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comments on pop culture and schools

     Well, it’s happened again: I pay very little attention to pop culture, but the first thing that comes up on my Juno start page is "entertainment news" from People Magazine. One day the headline said something about a television star who announced that she is pregnant, so I checked just to see if it was more of the "same old, same old," and it was. "Mary Lynn Rajskub, who plays computer whiz Chloe O’Brian on Fox’s 24, is pregnant, she tells PEOPLE. Rajskub, 36, and her live-in boyfriend Matthew Rolph, 27, a personal trainer, are expecting their first child at the end of the summer." I really have no idea who this person is, other than what is said in the item, but it seems rather typical of these "entertainment news items" today. Back when I was growing up in the 1950s and early 60s people often warned about how Hollywood was a cesspool of evil, but then it was quite tame compared with the current time. Are there any "celebrities," especially younger ones, left today who actually respect the institution of marriage rather than living together and having babies out of wedlock–even proudly so? And what is worse is that much of society seems to glorify and glamorize this kind of behavior rather than soundly rejecting and condemning it! Whatever happened to "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes — with a baby carriage"? Now, it is, "First comes love (i. e., sex), then comes a baby, then comes a proposal of marriage–maybe." I surely hope that homeschooling parents (and all Bible believers) are teaching their children better than this.

     Suspect Arrested for Photographing Students’ Buttocks: Barb Frank of The Imperfect Homeschooler (Cardamom Publishers) filed this one under the "What Our Kids Are Missing Out On Dept." and observed, "This brings new meaning to School Picture Day."  On Nov., 2007 Sandra Haros of KTAR and KPHO.com reported, "Getting snacks to kids wasn’t the only thing a high school food service worker had in mind when he got busted for bad behavior. Ricardo Espinoza-Valdez, 28, a contract food-service worker for Scottsdale schools is accused of taking pictures of girls’ buttocks and legs at Saguaro High School by positioning a digital camera in a box near their skirts, Scottsdale police said. " Jeff Thomas with the Scottsdale Unified School District said, "Monday afternoon a student told a staff member that she thought she observed a temporary food service worker attempting to inappropriately photograph students in the courtyard with a camera phone." The next day, the principal and the assistant principal watched Espinoza-Valdez and saw him engage in the same activity with another female student. They confronted Espinoza-Valdez and seized the camera, then notified the School Resource Officer who began investigating the incident. The suspect was detained at the school for sex crimes detectives. When detectives arrived and interviewed Espinoza-Valdez, he admitted to taking and/or attempting to take photographs/video of female’s buttocks and legs approximately 10 times within the last 30 days. Espinoza-Valdez also admitted that he had also done this before at Chaparral High School and at Fashion Square. Right now police are examining Espinoza-Valdez’ phone to figure out who the victims are. Espinoza-Valdez is being held in custody for 2 counts of Disorderly Conduct. Espinoza-Valdez also has an ICE hold. Other felony charges are pending further investigation. He has been given a $1 million bond. The suspect is reportedly a contract food service worker for the School District and was working at a food cart in the courtyard. Police say Espinoza-Valdez is not here legally. His green card had expired. Admittedly, this kind of thing could happen anywhere, and it is true that the school district in this case acted promptly and appropriately. But public schools, where there are all those girls (or boys as the case may be) together, make a very tempting target for perverts.

     A public school double standard: Susan of Corn and Oil writes about a school pushing out a 6 year old boy. (Pushing out is when schools decide that they no longer want the child at the public school.) Susan found a ChicagoTribune.com article about a child barred from class in a residency dispute. The article starts with: "Sebastian Fortson doesn’t quite understand why he can’t go to school. He misses his friends, computer time and recess. For the last six weeks, the 1st grader has been barred from attending Willow School in Homewood because officials say he does not live within the district’s boundaries. His parents, who are amicably divorced, insist that he resides with his mother in a light blue tri-level, across from a park on 187th Street. But the boy often spends three to four nights a week with his father in nearby Beecher because his mom is a nurse who works nights." The parents have been forced to homeschool. In general I do think homeschooling is the best option, but public schools have no business forcing parents to homeschool. There are a couple things wrong here: 1) The school has a budget to fight this. The parents don’t The parents have already spent $20,000. 2) There is a double standard. If a teacher gets acused of a crime, the school district has to keep paying the teacher until the issue is resolved. But if the school district decides to kick a student out, the student is out. (Monday, Feb. 4, 2008; Henry Cate, http://whyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2008/020public-school-double-standard.html ). Note from Wayne: Another double standard here is that public schools are constantly complaining that homeschoolers cost them money, yet here one school is refusing to let a student come. You would think that they would welcome him with open arms for all the federal and state dollars they would get for him!

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