Friday Open Thread

On the pot watch:

- here's what Superintendent Randy Dorn had to say about the legalization of pot and public schools:

The passage of I-502 changes nothing in public schools in Washington state. Certain drugs, including marijuana, continue to be illegal on school property and to anyone younger than 21 years old.

 To receive federal funds, districts must abide by the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and must have a Drug and Tobacco-Free Workplace and a similar student policy in place.

Each district’s policy has a number of common requirements about marijuana and other drugs, such as not allowing any student to:
  •  Be under the influence
  •  Possess
  • Distribute
  • Manufacture
Any student caught will be disciplined according to local district policy and local law enforcement as required. Fines can also be doubled if the arrest occurs within 1,000 feet of a school facility.

 I-502 changes state law but has no effect on federal law.

Some people think that a medical marijuana card is similar to a prescription for a controlled substance and can be brought to schools or the workplace. That is false. Having a medical marijuana card does not mean a student, or an employee, or anyone for that matter, can bring marijuana on school grounds.

Students need to be engaged and prepared for school. Marijuana doesn’t allow them to be either of those things. Marijuana dulls the brain. It can lead to paranoia, short-term memory loss and depression. And for those under 21, it is illegal.

 - President Obama announced this morning that the Feds would NOT be coming after Washington State or any other state that has legalized pot.  They don't have the time or the resources for small-scale use of pot.  

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said…
A 12-year old McClure Middle School student testified in front of 2,000+ people last night at the Coal Export Terminal hearing. Go, Rachel!

Greg Linden said…
Pretty good article on the need for more federal education funding, worth the read:

"Beyond the 'fiscal cliff,' America's kids need more – not less – government spending"
dan dempsey said…
Dorn proposes changes in state assessment system=>

Students in the class of 2015 are required to pass five exit exams to graduate from high school:
Reading High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE)
Writing HSPE
Biology End-of-Course (EOC) exam
Algebra I EOC
Geometry EOC

In January, Dorn will propose to the Legislature that we reduce the five required tests to three:
Reading/writing HSPE
Biology EOC
Algebra I EOC
Anonymous said…
Oh GOD. I just read this. Mass killings at an elementary school in Connecticut. At least 20 dead.

very upset
Anonymous said…
Can we please talk about safety (from a gunman) at Seattle schools? I'm probably not thinking rationally right now, but I think this could happen here especially since anyone can walk into my child's school, anytime. They're supposed to check-in at the office, but that wouldn't stop a gunman. What can we do to keep our kids safe?

Mag Mom
Lori said…
Mag Mom, I hear you. I'm shaken to my core by the events. If folks haven't read the details, you'll understand when you do. I won't be the one to post them here though.

I started studying gun violence 20 years ago in public health school and I can barely get my mind around the fact that we are so blase in this country and accept mass shootings as the price we pay to uphold the 2nd amendment.

So that I don't belabor my point, I just wanted to post something the Brady Campaign says:

What matters is not what we do after the sensational tragedies. It's what we do between them.

I couldn't agree more. We can't change our systems in a reactionary way after each horrific event. But we must, simply must, do the necessary and hard work required to reduce gun violence. The causes are multi-factorial and will require interdisciplinary solutions beyond the criminal justice system. We can put up cameras and make school visitors sign in but I'm afraid it won't be enough until we as a society grapple with our gun obsession and find some sort of balance between rights and risks.
Jamie said…
Thank you Lori. Can't say it much better than that.
Anonymous said…
Mag Mom,

I am with you. In the last month alone there have been two bank robberies in Magnolia within one or two blocks from one of the schools. I remain unconvinced that SPS has good procedures in place to keep intruders out OR to keep kids safe inside when armed bank robbers are still on the loose.

--Another Mag mom
Anonymous said…
School closings in Philly. Yes, the school had issues, but thank you charter school movement!

"The city school district plans to close 37 public schools to address budget cuts, declining enrollment and enduring achievement gaps.
The closures would account for about 15 percent of the city's nearly 250 schools, and include about 10 high schools. The overhaul comes after tens of thousands of students moved to public charter schools over the past decade, contributing to sharp enrollment declines in traditional public schools. The district had to borrow $300 million this year alone to pay its bills."

--Another Mag mom
Eric B said…
Lori said it very nicely. To address Mag Mom's direct concern, I'm not sure how SPS can have real protection from a random person walking in off the street without major changes to the schools. Here's my thinking:

Let's assume for the moment that we have a locked fence all around the playground. Anyone entering or leaving the grounds has to go through the building. Unless the entrance is through the office and you have a locked door with a gatekeeper, someone can still walk into the building, turn away from the office, and have basically full access. If you do have a gatekeeper, there are substantial additional burdens to going to your child's school to volunteer or even pick up your kid at the end of the day. Any way you look at it, there are big crowds of parents and kids at the beginning or end of the day. Heck, unless you change the perimeter fence to an opaque wall, even chain link doesn't really protect kids on the playground.

None of this is to say that we can't do anything. I just think that the protection needs to be handled outside the school walls rather than inside. Unfortunately, it's hard to run school security like a bank, even though the school has far more precious contents.

To more directly address SPS' response to gun violence, there was the West Seattle shootings incident a little while ago. Any feedback from that community about the response?
Anonymous said…
Another Mag mom,

Do you know if the local Magnolia schools did a lock down during those 2 bank robberies?


WendyJ said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
We used to live in NY and my daughter's public elementary school had ALL doors locked during the day. If you needed to get in they had a buzzer, and you had to announce who you were and they would check to make sure you were authorized to be there during that time. I felt my kids were much safer there than I do here.


Anonymous said…
I understand that the first bank robbery in Magnolia last month did include a lock down. However, it was close to the end of the school day and they let the kids out of school at bell time. Was the robber 100% confirmed as out of the area? That kind of detailed information is never provided, just vague references to what happened. SPS does not have a great track records with handing these situations (end of school day release). The most recent bank robbery did not involve a lock down, per the email form the school that went out. I do not know why. Perhaps the danger had passed.

I agree with Eric B that keeping intruders out of the schools is difficult. But as wwmom has noted, it can be done. However, there is a significant culture change that has to happen. And changes have to be done in a way as to not instill fear in children or intimidate them. Or discourage all the parent participation that SPS schools cannot survive (literally) without. That being said, it will likely take a tragedy here for any changes to happen.

--Another Mag mom
dan dempsey said…

Building a Showcase Campus, Using an I.O.U.

While this is about Colleges the parallels to the SPS are certainly present. Deferred building maintenance, Poor use of building funds like Garfield's Raj Mahal remodel. Bloated administrative spending etc. and improved financial efficiency.

The comments are especially informative.
Anonymous said…
For those who haven't seen it, the Daily Kos wrote about how charter schools are not performing as well as they claim to be - surprise!!!


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