Monthly Archives: January 2010

Texas Textbook Adoption and Erasing History

Back in the fall, I posted some information about the Texas school board’s panel of experts working on new textbook standards for social studies curriculum. 

At that time Talking Points Memo posted some pretty interesting video footage of one these appointed experts questioning textbook authors and experts about the presence of minorities, as well as the presence of Democratic elected official in the new textbook standards. 

I believe committee member “citizen” Bill Ames made a series of political arguments against much in the new history book.  One of his main points was that the real heros of any civil rights movement are the majority party members who generously decide to give minority groups some rights.   (And no I am not being sarcastic here – this was the man’s main argument.)  He proposed getting rid of all the minor brown players in the civil rights section of the book and replacing them with the important white politicians who signed civil rights legislation.  Continue reading



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If there is an “incident” in a locker room…

it’s a good bet someone was sexually assaulted.

It is beginning to look like when the word incident is connected to the words locker room, it may be earning a new definition.    Thanks primarily to middle and high school sports teams incidents in locker rooms generally turn out to be sexual assaults.

I noticed the use of this term  following the “incident” just before winter break in Michigan in which six boys appear to have sexually assaulted a teammate following a game on Dec. 17th.

And in seeking details on this event,  I just discovered an “incident” in Illinois in which a group of boys is accused of sexually assaulting a boy.  (Have to give a nod to the nice racist school mascot at the link too.)

Not to mention that “incident” I posted on a while back in Kentucky that the superintendent called horseplay.

And then there was that nasty “incident” with the foot ball team in New Mexico that is resulting in criminal convictions for the rapists.

So I guess you may as well go read about the incident in Illinois.  So far in this case the term “incident” means three boys are accused of sexually assaulting a fourth boy in a locker room.

Since the first report of this incident the three attackers have been expelled and now they are facing criminal charges.

There are 598 comments attached to the first report of the incident, indicating the array of ideas people have about this type of behavior.  The comment sections of the article on the Michigan case are similar in tone.  Not a pretty spectacle.  But certainly not so rare as some would believe.

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Filed under Bully, Gender, Hazing, School Violence, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment

Perhaps a plan is in order…

I just read a new article out of Chicago about a high school sophomore at Simeon Career Academy who was sexually assaulted a few years ago.   But the subsequent psychological violence and endangerment inflicted upon the young woman by her school officials was the real story here:

Simeon officials threatened to punish her for leaving school grounds, told her it would take several months to arrange an expulsion hearing for the alleged offenders, and took little action when their friends threatened her with violence, according to a federal investigation that found Chicago Public Schools failed to protect her after the attack. 

About halfway down the article this particular line stood out to me… Continue reading

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You’ll thank us later…

“We build trust by demonstrating when episodes like this occur, we take the greatest advantage of them and use them as opportunities to grow and improve,” said Kerns. “There’s a great opportunity for us to examine our policies, our training, our relationships within the community.”


The great opportunity to which Eugene Chief of Police Pete Kerns refers is an EPD officer’s forced entry and the subsequent tasing of a non-English speaking college student.   To cut right to the heart, this opportunity came from the tasing of a student in his own apartment, who was napping just prior to a policeman’s forced entry.  

And the advantageous outcome Chief Kerns points to is the internal investigation and exoneration of the officer who tased the young man as well as the new window dressing policy shifts which resulted from investigation.  Through this investigation and outcome Kerns feels the police can build on community relationships.  

I wonder exactly who Chief Kerns refers to when he uses the word community?  This community doesn’t seem to be feeling a better relationship with EPD as a result of the investigation:  Continue reading

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Filed under Anti-immigrant, Asian American, English Language Learner, Race / Ethnicity, Racism

Another high school ‘incident’ under investigation

UPDATE (1/8/10)
High School assault caught on tape, state police investigation complete
Some important new details:
Some element of this assault was caught on tape.
This was just as I initially suspected a sports team group assault – usually called out in the media as a hazing.
It is now sounding more and more like gang rape – that ugly yet accurate term that I am betting will not be used.
And one of the attackers is the son of a local investigating police officer (local police have turned over the investigation due to this conflict).
Is this little conflict the reason the official information has been so obtuse?  I mean if you look at the typical coverage of this sort of mash up the acknowledgement of a sexual assault investigation is usually there right out of the gate. But maybe that’s just for girls, perhaps the powers that be don’t know that boys get raped too.

So now I am just wondering how long it will take anyone official in the community to use the words ‘sexual assault’ or ‘rape’ or anything remotely close to accurate about what they are investigating. Remember this happened Dec. 17th and the school and police have been aware of many of the details since December 18th.

UPDATE (1/7/09)
Allegations of Student’s Sexual Assault Surface

Reports are slowly trickling out about an assault at a high school in Michigan that happened on December 17th.

There are limited facts being reported thus far, only that six male ‘upperclassmen’ are indefinitely suspended while the police and school district investigate a December 17th assault (potentially a criminal assault) on a seventh male student. Oh and yes… that this assault happened on campus.

And according to a report yesterday, “The assault case was turned over to the Michigan State Police at the Sandusky post on Dec. 18, after school officials learned about the incident on school grounds.

Police and prosecutors remain tight-lipped about the investigation, but rumors at the school are flying about the alleged graphic sexual assault on a male student by six upperclassmen.

Not clear yet where this story is heading, but at the present time this sounds very much like some other male on male campus gang rape and sexual assault cases. The local comments following the linked report suggest among other things, that the victim was a friend of the six assailants, that this group was openly homophobic and that he was one of the smallest members of this group of friends.

My thoughts are with the victim as well as with all the other students who have felt threatened and/or literally been threatened with sexual violence while at school.

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Filed under Gender, Hazing, Misogyny, School Violence, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment

Resegregation – the march continues

Some recent headlines on current trends in school segregation:

… the frontier of racial change and school resegregation is now in the suburbs, where about a third of black and Latino students attend school. Even though there is a large white majority in suburban schools, two million black and Latino suburban students currently attend highly segregated schools. By contrast, only 2% of suburban white students attend these same segregated minority schools, while a majority attends suburban schools with at least 80% of white students.

Minneapolis, MN

Portland, OR

Seattle, WA

Wayne Co. NC

There are many more examples… I’ll post them as I come across them.

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Filed under Race / Ethnicity, Urban High School