Update: Luis Rivera, the teacher who drew up the controversial lesson plan and consequently resigned, has apologized.
One of the four teachers involved in working up the “slave math” lesson plan at Gwinnett County, Georgia’s Beaver Ridge Elementary School has resigned following a school district investigation. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has more on the beating the school system has got to take over the ill-considered plan.
In Georgia, it’s illegal for children under the age of 18 to get tattoos. There’s no such thing as “proper parental permission.” Authorities will arrest the parent if he or she allows a child to receive a tattoo. And the artist, too, for that matter.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Chuntera Napier, of Acworth (said) that her 12-year-old son, Malik, was struck and killed by a motorist in Macon about two years ago, and her other son, Gaquan, wanted a tattoo like hers to remember his older brother by.
“My son came to me and said, ‘Mama, I want to get a tattoo with Malik on it, rest in peace,’” Napier said. “It made me feel good to know to know that he wanted his brother on him.”
She said she did not know it is illegal in Georgia to tattoo anyone under the age of 18.
“What do I say to a child who wants to remember his brother? It’s not like he’s asking me if can I get him a Sponge Bob,” she said. “He’s asking me for something that’s in remembrance of his brother. Well, how do I tell a child no?”
Uh, you tell them NO. Or you say, “You can have the tattoo for your eighteenth birthday.”
Reviewer Elizabeth A. White writes:
Though the premise for Chain Gang Elementary sounded intriguing, I admit I went into it not entirely sure what to expect, just hoping to be entertained. What I got instead was a book that not only gripped and entertained me as much as any thriller – who knew grade school politics could be so damn Machiavellian? – but which also brings to the table some very timely issues about the state of education in America, especially as relates to standardized testing and its emotional and financial impact on students, teachers, and schools.
Author Jonathan Grant puts his experience as both a former journalist (newspaper coverage of the controversies that swirl around “Chain Gang Elementary” play a prominent role in the fight between Richard and Rutherford) and PTA president to good use, bringing a verisimilitude to the story that makes even the more extreme behavior of the parents and teachers disturbingly believable. Grant also uses well placed doses of humor to temper the seriousness of the underlying topics, and keeps the story moving along at a nice clip without ever getting bogged down in the more policy-centric passages.
Doing time at Chain Gang Elementary is (not so) hard labor you’ll actually enjoy being sentenced to.
Chain Gang Elementaryy falls under the heading of “Required Reading” at PTO Today and was also named “Book of the Month” at Indie Books List, which called the novel “(what) ‘Desperate Housewives’ wishes it could be.” Buy it now and spread the word!
The violence in Mexico knows no boundaries. From the Associated Press, via the Washington Post:
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — A man has been shot to death in the courtyard of an elementary school in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. It’s an unusual event even for a city where children have enormous exposure to violence.
Prosecutors’ spokesman Arturo Sandoval says gunmen wounded the man outside the school. Then when the victim ran onto the campus trying to escape, the attackers followed him and finished him off.
The West Orange Patch reports that the former president of a New Jersey elementary school PTA has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 from the parent-teacher organization. Deborah Sanchez, of West Orange, is accused of siphoning funds from an after-school program at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School that the PTA had administered. (The program is now run by another organization.)
Ms. Sanchez faces a Feb. 6 court date on the charges.