Kategoriarkiv: USA (United States of America)

USA: DofS: Questions potential host-families MUST be asked

Title 22: Foreign Relations
PART 62—EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM


Appendix F to Part 62—Information To Be Collected on Secondary School Student Host Family Applications

Basic Family Information:

a. Host Family Member—Full name and relationship (children and adults) either living full-time or part-time in the home or who frequently stay at the home)

b. Date of Birth (DOB) of all family members

c. Street Address

d. Contact information (telephone; e-mail address) of host parents

e. Employment—employer name, job title, and point of contact for each working resident of the home

f. Is the residence the site of a functioning business? (e.g., daycare, farm)

g. Description of each household member (e.g., level of education, profession, interests, community involvement, and relevant behavioral or other characteristics of such household members that could affect the successful integration of the exchange visitor into the household)

h. Has any member of your household ever been charged with any crime?

Household Pets:

a. Number of Pets

b. Type of Pets

Financial Resources:

a. Average Annual Income Range: Less than $25,000; $25,000-$35,000; $35,000-$45,000; $45,000-$55,000; $55,000-$65,000; $65,000-$75,000; and $75,000 and above. Note: The form must include a statement stating that: “The income data collected will be used solely for the purposes of ensuring that the basic needs of the exchange students can be met, including three quality meals and transportation to and from school activities”

b. Describe if anyone residing in the home receives any kind of public assistance (financial needs-based government subsidies for food or housing)

c. Identify those personal expenses expected to be covered by the student

Diet:

a. Does anyone in the family follow any dietary restrictions? (Y/N)

If yes, describe:

b. Do you expect the student to follow any dietary restrictions? (Y/N)

If yes, describe:

c. Would you feel comfortable hosting a student who follows a particular dietary restriction (ex. Vegetarian, Vegan, etc.)? (Y/N)

d. Would the family provide three (3) square meals daily?

High School Information:

a. Name and address of school (private or public school)

b. Name, address, e-mail and telephone number of school official

c. Approximate size of the school student body

d. Approximate distance between the school and your home

e. Approximate start date of the school year

f. How will the exchange student get to the school (e.g. bus, carpool, walk)?

g. Would the family provide special transportation for extracurricular activities after school or in the evenings, if required?

h. Which, if any, of your family’s children, presently attend the school in which the exchange visitor is enrolled?

If applicable list sports/clubs/activities, if any, your child(ren) participate(s) in at the school

i. Does any member of your household work for the high school in a coaching/teaching/or administrative capacity?

j. Has any member of your household had contact with a coach regarding the hosting of an exchange student with particular athletic ability?

If yes, please describe the contact and sport.

Community Information:

a. In what type of community do you live (e.g.: Urban, Suburban, Rural, Farm)

b. Population of community

c. Nearest Major City (Distance and population)

d. Nearest Airport (Distance)

e. City or town website

f. Briefly describe your neighborhood and community

g. What points of interest are near your area (parks, museums, historical sites)?

h. Areas in or near neighborhood to be avoided?

Home Description:

a. Describe your type of home (e.g., single family home, condominium, duplex, apartment, mobile home) and include photographs of the host family home’s exterior and grounds, kitchen, student’s bedroom, student’s bathroom, and family and living areas.

b. Describe Primary Rooms and Bedrooms

c. Number of Bathrooms

d. Will the exchange student share a bedroom? (Y/N)

If yes, with which household resident?

e. Describe the student’s bedroom

f. Describe amenities to which the student has access

g. Utilities

Family Activities:

a. Language spoken in home

b. Please describe activities and/or sports each family member participates in: (e.g., camping, hiking, dance, crafts, debate, drama, art, music, reading, soccer, baseball, horseback riding)

c. Describe your expectations regarding the responsibilities and behavior of the student while in your home (e.g., homework, household chores, curfew (school night and weekend), access to refrigerator and food, drinking of alcoholic beverages, driving, smoking, computer/Internet/E-Mail)

Would you be willing voluntarily to inform the exchange visitor in advance of any religious affiliations of household members? (Y/N)

Would any member of the household have difficulty hosting a student whose religious beliefs were different from their own? (Y/N) Note: A host family may want the exchange visitor to attend one or more religious services or programs with the family. The exchange visitor cannot be required to do so, but may decide to experience this facet of U.S. culture at his or her discretion.

How did you learn about being a host family?

References:

[75 FR 65984, Oct. 27, 2010]


Link to stories about host-families who thought it OK to do missionary work

Girl converting to Mormonism while exchange student

Spreading Christianity on the Sly: Chinese Students in U.S. Get Unexpected ‘Bonus’ of Church Teachings

Chinese Atheists Lured to Find Jesus at U.S. Christian Schools

Polish Exchange Student in US: My Half-Year of Hell With Christian Fundamentalists

Theres an atheist exchange student from North Korea in my class how can i convert her to god?

Exposing the Blind Side: A Reverted Catholic Looks Back

Does anyone have an opinion/scripture about taking in Foreign exchange students of a different faith?

Exchange student accepts Christ, disowned by family

Become a foreign missionary in your own home

Become a foreign missionary in your own home

Exchange student from Finland converted to Mormonism

Exchange student brought to Christ

Baptist families view exchange student hosting as ministry

Should I intervene with missionary efforts

Three exchange students baptized

Wayne Chen: Foreign Exchange Student baptism

German exchange student baptized before return

I baptized an exchange student from another country

by God’s grace I ended up living in Greenville

Chinese girl will be baptized in June

Exchange student from Monique baptized

Missionary lessons to German exchange student

Russian student baptized

Korean exchange student commits to Christ

USA: Letter of welcome from the US Department of State

Tusen takk til faren som sendte meg lenken til dette brevet fra US Department of State. Alle elever som reiser som utvekslingselev gjennom et utvekslingsprogram skal motta et slikt brev. I tillegg skal dere ha fått identifikasjonskort med diverse numre inklusive nødnummeret til Department of State.

2012: Årsaker til at PIE (Pacific Intercultural Exchange) måtte ut av Department of State programmet

Jeg har forsøkt å følge Pacific Intercultural Exchange (PIE) tilbake i tid for å se på noen av årsakene til at de ble sparket fra programmet i USA. Enkelte kommentarer har bagatellisert det som har skjedd.

For at US Department of State skal kutte ut støtten til et av programmene sine må det skjedd vedvarende brudd over lengre tid av fler enn noen «få» medarbeidere.

Kommentaren fra US Department of State 30. november 2012 var:

The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) has removed Pacific Intercultural Exchange (PIE) of San Diego from its list of designated Secondary School Student Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) sponsors, effective November 28, 2012.

In the face of perceived long-standing regulatory non-compliance and concern that PIE’s operations placed at risk the health, safety, and welfare of student participants, the Department of State initiated two sanction actions against PIE on July 17, 2012: one immediately suspending PIE’s operations for 120 days, and the other notifying PIE of the Department of State’s intent to deny PIE’s then- pending application for re-designation. The suspension, which was upheld through an administrative appeal process, expired on November 13.

On November 28, PIE withdrew its administrative challenge to the proposed non-redesignation.The Department of State places top priority on the health, safety and welfare of its exchange visitors. The Department will remain vigilant in its oversight of Exchange Visitor Program sponsors to guarantee that participants’ exchange experiences are both safe and rewarding.

2012 Dec 6: AP: Exchange student sponsor out over abuse claims

Pacific Intercultural Exchange mistet muligheten til å hente inn J1 utvekslingselever til USA. En av årsakene var seksuelle overgrep.

Tre av de mest alvorlige tilfellene gjaldt vertsforeldre som ble dømt. Gode bakgrunnskontroller var ikke utført.

Det ene tilfellet gjaldt Craig Steven Ley of Beaverton, Oregon. Ley var konkurs, arbeidsledig og sønnen hadde flyttet hjem til moren.  Carol Jones, representanten for PIE, observerte ved et hjemmebesøk utvekslingseleven i Leys seng. Utrolig nok, trodde hun på forklaringen til Ley.

Ley fikk fengselstraff og ble idømt bot for overgrepene mot den tyske utvekslingseleven. Hadde PIE gjort en god bakgrunnskontroll, ville de ha oppdaget at Ley allerede hadde en dom mot seg.

I 2004 ble han dømt for «mail fraud». Også denne gangen var det en utvekslingselev som ble offeret hans. Ley benyttet seg av utvekslingselevens personalia.

John M. Doty erkjente at PIE visste om dommen siden 2006.

Et annet tilfelle med seksuelle overgrep gjaldt vertsfaren Shernon James fra Naples.

Shernon James var tidligere blitt arrestert for besittelse av barnepornografi. Saken var blitt henlagt fordi tilståelsen hans ikke ble tatt opp. Den senere saken gjaldt en utvekslingselev.

Et program som heter «Big Brother» (støttekontakter) hadde også tatt bakgrunnskontroll av James. De hadde ikke problemer med å finne ut om de tidligere anklagene.

Men tilsynelatende hadde ikke PIE funnet de samme opplysningene.

Den tredje saken foregikk over mange år og i flere stater. Den tidligere presten William Romero hadde blitt beskyldt for å begå overgrep av flere personer. Saken var blitt rapportert videre oppover i den katolske kirken, men ingenting skjedde. Hvorvidt noen ved Pacific var klar over tilfellene er vanskelig for meg å uttale meg om. Siden han hadde vært vertsfar for flere ungdommer over en del år er det vanskelig for meg å forestille meg at ikke en eneste en av dem klaget til noen. Men, som sagt, det har jeg egentlig ikke noen anelse om. Men en ting er sikkert. Romero likte gutter som var yngre enn seg. Mange gutter.

Som man ser av ansettelseshistorien hans så har anledningene vært mange:Youth Director and Catechism Teacher, St. Ann School; Priest and Youth Group Leader, St. Ann School; Youth Pastor, St. Ann School; Parish Priest, St. Joseph; Pastor, St. Joseph; Chaplain, Miami; Prosecutor, Miami; Teacher, St. Ann; Priest On Staff, St. Christopher Catholic Church; Priest, St. Ann Parish; Priest.

Merk dere at alle tre menn virket hyggelige for de fleste voksne.

Dette er de tre sakene jeg har klart å grave opp som har fellende dom ved seg. Utover dette kommer det bortforklaringer fra PIE’s ulike talspersoner. I tillegg har vi flere tilfeller av andre former for overgrep fra enten representanter eller vertsforeldres side.

Da de diverse sakene rundt PIE kom fram for en dag satt John Doty som president av Pacific Intercultural Exchange. Ifølge zoom.info ser Dotys karriere ut sånn her:

Employment History

  • Executive Director, P.I.E. Company
  • President, Pacific Intercultural Exchange
  • Executive Director, Pacific Intercultural Exchange

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member, Pacific Intercultural Exchange
  • Board Member, Council on Standards for International Educational Travel
  • Chair, Board of Directors, Council on Standards for International Educational Travel

Doty har vært med PIE minst siden 1992. Det vil si at han burde ha en viss peiling på hva som foregår i bedriften. I 1992 var han executive director. Den lange fartstiden burde også bety at Doty i aller høyeste grad visste hvilke regler som gjaldt. At han I tillegg hadde vært en del av styret til CSIET, og dermed med på å kontrollere sitt eget firma, viser i enda større grad hvilken kunnskap John M. Doty innehadde.

I 2010 bestemte Vermilion School Board seg for å:

Move to approve terminating the Board’s relationship with Pacific Exchange International for the placement of foreign exchange students at parish high schools.

Årsakene for avgjørelsen var:

The issue before the Education Committee was the ability of one of the two foreign exchange companies working in the parish to be able to provide adequate housing to their guest students. Included in the complaint were the living conditions, the lack of host families to be able to financially provide adequate meals and that outside educational activities were not being provided.

I 2010 rotet PIE det til og forårsaket hjemsendelsen av Taissiya Kryazhova. PIE hadde ikke klart å ordne med skolepapirene hennes før hun ankom landet. I og med at CSFES anmeldte dem til State Department kunne ikke PIE v/John Doty late som om ingenting hadde skjedd. På den tiden satt John Doty i en dobbeltrolle. CSIET er fellesorganisasjonen for utvekslingsprogrammer i USA. De er et selv-regulerende organ. Intensjonene er de beste, men som vi ser med PIE og John Doty kan det bli litt fristende å ikke være strenge nok. Særlig om man som Doty gjorde i 2010 sitter i styret til CSIET. Ifølge AP forsøkte PIE å forfalske feilen sin. Det samme skjedde i Oregon.

2012 Sep 26: Pacific Intercultural Exchange president tells jurors he didn’t admit to feds he knew of felony in Beaverton case

The president of a long-time exchange program, being sued by a former student, did not tell the State Department that he knew about a host father’s past felony

…Doty acknowledged in court that he did not include a letter Ley had written explaining the federal mail fraud conviction.

Norske Live Skiftesvik fra Askøy dro gjennom PIE til San Antonio i Texas. Live opplevde etter hvert at hun ble behandlet som en tjener og overvåket av vertsfar. Hennes faste oppgave ble å medisinere vertsbroren. I tillegg måtte hun kjøpe inn maten sin selv, samt gjøre brorparten av husarbeidet. En vanlig trussel fra enten representant eller/og vertsfamilie er at om man ikke gjør som de vil blir man sendt hjem (uavhengig av regelbrudd).

2012 Jul 30: Utvekslingsåret ble et mareritt

Pacific Intercultural Exchange er ikke noe unikt eksempel på hvordan industrien fungerer der borte. Når John M. Doty sier:

«If the school says, I wouldn’t place a student with that family, we listen,» he said. «Our program brought in 20,000 students in the past 20 years and never had any reported abuse.»

så er det vel ikke så vanskelig å se at han snakker mot bedre vitende.

Når man tar med alle elevene som kommer inn i USA uten at hverken hjem eller skole er ordnet allerede blir det et problem som må løses og som CSFES overalt i verden ønsker å bistå utvekslingsbransjen med. For vi er faktisk IKKE ute etter å ta bransjen, vi er bare ute etter å fjerne de som ikke burde være en del av den og å påpeke ting når de skjer.

Vår egen erfaring er den at industrien både her i Norge og i USA lyver deg rett opp i ansiktet. Vi informerte INTO om problemene med Becky Sanderson. Men Sanderson hadde vært med i FIEA ganske lenge og klagene mot henne ved State Department var mange. Da blir det utrolig vanskelig for oss som foreldre å tro på noen av firmaene på det de uttaler seg om. Nå er Becky Sanderson ute av industrien, men hun og John Doty og PIE er langt fra de eneste som har problemer med ærlighet, redelighet og en vilje til å høre på når man forsøker å informere.

Reglene for utvekslingsprogrammene ble betydelig strammet inn i USA i 2006 og igjen i 2010. Men reglene må overholdes og kontrolleres av uavhengige. Det kan ikke være sånn at det er industrien selv som skal passe på seg. I teorien er det nettopp det som er State Department’s oppgave. Men som alle andre statlige organer er og de underbemannede og kanskje for godt kjent med motparten. Vennskap kan fort komme i veien for objektivitet og tidspress fører lett til feil. Da blir utvekslingseleven og familien hans/hennes sittende der med falske påstander, ulovlige underskrifter, uærlige hjemsendinger og langtidsskader som elev og familie må slite med lenge etter hjemkomst.

Og tro for all del ikke at USA er i noen særposisjon. Om noe er USA et av de bedre landene å reise til som utvekslingselev – nettopp fordi man der har reguleringer som skal beskytte eleven. Her i Norge har vi ikke noe annet enn allmenn lov som beskytter elevene som kommer hit. Om noe skjærer seg mellom elev og vertsfamilie /utvekslingsfirma har ikke utvekslingseleven noen beskyttelse. Også på dette området kan man trygt si at Norge IKKE er et foregangsland.

USA: Hvem klager man til og hvordan klager man?

Jeg tenkte det kunne være greit å ha en mal på hvordan klagen man sender inn til ECA (klageinstansen for utvekslingselever) kan se ut. Den inkluderer emailadressene man skal benytte. CSFES hadde satt stor pris på om dere kunne sende en kopi til oss. Nederst står alle dere må sende kopi til pluss alle emailadressene dere trenger:

United States Department of State
Office of Private Sector Exchange Administration
Mr. Henry Scott, Director
Private Sector Programs Division
James Alexander, Branch Chief
Darra Klein, Branch Chief

Dear Sirs and Madams,

RE: Elevens navn, landskode (NO…), Utvekslingsorganisjonene

–  Sakens natur

PARTIES

U.S. Placement Agency: Navn på organisasjon
–  De ulike menneskene der har hatt med å gjøre oppover i hierarkiet

Sending Agency:  Navn på norsk organisasjon
–  De ulike representantene oppover i hierarkiet

Exchange student:

Host family: Navn, adresse, kontaktinformasjon

School: Navn (adresse og kontaktinformasjon)

FACTS:
1. Ankomstsdato
2. Når problemene startet
3. Når dere gjorde andre oppmerksomme på problemet.
4. Deres reaksjon
5. Hjemsendelsesdato (om aktuelt)

Description and comments
Her pleier jeg å si litt om når eleven kom USA og hvordan familieforholdet og relasjonen til lokalrepresentanten var. Etter det går jeg fram skritt for skritt og forklarer hvordan situasjonen utviklet seg og henviser til vedlegg.

Erfaringsmessig er det disse partene jeg skriver mest om:

  1. På førsteplass kommer soleklart vertshjemmet (elendig tilstand) og/eller vertsfamilien og/eller nabolag.
  2. Utvekslingsorganisasjonens ulike representanter er veldig forskjellige personligheter. Noen er rett og slett mobbere og manipulatører. Andre er dedikerte som få. Oftest vil de som sitter høyere opp i gradene bry seg lite om eleven og mest om rykte.
  3. Skolen er ikke det dere ble lovet. Norsk lov krever visse fag for at deler av lånet skal bli stipend.
  4. Fremmede. Da er det oftest snakk om kriminelle handlinger.

Lise Lottes råd nr 1. DOKUMENTER. FB meldinger, ikke-slettede SMS, screenshots, bilder osv. Jo mer dere kan legge ved klagen som underbygger det dere påstår, desto bedre er det.

Sincerely,

Lise Lotte M. Almenningen
CSFES Norway

Encl: 5

Cc: CSIET

Navn på mottakerorganisasjonen i USA

Navn på avsenderorganisasjonen i Norge

SIU (Senter for Internasjonalisering av Utdanning)

CSFES

Foreldre

Til: AGalert@State.gov, jvisas@state.gov, AGexchanges@state.gov, HighSchoolExchanges@state.gov

Kopi: cpage@csiet.org, isaac@csiet.org, siu@siu.org, complaints@csfes.org

Om dere trenger hjelp til å skrive klagen (det er ikke alltid så lett å vite hva man skal ta med), har spørsmål eller bare trenger å snakke med en som har vært i en lignende situasjon er det bare å ta kontakt med meg på margarethesdatter@csfes.org


Skrevet om 22 desember 2016

2012 Jun 26: AYUSA: Uteblivelse av vitne = dismissal

En av de vanligste årsakene til at rettssaker som har med ulike former for mishandling blir henlagt er fordi vitnet ikke reiser tilbake til utvekslingslandet. I dette tilfellet har vi å gjøre med en mann som ble arrestert pga av pornografiske bilder av utvekslingselevene sine.

Richard Mink hadde hatt utvekslingselever boende hos seg i nesten 20 år. I 2010 ble han arrestert for seksuelle overgrep mot mindreårige. Saken ble henlagt fordi de tidligere utvekslingselevene ikke ville tilbake til USA for å vitne.

I dette tilfellet var det utvekslingsfirmaet AYUSA som stod bak utplassering av eleven.

Child porn manufacture case against Muskegon exchange-student host dismissed

John S. Hausman | jhausman@mlive.com By John S. Hausman | jhausman@mlive.com The Muskegon Chronicle on June 26, 2012 at 11:52 AM, updated June 26, 2012 at  5:50 PM

Richard-Mink.jpgRichard Mink

MUSKEGON, MI – The case against Richard William Mink of Muskegon, a longtime foreign-exchange student host charged with manufacturing child pornography of a student, has been dismissed because the alleged victim refuses to return from Germany to testify.

The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the case Tuesday morning “without prejudice,” meaning prosecutors could refile it later if the alleged victim becomes available.

The trial for Mink, 77, of Muskegon had been scheduled to begin Tuesday. He was charged with a 20-year felony.

Mink had been accused of taking nude photos of a 16-year-old German male exchange student in 2009. The case had been pending for some 18 months, but trial was repeatedly delayed when the victim declined to return to the United States.

An earlier case against Mink of second-degree child abuse, involving a 15-year-old South Korean male exchange student in 2010, was dismissed in February 2011 for the same reason.

Mink had been accused of abusing the Korean boy in a variety of ways, including paddling the boy on his bare bottom, making him walk naked in front of Mink, and watching him shower and fondling his genitals. In a Chronicle interview in February 2011 Mink acknowledged some of those allegations but denied the fondling.

Both allegations surfaced in December 2010 after the South Korean student, who had been attending a local high school in Muskegon County, told a school counselor that he had been abused, sometimes sexually, at the hands of Mink.

The Muskegon police investigation into the Korean boy’s case led authorities to search Mink’s home, where they discovered nude photos of the German male exchange student, allegedly taken by Mink.

Email John Hausman at jhausman@mlive.com or follow him on Twitter at @johnshausman

US Department of State: Kontaktinformasjon

Dette er numre dere allerede skal ha fått av utvekslingsorganisasjonen (lovbestemt i USA).

Private Sector Programs Division (Har med spørsmål om utvekslingsbedriftene)

Mailing Address:

  • U.S. Department of State Office of Exchange Coordination and Compliance
  • ECA/EC/ECC – SA-5,
  • Floor C2
  • 2200 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20522-0505

Street Address (couriers):

  • U.S. Department of State Office of Exchange Coordination and Compliance
  • ECA/EC/ECC – SA-5,
  • Floor C2 2200 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20037

FAX number: (202) 632-2900 Email: jvisas@state.gov

Secondary School Student and Summer Work Travel Helpline

1-866-283-9090 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

The Department of State activated the helpline to ensure the health and safety of its exchange participants. Students have a right to be treated fairly and to report abuse without retaliation or threat of program cancellation.

Report Abuse or Exploitation

If you are mistreated or your rights are violated, call these toll-free numbers:

  • Secondary School Student and Summer Work Travel Helpline: 1-866-283-9090

If you are in immediate physical danger, call 911.

Know your rights: Report Abuse or Exploitation (PDF)

2016 April: Ten poorest states in the US

usamapnew

The 2016 Poverty Guidelines for US states shows what the poverty threshold is for various household sizes. For a household with four members the threshold is set at US$ 24,300. For those of you traveling with an exchange organization to the US, this is the starting sum for when a household qualifies for government assistance. US regulations state that exchange students should not be placed in households in need of welfare. There are many reasons for this regulation.

«Poor neighborhoods come with an array of challenges that negatively affect both the people who live in those neighborhoods—whether they themselves are poor or not—as well as the larger regions in which those neighborhoods are located.1 Residents of poor neighborhoods face higher crime rates and exhibit poorer physical and mental health outcomes. They tend to go to poor-performing neighborhood schools with higher dropout rates. Their job-seeking networks tend to be weaker and they face higher levels of financial insecurity.» (E. Kneebone)

This post looks at corruption, weapons carry laws, dangerous neighborhoods and worst/best schools.

According to the 24/7 Wall Street, the ten poorest States are, starting with the poorest: Mississippi, West Virginia, Arkansas,  Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, New Mexico, South Carolina and Montana

The ten most corrupt states are, starting with the worst: Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Alaska, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Florida. (Washington Post)

MISSISSIPPI (MS)

mississippi-county-map18 million people depend on the Mississippi River for their drinking water. At this time (2016) we do not advise exchange students to rely on tap water from MR. (Mississippi)

For each $1.00 Mississippi sends to the federal government in taxes, it receives $2.00 in federal subsidies. The median household income is $39,680

According to 24/7 Wall Street:

“Mississippi is among the states with the worst education systems, highest  obesity levels, highest unemployment, and lowest rates of health insurance  coverage. The state is an economic black hole, and it shows in the way people  suffer there. And, as is true with black holes, it is nearly impossible for the  residents of Mississippi to escape their difficult financial situations.”

Mississippi is not only the poorest state in the US, it is also the most corrupt state in the US.

«the high level of corruption in the state resulted in high state spending on projects where it was conducive to make bribes — “bribe-generating” projects — such as capital improvements and highway construction, while leaving a paucity of cash for socially beneficial projects, such as schools and health facilities. It also noted massive cost overruns on “bribe-generating” projects, thanks to those bribes, as well as blatant payoffs to government officials, who are getting wealthy at the expense of the poor.» (The New American)

It is now possible to cross school district lines to a charter school if you live in a district with poor grades according to 2016 SB 2161.

Mississippi is an open carry State. With regards to concealed weapons:

«licensed gun owners who have “additional” training to carry concealed firearms in certain locations previously prohibited by law.  These locations include courthouses, polling places, government meetings, any school, college or professional athletic event, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, any elementary or secondary school facility, any junior college, community college, college or university facility, inside the passenger terminal of any airport, and in any church or other place of worship.» (Jackson|Lewis)

HB1523 (2016) permits severe discrimination against LGBTQ+ and women.

Poverty and crime

According to Wikipedia, Mississippi’s poorest counties are:

  • Holmes County
  • Humphreys County
  • Claiborne County
  • Quitman County
  • Jefferson County
  • Leflore County
  • Wilkinson County
  • Sharkey County
  • Jefferson Davis County
  • Tallahatchie County

Out of the 100 most dangerous cities, Jackson has become safer and is now at 76th place. Its safest neighborhood is S Siwell Rd / Henderson Rd. Neighborhood Scout has more details.

Schools

Schooldigger claims that the five worst high schools in Mississippi are:

  1. Hazlehurst High School, Hazlehurst
  2. West Bolivar Dist High School, Rosedale
  3. Newton High School, Newton
  4. Wingfield High School, Jackson
  5. West Lowndes High School, Columbus

According to Niche, the best public high schools are:

  1. Pass Christian High School, Pass Christian
  2. Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg
  3. Clinton High School, Clinton
  4. Petal High School, Petal
  5. DeSoto Central High School, Southhaven

WEST VIRGINIA (WV)

West Virginia County Map; GeologyThe minimum wage was just (2016) raised from $8 to $8.75.

There has been a drinking water crisis in WV since 2014 due to chemical spills. New spills keep the crisis going. Poverty forces people to drink the tap-water. Please check the water quality of the area of your host-family before you accept your placement.

West Virginia is ranked as the 17th most corrupt state. Every arena from lotteries to the justice system are affected. (Public Integrity)

Open carrying of handguns and long guns is legal in West Virginia (LCTPGV) although concealed carrying without permit may be legal soon.

Poverty and crime

The poorest counties in West Virginia are:

  • Doddridge County
  • McDowell County
  • Webster County
  • Mingo County

West Virginia also has a city among the 100 most dangerous cities. In 33rd place is Charleston. According to Neighborhood Scout, Tyler Mountain is Charleston’s safest neighborhood.

Schools

West Virginia’s worst schools are:

  1. Hannan High School, Ashton
  2. River View High School, Bradshaw
  3. Wayne High School, Wayne
  4. Philip Barbour High School, Philippi
  5. Logan Senior High School, Logan

According to Niche WV’s best schools are:

  1. University High School, Morgantown
  2. Bridgeport High School, Bridgeport
  3. Morgantown High School, Morgantown
  4. Fairmont Senior High School, Fairmont
  5. George Washington High School, Charleston

ARKANSAS (AR)

arkansas-county-mapState unemployment is now down to 4% (Arkansas News). Arkansas has, however, popped up one place on this list.
Arkansas is an open carry gun state. Concealed weapons require a permit. However, there are many places a person may not at all carry a weapon. (CDL)

Poverty and crime

According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Arkansas are:

  • Lee County
  • Phillips County
  • Chicot County
  • Woodruff County
  • Stone County
  • St. Francis County

Pine Bluff, Little Rock and West Memphis rank among the most dangerous cities in the US. The safest neighborhood in Pine Bluff is Watson Chapel / Sorrels. In Little Rock you hope to be placed in Ferndale / Northpoint. West Memphis lists N Airport Rd / W Service Road as its safest neighborhood. (NS)

Schools

The five worst schools in Arkansas are listed as:

  1. Hope High School, Hope
  2. Mineral Springs High School, Mineral Springs
  3. Marvell High School, Marvell
  4. McClelland Magnet High School, Little Rock
  5. Strong High School, Strong

The five best high schools in Arkansas are:

  1. Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville
  2. Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  3. Rogers High School, Rogers
  4. Lakeside High School, Hot Springs
  5. Fayetteville High School East, Fayetteville

ALABAMA (AL)

alabama-county-mapAlabama lists as one of the most corrupt state in the US. This is with regard to both illegal corruption and political corruption. (AL)

Coal mining seems to be the greatest water pollutant in Alabama. Some of that water comes from major drinking water sources. (SE) Alabama has been listed as the 5th most air-polluted state. (GG)

Adults, who have not committed violent crimes or who are not drug addicts, may openly carry weapons without a permit in Alabama. Concealed carrying requires a permit. There are places and situations where regular citizens may not carry guns at all. (CDL)

Poverty and crime

Extreme poverty is on the rise. About 27% of children in Alabama live in poverty. Much of the extreme poverty is along the black-belt of Alabama (former slave counties). The poorest counties in Alabama are:

  • Wilcox County
  • Sumter County
  • Greene County
  • Bullock County
  • Dallas County
  • Perry County
  • Macon County
  • Conecuh County

Cities listed among the 100 most dangerous in USA are Gadsen and Birmingham. The safest neighborhood in Gadsen is Tabor/Brice. In Birmingham the safest neighborhood is Cahaba Valley Rd/Double Oak Ln.

School

Schooldigger lists the following high schools as the worst in Alabama:

  1. Jackson-Olin High School, Birmingham City
  2. Marengo High School, Dixons Mills
  3. Bullock County High School, Union Springs
  4. Keith Middle-High School, Orrville
  5. Marion High School, Marion

Alabamas five best high schools are:

  1. Loveless Academic Magnet Prog High School, Montgomery
  2. Homewood High School, Homewood
  3. Mt Brook High School, Mountain Brook
  4. Spain Park High School, Hoover
  5. Bob Jones High School, Madison

KENTUCKY (KY)

kentucky-county-mapBoth coal industry and power plants are responsible for Kentucky’s listing as the first place winner of air-pollution (WFPL). Traditionally the coal industry has been one of the greatest job providers. Fracking and coal are responsible for polluted ground-water and other water sources that people depend on for drinking water and food (SF).

Kentucky is listed as the ninth most corrupt state in the US. It is currently being investigated by the FBI.

In Kentucky you must be above 21 years old to carry a gun. Certain adults are denied the right to bear arms and there are certain places and situations where all regular citizens are denied the right to bear. Kentucky is an open carry state. Concealed carry requires a permit. (CDL)

Poverty and crime

26 percent of the children in Kentucky live in poverty. Many areas do not have access to electricity or access to their city’s water/sewage system. (NCCP) According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Kentucky are:

  • Owlsley County
  • McCreary
  • Bell County
  • Clay County
  • Lee County
  • Wolfe County
  • Knox County
  • Harlan County
  • Knott County
  • Leslie County …..

Kentucky does not have any cities on the list of the 100 most dangerous cities in the US.

School

At the bottom of the list there are many (296-244) alternative schools. These include detention schools to special education schools. I am not including them on this list because I do not think that they are representative. This explains why there is a large gap between the numbers below.

  1. Valley High School, Louisville
  2. Doss High School, Louisville
  3. Western High School, Louisville
  4. Southern High School, Louisville
  5. Newport High School, Newport

The five best high schools are:

  1. Dupont Manual High School, Louisville
  2. Highlands High School, Fort Thomas
  3. Beechwood High School, Fort Mitchell
  4. Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green
  5. Ballard High School, Louisville

TENNESSEE (TN)

tennessee-county-map by GeologyTennessee is a newcomer to this list. Unfortunately for it, Tennessee lists as the third most corrupt state in the US. «while corruption may seem like a purely political problem, it’s actually a force that can make or break an entire local economy.» (Pando)

About 30 percent of the state’s streams cannot support fish and other aquatic wildlife (UTIA). The latest incident happened April 5, 2016. (ABC) Companies have no reason to stop polluting as the state does not seem to fine law-breakers (NYT). Air pollution is mainly carbon based due to coal driven power plants. Tennessee is in the US hurricane corridor.

«In Tennessee, adults can purchase and openly carry a gun without a license. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun license to carry a concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body.» (CDL) «State Law prescribes a maximum penalty of six (6) years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3000) for carrying weapons on school property. «(HHCDE)

Poverty and Crime

While the many US states are getting out of the economy hump, Tennessee is going the other direction. Poverty is increasing. About 26% of Tennessee’s children live in poverty (TFP). Lowest income counties in Tennessee are (Wikipedia):

  • Bledsoe County
  • Hancock County
  • Lake County
  • Lauderdale County
  • Union County
  • Scott County

Chattanooga, Jackson, Nashville and Memphis are listed among the 100 most dangerous cities in the US. The safest neighborhood in Chattanooga is Ryall Springs. In Jackson it is Adair/Roberts. In Nashville, the safest neighborhood is McCrory Ln/Poplar Creek Rd, and for Memphis it is Democrat Rd/American Way.

School

Tennessee is phasing out Common Core from their school system. (USAToday). Tennessee has several alternative high schools at the bottom of their list of schools. These are special education schools, charter schools and detention schools. Because of this the numbering is off.

  1. Sequoyah High School, Soddy Daisy
  2. The Howard School, Chattanooga
  3. Pearl Cohn Magnet High School, Nashville
  4. Maplewood High School,  Nashville
  5. Brainerd High School, Chattanooga

Five best high schools

  1. Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, Nashville
  2. Central Magnet School, Murfreesboro
  3. Ravenwood High School, Brentwood
  4. Merrol Hyde Magnet School, Hendersonville
  5. Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School, Nashville

LOUISIANA (LA)

louisiana-county-mapLouisiana ranks as the second most corrupt state in the US. Corrupt judges, who get paid by private prisons, may send you to prison for years for petty crime. More politicians per/capita than any other state have been convicted (ABC)

«In Louisiana, you may purchase and openly carry firearms without a permit, as long as you are over the age of 17 and not prohibited by state or federal law to possess a gun. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body.» (CDL)

Louisiana is a high-risk state for flooding and hurricanes. Flooding can make drinking water sources dangerous. Louisiana’s water is already polluted and there are many sources for that pollution. Chemical spills are the largest contributors. (Nola) It may be that air pollution is going to increase soon. (Nola)

Poverty and crime

According to Wikipedia the poorest counties in Louisiana are:

  • East Carroll Parish
  • Madison Parish
  • Tensas Parish
  • Washington Parish

Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Alexandria among the 100 most dangerous cities in the US. The safest neighborhood in Baton Rouge is Tiger Bend Rd/Antioch Rd. In New Orleans Bellaire Drive/Marcia Ave is the safest neighborhoods. McNutt/Gardner is the safest neighborhood in Alexandria.

Schools

I am not including alternative schools in this overview as they are based on a student population with atypical learning needs. The five worst schools in Louisiana are:

  1. Madison High School, Tallulah
  2. Belaire High School, Baton Rouge
  3. Bastrop High School, Bastrop
  4. Renew Accelerated High School West Bank Campus, New Orleans
  5. Kentwood High Magnet School, Kentwood

The five best schools are:

  1. Louisiana School for Math, Science & The Arts, Nagitatoches
  2. Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans
  3. Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge
  4. Lusher Charter School, New Orleans
  5. Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson

NEW MEXICO

new-mexico-county-mapNew Mexico is another state that struggles with corruption. It has had three consecutive secretaries of state who have been indicted. Its ethics laws are weak (Governing). Its low-paid, part-time legislature might be especially susceptible to bribes (ABQJournal). «legal corruption is perceived to be common not only in the executive and legislative branches but also in the judicial branch» (Harvard).

«In New Mexico, adults may purchase and openly carry firearms in public without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body.» (CDL)

«Local governments in New Mexico generally lack authority to regulate firearms and ammunition, and New Mexico requires local law enforcement to issue a concealed handgun license to any applicant who meets certain basic qualifications.» (LCTPGV)

New Mexico has a chronic drought problem. In spite of that, ground water is polluted by the copper industry with the silent acceptance from NM government (DJ).  Coal-fired power plants are another major source of pollution in New Mexico. In addition, the long-term effects from a spill at a uranium mill at Church Rock are felt by CR’s ecosystem (DJ).

Poverty and crime

New Mexico has the highest rate of child poverty in the US. About 30% of the children in New Mexico live in poverty  (SFNM). Unemployment is high. According to Wikipedia that poorest counties in New Mexico are:

  • McKinley County
  • Cibola County
  • Luna County
  • Mora County
  • Sierra County
  • Quay County
  • Guadalupe County

Among the 100 most dangerous cities in the US we find Albuquerque. In Albuquerque the safest neighborhood is Paseo Del Norte NE/Eubank Blvd NE. In Albuquerque there is the added disadvantage of a criminal police force (RS)

Schools

According to Schooldigger the most challenged public high schools in New Mexico are (the reason for gaps in numbering is because the missing numbers = alternative schools):

  1. Gordon Bernell Charter, Albuquerque
  2. Opportunity High School, Silver City
  3. Tohatchi High School, Tohatchi
  4. Twin Buttes High School, Zuni
  5. Coronado High School, Gallina

The five best high schools are:

  1. Moreno Valley High, Angel High
  2. Albuquerque Institute Of Math & Science, Albuquerque
  3. NM School for the Arts, Santa Fe
  4. Los Alamos High, Los Alamos
  5. La Cueva High School, Albuquerque

SOUTH CAROLINA (SC)

south-carolina-county-mapCorruption in South Carolina continues much as before (PI). A potential change to ethics laws may open the door to further public corruption and hinder prosecution (P&C).

«In South Carolina, adults can purchase a handgun without a license. However, you must obtain a concealable handgun license to carry an open or concealed gun in your car or on (or near) your body; unless you are in your own home, on your own property, or at your place of business.» (CDL)

Air pollution in South Carolina seems to be getting better (AHR). Coal burning power plants have told to clean up and air quality is also affected by wind carried pollution from other states (GO). Beach water quality is poor (7th worst) and it is not recommended that people enter it after rain-fall (The State).  Stormwater pollution from flooding are causing serious problems elsewhere (COB).

Poverty and crime

26 percent of children in South Carolina live in poverty. Its place on this list has remained the same since last redo (Sep 2014). According to Wikipedia, Allendale County Jasper County, Dillon County, Marlboro County, Lee County, Williamsburg County and Bamberg County list among the 100 lowest income counties in the US.

Among the 100 most dangerous cities in the US, we find Anderson, Spartanburg and Myrtle Beach. In Anderson, the safest neighborhood is Route 187/Route 24. Anderson Mill Rd/Old Anderson Mill Rd is considered the safest neighborhood in Spartanburg. In Myrtle Beach, Moorland Dr/Legends Rd is considered the safest neighborhood.

Schools

South Carolina also sports detention schools, charter schools and special education schools that do not represent a general student population. This shows in the numbering.

  1. Allendale Fairfax High School, Allendale
  2. Estill High School, Estill
  3. C.A. Johnson High School, Columbia
  4. Blackville Hilda High School, Blackville
  5. Eau Claire High School, Columbia

Five best

  1. Academic Magnet High School, North Charleston
  2. Palmetto Scholars Academy, North Charleston
  3. Dutch Fork High School, Dutch Fork Township
  4. Fort Mill High School, Fort Mill
  5. Charleston School of the Arts, North Charleston

MONTANA (MT)

Montana County Map by GeologyCorruption seems to be on the rise in Montana (PI). Either that or it might be that the Attorney General’s office seems to vigilantely pursue political corruption. One such case is Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl vs. Republican State Rep. Art Wittich (MFP).

«In Montana, adults may purchase and openly carry firearms without a permit. However, you must obtain a concealed handgun permit to carry a concealed gun on (or near) your body.» (CDL)

Coal feeds the power plants in Montana. That and fracking are major contributors to pollution (MEIC). Waterways have long been contaminated with mercury, lead and other dangerous chemicals (HCN). There is still a ways to go before lakes, rivers and streams are all assessed (EPA).

Poverty and crime

Twenty percent of children living in Montana live under the Federally mandated poverty index number (NCCP). None of Montana’s counties lists among the 100 lowest income counties in the US.

Montana does not have a city listed in the 100 most dangerous cities in the US.

Schools

The five schools in Montana with the lowest scores are:

  1. Browning High School, Browning
  2. Poplar High School, Poplar
  3. Moore High School, Moore
  4. Columbia Falls High School, Columbia Falls
  5. Lame Deer High School, Lame Deer

The five schools with the highest scores are:

  1. Bozeman High School, Bozeman
  2. Ennis High School, Ennis
  3. Choteau High School, Choteau
  4. Powder River County High School, Broadus
  5. Red Lodge High School, Red Lodge

Sources:

!!This document was updated 18th April 2016!!