Here’s a joke for a little laugh at the end of a long week. This one made me laugh.
Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just a block away.
She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned. Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.
She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.
As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, “If it starts, I’m turning Catholic.”
Yesterday I posted about the myopic view of the Everett School District’s new prior review policy, and now the WJEA (Washington Journalism Education Association) weighs in:
The Everett School District is putting together quite an unenviable track record of trying to squelch student free expression rights.
It began last year with the mess at Everett High School, in which the school board backed a principal who required prior review, resulting in two students suing the district and the adviser being “reassigned.” It has continued this year with the students at Cascade High School taking their newspaper underground — as the students at Everett did — in an effort to retain control over their publication, and resulted in a student and teacher being suspended for working on The Free Stehekin on school computers.
All because the administrators in the Everett School District insist on prior review of student publications.
In a letter to the editor published yesterday in the Everett Herald, WJEA President Kathy Schrier fired back:
Those of us involved in scholastic journalism are shaking our heads at the fallout from this flawed policy: two good teachers whose careers have been impacted, two former student editors who are suing the school district, and now a top student suspended for 10 days. Why? Because the Everett School District does not believe that students should control the content of their student publications. …
When student newspapers are forced underground, students must learn by the seat of their pants – rather than in a classroom setting – how to use their voices in published works. This removes a tremendous opportunity for learning and exploring best practices under the guidance of a certificated teacher/adviser. …
I propose that scrapping the policy would be a bold, educationally sound move for the Everett School Board. It would show a commitment to making Everett schools places where democratic principles are modeled, critical thinking is encouraged, and where students don’t relinquish their rights at the schoolhouse gate.
This piggybacks on what the Herald said in its own editorial earlier last week.
The Everett School District shouldn’t worry about a troublesome article showing up in a student newspaper. Its own actions have become embarrassing enough. …
The suspensions are the latest chapter in a tale of administrative overreaction. … (T)he district faces a federal trial, a hard-working student and a respected teacher are suspended, and journalism students don’t have access to school equipment to publish campus newspapers, all because a misguided policy is being enforced. …
Educators overseeing student publications are there to teach journalism. Students learn by engaging in the entire publishing process, including the chance to deal with the repercussions of printing controversial material.
The district’s current policy has created problems rather than preventing them, and has fostered a hostile environment for student journalism. Enough damage has been done. The school board needs to abandon its policy of prior review.
The part that makes me laugh the most — or maybe cry? — is that Whittemore was suspended for 10 days because of a policy that “prohibits students from using school funds to create an unsanctioned publication.”
Which makes me wonder.
Are they suspending every student who is using “school funds” — computers, printers, telephones, etc. — to create unsanctioned work at school? Or just those “dangerous” students producing newspapers?
According to well-documented research and studies and this article, students who are enrolled in “unregulated student journalism” perform higher in most areas of school including:
- standardized testing,
- average high school GPAs, and
- freshman college GPAs.
However, one school district has decided to buck the research and open themselves to liability by creating a new policy of prior review, which means the principal previews and oks newspaper stories before publishing. This not only is censorship but opens up the administrator to liabilities and litigation. This shortsighted policy is not only myopic and damaging to high quality journalism programs, but actually increases the district’s culpability when it comes to the content of its publications.
If you are a free speech advocate or a supporter of the student press, please do not allow this to happen to your district.
Discipline may be the most difficult aspect of a new teacher’s career, and every prospective instructor has a unique approach. Some are task masters, others are domineering, while others remain passive, and more styles are out there.
Mike Singletary, the new coach of the San Francisco 49ers, is learning what type of splash to make as the newly appointed head coach. He decided to be tough and in your face. After benching TE Vernon Davis, Singletary did not think Davis took the tongue-lashing to heart and sent him to the locker room. Later he said in a post-game interview regarding Davis, “I told him that he would do a better job for us right now taking a shower and coming back and watching the game than going out on the field.” Continue reading
If you haven’t visited Ms. Teacher’s site, you are missing out. She has a Teacher Tip Tuesday each week, which I enjoy as I search for new ideas. Check out her tips to date. I bet she helps make you a better teacher.