Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Tuesday Open Thread

Looking at all the drama over the viral video of the students at a Kentucky Catholic school's field trip to Washington, D.C., there's all kind of learning there about what NOT to do on a field trip.  I just wonder what the adults supervising those kids were thinking.  None of that had to happen. 

Several superintendents struck back the Seattle Times about the Times' opposition to Seattle's Operations levy.  This op-ed included Superintendent Juneau (and former superintendent Susan Enfield).  I feel they made solid points. 
There is no doubt that the intention of this new funding model was good, but it does not cover the full cost of education. To be clear: K-12 education is not fully funded by the state. Our districts still need to ask voters to consider local levies.

For example, the state formula funds three school nurses to serve Highline’s 32 schools. With students with daily medical needs in every school, Highline employs five times as many nurses as the state funds. Local levy dollars pay for that. In Seattle, the state funds 226 custodians to care for more than 3,200 classrooms. The district employs 312. Local levy dollars pay for that too.

The reality is that this new law, if left unchanged, will result in massive budget cuts, teacher layoffs and fewer student supports. 
A scholarship offering from the American Legion with the National High School Oratorical Scholarship Program with an application deadline of January 31st.

Good news story from the district:
Seventeen South Lake High School students attended and completed a 12-hour training session with the King County of Alternative Dispute Resolution to become youth co-mediators. Held after school for four days, the students completed a restorative mediation program co-organized by the King County Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution team, Community Passageways, and South Lake teacher Dion Schell. 
“The training was four afternoons after school. [Your] students were a highly involved group. They listened, asked questions, participated in role plays…” Davis wrote in a thank you letter to Brown.

Davis went on to state that, “Studies show youth who participate in mediation builds accountability and empathy...”
 The Advanced Learning Taskforce has a meeting today from 4-7 pm at JSCEE; the agenda looks interesting (partial):

- In small groups, and then large group, debrief opportunities and barriers presented in Models A, B & C
- Based on the opportunities and barriers, what do we want to ensure is incorporated and what do we want to be sure is addressed in future model iterations?

The Board meeting tomorrow night has some items of interest on their agenda:
- This resolution requests a waiver from the Washington State Board of Education of three days from the 180-day school year requirement to allow District elementary schools and K-8 schools to have full-day parent/guardian/teacher conferences on three days that school is not in session and a waiver of one day from the 180-day school year requirement to allow District middle schools and high schools to have a full-day parent/guardian/teacher conference on a day when school is not in session.
- Intro/Action for next year's school calendar
What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

Are there some recommended tips for requesting SPS documents and emails through public records request? What is the procedure? What strategies you have found helpful and productive?

-WS SpEd parent

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I knew nothing about the Black Hebrew Israelites until I read this article by the Southern Poverty Law center (below) which follows the rise of supremacist and hate groups. I had no idea there were black counterparts to white supremacists. Things are always more complex than stereotypes we readily assimilate into our brains when processing new information. We don't like cognitive dissonance but in reality situations are sometimes messy.


Reading the NPR coverage it does sound like the group were taunting the boys & this group of adults is known as extremists. The entire event sounds messy and more complex that it seemed at first when I first heard about the story.

But on the other hand, these are kids who were around all these adults. Why were these kids wearing those trumpian hats to the right to life march? The chaperones should not have allowed it.


Anonymous said...

More from the confused Seattle times...

"Decade of heavy storms has helped Northwest glaciers, but don’t expect that to last, studies show"

The US East cost set an all time record for the number of days below the previously recorded lows.
but still those who are set to profit off of a carbon tax push the debunked global warming hysteria.

-Trust Verified

Anonymous said...

Jane, in my opinion you should not be allowed to comment here without a minder. Nice backhanded correction by the way. You claim to have read the NPR story, the blacks were using racial slurs,anti female slurs, liberals from across the spectrum called for the boys to be killed. Please get a grip on who the monsters are.


Eric B said...

WS SpEd, if you know that the document/information exists and what it is called, be as specific as possible. If you don't know, you should be a little more general ("Any document describing..."). If a document doesn't exist, they are not obligated to put it together for you out of several other sources. You might also ask for help from Leslie Harris. She has been a big help to me in cutting through BS.

Whatever happens, expect foot-dragging. They will spend most or all of the maximum period to respond to requests.

When's Camp? said...

Please, couldn't they just settle on the school calendar for the next couple of years? It's kind of ridiculous that this waits so late. So many of the summer/vacation camps don't seem to line up with school holidays this year. Why does it have to be this way? Why can't they just decide on a few years at a time?

The-Meaning-of-Life said...

A bunch of teenage boys could do something far more constructive to prevent abortions than traveling to Washington and walking in the street. How about just not impregnating anyone? Problem solved, boys.

Monty Python sang a whole song about this.

Anonymous said...

@JS "Reading the NPR coverage it does sound like the group were taunting the boys & this group of adults is known as extremists." I was referring to the Black Israelites whom I mentioned. Yes, I read the NPR article. I also read the Stranger article below. But it seems by your comment, you did not read my post.



Anonymous said...

Jane, No I did read your slanted comment, "But on the other hand, these are kids who were around all these adults. Why were these kids wearing those trumpian hats to the right to life march? The chaperones should not have allowed it."

First, not all the boys were wearing those hats. 2nd. They have the right to wear the hat without being harassed, yes the same hat as the President wears,but it's not germane to the issue. 3rd. High school boys waiting for their bus don't need a chaperone. "but on the other" WTF do you really mean?

And finally the group of BLACKS were guilty of hate crimes in attempting to intimidate the boys based on the color of the boys skin. Go back and listen to the words used. "Cracker" "Pale face" and much worst descriptions were slung.

I hope this story and the video finally puts to rest on this blog the false narrative that BLACKS can't be racist!


Anonymous said...


Why do put up such provocative post, are you trying to start shit? There are enough problems in SPS to work on without you bringing in these type of stories especially when you frame it out of context.


Anonymous said...

Jane, how old are you? 25, maybe 26...? You weren't aware that there were Black advocate groups that are militant? Read some history...like from the 70's. What's your next revelation...that there are some very bad people on "both sides"??

But here's the thing.....Donald Trump and his family make the bulk of their money by a series of sleazy investment pyramid schemes. The Kushner family aggressively sues vulnerable low income renters even when they have paid in full. These facts are well documented and well-researched (Propublica, Washington Post, CNN etc etc). The Trumps (Donald and his Dad) have been successfully sued in court for racist rental practices. These kids are old enough to know what they are doing when then put on a MAGA hat. They are throwing in their support for corrupt, racist "business" practices that target vulnerable citizens. This is, apparently, how they want the American government to operate.


Anonymous said...

@JS The boys have a right to wear the hats. However the fact that a whole bunch of them were wearing those hats together on a field trip and standing in front of the statue where MLK gave his speech close to MLK day also gave out lots of negative messaging that invited conflict. The adults chaperoning should have been aware and the kids were standing there for hours with the other two groups. The boys should not have been subjected to the insults that were thrown at them. That's my point.

@Cynic whom I wonder is the same person as JS, you really don't deserve a response as your hostile one and insulting comments toward me a person you don't even know. I learned about this black supremacist group about 10 years ago and yes I was unaware at that time they were a rising hate group actually growing in numbers. I have also been quite surprised at the rise of other various hate groups in recent years. Forgive me for being so much less aware than you! Yes, I had thought these groups were on the decline until about 10 years ago.

Lastly, this blog is a resource and the tone should be civil and respectful even if you disagree. If I was sitting next to you in a college classroom and saw you daily would your tone be the same? Do some reflection, think and be kind before you post, your hostile comments and attitude toward me is one reason our country has such divisiveness.


Anonymous said...

The MAGA hat is like wearing a hat with a swastika on it.

Trump started his campaign calling Mexicans rapists and killers. He said there were good people in the neo-nazi march where marchers chanted "Jews will not replace us".

The MAGA hat symbolizes hate and xenophobia.

Those kids are just the product of their upbringing.

This is the diocese that wouldn't let the gay valedictorian speak at his graduation last year because the school thought he would be political but somehow MAGA hats cool.


Watch the videos carefully and you'll see a boy with a club coming into the group and having them all huddle like they are going to attack. That's when the Native elder walks over.

And then the video of the CC boy saying "rape isn't rape if you enjoy it" at the same event to a big group of boys and girls.

And videos show one of their priests standing behind the boys as the chant and scream at the black guys.

They were a mob, pure and simple.


Anonymous said...

@Cynic Also take a deep breath and re-read my post which stated " I knew nothing about the Black Hebrew Israelites until I read this article by the Southern Poverty Law center (below) which follows the rise of supremacist and hate groups."


The article above which I mentioned is from 2008 which is when I learned about the group.

But what about people who are unaware of this group or other non-white hate groups? They don't deserve your fury. We are a large and diverse country with people from many different backgrounds, and many different life experiences. Take a breathe, slow down and read and lastly think carefully before you lash out at people you do not know on social media.


Anonymous said...


The MAGA hat does indeed symbolize the things you mentioned to many people. To wear the hats in a group at the statue close to MLK day seemed like provocation.

However, there is an alternate reality where the boys and many other Americans wearing those hats believe it symbolizes something very different. Their pro-life views which also have a religious component, fighting back against the opioid crisis in their communities etc.

I do not agree, and have my own views shaped by my own life, values and educational experiences, as well as media sources.

But there are alternative narratives that made 50 million people in America vote for Trump and likely for many different reasons. Trump is just a symbol of an underlying divisiveness in America that has been going on for a long time now. We share commonalities as Americans but that is being lost and we do not have a president interested in uniting us.


Jet City mom said...

KENT, Wash. - A family is demanding answers after they say a fifth-grade student with autism was purposefully locked out of school by the principal.

The principal of Springbrook Elementary, Ashli Short, has now been placed on paid administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation, according to the Kent School District.

Lovine Montgomery says there’s no excuse for what her 11-year-old grandson endured on Dec. 14, 2018. Surveillance cameras from the school captured the fifth-grader wandering outside the school for 15 minutes.

It appears staff members are refusing to let him in. One teacher even escorts him back outside when he tries to walk in with other students after recess.

After a few minutes, he’s seen walking up to a classroom. The teacher inside goes to the window and closes the blinds in front of him. Montgomery couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Every time I watch this video it breaks my heart,” she said.


Melissa Westbrook said...

JS, I don't care for your tone towards Jane. You can state an opinion without attacking.

All people can be racist but there are also those who verbally fire-bomb just for attention.

"They have the right to wear the hat without being harassed, yes the same hat as the President wears,but it's not germane to the issue. 3rd. High school boys waiting for their bus don't need a chaperone."

That hat is a symbol now and perhaps those boys didn't know that (but I think they did). It certainly could mean different things to different people but the red flag aspect of it isn't lost on most.

ALL kids on an out of town field trip need a chaperones and if those chaperones had done their jobs, none of this would have happened.

Shameful, how is talking about the largest parent group's endorsement of upcoming school levies "out of context?"

Jet City Mom, yes, I saw this article. Very disheartening and what have they done to this chld's head?

Anonymous said...

As an attorney, I think it is important to give a brief primer on defamation law in the United States. As background, an attorney apparently has been retained by the teenagers in the Covington School case, and he intends to pursue a class action.

In the United States, the elements of a defamation case against a private person are: 1) the statement was false, 2) caused harm, and 3) was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. If the person is a public figure, however, the celebrity or public official has to prove all of the above, as well as "actual malice." The "actual malice" standard sort of decimated defamation law, because because it is so difficult to prove.

In this case, you have a bunch of teenagers who were not public figures, who received death threats (along with their families), thousands retweeting "Isn't this the most punchable face you have ever seen," etc. You also had a school close because of threats and added security measures. You have literally thousands of publishers, and a lot of potential damages, and a lot of potential plaintiffs (every kid and the staff at that school, plus their families). It could be a humdinger of a case.

So, this is a warning to all of you. Free speech can conflict with defamation, but it doesn't protect you if you have stated a falsehood about someone, caused harm, and caused damages. If you are stating a bunch of crap about a public figure (say a public official or a celebrity), you are probably not going to get sued because of the "actual malice" standard. But, if you do it about a private figure, all bets are off. If you do this on Facebook, Twitter, or this blog, you are a publisher, and you can get sued. Big time.

Because of the public figure doctrine, I think people have gotten lazy about defamation. Social media is a new environment, and I can see defamation law making a big comeback. If you can't be wise and kind, I would suggest you at least be patient and silent until more facts comes out. Reality bites, but tort law bites harder.


Melissa Westbrook said...

BeSmart, that probably would apply to those who attacked the kids at Parkland,Fl. who also had death threats and abuse hurled at them to the point where they were accused of being "crisis actors."

I have being doing this blog gig a long time and only one court case that I won in about two minutes.

I agree we all have to be more careful with social media.

I doubt this lawsuit goes anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Melissa--I am not a PI lawyer, but I a pretty sure those Parkland Florida kids became public figures as a result of their advocacy. Again, the public figure standard for defamation is very different than the standard for a private citizen.


Anonymous said...

@Eric B,

Thanks for the pointers.

Is there a specific email to which to send the requests, or a public information officer contact to write a letter, or web form on the SPS site to fill out?

WS SpEd parent

Eric B said...

WS SpEd, the email address and policy/procedure documents are on the SPS website here: https://www.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=20576 It's probably worth reading the policy and procedure before you send in your request.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a bunch of flag burners @Westbrook you're nuts get some help!


Anonymous said...
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Melissa Westbrook said...

Oh Maga, so funny. I'm not the one hiding behind a stupid red hat.

Anonymous said...

I guess when it's libs wearing the provocative garb and rallying on a significant location on a significant day it's different.

These young white christian men rallying for the unborn seems to trigger libs, but notice not a mention of the BLACKS who were there screaming racist comments and anti women slurs.

How convenient

daxa said...

Jane, Have you watched the unedited versions of videos of the event? 

You say the kids surrounded the adults. That's untrue based on video evidence.

1) The kids and the racist black group was separated by a large empty space throughout the even. They did not seem to have any close encounter at all.

2) Yes, "elder" (BTW a bad model for youngster to follow as he is a proven straight-face lair) appeared to be surrounded by the kids, but that's because he deliberately marched into the group of stationery kids to pound his drums, again purposefully, in the face of the boy, which is a clear act of provocation. Unless you want the whole group of confused kids to suddenly retreat and disperse, they would be more or less standing around the "Vietnam" vet.

Also, I don't see why the kids should be prohibited from wearing the Make America Greater Again hat, unless you are talking strictly about practical concerns.

SEA Swipe said...

The state legislature is poised to infuse approximately $150M into special education funding. These dollars belong to the students.

Special education advocates and parents should contact their state representatives and ask that these dollars be placed in a dedicated funding stream for special education; similar to k-3 class reduction dollars.

Former state representative Chad Magendanz made a public comment about this issue. He said something to the effect of "Don't be surprised to see strings attached to special education funding." His intention is to save the dollars for students. He is right on this issue.

Listen and learn said...
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Anonymous said...
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Eric B said...

SEA Swipe, I'm not sure I'd take a "don't be surprised" comment from a former Republican legislator at the word from above on what will actually happen.

Overall though, it's an interesting theory. The Legislature will add $150M but add some strings to the money, presumably to make sure it doesn't fall into the grubby hands of teachers.

About that. Per the latest adopted SPS budget, SpEd costs in Seattle alone were:
16-17 Actual: $48.0M
17-18 Budget: $50.9M
18-19 Budget: $70.0M
(source: https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Budget/2019%20Budget%20Development/adoptedbudget19.pdf)

I'm pretty sure that Seattle doesn't have half of the SpEd costs in the state. So SPS will get a fraction of what they currently expect to spend on special ed but they'll be FORCED to spend it all on SpEd! That'll change everything!!1!

Or maybe it's just the Legislature (once again) not funding actual need and throwing in a show restriction on the money to make people like you happy that they're sticking it to the SEA.

SEA Swipe said...

I agree, Eric. Hard to believe that the state's proposal to fund special education will cover the needs of the state's special education students.

SEA Swipe said...

I don't understand your comment about making people like me happy. As I understand it, there will be an additional $900M to for employee benefit packages. When do the dollars trickle down to special education students, Eric?

Eric B said...

SEA Swipe, you just seemed really excited about the possibility of there being strings on "extra" SpEd funding to "save the dollars for students." Since the dollar amounts proposed don't even come close to the need, I thought it was ironic how excited you were about the purported student protections when the net effect is still to leave SpEd programs grossly underfunded. There would be no need for protections on those dollars since they only cover a fraction of what districts are legally obligated to pay for anyway.

Maybe I misread your meaning, though.

Eric B said...

Also, let me be clear that I would be all in favor of those kinds of restrictions if the state dollars were at or close to actual costs of the programs. There have been significant issues where individual schools have taken dollars/staff that were supposed to go to SpEd and redirected them elsewhere. But to answer your question, dollars will trickle down to SpEd when the Legislature appropriates enough money to pay for SpEd.

SEA Swipe said...

You did misread, Eric. I would prefer for you to stop making assumptions and attacking.

I'm advocating for special education students.

SEA Swipe said...

I don't believe adequate dollars will ever trickle down to students because there are too many different layers between state and federal funding and students. We can disagree on that point. You do make a good point about special education dollars being redirected at school level.

Have a nice day.