Posts Tagged ‘Governance’

Harassment Incident in Vermont School Soccer: MAYBE The Children Will Show Us the Way

October 15, 2021 Leave a comment

I have an op ed submission I titled “The Bullies Are Winning” that included a recent incident at a Vermont HS Women’s Soccer game between Hartford (VT) HS and Fair Haven as an example of how January 6 “insurrection” emboldened bullies in their public efforts of intimidation. As reported in detail in a recent local newspaper article, The incident involved taunting from the Fair Haven student section directed at particular members of the Hartford soccer team, taunts that were crude, misogynistic, and cruel… taunts that were so bad they led one of the players on the Hartford team left the field at which point the Hartford Coach pulled all of his players from the field and took them home.

The result of his action, as described in today’s headline article, was an outpouring of support from HS students in the school and across the state as Student Governments respond with resolutions forbidding the taunting of individual players in an effort to maintain a healthy environment at athletic events. This is very heartening, for it indicates that MAYBE students will be able to lead the way in anti-bullying efforts in the same way young black students in the South in the 1960s led the way in the civil rights movement. MAYBE the children can lead us out the spiral our country seems to be in when it comes to taking vaccines, wearing masks, respecting the rule of law, and being kind and courteous to each other. These “basic skills” are far more important than those measured by standardized achievement tests.

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Heroic Eastern Shore Superintendent’s Dr. Andrea Kane’s Words About “Evil Noise” Race Ring True: “Give It Some Time; Evil Will Consume Itself”. I Hope She Is Right!

October 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Of late I have been limiting posts to this blog on public education and preparing to launch a new one that tackles broader subjects… but an article by Erica Green in today’s NYTimes warrants a post. In “Black Lives Matter, She Wrote. Then ‘Everything Just Imploded'”, Ms. Green describes the heart-wrenching experience of Queen Anne’s County (MD) Superintendent Andrea Kane after she sent an e-mail in June 2020 offering her support for those protesting the George Floyd demonstrations and indicating that systemic racism was a problem in her district as much as it was across the country. After a few weeks, the blowback was horrific. You see, Ms. Kane was the first African-American Superintendent hired in that county and the county included a stronghold of Trump supporters who became activated by the email and eventually ran a slate of candidates who sought to have Dr. Kane removed from office. The article recounted all that happened in Queen Anne’s County since Dr. Kane arrived: the “welcome” she got from some of the white school board members, her efforts to increase the awareness of the community about the effects of systemic racism on the student body, and her decision to fire a central office staff member for racist comments he made. 

In the end, the so-called “Patriot” slate won the three seats needed to dismiss Dr. Kane and, despite her accomplishments, she was dismissed. Near the end of the article, Ms. Green describes Dr. Kane’s farewell speech at a newly created community center:

One day in June, almost exactly a year after Dr. Kane had written the email, her voice rose above a rumble of thunder as she addressed a crowd outside the Kennard African American Cultural Heritage Center, named for Lucretia Kennard, the county’s first “supervisor of colored schools.”

One of the first events held at the center, which had educated the county’s Black students during segregation, had been to welcome Dr. Kane. On this day, she was saying goodbye.

There’s some noise out there, and it’s an evil noise,” Dr. Kane told the group. “Give it some time; evil will consume itself. Any time we let children express who they are, and set examples for them about what is right, we can’t go wrong.”

The children are always watching us. We need to set examples of the kind of world we want to leave for them… and it isn’t the world Dr. Kane experienced in Queen Anne’s County. 

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CRT Laws and Texas Abortion Law Have One Thing in Common: Citizen Arrest Provisions. But CRT Laws Cost the Accused Far More then $10,000

September 9, 2021 Comments off

News coverage on Texas’ recently passed abortion legislation has gotten widespread national coverage as has the anti-CRT legislation passed or under consideration in 28 states. What seems to be lost in an examination of these laws is that the anti-CRT bills have the potential to harm the accused teacher far more than anyone who abets an abortion and requires a much lower legal threshold to place the accused teacher in the spotlight.

The vigilante justice inherent in the Texas anti-abortion bill is tempered somewhat by the requirement that the accuser must go to court where the accused will presumably have an opportunity to present evidence that supports their innocence. The anti-CRT bills, though, offer teachers no such due process and the “evidence” an accuser presents could be hearsay based on a 7-year old child’s interpretation of a lesson the teacher taught, “evidence” the teacher or Principal might hear for the first time at a public school board meeting. Worse, unlike “abortion” which is a clearly understood action, a clear definition of CRT is non-existent. Laws like the one recently passed in NH that ban “divisive content” further complicate matters since the accuser gets to define which topics they perceive as “divisive”. A teacher might withstand a hearsay accusation leveled by a irate parent on behalf of their child who felt uncomfortable by the content of a lesson, but the price they would pay if they are “exonerated” is immeasurable. Should a teacher lose their case, they could lose their job, a cost far more than any fine a court would levy for teaching a lesson on an undefined topic. The Star Chamber trials will begin soon. Stay tuned.

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