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Tag Archives: High school

Modern-Day Witch Hunts and Vigilantes — the politically-correct Mob’s (sex) War against Teachers – Part 1/6

When the media erupted in its usual ‘Yellow Journalism‘ fashion after James Hooker (age 41) quit his job as a public school teacher, and left his wife and children to shack up with former student Jordan Powers (18), my first thought was that he was going to be the victim of a witch hunt, because there is a double standard when it comes to teachers.

And I was right.

According to the law in California, 18 is the age of consent where one is considered responsible for his or her own decisions and actions in life.

For example, at 18, one may join the military and die for America.

That’s what I did after I graduated from high school, but I didn’t die. After Marine Corps boot camp, at the age of 19, I was sent to South Vietnam, where 58,269 American troops were killed in combat and 153,303 were wounded of the 2.6 million US troops that served there. The average age of a soldier in Vietnam was 19, and more than eleven thousand under the age of 20 were killed.

Why aren’t more mothers protesting this choice by their adult children?

For Powers, when she turned 18, instead of joining the Army or Marines to fight/die in Afghanistan or another foreign country, she chose to live with Hooker, her former teacher from an earlier school year. She dropped out of school and he quit/lost his job, which is what happens to most public school teachers that have an affair with a student that is age 18 or older. If the student is under age 18, the older teacher usually ends up in jail.

However, now a Republican California legislator by the name of Kristin Olsen has introduced Bill 1861 to make it a felony for a teacher to have a romance with a student, even if the student is over 18.

In fact, Mercury News.com reported, “Power’s mother … continues to lobby for a bill introduced by Modesto Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen that would make it a crime for high school teachers to date students of any age.”

In addition, there are currently 23 states that make it a felony for a teacher to date a high school student even if the student is 18 or older.

No wonder America has more people in prison than any other country in the world. If California’s Bill 1861 becomes a law, it will focus only on teachers. This means if Powers moved in with a 41 year-old fireman, policeman, used car salesman, lawyer, doctor or a corporate CEO, while she was still a senior in high school, that would be legal.

If Bill 1861 passes in the state legislature, an eighteen-year-old high school student such as Powers may have a boyfriend age 18 or older, and change them daily as long as the man isn’t a public school teacher.

By focusing on teachers, Bill 1861 is discriminatory. Leaving his wife and children at age 41 and giving up his job to live with an 18 year old might be poor judgment on Hooker’s part, but it is not illegal and never should be no matter the opinions of mothers or others.

In fact, The Economist published a piece on this topic called Rough Justice in America—Too many laws, too many prisoners. Never in the civilized world have so many been locked up for so little.

The Economist reported, “Justice is harsher in America than in any other rich country… America incarcerates five times more people than Britain, nine times more than Germany and 12 times more than Japan… Half the states have laws that lock up habitual offenders for life. In some states this applies only to violent criminals, but in others it applies even to petty ones. Some 3,700 people who committed neither violent nor serious crimes are serving life sentences under California’s ‘three strikes and you’re out’ law.”

Currently in California, a teacher can only be charged with a felony for engaging in a relationship with a student who is under 18 years of age.

Did you know that 60% of public school teachers leave the profession in the first five years and never return?  If California’s Bill 1861 becomes a law, that will be one more reason to stay away from the classroom because too many laws makes it a very risky profession—anger a student or a student’s mother, lose a job and possibly go to jail for a long time—all in the name of love with a consenting adult.

Continued on April 12, 2012 in Part 2 of the Mob’s War against Teachers

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 3/7

Macario was a talker and loved to be funny and get people to laugh, which wasn’t always welcome when it disrupted a lesson.

However, I must admit, even when Macario interrupted a lesson with one of his off-the-wall jokes or comments, I often laughed too.   It was impossible not to like him.

Then, as he often did after he cracked the entire class up, he would apologize.

Janice, on the other hand, was an “A” student that enjoyed reading books and was as determined as I was to motivate Macario to do the school work and study.

I conspired with Janice to find ways to trick him into doing his homework, which even for the young girl that loved him was a challenge. He was more into having fun than being serious about anything.

Some might wonder why I didn’t contact his parents. In fact, I had called them several times over the months and even had a face-to-face parent conference, but his study habits did not change.  I tried referrals to the counselor, and assigned after school detentions and even a Saturday school. Nothing worked

That is when I made the decision to see if Janice could help.

Between us, Janice and I managed to squeeze a “D” out of Macario in English his first semester in high school.  Without her efforts, he would have failed.

To make a long story shorter but not too short, I kept Macario after class that day and asked him what was wrong. He swore nothing was wrong but I could tell by the look in his eyes that he was disturbed and had lied to me because he glanced away to stare at the floor when he answered the question.

This was unusual since Macario had never lied to me. When confronted for something I saw him do in class, he always admitted guilt and said he was sorry (once again).

However, when Janice came into fifth period after lunch, I asked her what was going on and she told me everything she knew.

To be continued on June 15, 2011 in The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 2/7

Since I don’t remember the student’s name and will not spend the time to search my files to find it, I will call him Macario because he was a happy boy of 14 when I knew him.

Macario was in my fourth period class before lunch and he wasn’t a good student and seldom did his work but he was a good person and someone easy to like and almost impossible to get angry at.

I also knew his girlfriend, who I will call Janice, since she was in my fifth period class after lunch. The couple often came to my class at lunch when my high school journalism students were working. The chess club also met there to play chess and the high school environmental club met there once a month to plan hikes and projects.

One would think that spending lunch with friends outside would be preferable to a teen.

If you knew the high school where I taught and the gang culture that dominated it, it made sense that good kids would want to find a sanctuary from the potential violence. The gang culture then was large enough that it brought an armed sheriff’s deputy to campus daily, who sat in his squad car in the mall where most of the kids ate lunch and where all the gang bangers could see that shotgun attached to the dash.

The high school also had an unarmed squad of campus police officers.

However, getting Macario to read or do homework was a challenge and 75% of the way through the school year, I wasn’t having much success beyond the minimum necessary to keep his girlfriend from leaving him.

Macario wasn’t interested in school work or reading books, but he was always in a good mood and happy, which is what made me suspicious something happened the one morning he came to class early and with a dazed, disturbed look on his face and didn’t say a word all period.

To go an entire period without attempting to get others to laugh was not Macario.  At first, I thought he may have broken up with Janice, or a family member died or maybe his parents had separated and were going to get a divorce. I had no idea that Macario had been sexually molested.

That day Macario and Janice did not show up for lunch.

When Janice came to fifth, I asked if she’d had an argument with Macario or had broken up with him.

To be continued on June 14, 2011 in The Sexual Molestation of the Happy One – Part 3 or return to Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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Debating about the “Educated Elite” – Part 1/2

An “old” friend, a libertarian, evangelical conservative that may agree with what  the Sovereign Citizen movement preaches ( Sixty Minutes on May 15, 2011 ), sent me two links disparaging college education failing to educate good citizens.

I did not agree with the evidence he submitted.

The video link he sent was of college students claiming to support freedom of speech but wanting to ban conservative talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck from both radio & TV (the video was filmed at CSU Fresno).

How do we define the term “educated elite”?

Is being a student at a college or university enough to be considered among the “educated elite”?

I don’t think so, since many students that start college don’t finish.

Only a “fool” would call a college student that may fail all or most of his or her classes then drops out of college a member of the “educated elite”.  Attending college doesn’t automatically make someone a member of the “educated elite”.  You have to graduate first and get a job that pays well, which I will talk about in more detail in Part 2.

How many students graduate from college and have a chance to join the “educated elite”.  Remember, graduating isn’t enough to achieve the status of “educated elite”.

“At public colleges and universities only 29.0% of students graduate in the traditional four-year time frame.

“Of course, the timeframe most used to discuss graduation rates is the six-year window. This timeframe appears to be used because here graduation rates pick up substantially. At public schools the percentage of students that graduate within six years nearly doubles to 54.7%.

“One might think those more expensive private, non-profit schools would have significantly better numbers. They do in fact have better numbers but given their overall selectivity the rates continue to be extremely disappointing.

“Over the four-year timeframe, we see that private schools graduate 50.4% of their students, a number that nearly mirrors the six-years of public institutions.” Source: Open Education.net

Continued on May 30, 2011 in Debating about the “Educated Elite” – Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 
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Posted by on May 29, 2011 in Education, literacy, media, politics

 

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The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 2/3

I don’t recall this student’s name so I’ll call him “Wanna Be”, and he was convinced he was going to be a big league pitcher. He often disrupted the class by announcing that baseball scouts were already watching him and his future was guaranteed.

Wanna Be saw no reason to read the assignments, study for tests, or do homework and he failed both semesters.

In the mornings before first period, I’d often run into Wanna Be before he had his liquid-sugar breakfast and he was a friendly guy—nothing like the surely, moody monster that walked into my fifth period after lunch with a 64 ounce Coke in hand.

The sugar he consumed at lunch often resulted in glazed eyes, a slack jaw, slurred speech and a serious change in behavior.


Liquid Sugar is Toxic

The student snack bar, which was more of a fast food outlet that served mostly French fries, pizza slices, nachos smothered in cheese and hamburgers, sold 64 ounce Cokes for less than a dollar.

Near the end of my teaching career, the high school also had soda machines installed in the hallways to make money for the school district. The vender split the profits.

One morning, I ran into the truck driver stocking the machines and asked how many sodas the students drank.  I recall that he said he stocked an average of 2,000 cases a week in the machines at Nogales and a case held 24 Cokes—that’s 48,000 Cokes a week at one high school. The high school had about 3,000 students. You do the math.

To be fair, the machines also sold water but most of the students hooked on this liquid candy hated water and had no qualms saying how horrible water tasted.

Continued on April 28, 2011 in The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 3 or return to Part 1

____________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to Crazy Normal, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

 

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