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  1. #1
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    Prodigy, 13, claims age discrimination by UConn

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100325/...pphu-container
    STORRS, Conn. – Even at 13, Colin Carlson believes he's running out of time.
    Colin is a sophomore at the University of Connecticut, seeking a bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology and another in environmental studies. But he's been knocked off course by the university's rejection of his request to take a class that includes summer field work in South Africa.
    He and his mother say university officials told them he is too young for the overseas course. So he's filed an age discrimination claim with the university and U.S. Department of Education, which is investigating.
    "I'm losing time in my four-year plan for college," he said. "They're upsetting the framework of one of my majors."
    Michael Kirk, a spokesman for UConn, would not comment on Colin's case. But he said that generally, safety is the university's first concern when travel is involved.

    Wow! Thoughts anyone? IDK what to say! I feel for this kid becasue he has had no life. Where was his childhood? I say have fun and slow down! It is fabulous that he is so gifted academically but I am curious is to how he is socially. But let him go on the trip if he wants, the mom is releasing them of liablilty so if something happens then so be it. If she is ok with it then it's on her if something bad happens to what is still a kid with probably no common sense or experience in the world then it's on her.
    Last edited by 2sisters; 03-27-2010 at 01:29 AM. Reason: forgot link! Doh!

  2. #2
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    Having taken undergraduates abroad for research I understand the university's age requirements for liability purposes as well as general maturity. In the case of this student, I might waive the requirement IF the mother traveled with him, paying her own expenses and signing a stack of documents that waived university liability. The boy's four year plan is his (and his mom's). That does not mean that all rules and regulations of a university must be altered to suit his desires.

  3. #3
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    I too think at the very minimum his mother should have to go with him. Just because he's ready for the academics doesn't mean he's ready for the "real world" aspect. Would he file an age discrimination claim if he applied for a job at 13, 14, or 15 and was denied?
    If there is anything worse than the sandwiches, it is the sausages which sit next to them. Joyless tubes, full of gristle, floating in a sea of something hot and sad, stuck with a plastic pin in the shape of a chef’s hat: A memorial, one feels, for some chef who hated the world, and died, forgotten and alone among his cats on a back stair in Stepney. – Douglas Adams

  4. #4
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    Truthful Lies is offline "Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's courage" ~ Anaďs Nin
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    I think he needs to be kept "13" in his emotional development...it's not anywhere the same as intellectual intelligence. Plenty of kids have had this prodigal academic records and it sounds as if whoever filed this complaint has a very large ego. Him being there would distract other students, too. I understand his "right" to participate in these things, but he's still 13....I understand both sides, but do believe he's making unnecessary "waves".
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  5. #5
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    Fascinating . . . people that smart are not "kids" for long, who's to know if it's his unusual intelligence that has made him so ambitious and driven or what. He's probably "not" a kid and hasn't been for a while.

    This is off the cuff, but I think they should make an allowance for him and let him go. It's possible that a rare 13 year old with considerable maturity and intelligence can follow the rules and behavior expectations as well as any young "normal age" adult. He obviously is not interested in acting out, defying authority to engage in risky behavior, eluding authority to get by himself and go native . He's a human quirk, and IMHO would, with his PARENTS signing a stack of releases, be as safe as any of the rest of the students.

    I base this on the assumption this child is unusually intelligent, ambitious and mature for his age. He's thirteen and worrying like an adult about "the framework of one of my majors", not an R rated Xbox game or whether he can stay out past 9pm.

  6. #6
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    i absolutely understand his position but i wish he'd realize that he's 13, he'll still be a genius when he's 18. take time out and be a kid. or you'll regret it later

  7. #7
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    Here's how I see it: just let him go on the trip. Hell, if school kids can go on country-wide trips in elementary school with only one or two people watching them, why can't a gifted 13-year-old go on a trip to another country to further his studies?

    IMO, being social doesn't matter anymore in this world of twisted and backwards people. If he wants to further himself he should be able to further himself.
    I'm just your average type of guy

  8. #8
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    Travel abroad is an entirely different entity than domestic travel. It is unfortunate, but the school would be crazy to let him go to Africa without a specially designated guardian (him mother) and paperwork waiving the university's liability.

  9. #9
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    I feel sorry for kids who grow up so fast, because they're academically gifted. In this case, it seems to be driven by his own desires, but it seems probable that his parents influenced his academically aggressive nature. I hope he really does want it for himself, too, and not just for his parents.

    When I was in elementary school I was really advanced academically. My parents let me skip a grade but resisted advice to put me in other accelerated programs (and I probably could have been a 13-year-old freshman at college if my parents had pushed me in that direction, academically speaking), or skip more grades, because I didn't want to. I wanted to be with my friends.

    So they gave me lots of opportunities to educate myself outside of school -- lots and lots of books, weekly trips to the library and sometimes to the bookstore, plus a computer to play around with -- and didn't pressure me inside school to hurry-hurry-hurry and become an adult, just because I could intellectually. When I chose to go to the local high school instead of this top-notch accelerated program across town, which would have had me in college courses as a high school freshman, they didn't press me about 'wasting an opportunity' or anything. They let me emotionally mature with my peers.

    My parents weren't the greatest growing up, and did plenty to screw me up with their alcoholism and addictions and spousal abuse. But I have to say, they were top notch with how they dealt with me in an academic sense, and I'm really glad they let me just be a kid while I was a kid.

  10. #10
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    Michael Kirk, a spokesman for UConn, would not comment on Colin's case. But he said that generally, safety is the university's first concern when travel is involved.

    The university would not let Colin enroll, even after his mother, Jessica Offir, offered to release UConn from liability and accompany her son as a chaperone at her own expense, she and Colin said.
    I wouldn't let him go alone without a guardian but I don't really see what the problem is if his mother agrees to go along. Kids aged 13 and younger travel with their parents all the time.


  11. #11
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    I think he should be allowed to go especially since his mother will be accompanying him.



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