We live in a nation where we would rather commit national suicide than work together to solve our common problems so it should be no surprise that righteous people defend greed and indifference to the needs of others, Harvard students cheat on exams and university officials hack the emails of deans to see who leaked word of the scandal.
That’s what America has become — just ask the parents of students who played the cheaters game to sneak their kids into Carpenter Community Charter in Studio City, one of the best schools in LAUSD, even though they don’t live in the neighborhood.
Officials discovered the scam — something so many have known about for so long — or at least finally decided to do something about when 190 kids were enrolled in kindergarten for next fall when there’s only room for 168.
It didn’t seem likely that affluent south of Ventura Boulevard residents had a breeding boom five years ago so officials hired a private firm to check out the addresses of their 1,000 students and found 120 — 12 percent of the students — could not be verified, according to the LA Times’ Stephen Caesar.
Across Los Angeles, families scramble to secure housing within the boundaries of high-performing schools. And it is no secret that some game the system by using the addresses of relatives who live near sought-after campuses or doctoring documents like utility bills and rental agreements.
“There have always been rumors of an element of fraud each year” at Carpenter, Principal Joseph Martinez said.
It appears that parents of as many as 50 students may have rented property briefly in the neighborhood to qualify their kids for Carpenter, exploiting a loophole in state law that allows students to remain in a neighborhood school even after the family moves away.
Removing the students whose parents lied to get them into Carpenter “presents educators with a moral quandary,” the Times reports, because “Through no fault of their own, those students would have childhood friendships and relationships with teachers severed. There also may be an emotional toll on friends left behind.”
“Their parents have put them in this predicament that will disrupt their education,” the principal said. “My heart goes go out to those kids. But I have to put the higher priority on people who have not broken the law.”
The irony in all this, of course, is that these parents so want their kids to get a good education, the best education, they would lie and cheat to get it for them even if it meant denying that education to children whose families actually live in the neighborhood.
Clearly, they are raising their children to lie and cheat and do whatever they want whenever they want to instead of teaching them honesty and respect for others — or is that no longer part of a “good education” for people of affluence?
If they had put the same time and energy into making the schools in their neighborhoods better and turned them into high-achieving schools like Carpenter, everyone would be better off, including their children and perhaps many of lesser means.
Is it any wonder this kind of thing is going on all the time when we bail out bankers who destroy our economy, elect people time and again who have betrayed the public trust, sit on our hands and look at the other way when we see wrongdoing?
It’s what America has become to me.