Posts Tagged ‘ private school ’

School Administrators Tell Child’s Family, She’s Not Girly Enough

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Gender RolesA family in Lynchburg, Va., decided to take their daughter out of a private Christian school and placed her in public school after the school’s principal sent a letter home suggesting the eight-year-old wasn’t “following suit with her God-ordained identity.” The little girl, Sunnie, enjoys “boy hobbies” as well as “girl hobbies,” according to her great-grandmother and legal guardian. The school argued that she didn’t live a “biblical lifestyle” but her great-grandmother said she’s too young to understand “questions of sexual orientation.” More from Time.com:

The family of an eight-year-old girl in Lynchburg, Va. has withdrawn her from a Christian school after administrators told her she wasn’t feminine enough.

Sunnie Kahle enjoys what are traditionally considered “boy hobbies” as well as “girl hobbies”, reports CBS affiliate WDBJ. She collects coins, hunting knives and baseballs along with stuffed animals and colorful bracelets.

“Sunnie realizes she’s a female, but she wants to do boy things,” Doris Thompson, Kahle’s great-grandmother and legal guardian told WDBJ. “She wants to play rough and tough.”

When Kahle turned five, she asked for a short haircut. “She had hair down to her waist and she wanted to give it to a child with cancer,” said Thompson. “After we cut her hair she started wanting to wear jeans and a t-shirt. She didn’t want to wear her frilly dresses anymore.” Classmates began to ask Kahle if she was a boy or a girl, and Kahle says she responded to questions politely and was not offended by them.

But the question did bother her school’s administration. Becky Bowman, principal of the Timberlake Christian School, sent Kahle home with a letter in February reminding Thompson that the school had religious affiliations and maintained the right to refuse a student who didn’t live a “biblical lifestyle.”

“We believe that unless Sunnie and her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education,” Bowman wrote in the letter, which was given to WDBJ7 by Thompson.

Thompson was offended by the letter. She argues that Kahle is a tomboy and that she’s too young to understand questions of sexual orientation. “To claim that we are condoning sexual immorality in our home is nonsense,” Thompson said. “We are Christians. We understand the Bible. Sunnie knows it very well. She has accepted Christ…If my child grows up to be homosexual or transgendered, I will love her that much more.”

Thompson removed Kahle from the school and placed her in public school instead. Timberlake Christian School responded to original reports about Kahle’s relocation in a statement on Tuesday afternoon:

There is much more to this story than has been revealed related to Sunnie and the classroom environment. Our documentation shows a significantly different narrative than the one portrayed in the original news report. You can be assured that we have cared for Sunnie and worked with her grandparents for several years to assist them. Our TCS teachers and administrators love Sunnie and we can assure everyone that this has never been an issue of hair length or boots as it has been portrayed. It has been our constant desire over the last several years to work with this family and to shepherd this precious little girl in a way consistent with traditional values.

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Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying
Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying
Back to School: Dealing With Meanness and Bullying

Image: Baby is born Boy or girl? via Shutterstock

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Innovative Private School Educates Based on Brain Development Research

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The Blue School, a private school in Manhattan, is leading the way toward shaping educational curricula around what scientists have discovered about a growing child’s brain development.  Lessons at the school, which started out as a neighborhood play group, focus on building emotional literacy as well as the typical academic skills that are introduced in elementary school.  The New York Times reports:

Having rapidly grown to more than 200 students in preschool through third grade, the school has become a kind of national laboratory for integrating cognitive neuroscience and cutting-edge educational theory into curriculum, professional development and school design.

“Schools were not applying this new neurological science out there to how we teach children,” said Lindsey Russo, whose unusual title, director of curriculum documentation and research, hints at how seriously the Blue School takes this mission. “Our aim is to take those research tools and adapt them to what we do in the school.”

So young children at the Blue School learn about what has been called “the amygdala hijack” — what happens to their brains when they flip out. Teachers try to get children into a “toward state,” in which they are open to new ideas. Periods of reflection are built into the day for students and teachers alike, because reflection helps executive function — the ability to process information in an orderly way, focus on tasks and exhibit self-control. Last year, the curriculum guide was amended to include the term “meta-cognition”: the ability to think about thinking.

“Having language for these mental experiences gives children more chances to regulate their emotions,” said David Rock, who is a member of the Blue School’s board and a founder of NeuroLeadership Institute, a global research group dedicated to understanding the brain science of leadership.

Image: Happy children, via Shutterstock

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Report: Student Loans for K-12 on the Rise

Friday, March 30th, 2012

A growing number of American families are seeking loans for education long before their kids even apply to college.  According to SmartMoney.com, families are applying for school loans when their children are as young as 5 years old:

Though data is scarce, private school experts and the small number of lenders who provide loans for kindergarten through 12th grade say pre-college loans are becoming more popular. Your Tuition Solution, one of the largest lenders in this space, says demand for the upcoming year is already up: This month, the total dollar amount of loans families requested rose 10% compared to a year ago; at that pace, the company expects its total funding to rise to $20 million for 2012-13. Separately, First Marblehead, which exited the market in 2008, reentered last year as demand for loans began to rise.

Much of this demand is coming from high-income families. Roughly 20% of families that applied for aid to pay for their children’s kindergarten through 12th grade private school education had incomes of $150,000 or more, according to 2010-11 data, the latest from the National Association of Independent Schools. That’s up from just 6% in 2002-03. Those who don’t get approved for free aid, like grants, increasingly turn to loans, experts say.

Image: Kindergarten class, via Shutterstock

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