According to a report on WJBK Fox 2 News, a 15 year old special needs student engaged in consensual sex with two separate boys on two separate occasions in the boy’s bathroom on the third floor of Mt. Clemens High School. The girl reported she did it once last year, and once a few months ago. She said that she regrets her actions, and wishes someone would have stopped her from entering the bathroom.
The report failed to mention whether this happened during a normal passing period, or if the girl secured a hall pass from her teacher and then strolled into the boy’s bathroom for her secret soiree. My money’s on the latter.
The girl’s mother quickly jumped on the school blame train. She also said that someone should have stopped her from entering the bathroom. She believes that the school should be held accountable for failing to constantly supervise her daughter.
And why not? After all, the school has cameras in the hallway and employs five security officers to roam the halls. Surely at least one of them was on the same floor as this girl and could have stopped her from going into the boy’s bathroom.
And maybe tomorrow, pigs will fly and I will be a Mega Millions Jackpot winner.
The simple fact of the matter is that no one can watch a student’s every single move in a school, much as a parent cannot watch their child’s every move at home.
Even with security cameras and security staff, there is always the possibility that someone who was watching the cameras sneezed at the exact moment the girl entered the boy’s bathroom. One or more of the security staff could have been in the bathroom themselves at the time these alleged incidents occurred.
If the school had the policy of sending a security officer to escort this special needs student to the bathroom, the mother most likely would have complained that the school isn’t letting her have enough autonomy. She would moan that the school needs to teach her daughter to be self-sufficient in preparation for life outside of the school walls. Either that, or she would have argued that the school was invading her daughter’s privacy by not allowing her unescorted restroom visits.
It has long been the approach of secondary schools to blend catering to special needs students and also allow them a certain amount of autonomy. Their goal is to educate students not only in book knowledge, but in street smarts as well so that special needs students will have a chance at survival in a world that has very few accommodations for their needs.
Parents are invited to attend the meeting to hash out their child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Normally, parents are advised to extend this education to the home because teachers normally only have contact with students for six and a half hours.
The obvious questions here are: Why didn’t the mother of this student tell her that she shouldn’t be having sex with boys at her age, especially in the boy’s bathroom at school? Why is it the responsibility of schools to wag their fingers at students and tell them that having sex in the bathroom at school is not appropriate? How are the people watching the video screens supposed to know the special needs of the student in question wasn’t a trans-gender student that had been cleared to use either bathroom?
Federal privacy laws prevent teachers and administrators alike from disclosing to anyone not involved in the student’s education the details of their IEP (including security guards). Therefore, if this girl was in fact trans-gender, no one except for the teachers, administration, and parent would know.
Schools are increasingly being forced to eliminate required physical education and health classes in favor of meeting the AYP standards for No Child Left Behind. In some schools where these classes are still required, special needs students are unilaterally exempted from them.
This story simply reflects s disturbing trend of parenting in which some parents believe that schools are functionally responsible for teaching their children everything. These same parents believe that schools not only need to protect students every second they are in the building, but every second they spend walking home or riding the bus to and from school. They think schools not only need to prevent bullying in school, but prevent cyber-bullying outside of school as well.
Well, the secret is out. Schools are operated by human beings, who have very real and human needs of their own. Every single student in every single school cannot be monitored every single second of their school career.
Parents need to take responsibility for educating their children outside of school. They need to ask their children daily what they learned in school, and fill in the gaps as they feel is necessary. Most of all, parents need to stop immediately shifting the blame for their child’s chosen behavior on the schools for failing to prevent that behavior.
The more parents depend on schools to do their job for them, the more of a police state schools will become. When schools finally switch their job description to “Big Brother,” parents will no doubt wonder why their students are not receiving any sort of education.