Preemptive D.A.R.E.

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Here's a way to teach high school kids about law enforcement: Surround them with spies who look like their friends. An Ohio school district planted a 23-year-old investigator at Milford High School, where she played Senior and hung out with the cool kids until she had dirt on 16 of them:

Only Superintendent John Frye, who came up with the idea, and school board president Carol Ball, who gave her approval, knew of the investigation in which the detective in her 20s posed as an 18-year-old student who went to classes, took exams, and went to after-school parties without anyone—including teachers—knowing her identity.

A later report says 17 kids have been arrested on drug charges.

Whole thing here.

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  1. Damn that Holly Robinson!

  2. “Narc!!!”

  3. I never would have thought this was possible.

    On TV its alwasy so easy to spot them: they’re the ones in their 30s.

  4. I’m worried about today’s teenagers. If they’re so busy sleeping with teachers and partying with undercover cops, will they still have a chance to interact with their peers? What will the long term implications be for their social development?

  5. Uh-huh…and how long before some lawyer jumps up and screams “Entrapment!”

  6. cdunlea,
    They’re already doing it. Considering that the undercover agent initiated the conversations and the transaction means that they have a decent case.

  7. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

  8. Jesus Christ, how can this be anything but entrapment? These fucking bastards must be evil. I know I asked the question recently, are they evil or misguided, but I just can’t believe that they’re only misguided.

    It’s funny (sad, really), you watch the show Cops and someone gets pulled over and the cop finds a meth or weed pipe in their car. Then the cop starts lecturing them on how drugs are bad, m’kay, and they’ll destroy your life. Then they put you in handcuffs and into the back of a squad car. Hey dickhead, did you ever think that you’re the one who’s destroying their life, not the drug itself? I mean, sure, there are plenty of morons and fuck-ups out there, but most of them will figure out a way to screw up their lives with or without drugs.

    Worse part of it is, it’s all about the money. These assholes don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, no matter what they say.

  9. I just RTFA and found this gem:

    Sandy Howdyshell, a 34-year-old Milford graduate who has an elementary school student in the district, said she was undecided on the school district’s $108.6 million bond issue that will appear on ballots May 3 – until she heard about the undercover investigation. The bonds are needed to build two new elementary schools and make improvements to other schools. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $120 a year.

    “I think it was a brilliant idea to put an undercover cop in the high school,” Howdyshell said. “This event certainly has made an impact in my eyes. Now I know I’ll be voting to support Milford schools.”

    I’m not sure how this reflects positively on a school, but OK…

  10. Unfortunately I expect that this is probably typical of the bughers of this

    “Sandy Howdyshell, a 34-year-old Milford graduate who has an elementary school student in the district, said she was undecided on the school district’s $108.6 million bond issue that will appear on ballots May 3 – until she heard about the undercover investigation. The bonds are needed to build two new elementary schools and make improvements to other schools. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $120 a year.

    “I think it was a brilliant idea to put an undercover cop in the high school,” Howdyshell said. “This event certainly has made an impact in my eyes. Now I know I’ll be voting to support Milford schools.” ” (emphasis mine)

    Now, who was it asked what kind of assholes vote for the likes of DeLay and Frist?

  11. This wasn’t even an undercover cop, it was a private investigator hired by the school principle. Chances are he’s more fucked than those kids are ever going to be, assuming they were underaged.

  12. Shit, thoreau, ya beat me to it. Oh well it’s such a gem it deserves to be repeated.

    Which applies? “Great minds think alike” or “Fools seldom differ”. 🙂

  13. After RingTFA, I take that back somewhat.

  14. 21 Jump Street.

  15. I remember when “Lando” Griffin came to my high school and got us to stop licking toads. Last time I saw him he was on his motorcycle, leaving the prom to head out for Dead Man’s Curve. What a cool guy!

  16. I’m befuddled by the people who don’t think that one “popular” kid can get the other sheep to do things they otherwise wouldn’t.

    Saying that “Simply initiating the conversation isn’t entrapment,” Breyer said. “It would be necessary to show the defendant had no inclination to commit a crime, and that the total idea and the means to commit the crime came from law enforcement.” doesn’t change the ethically questionable idea of savaging these stupid kids’ futures to enhance your political career.

    Someone should tell the paper that the superintendent didn’t come up with this plan. Steven J Cannell did.

  17. If the school can afford to spend $60,000 on this, they don’t need any damned bond issues.

    I was going to post the same fragment as Thoreau and Isaac. Is there anybody here who WASN’T horrified by that woman’s train of thought?

  18. Something else just occurred to me–this was a PRIVATE detective, not a cop; in other words, a private citizen subject to the same rules as the rest of us, right? So why isn’t SHE getting arrested for buying or selling drugs? When did people who work for private detective agencies suddenly get the authority to break laws others among us have to follow?

  19. She is so not invited to my party next week!

    Well, at least this explains why the new girl’s yearbook photo has a giant blue dot over her face.

    And I’m guessing the narc in question wasn’t a local officer.

  20. Jennifer,
    Good point. I say you email that mother who complained about entrapment and tip her off.

    Of course, you’ll suddenly see the state support jury nullification “just this once.”

  21. Is there anybody here who WASN’T horrified by that woman’s train of thought?

    Probably not. But I’ve got a feeling that shit like this is real popular. There’s a reason I don’t talk to my neighbors much.

    And I’m guessing the narc in question wasn’t a local officer.

    It was a private detective.

  22. I would like to say, what the hell is wrong with people like that quoted woman?!?!? Why are the only people horrified by this my friends and the Reasonistas? Are people really that stupid? Is the student body planning a revolt because they should be.

  23. When did people who work for private detective agencies suddenly get the authority to break laws others among us have to follow?

    Jenifer, I’m not sure if an equally valid question isn’t “When did the police suddenly get the authority to break laws others among us have to follow?

  24. But Isaac, when cops buy and sell drugs they’re doing it FOR THE CHILDREN!

  25. Well, most of the cops are doing it for the children.

    A few are buying and selling drugs for their own reasons, but those transactions usually have little to do with sting operations, and more to do with personal finances.

  26. This is a perfect illustration of why public schools are inherently evil.

  27. Mo,

    Are people really that stupid?

    YES!

  28. Agreed, the principal is sleazy. Agreed, the money is an issue. But if a legitimate police force infiltrated a high school where a militia was forming or a car theft ring was operating (both of which have been in the news in the past two years) would we be having so much fun with this story?
    Anyone remember the “wilding” craze of the 80s, where school gangs actually had rivalries over how many rapes they could pull off?
    Given some of the high school antics I’ve heard about in my home town lately, I’d like to see a little more fulltime undercover action.

  29. Isaac,
    How do cops break the law legally? I never got that. Why couldn’t a citizen report a police officer for breaking the law and press charges. I doubt most juries would convict because they’re sheep and it would be defended as necesary for the job. However, I still wonder if there was an organized citizen program to report police officer lawbreaking and people saw the extent that they committed it, if it would change beliefs.

    Wow, I really need to lay off the drugs.

  30. Jeff,

    Even if they were going after real crime, it would be a pro and con situation. Creating a paranoid society is a bad thing. And do you really want an undercover detective initiating conversations about that kind of activity to kids? But yeah, I wouldn’t entirely rule out sinister methods if the crime were bad enough to warrant it. Sad thing is, a lot of folks think drug use fits that.

  31. What a depressing story… What the hell is going on in this country?

    Is there anybody here who WASN’T horrified by that woman’s train of thought?

    Horrified, yes, but “train of thought?” Must be a wagon train or you’re giving that fucking idiot way too much credit! Talk about a PVS… Can we pull her feeding tube?

  32. Jeff-
    If folks were going undercover at high schools to break up gangs of thugs who were actually HURTING OTHER PEOPLE, I think there’d be a lot more tolerance on this thread.

    By the way, everybody, I’ve just founded my own detective agency, a national concern (which means you can ALL join) dedicated to working undercover to ferret out drug abuse. If you pay me $50, then in the event of a drug arrest I will insist that you were working for me, to expose a ring of pot smokers/ravers/heroin users/etc.

    For $75 you can work on the undercover Jack Off In Porn Theaters squad. Join JOIPT! ‘Cause I could really use the money.

  33. Jennifer,
    Dibs on the vice beat. And for $50 I bet you I could a better job in a month than the FBI did in a year at finding prostitutes in N’awlins.

  34. Mo-
    Since I am socially responsible, I’ll only charge you forty if you promise to have Safe Sex. YOu can spend the extra ten on condoms.

  35. I went to high school east of Cincinnati. I passed through Milford on the way to concerts and Reds games. On the drove from home to Cincy, Milford was the first town with a McDonald’s or a bookstore. Yeah, the good old days are fondly remembered. Milford is now much bigger and full of Bush voters. The quote from the silly mother did not surprise me at all. That mindset is quite common in the area.

    Undercover investigations with police officers or private detectives posing as high school students are rare. Milford is believed to be the first to use such a tactic locally.

    I graduated twenty years ago. We had the drug sniffing dogs walk the halls a few times to check lockers. And one year, a new “student” arrived at our school. A friend immediately said, “Don’t talk to him. He’s a cop.” With every head in school aware of the narc’s presence, the new “student” dropped out a few days later. Either the students are not as slick or the detectives are better these days.

  36. Jennifer-

    Before I leave grad school I’m thinking about having a last hurrah in the lab and making some meth to sell. Could you license me as an undercover meth investigator?

  37. Twba,
    Was the “student” male or female? I’m guessing the agency selected a very attractive female detective to crack this case. Teenage hormones will override logic and self-preservation 9 times out of 10.

  38. Oh, and if I run into problems with drug laws, I’ll just sell the meth from some island outside US territorial waters and call it “The Island of Dr. Thoreau.”

  39. thoreau,

    Can I lick the spoon?

  40. Thoreau-
    That will be fifty dollars, please. And remember: you’re doing it for The Children.

  41. This is new? When I was in high school (35 years ago), this was done quite routinely.

    Funny/true/tragic story: Our school district had a rule that anyone even *accused* of selling drugs by the narc would be immediately expelled. Naturally, the school admins thought that that this was a ducky way to rid themselves of any sort of troublemakers that bothered them. So, of course, I ended up in the line of fire. My dad was called in and the vice-principal (I didn’t even rate a REAL principal) told him that they were expelling me because they “had reson to believe” that I was dealing drugs.

    My father looked thoughtful for a minute, then quietly remarked, “He’s doing a great job of covering up the money.”

  42. SY,
    Sinde comments aside (and your dad sounds pretty cool), what was the resolution?

  43. Yes, my dad was amazingly cool. And nobody’s fool. It was a great lesson for me in the power of deductive reasoning.

    Resolution: I was tossed out, no appeal possible without spending $$$$ on lawyers. To this day, I don’t have a high school diploma. Ah, well.

  44. This is far from a new idea. They’ve been installing fresh-faced rookie cops undercover in the schools at least since I was a kid — and I graduated high school in 1975.

    “Guess the narc” was an annual game for us — always in the fall, when they were more likely to try and blend in as a new transfer.

    We didn’t have much sympathy for anybody who was too stupid to figure out that the new kid who just transfered in from parts unknown — who didn’t talk much about his old school and who was a little too eager to make some new friends and score a little weed — was more than likely to be carrying a badge.

    One of the great lessons of my youth — business is all about relationships, or, as we put it back then: Don’t do dope deals with strangers…

  45. Next they’ll hire ex-special forces mercs to bust their drug ring and kill everyone in the process. Oh wait, that was “The Substitute.” And I think the sequels dealt (harshly) with the above mentioned militias and car thief rings.

  46. I propose we add a new term to the libertarian lexison: any person who blindly and stupidly supports any blantant governmental attempt to trample our remaining civil liberties is hereby dubbed a “Howdyshell”…

  47. I believe it was Justice Brennan who correctly noted that public schools are becoming “enclaves of totalitarianism”. If the school system is responsible for training people to understand their rights and responsibilities in a free and democratic society, then it fails miserably. When people are trained in their formative years to accept unquestioned authority to the extent of dishonest intrusion into their personal lives, then I very much doubt that they will be quite as upset about the possibility of domestic intelligence agencies to spy on people for common crimes. It’s no doubt that a recent surbey of the nation’s youth shows a great many young people ignorant or even hostile to their First Amendment rights.

  48. Any person who blindly and stupidly supports any blantant governmental attempt to trample our remaining civil liberties is hereby dubbed a “Howdyshell”.

    I second your proposal.

  49. Apparently, some people long for the day when they can hear the rhythmatic click-clack of hobnailed jackboots on the pavement at four in the morning.

  50. They snagged Randall Vonderbrink!

    Isn’t that always the way? Dawson’s Creek hasn’t been off the air but a few years, and one of its teen idols has fallen to this!

    Kevin

  51. But why “Howdyshell” when “Ashcroft” already serves that purpose? I suppose “Howdyshell” can be used when you don’t need the theofascist connotations, but, alas, those instances are increasingly rare.

    P.S. re: SPD – That “Family Guy” came on this very eve on Adult Swim.

    Anonymo

  52. Jeff at April 7, 2005 06:05 PM

    Much of what you describe are problems associated with the immense size of the modern High School.

    In an age of decentralization and “accountability” It sometimes astounds me that the modern High School is still a centralized Stalinist institution of the type that we Thought would solve all our social problems in the 60s and 70s.

    Then I return to reality and observe the Howdyshells and Jared Kruegers (see Twba immediately above) of the world. No mystery now.

    If I didn’t know that the rest of the world sucked as bad I’d fucking leave this country.

  53. With 70% of High School students having sex the officer must have had sex with underage students.
    I think a few students would have rape charges to file against the officer. I think the school system will be looking at millions in lawsuits regarding this sting. Also, I would like to know how many teachers hit on this officer.

  54. When I was teaching high school, I used to say to friends that modern education is a combination of training kids to accept authority and making sure they lack the critical thinking skills necessary to challenge it.

    Damn, sometimes I hate it when I’m right.

  55. Okay, I need to have someone walk this through with me, because I’m having trouble with the article. What was the problem that prompted this drastic measure? Was the school being over-run by violent drug gangs? Were kids overdosing in the bathrooms?

    And how are kids supposed to cultivate respect towards authority figures, when said figures pull stunts like this? “We’re going to ram these rules down your throats, and, in case that doesn’t work, we will plant young-looking people in your midsts, and they will pretend to be your friends, and will ultimately destroy your lives”.

    “The drugs sold during the investigation include marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, Extacy and prescription drugs.”

    Let’s see:

    X – bad if it was improperly mixed.. some risk potential

    pills – O.D. potential.. not a very good thing

    BUT..

    MJ and mushrooms? These are safer then booze! Is this worth destroying young lives? What is going to happen to these 17 kids? What is the chance that they will end up being authentic, violent criminals?

  56. and one more thing..

    I wonder what this private dick looks like. Probably a real hottie. I wonder if she seduced any of those young men who she ends up fucking in a BIG WAY.

  57. Reminds me of my undergrad fraternity.

    In the middle of hell week (really nothing like the rumors made it out to be) – the police actually performed a SWAT-like raid. One of our brothers, who was working with the new “Greek liaison” (administrative position instituted by the University to “deal” with the Greek system) had ratted (and embellished, in order to get towny police involved).

    As background, the Greek liaison was a young, attractive, fit woman. But no real connection was made at the time – people just assumed the worst about the brother.

    The next year, the intern to the Greek liaison was a good friend of a good friend of mine in another fraternity on campus – so I knew the intern fairly well. By the end of the year, he had turned on his fraternity and gotten it shut down and kicked off campus (their pledge program was a little, well, more “edgy”, so when they got caught, it really hit the fan). Even then, the rumors were fairly mute.

    Several years later I’m catching up with my bud from the other fraternity. And he says “you’ll never guess who I heard from – [rat #2] – and you’ll never guess who he’s living with, and has had a child with…”

  58. “These fucking bastards must be evil.” – Lowdog

    Lowdog, I usually agree with you. This time I really, really agree with you.

  59. About 20 years ago when I lived in Oregon there was guy who offered his narc services to several small-town police departments. Most took him up on it. His M.O. was to set up a construction trailer and advertise for employees. All they had to do was score him some weed and Bingo! they have a high paying construction job.

    All those poor bastards had their lives destroyed and they rotted in prison. The private narc and the cops who hired him were never punished. The war against humanity, oops I mean drugs, is wrong and the people who prosecute it are evil.

    End times, boys. End times.

  60. Drugs are illegal because they’re bad.

    Drugs are bad because they’re illegal.

    That’s a hell of a catch, that catch-22.

  61. They definitely did this kind of thing at my high school in New Mexico, and I graduated in the 90’s. The police would, once or twice a year, use the “drug dogs”, which would require every student (and teacher!) to stay in whatever class they were in, in whatever seat they were in, for the 1 1/2 hours it would take to lead the drug dogs through the school. They’d sniff lockers, cars, and eventually be brought through classrooms where they’d sniff kids and their backpacks. You weren’t even allowed to use the restroom during this time, because, after all, you might be going there to throw away your drugs or hide them.

    But the Narc program was classic. It was basically as it was portrayed in this story, though we had an actual cop in his 20s, who grew his hair long, and went by the name, I kid you not, of “George Justice.” I almost think that the kids who got busted deserved it for not thinking about the implications of that guy’s name. He spent nearly a semester here, collected info on everyone in the drug scene, and got them all busted.

    Man, why do I feel like I’m from East Germany, recounting a story of how the Stasi operated back in the day?

  62. I read a story like this in a playboy once (I believe it was the issue with the two girls from survivor) and the cop was a hot young woman, and one of the kids she busted was this football player who she knew had a crush on her, she asked him if he could get her drugs, he wasn’t actually a drug dealer, he just went to someone else and got them for her, and she busted him, he had a scholarship but lost if because of that, another of the kids from the article claimed he had sex with her but she denied it

  63. When I was teaching high school, I used to say to friends that modern education is a combination of training kids to accept authority and making sure they lack the critical thinking skills necessary to challenge it.

    This was basically my entire philosophical attitude towards high school when I was in it, summed up succinctly and beautifully. The very idea of a teacher sharing my lonely worldview would have been unthinkable.

    It may be 10 years too late, but knowing that now makes me feel better, not to mention somewhat Hot 4 Teacher.

    A/S/L?

  64. …training kids to accept authority and making sure they lack the critical thinking skills necessary to challenge it.

    This is a fairly common opinion among thinkers on both sides of the political spectrum.

    I have the feeling that the fact that absolutely none of these people has any influence in the educational community confirms that it is true.

  65. Isaac and Pavel–
    Well, despite excellent performance reviews chock-full of comments like “excellent rapport with the students” and “flair for teaching” I still got canned, despite the teaching shortage.

  66. It’s because you’re a free thinker Jennifer and you may have passed the virus to your students. I bet you used colored chalk too. I’m fortunate that all my free-thinking teachers had tenure and were virtually untouchable.

    the cop was a hot young woman, and one of the kids she busted was this football player who she knew had a crush on her, she asked him if he could get her drugs, he wasn’t actually a drug dealer, he just went to someone else and got them for her, and she busted him, he had a scholarship but lost if because of that

    It’s times like this that I pray that there’s a Hell and they have a corner reserved for women like this.

  67. Jennifer. The public system doesn’t seem to be the place for you. I’ve been looking for a private tutor. Have any openings for a young student?

  68. Pavel-
    Hell yes, I can do the whole “Mrs. Robinson” thing if the money’s right. Although if your high school experience was that long ago it sounds like we’re about the same age.

  69. Jennifer,
    I’m 25. But of course a lifelong student. What kind of subjects do you teach? How many could you potentially teach out of a dufflebag in a moderately priced motel room?

  70. Jennifer

    If you are un-mutual in the Village you will be corrected*.

    Release Rover!

    *You are never punished.

  71. Well, well, well… it looks like Pavel and Jennifer have started the first Libertarian Love Connection!

  72. Let this be a lesson to us all… Ex-strippers make the best teachers.

  73. Well, despite excellent performance reviews chock-full of comments like “excellent rapport with the students” and “flair for teaching” I still got canned, despite the teaching shortage.

    You are cohabiter after all. Can’t have you hurting American families with your secular humanist sinful ways.

  74. David-
    Actually, I don’t think my boyfriend or living arrangements had anything to do with it; it was more a matter of asking the administration questions they wouldn’t or couldn’t answer. Like when they announced that they’d Breathalyze all kids trying to enter the Prom (announcement not made until AFTER the expensive, nonrefundable tickets had been sold), and I asked why we, the teachers, shouldn’t also be Breathalyzed in order to set the right example. Or when they told us teachers “not to give bathroom passes to kids who have already been to the bathroom several times that day,” and I asked how I was to know how many times my sixth- or seventh-period students had visited the bathroom before coming to my class. Or when I asked them if they REALLY thought that girls who took Midol were in danger of becoming homeless drug addicts. Or when. . .but you get the picture.

  75. Sounds familiar. Ask too many questions that they can’t answer, and people really hate you after a while. You ruin the fantasy they work so hard to keep up.

    The cohabiter thing was just a joke from last weeks thread. Are you sure it wasn’t the exotic dancing that did you in?

  76. “But why “Howdyshell” when “Ashcroft” already serves that purpose?”

    Because “Howdyshell” is more fun to say – kinda like “Mookie”…

  77. That, and Ashcroft worked for the government.

    AG Gonzales could be called an Ashcroft. Or a Fucking Ashcroft, as the situation dictates.

    My grandmother would be a Howdyshell.

  78. Nice to know that high schools are just as loathsome now as in my own misspent youth. I remember the planted cops and drug dogs, too, as well as the arrogant creeps and losers who constituted the bulk of my school’s administration. Jennifer is 100% correct in her assessment of the public school’s function, at least at the institution I attended – I couldn’t believe that it was actually the highest-rated public high school in the state.

    I came out of public school despising teachers, administrators, cops, and civil authority in general. After 30 years of maturation, my attitude has now mellowed into mere virulent dislike. On the bright side, I probably would never have had as strong an appreciation for libertarian views without the experience of having my critical faculties stomped on for 3 or 4 years.

  79. David-
    Nobody knew my former vocation; on my resume I had “Related Work Experience” (English-major stuff) and then “Other Work Experience,” which consisted of the following sentence: “Paid 100% of tuition and living expenses through a variety of service-industry jobs.”

  80. Did I miss where Jennifer said she was an exotic dancer before?

    Jennifer,
    That sounds like the reason why I was deemed a troublemaker and rabble-rouser in Sunday school. The teachers don’t like it when you ask questions like “If God speaks every language, why do I have to pray in Arabic?” or “If God knows the future, why didn’t he say pork is ok to eat after ‘refrigeration’ is invented since you’re more likely to get sick from chicken or beef?”

  81. Mo-
    I don’t remember which thread it was (I think one about child-support payments, maybe) when someone suggested I run for political office and I said I couldn’t get elected because I’d had too much fun in my younger years. Thoreau asked me if I was ashamed of my past, and I (in a rather snippy mood due to some weird things going on that day) wrote back that I wasn’t ashamed of a damned thing, but that America wasn’t ready to vote for a pot-smoking atheist misanthrope who worked her way through school as a stripper.

    Then, since the cat was already out of the bag, I made another reference to it in yesterday’s thread about “what women want.”

    As an undergrad in Virginia I worked in what were basically bikini bars, and a few where we wore thongs and pasties. (I still remember this one bimbo who learned the hard way that Superglue is NOT appropriate for sticking such things on.) I also worked topless in North Carolina (it was worth the hour-long drive when I’d make two or three hundred bucks in five hours). In college I also worked for an agency that sent me to work in New York City and a few oddball places in Pennsylvania, and at the Officer’s Club of some military bases (until the Tailhook scandal put a stop to that.) In grad school I worked in topless bars in Connecticut.

    That’s why to this day I tend to wear long skirts, long pants and long sleeves; after a decade of being well-paid to have men look at me, damned if I’m going to give away any freebies.

  82. Jennifer,

    I was just kidding on that too. The truth is that the public school systems are a political scam. Someone who knew someone important probably wanted that job, and because you challenged the system(rightfully so), you were expendable.

    If you were a good teacher(as your record suggests), the burned out drones probably hated you and weren’t doing ou any favors. It doesn’t pay to have your own mind among those who love sycophants.

  83. David,
    I know, but sometimes I still wish I’d kept silent until I had tenure, and THEN questioned the system when necessary.

  84. Of course, with my personality being what it is, there’s no way I could have managed such a thing.

  85. How long until you get tenure Jennifer?

  86. Mo-
    In Massachusetts, where I taught, the rule was that a new teacher can only be “on probation” for up to three years; after the third year, it’s either tenure or dismissal. I got canned (sorry: “contract non-renewed”) at the end of my third year.

    That sonofoabitch principal, when he called me into his office to “discuss” it, actually gave me the spiel about how I was still young, and could still pursue a teaching career elsewhere. “You’re an excellent teacher, Jennifer, and I know that Mrs. [English department chairman] will write you a strong letter of recommendation, as will Mr. [guidance director,] and Mrs. [some other high-ranking person.]”

    “So if my colleagues think so highly of me, why do I have to go?” I asked.

    No answer. And of course, there’s not a school district in Massachusetts that doesn’t know what it means when a teacher’s contract is non-renewed after the third year, so nobody else would hire me either. So I arranged to get my certificate in Connecticut (where I live, and where salaries for teachers are MUCH higher.) I took the Praxis test, and scored high enough to get a “Recognition of Excellence,” but when I sent my paperwork into the Department of Education I was told that I could only qualify for a conditional certification; to get a full certificate I’d have to take some class with a title like “How To Mainstream Special-Ed Students into the Modern Classroom.”

    And that’s when I said “fuck it,” threw away my teacher paperwork and looked for work in the rpivate sector. Six weeks later I landed the job I have now, which I don’t like much but it provides a source of income while I look for something better.

  87. It is a national disgrace that Jennifer and womyn like her are being tragically exploited by men for profit. She is now so brainwashed from her degradation that she probably doesn’t even realize how humiliated she was. Congress must act immediately to end this crisis of womyn paying their college tuition in this shameful manner.

    We are convening a Senate committee to look into this outrage. Jennifer, you must send me immediately any and all videotapes and photographs of your forced labor in progress. And, um, samples of your old exoticwear clothing, previously worn if possible.

  88. Jennifer,

    Connecticut would prefer that you be a child psychologist more than a teacher. Knowledge about your field is utterly irrelevent. That and certification rest entirely upon your undergrad GPA. If you changed majors after tanking a class, and your Grade Point average dropped. You can’t be certified unless you take undergrad level classes to bring it up. Post-Grad work means nothing to the certification process here. A PhD in mathematics or history who was a jackoff at 17 can’t teach here.

    Apart from the salary, “Fuck it” was the right thing to say. Of course, it is some trick to find a career when all your relevant training is geared toward teaching.

  89. David-
    You are entirely right. If you want to be a high-school English teacher you don’t need to be an English major, as I was (BA and MS in ENglish, writing emphasis, minor emphasis in English and European Medieval and Renaissance Literature); you need to take a LOT of classes on teaching. (I snuck in the back door, by getting English degrees and then taking the Massachusetts teaching test.)

    Won’t that make for an incredibly effective teacher? “Today’s lesson is on Shakespeare. I don’t know a thing about him because I never had to learn (it says here in the textbook he was British), but here are the teaching techniques I WOULD have used if I DID know what I was talking about.”

    Back to the original topic of this thread: schools today are a mirror-image of effectiveness. The kids have NO discipline when it comes to actually learning; a kid who refuses to do his homework or learn the subject matter or even be quiet in class so OTHERS can learn can still get a decent grade, especially if his parents are willing to bitch enough. But God help him if he tries to carry aspirin, or has a butter knife in his car, or doodles a violent picture or writes a scary story in OR OUT of class! And if he’s not getting in enough trouble on his own, well, we administrators have an unused sixty grand laying around, so let’s not buy updated textbooks, let’s hire a hot private detective to entice the kids into more trouble!

    The only possible explanation I have is that the left-wing and right-wing extremists got together and decided to apply the absolute worst aspects of their respective policies: let’s promote self-esteem and elevate feelings over facts and talk about why you should dedicate a HUGE chunk of brainpower to being enormously proud or your race or gender (unless you’re white or a male); and let’s also expel kids or arrest them for the sort of harmless “infractions” that weren’t even penalized until a few years ago. And locker searches, and drug dogs, and clear backpacks, and mandatory photo IDs. Ad infinitum.

  90. The Cincinnati Enquirer praises the actions of Milford H.S. on the editorial page Tuesday. What do the idiots running the always laughable Enquirer editorial page think? “An easygoing approach to substance abuse – with half of parents saying they wouldn’t be upset if their teen experimented with marijuana – is not the message teenagers need.” They think the proper message is watching your teenage friends entrapped.

    Way off topic: Bellamy Road just made a mockery of the Wood Memorial field. I haven’t seen a better race by a three year old this year. Watch for him in the KY Derby in four weeks.

  91. The study showed…half of parents saying they wouldn’t be upset if their teen experimented with marijuana…

    That’s better news than I expected (half of parents – wow).

    Hey, call me a cock-eyed optimist but I takes me good news where I can gets it.

  92. I think it shows how many parents remember their own experimentation with reefer.

  93. I have several friends who attended Milford High School. One has a sister still there, who I’m told was “concerned” for the well-being of our narc. Perhaps I’m too touchy-feely, but all I can see happening from this whole mess is that young adults will be less trusting of their friends. Lending a hand may be seen as a liability.
    Guys may be discouraged from asking girls to homecoming dances! (ok that may be a stretch) but truly, what a great set of lessons to teach before college.

  94. Let’s examine some basics.

    Kids from age 5-16/17 are compelled by the state to attend some school. For something like 90% of them, their parents can’t afford to teach them at home or send them to a private school. This is due in no small part to the massive taxes Dad and Mom have to pay to the states and localities, which, when state colleges are added to the mix, comes close to half of state/local outlays. For all intents and purposes, the youngsters have been sentenced to state care for half their waking hours. It is only a short step from nearly mandatory state “education” to the panopticon.

    For all our whining about the WoSDs, censorship or over-harsh business regulation, none of which I would ignore, I can’t help but think that the future of liberty in this country depends on breaking the government-schooling-complex, and seeing to it that children are not effectively raised by an arm of the state.

    Kevin

  95. Jennifer:

    Thanks for the bio. It was very inspiring 🙂

    I definitely see you as being as popular around here as a hot chick at a Star Trek convention. And yes, I’ll admit I’ve been to a few several years ago (and yes, there was always a hot girl there dressed in uniform (or Klingon) and have a hoarde of slobbering geeks around them).

    Okay, note to the convention “Space Marines”: The huge guts, the plastic toy guns, and the plumbers’ cracks are sorta breaking the illusion here.. but I digress..

    I mean, how many libertarian-leaning girls are out there? I’m in the DC area, and the females I’ve encountered pretty much come in two flavors:

    1) Shrill lefty (vast majority)
    2) Occasional creepy Ann Coulter wanna-be.

    My fiance is a public school teacher, too, with rather conservative tendancies. I’m sending her some bits of the conversation here. I’m sure she’ll get a kick out it 🙂

  96. Oh, just to clarify, said fiance is from one of heartland states, so she doesn’t neatly fall in 1) or 2).. thank God..

  97. Would you have proposed to her if she was Coulteresque, or made a cartoon style, Mr. Nice Guy shaped hole in the wall while running away?

  98. Mr. Nice Guy-
    Unless your fiancee is a masochist who enjoys repeatedly banging her head against the wall, tell her not to go into teaching. I’m serious. Better yet, give her this: my patented Teacher’s Aptitude Test.

    Step 1. Buy a bull.
    Step 2. Every time the bull needs to poop, make sure he does so inside your house.
    Step 3. Wait until the inside of your house is knee-deep in bullshit, then move back inside.

    If your fiancee not only doesn’t mind wading through knee-deep bullshit, but can actually convince herself that this is a vital and necessary part of daily life, then she has what it takes to be a public-school teacher. Otherwise, forget it.

  99. David:

    I once dated a girl who was the liberal doppelganger of Coultier.. in that her views were absolute and anyone disagreeing was evil/stupid. The sex was amazing, but yes, I would’ve gladly ran through a wall to get away.

    Jennifer:

    Too late. She’s been in the biz for fifteen years now, though she’s reaching the end of her rope. I can’t imagine a profession where one gets more shit.. from the students, the parents, and the bosses. All sides. It’s unbelievable.

  100. For all our whining about the WoSDs, censorship or over-harsh business regulation, none of which I would ignore, I can’t help but think that the future of liberty in this country depends on breaking the government-schooling-complex, and seeing to it that children are not effectively raised by an arm of the state.

    What kevrob said. We need to remove the future generations from the grasp of the state. And what are WoSDs? I can’t keep up with this shorthand crap….

  101. Back in my day–the 70’s when 98% of the student body at my very middle class suburban high school had tried drugs–we had a drug dog that came around. The student body had two favorite tricks
    1) put a joint and as many tennis balls as you could into an empty locker. The dogs were trained with tennis balls and went absolutely nuts when the lock was cut off the locker, the door opened, and the balls spilled out all over the hall.
    2) some members of the student body got together and all agreed to carry smelling salts in their pockets. One day, the dog came near one of them, and they broke the capsule. The dog never got his sense of smell back. The person who broke the capsule got in a world o’shite but they couldn’t figure out exactly what he did wrong.

    Kids today just aren’t very creative

  102. smacky:

    Thank you for your support.

    Oh, and WoSD=War on Some Drugs.

    Kevin

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