Monthly Archives: May 2012

Life Isn’t Easy For African American Boys

Study: African-American Boys Placed At Higher Risk For Self-Harm
By D.L. Chandler

A recent study conducted by a University of Mississippi psychologist has unveiled data that suggests adolescents, especially African-American boys, are at a higher risk for self-harm.

Dr. Kim Gratz collected data from six middle and high schools in Mississippi. Because of the size of the schools, the sampling has yielded considerably significant findings.

“Based on what people once thought about this, we might have thought that white youth, and in particular white girls, would be more likely to engage in this behavior. We never would have expected that African American boys were at such high risk,” shared Dr. Gratz with Jackson-based NBC affiliate WLBT. Self-harm methods, such as biting, cutting and skin burning were reported in earlier studies to be practiced among White female teenagers. The new findings place Black male teenagers in the middle of the self-harm debate.

“They reported higher rates of most of the self-harm behaviors than the other groups of students. They had higher rates of severe scratching, self-biting, and punching. But they also did in fact have the highest rates of cutting along with White girls. They had higher rates of most of the behaviors,” said Dr. Gratz in addition to earlier comments.

Dr. Gratz also revealed that 39 percent of teens who engage in self-harm practices do not tell anyone because they are fearful of disclosing their issues.

“Self-harm generally starts in early adolescence and we don’t think that’s a coincidence. It’s dealing with a time when emotions are getting more intense and life is getting more stressful,” concluded Dr. Gatz.

CaseClosed2: This is important and parents must pay attention to what is happening with their sons and do whatever is necessary so that harm in any form doesn’t happen to them.

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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Education News


Nothing New here

Study Suggests Teachers Give Black and Latino Students Less Feedback
The results could hint at a cause behind the wide achievement gap.

By Dorkys Ramos

A new study finds that African-American and Hispanic students might be receiving less feedback from their teachers compared to caucasian children, which could be a factor in the wide achievement gap between races, a study researcher said.

The study, which was published April 30 in the Journal of Educational Psychology, tested 113 white middle school and high school teachers in two public school districts (one middle class and white and another working class and racially mixed) in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area. Teachers were given poorly written essays under the pretense that a student wrote them and would directly receive the teacher’s comments. Some essays led the teachers to believe it was written by a Latino, Black, or white student.

The results indicated that teachers would give more feedback on essays they believed were written by a white student while skimping on helpful criticism if they thought a minority student submitted the work.

“The social implications of these results are important; many minority students might not be getting input from instructors that stimulates intellectual growth and fosters achievement,” said Kent Harber, a study researcher and Rutgers-Newark psychology professor.

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Education News


Week Long School Testing

Can someone tell me how a student is failing when the first day of testing began yesterday and will continue for the rest of the week?

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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Education News


This Is Shocking, Please SignThe Petition

Judge Rotenberg Educational Center: Please Stop Painful Electric Shocks on Your Students

At a “special needs school” in Canton, Massachusetts, children and teenagers with autism and other disabilities are being administered electric shocks as a means of controlling their behaviors. As a former Teacher’s Assistant, I regret having participated firsthand at this school – The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC).

The human rights abuses taking place at the JRC are well documented. The United Nations is aware of the JRC and has called these shocks “torture”, and says that “The prohibition of torture is absolute.” Yet the school continues to use a powerfully painful electric shock device on students to control their behaviors. These devices are reportedly much stronger than police stun guns and were created by the founder of the Judge Rotenberg Center.

The Judge Rotenberg Center must immediately stop its practice of shocking special needs students.

Rather than shocking students for only severe behaviors, student behavior plans at JRC dictated that we shock certain students for even the most minor of behavioral issues like closing their eyes for 15 seconds while sitting at the desk, pulling apart a loose piece of thread, tearing an empty used paper cup, or for standing up and raising a hand to ask to go to the bathroom. In some classrooms, very often students who observe their peers being shocked react in fear by standing up out of their seat, yelling or crying, or throwing down their task — and are then shocked for these reactions.

A non-verbal nearly blind girl with cerebral palsy was shocked as part of her behavioral plan for making a moaning sound and for attempts to hold a staff’s hand (her attempts to communicate and to be loved).

In 2002, 18 year-old Andre McCollins was strapped down and shocked for hours at the JRC. He begged for the shocks to stop and when they did, he was left in a catatonic state for days which resulted in permanent damage. Video of Andre’s shock treatment was sealed until recently and you can view it here.

The JRC’s founder, Dr. Matthew Israel, resigned after being charged with misleading a grand jury by destroying video footage of other students being shocked.

Not only does the JRC need to immediately stop this practice but Massachusetts legislators need to make these shock procedures illegal. These students are among Massachusetts’ most vulnerable citizens and have no voice of their own to describe their pain. They need your help.

Demand that the JRC stop shocking students now!

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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Education News


Singing He’s Sexy And He Knows It Gets Him Suspended

1st Grader Suspended For Singing ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’
May 4, 2012 3 By Kirsten West Savali

When 6-year-old D’Avonte Meadows was suspended for three days from his Aurora, Colorado elementary school for singing the lyrics to LMFAO’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It,” his mother didn’t find it funny it all, reports Denver’s ABC 7.

“I could understand if he was fondling her, looking up her skirt, trying to look in her shirt. That, to me, is sexual harassment,” said Stephanie Meadows. “I’m just, I’m floored. They’re going to look at him like he’s a pervert. And it’s like, that’s not fair to him.”

District spokeswoman, Paula Hans, wrote this in response:

“Aurora Public Schools is committed to providing equitable learning for all students. We have policies and protocol in place to prevent any disruption to the learning environment. Due to privacy laws, we are unable to discuss appropriate disciplinary consequences about a specific student.”

Ms. Meadows had no such qualms about privacy, revealing to 7 News that D’Avonte got in trouble for the same thing last month. — with the same girl. This time, though, he added a “little booty shake” for good measure:

“[I told] my son not to shake anything in the girl’s face again,” said Meadows after a meeting with an assistant principle. “I’m going to definitely have to sit with him and see if he understands exactly what the song means.”

While it’s easy to say that the punishment was excessive, what about the little girl? She was obviously uncomfortable with the attention to the point of reporting it to someone. What message would a lighter punishment have sent to her? Perhaps that a learning environment free from “booty shakes” and “sexy” lyrics is not in the cards for her? Should she also expect and accept similar actions as an adult in the workplace?

It’s true that D’Avonte is a young child; however, he received a fair warning — more importantly, so did his mother. At some point, he has to learn that there are consequences for his actions — and 6-years-old doesn’t seem too young to start.

CaseClosed2: Wow, schools now have a zero tolerance policy in effect and any form of sexual harrassment won’t be taken lightly.

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Posted by on May 5, 2012 in Education News


New School Rules For Social Media

New school rules for social media

Last Updated: 2:33 AM, May 1, 2012

Teachers, principals and other school employees “should not communicate” with students through personal social-media sites, under new Department of Education guidelines revealed this morning.

This includes “friending” on Facebook, “following” on Twitter, or otherwise commenting or posting personal messages online.

The directive, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, follows a spate of alleged sexual misconduct by school staffers against students.

But DOE officials say there’s no connection, insisting the social-media guidelines had been in the works for months.

The guidelines are described solely as “recommended best practices” and do not include any mention of punishment for violating them.

But the language makes it clear that DOE employees “should refuse” personal requests from students to communicate online.

The guidelines draw a distinction between personal communications and those involving school work or activities.

But even educationally driven interactions, such as a teacher creating a class blog, require the permission of a supervisor and notification of students’ parents under the guidelines.

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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Education News