Saturday, May 19, 2018

Crash Test Dummies

The young man was on a homicidal suicidal mission in Texas that now in the midst of prayers and wishes comes "I knew it would happen" to add to the lexicon following a shooting.

Again this is where we are with the idea of mass shootings, knowing it will happen, followed by prayers, idiotic concepts by the NRA which now includes fewer doors and then onto the next.

I have been quite clear that I have a bad feeling about Nashville and their need to be a part of the big dog pack, the endless violence by teens throughout the city and a Police force that seems a blend of idiocy and racist with their odd handling of the Waffle House shooting versus the Mas Tacos one and the one at Opry Mills Mall.  None of them seemed to have any consistent logic and plan of action other than fortuitous good luck of observant citizens.

When I recall the shooting outside Seattle a few years back a Substitute claimed to have tried to warn the school and then was later found out to be confused and was named in a lawsuit which the district extricated themselves as she was not a full time employee of the district despite the fact that she was hired and compensated by the Marysville School District, go figure.

Three years ago during a three hour lockdown at Ballard High School I was subbing, but for some reason I got the luck of the draw and I had an amazing group of kids who just were calm but scared and I spoke to a parent or two and promised the kids we would be fine.  I wasn't planning on dying and neither were they as I just felt it.   The two other Teachers, one a SPED and another an aid, were useless so I was relieved that it was a false alarm.  But I knew that early on as one does (I can't explain it but the halls were quiet and the time so long as we have learned it is usually quick loud and chaotic)  and so by hour two I laughed and said to the kids we would be fine and I needed to date a Hotty Swattie.  As soon it was over I went back to the room cleaned it put backpacks on desks, righted the order so the kids would come into a clean space without any lingering unpleasantness.  And it was just that but that did not stop the  SPED teacher after it was over to reprimand me.  Really? And why I suspect is because Substitutes are crash test dummies.  As Substitutes we are all right to work employees and are not covered by the same insurance/workman comp nor eligible for unemployment, pension or health care through the district; however, we are required to possess all the licenses and credentials of Teachers and adhere to the district's policies. What are we? We are Crash Test Dummies.

Here in Tennessee we need to only have a fingerprint clearance and in turn some college the rest notsomuch. This year the District attempted to outsource some hard to place schools and in turn use an agency like Kelly Girls to find Substitutes.  I have heard nothing about its success or failure in regards to placement or quality of subs but I suspect in the budget crunch they will be taking over that office full time.  Fine by me I have no idea who is in the Metro Office nor do I care and I suspect that is mutual as they have no interest in communicating with any sub about any issue and I suspect few schools file complaints as did those in Seattle over Subs.  Many subs were banned from buildings and in turn often written up and reviewed and as we were members of the Union we had to pay dues and in turn had high daily wages, ability to build seniority, in turn have benefits and sick days.

We were paid to train and in turn had access to information, had emails and correspondence with Teachers and schools through the district email.  I doubt the Sub Office knows I have said email as they said we were not to have log ons when I went to the first and only training meeting.   Again we are crash test dummies and in turn need to be treated as such.

But we are in every classroom and in some cases we staff schools full time. And yet we get nothing.  So again when the Teacher here left the absurd lesson plan with take the kids to the small gym, get equipment and in turn lock it up or they will steal it my response was: "No fucking way."  Again the kids did not hear my explanation that it was about liability insurance and security of which I was not covered so I would not be able to meet that request, they just droned on and on and on.  So let's try to imagine me during a crisis trying to get their attention and in turn cooperation to follow instructions during a lockdown.  They are incapable of it and frankly I don't think they have a clue on how to self manage their emotions during a regular school day let alone a crisis.

So as the victims list has been released there was  a Substitute Teacher.  I know for a fact I will ensure that I am never on said list and with only 8 months before I wind down and out I plan on keeping that promise.



Santa Fe shooting: substitute teacher and Pakistani student among victims

Ten killed and 10 wounded in shooting at Texas high school
‘It’s happening everywhere’: Santa Fe saddened but not surprised after high school shooting

Associated Press in Santa Fe, Texas

Sat 19 May 2018 0

A substitute teacher who relatives said had a “lust for life” and a foreign exchange student from Pakistan were among the first confirmed victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school.
Santa Fe shooting: 'Thoughts and prayers' met with louder calls for change
Read more

Among those injured on Friday were a school resource officer and a sophomore baseball player.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, was held on a capital murder charge after authorities said he fatally shot 10 people and wounded 10 others at his high school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles south-east of Houston.

Family members confirmed that substitute teacher Cynthia Tisdale was among those killed. Tisdale’s niece, Leia Olinde, said Tisdale was like a mother to her and helped her shop for wedding dresses last year.

“She helped me put it on, she helped fix my hair,” Olinde, 25, said through tears. “She was wonderful. She was just so loving. I’ve never met a woman who loved her family so much.”

She said Tisdale was married to her husband for close to 40 years and that the two had three children and eight grandchildren. Tisdale’s house was the center for family gatherings and she loved cooking Thanksgiving dinner and decorating her house, Olinde said.

Olinde’s fiance, Eric Sanders, said of Tisdale that “words don’t explain her lust for life and the joy she got from helping people”.

According to a leader at a program for foreign exchange students and the Pakistani Embassy in Washington DC, Pakistani student Sabika Sheikh was also killed.

Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program (YES), sent a letter to students in the program confirming the news. “Please know that the YES program is devastated by this loss and we will remember Sabika and her families in our thoughts and prayers,” Lysaght wrote.

She said the program would be holding a moment of silence for the girl, who was pictured beaming in a shirt that said “Texas” in a photo being shared on social media.

Lysaght declined further comment when contacted by the Associated Press and referred calls to a state department spokesman. The Pakistan Embassy in Washington identified Sheikh as a victim of the shooting on Twitter and wrote that “our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends”.

The Pakistan Association of Greater Houston said on Facebook Sabika was due to go home for Eid al-Fitr, a three-day holiday that marks the end of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

“May Allah bless her soul and may she RIP,” the statement said.

Among the wounded, school police officer John Barnes was shot in the arm when he confronted the gunman. A bullet damaged the bone and a major blood vessel around Barnes’ elbow, which required surgery to repair, said David Marshall, chief nursing officer at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He said Barnes was in stable condition. Barnes was the first to engage Pagourtzis, according to Marshall.

Sophomore baseball player Rome Shubert said the gunman walked into his classroom and tossed something on to desks. Shubert told the Houston Chronicle he then heard “three loud pops” before the attacker fled into the hall. Shubert said he realized he had been wounded as he was running out of the back door.

Shubert sid he was hit in the back of his head with what he says was a bullet, but that it “missed everything vital”. He also tweeted that he was OK and stable.

On Saturday, a hospital treating three of the injured said one patient, a minor, was in good condition. The other two patients were in critical condition.

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