Missouri school fight felony

If we allow children to be charged with felonies for fighting at school, we are opening up the floodgates for hundreds of thousands more incarcerated individuals. Disproportionate numbers will continue to include: girls/women and boys/men of color.

New Missouri Law Makes Grade School Fights A Felony

Personal Reaction: A Fear of Teaching

Photo credit- www.buzzhourly.com

Photo credit- www.buzzhourly.com

Last week my brother sent me a link to a post (Urban Edge Post) by a former Texas teacher and school administrator Kristi Rangle. In the post, “I was a teacher. I’m worried my daughter will follow in my foosteps” Rangle described how her daughter grew up watching her as an educator, and helping her at school events and decorating her classroom. She goes on to describe her daughter’s surprise at disapproval of her interest in a career in teaching. Rangle expressed,

“The state of teaching has taken some unexpected twists and turns that would make any parent concerned about it as a career choice for their child.” Like many educators, Rangle fears that if her daughter becomes a teacher, she “like many other teachers- will be scapegoated as the reason public education is failing.”

Rangle raises some interesting points including: not addressing the decline and turnover of teachers in public schools; using quality teaching as the number one excuse for student’s academic success; the heavy burdens that teachers endure; and the lack of financial support. I found this post interesting for several reasons. One, my mother is also an educator in Texas, in an urban school district. She was a public school teacher for over 20 years and is now an administrator. Continue reading

“Qatar out of our schools”- Arabic Immersion in Texas

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Last week was the first week of school for many K-12 and college students across Texas. In Houston, last week was the first week of school for HISD’s new Arabic Immersion Magnet School. Though the district and superintendent Terry Grier were proud of the new school and its potential unique educational value for students, some Houstonians opposed and protested the opening of the school.

On Monday August 26th, students and parents were welcomed by protesters who believe the school’s half Arabic, half English immersion structure to be “anti-American.” The Arabic Immersion school is not the first immersion school in the district, but it is however the first that has been met with such opposition. In 2012 there were no protesters at the site of the opening of HISD’s Mandarin Immersion School.

According to the Chron.com, “Arabic was the second most common language other than English spoken by HISD families last school year.”  The Arabic-speaking population in the greater Houston area has increasingly grown since 2009 to over 20,000 people. Also, Houston is the nation’s energy capital, and most people believe it is beneficial to have graduates who can speak multiple languages, in particular those popular among countries included in the energy industry.

On August 26th, there were about 30 adult protesters outside of the school, who held signs including phrases such as “Qatar out of our school,” “American Schools American Kids,” and “Everything I ever cared to know about Islam was taught to me by Muslims on 9-11-2001.”

As expected, many people including school officials took to social media (twitter) to voice concerns, opposition, and support of Arabic Immersion education as well as increasing immersion programs across the district.

Personally, I think immersion programs are a huge benefit to students, families, society, and the business industries. It is unfortunate that students, teachers, and parents were subjected to this ignorance from the “protesters.” There signs indicate a lack of knowledge regarding the current and growing diversity in Houston…
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Photo and Information Sources: The Houston Chronicle

34 Year-old President at Shaw University

Dr. Tashni Dubroy will become the next president of Shaw University this August.

Dr. Dubroy is a native of Jamaica, is 34 years “young”, and will be the 3rd female president of the university. More information and a video regarding this news can be found here: I AM Jamaican

 

11 African American students named “2015 Truman Scholars”

2015 Truman ScholarsThis year over 600 candidates were nominated by over 200 institutions of higher education for the Truman Scholarship, awarded and funded by The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Of the 58 students selected for this prestigious honor, 11 are African American and represent a wide range of colleges and universities across the nation. According to www.truman.gov, “students were selected based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement.”   Continue reading

A History of Violence Part One

In lieu of recent protesting and more specifically, the “riots” in Baltimore, let us take some time to think back on the birth of our nation and the struggles that people had to endure for the American Revolution. We do indeed have a history of violence in this country. There were protests, riots, and looting. Remember this? Sons of Liberty

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Closing the Literacy Gap: Barbershop Books

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Alvin Irby (former educator) created the “Barbershop Books” program, as an initiative to promote literacy for young black males. The program is also targeted at helping Black boys associate books and reading as a part of their identity. According to Irby, the idea is simple: identify barbershops that Black families frequent, and set up a shelf of children’s books. Continue reading

Race Together with USA Today and Starbucks

USA Today will expand on the initiative that Starbucks has taken to promote conversations and understanding on Race in America. What are your thoughts? Article Link

Thoughts on OU/SAE incident

Expulsion seems like the right thing to do, and seems to be a punishment that fits the bill for what these college students did and allowed to happen; however I disagree. It gives them the opportunity to bow out,  and off campus without having to face those who they offended and those that can teach them something about their actions and possibly challenge their thoughts and beliefs as well. A few days after the incident became widespread news, there was a community discussion regarding race relations within the OU community. Several people attended and it seems that a great dialogue took place, but this is not enough.

I have attended numerous panel discussions, community conversations, townhall meetings, open forums etc. related to race relations, diversity,  and inclusion,  and what I have noticed is that you see the same people on college campuses and within communities participating time and time again. Those who are already becoming part of the solution, are open-minded, wanting to bring about change, or are already change agents, show up and speak up.  Other people who truly NEED to attend do not, and so it becomes the same conversation with the same people who hear the same messages. No new action is taken, and not much changes.

Those young men expelled from OU should have been required to attend. They should have also been required to attend other cultural competence seminars, workshops, and they should have been forced to sit in a room among those who spoke out about their poor decisions and actions and felt offended  in the first place. If they shamed the OU community, make the face the OU community and learn how and why what they did was shameful.  More of these conversations and experiences are going to have to be forced in order for them to occur and for people to exchange more meaningful dialogue that is not one-sided. Young people today are still very frightened, apathetic, and unable to communicate effectively to build better interpersonal relations. It’s time to push people out of their comfort zones and get the learning and understanding process going before more incidents like this one occur and college campuses become further divided.

2 OU Students Expelled

Update: 2 OU students have been expelled from the University by President Boren for playing a “leadership role” in the video that went viral over the weekend

OU's President, David Boren, expels two students after SAE video surfaces

OU’s President, David Boren, expels two students after SAE video surface