The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35759   Message #494210
Posted By: GUEST,SharonA
28-Jun-01 - 04:21 PM
Thread Name: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
Subject: RE: BS: Women who drowned her 5 children
Let me try to explain the home-schooling statement I made earlier. I didn't mean to say "So much for home schooling"; I meant to say that it is not a good reflection on home schooling when people see a teacher decide that her pupils and their siblings must be killed because they are not "developing properly".

If Mrs. Yates had sent her children to public or private school and had raised this issue with their teachers, she could have been reassured that the development was within normal parameters, or the children might have been tested and possibly placed in a special program if need be. Also, the children would have been able to confide in teachers and counselors about any behavior by their mother that they found frightening; teachers are trained, as well, to observe each child's behavior and watch for signs that they are troubled or are being abused.

If Mrs. Yates were a certified teacher in a public school, her concerns about her pupils' development would have been similarly addressed and her behavior with her pupils would have been continuously assessed. I don't know how much influence the public schools have in deciding whether/when to remove a teacher from the classroom environment if (s)he is determined to be a danger to her pupils... but I presume (I hope!) there are guidelines. If it were known that a public-school teacher was taking a drug that "is prescribed for psychotic patients hearing voices or thinking delusionally" (Houston Chronicle), I should hope (s)he would be carefully monitored.

What are the requirements and qualifications for a person to become a home-school teacher? What training do they receive? What certification do they need? Who monitors them? Who notices a child's learning problem that a parent may be turning a blind eye to? Who assesses the teacher's performance (who "fires" him/her if need be)? Who counsels children when they need to confide in someone other than a parent? According to the Houston Chronicle, Mrs. Yates and her children belonged to a home-school support group that meets at a nearby church (though the family was not affiliated with that church); what other support system is in place for home-school teachers? Did this woman simply "slip through the cracks" or does the home-school system need to be examined, revised or possibly overhauled?

Was something heard in that support group, or read in the home-schooling materials the Yateses were provided, that might have planted the idea that their children's development was not "normal"? If so, such information without the proper training to interpret it can lead to all sorts of problems.

I'm sure that some home-school environments offer a superior education to that found in the average public school. I'm sure that, in some cases, the reverse is true. In this case, we'll never know how the kids would've turned out.

BTW the injury to or death of each child is a personal tragedy, but the problem of children bringing weapons to school is certainly widespread, if not systemic.

SharonA, taking one giant step off the soapbox.