Currently my son is still in the public prison-- uh, school -- system (we'll be in a position by summer to pull him out, thank goodness!) and let me tell you just a small sampling of some of the insanity we've had to deal with this year: (Disclaimer: long rant follows)
-In an introduction to the Constitution they were given a cheesy little flier discussing the Bill of Rights and explaining that these are "rights given to us by the government". How lovely! Isn't the government SO kind to "give" us these rights? Well, golly folks, we sure are lucky to have a government that is so generous, unlike some of those mean governments out there.
-Heaps upon heaps upon HEAPS of worksheets sent home every week as evidence of all the busy work they are forced to do every day. Parents are expected to look through this garbage and sign a sheet to send back to the school. Yes, even the parents must show compliance.
-My son's English teacher (in my district they split the day between 2 teachers starting in 3rd grade, one teaches reading and language arts, the other math, science, and social studies) has proven numerous times she doesn't have a strong grasp of the very subject she is responsible for teaching. Writing "Do Friday" instead of "Due Friday" on an assignment, writing in his conduct folder "was suppose to get one ticket, but took two instead" ("was suppose"? Erm, "supposed"), and then, my personal favorite: On a fill-in-the-blank worksheet they were sent home to complete for a Christopher Columbus reading assignment the first question, which they had completed in class, read : Christopher was a young boy about _____ years ago and had red hair. My son had "ten" written in the space. I said "Korbin, that's not right. He wasn't even alive 10 years ago." He told me that's what she told them the answer was. I looked at the answer bank and saw that "500" was the only other numerical option given for possible answers and had him change it after explaining why "ten" couldn't be correct and "500" made sense. When I got the worksheet back in the "weekly pile" she had put a big red X next to that question with the message "We did this one in class", and docked his grade for the assignment. I wrote a very eloquent little note to her explaining how her answer couldn't possibly be correct and that "500" was clearly correct and stapled it to the worksheet for him to send back to her. Korbin said she got a little huffy when he gave it to her and told him she would fix his grade.
-My son was told by one of his P.E. teachers (P.E. consists of little more than the kids running in circles, by the way) that he couldn't wear the sweatshirt he had on to school anymore because it has a skull on it. I checked the student handbook I was given at the beginning of the school year and it doesn't mention skulls anywhere in the dress code, so I called the principle. He informed me that the district has a policy of not allowing clothing with skulls, dragons, and wizards. Fortunately, he at least has some sense and said he would not enforce that rule because he felt there were more important things to be concerned about and agreed with me that it doesn't make sense to not allow clothing with skulls when they sell posters of, and books about, zombies and vampires at the book fair. He told me he'd talk to the teacher and Korbin could continue to wear the sweatshirt, but warned me that the middle school follows that rule strictly.
-(Last one, I promise!) The week before Valentine's Day his homeroom teacher sent home a note about their Valentine's party with names of all the kids in class. It also explained that because February was "Heart Health Month" (this was news to me) instead of candy or cookies or cake, they would be making trail mix in class. I was then instructed to refer to the back of the paper to find the circled items that I was to buy and send to the school. Now, I was thinking the list would include different types of nuts, dehydrated fruits, dark chocolate chips, possibly pretzels. Nope. Peanuts, pretzels, and about half a dozen types of sugary cereals including Fruit Loops, Reese's Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, etc. The healthiest item (peanuts) was later omitted (along with the Reese's Puffs) because it turned out the new girl who had just transferred into the class is highly allergic to peanuts. So glad the kids got to eat sugar and HFCS instead of... well, sugar and HFCS. Seriously, these people are friggin' brilliant.
Alright, I'm done. Sorry for the tirade everyone. Though, I do feel a little better now :)
I'm reaching up and reaching out.
I'm reaching for the random or what ever will bewilder me.
And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
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