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$38M reserve; students can't take books home
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Editor, Upon receiving my son’s report card Wednesday, Oct. 15, I first congratulated him for his overall average of 84 percent. Then I noticed that, unlike his other grades, which were all in the high 80s and 90s, his average in science - his favorite subject - was 78 percent. I asked my son to bring me his science textbook because I wanted to see if the text was difficult. He told me students in his class could not bring their science books home. I signed the report card and wrote a note on it, asking that my son be allowed to bring his science book home because he is allowed to bring his other books home.
The next day, I did not hear from my son’s teacher, so I e-mailed the principal. I didn’t hear from the principal, but late Friday evening, I did receive an e-mail from my son’s teacher. He concluded the reason my son’s grade in science was average was because he was aligning himself with the thuggish elements at school. Still no science book came home. My son has been in this teacher’s class for 10 weeks now and I’ve received no notice of negative behavior, but because I questioned my son’s performance and asked that his science book be sent home, he is now a thug.
A thug, according to the dictionary, means “one of an organization of religious assassins in India,” or “any assassin or ruffian (swindler).” Labeling 12- or 13-year-old students as thugs is no way to build their self-esteem or encourage their academic and social development growth.
Shame on you. The book is the proper tool to improve my son’s science grade because it would allow him to receive additional academic instruction at home (a parent working with the school).
The No Child Left Behind Act, as of Friday, Oct. 17, has a new philosophy: “Just don’t give the student the tool for learning, like his textbook.” Now we don’t have to wonder why so many of our children are failing. Maybe that is why the Liberty County school district is hording $38.6 million instead of sending children home with the essential tools to learn.
If you feel your child is a victim of education without a text, please e-mail me at Maybe State Superintendent Cathy Cox can have the textbooks trucked in from Atlanta.

Rose Ferdinand
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