May can be a particularly dangerous month for schoolchildren. According to 13 years of recent data collected on mental health emergency room visits at Connecticut Children’s Mental Health Center in Hartford, May typically has the most.
Boston College psychology professor, Peter Gray, looked more closely at this data and found that children’s mental health is directly related to school attendance. Dr. Gray found that children’s psychiatric ER visits drop precipitously in the summer and rise again once school begins. The May spike likely coincides with end-of-school academic and social pressures.
“The available evidence suggests quite strongly that school is bad for children’s mental health. Of course, it’s bad for their physical health, too; nature did not design children to be cooped up all day at a micromanaged, sedentary job.”
School-related anxiety and depression are real, serious issues that can lead to catastrophe, as evidenced by the rising suicide rate among children. In fact, according to the CDC, the suicide rate among 10 to 14 year olds has doubled since 2007. And for girls in that age group, the suicide rate has tripled over the past 15 years.
Beyond these extreme mental health crises, Dr. Gray’s research, and that of others, has shown that generalized anxiety and depression are skyrocketing in children. Dr. Gray maintains that much of this rise in anxiety and depression in children is due to lengthier, more restrictive schooling over the past several decades. He writes:
Children today spend more hours per day, days per year, and years of their life in school than ever before. More weight is given to tests and grades than ever. Outside of school, children spend more time than ever in settings in which they are directed, protected, catered to, ranked, judged, and rewarded by adults. In all of these settings adults are in control, not children.”
A national study of trends in adolescent depression rates found that teens reporting a major depressive episode (MDE) within the previous year skyrocketed from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.5% in 2014. The report, published last November in the journal Pediatrics, reveals: “The risk of depression sharply rises as children transition to adolescence.” The researchers cite stress and bullying as contributing factors.
More Stressed than Adults
A 2013 study by the American Psychological Association found that school is the main driver of teenage stress, and that teenagers are more stressed-out than adults. According to the study: “Teens report that their stress level during the school year far exceeds what they believe to be healthy (5.8 vs. 3.9 on a 10-point scale) and tops adults’ average reported stress levels (5.8 for teens vs. 5.1 for adults).”
The report reveals that 83% of teens said that school was “a somewhat or significant source of stress,” with 27% of teens reporting “extreme stress” during the school year. Interestingly, that number declines to just 13% in summer.
Curious about mounting data showing correlations between school attendance and anxiety, Dr. Gray conducted his own informal, online survey of children who left conventional schooling for homeschooling or other forms of alternative education.
He found that, specifically for children previously labeled ADHD, often with related anxiety issues, “the children’s behavior, moods, and learning generally improved when they stopped conventional schooling…” Results were particularly positive when children engaged in self-directed education, like unschooling, where they had more freedom and control of their own learning.
An advocate of autodidacticism, and founder of the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, Dr. Gray urges parents and educators to think critically about the potential negative impacts of coercive schooling on children’s health and well-being. He asserts:
“We don’t need to drive kids crazy to educate them. Given freedom and opportunity, without coercion, young people educate themselves.”
Kerry McDonald has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/GIRL-HOMEWORK-e1494976109919.jpg380640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2017-05-16 19:13:582017-05-16 19:15:47Is School Driving Kids Literally Crazy? by Kerry McDonald
President Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Saturday, May 13th, 2017.
Thank you very much. everybody. And congratulations to the class of 2017. That’s some achievement.
This is your day and you’ve earned every minute of it. And I’m thrilled to be back at Liberty University, I’ve been here, this is now my third time, and we love setting records, right. We always set records. We have to set records, we have no choice.
It’s been a little over a year since I’ve spoken on your beautiful campus and so much has changed. Right here, the class of 2017 dressed in cap and gown, graduating to a totally brilliant future. And here I am standing before you as President of the United States, so I’m guessing — there are some people here today who thought that either one of those things, either one, would really require major help from God. Do we agree? And we got it.
But here we are celebrating together on this very joyous occasion, and there is no place in the world I’d rather be to give my first commencement address as President than here with my wonderful friends at Liberty University. And I accepted this invitation a long time ago. I said to Jerry that I’d be there, and when I say something I mean it.
I want to thank President Jerry Falwell and his incredible wife, Becky, stand up, Becky, for their kind words, their steadfast support, and their really wonderful friendship. Let me also extend our appreciation to the entire Falwell family, Trey, Sarah, Wesley, Laura, and Caroline, thank you for everything you do to make this university so exceptional, one of the truly great, great schools.
Most importantly to our new graduates: Each of you should take immense pride in what you have achieved. There’s another group of amazing people we want to celebrate today and they are the ones who have made this journey possible for you, and you know who that is? Nobody, you forgot already. You’re going to go out, you’re going to do whatever you’re going to do, some are going to make a lot of money, some are going to be even happier doing other things — they’re your parents and your grandparents, don’t forget them. You haven’t forgotten yet, have you? Never, ever forget them, they’re great.
And especially this weekend, let’s make sure we give a really extra special thanks to the moms. Don’t forget our moms, because graduates, today is your day. Today is your day. But in all of this excitement don’t forget that tomorrow is Mother’s Day, right? I had a great mother, she’s looking down, now but I had a great mother. I always loved Mother’s Day.
We’re also deeply honored to be joined by some of the nearly 6000 service members, military veterans and military spouses who are receiving their diplomas today. Will you please stand. Please stand. Wow. That’s great. Thank you very much, great job. We’re profoundly grateful to every single one of you who sacrificed to keep us safe and protect God’s precious gift of freedom. It is truly a testament to this university and to the values that you embrace that your graduating class includes so many patriots who have served our country in uniform. Thank you very much.
To the class of 2017: Today you end one chapter but you are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Just think for a moment of how blessed you are to be here today at this great, great university, living in this amazing country, surrounded by people who you love and care about so much. Then ask yourself, with all of those blessings, and all of the blessings that you’ve been given, what will you give back to this country and, indeed, to the world? What imprint will you leave in the sands of history? What will future Americans say we did in our brief time right here on Earth? Did we take risks? Did we dare to defy expectations? Did we challenge accepted wisdom and take on established systems? I think I did, but we all did and we’re all doing it.
Or did we just go along with convention, swim downstream, so easily with the current and just give in because it was the easy way, it was the traditional way or it was the accepted way? Remember this, nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy. Following your convictions means you must be willing to face criticism from those who lack the same courage to do what is right — and they know what is right, but they don’t have the courage or the guts or the stamina to take it and to do it. It’s called the road less traveled.
I know that each of you will be a warrior for the truth, will be a warrior for our country, and for your family. I know that each of you will do what is right, not what is the easy way, and that you will be true to yourself, and your country, and your beliefs. In my short time in Washington I’ve seen firsthand how the system is broken. A small group of failed voices who think they know everything and understand everyone want to tell everybody else how to live and what to do and how to think. But you aren’t going to let other people tell you what you believe, especially when you know that you’re right. And those of you graduating here today, who have given half a million hours of charity last year alone, unbelievable amount of work and charity and few universities or colleges can claim anything even close, we don’t need a lecture from Washington on how to lead our lives. I’m standing here looking at the next generation of American leaders. There may very well be a president or two in our midst. Anybody think they’re going to be president, raise your hand.
In your hearts are inscribed the values of service, sacrifice and devotion. Now you must go forth into the world and turn your hopes and dreams into action. America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers. When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth they prayed. When the founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, they invoked our creator four times, because in America we don’t worship government we worship God. That is why our elected officials put their hands on the Bible and say, ‘So help me God,’ as they take the oath of office. It is why our currency proudly declares, ‘In God we trust,’ and it’s why we proudly proclaim that we are one nation under God every time we say the pledge of allegiance.
The story of America is the story of an adventure that began with deep faith, big dreams and humble beginnings. That is also the story of Liberty University. When I think about the visionary founder of this great institution, Reverend Jerry Falwell Sr., I can only imagine how excited he would be if he could see all of this and all of you today, and how proud he would be of his son and of his family.
In just two days we will mark the 10th anniversary of Reverend Falwell’s passing, and I used to love watching him on television, hearing him preach, he was a very special man. He would be so proud not just at what you’ve achieved but of the young men and women of character that you’ve all become. And Jerry, I know your dad is looking down on you right now and he is proud, he is very proud, so congratulations on a great job Jerry. Reverend Falwell’s life is a testament to the power of faith to change the world. The inspiring legacy that we see all around us in this great stadium — this is a beautiful stadium and it is packed. I’m so happy about that. I said, ‘How are you going to fill up a place like that?’ It is packed, Jerry.
In this beautiful campus and in your smiling faces but it all began with a vision. That vision was of a world class university for evangelical Christians. And I want to thank you, because boy did you come out and vote, those of you that are old enough, in other words your parents. Boy oh boy, you voted, you voted.
No doubt many people told him his vision was impossible, and I am sure they continued to say that so long after he started, at the beginning with just 154 students, but the fact is no one has ever achieved anything significant without a chorus of critics standing on the sidelines explaining why it can’t be done. Nothing is easier or more pathetic than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done. But the future belongs to the dreamers, not to the critics. the future belongs to the people who follow their heart no matter what the critics say because they truly believe in their vision.
At Liberty your leaders knew from the very beginning that a strong athletic program would help this campus grow so that this school might transform more lives. That is why a crucial part of Reverend Falwell’s vision for making Liberty a world-class institution was having a world-class football team much like the great teams of Notre Dame, great school, great place, in fact, Vice President Mike Pence is there today doing a fabulous job as he always does.
A few years ago, the New York Times even wrote a story on the great ambitions of the Liberty Flames. That story prompted a longtime president of another school to write a letter to Jerry. It’s a letter that Reverend Falwell would have been very, very pleased to read. Jerry tells me that letter now hangs in the wall in the boardroom of your great university. It came from the late Father Theodore Hesper, who was the beloved president of the university of Notre Dame 35 years ago. Like this school’s founder, he was a truly kindhearted man of very, very deep faith. In the letter, Father Hesper recalled that Notre Dame’s own meteoric rise from a small Midwestern school to a national football powerhouse. And then he wrote something so amazing and generous. He wrote, ‘I think you are on that same trajectory now and I want to wish you all the best and encourage you from the starting and from being able to start very small and arriving in the big time.’
Thanks to hard work, great faith, and incredible devotion those dreams have come true. As of February of this year, the Liberty Flames are playing in the FBS, the highest level of competition in NCAA football. Don’t, don’t clap, that could be tough. Don’t clap. That could be tough. I’m a little worried. I don’t want to look at some of those scores here. Jerry, you sure you know what you’re doing here? Those other players are big and fast and strong but I have a feeling you’re going to do very well, right?
From the most humble roots you’ve become a powerhouse in both education and sports. And just wait until the world hears the football teams you’ll be playing on your schedule starting next season. President Falwell gave me a list of some of those schools, the ones you’re going to be playing 2018. Would you like me to read the names? Just came out, would you like to hear them? I’m a little bit concerned. UMass, Virginia, Auburn — Jerry, are you sure you know what you’re doing? Jerry, Auburn? I don’t know about that James. This could be trouble, Jerry. Rutgers, Old Dominion, Brigham Young, Army — I might be at that game, who am I supposed to root for? Tell me. I don’t know. That’s a tough one, Jerry. I don’t know, Jerry, I’m going to have to think about that one, Jerry. Buffalo, Troy, Virginia Tech, oh no, Jerry, Ole Miss and wake forest, those are really top schools. maybe in four or five years I’ll come to a game, right, you’ll build it up. Well good luck.
The success of your athletic program arriving on the big stage should be a reminder to every new graduate of just what you can achieve when you start small, pursue a big vision and never, ever quit. You never quit. If I give you one message to hold in your hearts today, it’s this. Never, ever give up. There will be times in your life you’ll want to quit, you’ll want to go home, you’ll want to go home perhaps to that wonderful mother that’s sitting back there watching you and say, ‘Mom, I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’ Just never quit. Go back home and tell mom, dad, I can do it, I can do it. I will do it, you’re going to be successful. I’ve seen so many brilliant people, they gave up in life, they were totally brilliant, they were top of their class, they were the best students, they were the best of everything, they gave up. I’ve seen others who really didn’t have that talent or that ability and they’re among the most successful people today in the world because they never quit and they never gave up. So just remember that. Never stop fighting for what you believe in and for the people who care about you.
Carry yourself with dignity and pride. Demand the best from yourself and be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures. Does that sound familiar by the way? The more people tell you it’s not possible, that it can’t be done, the more you should be absolutely determined to prove them wrong. Treat the word ‘impossible’ as nothing more than motivation. Relish the opportunity to be an outsider. Embrace that label — being an outsider is fine, embrace the label — because it’s the outsiders who change the world and who make a real and lasting difference. The more that a broken system tells you that you’re wrong, the more certain you should be that you must keep pushing ahead, you must keep pushing forward.
And always have the courage to be yourself. Most importantly, you have to do what you love. You have to do what you love. I’ve seen so many people, they’re forced through lost of reasons, sometimes including family, to go down a path that they don’t want to go down, to go down a path that leads them to something that they don’t love, that they don’t enjoy. You have to do what you love, or you most likely won’t be very successful at it. So do what you love.
I want to recognize a friend who is here with us today, who can serve as an inspiration to us all. Someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘quit’. Real champion. A true, true champion. Both on the field, off the field, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, really a good friend of mine, an amazing guy, Jim Kelly, where is Jim, he’s here some place. Where is Jim, stand up, Jim. What a great man. Jim Kelly, he was tough. Jim do you have any idea how much money you’d be making today? They’d hit Jim, it was like tackling a linebacker. They’d hit Jim, four guy, five guys that weighed 320, and he’d just keep going down the field. He was much more than a quarterback. He had tremendous heart and he knew how to win. Jim is tough, and his toughest fight of all was that he beat cancer not once but twice.
And I saw him and his incredible wife as they were in a very low moment, Jill, very, very low moment, and it was amazing the way they fought. It didn’t look good, I would have said, maybe, maybe it’s not going to happen. But there was always that hope because of Jim and Jim’s heart. But I want to just say it’s great to have you here today Jim and these people are big, big fans and if you can get a young version of Jim Kelly, you’ll be beating a lot of teams, Jerry.
So, interestingly, though, I said ‘I wonder what Jim’s doing here,’ his daughter Erin crosses the goal line to you and today with you so, Erin, stand up. Where are you, Erin? Where is Erin? Congratulations, Erin. Congratulations. Graduating from Liberty. Great choice, thank you.
Liberty University is a place where they really have true champions and you have a simple creed that you live by: To be, really, champions for Christ. Whether you’re called to be a missionary overseas, to shepherd a church or to be a leader in your community, you are living witness of the gospel message of faith, hope and love. And I must tell you I am so proud as your president to have helped you along over the past short period of time. I said I was going to do it, and Jerry, I did it. And a lot of people are very happy with what’s taken place, especially last week, we did some very important signings, right James? Very important signings.
America is better when people put their faith into action. As long as I am your president, no one is ever going to stop you from practicing your faith or from preaching what’s in your heart.
We will always stand up for the right of all Americans to pray to God and to follow his teachings. America is beginning a new chapter. Today each of you begins a new chapter as well. When your story goes from here, it will be defined by your vision, your perseverance and your grit. That’s a word Jim Kelly knows very well, your grit. In this, I’m reminded of another man you know very well and who has joined us here today. His name is George Rogers, Liberty University CFO and vice president for a quarter of a century. During World War II, George spent three-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war. He saw many of his fellow soldiers die during the Bataan death march. He was the victim of starvation and torture as a prisoner of war. When he was finally set free he weighed just 85 pounds and was told he would not live past the age of 40. Today George is 98 years old.
Great. That’s so great, George. If anyone ever had reason to quit, to give in to the bitterness and anger that we all face at some point, to lose hope in God’s vision for his life, it was indeed George Rogers. But that’s not what he did. He stood up for his country, he stood up for his community. He stood up for his family and he defended civilization against a tide of barbarity, the kind of barbarity we’re seeing today and we’ve been witnessing over the last number of years and I just want to tell you as your president, we are doing very, very well in countering it, so you just hang in there. Things are going along very, very well. You’ll be hearing a lot about it next week from our generals Things are going along very, very well.
Through it all, he kept his faith in God, even in the darkest depths of despair. Like so many others of his generation, George came home to a nation full of optimism and pride and began to live out the American dream. He started a family, he discovered God’s plan for him and pursued that vision with all his might, pouring his passion into a tiny college in a place called Lynchburg, Virginia. Did you ever hear of that? Lynchburg? We love, we love it. Do you like it? We like it, right? I flew over it a little while ago. It’s amazing, actually. What started as a dream with a few good friends he helped shepherd into the largest Christian university in the world. Just look at this amazing, soaring, growing campus and I’ve been watching it grow because I’ve been a friend of Liberty for a long time, now, Jerry. It’s been a long time.
Thanks in great part George’s financial stewardship hundreds of thousands of young hearts and souls have been enriched at Liberty and inspired by the spirit of God. George, we thank you, and we salute you, and you just stay healthy for a long time, George, thank you.
Now it falls on the shoulders of each of you here today to protect the freedom that patriots like George earned with their incredible sacrifice. Fortunately you have been equipped with the tools from your time right here on this campus to make the right decisions and to serve God, family and country. As you build good lives, you will also be rebuilding our nation. You’ll be leaders in your communities, stewards of great institutions and defenders of liberty and you will be great mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers, loving friends and loving family members. You will build a future where we have the courage to chase our dreams no matter what the cynics and the doubters have to say. You will have the confidence to speak the hopes in your hearts and to express the love that stirs your souls. And you will have the faith to replace a broken establishment with a government that serves and protects the people.
We must always remember that we share one home and one glorious destiny whether we are brown, black or white. We all bleed the same red blood of patriots. We all salute the same great American flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God. As long as you remember what you have learned here at Liberty, as long as you have pride in your beliefs, courage in your convictions and faith in your God, then you will not fail.
And as long as America remains true to its values, loyal to its citizens, and devoted to its creator, then our best days are yet to come, I can promise you that. This has been an exceptional morning. It’s been a great honor for me and I want to thank you, the students. I also want to thank you, the family, for getting them there ,and I want to thank and congratulate Liberty. May God bless the class of 2017. May god bless the United States of America. May God bless all of you here today. Thank you very much, thank you. Thank you.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/TRUMP-LIBERTY-UNIVERSITY-e1494925372888.jpg369640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2017-05-16 05:03:192017-05-16 05:04:03VIDEO: President Trump's Remarks at the Liberty University Commencement Ceremony
Most Americans agree that an educated citizenry is a priority for a thriving democracy. In fact, the first compulsory education statute was passed in Massachusetts Bay Colony not long after the Pilgrims arrived.
Forced Education in America
In 1642, that first compulsory education law prioritized childhood literacy, but it placed the responsibility on parents to educate their children.
It wasn’t until 1852 that Massachusetts passed the country’s first compulsory schooling statute, requiring attendance at a state-approved school.
That law required 12 weeks of school attendance per year for 8 to 14 year-olds, paltry in comparison to the minimum 180 days a year now mandated by most states.
Let Parents Choose
A lawmaker in Arizona is hoping to challenge the 165-year experiment with compulsory schooling, and once again place parents, not the state, in charge of children’s education. Paul Mosley, a junior Republican legislator in the Arizona House of Representatives, wants to repeal compulsory education laws that he says limit choice and parental empowerment.
“A good quality education is essential in preparing the next generation. I believe that parents understand the needs of their children better than bureaucrats and I am a proponent of education choice. Competition in education is good and I support district schools, charter schools, private schools, home schooling and tuition tax credits.”
The U.S. spends more on education than most other developed countries.
This week, Mosley elaborated on his vision for broader education choice by calling for the elimination of restrictive, outdated compulsory schooling laws. In an interview with the Arizona Capitol Times, Mosley states, “The number one thing I would like to repeal is the law on compulsory education.”
Mosley challenges the idea of the state, and not the parents, being in charge of children’s education. He says:
“So now it’s not the parents’ responsibility to educate their children. It’s the state’s responsibility because the state took it from the parents
The Results Are InRepresentative Mosley joins a growing number of citizens concerned about the rise in forced schooling and the decline in overall competence. Despite data showing that the U.S. spends more on education than most developed countries, current education outcomes are disappointing.
On international comparison tests, such as the well-regarded Programme for International Student Assessment, U.S. students are lagging far behind their peers in other nations, with U.S. 15-year-olds ranking 38th out of 71 countries in math, and 24th in science.
According to the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress—known more widely as the Nation’s Report Card—student reading and math skills declined.
Over the last century, education and schooling have become inextricably linked, to the point where it’s hard to imagine being educated without being schooled.
Perhaps by separating education from forced government schooling, and equipping parents with broader education choice, we can achieve better education outcomes for all children.
Kerry McDonald has a B.A. in Economics from Bowdoin and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard. She lives in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband and four never-been-schooled children. Follow her writing at Whole Family Learning.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/morose_student-e1494793100945.jpg361640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2017-05-14 16:21:442017-05-18 06:40:08Lawmaker Calls for the Repeal of Compulsory Schooling by Kerry McDonald
In recent years, campus activists have become an increasingly visible aspect of American life. In 2015, Yale professors Nicholas and Erika Christakis came under fire for encouraging students to critically consider a new policy on Halloween costumes. The controversy reached a boiling point when Nicholas Christakis met student demonstrators in a courtyard and attempted to engage them in discussion:
More recently, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray and Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger were assaulted shortly after they were driven out of a lecture hall where Murray was scheduled to speak. The protesters succeeded in shutting down the talk by simply speaking over him:
This behavior is condemnable for a host of reasons, the least of which is that much of what the protesters are shouting is just factually incorrect (for example, Murray has long supported gay marriage, but the chant “racist, sexist, anti-gay” is simply too good to pass up). That the protesters eventually resorted to violence speaks to their moral certitude (a phenomenon that can be observed in other, similar protests), which is all the more troubling.
And yet, there are seemingly respectable people willing to defend this kind of savagery. Writing for Slate, Osita Nwanevu argued that the protesters were correct (and presumably, the violence that they employed was acceptable) because Trump: “In the Trump era, should we side with those who insist that the bigoted must traipse unhindered through our halls of learning? Or should we dare to disagree?” At Inside Higher Education, John Patrick Leary quipped that the protesters had “every right to shout him down.”
Disagreement is one thing. But shouting down opponents or – worse – engaging in violence in an effort to silence them is something else.
Cultural Evolution: From Honor to Dignity
In a country that has traditionally touted its tolerance for the expression of a diverse range of views, how did we get here? Let’s take a moment to review American cultural evolution.
Anyone who thinks that the nasty tone of American politics today is a historical anomaly should take a brief stroll down Google Lane and read about the Hamilton-Burr duel. The short version goes like this: Alexander Hamilton (former Secretary of Treasury) and Aaron Burr (Vice President of the United States) are longstanding political rivals. Upon learning that Hamilton had made particularly bruising comments about him at an elite New York dinner party, Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel. On July 11th, 1804, Burr shot Hamilton, who died the following day.
This sordid moment in American history is a classic example of what social scientists call a “culture of honor” – that is, a culture in which one’s reputation is made and maintained by a protective attitude and aggression toward those who would attempt to exert their dominance. Reputation – what others think of you – is paramount.Such cultures are blessedly rare in the Western world, having been largely supplanted by what sociologist Peter Berger called “dignity culture.” In dignity cultures, a person’s worth is internal, and isolated from public opinion. What matters most is how one handles the minor slings and arrows that accompany many human interactions; a person with dignity does so quietly, usually by addressing the offending party directly and in private, if at all.
Dignity cultures are necessarily individualistic. There is no widespread notion of common guilt. Human agency is, by implication, paramount. It should be no surprise that for most of the 20th Century, Western societies have evolved to prize dignity over honor.
Let me be clear: this is a good thing. Most of us would recoil in horror at the thought of Mike Pence killing Jack Lew in a duel. I do not consider this point to be controversial. Some cultures are better than others, and Western culture today is certainly morally superior to its earlier instantiations, where slavery, sexism, and segregation were the norm. A culture in which dignity rather than honor is the standard bearer should be regarded as an appreciable improvement.
But for many young Americans (and yes, this does appear to be a uniquely American phenomenon), the notion of quietly bearing one’s trials has become passe. Getting back to the issue at hand: I believe that much of what we have witnessed on college campuses in recent years can be explained by the rise of what sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning call “victimhood culture.” They state:
A culture of victimhood is one characterized by concern with status and sensitivity to slight combined with a heavy reliance on third parties. People are intolerant of insults, even if unintentional, and react by bringing them to the attention of authorities or to the public at large. Domination is the main form of deviance, and victimization a way of attracting sympathy, so rather than emphasize either their strength or inner worth, the aggrieved emphasize their oppression and social marginalization.
Watch the videos again: these students are engaging in precisely the behavior Campbell and Manning describe. They are demanding recognition of various victimhood statuses, and are unwilling to engage in any form of dialogue with those with whom they disagree. The category of “victim” is a moral absolute: no one can argue in favor of its fallibility.
But our understanding of victimhood culture and its relationship with the campus culture wars is incomplete without a commensurate recognition of what Nick Haslam calls concept creep: our understanding of what constitutes harm has broadened to include unintentional verbal slights, rather than being limited to overt, deliberate physical aggression.
This can be seen throughout the footage in question, but is particularly visible at one point in the Yale/Christakis row, when complaints take a turn for the hyperbolic: in response to an attempt by Christakis to appeal to the common humanity of everyone present, one student replies that such appeals are inappropriate “because we’re dying!”
It is difficult to understand how a student at one of the world’s top universities – well positioned to enter the halls of power after graduation – could reasonably be considered a member of an oppressed group, much less one that is being exterminated. Students at Yale, regardless of race or ethnicity, are among the cognitive and social elite. The idea that a simple e-mail about Halloween costumes could constitute an existential threat is nothing short of delusional.
But this observation is unlikely to quell the kind of uprising seen at Yale and Middlebury. As Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt point out, the students in these instances are likely engaging in a kind of emotional reasoning: making inferences about the state of the world based on their feelings, rather than an attempt to evaluate matters from a disinterested position that prizes objectivity.
Whither the Culture Of Victimhood
Advancing victimhood as a meritorious state while simultaneously expanding the criteria by which it is established means that those seeking social status are in constant competition. This “oppression olympics” (as some have termed it) means that marginalized status will become defined in an increasingly divisive manner. In this way, victimhood culture sows the seeds of its own destruction.
In an ironic twist, a culture of victimhood resembles a culture of honor in a surprising number of ways: for example, both demand that grievances be addressed, often publicly. It could even be argued that victimhood has obtained a privileged position that is impossible to challenge without incurring significant social costs. A new set of norms have emerged on college campuses, where there is a perverse honor in claiming to be oppressed.
Indeed, it is no wonder that victimhood culture has risen to prominence on elite colleges in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Only under such relatively comfortable conditions could this kind of silliness prosper.
In fact, any worldview that prizes victimhood cannot survive outside the cloistered environment of a college campus. The real world – with its job markets, mortgage payments, and adult responsibilities – has a way of encouraging us to prize dignity over victimhood. Capitalism insists on results, and is relatively unconcerned with our subjective emotional evaluations of the world.
This is the primary reason why we ought not take the protesters at Yale and Middlebury too seriously. They will be forced to grapple with the real world and leave their activism behind.
Sean is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Murray State University.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/victimhood-card-1.jpg361640Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFoundation for Economic Education (FEE)2017-05-13 12:19:202017-05-13 12:19:20Victimhood Has Become the Ultimate Status Symbol by Sean Rife
Occasionally, though, their zealousness and absurdity are so extreme that you have to wonder how much steeper the slippery slope can get.
Ground Zero for all that epitomizes the antigun worldview is any place that purports to “educate” young minds. And young people just love to communicate with each other on social media about their shared pastimes.
When you put the two together, you get what happens to Zachary Bowlin, a hapless kid just trying to get through Edgewood Middle School in Trenton, Ohio on his way to growing into adulthood. Zachary is hapless because he is surrounded by unreasonable people acting as educators.
Last week, according to a report by the local Fox affiliate WBRC (Fox19 News), Zachary was innocently minding his own business, doing what millions of other American kids do at night after school. He was checking his social media account, in this case, the video and image-sharing app, Instagram.
Coming across a friend’s picture of a realistic-looking Airsoft gun, Airsoft enthusiast Zachary pushed “Like,” an absent-minded gesture many people engage in dozens of times a day on images depicting such things as pets, deserts, and objects involved in hobbies they share with their friends.
The next morning, Zachary told a WBRC reporter, school officials “called me down … patted me down and checked me for weapons, then they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.”
According to a note from the school the Bowlins provided to the reporter, Zachary was to be suspended effective May 4, with his return date to be determined later. The reason: “Liking a post on social media that indicated potential school violence.”
AOL.com posted a picture of the offending post, which merely depicted the plastic gun on the table, with the caption, “Ready.”
To say that the post, to a casual observer, would indicate potential school violence would be akin to claiming that a picture of the sun would indicate the potential of a cataclysmic gravitational collapse that would extinguish all life on earth.
Except that the sun really is dangerous and Airsoft guns really are not.
To be fair, you could imagine a scenario where a facially innocent picture of a toy gun on social media was merely one in a series of circumstances known to school officials that would justify them taking strong action.
But that wasn’t this case. Indeed, Superintendent Russ Fussnecker essentially admitted that the school’s reaction was based only on the picture, coupled with his own vivid imagination about its worst possible significance.
“When you’re dealing with school districts nowadays and there are pictures of guns, regardless of the kind of gun it is, it’s a gun,” Fussnecker told WLWT News in Cincinnati. “And there are certain images or words, I can’t determine if that’s playful or real. And until I can get to an investigation, I have to look into it, those students have to be removed.”
Fortunately, Zachary’s parents knew enough to go to the media, whose intervention apparently allowed cooler heads to prevail. The school eventually rescinded the suspension (at least of Zachary, the student who posted the photo remains barred from school), but Superintendent Fussnecker appeared ready to stick to his … well … delusions in a statement to Fox19 News.
“The Board has a ‘zero tolerance’ of violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students,” it read. Fussnecker continued: “As the Superintendent of the Edgewood City Schools, I assure you that any social media threat will be taken serious [sic] including those who ‘like’ the post when it potentially endangers the health and safety of students or adversely affects the educational process.”
Superintendent Fussnecker – obviously no English major – apparently doesn’t understand the meaning of the words “threat” or “endangers” or the irony of his own proposition. Taken at face value, the image was neither inherently threatening nor aimed in any overt way at the school or “educational process.” Zachery himself understood exactly what it meant. “I figured he’d cleaned his gun and was ready, wanting to play and stuff,” he explained to WLWT News. His father added, “The young man that posted it and my son, and probably four or five other kids, play airsoft in our field. … So I really wasn’t concerned.”
And if adverse effects on the “educational process” are the true concern, what is more likely to accomplish that than summarily suspending an innocent student for harmless behavior – not to mention exposing the entire school and its staff to national ridicule – before “investigating” the situation?
The real problem with this and other “zero tolerance” abuse isn’t just that it’s stupid or overbearing but that it means even decent, well-meaning kids have no path through school that isn’t mined with hysteria that could suddenly and unpredictably explode in their face and derail their future.
Fortunately, Zachary’s parents stood up for their son, and the school (to its credit) eventually did the right thing in his case.
But for every Zachary, who knows how many other students are harshly punished and stigmatized without recourse, simply because the educational establishment has officially adopted an antigun, anti-Second Amendment posture?
However many it is, it’s too many. And there’s certainly nothing to “Like” about that.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/instagram-logo-e1494666158381.jpg360640NRA Institute for Legislative Actionhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngNRA Institute for Legislative Action2017-05-13 05:03:012017-05-13 05:03:017th Grader 'Likes' Toy Gun Photo on Instragram, Gets Suspended from School
Harvard University will be holding a special separate graduation ceremony this year for black graduate students, with plans to expand the new tradition to include black undergraduate students.
The special ceremony and subsequent reception will feature some 125 black students, who raised upwards of $27,000 themselves to cover the ceremony and party, The College Fix reported. It is worth noting that these students will also be taking part in the regular Harvard graduation ceremony for all students.
The ceremony, first reported by The Root, was scheduled to take place May 23 and intended to “acknowledge the struggles and resilience that black students have had to possess in order to thrive in higher education,” especially in a predominately white environment like the campus of Harvard.
“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” said Michael Huggins, soon to graduate with a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. “It’s an event where we can see each other and our parents and family can see us as a collective, whole group. A community.”
“This is not about segregation,” Huggins added. “It’s about fellowship and building a community. This is a chance to reaffirm for each other that we enter the work world with a network of supporters standing with us. We are all partners.”
Except that graduation ceremonies already provided a venue where parents, family and friends could celebrate the achievement and take note of the “network of supporters” without regard to race, color or creed.
It also would seem that Huggins was unclear on the definition of “segregation,” as the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it: “(T)he separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means,” as well as, “(T)he separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group.”
A blacks-only ceremony would seem to fit both definitions, but, moving right along …
As I have noted many times, and experienced firsthand in the last few weeks at the University at Buffalo, Truman State University, and Gettysburg College, colleges and universities today are not institutions of higher learning, but factories of hard-Left and pro-jihad indoctrination, propagandizing and brainwashing students into becoming ugly little fascist shock troops for twenty-first century totalitarians. Administrators, as I have also experienced firsthand, not just at the University at Buffalo but also in the past at Temple University, Saint Anselm College and DePaul University, actively aid and abet all this.
Public universities and colleges must cease to be indoctrination centers for the hard-Left, and ensure that dissent from the Leftist line is not censored and the dissenters brutalized, or they should receive no taxpayer funding of any kind, and required to include in all promotional literature a statement to the effect that they don’t receive any public funding because of their intolerance of all intellectual dissent. If they are private universities or colleges, they should be required to include a warning label on all their promotional literature: “Warning: this institution does not tolerate views that deviate from the mainstream Leftist line. Enroll at your own risk.”
“Editorial: The suppression of expression on campus needs to stop,” Daily Commercial (Leesburg, Florida), May 5, 2017:
President Donald Trump has rattled some in our political chattering class with overtures to some of the ruthless dictators stalking our globe. We’ve lived for months with unsupported speculation about Trump’s bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump has exacerbated the hand-wringing recently by positive references directed at the likes of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egypt’s Abdel ¬Fatah al-Sissi.
One chief complaint from the president’s critics is that Trump is inappropriately extending goodwill to strongmen with weak records of tolerating dissent, free expression and human rights.
Perhaps we would better served if those who questioned the president’s attitude toward the world’s worst authoritarians would stop tolerating homegrown forces who emulate their behavior.
Last week outspoken conservative pundit and author Ann Coulter was slated to shake up the hallowed halls at California’s premiere state university in Berkeley, which prides itself on uninhibited expression. Invited by a pair of conservative student groups, Coulter was expected to talk about her support for Trump and his immigrati0n views. It didn’t happen.
University administrators cancelled her April 27 appearance in mid-April, a few days after an unrelated brawl broke out in downtown Berkeley between pro- and anti-Trump forces. The college then offered to reschedule for Tuesday (when classes would be out). Coulter rejected the offer and vowed to come to Berkeley on the original date, and then watched as her sponsors bailed, leading her to ditch the idea for good.
The reason provided by the university and Coulter’s sponsors was the same: the atmosphere on campus had become so poisonous that neither side could guarantee the safety of Coulter or, presumably, her fans or the protesters.
Yet Coulter’s was the third appearance by a conservative at the supposed birthplace of the Free Speech Movement that was cancelled because of fear about the violent reaction of those who despise the president. In February UC-Berkeley dropped former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos after an anti-Trump protest devolved into a riot.
The College Republicans at Berkeley then invited David Horowitz, a UC-Berkeley grad and one-time apologist for the Black Panthers who converted to conservatism, to his alma mater in mid-April as a substitute for Yiannopoulos. The group pulled the plug on that after campus police declared that, in order to diminish the threat of violence, Horowitz could only speak in the afternoon, not in the evening, and only to students. The event was cancelled, the College Republicans’ president wrote, because the police rules left only one venue, located some seven blocks from campus, and would have cost the group several thousand dollars for security.
Such ill-tempered, anti-Trump fretting has been occurring again and again on campuses of all sizes.
Earlier this year conservative author Charles Murray’s attempt to speak at Middlebury College in Vermont sparked a brawl that left Murray’s campus sponsor in the hospital with a concussion, and him writing afterward that he feared for his safety.
Another conservative writer, Heather Mac Donald, was not allowed to speak publicly at Claremont McKenna College in California, but instead was ushered to a private room, where she gave her talk via livestream as demonstrators pounded on the windows of the room and hurled expletives at police.
At New York University, a protest of conservative journalist Gavin McInnes turned ugly, with demonstrators fighting police, pepper-spraying McInnes himself and nearly a dozen people arrested.
At the University of Buffalo this week, Robert Spencer, a conservative speaker who discusses Islamic terrorism, was shouted down and denounced as a Nazi by critics. No violence occurred, but audience members told reporters they feared the tension created by his appearance could have prompted it….
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/milo-riot-Berkeley-e1494409662105.jpg370640Robert Spencerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngRobert Spencer2017-05-10 05:48:102017-05-10 05:49:16The suppression of expression on campus needs to stop
During my last year of employment at NKC, Dr. Roos asked this blogger to write a letter urging parents to join the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA). This blogger submitted a draft of that letter to Dr. Roos who read the letter, APPROVED IT, and told this blogger to give the letter to the school secretary to type up. The letter was then sent home to the parents of our students. Dr. Roos then received an “anonymous” telephone call, stating that it was illegal to send letters concerning PTA business on a paper containing the school letterhead. (Dr. Roos has a pattern of receiving “anonymous” phone calls just before initiating disciplinary action against NKC staff). Dr. Roos then summoned this blogger to a meeting in her office. Present at that meeting was this blogger, Dr. Roos, Mrs. Alicia Fernandez, and one other teacher. While that other teacher was present in the room, Dr. Roos was jovial, polite, and courteous. When that teacher was dismissed from the meeting, both Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez became hostile, confrontational, and very loud. [Afterwards, I asked the school secretaries if any of them had heard Dr. Roos and/or Mrs. Fernandez shouting at me. The school secretaries, (who work in the school office all day long with Dr. Roos, and appear to fear her greatly,) said they had not heard the very loud shouting, so I was unable to file a grievance against the two NKC administrators].
Dr. Roos began asking this blogger personal questions that were none of her business (such as was this blogger having contact with either Dr. Alberto Fernandez or Mr. Cristobol in his off duty hours.) [This blogger was unable to see the connection between what this blogger did in his off duty hours and a letter he wrote, at the request of Dr. Roos, concerning the PTA]. Dr. Roos then informed this blogger of the obscure rule that this blogger had violated by sending a school letterhead paper with PTA business on it. Dr. Roos then told this blogger that since he had broken a rule, a disciplinary letter would be placed in this blogger’s personnel file! A teacher would not be expected to know of this obscure rule, but a school principal with a PhD might be reasonably expected to be aware of this rule. Furthermore, Dr. Roos had read the letter, approved it, and told this blogger to have it typed up for dispersal. If this blogger had failed to obey Dr. Roos directive, this blogger would have been a candidate for disciplinary action for insubordination. Many NKC staff believe that both Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez deliberately create Catch-22 situations, where a staff member is subject to disciplinary action no matter what he or she does. Dr. Roos, Mrs. Fernandez, and this blogger had THREE meetings concerning this PTA letter. At all three meetings, both administrators asked me private, inappropriate questions, shouted at me, and were extremely disrespectful. Unknown to me, a friend of mine who is a powerful person told some downtown district school officials what was happening to me. He or she then made a few phone calls and Dr. Roos was summoned to a meeting where Dr. Roos was told she would apologize to me and not place a letter of reprimand into my personnel file. At that meeting, Dr. Roos promised there would be no reprisals against this blogger, a promise she did not honor.
Many former or present NKC staff members, this blogger included, went or go to work every day, fearful that Dr. Roos or Mrs. Alicia Fernandez will bring serious charges against them based on complete falsehoods. Examples of this include the teacher who allegedly cheated on the FAA. That teacher told this blogger that when he (the accused teacher) read the report Mrs. Alicia Fernandez wrote about the incident, the report contained several statements that were complete fabrications. Another example was a report Dr. Roos wrote up, concerning an alleged confrontation between Dr. Roos and Mrs. Luz Morales. Ms. Morales had received a letter informing her she would soon be terminated, and giving the date of her termination. Ms. Morales went to Dr. Roos’ office, and asked if the termination date was correct. Ms. Morales told this blogger that Dr. Roos then wrote a report stating that Ms. Morales was shouting, confrontational, and threatening during this very brief meeting. Although this blogger has no doubt that a great deal of shouting occurred during that meeting, it is highly unlikely that the shouting came from Ms. Morales! Ms. Morales told this blogger that Dr. Roos’ report of Ms. Morales alleged confrontation was a total falsehood. This blogger has known Ms. Morales for 25 years. Ms. Morales is a very quiet and polite person, and extremely unlikely to have had a confrontational meeting with Dr. Roos. Yet another example is the statements Dr. Roos allegedly made about both her actions and this blogger’s actions (concerning the PTA letter this blogger wrote) at the meeting where she was ordered to apologize to me. A participant at that meeting recounted several statements to this blogger that Dr. Roos allegedly made at that meeting. If Dr. Roos made those statements, they were all wholly false.
After this blogger retired from NKC, my wife informed me that she made it a point not to speak to me for an hour after this blogger came home from work, to give me time to decompress. This blogger experienced two kinds of days at NKC. This blogger had bad days and very bad days. A bad day was when this blogger felt very frustrated because the new curriculum greatly reduced learning at the school. Additionally, every single day, this blogger went to work with a huge knot in his stomach, wondering if he would be accused of a serious or even career ending offense, based partially or wholly on falsehoods. A very bad day was a day where in addition to these fears and frustrations, this blogger was the victim of a screaming tirade by one or both NKC administrators. This blogger suspects that the majority of NKC staff also experience only bad and very bad days. In “The People’s Republic of NKC,” the staff’s mission statement has been perverted from “How can I maximize my students’ learning?” to “How can I avoid being set up for false charges that could result in my termination?”
On April 6,2015, this blogger, knowing he was going to retire in two months, finally felt safe enough to send Dr. Roos a two page memo where he respectfully asked that at all future meetings involving this blogger and both NKC administrators also involve the UTD school representative, Mr. Darwin Brown. That memo is included in the addendum at the end of this blog. For the remainder of the school year, this blogger was spoken to by NKC administrators with courtesy and respect, but ONLY because the UTD representative was present. To give readers an idea of the level of fear that exists at NKC, this blogger had previously been the NKC union steward for 10 years, and it wasn’t until the last two months of his employment that this blogger felt safe enough to insist that his employers observe US labor laws that forbid the systematic terrorizing of employees by their employers. During this blogger’s last year at NKC, he was approached by MANY NKC staff members who requested that this blogger not speak to them whenever either Dr. Roos or Mrs. Fernandez was present, as my co-workers stated they feared they would become victims of administrative retaliation if they associated with “one of the bad people.” Everyone at NKC knew that “the bad people” were those staff members who were in favor of exploring the possibility of converting to a charter school.
The Unique Learning System (ULS) curriculum requires teachers to test their students both at the beginning and end of the month. The students are asked the same questions on both these tests to measure how much learning has occurred during the month. These tests cannot be taken by a blind person. This blogger had a student who was both blind and unable to use her arms (to point to the correct answer). Her arms were encased in heavy metal braces. One day, Mrs. Alicia Fernandez used her master key to enter this blogger’s classroom. My paraprofessional was on her lunch break, so Mrs. Fernandez began screaming at me. Mrs. Fernandez was enraged because this student had scored zeros on both her pretest and post-test, every single month. Mrs. Fernandez demanded to know why this was happening. When this blogger explained why, Mrs. Fernandez, in a very patronizing and exasperated voice, screamed at me that in the future, this blogger was to look at the direction this sightless student’s eyes seemed to be pointed to. If the student’s sightless eyes seemed to be pointing toward the correct answer, the student was to be given credit for a correct answer! This blogger, fearing a charge of insubordination. said nothing. What this blogger wanted to say was that very seldom was this student’s head turned in the general direction of the test questions. This blogger feared the consequences if he failed to obey this thinly disguised order to cheat on the test in the following year. In the bizarro world of “The People’s Republic” of NKC, failure to cheat on the ULS test could result in this blogger being falsely accused with cheating on the FAA! (Florida Alternate Assessment) Fortunately, this blogger retired a few weeks later, and did not have to worry about this.
As a union steward, this blogger noticed a steep uptick in both the number of administrators’ violations of school board employee rights and the severity of those violations after Mr. Carvalho became the school superintendent. Administrators became more brazen in their violations of the contract because it became apparent that staff were reporting those violations less and less frequently, and even when administrators were found to have seriously violated staff members’ contractual rights, those administrators received at best only a slap on the wrist. [There is a saying amongst MDCPS administrators that says, “If you want to go up, you have to screw up.” Ironically, those administrators who violate employees’ rights the most stand the best chance of receiving a raise, a promotion, or both.] This check on administrative abuse of power is now so broken that some administrators now feel safe to allegedly physically assault school staff. It’s a vicious circle. Administrators feel free to take increasingly brazen and draconian reprisals against school staff because they know that school staff are unlikely to report those violations. School board employees are afraid to report administrators abuse of employee rights because they correctly assume that the district’s investigative bodies will always find the administrators to be not guilty, no matter how overwhelming the evidence is against that administrator. The district’s investigative body will then look the other way as the absolved administrator then takes unlawful reprisals against the employee who reported those administrator(s). The system is badly broken. It is no longer a level playing field. This blogger calls on labor law lawyers, UTD, and Florida and Federal educational authorities to set up systems that are not run and controlled by “The People’s Republic” of MDCPS. Employees should be able to report abuses without fear of unlawful reprisals.This blogger also asks that labor law lawyers, UTD, and Florida and Federal educational authorities investigate both the entire MDCPS system and NKC to investigate alleged unlawful administrative practices. MDCPS says it has a zero tolerance for bullying. Perhaps it is time for that zero tolerance to include administrative bullying of school board employees. Administrators who are found to be in violation of Federal, or state statutes, or in violation of the MDCPS contract need to receive penalties commensurate with the violations they have committed. This blogger will end his description of Dr. Roos and Mrs. Fernandez questionable activities at NKC NOT because that list has been exhausted, but because the blogger believes the reader now has an accurate description of what goes on in “The People’s Republic” of NKC. This is the seventh and final installment of this blog. An addendum can be found in mdcpsallegations.com containing various letters I have written. Readers may find the letter to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the letter to UTD president Karla Hernandez Mats to be of interest. Hopefully, readers will forward all or part of this blog to other interested parties. Here is a list of actions this blogger would like the proper authorities to consider
Send a memo to all MDCPS staff from the proper authority stating that in the future, due diligence in the proper execution of duties will not result in disciplinary action being taken against MDFCPS staff.
Allow all NKC staff to be trained in CPR. It would be nice id master plan points could be offered for successful completion of this activity.
Allow labor law lawyers, UTD, and state and Federal authorities to conduct a county wide audit of MDCPS to determine if state and Federal laws are being observed.
Allow NKC staff to choose the curriculum used to instruct NKC students, subject to district approval.
Reinstate Dr. Alberto Fernandez and Mr. Henny Cristobol as the NKC administrators.
Pay the summer school salary of the NKC employee who was denied that employment, if it is determined he was improperly denied that employment.
Pay Luz Morales the remainder of the salary she was denied when she was improperly terminated.
If Mr. Carvalho, Dr. Roos, or Mrs. Alicia Fernandez are found to have violated one or more statutes, penalties commensurate with those violations need to be imposed.
Allow audience members of school board meetings to criticize school board members by name at those meetings.
Either create a new Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA) test appropriate for PMH students, or grant them a waiver of exemption from that testing.
If the contract states that loading or unloading unruly students from buses is the sole responsibility of administrators, that rule needs to be enforced in every school in the county.
Allow state and/or Federal authorities to examine NKC test results of the FAA for the last 5 years to see if cheating has occurred.
Allow state and Federal authorities to determine whether Mrs. Ramos observed an instance of a teacher allegedly physically abusing a child in the 2015-2016 school year at NKC, and reported it to Dr. Roos. It should then be investigated whether Dr. Roos followed the proper procedures for a case of reported possible child abuse.
If it is the wish of that employee, state and Federal authorities should be allowed to interview the employee who was allegedly physically assaulted by Dr. Roos. Other NKC staff should also be asked if Dr. Roos or Mrs. Fernandez physically assaulted them.
State and Federal authorities should be allowed to establish how many state and Federal lawsuits have been filed against MDCPS in recent years, and how many district employees have been unlawfully terminated.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/StopSignSchoolbusAlgiers.jpg475640Bill Detznerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngBill Detzner2017-05-09 07:22:212017-05-09 07:22:21Multi-Year Disaster At Neva King Cooper Educational Cener, Part Seven
I have been traveling for the last week. Where ever I go, the message from the people is the same. POTUS is doing a great job but he is working with one hand tied behind his back. Why is Congress hindering, not helping?
Party lines do not matter any more. America now has Globalists in both parties making our fight today not Republicans vs Democrat, but Americans vs. Globalists. Who are these Globalists and what do they want? Think of a pyramid. Block off the top inch. That is about 1000 people who run both the Democratic and Republican party aka Globalist, aka Elite, aka Moderates. The ideology of these Globalists is rooted in Communism. Globalists are communists. Communism is anti-American. Why is no one reporting this? Americans have learned in school through diversity training to be silent.
Americans are told; if you speak out, you will be labeled a racist. End of conversation.
Why kids? How does that work? Recently we discovered that Obama gave taxpayer dollars to Soros’ Open Society. Open Society used the money to influence the election in Macedonia by giving out Saul Alinski’s, “Rules for Radicals” to students before having them riot. With worldwide training in school, students can be called to do whatever is called for including rioting through the use of triggers. Kids without purpose are followers. Yet signals are constantly being thrown out by the media. Go see the last episode of “Bull”, the one where the son killed his father. Was that a message or a sign of coming attractions?
Another Globalist technique is to “accuse your opponent of things you have done…” By starting to train the young, and using Worldwide Common Core (a UNESCO and GATES partnership agreement signed in 1994) Globalists can use the same programming for kids throughout the world. Focusing on the training with techniques created by Bell, Skinner, Pavlov, like Mastery Learning aka Outcome Based Education assures Globalists the proper response when key trigger words are used. The student is trained in a way that the outcome of their actions is now predictable. Once that happens students lose their ability to choose and can easily be controlled (manipulated) by their choices. Their choices are now controlled by the Globalists. Any deviation from the group is racist. Today the youth of the world can be called upon to riot for any reason in any city. And Americans are silent.
When God is erased from school, from the government, immorality becomes the norm and lies are accepted as real. Right is wrong and the success of wrong is celebrated. America is lost. And Americans are silent. Why?
History must be erased.
The lowest common denominator in America is?
What is the one thing every American in one way or another must do whether public, private or at home? If you said education, you would be correct. So I ask, if you were trying to take over someone’s belief system and alter it to match what you want, where would you start your messaging?
If I were in charge of evil, I’d start in school, elementary school, after all that worked best for Stalin, Mao, Castro, Hitler to name a few. I’d change normal into my ideology by changing texts and history. Once Michelle Obama let the cat out of the bag, it became more evident that this is exactly what is being done. Why do this to our kids? Well they do grow and become the future Globalists. We now find Globalists in all American bureaucracies and government. Globalists are intolerant of any opposing point of view. Is there any surprise that we see the same failed programs in every state? Regionalism managed by un-elected bureaucrats, crony corporatism in Enterprise Zones, money designated and approved by the people are diverted into Globalist programs without oversight. Like: money for roads go into roundabouts, bike paths under the guise of saving the planet. Democrats say they favor big government, Republican Globalists focus on business. Once government manages and controls business, business controls government there is no difference.
All programs start in the same place. Where? School. Today all school programs tout sustainability and man made climate change. What is the real reason of this training? To REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH; to teach kids to rent not own. What do Globalists want? Everything we own. How do I know? Because Globalists tell us constantly.
UN VP Climate Initiative, Christina Figueres said,
“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for the, at least, 150 years, since the industrial revolution,”
What are the purposes of these programs? To ensure that future citizens believe man is destroying the earth and they must do more for less. Spending and regulation is the only answer to save the planet. Students are taught they must rent not own for ownership creates wealth and creating wealth is unfair. The entire program is right out of Agenda 21 oops, Sustainable Development, Smart Growth. Why rent not own? Renters are controlled by their landlords. Owners control themselves. Globalists will never allow you to control yourself.
In 1989, Bush 41 was POTUS, Bill Clinton was President of the Governors Association. Shirley McClune, from the McRel Educational Foundation, presented a new face for American education. Shirley told the Governors:
Students are HUMAN CAPITAL Education’s purpose is to train students to work.
Purpose of Education was to Transform Society from individualism to collectivism
Fact Based Education is not longer the primary focus of education
The Governors applauded. Americans were silent.
Governor Jeb Bush partnered Florida with the United Nations bringing sustainability to every aspect of Florida’s agencies. NCLB brought the UN and Sustainability to Florida’s schools. Common Core oops, Florida Sunshine State Standards have succeeded in dumbing our kids by creating individuals incapable of choice, self esteem, respect and empathy. We watched as students who had graduated 26th in the nation are now 47th. Dumbing down is complete and today’s graduates can hardly read above a 3-6 grade level. Not only will we lose our land through massive environmental programs that accomplish little or nothing to solve the problems but our kids will lose their identity as individuals. Mission Accomplished.
Following the key principal teachings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin: Use emotion not fact
The Economic Philosophy now puts Government at the top of the pyramid dictating to business, for the good of the collective through education, for the common good.
Marx: Psychological education (brainwashing) will change a persons belief system.
Lenin: Take away a person’s heritage and they will easily be persuaded.
Diversity touts Marx while open borders belongs to Lenin. But once history is erased, who will know America?
For the most part, today American history hardly resembles the history of America. Education is based on truth (facts). Indoctrination is based on what others hope you will accept as truth (concepts). The indoctrination in the school curricula prompts kids to feel the FLAG causes distress so it is removed. The pledge is nationalist and will make students “feel bad” if they recite it. Even worst is the reference that America is a democracy. America is not ruled by the majority. America is a Representative Republic ruled by laws called the Constitution. Removing the pledge with its line, “To the REPUBLIC for which it stands,” is a reminder so the Pledge must be removed.
The Constitution states ALL are created equal. But if citizens were taught the truth, they might learn that ALL means ALL and there is no need for labels or special groups demanding civil justice, religious justice or social justice. Everyone is covered under the Law called the constitution. However our kids are taught the Constitution is a racist document promoting slavery. Why would anyone want to defend a racist document promoting slavery?
If Liberty and Freedom and American excellence are not taught in school, who will fight for America? The classics are read to present period pieces in history to give a clear understanding of the time frame under which events occurred. In Florida many of the classics have been removed from required reading lists and are being replaced in many cases by pornography.
Why? Those that do not know the past will make the same mistakes again. And Americans are silent.
These agencies including the DOE and the FLDOE are merely a cover for a Globalist take over created to produced a core of drones aka slaves who will be trained to work for the government sanctioned corporation investing in their particular charter school. Education is no longer about students learning, it is about money as billions are made in charters, texts, materials and tests. Through the use of stored data, manipulated by algorithms, students will be given their “choice “ of career as early as elementary school. There is little factual education attached to the programs, the focus is indoctrination forcing the student to become good global citizens at the expense of American nationalism. Any mention of nationalism is now considered racist in many Globalist circles.
What can I do?
I can’t tell you how many times I heard: “I am but one what can I do?” The wonders of America is, each individual has the ability to act. Each individual has the ability to use their power to make a change, to fight back. We saw that with President Trump. He fights back, he is proven right and he wins. What a great role model!
Where is the one place you actually can make a change? School, but you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. It is best if you can get a group but you can work individually as well. The goal is to form a textbook review committee. You will find that most texts are written by foreign authors and published by foreign corporations.
Why? How can foreigners understand America? They can’t and don’t. But they make lots of money. They are Globalists. Could this be why our children do not know America?
Go to your school board meetings and district office. Request copies of all books used in each particular grade. They might resist but you must be persistent. Tell them you are a stakeholder and want to see what your investment of tax dollars buys. Tell your legislators, newspapers, on line and fill out FOIA (Freedom of information Act) requests if you get no help.
Once you get the texts or know the names you will find most of the texts have already been reviewed. Just check cfns.us for the list. If you form a committee, go back to the school board meeting and expose the propaganda and errors. You can put passages on flyers, on line, in the paper, or read at community meetings. Your goal is to change the books and curricula. POTUS just signed and Executive Order putting education back into the hands of the local community. That is us. Will you act? Globalists are counting on the fact that you will remain silent and won’t expose so they can continue.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
Then they came for the children, and there was no one left to speak for them…
Can we all say, “Leave those kids alone.”
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/trump-globalism-quote-1.jpg332640Karen Schoenhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngKaren Schoen2017-05-09 06:11:132017-05-09 06:14:55America or Globalism? You can’t have both
SB-436 is CFC Florida’s top legislative priority for the 2017 statewide legislative session in Tallahassee. CFC Florida was the only organization to publicly endorse, submit testimony, testify, lobby and deploy emails in support of this groundbreaking proposal!
Starting on March 6th CFC Florida speakers were the only ones who showed up to testify and face off in a dramatic hearing against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Florida Humanist Society (FHS) and the National Organization for Women (NOW), before the Senate Education Committee in support of SB-436 resulting in its first committee approval by a 5-2 margin. We continued to testify at every single committee hearing: Senate Judiciary, House PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee and House Education Committee, thus, ensuring its passage.
This historic bill dramatically expands religious liberty in Florida’s public schools in the following way:
Requires a school district to adopt a policy that establishes a limited public forum for student speakers at any school event at which a student is to speak publicly.
The Florida Department of Education (F.D.E.) must develop and publish on its website a model policy regarding a limited public forum and the voluntary expression of religious viewpoints by students and school personnel in all public schools.
The model policy must be adopted and implemented by each district school board.
The right is extended to students in public elementary and middle schools.
A school district may not prevent school personnel from participating in religious activities on school grounds that are initiated by students at reasonable times before or after the school day if such activities are voluntary and do not conflict with the responsibilities or assignments of such personnel.
Requires each district to state in written or oral form that the student’s speech does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the school district. The school district must deliver this disclaimer at all graduation events and any other event at which a student speaks publicly.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/religious-liberty.jpg402640Dr. Rich Swierhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngDr. Rich Swier2017-05-08 08:17:042017-05-08 08:17:44Florida legislature guarantees religious liberty in the Sunshine State's public schools
The good news, however, is that “just 5 percent of Yale’s students think, ‘Yale should forbid people from speaking on campus who have controversial views and opinions on issues like politics, race, religion or gender.’”
When will Yale administrators follow through by inviting my colleagues and me to speak on campus? Or is the respect for “intellectual diversity” not supported by Yale’s far-left administration?
“POLL: 16 Percent Of Students At Fancypants Yale Are Pretty Much Complete Fascists,” by Eric Owens, Daily Caller, May 4, 2017:
A new survey of students at Yale University shows that 16 percent of the students at Yale favor regulations restricting speech on the fancypants campus. That’s roughly 1 out of every 6 students.
At the same time, an impressive majority of undergraduate students at the Ivy League bastion support robust free speech.
The results of the poll show that 16 percent of Yale’s elite students support “having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty” and 72 percent oppose such limitations on speech.
Yale students also support intellectual diversity by wide margins.
Over 80 percent of Yale’s undergrads agree with this statement: “Yale should always do its best to promote intellectual diversity and free speech by allowing a wide range of people with differing views and opinions to speak on campus.”
Just 5 percent of Yale’s students think, “Yale should forbid people from speaking on campus who have controversial views and opinions on issues like politics, race, religion or gender.”
However, this meager 5 percent of students appears to be limiting academic discourse. Over 40 percent of the students at Yale admit they are “not comfortable” expressing their opinions in class on issues ranging from politics to race to gender. Over half of Yale’s students say they feel “intimidated” about voicing their opinions in class.
Students also say the Yale’s faculty is bursting at the seams with political liberalism. Almost 90 percent of Yale’s students classify the faculty as “liberal.” Only 1 percent of students believe the faculty is “conservative.”
“The survey offers some good news about student attitudes toward free speech on Yale’s campus but there is still cause for concern,” Lauren Noble, founder and executive director of the Buckley Program, told The Daily Caller. “While 60 percent of students approve of the job Yale is doing promoting free speech, 66 percent of conservative students disapproved. The Buckley Program encourages university administrators to take steps to improve this situation.”
The ongoing issue of stifled speech at Yale bizarrely erupted in 2015 over statements made by two professors, Nicholas Christakis and Erika Christakis, who served as the directors of a residential college at Yale.
Erika Christakis had sent out an email before Halloween criticizing efforts at the school to censor Halloween costumes. This email sparked a massive backlash and calls for both professors to resign.
In early November 2015, Yale student Jerelyn Luther shrieked at Nicholas Christakis to “be quiet” as he tried to explain his position on tolerating Halloween costumes to a group of students. Luther called Christakis “disgusting” and said he “should not sleep at night.”
Luther, who in fact served on a Yale committee which selected Christakis to direct the residential college, frantically moved to delete her online presence after the video went viral. Her LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages were deleted.
An investigation by TheDC showed that Luther comes from a relatively privileged background.
Besides the obvious privilege inherent in being able to attend Yale, Luther also hails from the wealthy, low-crime city of Fairfield, Connecticut. Her family home isn’t luxurious but has an appraised value of more than $760,000. Her short (now apparently deleted) profile at The Yale Globalist described her as an avid traveler who wants to visit at least three-fourths of the world’s countries — a hobby that’s hardly available to the impoverished.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/fascism.jpg360640Pamela Gellerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngPamela Geller2017-05-06 06:26:152017-05-06 06:26:15POLL: 16% of Yale students self-identify as Fascist
I was a union steward for 10 years. One of the things I was taught as a union steward is that if a staff member is given an order by an administrator that the staff member believes is unlawful, the staff member is to carry out that order, and then report the incident to the proper authorities. Failure to carry out an administrator’s directive (even an illegal one) constitutes insubordination and can result in disciplinary action against the employee. At great personal risk to themselves, two courageous teachers, Mr. Rick Massa (no longer at NKC) and Mr. Tebilio Diaz forced the district to open an official investigation of possible cheating by Dr. Roos on the FAA. The investigation was held off campus, during school time. When my colleagues learned that I intended to testify at that investigation, they pulled me aside and told me I was making a terrible mistake. They said that the investigation was a farce, and that Dr. Roos would be cleared, and then I would be retaliated against. They also said that fear of retaliation was causing them to avoid testifying. When I agreed to testify a second time at the hearing that reinstated Ms. Morales, my colleagues again pulled me aside and again said I would be targeted for retaliation , and fear of retaliation was keeping them from testifying on behalf of Ms. Morales. My colleagues were correct that Dr. Roos was cleared of cheating on the FAA, and they were correct that myself and others who testified were targeted for what appeared to be retaliation afterwards.
Although I have a masters degree in guidance and counseling, I am not a mental health professional. Having said that, Dr. Roos seems to exhibit wild mood swings at NKC. During one faculty meeting, she became very abusive and berated the entire staff and told the staff that their performance was unprofessional and unacceptable and that we were failing to provide adequate care for the children of our school. Dr. Roos then began a prolonged period of uncontrollable weeping in front of the staff. As a result of these actions, the NKC staff drew up a letter to district officials describing what had happened. We asked the district to get Dr. Roos the help she seemed to need. We got a typical district response: total silence. We did not even get a note acknowledging receipt of our letter.
A second red flag that Dr. Roos was a poorly qualified principal was the district inquiry concerning possible cheating on the FAA by Dr. Roos
A third warning that the district chose to ignore was the fact that a teacher that Dr. Roos recommended for termination was reinstated (with some, but not all of the back pay that teacher deserved) after a judge determined the termination occurred without just cause.
A fourth warning the district chose to ignore was the fact that the district’s top PTA official had to be called to sit in and personally observe the election of the EXTREMELY popular president of our school’s PTA. The name of the candidate in question is Kayla Martinez. Although Mrs. Martinez and the Ryder Corporation have partnered with NKC for over 20 years, and although Mrs. Martinez and the Ryder Corporation presented NKC with a check for $50,000 for Smart Boards in every classroom at NKC, and although Mrs. Martinez and the Ryder Corporation have provided a Christmas party, complete with a visit from Santa, and the Miami Heat Cheerleaders and SEVERAL gifts for every child in NKC for over 20 years, and although Mrs. Martinez and the Ryder Corporation have provided free turkeys at Thanksgiving for MANY needy NKC families for many years, for some reason, Dr. Roos saw fit to illegally prevent this hard working, caring, and giving person from being present during the aborted PTA election during the school’s annual Back To School night. When the MDCPS PTA official wrested control of the PTA election away from Dr. Roos, and personally conducted it himself, in the largest turn out ever for a PTA election at NKC, Mrs. Martinez was easily elected president.
The fifth unheeded warning by the district was the 16 page letter this blogger sent on June 8, 2015 to 5 high ranking officials (with no response from any of them).
A sixth unheeded warning was the fact that Dr. Roos had to be summoned to a meeting with MDCPS officials and given a cease and desist order and an order to apologize to this blogger and to refrain from citing this blogger with a letter of reprimand to be placed in his personnel file for carrying out a directive of Dr. Roos. MDCPS cannot say it was not given several warnings of Dr. Roos’ spectacular failures as the principal of NKC.
Dr. Alberto Fernandez and the faculty council decided to explore conversion to a charter school in part because the district was exerting a great deal of pressure on our staff to abandon the Small Step Curriculum and switch to the very expensive and inappropriate Unique Learning System (ULS) curriculum. This new curriculum, while appropriate for the two highest groups of mentally retarded children (Educable and Trainable) is simply beyond the mental capacity of profoundly mentally retarded children. When our school first implemented the ULS (after Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol were expelled by superintendent Carvalho), parents were so outraged that they showed up en masse in front of our school one morning with picket signs! Here are some of the concepts we are now expected to teach our profoundly mentally retarded students through the ULS curriculum:
The three branches of government, and the system of checks and balances built into those three branches of the government,
Global warming; what causes it and how it can be prevented.
What protons, electrons, and neutrons are and how they work together to produce electricity,
Animal food chains and the interdependence and interconnectedness of flora and fauna,
The difference between city, state, and national governments,
The chemical interactions that cause fire to reduce a piece of wood to ashes,
The chemical composition of the air we breathe. This material is FAR, FAR above the intellectual capacity of the best of the NKC students.
During the course of my last year of employment at NKC, I received several heartbreaking phone calls from the mother of one of my students, BEGGING me to toilet train her son (a skill he MUST master if he is to be placed in a sheltered workshop after graduation). As a school board employee, I had a gag order, and could not tell this desperate woman the truth about the “education” her son was receiving. While I would have liked to have made toilet training my top goal for this young man, the assistant principal, Mrs. Alicia Fernandez has a master key to every classroom and can and does walk unannounced into classrooms, and if she had walked into my classroom and discovered this young man was being toilet trained instead of “learning” about the checks and balances of the three branches of the government, I would have been subjected to disciplinary action.
In a nutshell, taxpayers are shelling out a great deal of money for a curriculum that has little or no merit for profoundly mentally handicapped children. Many teachers say that if taxpayers fully understood the curriculum being forced down teacher’s throats, there would be nationwide rioting! Dr. Alberto Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol committed career suicide by attempting to block the implementation of the ULS curriculum at NKC. It was a case of David vs. Goliath, and unfortunately, this time Goliath has won. Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol came within a whisker of being fired for trying to protect children who literally cannot speak for themselves. The writer of this blog is an army veteran. Never during my three year army stint did I see a level of courage that approached the heroism of these two fine gentlemen. Sadly, their worst fears are now a daily reality for the students and staff of NKC.
To continue the farce, NKC staff have been ordered to teach math, reading, science, writing, and social studies to profoundly mentally retarded students. A few years ago, this blog writer had the privilege of having one of the smartest students in the school in his class. This young man could reliably count to three. This blog writer began his math lessons with the concepts of learning to count to ten, and addition and subtraction of one digit numbers, concepts that none of my students were able to grasp. In math, learning is sequential. Students must master one concept before they can advance to the next, more complex concept. For many months, counting to ten and addition and subtraction were listed on my lesson plans, because my students had not mastered these concepts. One day, Mrs. Alicia Fernandez (the assistant principal) came storming into my classroom, unannounced. When she saw that no other staff members were present as witnesses, she began berating and shouting at me.
(Both Dr. Roos and Mrs. Fernandez shout at staff they don’t like whenever there are no witnesses present. If eyewitnesses are present, the disliked staff are spoken to pleasantly and politely). This has gone on for years, and probably continues to this day. This seems to indicate that both current NKC administrators are well aware that shouting at staff is an illegal activity. Respect at NKC is a one way street. It is given by staff by administrators, but administrators speak courteously and respectfully to disliked staff only when witnesses are present. It would be a good idea for UTD to visit NKC and ask staff if this practice persists and if a pervasive atmosphere of fear and intimidation is being actively cultivated by the current NKC administrators.
The reason for Mrs. Fernandez’ displeasure with this blog writer on that day was (in Mrs. Fernandez’ words) “You have had counting, addition, and subtraction on your lesson plans for months. What will that look like if auditors come to our school?” (May auditors come to NKC in the very near future!) This blog writer remained silent, due to a fear that any answer would result in an accusation of insubordination. Mrs. Fernandez then ordered this blog writer to have new math goals on his lesson plans every two weeks. Here are some of the math concepts this blog writer presented (as opposed to taught) to his class:
Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions,
Mrs. Fernandez had no further objections to my math lesson plans! One of the many disappointments the NKC staff has with the present NKC administrators is that those administrators seem to care very little whether any actual learning takes place at the school, as long as things look good on paper. The question this blog writer would have liked to ask Mrs. Fernandez is:
“What is it going to look like to auditors if there are things on my lesson plans that profoundly mentally retarded children cannot possibly be expected to master?”
Had I been questioned by auditors, it is doubtful Mrs. Fernandez would have stepped forward to tell the auditors that she (Mrs. Fernandez) was responsible for the outlandish things in this blogger’s and other teachers’ lesson plans. Teaching at NKC reminded this blog writer of the fable of the emperor’s new clothes. The emperor was naked, but only a young child blurted out the truth, while all the adults gushed over the emperor’s beautiful clothes. As a small child, this blog writer wondered how the adults could be so blind as to not notice the obvious. As an adult, this blog writer realizes those adults kept their mouths shut not out of blindness, but out of a fear of severe punishment. At NKC and other schools throughout the country, teachers who speak out against ineffective curriculums are labeled as troublemakers and often falsely accused of of potentially career ending offenses. This certainly happened at NKC, and it will be discussed later on in the blog.
A few years ago, this blog writer had an experience that forever altered his perception of profoundly mentally retarded children. It was the end of the school day, and all of the students and staff were gathered at the bus loading area to put the students on the bus to go home. One young lady, who this blogger will refer to as Grace (not her real name) caught this blogger’s attention. Grace was one of the highest functioning students who attended our school. Grace caught this blogger’s attention because she had an untied shoelace and this blogger was concerned that she might trip and hurt herself. This blogger had never met a profoundly mentally retarded student capable of tying her/his own shoelaces. So this blogger bent down to tie Grace’s shoelaces for her. At this point, Grace became extremely agitated. “No,” she shouted, and pushed this blogger away. Grace then bent down and correctly tied her own shoe! She then stood up and gave me one of the most brilliant and dazzling smiles this blogger has ever seen. The sense of pride, accomplishment, and achievement on her face was unmistakable. Her unspoken message was,
“I no longer need you to tie my shoelaces for me. I have achieved independence in this area.”
At that moment, Grace and this blogger changed places and she became the teacher and this blogger became the student. Grace taught this blogger that whether a person is a Nobel prize winning scientist or a profoundly mentally retarded student, the need to achieve goals and to learn to do new things is a universal human need. Grace learned to perform the complex, multi-step task of tying her shoe from the Small Step Curriculum (no longer allowed to be used at NKC). Sadly, the ULS curriculum which has been imposed on NKC from MDCPS district officials, nearly guarantees that students such as Grace will have few or no opportunities to learn self-help skills to improve the quality of their lives. The real danger is that a child who enters NKC at age 3 will exit that school at age 22 having learned very little during the 19 years he or she was there. The extremely expensive ULS curriculum certainly serves the needs of vendors and school board members who receive reelection funds from those vendors, but it does NOT serve the needs of profoundly mentally handicapped students., parents, or taxpayers. One person at NKC who was bold enough to give voice to his opposition to the ULS curriculum soon found himself the defendant of serious charges. This fine gentleman spent thousands of dollars of his own money fighting off manufactured potentially career ending charges against him.
This is the fifth installment of my blog. The blog can be accessed in its entirety at mdcpsallegations.com.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Miami-Dade-Public-Schools-Logo11.jpg360640Bill Detznerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngBill Detzner2017-05-05 06:34:452017-05-05 06:36:37Multi-Year Disaster At Neva King Cooper Educational Center, Part Five
The general public may not know much about the yearly achievement test given to profoundly mentally retarded children. This test is called the Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA). A person who is not familiar with how this test is scored could look at FAA test scores and be fooled into thinking that students have performed far better on this test than they actually have.
Here’s how the test works: The teacher asks a test question and the child has three choices to choose from. (The majority of profoundly mentally handicapped students do not look at the test book, and make no choice.). If the child makes the correct choice, he/she is awarded 9 points. If a child makes no choice at all, or makes an incorrect choice, the teacher covers up one of the incorrect choices (the child now has only two choices to choose from) and asks the question a second time. If the child makes the correct choice at this point, he/she is awarded 6 points. If the child makes no choice, or chooses incorrectly, the remaining incorrect response is then covered up so that only the correct response remains. The teacher asks the question a third time. If the child answers correctly, he/she is awarded 2 points. If the child makes no response, the teacher then grasps the child’s hand and places it on the correct response. The child is then awarded one point.
At the end of the 20 question test, a child who has not made one single independent choice, and who may not have even looked at the test booklet during the entire testing process has a score of 20 points! Additionally, awarding test takers 9 points for a correct answer the first time, or 6 points for a correct answer the second time gives a test score that sounds more impressive than it actually is. Tragically, the farce gets even worse. The only way a test taker can score a zero on a test question is if the child refuses to allow the teacher to place the child’s hand on the correct response. Many profoundly mentally retarded children are “touch aversive”. This means they do not like to be touched in any manner. Therefore, when the teacher attempts to place the child’s hand on the correct response, the child violently resists this touching, and attempts to jerk his/her hand away. At “The People’s Republic” of NKC, a teacher’s job is on the line if a student does poorly on the test and the teacher may have children of his/her own to feed and clothe, so a wrestling match ensues, with the terrified student attempting to wrestle his or her hand away, while the terrified teacher attempts to wrestle that hand onto the correct answer.
A passerby, observing this, may think he or she is witnessing child abuse, and to be perfectly honest, what is occurring IS child abuse. However, these achievement tests to children with IQ’s of 25 and below generate money for vendors. The repeated pleas (over a period of many years) of administrators at schools for profoundly mentally retarded children throughout Florida for either a test appropriate for children of this IQ range, or a waiver from this yearly achievement test have gone unheeded.
Two further points need to be made regarding the FAA.
Much of the FAA consists of three side-by-side pictures. (For example, the test question may show pictures of a comb, a hat, and a fork). The teacher then says, “Point to the fork.” Since Dr. Roos became the NKC principal, NKC students have shown an astonishing improvement on their performance on the FAA. Dr. Roos may explain these astonishing gains by saying that she has instructed teachers to bring in actual objects that correspond to the pictured objects. Thus, the teacher shows the student an actual comb, hat, and fork and then asks the child to point to the fork. Dr. Roos does indeed do this. Dr. Alberto Fernandez also did this when he was the NKC principal, so that would not explain the dramatic improvement in FAA test scores after Dr. Roos became the new principal of NKC.
Starting last year, profoundly mentally handicapped students (with IQ’s of 25 and below) were given an essay test as a part of the FAA (Ah, the emperor’s new clothes are indeed magnificent!)
If this blog writer is correct, the United Teachers of Dade (UTD) contract states that it is the sole responsibility of administrators to put unruly students on the bus in the afternoon when they go home, or to take unruly students off the bus when they arrive in the morning. Nevertheless, at NKC, as a courtesy to our two administrators, male teachers put on or take off unruly students from the buses. (Nearly all NKC students come to school on buses). One of the characteristics of profoundly mentally handicapped (PMH) students is an inability to transition to new activities. When PMH students arrive at school, or when they go home in the afternoon, they may not want to get on or off the bus. When this happens, staff first attempt to coax or cajole the child into voluntarily exiting or boarding the bus with a favorite toy, a favorite food, or promise of a favorite activity. If this fails, the child’s hand is gently grasped and the teacher attempts to pull the child to a standing position, while speaking to the child in a gentle and encouraging voice. If this fails, several male faculty members are summoned who explain to the child that he/she has a choice to either exit/board the bus or to be carried off/on the bus. If the child still refuses to exit/board the bus, several male staff members grasp the child by the arms and legs and as gently as possible escort or carry the child on or off the bus. Students attend our school until the age of 22, so some students are adult in terms of both size and strength, and they fight like tigers when they are carried on or off a bus. The writer of this blog has been bitten, kicked, scratched, and had many back, wrist, and arm sprains as a result of helping to put students on and off buses. Neither this blog writer or any other male staff members take these student struggles personally, and we are careful to use the minimum amount of restraint needed to escort unwilling students on or off buses.
One older, very strong male student is frequently difficult to get on or off the school bus or his parents’ personal vehicle. On several occasions, these parents have personally witnessed male staff members getting their child into or out of a vehicle. One day, an NKC administrator appeared to decide to use a male staff member’s extraction of this young man from a vehicle as a weapon against that staff member (Javier Ruiz Lopez). Mr. Ruiz Lopez is still an NKC staff member. (Again, Mr. Ruiz Lopez has had no contact with this blog writer since this blog writer’s retirement, and he played no part whatsoever in the creation of this blog. Hopefully, this will be enough to shield Mr. Ruiz Lopez from retaliation at the hands of “The People’s Republic.”) Mr. Ruiz Lopez was accused of using excessive force to extract the student. This extraction happened in full view of the entire staff, who are very protective of our students, and would report any staff member who abused a student. No other staff member witnessed Mr. Ruiz Lopez using anything more than the minimal amount of restraint needed to extract this young man from the vehicle. When the mother of this NKC student was contacted by the administration and urged to file charges against Mr. Ruiz Lopez, she became very angry and said Mr. Ruiz Lopez had done nothing wrong and she refused to be a party to charges that were blatant lies.
Whether by their own design or by orders from MDCPS district officials, the present NKC administrators give the appearance of going out of their way to create a hostile work environment to terminate staff, cause them to retire, or to seek transfers to other schools.
Given the fact that the present NKC administration appears to have chosen to make a favor that male staff have done for the two administrators of NKC into a potentially career ending weapon, this blog writer is asking that UTD visit NKC and tell the two administrators that from now on, getting unruly students on and off buses is now (as the contract states) the SOLE responsibility of administrators. This does not mean that male staff members continue to do this job under the supervision of administrators. It means that administrators do the job all by themselves. This way, administrators can be assured that excessive force will not be used!
NKC recently lost the services of a gentleman who has nearly 40 years of teaching experience. He has joined a very long list of staff who have left KNC since Dr. Tracy Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez have become the school administrators. He is now teaching at another MDCPS school. If a survey were taken among NKC staff to determine the best teachers at the school, it is probable that nearly the entire staff would have listed this recently retired teacher as one of the best teachers at NKC. This outstanding educator was one of the teachers who forced the MDCPS district to open an official investigation into possible cheating by Dr. Roos on the FAA. He also agreed to testify on behalf of Ms. Morales at her reinstatement hearing. Finally, he testified on behalf of Dr. Alberto Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol at their unlawful reprisal and abuse of power legal hearing. Prior to his participation in these legal and protected activities, this teacher had an unblemished record spanning well over 30 years. This teacher appears to have been the victim of a vigorous program of retaliation by MDCPS for his participation in legally protected activities. Sadly, this highly accomplished teacher found himself facing several bogus charges shortly after participating in the above mentioned protected activities. Among the false accusations against this teacher were inappropriately going to the rest room with a student, cheating on the FAA, and gross neglect of a student. As a result of these potentially career ending charges, this teacher incurred substantial legal fees. This teacher has a pending lawsuit against the school board in state and Federal court. Therefore, this blogger will not provide much information about the charges and the incidents related to the cases.
However, this blogger can say that he was falsely charged with gross neglect of a student. This teacher had a student in his class who is prone to choking incidents. That fact is noted in the child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). (In a previous year, this young man was a student in this blogger’s class. During the course of that school year, this young man also experienced a few brief choking incidents while a member of this blogger’s class). This young man frequently stuffs enormous quantities of food into his mouth, unaware of the danger he is putting himself into. For this reason, this young man is monitored very closely at meal times. Without getting into more details, let me just say that the teacher saved the student’s life. In a normal school, this teacher would have been warmly congratulated for his prompt and appropriate actions. In “The People’s Republic” of NKC, this teacher’s actions constituted gross neglect of a child, and he was written up on potentially career ending charges. In the 25 years this blogger has been a teacher at NKC, this writer has never seen a teacher written up for taking prompt and effective action when a student began to choke. Dr. Roos has taken an aggressive step never used before and appears to be using the choking incidents of our students as a weapon to use against teachers she doesn’t like and wants to get rid of. Only in “The People’s Republic” of NKC would a teacher’s prompt and effective actions to save the life of a choking child be twisted and perverted into charges of gross child neglect.
On June 8, 2015, this blogger wrote a 16 page letter that was sent to 5 important MDCPS officials (Three of those recipients are school board members). The letter stated that due to Dr. Roos decision to bring potentially career ending charges against a teacher who saved a child’s life, the potential exists for a needless and easily preventable death to occur on our campus. If food is deeply lodged in a child’s throat, it can take 2-3 minutes to dislodge. If caretakers are not next to the child when this happens, more time can elapse before help arrives. It does not take long before irreversible brain damage or even death takes place. A few years ago, a different young man at NKC attempted to swallow an entire pancake without chewing it. The pancake was so deeply lodged in his throat that an NKC staff member (who had graduated from the Fireman’s Academy and was a fully trained paramedic who rode in ambulances during the weekends) reached down into the young man’s throat and extracted the pancake. It took that fully trained paramedic, who was in the cafeteria when the incident occurred 2-3 minutes to save the child’s life. If this child had to wait until outside paramedics arrived, he would have perished. The name of that fully trained paramedic , (who has joined the very long list of staff who have left NKC since Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez became the NKC administrators) was Mr. Frank Lozada. During the time we were fortunate enough to have Mr. Lozada as a staff member, he saved the lives of three people on our campus. He saved two children who nearly choked to death on food and one staff member who went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
To quote from the letter that this blogger sent EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO to 5 high ranking MDCPS officials:
“This (charging a staff member who saved a child’s life) with gross child neglect has resulted in a climate of fear among our staff. If a student begins to choke, a relatively new and inexperienced staff member (as seasoned staff members have retired or transferred due to the inhospitable work environment at NKC, they have been replaced by recent college graduates) may hesitate for several seconds before summoning help from our on-site nursing staff. The new staff member may hesitate, hoping that the child spontaneously ejects the food and that the administration has not observed the event. The staff member may hesitate for a minute or so, fearing that his/her job may be at stake (in a dismal job market and economy). That single minute wasted where help is not summoned due to fears of administrative reprisals could mean the difference between an outcome resulting in no injury and an outcome resulting in permanent brain injury or even death. Staff need to know that if they act with due diligence, they will not be charged if a student experiences a choking incident.”
In this writer’s letter of 18 months ago, this blogger suggested two actions that could prevent one or more needless and easily avoided deaths at NKC. As it was June, and school was over for the year, one suggestion was that Mr. Carvalho replace Dr. Roos with a more seasoned principal. This blogger is puzzled by the fact that Mr. Carvalho seemed to have no qualms about removing two highly qualified administrators in May, 2012, for a (later disproved) charge of intimidating NKC staff, yet Mr. Carvalho chose NOT to remove a very troublesome administrator after the school year had ended! This blogger’s other suggestion was that in the future, staff whose diligent actions save the life of a child will no longer be charged with gross child neglect.
Timothy McVeigh, the evil man who bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was asked how he could kill over 100 kindergarten children who were housed in that building. He shrugged his shoulders and replied, “they were collateral damage.” While this blogger is not comparing Mr. McVeigh to Mr. Carvalho, it is only fair to observe that in the EIGHTEEN MONTHS since this blogger sent a 16 page letter warning of a potentially life threatening situation, virtually NOTHING has been done to prevent this easily avoidable tragedy from occurring! During that time, the situation at NKC has gotten much more serious, as Mr. Lozada (the trained paramedic) is no longer at NKC. A teacher at NKC who saved a child’s life has been charged with gross neglect of one child. Perhaps a charge of gross neglect of over 100 children at NKC could be applied to Superintendent Carvalho, Dr. Larry Feldman, Ms. Perla Tabares Hantman, Dr. Martha Perez, Dr. Tracy Roos, and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez, who have knowingly permitted a potentially life threatening condition to exist at NKC for 18 months. Given the fact that neither Mr. Carvalho or the school board has taken appropriate action, this blogger is hoping state and/or Federal authorities will step in and safeguard the lives of NKC children.
This blogger would like to repeat comments made at the end of the June 8,2015 letter this blogger sent to 5 MDCPS officials: “Based on Mr. Carvalho’s statement [made during his sole very brief visit to NKC] (“If any MDCPS wants to convert to a charter school, they are going to have to come through me.”) and Dr. Roos actions over the last three years, many NKC staff members believe the district is viciously and deliberately retaliating against this school. If the goal of the punishment our staff has received for the last three years is intimidation, that goal has been achieved. Our staff feels deeply intimidated by the district. The NKC staff COMLETELY abandoned the idea of converting to a charter school about two and a half years ago. Any staff member foolish enough to bring up the subject of converting to a charter school would immediately be vigorously opposed by the entire staff. The NKC staff understands that the district response would be swift and brutal. Therefore, if the district is punishing our staff to prevent a charter conversion, that punishment can stop. Perhaps the district should declare an amnesty for the NKC staff. A hundred years from now, NKC will still be a public school. If the district is punishing NKC as an example of what happens to schools that attempt to convert to a charter school, then I suppose the punishment will continue.”
In addition to this quote from the June 8, 2015 letter, that same letter contained an in-depth description of the numerous potentially career ending charges the previously described NKC teacher faced, so the district was well aware of what was going on at NKC. This blogger wishes to strongly emphasize that the following action occurred in the fall of 2015, a few months AFTER the district received the June 8, 2015 letter.
In a move that could have come out of the play book of the former Soviet Union, the above mentioned teacher, on very brief notice, was summoned by MDCPS district officials to a meeting downtown. This teacher was not allowed to have his lawyer present at that meeting. At the time of that meeting, this teacher had been cleared of most of the charges against him (due to insufficient evidence). The only remaining charge was a very minor charge. Nevertheless, the district told this teacher he had two options. His two options were to either retire immediately or be fired. What the district did NOT mention was that given the fact that the only remaining charge was very minor, this teacher had a third option, namely to continue his teaching career. This teacher knew he had this third option ONLY because he was told of it by his attorney. This teacher is still teaching in MDCPS. This blogger suspects that every day he reports for work, he may be wondering if he will again be summoned for another Soviet Union style meeting by MDCPS officials. Based on these events, it is not difficult to see how a reasonable person might draw the conclusion that Mr. Carvalho seems to be a very vindictive man, and MDCPS seems to be a lawless entity. On bended knee, this blogger is BEGGING any labor law attorneys, State of Florida or Federal education authorities who read this blog to assume control of the nation’s fourth largest school district and reestablish law and order. (Hopefully, MDCPS has kept a record of this meeting). It is distressing that Mr. Carvalho did not see fit to replace the principal of NKC [Dr.Roos] after receiving numerous written notifications of questionable decisions she had made, when he could have done so in June, after the conclusion of the school year. However, the district DID see fit to attempt to remove a teacher who had been cleared of all but a very minor offense part way through the following school year.
This is the sixth installment of this series. The series can be accessed in its entirety at mdcpsallegations.com
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/charterschoolfight-e1493141534458.jpg384640Bill Detznerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngBill Detzner2017-05-05 06:30:062017-05-05 06:30:06Multi-Year Disaster At Neva King Cooper Educational Center, Part Six
Perhaps Mr. Carvalho chose not to wait until the end of the school year to remove our administrators because he wanted to send a strong warning to any other administrators contemplating exercising their legal right to convert to a charter school. Shortly after removing Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol, Mr. Carvalho paid a very brief visit to the NKC campus. It was the only time he has ever visited our campus. He stood in the school office, and in the presence of our school secretaries, who are still at NKC and can verify his words, he said, “If any school wants to convert to a charter school, they are going to have to come through me.”If Mr. Carvalho’s purpose in making this statement was to terrify and intimidate the NKC staff, his statement (which swept through our school like a wildfire) had the desired effect.
The staff of NKC, rightly or wrongly, has the opinion that Mr. Carvalho views NKC as a rebellious and conquered entity that needs to be punished.
Dr. Fernandez was the principal of our school for 15 years, so a baseline exists as to staff turnover during that period. My hope is that Federal and state education bureaucrats, as well as UTD and labor law lawyers will compare staff turnover at NKC when Dr. Alberto Fernandez was the NKC principal and Mr. Cristobol was the assistant principal and compare it with staff turnover after Dr. Tracy Roos (principal) and Alicia Fernandez (assistant principal) came to NKC.
The opinion of a great many NKC staff is that both Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez are deliberately cultivating a hostile work environment and a climate of fear at NKC. These investigators might wish to invite staff who have recently retired from NKC or transferred to other schools to provide statements as to why they are no longer at NKC. Investigators probably will hear many horror stories of threats, intimidation, and outright false allegations made by BOTH of these new NKC administrators against NKC staff. As a result of the actions by BOTH Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez, morale at NKC was the lowest it has been during my 25 year tenure at that school. For this reason, it might be helpful for investigators to closely examine the yearly mandatory staff satisfaction surveys that all NKC staff fill out. It would be informative to examine how the NKC staff have rated their interactions with Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez This could then be compared to how staff have rated their interactions with Dr. Alberto Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol in previous years. A sizable discrepancy between these two scores would indicate a serious problem, especially if the NKC staff seemed happy with Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol and unhappy with Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez. Investigators might also want to examine parents levels of satisfaction with these two groups of NKC administrators. If both parents and staff exhibited significantly higher levels of satisfaction with Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol, state or Federal investigators might want to consider recommending removing Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez from their posts as NKC administrators, and replacing them with Dr. Alberto Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol.
It might be prudent for Federal and state investigative bodies to exclude MDCPS from participating in an examination of wrongdoing within the school system, as a conflict of interest appears to exist. Rightly or wrongly, many MDCPS employees believe that the investigative bodies of the nation’s fourth largest school district owe their jobs to Mr. Carvalho, and their function seems to be to protect Mr. Carvalho and to sweep any and all wrongdoing by the district under the rug, and then retaliate and punish whistleblowers. Consequently, MDCPS employees who are reluctant to bring their concerns to the district may be more willing to talk to state and Federal authorities, provided those authorities do not allow retaliation to occur once the investigation is completed. Perhaps the Federal and state educational authorities might want to widen their search to involve the entire MDCPS system. Additional county-wide problems they may wish to investigate should include such topics as: Are whistleblowers within the system being silenced/intimidated by accusing them of physically abusing students, sexually molesting students, or cheating on the high stakes achievement tests that are given every year? These investigators might also check to see if Mr. Carvalho is in compliance with Federal and state statutes. They might also ask if any other MDCPS schools that have attempted to convert to a charter school have been unlawfully punished.
Another area of concern investigators might want to examine is the dramatic increase in test scores on the Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA) that have occurred since Dr. Roos came to NKC. Dr. Alberto Fernandez was the principal of NKC for 15 years, so a baseline of student achievement on the FAA exists. That baseline can be compared to the startling jump in achievement under Dr. Roos. When Dr. Alberto Fernandez was the NKC principal, he took the precaution of removing himself entirely from the FAA, and placing Ondina Rodriguez, the Program Specialist at NKC in charge of the FAA. Dr. Roos chose to remove that safeguard and place the assistant principal, Mrs. Alicia Fernandez in charge of the FAA.
Another matter needing investigators’ attention is an allegation of unreported child abuse by Dr. Roos in the 2015-2016 school year. Allegedly, Mrs. Ramos, a paraprofessional currently employed at NKC, observed a teacher at NKC physically abuse a child. Ms. Ramos allegedly reported this abuse to Dr. Roos, who is obligated by law to report this abuse or permanently lose her educational credentials. Dr. Roos allegedly failed to report this possible child abuse, and merely transferred the child to another class. It should be relatively easy for investigators to question Mrs. Ramos to see if she reported a case of possible child abuse to Dr. Roos. If Dr. Roos then failed to take appropriate action, the proper penalty should be applied.
Another matter to investigate involves an allegation that Dr. Roos allegedly physically assaulted one of the employees at NKC. Allegedly, this employee was in Dr. Roos’ office and Dr. Roos was allegedly screaming and verbally abusing this person. This person was looking down at the floor. Dr. Roos allegedly seized this person’s jaw and screamed, “Look at me when I am talking to you.” If am employee did that to an administrator, termination and legal action would probably occur. The district says it has a zero tolerance for bullying. Does this zero tolerance also apply to an administrator who allegedly physically assaulted an employee? This person is no longer at NKC (imagine that). However, this person is still a MDCPS employee. If he or she is assured that MDCPS will not retaliate against him or her, perhaps he or she will be willing to come forth and testify.
Yet another matter that UTD might want to address is who is responsible for loading and unloading unruly students on and off of school buses in the morning and in the afternoon. There was an incident where a staff member who extracted an unruly student out of a vehicle (the student did not want to exit the vehicle) was accused by the administrator of using excessive force. Although the entire staff witnessed this extraction, and nobody else saw any evidence of excessive force being used, the employee was in danger of having possibly career ending charges leveled against him. Therefore, if the contract calls for unruly students to be escorted on and off busses SOLELY by administrators, can UTD please inform NKC administrators of this, and then enforce this provision of the contract? nother question investigators might ask is how many state or Federal lawsuits have been lodged against the school system? Still another question is how many employees have been unlawfully terminated? If the investigative bodies find a culture of pervasive corruption at MDCPS, perhaps they might consider making the recommendations that Superintendent Carvalho be relieved of his position, and that MDCPS investigative bodies be made more transparent, receptive to, and accepting of feedback from employees, and responsible for enforcing Federal and state laws, as opposed to the will of the superintendent.
Still another question that might be asked is why is it illegal for taxpayers or school board employees to criticize school board members by name at school board meetings? A citizen can go to a meeting of any other civic body and criticize by name the President of the United States, U.S. Senators, or state governors, but a citizen cannot criticize a MDCPS school board member by name! Why is this? Is MDCPS a part of the United States? If so, does the U.S. Constitution also apply to MDCPS? If so, does one of the amendments of the Bill of Rights guarantee the right of free speech? If the findings of an investigation warrants it, perhaps Federal and state funds can be cut off from MDCPS until it agrees to abide by Federal and state laws. Many school board employees refer to MDCPS as “The People’s Republic,” because although Mr. Carvalho accepts both Federal and state funds, he gives the appearance of thumbing his nose at both Federal and state laws, and seems to suffer no adverse consequences, even when he is caught in a flagrant violation of the law. An example of this would be Mr. Carvalho’s decision to remove the two NKC administrators after they began to explore their legal option to convert to a charter school. Mr. Carvalho’s actions constituted unlawful reprisal and abuse of authority. This is not the opinion of the writer of this blog, it is the verdict rendered by the judge who heard the case that Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol brought against MDCPS. In his verdict, the judge noted that MDCPS had been flagrant and blatant in its breaking of the law. Incredibly, Mr. Carvalho suffered no adverse consequences whatsoever as a result of his nakedly illegal actions. Although Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol expressed their desire to return to their duties as NKC administrators, and although staff and parents were also strongly supportive of these two administrators returning to NKC, Mr. Carvalho had no legal obligation to return them to NKC, and refused to do so. They were reassigned to other posts within the school system. The closest thing to an adverse consequence that Mr. Carvalho suffered as a result of his willful, blatant, and flagrant breaking of the law was that the taxpayers of MDCPS had to pay $250,000 for the legal expenses of Dr. Fernandez and Mr. Cristobol.
Does this mean that if another MDCPS school is foolish enough to attempt to exercise its legal right to attempt to convert to a charter school that Mr. Carvalho could again use blatantly illegal practices to smash that attempt, with no adverse consequences to himself? The answer to that question appears to be a resounding “YES.”A law that has no adverse consequences for breaking it is not really a law. It is a plea or a suggestion. Anyone who drives an automobile knows what is required of them when they come to a red, eight sided sign with the letters S-T-O-P on it. Failure to obey this law will result in a steep fine, and points charged against the offender’s drivers license. If the steepest penalty for failure to stop at a stop sign was a stern, disapproving frown from a policeman, how many people would continue to obey this law?
In June, 2015, I retired from MDCPS after a 30 year career with the school system. One of my biggest reasons for retiring at this time was because both Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez had cultivated an extremely toxic and stressful work environment at NKC. I very much wanted to participate in the financially lucrative DROP program. Had I transferred to another school, I could have participated in DROP. However, a school board employee gives up a great deal of his/her Constitutional right to free speech as an employed school board employee. (A retired school board employee regains his/her Constitutional right to free speech.) I saw many illegal things being done by both Dr. Roos and Mrs. Alicia Fernandez. One of those actions was so grave that I felt the lives of profoundly mentally retarded children, most of whom literally cannot speak for themselves were being needlessly put at risk. (This will be discussed later in the blog). I had the option of bringing the matter up before a MDCPS investigative body, but I feared this would result in no action at all, with the exception of retaliation against the whistleblower. By retiring, I could not be retaliated against or silenced, and I (wrongly) assumed the chances of my being heard would be increased. On June 8, 2015, I wrote a 16 page letter to 5 senior MDCPS officials. A copy of that letter will be included as a part of this blog. The letter was sent to Dr. Larry Feldman (school board member), Dr. Martha Perez (school board member), Ms. Perla Tabares Hantman (school board member),Barbara Mendizabal (Region Superintendent), and Dr. David More (Assistant Superintendent). I mailed those 5 letters via the U.S. Postal Service, and I have retained the receipt. All 5 letters were delivered to the addressee. Most (but not all) of the remainder of this blog will address issues that these 5 people have been aware of for 18 months now, and no action appears to have been taken. As one of my concerns dealt with an immediate threat to the lives of one or more profoundly mentally retarded children, a reasonable person might expect a response from at least one of these prominent officials. Sadly, not a single person chose to respond to the serious issues raised in that letter, or even to acknowledge that they had received that letter. That is the reason for this blog. Since MDCPS either cannot or will not take appropriate action unprodded, there is the possibility that appropriate action will take place if enough pressure is exerted from powerful outside forces. For this reason, I give permission for anyone reading this blog to copy part or all of it and distribute it to any other party that might be interested.
There were serious problems with Dr. Roos almost from the start. Every student in MDCPS (even the profoundly mentally handicapped) is given an achievement test in the spring. Special needs children are given a test called the Florida Alternate Assessment (FAA). When Dr. Alberto Fernandez was the principal, he instructed staff that no cheating on the test would be tolerated, even if it caused our school to receive a failing grade for the year. Students were given credit for correct answers only when they provided correct responses. Dr. Roos seemed to have a different idea. She summoned two very meek and timid teachers to her office who had already administered the test and allegedly told those two teachers that their students’ performance levels were unacceptably low, and she then allegedly ordered those two teachers to administer the test to their students a second time. Dr. Roos then allegedly cautioned those two teachers that if their students performed poorly on the FAA a second time, those teachers would receive a failing yearly evaluation, and dismissed as employees. If Dr. Roos made this statement, it put these teachers in a Catch-22 situation. Cheating on the FAA is grounds for dismissal, yet failure to cheat on the test would also result in dismissal. If Dr. Roos made this statement, she broke two laws: 1) The FAA is given a second time only under very clearly described conditions, and poor performance on the test is not one of those conditions. 2) At the time Dr. Roos allegedly made that statement, an administrator was not allowed to fail a teacher on the yearly evaluation because of poor student performance on the FAA, nor was an administrator allowed to threaten to fail a teacher based on poor student performance on this test. Word of this alleged threat spread through the school very quickly. The two teachers Dr. Roos allegedly threatened were Luz Morales (no longer at NKC) and Julie Besherat. Ms. Besherat is still at NKC. She is an outstanding teacher, with an unblemished record. Two years ago, she was the NKC teacher of the year. Ms. Besherat has had no contact whatsoever with the writer of this blog since the writer’s retirement. She also has played no part whatsoever in the creation of this blog. Should “The People’s Republic” contemplate retaliation against Ms. Besherat because her name appears in this blog, the negative public relations created by that action will hopefully make the cost of retaliation against her too high. Ms. Luz Morales confided to some colleagues that Dr. Roos had asked her to cheat on the FAA. One of the people that Ms. Morales made this statement to was the writer of this blog. Later, Dr. Roos wrote Ms. Morales up on very serious charges and recommended that Ms. Morales be dismissed as a MDCPS employee. Ms. Morales was then fired. She appealed her dismissal, and a judge ruled that her dismissal was invalid and ordered her to be reinstated at a different school. Ms. Luz Morales case number is Florida DOAH 145-2439, should readers have a further interest. The district called not a single witness to defend their improper dismissal of Ms. Morales. By the time Ms. Morales was ordered to be reinstated, she had been unemployed for nearly a year and was in desperate economic straits. The judge recommended that Ms. Morales be paid the full amount of money she had lost due to her inappropriate dismissal. The school district, perhaps being aware of Ms. Morales desperate need for immediate funds, told her they (the district) would pay her half of her salary immediately with the understanding that she would then forfeit the other half of her salary. The alternative was to fight a second court battle (which she would have almost certainly won) for the entire amount. This would mean Ms. Morales would receive none of the money she was entitled to for a very long period of time.
This district delaying tactic had the appearance to many NKC staff of being very mean spirited, and it furthered the belief that Mr. Carvalho was/is singling out NKC for punishment because of our lawful decision to explore converting to a charter school.
This is the fourth installment of my blog. The blog can be accessed in its entirety at mdcpsallegations.com.
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Alberto-Carvalho-September-9-2013-e1443630087443.jpg360640Bill Detznerhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngBill Detzner2017-05-02 06:32:482017-05-02 06:32:48Multi-Year Disaster At Neva King Cooper Educational Center, Part Four
11.2% of Hawaii High School students are LGBTQ. That’s the headline number from the April, 2017 Hawaii Department of Health report on “Sexual and Gender Minority Health.”
This number stands in sharp contrast to other studies of gay demographics. For instance Gallup in 2013 reported that 5% of Hawaii residents are gay and in a 2012 Gallup report found 3.4% of US adults are LBGTQ.
The DoH report is far from dispassionate science. It comes across more like a pamphlet by gay activists. The dedication page reads:
This report is dedicated to all people identifying as a sexual or gender minority in the State of Hawai’i. It acknowledges the resiliency and strength of sexual minority, and transgender and gender non-conforming people in Hawai’i, who despite having borne a disproportionate burden of adverse events in their lives, continue to strive for a better tomorrow. It remembers and acknowledges those from our community who passed too soon
So how did DoH fake the data?
The trick is in the methodology:
Questions on sexual orientation have been included in the high school YRBS since 2005. In 2011, the survey’s sample size was increased to enable county-level reporting, consequently increasing the number of SM respondents and enabling analysis of YRBS data by sexual orientation. In 2017, a question on sexual orientation was included for the first time in the middle school module of the YRBS, and a question on gender identity was added to the high school module. For this report, aggregated high school data for the years 2011, 2013, and 2015 were analyzed. Respondents were asked to self-identify as heterosexual/straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, or not sure; youth who reported being “not sure” were coded as “questioning” in this report. (pg 11)
What does this really obvious scam produce? See the chart from page 44. Notice that 40.1% of the “questioning” are 9th graders who have no idea what long words like “heterosexual/straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual” mean so they checked “not sure”. Also notice that 61.5% of the LGB are female whereas other studies show that male homosexuals outnumber lesbians 2-1.
The report presents no statistics on the number of transsexuals in Hawaii high schools – probably because there are too few to perform statistical analysis.
Of course the numerical discrepancies could be taken at face value—the change from baseline studies would provide evidence that Charles Darwin was right and homosexuality is not an in-born characteristic. The lack of transsexuals might be cause to question the need for government-mandated bathroom policies. But those would be thought crimes and you would have to report for diversity training again so better just forget it.
And what will happen to HS students who really do go gay? Other gays will rape them:
“LGB adults in Hawai’i are significantly more likely than heterosexual adults to experience both physical and sexual abuse by an intimate partner. LGB adults are more than twice as likely to experience sexual abuse and nearly three times as likely to experience physical abuse in intimate relationships compared to heterosexual adults. When examined by sex, lesbian or bisexual women are significantly more likely to report physical abuse by a current or former intimate partner compared to heterosexual women. Gay or bisexual men are significantly more likely to report being sexually abused by their partners compared to heterosexual men. Additionally, LGB adults are significantly more likely to have been victims of rape or attempted rape compared to heterosexual adults.” (pg35)
http://drrichswier.com/wp-content/uploads/Inverted-Hawaiian-Flag-e1490608401852.jpg368640Hawaii Free Presshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngHawaii Free Press2017-05-01 05:18:522017-05-01 05:18:52Fake Methodology: Health Department Claims 11% of Hawaii HS Students are LGBTQ