It was either 1993 or 1994 at Lathers Elementary School in Garden City, Michigan, that my daughter, Nicole, came home with a paragraph of apology she had to write, fifty times, in regards to disrespecting the substitute teacher, Ms. Ousterhout. Since Nicole had never been in trouble a day in her life, I questioned her about the circumstance that led to the punishment. She told me stories about the other kids, and the statement: “The only job you will ever be able to get will be flipping burgers,” which Ms. Ousterhout made to another student for not standing correctly in line. I was livid. I told Nicole she wasn’t allowed to write the paragraph, because she wasn’t going to apologize for something she didn’t do. She was upset. She was afraid she would get in trouble. I called the school, talked to the principle who switched me to Ms. Ousterhout. I asked her what role Nicole played in the trouble she had with the class. She admitted Nicole was not responsible for any of the trouble, but the whole class was ordered to write the paragraph. I refused to allow it. I told her as a parent, I trump her. I also raised the issue of telling any kid they were so dumb they would grow up flipping burgers. Ms. Ousterhout began to cry. She didn’t need to be in a classroom setting. The next day Ms. Ousterhout was on every television news broadcast for hitting a second grader. Today, I read about an elementary school in Texas that forced about twenty-four kids to pull down their pants and show their underwear. They were searching for the perpetrator who was defecating on the gym floor.While researching this incident I ran across another case of tenured protected molestation. In San Diego, assistant principle, Rita Wilson, lifted girls’ skirts and dresses as they entered a school dance to see if they were wearing thongs. This was not done in private; this was done at the entrance of the dance, in front of boys and male and female adults. Not that doing it in private would make it any better, it would just bear less humiliation for the student. If the girls were wearing thongs, they were sent home to change before they would be admitted into the dance.
Rita’s punishment was demotion. She lost her position and is now a teacher of the same students of which she played peek a boo.
I thought about Ms. Ousterhout, egotistically ordering all to apologize for the act of one. I thought about how angry I was that my daughter was expected to admit responsibility for something she didn’t do and pay the price for it. Writing paragraphs is one thing, dropping your pants, lifting your skirts, that’s another.If a preschool acted in the same manner they would be fully investigated and closed down. If a neighbor asked the kid next door to show either a thong or his underwear he would be arrested for molestation and put on the sexual predators list. Should high school or elementary school teachers be treated any differently? Should the penance be less than any other person who chooses to molest a child or should the consequence be higher, because children are taught to obey educational officials?
I am appalled that Rita was only demoted. I am disgusted that she still has a teaching position in a public school. Though, it’s unclear what will happen with the Texas school officials, I’m sure it will be another slap on the wrist and the remains will be swept under the entrance ramp rug of the public educational facility.Next, it will be said that the teachers had a right to force the Texas children to drop their pants for a poop check. It will be okay Rita humiliated young women by her thong check. Why? Because their religion says it’s okay.
The storm is brewing in America. Leave our children alone. Angry parents are a force that should never be pushed.
Till the next time, keep your pants up and your skirts down kids…JUST SAY NO!!! And your parents will be proud.