Readers of this Blog; and, you are legion, know I’ll not shy away from a good cause. Reasonable examples of this include: Berkeley’s Contribution To Terrorism and Texting and Driving to Death. My heart is on my sleeve daily, and what’s on my mind is, more often than not, in these posts.
Education, my daughters, and adventure are always likely topics.
Nonetheless… Who would have thought; although I should have known…
…my own daughter is a revolutionary.
The winds of change are blowing stiffly through the halls of Hopewell Middle School.
We Home Schooled Haley Anne for almost three years. And, in that period of time, many of my own Jeffersonian ideals clearly rubbed-off on her. Fairness, representation, truth and light to name just a few standards, if you will.
Haley Anne and her sister Emma Jo “mainstreamed” themselves this year. By any definition, they are well-adjusted and poised young ladies. Willfulness is part of all that. But, that’s okay by me because they are full of ideals, and the vigor to realize them.
And, now Haley is clearly influencing her friends.
So… For me, this story begins, possibly in the middle of significant events that began with Joanne calling and letting me know that the schools Principal had Haley Anne’s cellular telephone and was requesting a meeting as quickly as possible.
“Haley’s not home yet. I don’t have any details”, I was grimly informed.
But, soon we learned…
(well, we already knew that) Haley Anne’s (then) Home Room teacher looks to be in her late thirties. However, by way too many accounts, she acts like another thirteen year old. She ignores most of the kids while she sits in front of her classroom computer, with a favored student, and shops Holister online (just so we are clear, I’d rather our kids not be exposed to that for now). The other students are lucky if she gives them enough attention in the form of grading other classes home work for her.
Haley Anne took the position that any amount of time spent in this teachers classroom was wasted. “She doesn’t teach us anything”. And, she was offended by the teachers unprofessional actions that included using words like “deusche” to describe other teachers, and “gay” relative to unfortunate students that raised her ire. She would go so far as to belittle students for not wearing trendy clothes.
Haley Anne had been signaling Joanne and myself that she was not happy with the teacher. And, unfortunately we failed to take her seriously. Even when Haley Anne reminded me that I would not allow her to shop at Holister because of the poor image it portrayed young men and women, and this teacher was shopping on that very site in front of the class, and making remarks out loud.
So, Haley Anne took matters into her own hands. She discreetly (and, the cow teacher would not have noticed anyway) began taking video footage with her cellular telephone. She approached the schools principal with this evidence, but was ignored. So, she instinctively began talking about the problem, openly in the halls of Hopewell (oh, the irony of that institution’s name!). At some point, and during a particularly heated berating of another student, the teacher realized she was being filmed (by Haley Anne and another student). She demanded that Haley Anne turn over the cellular device.
Naturally, being a Cork, Haley Anne stood her ground (she’s also a formidable Defender on her soccer team, and thus, accustomed to stopping foes cold in their tracks). As reflected by many a coward the teacher had little stomach for the righteous. And, I can, with a smile, picture in my minds-eye, Haley Ann’e beautiful brown eyes arched in cold and indignant fury.
Thomas Jefferson would be proud, of this I’m certain, reader.
We did meet with the school’s principal and the woman they call a teacher (with a straight face, no less). All she could muster was an pouty, self-indulgent, and indignant claim that (her own) “…feelings had been hurt”. She did deny that she shopped Holister. That was until I advised her a simple technology and forensics audit could put the question to rest. At that point she sat back in her chair and chose to go quiet while the Principal promised to see what accommodations could be made for Haley Anne.
The teacher in question is now openly hostile and Haley Anne is being censured. For example, she was pulled from a transitional class (homework) where she was surrounded by friends with whom she could go to lunch and dropped in the midst of a group of bullies who openly threatened her. She stood her ground, certainly. But, more on that later.
There is now more to this unfortunate story. And, it will be reported, here. Of that you can rest assured. Please don’t forget to hold me accountable for truth and light in this matter. This is about me being both a father and a Prudent and Optimistic Gentleman.
NOTE: Regarding scienter… The Principal, as the authority, now understands there is an issue in his ranks. He has no choice but to resolve it, or be damned by it.
I’ll be sending that Principal a copy of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead – and, you know there will be a quiz, in one form or another.
Peace be to my Brothers and sisters.
Brian Patrick Cork