U.S. & World

Parents arrested for sneaking kids into better schools


Return To Article
  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 13, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    to the moderator:

    I would hope that you would allow my last comment sent on 10/13/2011 at around 6:45.

    I was basically called a liar. What I wrote in my comment was true. It would take 5,000 words to fully explain what happened to my son.

    His 1st grade teacher told us, his parents, that she thought that he had ADHD and was in need of medication. I

    I learned later that the teacher would discipline my son for not understanding assignments. It was not that he could not understand. His mind easily wandered.

    I asked my son why he did not ask his teacher for clarification. He answered that she would yell at him when he did not understand. He was frightened of her reaction.

    Because he did not complete an assignment, he was not allowed to join his classmates for lunch.

    His classmates, the lunch lady, and later his teacher, verified that he did not eat lunch. His classmates told me that he satalone in the dark room.

    Superintendent Wasden is fully aware of this. He did nothing.

    I still have the e-mail where she admits it. It was sent from school.

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 13, 2011 6:43 p.m.

    The Utah Republican wrote:

    "Peter Coyotl, your story doesn't ring true. If your child was left unattended in a darkened room for 40 minutes, an administrative level complaint in the Jordan District would have resulted in some drastic action..."

    You write of a specific incident you know nothing about. The teacher admitted in a e-mail sent to me that it was my son's fault for not eating lunch because he failed to understand an assignment. She later told the principal, Rebecca Gerber of Westvale, that she was unaware that my son was left alone in a darken room. She lied to save her job.

    The superintendent over Westvale, Bevan Wasden, said that any discipline was a personnel matter and that I would never know what it was.

    This summer I sent numerous e-mails to the principal of Terre Linda, where my son was denied enrollment despite their school having the lowest student-teacher ratio in West JOrdan for my son' grade.

    Neither would ever respond to my queries.

    I am sent grama requests in the last month, and they too have been ignored.

    I am not a liar, but you are one who quickly jumps to conclusions.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Oct. 12, 2011 12:06 a.m.

    Some comments & questions:

    1. A government which sponsores education, can use it as a primary mean of controlling its country's thought and thinking process.
    2. With the use of standardized testing, why are our students acountable to the state and feds.
    3. Why in a free country, are our children forced to attend school? Let localities take care of their education.
    4. Education is important, but why the mandatory attendence? The system is a big scam.

  • echo Austin, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    The school in the area the student lives should be paying for students having to go somewhere else to get a good education. they're the ones receiving the property taxes.

  • Terrie Bittner Warminster, PA
    Oct. 11, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    Have you ever driven around and looked at schools in the inner-city? I intentionally transferred my children to one for a while before giving up and homeschooling. Ugly schools, insufficient supplies, inexperienced teachers...In some schools, those children don't have books or paper, while the wealthy children get computers, football teams, and lovely schools, plus the best teachers. We make sure the poor kids stay poor this way. Some children I worked with complained their whole world was ugly, even school. They just wanted to be somewhere pretty once in a while. Parents should be rewarded, not punished, for trying to give their children a chance. You can't fix the schools by staying in them--I tried. I couldn't change anything that mattered. I joined school site council and fought hard. At some point, the education has to come first.

    Since a homeless person has no address, how could she be in the wrong school? Should her children not be allowed in school at all since she has no address? That poor family had enough to worry about without a rich judge "making an example" of her. (What example? Homeless not welcome?)

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 11, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    Rock, just curious do you have any credible statistical sources for your statement of 1 in 50 doctors and 1 in 1000 teachers? Do you have any credible evidence that teachers stop working after tenure other than what your dad told you? Are their teachers out there that are not working hard every day? Sure. Are their thousands of them? No. I would challenge you to look at your local school districts policy manual. Teachers with more than three years in every district in this state can be fired. All that is required is an attempt to re mediate. If that fails they can be fired. Need not take more than a year. Many administrators don't have the stomach for it. Teaching is like any profession most teachers do a good job, a few do a great job, and some do a poor job.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 3:19 p.m.

    In defense of public education -

    At our school recently we had a visiting principal and other educators from a South American country. They were so impressed at the teaching that was going on in our school, that our students are treated with respect and teachers really care about them as individuals and want them to be successful.

    Is "the system" perfect? No, but it is doing better than we think! Let's all calm the negativity down.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    Local control is the answer. That doesn't mean putting all the power in the Federal basket. It doesn't mean putting it at the State level either. It doesn't even mean giving it to the individual school district. It means giving it to the parents.

    Arresting a parent for trying to get the best "free" education available is as sick as it is sad. It is clear evidence of a system begging for something more than change, it begs for revolution.

    It is good that Utah is an open-enrollment state. Maybe we need to go one step further and give parents the ability to vote with their vouchers. That's change that will make "edu-crats" sit up and take notice. They will hate it, but they will notice... and the system will finally become accountable.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    @Midwest Mom

    "What nonsense! Administration has 3 years to evaluate teachers and fire them without reason. After the 3 years, a teacher can be fired for "just cause" only. If a teacher is not performing up to standard, then fire them. It happens all the time."

    Absolutely not true. Less than one in a thousand teachers are ever forced out of the profession. One if fifty doctors will lose their license to practice medicine.

    It is not uncommon to hear of teachers being paid for years after being fired, awaiting the results of the endless court battles. Some times they can't even fire a teacher for sexual misconduct with a student.

    My father is a retired teacher and has seen many teachers who simply stopped working after they got tenure.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Oct. 11, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    @ Midwest Mom

    "What's with the constant, one-sided attack against public education by the Deseret News? Yesterday it was promoting Fran Tarkenton's horrid WSJ opinion piece."

    They are just telling the truth.

    Nobody can say that the public schools have been a success. They have failed miserably.


    Most schools where I live are funded according to attendance, the more average daily attendance the higher the revenue, and that funding comes from the state. School districts compete for students and hence funding.

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    Ummm so? Aren't I paying taxes in my district? I paid hundreds of dollars in fees in the last three years to my son's junior high, because so many people in that districtcan't afford the fees. I see no problem, one way or another I'm paying for someone's public school education... and will pay long after I have no children in school.

  • Mom of ten SANBORNTON, NH
    Oct. 11, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    To Lane Myer: You asked, "Why is this news in Utah? What is the DN's objective in running this?"

    I believe the answer is that not all who read DN live in Utah. The paper is read by many people from other states, like me. It is nice to see, once in awhile, news that happens outside Utah.

  • Softball Dad Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    I agree that if caught the "perpetrators" should be sent on their way. But to be arrested? That to me is outrageous. If they want to check addresses, no problem. To be arrested and then compelled to compensate the district is way over the line.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    To "Kami | 9:46 a.m." you are wrong. Lets just take a look at Davis County, where you live. The schools in Bountiful are quite good, and have a lot of expensive homes in the area. The schools in West Point struggle, and have a lot of small homes in the area. The interesting thing that you overlook is the fact that the funding per pupil in Bountiful is the same as the funding in West Point. So, since funding is the same, the argument about funding is not valid. So, if funding is the the reason for the difference, what is?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Oct. 11, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    Wow, in other states parents cheat the system to give their kids an EDUCATION?

    Down here they only cheat to put their kids in a winning FOOTBALL program!

    Think I'm kidding? Google Southlake Carroll HS, which had a kid with a permanent address in OK whose mom rented an apartment down here so he could play for Carroll. They got busted. Turns out, the reason they ended up in OK before Texas was that they went there pulling the same scam, with a permanent address in a third state...

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    This article says a lot more about the bias of the Deseret News then it does about education in Utah since students can go to any school they want to in or out of the school district they live in.

    We have to ask ourselves if we let extremists destroy our public schools, what will we be left with? It's time we stop attacking our teachers and our public schools and start building them up again instead of tearing them down because if they are torn down, we will all suffer.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Re: "Collective bargaining is just that, a two-sided agreement."

    Yeah -- problem is, there are three sides.

    Bargaining with government unions is not really collective bargaining, it's collusive bargaining. Suggesting that senior educators will effectively represent the interests taxpayers, when negotiating with a union they once belonged to themselves is lunacy.

    Collusive bargaining -- bargaining with unions representing government employees -- leaves taxpayers completely out in the cold, without even a seat at the table, and should be outlawed.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    The simple solution... all public schools should be funded equally out of the same pot. Send all taxes for education to the state and have the money doled out equally for every child. The only way a school would get more money is by having more students enrolled.

    Forget all this talk about taxing and education not getting enough funding. The government gets plenty of money from all the taxes and fees levied on citizens, they don't need more... they just need to figure out how to better spend what they get.

  • The Utah Republican Alpine, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    It would have good journalism on the part of Deseret News to point out that Utah is an open enrollment state where any student can attend any district school that is below capacity.

    Peter Coyotl, your story doesn't ring true. If your child was left unattended in a darkened room for 40 minutes, an administrative level complaint in the Jordan District would have resulted in some drastic action that probably would have included "retirement" for the teacher, and the principal who protected her. And because Utah has open enrollment and special services, once you fill out the appropriate forms, the school has a legal obligation to meet your request.

  • tinahons Trenton, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 6:55 a.m.

    I remember being in 2nd grade and my mother driving me to school clear across town to attend a better school. This was in 1962 and 1963...in Corpus Christi, Texas. Nothing was said...that I know of. Parents should be able to put their kids in school where they want to. Heavens knows, they pay enough taxes for that privilege.

  • Adam Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 11, 2011 4:09 a.m.

    It is obvious this particular Deseret News writer has a vendetta against public education!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:54 p.m.

    Sorry JSB, I think most teachers are doing all they can. Teachers need a fighting chance by having the respect of the citizenry including the legislators and smaller class sizes. IMO, we have piled on, especially in Utah, teachers long enough...

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    The solution, of course, is vouchers. But,for some inexplicable reason the voters of Utah rejected that. But, if schools have to compete for the vouchers to get students, you will see performance in the schools improve. Even unionized teachers will improve under those conditions. Parents will send their children to the best school they can. One of my daughters home schools because the school just can't give her children the quality of education they can get at home--not by a long shot. Her kids are several grades above grade level. If enough parents home-schooled, perhaps the public schools would get on the ball and provide a product that the parents want their children to have. Home schooling parents should get compensation for what they do that the public schools just can't begin to do.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    So Rush thinks it's liberals who are destroying public schools?

    Not in Utah.

  • OthersShoes SILVER SPRING, MD
    Oct. 10, 2011 6:45 p.m.

    In my teaching experience, in Maryland's lowest performing middle school, there seemed to exist an anomaly in who had control over a child's future; many parents wanted to have control over their child's school, class-selection, etc., and I, as a teacher, had to follow a curriculum that was broken in structure, relevance, and synthesis.

    The interesting piece to this is that when I went rogue and "broke the boundaries" of my curriculum, as the parents in this story did, I had huge success. 89% of my children tested advanced when I walked away from the classroom, 10% proficient.

    The actual education our children receive in today's school system, especially in low-income areas, is so far removed from the organic community, teacher-student centered atmosphere, and has been plasticized into "big-box" education, that really limits what makes teachers special.

    I didn't need all of the fancy resources we had (where all of the money goes), I didn't need more money (salary), I just needed to feel as if I owned my classroom, and that my children owned their future.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    Are these the same schools who accept illegal alien children without batting an eye?

    Let me see if I've got this straight. Decent parents can't put their children into better schools, but illegals can?

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    Pretty sure it's not "the liberals" doing this, Rush. Pretty sure it's the state's laws, the district's rules. (And isn't local control what you want...??? I get so irritated that the far-right thinks that EVERYTHING wrong that happens is always all the fault of "the liberals."

  • azresident Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    Peter Coyot1 If your child needs special education services--speech,language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, a learning disability class, a behavioral class etc., call the district office, not the principal. Ask to speak to someone in the special education department and share your story. There are federal guidelines that schools and school districts must follow. Good luck.

  • Granny Weatherwax Tooele, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    While there is much sympathy to be had for parents who just want the best education possible for their children, what if these students were boundary-hopping (and their parents falsifying info) in order to play on a particular school's sports team? Would our opinions change?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    You know what would be really neat. If the far right (Limbaugh and the gang) would one time talk about all the many great things that go on every day in our public schools, maybe just as a change of pace. As was pointed out in Utah that could never happen, because we have open enrollment, as do the majority of states. But after listening to Limbaugh many people are convinced this is occurring everywhere.

    Peter Coyot1 if in fact what you describe happened, I would call the school district office until I received satisfaction. A traditional public school in this state cannot turn your child away for a medical condition.

    To continue to paint all public schools with the same brush may make some people feel good, but it does nothing to solve real problems.

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    The Felonies these parents receive will affect the children until they leave home. A felony affects the parents credit rating. No more credit cards, poor housing in both buying and renting. Poor jobs and less advancement, if they can find a job at all.
    What happens in one state affects what happens in the whole country. Felonies cross state lines. A felony for sending children to a better school would affect those parents should they move to Utah.
    When state laws are made with a new penalty a felony like sending children to a better school. That felony is for the rest of the person's life.
    What a fair system of laws, that brand a person a criminal the rest of their life after serving jail time and/or probation without forgiveness from the public.

  • mtmanmc Colorado Springs, CO
    Oct. 10, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    The mother of the two daughters using her father's address. I wonder what taxes he paid in that school district? Big Brother is becoming more and more in violation of the Constitution everyday. Turning parents into Felons. The far reaching affects of a Felony will reach far beyond, what the average person understands. All this over a better education for children to better equip themselves for life.
    Our family move because of a very poor school system. Leaving behind a family business, which was started by my father. He ran for the local school board to improve this very poor school system.
    How many poor school systems are the result of poor school boards? Which leads to hiring of poor school teachers. How long have these poor school systems been active?

  • Peter Coyotl West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    I can understand the frustrations of these parents who cannot find a better school within their district.

    I cannot even send my child to another school within the district we live in.

    My child displays symptoms of a certifiable medical condition. Because the condition affects his ability to focus, the frustrated teacher decided to discipline him, a 6 year-old child, by ordering him to remain alone in a dark classroom while his classmates went to eat lunch.

    I tried to enroll him in the next nearest elementary school. It also had the lowest teacher-student ratio for 1st graders in West Jordan. There was room for him. We were denied. The principal refuses to even talk to me to explain why.

    When I call student services, the director is always conveniently away from her office.

    I now home school my child. He is safer at home then at a school where he is left alone for 40 minutes because of the lack of patience from a tired 60 year-old 1st grade teacher.

    Some people have offered to let me use their address so I could enroll my child in another school district, I would not do it.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    Amazing that they would prosecute these cases and yet allow illegal aliens to send their kids to US schools. Not only that, they want to give them in state tuition for college. Talk about hypocrisy and social injustice!

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 10, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    Why is this news in Utah?
    We can send our children to any school we see fit.

    What is the DN's objective in running this?

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    This will occur in areas where public schooling is at least partially funded by real property taxes. People purchase their homes in areas that have "good" schools and feel they are paying for them. Perhaps the solution would be to shift the funding to the State level and have all public schools receive the same resources. Why should a poor child receive an inferior education anyway.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Oct. 10, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    What's with the constant, one-sided attack against public education by the Deseret News? Yesterday it was promoting Fran Tarkenton's horrid WSJ opinion piece. Today, it's more of Flaherty's propaganda with a side order of Rush Limbaugh's lies. According to Limbaugh: "After [a teacher has taught] for three years, [they] get paid for the rest of [their] life no matter when [they] quit. It doesn't matter what [they] do, doesn't matter how good [they] are, doesn't matter how well [they] do the job, doesn't matter whether the students are learning anything." Wise words from a college drop-out.

    What nonsense! Administration has 3 years to evaluate teachers and fire them without reason. After the 3 years, a teacher can be fired for "just cause" only. If a teacher is not performing up to standard, then fire them. It happens all the time. Poor teachers are retained because of lazy administration. Unions give teachers a voice. Collective bargaining is just that, a two-sided agreement. If you don't like what's happening in your schools, then get involved. Some would rather hide behind highly-paid talking heads, than protect our children's future.