I love this. It’s a little bit funny and a lot not. Mainly it’s the theater of the absurd many teachers find themselves trapped in when a helicopter parent has a rotor missing. Of course there will be those who say, “I don’t get it. Why isn’t the teacher being helpful?”
After you watch this you may want to hug a teacher and tell her it’s all right. Go ahead, if it’s not against the code of conduct, state law, or that restraining order they slapped on you.
Hat tip to Mark Brumley, who put it on his excellent post, “Setting Boundaries: Tips for Interacting with Problem Parents,” on his Educational Technology blog.
To see the latest updates on the Chain Gang Blog, click here.
Here’s the grand jury reporton the mess that is the DeKalb County, Georgia school system (from which both my kids graduated).
Money quote (and understatement):
“When asked to cnfirm the mission statement of the Board (Chairman Gene) Walker responded, ‘To be the premier urban school system in the nation, preparing our students to be better citizens.’ This is an admirable goal; however, the Grand Jury believes that the Board is not putting forth all of its effort and resources toward reaching this goal.”
By the way, there’s a new and improved indictment against former DeKalb County Superintendent Crawford Lewis and his cronies, whose management style apparently involved racketeering and lots of free sports tickets.
A DeKalb grand jury has issued a new indictment against Crawford Lewis, accusing the former DeKalb Schools superintendent of abusing his position for “his own personal gain and the benefit of his friends, his family and his lover.”
The 300-page “superseding” indictment issued May 1 replaces the May 2010 indictment of Lewis; his former chief operating officer, Patricia Reid; her former husband, Anthony Pope; and Reid’s secretary, Cointa Moody, on charges of running a criminal enterprise that sent millions of dollars to Pope while he was married to Reid and to vendors in exchange for cash, sports tickets and other perks totaling more than $33,332.25.
In the original indictment, prosecutors said Reid manipulated four school projects at Columbia High, McNair Cluster Elementary, Mountain Industrial Center, and Arabia Mountain High to benefit Pope and Lewis signed off the changes and that they benefited from gifts of sporting and theater tickets.
The new indictment said that more than $80 million in contracts were obtained through some type of fraud and that Pope made over $2 million on the deals. It includes four counts of racketeering, one count of theft by taking by a government employee, and one count of bribery. It drops charges against Moody and charges of falsifying a public document against the group.
Former Glenns Valley Elementary School PTA Treasurer Candace N. Cadwell, 34, has been arrested by the Indiana State Police Organized Crime and Corruption Unit and charged with felony theft after approximately $11,000 was reported missing from PTA accounts. The alleged crime occurred between June 2009 to June 2011.
I’ve mentioned PTO Today’s coverage of Chain Gang Elementary (listed under the heading “Required Reading,” but I wasn’t able to link to the article. Now it’s been posted to PTO Today’s blog, written by senior editor Emily Graham:
If you’ve ever clashed with a principal or fretted about passing a motion at a PTO meeting, you’ll be able to relate to some of the challenges faced by Richard Gray, a work-at-home dad who becomes PTO president in Jonathan Grant’s novel, Chain Gang Elementary.
But Richard has other big problems you probably haven’t faced: backstabbing school politics, a board member having a nervous breakdown, and a treasurer who is just a little too friendly.
The story revolves around Richard’s efforts to make changes at the elementary school and the resistance he meets from the dictator-like principal who seems to care only about standardized test results.
In addition to being an entertaining read, it tackles issues like school violence, racial discrimination, and teaching to the test. This is the first novel by Grant, a former PTA president who describes himself as an elementary school survivor and a recovering high school parent.
Talk about a paper trail: Suspect wrote a check on the PTA account to pay back the Girl Scouts for the money she took.
From KSPR News:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A woman from Springfield is accused of stealing funds from the Wanda Gray Elementary School Parent-Teacher Associationand Girl Scouts Troop 70472. Prosecutors charged Lyndsay Joy-Peck with two counts of stealing on Thursday after a four-week investigation by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.
Joy-Peck was a leader for the troop and a vice president for the PTA. She has two children at Wanda Gray, which is south of Springfield at the corner of Plainview Road at Cox Road. The school’s web site shows the position of PTA vice president is now vacant.
Leaders of the PTA and Girl Scouts called the sheriff’s department in early April about missing funds. Probable cause statements used as the basis of the charges say Girl Scouts officials first confronted Joy-Peck last November. An audit by the Girl Scouts found Joy-Peck bought $2,566.16 worth of personal goods at several stores. An audit of PTA accounts found Joy-Peck spent $1,934.87 from that group for personal items.
A detective wrote in the probable cause statements that Joy-Peck repaid some of the funds to the Girl Scouts but still owes $609.94. After Girl Scouts officials confronted her, the probable cause statement says, she wrote checks to the Girl Scouts with a personal check and with a check from the PTA.
The detective interviewed Joy-Peck on April 6. He said she admitted what she did and said she did it because she didn’t want her husband to be mad about how much she was spending. She said, once the thefts started, things spiraled out of control.
“Joy-Peck stated she couldn’t give a real reason why she did it, but it was probably greed. She further advised it was a little of keeping up with the (Joneses),” the detective wrote.