Sunday, November 16, 2008

Parental Rights

Parental Rights??

Being a Washington State resident I am well aware of the difficulty of trying to effectively raise uncooperative children who are age 12 or above in WA state.

The situation descibed next makes one wonder about the sanity of state law.

It requires discipline and effort to learn mathematics.
Discipline and effort contribute to a meaningful life.
Good luck with that in WA.

From the above link:

In the early 1980s, a landmark parental rights case reached the Washington State Supreme Court. The case involved 13-year-old Sheila Marie Sumey, whose parents were alarmed when they found evidence of their daughter's participation in illegal drug activity and escalating sexual involvement. Their response was to act immediately to cut off the negative influences in their daughter's life by grounding her.

But when Sheila went to her school counselors complaining about her parent's actions, she was advised that she could be liberated from her parents because there was "conflict between parent and child." Listening to the advice she had received, Sheila notified Child Protective Services (CPS) about her situation. She was subsequently removed from her home and placed in foster care.

Her parents, desperate to get their daughter back, challenged the actions of the social workers in court. They lost. Even though the judge found that Sheila's parents had enforced reasonable rules in a proper manner, the state law nevertheless gave CPS the authority to split apart the Sumey family and take Sheila away.


Anonymous said...

With Berg out of the picture, your group is losing some of its focus.

CEO of Parentalrights is Michael P. Farris, former director of Moral Majority.

Former Plaintiffs counsel in Bob Mozert et al. v. Hawkins County Public Schools et al.

The case being referred to as Scopes II had been set in motion three years earlier, when Vicki Frost protested against some of the textbooks being used in her daughter's school.

The controversy attracted national constituencies on both sides: Mr. Farris was backed by the Concerned Women for America, an anti-secularist lobby, and Mr. Dyk was backed by Norman Lear's People for the American Way.

To the plaintiffs, the "open- ended" questions used in the so-called "character education curriculum" are perniciously relativistic; to the defense, as Mr. Dyk puts it, "I think the beliefs are sincere, but I also think they are very, very broad beliefs and they are fundamentally inconsistent not only with the values of public education but with the skills that public education is trying to teach. An illuminating look at a deep division within our society."
- Hoover Institute

"In 1987, the U.S .Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit ruled that a group of fundamentalist Christian students in Tennessee had to participate in classroom use of a basic reading series which exposed students to competing ideas and philosophies, some of which were contrary to the students' religious beliefs (Deskbook Encyclopedia of American School Law, p. 59, 1996). This ruling reversed a lower court's decision to allow those students to opt out of a reading curriculum because of their objection to the textbooks used. The U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit held that "the students were merely being exposed to the materials and were not compelled to either do an act that violated their religious convictions or communicate an acceptance of a particular idea or affirm a belief" (School Law, Section 23:10, 1994). These decisions set precedent which today makes it difficult to successfully challenge texts and their associated content on the basis of violating the free exercise clause. Exposure to materials and ideologies which conflict with individual religious beliefs does not violate students constitutional rights nor does it place an unconstitutional burden on their free exercise of religion. Therefore, according to the U.S Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, this exposure does not violate the Free Exercise Clause. " -Wiki

This is an interesting lawsuit -

A wrongful-termination lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court that accuses East High School (Colorado) of fudging test score numbers:

A former East High School teacher assigned to improve the school's standardized test scores filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit Tuesday that accuses school officials of forcing disabled and minority students out of the school to improve test results. The lawsuit that Donna Otabachian filed in U.S. District Court also accused officials at East High of undermining attempts to help those students do better on the Colorado Scholastic Assessment Program, or CSAP, test.

An East High vice principal "identified high-risk EHS students and intentionally dropped the at-risk students from the EHS roles, with intent to manipulate the March 2003 CSAP scores," Otabachian alleged in her lawsuit...

Otabachian said she lost her job at East High after complaining to district officials and teachers union officials about the situation. She said she also was wrongly accused of stealing computers and of incompetence. Union officials themselves opposed efforts to improve test scores because that would have meant greater accountability for teachers, [Donna?]Otabachian alleged...

This was 2003, I'm not sure of the outcome.

The next link is a report done on recommendations for Test Security, with some frank talk about cheating on standardized exams. It would not be surprising if there were not stray copies of the WASL making their rounds throughout communities in Washington.

Anonymous said...

The story about Donna Ochabachian has a good ending I believe -

Ranch Good Days transforms girls at risk
Photo courtesy Ranch Good Days -- A group of girls from Ranch Good Days walked their horses down a path on the ranch;s property. Ranch Good Days is located on 379 acres of mesa in western Colorado near the Four Corners area. The nonprofit organization provides a temporary home, health care, education and healing through an equine-assisted therapy program to both Native and non-Native girls aged 13 to 22.
By Gale Courey Toensing / Indian Country Today

Story Published: Apr 18, 2007

Story Updated: Sep 10, 2008

BASALT, Colo. - In the high country of western Colorado, on land that is surely sacred, Donna Otabachian has created a healing place for girls at risk of losing themselves to the ferocious forces of alcohol, drugs, unhealthy sexual activity and violence that stalk young people on and off the reservation these days.

Otabachian is the executive director of Ranch Good Days, a nonprofit organization that provides a temporary home, health services, education and a transformational program to girls ages 14 - 21 who have few, if any, good options.

Anonymous said...

If you don't think this isn't happenning in Washington's schools, you'd best think again. I witnessed it and wrote about it. I won't ever go back to Washington - Bergerson was definitely a rat, but you have plenty more...