For those familiar with my posts, last year we moved into a trailer that was mold infested. However, it was under the trailer and we didn't see evidence of it anywhere in the home--but it was also in the air conditioning ducts where they had small holes underneath the home. The entire family became extremely ill for months, and we took the children to some of the best medical facilities in the area and no one had a reasonable diagnosis. Finally, one bright neurologist asked if there was mold in the home and stated it could be the cause of the debilitating headaches the children were experiencing, and the immense fatigue my sister and I were constantly battling. We spent hundreds of dollars in gas money taking the children as far as 75 miles from home to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital, Without doubt or question, they are one of the best in the world but sadly, they don't have the capacity to test for mold poisoning.
The moment the neurologist mentioned mold as a possibility, I crawled under the trailer, and to my surprise, it was everywhere and appeared to be "Black Mold," one of the most dangerous varieties. We moved within days and it cost us almost everything we had. We obtained petri dishes to have the mold tested to find out what the best treatment was. However, our landlord, when inspecting the house, saw the petri dishes, the last item left in the refrigerator, and refused us further entry into the residence. He thought we were attempting to sue, when in fact, the company in Arizona that does these tests does not support litigation as several do--but suggests the best method of treatment for the precise strain of mold. Our interest was the health of the children. who were suffering immensely, and we also needed to get better so we could properly care for both of them.
In spite of them missing so much school, the 11 year old made the honor roll, and his 13 year old sister only missed it by one C. In spite of their great grades, the school referred us to truancy court because they missed too many days of school, and when you live in a mold infested house, recovery doesn't occur the day you move out. It takes time, and now both children are healthy again, but what my sister went through in court revealed aspects of "No Child Left Behind" that interferes with a parents ability to take care of their own children. We were bluntly told that we could not determine whether the children were sick; we had to send them to school, and the school nurse would decide if they were ill. When a child is up all night vomiting and crying because of a debilitating headache, I believe it's cruel and unusual punishment to send them to school the next day. The 11 year old vomited several times on the bus on his way to school. Did they send him home? Hell No! They gave him clean clothes and made him stay in school.
I imagine you're asking yourself why a school would act in such a horrendous manner. From the court appointed attorney, as well as a private attorney, that sold us out. While I was absent from the courtroom, he coerced my sister to plead guilty, and she was made to sign a stack of forms, the impact of this signing which was never disclosed in court. The public Defender advised her against pleading guilty. However, one of the "good old boys" of the county convinced her to make a guilty plea against my advice while I was removed from the courtroom. Even though I am the head of the household, my sister has sole custody of the children, so I wasn't allowed to say anything during the actual hearing even though I was served a subpoena to the hearing.
What we learned is that the schools are funded by how many days the
child is actually is in school, so the court in our county didn't give a
damn about their grades - only their attendance! They also imposed a
court order that each child had to maintain an A/B grade average, and
since the 11 year old is learning disabled, I consider that to be an
impossibility. I believe the court is attempting to maneuver itself so
they can take away my sister's children, even though they are well
taken care of and are happy children.
Prior to these children and my sister moving into my home, neither of them had good grades in school. The year before last, in a different county, my niece made the honor roll for the first time in her life! If she wouldn't have been ill the past school year, she would have made it again. I believe it's unconstitutional to state that a parent cannot keep their child home when they are sick. To complicate matters, the move we made from the mold infested home broke us financially. My truck is broke down, and doctor appointments are extremely hard to make to provide the school with an excuse for any illness they might incur--thus giving the court the right to punish my sister--who is disabled and has several health issues of her own.
We weren't the only people hauled before this court. For the most part, those I interviewed had "special needs children" and one family had a son who was recovering from a serious accident. Since when doesn't a parent or guardian have the right to determine when their child is ill??? When a school district places money above a child's health and orders that they go to school when they are sick I consider this to be a travesty of the law and absolutely unconstitutional!
Furthermore, the 11 year old is learning disabled, yet somehow he made the honor roll in 4th grade when he can barely count to 21 when attempting to add up cards. He reads on what I believe is a second or third grade level, yet he was moved on to the 5th grade. I have no doubt that the school cheated on his grades, thus making sure that they received the funding for his miraculous "honor roll" performance last year, which we know is a lie! We are pressing to have him tested again, but the school will hear nothing of this and maintain that he is ready for the fifth grade. It's total B.S., and anyone that sees him struggle to read and perform mundane math tasks would instantly be aware that the school engaged in fraud as to his grade performance.
We believe that our federal civil rights have been violated and that "No Child Left Behind" is wholly unconstitutional when money is a greater factor in a child's development rather than their actual performance and health. As always in this country, money trumps parents rights and common sense. If and when I can figure out how to get transportation to the county law library, I will be filing a federal civil rights action against No Child Left Behind and the atrocious manner in which my sister was treated in court. I do worry that this post will result in a contempt of court citation against me for criticizing their system, But it's my belief this law is unconstitutional, and as long as some semblance of freedom of speech remains in this country, I will voice my opinion and damn the consequences! If either child is up sick all night, which I don't expect this year unless it's the flu or another ailment - we will keep them out of school, and we refuse to have the court interfere with raising these children.
Their remarkable grades since moving into my home prove that we are doing the right thing, and until I acknowledge that our country has turned into a communist or fascist regime - we will attempt to hold on to our constitutional right to raise these children as we see fit, not so the school can get more money when a real illness strikes our home. The attorney did argue that the grades of both children made the hearing somewhat ridiculous, but nevertheless, my sister and the children are on six months of what is essentially probation, and to this day, I believe it's a travesty of the law and what we attended was nothing less than a "Kangaroo Court" that valued money more than a child's health!
It's time that we as a nation do away with No Child Left behind. The
law is fundamentally unconstitutional and has driven many new teachers
away from becoming teachers who changed their majors because of the
rigors that this program has on the academic world in our country.
Please read about ESU, one of the most prestigious teaching colleges in
the nation which I covered in this article:
"No Child Left Behind - Posted on RAW"