Here's an instructive tale from Tampa, Florida, where a mother has taken an admirable interest in her son's academic performance.
Ronda Holder, 33, was recently confronted by the grim possibility that her son, James Mond III, might follow in her footsteps and fail to complete high school. The 15-year-old's GPA was an abysmal 1.22, and so uninterested was he in learning that he didn't bother to complete his FCAT. (He doesn't appear to have a learning disability; his grades were A-OK until he was 14.) Ronda Holder thought to give him a taste of the hobo lifestyle to which he may be consigning himself and last weekend set him on a street corner with a sign dangling from his neck. The sign read:
I did 4 questions on my FCAT and said I wasn't going to do it -- GPA 1.22 -- honk if I need education.
A local television crew spotted the teen, and his plight soon became television news fodder. The Department of Children and Families -- the same department whose grievous failings have lately come to light in South Florida -- are wondering whether James Mond III's unusual punishment might constitute child abuse.
Let us disabuse them of the notion. Child abuse is raising a child in such a way that, at age 15, he has no interest in learning, and then subjecting that child to a school system that somehow manages to make history, science, and literature seem boring. (They're not.) Trying to salvage the situation with extraordinary measures? That's not abuse. That's just awesome.
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Good luck to James Mond III. If this inspires you to take your studies seriously, you may find that there's more to learning than dull rooms full of even duller teachers. Your life may be about to change for the better.
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