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Switch to Forum Live View Teacher Fired over Trayvon Martin fundraiser
2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 9:58AM #1
Cesmom
Posts: 4,869

According to the SPLC, a national civil rights group, Harris' eighth-grade journalism students asked her about the death of Martin, 17, who was unarmed when he was shot in Sanford, Fla. No charges have been filed.


Harris gave the students an editorial-writing assignment on the shooting. But the students wanted to raise money for Martin's family and asked the school's administrators if they could each pay $1 to wear hoodies instead of school uniforms for a day, the group said. It said the school regularly has fundraisers in which students are allowed to "dress down."


The 26-year-old English teacher said she approached school administrators "through the chain of command" but that Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell said the project could not go forward. Harris said she was in the process of explaining this decision to the students when she was called for a meeting with Cassell.


The superintendent suspended Harris for encouraging the students and then fired her after she showed up at the school to drop off prizes for students when she had been told to stay away, the SPLC said.



Apparently it's not even okay for teachers to facilitate discussions about the Trayvon Martin case now.  Funny, when I was in school, we were actually encouraged to discuss current events.  

As far as the fundraiser goes, our school lets the kids do fundraisers all the time...something sounds fishy to me.  Maybe someone else in that school deserves to be fired.

www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALe...
 
Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 10:17AM #2
mountain_man
Posts: 39,484

The problem was that she encouraged her students to get involved in something they cared about. I'm sure there are many schools that would hire her immediately. She's the kind of teacher we need.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 11:29AM #3
Ed.W
Posts: 9,441

Eighth grade journalism? 



"I didn't tell the kids, 'Let's go and do it anyway.'" Harris said. "I was actually, literally, in the process of talking to my kids about what we could do instead when (Cassell) requested the meeting with me and told me that I needed to let it go."


Cassell said she couldn't discuss personnel matters but that she wanted students to focus on learning, not activism.


"I'm a child of the civil rights movement," Cassell said. But "this is not the time in the school year" to distract students from academics.




That's the thing, though.  Activists are attracted to careers in journalism.



And we have two stories from the ex-teacher:


A:  Harris said she was in the process of explaining this decision to the students when she was called for a meeting


B:  "I was actually, literally, in the process of talking to my kids about what we could do instead when (Cassell) requested the meeting with me

‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ --Lao Tzu
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 11:42AM #4
Cesmom
Posts: 4,869

Apr 11, 2012 -- 11:29AM, Ed.W wrote:


Eighth grade journalism? 




Yes.  Is there something surprising about 8th grade journalism?

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 11:44AM #5
farragut
Posts: 4,020

Yes. With all that is required by federal and state standards, I fail to see how the school has time to devote to such non-basic frippery.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 11:47AM #6
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Apr 11, 2012 -- 11:29AM, Ed.W wrote:

Eighth grade journalism?


Yes, journalism is part of a middle school Language Arts curriculum, and fulfills a number of Writing standards. 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 11:53AM #7
Ed.W
Posts: 9,441

Cassell:  "This is not the time in the school year..."



Do they have 8th grade LEAP tests to study for as school ends in just a few weeks? 

‘Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ --Lao Tzu
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 11:58AM #8
Cesmom
Posts: 4,869

Apr 11, 2012 -- 11:29AM, Ed.W wrote:


Eighth grade journalism? 



"I didn't tell the kids, 'Let's go and do it anyway.'" Harris said. "I was actually, literally, in the process of talking to my kids about what we could do instead when (Cassell) requested the meeting with me and told me that I needed to let it go."


Cassell said she couldn't discuss personnel matters but that she wanted students to focus on learning, not activism.


"I'm a child of the civil rights movement," Cassell said. But "this is not the time in the school year" to distract students from academics.




That's the thing, though.  Activists are attracted to careers in journalism.



And we have two stories from the ex-teacher:


A:  Harris said she was in the process of explaining this decision to the students when she was called for a meeting


B:  "I was actually, literally, in the process of talking to my kids about what we could do instead when (Cassell) requested the meeting with me




Sounds like the same story.  She was explaining to them that they couldn't do what they wanted to do and talking to them about what they could do instead.  

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 12:16PM #9
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Apr 11, 2012 -- 11:44AM, farragut wrote:

Yes. With all that is required by federal and state standards, I fail to see how the school has time to devote to such non-basic frippery.


Language Arts writing programs have students do a variety of different kinds of writing. For instance, the 8th Grade Writing Standards for South Dakota state that an advanced student must do all of the following: 1) "Evaluate and compose narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive texts of five or more paragraphs"; 2) "revise writing for ideas and content and sentence fluency"; 3) "evaluate information form multiple sources to compose text"; 4) edit text for run-on sentences, fragments, and sentence fluency"; 5) "identify and incorporate interjections, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, and propositions in the writing process." 


One of the important aspects of the writing assignments are that they should be "real world," contemporary and current, and connected to the everyday lives and concerns of the students. This particular teacher was doing just that. Other important aspects of writing assignments include having students revise to create reader-based prose that focuses on the concerns of the audience of a particular text. Composing journalism articles and then publishing them in a classroom publication, a school publication, or a community publication such as a newspaper provides students with opportunities to focus on composing reader-based prose as well as focus on the needs and concerns of their intended audience. Middle school Language Arts writing programs do still contain units that are partly structured around the older expressionistic rhetoric (i.e., Creative Writing units in which students compose poetry, short stories, and nonfiction narratives), but writing/composition programs at the middle school, high school, and college levels are now largely influenced by and structured around process and post-process theories of composition. Much has changed even since the late 1990s. But these writing programs, writing content standards, and theories of composition are not "non-basic flippery." 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 11, 2012 - 12:22PM #10
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Apr 11, 2012 -- 11:53AM, Ed.W wrote:

Cassell:  "This is not the time in the school year..."



Do they have 8th grade LEAP tests to study for as school ends in just a few weeks? 


Teachers know well that with track season, the arrival of warm spring-time weather, etc., the fourth quarter of an academic year is little more than "killing time" until summer break starts. Students should be completing major projects, not starting them. 


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