Texas high school chivalry assignment an exercise in misogyny

In an age of cancel culture, where anything can be deemed offensive and virtually erased from the public consciousness, one wonders how this assignment ever made it past the initial idea phase of one high school English teacher in Texas.

Even if this assignment (seen below, originally posted by @BrandiDAddison via Twitter) had any actual aim other than to shock and entertain, one would expect to see it in a History classroom, and not an English one. Perhaps even more surprising, the tone-deaf teacher apparently had used this assignment in at least one year previous, allowing students the option to refuse participation, if they objected to the content.

More than a class project at Shallowater High School, the “rules” contained in this assignment were to be strictly followed all day, throughout school, and even at home. Members of the opposite sex could essentially grade them on their success. Oddly enough, this assignment was designed by a female English teacher.

While male students are expected to open doors, pull out chairs, and compose themselves cleanly and respectfully, with no foul language, female students are told to “obey any reasonable request of a male” and also to dress enticingly, clean up after the boys, and bring them treats. The disparity is apparent if these students are following these rules throughout the school day: while the boys may just be seen as nice and well-behaved, the girls would undoubtedly be judged in a very different light.

After Addison posted the offending documents on Twitter the assignment was removed from the school due to public outcry, though some critics still insist, “How else will we learn about how life was like for women in the 1300’s?” I guess we should remember that next time a History class begins a unit on slavery, then?

Shallowater High School in Shallowater, Texas, serves approximately 450 students in grades 9-12. Sixty-six percent of students are white, with the remainder mostly Hispanic. It boasts a 100% 4-year graduation rate and excellent college readiness scores.

Brandi D Addison (Twitter)

Texas school scraps chivalry assignment that had girls ‘obey any reasonable request of a male’ (NBC News)

Shallowater High School (GreatSchools)

Failing Students Still Outperforming Half of Their Classmates

Social promotion has been a concern for parents and educators alike for along as institutionalized education has existed, but it’s difficult to believe it can exist on a level as extreme as what Project Baltimore discovered this year.

A high school senior, it’s reported, has passed just three classes in his 4 years at Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Design in Batimore, Maryland, with nearly 300 absences, and was then informed that he would need to repeat all four years in order to obtain a diploma. His GPA: just 0.13. His mother, a single parent working three jobs to support three children, is beside herself. She obviously relied on the school to prepare her son for graduation, and had no idea that he was performing poorly enough to be held back, especially as he was consistently promoted to the next grade. It’s easy to blame her – after all, parents should have some idea that their child is failing – but this mother is like most public school parents today: conditioned to depend on schools for everything, and as she asserts that direct communication with her was never initiated by the school, she assumed “no news was good news.”

Perhaps even more concerning is the rank shown on the teen’s most recent report card: 62 out of 150, which leads one to infer that there are 58 students at Augusta Fells with a GPA lower than 0.13.

Questions posed to the mayor of Batimore only yielded a call to protect the privacy of these failing students, as well as a promise to improve school quality now that they’ve received the funding they apparently weren’t getting before. (Augusta Fells is a charter school.)

While there is a push to shut down the school, citing the large amount of the student body performing well below the city, state, and national averages, most social media comments seem to focus on vilifying the mother for her ignorance and negligence. It bears reminding that the school system as a rule undermines all parental authority, convincing families that they will do the job of raising children (sex education and character education programs are evidence of this). This woman, likely overworked and undereducated herself, is only a product of what she herself was taught by a very broken system.

Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Design serves over 400 students in grades 9-12 in the Baltimore area, and has a dismal grade of 1/10 on Greatschools, citing a low graduation rate of 56% (the state average is 87%) and poor standardized test results. Ninety-seven percent of the students are black, and 56% qualify as low-income. Students are admitted through a lottery. It first opened in 2004.

City student passes 3 classes in four years, ranks near top half of class with 0.13 GPA (Fox Baltimore)

Calls to Shut Down City School Where 0.13 GPA Ranks Near Top Half of Class (Fox Baltimore)

Augusta Fells Savage Institute Of Visual Arts (GreatSchools)

Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts (Baltimore City Public Schools)

Lawsuit alleges school district knew about and ignored sexual assault

image courtesy Ingham County Jail

While if you’ve read a few of these posts (or just haven’t lived under a rock) it’s easy to see all teachers don’t have children’s best interests at heart, some legitimately try to help their charges – only to be thwarted by school administration.

Patrick Daley, 36, of Lansing, Michigan, was convicted last October of 18 counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct, citing the molestation of many young boys (8 of whom testified at the trial) at Washington Woods Middle School, where he taught fifth grade. He was sentenced to between 7 and 15 years in prison. Since then, parents have alleged, in a lawsuit filed by the family of one of the victims, that the school had prior knowledge of Daley’s crimes for a period of at least three years and did nothing other than essentially asking him to tone it down a little.

Daley, who never admitted to his crimes, even at sentencing when begged to do so by mothers of his victims, was never formally investigated by Holt School District, and he was never reported to police. Teachers, staff members, volunteers and students made at least 8 separate reports to the district about Daley’s actions between the 2016-2017 school year and May 2018 (when Daley was finally investigated by Ingham County Sheriff’s Office), according the lawsuit . At least two administrators had conversations with Daley about how he interacted with young boys, the earliest in 2015. In one such conversation, the district’s human resources director told him his actions were very “dangerous and concerning,” but nothing was done other than warn him to maybe stop doing it.

Coworkers and former students of Daley’s admitted that the teacher was known for touching his students, from high-fives to hugs, and that many either didn’t realize or weren’t aware that his behavior had turned inappropriate. Grazing his hand over a male child’s groin, or letting his hand rest on their buttocks for extended periods of time were apparently regular occurrences for Mr. Daley, who preyed on his students’ trust and familiarity with him.

Washington Woods Middle School, in Delhi Charter Township, Michigan, serves approximately 450 students in grades 5 and 6. It has test scores average with the state, and has no other exceptional information – good or bad – to report regarding its makeup or achievements. In other words, it’s just your average middle school.

Prior to molesting children at Washington Woods, Daley worked at Cole Academy in Lansing, a small elementary charter school with about 200 students in grades K-6. Though more diverse than Washington Woods, it still has nothing to set it apart from hundreds of other schools in the country. Daley was let go from Cole as early as 2013 after he was caught sexually harassing male students and watching them shower while on field trips, according to the lawsuit that was filed against the district. No apparent reports were made to police. Daley just found himself another job, and another opportunity to harm innocent children.

In addition to his job diddling young boys, Daley also worked as a high school hockey coach.

Lawsuit: Holt Public Schools ignored multiple reports of sexual abuse by 5th grade teacher

Ex-Holt teacher sentenced to prison for sex assault of fifth-grade students

More students testify in alleged sexual abuse case against former teacher, Patrick Daley

More we know about Patrick Daley

Washington Woods Middle School – GreatSchools

Cole Academy – GreatSchools

Kindergartener brings superhero-stamped bag of heroin to school

bennygarcia_mug.jpg
image courtesy Holyoke Police Department

A Massachusetts kindergartener was rushed to the hospital last Thursday after he admitted to teachers that he tasted the contents of the bag he brought to school. Inside the bag, which was stamped with superhero markings, contained a white powder that was later confirmed to be heroin.

Benny Garcia, 29, was arrested later that day, after he was found asleep in his home with 170 bags of heroin around him, as well as bags of cocaine. He’s plead “not guilty” to drug possession and reckless endangerment of a child, when he was arraigned on Friday. The 5-year-old, and an infant sibling, have since been removed from the home. Garcia is being held without bail pending a hearing on November 20.

H.B. Lawrence Elementary School, in Holyoke, MA, is part of Holyoke School District, and serves 285 students in grades K-3. A large majority (91%) of the student population is Hispanic, and 78% of all students qualify as from low-income families. According to GreatSchools, standardized test scores in both reading and math fall way below the state average. The school itself is small and outdated, desperately in need of updating and repairs. The community recently voted down an initiative (which included a property tax increase) to build new schools and take the pressure off some of the smaller, struggling schools.

Kindergartener takes dad’s heroin to school, says it makes him a superhero

Man pleads not guilty after 5-year-old son brings heroin to school, authorities say

H.B. Lawrence Elementary School – GreatSchools

Guest column Patrick O’Connor: ‘Our children deserve this’

Holyoke Public Schools – Middle School Redesign