CNN's Brian Stelter angrily contends that the rape of a 14 year-old girl at Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Maryland on March 16 at the hands of two late-teen illegal immigrant freshman classmates should never have been a national story — and the fact that it is to an extent, despite obvious attempts to blackball it by the Big Three broadcast networks, is all Fox News's fault.
The real question, which the public education establishment and their accomplices in the press don't want anyone to ask, is this: What has happened in the nation's schools during the past 35 years as a result of the Supreme Court's 1982 Plyler vs. Doe decision, which opened the floodgates allowing children in this country illegally unlimited access to U.S. public education?
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Stelter is wrong about the how the Rockville story spread.
The incident's visibility grew when "a reporter for WTTG, the Fox station in the nation’s capital, asked White House spokesman Sean Spicer" about it on March 21. Such a question would likely never have been raised had the Trump administration not opened up its press briefings to a more diverse group of media outlets beyond the elitists in the establishment press's White House press corps.
Perhaps prompted to follow up by that White House press briefing question, Kasey Jones at the Associated Press that same evening filed a related dispatch which was carried at the wire service's main national and "Big Story" sites. Not only that, Jones exposed Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Jack Smith as a wannabe coverup artist (bolds are mine throughout this post):
... "Some try to make this into an issue of immigration," Smith said at a news conference Tuesday. "We would like to change the conversation."
While expressing horror at the crime and repeatedly assuring parents that their children are safe at school, Smith said, "We serve every student who walks in the door. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the law."
Ordinarily, an AP story covered nationally prompts the broadcast and non-Fox cable networks to give the matter at least a little attention — but not this time. That's not Fox's fault. There's something else at work here.
Plyler vs. Doe has been cited, usually without being named specifically named — it's typically called "a 1982 Supreme Court ruling" — as the reason, i.e., "it is the law, so we're helpless," why people like Superintendent Jack Smith end up defending circumstances such as those which led to the alleged March 16 rape at Rockville High School:
... Public schools nationwide cannot even ask students about their immigration papers. It all comes down to a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court.
Montgomery County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith is ardently defending a law on the books for 35 years.
In 1982, the Supreme Court decided denying students for being undocumented was unconstitutional.
That Supreme Court ruling, which I have read, did not by itself create a "don't ask, don't tell" policy on immigration status. It also did not, by itself (though subsequent lower-court rulings or fear of what the courts might do may have pushed the process along), lead to the ridiculous and appalling conditions and policies described in interviews this past Saturday and Sunday on Jeanine Pirro's Fox News weekend show.
On Saturday, Pirro interviewed Chester Country, Pa. Sheriff Bunny Welsh and Lynn, Massachusetts Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. On Sunday, she had Kennedy back, along with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, Massachusetts. The full interview segments are here and here. The videos which follow comprise about half of those segments' contents.
On Saturday, Kennedy explained the challenges seriously undereducated illegal immigrant children and young adults pose:
JEANINE PIRRO: So the impact on the students in terms of the strain (financial and space constraints cited earlier by Kennedy — Ed.) there are more kids per classroom. Correct?
LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS MAYOR JUDITH FLANAGAN KENNEDY: Yes.
PIRRO: Okay, and if someone's not speaking English, that requires more time the teacher has to spend, if you don't have more teachers, on the kids who aren't speaking as fluent(ly) as the American kids. Correct?
PIRRO: Okay, so somebody comes in who's an immigrant. How do you know what class to put them in if they don't speak English?
KENNEDY: They do an initial evaluation, and many of these children who are coming in stopped their formal education at third grade. But they are growing well into adulthood, and we can't put them in a third-grade classroom.
We had one man with graying temples. I couldn't see putting that person in a third-grade class. So they go in as freshmen in high school.
PIRRO: Someone with graying temples ... third grade? You put 'em in —
KENNEDY: We can't (put them in third grade). And we have to educate them within the regular school —
PIRRO: Okay, I've got one minute hard, my producer's telling me. Now, did you have night school for these students, and was there a problem when you did for these adult students?
KENNEDY: Yes. We did have a night school, and we were told by a children's advocacy group that we were not giving equal education to these students. So we had to shut down the night school and put everybody into the regular daytime classes.
PIRRO: So adults are in with our kids from other countries who don't speak English. Do you know if they have criminal records? Do you know if they have been vaccinated? Do you know who these people are?
KENNEDY: No, they don't come in with any records of any sort, not even a birth certificate. So we have to accept their word for their age when they enter school.
PIRRO: Are the parents allowed to know who they are?
KENNEDY: The other parents? I suppose if they entered the school and looked around, they would see some people that look like they're a little older than high school age.
PIRRO: And they go into the same bathrooms as our kids.
KENNEDY: Yes, they do.
In the first of two Sunday snips, Sheriff Hodgson identified how both American kids and undereducated illegals are being harmed in the current setup:
Transcript (except for final 20 seconds, which is a bit repetitive, but a good summary for those who wish to view it):
... PIRRO: All right, I'm going to start with you, Sheriff. The Mayor was here with us last night, and she was talking about issues in Lynn, Massachusetts that I think most of my viewers and I myself was not aware of. And that is that the influx of illegals and immigrants, that there is a requirement that they be educated in schools, and that many of them come in with no background, no paperwork, nothing; that they then are being tested in the schools somehow; and then, irrespective of their age, are being placed in a school, some of them middle schools, where they are young adults with middle-schoolers. Are you seeing that in Bristol?
(Note: Lynn Mayor Kennedy referred to such people being placed as high school freshmen. It is unclear whether Pirro framed the question as "middle-schoolers" in error, or if she already knew that Bristol County does place older immigrants in middle schools. — Ed.)
BRISTOL COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS SHERIFF THOMAS HODGSON: Yeah, we are actually, Judge. What the problem is, is you have people coming in with a, say a 15 or 17 year-old, with a third-grade level of education, being put in a higher grade. We wouldn't do that with our own children. It's one thing to be brilliant and skip grades. It's another thing to take somebody who doesn't have the knowledge and putting them up to a higher level where they're going to be destined to fail.
And in the instance where the teachers are making the effort to try to educate that person in the classroom, because they are so far behind, it ruins the quality of education. It takes away from the kids in the class that are American citizens, legal residents. And, it sets up this person to be in a situation where they further are going to fail, because they're not going to be able to keep up.
It costs us more money for special ed teachers. They're spending more money on English teachers in the schools. And we're cutting our programs for our own children, and ruining the quality of education for them by doing this.
In the second Sunday snip, Pirro honed in on how illegals bypass requirements which would keep American kids sitting at home if their parents failed to comply:
PIRRO: Mayor, let me ask you this. If I move from my town to the town next to me, I need to bring in a certification that my kid has had the vaccinations. I need to bring a birth certificate. I have to bring in all kinds of records of residency requirements. What about the illegal who came from Central America who has no paperwork, and no vaccination? They just show up and that's the end of it?
KENNEDY: That's about it. We are not able to — a lot of times during transit, we are told, the records from the country of birth are not available. So we have to —
PIRRO: Sheriff, are you hearing all that?
HODGSON: This is an attempt to cover up the information. What they've done is they've taken away from the principals of the schools who used to require the person to say, number one, are you legal? Also getting the birth certificates and so forth. They've taken it away and centralized it so that we can't get that information.
So the problem is that the teachers don't know, the principals don't know. And, as you said, Judge, and you pointed out very well: Why is it that we're held to a higher standard than the people who are violating the laws coming in illegally (who) are not held to those same standards?
PIRRO: They're excused.
HODGSON: They're excused. And it creates all kinds of undercurrents in our school systems for our children in the way of quality education, in the way of safety for them, and so forth.
It's more than a little hard to believe that the Supreme Court's Plyler vs. Doe decision dictated that near-adults and actual adults must be placed in the same classrooms, and must be allowed to use the same bathrooms, as much younger children, or that schools must be forced to abandon health and safety protocols which are strictly and routinely applied to U.S. students here legally simply because someone who is here illegally shows up at the schoolhouse door.
As to the sacrifices in quality learning being imposed on legal U.S. students, the Supreme Court's 1982 Plyler vs. Doe decision claimed that "The record does not show that exclusion of undocumented children is likely to improve the overall quality of education in the State." 35 years later, given what the inclusion of undocumented children has obviously done and continues to do to hurt the quality of education as described directly by Mayor Kennedy and Sheriff Hodgson — experiences which are surely being replicated elsewhere — the Court may have been right at the time about what "the record" showed. But the Court is now being proven wrong each and every day in classrooms across America — and the press not only won't report it, they will go after anyone who gets close to ever so briefly exposing it.
Being forced to provide educations to illegal immigrants, many of whom arrive woefully undereducated, is almost never cited by the schools themselves, or the establishment press which carries their water, as a reason for schools' poor performance, for unacceptably low standardized test scores, or as a reason why schools continue to demand massive property and other tax increases.
Also, what about safety, since Sheriff Hodgson alluded to it? That will be the subject of a later post.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.