public-schooling

So in the 7th grade my history teacher, B, was terrifyingly obsessed with Tigger. She had posters, cut-outs, and even a whole wall covered in stuffed Tiggers. My math teacher, S, decided to gradually steal B’s Tiggers throughout the year. He would grab small ones she wouldn’t miss and keep them in boxes in his room’s closet. At the end of the year in the last class, he walked in with three full boxes, set them down in front of a stunned B, and walked out. 

Not only did B have tigger figurines, she also had Tigger Baby. Now, Tigger Baby was her pride and joy and everyone in our grade made a meme out of it. Bombed a test? Tigger Baby did it. Lost your homework? Tigger Baby stole it. Someone was absent? Murdered by Tigger Baby. At one point in the year, someone STOLE IT. It was a school-wide thing. We made posters and hung them up everywhere because our class meme was gone and we were desperate for B to get off our backs. One day, Tigger Baby just showed up again, sitting in it’s usual spot on the projector. To this day, no one knows what happened or who stole it. 

On May 25, 1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston. Emerson is best known for his contributions to the transcendentalist movement centered in Concord, Massachusetts. Prior to living in Concord, however, Emerson attended Harvard Divinity School, preached at Boston’s Second Church, and served on the Boston School Committee.

The 1831 School Committee document pictured above, lists Emerson as the School Committee member from Boston’s Ward 4. He served on the sub-committee for Boston Latin School, his alma mater, as well as the Mayhew School on Hawkins Street.

As a member of the Mayhew School Sub-Committee, Emerson co-authored a report on the school’s truancy problem. You can read a portion of that report below.

School Committee members and assignments, Docket 1831-0090-E,  1831, Proceedings of the City Council, Collection 0100.001, Boston City Archives

Report on the Mayhew School, 1831, City Documents, Collection 0100.003, Boston City Archives

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Betsy DeVos has been confirmed by one vote as the Secretary of Education. Two Republican Senators voted against their party to protest DeVos

Today, the Senate narrowly confirmed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, with VP Mike Pence breaking a 50-50 tie. The Democrats fought hard against the wealthy GOP donor, staying up all night to read letters from constituents in an effort to eke out just one more vote, which was all that was needed from Republicans to block DeVos. And DeVos’s history of opposing LGBT equality for kids is just the tip of this disastrous iceberg.

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Chance the Rapper to donate $1 million to support Chicago’s ailing public school system

  • Standing behind a podium surrounded by educational posters, Chance called out Governor Bruce Rauner for his inaction on the Chicago school system’s budget problems.
  • Chance also announced his intention to donate “1 million dollars to CPS to support the arts and original programming.” He pulled out a big game show-sized check to prove it.
  • “This check that I donated is a call to action,” he said. “I’m challenging major companies and corporations in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and take action.” Read more (3/6/17 4:13 PM)

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public school lunch aesthetic

-random applause that eventually encompasses the entire cafeteria
-skipping classes to go to your friend’s lunch periods
-”come with me i dont wanna go alone”
-not knowing who you’re singing happy birthday for
-“hey if i pay you will you go through the line and get me something”
-knowing your id number so you can actually eat
-only wearing your id during lunch period
-that ONE security guard
-”what’s even for lunch today”
-HOLY FUCK IT’S CHICKEN NUGGET DAY
-those girls who chill in the bathroom doing their makeup
-fights = dinner AND a show
-”hey what lunch do you have this year” “b” “damn i’m in c”

(Abuse, ableism tw) Yesterday I visited a preschool Portia’s therapists and the public education system want to put her in. Portia receives services because of her developmental disabilities. It’s a program that’s a part of public education and even infants can qualify. Before yesterday, it seemed her therapists only concern was making sure she was developmentally up to date physically, and educationally (think fine and gross motor skills, speech etc).

The preschool was-my realization. The preschool was full of kids that had various disabilities all on the “socially disabled” spectrum. Children were given directions in a “fun” manner around a circle and were literally forced to participle. Even if you didn’t want to. Physical redirection was used. That means children not looking at the teacher would had their heads physically turned towards them. Children who weren’t doing the arm movements for the dance correctly had their wrists grabbed and were forced to do the movements. Forced high fives. Forced everything. Absolutely no child had a choice for participation. It was do it or someone will grab your body and do it for you.

One child, a nonverbal autistic child, at the table where they were given instructions to glue hearts on a valentines box, had a stick of glue held in front of him by a therapist. She had a hold of his wrists as he kept reaching for it. “What is it. No. What is it.” She repeated over and over as he whimpered and reached for the glue to participate. This went on for about 15 minutes.

He also endured one on one ABA from the teacher using a reward only method (praise) for following instructions and making eye contact.

A child had a tantrum and was held down. I asked how a child having a melt down was usually handled. They said that it depended on the child. She seemed to avoid my question but told me that she had “lotion” that she would have them rub on their hands in front of the class and called it “calming lotion.”

I saw a child being held tightly in a therapists legs for not crossing his legs and bouncing them.

I asked what the purpose of the class was, my therapist explained this class was meant for “social therapy”, by forced participation.

This program is paid for and supported by the education district.

Never mind that restraining a child, forcing a child to do something, allowing an adult access to a children’s body with no choice for the child, and forced socialization and physical contact (forced high fives as an example) are all inappropriate and I would personally define that as abuse. But what’s important is all of this therapy is not scientifically to be successful. It’s…non effective, it does nothing but create children who believe they must follow orders (for participation, social activity etc) by an adult, allow anyone to touch their body with no ability to say no, and allow to be physically redirected by that adult for not meeting the demand.

In what way is this educating children socially? How come in a regular classroom this is abuse but in a class with a bunch of disabled kids it’s therapeutic? I’m just…I’m really irritated and disappointed that stuff like this is funded by the education system.

Im not sure if I should even mention this. But when you are an abused child initially you fight back. Sometimes that fighting back lasts a week, sometimes months, sometimes years. Eventually you reach this point where you stop fighting and your brain shuts down and you go blank, almost like you separate from your body and don’t reject it. Sometimes something twitches inside from time to time to fight back, but you actually end up fighting the urge to defend yourself rather than stopping the abuse. That’s the look I saw on the kids faces. They were made to hold up dolls with happy faces “I’m happy today” because they are being conditioned to just ACCEPT what is happening to them.

I am planning on pulling Portia completely from the entire program. She’s never been to that classroom and never will, but the moment they believe she isn’t socially “fit” and needs to be in some sort of conditioning class to make her appear normal, is the moment it doesn’t benefit her. Let’s be real for a minute: the autistic brain cannot be hard wired, it cannot be cured. This is because we still don’t fully understand what autism is. You can certainly force and autistic person to look and seem like an autistic person, and autistic adults who have experienced this sort of “conditioning” all have PTSD and more.

I literally do not ever care if Portia doesn’t act “normal” socially. I don’t care if she doesn’t look people in the eyes and I DEFINITELY do not care that she doesn’t want to touch anyone or let anyone touch her. I don’t care if she doesn’t want friends or if she likes people. I don’t care if she lines up her toys when she plays with them. I don’t expect a man without legs to run a marathon and I don’t expect Portia to be this social butterfly or become a politician or something. She’s content with who she is and society has the obligation to accept her the way they except a deaf person and sign language.

I’m just feeling very irritated. It’s 2017 and there was a whole room full of children enduring therapy that doesn’t actually work and scientifically has absolutely ZERO grounds to be used in an education system. I feel like it’s 1940 and they want to treat some house wife’s depression with electroshock therapy or some gay mans sexual attraction by giving him female hormones.

If I don’t speak out against it then 10, 20, 30 years later it will still be there. It will still happen.

Can you just pray for me, the work that’s required to pull her out…it isn’t going to be easy. I’m going to look like the crazy paranoid mother. In a lot of ways because of her disability she’s basically forced to be state educated. As crazy as this sounds I’m so scared of her being forced to go to public school I’ve thought about leaving the country. Ive personally witnessed so so much abuse in the schools towards autistic children…I just can’t accept it.

Michelle Obama slams Trump for nixing healthy school lunches: “What is wrong with you?”

  • At a public health summit Friday in Washington, D.C., former first lady Michelle Obama slammed the Trump administration for its relaxing of school lunch policies she championed during her time in the White House, the Washington Post reported.
  • Earlier in May, agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue announced that schools would not have to comply with standards set in place by the Obama administration to reduce sodium intake among students, as well as provide whole-grain rich breads and pastas and fat-free milk only. 
  • Rather than replacing these guidelines, Perdue gave schools three extra years to comply with them. Read more. (5/13/17, 9:05 AM)
Things that should be taught in public schools
  • Basic cooking
  • Personal finance (taxes, balancing a budget, retirement, etc.)
  • Better sex ed
  • Human sexuality
  • CPR and basic first aid
  • Mental health management
  • Resume writing
  • Interviewing skills

And so many more practical skills that you can’t just acquire by googling for a few minutes or going to a gym.

Chance the Rapper is donating $1 million to Chicago public schools.

The musician announced his donation Monday, after talks broke down with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner over the weekend.

“While I’m frustrated and disappointed in the governor’s inaction, that will not stop me from doing all I can to support Chicago’s most valuable resource: its children,” said the musician Monday, broadcasting his press conference on Instagram Live at Wescott Elementary School on the South Side of Chicago, “three blocks from where I was raised.”

“Today, I am proud to announce I am donating $1 million to Chicago public schools,” he said, urging corporations to join him.