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Old 10-20-2012, 05:37 PM   #1
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online academy....anyone care to share experiences?

My daughter is being sexually harassed by another female student. They are both in 9 th grade. They have one class together(an elective). The school can't or won't do anything. My daughter is scared of this girl and is so upset .
We are looking at Georgia Online academy and Georgia Connections Academy at a possibility for her. Just starting to get info. Daughter is taking all Honor's classes and her electives are geared towards law....speech and debate...and journalism.

Please share your experiences with this education. She will attend college after graduation.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:42 PM   #2
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Your dd is being sexually harassed in school by another student and the school isn't doing anything? That is really awful, have you taken your dd's issue above the school to the Superintendent?
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:45 PM   #3
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Running doesn't correct the problem. If this is not being addressed, then you need to flat out call the police and have an investigation started. This is NOT acceptable.
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Old 10-20-2012, 05:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mum4jenn View Post
My daughter is being sexually harassed by another female student. They are both in 9 th grade. They have one class together(an elective). The school can't or won't do anything. My daughter is scared of this girl and is so upset .
We are looking at Georgia Online academy and Georgia Connections Academy at a possibility for her. Just starting to get info. Daughter is taking all Honor's classes and her electives are geared towards law....speech and debate...and journalism.

Please share your experiences with this education. She will attend college after graduation.
It is horrible that any child is scared to attend school, but I do know that it happens.

I taught at a Connections Academy school for two years. I only did elem and mid school, but I can answer some of your general questions.

What I do know about CA High School is that the classes are actually less flexible is scheduling than the elem and mid school classes. Students are supposed to attend set online meetings for each course. Depending on your stat program,CA does offer advanced/AP level courses. Elective courses will also vary depending on your specific school, and there are a variety of clubs offered.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mum4jenn View Post
My daughter is being sexually harassed by another female student. They are both in 9 th grade. They have one class together(an elective). The school can't or won't do anything. My daughter is scared of this girl and is so upset .
We are looking at Georgia Online academy and Georgia Connections Academy at a possibility for her. Just starting to get info. Daughter is taking all Honor's classes and her electives are geared towards law....speech and debate...and journalism.

Please share your experiences with this education. She will attend college after graduation.

You need to go to the school board, and if that doesn't help, the police.

I did online schooling for my last semester (from a reputable online school with my brick and mortar school), and I truly regret it. One of the problems I faced was college. The classes were exactly the same, and we followed the same curriculum, but colleges looked at it as lesser. As hard as I tried, I lost touch with my friends, and I didn't get to partake in some cool school activities. I know quite a few people who did the same thing, and the majority of them feel the same way.

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Old 10-20-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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I have several friends that have their children in K-12 online school in Georgia, they love it. I know several teachers that teach in it and some of the administrators, it is just a wonderful alternative to traditional school.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
My dd is the love of my life!!
Sometimes I get the FRITO BANDITO jingle stuck in my head and I have to sing it all day!!!
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I have talked to the Principal...the second in command with the school board...the police and it has been a difficult process.
This school system while it is the best around they tend to sweep things under the rug so as to not have any negative press. I work for the system also and my job has already been slightly threatened. For the longest I was getting no response...or at least not quickly. The school resource officer came to talk to me and the first statement he made was that sexual harassment is between a supervisor and an employee....so I knew then that I had an uphill climb.

I even requested a meeting with the other parents but the school refuses.

My daughter was texting me to come get her from school because she was dizzy and felt sick. Took her to her doctor and after hearing about all of this he diagnosed her with anxiety and is on medication. He checked her for a couple of other things to rule out anything else. Her doctor was great and showed more concern then anyone in the school.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:11 PM   #8
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Have you looked into dual enrollment with the local community college? It would allow her to leave school early and more than likely finish with her AA when she gets a HS diploma. Law takes enough years as it is, might as well get a jump start on it.

What about just doing home schooling? There's many home schooling groups that get together to create more of a class setting than just individual learning.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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Technically, sexual harassment does involve both a workplace and an imbalance of power, so the guy probably wasn't exactly wrong, but he was kind of beside the point. I agree leaving isn't the answer - obviously your daughter doesn't want to go to school but she shouldn't end up with consequences from this, nor should the other girl get away with it or the school be able to ignore it.

If the school is afraid of bad publicity - that's your answer, imo.

Call a lawyer and call the media.

I don't know that anyone has tried suing a school under a student-on-student CRA violation, or if it'd have any shot at working, but I'd bet there's a lawyer who might try it.

I also bet there's some media outlet someplace near you, or better yet, a wire, that will be interested.

Try the lawyer first, you may be able to find one who will help you pro bono - I'd call the local ACLU and ask if they could help under Title IX or CRA or something, or, if they can't, if they know someone who might.

If not, try a publicity-loving atty.

If you snag one, tell him or her to go bananas - send threatening letters and cc every media outlet in a 200-mile radius, including the wires.

If you don't snag one pretty quickly, go the media route yourself. You're likely better off going very public if your job is already being subtly threatened.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Your poor DD.

Everyone is saying running isn't the answer. But I have to think of the cases we've been hearing about lately where the child remained in a bad situation and truly suffered, even to the point of suicide (not that your DD is headed that direction! But she is suffering). When we hear those stories we all ask, "why didn't the parents just get their child out of the situation? Why did those bad parents allow their child to keep on being exposed to the bully?" Maybe running isn't a permanent answer, but leaving the child in the bad environment--even while you're working on a solution--isn't a good idea.

I say go to the press, a lawyer, whoever you need to, but in the meantime get DD out of the situation immediately. Talk to a homeschooling group in your area and they can give you advice.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:14 AM   #11
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I do not have direct experience myself with online schools. I do have a nephew living in Missouri that has taken onlines classes, and found them helpful with his education. My sister was happy with how the learning went.

The item I recall reading about Georgia schools recently was the very high drop out rate. Seems due to manipulation of statistics in the past, Georgia appeared to have good graduation rates. Now, with new rules, Georgia has some of the worst graduate percentages in the nation.

If your daughter is being sexually harassed by another student, possibly for reporting reasons the school might not want this on their record. I'm not sure why that would be, but possibly that is why officials are dragging their feet on helping resolve the situation.

"Georgia Schools Deceive on Dropout Stats"


excerpt from the article:

Playing with the school year apparently isnt the only way schools are looking to game national rankings systems. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgias high school graduation rate just fell from 81 percent to 67 percent in one year. The steep drop-off is explained by changes in federal rules for reporting dropouts. Under the old rules, schools were able to count students who left before graduation as transfers without having to check whether these students actually enrolled elsewhere after leaving. The new federal requirements no longer allow this practice, so Georgias dropout rate has gone from surprising success story to one of the worst in the nation:
They spent more time trying to fix the numbers, than they did trying to fix the problem, said Cathy Henson, an advocate for education reform and former state Board of Education chair. My frustration is that if youre giving people phony data, then they dont understand the magnitude, the urgency of the problem.
This looks like yet another cheap trick, unworthy of a responsible education administrator, as well as more proof, if more were needed, that we should not take these kinds of self-reported educational performance numbers at face value.
The centralization of power and the growing federal role in elementary and secondary education has created system wide incentives for lying, cheating and hiding the truth. Schools and even states are gaming the system in ways that are breathtakingly dishonest and do grave disservice to the interest of students.
Parents and community groups generally know what is going on in local schools better than remote administrators and bureaucrats who cluelessly process sketchy statistics....
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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At the very least you should be speaking with a lawyer, regardless of whether your daughter remains at her current school or not.

Your school district is legally obligated to investigate and address the situation. Regardless of what the school resource officer told you, and what others here may think, sexual harassment is not just between an employer and employee. When students are involved, it is considered a form of bullying and falls under your state's anti-bullying laws.

From http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/index.html (federal guidelines):
There is no federal law that specifically applies to bullying. In some cases, when bullying is based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion*, bullying overlaps with harassment and schools are legally obligated to address it. Read more about when bullying overlaps with harassment and how to report it to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and then U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Are there federal laws that apply to bullying?

At present, no federal law directly addresses bullying. In some cases, bullying overlaps with discriminatory harassment which is covered under federal civil rights laws enforced by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). No matter what label is used (e.g., bullying, hazing, teasing), schools are obligated by these laws to address conduct that is:

Severe, pervasive or persistent
Creates a hostile environment at school. That is, it is sufficiently serious that it interferes with or limits a student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or opportunities offered by a school
Based on a student’s race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion*
Although the US Department of Education, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not directly cover religion, often religious based harassment is based on shared ancestry of ethnic characteristics which is covered. The US Department of Justice has jurisdiction over religion under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

What are the federal civil rights laws ED and DOJ enforce?

A school that fails to respond appropriately to harassment of students based on a protected class may be violating one or more civil rights laws enforced by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, including:
Title IV and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Do federal civil rights laws cover harassment of LGBT youth?

Title IX and Title IV do not prohibit discrimination based solely on sexual orientation, but they protect all students, including students who are LGBT or perceived to be LGBT, from sex-based harassment.
Harassment based on sex and sexual orientation are not mutually exclusive. When students are harassed based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, they may also be subjected to forms of sex discrimination recognized under Title IX.

What is an example of a case were harassment based on sex and sexual orientation overlap?

A female high school student was spit on, slammed into lockers, mocked, and routinely called names because she did not conform to feminine stereotypes and because of her sexual orientation. The student had short hair, a deep voice, and wore male clothing. After the harassment started, she told some classmates she was a lesbian, and the harassment worsened. The school described the harassment as “sexual orientation harassment” in its incident reports and did not take any action.
In this case, the student was harassed based on her non-conformity to gender stereotypes. In this case, then, although the school labeled the incident as “sexual orientation harassment,” the harassment was also based on sex and covered under Title IX.

What are a school’s obligations regarding harassment based on protected classes?

Anyone can report harassing conduct to a school. When a school receives a complaint they must take certain steps to investigate and resolve the situation.

Immediate and appropriate action to investigate or otherwise determine what happened.
Inquiry must be prompt, thorough, and impartial.
Interview targeted students, offending students, and witnesses, and maintain written documentation of investigation
Communicate with targeted students regarding steps taken to end harassment
Check in with targeted students to ensure that harassment has ceased
When an investigation reveals that harassment has occurred, a school should take steps reasonably calculated to:
End the harassment,
Eliminate any hostile environment,
Prevent harassment from recurring, and
Prevent retaliation against the targeted student(s) or complainant(s).

What should a school do to resolve a harassment complaint?

Appropriate responses will depend on the facts of each case.
School must be an active participant in responding to harassment and should take reasonable steps when crafting remedies to minimize burdens on the targeted students.
Possible responses include:
Develop, revise, and publicize:
Policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination
Grievance procedures for students to file harassment complaints
contact information for Title IX/Section 504/Title VI coordinators
Implement training for staff and administration on identifying and addressing harassment
Provide monitors or additional adult supervision in areas where harassment occurs
Determine consequences and services for harassers, including whether discipline is appropriate
Limit interactions between harassers and targets
Provide harassed student an additional opportunity to obtain a benefit that was denied (e.g., retaking a test/class).
Provide services to a student who was denied a benefit (e.g., academic support services).

Are there resources for schools to assist with resolving harassment complaints?

The Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color and national origin and to prevent and respond to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of: gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, race, color, and national origin. It is a free, impartial, confidential and voluntary Federal Agency that offers mediation, conciliation, technical assistance, and training.
What if the harassment continues?

If harassment persists, consider filing a formal grievance with the district and contacting the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
Specifically related to Georgia:

Specification of Prohibited Conduct

Provides a specific definition of bullying that includes a clear definition of cyberbullying. The definition of bullying includes a non-exclusive list of specific behaviors that constitute bullying, and specifies that bullying includes intentional efforts to harm one or more individuals, may be direct or indirect, is not limited to behaviors that cause physical harm, and may be verbal (including oral and written language) or non-verbal. The definition of bullying can be easily understood and interpreted by school boards, policymakers, school administrators, school staff, students, students’ families, and the community.
Is consistent with other federal, state and local laws. (For guidance on school districts’ obligations to address bullying and harassment under federal civil rights laws, see the Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying [PDF 295 KB], issued by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights on October 26, 2010.
Prohibited Conduct also includes:
Retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying.
Perpetuating bullying or harassing conduct by spreading hurtful or demeaning material even if the material was created by another person (e.g., forwarding offensive e-mails or text messages).

Enumeration of Specific Characteristics

Explains that bullying may include, but is not limited to, acts based on actual or perceived characteristics of students who have historically been targets of bullying, and provides examples of such characteristics.
Makes clear that bullying does not have to be based on any particular characteristic.
Additionally, if someone begins to harass you at your job because of this issue, it is a violation of your civil rights as well.

The website referenced has much more information when you click on the Georgia link, including basics on how the district should investigate and respond to a complaint.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:26 AM   #13
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I'll just address your question and leave the bullying part of it to the other posts. My DS (grade 10) is currently doing the K12 curriculum through Oklahoma Online Academy. Previously, he did Connections Academy for two years. The differences are as follows:

Live Lesson Attendance:
This varies by state. Some states have requirements that are imposed by the state, not the school.

Connections: You are required to maintain contact with teachers every two weeks. Either attend a Live Lesson, or call a teacher.

K12: You are required to attend one Class Connect a week per core class. This can be watching a video so you don't have to be there at the time the class takes place.

Web Site, ease of use:
Connections: Web site is far superior to K12. Pretty well organized and easier to follow.

K12: Holy crap. Very difficult to follow. The calendars aren't updated so you have to check each individual classes "to do" list. There isn't anywhere to go and see what needs to be done all in one place.


I'll just say Connections is harder. They seem to write their tests assuming the kids will cheat and look things up. I've looked at some of the questions (particularly in Social Studies and Science) and they are so obscure you would have to be using the book to get them right.

K12 uses software to keep you from looking things up on line.

Honors Classes: K12 doesn't weight honors classes. If you get an A, it's 4 points and not 5. Connections weighs their grades. DS has done honors classes in both. Not many kids take honors classes at K12 because it doesn't really pay off, except for maybe getting into AP classes later.

All in all I'd say I like the K12 curriculum better, and the Connections website better. The teachers in both have too many kids to really provide any personal teaching or help.

I hope this helps. All of this info. pertains to HS only. We have used Connections for grades 3 - 5 for DD and it is totally different.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #14
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I would be contacting an attorney. I wouldn't care about my job, I would talk to the attorney about that also. They are trying to scare and intimidate you. Talk to your union rep about your job.

My DD was being sexually harrassed by boys at her middle school. We got it resolved at the school by the administration, but there was almost a fight between my DH and the administrator who wanted to make sure that DD didn't do anything to provoke the behavior . We got it taken care of, the boys admitted what they did and DD was protected. If the boys continued their behavior they wouldn't have graduated. As parents we wouldn't have accepted anything less then our DD being protected.

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Old 10-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #15
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I would try to keep her in and fight this tooth and nail. She deserves the high school experience. If not, then maybe a private school. However, if she is looking towards a law degree, there are some colleges that are offering high school curriculum. Yes, it will cost you - but it is geared for gifted students or students that are traveling.

In the midwest, some of our universities both offered courses / high school graduation degrees for students if you wanted to pull her. Maybe GA has something the same.
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