Posts Tagged ‘services’
I never jumped on the South Park Canada-haters bandwagon. I thought it was kinda tacky, however satirical it was intended. Suddenly, I’m tempted to, thanks to a story that came my way via Neatorama.
On the claim of a psychic, school officials reported that an autistic child in their school was being molested.
Colleen Leduc’s weird tale began on May 30, when she dropped young Victoria off for class at Terry Fox Elementary and headed in to work, only to receive a frantic phone call from the school telling her it was urgent she come back right away.
The frightened mother rushed back to the campus and was stunned by what she heard – the principal, vice-principal and her daughter’s teacher were all waiting for her in the office, telling her they’d received allegations that Victoria had been the victim of sexual abuse – and that the CAS had been notified.
How did they come by such startling knowledge? Leduc was incredulous as they poured out their story.
“The teacher looked and me and said: ‘We have to tell you something. The educational assistant who works with Victoria went to see a psychic last night, and the psychic asked the educational assistant at that particular time if she works with a little girl by the name of “V.” And she said ‘yes, I do.’ And she said, ‘well, you need to know that that child is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.’”
Not only is the mother understandably upset that administrators reported her to the Canadian equivalent of Child Protective Services on such specious evidence. She comes complete with dramatic flair.
“They reported me to Children’s Aid,” Leduc declares, still disbelieving. “Based on a psychic!”
Assuming Children’s Aid Services works anything like the CPS, and assuming that teachers up in the Great, White, Barren North are beholden to the same laws, the school staff was required to report that claim. Schools are not allowed to interpret even the silliest, most incongruous rumors from the most ridiculous sources — it might, just might, be true. Instead, schools are required report those rumors to the appropriate government agencies. The job of CPA — I assume it works like the American CPS — is to investigate the claim, either exonerating the accused or reporting them to the district attorney.
I can’t help but feel sorry for the demonized administration here, and I certainly can’t help but feel angry at the overconscientious — at the very least uninformed — psychic. The psychic doesn’t need the attention, because and the very last thing psychics need is greater scrutiny. She probably thought that this was just some simple, white lie. Not so much.
Consequences for not reporting even the barest suspicion of child molestation don’t stop at simple stuff, like losing your job. If you’re a teacher, not reporting directly to CPA directly could mean a hefty fine, or even jail time at a prison.
The way I hear it, if there’s one kind of convict that serial shoplifters, axe murderers and high-profile inside traders don’t like, it’s child molesters. You will be the lowest rung on the smokes-for-favors ladder, and even though you didn’t molest the child yourself, don’t expect other prisoners to make that distinction.
By law, you could be treated as if you were directly party to the offense. That’s what was going through the mind of the school staff, and it would be wrong make fun of them for how they treated the psychic’s suggestion.
Sure, sane psychics are liars and shouldn’t be trusted. By law, even the allegations of liars have to be reported.
Arguments concerning vocational education have come and gone. In an era characterized by the push to getting all students to college, critics view this push as detrimental to the value of a college degree and, most importantly, to lives of the students. College isn’t for everyone, they say, and we’re wrong to assume that.
As such, the current argument for bringing back woodshop, autoshop and welding classes goes a little something like this:
What is the role of schools, but to prepare students for jobs? We should re-delegate that responsibility to the high schools and trade schools, where job training belongs, rather than impose that on colleges and universities.
Moreover, students who won’t go to college will just tune out school. Bringing back vocational programs will keep the bored students from skipping classes entirely.
My master teacher and I had a lengthy discussion about this idea, and we came up with no answers. I suppose if we did, we’d be busy writing some groundbreaking doctoral dissertation, earning the appreciation of all teachers ever along the way. We aren’t.
Sure, we could bring back, say, welding. But eventually, all the welding jobs will go to robots. They won’t need, or need as many, professional welders. We’d be preparing our students for jobs that won’t exist.
There’s always information technology. Google is making a few billion dollars, isn’t it?
But what is a Google? What does it Google produce? Can you go to a store and buy a Google?
That’s what I worry about with our economy. We used to have a lot of manufacturing jobs, but we don’t, anymore. Our economy is leaning towards companies like Google, which have no tangible product.
Google is an extension of information services and the advertising industries, two industries which, frankly, aren’t going anywhere.
How much of our economy could be information services and advertising, though? Those industries can’t keep growing forever; our entire economy can’t be based on marketing.
We left it at that. Vocational education can’t stick around with the tentative and unstable waves of the future, and it can’t go ahead and stick with the echoes of the past.
We agreed on this: Vocational education should exist, and should be an integral part of the high school curriculum. We just don’t know how.