Smith College Employee Called Police On Black Student Eating Lunch

Smith College Employee Called Police On Black Student Eating Lunch | HuffPost

Jeezus kerrrr-eyest.

You know, fellow white people? Maybe it’s time for a conversation on how it’s nice that you are able to see the police as helpful and protective of you but perhaps we as a people need to slow our fucking roll on calling them up every freaking time something makes one of us the least fucking bit uncomfortable or confused.

Confused about something? Not understand why somebody is doing whatever they’re doing? (Ahem, like, say, being alive while black???) Try actually fucking speaking with the person. See what they are about. You know, BEFORE you snap to judgement and way the fuck before you reach for that phone to try to have them dragged off to jail???!

Fucking A….


U.S. Court: Detroit students have no right to access to literacy

The lawsuit took pains to illustrate how Detroit’s schools — run under a state-appointed emergency manager — were a welter of dysfunction: overcrowded classrooms, lack of textbooks and basic materials, unqualified staff, leaking roofs, broken windows, black mold, contaminated drinking water, rodents, no pens, no paper, no toilet paper, and unsafe temperatures that had classes canceled due to 90-degree heat or classrooms so cold students could see their breath.

At times, without teachers or instructional materials, students were simply herded into rooms and asked to watch videos. …The lawsuit even mentions one eighth grade student who “taught” a seventh and eighth grade math class for a month because no teacher could be found. 

…[Defending not providing better educational opportunities for students, the state argued] that the 14th Amendment contains no reference to literacy. 

Then, last week, U.S. District Judge Stephen Murphy III agreed with the state.

Literacy is important, the judge noted. But students enjoy no right to access to being taught literacy. All the state has to do is make sure schools run. If they are unable to educate their students, that’s a shame, but court rulings have not established that “access to literacy” is “a fundamental right.”

U.S. Court: Detroit students have no right to access to literacy | News Hits


Human Rights Watch: Israeli Army Demolishing West Bank Schools

 Israel has repeatedly denied Palestinians permits to build schools in the West Bank and demolished schools built without permits, making it more difficult or impossible for thousands of children to get an education, Human Rights Watch said today. 

…The Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction. 

…The Israeli military refuses to permit most new Palestinian construction in the 60 percent of the West Bank where it has exclusive control over planning and building, even as the military facilitates settler construction. 

…Most West Bank schools at risk of demolition fall within Area C. Israel justifies its demolition of schools and other Palestinian property there not on security grounds, but rather on the grounds that they were built without permits from the military. However, the military refuses the vast majority of Palestinian building requests, and has zoned only 1 percent of Area C for Palestinian building, even as construction proceeds with few constraints in nearby Jewish settlements.

…The three communities are among 46 Palestinian communities that the UN considers at “high risk of forcible transfer” due to an Israeli “relocation” plan that would forcibly evict the entire communities.

…Israel’s destruction of Palestinian schools, and its failure to replace them, violates its obligation as an occupying power to “facilitate the proper working of all institutions devoted to the care and education of children,” and violates the prohibition on interfering with the activities of educational institutions or requisitioning their property. International law prohibits an occupying power from destroying property, including schools, unless “absolutely necessary” for “military operations.” The Fourth Geneva Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court prohibit widespread, unlawful destruction of property as a war crime.

The intentional forcible transfer of civilians within an occupied territory – the movement of people under duress to a place not of their choosing – is also a grave breach of the laws of war. The Rome Statute states that forcible transfer can occur “directly or indirectly,” through coercive circumstances as well as direct force. Israel’s demolitions of schools are part of a policy that has forced Palestinians to leave their communities.

Israel: Army Demolishing West Bank Schools | Human Rights Watch


‘Keep the test!’ A debate flares over exam-based public high schools.

While New York is unique in relying solely on one test, the long-simmering disagreements over definitions of merit, excellence, and equity resonate more broadly. Selective public high schools exist in dozens of states from Virginia to Illinois.

…The consideration of racial diversity in admissions is front and center again on the national stage as well. Harvard University is facing a lawsuit alleging discrimination against Asian-Americans. And on Tuesday, the US Departments of Education and Justice announced a rollback of a variety of Obama-era guidance around affirmative action.

…Some in New York have suggested adding more specialized high schools, as well as changing the approach to gifted education. Similar questions in Boston have led the district to begin phasing out third-grade testing and tracking of students into “advanced work” classes – in favor of a system called Excellence for All.

‘Keep the test!’ A debate flares over exam-based public high schools. –


How An Alaskan Family — And Their Teenage Son — Overcome A Legacy Of Pain

Baby Constance was born into a culture that was rich and well-adapted to the exceptionally harsh environment. Her ancestors had passed down skills for surviving — ways of reading the ice to know when walruses, seals and whales could be caught and methods of fishing in the cold water. Families worked together; subsistence hunting does not favor the greedy. Most people spoke the Alaska Native language, Yupik, with Russian and English words mixed in. That is the language Constance’s mother, Estelle, taught her daughter.

…When Constance was in middle school, she was forced by the federal government to leave her family and move to a boarding school operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, part of the Department of the Interior. Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Alaska, was 1,200 miles away. Classes were in English, the teachers were mostly white, and the students were forbidden to speak the languages they had grown up with.

…Constance Oozevaseuk was taught to hate a lot of things about her culture and, by proxy, about herself. The food she grew up eating, the clothes her family wore, the way they hunted and fished, the stories they told, the songs they sang and the very words they spoke were inferior, she was taught. It was traumatizing.

…A 2005 study on the long-term effects of boarding schools on Alaska Natives found that many students suffered from “identity conflicts” and later struggled when they had children of their own, in part because they had been separated from their own parents at such an early age and had never fully learned family traditions and subsistence skills.

…This is the root of what sociologists call intergenerational trauma. A family goes through something cataclysmic — in this case, a war on their culture. The family survives, but the effects of the trauma are passed down in the form of addiction, domestic violence and even suicide.

…Jeremy and Rene had moved back to Alaska, in part so Sam could be born at the Alaska Native Hospital where Rene had health coverage. As a child, Sam spent most of his time outside with his parents and with Rene’s family.

…Sam pestered his relatives to let him hunt seals with them. When Sam was 5 or 6 years old, they handed him a low-powered rifle and told him to start practicing; if he could shoot a ground squirrel “through the eye,” he could hunt with them. For a couple weeks, he shot all day, every day. By the end, he was ready to accompany his family out to the seal blind.

Sam’s cultural education was going well.

…Some teachers and counselors suggested Sam had a learning disability or a behavioral disorder. His parents entertained that possibility but explained that Sam was growing up in a different environment than his peers. The family still spent summers in Gambell. No one else at the school was from a subsistence hunting culture. Might it make sense that Sam would learn differently from most other students?

“They didn’t listen,” says Jeremy, standing at his kitchen table in Seattle and picking through a box of old progress reports from the time. “They told us: ‘You need to go back to Alaska. Go back to the village.’ It was terrible.”

…He saw some of his cousins struggling with alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts, and he heard from his family in Gambell about how climate change made it difficult to pass down hunting traditions and to catch enough food to survive.

“I see that, among my peers, I am much less likely to fall prey to alcoholism and much less likely to be suicidal as a result of being brought up in the laps of my elders, listening to stories and being engaged on a cultural level,” Sam explains. “What I’ve seen is that when youth are not culturally engaged, you see higher rates of incarceration, higher rates of suicide, higher rates of alcoholism, higher rates of drug abuse — all these evils that come in and take the place of culture. We’re talking about my cousins and my family members.”

…”Her parents’ generation were all sent off to boarding schools,” Sam explains. He is talking, of course, about his grandmother, Constance Oozevaseuk.

“Nothing was put in the place of where culture was. I think some of that trauma was passed onto my mother. I’m not as deeply affected as she was, of course. But I am affected by it, because she wasn’t able to be a mother for a portion of my childhood, because she had to take care of herself.”

Rene agrees, although the fact of her family’s traumatization doesn’t make it any easier to deal with the guilt she feels over breaking down. “I wish I had been stronger,” she says. 

…Sam says his cultural identity — formed during all those hours hunting and fishing with his family — is something to fall back on when things get difficult, a source of resilience.

“You’re sitting in a seal blind, you’re talking to your uncles, you’re telling stories — you’re disseminating culture, is what’s going on,” he explains. “It’s not only hunting, it’s passing down traditions, stories and ways of life that would otherwise not have a chance to be passed down.”

…I think having children must be really rewarding, and probably really scary,” he says. “I hope I’m able to be the one who stops the passing down of my family’s traumas. But I don’t know. We can only hope.”

How An Alaskan Family — And Their Teenage Son — Overcome A Legacy Of Pain : Goats and Soda : NPR



The unsettling incident of the too-quiet Native teens

We’ve heard of cops being called for a number of reasons, but never because teenage boys were too quiet at college, in this case, Colorado State University. The incident took place last week in Fort Collins when two Santa Cruz teenagers — using money they had saved — drove themselves to visit the university. Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, wanted to attend college together. Thomas is a student at Northern New Mexico College, while his brother is a senior at the Santa Fe Indian School. The brothers are from the Mohawk tribe.

They had taken a day off from school for that most American of rites, the college visit. They never completed their tour. Campus police interrupted; someone on the tour with the teens had called in a complaint. The brothers made a woman in the group “nervous” because she decided they were too quiet. They wore dark T-shirts. They joined the tour a bit late and declined to answer her nosy questions. They simply did not belong on a college tour, the woman believed. (The tour guide, by the way, said the boys’ behavior was nothing out of the ordinary.)

…It is not OK.

Yet here we are, in 2018. About the only bright spot we can see is that maybe, if people become more open about such widespread prejudices, society can confront and overcome them.

Overcome them we must, or the United States of America and its promise of liberty and justice for all will be lost.

The unsettling incident of the too-quiet Native teens | Editorials |