18 April 2007

KingCast observes that violence in schools is nothing new for Columbus.

After the Virginia Tech shootings, we know that enhanced protocol to protect students of all ages will be coming soon, but don't look to Columbus Public Schools for any guidance there because they can't even handle schoolchildren. Yeah, they don't have a great track record of protecting kids there from broken noses or even gang rape, so they lash out when parents or guardians want to talk about it.

As noted in this post, Board member Loretta Heard (RIP) rips then-president Mary Jo Kilroy, Esq. a new one for violating First Amendment Rights. It's in the justiceforkids video, "Advocacy in Action: Then and Now."

PS: Don't forget about current Columbus Superintendent Gene Harris' unheralded "No Confidence" vote or the $200,000.00 in diverted funds by Board Administrator Shirley Bird Long.


Anonymous said...

You are certainly right about the challenges of the Columbus Public Schools and their frequently inappropriate reactions to parents. But a recent exchange between Dr. Harris, the Board and the CEA (vis The Voice), provide a bit of hope.

The current Board has moved forward from the dark ages to adopt some modern management features--including a lengthy retraining process to help move focus away from daily operations, inputs and other red herrings, to focus on (educational one hopes--as well as other indicators) outcomes. If successfully implemented this helps to move to a more pro-active, less re-active role.

But the surprising thing recently was a challege by Board members (forget who--might have been Cabot, but don't quote me) to the term "Zero Tolerance," in one of Harris's "Reasonable Interpretations" of Board Policy. (These re interpretations lay the groundwork for annual reporting on status/progress). You may be aware that Zero Tolerance is widely misinterpreted and frequently becomes a "push-out" strategy with disproportionate effects on low income, minority and especially disabled students.

Harris responded to a question by saying that to her, Zero Tolerance means that behavior will always be dealt with in way that is appropriate to the infraction, the age, ability etc of the student. However, she also acknowledged that the definition is not always the same for all people and was willing to remove this vague terminology.

See http://www.ceaohio.org/docs/Voice070305-26.pdf for the union response, crying that the sup was becoming soft on discipline. A couple weeks later CEA was distributing posters to make certain that teachers know how to have kids arrested and take them to court.

I remember the final episode of Mary Tyler Moore (just to let you know how old I am), when Maury referred to Ted Baxter's abortive offer to quit if all the rest of the staff were not rehired. He said "When a elephant starts to fly, you don't complain when it doesn't stay up too long."

Christopher King said...

Wow, well if they are about doing something I'm all for that. Justiceforkids.net has been quite proactive in putting their dirt out on Main Street, so I'd like to believe that we -- and others who complain -- have made a difference.

BTW Mary Tyler Moore was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid.

What was the follow-up, wasn't it "Lou Grant?"

Small wonder I became a reporter, Civil Rights lawyer and blogger, huh?




Christopher King said...

PS: Remember in the lead case at Justiceforkids, it wasn't about kids on kids, it was adults on kids.