Home Schooled Student Now Homeless After Being Expelled

sad girlMelanie Weston, 14, had dreams of being named Valedictorian and giving a speech at graduation.  Now she just wonders where she’s going to sleep tonight.

It’s a story that crushes the heart of this Modern Philosopher…home schooling gone horribly wrong.

“I couldn’t wait until September so I could finally go to high school and be around other kids,” Mel explained to this Modern Philosopher as we sat in the office of Cy Brown, the famed Bangor attorney who has taken on her case.  “My Mom can be so strict, so controlling, and so…”

She trailed off and broke down in tears before she could finish her thoughts.  Cy offered her his handkerchief and took over the telling of this woeful tale.

angry teacher“There are so many legal issues with this expulsion that I don’t even know where to begin,” Cy told me in a sad, low voice so as not to further upset his client.  “Mel is right in that her Mother is strict and controlling, but she also is a lawbreaker.”

Mel was one week away from graduation and a solid A- student despite the incredibly high expectations of her Mother/Teacher/Principal, Eugenia Weston.  Last night, while the fourteen year old honor student was out with her cousin, Eugenia entered her room and supposedly found a small bag of marijuana in the back of her closet.

“That is so not mine!” Mel wailed.  “I would never do something that stupid, even if I didn’t have the Wicked Witch of the West for a Mother!”

Home School“While a mother has the right to go through her child’s things at any time while she is living under her roof, a teacher cannot search a student’s locker without probable cause,” Cy explained with a sly smile.  “Seeing as how Eugenia expelled my client, rather than grounding her, she was clearly acting as a teacher or school administrator.  Therefore, the search was illegal!”

“She’s also a mean cow who I hate more than anything in the world!” the poor girl screamed and then stormed out of the office.

Cy and I sighed and then talked about how this case made for a pretty compelling argument against home schooling.  I presented my theory about how ridiculous it would seem if a teacher decided to “school parent” a student and take over all parenting decisions during the school day.  No one would ever allow a teacher to play parent, so why are parents allowed to play teacher?

That was a question that neither of the college graduates in the room could answer.  So what’s next for poor Melanie?  “Her aunts and uncles are fighting with each other over who gets to take her in,” Cy answered with a smile.  “They all adore the girl and can’t wait to welcome her into their homes.”

high-schoolSo maybe this story does have a happy ending?  “I believe it will for Mel, but her Mother is going to have a very unpleasant visit from the Department of Health and Human Services in the morning.  I believe her teacher assessment are in, and she is not going to be living happily ever after.”

When Mel came back into the room, she apologized for her outburst and language.  She then explained how there was no way the marijuana was hers, and her theory was that her Mother planted it so she would have an excuse to keep her star student from moving on to high school.

“I guess I can see why Mom wouldn’t want me to go off to high school, but what I don’t understand is why she had to expel me and turn me into a homeless person.”

Cy’s explanation was pretty powerful.  “Your Mother was home schooled by your Grandmother, who dropped out of school in the fourth grade.  She isn’t very bright, and probably shouldn’t be teaching someone as intelligent as you.”

partySo what do you think, Modern Philosophers?  Are you for or against home schooling?  What do you think should happen when a home school student is expelled?  Have you ever wondered what home school dances are like?  I picture a boom box playing “Dancing With Myself” over and over and over…


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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32 Responses to Home Schooled Student Now Homeless After Being Expelled

  1. grannyK says:

    Home schooling might be a great option for some and a terrible option for others. Too many variables to just be for or against, I think. My daughter was home taught after her 6th grade teacher called me in to tell me she was failing in everything. She couldn’t read at all and had trouble understanding what was going on. Wasn’t really the school’s fault, she has short term memory problems and was just overwhelmed (it was on recommend of the school psychologist and counselor ). They had been trying for years to help. She learned quickly in the calmer environment and I had to learn how to teach her. Unless you join home school groups, though, it can be a lonely life and you do miss out on a lot. So, I am for it, but don’t recommend it unless it’s very necessary and you have TONS of time to devote to it.

    I never expelled her, though…lol

  2. Sounds like mom decided to use the educational system as a platform to air out domestic issues. The two should have been treated separately. Just goes to show that some parents are not unconditional with their love. 😦

  3. Lexa S. says:

    This is crazy. Poor girl. Her mother should of not been aloud to home school her in the first place. There should be some laws to prevent situations like this one.

  4. mumblesmcjenkins says:

    I think the worst thing is being bullied while in home school. Trying to give their child the “full experience,” Dad catches her in the kitchen during lunch, slaps the sandwich out of her hands and says, “Pick it up, nerd.” He then takes her lunch money, which is the same money he gave her the night before for her allowance. That night, when he becomes Dad again, leaving the bully schtick for school hours, he refuses to give her an advance on her next allowance, saying that she should be more responsible with her money.

    I would imagine the school dance would have her in her room, crying because no other students asked her to the dance, since she’s the only one enrolled and they have a strict policy against non students attending school events. But the parents have to hold the dance anyway since it’s a scheduled school function, so the sounds of slow dance music coming from the other room only makes it that much more of a traumatic evening. Even worse, she’s the student tasked with cleanup…

  5. jaklumen says:

    I dated a homeschooled girl once, years ago. She made me swear to friendship regardless of our relationship, including when she broke up with me. (I could see it coming: at one point, I liked all her family and friends, but couldn’t stand her.) She broke what I consider honor and friendship, so, since I am a grudgemeister, I didn’t speak to her for over five years. Then we talked again, some time after I had married and had two children. It was somewhat startling; we hadn’t discussed our… individual orientations before, but it was brutally obvious now, at least for her. I walked away with more questions than answers.

    That is the short version. The long version is somewhere in my main blog archives. Anyways, I see far too many families doing home schooling for extreme belief systems (religious or secular). It can be done well, but… I saw far too many where it was not.

    • Austin says:

      I thought it was done just so the parents could say their children graduated at the top of their class…

      • jaklumen says:

        Phhhttt, no. Maybe that’s an East Coast thing, maybe even more a New Englander ideal. Here it seems to be done to save children from the ebils of da world for the glory of the Hallelujah Chore-us. Then there are a few Wymyn Power Amazons, and so on down the list.

      • Austin says:

        Most of the home schooled students I knew were from my days in CA. I have a close friend now who was home schooled, and I tease her a lot about it. I always ask to see her varsity jacket or her prom pics, and she takes it in stride. 🙂

      • jaklumen says:

        A lot better adjusted than the ones I knew…

  6. floridaborne says:

    I am definitely for home schooling. No, it’s not for everyone, but neither are hot dogs or broccoli. 🙂

    One of my relatives home schooled her grandson. He kept standing up for the smaller kids against bullies and he was expelled. (Yes, Zero Tolerance really means Zero common sense from the adults who are supposed to know better.) My memories of having my children in public school? When my daughter was in junior high, some kid tried to push her head into a circular saw in woodworking class. Fortunately, she was muscular from playing soccer and he got the worst end of that deal. Then there was the time she was sitting next to a friend on a bench and some kid stabbed her friend with a knife.

    My son fared no better. They wanted to put him into special ed class because he wasn’t paying attention. Then, after we moved, he was given the teacher from hell. Had I been smarter at the time, I would have raised hell 20 levels above the principle, who was best friends with my son’s teacher. The teacher wanted to hold him back a grade (so he could repeat the mental abuse). I said HELL NO!!! The next year, when he went to junior high, I had him tested. He belonged in the gifted class. Once there, he began to excel. Today he’s a professor who speaks 5 languages.

    The Zero Common Sense continues. My friend VL reports that her niece who is in high school doesn’t know who Hitler was. However, she is learning “intuitive” math. Kids are being taught to report bullies but not taught how and why Hitler came to power? If that isn’t an advertisement for home schooling, I don’t know what is. There are people who provide guidance once a month and the curriculum for those wanting to home school that will result in a bonafide high school education, so you don’t have to try to figure out how to do it on your own.

  7. ksbeth says:

    i am generally not for it, as i think the social and emotional skills are lost in the mix, along with other things. depends on the situation and people involved though, and how much they are into providing a full education for the child. as for this young lass, it must have been challenging playing hooky and using her sister’s voice to call in for each other. (as i may have done, once.)

  8. Social backwardness can be witnessed amongst kids who are home-schooled or taught at the local crappy public school. If nerds learned to be “normal” by attending public schools then I guess half of the 80’s movies couldn’t have been made (ie the kid in Sixteen Candles and countless others). Once we asked a nerd girl if she wanted to hang out with our normal group and she said she didn’t have time. Her family celebrated Christmas a few days after Christmas so they could get marked down gifts at the post holiday sales (that’s much worse than being home-schooled) Oh, and she picked her nose and no amount of bullying on our part stopped this totally anti-social habit. 🙂

      • I wasn’t a bully, I just played one in my last comment 🙂 I taught for a while and was reminded how awful school can be for the kids who just don’t fit in–also how boring school is for intelligent kids. I assume some home-school kids get out and play sports or something to make friends. Prom night would suck, though. (But then it sucks for the kids who don’t have dates, too).

      • Austin says:

        I just think going to school is a part of being a “normal” kid.

      • I had some fun times being a relatively normal kid, but I still thought school for the most part was an incredible waste of time–except for the flirting part. I like people who buck the system so I’m intrigued by home schooling, but I still thought your piece was funny. you normal kid, you.

      • Austin says:

        Awww, shucks! Glad you liked it. 🙂

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