Monday, August 21, 2006

Blinded by the Bling, No Way Jose.

A few weeks ago, I posted an Englehart cartoon and some of his web comments pertaining to an incident in the Hartford Public School system. Since then the teacher is being reprimanded by losing thirty days of pay. Englehart has also changed his tune.
Englehart cartoon showing teacher as caveman

Englehart explains in his weblog;

"A few weeks ago when the confrontation between teacher Robert Williams and 13-year-old student Jose Velez happened, I automatically took the teacher's side for many reasons I'm not going into.

I was mistaken. Williams is a menace. I doubt that he can be rehabilitated, but I suppose anything is possible. He should be running a survivalist boot camp instead of teaching in the Hartford school system.

Young Jose is not happy with the outcome, but he did all that he could do within the system and he got a valuable education. He learned, David-like, that it's easier to slay a giant Goliath than it is to get a Hartford teacher fired.

So for today, I drew the cartoon I should have drawn weeks ago. It's always rewarding to use irony and ridicule in a cartoon and I do like to draw cavemen.

I feel better now. Fortunately, I learn from my mistakes. Who said there are no second acts in America? Actually, I think it was a depressed alcoholic writer who didn't get a second act.

Today, a Courant Editorial called "Teacher's Punishment" states, "It wasn't the all-out firing that 13-year-old Jose Velez sought. But the Hartford school district's decision to slap teacher Robert Williams with a 30-day suspension without pay for humiliating Jose in front of his classmates because Jose pierced his eyebrow and wears an earring was harsh enough. Mr. Williams also agreed to apologize to the boy.

Perhaps most beneficial, Mr. Williams will have to undergo diversity and sensitivity training and his conduct will be closely scrutinized when he returns to work.

Mr. Williams conceded that in May he singled the boy out while lecturing his mathematics class at Quirk Middle School on the impressions that appearances create.
" and closes with, "Humiliating a student is not a good motivational technique. With any luck, monitoring and sensitivity training will bring Mr. Williams around."

In my opinion they still have it wrong. The other day, Rick Green of the Courant lamented the FACT that only one out of fifty of Hartford's middle school kids can read. Is Rick Green being culturally insensitive to the fact that the cultural norm in Hartford is illiteracy and that pointing out that Hartford's kids can't read is humiliating?

Oh, wait for it,... no, that's okay. You see, in my lifetime I have heard all the smiley-face stories about how we are going to leave no children behind and we're going to end poverty in our lifetimes and all that happy talk. And WE STILL HAVE DENSE POCKETS OF ILLITERACY, POVERTY, and CULTURAL WASTELANDS in this country and nobody, NOBODY gives a got damn about it. No sir.

We salute all the hamster dance routines that come out of Washington and the Departments of Education in our states that are supposed to cure our schools of these things but its all an expensive ruse to continue to do nothing.

Let some teacher, any teacher, stand up and tell a kid which way might be up and he'll get slapped down, forced to undergo "sensitivity training" as though this were Maoist China and the teacher were subverting the government's will to keep these people poor, ignorant, and blissfully occupied with bling, body deformation, and self-destructive identities.

Out here in the sticks, we have kids who want to wear bling too. But when they show up to play a basketball game that bling gets put away. The kid is here to play a sport that has rules. No bling is a rule. No exceptions.

No teacher in any public school in this country should have to ever see bling. Because when a kid shows up for school there are some rules. No bling is a rule. No exceptions.

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