School bus driver lets children take the wheel

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Children in Indiana got the trip of a lifetime, while their school bus driver got a trip to the unemployment line… If she doesn’t wind up in prison, that is.

Joandrea McAtee, 27, a school bus driver for schools in Porter Township, Indiana, was fired, and subsequently arrested, after video emerged of her allowing students – it’s alleged three were involved, ages 11, 13, and 17 – to drive the bus on their way home from school. Passengers captured the driving lessons on video, and their parents immediately alerted school officials.

“Don’t you tell no other adults,” McAtee tells one child, while in another video a woman is heard saying, “it’s all good. It’s all good. I’m letting her stop at Michael’s stop.”

McAtee was then taken into police custody as she arrived at the bus depot to pick up her final paycheck. She was charged with neglect of a dependent (that’s it???). The “investigation” is still ongoing.

Porter Township is a rural community a little more than an hour from Chicago. The bus slowly made its way down Lourdes Street with a small girl at the helm, most likely from Boone Grove middle school. Keep in mind that most school buses either don’t have seat belts, or don’t enforce their use.

Porter Township bus driver let 11-year-old, 2 teenagers drive: police

School bus driver fired for letting kids take the wheel

Indiana Bus Driver Fired For Letting Kids Drive The Bus

Joandrea McAtee, bus driver, accused of letting students drive

The high cost of sexual assault in schools

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image courtesy Aurora Police Department

As if it weren’t enough that the victims of sexual assault in schools carry their pain and trauma into adulthood and often for the rest of their lives, school districts often face the payment of huge settlements to try and make up for the placement of a pervert in the classroom.

Cherry Creek School District in Arapahoe County, Colorado, has reached a $11.5 million settlement with five victims of abuse by one Brian Vasquez, a 34-year-old former social studies teacher at Prairie Middle School. He has pled guilty to charges of sexual abuse and attempted sexual abuse, and according to officials, has admitted to sending explicit text messages to all five victims and having sex with at least two of them.

That’s not all: it emerged that one victim attempted, way back in 2013, to report the abuse to school officials, including a principal and counselor, who did nothing with the information. Both were indicted on misdemeanor charges for failing to report the allegations to police. It’s alleged that at the time the victim made the allegations, she was not only forced to recant her statements and apologize to her abuser, but was then suspended from school.

Cherry Creek School District encompasses 65 schools in the Denver/Aurora area. In their budget report they project the per-student spending for the 2018-2019 school year to average about $8,100. The $11.5 million settlement paid to the 5 victims equates to the education budget for over 1400 students within the district. Two million dollars will come from the district’s insurance policy (because, hey, you’ve got to be prepared for things like this, am I right?), and the remaining $9.5 million will come from budget reserves.

Prairie Middle School has received a poor grade of 3/10 from GreatSchools, citing test scores well below the national average and lack of support for lower income children (who make up about 75% of the student body). Parent feedback about the school is mixed.

Vasquez will be sentenced later this week, where he faces up to 40 years in prison. He taught at Prairie Middle School for seven years. Prior to that, he worked in two other Colorado school districts.

Vasquez has two young children.

School District Announces $11.5M Settlement With Students Sexually Assaulted By Teacher

Prairie Middle School teacher Brian Vasquez now faces 31 felony child sex charges

Cherry Creek School District to pay $11.5 million to 5 students who were sexually assaulted by a teacher

Cherry Creek School District Profile of Student-Based Budgeting for Schools FY2018-19

Prairie Middle School on GreatSchools.org

Teachers’ Unions Play Politics

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We’re coming upon the time of year when parents and children alike obsess over which teacher(s) they will receive for the upcoming school term. There is no real implied choice in the matter; similar to your “zoned school,” most families don’t search beyond what’s handed to them, so if a student doesn’t mesh well with their instructor, it’s “too bad, Jimmy, better luck next year.”

But, on the rare chance your child’s teacher isn’t a pedophile or serial public pooper, and doesn’t have anger management issues, perhaps you’ll gloat about what a wonderful person they are. “He shares my values,” you may say, or “She attends my church.” “We’re both supporting _____ in the Senate race.” This, you tell yourself, is the perfect person to replace you during the average of 8 hours a day your impressionable youngster is in school.

You would be wrong.

Regardless of a teacher’s political, religious, or otherwise ideological views, they are subject to the all-powerful organization known as the teacher’s union, which has overwhelmingly only one agenda.

Whether you agree or not with a union supporting certain political parties, the fact that teacher’s unions have in recent years given 94% of political contributions to liberal candidates and organizations. This money is not solely from donations, but from dues paid by those illustrious, upstanding teachers at a school near you.

Besides your standard Senate candidates and, of course, Hillary Clinton, NEA (National Education Association) and AFT (American Federation of Teachers), the two largest teachers’ unions in the United States, have contributed to many decidedly one-sided organizations, including but not limited to: the Human Rights Campaign (national group working for “working for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights”); the Center for American Progress (progressive think tank led by former Clinton and Obama aides); and Jesse Jackson’s “Rainbow Push Coalition” and Al Sharpton’s “National Action Network.”

Millions upon millions of dollars are spent by these unions every year to support candidates, policies, and organizations on just one side of the aisle. And what’s more, from 2004 to 2016, their donations grew from $4.3 million to more than $32 million. What’s more, Democratic bigshots like Hillary Clinton are welcome faces at union events; Clinton received the AFT’s “Women’s Rights Award” on Friday, and the response to her presence at the Pittsburgh event was akin to teenyboppers at a Justin Bieber concert.

“But that’s just the union,” you protest, still trying to remain in denial. “They don’t represent the values of OUR teachers!” Oh, really? Then who DO they represent? And why are they taking their money? The truth is, teachers listen to their union leaders, and believe they will fight for them to have less time with your kids and more money for what is essentially glorified babysitting, for much of the school day. If union leaders tell them to vote one way, chances are, they will. Because just like they are teaching your kids, day in and day out, to be mindless automatons dependent on someone else to tell them what’s in their best interest, teachers will often blindly follow their leaders. In fact, they are more likely to revere their local union leaders over their school principal.

So before you recommend your child’s teacher for canonization, perhaps you’d best examine where their loyalties really lie.

Hillary begins speech: ‘I’m so tired, I can barely stand’

Big Political Spending By Unions–Paid With Dues

OpenSecrets.org – Teachers Unions

How Liberal Politics and Teachers’ Unions Got So Entangled

Former boarding school teacher charged with child rape

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image courtesy Milton Police Department

Thailand has a reputation as a center for child sex tourism and child prostitution. And that’s exactly where accused pedophile Reynold Buono had been living before his recent return to the United States, where he was then charged with child rape of a former student of his.

Buono, who pled not guilty to the charges, once led the theater department for over 10 years at Milton Academy, which is both a boarding and a day school in Milton, Massachusetts. He left the school in 1987, when he was approximately 43 years old, after acknowledging his molesting of a 14-year-old male student (where were the charges, then?). He’s since been living in Thailand for an undisclosed amount of time (some sources say he relocated to Southeast Asia shortly after leaving Milton Academy). American authorities traveled to Thailand last November, and in cooperation with the Royal Thai Police, arrested Buono and brought him back to the United States to face charges.

A private investigation last year revealed that Buono molested at least 12 male students during his tenure at Milton Academy. An attorney representing 5 of them (no word on if charges have been filed, in their case) said Buono did “incalculable damage” to the lives of these students. Court records filed in the rape case said Milton Academy’s headmaster knew Buono was allegedly abusing students as early as 1982 but let him remain on staff after he spoke to Buono’s psychiatrist. It makes one wonder how many other schools have suppressed information related to their staff’s criminal behavior.

Students at Milton Academy can expect to pay upwards of $60,000 a year to attend this school, which asserts that living on its 125-acre campus allows teens to “study and live in supportive, inclusive academic communities where they learn about independence and responsibility in the classroom and beyond.” I’d say a number of students learned way “beyond” what they bargained for, 30 years ago.

Ex-Milton Academy Teacher Captured In Thailand On Child Rape Charges

Former Milton Academy faculty member accused of student rapes is held on bail

 

North Carolina high school health teacher and track coach chokes student

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Brian Kelley was suspended with pay a month ago after a video surfaced showing him choking a student. He has since resigned from his job as a “healthy living” teacher and track coach at Apex High School in Apex, North Carolina.

We send our children to school, believing they will be safe there. But the assault on their well being comes from all sides: from the community, students, and teachers alike. Not every teacher is dedicated to your child. Unless you can personally vet every educator your child has (and even if you could), how will you know for sure what kind of person they are? Getting a “good teacher” is hit or miss. In a few months, as children return to school after summer vacation, parents around the country will gloat on social media about their children’s “great teachers.” It helps them feel like they didn’t just throw their kids to the wolves. But the reality is, children come in contact with a lot of school professionals over the course of one school day. Who’s to say one won’t be a pedophile, or have anger management issues, or maybe is just having a bad day and decides your child looks like an easy target?

Apex High School teacher resigns after video appears to show him choking student

 

Boy asks school safety question during White House press briefing

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A much more accurate headline would read, “Boy coached to ask school safety question during White House press briefing.” Coached by whom is anyone’s guess – probably a parent or teacher. You know: the two groups of people closest to him, the two groups of people who should be most committed to his safety and well being. And what they’re doing is essentially passing the buck.

Whether or not one agrees that it’s the government’s responsibility to educate (and thereby indoctrinate) our children, one needs to ask oneself if the government’s responsibility for the care and safety of our children should EVER trump the responsibility we as parents have. Regardless of where you stand on gun control, regardless of where you stand on mental health issues, bullying, and lack of preemptive intervention by law enforcement, the central question remains: why are parents and teachers so willing to send their kids into a minefield? If that little boy is so traumatized, why is he still going to school every day? When did we reach a point that throwing our children to the wolves was not only deemed necessary, but something to be encouraged and, at times, celebrated?

Sarah Huckabee Sanders got emotional in her answering of the 13-year-old’s question, as well she should have; every act of senseless violence, especially those committed against children, are tragic and unnecessary and disgusting. The fact that children as young as 4 regularly attend institutions that hold “lockdown drills” and receive bomb and shooting threats is also tragic and unnecessary and disgusting. But perhaps as parents, and as teachers, it’d be better to look within, to say, “What can WE do?” rather than “What can the government do?” when it comes to protecting our children. Perhaps, the answer lies, not in reforming the system, but abandoning the system altogether.

Boy asks school safety question during White House press briefing/

Sarah Sanders chokes up when boy questions her about school shootings at White House briefing

Student penalized for wearing “offensive” shirt to school

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image courtesy Amazon.com

Schools are notorious for stripping away students’ individual rights. In this way (and in many other ways), school isn’t like prison – it’s worse than prison.

Case in point: Addison Barnes, a student at Liberty High School in Hillsboro, Oregon, was suspended from school for wearing a pro-Trump, anti-illegal immigration t-shirt to his People and Politics class. Barnes was undoubtedly being deliberately provocative, as he knew his class would be discussing immigration that day. At least one student and one teacher reported feeling “offended” by his choice of attire.

Because offense is subjective, this is a slippery slope that could warrant the banning of all clothing on school grounds (but is nudity offensive? Should we all wear togas? But what color? Do white togas connote nationalism? Are we Nazis?). Schools and other public places are justified in banning items on clothing that are (for now) generally offensive, such as pictures of genitalia or curse words.

The fact that the student was aiming for a reaction is a moot point. Teenagers are always looking to “shake things up,” rebel against the status quo, and make an impact with their words, looks, and behavior. Teenagers in Parkland, FL have been praised by mainstream media outlets for “taking a stand in what they believe in,” after a school shooting earlier this year that left 17 people dead. Discouraging the promotion of one train of thought but promoting another is a violation of one’s freedom of speech and is akin to censorship, something most liberals claim to abhor.

Does everyone love President Trump? Certainly not. Are some people offended by him? Most definitely. It is cause for the banning of a shirt referencing him and his policies in a public school? Not in the slightest. Schools should remain impartial to such things, because they are government run. In this case, the school knew to some extent that their punishment of Mr. Barnes was misguided, because they lifted his suspension. However, they still banned him from wearing the shirt on school property. Does this mean that I can have white shirts banned from school because they offend me? (“Cultural appropriation!”)

He was suspended for wearing a Trump shirt. Now, he’s suing his Oregon school district