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  • This Story Has No Point…

    Filed at 8:52 pm under by dcobranchi

    In my last post, I wrote, “Unless parents aren’t filing birth certificates for their kids and locking them in the basement, I’m reasonably certain the government can ‘find’ any child.” After I reread that, I immediately thought about an old high school teacher—whom I won’t name, in case he hasn’t retired yet—who taught me everything I needed to know about public education.

    This teacher was a Vietnam veteran who got his MBA, then decided teaching was a nice easy career path. He was in it for the job security. New York, like many states, grants full tenure after three years. Once he got tenure, he became a very laissez-faire instructor. I had him for business law in 11th grade. He actually did teach for the first few months, but once he sorted out the goods students from the bad students, he slacked off the rest of the year, and made sure everyone got passing grades that more-or-less reflected actual effort. He had a very odd sense of ethics—he wouldn’t let you cheat on a test, but if you asked him for one or two of the answers during the test, he’d probably give them to you.

    Most of his classes involved him telling stories that seemed to go nowhere. My personal favorite involved his five children. He was proud of the fact that they were all home-births. When the first kid was born, he said, he didn’t know how to get a birth certificate filed. So he took the baby down to town hall and showed him (or her, I don’t remember) to the town clerk. The clerk gave him a birth certificate. When the second child came, he took that baby to the clerk. The clerk said he didn’t actually have to bring the baby. Thereafter, he simply went down to town hall and said he’d had another kid, and they gave him a birth certificate, no questions asked. He said this often tempted him to claim he had more than five kids. But again, that unusual sense of ethics seemed to stop him.

    2 Responses to “This Story Has No Point…”

    Comment by
    August 31st, 2004
    at 2:53 pm

    How odd. Generally you have to have a little more proof other than just saying you had a baby, even if you did have it at home. Wild.

    Comment by
    September 1st, 2004
    at 7:34 pm

    Actually, that’s all that was needed for my homebirths. I can’t think of any “proof” my husband could have shown the clerk if they wanted some! Placenta maybe? 😉 I certainly didn’t bring my newborn down to a filthy courthouse.