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Posted: 4/10/2006 9:40:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 9:40:45 AM EDT by Zarathustra1]
Hopefully not a dupe:

Montgomery Is Criticized Over Credit for Students

By Lori Aratani
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 8, 2006; B01



The Montgomery County schools' decision to grant students community service credit for attending Monday's immigration rights protest is raising concern among some parents as well as activists who say officials should focus on education, not political advocacy.

Montgomery is the only Washington area school system offering students credit for taking part in the event, to be held on the Mall -- a decision Superintendent Jerry D. Weast said is consistent with how the system has operated.

"This is nothing new,'' schools spokesman Brian K. Edwards said about the decision. "Advocacy is allowed."

But in the superheated atmosphere surrounding the immigration debate, the decision is drawing sharp criticism from many quarters. Yesterday, school system offices were flooded with angry phone calls as word of its action circulated among conservative radio hosts.

In a memo sent to Board of Education members, Weast said that "callers were abusive to school system staff, using derogatory ethnic comments in expressing their views." He added, "This is not the first time the national debate on immigration policy has engendered harsh commentary for the school system and staff as a target for political purposes."

Edwards said students will receive service learning hours for participating in the rally as long as they do so under the supervision of a community group that has been approved by the school system.

Student participation in the event is being organized by CASA of Maryland Inc., a Silver Spring-based group that works with the Latino community. It is CASA's role -- as organizer -- that has some questioning whether the school system is allowing an outside group to push its political agenda on students. "I do understand that CASA offers some worthy services to immigrants and that's noble, but it's a stretch to allow students to protest for a particular side of an issue,'' said parent Melissa Andersen. "I'm taken aback by it. I think it's poor judgment."

Maryland students are required to put in 60 hours of community service to graduate from high school. They can undertake a number of activities -- including working for political campaigns -- as long as the work is done for a secular, nonprofit community organization that is tax-exempt and that school officials have approved.

Edwards said students who participate in the rally, which takes place during the school system's spring break, will be required to have a sponsoring organization verify their attendance. Students must complete a written assignment to be approved by their service learning coordinator. They receive one hour of credit for every hour spent on the activity, up to a maximum of eight hours in a 24-hour period.

Brad Botwin, whose son is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, said student community service is important. But he doesn't view the rally as a community service so much as a political statement.

"It's the wrong thing for the schools to be pushing,'' he said. "This is way outside the balance. You can send kids to a nursing home, but a rally? This is not learning."

School board member Stephen N. Abrams (Rockville-Potomac) said students have the right to express their opinions, and if they choose to do so at a political rally -- as long as they abide by the credit rules -- they should not be barred from participating.

"The last time I checked, the First Amendment is not a right to question what the speech is," he said. "I'm sure if students were participating in a tax cap rally, these same people would not be objecting to that."

School systems in Virginia and the District do not have community service requirements. Although teenagers there have been among the most active in protesting the immigration legislation, no systems planned to grant credit for participation in Monday's rally. However, in Fairfax County, school officials said a teacher in a government class, where a service project is often assigned, may choose to consider the rally as part of that requirement.

Staff writers Nick Anderson, Tara Bahrampour, Maria Glod and V. Dion Haynes contributed to this report.



www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/07/AR2006040701828_pf.html
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:41:38 AM EDT
That's crazy.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:50:01 AM EDT
If I were in Montgomery PS instead of Fairfax, I'd just be all "Oh, yeah, I went. Uh-huh. Sure love those immigrants. Now gimme credit."

Or I might actually go. And burn a Mexican flag while shouting "Pedro go home!"
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:50:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 9:51:06 AM EDT by SmilingBandit]
Porque?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:52:33 AM EDT
And the pussification of America continues....
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:54:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zarathustra1:

The Montgomery County schools' decision to grant students community service credit for attending Monday's immigration rights protest is raising concern among some parents as well as activists who say officials should focus on education, not political advocacy.



Simple concept isn't it.

People send kids to school for an eductation, not an indoctrination.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:56:47 AM EDT
I guess if depends if they allow students to get credit for other political-activisim type events.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:58:49 AM EDT
the schools "GIT MO MONEE" for the amount of students enrolled..legal or illegal..

thats why they let them offff...to protest.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 10:00:42 AM EDT
If they allow ALL students to get credit for taking part in other forms of political activism I'm all for it. It's about time people stop being proles and actually start exercising their constitutional rights, be it for something I support or don't support.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:12:45 AM EDT
They don't give extra credit to students in Montgomery County who attend the annual March for Life or the annual Gun Day in Annapolis.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:14:58 AM EDT
I was astonisted when I heard that. Then I realized how many times this year I have been astonished. The slope is steepening my friends....
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:15:57 AM EDT
one of my prof's has been strongly encouraging us to go to the janitor strike pickets. fucking communists.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:20:05 AM EDT
Yes,it is,I'll have to call my Brother down in Conroe.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:20:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 11:25:11 AM EDT by Makarov_Mami]
Two points to consider before going off on this, regardless of your opinion on the subject of immigration:

1) These students are not being given EXTRA credit or CLASS credit. They are being given credit towards the community service hours they need to serve before graduation.

2) These students are not missing class to attend the rally. This is occurring during their spring break.



Carry on.

ETA: I am not saying I agree with the policy, just making sure that people are arguing over correct facts.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:21:47 AM EDT
Would they get credit for going to an NRA protest?
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:22:59 AM EDT
Credit for supporting criminals. Nice.

Fuck 'em.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:44:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/10/2006 11:45:51 AM EDT by copenhagen]

Originally Posted By Coop_K:
Would they get credit for going to an NRA protest?



Not hardly. I offered to give the local high school library my copies of National Riflemen after I read them. I was told they couldn't accept them. I asked why. I was told that anything having to do with firearms is banned. Speech and thought Nazi's at work here. My wife is one of the librarians in the school system also.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 11:51:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Planerench:
I was astonisted when I heard that. Then I realized how many times this year I have been astonished. The slope is steepening my friends....



Yes it is.
Unbelievable.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 12:04:59 PM EDT
I was looking up into the sky and it seemed to be spinning around.

Then I realized that the sensation was caused by our country swirling around the toilet bowl...
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