Friday, April 20, 2018

The Trash Heap

I put this article up as I live a block away from this school and until the school staffing was placed into the hands of an outside staffing service I went quite a bit.  It was there I was robbed of a cell phone that I planned on replacing and in turn it enabled me to extricate myself from a school that despite the proximity has been in my range of terror for quite some time.

I have seen the Police there many times and witnessed the insanity that comprises what one would refer to as a school but it has few to no elements that define and compose a school.  The doors are locked constantly and by those I mean the classrooms, the access doors and the toilets.  I have long referred to the schools as Garbage Dumps, the System a form of Waste Management and I am the human colostomy bag as I am treated like shit by largely the Adults and then the children who mirror them.

It is always difficult to think of children as human waste but this is what our schools have become and Teachers and Students are walking out across the nation for this reason, be it for funding, salaries or safety the years of neglect have finally hit the breaking point. The schools are segregated by class first then race.  It is easy to marginalize people by dangling fake carrots such as Charters, Magnet Schools and other "programs" that Parents will believe lend their child opportunity and advancement but in reality those are zero sum games.

Public Education used to be a rung on the ladder to meritocracy it is now a ladder with fewer rungs as the funding, the support, the training and the opportunity has dwindled away.  Perhaps Tennessee got it better than anyone as they have consistently been in the bottom five of states with regards to funding, to graduation rates, to college attendance.  They have no collective bargaining, it is right to work state, they have low wages and low voter registration and turnout. They give the big F to what it means to be a "socialized" state and it shows.

And it is why I do look at the Teachers I encounter with suspicion.  Are they part of the problem or are they just wanting to try to be a part of the solution?  It is not an easy read as the manner and lack of awareness is mind boggling.  I doubt any read a newspaper and when I met a Teacher yesterday at a middle school I had never been to I was not sure what to make of it all. The school was testing and it seemed unorganized in the way it was managed.  The school itself is in an isolated area that on route I passed trailer parks and mini malls with new apartment housing being constructed that would undoubtedly push those already on the fringe further out.   She herself had just come back from medical leave that began in November and found her room in chaos, three subs had passed through and one had enabled students to access chemicals and bunson burners which could have ended badly.  She had little to say good about Subs and I informed her that I felt the same way about Teachers. The poor to inadequate lesson plans, no seating charts, contact information, names of students who were the problems and advice on how to handle them.  NOTHING about SPED, ELL or any special needs of students were accessible. The lack of keys to secure belongings, the taking one gig to be handed over to another.  The lousy pay structure, the lack of communication, the increasing violence and in turn no actual respect or acknowledgement as I shared with her that I was told by a Teacher that I did not need to do any of that or need that as I simply was someone who passed a fingerprint check.  Okay then.  So the district offers no support, they offer no paid training, have poor communication and the schools in turn don't care so what do you expect. At some point the Principal should have been engaged and involved with the Sub to ensure that they were facilitating learning, a fellow Teacher should have been there to assist in finding appropriate lesson plans and classroom management.  All  things that assist in facilitating a child's learning.  That is not solely the problem on the ill trained and lack of experienced Sub. You get what you pay for.    But I said if you treat people with dignity and respect you find in kind that they return it and that is what the children see, they model and they in turn demonstrate. And in turn more people would be willing to do the job, would see it as an entry way to a career, could work as a ParaPro or any other front line gigs that help Subs see the purpose and function to the job.  But when you get nothing you well get nothing It is why the other day I experienced the amazing rudeness of children and later saw that expressed to the Vice Principal as little is expected and in turn little is shown so why do we care when the other Adults in the room don't.

I knew of this story as I was coming home that day and heard of it via my neighbors.  I saw a brief story on the local crime report, whoops I mean news, and today when I read the details I realized that this was pure insanity. I met the Cop there and he is an asshole so getting hit I have no pity for him. I am not sure who the Teacher was but that is not the first nor the last in that place they call a school.

This week the State Legislature had to actually vote and devise to a bill regarding the fiasco that is testing and I am not sure that is nothing more than kicking this can down the road.  And you know where cans finally end up?  The trash heap.

14 arrests, student and officers injured in brawl at Nashville school
Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee Published 2:05 p.m. CT April 19, 2018 | Updated 3:25 p.m. CT April 19, 2018

Police have arrested 14 students on charges including assault on a teacher and assault on police officers after a series of fights broke out this week at a Nashville public school.

Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said officers responded to Johnson Alternative Learning Center at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday after fights began breaking out at the school at 1200 2nd Ave. S., just south of downtown.

The melee began when two students began fighting in a portable classroom behind the school, Aaron said.

During that fight, a 13-year-old female student assaulted a teacher inside the classroom. The teacher was not seriously injured. That same student, Aaron said, also assaulted two police officers as they worked to take the girl into custody.

During the fight, a second 13-year-old student broke out several windows in the portable classroom. At the same time, another 13-year-old male student broke out windows inside the school principal's office, Aaron said. Paramedics transported the boy to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to be treated for a minor hand injury.

Meanwhile, authorities said, additional fights broke out in the school's main building and parking lot.
Once the initial disturbance was stabilized, Aaron said, several smaller fights again broke out in the main building. During one of those fights, a 14-year-old student struck an officer in the face multiple times, Aaron said. The officer did not suffer major injuries.

In all, police arrested 14 students, the bulk of them on disorderly conduct charges. Others face charges including resisting arrest, vandalism, assault on a teacher and assault on police officers.
Metro schools spokeswoman Michelle Michaud said each student involved will face disciplinary action. She did not elaborate.

She also said the school's security has been ramped up following the incident.

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