I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, February 20, 2015

David Spade and Lee McNulty, Two Videos that are Relevant.


The answer is always no.  It is like I'm the caller trying to get David Spade in the Capital One commercials above to say yes! 

When I bring initiatives to this school board that deserve at least some consideration--it seems like the first answer is always NO.  That's okay, I know how to be persistent. 

But discipline and policy enforcement as it relates to discipline are areas of concern, expressed by teachers and parents to me in increasingly large numbers in the wake of the publication of my recent viewpoint in the PNJ; Despite this-- it appears as if this is a discussion that the board and administration does not want to have.  "We're doing all we can" is what I'm hearing at the meetings. "We are limited in what we can do" is a common refrain

 I disagree and think we can and should be doing more.   I don't want any students to be subjected to some of the things mentioned in Lee McNulty's video below....

While we in Escambia county schools are like James Hilton's  Shangri-La compared to Patterson New Jersey--we DO share some of the same problems described in his video above.  Teachers discouraged from administering discipline, infractions minimized and not coded correctly, students pushed through the system, etc. etc.  (Disclaimer--I'm not linking this video to say that we are anything close to Patterson NJ public schools--thank God we're not).

Although I know we are nowhere near Patterson and that the majority of our schools are very, very good, many of the issues expressed by this 27 year high school teacher in his video above are relevant to a discussion on school climate and school violence that I am trying to foster locally---particularly when they ask Mr. McNulty what he would do if he were in charge--from minute 9:35 on to the end at minute 13:00.  Some of what he is saying is relevant to some of our schools and anyone who would deny this IS living in James Hilton's Shangri-La mentally or they are not being honest.

I'm not tackling this issue to be divisive, I want us to tighten up on this like we've done with the district drug plan and first grade reading engagement.  I want us to truly do everything we can with a comprehensive plan on school climate, discipline, and violence.  And no, I don't subscribe to the failed notion that "discussing" this problem is "attacking" leadership or the schools.  Trying to improve and organization does not equal not supporting the organization. 

I simply don't want to see us devolve to a point that we are like Patterson NJ with respect to the way misbehavior is tolerated and students are allowed to run the schools and for this receive a promotion to the next level. I don't want our enrollments to continue to stagnate while our neighbor Santa Rosa county enjoys geometric school system enrollment gains.  I don't want to continue seeing some schools churn out staff to the point that every three years there is an 80% turnover.  These issues are all inter-related and that's why I want to listen to the concerned voices from the classroom that I am hearing on the subject of discipline and school climate.  That's why I'm staying on this issue because teachers, particularly the young ones, "are afraid to speak up and they feel like they are not protected if they do."  That's a direct quote from an Escambia County classroom teacher, by the way.


Gulagathon said...

Most schools in Escambia county probably aren't nearly as bad as that school in Patterson, NJ, but in a few years a couple schools may give that school a run for its money, I know one for sure probably will. But with all of the voices starting to come out now, that hell hole of an environment can be prevented. Lee McNulty is right, school can be just an indoor street corner for some kids. Kids selling candy as if it were drugs, I mean they try to be sneaky as if it were drugs. Some actually do sell drugs in school. A kid asked me once if I had some drugs for him the first day he was in my class. But this is at a school that is in a high poverty area. But like McNulty said, poverty doesn't make somebody have no manners and be discourteous, it's the degenerative culture allowed in the schools, and in the neighborhoods.

Jeff Bergosh said...

I'm glad this Lee McNulty is getting a lot of hits, thousands, and I think his message on many levels resonates locally. We tolerate so much that would not be tolerated in society at large, that we truly are conditioning some students that this dysfunctional behavior is acceptable. In the process we are ruining a nation as McNulty states. We have to step to the plate and fix this locally. And yes it will take a firm commitment, resources, time, energy, and lots of thick skin. I'm in, I'm all it!

Gulagathon said...

The country is being destroyed from within, is what all of this amounts to. Once you destroy the norm for a nurturing healthy family then the morals and honor dies with it. Teachers at some schools are correctional officers/ teachers. But being the CO of the classroom is more important in some schools. Education comes second to classroom management. Why? Why is this accepted as how it's supposed to be? Of course a teacher has to command a classroom and take control, but what's going on just doesn't make sense to me. I'm glad you see what's going on Jeff because too many are ignoring this mayhem into a complete oblivion.