Several Mississippi moms connected online through a statewide homeschool network.
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political opinions, educational issues, and general discussion. Pull up a seat and enjoy!
The George County School District has taken the advice of the state Department of Education and launched an independent investigation into an alleged assault of a high school baseball manager. George County High School Principal Paul Wallace said late Friday that the independent investigation so far has turned up no evidence of anything other than horseplay. Wallace said the investigation was launched last week, and official results are still pending.
Wallace also conducted his own investigation into the alleged assault, and he said he found no proof of anything other than "horseplay." As a result, he said, "it's been dealt with," though he couldn't talk specifics because of privacy laws involving minors.
The second investigation comes on the heels of state Education Superintendent Hank Bounds telling the Sun Herald that he'd expect the district to take immediate disciplinary action against students involved in any type of hazing on school grounds or property.
When is 'horseplay' hazing or assault? In my book it would be when the victim says it is. The George County High School Principal's attitude that "boys will be boys and it's just 'horseplay'" is infuriating.
The accused still face misdemeanor assault charges. The George County Sheriff's Department is handling a separate criminal investigation, with each of the seven accused charged with one count each of misdemeanor assault. School Board members could not be reached for comment.
Last week, School Board member Wendall Fallon said, "You got 12 boys saying one thing and one child saying another."
The one child of course is the VICTIM of the assault. Fallon also said horseplay or hazing incidents happen every year at schools everywhere and not just in George County. Fallon said he's heard from friends or relatives of the accused, saying all of them are "pretty upset." The friends and relatives of the accused are upset!!!!!! What about the friends and relatives of the VICTIM????
It's time those in charge put a stop to hazing, bullying assault or whatever they want to call it. These incidents shouldn't be happening every year in our public schools.
"Almost two-thirds of the state budget went to education," Fillingane told about 25 members of the Area Development Partnership. "We were able to approve a 3 percent raise for teachers ... so we've come a long way."
Almost two-thirds? Say that out loud: "Almost two-thirds of the state budget went to education."
Ah, the memories of hosing down sheep before a show at the state fair, soaked to the bone outside in near-freezing temperatures, teeth chattering and knees knocking as the scent of Woolite and manure fill the air...those were the days (even now, I have olfactory-triggered flashbacks of sheep-washing every time I launder my knit delicates. No kidding.).
4-H has changed a lot since then. Many people still associate 4-H with cows, quilting and hog calling contests, and believe me, those fine opportunities are still around. However, 4-H has much more to offer, especially if you homeschool. Savvy homeschool parents realize quickly that 4-H is a skill-building, problem-solving, independence-fostering, leadership-training smorgasbord of learning opportunities.
Check out the 2007 Project Manual (medium-sized PDF), and you will find everything from interior design and modeling to welding and small engine repair. There's bicycle safety and food safety, horse photography and just plain photography (horses optional). Entire units explore food and nutrition, gardening and soil preparation, pest control and general entomology.
One often overlooked aspect of 4-H is its emphasis on communication, visual presentation and record-keeping skills. Opportunities for older youth, in my experience, have been under-utilized. I hope our local 4-H group can remedy that in our county this year. We just had our Spring/Summer kickoff with nearly 50 individuals present (which was more than we were expecting).
If there is not a Homeschool 4-H group in your area, consider starting one. With the support of experienced 4-H youth agents and tons of support available online via websites and email groups, one does not have to be a proficient hog caller to be successful in 4-H...though it might help with rustling up the younguns to come indoors.
State Superintendent of Education Hank Bounds said Thursday he'd expect George County School District officials to take immediate disciplinary action against students involved in any type of assault or hazing on school grounds or on school property.
"If something occurred on a school bus that was inappropriate, then clearly the administration and School Board should take action," Bounds said. "If what I've read about this is true, then clearly there should be some consequences. "It sounds like it was inappropriate to me."
It sounds inappropriate to me too.
George County School Board member Wendell Fallon said such behavior is common, saying "it happens every year on every bus."
In addition, he said, the School Board has no immediate plans to do anything, though a special meeting could be called before the next regularly scheduled meeting in May.
Conveniently after the playoffs, call me a cynic but if star athletes weren't involved somehow I think they could get around to meting out punishment sooner rather then later. The fact it happens every year and NO ADULT in charge has bothered to put a stop to it is extremely troubling.
In addition, Fallon said the case is in the hands of the Sheriff's Department and, as he sees it, "the School Board is out of it."
Bounds says otherwise, noting he, as a former principal and superintendent of the Pascagoula School District, has imposed disciplinary action against students in the past for much less.
Bounds said he's reviewed information sent to him by the Eley family and talked with them briefly. He said the state would intervene if it determines there is a safety issue or that such incidents are happening frequently.
"Bad behavior is bad behavior," Bounds said. "And if it's happening every year on their buses, then they need to take some action to stop it. It's not appropriate. It's not appropriate at school, and it's not appropriate on a school bus."
I am so glad Bounds got around to scrutinizing the public schools he is in charge of.
A 12 year old George County student is not only speaking out against mandatory school uniforms in public schools, he is collecting signatures (479 so far) on a petition and is prepared to go before the school board to make his case. You can read the rest of the story here.
George County has also been in the news due to the seven players who are accused of assault. So nice to know the school has it's priorities right.
George County school officials and the Sheriff's Department are investigating. Meanwhile, the accused have not suffered any immediate punishment and are continuing to play ball. (George County made it to the playoffs you couldn't expect them to take some of their best players out of action).
16 year old Garrett Eley has been unable to attend school, since March 23rd, due to the assault, but don't worry the school will help him finish the school year (he is suffering from PTS and is under a doctors care). You can read the update on that story here.
I don't think this is what organized sports are meant to encourage.
The parents of a George County High School baseball manager have hired an attorney to represent them in action against seven high school baseball players accused of holding their son down on a school bus, tearing off his pants, covering his mouth and taking pictures of his genitals.
The coach made the boys involved watch a film on violence. The accused are still allowed to play ball as their team advances toward the 5A South State baseball championship. Although the school has taken no action, the victim's parents filed charged and all seven suspects have been arrested. One of the students involved is apparently the school's "golden boy":
"The school is covering it up because one of the players involved is their 'golden boy,'" the alleged victim's mother said. "He has already received scholarships and they cannot understand why we don't just let this go. I don't think they are going to do anything about this until after the baseball season is over. [snip]
"Those students have not missed a class or a baseball game," the mother said. "And my son is not able to go to school. He was on the prom committee, and he will not be able to go to the prom because he is afraid.
"The school is calling this a hazing. It's not. It is an assault," the mother said. "It stopped being a hazing when he stopped being a willing participant."
The family and their son continue to be harassed. From The Sun Herald:
Since the Eley family filed the charges, they say they've been ridiculed by students in the community, with some driving by and shouting obscenities or calling their son names. Others have sent text messages, called Garrett a punk, among other things, and telling him he should've been able to "suck it up."
The family has put up a fence to help their son feel safer, and this week, Linney Eley took her son's tuxedo back because he can't go to the prom this weekend. She said someone even drove on their property and tore up their yard.
She said her son has been throwing up and crying and shaking uncontrollably since the incident.
He is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder as he finishes his last few weeks of school through a home-study program.
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