Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bless This

The CMA Awards were last night here in Nashville and most of the downtown streets were closed for safety, ironically the safe word for all Nashville.  Mine for the record is Jeff Sessions.

But of course one artist, Sturgill Simpson, stood outside to denounce the original request to not ask about Guns.  I have no clue who this guy is but that should endear him to those against facism. Those who don't live in Tennessee.

I suggested a drinking game where you drink every time the word "Blessed" is used in conjunction with "Thanking God or Jesus" no Jews, Atheists, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindu, Buddhists or any other faith need to worry.  Why?  They won't win and if they do they are immediately converted to Christianity, its the "Nashville Way."  ***I am still unclear what that way is exactly so does anyone know the way to San Jose as I get the Valley's way, way more than Nashville's.

But as I suspected tributes/memorials/honors/histrionics abounded about the victims of the Vegas massacre.  I suspect (clearly I did not watch) that mention of the deaths in the Church in Texas were also mentioned as it was a Church damn it!   The one it Antioch probably not. The deaths in New York probably not.   The deaths at the Walmart probably not.  Nor were any of the other 500 plus victims of gun violence this year. 

Country Music is just one step below Congress being bought and owned by the NRA.  And I am sure there were no mentions of the Gay Predatory Publicist who was Nashville's Kevin Spacey.  Well he was Gay and we know how well Gay and Country mix, sort of like that with Black or Mexican.   Hey they have their own music!

Again this is an industry town and by industry for now that still is the Medical profession. The amount of hospitals and medical insurers located here.   The largest portion of the other industry is uninsured lowly paid music professionals just outside looking in.   At the last fundraiser in Centennial Park I heard over 50K are working without any job security which includes health care and other long term financial security.  So welcome there is a fake celebrity named bar calling your name to work for tips!  ***I love these joints they have three stories, music on every floor and named after some band or individual as if those idiots are going to be behind the bar some night flinging drinks.  There is your working for tips.

Right now I am waiting to get out of my home to go to work at the school down the road, the road blocked by the CSX trains as they do every day at both rush hours.  The city has authorized a soccer stadium to built just down this same road in a pitch to get an MLS club.  I pray no. To Jesus.

I pray every day I walk into a Nashville Public School.  I love when a Teacher leaves notes that say "Just ensure that they do the work and get on them." Right not going to happen.  These children are damaged beyond belief.  Regardless of the school I will encounter a black child (yes let's be frank here but I have had children of all colors be nuts but again I am sorry this is the reality) who will say something so bizarre and so distressing that I have no idea what to say anymore.  The issue of smell is the one that has been most common and the other is about my black clothing.  A young boy walked in and said immediately, "Why does this room smell funky?"  I responded, "That is just me, old white lady close to death, care to smell it closer?" And I thrust out my wrist.  He laughed.  The last week was the inquiry about me farting?  When I inquired if that is how I smelled I guess chili is out for dinner tonight and a trip to the Doctor may be in order to see if there is something wrong with me as I did not knowingly emit gas but again that may be a problem.  His response, "Jus playin wit you."   I said I was relieved as I was worried so good thing.  I disappointed him. The same with young girls commenting on my nose was it fixed? Did I have cats?  What is my favorite color as I am wearing black or am I a goth.   And they openly discuss this in my hearing and sight range before they ask me as if I am blind and deaf.  And all of these come from Children who are black.  Not African American as that is another entire group, like Mexican American, or Asian etc.  There are children from Africa so they take that moniker and American children are called black as many American black individuals have said they want nothing to do with African people due to their role in Slavery.  I actually think it is because they are largely Muslim but again I get it.  And I pretty much stick to the 70s anyway.

The schools here with the most violence are largely black and most of the youth violence affects that community and with some overlap into the Latino communities but nowhere near the level that affects the black community.  And for reasons that I am clear, it is not to be discussed.  We are not to mention anything to do with race and in turn never resolve the differences that have allowed this to happen and continue to happen until we do.  And we won't.

The schools have decided that the way to reduce suspensions is to install bizarre codes of ethics, restorative justice programs and in turn allow the students to run amok unchecked.  I watched a girl while I was standing there along with another Teacher in a classroom walk up to the board and write "Shut the fuck up" and I walked up and erased it and said to the other Teacher, "Is that acceptable?"  She then asked if I had a picture of it or did anyone see it?  Yes I, the 58 year old woman would lie about this and why? And the last time I had a phone out it was stolen so that is last thing I would do and again it is illegal to take photos of children here in class settings without permission.  This filed under YOUHAVEGOTTOBEFUCKINGKIDDINGME.  So she did write it up and all that this girl needed to do was apologize but again this is the reality.  It is why 99.9% of the time I take all the dry erase markers up and put them away.  The children here have no filters or boundaries in which to comprehend nor understand about how their behaviors, words and actions reflect on them.   This young lady was not black and I was relieved for once that is why I actually pursued it. Had she been black I would have erased it without comment.  The race card has been tossed so much that I am no longer willing to pick it up so like all people here in the South, ignore it. 

I do laugh at the scent shit because a few years ago a Teacher in Seattle had sever allergies and sent home letters to all Student's families asking them to restrain their children from wearing perfume, colognes or any scented hair products.   Charles Mudede a writer for the Stranger took that as a Racist comment as one of his children were in her class and used an olive oil based hair product and he felt that he should not be forced or obliged to meet the demands of a white woman.  It escalated, the Teacher took a leave and eventually later he transferred that child to a private school as there were other issues that needed addressing that had nothing to do with racist scent phobia allergic teachers.   That now seems mild in comparison to what I hear still goes on in Seattle schools but there is nothing like what goes on here on a daily basis.

Here in Nashville across the board in schools from elementary to high school there are many problems regarding the students and they inflict their rage on any Teacher regardless of their color.  The Teacher whom I subbed for last week out due to being head butted was an Asian woman and I met her yesterday and said that her students were amazing and they were. And why? That is a reflection of her and her skills as a Teacher.  I walk into many classes and cannot say the same and they are Elementary, Middle and High Schools. I am down to half days only in middle schools they are that bad. Even the woman in the room with me that morning with fuck off writing said, "Cancel all your gigs here, I would."  Nuff said.

Think Cuntry music would help us with this?  Well the school I am at today he donated a music room.  Okay then.  Magic Johnson was a Maplewood school where you go to learn to sexually harass and abuse people and what a great opportunity to discuss violence or homosexuality and bullying as his son is very very gay.  And the Black community has issues with regards to this and yet nothing. It was the same old same old get an education.  Sure if you live that long.

Hell Donald Trump and Melania could do wonders for learning disabilities as I and another Special Education teacher were discussing Baron. Yes he is clearly on the spectrum but nope just stop vaccinations that will resolve it.  Like mental health providers diagnosing everyone in America to see who is prone to gun violence in their entire life.  Do we get it like a Drivers License every 5 years?

I am done excusing and explaining that poverty and in turn one's color thanks to the ever increasing rich white men who have done little more than protect their own enhanced America's racial divide.  I have said repeatedly that many Immigrants who come here are the most conservative as they have experienced first hand a poverty and violence that few here remotely understand and in turn that may explain why they too turn to violence as a response when the reality and the isolation mix in. The ones who successfully integrate are all life long Republicans.  Dinesh  D'Souza anyone?   That said, I have never done one goddamm thing to any child or individual of color in my life deliberately to hurt them. If I have done so inadvertently it was not due to their color or faith or sexuality.  I have gone out of my way trying to justify, assist and excuse these same children to the point of overlooking and ignoring those who might have benefited from my help more and that is my one regret in teaching.  I think of the kids and by the way I know which ones I failed, I failed, due to the endless demands made on me to help those kids who simply are so broken and damaged they should have been placed in environments that would have enabled them to get the kind of help they needed.  The reality of it is I am not privileged and white, I am just white.  I am a woman and I have my own cross to bear and we are all in this together and should lift each other but we do not.  If there is one thing I have learned here since moving to Nashville, Trump is a walking talking example of what I see everyday here.   The New Yorker is very Southern indeed.

It is why I finally am bailing on Teaching.  I can't pick and choose, I got to work with the cards I am dealt and they too worn out to even assess what you can do with them.  Cards is a mental agility game and I can't keep playing.  It also explains why we see this push towards racism. Americans now are much like the same immigrants that are arriving from war torn damaged countries and they plant resentment and anger towards whatever target they feel is somehow taking what is theirs.  Gee ya think getting bombed out and your village destroyed would be the topper but in America nope.  Every beggar here is a chooser.  I have never seen anything quite like what we see now when it comes to taking jobs, food or any number of offers that come one's way when one is in trouble.  I love the homeless lady I clean out my pantry every week and take her my leftovers refused my peanut butter crackers as she does not like them. Okay then!

And will I take her a menu next time? Nope. I am over giving her anything.  Even I am not above refusal.    So in turn we have to destroy everything as a rebuke for the audacity of saying no. And when one takes said gigs or asks for help from the Government they are presumed weaker and therefore in Survival of the Fittest they must be removed.  It is Lord of the Flies only of a larger scale.

And that is what is taking place in the schools. When I read this from last spring before the end of the school year it did not surprise me.  I heard, saw, knew of much of it and there is nothing I can do. Nothing.  And I want no part of being a complicit enabler of this.  This being Institutional Racism, Cultural traditions, Class Warfare. None of it.   God Bless us everyone!

School violence among reasons teachers leaving Metro
By Joseph Pleasant Published: April 27, 2017,

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Unruly students, fights in school, and a lack of support from campus administrators are among the top motivating factors for teachers leaving the Metro-Nashville school district.

“We will have, from time to time, positions where there are three different people in it within one school year,” said Dr. Erick Huth with Metro Nashville Education Association. “In some cases, a teacher will resign the same day they start.”

Metro Schools employs around 11,000 teachers to handle a student population of around 86,000 kids.

“There appears to be a district-wide effort by principals to diminish the reporting of events of violence,” Dr. Huth said. ”It is one of the things we saw to some extent last year, and I think it is more serious this year.”

Information about the number of assaults by students on Metro campuses was not available at the time of this article.

Dr. Huth said changes implemented to the student code of conduct and the consequences for violating the code of conduct last year impacted student behavior.

“We went from a system where there were prescribed punishments for certain infractions,” he said. “The district eliminated all of those prescribed punishments. The result has been that the reporting of assaults and fights involving students has diminished.”

Another result, Dr. Huth said, is more unruly students who do not fear punishment.

“We have reports from teachers that students will charge them, butt them with their heads, and there is nothing that happens to the student,” he explained to News 2. “Students throw desks, students throw desks and chairs, and nothing happens.”

He continued, “What we need is the system to take some of these acts of violence more seriously and actually have a punishment instead what they are doing right now, which is talking to students and sending them back to class.”

Dr. Huth provided messages sent from teachers at a Metro middle school that he forwarded to the central office.

One of the messages said:

There was a fight Monday, March 13 during the 7th and 8th grade lunch transition. Coach who monitors all the lunches, was calling for help on the walkie. Ms. [Redacted] and I ran down to assist. One of the boys in this fight was in the gang fight two weeks ago.

The guidance counselor was reprimanded after this fight for saying this school isn’t safe, our kids are not safe. A student has not been to any of her classes since 3/1/17. She is so scared of some girls who threatened to fight her that she hides in other grade level classes. She is so scared that she is hiding out and not doing any of her work. Administration is aware of this and nothing has been done.

Teachers would like a climate survey so our concerns can be heard and addressed. Students have also voiced their concerns and how they are no consequences for anything that happens. Safety has been mentioned by students in several classrooms. The students also mentioned that students who are suspended still come to school and are allowed to stay at school even though they are suspended. This is true and it happens daily.

In a separate message, a teacher wrote:

I need to alert you to what is happening at our school. Yesterday, we had another gang fight. It was really bad and brutal. Students arrested, being taken out on stretchers, etc. All because our principal could not get rid of one student that came back to us from ALC after Christmas. He has promoted gangs and has caused many other students to act out. This is our second gang fight in two weeks and the teachers here do not feel safe. This student basically does what he wants around here and when you speak out on him and his actions, you are looked down on.

News 2 sent those messages to Metro Schools, who replied with the following statement:

Every day, principals in Metro Schools make decisions to manage student behavior. The district is making strides to provide more training and resources to support principals in this work.

As part of the district’s school culture and climate reform efforts, the district is developing a multi-tiered support system that includes academic and behavioral management. The district is working with the Tennessee Department of Education, CASEL, local providers, and schools to improve processes and procedures to maintain staff and student safety.

This includes plans for trainings for all administrators and staff on schoolwide behavioral management plans, classroom management best practices, and how to provide appropriate consequences for behavior while helping students overcome the barriers they may face.

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