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Hey, teachers, leave them kids alone!

This morning, I looked at three separate stories out of Massachusetts. All involved sex and schools. Naturally, my prurient interests were aroused.

In the first case, a father was outraged when his 12-year-old daughter came home with a "health risk" survey. One of the questions she was being asked was "how many oral sex partners she has had."

In the second case, a principal and group of teachers decided to give a retiring colleague a unique gag gift. Inpsired by the "Calendar Girls," they posed in towels (over swimsuits) in and around the school after hours for a calendar to give their friend. But when the photographer was informed she was not having her contract renewed a few months later, she retaliated and filed a formal complaint against the principal. The school board is planning a hearing on the matter soon.

In the third story, three Methuen teenage boys have been suspended from school, banned from buses, and are facing felony charges for surrounding and groping a girl on a school bus. If convicted, the boys will have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Now here comes the part that is challenging my brain. To my way of thinking, someone asking a 12-year-old girl the particulars of her sex life (presuming she has one) ought to be locked up. Instead, the Commonwealth is paying people to do this. And while what the staff of North Andover school did was a bit risque and inappropriate, it was entirely private until one person decided to use it to get even with those she saw had wronged her.

And which incident is more likely to have led the boys to surround and assault that girl? Apparently, it was the teachers with the camera, not the perverts with the survey.

Maybe this would be clearer if I had kids. But god, I hope not.

(12:45: Update: Link in 3rd story fixed; no longer leads to imdb.com. Thanks to Irenefingirene for catching my error.)


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Comments (19)

In the First Case...Did the... (Below threshold)
Skip:

In the First Case...Did they ask how many Rainbow or Chicken head paries she went to?

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/084116.php

The third story link is inc... (Below threshold)
IreneFingIrene:

The third story link is incorrect.

whats even more disturbing ... (Below threshold)

whats even more disturbing is I bet she has had a partner.

I've got kids, and it's qui... (Below threshold)
Mark:

I've got kids, and it's quite clear enough that you've got it right. Survey/perverts bad, picture/friend neutral at worst, idiots on bus BAD.

I would not be at all happy... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I would not be at all happy, if my daughter was taking surveys at 12 about her sex life. If I recall right, the parents weren't permitted to take a copy of the survey home, they could only look over it at school.

I can't say that the teacher calandar thing bothered me a whole lot-as a parent-it probably wouldn't have affected me at all anyway.

The bus situation is very bad, and those boys involved are pretty sick.

My wife and I moved to Mass... (Below threshold)
Mike:

My wife and I moved to Mass. 4 years ago and she recently gave birth to our daughter (our first). Stories like these are the reason we will not be raising her in this state. And if we find we have to stay here, she will not go to public schools.

These stories happened in M... (Below threshold)
Mark:

These stories happened in Marxachusetts. I'm not too surprised.

The boys who were on the bu... (Below threshold)
Diana:

The boys who were on the bus should be punished. If they get off then they will think they can get away with more. One step away from being rapists.

Assuming that the accusatio... (Below threshold)
TnTexas:

Assuming that the accusations are true, I think the boys' behavior was atrocious and definitely needs to be addressed, but isn't condemning 13, 14, and 15 year-olds to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives going a little overboard?

Think it depends on the cir... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Think it depends on the circumstances. Many sex offenders actually committ their first offenses while in their teens. Also, the fact that the girl was not consenting to the acts at all, she was grabed and groped against her will, makes it much worse.

The idiot boys on the bus n... (Below threshold)

The idiot boys on the bus need to be slapped down hard, and no mistake. However, making them register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives seems a bit over the top, though. How bout this: Surround each of the chumps with about 5-6 homosexual men and let them have about half hour or so of free grope time. The chumps will soon learn all about unwanted sexual advances.

No, I suppose we can't do that. But these "sauce for the gander" solutions tend to appeal to me.

I don't care about the calendar, which appears to be a semi-innocent prank that got out of hand.

People who write the amoral sex-ed curricula, though, in my opinion ought to be boiled alive in their own blood and entrails. There is no excuse for corrupting the morals and the innocence or young children.

What's even worse about tho... (Below threshold)

What's even worse about those "surveys"?

The kids take delight in lying on 'em.

All my girls, sometime in high school, were given a survey that allegedly was to measure sex, drug use and family dynamics. Parents didn't weren't even told about them. All my daughters and all of their friends found these surveys intrusive and a waste of time so their solution was to lie like crazy... tons of sex partners, lots of drugs and really dysfunctional family dynamics.

I have never put ANY credence in ANY "self-reported" stats from such surveys ever since.

Who knows what the purpose ... (Below threshold)
cancon:

Who knows what the purpose of the sex survey was, but the sad reality, stick your head in the sand if you want, but 12 years are having sex - oral and the old coitus interruptus. Do we need another survey to find out what experts are already saying? Should parents be given a say about these surveys? I don't know. Are schools doing anything positive with this information? Are kids just lying anyway? My recollection is kids as a rule tend to under report sexual activity or maybe that's the girls underreport and the boys over report LOL.

Regarding the teachers - the fired teacher is a bitch, friends even teachers should be able to have fun. Or they should have made sure this one was in the calendar too so she couldn't complain.

The boys groping the girl - yes they deserved to be punished but I would assume as minors, like all other offences, it wouldn't go on a permanent record, therefore why would they be labelled sex offenders as minors? I could see a rape by a minor being bumped up to adult court but not a groping, unsavoury as it is. Are we sure the media got that story right, you know how they are these days, this way is so much more sensational.

" Should parents be given a... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

" Should parents be given a say about these surveys? I don't know. "

Um you really don't know? Yes, parents should have a say, and know what the schools are teaching and handing to their children. While I don't disagree that there are 12 year olds out there having sex, I find it intrusive for somebody to come into my child's school and hand out a survey that asks very personal questions to a captive audience, and then not give me any say as to whether or not I want my child asked those questions.

I don't think so.

If you want your 12 year old to take a survey like, then by all means answer one of those lovely ads asking for study participants in the newspaper, but frankly I would prefer the personal questions be kept out of my child's school.

" Should parents be given a... (Below threshold)
modrod:

" Should parents be given a say about these surveys? I don't know. "

Of course parents should have a say in anything a public school does. The school is not the parent. The school’s authority derives from the parent, not the other way round ----contrary to what some of them would like or believe.
If public schools were to focus more on their original mandate, teaching in the classic sense of scholarship, instead of the ever intrusive and increasingly depersonalized social agenda, perhaps the nation’s children wouldn’t rank so abysmally in so many subjects on the global scale.
The classic tipoff of this creeping Sovietization is the lack of information available for the unsuspecting parent, and the obstacles put in the way of the parents who want some control over the timing and content on the social issues their children are going to be exposed to.
My personal experience with my children has been similar to Mr. Fisher’s, the Shrewsbury MA father. I hope he and likewise-minded parents prevail in changing the school’s policy, but I imagine it will necessitate a lawsuit or the passing of a specific state law. Bureaucrats do not cede any authority, real or imagined, lightly!

Another aspect to consider ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Another aspect to consider (and keep in mind) is the many films that have been available for a while now, generally labelled as "comedy," that include "funny" renditions of memories of the filmmaker and/or the lead character relaying how he'd (all males so far that I've seen so depicted) soliciting oral sex while a pubescent and/or early teen from an female child.

And Woody Allen wonders why *some people* found his behavior alarming. And as with Allen, there are many films where some sort of untoward sexual encounter is depicted/discussed between the filmmaker as autobiographical reference at an earlier age with some young girl, mostly as renditions of developmental experiences via memories or thereabouts.

This sets up the assumption by most viewers that it's an aspect of development as a child -- sexual solicitations -- and some sort of goal to achieve, something that is to be experienced...it encourages, even subliminally, aberrant behaviors by others. So, we get the filmed works by aberrant personalities, encouraging other aberrant behaviors.

I think those boys should certainly be punished and most especially, counselled (importantly, by whom) because they are acting out social/cultural information that they're undoubtedly immersed in (thus, their aberrant behavior and in such a casual area as a school bus, indicates to my view that they had little awareness that they were doing anything outrageous).

The first two incidents indicate both terribly negligent (if not far worse) school administration, much less unqualified instructors allowing those deeds. I'd not only reconsider the instructors involved but also the school administration, is my point, because irresponsible people with teaching credentials aren't hired by themselves.

But I don't think that unde... (Below threshold)
-S-:

But I don't think that underage people should be labelled 'sex offenders' for their lifetimes based upon underage problematic behaviors such as here. Some, yes, when there's a pattern of predatory and cruel assault upon others underage, but not for what's been described here.

Their deeds were awful and indicate a problem or problems that need to be addressed, yes, but I would never conclude that those boys were "sexual offenders" for a lifetime, because it may just be a case of inadequate/insufficient parenting that's led them to make up what they want when they want it and general impulsiveness has been allowed to set in without any parenting along the way to assist with development.

I'm not sure I understand w... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I'm not sure I understand what the big deal is when it comes to the teachers making the calendar. Are we really so foolish as to believe that just because someone has a job working with kids that it means that they are somehow puritanical, or even that they should be? Actually an assumption that they should be is probably the more absurd of the two.

As for the survey that was given to the 12 year old, I think a better question might be IF she is involved sexually with any of her peers. Asking how many she is involved with presumes that she is involved with someone, and might give her the impression that is is supposed to be, or that most of her peers are. Not that this sort of thing doesn't happen already. I remember being 12 and assuming that all of my peers were boinking like crazy because of how much bragging went on. It wasn't till I was a little older than I realized that most of them were lying.

The situation with the girl on the bus is obviously a very bad one. Even so I don't think it would be wise to label a 13 as a sex offender for life because of it. Such labels should be reserved for those who are a genuine threat, not for teenaged boys who make mistakes. Of course I would have to know more about what happened on the bus. It could very well be that one or more of these boys is very much deserving of a felony conviction and being made a lifelong pariah. If so, throw the book at them.

OregonMuse - you're an idio... (Below threshold)
Jake:

OregonMuse - you're an idiot. Homosexuals aren't child molesters by default.

As far as the idea that 12 year olds aren't having sex... well as one commenter mentioned, stick your head in hte sand if you like.

One of my friends is a teacher, and she walked into the girls bathroom one day to find a girl on her knees giving blowjobs to 5 guys at once, who were all in a circle around here.

This was a 7th grade girl. She was 12. This happened several times in that school year. And this was a fairly affluent, white school.




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