Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Feminists Inspired Rigid School Rules

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Feminists Inspired Rigid School Rules

Article excerpt

In North Carolina, 6-year-old Johnathan Prevette was disciplined for sexual harassment because he smooched a classmate. To most commentators, it looked like a bizarre and isolated act of a politically correct bureaucrat gone mad.

The truth is far worse: Johnathan's punishment was the act of a perfectly sane and ordinary bureaucrat doing what bureaucrats are supposed to do: enforce the official rules.

Fast-forward to a week later, a world away in Far Rockaway, N.Y.: A 7-year-old boy named De'Andre Dearinge gets a five-day suspension for sexual harassment after he kisses a little girl. North Carolina's sexual harassment policies, it turns out, are not some isolated anomaly. The sexual harassment rules in New York City also apply to kindergartners. And when The Washington Times interviewed school administrators in the D.C. area, they found the same policies at work: "Our (sexual harassment) policy does not indicate that there is any distinction made because of age or grade level," noted Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the Arlington County, Va., school district. "Theoretically, it could happen here," admitted Chris Cason, a spokesman for the Prince George's County, Md., school system. How did sexual harassment policies like these get dropped like so many little time bombs in elementary schools around the country? They were the product of an educational hysteria masquerading as fact, still widely believed - namely, that our schools cheat girls. The myth grew out of one fact, was ripped out of context, and endlessly repeated: Girls score about as well as boys in math until junior high school, when boys start to score better on standardized tests. In 1990, a year before the Association of American University Women issued a report that launched our current schools-cheat-girls panic, Education Digest published a summary of data about "The Education Gender Gap." By age 17, boys scored 6 points better on tests of math proficiency, which translated into even larger gaps in the highest levels. …

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