15
   

We're from the government and we're here to help....

 
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 06:36 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
since you want to be exact he we punished for a alleged pattern of mis behavior, which the board will not talk about..

Are you kidding? The past disciplinary actions taken against him, by the Board, and why they took them, are available on the internet. And the current reprimand was based only on his inappropriate behavior regarding this testing.

And you'd fire an employee who acted like that.
Quote:
the boss sent out a letter asserting that we should trust that the facts were found and that they did the right thing. no way

No, the letter, and the findings, that are posted on the internet are copies of what was actually sent to the teacher--if they contained incorrect facts about him, he'd be screaming bloody murder and suing them for defamation. He's not doing that. And I'm sure he's got a lawyer too. They got the information about his behavior regarding the test from his students. And the past complaints about his behavior also came from his students.

Quote:
at the moment my brain cant get beyond what appears to be the fact that the order to pass out this screening was an illegal order because it violated district policy.

I think a lawyer would have noticed that by now. The testing was done in April.

Surely, out of the 1800+ students in that high school, at least a few must have a parent who's a lawyer.

And the school district must have an attorney as well, and that person would have had to review any contract with Multi-Health Systems regarding the testing.

It wasn't an "illegal order" to pass out the test sheets. Rolling Eyes

It might be a violation of the school privacy policy to have the test responses, with names on them, stored by Multi-Health Systems, but it's unclear whether that was done.

0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  6  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 08:53 pm
Quote:
The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) is a federal law that affords certain rights to parents of minor students with regard to surveys that ask questions of a personal nature. Briefly, the law requires that schools obtain written consent from parents before minor students are required to participate in any U.S. Department of Education funded survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following areas:

Political affiliations;
Mental and psychological problems potentially embarrassing to the student and his/her family;
Sex behavior and attitudes;
Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating and demeaning behavior;
Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships;
Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers;
Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or student's parent*; or
Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program.)
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 contains a major amendment to PPRA that gives parents more rights with regard to the surveying of minor students, the collection of information from students for marketing purposes, and certain non-emergency medical examinations. In addition, an eight category of information (*) was added to the law.

You may read more about the specific changes to the law by selecting here.

The Department will be updating the PPRA regulations to reflect these changes.



http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ppra/parents.html

I hope these clowns are ready to prove that no U.S. Department of Education money was used in this abuse...the opt out option given here is not opt in.

note: i present this information in spite of the fact that it weakens my argument that the US government is working to run over people.
hawkeye10
 
  3  
Reply Mon 3 Jun, 2013 11:43 pm
@hawkeye10,
" but we did not require anything, after all we were not going to throw kids out of school for not doing it. sure, we acted like this was a requirement and if they declined we told them how disappointed we were with their decision making hoping that they would change there minds but who can blame us? we were looking out for the SAFETY! of America's babies .......that excuses everything!"
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 12:26 am
@hawkeye10,
in todays news

Quote:
A number of Edmonds school kids were recently suspended for having Nerf guns at school.
That's not surprising considering the school's "zero tolerance" policy on toy guns, but what is surprising is that the teacher allegedly told the kids it was okay to have the guns.
Now the kids' parents want to know why their children were punished if the teacher gave permission for the guns.
The incident happened last Friday before class at Chase Lake Elementary School.
A sixth grade boy brought a number of the guns, which shoot small foam projectiles, to school for a class probability project. The kids were going to shoot the guns 100 times to see what happens.
The project was allegedly approved by the teacher. But the 12-year-old boys, being what they are, decided to "try out" the guns before the school doors opened.
"So he took them out and of course -- Nerf gun -- they started testing how far they would shoot," said parent Shannon Shumard.
Neither Shumard's sixth grade son nor her fourth grade daughter brought the Nerf guns to school, but because they participated, both were suspended for a day. Because of the suspensions, neither child will be able to take a high school algebra class or serve on the student council.
"They are both very upset," Shumard said. "I mean, it's a day suspension, but it's a permanent on their record."
Stacey Leidholm's son, who she said has straight As, received the same punishment.
"I do understand that they definitely need consequences, but not that harsh of a consequence," she said.
The Edmonds School District confirms that an incident at Chase Lake occurred, but won't talk specifics. In general, they say with toy or facsimile guns, discipline is handed out at the discretion of the principal.
"Again, it's a matter of SAFETY! and it's of the utmost importance. So even if it's a toy, we take it seriously," said school district spokeswoman Amanda Ralston.


Read more: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Edmonds-students-suspended-for-using-Nerf-gun-at-school-210013811.html#ixzz2VE3lzaSQ


are kids who have all there lives gone to schools that would make Stalin proud going to understand that they dont have to answer when the school asks them 34 questions about their thoughts and what they put into their bodies? I dont think so.

BONUS QUESTION: what have these kids been taught about authority figures/adults?? the answer is not for the squeamish!
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 12:53 am
@hawkeye10,
same virtual newspaper same days news gets us

Quote:
High school students at Seattle’s Center School, on the eve of graduation for some, are getting a crash course in citizenship and bureaucracy behavior. They are organizing to try to head off the pending, involuntary transfer of teacher Jon Greenberg because of his popular Citizenship and Social Justice course.

Greenberg was investigated by Seattle Public Schools earlier this year after the family of one student complained about the atmosphere in his classroom. The class has been known for rigorous reading as well as blunt discussion that draws out students’ experience with racism and its impact on their lives.

“He is being transferred involuntarily to Hamilton Middle School effective at the end of the year, which means an end to the Citizenship and Social Justice curriculum at Center,” said Zak Meyer, a senior at the school, himself an Eagle Scout and wheelchair athlete.

“We’re trying to stop the transfer,” said Meyer. ”We’re reaching out to any group that will support us.”

The students intend to meet Tuesday and carry their cause to the Seattle School Board at its meeting on Wednesday afternoon. “A lot of kids come here for this curriculum: It has been honored by the mayor and by the city,” said Meyer.

The issue has not put Seattle Public Schools in a favorable light, but has put under the light a self-protective bureaucracy that quakes at a single complainant … and doesn’t seek insider opinion from those in the classroom doing the learning.

District headquarters would not confirm plans to transfer Greenberg, but said in a statement — referring to him inaccurately as “Center School Principal John Greenberg” — that: “While the school district doesn’t comment on open personnel matters, we can say that the Superintendent is now considering the appropriate action to be taken as a result of this finding.”

Andrew Lewis, a Seattle political activist and Center School graduate, now studying on a fellowship in Britain, e-mailed the opinion: ”I am absolutely shocked by this development. There is no justice.”

Center School, based at the Seattle Center, is an alternative, arts-intensive high school known for a very high level of college placement. Its official guiding motto is to “empower and inspire” students, in study, to “positively impact the world.”

Citizenship and Social Justice has discussed race, gender and class in America, delving into such writings as “Native Son” by Richard Wright and the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Any student feeling uncomfortable was told he/she could step out of the classroom at any time and was welcome to speak with Greenberg.

Seattle Public Schools received a complaint from one family. Its human resources department launched an investigation, cut off a portion of the class dealing with race, and found that the way the race unit of the class was taught “did create an intimidating environment for a student.”

Center School students vociferously disagreed, gathered 600 signatures on a petition, and protested that the District never bothered to speak with students in the class.

Superintendent Jose Banda then reinstated “Citizenship and Social Justice” but directed it be “taught in a non-threatening manner” with warnings ahead of time whenever classroom activities are likely to cause a “high degree of emotion.” Blunt talk about students’ racial experiences was curbed.

The same family then complained a second time.

“An investigation into that complaint concluded that while Mr. Greenberg did not retaliate against the complainant, he did violate the District’s Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying Policy by allowing students to distribute a petition during class time when the complainant is in the class.”

Greenberg has not sought publicity. Apparently, he is to be punished as well as transferred
.
Zak Meyer argued Monday that the teacher is being punished for doing a first-rate job — preparing students for critical thinking in college, and getting them talking to each other about the world they will inherit.

“We’ve been diving into stuff that I will be dealing with in my freshman year of college, and getting deeply into issues of our society,” said Meyer. “I am a minority in that I have a disability. The course preaches tolerance of all backgrounds. It opens the world to me, not just from my point of view but in understanding the views of others.

“Kids I’ve known for four years, in hearing them talk about race, telling the class ‘I deal with this on a daily basis.’ I didn’t know this about them.”

Both Meyer and Andrew Lewis noted recent turnover in Center School faculty, notably the departure of science teachers.

The removal of Greenberg from Center School “helps no one,” Meyer argued. It takes away an outstanding teacher at a time when we have lost 40 percent of our faculty. And, from the standpoint of encouraging students to be challenged in the classroom, it’s a chilling step.”

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/06/03/seattle-students-protest-popular-teachers-transfer/

so what has this school taught its students? the answer is not for the squeamish!
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 07:13 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
If you had something, like a meal special, that you were trying out at your restaurant, and one that you had worked on for a long time and were quite proud of, and one of the patrons asked one of your waiters if it was safe to eat, because he was concerned about the mushrooms in it, and the waiter answered, "Well, I wouldn't eat that stuff" and, "It's safer not to eat anything in here that could possibly make you ill," how would you deal with that employee?

Hopefully, someone would give him a job teaching ethics instead of waiting tables. Obviously this waiter knows the difference between right (protecting people) and wrong (harming them just to make a buck).

firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 09:18 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
note: i present this information in spite of the fact that it weakens my argument that the US government is working to run over people.

That's the problem when you focus on making an "argument" rather than having a discussion--you think you deserve some credit for even acknowledging something that "weakens" your position. Those who seek "the truth"--which is what you always claim you are doing, but most often aren't doing--should be delighted to come across info that contradicts their own assumptions, and it should impel them to re-think whatever topic or problem they were trying to understand, and to seek even more information that might contradict their assumptions or broaden their perspective. You're so focused on an "audience" and making your "case" that you forget that most of the time.

Of course the privacy rights of students are protected--on many levels, including by the schools. And that's the way it should be. And that pertains to the school protecting the privacy of the information a school already has about a child--and schools already have far more information on children than anything likely to surface in a 34 question survey. Even at Batavia H.S., their student conduct code alone helps them to amass a great deal of information about a particular student's tobacco, alcohol, and drug use--by coerced self-report, if the student wants to participate in a wide-range of extra-curricular activities. They've got to protect that information from misuse as well.

You failed to emphasize that the federal PPRA refers to minors being required to reveal certain information on surveys. The Batavia students were not required to take that survey, or to answer all of the questions on it, they were asked to do it. There is a legal difference between being required and being asked to do something by a governmental or school authority. Being required would involve a violation or invasion of privacy, if the individual would otherwise be unwilling to reveal or provide the information. Being asked, on the other hand, allows the individual the option of refusing the request--they can protect their privacy, and no invasion takes place. The Batavia students were not required to take the survey, they were asked to do it. Whatever information was revealed on that survey was voluntary. There were no punitive consequences, or threatened consequences, to those who chose not to do the survey. And 1900+ students did choose to do the survey, and there has been no massive outcry from that group about the survey test items, and they are the ones who actually know what those items asked.

Had the Batavia students been compelled to do that survey I would feel very differently about the matter, and I've said that throughout this thread.

Where I do think the school system erred was in not providing better informed consent information to the parents so that they understood that their child's responses would not be anonymous. More parents might have chosen to opt out of having their child participate had they been given that information.

And I do think that the school must clarify how much identifying student information might now be in the hands of a private corporation, if MHS does retain the survey results, and what privacy and confidentiality controls govern that arrangement. I also think this is an issue of conformed consent for both the students and their parents, and one which must be clarified.

I have no problem with SEL education and its goals. Part of that education includes teaching children to think critically and to challenge authority when appropriate. And I have no problem with surveys designed to evaluate or monitor a student's SEL progress, I understand the objectives of both the state and the school district in giving surveys of this type, and the benefit to the students, both individually and as a group, that can result from obtaining this type of information. I do think the emotional health and social functioning of students is a legitimate concern for educators and that such factors directly impact academic success as well as the child's general well being. I'm all for giving children whatever help and supportive services they need, in any area they need it.

firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 09:49 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
so what has this school taught its students? the answer is not for the squeamish!

It's obviously taught them to challenge authority and to speak up and take social action in an appropriate way. And it sounds like they've done a good job of it.

The students protested, circulated petitions, signed petitions, and organized, to express their views and to challenge the school administration . All very appropriate non-violent forms of social action--and all part of what any good school teaches as part of responsible citizenship and appropriate social activism.

I hope that when they are old enough to vote, that they will continue to challenge their elected officials in that same way.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 10:13 am
@hawkeye10,
Is that you paraphrasing what you can envision a school board member saying (I think it is), or is it an actual quote?
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 10:18 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
What do you think of this type of survey?

It's okay with me. Schools, including government schools, act primarily as the students' guardians in their parents' place. They aren't primarily into law-enforcement or adjudication. This survey, as described, is reasonably proportioned to the school's legitimate task of guarding the students against drugs.

boomerang wrote:
Do you think the teacher deserved the reprimand?

Yes he did. The Fifth Amendment instructs that "no person [...] shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself...." There was no criminal case here. By invoking the Fifth Amendment and thereby suggesting that there was, the teacher misrepresented the situation to his students. This does warrant a reprimand. While I am generally inclined to applaud the lone protester resisting the overreach of Big Brother, I don't think this is one of those cases.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 10:34 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:

Is that you paraphrasing what you can envision a school board member saying (I think it is), or is it an actual quote?

I am using a device to illustrate what I believe the motive was and why they thought what they were doing was right and would be applauded. I am also trying to get people here to see how routine it is for authority to brush over bad acts by saying "SAFETY!"
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 10:51 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:
Being asked, on the other hand, allows the individual the option of refusing the request--they can protect their privacy, and no invasion takes place.

That assumes that it's a request and not a "request."
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 10:58 am
@firefly,
Quote:
identify, and then reach out to


I think that's exactly the issue here. Outside of observation and relationships, I'm not sure that's appropriate. This is a basic ethics question, isn't it?

What's an individual to expect as part of the 'reach out to' activity?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 10:58 am
@DrewDad,
I want to know exactly what the board intended to be said to the students before they started. I am thinking it was "please do this" which to my mind is a violation of teen rights. if there was no programed communication that this screen was voluntary and explaination on what it was intended to accomplish then the authorities were negligent. I think they were negligent on purpose..they wanted what they wanted and did not give two shakes about the dignity or rights of their charges.
IRFRANK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 11:09 am
@firefly,
Quote:
You're so focused on an "audience" and making your "case" that you forget that most of the time.


Excellent comment. We all fall into that trap. Some stay there exclusively.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 11:41 am
@DrewDad,
Quote:
Hopefully, someone would give him a job teaching ethics instead of waiting tables. Obviously this waiter knows the difference between right (protecting people) and wrong (harming them just to make a buck).

An ethical person wouldn't be working for an establishment that's serving harmful food, or he believes might be serving harmful food--or he'd refuse to serve such food--he wouldn't take his employer's money, represent the establishment, and then try to sabotage the business by suggesting there might be something wrong with the food--and he'd take his complaints to the Health Dept. if he really wanted to protect people.

And the situation with that Batavia teacher was very similar. He had 3 periods before he had to hand out that survey, after he saw it had the student's names on it. That did give him some time to contact an administrator to find out if there was any possibility that a student could wind up in legal difficulty, or face school disciplinary action, for any response given on the survey sheet. He didn't do that, and that was a factor in his reprimand.
If he couldn't contact an administrator, and he felt he'd possibly be putting his students in jeopardy, and he didn't feel right about doing that, then he shouldn't have distributed the questionnaire to the students. He should have refused to ask the students to do the survey, and not involved the students in it, by putting them in the middle.

By mentioning anything about "self-incrimination" to his students, in exactly the terms and context used in criminal prosecutions, and by telling the students that he wouldn't answer the questions honestly, that teacher was telling them they couldn't trust the motivations and intentions of his employer--just as that waiter suggested to patrons they shouldn't trust the employer's food he was serving. He was also promoting dishonesty. Apart from the fact that the students would not be put in any legal jeopardy by their responses, and he was fostering needless anxiety about that, or certainly not reducing it, he was also telling them that he was being part of what he felt was an untrustworthy project by handing them the survey and asking them to complete it--and, in so doing, he was inappropriately involving his students in whatever his issues were with his administrators.
No matter how I look at it, I see the teacher's behavior as unprofessional and inappropriate. He's a teacher, not a lawyer, and he shouldn't be giving students legal advice. But, as a teacher, he had other options in handling the situation. He could just have reminded the students they were not required to do the survey, or to answer all the questions, and allowed them to decide for themselves.

Had this teacher been really ethical and principled, and he felt students might be harmed by their responses on that questionnaire, he should have refused to hand out the survey and taken the heat for that. Had he done that, I think I would wholeheartedly applaud such action. I do believe in challenging authority when one feels it's called for. But the action he did take was a bad judgment call on his part, and did not provide students with a very good role model of how one resolves issues with an employer, and it might have prevented students, who really needed support services, from being honest on that questionnaire, so they'd receive them.



Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 11:43 am
@IRFRANK,
IRFRANK wrote:

Quote:
identify, and then reach out to


I think that's exactly the issue here. Outside of observation and relationships, I'm not sure that's appropriate.

But the school has a relationship with its students: It is their caretaker during the hours they're attending it. How is it incongruent with this relationship that the school identify problems and reach out to the students who have them?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 11:43 am
@IRFRANK,
IRFRANK wrote:

Quote:
You're so focused on an "audience" and making your "case" that you forget that most of the time.


Excellent comment. We all fall into that trap. Some stay there exclusively.

A2K has become worse over these last years about listening too and considering alt points of view. Firefly is the last one who should be throwing stones though given her habit of misrepresenting others and using creative word definitions as she works to win arguments by deceit.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 11:48 am
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

IRFRANK wrote:

Quote:
identify, and then reach out to


I think that's exactly the issue here. Outside of observation and relationships, I'm not sure that's appropriate.

But the school has a relationship with its students: It is their caretaker during the hours they're attending it. How is it incongruent with this relationship that the school identify problems and reach out to the students who have them?

problems with thoughts and feelings are almost completely up to the individual to decide. that is the difference between being free people and being not free people
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Jun, 2013 12:05 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
if there was no programed communication that this screen was voluntary and explaination on what it was intended to accomplish then the authorities were negligent

Go back in this thread and read the letter that was sent out to the parents and also posted on the high school Web site--it explains why the survey was being done, and what it was intended to accomplish, and that the parent could opt the child out of participating. By telling the parent they could opt out, you are communicating that it's voluntary. The students were not told this was required--and no one in Batavia has alleged that they were coerced in any way. Some students did choose to opt out.

As I said before, I do think they were negligent in not making it clear to the parents that the survey would not be anonymous, and that is an informed consent issue. And the School Board has apparently demanded greater transparency from the administrators in the future, so that's going to be addressed with any future testing or surveys.
 

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