The McDonogh library has no books.
The stalls in a girls’ restroom have no doors. Fights break out daily. About 50 students have been suspended; 20 have been recommended for expulsion. Several weeks ago, a teacher was “beaten unmercifully” by a ninth grader enraged at being barred from class because he was late.
The principal, Donald Jackson, estimated that up to a fifth of the 775 students live without parents.
“Basically, they are raising themselves, because there is no authority figure in the home,” Mr. Jackson said. “If I call for a parent because I’m having an issue, I may be getting an aunt, who may be at the oldest 20, 21. What type of governance, what type of structure is in the home, if this is the living conditions?”
This is John McDonogh
High School in New Orleans
posted by four panels
on Nov 1, 2006 -
[T]his pattern, grade for the sake of a grade, work for the sake of work, can be found everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost. I speak today not to rant, complain or cause trouble, and certainly not to draw attention to myself. I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing. I know that. Rather, I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls. Today, you should focus on your child or loved one. This is meant to be a day of celebration, and if I’ve taken away from that, I’m sorry. But I know how highly this community values learning, and I urge you all to re-evaluate what it means to be educated.
- from a graduation speech by the valedictorian of Mainland Regional High School
, Kareem Elnahal, critiquing his school's education process.
The principal's reaction? “My hope was they did not hear or understand what he was saying. ... He was belittling the diplomas of every one of those kids.”
posted by divabat
on Jul 5, 2006 -
...a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment.
...Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait.
By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. ...
"Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse." Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?
posted by amberglow
on Apr 10, 2006 -
Mention nude art, get suspended.
25-year veteran art teacher Pete Panse recommended several ways for his ninth grade advanced art students to improve their skills, one of which included nude life figure drawing sessions at other art schools. For this, the Middletown, NY School District Board of Education suspended him, pending hearings in which he may be fired. They'll be after our bathroom mirrors next. [via DC Art News]
posted by brownpau
on Mar 9, 2006 -
A top U.S. diplomat recently revealed Saudi Arabia still teaches students to hate non-Muslims and the West. So why are we making it easier for Saudi students schooled in that hatred to visit the U.S.?
posted by Postroad
on Nov 11, 2005 -
"Unintelligible at any speed."
No, not Ralph Nader mumbling, but the lyrics to "Louie Louie
," in the FBI's humble assessment more than 40 years ago. Nevertheless, this week a Michigan school superintendent banned
a middle school marching band from playing the song... even without anyone singing the lyrics.
posted by twsf
on May 5, 2005 -
"On March 18  students prepared for the next day's Inter-scholastic Meet in Henderson. At the gymnasium, the PTA met. At 3:05 P.M. Lemmie R. Butler, instructor of manual training, turned on a sanding machine in an area which, unknown to him, was filled with a mixture of gas and air. The switch ignited the mixture and carried the flame into a nearly closed space beneath the building, 253 feet long and fifty-six feet wide. Immediately the building seemed to lift in the air and then smashed to the ground. Walls collapsed. The roof fell in and buried its victims in a mass of brick, steel, and concrete debris. The explosion was heard four miles away, and it hurled a two-ton concrete slab 200 feet away, where it crushed a 1936 Chevrolet. Of the 500 students and forty teachers in the building, approximately 298 died. Some rescuers, students, and teachers needed psychiatric attention, and only about 130 students escaped serious injury. -- From the Handbook of Texas Online
. (Other accounts
, personal recollections
, and photos
It was one of the worst disasters in Texas history. With Texans' love of superlatives, why is this a story no one tells?
posted by mudpuppie
on Mar 18, 2005 -
Court orders $5.6 billion per year increase in NYC schools funding.
The order, being appealed by Gov. Pataki, compels a 35% increase in operating funds for NYC public schools, and an additional $9 billion for school construction, but doesn't say which taxes ought to be raised to pay for it. Supporters
both agree that, if implemented, the order would have a dramatic effect. Supporters think poor black and hispanic students will get a better education; opponents are dubious about the educational benefits and certain of the disastrous effects of a massive tax increase. A second arguments concerns whether the city ought to bear some of the costs, or the state should have to bear them all.
posted by MattD
on Feb 18, 2005 -
Focus Concern on Schools in Six States
I had recenbtly read that when alerts are issued, Bush support moves up. Now we have this alert based on info from a captured terrorist in Iraq. Our govt, we are told, downloaded building plans for a number of public schools. Alas: the material according to the article was found in the Summer--School begins around Labor Day...and now the alert is made?
posted by Postroad
on Oct 7, 2004 -
DeMint: Gays should not teach
US Congressional candidate opposes gays teaching in schools. He's dancing with them whut brung him, as they say in certain circles. Yet another reason I'm proud of my home state of South Carolina. (Not.)
posted by alumshubby
on Oct 4, 2004 -
African-American == Black?
Several high-school students at a predominantly white (well, predominantly NOT black) Nebraska high school were disciplined for a campaign to get 16-year-old student Trevor Richards awarded the school's annual "Distinguished African-American Student" award. Richards is from South Africa, now lives in America (not sure if he's a citizen, the CNN story isn't clear), but here's the catch: he's white.
posted by Bluecoat93
on Jan 23, 2004 -
Remember Tranquility Bay
? Kids being forcibly deported to Jamaica, where they have to earn their right to speak by advancing in a perverted "level" system, with punishment ranging from laying on the floor for hours to painful "restraint" sessions? A report
by Assistant Attorney General submitted on June 19, 2003 to Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove sheds light on two different "correctional" facilities, the Oakley and Columbia "Training Schools" in Mississipi. Boys and girls aged from 10 to 17 are hogtied for hours, pepper sprayed for disobedience, forced to eat their own vomit during exercises, or stripped naked and locked in a dark room for days because of suicide attempts. Between torturing sessions, they have to participate in good Christian prayers. These kids have to suffer abuse that would lead to a nationwide scandal if it happened to adults (or if sex was involved). AP has a brief summary
posted by Eloquence
on Jul 22, 2003 -
Only men bake cookies in school textbooks.
What do dinosaurs, mountains, deserts, brave boys, shy girls, men fixing roofs, women baking cookies, elderly people in wheelchairs, athletic African Americans, God, heathens, witches, owls, birthday cake and religious fanatics all have in common? Trick question? Not really. As we learn from Diane Ravitch's eye-opening book "The Language Police," all of the above share the common fate of having been banned from the textbooks or test questions (or both) being used in today's schools.
posted by dagny
on May 2, 2003 -
Free Speech Button Police
-- Chicago-area schools debate ban on teachers wearing "No War" buttons vs. the ubiquitous flag lapel pins. What are the limits to teachers' political fashion statements -- are students a captive audience? More inside.
posted by serafinapekkala
on Apr 29, 2003 -
Another embarrasment for Oregon.
As if the government of my home state had not reached bottom, as far as actually acting in the interests of it's citizens, comes the news that the head of the State Senate Education Committee, State Senator Charles Starr
, has written a letter urging his constituents to "run, don't walk" away from public schools. This from the "leader" in the state legislature for public education. This ranks with Tonya Harding and the anti-gay Oregon Citizen's alliance as another in the growing list of lowlights for Oregonians.
posted by Danf
on Mar 7, 2003 -
Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers
"WABI TV reported Friday that the Maine National Guard Family Assistance Center has received about 30 complaints from children of deployed soldiers concerning Principals, Teachers and Guidance Counselors reportedly demeaning the role of their deployed parent. Some children involved are 7 to 9 years of age." More inside...
posted by darian
on Feb 26, 2003 -
Southern public schools
are becoming segregated again, but not through governmental regulation this time, but through the free will of white teachers who are fleeing all black schools, and relaxed bussing laws that are no longer forcing mixed race students to intermingle. A disturbing step backwards, and one that doesn't trend better in the foreseeable future.
posted by jonson
on Jan 12, 2003 -
No Child Unrecruited
Under the "No Child Left Behind Act" passed earlier this year, secondary schools must provide military recruiters with the names, addresses and phone numbers of their students or risk losing federal aid. [More Inside]
posted by EmergencyPenguin
on Nov 8, 2002 -
"It's a terrible thing, but it's time to embrace Big Brother"
A high school in Santee California has implemented "security procedures" that would do Mr. Orwell proud. Wireless cameras the face and license plate of every driver and car entering the parking lot. If you go to the bathroom, your picture gets logged. Hall monitors will soon carry wireless computers that can pull up a student's school picture and class schedule. And they are considering implementing face recognition software. Installed over the summer, a few parents complained to the school system - NOT
that it was being done, but that they hadn't been notified. (LA Times Link - metafilter99/metafilter99
posted by Irontom
on Sep 9, 2002 -
Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students. "Given the nationwide epidemic of drug use, and the evidence of increased drug use in Tecumseh schools, it was entirely reasonable for the school district to enact this particular drug testing policy," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the decision.
Drug tests which really only target marijuana use (alcohol, cocaine, opiates leave the body shortly after use) can now be randomly given to students involved in extra-curricular activities. Is this a further step in the "my anti-drug" campaign? Is debate or drama club YOUR anti-drug? By denying student drug users the privilege of participating in activities, aren't we just marginalizing them further and making the problem worse? What will it be? Drugs or getting involved?
posted by Hammerikaner
on Jun 27, 2002 -
PETA Protests "Packers."
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has written a letter to the principal of Austin (Minnesota) High School, demanding that he change the school's "offensive" nickname ("Packers" is short for "Meatpackers," and the school is so named because Austin is the headquarters for Hormel Foods). PETA's suggested alternative? "Pickers," which would "promote a healthier, plant-based diet." No word yet on a response to that proposal from PETV (People for the Ethical Treatment of Vegetation).
posted by pardonyou?
on May 10, 2002 -
No plans, no graduation.
An LA County school district is forcing students to reveal their post-high school plans to participate in their high school graduation. If they refuse to provide evidence of further education or training (college, military, internship, etc.), they will not be allowed to participate. If I was a student, I'd sue. What do you think?
posted by MikeB
on May 7, 2002 -