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Monday, December 31, 2012

RedEye's Year in Review~ It's the Media, they think we are Stoopid!!

Photo 

So we end 2012 like we began 2011, 2010, and so on, with the GOP infused, media enabled, Tea Party holding America hostage.  In case you are still trying to figure out how we got into this mess, and why we can't get out of it, thank the media who enabled the GOP to have a lock on the House of misRepresentatives for the foreseeable future.

I've said it before, and I will say it again, as long as the media looks like the GOP instead of looking like  America, we will continue to have gridlock instead of progress.  The media enables the GOP with  a  false equivalency/fair and balanced meme that is  killing our governments chances of solving the real problems facing real Americans, not to be confused with the media elites, who by the way, have access to quality affordable health care, quality public/private schools, multiple homes, are able to save, send their students to college, take care of their elderly parents and take vacations, etc.
As the American Society of Newspaper Editors has reported, racial and ethnic minorities make up less than 13 percent of newsroom employees. Minority ownership of television stations hovers around 3 percent, while radio station ownership is at 7 percent, despite the fact that the minority population of the U.S. is roughly 28 percent.

The truth is not fair and balanced.  It's either the truth, or it's not.

Let's just say it, Republicans are the problem.  Strike that, republicans enabled by the media are the problem.
"Both sides do it" or "There is plenty of blame to go around" are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach. [The Washington Post, 4/29/2012]
See Ya in the New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

RedEye's Week in Review

I just realized this will be my last Week in Review for for the year 2012.  Time flies when you are having fun!  I do enjoy blogging, and I will be eternally grateful to the Big Cats at Left in Alabama for encouraging me to become a blogger, and for giving me a platform at Left in Alabama.  Unfortunately my posting privileges were snatched away because of the content of my comments and other post  or  something.  In any event, I continue to  respectfully request to be reinstated as a contributor, but to no avail.  Oh well, maybe next year Santa will grant my Christmas wish.

Revenge of the Republicans!   That's what I call the so called fiscal cliff crisis.  The fanatics in the GOP are determined to exact spending cuts from the middle class and keep the tax cuts for the rich, despite being roundly rejected at the polls on election day.  This is payback to all those who dared vote for President Obama because he was giving  out free stuff, like unemployment benefits, agriculture, the military,  law enforcement, disabled veterans, access to quality affordable health care, college aide, and weather forecasting.   Here's the problem, in an attempt to hurt Obama voters, republicans will be hurting their base, and I don't mean the 1%, I mean the 47%. Can you say bite off your nose to spite your face?

Proving they have a short attention span, the media turned it's attention away from the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and to some extent the gun control debate.  I guess petitions to have Talking TeeVee Pundit Heads deported/arrested for embarrassing the NRA will do that.  We also have to  worry about reactionary lawmakers making laws that trample our civil liberties and enrich the gun dealers.  BTW, did the you know the NRA was inspired by the Black Panthers?

Meanwhile, under the radar, The Senate just passed the FISA Amendments Act Authorization Act of 2012 The more things change, the more they remain the same.  Sigh. 

Etu Cancer Treatment Centers of America?  Is nothing sacred?  SMH

20 days to sign the petition for President Obama to begin to restore honor and integrity to the Justice Department.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Enough with the Excuses and the Enabling!

 Photo: Ana Grace Márquez-Greene 

Márquez-Greene, Ana Grace Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6, of Sandy Hook, beloved daughter of James S. Greene, Jr. and Nelba (Amaro-Márquez) Greene, passed away senselessly on Friday, (December 14, 2012) during the horrific massacre enacted upon Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Ana was born in Hartford on April 4, 2006, and lived in Bloomfield before moving to Canada and recently settling with her family in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown.

Ana's love for singing was evident before she was even able to talk. In a musical family, her gift for melody, pitch, and rhythm stood out remarkably.

She never walked anywhere! Her mode of transportation was dance. She danced from room to room and place to place. She danced to all the music she heard, whether in the air or in her head. 

Ana loved her God, loved to read The Bible, and loved to sing and dance as acts of worship. We ask that you pray for the legions of people who are left behind to cherish memories of her. 

Ana is survived by her father, Jimmy Greene, a jazz saxophonist and an assistant professor of music at Western Connecticut State University; her mother, Nelba Márquez-Greene, program coordinator for the Family Therapy Institute at Klingberg Family Centers and Central Connecticut State University adjunct faculty; and her brother, Isaiah, a happy, intelligent and musical boy who loves hockey and very much misses his sister. 

Nelba Márquez-Greene said she hopes the tragedy of the school shooting will bring a greater awareness to mental health issues and to reduce the stigma attached to those with mental illness, perhaps preventing tragedies like the one that took Ana's life. 
Information on how those with mental illness can get help can be found at www.aamft.org . 

Cards for the Márquez-Greene family may be sent to WCSU, Department of Music, 181 White St., Danbury, CT 06810 or to Klingberg Family Centers at 370 Linwood St., New Britain, CT 06052. 

Donations in Ana's memory may be made to The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Music Scholarship Fund, c/o Western Connecticut State University, Office of Institutional Advancement, 181 White St., Danbury, CT, 06810 or http://www.wcsu.edu/ia/greene-scholarship.asp ; or The Ana Grace Márquez-Greene Family Therapy Fund, care of the Outpatient Clinic/Family Therapy Institute, Klingberg Family Centers, 370 Linwood St, New Britain, CT 06052 or https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1001402&code=klingberg%20home%20page or The Artist's Collective, 1200 Albany Avenue, Hartford, CT 06112.

In addition, friends have set up a fund to support the Marquez-Greene family at http://anagracefund.imageworksllc.com/ 
 Remembering Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, 6, of Sandy Hook, beloved daughter of James S. Greene, Jr. and Nelba (Amaro-Márquez) Greene, passed away senselessly on Friday, (December 14, 2012) during the horrific massacre enacted upon Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Roland S. Martin writes:   America should see the Newtown carnage
“One of these mothers from Connecticut should do an Emmett Till moment; show the picture of their child dead in the classroom.”
That’s a text I received earlier this week from my TV One show producer. When I got it, a chill immediately went through my body just thinking about the possibility of seeing the carnage in such a photo.
When taping this week’s edition of my show, “Washington Watch,” Sirius/XM Radio host Joe Madison somberly said the same thing. Joe remarked that Emmett’s mother, Mamie, insisted on an open casket for her son so the world could see what was done to him by racists in Mississippi.

Left in Alabama resident's righty Old Prosecutor says the discussion shouldn't be about gun control, it should be about controlling violence, because guns are inanimate objects they don't kill on their own.  Sound familiar?

 Ironically, the discussion in a post calling for "controlling violence" taught me more than I ever wanted to know about assault rifles, semi automatic rifles, folding stock pistol grips, large capacity magazines, Ruger 10/22 rifles, pellet spread, short range weapons,  etc.  Call me crazy, but shooting a real gun at a living breathing animal, or, shooting a real gun at a target of a man/woman and aiming for their head or their heart, is just as violent as video games, movies and music videos.

Funny how we don't have the money to arm teachers with the tools they really need,  but we have plenty of money to train and arm them with weapons of mass destruction.  In the end, arming teachers with guns does nothing but provide false security.

What the Political Parent said;
I cannot keep having the same argument with the same talking points anymore. I do not believe in taking every one's guns away. I do believe we need to have sensible regulations that are enforced. You cannot compare guns with knives or cars or swimming pools. You cannot insist that I am going to be raped and murdered because I think 30 rounds is too much for any civilian. You cannot possibly think that your pistol and your cammo backpack gives you the tools to fight against a fictional tyrannical government. I will continue to fight for what I believe in, by donating to the Brady center, by contacting legislators, by writing letters to editors, etc. What I will not do is continue to waste my time arguing with buffoons who insist that repeating NRA lies and propaganda is the way to have a rational dialogue about safety. Go on the NRA site if you want to brag about your right to have whatever weapon you want and keep on tellin yourself that if someone gets caught in the crossfire somehow its their fault for not being "prepared". Or a video game's fault, or an atheist's fault, or a socialist's fault. I'll find a solution, you keep hiding from one.
How about this, let people keep their guns
Make possession of more than X rounds of ammo a felony. Pay whistle blower rewards for providing the name of ammo hoarders.
Require future ammo produced to go bad after 90 days.
Tax the sale of the new ammo to pay for the program.
There is no right to own ammo.
 The Founding Fathers never intended to for the second amendment to enable individuals to own what ever weapon they desired.
It was certainly not intended to enable groups of individuals to use deadly force against their own government. Instead, it was intended to enable government-led groups of white men to put down slave rebellions and to steal real estate from the Indians.
 Enough excuses.  Enough memorials.  Enough grief.   
 The problem of gun violence in the United States is complex, and as H.L. Mencken observed, "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." Advocating that we arm elementary school principals and kindergarten teachers is not only wrong but insane. We must stop allowing this kind of insanity to prevent us from having reasonable gun control legislation.
Amen and Amen.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It was the week before Christmas 2012~RedEye's version


It was the week before Christmas 2012  and all through this blog are pictures and posts about death, dying, guns,  funerals, and childrenSigh

It was the week before Christmas 2012  and NRA shooter in chief Wayne La Pierre basically said:  Hey America, you can have my guns when you pry them from my cold, dead, hands.  Guns don't kill people,  politicians, the media, movies, music videos, and violent video games, kill people.

It was the week before Christmas 2012 when the call for sensible gun control legislation created an economic stimulus for gun/ammo sellers, where white men (and some white women) everywhere clung to their guns in case the African American President   gets uppity and will try and disarm them of their weapons of mass destruction.  Call me crazy,  but the last time white folks started arming themselves and screaming about daring to defend their rights we had this little thingy called The Civil War.

It was the week before Christmas 2012 when conservative republican congress critter, turned TeeVee Talking Pundit Head,  Joe Scarborough ripped tea-party backed Tim Huelskamp (R.KS) a new one for saying mass shootings with assault weapons is a people problem.

It was the week before Christmas2012 when those on the right accused those on the left of hating the 2nd Amendment,  with calls for arming school teachers, principals, and office staff.  Mind you, these are the same public school teachers etc. they consider to be  an enemy of the state under *ahem* normal circumstances.

It was the week before Christmas 2012 when the republican party finally drove the clown car over the cliff, proving they hate President Obama and democrats more than they love our country.
We need a new governing coalition in the House - Democrats and those few sane Republicans willing to put country before ideology. 
I believe even the impossible is possible when we all work together for what is right. Wishing all of you Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love during the holiday season and beyond. ~ RedEye

Friday, December 21, 2012

RedEye's Week in Review Dedicated to the Victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings

Child victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newton
 
It's been one week since 20 year old  Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, four times in the head as she lay in her bed with her perfectly legal gun.
 
It's been one week since 20 year old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 innocent 6 and 7 year old boys and girls, with his mothers perfectly legal gun, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., which prior to this incident, was called the safest places in America.
 
It's been one week since 20 year old Adam Lanza shot and killed school  principal Dawn Hochsprung, psychologist Mary Sherlach,  teachers Victoria Soto (27), Rachael 'Avino (29), Laureen Rousseau (30), and Ann Marie Murphy (52) , before taking his own life with his mothers perfectly legal gun.
 
It's been one week since President Obama called for Americans to keep up the pressure for tighter gun control,with the goal of preventing, not to be confused with eliminating, future massacres, prompting an economic stimulus for gun/ammunition dealers and manufactures, and a call by some to arm teachers/principals/staff.
 
It's been one long, sorrow filled week.

Today's Must Read

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Right to Bear Arms "Race" creates an economic stimulus for some


 anti obama gun shop

"Try to get them while we can still get them".

President Obama's call for sensible gun control in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre created an economic stimulus for gun/ammo dealers and manufactures, as buyers rushed to cling to their $1000.00 assault rifles, magazines that hold more than 30 rounds, and compact firearms
Given President Obama's emotional comments involving the slayings at the elementary school in Connecticut, David predicted 30-round magazines will soon be rare "like Cuban cigars."
"Say they limit (magazines) to 10 and you want to kill 30 people, you bring three," interjected another man at the front of the line, saying no ban would create security. That man, who identified himself only as Don, was buying ammunition for his .357. But he said the sudden sales rush is about mistrust.
"I'm not scared somebody is going to break into my house," he said. "It's fear of the federal government."
Let's flip the script....what if large numbers of African Americans joined the NRA and started purchasing assault rifles because they were in fear of the federal government?  I mean, if anyone has reason to fear the federal government it's black folks.  But I digress.  Do you think there would be a call for some sensible gun control , or an out right ban?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do we need more guns, or fewer guns in our schools?

12-18-1220TinyCoffins.jpg
Fist Dap (J.D. Crowe)
According to a blog post on al.com by education reporter Crystal Bonvillian, a popular suggestion on The Times Facebook page has been to arm teachers, principals and office staff in wake of the most recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

As a result The Times reached out to the Huntsville City Schools, and the Madison City Schools Superintendent's, to gauge their opinions on the suggestions.  

Retired Army Colonel, and current  Huntsville City Schools superintendent Casey Wardynski, who used to carry a gun himself, said he doesn't have a problem adding mystery to the equation, but he wouldn't arm teachers.
It could be someone else in the school, like a school resource officer, to carry a weapon. SROs are sworn law enforcement officers assigned to the schools by the agency they work for. Guns are not necessarily his first choice, either. Wardynski said district security officials could be armed with a Taser or pepper spray, both non-lethal but effective ways to temporarily disable a person.
OK, here is one problem, Huntsville City Schools and the Huntsville Police Department  presently have a longstanding cooperative relationship that includes full time School Resource Officers in all high schools and middle schools.  Correct me if I am wrong, but the School Resource Officer(s) is armed with a gun, not non-lethal, but effective ways to temporarily disable a person. 

Now, here is the bigger problem,  it's illegal for SRO to be armed.  Who knew?
The problem with the scenario of arming school officials, even with Tasers or pepper spray, is that it is illegal. School districts in Alabama cannot arm their security officials. The 1990 Federal Gun Free Schools Zone Act also makes it a felony for an unlicensed person to carry a gun into a school zone, defined as anywhere within 1,000 feet of a public, private or parochial school, excluding private property.
As motivated gun buyers rush to buy $1,000 assault rifles in the city , I'm all for School Resource Officer(s) being armed, but only the School Resource Officer (s).  As Madison City School Superintendent Dee Fowler said, It really comes down to the question of do we need more guns or fewer guns.  I vote for fewer guns in the hands of those among hundreds of innocent children on a daily basis.  But that's just me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

RedEye Around the Web

Despite White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's assertion  "now is not the time to talk about  gun control laws",  and  keep we the peeps from demanding gun control legislation in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School killings, "We the People" petition site is the  most popular ever. 
"Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress," it says. "While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths."

Guns don't kill people...oh wait...guns actually do really kill people.  The argument that "Guns don't kill people....people kill people" is a fallacy that needs to be held up to the ridicule that it deserves.
Does anyone really think that guns aren’t the important part of this equation? How many people would be alive today if the possession of guns had been tightly controlled? How many would be celebrating this Christmas with their loved ones if the assault weapons ban hadn’t been allowed to lapse?
How about some media control too?  The media narrative is out of control.  However this is the same media who enabled Bush and Company to take our troops to war based on dead wrong intelligence.....
 And finally, let's get the facts right, guys, okay? Pretty much everything reported on the shooting in the first few hours turned out (once again) to be completely wrong. And that is not even counting all the breathless speculation which I'm positive went out over the 24-hour news networks (which I refused to watch as the story unfolded, just on general principles). When you're on the air non-stop, and there is little or no information, don't try to scoop everybody else when you have not checked your facts. The police have gotten a lot better about refusing to release information until facts are known (and the police, to be fair in this instance, did release erroneous information which the media dutifully reported), but the news media itself needs to do a much better job of policing what goes out over their airwaves in the first few hours of any breaking story.
Grand Old White Male Party gets diversity memo.   I thought republicans didn't believe in affirmative action and quotas?  Anyhoo...meet the soon to be only African American Senator serving in the United States Senate from the red state of South Carolina, Tim Scott (r. Tea Party).
Unites States Rep. Tim Scott laughs during a press conference announcing him as U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's replacement in the U.S. Senate at the South Carolina Statehouse on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Columbia, S.C. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley picked U.S. Rep. Tim Scott to be the state's next U.S. senator Monday, making him the only black Republican in Congress and the South's first black Republican senator since Reconstruction. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
 He will do the bidding of the Good Old Boy network down there, which should be profoundly depressing most of the time. Perhaps there will be some hope for him somewhere down the line. He seems like a genuinely nice person of deep religious faith who has a permanent smile plastered on his face.
Red State Protest in the Reddest of the Red States....also known as Sweet Home Alabama.  Yee Haw!
As if Mitt Romney’s 61 percent performance in Alabama wasn’t proof enough, most of the state’s Republican electors wore red clothing Monday to highlight Alabama’s red state status.
RedEye signing off!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Disarm America Too! ~Update

http://cbschicago.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/aliyah-shell-0318.jpg
Six year old Aliyah Shell was one10 victims of gun violence in Chicago in one weekend 

 My heart goes out to the parents of the children killed in Newtown, Conn.  I can only imagine their pain. I don't want to diminish the significance of their suffering, and I know I am going to be accused of playing the race card, but.... now that  20 innocent white children died because  another privileged white boy took his parents weapons and acted out, can we disarm America too?


Did you know there were more young people are killed in Chicago than any other American city?   No.  The young people killed in Chicago were black and poor,  victims of black on black crime.  As long as blacks are killing each other, it's a non issue. 

Are black on black youth who kill in cold blood called troubled?  No, they are called dangerous minorities.

Remember when Bush and Company told us they were sending our troops to Iraq disarm Saddam Hussein because they had proof of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and, because he gassed his own people?

Are we safe yet?

Today's Must Reads

"Take that Ni**er Off  the TV,  We Wanna Watch Football!" Idiots respond to  NBC  Pre-Empting Sunday Night Football led by someone who claims to be a Division II football player in Alabama.


Lindsey Graham Exemplifies the Dumb Gun Control Debate

The Religious Rights Shameful Exploitation of the Newton Massacre

Affirmative Action and Ticking Time Bombs

Whistling Past the Gun Lobby

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reflections on the life and legacy of Alabama State Representative Yvonne Kennedy (D.Mobile)~ January 8, 1945 - December 8, 2012

 

I write these words with a heavy heart.  Alabama State Representative Yvonne Kennedy (D. Mobile), died exactly one month prior to her 68th birthday at UAB Hospital .  She was a respected woman of substance  in every aspect of her life.  Our state will miss her strong willed dedication to making this world a better place.  As state lawmakers reflect , I would also like to offer my reflections on her political life, and her contributions to Alabama.

Rep. Kennedy served in the Alabama House of Representatives for more than three decades.  She also served as the President of Bishop State Community College for 25 years, and probably would still be serving as it's President had it not been for the ALA-GOP led,  Alabama media's jihad against educators constitutional rights.
We all know who the targets of this media crusade are. Career educators who have chosen to exercise their constitutional right to seek public office, and have successfully been elected - and in every case I know, re-elected - to the Legislature. With a couple of exceptions, these are Democrats, and many are members of AEA. Generally, they oppose the education-predatory policies of the Riley Administration. Those singled out by media attention include House Democratic Whip Jack Page of Gadsden, who works at Gadsden State Community College, and Representative Yvonne Kennedy of Mobile, who recently retired as President of Bishop State Community College in Mobile.
Rep. Kennedy served as chair of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus during Governor Don Siegelman's administration.  She was a vocal and effective opponent of his push for a constitutional convention to re-write the states constitution , because the plan failed to protect minority interest. 

Rep. Kennedy  was a real democrat, who stood ready, willing, and able, to fight for democratic values regardless of race, gender, or party.  She didn't tolerate fools or charlatans.
My sources tell me Artur Davis' reception at Delta Day at the State Capitol on April Fools day was about as warm as an igloo. Davis reportedly touted his wife's membership in the organization. Despite the fact his wife Tara Davis is a member of the national organization of college educated women, they are aware she can't control how her spouse votes. I'm told the "ladies in red" don't take kindly to Congressman Davis being the only member of the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) to vote against the health care reform bill. Maybe Davis should have sent his wife instead...
Yvonne Kennedy dedicated her life to to fighting for the rights of the least of these. She repeatedly  introduced legislation restoring voting rights to ex felons

Twelve years ago, Derrick Gayle, now thirty, fell in with the wrong crowd. He did drugs and dabbled in hot merchandise. He never expected to get caught. But he did. Charged with possession of marijuana and receiving stolen property, he spent nine years in Alabama's Bullock County Correctional Facility.

Gayle was released three years ago. He works a regular job and stays drug free and out of trouble, he says. He has tried to put his past behind him. But the state of Alabama won't let him. He is still denied one of the most basic rights of a free man: He can't vote.

"What more do I have to do to prove that I've repaid my debt to society? I've done my time," says Gayle, who works putting up wallpaper and building bookshelves. "All I want is the right to vote like everyone else."

The state of Alabama permanently bars people convicted of felonies from exercising the right to vote. In a state where some of the hardest battles over voting rights were fought, more than 100,000 black men like Gayle-31 percent of the black male population-are denied the franchise.

Instead of state lawmakers reflecting on her life,  they should honor Alabama State Representative Yvonne Kennedy's life by passing legislation restoring ex-felons voting rights. 

Yvonne Kennedy would like Derrick Gayle's vote. A six-term Democratic state representative in Alabama, Kennedy has introduced legislation to give former felons their right to vote back. The bill has twice been defeated, but Kennedy said she is undeterred.

"More and more, I feel optimistic about it," she says.

Rest in Peace Representative Kennedy, you fought the good fight.

Friday, December 7, 2012

I guess it depends on what the definition of a "hostile learning environment for students" IS

 Grissom High School JROTC cadets, instructors, and parents showed up in full force to defend their instructor against charges of bullying two female cadet members.

Yesterday I wrote about the legal lynching of  Shirley Taylor, the University Place Elementary School teacher who was fired by the superintendent after she was accused by the former principal, Towana Davis, of mistreating students, thereby creating a hostile learning environment.
Davis accused Taylor of creating a "hostile learning environment for students," in part by telling one boy in November 2011 that "he wasn't going to amount to anything or make anything of himself." The boy's mother wrote a letter to the school to complain after her son came home in tears.
Davis also received a letter from a HEALS health clinic staffer who complained about two incidents with Taylor that she witnessed. In one incident, when students were being dismissed for the day, she allegedly heard Taylor screaming at her students, among other things, that they'd "never amount to anything" and "can't do anything right."
In the second incident, when the HEALS staffer went to pick up a child in Taylor's classroom, Taylor allegedly humiliated the boy in front of his classmates by calling him "sick" and in need of medicine. With "more malice in her voice than I can describe in words," the HEALS staffer wrote, Taylor insulted the boy several times while he sat hunched over at his desk, crying.
When a female, Grissom High School, JROTC cadet complained to school officials after being verbally abused by the male instructor, which is currently under investigation by the Feds, school officials said when teachers verbally abuse students it's not Bullying.
An attorney for the Huntsville City Schools had this to say about a bullying incident at Grissom High School earlier this year:  "While you and I may agree that preaching at school that homosexuality is sinful and against the Bible, is not appropriate, this is not bullying."  Really.  How about when it's a teacher berating a student on the topic to the point that she leaves the room in tears? 
Then there is the case of the 15 year old Butler student who was beaten and striped in the schools bathroom, and who initially was denied an emergency school transfer for her safety.   In this case the superintendent and the school board called the incident horseplay, and placed the blame on the victim and the community.  To my knowledge, neither the principal ,or any teachers have been reprimanded, much less fired.
The student claimed she was beaten in the school bathroom by three female students. She said she had her shirt and bra stripped off and had to walk the hallway topless looking for help.
Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski said her transfer being denied was not accurate. He said in order to transfer a student for a safety reason, there must be proof of two things. There must be proof it was a violent crime and that the harassment continued afterwards, which, at the time, he didn't have either.
Finally, there are the public accusations of privatized abuse/torture at the Pinnacle Schools, a private, residential, drug treatment, program contracted by the school board, after they closed and sold the public Fletcher E. Seldon Alternative School.

“The academic programs of The Pinnacle Schools are designed to support students therapeutically by providing a safe learning environment in which their self-esteem is positively impacted by success in school.”
In my opinion, all three of the above incidents are more conducive to creating a hostile, unsafe, learning environment, than a teacher being overheard telling a student they would never amount to anything, or, for telling a sick child they are sick and need medicine.  Sounds like the HCS BOE has a different definition of a hostile learning environment for students for different folks.

Today's Must Reads
Time to End Zip Code Education
NAACP seeks to mount shakeup in U.S. Education
Mississippi school-to-prison pipeline continues to outrage

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Huntsville Sitty Schools Redux

 

The December 5, 2012 editions of The Huntsville Times and Al.com were just full of news and information they wanted us to know about the Huntsville City School system, beginning with the above the fold, banner headline on page 3A announcing another sale of a school building to developers, despite residents concerns about what's in store for the property.
 Bob Broadway, owner of The Broadway Group, could not be reached for comment Wednesday. School board member David Blair, whose District 2 included East Clinton before the school was closed in 2010, declined to detail what he had been told about Broadway's potential plans.
Turning to page 4A, there was a 3 column, above the fold, black and white photo of Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski with a female student looking at her government issued IPad,  announcing he was one of four education leaders in America named "Tech Leader of the Year" by Tech and Leaning magazine for his implementation of digital curriculum. 
 A profile of Wardynski on the magazine's website states that Huntsville City Schools "completely transformed education for its nearly 25,000 students" in just one year under the direction of the retired Army colonel, who is described as a "brave and visionary" leader. 
Also on page 4A, to the right of the above mentioned article, was the announcement the Huntsville school district had another legal victory last week as Madison County Circuit  Court Judge Jim Smith upheld  the legal lynching of  Huntsville City School Teacher Shirley Taylor.
Taylor, a third-grade teacher, was fired by Superintendent Casey Wardynski after she was accused of mistreating students. Documents submitted as evidence in the district's case show that she was reprimanded by University Place's former principal, Towana Davis, for her behavior toward the children.
Davis accused Taylor of creating a "hostile learning environment for students," in part by telling one boy in November 2011 that "he wasn't going to amount to anything or make anything of himself." The boy's mother wrote a letter to the school to complain after her son came home in tears.
Are you kidding me?  This is one of those rare occasions when I agree with Radio BoyBut, is it possible that she was just trying to motivate?  I know from first hand experience that complaining to school officials in person or in writing about teachers creating a hostile learning environment didn't get the teacher fired.  Surely there was more. This is the real kicker.
Smith's ruling, which overturns the decision of the administrative law judge, points to the language of the Students First Act, which went into effect in July 2011.
"Notice by certified mail or private mail carrier shall be deemed received by the employee and complete for purposes of this chapter two business days after the notice is deposited for certified delivery in the United States mail or placed with a private mail carrier for next business day delivery," the law reads.
Nothing in the statute requires the board provide evidence of delivery, Smith ruled.
Say what?  The statue requires notice by certified mail, but they don't have to provide evidence of delivery of the certified mail?  Why didn't they hand deliver this letter like they hand delivered her termination letter?
She first learned she had been fired the following day, when a notice of the board's decision was hand-delivered to her at University Place.
When it is unfavorable to a minority employee district officials are quick to dispense what they perceive as justice.  The same is true for students.   Why are they so unwilling to give due process to Shirley Taylor?
An administrative law judge agreed with Taylor, ruling in August that district officials had violated the requirements of the Students First Act by not ensuring Taylor received her notice of Superintendent Casey Wardynski’s intentions. Court documents indicate that the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver the document to Taylor’s Madison address because it had incorrect information that she had moved and left no forwarding address.
According to AL.com's  Crystal Bonvillian  Ms. Taylor actually did not move. She was living at the same home she'd lived at for several years. The Postal Service's information about a move was incorrect. 

Again, I wish I could say I am surprised the judge ruled in favor of the School District, my question is, with all the real estate deals, and digital learning initiatives, Teach for America Teachers replacing trained certified, educators, and privatized child abuse .........   "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?"


Read on, read often.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Test Blog

 
RedEye's Front Page is experiencing technical difficulties.  Thank you for your patience until I get it worked out, which I hope will be in the near future because there is lots to write to about, from Karl Rove being benched by Fox News (are the Rattlesnakes beginning to turn on each other), to Bob Costas being forced to back down from the NRA (National Rifle Association), not to mention the ongoing war on Public School Teachers.

Look for more on these topics and more once I get the problems corrected.
RedEye tiptoeing away from the computer mumbling this is why I didn't want to start my on blog in the first place.....