Category Archives: Education

Trump Derangement Syndrome will continue: ACLU launches nationwide training on protest and resistance

aclu

Gee…I wonder who is financing this?

From ABC News: The American Civil Liberties Union staged a nationwide training event Saturday to make sure people are aware of their rights as protesters and urge organized, public resistance by those opposed to policies of President Donald Trump.

Organizers said the event at a sports arena on the University of Miami campus was livestreamed to locations in all 50 states. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said 200,000 people had signed up to attend one of an estimated 2,000 local events.

The event, staged in town hall style, was aimed at capitalizing on numerous demonstrations since Trump’s election in November and to make sure people know their rights to protest, Romero said. He said priority issues are immigration, the First Amendment free speech and religious freedom rights, civil and reproductive rights and rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people.

“We will bring all the lawsuits necessary to defend these rights,” Romero said. “We’ll do the work in the courts. You do the work in the streets. People are motivated. They want to be engaged.”

The ACLU also launched a new grassroots online organizing platform called PeoplePower.org. It’s billed as a way for people considering a local protest or rally to connect and coordinate with others around the country with similar intentions, and to provide details of ACLU initiatives.

Another plan is creation of “freedom cities” around the country that would encourage local officials to pass laws resisting Trump policies such as stepped-up deportations of people living in the country illegally, said Faiz Shakir, ACLU national political director.

Other parts of Saturday’s event detailed the rules for demonstrations on streets, sidewalks and in public parks, and the rights people have when arrested such as the right to remain silent. ACLU attorney Lee Rowland said large demonstrations generally require a local permit, but government can’t typically shut down protesters in public places without good reason. “The government can’t censor you just because it disagrees with your opinion,” Rowland said.

Also speaking at the event was Padma Lakshmi, an Indian-born cookbook author, actress, model and television host. She said she emigrated to the U.S. at age four and said the nation appears to be retreating from its welcoming ways. “Lately I’ve started to feel like an outsider,” she said. “What makes America great is our culture of inclusion. We must not tolerate the intolerance.

DCG

Advertisements

Of course: A community organizer and BLM supporter is going to run against the progressive Seattle mayor, Ed Murray

nikkita oliver

Just what Seattle needs…another radical proggie

I wouldn’t bet $100 that she has no chance. Because if you know anything about Seattle, you know there’s a good possibility that the proggies will elect her.

From Seattle Times: Nikkita Oliver, an attorney, community organizer and spoken-word artist who’s been active in Seattle’s Black Lives Matter movement and in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, will run for mayor against Ed Murray.

Oliver is seeking office under the banner of the Peoples Party of Seattle, “a community-centered grass roots political party led by and accountable to the people most requiring access and equity,” says a website for Oliver and the party.

South Seattle Emerald and Crosscut first reported her candidacy. She is Murray’s highest-profile challenger so far. In an interview Wednesday, the 31-year-old said Donald Trump’s inauguration as president and conversations with community members inspired her to run.

Oliver said she was “feeling stuck, not having a voice in the process and not knowing how we change things at the federal level” before she decided to become a candidate. “We have to get involved locally, because that will begin to shift the narrative and the policy,” she said.

The Indianapolis native, who moved to Seattle for college, said her campaign will focus on housing, education and ending the school-to-prison pipeline.

She said officials should reassess the “area median income” benchmark they use to define affordable housing. The Seattle area’s median income is much higher than what the average working person actually makes.

Many of us in the Peoples Party have been forced from our homes by unmanageable rent increases. But we are not alone. In fact, displacement has become the story of so many Seattleites. Construction cranes, blocked roads, and rerouted buses are the status quo. Developer-driven rezones and growth are swallowing our city whole!” Oliver’s campaign website says.

“The residents who made the Emerald City the innovative and cultural gem it is today are being pushed out and replaced with murals, cultural relics, and colorful crosswalks. Seattle is quickly becoming a museum of our contributions, a place we can visit but we cannot live.”

The party is running Oliver “to break down barriers and open doors for collective leadership that is willing, able, and experienced in divesting from practices, corporations, and institutions that don’t reflect the values and interests of our city,” the website says.

“Whether on stages and in classrooms as a teaching artist, or in the courts and streets as a lawyer and legal observer, her track record, experience, and selfless dedication as a truly progressive servant of the people speaks for itself.”

Oliver works as a teaching artist and mentor in Seattle Public Schools and through Creative Justice, a nonprofit that uses art to work with court-involved youth. She holds law and education degrees from the University of Washington, was the 2015 grand champion of the Seattle Poetry Slam, and received the 2015 artist human-rights leader award from the Seattle Office of Civil Rights. She’s been a leader in efforts to stop the city from building a $160 million North Precinct police station and King County from building a new youth jail.

Oliver said her work in schools and with court-involved youth would help her craft better policy as mayor. She said Murray talks about aiding young black men in Seattle but hasn’t been engaging enough with community activists.

Murray has raised $272,376 and has been endorsed by a number of labor unions. Another candidate, safe-streets activist Andres Salomon, has raised $2,886.

Oliver told the Emerald, “We’re going to lack financially. But what we lack in funding we’ll make up in actual, real community relationships. If you see pictures of me with young people, it wasn’t a photo op. It’s not because I went down to Rainier Beach High School to have a fake conversation with young people and take a picture and say it happened. It’s because I actually spend time at Rainier Beach.”

She added, “If you ask those young people about who I am they’ll say I’ve seen Nikkita in the community. You’ll see pictures of me with young people, but they were taken in community, not just some transactional stuff that politicians do.”

DCG

Many teens say there’s no reason to get driver’s license

time-magazine-millennials_500

From Sacramento Bee: At 16, Henry Stock doesn’t see many reasons to get a driver’s license. He can walk to stores near his home in Hollywood, Fla. Many of his friends are fellow gamers he can talk to online. And he can use a mobile ride-sharing app to get a ride when he needs one.

So while Stock has a learner’s permit, he hasn’t yet made much of a dent in the 50 hours of supervised driving he needs to get a full license in Florida.  “It’s more time and effort than I want to put into something that won’t benefit me a lot right now,” Stock said.

Other teens see things the same way. The share of high school seniors across the country who have a driver’s license dropped from 85.3 percent in 1996 to a record low 71.5 percent in 2015, according to data from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey.

The drop has been sharpest in the South, where the share of high school seniors with a driver’s license fell from 88.6 percent in 1996 to 71.2 percent in 2015. High school seniors are most likely to have a license in the Midwest – 80.4 percent – and least likely to have one in the Northeast – 64.8 percent.

Part of the reason is economic: fewer jobs, especially during the Great Recession, which meant teens didn’t need to get to work and had less money to bankroll their rides. But even as the economy improved, the share of high school seniors with a license has generally been on the decline. That’s partly a result of tough new rules imposed on young drivers and an explosion in ride-hailing and ride-sharing services.

The shift appears to be having a direct impact on safety.

Drivers aged 16 to 19 are among the most dangerous on the road. They are three times more likely than older drivers to be in a fatal crash. But even as that teenage population has increased from 14.9 million in 1996 to 16.9 million in 2015, the number of drivers in that age group involved in fatal crashes fell by more than half, from 6,021 to 2,898, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry-funded nonprofit. Read more about the safety statistics here.

A 2012 survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the most common reason for teens to delay getting a license was not having a car. More than a third cited gasoline and other costs, and many, like Stock, also mentioned the ability to get around without driving.

The recession and its aftermath deprived teens of work opportunities as many older workers were laid off and started to compete for lower-level jobs. The unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds was near 25 percent from 2009 to 2013.

“That means 1 in 4 teenagers who wanted a job couldn’t find one,” said Moore of the data institute. “The reality is if you graduated high school at the worst of the recession, you were having a hard time supporting yourself as a teen driver.”

High teen unemployment coincided with some of the biggest drops in license rates for high school seniors, from 82.1 percent in 2005 to 72.1 percent in 2011, Monitoring the Future data show.

Read the whole story here.

DCG

Cornell protesters demand funding, housing for illegals

cornell-university-logo

From Campus Reform: Students and faculty members at Cornell University demanded funding, housing, and sanctuary for illegal immigrant students and scholars during a demonstration Thursday.

Students and faculty gathered on the Arts Quad for “Sanctuary Now Cornell: Solidarity against Tyranny,” a public protest in support of illegal immigrants and hosted by the Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy (CCID).

According to The Cornell Daily Sun, roughly 250 to 300 people attended the event, during which they asked the university to provide an “alternative funding source” for illegal immigrant students regardless of whether those students are protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In addition, CCID said the university must provide shelter in the form of “housing and basic resources to stay on campus” for illegal and international students who are being advised not to travel, as well as provide temporary research positions to international scholars “fleeing dangerous situations abroad.”

“CCID demands the immediate implementation of these measures, which draw on the best aspects of Cornell and Ithaca’s abolitionist and sanctuary traditions,” CCID wrote on the Facebook event page for the protest. “Cornell has a duty to create an atmosphere of dignity, human rights, and academic freedom.”

The protesters asked for traditional sanctuary campus measures as well, such as noncompliance with immigration detainer requests and refusal to seek immigration status information during police work.

History professor Russell Rickford, an organizer of the protest, led a number of chants, including “No ban. No wall. Sanctuary for all.”

“Our endangered community members still lack explicit assurance that the institution that took them in will protect them,” Rickford said to the crowd. “That’s shameful.”

Joe Margulies, a government and law professor, compared the deportation of illegal immigrants to the Palmer Raids, which were conducted by the U.S. Justice Department in 1919 and 1920 to expel foreign radical leftists and considered by many to be the peak of the Red Scare.

“The truth is most people will never stand with you; you will always be in a minority,” Margulies explained. “But, the truth is, we look back on those periods now as periods of grave injustice, where time has turned against what was done. And you don’t need the majority; what you need is a very dedicated, involved minority.

Notably, interim president Hunter Rawlings has already outlined steps the college has taken to address the concerns of the protesting group. On January 29, he released a statement promising to “honor [Cornell’s] commitments” to DACA students, provide legal assistance to international scholars detained while traveling and illegal immigrant students, and “continue to protect the privacy of our student information and records from unauthorized or unlawful intrusion.”

In December, Rawlings assured students he would continue to give funding to students who lost DACA status under the new Trump administration.

DCG

All hail political correctness: UK university wants to control the words students use

gender-nuetral-terms

From BBC: Cardiff Metropolitan University‘s code of practice on using inclusive language encourages the use of “gender-neutral terms”.

Author Dr. Joanna Williams said they were “unnecessary” and “authoritarian”. The university said it was committed to “providing an environment where everyone is valued”. The university recognised language “can be a contentious issue” and developed its code of practice to “promote fairness and equality”.

It recommended using gender-neutral terms and avoiding generalisations or assumptions based on stereotypes. The university checklist makes alternative suggestions:

  • Best man for the job – best person for the job
  • Fireman – firefighter
  • Housewife – shopper, consumer, homemaker
  • Manpower – human resources, labour force, staff, personnel, workers
  • Tax man – tax inspector (I use a completely different word for anyone associated with the IRS)
  • Sportsmanship – fairness, good humour, sense of fair play
  • Gentleman’s agreement – unwritten agreement, agreement based on trust

Dr. Williams, author of Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity, told BBC Wales the guidelines were “very authoritarian” and universities “should trust academics to be able to communicate with each other without being permanently offended”.

She said language changes and evolves and many of the words on the university’s checklist were “falling out of fashion”.

“If you look at their origins they are not really based on an exclusionary idea,” she said. “The words have come to encompass more than just men. They are more general.”

Cardiff Metropolitan University is not the only university said to have freedom of speech restrictions. Spiked magazine, of which Dr. Williams is the education editor, recently published the results of its latest Free Speech University Rankings.

Of 115 UK universities surveyed, 63.5% were found to “actively censor speech” and 30.5% were found to “stifle speech through excessive regulation”.

Dr. Williams said universities need to stop restricting freedom of speech and that their codes of practice “demonstrate a shocking lack of trust”.

“Schools wouldn’t publish such a list for children, yet they are being used for adults,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Cardiff Metropolitan University said it makes “an unequivocal commitment to providing an environment where everyone is valued as an individual, and where students and staff can work, learn, flourish and develop their skills and knowledge in an atmosphere of dignity and respect”.

She said the code of practice on using inclusive language “sets out a broad approach to promoting fairness and equality through raising awareness about the effects of potentially discriminatory vocabulary”.

“It makes suggestions for the avoidance of inappropriate generalisations and provides some illustrative examples of gender-laden vocabulary with some neutral alternatives.” She added complaints about the “excesses of so-called political correctness” and their impact are not new.

“For Cardiff Met, though, academic freedom and the celebration of diversity are cornerstones of university life – and are entirely compatible with each other.”

DCG

High school changes graduation gown color because of “inclusivity”; sparks walkout and petitions

graduation-gown

Folks getting tired of the “inclusive” agenda messing with traditions.

From ABC NY (SETAUKET, Long Island (WABC) — There is a growing controversy at a high school on Long Island just months before graduation. Some students at Ward Melville in Setauket are taking offense to their school’s decision for boys and girls to wear the same gowns.

It is meant as a way to be more inclusive to students, regardless of gender, but not everyone is onboard with the idea. The new gowns are green and gold, bearing the school’s emblem. They don’t seem controversial, but that depends on who you ask. “This isn’t about gender, this isn’t about transgender,” 17-year-old senior Max Gironda said. “This is about tradition.”

For 50 years, the young men wore green while young women wore gold. But that changed recently. School officials say the intent was to be more progressive and inclusive towards transgender students.

But that change led to a walkout of about 100 students Wednesday. It also ignited a firestorm on social media and online petitions both for and against.

Gironda authored the opposition petition, which garnered almost 900 signatures. His father said one of the issues is that he feels the principal made the decision in secret. “To try to make a couple of people comfortable with their gender identity, he took away the ability for all of the rest of the children to acknowledge their gender identity,” Kevin Gironda said. “He took a way that right.”

Other opponents of the new gowns say that transgender students should feel comfortable, but that the old gowns gave them the right to choose how they identify. And, they add, tradition is important.

“My sister wore gold, my brother wore green,” senior Lauren Egan said. “And there’s a spot for me to have my picture hung on the wall.”

“I accept everyone,” student Brendan Ciullo added. “I think you express yourselves as you want. But I think giving everyone a choice. Wear green or gold is your option. You choose how you express yourself.”

Of course, there’s also the other side. A petition in favor of the new gowns has more than 500 signatures. And some say the new gowns are the best of both worlds.

“I’m married to a woman,” parent Jenifer Nix said. “It’s a not a traditional marriage, but I feel that the choice of color, they’re incorporating both colors, so it’s not a bad thing. It’s all for the best.”

Principal Alan Baum responded in a statement (See his “Cap and Gown Unity Statement” here). “The ceremony will continue to reflect the district’s history of pride and academic excellence as we honor our traditions and student success through this milestone event,” he said.

LGBT advocates, meanwhile, say it’s a positive step forward. “This tradition, the so-called tradition of wearing two different colored gowns, is archaic,” said David Kilmnick, of the New York LGBT Network. “It is way time for it to be over and done.”

Another part of the controversy is that seniors shelled out hundreds of dollars for their pictures months ago, which were taken in their old gowns. Some now say they want to take their pictures over, upset that they’ll graduate in a gown different than their photos.

DCG

Georgia high school punishes student for supporting President Trump

Paul Joseph Watson reports for InfoWars, Feb. 28, 2017, that Patrick Ragozzine, a student at Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia (about 45 minutes from Atlanta), received an ISS (in school suspension) for supporting President Trump against students who called Trump a racist.

Ragozzine writes: “I overheard some students bashing Donald Trump, making false claims that he’s a racist, sexist, xenophobic person. The teacher defended the other students and began lecturing me on Trump’s ‘hateful’ rhetoric and how the other students have the right to hold those feelings.”

School officials summoned Ragozzine to a meeting and told him he couldn’t discuss politics in the classroom, and that “it’s wrong to be discussing a wall” in Canton, an area with a large Latino population.

Ragozzine’s punishment was changed to an “administrative referral” or warning after he posted about his in school suspension on Snapchat, and after his parents and friends complained to the school. But Ragozzine points out that the administrative referral “still goes on my permanent record (which colleges will see when I try applying) and they had to call my parents about it.”

The “administrative referral” form states, under “description of offense,” that “Student has been given several warnings about making unnecessary comments about politics or keep saying ‘build the wall'”.

patrick-ragozzines-administrative-referral

What happened to Patrick Ragozzine isn’t the only Trump Derangement incident in U.S. public schools.

An elementary school teacher in Naples, Florida, was reassigned to administrative duties after praising Trump’s executive order on immigration. Earlier this month, a teacher in Tennessee was fired after posting on his Facebook page: “The only good Trump supporter is a dead Trump supporter.”

See also:

Here’s contact info. for Cherokee High School:

Todd Miller, Principal
Cherokee High School
Email: todd.miller@cherokee.k12.ga.us

Dr. Brian V. Hightower, Superintendent
Cherokee County School District
Phone: 770.479.1871

~Eowyn