Monthly Archives: February 2008

Teachers who Molest – Shh…Wink, Wink

Brace yourselves for this one: The Oregonian on February 18 exposed a demonic deal made in 2004 between the Salem-Keizer Public Schools and a teacher.  Here’s the deal:  if the teacher resigned, they would conceal his alleged conduct (touching and grabbing butts) from the public.  Moreover, they promised not to reveal the teacher’s behavior if potential employers called looking for a reference.  They would attribute his departure to personal reasons and make no reference to the agreement. 

The Oregonian confirmed 47 similar confidential settlement agreements.

“During the past five years, nearly half of Oregon teachers disciplined for sexual misconduct with a child left their school districts with confidential agreements…. Some promised cash settlements, health insurance, and letters of recommendation as incentives for a resignation. 

The practice is so widespread, school officials across the country call it ‘passing the trash.’”

I think school systems around the country should be examined to ensure this “trash passing” isn’t happening in your area.  Also, every parent has a moral obligation to every other parent and child to report such abuse to the police – in spite of embarrassment – so that these worms will be forced above ground.  And by “worms,” I don’t just mean the molesters.  I mean the administrations that would clean up their yards by dumping trash in another’s yard and put unsuspecting children at risk.

Disgusting.

Next Time, Try Marriage

Scathing criticism of the lack of maternity care insurance for women in the United States recently appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

“Barely two months into her pregnancy, an ultrasound triggered some alarming  news for Meagan Armington.  The fetus, thankfully, was fine, but Armington’s health insurance was not.  To Armington’s dismay, the policy she bought from Aetna about three years ago did not provide maternity coverage, forcing the 31 year old single-mom-to-be to pay for the prenatal visits out of pocket.  Due to give birth in April, Armington faces labor and delivery costs of at least $7,500.”

I know a lot of folks don’t want reality to interfere with their completely unfettered personal activities, but the main point of this article should have been that she’s not married – and not that the insurance companies are bad guys.  The sure-fire method for avoiding financial issues during pregnancy and child-rearing is a marriage.  She bought the insurance for her single lifestyle.  At thirty-one, you’d think she’d know about birth control, adoption, or marriage.  Instead, we have the same nonsense that defends irresponsible behavior and looks for some institution to blame for not coming to the rescue.

At best, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.  At worst, this is irresponsibility and journalistic nonsense.

R Movies In The Classroom

One mother in Huntington Beach, California went through ten lawyers until she found Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (pacificjustice.org, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of students and parents) to help her.  All the other attorneys suggested she was a “prude” and chastised her about not being up to speed with 2007.

Her advocacy prompted the Huntington Beach Union High School District trustees to consider a proposal that would regulate movies in the classroom.  The proposal would require teachers to obtain parental permission before showing portions of R-rated movies.  The policy essentially discourages the use of R-rated movies in the classroom.  Evidently, the Huntington Beach district did not have a written policy.  How convenient. 

Mr. Dacus is quoted in the Orange County Register of January 15, 2008 (www.ocregister.com/news/movies-kazor-policy-1959439-teachers-school) as saying: “The garbage they showed these children…was a very serious breach of parental trust.”  The mother said: “These teachers are supposed to be us when we’re not there.  They’re supposed to be role models.  I wanted the opportunity to have the permission sent to me in the form of a permission slip.”

Taking up classroom time showing a whole movie seems to me to be a lazy way to approach a teaching job.  Recommending a movie to students and then sending a memo home to the parents making that suggestion and explaining its value, seems a more responsible and professional means to what is supposed to be an “educational” aid.

Freezing Eggs and Making Choices

The “Work and Family” section of The Wall Street Journal recently had an essay describing why some single women choose to freeze their eggs.  Mind you – the essay was about single women.

Evidently, only 2-4% of frozen eggs once thawed yield live births.  Also, it’s not yet clear whether babies born from such eggs will face any long-term health problems.  So it would seem that many women risk making important life decisions (like staying with a career long in life) based on false assumptions that their fertility is secure.

The procedure (which ranges from about $9,000 to $14,000) has been used as a way to preserve fertility for cancer patients facing treatments likely to render them sterile.  This is a benevolent use of this budding technology. 

However, most of the interest seems to come from women delaying marriage and child-bearing because they are ferociously career-oriented and/or can’t find or keep a good man.  I would like to send them each a copy of my book, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands,” because it is cheaper and more to the point.

These women want to “make a close family” (never mind that there would be no Daddy in this “close” family), or give their parents the “gift” of a grandchild (making a child a present).  Nowhere in the article did the notion of a single woman making a baby for herself point out that this may not be in the best interest of the child!  I guess that doesn’t matter.

Quote of the Week

Since today is George Washington’s actual birthday, I thought it appropriate to hear from him this week:

Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
                                     - George Washington

Planned UNParenthood is Anti-Family

Talk about dangerous and destructive!  A Johnson County (Kansas) grand jury is investigating Planned “Un”Parenthood to determine whether the abortion provider complies with Kansas laws on parental notification and the 24-hour waiting period.

The grand jury panel has asked for medical records of sixteen women who had abortions in 2003.  Planned Parenthood is refusing to turn them over, claiming patient privacy right violations.  However, the grand jury wants the following patient information:  date of birth, date of last menstruation, dates and times of medical procedures, and notifications and/or consultations with patients.  The grand jury is not asking for any patient-identifying information like name, social security number, address, phone numbers or next of kin – they can be eliminated before the information is sent on to them.  So much for patient privacy violations.

Additionally (according to the Kansas City Star), charges allege that Planned Parenthood performed illegal later-term abortions in 2003 and falsified, forged, and failed to maintain related records.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are also pushing San Diego’s school board to end long-standing policies which require parental notification when students are pregnant and contemplating abortion, and parental consent before students leave campus, including trips to abortion clinics. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are claiming that this violates the privacy rights of students and that the mentality is “antiquated and dangerous.” 

I’ve had conversations with some of these ACLU and Planned Parenthood types over the years, and it’s absolutely scary how paranoid they are about parental involvement in their children’s lives.  They are thoroughly convinced, it would seem, that parents universally impregnate and/or beat their children, and that only they are the grand protectors of children.  If that’s so, I wonder why Planned Parenthood gets in trouble for not reporting molestations when adult males bring in minor females for abortions?  Gets mighty confusing to me.

Happily, the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) sent a letter to the school board, urging them to stand by their parent and family-friendly policies and offered free legal assistance if those policies are challenged in court.  PJI President, Brad Dacus stated in the Standard Newswire that “Contrary to ACLU and Planned Parenthood propaganda, parental responsibility is not antiquated or illegal.  It is indispensable to a decent society.  We urge the San Diego School Board not to cave in to pressure from radicals who ignore common sense and distort constitutional principles.”

PJI’s affiliate attorney commented:  “Parents are morally and legally responsible for their minor children, so it is just common sense that they should be aware of their children’s whereabouts, particularly if they are being subjected to life-altering medical procedures, such as abortions.”

Seventeen Magazine Responds…

Last week, I posted a blog entitled “Accidental Sex?” in which I commented about an article in Seventeen Magazine entitled “Shocking Ways You Could Get Pregnant By Accident.” 

I got an email from a listener who had written to Seventeen to complain about the article.  She sent me a copy of their response, or as she said: “let’s be sure not to alienate anyone, was their bottom line.  Good grief!” 

Good grief, indeed.  I’ll let you be the judge.  Here’s the letter from Seventeen:

Thank you for your letter.  We are very interested in all of your comments, questions and concerns.

Seventeen has a readership of millions of girls, and it is our mission, indeed our obligation, to give these girls information, entertainment and advice they can turn to.  As the oldest magazine in existence for teenagers, we also have 60 years of experience in talking to them and finding ways of getting them to listen.  We have found that when teens feel they are being lectured, condescended to, or getting nothing but “don’ts,” they stop listening.

What we attempt to do in every article is to give teens basic facts and warnings, in an effort to make sure that if they do decide to take a step, like to become sexually active, they are aware of the most likely issues and safety conditions and will at least think twice about what they are doing and try to do it in the most responsible way possible.

We at Seventeen work as best we can to get the right kind of message across without alienating readers.  We will continue to try to give our readers advice that works, and to serve them as well as we can.

Thanks again for writing us.

Sincerely,

The Editors