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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 20, 2010 9:38 AM. The previous post in this blog was It's official. The next post in this blog is Keep Portland beard(ed). Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Another great moment in education

When the kid's smarter than the teachers, he and his parents need counseling.

Comments (14)

I wonder if it would still be acceptable to do the volcano demonstrations that were so popular in science fairs when I was a kid.

Hope the kid's parents encourage him to remain maladjusted.

Way to ensure India and China keep beating us at education in the sciences! Maybe we can counsel this kid into becoming a part of the creative class. That will make sure America's future is secured.

Sometimes it makes you think there is no hope!

God save us

The original mind will always come up against violent opposition.

Just another example of dumbing-down to the lowest common denominator. That is what many schools have become.

I wonder if tort reform would help this problem. So many reactions are based on worrying about potential legal consequences.

Lawyers, Cowards, Knaves. Did anyone bother to ask the kid what it was? This is what our fear based society yields. Shameful!

Many years ago before 9\11 I made a container out of two tall juice cans with black tape and plastic lid. My daughter was taking drafting and it held her class supplies, she left it on a bus bench down town and someone alerted the police who wisely blew it up, supplies and all. She went before the city council and was awarded $25.00 bucks. And this was before terroism...now she would be jailed and kicked out of high school, we've come a long way, liberty out the window and scare-ism haunting us.

I know one of the teachers at the school in question. She knows the kid and was there on the day in question. The reporter from the Union Tribune relied almost entirely on the kid's parents version of what happened. The school administrators and the district are not at liberty to speak due to legal concerns and in light of the child's special status.

Would it surpise anybody that what has been reported by the press has almost zero basis in truth?

I would be curious to know WHY it violated school policy. What materials did he use in making his motion-detector? My 10-year old son can be quite creative in using objects in ways they were not intended to be used, and I can imagine all sorts of items that might not be allowed at school but might be included in an 11-year old boy's idea of a motion detector.

Another thing I'm curious about is how the student presented his invention, and what his normal demeanor is. Does he teeter on the edge of violence, or is he a gently thoughtful child? What happened when the invention detected motion? Thrown knives? or an alarm and flashing lights?

I have been very grateful for school administrators who have taken the time to understand my son and have looked into what was going on in his head when he did or said things that might have gotten him suspended if taken out of context.

A friend noted this on her Facebook profile:

"Chronicles of mommydom: on the perils of raising thinkers. 01/20/09 at 4:36pm

I received a phone call today; a call from Dakota’s English teacher. And it was not a call to praise his good works. No. It was a call to address the behavior he is exhibiting in class. Apparently he is disruptive. He is not the only one though mind you, but he seems to be the ‘leader’ of antics. And so I asked…is it of an offensive nature?

No. It is not. He is too clever. This is what I was told. He is TOO CLEVER. Hm...I thought… John Lennon was clever too. “Please… continue…” I said.

He likes to answer everything, and ask questions. She assured me that she doesn’t think there are stupid questions, and in some cases he asks things that others may not know…even though she knows he knows the answer. I asked her how that was bad. She said she spends most of the time answering his questions. I said, “Is that bad?” I asked her if they were out of line or off track of the subject. She assured me they were not.

I think she was getting frustrated with my questions.

I asked her to please give me a specific example.

She went on to tell me she decided to give Dakota two sticky notes per day. He could trade in each note for a question to be asked. She rationed his questions to two per day. She told me he ripped each note into three pieces and said, “Ok. Now I have six.”

Through slight pauses in my hysterical laughter I managed to let her know, I thought that was very clever indeed. And as a mother raising children to be adults in this world, I am very happy to hear he had the brains to extend his rations. As I apologized for my outburst; while the laughter still ensued…she could not help but join in.

Lori and Dakota Slee"

Is Mister Tee's comment an indictment on the depth of inquiry by the media?

Contrary to Mister Tee's comment, the Union-Tribune reporter relied entirely on the school authorities (unnamed) and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (Maurice Luque). Here's the link. The only sentences in the article not directly attributed to Luque or the school spokesman or authorities, were statements that could have come only from the school, such as, "A vice principal saw the student showing it to other students at school about 11:40 a.m. Friday and was concerned that it might be harmful, and San Diego police were notified." Thus, the shameful image presented of the school is entirely of the school's making, even though that does not appear to be the reporter's intent. Absolutely nothing in that article is attributed to the parents or student or even appears to have been influenced by the parents or student.

So, Mister Tee, despite your comment on the article having zero basis in truth, to use your phrase, we'd still like to hear what your alleged insider has told you about what really happened.

to the friends of Lori and Dakota Slee: After Lori's interview of the harried teacher, why isn't Dakota homeschooled?


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