Friday, July 3, 2020

Back to School

The Fourth of July is normally the mid point of summer, with families scheduling vacations around this date and the hot days of this month are marked by summer camps and other extracurriculars that have kids still socializing and experiencing some type of emotional and intellectual stimulation if not growth.  Right, that is if you have money and access.  Few if any programs exist other than local community centers that like the rest of the services for the great unwashed are quite limited.  Needless to say the antiquated notion of school running for nine months a year with the summer off might have to go the way with the rest of our former ideas on how to manage and operate the United States. Let's face it folks, when Grocery Store workers, delivery drivers, public transportation operators and those others without degrees or established professional identities (think cooks, cleaners and other lower elements to the totem pole) are considered "essential" then we have a lot to rethink.  They were lumped in with Doctors and other medical professionals or "front line workers" who were there to basically do their job in surreal circumstances, and again those circumstances are the same with the kids going to camp, academy's and the like during summer break, the staff that work at wealthy hospitals that serve wealthy families.  I have already put up the story about New York's crisis with regards to how patients were treated, no, handled in public hospitals when they landed there for treatment.  If they were lucky they were shoved to the naval ship or the Javitz Center or the religious tent in Central Park but those numbers were few and far between and many never made it out of the hospital in anything but a body bag.

Yes American medical care is exceptional in that it has two classes of patients - the have and the have nots.  I am 99.9% sure that is why Harborview Hospital mistreated me in 2012 as they did not verify my insurance until after I was dismissed and in turn the damage was already done.  Anyone setting foot in that shithole well good luck to you, its only a miracle I did not die from their mistreatment and I suspect many have been now and no one will ever know as they don't have a massive newspaper with resources to cover this story as most other cities do either so those stories will go untold and the bodies dumped in the potter's field or thrown into storage trucks parked on roadsides as they are here.

**and for the record the local presses have been very active in uncovering major scandals.. It was the Keating 5 that came out of local press and the story about Boeing from The Seattle Times and there are many many more, The Boston Herald as the Priest scandal that without their local investigative journalism many stories like these would go unknown and the culprits on with their lives, like now but without a good movie. ****

In fact many of the unclaimed belongings are lost in the halls, closets or trash bins never to find a home or place to rest as well. Again if you think that staff aren't stealing some of these things, think again. Drug theft is the most common (and that includes Doctors as well)  but they take whatever is not locked down if you don't believe me,  ask this Nurse. I find it a miracle that I walked out with any jewelry or belongings from my incident.  Nurses are two bit cunts, and many others who work inside are lowly paid persons who frankly are largely ignored exploited workers, so they likely steal to use it to pawn.  I suspect why they have not raided that cookie jar is largely due to the fact that everyone is so bloody scared of Covid they aren't touching that shit but what they can take, they will.  Again its hard to think of these "heroes" doing such a thing, yeah remember when you felt that way about Cops?

Here is the next casualty on the horizon, public schools and universities.  The reality is that States are driven by the budget crisis to cut everything from everything. So if you think public health and education are already cut to the bone, think again.  This is an irony on top of a crisis as now more than ever how schools and hospitals go forward will be a demanding if not expensive operation for decades to come. And in fact should be the norm as to ensure that parity and equity are finally achieved for all those who don't have the privileges afforded them for being just essential workers.  I do find that hilarious that the dude who poured my coffee everyday and the other who brought my food had bigger role than my Accountant and Attorney whom I have not spoken to since this began is something that doesn't surprise me, as I rarely did and they are both new having fired the last Accountant and had just contacted the Attorney to set up some business trust and get my estate in order.  Again more irony.   I have no idea if we ever will meet or I will find someone else as I never wrote a check or followed up after the quarantine went down.  So much for essential.

I don't think any public teacher wants to set foot in any classroom without heavy duty protections in place, the same go with College Professors.  The reality is that the two cohorts who have the most problem following instructions and complying with order are kids, regardless of age.  I actually think of all kids, High Schoolers, would be the most easiest to work with as they are just of an age to rationalize what this means, the worst middle schoolers.  Then of course those in the first year or two of College are equally disrespectful as they have entitlement tattooed on their forehead as they are convinced their entrance means they are special, like everyone else.  What.ever.  So after binge drinking, pledging a Fraternity and then drugging some girl up to rape behind a dumpster I am sure they have no problem monitoring their health, wearing a mask and following social distance protocols.

This is what current Academics are saying with regards to returning to campus. And this will also be the guidelines for those in K-12 as who do you think are telling the White Daddies what to do. This is the "brain trust" who come up with these ideas, then go "Fuck this is not working out." Because trying to tell people how to behave and guide human behavior when they won't listen, don't care, assume its a game, political, fraud, made up, will go away, the fault of some Chinese person or whatever other bullshit falls out of the mouth of Trump, tells you everything you need to know in why this shit is hitting the fan.  Then you have a media whose sole job is to not actually ask questions, seek varying opinions and follow stories that have the ability to fact check and substantiate, you got more problems. As I have read repeatedly stories that contradict, stories that have odd blank or missing facts without any critical analysis offered.   We have seen opinion pieces and ads published without editorial oversight and more importantly, actual scientific reports printed only to be retracted days and weeks later without any real warning noted at print time advising  that this may not be all that and a bag of chips has instead become the daily Covid Caller.   And these are from the papers that have serious reputations that over the years despite their own roles in major fuckups, (Iran, that one was bad there NYT) (oh and the Post you ain't innocent either)  they are still considered the bellwether; so, when they screw it up we are screwed. Folks, most people are idiots, just ask the bleach drinkers.

And these same bleach drinkers breed, right there a problem, but do you honestly expect their children to be these compliant, well behaved individuals intent on following instructions and monitoring their behavior? Have you ever been to a public school?  They barely managed online learning, disrupting those classes when and if they ever showed.  So again, what about school?

Just ask these Teachers in Texas, hot bed for Covid 20 which seems worse than Covid 19. And of course the fish stinks from the head and so the White Daddies are putting this all on local districts without any guidance, let alone actual facts on how to do this, so I think this is like hospitals. The rich get all the goodies and the poor, well they can do what they always do, sink or swim.  Oh don't know how to swim? Well yeah that costs extra and we don't have any extra sauce for you kid.  Oh shit, (pun intended)  it is like Chipolte.  From parking lot fights to gun toting crazies if there is not another reason to set foot in that fast food dump there it is.  That place was a hot bed of norovirus numerous times,  you know like Covid, but less deadly.  So again if you think all these fights and furies are bad now, just wait.

Texas Teachers Consider Leaving The Classroom Over COVID-19 Fears

The Association of Texas Professional Educators recently surveyed some 4,200 educators. About 60% said they were concerned about their health and safety heading into the 2020-21 school year.

Laura Isensee | Posted on June 30, 2020,

For 40 years, Robin Stauffer has taught high school English in seven different school districts in three different states. Most recently, Advanced Placement English in Katy, where she says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted.

But since the pandemic hit, a question has nagged at her: Is it time to retire?

“I was very upset and sad. I was torn. I went back and forth,” Stauffer said.

On the one hand, she isn’t ready to leave the classroom. She’s still passionate about why she joined the profession in the first place: “To be the type of teacher that I wish I would have had when I was in public school, to kind of right the wrongs that I experienced.”

On the other hand, she knows how hard it is to maintain a campus with thousands of students. Before COVID-19, district administrators in Katy reduced their custodial staff, and it was often up to teachers to clean their own rooms.

“They don’t supply hand sanitizer. They don’t supply wipes. None of these supplies were ever given to us. You just used what you had or what teachers themselves purchased,” she said.

Stauffer waited for the Katy Independent School District to release safety plans for back-to-school. Instead, she’s seen what she called a “back-to-normal” attitude.

And then she had to consider her health: She’s 66 years old, has diabetes and a family history of heart disease, all making her more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

“I just don’t trust the school district to safeguard my health during this pandemic,” she said.

Like Stauffer, many Texas teachers are on edge and considering leaving the profession even as the state’s education commissioner has declared it “safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall.”

As many as one in five U.S. educators say they’re unlikely to return to the classroom because of the coronavirus, according to a national survey conducted before Texas indicated its light-handed approach to reopening schools.

“There are people that have already made the decision to quit,” said Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers. “There’s certainly a lot of people that are considering it. I’ve heard from others as well, too. They’re single parents and they don’t have a lot of choice.”

“So they’re depending on us,” Capo said, “to help make sure that they are afforded as much safety as possible in doing that. So that’s what keeps me moving.”

Higher risk

Nearly one-third of U.S. teachers are 50 years or older, according to federal data. That puts them at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus. And the publication Education Week has identified more than 300 school staff and former educators who’ve died from COVID-19.

“There’s obviously a lot of fear because there are so many unanswered questions,” said Noel Candelaria, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.

He says school staff with underlying health conditions are also concerned. Consider his own family: Candelaria is married to Patty, who is a dyslexia therapist and has had three surgeries to fix a congenital heart defect.

“There are educators, like my wife, who if the districts do not provide an alternative method for them to do their job from home without exposing themselves, (they) are seriously considering a medical leave,” Candelaria said.

Texas public school districts are still waiting for safety and health guidelines from the Texas Education Agency. They were scheduled to be released last week, but were delayed after the Texas Tribune published draft rules indicating few mandatory safety measures.

That has weighed on many teachers.

“We can’t just talk about student health and safety without talking about educator health and safety, because they’re sharing the same space,” Candelaria said.

The Association of Texas Professional Educators recently surveyed some 4,200 educators. About 60% said they were concerned about their health and safety heading into the 2020-21 school year.

Sso far, however, that concern hasn’t translated into an increase in retirements. Nearly 22,000 teachers and state employees have retired this fiscal year, compared to about 25,000 last year, according to the Teacher Retirement System.

Few mandates

Gov. Greg Abbott has said districts will have some flexiblity in implementing safety protocols, and allowing families to continue remote learning.

“The state has already made allocations and is prepared to continue allocations of masks for schools, allowing, I think, for a level of flexibility at the local school district level to make the best determinations for the schools in that district about what the mask requirement should be,” Abbott told KBTX-TV in a recent interview.

But, the Republican governor has told state lawmakers Texas won’t mandate schools to require face coverings or test for COVID-19 symptoms.

“It was really shocking because it seems like nobody cares what’s going to happen in the schools,” said Kristen McClintock, who’s taught special education for six years at a large Houston high school.

She has a newborn and a toddler at home and doesn’t want to expose them to the virus. Nor does she want to expose her students with disabilities, whom she says she misses a lot.

“We’re almost like a family,” McClintock said. “So it’s been really hard to not be able to see them for months. I want to see some of them graduate next year”

But every night she and her husband discuss if they can afford for her to quit and rely on his income as an online tutor.

“It would cut our finances in half,” she said. “We would have to lean on support probably from family to try and get by.”

No choice

McClintock is still deciding. First, she wants to see more health data and detailed plans from the Houston Independent School District.

But veteran educator Stauffer has made up her mind. She turned in her resignation in May.

“All my life, I’ve been a teacher,” Stauffer said. “That is who I am. And to give up my identity, it will be challenging, but I don’t feel like I had another choice.”

She cleaned out her classroom, said goodbye to students over Zoom and didn’t have any real celebration.

That is, until some of her colleagues surprised her with a car parade, waving signs and balloons as they drove by — a fitting end to a 40-year career, in the age of COVID-19.

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