Monday, March 3, 2008

Time for a change?

Let's take a possible example of what could happen if we let things get out of control (which I guess they already are, but that's I suppose for the schools to figure out):

A teenager is outside during school hours. An officer approaches, asks the teen why they aren't in school.
Teen could reply, "I'm homeschooled." Then what happens?

Is the officer legally able to ask for the teen's name? What if the teen gives a false name and address? Is that really illegal for the teen to do that?

If the teen is legally outside (ie if s/he is legitmately homeschooled) and decides to be a nudge by giving false information to an officer, what is the consequence, if any?

If the teen did nothing wrong, there would be no legimate reason for the officer to have that teen's name and address. Is providing false ID info to an officer with no reason to ask for it illegal?

Now, what if the teen is lying and really SHOULD be in school? The teen gives false information to the officer - then what happens?
Teens don't have homeschooling or private school "papers" they carry with them. No way for a questioning officer to know if the teen is telling the truth or not.

So officers can question youths now - big deal. They shouldn't HAVE to question anyone, because the SCHOOLS should know who is and isn't sitting in their seats. Those who are truant can theoretically be identified and approached.

There really is no need for officers to question youth if the schools are doing their jobs. ANd if the schools AREN'T doing their job, where is the accountability?
When are communities going to stand up and demand accountability of their schools and their citizens (teens included)?

More importantly, when are communities going to rise up and admit - the SCHOOLS DON'T WORK FOR EVERYONE, particularly for teens. Some teens don't belong in school at all. It is not "for them." Why is that wrong or illegal?
It's not as if they have nothing to offer, or that they can't contribute to society. It's just that schools can't meet their needs to express their gifts and talents.

What do you think happens when we force ALL young people to do something that serves them absolutely NO purpose? We hem them in by instituting an environment in which they simply cannot win, nor succeed, nor really learn. We tell them they MUST be in the prison like atmosphere of schools. If they leave the stifling environment, they CAN'T get a job or be productive because THAT IS ILLEGAL!

The problem is not the teens, and not even really the parents. Maybe the parents are frustrated because they don't really think school is the best option for their 15, 16 and 17 year olds. Maybe these parents are right, but they are also constrained by the same rules we've put in place for the teens.

What a mess.

What normal human being wouldn't act out?


drbott said...

check out tonight's paper, the York Dispatch with the article stating that the Task Force has reversed its stance on the daytime curfew.

a quote from the article:

"When the York City Council introduced the proposed curfew changes Tuesday, it voted to drop a daytime curfew proposal that would restrict the ability of young people to be in public places during school hours.

Council member Toni Smith, who proposed the change, said she did not want the curfew proposal to be a controversial one.

North York has also introduced a proposal without a daytime curfew, said township manger Kevin Hevner.

And though the version introduced in West York did include the daytime curfew, the task force that originally recommended a daytime curfew has reversed the recommendation.

The intent of the daytime curfew was to discourage children from skipping school and help make it easier for local officials to identify, and help, children who weren't showing up.

Enforcement problems: Copenheaver said a daytime curfew would not have the support of York County District Attorney Stan Rebert, who would be responsible for prosecuting curfew violators in any appeals."

Just so it is clear to all municipalities that look at the proposal that no additions are made to it.

Anita Marchesani, Ph.D. said...

Here's the updated curfew proposal link:

drbott said...

The York country Task Force’s proposal to implement a county wide curfew was revised to eliminate the daytime curfew paragraph and the revised proposal was posted on the York County Human Services web site.
I was so pleased that the Task Force decided to strike out the daytime school hours paragraph. I was pleased when I read this article in the newspaper.

Quote: Fortunately, a portion of the initial proposal that would have imposed a daytime curfew -- with unreasonable restrictions on the daytime movement of school-age children -- has been discarded. The intent of the daytime curfew, to combat truancy, was laudable, but clearly carried legal baggage with civil rights complications. Wisely, Stan Rebert, the York County district attorney, declined to support such a restriction. End quote.

I said before- A daytime curfew is more than just an inconvenience to our young people being asked why they are not in school. Many of our kids are out during the day, my daughter taking a college classes while in home school high school, open lunch, work study programs, half day seniors who have jobs, appointments, etc, so lots of kids are out for real reasons and should be allowed to be on the streets without being stopped just because they are young. Some kids look young and are over 18 and some kids graduate at 17!! This would be a nightmare for law enforcement, to say nothing of the cost, and the question of whether it is even legal as well as a loss of freedom. Our young people should be free to move about during the day without interference.

So, how come West York Borough, on March 17, passed an ordinance that includes a daytime curfew? I thought the idea was to have ONE county wide ordinance that was consistent county wide. West York claimed they are the pilot program for a daytime curfew? How did this happen?

Donna Botterbusch
Dover township