Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Open Thread

A big shout out to Rancho Tehama Elementary in Rancho Tehama, California where this week a gunman, on a rampage in their town, came to the elementary school and tried to access classrooms.  The school staff, hearing the gunfire outside quickly locked the building down.  Footage shows the gunman trying to open doors to classrooms and giving up.  He then shot into the building (one child was hurt by flying debris as he hid under a desk).  Bravo to those calm and brave staff members!

Forbes magazine does a listing of "30 under 30" (30 people under 30 years old) for various categories including education.  Now Forbes is a business magazine but the category was "education," not education technology or innovation.  Not a single educator made the list.  Hmmm.  (Also, a shout out to former Board member, Kay Smith-Blum, on the inclusion of her son, Bryce, on a technology list.)

There has been no press release on this but KNKX reports the district has started its gender identity information for K-5 students.  The report includes this update:
The school district is piloting the books and lessons in 12 elementary schools over the next month, and the schools may choose to send parents information and web resources ahead of time, but are not required to notify parents. Then the district will gather feedback, make tweaks and introduce the books and lessons to other elementary schools in January. 

Love said that parents who object to having their kids take part can opt them out of the lesson, but she emphasized that the books help reinforce the importance of kindness and respect for everyone.
I would disagree with the district.  I absolutely think schools should be talking about and demonstrating tolerance and inclusion but parents should be notified about what their child is being told AND how the parent might support that at home.  This is a fairly big values issue and for some parents, they may not agree.  And, if a kid is opted out, what happens to him/her during that time?  That's something parents might want to know.

Director community meetings
Patu - Raconteur from 9-10:30 am
Harris - Delridge Branch Library from 3-5 pm (she mentioned at the Board meeting there would be food)
Pinkham - Broadview Branch Library from 4-5:30 pm (he noted at the Board meeting that he didn't get very many people so take the opportunity to have a director to talk to by yourself)

Director Geary said that the Board meeting that she would not be having a community meeting this week or next.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

I'd appreciate a debrief from the 11/15 Board meeting, if anyone attended.


Lynn said...

Walking to the D line on the east side of Magnolia earlier this week I noticed a new bus stop sign on the Dravus St. Bridge, both sides of the street. It shows up on the Metro transit page as starting downtown, looping through the Seattle Center/Lower QA, looping through the middle of Magnolia and back out on Dravus, then going up 15th towards Ballard High and on north, crossing to the U Dist around 80th/85th, up through Lake City, ending around 145th/I-5. There aren't a ton of bus stops along the route, but it covers a big chunk of Magnolia and stops both directions within a few blocks of Ballard High. "How perfect!", I thought. This will be great for kids trying to get to high school from Magnolia! No more D line! One bus all the way!

However, after trying to find it on One Bus Away, it appears to be a special line ONLY to service a couple of private schools. It runs north once per day and south once per day. Non-private school people can ride it, I guess making it a "public" bus, but I'm really confused about why KC Metro would create a whole bus line that only benefits a tiny population of private school kids. After doing more digging, there are actually 10 (980, 981, 982, 984, 986, 987, 988, 989, 994, 995) bus lines that service 4 private schools, bringing kids throughout the city and Eastside there.

From what I can tell, University Prep (560 MS/HS), Holy Names (692 HS only), Lakeside (858 MS/HS), and Evergreen School (477 K-8 only) are the private schools that are serviced by these lines. What an utter WASTE. Why not expand the number of buses on these routes to service SPS high school students as well?! I'd be curious to know how much taxpayer money is going to service these lines. There can't be enough kids riding them and paying the fare to actually pay for the lines.

-Other Lynn

Anonymous said...

I think you might mean Blanchet, not Holy Names.


Anonymous said...

Other Lynn,

That is just fascinating. I just looked at all of those routes and every single one of them goes right to Lakeside. What are the odds?!


Anonymous said...

These are all custom bus routes run in partnership with metro and the private schools. The fares are supposedly higher than normal routes so its seems fair enough to me.



Anonymous said...

Where is the discussion or post about McCleary? Wasn't there a big ruling?


Melissa Westbrook said...

Fridaze, you may want to consider that I have a life outside this blog. I will get to both the Board meeting (which I only attended 3 hours of) and McCleary ruling.

Anonymous said...

The Metro Custom Bus routes serving private high schools have existed for decades. The fares are much higher than normal Metro routes, and anyone can ride, but you'll have to pony up $5.25 each way to do so.

There's a whole different set of these numbered in the 800s that service the Mercer Island, Bellevue and Lake Washington school districts. They are at standard fare ... I can't remember what the financial arrangement is there, but its different than with the private schools.


Anonymous said...

Pretty weird to applaud the staff at Tehama but ignore the gun issue. Why should teaching incorporate preperation for an attack by armed gunmen?

This country is being destroyed by guns and it all centers on money, the profit of gin makers mainly.


Anonymous said...

I donated every nerf gun in our home this week. One very small step towards a more humane world, at least in our house.

No Guns

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kyle, you must be new. I have talked a lot about the gun issue and my belief that there needs to be more done to stop this epidemic of shooting and killing.

I wish that teaching did NOT include all this training but right now, this is the country we live in. I applaud them for getting right and saving lives.

Coming Out said...

Outcomes for transgender kids are SO MUCH better the earlier they transition. Some come out as early as 5 or 6 and the mean age is 10.4. There may be transgender students in your child's class now. And how would you ever know? Today's kids are growing up in a different world than we parents ever dreamt of. I know two students in Seattle who have transgender parents who came out while the students were attending elementary schools in the city. It was very tough on both families. Including the children. It included a lot of transition and ultimately the breakup of their families as they knew it.

If the mean age to transition is 10.4 (that's fourth or fifth grade), we would do an enormous service to these students by talking about it. Not talking about it can lead to bullying. A national survey conducted by GLSEN found that 75% of transgender youth feel unsafe at school, and those who are able to persevere have significantly lower GPAs and are more likely to miss school out of concern for their safety. In the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which surveyed 6,450 transgender individuals, 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide compared to 1.6% of the general population.

If we are going to fight bullying and prevent suicide and keep kids in school, THAT MEANS TALKING about this and other gender identity issues.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Coming Out, eho is disagreeing with you?

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Anonymous said...

Coming Out,

Do you think double mastectomies are an appropriate solution to a 14 year old's dysphoria?

Do you think healthy bodied children should be allowed to be chemically castrated before age 18?

Trans is trending now, and unprecedented numbers of children are being carted off to gender ID clinics, where boys who like glitter and barbies can be diagnosed as trans as early as the age of 3 and set on a path of no return. For little girls, puberty blockers at 9, cross sex hormones at 13, and double mastectomies a year or two later.

Never mind that none of these drugs have been tested or approved by the FDA for this purpose. Never mind that they're linked to terrible side effects, including depression, which should he somewhat concerning in trans patients for relatively obvious reasons. A 14 year old can't even get her ears pierced without parental consent, but she's old enough to make permanent decisions about her ability to procreate by then? Its abhorrent. Big pharma is laughing all the way to the bank on these kids' misfortune. Lupron raked in $826 million last year. They're breeding cash cows and depending on the sympathies of a well-intentioned but ill advised public to allow it.

History will, no doubt, reflect on this wave of pediatric sterilization as an egregious human rights violation. They'll look back and wonder where the grown-ups were.

HATA Woman

Anonymous said...

HATA, you speak like someone who has had little to no experience with transgender children or adults. Your comments are quite dangerous, even deadly. The lack of FDA approval for pediatric Lupron has more to do with US religious phobia guiding treatment, research and education than with inherent risks as it has been used for quite a while to treat precocious puberty. I've encountered many trans children who become depressed and suicidal as they feel the onset of puberty. Puberty blockers buy them some time and they are reversible. It is irresponsible and incorrect to call it "pediatric sterilization". Data from children with precocious puberty have shown that the treatment is entirely reversible by all measurable criteria. However, I have seen a lot of right wing non-scientific news sources say things similar to you, HATA.