Who benefits from online classes?

emptyschooldark

New York City entered and remained (and to some degree, still remains) in a strict lockdown earlier this year in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the huge COVID-19 outbreak there. Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have already released plans for the reopening of schools in the fall, which include alternate-day schooling to minimize the number of students in the city’s already-overcrowded buildings. “Make no mistake,” the district website assures parents: “New York City students will still be learning 5 days a week.” Sure, they will.

But in the struggle to transition to online learning during the 2020 Spring Semester, when lockdowns were quickly put into place and schools shuttered for months on end, many students fell behind, making it necessary to attend virtual summer school, which, unsurprisingly enough, they are also failing. Rachel Forsyth, a director at Good Shepherd Services, a nonprofit helping such students attempt to succeed, said, ““For our students who have already been at the margins of education … education is not really happening.” I’d argue that’s the case for more than just those at the “margins of education.”

Many students blame their lack of achievement in summer school courses on their lack of rapport with teachers they’ve never met before. Teachers will say the same, also citing difficulties with communication and the provided curriculum. Technology issues have further complicated the situation.

The problem with stories like these are that they convince many families that the only way to get back to “real,” “effective” learning is to bring teachers and students back to the classroom. But when COVID-19 safety protocols mandate social distancing, mask wearing, contact tracing, and regular disinfections, one wonders how much time is left for learning, especially on top of the already-existing standardized testing, “character education” disguised as indoctrination, and other nonsensical intrusions into the day.

NYC students already behind in class struggling in virtual summer school

 

Student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day of school; school open for business by Monday

greenfieldcentraljh

A junior high in Indiana is under scrutiny as the family of one of its students sent their child to school on its first day of the Fall term even though the results of a COVID-19 screening were still pending.

The student indeed received a positive result sometime Thursday, and the health department notified Greenfield-Central Junior High in Greenfield, Indiana, which in turn notified students and faculty that afternoon in an email. As part of the district’s “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol,” the school quickly isolated the student, and extra care was taken to disinfect rooms he or she may have been in. The student’s schedule was examined and everyone seated within 6 feet of the student is now required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. (Because you know children always sit still in exactly the place they were assigned – I’m sure the rest of the class is fine.)

When interviewed Thursday evening, Harold Olin, superintendent of Greenfield-Central Schools, said, “Tomorrow we will carry on. Obviously we will have fewer students with us, but we’ll continue with what we’re doing.”  Students did return to school Friday, and all systems were a go by Monday morning, when all but the aforementioned students returned to their regularly scheduled classes. 

Greenfield-Central Junior High is located in Greenfield, Indiana, about 30 minutes east of Indianapolis. It serves about 750 students in grades 7 and 8. It has an impressive rating on Greatschools.com overall, citing average or above-average standardized test scores. Approximately 95% of the student body is white.

The school’s website makes no mention of the exposure.

Students at Indiana school back on campus after classmate sent home with positive Covid-19 test

Indiana student tests positive for Covid-19 on first day of school

Greenfield Central Junior High student tests positive for COVID-19

Greenfield-Central student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day back to school

GC Junior High

Greenfield-Central Junior High – GreatSchools

Teacher gets 8 years in prison for sexually assaulting up to 88 first graders

We’re told that teachers undergo rigorous training and extensive background checks before being admitted to their sacred profession, and that those that somehow slip through the cracks are just talented actors and scam artists who managed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and convince them they are normal and decent and actually committed to educating and helping your children.

We don’t know much about John Austin Hopkins’s background; only that he was hired by Springboro Community City Schools, not for his glowing credentials, but because he was friends with teachers and administrators at Clearcreek Elementary School in Springboro, Ohio. This was what is alleged by a class action federal lawsuit filed by the attorney representing twelve first grade girls at the school. The suit claims that during the 2018-2019 school year Hopkins, 26, a physical education teacher at the school, actually installed a doorbell on the door to the school gymnasium, which he locked, in order to sexually assault the girls in the class. The doorbell was to let him know if school personnel were attempting to enter, so he could quickly cover it all up, so to speak.

The above-named federal suit is still pending, but another case against Hopkins was recently heard, naming at least 27 victims (some parents allege there are as many as 88). After deliberating 11 hours, the jury delivered a conviction on 34 of 36 counts of gross sexual imposition. Hopkins was given just 8 years in prison, but it’s doubtful he’ll see even half of them before being released. For what it’s worth (all of nothing) he apologized to the victims’ families for his actions. “Clearly I have things to work on,” Hopkins said. “I will make the best out of any situation.” Very contrite. And he certainly made the best out of some situations, now didn’t he?

After prison, Hopkins will be required to report as a sex offender for 25 years.

Hopkins’s mother insists they’ll appeal his meager sentence, because heaven forbid her son have to pay for his actions.

Clearcreek Elementary School in Springboro, Ohio, serves approximately 900 students in grades PreK through 1. Ninety-three percent of students are white.

Ex-Springboro teacher gets 8 years for sex crimes on 1st-grade girls

Ex-Springboro gym teacher sentenced to 8 years in sex crimes case involving children

Federal class-action lawsuit filed against former gym teacher, Springboro schools

Clearcreek Elementary School – GreatSchools

Illinois high school teacher indicted by federal grand jury on child porn charges

image courtesy Facebook

A high school physical education teacher and cross country coach is hopefully rethinking some life choices after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on child pornography possession and distribution charges today.

Investigators discovered 90 videos and 176,000 images on Douglass Mynatt’s iPhone; over half of them depicted girls as young as 6-9 years old in sexually compromising situations. Mynatt, 56, apparently admitted to using his phone to trade child porn through an instant messaging app, which initially alerted authorities to the activity through its association with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. It was also confirmed that he accessed these files through his phone, both at home and while at work. The app originally tracked him sending files in January, and after reporting him, disabled his account, but Mynatt, not to be deterred, just created a new one. He was arrested in April and was immediately placed on paid administrative leave at University of Illinois Laboratory High School (“Uni High” to most), a school he’d worked at for a whopping 22 years. He was held by the U.S. Marshals Service until this recent indictment.

In a feature for Uni High’s Facebook page four years ago, Mynatt shared what he liked to do in his spare time (aside from trading child porn, anyway): “If I’m coaching, I don’t usually have free time. When I’m not coaching, I enjoy working in my yard, listening to music, fanatically following University of Tennessee sports… If I weren’t doing any of that, I’d be driving and traveling anywhere. I love to drive.”

Looks like Mynatt, who is married with a young son, isn’t likely to be doing any driving anytime soon. If convicted, he stands to serve at least 5 to 20 years in prison for every count of child pornography distribution, and up to 10 years for each count of child porn possession.

University Laboratory High School in Urbana, Illinois, serves approximately 300 students in grades 8 through 12. It has a primarily white and Asian student body, and parents sing the school’s praises on GreatSchools, with one touting it as “one of the elite public high schools in the nation.”

Just watch out for the pedos.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former Urbana University High School Teacher, Girls’ Cross Country Coach on Child Pornography Charges

Uni High teacher, cross-country coach arrested on federal child-porn charges

Former Urbana teacher, coach indicted on child pornography charges

Former Uni teacher indicted on child pornography charges

Uni High – Facebook – “Another teacher highlight Q&A featuring PE teacher, Doug Mynatt!”

University of Illinois Laboratory High School – GreatSchools