From Reddit: These got posted around my high school to encourage a more "appropriate" prom...
From Reddit: These got posted around my high school to encourage a more "appropriate" prom...
Awesome that this dad took matters into his own hands since teachers and school officials didn't seem to be listening.
From Huff Po:
Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands -- at least according to a California father who has filed a restraining order against an alleged 9-year-old bully at his son's school.
Dad Stephen Feudner told Fox 40 that the alleged bully has physically and verbally abused his son for months, sometimes using racial slurs, but that school administrators at Rolling Hills Elementary School in Fairfield have ignored his complaints.
"I am trying to protect [the children] from future attacks by this young man,” Feudner told Fox.
Feudner's son confirmed the claims.
"He came up and pushed me, I pushed him back and then he punched me right in the face and he said 'Haha, you got punched,'" the boy told the station. "He uses the n-word many times, b- word, the s-word."
According to the Daily Republic, Feudner wrote in his report that the child had bullied and battered his son on March 4 and stalked him twice following the incident. Feudner was reportedly granted a temporary restraining order, forcing the alleged bully to stay at least two yards away from his son.
However, he might have trouble making the restraining order stick. Feudner does not have the last name of the alleged bully, and the school has refused to release it. If he is unable to track down the student's full name and address to serve the papers, the order will become void in the next few days.
Nevertheless, while the Solano County Sheriff's Department told Fox that it had never received a request for a restraining order against someone so young, that doesn't mean it's not possible, so long as Feudner successfully completes and serves the order.
According to the Daily Republic, this isn't Feudner's first protest against Rolling Hills Elementary. After the school allegedly refused to address what he perceived as traffic-related dangers to the children in November, Feudner wore a sign reading, "Please ask me if I think my children are safe at Rolling Hills School!" Feudner was allegedly told to remove the sign by the school principal, who threatened to call police.
The Daily Republic asked Feudner how he might respond to those who think his restraining order is extreme.
"They might change their mind if their child was the victim," he said.
Sent to RHU from Hiedi:
A Facebook update from a father frustrated with the Common Core math program at his son's school is making the Internet rounds after the father Jeff Severt expressed (via what looks like a kid's homework assignment) how convoluted the teaching approach is.
The worksheet posted to Facebook shows the elaborate Common Core (CC) formula for solving a math problem (as opposed to the simple strategy of subtracting the smaller number from the larger one). It instructs the student to explain why a fictional kid named "Jack" should be using common core strategies to solve the problem: “Jack used the number line below to solve 427 - 316. Find his error. Then write a letter to Jack telling him what he did right, and what he should do to fix his mistake.”
Severt's response reads, “Dear Jack, Don’t feel bad. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electronics Engineering, which included extensive study in differential equations and other higher math applications. Even I cannot explain the Common Core mathematics approach, nor get the answer correct. In the real world, simplification is valued over complication. Therefore, 427 - 316 = 111. The answer is solved in under 5 seconds — 111. The process used is ridiculous and would result in termination if used. Sincerely, Frustrated Parent.”
The Facebook post (which by Tuesday had generated 4,400 likes, 4,300 shares, and 700 comments debating the issue) coincides with news that on Monday, Indiana became the first state to formally withdraw from the Common Core standards.
If you haven’t heard of the Common Core program, it’s an education initiative funded and developed by two Washington, D.C.-based trade organizations, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA). According to a story published Tuesday by the Washington Post, the program is not an official federal mandate, but it has become a hot-button issue among certain political groups that either support or oppose the idea.
The program aims to ensure that all children are equally prepared as they advance to the next level by dictating what exactly students in kindergarten through 12th grade should know in arts, language, and math by the time they complete each grade. The Common Core's website states that the program focuses on "developing the critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills students will need to be successful." Here is one example illustrated by U.S. News & World Report: Students mostly read material on par with their grade levels, not their reading ability. To help kids who are lacking comprehension, teachers use a technique called "close reading," focusing on one vocabulary word for the entire class. And thought-based questions, such as: “Why did the North fight the Civil War?,” would be swapped for fact-based ones, such as: “Who are the fathers [that Lincoln mentions]?” Other examples: Prioritizing nonfiction over literary fiction classics, and class discussions focused on evidence from the reading as opposed to creative thought.
Critics call the program a “one-size-fits-all” approach to learning that ignores cultural and individual differences. They also argue that not all students are ready to advance at the same time, that the CC’s teaching methods overly complicate basic subjects, and that the program limits teachers from freely shaping their curricula. Another complaint: The program doesn’t properly prepare students for the future — according to retired University of Arkansas Professor Sandra Stotsky, CC founder Professor Jason Zimba admitted in March 2010 at a Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting that being “prepared for college” meant being ready for a nonselective two-year community college, not a selective four-year institution.
In December, an outspoken mother testified at the Arkansas Board of Education that the Common Core program overcomplicated simple math problems. As an example, she gave the board a basic fourth-grade division problem which CC requires students to solve by using 108 steps. And in November, a Tennessee teen criticized Common Core during a school board meeting, saying, "Somewhere our Founding Fathers are turning in their graves — pleading, screaming, and trying to say to us that we teach to free minds." Videos of both speeches went viral.
According to the Associated Press, Indiana has pulled out of the Common Core program in exchange for new guidelines, on which the State Board of Education will vote next month. However, some say the new proposal is too similar to the Common Core. And while CC has been adopted by 45 states (now excluding Indiana), more than 200 bills were introduced in 2014 that would slow or stop its implementation or stop it. Oklahoma is one state considering banning the program.
In the meantime, parents like Severt will continue to struggle helping their kids with homework.
Fake interviews and position ads were the bane of life looking for teaching jobs in Oz.
(I know it's not retail, but we teachers still deal some frikked-up stuff. I come to this site most days :] The way schools are run like businesses, students and parents *are* our custies and crusties!)
The problem I had was, schools were legally required to advertise a position, even if they were going to re-hire the person already doing that job.
I'd write the application - between 4 and 15 questions had to be addressed, essay-style, so a few pages long. Plus cover letter, and other stuff.
Then pay to get photocopies, for each member of the interview committee. THEN pay to mail it express to the school.
*IF* I heard back, I'd do an interview where a panel of people would ask me questions that bore little relevance to the actual job of being a primary school teacher.
9 out of 10 times, I'd never hear from them again. And, often, I would do substitute teaching at the school, and find out they re-hired the original teacher.
It sounds as if Karen has gotten lots of support. Hopefully the staff and students will continue to embrace the change when she returns! RHU wishes you the best Karen!
From NBC News:
California high school science teacher gave students and colleagues a new lesson in biology Monday, showing up for the first time as a woman a week after her plans to switch genders became suddenly public.
The former Gary Sconce, 56 — an award-winning educator, husband, father and grandfather who has taught at Yosemite High School for 24 years — will now be known as Karen Adell Scot, she said.
“I’m actually going to work as my real 'out' self,” Scot told NBC News. “I stand in front of the class and I’m so filled with joy.”
Under a long auburn wig and makeup, wearing a blue flowered dress and size 12W open-toed shoes, the transgender teacher said her brain will now match her body after a transition that has been a lifetime in coming.
“I will not return as my male persona ever again,” she said.
The change has stirred controversy in the small town of Oakhurst, Calif., in the Gold Rush territory just outside Yosemite National Park. One neighbor, Kathi Bales, wrote a letter published in the local newspaper last week telling Scot to quit her job and urging the community to reject her.
“I see this as an assault on the minds and morals of our children,” she wrote. “It blurs the lines of what is right and wrong.”Others, however, have rallied to support Scot, saying she’s a role model for integrity, courage and authenticity.
“Karen is truly an inspiration to everyone,” said Julia Cruz, 34, of nearby Coarsegold, Calif., whose 18-year-old daughter, Erin Asis, was a student of the former Mr. Sconce.
"I never expected it, but I'm very happy for her," Asis said. "She'll still be the same excellent teacher that she is."
Students presented Scot with a giant card and cookies in class Monday.
"Ms. Scot: No matter what anyone says you are courageous and beautiful for being who you truly are," wrote student Charlotte Smith. "You are my hero."
Scot notified district officials and colleagues earlier this year that she had started the medical and social process to transition from male to female and that she would return after spring break in April as a woman.
"Being transgender is not a choice," she wrote to colleagues.
But someone from the school — a colleague, Scot guessed — leaked her letter to the local paper, sparking a firestorm of reaction.
"Being transgender is not a choice."
Administrators also sent a letter to parents of the school’s 650 students advising them that the school district is bound by California law, specifically Education Section Code 220, not to discriminate against Scot because of her gender identity."The District recognizes that Mr. Sconce's transition may raise questions among students, parents, guardians and community members," Yosemite Unified School District Superintendent James Sargent wrote. "Counseling staff will be available to discuss any issue with students."
The result was that Scot's private decision was suddenly very public. Instead of waiting until after the break, she decided to adopt her female persona immediately.“I was outed in a horrible way,” Scot said. “That was not the plan. It was supposed to be a quiet transition.”
School district officials did not respond to NBC calls and emails about the accelerated timeline.
There are about 700,000 transgender people in the United States, according to estimates by Gary Gates, a demographer who specializes in gender research at the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles. That’s about 0.3 percent of the adult population.
While it’s not common, Keisling said she has counseled several teachers about gender transition. “One of the first things I tell them is not to, under any circumstances, do any media and tell your school not to do any media.”
She would have advised the district against notifying parents about what is essentially a private personnel matter.
“School districts can’t afford to lose the kind of money they’d lose in a lawsuit if they discriminated against her,” Keisling said. “But that’s not the underlying reason they’re being decent about it. They have a good teacher and they don’t want to lose him or her.”
Gary Sconce received awards for distinguished teaching, Scot said, and he was a favorite for many of the thousands of students whose lives he touched. But Scot said she had known since early childhood that she was a girl, and tried to sublimate the feelings in typical male behavior.“I did all the hypermasculine activities,” Scot said. “Playing college football, surfing, being a deputy sheriff, a martial arts instructor. I was a hot rodder and and I loved building cars. All of that hypermasculine stuff.”
Scot acknowledged that the change won’t be easy. Not everyone will be supportive, she said. Some parents already have threatened to move their children from her classes or to switch schools entirely. She’s heard that some students whisper about which bathroom she’ll use. (Answer: The faculty bathroom, as always.)
Scot knows that transgender females are frequent victims of threats and violence.
But Scot said with years of law-enforcement and martial arts training under her belt, she feels confident about her ability to protect herself. After retirement in a few years, Scot said she might want to work teaching transgender youth how to defend themselves.
“I am totally my own best defense,” she said. “I may look like I girl, but I can take care of myself.”