A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Friday, March 09, 2007

Raise up your children in the way you want them to go

And we wonder why we have so much trouble convincing some of our students that violence is wrong. (I am putting the whole thing here because the original site requires registration and will spam you to death, trust me.)

The mother of a 13-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly driving her son to a fight with another boy, then cheering him on as he struck his smaller opponent. Police say the mother shouted down another woman who tried to break up the fight across from Sutter Middle School on Monday. A student caught the scene on video.

Renee Ann Honnold, 37, of Folsom, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of two felonies, endangering the life or health of a child and criminal conspiracy, as well as contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor. Her son was cited for suspicion of misdemeanor battery.

"In my eight years I have never seen anything like this," Folsom Police Officer Kurt Knudsen said. "You can hear her on the tape shouting, 'Hit him! Hit him!' The kid is throwing serious punches."

Gayle Williams, who was parked nearby waiting to pick up her son, said she tried to intervene as Honnold's son pinned the other boy down and hit him.

"I thought she (Honnold) was coming to help me, but then she told me to mind my own business. She was out of control," Williams said. "Her rage put me in a defensive mode."

Knudsen said the fight was brief and neither boy was seriously injured. Both boys were suspended for five days.

Kim Williams, the mother of the boy who was beaten and who is no relation to the witness, said it was not fair to suspend her son.

"I don't think my son had a choice (to take part in the fight). Even if he kept walking, this mother would have kept after him," she said.

And earlier this week, we had this incident in Peoria, Illinois:
District 150 says a parent hit one of its Kindergarten teachers Wednesday morning in front of students.

Cathy Smith-Edwards was teaching at Harrison Primary when the attack happened.

24-year-old Maisha Rickmon was arrested on an aggravated battery charge.

On Wednesday evening, she was still in the Peoria county jail.

Police say Rickmon and the teacher were discussing how Rickmon could help her child at home.

They say Rickmon was not receptive and a fight started.

...A grandmother of one student who is a volunteer in Edwards' class saw the fight.

She says Rickmon was using foul language, and punched Edwards.

"Ms. Edwards asked her to leave the classroom and not to say things like that in the classroom. And the mother just grabbed her and just started in on her hitting her, cussing," said Barbara Spencer.

Rickmon was in jail in 2000 and 2001 for battery charges.

Edwards was not injured in the attack.

Police say she will not be charged.

It's like they say: You have to have a license to have a dog, but anyone can be a parent.

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At 3/10/07, 7:30 AM, Blogger Kimberly said...

We frequently have parents who tell their children - just hit him.

Now I was the victim of a bully that ended up in Texas Prisons as an adult. I believe students have the right to defend themselves. In Texas, that is the law. In the first case you sited I doubt the victim would have been suspended here (in my district).

These parents are not responding to those situations. They are encouraging their child to hit another student for "looking at him". They will try to justify hitting when one child bumps into another or knocks a book off a desk in our crowded rooms.

At 3/10/07, 8:14 AM, Blogger Amerloc said...

I was going to say that it's getting to the point that you have to have a license to BE a dog, much less to have one. But Kimberly got here ahead of me and made a serious comment. So I'll be serious too: we've lost our sense of community. We've lost our common sense.

At 3/10/07, 2:26 PM, Blogger ms. whatsit said...

Unfortunately, it's educators who end of finding themselves academically accountable for kids who grow up in skewed-up environments like these.

At 3/10/07, 2:42 PM, Anonymous mrschili said...

I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but I don't see the next generation of parents being much better; that is, if my college students are any indication of future trends...

Unless people start being held accountable for their behavior (and/or the behavior of those for whom they are responsible), nothing will change. It truly frightens me.

At 3/10/07, 2:50 PM, Blogger 40 said...

I had this same discussion with a Reading teacher at my High School on Friday afternoon. Her entire 7th period class ended up being a discussion on school fighting and violence. She is a rookie teacher and was just shocked that the parents back a lot of these kids and tell them to fight their enemies.

Such a shame.

But, you are right. You have to fight violence the only way that works - King and Gandhi had it right. Nonviolent approach works, the other ways definitely do not.

"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist." - Gandhi

At 3/11/07, 5:58 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I do not believe that the kid who was attacked in this instance should have been suspended. He was victimized by a bigger kid AND an adult.

And she is a sociopath who should not be running around loose.

At 3/11/07, 8:06 PM, Anonymous MellowOut said...

Your last quote works best when Keanu says it.


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