Category Archives: Education

Norfolk teen who was pepper sprayed by officer will be charged with a crime, police tell family | Courts & Crime | pilotonline.com

https://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/article_a221c7b2-ce59-11e8-ad03-1388f5173015.amp.html

“The video starts with the two officers pulling out of the parking lot of the Cook Out on Monticello Avenue and Tariq walking down the street, Muhammad said.

The officer in the passenger seat asks Tariq if they can talk to him, Muhammad said. Tariq tells them he has nothing to say to them and keeps walking.

The cruiser stops, Muhammad continued. The officer in the passenger seat gets out and “snatches” Tariq’s shirt and book bag “in a very aggressive way,” spinning him around.

Tariq pulls away from the officer who’s grabbing him and tells him to get his hands off of him, Muhammad said.

That’s when the second officer, the one who’d been driving the cruiser, pepper-sprays Tariq in the face, Muhammad said.”

The police had no right to grab at him until they investigated why he wasn’t in school! He could easily have a pass for late arrival or any other valid reason for being late on that particular day. I remember getting stopped a few times as I walked late to school usually do to SOL testing or final exams. I was a person with a study hall my senior year for one of my last classes of the day (block scheduling so my last block was 7 on A days and 8 on B days). Rather than get the pass so I could go home early, I got a year long pass to go to the library so that I could surf the internet (since we had dial-up at home).

Literally my encounters with the police were: “Why are you late for school?” Me: “SOL testing.” Or “Final Exams” and the cop would say something along the lines of “Okay. Good luck.” And they’d drive away.

Being a cop doesn’t give anyone  the right to put their hands on anyone! How do I know this? First responder training. In search and rescue, if we find someone and they are conscious, we have to ASK  if they want us to check out and treat their injuries before we can put our hands on them. If they say no, they’re happy where they are, we can’t just manhandle them to get them to safety! That’d be assault!

When you go to a hospital, if you are conscious, you MUST give consent to treatment! Even though consent is technically implied because you drove yourself there, if you are conscious when you get triaged, you must give explicit consent. It’s one of the forms you sign before anything more than blood pressure and temperature get done (if that much).

The only legal implied consent in the medical field is when the patient is unconscious. THEN you are safe to assume that they would want you to do everything in your power (that you are cleared to do within the scope of your training) to save them. But, first you must determine the extent of the unconsciousness! You must speak loudly and clearly to them to see if they wake up. You must still ask for consent before touching them! If they don’t answer, you can assume implied consent, but if they were merely napping and wake up, that’s assault if you touched them without attempting to wake them up verbally first.

On a related note, you should never attempt to awaken a potentially injured person by shaking them. Jarring a spinal injury can cause serious damage. Always assume there is a spinal injury unless it’s extremely unlikely (or the surrounding area is more dangerous than the risk of spinal damage); it’s better to be safe than sorry!

The medical profession has extensive protocols and training about consent and informing the patient about exactly what will be done to them before anyone lays a finger on them (for anything more than routine blood pressure and temperature). 

I’m curious about informed consent and assault training for police officers. When it comes to “routine” stops where there’s no time to get a warrant (personally, I think there is ALWAYS time to get a warrant!), at what point are cops legally allowed to commit assault?

I think policing would go a lot smoother for everyone if the rules were more clear cut:

  • Officers cannot put their hands on (or point their weapons at) anyone until they determine that a significant type of law has been broken. This can include assault on the police officer, in those cases where the suspect swings first.
  • Arrests can’t be made without a warrant. This includes putting someone in handcuffs “for their own safety” while they sit in the back of a cruiser. Unless, of course, a significant type of law was determined to be broken as described above.
  • Before touching and/or arresting someone, the officer must clearly describe exactly why they are touching and/or arresting the person. This is where implied vs. explicit consent come in most clearly. Asking to search a person or vehicle is obtaining explicit consent. Having “probable cause” to search a vehicle is implied consent, but it’s like giving CPR to someone taking a nap. Rather than determining whether the person is truly unconscious the “rescuer” has decided on their own that they’re dying. In truth, taking an extra few moments to determine that they’re just sleeping isn’t going to hurt anything, as is waiting a few moments for a warrant or other confirmation from a reputable source that a search is valid.

The rules must be consistently enforced! A white girl and a black boy should not have such completely different interactions with police when rhey are both equally late for school! And honestly, when it comes to truancy, the police should be given a list of names of kids not in school on a particular day (only those kids with a confirmed history of truancy; so essentially a warrant has been issued on these particular kids) and they can only stop kids who match the description (photo??) of kids on that list.

Though, really, how involved should police be with truancy? I think this is a problem best solved by the school, parents, and courts. Rather that worrying about the bandaid issue of one kid skipping one day of school, there should be a stricter structure for the kids skipping multiple upon multiple days of school without just cause.

REBUTTAL: A black student refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance — challenging Texas law requiring it

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/nation/2018/09/26/black-student-refused-recite-pledge-allegiance-challenging-texas-law-requiring-it/

This is indoctrination.

“Requiring the pledge to be recited at the start of every school day has the laudable result of fostering respect for our flag and a patriotic love of our country,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said Tuesday. Twenty-six other states have similar statutes, Paxton said.

Trump Hosts White House Dinner For Evangelical Supporters : NPR

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/29/642871570/trump-hosts-white-house-dinner-for-evangelical-supporters

MARTIN: When you think about how this president has advanced an evangelical Christian agenda, what are the ways in which evangelical Christians have been treated – or do you believe they have been treated as a persecuted minority in this country?

JEFFRESS: Well, I think there are certainly ways in which they have been marginalized. And I mean, here’s the question you have to ask yourself. I mean, why is it that, for the first 150 years of our nation’s history, prayer in schools, reading the Bible, Nativity displays – all of those things were not only allowed but they were welcomed? But then suddenly, 70 years ago, the Supreme Court decides these things are unconstitutional. I ask liberals all the time, what changed suddenly?

MARTIN: It became more religiously diverse, the country.

JEFFRESS: What did – but did the Constitution change? No. The establishment clause of the First Amendment simply says Congress cannot establish a state religion. That’s what it says. But somehow, that has been perverted and twisted into outlawing prayer and Bible-reading. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s the marginalization of Christianity. And I believe that’s why evangelicals are rallying around this president who recognizes that marginalization.

The question I wanted Martin (or any reporter) to ask was:

 “What do you think about a Jewish or Muslim teacher leading a Jewish or Muslim prayer in schools? If we’re going to put religion back into schools, don’t we have to let all religions in?”

(There’s a big hissy fit going around about Yoga for P.E. Also cue debates about real vs. fake religions.)

‘I’m constantly asking: Why?’ When mass shootings end, the painful wait for answers begins. – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/im-constantly-asking-why-when-mass-shootings-end-the-painful-wait-for-answers-begins/2018/03/15/6fb0347e-1d8a-11e8-b2d9-08e748f892c0_story.html?utm_term=.febc803e891c

Toward the end of their interviews, Reid asked Holmes what he believed caused him to kill others. Holmes boiled it down to hard numbers: 45 percent was caused by his belief in the point system, another 45 by the feeling it would prevent his suicide, and 10 percent by his broccoli-like hatred.

Reid, however, said he found those answers lacking.

“You could call them excuses in a way, because they don’t make sense,” he said. “People break up with their girlfriends every day; that doesn’t mean they become killers. They struggle with depression and impulses; that doesn’t mean they become killers. These things are associated with the action, but they are not predictive.”

Reid is a forensic psychiatrist who clearly has no clue how mental illness works.

This sounds exactly like OCD to me, except instead of checking the locks 3 times or washing hands for exactly 45 seconds to prevent bad things from happening, Holmes was certain that killing people would save his life because he knew the alternative was him committing suicide, something he knew he didn’t want to do.

While this seems like an unsatisfactory answer, it is one that shows that there is a way to prevent future attacks of this type. OCD can be treated.

Now, I’m sure that some people are thinking, “well, such bad thoughts can be shut down; they’re a choice.” Uh no. They’re not a choice. People don’t get to choose what their obsessions are or what works or doesn’t work (for them).

I have a problem with songs (and thoughts) getting stuck in my head for hours on end. Hours. But I randomly found a trick that works to stop the repetition: I’m a Little Teapot. Yep, somehow this nursery rhyme a) doesn’t get stuck in my head and b) is capable of shutting off whatever has been on repeat when nothing else has.

You may be thinking, “well, I get songs stuck in my head all the time!”

For days on end? 

With no relief?

Where you happen to stumble upon one thing that brings you quiet for a little while?

This forensic psychiatrist has unintentionally shown exactly what’s wrong with the current system: we don’t recognize universal symptoms as universal when it’s easier to assume that there must be a deeper problem.
 I get why this happens. We don’t want t stigmatize all OCD as the same. We don’t want to stigmatize the issue. And that’s fine! That’s great! There are many many different flavors (from mild annoyances to severe “I can’t live like this”)!

But ultimately, it is all the same. And it needs to be treated as such if we want to move forward as a society. Not because a handwasher and door-lock-checker can suddenly become a serial killer (actually, since these are coping mechanisms they’d be less likely to “snap”), but because everyone deserves to live in peace and while we may think of handwashers and door-lock-checkers as quirky and harmless when compared to people whose coping mechanism is murder, neither group gets to live in peace. Both are slaves to their obsessions. That’s not fair to them.

What makes the Parkland shooter different is that everyone in his life knew he was troubled and wanted to gwet him the help he needed.

But their efforts were stymied by red tape. The type of red tape that seems to stem from a lack of money invested in mental health care.

Calls for putting more police officers in schools, arming teachers, and installing bullet proof glass and metal detectors all strike me as reactionary. They are all things that will respond to the next shooting, but will do absolutely nothing to prevent it. 

I think such money would be better served by creating an in-school suspension system that focuses on mental healthcare rather than just shuffling troubled kids along. And there should be a seemless transition between graduation and adult mental health care. Cost should be no object because anyone asking for help for themselves or a loved one should receive it. Period.

Made My Evening:

“Cultural differences occur in pragmatics, even within the same spoken language. For example, Shirley Brice Heath (1989) spent many hours observing White middle-class parents and African American families who were poor. She found that the adults asked different kinds of questions and encouraged different kinds of “talk.” White parents asked test-like questions with right answers, such as, “How many cars are there?” or, “Which car is bigger?” These questions seem odd to African American children, whose families don’t ask about what they already know. The African American child might wonder, “Why would my aunt ask me how many cars? She can see there are 3.” Instead, Heath found that African American families encourage rich storytelling and also teasing that hones their children’s quick wit and assertive responses.”

–Child and Adolescent Development; Woolfolk and Perry 2015

The Turpins – This is What Homeschooling to Hide Abuse Look Like

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2018/01/turpins-homeschooling-hide-abuse-look-like/

One of the things that my conservative relatives say about stuff like Stop and Frisk is that (black) people shouldn’t mind police checking on them if they have nothing to hide.

Of course, there’s a big difference between driving while black and parents not wanting a social worker to see that their children are emaciated and aren’t educated on grade level. One is racism on the part of society and the other is society turning ablind eye on abuse in the name of…what…freedom? Independence? Religion?

State tests are the BARE MINIMUM that a student should know at their age. They are an absolute joke for any AP student. Which means that they should also be a joke to any homeschooling parent worth their salt. Any homeschooling parent who refuses such tests should be suspected because it means that they are uncomfortable with their child’s education so far. A teacher who is equally uncertain about their students’ performance on these tests should also be suspected.

And yes, I am in school to become a teacher. If I’m ever uncertain that my students will pass these tests, I will take a good long look at my career choice.

Homeschooling students should have to take these tests yearly in person at some kind of government facility.  Hell! The DMV would work! Just some place where a trained set of eyes can see whether the children are being neglected or abused. Guess what? If the parent doesn’t have anything to worry about, they shouldn’t oppose in person testing. It’d be no different from routine checkups and dental appointments.

There is npo boogeyman. There is not conspiracy to place all children in foster care. But honestly, if this is your fear, you need help.

There’s NOTHING inherently wrong with homeschooling! But it is all too easily a vector for abuse and neglect.

That time I wrote my entire 25 page Thesis in a single evening.

Post inspired by reading: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins.

My last semester as an undergrad, I was in my history degree’s mandatory Thesis course. Well, mandatory as in we all had to write a 25 page Thesis to get the degree, but each 10-15 person class had a separate main theme, to best match content to interest rather than being entirely open ended (I LOVE UVA!).

The one I chose was “Gender in the US Civil War Era” though my paper ended up being only marginally gender oriented. While I tried to draw up the female angle in my sources, mainly I was writing about the difference between what was really going on in Washington vs. how local people (SE VA and NE NC) viewed what was happening/laws that were passed.

Remember the fainting ladies of Portsmouth!

Anyway, the whole course was centered around guiding us down the path of writing our paper, teaching us how to find and vet sources, coming up with our topics, actually finding sources; all of our assignments were to keep up on track (while we actually did learn about gender issues during the CW Era.

Anyway, in early April (Graduation was May 22) our homework was to have 5-6 pages of rough draft to go over in class. I misunderstood and thought we had to have the whole rough draft. 

I’m also a procrastinator, though I’d spend weeks letting my paper “perculate” in my head, drafting and redrafting paragraphs and arguments, but never actually writing much down.

So, the night before class, I had all my sources read and had notes from them (because of the work we’d been doing the past 3 months in class), I just had to buckle down and write. 

Which I proceeded to do.

All 25 pages (double spaced, thank god).

Actually, it may have only been 23, but that 25 wasn’t  set in stone and I did know that out was just a draft that was due. Drafts can be shorter than the final project.

I wrote all through the night. I think it took me a good 15 hours (including some distractions) total.

This was the only all nighter I did in college and I have no regrets. Rather than be embarrassed when I walked into class and learned that I’d screwed up, I was happy. The paper that I had been dreading all semester was done! Sure, it’d need some tweaks, but as every scholar knows, you can’t write a proper introduction until you’ve written the paper and came to your real conclusions (instead of just what you think you will be talking about). Research is fun because you don’t know where you’re going until you get there (if you are doing it right, of course).

I’m writing about this today in part because of the story I’m reading and also because the semester started this week for school (I’m getting a MSED in Elementary Education online) and between my two classes (Human Development and Public Speaking), I will be writing 5-10 research papers (though P.S. forbids reading off a manuscript and all speeches must be given with just notes; it’s still all the work of a paper). Given the time frame, I expect they’ll all be 3-5 pages (double spaced), which is less than many of my ranty blog posts (which yes, if possible for P.S., I will be using my blog posts for inspiration).

Honestly, I’m just worried that P.S. is going to be super boring to learn because it has to be generic. It’s one class that everyone must take, but it’s taught en masse rather than in small sections where each topic is different so you can study in the context of what interests you (like my thesis course and the undergrad writing requirement at UVA). I’d much prefer to study Public Speaking in the context of the Civil War Era, or the Guilde Age, American Presidents, 20th c. World Leaders, the Civil Rights Movement, scientists begging for funding…

‘Cuz, we ALL know that this generic class is going to focus on the most famous speeches known to mankind ( the ones studied to death). The Gettysburg Address is important, but what about comparing it to the counter speeches given by Jefferson Davis? Or the “I have a dream” speech vs. a speech by Malcolm X?

Hmm. I think I just found another good topic for that class!

AnyHoo. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for this month! I can’t link to it from my tablet, but you can find it at the top of the page 😊. There are some really fun card challenges that I’m hoping to enter this weekend, if I don’t have too much trouble with school work.

Klansville U.S.A. | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/klansville/

It’s way too easy to draw connections to what was going on in 1960s North Carolina and 2017 in Charlottesville and other places where the Alt-Right has been causing trouble.

Teaching Everything Using the Scientific Method

Mmkay. So, I had this epiphany (it’s like the last thing I wrote) a few weeks ago about how pretty much everything is learned through the Scientific Method:

  1. Background Information/Observation,
  2. Hypothesis,
  3. Design and Conduct the Experiment,
  4. Evaluate the Data,
  5. Draw a Conclusion

In other words, think up a question (Why is the sky blue? What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?), offer a hypothesis (Because it is. 1776.), Design and Conduct the Experiment (I will look in my textbook(s)), Evaluate the data (do I agree with my textbook? Can I verify this information using another source?), and Draw a conclusion (The sky is blue due to the angle of sunlight hitting water molecules in the atmosphere, 1776 because I saw a real copy of the Declaration in the UVA library).

I wish I had realized this earlier while I was reading through the Language Acquisition and Reading (Creating Literacy Instruction; Pearson 2016) textbook. Even though they have used various different terms, pretty much every strategy for teachers to use has boiled down to the Scientific Method as described above.

Here’s the latest example:

Mini-lessons used as a part of a Reading Workshop for lessons using Independent Reading. These mini-lessons have 5 basic parts (I have block quoted them to make them easier to read, but the analysis is mine alone):

1. Connection (Background information and Hypothesis)

2/3. Teaching and Active Involvement (Conducting the Experiment)

4. Link (Evaluate)

5. Follow up (Conclusion)

I have to create 3 different lesson plans for the class, due Dec. 3rd. My hope is to have them comply with my theory of universally utilizing the Scientific Method, but honestly my first goal will be ensuring that they meet any and all requirements that my professor has for the assignment (because I’d prefer to pass the class since I don’t have real students to test my lesson plans on). However, once the class is over, I’m thinking about creating some of these lesson plans over winter break. Of course I’ll post them here unless and until I decide to use them for a future class and aren’t allowed to plagiarize myself.