Dress code strikes again.  

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An 8 year old girl was suspended for wearing the wrong shade of green.According to this story being  reported by the local FOX affiliate, a New Jersey girl was suspended for wearing a shade other than “dark.”

Here is another example of the school system being focused on what your kids are wearing to school because they think that for some reason if you’re not in uniform you can’t learn properly.  

That’s right kids, carve yourselves into those little round pegs that we need for these little round holes and don’t even think about trying do think for yourselves.

Dress code doesn’t allow for American Flag undershirt

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Sorry for the posting delay folks.  I have been waiting to get my computer back from Microsoft.  This post is coming from my phone because I thought it was too crazy to leave alone.  Apparently a student in Texas was suspended for wearing an American Flag t shirt under a hoodie.  He was asked to raise his hoodie to show the shirt to his teacher who then placed him into “in school suspension” because students are only allowed to wear solid color shirts with a few exceptions.  Later the principal stated the teacher misinterpreted the code and that the reprimand wouldn’t go onto his “permanent record”. Which is a line that makes me chuckle every time I hear it.
  Click here to see the news report

Irving Student Arrested for bringing home-made clock to school

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clockkid

And the hits just keep on coming folks!  According to this story in the Dallas News, a fourteen year old boy who invents things with spare parts at his home, decided to bring a homemade clock to school to show his engineering teacher.  When the clock’s alarm went off in another class, his English teacher took the clock and said it looked like a bomb.  Ahmed told her it was a clock but she kept it anyway.  He was then pulled out of a later class by the principal and a police officer.  Now to this point I don’t have a problem with the way the incident was handled, there was a concerned teacher, the principal got involved and further involved the authorities to get to the bottom of the situation.  But its what happens next that got me so pissed off I couldn’t even post this on the blog yesterday.

Ahmed was lead to a room where four additional officers waited to interrogate him.  I’m not sure of the laws in Texas but I would think a parent or attorney needs to be present prior to this kid being questioned.  That’s strike one.  Ahmed maintained the device was a clock.  The police stated that he wouldn’t give additional details, what more could he say.  “Its not a bomb, its a clock.”…”you sure its not a bomb?”…”No, look at it, Its a clock.”  Then the principal threatened to expel him if he didn’t make a written statement.  Strike two.  Then the kid is handcuffed, led from the school in front of his peers and teachers by two officers, and arrested for possession of a “hoax bomb.”  Strike Three.  Then they take him to Juvenile Detention and fingerprint him.  Strike four.

I’m not going to add additional comments to the fact that he is Muslim, as many in the local community are, because none of the above should happen to ANY child.  According to the family Ahmed was also suspended for three days.  There has been an absolute social media firestorm with his sisters creating @IStandWithAhmed to which President Obama, MIT, GE, Mark Zuckerburg, Twitter, NASA, UT Austin, and others have extended invitations to visit, and NASA has awarded him a Space Camp Scholarship.

I’m not big on litigation, but if this were one of my daughters I think I’d be speaking to a lawyer about teaching the school system and the responding officers a lesson in stupidity.

Cant pass the mandated graduation test? Here is a diploma anyway.

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In a move that perfectly illustrates the absurdity of knee-jerk legislation, California Bill SB172 will grant an estimated 40,000 diplomas to students who failed the California High School Exit Exam since 2006 if signed by the Governor.   

 According to this article, 249,000 students have failed the test since it was implemented in 2006, although only an approximate 40,000 met all other requirements to graduate.  The state has also dropped the test for the next three years as it works to redesign the test to align with Common Core. Thousands of non-graduates in their mid 20s gave a collective, “Who Cares?” in response.

Now if they had simply said, ‘this test is stupid, let get rid of it and never have another thought to making a student who has been in school for 13 years take a pass/fail test in order to get his diploma on top of all the other requirements.” then I would be happy.  But nope, they are just suspending the current, “outdated” test in order to write up a new one.

“We cannot in good conscious continue a graduation requirement that no one can meet,” said bill author Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge. “SB172 does not permanently eliminate the Exit Exam … it simply suspends the requirement to pass the Exit Exam while the issues are being studied.”

Im sure the Testing Conglomerates are happy to see that the tests will return.

Fort Wayne teacher is sued for allegedly disciplining student for not believing in God.

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churchstateIn a lawsuit filed in June, a Fort Wayne Elementary school teacher is accused of disciplining one of her students over his comments on religion.

The second grade student, identified as A.B., was asked by another child if he went to church.  When he responded that he didn’t because he didn’t believe in God, the other child’s feelings were hurt so they reported the hurt feelings to their teacher.  Their teacher ordered A.B to sit alone at lunch for three days and not talk to other students lest he offend them as well.  Additionally, another school employee told the girls with the hurt feelings, with A.B. present, that she should be happy she has faith and that she doesn’t have to listen to A.B. s bad ideas!

For two adults employed by a school system to publicly shame and ostracize a second grader because he has differing religious beliefs is unconscionable!  The school district released a statement in August, two months after the lawsuit was filed, referencing a supposed investigation back in March:

Our investigation in March found she acted appropriately in dealing with an issue between students in a significantly different manner than detailed in the lawsuit. As a school district, we feel we must defend and protect the reputation of our staff when members are being unfairly maligned.

I’m going to be watching this one to see if the kid and his mother are full of it or if the school system is.

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Seattle teachers go on strike, City claims no more money.

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Seattle teachers are on strike, so 53,000 children are out of school for the second week.  Can we all just agree that the system is broken beyond repair?  In the land of Microsoft, Google, and Amazon…do we really need to continue sending kids to brick and mortar schools that fail them in every measurable way?

Lets set the table here:

Seattle has been one of the fastest growing cities in the US over the past few years, adding tens of thousands of high tech, high paying jobs.  A quick search on www.glassdoor.com finds Google and Boeing paying between $100k and 170k depending on experience.  The cost of housing is skyrocketing in Seattle, the mediam rental price is nearly double the national average.  I would imagine that the tax base is exploding, just as school enrollment is.  SO where is the money?

A recently opened elementary school in Seattle had 1/2 of its classroom footprint in portable buildings on day one; Vastly overburdening the facilities such as cafeteria and lunchroom, while having no library, before or after school programs, computer lab, music room, art room, or preschool.  Ill give you one guess as to whether this school is in the high or low income area of the city…

In 2007 the annual decline ended and since 2008 Enrollment has jumped by 7000 students, and they are projecting 60k students by 2020.

So now the teachers want to see some salary increases in line with the new cost of living in the neighborhoods where they teach.  According to this story:

The city is having a housing crisis because more than 40 percent of the new jobs in the region are with Amazon or Boeing, and their starting salaries are twice as much as an experienced teacher, Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata said.

“That means the people who are educating our children are finding it difficult to live in the city where the children they teach live,” he said.

Now lets recap, you have a city that is swimming in new jobs, high wages, new tax money, and a phased in Minimum Wage hike to $15.  At the same time teachers who average $67k per year to teach in overflowing classrooms for 6.1 hours per day over 9 months say they cant afford to live where they teach.  Oh by the way the Seattle Supreme court ruled recently that Charter schools are unconstitutional…

 

Duncanville Soph. nails it, “If you would just get up and teach them instead of handing them a freakin packet, yo. There’s kids in here that don’t learn like that.”

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The Jeff Bliss situation has really highlighted some problems inherent to the system on multiple levels.  This video from 2013 shows Duncanville, TX student Jeff Bliss telling off his teacher for being lazy and teaching by “handing out packets” rather than “touching hearts.”  While this video is a bit old it has been getting some play again recently as more and more people speak out against standardized tests.

The first thing I thought about this video is wow, here is a sophomore standing up for his beliefs regarding education and how awful for the teacher to respond by saying “Bye.” over and over again.  After some research I found some other things that were interesting.  Firstly  Mr. Bliss was an 18 year old Sophomore due to initially failing 9th grade and then dropping out.  I thought it was very impressive that he decided to go back to school but I think that he should have been enrolled in an alternative school or adult education classes rather than just going back to High School where he would be 3 years older than his classmates.  The school system could have done a better job setting Mr. Bliss up to succeed after his change of heart regarding his education.  Instead they take the path of least resistance and end up alienating him.

I think that the fact that the teacher didn’t even think about handling the situation, reinforces his opinion that she is lazy.  A good educator would have seized this as a teachable moment, perhaps discussed with Jeff the realities of teaching in this age of standardized testing, offered to help him find additional help, or at the very least offered to bring an administrator in to have the discussion rather than just booting him from class.  I think its ironic that he is trying to teach her, and she thinks he is “wasting her time”.

The again, during this Follow up interview with Jeff , the self righteous superintendent tries to make us believe that the teacher cared so much about the student she went to the principals office and worked it all out, and Jeff returned to class.  But that doesn’t really jive with Jeff’s statement that she was trying to cover her butt, or the fact that she was suspended.

In an unrelated note, about 18 months later a teacher from the same school resigned after inviting “dumb duck ass crackers” to kill themselves.

What do you think about Jeff’s monologue, or the way the school handled it?

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Teachers can be bullies too, this one needs to be taught a lesson

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In one of the most disturbing stories Ive posted here, a teacher in West Feliciana Parish, LA was arrested for allegedly kicking, slapping, and taking food from one of her students.  According to the story:

A sheriff’s deputy who reviewed camera footage of the incident wrote in an arrest report that as the student walked by Lemelle in the school’s cafeteria, she could be seen kicking him in the rear. The video also showed her slapping the boy on the back of the head, the deputy wrote.

Lemelle also is accused of taking some of the boy’s lunch food, allegedly telling the first-grader that “he only needed one taco,” the report says.

Witnesses told the deputy that Lemelle often brought an empty plate to lunch and filled it with food from her students.

How long has this been going on?  No adults at the school knew about this?  You send your kid to school expecting them to earn an education and instead the person who is placed in a position of authority over them treats them like this?  If this is true, I hope this woman gets prison time and I hope her fellow inmates teach her a thing or two about how bullying feels!

 

The Hobbit used to be required reading, now, not so much.

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This may be my favorite one so far.  A student in Odessa, TX was suspended for claiming he was in possession of The One Ring, and that he could make his friend disappear.  These types of magical threats aren’t tolerated, you see, so suspension was the logical option…

This is the third time Aiden has been suspended this year. His father told the Daily News that Aiden was suspended once for referring to another student as black and another time for bringing The Big Book of Knowledge, a children’s encyclopedia to school, which his teacher discovered contained an illustration of a pregnant woman.

How do you even respond to something like that?

Here is the story

Teacher dressed up as pirate prompted Richlands lockdown

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While I am all for protecting our children, and have no problem with locking down schools in order to protect children during a dangerous situation, this seems a bit stupid to me.  In a story from 2014, we find that four schools in North Carolina were shut down because a teacher who dresses up like a pirate each year to celebrate “pirate week” was mistaken for a man in an olive drab shirt, camo pants, and a gun on his hip.  Come on man!  Are these the type of people we want teaching our students?  In this case the person who reported the suspicious activity was a cafeteria worker, but I think it shows the underlying culture of stupidity built into the system.

Here is the story with updates

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