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Genius boy's mother admits faking his tests.
March 2, 2002 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Genius boy's mother admits faking his tests. We're coming to the end of a very sad story.
posted by MikeB (17 comments total)

 
For those who missed the beginning of this story, see the MeFi coverage here.
posted by Marquis at 1:10 PM on March 2, 2002


poor kid.
posted by o2b at 1:32 PM on March 2, 2002


"He was so forgiving when I told him the truth," Ms. Chapman said. "He gave me a hug and said, `I understand.' "

aye. Sad indeed, but he must be quite a character to have pulled it off as well, hope for him yet perhaps.
posted by th3ph17 at 1:49 PM on March 2, 2002


Unfortunately, this story isn't near the end. The poor boy has a long road ahead of him if he is ever to live a normal life.

"I didn't plan on it," she said. "It just happened, and I let things get out of control."

Does this remind anyone else of Kaycee Nicole?
posted by jpoulos at 1:54 PM on March 2, 2002


Is this really so surprising? She did what she thought was best given the standard of education today.

The quality of pre-university education nowadays is extremely poor.. and school basically forces the stupid kids to keep up, and the bright students to hold back.

The only way forwards is to give kids proper testing at different ages and to move them to the right type of school (schools for the unfortunate, schools for the intelligent, etc).. or to homeschool them. Homeschooling is a great idea, because each child can learn at their own rate rather than being forced through the convential system that leads to bitter 16 year olds who are smarter than their schools will let them be.

If this kid had to sit through over ten years of mind-numbing lessons, learning stuff he'd already learned on home or off of the Internet, what good would that have done him? He might still want to commit suicide. I'd say it's best that's he's been overstretched than left to rot in the festering mess that is the state educational system.
posted by wackybrit at 1:57 PM on March 2, 2002


what happened to the meafilter/metafilter log in for the nytimes?
posted by howa2396 at 2:00 PM on March 2, 2002


she admitted that she faked IQ tests, scores, SATs etc.

That isn't homeschooling. She faked a test when he was 3 years old, and had him study from test manuals later to improve scores. This is a mother with problems. This is not some cry for help in the educational system, this is a cry for help from the mother.

and the quote that made me so very sad to read...it is like the movie of this is already being written...how do we know he really told her that?
posted by th3ph17 at 2:10 PM on March 2, 2002


. I'd say it's best that's he's been overstretched than left to rot in the festering mess that is the state educational system.

Given that his professors at the U of R had virtually no face-to-face contact with him and that his work was submitted via e-mail, it isn't clear that he was stretched, let alone overstretched. Nor is it clear how smart this child actually is, since, aside for a class presentation, we don't have any real testimonials to his performance abilities. And, somehow, I think lying and cheating to get your child what you want counts as the real "festering mess."

California State University, Los Angeles has a program that allows youngsters from the age of 12 to attend college as regular students. They keep very careful tabs on the kids to make sure that they don't get in above their heads. It's been overall an extremely successful project.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:41 PM on March 2, 2002


Oops, forgot to insert disclaimer: my father teaches at CSULA and has worked with several of the young students in question.
posted by thomas j wise at 3:42 PM on March 2, 2002


jpoulos, I was thinking of munchausen's by proxy, too. and then I went on to think about how stage-parents are sort of the opposite of the munchausen parents. sort of doing the same thing through opposite means.

stage parents spend an enormous amount of time managing their children and plotting their careers, all to gain validation for themselves. it's as if they see the children as a shortcut to fame, but if you think about it, if any adult spent 12 hours a day taking dance/singing/acting classes, rehearsing, and plotting a career path, they'd probably end up famous themselves.

chlidren get attention for being gifted, but so do adults. this "shortcut" leads to as much work--or more--than just doing it themselves would.

same with this woman: if she had spent all that time studying and taking course, and then started writing books or articles or something, she'd be well known herself, only not in a bad way.
posted by rebeccablood at 5:10 PM on March 2, 2002


Sounds like a woman who tried to beat the system and got caught. People try to do this all the time. She wanted the best for her son. She wanted more than other people get for their children. She was willing to break the law to do it. She was wrong. I don't have any sympathy or empathy for her. Her own son didn't appreciate what she was doing for him, because he just wanted to live a normal life. She did him no favors.

My concern is that there's a lot of parents out there who don't get caught, but are more successful at beating the system. Each parent believes their child deserves more attention than any other. Some parents get away with it. The public school system is a cattle drive on purpose - because no child is more or less special than any other child. They each deserve to be educated.

It's like speeding tickets. Each person who gets caught and gets a ticket is actually paying the price for the few hundred that same day who were also speeding but didn't get caught. And we call justice fair? Seems more like an exercise in futility.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:17 PM on March 2, 2002


The public school system is a cattle drive on purpose - because no child is more or less special than any other child.

Of course no child is inherently more or less 'special' than another.. but some kids are sure smarter than others. Since a schools main role is educational development, and not spiritual development, surely kids should be taught in a way that respects their skill level.
posted by wackybrit at 5:35 PM on March 2, 2002


It's like speeding tickets. Each person who gets caught and gets a ticket is actually paying the price for the few hundred that same day who were also speeding but didn't get caught.

I don't see this. What is the "price" for people who don't get caught?
posted by rodii at 5:55 PM on March 2, 2002


She did what she thought was best given the standard of education today.

She wanted the best for her son. She wanted more than other people get for their children.

I fail to see how she wanted "the best for her son". The kid was taking college courses at 6 years old. How is that a good thing? I mean, it's not necessarily bad, if the boy is a true genius and can handle it, but what benefit does it give him? I think this woman's motivation had far more to do with herself than with her child.
posted by jpoulos at 7:30 PM on March 2, 2002


We're coming to the end of a very sad story

and the beginning of another (more private) one.

This is obviously a bright and personable child, whose first few years have been very odd, mostly not in a good way. I wonder what the rest of his childhood will be like, and what kind of grown-up he'll be?
posted by myl at 4:51 AM on March 3, 2002


I still think it's akin to an intellectual Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. The court-appointed psychiatrist said Ms. Chapman did not have "any typical type of psychosis". But MSP is not a formal DSM-IV mental health diagnosis, so maybe no court-appointed psychiatrist would label her typical or psychotic.
posted by yonderboy at 4:55 AM on March 3, 2002


If the eight-year-old can be freed from the expectations placed upon him by his mother's psychotic fraud, he might have a decent chance at salvaging his childhood and a semi-normal life.

This seems exactly like the problems associated with stage parenting. Child protective officials ought to talk to Paul Petersen, a former child actor and the founder of the support group A Minor Consideration.
posted by rcade at 7:10 AM on March 3, 2002


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