear the strengths of homeschooling when compared to schooling in other forms.  That is particularly true of my book, Poor Cheated Little Johnny.  My second book, Universal Private Education, lays out defined methods that one can use to successfully homeschool. I have also created a series of ten courses to be done at home by parents who wish to homeschool.  These courses each highlight an aspect of homeschooling and help the parent master skills and ideas they can use to truly triumph in teaching their children.   I hope that some of these resources might be of value to you.

Finally, I provide a second blog that talks purely about how to homeschool, Homeschool Hows & Whys.  Take a look, it’s free!

6 comments on “Lies About Public Education (Part Four) – Teachers LOVE their students!”

  1. While I think America’s public educational system is mediocre is best, I feel like you are personally attacking teachers here. Not all teachers are abusers and set out to be teachers to find victims.

    I plan to homeschool my children eventually, but this article comes across with such a patronizing tone that I understand why people think homeschool families are clique-ish and exclusive.

  2. Well, okay Ashley. WHY do you think our educational system is, as you say “mediocre at best”? Who made it that way? What is the result of that mediocrity (at best)? How many MILLLIONS of children have had their future minimized and even demolished by such a system? And who BENEFITS from that system, Ashley? Who gets PAID for providing such execrable results.

    Teachers, Ashley.

    Good for you, yes, you may homeschool someday, you should homeschool and you know why, you stated it yourself. Public schooling is very, very poor. It’s also dangerous for the child, very often, according to the children, to honest teachers (there are some), and to the Department of Education. (And to tens of thousands of families who will tell you about teacher abuses. I read about them all the time.) You have made the right choice for your kids. But you seemingly don’t want others to make that same choice? People should send their kids blindly to public school, trust those teachers you think I’ve mistakenly taken on, and they should never be told in the harshest of terms what their children will face? Families should never be truly informed what the results of public schooling are likely to be, particularly if a child is not a self-starter and self-sufficient educator? They should just find out the hard way, and their kids should pay the price?

    Nope, sorry, not while I’m alive.

    I NEVER said that ALL teachers are abusers, READ MY ARTICLES MORE CAREFULLY and don’t generalize, please. I’ve BEEN a teacher for 40 years, in public schools (only one year when I saw what it was), at the University level, in private schools, private workshops, and as a homeschool group leader. I KNOW they’re not all abusers. But public school teachers – all of them – are a problem. I’ll get back to this in a moment.

    WHO says homeschoolers are “clique-ish and exclusive”? I’ll answer that one – teachers say that garbage, teachers who are PAID and paid well say that sort of rot, of course, in an attempt to protect their very well-paid jobs. And who else spreads this lie (and it is a lie), Ashley? The remarkably ignorant, those who have rarely or never met a homeschooler.

    When you homeschool, if you do, Ashley, will you be “clique-ish and exclusive?” In other words, by definition, the definition you apparently accept from the mouths of those who know nothing, will you be a “homeschooler” (read “cliqu-ish and exclusive”) since we’re “all that way”? These are your words, Ashley, ill-considered, I think, at best. Certainly incorrect and destructive.

    For generations, teachers have spread the incredible lie about their “high value”, their “hard work”, their “low pay”, their “great results”. No one has contradicted them publicly, no one stepped up to debunk the lies. That has been changing over the past 20 years or so, slowly, but it is changing. Statistics and actual results contradict their ludicrous lies. As A GROUP, teachers are bad news and a drag on civilization.

    Yes, there are some good teachers out there, as I invariably point out. But even they have agreed to work in a system which crushes the child, crushes individuality, crushes creativity, crushes the future for the individual, crushes the dreams for generations of young America. These teachers, talented as they may be, concerned though they may be, are clearly not talented enough to alter the system for the better. Stats continue to degrade, and have for decades. These teachers are not concerned enough to strike for kids. They are not concerned enough (or moral enough) to leave their jobs, generally, in recognition of the harm they and their system do. So how good are they, really? As people? As teachers?

    There are MILLIONS of homeschoolers in the U.S. alone. Homeschooling is NOT alternative education. For thousands of years, it was the standard and the only way the vast majority received an education. Somehow on that basis, mankind survived and flourished. As a system, homeschooling has produced the vast majority of greatest minds in history, including the U.S. founding fathers, almost every one of them. If homeschoolers exhibit pride in these facts, we have the right. If the fact that homeschoolers score better on ALL “standardized tests” than public school children makes us hold our heads up a bit higher, we’ve earned that right. If our children are as a group better behaved, better “socialized” (not having to have gone through the razor gauntlet that is public school life), we contributed as moms and dads to that result, and we will show some pride in the accomplishment. We didn’t daily abandon our children and our responsibilities to that extraordinarily expensive and DANGEROUS baby-sitting firm, Public Schools, Inc. We actually and in fact did our job as parents. As homeschoolers, we have truly taken FULL responsibility for our children and their education. If we are proud of the accomplishment, we have fought for and earned the right of pride.

    You will discover all of this, perhaps, when you stop talking about homeschooling maybe someday, and actually join the ranks. Until then, think hard before you make statements like those above. They contribute to the myth that public schools are a good thing. Public schools are most certainly nothing of the sort. And in so contributing to the myth, the lie of public schooling, you contribute to the damage they do to kids, to families, to communities.

  3. Well, I don’t consider myself an official homeschooler because my children are 3.5 and 16 months which is why I said “someday”. Though I teach them here at home, it is usually in an informal manner. My preschooler and I learn about letters and how to write them, and we are working on how to spell her name. But most of our education per say comes from everyday life. We bake together, and she helps me measure ingredients. She helps me count. I will ask her what the traffic lights mean. We work on vocabulary words to improve her understanding of her behavior. (This week’s word was “considerate”.) Like I said, nothing very formal, but it is meaningful and it works for us right now. Our toddler is counting and singing songs, and both children love to be read to. I think that, in former times, this was probably a very natural way to begin “schooling” your children.

    I do think our public education system is mediocre at best because anything run by a large group of people completely out of touch with the needs of the other end of the spectrum is disastrous. I don’t trust the government to educate my children the way I see that they should. Personally I felt my public school experience from 7th grade on was terrible and horrific academically and socially. I begged my dad to homeschool me. I went to websites like yours and printed out articles, but my therapist deemed me a social phobic and said it was a terrible idea to homeschool me. My dad trusted the psychiatrist. I don’t blame him, but I do feel as if I suffered academically and socially and even emotionally as a result. That’s why I vow to be more in tune with my kids’ needs than my own parents were.

    As for people who say homeschoolers are clique-ish and exclusive, the type of people that have expressed those sentiments to me are those that have sent their children almost entirely to public schools. I never said the accusation has real merit, but with the tone of your article, I can see how they would feel attacked. Oftentimes those people are just trying to validate their own decision to public school their children. A condescending attittude on either side of the fence is dangerous. As the saying goes, you can be right but wrong at the top of your lungs. I am just saying that you seem to make very patronizing statements on your blogs. You have a condescending attitude about your conviction that everyone should homeschool. I agree with many of your points but not necessarily the way you express them. Maybe I am misunderstanding the tone. It is easy to do when you cannot hear someone speak and are only reading text.

    You make a great point that it’s teachers who stand to lose when people start revealing the true downsides about public education. This makes them very motivated to try to save their jobs and push their unions. I don’t blame them for wanting job security. However, I do believe their job security is at the expense of millions of children. For example, I am all for rehauling our federal tax system, but one of the reasons it will never happen is because the IRS will be out of work. It’s not right, but it’s the reality. So how do we change this? How do we show people that homeschool is not just an alternative for kids that are socially inept or those with terminal illnesses or fundamentalist Christians, but that it is a real, authentic, beneficial form of education?

    Instead of attacking each other, I think we should decide how we can work together. You and I don’t agree when it comes to everyone should homeschool. I’m not at the point where I agree with that yet. But I certainly think we can stand on common ground and work together by promoting its advantages and reducing the stigma it has–the stigma that it is exclusive to the rich or the ones with teaching degrees, the stigma that it is only for religious zealots that keep their kids chained in a basement, the stigma that our kids are social outcasts and couldn’t keep up with academic rigor.

    I once thought about becoming a teacher. I’m glad I didn’t after reading about what teachers have to go through. They don’t have it easy either, and this is further testament to the failure of the public education system. How can one person be responsible for 30 students’ achievement when they are on a strict time table to cover test material? How can they tailor their lessons to 30 different students’ needs and anticipate all the difficulties students might have grasping those concepts? And then to lose their jobs with their students don’t perform? It’s not right. Teachers get a crap end bargain, too. Most of them, I’d wager, would much rather have smaller class sizes and more one-on-one focus with their students. I’d bet most would admit that they way we do things now is not the way to keep doing them. If the system was willing to evolve, I might have some faith in it. But it has become a dinosaur, which is why I do personally feel strongly about homeschooling my children.

    If the system evolves, I will re-evaulate. But I still feel as if no one cares more about my children’s education than I do. Which is why even if I am not formally teaching them myself, I want to have a say in the type of person and the character of their teacher. I just don’t feel I will find that in public education while my children are school-age.

    I think you have great intentions, and I’m glad there are resources out there like this for potential homeschool families. Please don’t misunderstand. I’m an ally, not an enemy.

  4. Hi again, Ashley,

    Then we actually agree on most points. I must tell you though that nearly ALL the “P.R.” out there is pro-teacher, pro-public school. This has been so for decades. The few voices telling the truth are shouting in the wilderness against a hurricane of “experts” who actually know nothing about kids or education, and have the lousy results to prove it.

    If you find me “strident”, so be it. Accommodation with people who are devastating education in this country is making a deal with a devil I want nothing more to do with, and I am far from alone in this sentiment. We do NOT need to work together with schools and teachers. They’ve done their destructive bit, for generations, and sucked the resources of our country dry in the process while bankrupting our potential. We DO need to get rid of them.

    You’re right – government can’t successfully engineer the education of children. Large groups cannot serve the needs of individual children, not well. I welcome you as an ally! But then please understand that those of us who have fought this fight for many years see it as a deadly serious war, with the future of our children at stake. Let me ask you – if your child’s life was endangered, would you consider accommodation with those who wished to hurt him or her? Would you sit down at the table and talk, knowing that those who wish to harm your kid had already successfully destroyed millions of other kids? Would you have a talk, really? Discuss ways and means of…what? Would you offer to help them out, show them the way, while they continued their horrific business as usual? I truly doubt it, nor should you. And frankly, it IS your children, given their ages, that we are discussing now. It is their future at stake if homeschooling is made more-or-less illegal, as has been done in Germany, Sweden, and other countries – and as teacher unions are working very hard to have happen here in the U.S.

    DO homeschool your kids – sounds like you’ll do a great job! You have the right ideas, and I wish you great success.

  5. It’s astonishing really. When the priest scandal rocked the Catholic Church, ALL priests, were (and still are in many cases) vilified. How is it that teachers (of whom there are many, many more perps) continue to be “let off”. According to John Jay Law Criminal College, which did an investigation, less than 2% of the total priest population was involved in the scandal and of those, nearly 90% were homosexuals. The media is outraged when religious (and in the case of perps, I use the term loosely)are accused in these crimes, but we almost never hear of it (or there is little fanfare) when it is a teacher. Why is this behavior more acceptable in the schools? Maybe there is a lot more to the fact that Planned Parenthood is welcome in our school systems, while abstinence programs are ridiculed and shut out and that the Gardasil vaccine is so heavily pushed by school nurses. Don’t perps flock to places where they can easily get access? And the schools are ideal because they can push their agenda on vulnerable children at the same time.

  6. Hi Arline,

    Well, it’s certainly NOT more acceptable to me! You describe well the mindset of the kind of abusers who would take jobs as teachers with the intent to take advantage of children. And there are many, many, many. The public outrage should be enormous. These are our children! I’m not getting into the planned parenthood discussion with you. Suffice to say that we do agree about abusive teachers. They belong in jail.

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