Transgender student locked out of a lockdown drill

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It’s nice to know that in the event of a true emergency, school officials will focus on what really matters: figuring out where to stick the transgender kid.

A transgender girl was allegedly barred from entering both the girls’ and boys’ locker rooms during a lockdown drill at her middle school in Stafford County, Virginia. She says she was forced to sit alone on the bleachers while the remainder of her physical education class took shelter in the locker rooms.

First of all, I didn’t realize that lockdown drills involved removal of clothing or anything else that may take place in locker rooms during normal school time. Wait, they don’t? So what did it matter where this kid went? Pull her into a room, and protect her.

In a place (meaning, public schools) where LGBT issues are typically discussed openly and non-conforming individuals are supported and often encouraged, the fact that things like this are still happening is truly mindboggling. This wasn’t even an issue of “Which bathroom should they use?” This was merely an issue of protecting a child’s life.

The next time you think you’re sending your child off to a place where those entrusted with their well being and safety will actually *care* about their well being and safety, think again. Because maybe next time, it won’t be a drill. Many schools don’t make the distinction between a “practice run” and a real emergency. And maybe next time they’ll deliberate where to put little Jimmy because he’s in the hallway between two classrooms (“You take him!” “No, *you* take him!”), or maybe Susan is throwing up so they moved her to the bathroom but now there’s an active shooter and her teacher hurriedly locks the classroom door, and “Where’s Susan? Oh, I’m sure she’s fine.”

Supposedly this transgender student had a teacher with them, as if this makes things all better. Good luck finding a teacher to be a sitting duck during an actual emergency. There are heroes, but there are also selfish idiots. Do you know which one is in your child’s classroom?

Transgender student barred from shelter in locker rooms during school safety drill

Transgender student allegedly barred from shelter during school safety drill at Virginia middle school

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

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