Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Throw Away Children

No Child Left Behind seems to be based on the premise that all children are created equal. While that is what the Decoration of Independence says, it’s not really grounded in the reality that we see and deal with on a daily basis.

Case in point – a family of 3 children, A, B & C. A is 9, severely emotionally disturbed, academically very low and also possess a most unpleasant personality. His teacher, who has taught for 30 years proclaims him as one of the most dysfunctional students she’s ever encountered. B who is 6 & C who is 5 have the same mother as A but a different father. That fact is readily apparent since A is Caucasian while his half siblings are of mixed race. Both B & C are also very low academically and emotionally disturbed. They aren’t quite in as bad shape as A but then they are younger.

They arrive at mid year, and we are their 3rd school. They quickly become legends in their time and after a couple of months their mother withdraws them. Two months later, much to the dismay of all they return. By now they are on their 5th school in the space of one school year

Little by little, the story unfolds. Mother has a new man who has a criminal record and uses drugs. Mother and Man have left the city, leaving the children with the paternal grandparents of A. Paternal grandparents have no blood ties to B & C.

Grandparents try to cope and can’t so they insist their son take A. Son of course wants nothing to do with B & C since they aren’t his children. A is withdrawn and goes on to school # 6. B & C enter the wasteland known as the Texas Foster Care System. They too will go on to school #6 and possibly #7.

The chances of B & C being adopted or finding a permanent foster family are slim. They aren’t particularly attractive children (that does make a difference) nor are they particularly pleasant or enjoyable to be around. They just don’t have that “spark” that makes one mongrel puppy stand out from the rest of the litter. There are so many holes in their souls that they drain everyone around them dry trying to fill them up.

And some how the Shrub that is our President holds these children, the teachers who teach them and the schools they attend to the very same standard as schools where the children come from a stable family and with every advantage money can buy.

You’d think that his wife, who is a former teacher would have explained this to him. But perhaps she only taught at schools whose children were just like hers so she has no more clue that he has about the “other world” that is out there.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

She did. She only served in a very affluent Dallas (I think) school district, and not for very long.

I don't think either of them have a clue about what an at risk child is...it's not just a lack of money. Sometimes the lack of money is because the parents have a serious lack of parenting and working and social skills.