Monday, November 5, 2018

Dance Dance Dance

I live in Trump country and tomorrow the lesser of two evils - Bresden and Dean - will be elected Senator and Governor respectively or we are fucked frankly. I have no idea why a Plumber feels he would be qualified to run for elected office and in turn actually get elected right there should tell you all you need to know about the fucktards here.

As I have said many many times the concept of Southern Hospitality is an anathema and the phrase the Nashville Way means Nashville Crazy and there is no crazy like it. The faux liberalism masks a faux intellectualism that is defined by the endless nodding and affirmation when in conversation that seems to give the impression they are knowledgeable about the subject and have great familiarity with the issues at hand. Of course the actual percent of degree holders, those with degrees from Secular institutions and have work and employment that is compensated appropriately would be of course another indicator that one has managed to achieve a type of success equivalent to one well educated and informed. Bitch please!  Literacy here runs about one-fourth of the population with only one third degree holders.  The voting records show us as the fewest registered voters in the country voting in fact irony only one-third of the population votes or the same number of degree holders and yet we are highly red in our political shade. Go figure.  Of those that identify as Evangelical in Nashville it runs at just over 50%.  So again that rarely reflects a well educated and sophisticated populace.

When I go to the schools I shudder and today was no different.  I am off tomorrow as they chose to make this a Conference day as many schools are polling places and in turn needed for the rare time people vote and funny they have been so go figure!   But today was a coin with two sides. The IB cohort of kids working for the prestigious International Baccaluerate degree were on task and independent workers. They were reasonably polite and pretty much were not an issue. I pretended to take attendance and promptly threw it out as they had me running up and down stairs to cover another class during the down times when this Teacher did not have classes.   So I can only do so much and that pushed it.  I realize that they can't manage subs so managing attendance is not my problem and as one class was all Seniors who cares and the other class was rotating with one sub after another over the day so again who cares.  But this was where the issue of race and class became apparent.  The IB class was all white with some faces of color.  The other was a Spanish class entirely composed of Black Students.   The behavior and disorder was obvious as the Teacher had left plans noting that one class was a problem and do the following to maintain order.   Wrong I do nothing.   This school has instituted a lot of new plans including bathroom times and dress code with the Teachers noting those out of code. Funny when that happened in Los Angeles it ended with a beat down. So no not doing that either.    Here is what you get from me - seat filling.

I again have made it my business to note race, gender and ethnicity when I foresee a problem as I am doing it to somehow find balance and equity but the schools here are largely faces of color and funny in a  nearby charter school with largely faces of color they found that without the same constraints that public schools face regarding discipline, the charter suspends the faces of color at higher rates than the minority population which in this case is white.  So someone explain this to me?  This is a school run by faces of color, administered and taught by the same and in turn in a largely poor and minority area so they are well aware of the problems of the students and families that surround the school so how is this working?  It isn't.   I can no longer try to rationalize, excuse or explain it as just poverty as there is a distinct culture here that crosses race and that sense of entitlement and arrogance enables the schools to ignore or at least in some sort of passive racism allow it.   When you excuse an act as something that "those people" do and not hold everyone to equal standards and expectations is a type of racism and that defines what I feel is the institutional racism that exist  and bizarre type of co-dependent behavior that crosses boundaries for those poor, particularly faces of color and those in positions of authority.  And that again crosses race and gender which again may explain some of the problems with sexual issues that plague the schools here.

But the reality is that some of this is not exclusive to Nashville the crazy shit they do here, mocking people and demeaning them literally to their face then when confronted deny it, this is in fact the Nashville Way,  but that the ignoring, excusing or explaining the rest about behaviors and expectations with regards to children who are poor and particularly minorities,  that crosses state lines. I saw this in Seattle the endless buttons, t-shirts, protests and like which did nothing but made everyone feel better; however, it was at least some attempt at righting a societal problem that will take much much more than any Teacher or School could do alone and independently. Sorry but that is absurd as eventually you leave the school ground for the hard reality of the real world so helicopter that parents. 

And we have come to see that Teachers rape students, Teacher's take drugs, live in poverty as well and have all the same scars that life brings when you have lived a life.  I came to teaching because I loved history and literature and I wanted to share that passion and in turn hopefully enable some children to feel the same.  Ed Schools kill Teachers  (again a metaphor and figure of speech so don't send the cops) and what I am seeing of late the bodies are piling up as they are clueless on Teaching as a skill.  Teaching is also as an art that takes time and takes support in which to find the right balance of leading and guiding and in turn instructing children on the foundations of the subject you are equally skilled and knowledgeable about.  So you master two subjects - the field of teaching and that of the field in which you teach.  It ain't easy folks.  I urge people to learn to fail so they can learn to climb.  Funny how Silicon Valley preaches this ethic yet in education it is the last thing we allow.

I look forward to putting hard road between me and Nashville's Dumpsters that others call schools but they are horrific and I have long said rather than have take a child to work day, have bring a parent to school day and force them to spend the day with their child going down crowded halls, finding an unlocked toilet to use, eating the slop food, watching kids implode and Teachers struggle to gain a modicum of dignity.  Meet the Security personnel, the Janitors, the Lunch Ladies, the other members of the school that comprise its composition - from Social Workers to Instructional Aides.  NEVER.GOING.TO.HAPPEN.

Perhaps if parents were there this kind of bullshit would not happen as they would know these kids and their families and in turn mutual respect would be earned and deserved.  Seriously what this shit was is beyond my grasp but then again I have seen much of late that makes little sense.   Bullying is learned at home and at school and by adults it is not inherent in children it is LEARNED. 

The schoolteachers who dressed up as ‘Mexicans’ and a MAGA wall for Halloween have been suspended

The Washington Post 
By Eli Rosenberg
November 5 2018

An Idaho superintendent has issued a public apology and placed 14 employees on paid administrative leave after staff at a public elementary school dressed up as Mexicans and a border wall for Halloween.

The images began circulating on social media this week, and they depict more than a dozen adults dressed up in two groups at Middleton Heights Elementary School, in a town of about 7,500 located 30 miles west of Boise. One group is dressed up as stereotypes of Mexicans, replete with maracas, ponchos, sombreros and fake mustaches. The other group is dressed as wall segments plastered with the Make America Great Again slogan.

Staff dressed up as “Mexicans” and others as a “wall” on which it said “Make America Great Again” at an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Idaho.

Superintendent said there was not “malicious intent.”

“I want to say we are better than this,” Superintendent Josh Middleton said in a Facebook video Friday. “We embrace all students. We have a responsibility to teach and reach all students. Period. Do I think that there was a malicious intent in this poor decision? No, I don’t. Was there a poor judgment involved? Absolutely. And we now have to own those decisions.”

On Saturday morning, Middleton announced the employee actions during a special school board meeting, The Idaho Statesman reported. The board later said the investigation would continue.

“This type of behavior has no place in education and certainly is not tolerated here at Middleton School District. This situation is being taken very seriously,” part of the statement read. “This is an unfortunate incident of very poor judgment. Yet it is not indicative of the Middleton School District or our teachers as a whole.”

The story had quickly taken off on Friday evening, drawing coverage in national news media outlets. Angry reactions flooded the school’s Facebook page. And social media responses were harsh.

“The fact that these elementary school teachers thought this would be okay demonstrates how much more cultural competence training is needed in education,” Kevin Nadal, a psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, wrote on Twitter.

After the teachers were suspended, a petition was created to argue that the controversy had been overblown and that the teachers involved shouldn’t lose their jobs. More than 12,000 people had signed as of Monday afternoon.

Middleton said that he had been initially alerted to the issue by a parent who expressed concern over the costumes last week.

“I was shown those photos and deeply troubled by the decision by our staff members to wear those costumes that are clearly insensitive and inappropriate,” he said. “Right now our time is going to be devoted to investigating those events and those poor decisions that were made.”

According to the Statesman, the photos were originally posted on the Middleton School District’s Facebook page with a caption reading, “It was a great day to be a Heights Hawk! We celebrated our RESPECT character winners, single and double marathon runners.”

The Halloween incident is another data entry in the long list of controversial, racially insensitive or historically ignorant costumes that inevitably get trotted out every year. But this incident also struck at the heart of an emotional political debate over immigration that has only grown more bitter in recent days in the lead-up to Tuesday’s elections, as President Trump has warned of an immigrant “invasion” and released a misleading ad about immigrants that was widely criticized as racist.

Twelve advocacy organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union’s chapter in the state, sent a letter to the district expressing concern about the costumes, the Statesman reported.

“Regardless of the intent of a teacher’s actions in the classroom, we must focus on and give weight to the impact of such actions on the students who rely on teachers and other school officials for guidance and support throughout their educational experience,” the ACLU of Idaho said in a statement. “School districts, their staff and other agents have obligations under federal law, state law, and district policies to prevent and protect students, staff, and others from discrimination, bullying, intimidation, and harassment.”

The Idaho Human Rights Commission, a state governing body, also weighed in on Friday night.

“Discrimination under these acts can occur when an employer or school allows a hostile environment to exist against persons because of their race, sex and national origin,” the commission said in a statement, according to the Idaho Press. “Simply because conduct takes place as a so-called joke does not excuse otherwise unlawful conduct.”

The school did not identify the staff members who wore the costumes.

About 13 percent of the students at the elementary school are Latino, according to data from Idaho Ed Trends.

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