There are very people in the world that we hate. Hate is such a strong word and so we try to use is sparingly. In the case of University of Florida Professor Jennifer Lee, we don’t know if we hate her, but we certainly do loathe her.
What brought this contempt for Lee on?
According to the Daily Caller:
In the syllabus for her “Creativity In Context” class — a required course for any student pursuing a minor in Innovation — UF professor Jennifer Lee
informs students of her four paragraph long classroom “communications policy” that she says will enforce “ethical conduct” in the classroom.
“The following policies and guidelines will be followed in this course,” the policy begins, followed by a bullet point instructing students to “Use inclusive language.” The policy mandates that students “[s]peak in a way that does not make assumptions about others based on “norms”, stereotypes, or one’s own identity or experience.”
The syllabus explains that this means replacing the words “boyfriend”/”girlfriend” with the more inclusive “partner” or “significant other.” The rule applies to conversations about married couples too: saying “husband” or “wife” is forbidden. Even the words “mom” and “dad” have a more “inclusive” alternative — students are told to use the word ‘family” instead.
A friend of ours is the mother of two lovely daughters – one in middle school and the other a senior in high school – out in a western state.
Both kids are smart, intelligent, funny and well behaved. Nether has been in serious trouble in their entire school careers so it was a surprise when the mother got notices from her daughters’ respective private schools that both of the kids had gotten into trouble.
The eldest daughter got in trouble for wearing a hoodie to school. On a day where it was cold, windy and snowing, she put on a hoodie underneath her jacket and drove to school. She got out of her truck, put the hood up because of the snow and the wind, went inside the school, took off her jacket and the hoodie and put them in her locker.
But someone had seen her with the hoodie on and reported her to a teacher who reported her to the principal who sent out a notice to the mother that her daughter was having a “level 1 disciplinary violation” placed in her academic record and that the mother needed to acknowledge that she had been notified.
The mother called the school and talked to the principal who told her that there was no wearing of hoodies during school. The mother said “school hadn’t started as the bell had not rung.”
The mother then asked the principal the reason for the ban and was told that hoodies had been associated with some bad actions around the country so the school, along with other public schools, had banned them. The mother asked “why do bad actions apply to my daughter’s warmth? She hadn’t done anything. By that logic, people shouldn’t drive because there are people who drink and drive and cause accidents.”
The principal was frustrated and said, “we want to be able to see kids faces in case there is trouble.” (more…)
She was on a field trip outside the school building when she and other students got a Tweet from her Civics teacher. The Tweet was to spur thought about the low voter turnout in the City Election – saying only 10 percent of Revere ended up voting, and what the students thought about that. (Turnout was actually about 41 percent in the last City Election, rather than 10 percent).
Godino Tweeted back, “10 percent of Revere voted because the others are not legal.”
Godino said it wasn’t meant to hurt anyone. School officials have said they don’t believe she had any ill intentions, either.
However, the Tweet took off and people began to send messages back saying it wasn’t right. She immediately realized she had probably made a mistake, and deleted the Tweet.
The school was not happy with the tweet. Neither were some of the students who threatened Godino.
One person said they were going to wait for the bus to come back to the field trip; some soccer players said they were going to get their [slur deleted] crew and come for her; others said slurs about white people in Spanish and English.
“Reverse racism is not real,” read one Tweet.
“Is it possible to be racist to a white person?” read another.
The school initially said Godino’s speech was protected by the First Amendment, but the next day reversed course and told Godino she was suspended from all social activities at the school for the remainder of the year. That meant no more cheerleading, no dances, no prom, no Senior Night, no anything.
[t]he power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth
The inaccurate term, first noted by Campus Reform, is promoted by the school’s “Inclusive Language Campaign,” which is throwing up posters around campus to encourage the use of friendlier language.
UMD’s Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy office, an official organ of the university, is running the campaign. The posters tell students that “words have power” and people should be cautious, lest they offend people with the terms they use.
Alan Holmes attends Dexter McCarthy Middle School in Gresham, Oregon. Holmes also has a brother serving in the US military.
To show his support for his brother, the military and to recognize the ultimate sacrifice the men and women in this country make to insure our freedoms, Alan wore what many would say is a patriotic, thought provoking t-shirt which reads:
“He chose to come home and I’m proud of that,” Alan’s mother Connie said.
The school district provided the following statement in response to the incident:
I cannot comment on a specific situation due to student confidentiality requirements. We have a policy on student dress and grooming. Weapons on a shirt are not appropriate in a school setting.
However, as news station KOIN Channel 6 notes, there is no regulation in the student handbook saying a student cannot wear a t-shirt with a gun on it. (That is assuming that the image depicts a gun, rather than a temporary grave marker.) (more…)
Over on Imgur.com, parents of a young girl have posted a letter from their daughter’s school in which they are informed that their daughter’s lunchbox is banned from the school.
Here’s the letter:
The relevant part reads:
The dress code we have established requests that the children do not bring violent images into the building in any fashion – on their clothing (including shoes and socks), backpacks and lunchboxes. We have defined “violent characters: as those who solve problems using violence. Super heroes certainly fall into that category.
The front and back of the “offending” lunchbox is below: (more…)
As a member of the FLORIDA TODAY editorial advisory board, I participated in a lively interview with newly hired Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Desmond Blackburn. Questions posed to him focused on funding, debt, testing, Crosspointe software, sales tax oversight, closing schools, academic achievement, morale and leadership.
The reason I asked a question about leadership was
because it directly impacts day-to-day operations, as well as morale. Effective leadership sets the tone of an organization and provides a cornerstone for sound management and decision-making.
The drumbeat of concerns heard from parents, teachers and taxpayers in our school district proclaims a loss of trust, brought about partly by the lack of transparency and accountability. But with a new superintendent, there is a genuine opportunity to modify the status quo through leadership that positively influences school and community wide morale.
Large institutions, like school systems, are often impersonal and exercise firm control from the top. On the other hand, a more desirable and effective leadership style, actively listens to and engages people. Game-changing leadership that will enhance trust throughout the community, both within and outside of the schools, is desperately needed. (more…)