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Friday, March 23, 2018

Friday Open Thread

This is one of many reasons why I am marching tomorrow for March for Our Lives.  No mother or child should have to have this discussion. Starts at 10 am at Cal Anderson Park.

Director Community Meetings
Burke (please note that the time was improperly noted on the district website and Director Burke updated it at the Board meeting): 3:30-5:30 pm at Greenwood branch library.


Pinkham - 3-4:30 pm at Northgate branch library

Disturbing news:  school staffs received notification from the district yesterday that the district is now going to enforce Board Policy 6810 and teachers and staff are to remove all personal items that require power.  These would include microwaves, fridges, space heaters and any type of lighting, particularly hanging lighting.

One parent at Soup for Teachers had this additional information.
I had a conversation with our school custodian after xmas break.  He said the fire marshall had inspected all the schools and that is also when the energy audit was done.  2 separate things.  According to our custodian, the fire code specifies nothing within 18 inches of the ceiling and no extension cords.  Lights and small appliances are ok as long as they are not on extension cords. 
The energy audit was done separately by a team from SPS.  I'm thinking we could request the report from the energy audit but I don't know who to request it from.
I will ask the district about the energy audit and this issue in general.  I do know that for many teachers having a mini-fridge and/or microwave saves them time in not having to go to the teachers' lounge for lunch.  As well, the ability to not have to depend just on the overhead lighting helps with students with sensory issues.

What's on your mind?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

We should change the laws so that our local community assets like schools, hospitals, fire and police dept and community centers, libraries do NOT have to pay for OUR PUBLIC utilities! We the people OWN these resources and it's stupid to do the paperwork shuffle.

The school board needs to pay attention to EDUCATION not things pulled in outlets.

I just don't understand the purpose of having a school board if they can't see the BIG PICTURE!

Growing tired

Benjamin Leis said...

Policy 6810 for those who are interested:

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Policies/Series%206000/6810.pdf

"It is the policy of the Seattle School Board that the District wisely manage the use
of natural resources and maintain programs that support conservation of energy
and other natural resources. The goal of this policy is to create and maintain
sustainable, healthy school environments through a long-term resource
management plan.
Seattle Public Schools will model environmental stewardship by instituting a
resource conservation management plan, to:
 Reduce the use of energy, water, and other natural resources and
encourage recycling
 Educate students, teachers, and staff about the importance of conserving
natural resources
 Lessen environmental damage attributable to natural resources
consumption."

Its a bit bizarre to interpret this as meaning no personal electric appliances of any sort in the classroom.


Outsider said...

Maybe the teachers have started mining bitcoins using SPS electricity. (Don't laugh.)

Eric B said...

This is pretty ridiculous. I could see asking that all personal items plugged in be Energy Star appliances and LED/CFL lights within 2-3 years, but requiring immediate removal of all personal electronics is kind of stupid.

If the fire marshal says no extension cords, then no extension cords.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone who knows anything about AC power think extension cords are a hazard. If true they would not have a UL certifacation and BTW every AV cart has an extension cord. Extension cords do not use power or increase the power consumption of devices connected. Overloaded circuits will generate heat so my guess is teachers have been using small gage extension cords to suppy power strips.

They should just supply teachers with powerstrips with the appropriate lenght of cord.

Gee Whiz

Melissa Westbrook said...

Director Harris says she is looking into this.

Anonymous said...

What happened with the meet/greet of Superintendent Candidates?

- Just Curious

Melissa Westbrook said...

It’s this Thursday at JSCEE; will be televised as well. Finalists announced on Monday. This has been put up here and at the district website.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who can make it should try to go to the march today. Check out what this district is doing - giving their kids at least some empowerment with baskets of large rocks in each classroom to throw at gun shooters.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/24/us/pennsylvania-school-students-armed-rocks-trnd/index.html

Let's tell the NRA we love our kids more than they love guns.

Oak

Anonymous said...

Thank you I appreciate your condescending and pretentious manner..

Not strident in the least.

- Just Curious

Melissa Westbrook said...

Oak, I appreciate your common sense statement which I don’t find strident but, if you are a human being, should be true.

Kids before guns. Every single time.

Anonymous said...

March on-You have no idea what you are talking about, obviously. Autism is not the problem. Please educate yourself. -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

@Teachermom, really and you know this how? Are you suggesting that the Florida shooter was not autistic? Are suggesting that the Newtown shooter was not autistic? Or perhaps you are suggesting that because the evidence does show that both shooters are/were autistic that autism had no bearing on the shooters motivation for killing?

Please explain.

March on

Anonymous said...

As terrible as it may sound, it's true that two of the worst mass school shootings in the world were perpetuated by boys with autism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_massacres_by_death_toll

With that said I don't believe anyone can definitively prove that autism caused either shooter to act out.

The Florida shooting is extremely disturbing due to the vast amount of data showing the shooters intentions to kill others up to 14 months before the actual event. Any reasonable person would have acted to stop the shooter after the first threat was posted.

Of all the evidence I've read or listened to it's the 911 call that reports the shooter has started to buy real guns and is making death threats that for me questions the motivations of every single level of government. Who ignores these types of threats?

Just facts

Anonymous said...

I'm suggesting that correlation does not equal causation. The vast majority of school shootings were done by white males-should we stop them from accessing guns? And, yes, I am saying that autism is not a motivation for killing. I doubt you know many autistic people; if you did you would see that they are not, as a group, more violent that the rest of the population. -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

I’m the parent of the sweetest autistic boy ever. I know hundreds of autistic people of all ages and functioning levels. I’m a strong advocate for people with autism in the community. I know that they are way more likely than others to be victims, and that they aren’t more “violent”. But, I have never met a single person with ASD who should own a gun. Ever. And yes, quite a few are downright dangerous and more than 3 who have made similar threats against schools. There is plenty of evidence that some people with autism actually do pose a greater risk of these type of mass shootings than average. Let’s use common sense. Poor impulse control, poor judgement and decision making, obsessiveness (as in obsessions with guns), comorbid depression, social isolation, abnormal and reduced social relatedness, victimization, are all diagnostic hallmarks of ASD. Those traits don’t mix with guns.

No Guns

Anonymous said...

Ok teachermom

I think it's significant that two of the worst school shooting events where committed by people from a very small group, less than 1.2% of the population and I absolutely believe autism played a role in both the Newtown and the Florida shootings.


Now back to the subject of the march.

Consider this ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beslan_school_siege

Seems to me that your side ( I assuming you're a liberal) want's to let anyone and everyone in to the US, so just taking Beslan in to consideration can you understand why many people might want to be armed. I suppose you don't believe in the reality of the attacks already committed by Islamist here in the US?

We are very lucky a Beslan type event hasn't happened in the US. No, I don't trust our government to protect my family because relaying on the government sure didn't work in Florida.


March on

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered if there was any evidence around ASD and these incidents. I found several studies that seem to lean towards a connection but they might be flawed.

"The research examined a population of 239 killers who had murdered at least three people since 1985, when there was a dramatic increase in the recognition of autism. Of that number, 133 of the mass killers did not appear to suffer from any neurological disorder, but a “significant proportion” did: 28 percent had “definite, highly probable or possible” autism, while 21 percent had sustained a “definite or suspected head injury.” And of those 106 killers, more than half experienced some “psychological stressor” such as physical or sexual abuse."

I don't think possible is a good substitute for absolute. It also should be noted that there seems to be a almost vigilante effort by various groups to destroy anyone attempting to study any links between ASD and mass murders.

It's strange that no one seems interested in why Cruz would want to shoot his classmates. Could they have possibly brought this one by bulling and harassment?

--JB

Melissa Westbrook said...

1) Do not post wild accusations against one group of people based on a very few incidents. I note that with one comment, the link was broken.

2) Cruz seems to be an example of a perfect storm of issues. He had issues with his own family, he had issues at school, both with classmates and staff. He had recently become an orphan which I would have thought would been a signal at his school. He was clearly on the radar of many people and yet no one could quite get to the point of truly getting him help.

Would it have mattered if the FBI had followed thru? Maybe but it is hard to know.

But knowing autism, I believe it had little to do with it. Mental illness probably did.

Anonymous said...

Very few incidents? Dylan Klebold, Adam Lanza, Nick Cruz, Cho Sung Hui, Eric Harris...

Here’s the reality. Autistic people are over represented as gun victims. Autistic people are less likely than others to be violent or to be perpetrators in the 38,000+ annual fatalities due to guns. BUT in the relatively narrow case of “mass shootings “, research has demonstrated that Autistic people are conservatively 8 times more likely than others to be responsible for these incidents, usually with comorbid complications. Personally I know of at least 5 threats, several very recent. That’s just me. Are they just kids talking? Probably. Do we arrest people for threats or violent ideologies? No we don’t. Think Trump.

The href doesn’t seem to work. Here’s a piece of evidence. Pretty easy to look up yourself with google also.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00223980.2016.1175998

No Guns

Melissa Westbrook said...

No Guns, you clearly did not read the entire article and noted citations.

“Crucially though, the majority of mass/serial killers with ASD who were included in our review also had experienced other psychosocial risk factors for criminal behavior (e.g., physical or sexual abuse), suggesting that it is usually a complex combination.

“However, despite media speculation, surveys suggest that individuals with ASDs may be no more likely than the general population to engage in violent crime, and in fact, may be less likely (Mouridsen, Rich, Isager, & Nedergaard.)

And, in the discussion in this research, only Lanza had been professionally diagnosed with autism. There is a spectrum of autism so many, many people could be called “autistic” but that does mot make them violent or killers.




Anonymous said...

Feb 18, 2018 - Lynda Cruz, his adoptive mother who died from pneumonia in November 2017, told mental health investigators in 2016 that her son suffered from ADHD, depression and autism but insisted he received his necessary medication as prescribed, according to the report. She told investigators at the time that ...

Lanza and Cruz was/is autistic this is not debatable.

Data shows 2 of the top 5 worst US school shootings ranked by the number of fatalities were committed by autistic boys.

For a group representing less than 1.5% of the population they committed 40% of the worst school attacks in US history.

It appears (as pointed out) it's most likely not a simple case where autism was the driver for the events, but surly it could be the catalysis.

Just facts

Anonymous said...

Clearly I did read the article, and have plenty of personal experience. Right. Autism is a big spectrum. Is anyone doubting it? Most people with Autism are nonviolent. But many people with Autism have comorbid conditions. Yes, some of those comorbid conditions IN ADDITION to Autism result in mass shootings, conservatively at a rate of 8 times more often than those without Autism.

Right, as I said above. People with Autism are LESS likely in general to be involved with gun violence. Think about the much more prevalent gun crimes, robbery, gang violence. These crimes require a degree of planning, social competence, premeditation, not normally associated with Autism. This isn’t a ding on Autism, but simply common sense.

Truly, nobody needs a gun to have a good life. Most especially, people with Autism don’t need guns. That is beyond obvious.

No Guns

Anonymous said...

When you interact with populations of autistic children there will the children that you must walk on egg shells around. Other students quickly learn to not trigger these students and sadly as they get older want less and less interaction with the autistic young adults. Does this rejection fuel the outburst seen in older students with autism?

--JB

Melissa Westbrook said...

Just Facts, those may be "facts" but they do not point to autistic people being more violent. Sorry.

JB, that might be but again, there are mental health issues (which autism is not) plus family environment that are more likely to be the triggers.

Owler said...

Did Burke and Pinkham have their scheduled meetings?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Owner, can’t speak for Pinkham but Burke did. I attended part of it the discussion I heard was around safety and space issues at RESMS. I’ll note that Burke was at the March for our Lives March in the morning ( as were Harris, Mack and Geary).

Owler said...

Thanks. I had hoped to make it specifically to hear about the space issues at RESMS, but I had a conflict. I hope it's a topic you'll have time to do a write-up; the lack of information from the district is frustrating.

Another Name said...

My child's teacher made hot chocolate and pancakes on an electric skillet for her students, That was 10 years ago. He still remembers those moments.

Anonymous said...

What are the space issues at RESMS?

HP