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Teachers used to be a well-respected group as they were burdened with the never-ending task of educating America. Teachers used to make their own lesson plans and were trusted to run their own classroom as they saw fit.

student advocates

Teachers, the Original Student Advocates—Andrea London

Somewhere along the way the trust was lost and it was never to be seen again. Now the state government mandates the incorporation of Common Core and each pupil is given a standardized test to judge educator effectiveness—as if each student started from the same level.

School has become an administrative fundraiser. Pay for performance, they say. Last one in is the first one out, they say. Teachers are no more valued today than the paper their degree is printed on...but this wasn't always the case. What happened to that teacher whose thirst for knowledge spread to his or her pupils? What happened to that educator who inspired the next surgeon, astronaut or president? What happened to that 'can do' teacher?

Was it the students? It wasn't always the case that all students were given free access to education. Class sizes have changed dramatically along with classroom demographics as well. Today's classrooms are filled with rich kids, poor kids, minority kids, special needs kids, English as a second language kids, and a growing number of kids who prefer home school/unschooling.

How do you teach a special needs child? Does being dyslexic mean you can't be the next president? Does being in a regular math class disqualify you from being an astronaut? Should teachers teach to the standardized test since that's how they're evaluated and the school reimbursed?

Teaching is becoming a dying profession. If an educator does inspire their students to aim higher and challenge themselves with advanced placement courses, then a once honored teacher could find herself or himself transferred or demoted for disrupting the district budget.

Staying in budget has become more honorable than inspiring students to aim for the stars and not simply succumb to the limits of their zip code. Failure to inspire these at-risk kids will result in more and more at-risk kids every year. If the educators are limited to who they can inspire based on preferred class placement.....if educators are limited to who they can allow in advanced placement courses based on total family income.....if educators are more fearful of their job security than sending a generation of thinkers/leaders/doers to the workforce and to the community, then what kind of educators are in the schools?

Educator misconduct is the new pandemic plaguing our schools nationwide. The days of sending your child to school with a snack has been upgraded to sending your kid to school with a tape recorder or even a video recorder. Unlimited personal injury lawsuits are on the raise nationally, costing school districts and the state board of education millions of dollars annually in settlement payments.

School resource officers (SRO) are being introduced to this toxic learning environment where the teachers are not allowed to teach and the students are not allowed to learn. The purpose of the sworn police officer is to provide security and crime prevention services in the American school environment. As any police officer, SROs can make arrests and issue citations. School resource officers typically have additional duties that include mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues.

Interestingly enough, these SROs are not required to educate the students on their rights as students in the school, which begs the question of what are the students' rights in school? Why don't SROs educate students on their student civil liberties? Well, it's because police officers don't enforce the kinds of laws that work to guarantee students their civil liberties. Education law code is the type of law that is enforced in school. Education law is not enforced by police officers; it is enforced by the Department of Education.

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If a student is wronged at school, the SRO has no jurisdiction over the matter unless it rises to a felony offense. Misdemeanor charges at school are not prosecuted by SROs unless they are committed by students due to the limited jurisdiction of the SRO to prosecute educators. SROs are only sworn to uphold penal law code.

In the school setting, SROs can prosecute students under penal law code due to their lack of due process rights—the right to plead your innocence. Educators, however, have ample rights to due process, making it nearly impossible for even a judge to convict them. If an educator violates education law code, then the educator is prosecuted by the Department of Education.

If a student wishes to prosecute the educator criminally or civilly, a litigation team will be required to prove said violations as the due process rights of the educator will be well argued by the litigation team provided to the educator by the teacher's union. Likewise, if the Department of Education wishes to prosecute an educator, they, too, will have to arm themselves with a team of litigators to prove the educator's guilt. This process works on a timetable that is no less than 18 months to 5 years long.

Teachers, the original student advocates, are being replaced with personal injury attorneys due to a failed legal system. Resolution is what everyone wants but how can we achieve it? According to the news, parents are suing the school district, the teacher's union is suing the school district, the teachers are suing the union, and the PTA is selling Girl Scout cookies!

It appears that there is a gross imbalance of power causing this disruption. The teachers have a profound ability to organize and work together, but their union has not created a balance of power. Instead, their one-sided approach to due process rights has costed the Department of Education millions in personal injury lawsuits. In the end, it is always the taxpayer who ends up carrying the burden. How do we put an end to the lawsuits and rebalance the power so once again the teachers can teach and the students can learn? We have to work to balance the power so we can balance the budget.

The Department of Education has become a retroactive bystander, delaying action against educational misconduct as if they want the taxpayers to suffer. The teachers have become drunk on power, hiding behind their well-versed union-appointed litigation team every time they are caught with their pants down. Parents have gotten sick of ignoring their children's complaints of lewd conduct, discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, and violence. Parents are discovering that Education Law code is supposed to keep kids safe at school from these very things. The ACLU is right; laws can't enforce themselves but a student's union can.

Damn the PTA! Students need the right to due process. They have it in Walmart, why not let them have it in school?

Since this February, Student Advocates Inc. has begun to uphold student civil liberties and education law code enforcement. Student Advocates is a student/parent/teacher association that advocates issues concerning student civil liberties and education law code enforcement no matter how big or how small the issue may be. Student Advocates assists in the litigation process in cases of educational misconduct. Student Advocates holds monthly lectures to educate parents and students on Education Law and how it pertains to the students’ rights in school and how to correctly report misconduct. Student Advocates strives to be a national student's union.

Teachers have a teachers' union, nurses have a nurses' union, even the bus drivers have a union. Why shouldn't students have a national student's union?

amanda-london

Children are our future, if you want to save the world, then change their DESTINY

Andrea London
Student Advocates Inc.