Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Heartbeat Away

 Mike Morris at last night's Regional School Committee meeting

Last night just before adjourning from a l-o-n-g contentious meeting the Regional School Committee -- while being serenaded by protesters -- approved the ascension of Mike Morris (by a 9 yes, 1 abstain, 1 absent vote) from his current position in Central Office as Director of Evaluation and Assessment to that of Assistant Superintendent.

video

Morris served as principal at Crocker Farm Elementary School from 2008 until 2012.  Superintendent Maria Geryk described it as "more of a change in title/role" so a new replacement will not be hired to fill his old position.

He currently makes $100,000 annually and presumably will receive an increase in pay to go along with the new title, but HR chief Kathy Mazur stated his new salary, "has not yet been determined."

Amilcar Shabazz was absent for the vote because he was feeling ill and left immediately after the vote on Superintendent Geryk's evaluation.  So no, he did not join the protesters singing "We Shall Overcome" in the back of the room.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was told that the SC's vote to place Morris in the role of Assistant Superintendent is what prompted the activists to start singing "We Shall Overcome" during the meeting...can anyone confirm that?

Also, Shabazz was not in his chair any longer at the end of the meeting, when the activists were singing...did Shabazz leave the meeting to join the protesters in singing "We Shall Overcome" in the hallway?

Anonymous said...

They were not singing in the hallway. They were singing where the meeting was being held. They totally disrupted the meeting. Someone shouted out white power when Mike Morris' s name was announced. It was total bedlam and Mr Obrien had to shout to be heard. They could not finish the meeting and it was adjourned. And Shabbaz was singing with them. I want my SC meetings back.

Steve Akalis said...

Lol

Larry Kelley said...

Just another one of those "Only in Amherst" scenarios.

Anonymous said...

The activists were singing because of the facade of promoting an individual into the second highest position within the schools when Dr. Guevara clearly would have been the better, more common sense choice. It is a white dominated system, run by blinded, and ignorant white upper class 'citizens' who continue to oppress our colored children living in poverty and struggling with their studies. They do not care, and if they seem like they do it is only a front so that the media, and the like will see the pony show of a successful school district. It isn't rocket science, and any community member who is awake can see that white power is indeed in action, still, in this modern day. It is being practiced every time the 'adults' in our schools reprimand and humiliate a child of color, while they stand back and accept the same behavior from the white child. It is happening in a school near you -- this is real people. :(

Larry Kelley said...

Isn't she the one who banned the term "freshman"?

Anonymous said...

The no brainer is that Marta Guevara is not at all qualified to be assistant super. She is doing an awesome job where she is.
Anon 745. Your post is just plain nonsense. You and your ilk will destroy the schools.

Meeting them as a bear robbed of her cubs said...

It's not about race.

None of this is.

It's about control,

contempt

and grrrrr

eeeeed.


Throw tantrums.

Sing slave songs.

Be stupefied.


The bottom line

you're going to ~have~ to

stop them.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkzy5clEjxs



Cold.


-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Lets be realistic, there are those in Amherst who will not be happy until all high level administrative positions are filled with people of color. Then there those who won't be happy until Maria Geryk and her crew are removed from power and replaced by anyone who can breath. Basically the vocal minority of Amherst will never be happy.

Until then its a game of kick the crap out of the administration until you see who gives in first. Oh, Amherst, a national joke, a place where meaningful discussions happen, or a picturesque place to live with a bunch of opinionated irrational people who just can't stop telling us all how we should live our lives. You be the judge.

Anonymous said...

Anon 745, what about the white students who are living in poverty and struggling with their studies as well. Also what about the colored adults who reprimand and humiliate a white child as well as their parents and also white adults do it as well to white students and their parents. It's just not one sided.
Their needs to be a lot of big changes in the schools and starting with the Administration and HR personal is a good place to start, then move forward to other areas.

Anonymous said...

continue to oppress our colored children <-- Are colorless people allowed to use this phrase?

I insist that people of color cannot use the word "cracker." They need to speak only of unleavened, baked, wheat conveyances for cheese.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:26:

Anon 7:45 is being facetious

Anonymous said...

Monica "data specialist" Hall to the rescue...

Anonymous said...

I think more and more residents of the Town are going to decide to avoid wandering into the swamp that looms in any discussion or conversation about race. So more people will be silent.
And fewer and fewer people will run for office in town.

When I see quotes like "racism is signified, not specified" as in today's Gazette, and a remark that Town Meeting is racist because people of color are underrepresented, my response is the deck is stacked against sincere, well-meaning, decent people. One is tempted to think that no one comes out of these discussions without being misunderstood, and many risk getting their reputations stained.

Several of the school employees commenting in such all-knowing ways in the Gazette article are holding us to a completely diffuse, unclear standard of behavior and speech that we can't meet, and that is essentially a trap for us set in the public square.

So more and more will simply stay away.

Anonymous said...

Any person of color can run for town meeting. It only takes their own signature to get on the ballot. For the most part people don't know the color of a person running for town meeting as there is no active campaigning. People of color just need to step up.
And I think people need to be reminded that you don't have to be white to be racist.

Anonymous said...

The highest vote getter for Town Meeting this year was a candidate who was a person of color.

There is no bar to people of color running for Town Meeting.

So accuse me of a "thought crime", if you must, but I don't understand how a school employee can say, as she did in the Gazette this morning, that Amherst Town Meeting is evidence of racism in town.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if there will be any repercussions for the comments Shabazz made during the meeting of the "Equity Task Force" last week? I am aware that several parents and other community members who were in attendance wrote letters of complaints about his comments, and I've been told Shabazz is hiring a lawyer, and that he refused to discuss the situation with his fellow sc members during executive session without a lawyer present.

Anonymous said...

I also heard that administration felt compelled to apologize to the parents of a student for his statements.

Walter Graff said...

Problem is the world has become so focused on political correctness that they forgot what racism is. Now all you need is a person of color involved in anything and you have racism. Black man gets a parking ticket and now its called racism.

Anonymous said...

Shabbaz is a loose cannon. The schools will be sued because of him sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

Really? How about when they receive a constant stream of racial graffiti and derogatory notes? Maybe you are the one that has forgotten what racism is.

Anonymous said...

What did Shabbaz say?

Anonymous said...

And the only one they caught was a student of color. That will somehow be twisted around to be racist in itself. Really.

Anonymous said...

1:13 PM...

Maybe when you are a shitty teacher who pushes a radical political and racial agenda your students let you know they are not happy by going after what you are pushing down their throats.

Anonymous said...

Only difference with Amherst is when a black student is involved it's racist regardless of what happens. If a black student does something to a white student then its racism against blacks. When a white student does something to a black student then it's also racism against blacks. Seems in Amherst color buys you a free get out of jail card or as the superintendent likes to say blacks can't be considered racist.

Anonymous said...

Maybe when you are a shitty teacher who pushes a radical political and racial agenda your students let you know they are not happy...

I think everyone (cops, teachers, students, the whole community) at this point understands that the note writers could be adults and not necessarily students.

Anonymous said...


Administrators identified and punished the author of the nameplate graffiti but concluded that this student had not written the note. (Gazette)

anon June 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM said And the only one they caught was a student of color.


anon June 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM: Are you saying that the "author of the nameplate graffiti" was a "student of color"?

Dr. Ed said...

If I wanted to teach racism -- to make young White kids into the most vile racists imaginable -- I couldn't possibly do better than what Amherst is already doing.

The consequences of what you are doing won't appear for 25 years -- but they WILL appear and you will have bred a generation of racists.

Good job -- I hope you are happy.

Anonymous said...

I"think everyone (cops, teachers, students, the whole community) at this point understands that the note writers could be adults and not necessarily students."

Yep a shitty teacher pushing radical agendas and racial divide being told she's not appreciated.

Anonymous said...

did the district advertise for the assist superintendent position and interview candidates?

Hey, how comes I'm broke?! said...

Can you say


~fully vetted~?


Yeah, I knew you could.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBgUCWcFXm0


-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

Anon 6/26, 12:19 pm & 12:22 pm:

I attended the Equity Task Force meeting last week & I didn't hear anything from the chair Shabazz or anyone else in attendance that I believe would have necessitated the administration "apologiz[ing] to the parents of a student for his [Shabazz's] statements."

also who were the "several parents and other community members ... in attendance [who] wrote letters of complaints about his comments"?

There were probably only about 20 people at the meeting and a local television station was in attendance for most of the time.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that he said several things that were untrue.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:49 pm: care to provide any examples of this?
----
plus it is interesting to hear about the conversations that supposedly taking place during executive session regarding Mr. Shabazz and potential litigation ,,, unless you wee there, how would you know? (maybe you were there .... )

Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed it but I don't think I have seen anything here from the content of the Exec session. Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

from an earlier comment on this post:
"I've been told Shabazz is hiring a lawyer, and that he refused to discuss the situation with his fellow sc members during executive session without a lawyer present."

Larry Kelley said...

And I will be contacting the Attorney General about that as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh when I read that comment about Shabbaz and the lawyer I assumed the person heard it from Shabbaz.

Larry Kelley said...

I try never to assume.

Anonymous said...

Altho I guess if it was Shabbaz who spilled the beans that would be bad too since he is on the SC.

Larry Kelley said...

Correct.

But he didn't.

Dr. Ed said...

Shabbaz is a UMass employee == and I have long held that if UM can punish students for their off-campus transgressions, then it can also punish employees.

Just sayin....

Anonymous said...

Kelley you goofball, Shabazz didn't refuse to speak about the incident which involves his statements at the Equity Task Force meeting during executive session, his refusal came well prior to Tuesday's meeting. He refused to allow it to be an agenda item that he would engage in during executive session without a lawyer present.

His statements at the Task Force meeting had to do with an incident which involved three ARHS students (who happened to be black) who sought out and physically beat up another ARHS student (who happened to be white. This is a more recent and separate incident from the one involving Dylan and three anonymous black ARHS students.)

Do you remember what he said now, anon June 27, 2014 at 11:56 AM?

Larry Kelley said...

I'll let the AG sort it all out.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:30, was that the incident involving a belt, or a separate one?

Anonymous said...

Questions; Please describe, if anyone knows, what it was Shabazz said at the last Equity Task Force that has prompted legal protection on his part. And what happened in the Black ARHS student(s) fight with a white ARHS student?
The system is classist as well as racist. I understand the comments where it is stated that if a Black child does something 'wrong' it is racist for them to be reprimanded. It is a fine line for sure. No one can deny however, that all children, living in poverty, struggling with academics, are getting the short end of the educational stick in our schools. But our Black and brown boys within this group are being disproportionately disciplined. And by that I also mean targeted, and conditioned to become what society expects of blacks--criminals, and low achievers. :( It's got to stop. They are creating and maintaining their 'achievement gap' by doing this. The adults in the system need help! and they need it now~~But firstly, and most importantly they must be aware of the problem, and stop defending their ground--because they are standing on earth quaked soil.

Anonymous said...

Please describe, if anyone knows, what it was Shabazz said at the last Equity Task Force that has prompted legal protection on his part.

Why don't you ask him?

Anonymous said...

Memo that went out to the School Equity Task Force email list this a.m., regarding the June 18th ETF meeting:

TO: Equity Task Force Members

FROM: Katherine Appy, Lawrence O’Brien, Darius Modesto

RE: June 18th Statements

As you know, the Equity Task Force was created upon vote of the Regional School Committee, and Dr. Shabazz was selected by the RSC as the Chair/Convener. It came to our attention that at the Task Force meeting on June 18 a comment was made by the Chair which raised great concern by task force members. Fifteen members were in attendance, and roughly a third of the membership has confirmed this comment. The comment followed a presentation related to building level equity work made to the Task Force by Betsy Dinger, ARMS Principal, and Mark Jackson, ARHS Principal.

The Chair spoke about an incident which occurred this spring when secondary students of color decided to identify and beat up the greatest student racist they could find. This particular incident, and the identity of the aggressors and the victim, was well known throughout the school community. As an official of the Regional School Committee, the Chair risked violating the FERPA rights of all these students by making this public statement. The white student was aggressively and seriously assaulted. An investigation was conducted and no issue was raised in the course of the investigation about the student being a racist. Yet, the Chair has now inappropriately and publically exposed this student as one who is racist. Because of this “outing” of the student and the statement made by the Chair that the student was a racist, the parent has been notified about what occurred at the meeting and a written apology has been made on behalf of the Regional School Committee.

Membership on our School Committees holds legal and ethical responsibilities. School Committee Policy BCA addresses School Committee Member Ethics, which provides both great latitude for expressing an individual opinion and also holds members to an ethical and legal standard of conduct when representing themselves as Committee members. It is a basic expectation that School Committee members share only correct information and that false accusations not occur.

We thank you all for your time, and your dedication to improving our schools on behalf of all of our students.