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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Looking out for our own » » Mom going to Court because of MY Magic -Please Help (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dakota Rose
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Dakota Rose
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I'm not sure where to post this. I feel stupid posting it here because my family and I are very healthy. But I really do need some advice.

I'm 13-years-old and in 7th grade. This is the second school I've attended. One reason Mom took me out of the Catholic school was because they really got upset whenever I took time off school to compete in a magic convention. Now, I'm in a public shcool and it's not any better. If I miss any school because I'm competing or performing at a convention, I get F's and 0's on papers and tests. (Although, some of the teachers work with me on making up work.) Now, my school may take my Mom to court for being an "unruly" parent. If any of you know my Mom, she is far from unruly. She's the best.

Mom says that as far as she is concerned, "magic" is part of my education. Going different places and meeting people that can influence my magic and my carreer is one of the best educational experiences that I can have. (Mom was working on her PHD when I started magic. She stopped to dovote time to me and my magic. So Mom believes very strongly in school education.) Mom and I have both learned so much at every convention we go to. Not just about magic, but also about different cities and countries and the people who live there.

Mom says she will handle court. She said she will probably just have to do community service. She doesn't seem that upset about it, but I hate that she might have to go to court because of my magic.

I guess what I'm asking, does anyone have any advice on what Mom can say to my school or to the judge, to help them understand that traveling to the conventions, performing and competing is a good educational experience for me? I plan to make magic and/or entertainment as my profession.

P.S. I usually only go to 2-3 conventions a year, but we want to go to more in the near future.

Thanks for your help,

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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DonDriver
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Maybe you and Mom should look into "Home Schooling".Do you get make up work from when you are out of school?If you don't you really should. As for the Judge that's a hard call.Lets hope he's in a good mood that day.
I think your Mon is doing the right thing taking you to magic conventions.Its an great education and I'm not just talking about the magic you learn.Its meeting people and everything else you learn from traveling.Much more than any school could teach you.
Please keep us informed as to how this all comes out.
The BEST to you and your Mom,
Don
Dakota Rose
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Dakota Rose
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Hi Don, thanks for responding. Yeah, I hope the judge is in a good mood, too.

My Mom is a single mother, so she works full time. So we couldn't do Home Schooling. Besides, I really like school. That may sound strange, but I do. I really want to stay in school. I have a lot of friends.

Does anyone have any ideas about what to say to the judge or superintendent so that we don't have to go through this for the next 5 1/2 years, till I graduate high school?

Thanks,

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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Mark Rough
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Hey Dakota,

I was at a one of Jeff's master classes with you a few years back. So, I do know you're mom, she's a great lady.

In all likelihood, the judge has seen REAL "unruly" parents and is going to laugh this off. She's not abusing you and she's sure not neglecting you, anybody who has seen how much she cares about you would know that.

I don't know about your state laws but in Virginia a student is allowed to miss a certain number of days and it won't effect grades or class standing. The thing is NO ONE enforces this if the student is demonstrating that they are able to do the work they missed.

I didn't spend a lot of time with you but you struck me as more than capable of dealing with any school work you might miss. If I were your teacher (and I am a teacher) I would be encouraging you to go out and see the world. Don't let these people get you down.

Let me know how it turns out.

Mark Rough
What would Wavy do?
ventman
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Hi Dakota,
Not only am I a magician, but also a public school teacher and I have a son your age. Most school districts have policies of up to a certain amount of days that you can be absent before you have to repeat grades or before government agencies are called. But anyway, here are some suggestions:

-perhaps you could do a benefit magic show for the school...superintendents like money raising kinds of things.....
-start a magic club at your school....extra curricular activities and clubs are also smiled upon.
-seek to serve with your magic in some way (nursing homes, churches, etc...) and judges and other authorities may understand that your magic is a positive force...(in my state kids regularly take off for Future Farmers of America types of programs which equate to our magic conventions in my mind!)

Usually if you don't miss much school the rest of the time and you keep your grades up, schools (at least around here) understand the occasional absence.
Dakota Rose
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Wow, I can't believe this. Mom and I have been trying to deal with this for the past 4 years. We just didn't know what to do. One post this morning and I get so many great ideas.

Thank you everyone. Mom says thanks, too.

Your friend,

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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ventman
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You're welcome, Dakota. I hope some of this helps you and your mother. Have you thought of transfer to another district if those in power are not going to be understanding of your magic?

One thing your mother might say to the judge is that in today's society, drugs, alcohol, tobacco and gangs are ravaging our children...the hobby of magic is a safe, healthy hobby for my son which fosters problem solving, reading, math, social and creative synthesis skills.
Of course, she would want to put that into her own words ...but that's the spirit of it...she wants to be involved and to support you in this wonderful healthy world of magic (and undoubtedly she would do the same if it were another area like sports...etc...)
Best to you,
Coldthorn
GeorgeSantos
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I admire your Mom for supporting you that much.

I really don't know what advice I'll give you because I am also a student like you. From my social standing, I don't get to travel to conventions a lot so I really don't know what to say.

So I'll just pray that everything goes well with you and your Mom. Take care of her, not all parents are like her.
"David Roth is the greatest coin manipulator in the entire world.."

-Dai Vernon "The Professor"


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hugmagic
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Dakota,, Ventman had some great suggestions. I was very active in 4-H so I understand the parallel with FFA.

Now, since I am in Ohio (like you) was also a single dad, and dealt with much of what your mother is dealing with let me offer some thoughts.

My son was not a good student but the magic education was very important to his education. He subsquently (at 16) ended up living with his mother in Indiana and supposedly being home schooled (I have my doubts). I was told that you can drop out of school at 16. But the stagecraft he learned from me and some at his high school, could support him the rest of his life if needed.l

I applaud you for wanting to stay in school. People and learning how to work with them is what will get you through life; not books. You need the books but the experience is much better. Magic is a great confidence builder. Think of the people you know in magic and how positive most of them are. They are self motivated and feel there is nothing they cannot achieve.

In our school system, you are sent a warning when you reach certain number of days. I know of parents that take children out of school for vacations for two weeks or so. I would not think that your convention activities would take that much time as most are on weekends. I would find out exactly what the school system and the State of Ohio requirements of attendance are.

Keep your grades up and stay the course. Don't neglect the real education as it is very difficult to make a living in magic. Don't get discouraged.

I have met you though you probably do not remember me. I work backstage and at Abbott's and a couple of other conventions. With all the trouble in the world today, it is nice to find someone that is doing something that in some small way helps to make the world a little brighter place through his performances. That is real magic.

Trust your mom. I know you worry about her but I am sure that she knows what she is doing. Let her fight those battles. Maybe an "expose" news story would help your cause.

Feel free to contact me if you feel the need or just need to talk.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
R2
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This case has several mitigating factors that I am sure any Judge with a miniscule amount of common sense will see through.
Please be sure to bring all of your trophies, literature,awards, website information, letters of reference from past clients and magic fraternity certificates,etc... as proof of your unwavering devotion to your art and educational experiences as a magician.

In all likelihood the legal disposition will be for your mother to only schedule your trips around holidays and weekends. If you really think about it, it isn't necessary for you to spend the entire week at a convention etc...you only need be present for competition days, etc.....

If you only limit your visits to the days that you actually need to be in attendance, I am sure that there will be no problem making up those days where you aren't present.

My son and daughter were home schooled when I was on the road and the district even supplied me with the course materials...Your mother can do the same for you even as a full time employee pursuing a PhD.

Please be sure to let us know the disposition of your case?
Avrakdavra
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Just have your mom tell the judge that she would rather see you grow up to be David Copperfield than see you grow up to be your school principal.

Seriously though, this is just the sort of situation that makes our family happy to be homeschooling rather than participating in the conformity machines (masquerading as educational settings) that are public schools.

Best of luck-- young people as impassioned as yourself usually find their way despite these sorts of obstacles.
Dakota Rose
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Hi Everyone,

I am so overwhelmed. Not just the great ideas that you have all so kindly posted, but the compassion and sincerity behind the words. I don't know what to say.

I'll be going to the World Magic Seminar this month. That will put me over the top of the amount of days I can miss. We've already got a warning letter, but Mom says "Not to worry. She'll take care of it." And now, with all your help, I think she can.

I've already been told my grades will drop a letter grade, which makes me mad. And Mom will go to court, which makes me madder. Mom just says, "This too, shall pass."

So, I guess I just won't worry anymore. Thank you everyone so, so much.

Your friend,

Dakota Rose
Dream things that never were and say, "Why not."



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Michael Baker
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Dakota,

I just had a look at your website. All I can say is, "WOW!!!" Make sure the judge sees it, too. It is absolutely amazing the progress you are making in magic!

Here in Birmingham, we have the Alabama School of Fine Arts, which would actually encourage what you do, and probably look upon your "field trips" as research toward your education.

Instead of being persecuted, you should be given a grant.

A tip of my hat to you! Stay the course, sir!

~michael
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Carrie Sue
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Dakota,

It's great that your mom is able to take (or send) you all these places and that she sticks up for you. I think one of the previous posters is correct. Let her worry about the system because she has your best interests at heart. I think the people in charge will see that. They have to send out some of these warning letters just because they have compulsory attendance laws to enforce. But there are workarounds to every situation, and I'm sure your mom is smart enough to come up with some.

I saw you perform in Ann Arbor a few years ago. You were spectacular! Didn't you take first prize in the competition that day? I think so.
www.proximityillusions.com

ASLAN IS ON THE MOVE!
David Eichler
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Dakota,

If there is any chance that you could qualify for the 'gifted' program in your school district, then you would be able to have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) written, in which your mom could have stipulated that the experiences you receive with the work you do in your magical endeavors are essential to your broader academic achievements. If written into an IEP, it is a legal document which the school has to honor. Period.

If this does not work, perhaps you and your mom could propose what is commonly referred to as 'thematic curriculum', in which you could try to use the magical arts and your experiences in your travels, as the basis for conducting 'independent studies'. For social studies, you could focus on historical perspectives of the different places you are visiting (or the history of our craft), for Math you could apply whatever concepts you are currently learning in class to certain aspects of your travels, for English you could research (and present to your class) a written paper on a topic you and your teacher agree is relevant to the class curricula and ties in with your magical studies/experiences, etc.

I work (as a behavioral consultant) in about a dozen and a half school districts in N.E. Kansas and can honestly say that if any of the schools I work in tried to treat one of their students like you indicate you are being treated, I would take them to task for working against the broader educational mandate with which our public education system is charged. Do not give up. I've worked for a number of years with the public education system...if you or your mom would like to talk about potential ways to make your case to the legal system, please feel free to PM me.

All the best,

David
Jonathan Townsend
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The attendance thing is tough.

It's an administrative/Board of Education and FUNDING problem.

The standard line is that you are in school only for a few more years and will have the rest of your life for career and hobbies.

Effective arguments may include offers to make up the work, or repeat a year, and this stuff is very important to you as you are only young once.

Good luck and try to imagine this from the judge's eyes.

:)
...to all the coins I've dropped here
magicjody
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I would say try to attend the conventions that are going on during your summer vacation or other vacations you have off during the school year. Josy Robbins
Ron Reid
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Hi:

Yes, I agree. Your education is much more important than your magic act. Go to the SAM and IBM during the summer when school is out. Heck, you could even go to one major convention during the year, if you just have to go. To be honest, it sounds like what you and your mom are doing is a bit excessive (I'm sure your mom is a nice person, though).

Going to conventions is a lot more fun than school I'm sure, but you'll never regret putting your education first.

Ron
Bob Sanders
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Wakanda,

Public school systems and education are rarely related anymore. That is truly sad.

Your problem is not unique. My dad stuck his neck out for me when I was trying to go to school. I've always admired him for it. It wasn't easy. It wasn't popular. It encouraged others. And that was in the 1950s, when students had no rights.

I liked the consequences. I started paying income tax at age twelve. One of my classmates waited until he was a little older but also choose a road less traveled. He even changed his name. He is gone, due to an accident, but his work is a real contribution. His stage name was John Denver. He went to junior high school in Montgomery, Alabama.

I don't think it hurt society or us. We got educations, produced goods and services, employed others, and provided well for our families. I finished college at age 21 and did my Navy time. My education was so hindered that I became a university professor published by the Academy of Science and the Academy of Advertising. For years I did marketing and management consulting for Fortune 500 companies, served on corporate boards of directors of corporations in the USA and abroad, ran for statewide public office, started and sold several businesses, and raised two children by myself. They now live on very generous trust funds, if they wish. The oldest (23) graduated from the state university in marketing and computer science last semester. The youngest is nineteen and ranked among the top ten horse trainers in the world. I think they will make it. They have been taxpayers for many years. They are well invested in America. My source of funding was what I could accomplish in the entertainment industry. It did not come from a school classroom.

Don't give up. Less than 1/3 of America supports it all. One of the saddening things is that the parasites don't even recognize a host animal when they see it. Rats will gnaw a hole in a sinking ship because that is Standard Operating Procedure for a rat. He’s a parasite.

Your mom is going to have to fight until she can find an educator in charge. She may not find one in Ohio. I hope she does. But if she keeps at it, she will find one somewhere. Don't let administrators manage your future. Administrators are not managers. To shoot ducks you have to go where there are ducks. Find the ducks!

I posted a reference for your use on your site long ago. You have continued to grow and accomplish even more. Go to school but get an education too. One will satisfy the government. The other will fund it. Government is not in the success business. It sounds like your mom is.

Good luck to you both. Governor Taft may be the place to start. He’s no dummy. Send him this and other letters of support to help him persuade those that he must. If your mom thinks I can help, you know how to reach me.

Take care,

Bob
Bob Sanders

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AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com http://www.magicbysander.com/
Review King
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Education is for the birds. I have a G.E.D. ( good enough diploma ) and have never had a problem getting menial labor jobs. From fry cook to bottle washer, I could always make at least $10,000 a year.

Dakota-TAKE SCHOOL SERIOUS.
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
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