City officials sharply disputed yesterday widely distributed reports that a local elementary school suspended a second-grader and required the boy to undergo a psychological evaluation for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross. ...So there is some dispute about whether the stick figure on a cross was supposed to be Jesus, but the public school stands its decision to order a psychological evaluation based on the doodling of a 9-year-old boy.
“The report is totally inaccurate,’’ Julie Hackett, superintendent of the Taunton public schools, said in an interview in her office yesterday. ...
She said the drawing was seen as a potential cry for help when the student identified himself, rather than Jesus, on the cross, which prompted the teacher to alert the school’s principal and staff psychologist. As a result, the boy underwent a psychological evaluation.
She declined to comment on the results of the evaluation or whether the teacher had reason to believe that the student was crying out for help. The boy’s father showed reporters a report indicating his son was not a threat to himself or others and could return to school.
“In this case, as in any other case involving the well-being of a student, the administration acted in accordance with the School Department’s well-established protocol,’’ she said in a statement. “This protocol is centered upon the student’s care, well-being, and educational success. The protocol includes a review of the student’s records.’’
The school's justification is that it was following protocol. The protocol ought to be changed. Until it is, you should realize that your local school could do this to your kid at any time.
After twenty uears in the school system at various levels, including elementary, I can make the following observation. You and others would be equally outraged if harm had come to the boy and the school had ignored possible warning signs. When the kids at Colombine came to school and shot thier classmates, everyone was up in arms and saying "were'nt there any warning signs." As it turns out there were plenty, but nothing was done.
In the recent story a teacher saw something that he or she couldn't fully interpret, but thought might be significant. So the teacher sought assistance for the boy. Now the boy is back at school and absent the clamour of the media and well meaning do-gooders, the matter is done.
It is also a matter of record that can be consulted if there are other unsettling signs in the future.
and the matter is done, eh? At what cost to the child and parents? From my personal experience in the education "industry" teachers can barely teach the subjects properly, simply teaching to pass tests as opposed to teaching them how to learn and think critically. If the students are lucky.
How are we to expect teachers to act also as social workers and psychologists in crowded classrooms when the so-called professionals in those fields don't know what they're doing, and in fact likely need more help themselves than the poor blighters at the receiving end of their ministrations.
Our school districts out here in CA, especially Santa Cruz County have hordes of district psychs and whatnot itching to justify their salaries looking for issues that don't necessarily exist except perhaps in their own minds. I'm reminded of the "Child Catcher" in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, though those folks will go looking for "bad parents" as well. Had one try to brand my son as "schizophrenic" and place him hardcore special ed when he was already diagnosed by many others with more time and intelligence that he simply has a relatively "mild" case of autistic spectrum disorder. Thankfully that was successfully beaten and he's doing just fine in middle school.
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