**UPDATED**Smyrna School Board Gets Slammed By Delaware Superior Court Over Due Process Violations, Called “Arbitrary & Capricious”

so disproportionate to the offense in light of all circumstances as to be shocking to one’s sense of fairness

The King of zero tolerance school boards in Delaware lost a huge appeal with the Delaware Superior Court.  After expelling a student in 2017, the student appealed the decision and the State Board of Education ruled in the student’s favor.  Not one to take anything laying down, the Smyrna Board of Education filed an appeal against the State Board.  They lost and they lost big time!

**Updated**, 1/19/19, 8:05am: Please see below for new information about this article.

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Video Of Disabled Student Getting Beat Up In Caesar Rodney High School Adds To C.R.’s Very Bad Week

On Tuesday, a student with disabilities was beat up very badly in the Caesar Rodney High School cafeteria.  According to WDEL’s Amy Cherry, this was not related to the racial slur associated with the high school mascot that shook the Caesar Rodney community this week.

The boy’s parents contacted their advocate, Diane Eastburn, because of the punishment meted out to their son who was massively beat up.  He was charged by the school with “offensive touching” even though he is not seen on the video punching the other student.  The word “bitch” was thrown around prior to the fight.  The disabled student received two days of in-school suspension but his parents do not feel the punishment should have been given to their child since he wasn’t fighting.  The parents and Eastburn contacted WDEL yesterday.  In fairness, I sent Eastburn to WDEL because I was uncomfortable posting the video with minors on it.  The video is very graphic as described by Cherry:

The student was repeatedly being punched in the back of the head as he used his hands to cover his head. The victim student suffered bumps and bruises to his head and face in the assault.

This has Eastburn wondering what is going on at Caesar Rodney High School since these two unrelated incidents happened in the same week:

“There seems to be an underlying hostility in that building,” alleged Eastburn. “And if they’re having problems they need to address it quickly. To be quite honest, they can’t afford not to.  If they start having fights like this, someone’s going to get hurt or worse.  These are lawsuits waiting to happen if they don’t start dealing with the undercurrent in that building.”

These are questions the district are going to have to look at.  I sincerely hope the disabled child does not have a concussion or any lasting damage done in this brutal assault.  I don’t think any student who is attacked should get a punishment like that, whether they are disabled or not.  If words are said, let the punishment fit that category.  But using a poor choice of words is not the same thing as offensive touching in any world.

Updated, 3:15pm: Caesar Rodney School District Superintendent Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald issued the following statement regarding this incident on the district website-

STATEMENT FROM DR. FITZGERALD REGARDING CRHS CAFETERIA INCIDENT

“Recently a fight that previously took place in the Caesar Rodney High School cafeteria has been posted to the internet.  This situation in no way is related to the recent mascot post. After an investigation by the school administration and the Delaware State Police, disciplinary action was taken and an arrest was made.  Fights of this nature, while rare are unacceptable and are not tolerated in Caesar Rodney. The District will continue to work hard to insure the safety of our students.”

 

 

Resistance

“That is the force of resistance. It has a moral power, it has a truth. And that truth exposes any totaliterian forces, including our corporate masters for who they are. And it is our job, each of us, in whatever circumstance we are in, to find the courage to stand up and speak that truth, and damn the consequences. When you speak that truth, that good, it draws to it the good. And it is the good that will bring them down.” -Chris Hedges

A lot of people ask me why I do what I do. Why I write about education so much. Why I attack instead of cooperate. Why I question instead of answer. Why I fight instead of surrender.   Why I resist every single word that comes out of my Governor’s mouth.  Why I believe everything coming out of the Rodel Foundation serves no child, but rather a hedge fund or a company’s bottom line.  Why I can look any member of the State Board of Education in the eye and tell them in no uncertain words, “This is wrong.”  Why I disdain those who have the power to stop all of this but enable it instead.  Why I fight for parents to opt out instead of opting in.  Why I sound like a crazed madman coming out of the wilderness when I tell people, “Don’t just opt out of the state assessment, opt out of the personalized learning too.”  Why I connect the dots on all the pieces of the puzzles and say, “Don’t believe this is a good thing.  Not for one second.”

The people who are doing all of this, they can’t relate.  They don’t know what it is to be on the bottom.  They don’t know the struggles most of us go through.  They are relentless in their methods.  I will speak until I can’t.  I know the difference between genuine and fake.  I know when the same words are being said over and over and over again, it is a script.  A script designed to be force-fed to all of us until we numb our brains into believing it.  This is why. Everything Chris Hedges says in this video is why.

I would rather be shunned and ridiculed than cower to any of these pieces of trash that want to take something good from children and replace it with corporate dividends.  I would rather be laughed at than to believe the lies.  I would rather be given a look of pity than a handshake of compliance.  I will not give up the fight.  I won’t stop until these people are exposed for the frauds they are.  I will stand up for parents and children even if I am the only one standing.  I believe the rights of parents and students are more important than the rights of the test-makers and the corporate shakers.  I will fight for the rights of all children at risk even when their supposed advocates are leading them down a path of destruction designed to swallow their lives whole.

I will resist.

What If Santa Claus And Governor Markell Had A Fight? Who Would Win?

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‘Tis the season to be jolly! I was thinking about the proclamation Santa Claus issued last week supporting opt-out, and I wondered what would happen the next time Governor Markell and Santa Claus are in the same room. What would happen? Who would win if they actually got into a fight? Jack probably wasn’t happy about Santa supporting the constitutional and honorable rights parents have to opt their kids out of standardized testing.  Santa was none too happy about the Smarter Balanced Assessment and Jack’s veto of House Bill 50.  If these two got into a brawl, Jack has the weight of an entire state behind him while Santa has an army of reindeer and elves ready to rain hell on little old Delaware.  Look at the pros and cons, and then vote in the poll!

One likes to give tests to kids, the other likes to give presents to kids

One likes to veto good opt-out bills, the other likes to opt-out of vetoes

One lives in the Northern part of the state, the other lives in the Northern part of the world

One rides the coattails of Arne Duncan, the other rides an open sleigh

One ignores parents while they’re awake, the other sees you when you’re sleeping

One has visions of 2025, the other has visions of sugarplums

One wants kids to be college and career ready, the other wants kids to be kids

One spends a lot of money for companies, the other spends time giving joy to the world

One helped Mark Murphy wreck education, the other helped Rudolph join the team

One has a budget deficit, the other has a bowl full of jelly

 

 

 

USA Teachers: It Is 11:59 On The Public Education Doomsday Clock! Wake Up And Act NOW! #StopESEA

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This is an urgent message to every single public school teacher in America.  You need to fight for your jobs.  That’s right.  You need to STOP this ESEA bill coming to a vote on Wednesday.  If you don’t, it will weigh on your conscience when all the bad stuff in the bill is implemented and you have even less control than you do now.  This legislation actually changes the future of teaching.  You will no longer be a teacher, giving instruction to your students.  You will become a data coach.  A facilitator.  Is this what you want?  If it is, then you can certainly stay the course.  If you want to stand around while children are plugged into computers all day and you base your very brief interaction with students on what will amount to a corporate written script, then stay the course.  But I urge you to read this legislation when it is made public tomorrow.  You need to act fast once you do.  Call your Congress representatives immediately if you do not think this is a good thing.

You have been under-minded by numerous companies and “leaders” in America.  Between No Child Left Behind, Common Core, Race To The Top, VAM, Standardized Testing, and so forth.  Are you really going to sit back and let this happen again?  You have a voice.  A very powerful voice.  Use it.  And not through the lips of your leaders.  Use your own voices.  But do it now before it is too late.

Just because your union presidents are endorsing this sham of an education bill does not mean you have to.  This bill is designed solely for the corporate education reformers.  The very same ones who pushed VAM and hardcore evaluations on you.  If you want to see the escalation of more money going out to companies instead of your classrooms, than doing nothing or endorsing this bill is your best course of action.  But if you believe that this is not education, but a nightmare being inflicted on kids and teachers, than you need to get on the phone, email, social media and any way or method you have to put a stop to this bill.

I am sure many of you are thinking “It’s no use.  There is nothing I can do.”  If you have that attitude, you are absolutely right.  But there are many of you fighting this fight and using their voice.  They will not quit.  They will not let public education be destroyed by greed and corruption.  If you truly believe in public education, then you need to fight.  And even if  you like some parts of this bill, you need to nuke the whole package with your voice.  All of you.

For those reading this who have no clue who I am, I will tell you.  I’m just a dad.  A very angry and upset father who has watched the fall of education happen before my very eyes.  I watched it affect my own son with disabilities in the worst ways possible.  I acted.  I researched.  I dove in to the data and the very diabolical events happening at my state’s Department of Education.  I saw how they pushed stuff through that was damaging to teachers and students and schools with no one the wiser.  I got wise.  I made it my mission to upset their plans as much as humanly possible.  I speak because so many of you can’t.  But it has reached a point where those of us who are fighting the good fight need you to rise.  If you have to march on your state capital or actually drive to D.C., do it.  Use social media as your weapon pointed right at those who would disrespect you and destroy what you enjoy.  But for the love of public education, do something!

You don’t have time to do nothing.  It is 11:59 on the public education doomsday clock!

 

The above picture was originally on Amazing Stories Mag

The Constant

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This past weekend I’ve been going through pictures from the time my son was born until the present.  It brings back a lot of memories all at once.  But most of all, I remember the joy.  Every single thing he did was brand new for him when he was a baby.  Learning everything, starting with how to breathe on his own.  All those sleepless nights when he had colic in the first couple weeks were worth it.  All the diaper changes, his impeccable aim, and the messy food.  I wouldn’t trade any of it for a minute.

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As parents, we see everything.  We watch our babies crawl, sit up, and then walk.  And talk.  It’s like watching evolution in fast motion.  The term “they grow up so fast” is very true.  You blink, and they look older the next day.

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And after they get out of that terrible toddler time, they start to think on their own enough and they are ready for school.  And they have no idea what to expect, but they soon learn Mommy and Daddy aren’t the only teachers.  Things they do at home aren’t necessarily the same as what is expected of them in school.  But they have fun…

Jacob John Dickensons Museum

They start to meet more and more kids, and they start picking up things.  Their minds expand, and curiosity becomes a game of “What happens if I do this?”

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You start to see them do things you never thought they would do, and at times you can only laugh.  It’s what makes them unique, God’s gift to the world.  None of them are the same.  They try new things and stretch their boundaries of what they are familiar with…

Speed Star 1.1452384  00

Speed Star 1.1452384 00

They learn how to be part of a team.  But sometimes they have things going against them, and they have to work even harder.  Things don’t always work, but they keep going.  It’s all they know how to do.  But it’s hard for them to keep the smiles going…

Speed Star 1.1417443  00

Speed Star 1.1417443 00

They aren’t always happy, and you can see it more and more as they get older.  The constant smiles disappear more and more, and you have to reach out harder.  But that’s okay, cause that’s why parents are here.  We are here for them during the good times…

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and the bad, when they need us the most…

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And the sometimes, when they aren’t even watching us, we have to fight for them…

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and you meet strange people along the way…

Governor Markell, Kevin Ohlandt and Jacob Ohlandt, 5/14/15

Governor Markell, Kevin Ohlandt and Jacob Ohlandt, 5/14/15

But that’s okay, life is full of surprises and twists.  It’s what makes it so complicated and unpredictable.  What is very hard for parents is to see your child and you view them differently.  You start to realize, they are getting old fast.  It isn’t going to be long now, they are going to be an adult.

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But one thing is constant, and that is a parent’s love for their child.  That doesn’t go away, ever…