Friday, October 3, 2014

Shock Therapy @ Amherst Middle School

Calvin Terrell defending his "warrior" philosophy to a packed meeting of unhappy parents

In the wake of the Newtown/Sandy Hook tragedy you would think a public speaker addressing children in a forced school assembly would be careful about conjuring up images for such an impressionable audience to contemplate:  like that of a  beloved five-year-old being shot in the head,  with the resulting damage so great the wake is closed casket.

Or the other adult person you love, also involved in this hypothetical active shooter scenario, ending up dead from gunfire as well. 

What any of this has to do with improving racial harmony I'm not overly sure.  Neither were the traumatized kids who heard this explicit speaker, Calvin Terrell, doing his shtick yesterday morning at Amherst Regional Middle School.  Even scarier, he prefaced his performance by saying this would be his "5th grade presentation".

School officials had to make counselors available all day yesterday and plan to do so today as well.

ARMS Principal Marisa Mendonsa addresses standing room only crowd of upset parents

At a contentious "coffee with the principal" this morning at ARMS attended by almost 50 parents -- 90% of them displeased with yesterday's performance -- Mr. Terrell apologized for his graphic presentation.

School Principal Marisa Mendonsa apologized for not making sure "parental notification" went out the day before, warning about the potentially upsetting nature of the graphic talk.

Numerous parents used the term "inappropriate",  with one going so far as to brand it, "totally irresponsible, it was horrible!"  When Terrell likened himself to Santa Claus, an angry parent shot back:  "You were not Santa Claus, you were the Grim Reaper."

One parent confirmed his child had to leave the assembly that morning to find a bathroom and then threw up. 

Terrell defended his invocation of the Sandy Hook horror by comparing the universal devastation brought on nationwide by that tragedy, yet people don't get  upset when millions die in the Congo.

Kind of like saying 9/11 was not such a big deal because only 3,000 died vs the 10,000 who die annually via drunk drivers or 400,000 who die from cigarettes.

Other parents were upset with his use of the word "retard" when describing an incident of bullying. Of course one parent wondered if he would be so quick to have used the "N-word" in such a scenario.

 Talib Sadiq, Climate Coordinator and Principal Mendonsa stand before parents

While the presentation yesterday morning was not filmed, school officials confirmed that Mr. Terrell will redo his performance next Thursday night at the Middle School so parents can get a taste of what their children endured for two hours.

Better yet, he should simply be terminated from his $38,000 contract.  Now!





208 comments:

1 – 200 of 208   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

here we go... lurching toward another controversy. I'd love to hear from parents of kids who experienced the performance whether it had altered their views on bullying. Bullying is so prevalent in the MS, that it is likely your 8th grader is (a) a target (b) a bully (c) silent bystander (either enjoying the show or too frightened to intervene). The MS is cesspool of meanness, for the life of me I'm not sure what the schools can do to change it. Shocking little monsters that they seem to be...btw not clear to me that it is tied/skewed toward any particular race.

Larry Kelley said...

You seem to be such a sensitive caring person and even you question what this had to do with race.

And that is why he is being paid $38,000. To talk about race.

Walter Graff said...

Let's make something clear, that story of Amherst giving out blankets is at best just a story. It would be accurate to say that Lord Jeffery Amherst advocated biological warfare against Indians, but there is no evidence that any infected blankets were distributed during his command. There is only a letter from someone in his ranks making the suggestion. Outside of that, it is legend.

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/27774278?uid=3739256&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104816985043



This guy is a joke. He has no credentials. He is a self promoter and a racial harmony charlatan. Read the reviews of him on the web. At best he is controversial. That a student had to throw up because of his presentation is appalling. Shame on you Amherst school system for allowing such a person to scar our children.

Let me know if you plan on this guy speaking to my kids so I can remove them from school that day for their emotional safety and well-being.

Disgusting!!

Anonymous said...

My daughter (8th grade) thought it was the best presentation she has ever been to. However, she did come home very affected (too affected?) by the presentation. She said that EVERYONE was crying. Kids were going up to the mic and talking about traumatic things they had gone through (like mom having cancer). She was still teary-eyed and a little shaky when she was telling us about it at 5 pm. She said that everyone was apologizing to each other too (for being mean, I suppose). I definitely would have wanted advance notice of this presentation, and perhaps even signed permission slips should be required (or at least, permission slips to opt out). It sounds like maybe it was useful, meaningful, to lots of kids - but as a parent, I need to be prepared in advance of my child being exposed to this. It's one thing to do this at the HS, it's another to do this at the MS.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually agree with Walter, but he is right on the money with this one. Also, in regards to anon 11:31, it sounds like this "presentation" went out of hand. This should not have been a group therapy session. It should have been informative and educational. I am very concerned about what type of "presentation" Mr. Terrell has for my second grader. If my child comes home crying, you can bet I will be contacting the superintendent and perhaps DESE.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, I'm also concerned about my 2nd grader at Crocker Farm.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of 38000.

Anonymous said...

Apologizing for their white privilege

Anonymous said...

Did Talib talk about when he robbed a bank?

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the long term effects of this presentation. Kids all come home crying and shaken. They praise what they were told and promise to make changes. Yada yada yada.


We've all seen this before in film presentations in schools on drugs and drunk driving too. Shock the kids, scare them and hope it makes a difference. Does it make a difference? How about a month later? Two months? If you look at history this tactic hasn't worked for much of anything actually but it sure looks good when everyone is crying after. Must mean it was effective.


Perfect example. Remember the famous "Scared Strait" documentary. It was a film about a new federally funded program designed to use fear tactics to scare troubled kids with the hope that they may turn a new path and find a way out of crime. Tough kids, brought to tears who promised they'd turn over a new leaf. And what were the results of scared strait programs around the country?


These programs actively increased crime rates, leading to higher re-offence rates than in control groups that did not receive the intervention. 1

1 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD002796/abstract;jsessionid=7519C1AD446047CE5FD87198B464794C.d03t01

The Justice Department eventually described scared straight programs as "not only ineffective but as potentially harmful" to the kids involved. It has since denied any funding for any programs that use scare tactics. 2

2 http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-01-31/news/bs-ed-scared-straight-20110131_1_straight-type-programs-straight-program-youths]

Recently a new television series once again presented the scared strait tactics in a weekly series. The feedback? Joe Vignati, the National Juvenile Justice Specialist on the Executive Board of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, says the Scared Straight approach is a waste of money. Vignati, who also heads Justice Programs at the Governor’s Office for Children and Families in Georgia, warns, “It is more likely to create kids who are going to get in trouble.”

Juvenile crime expert John Wilson agreed, calling Scared Straight programs “criminogenic.” He spent 28 years at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in the Department of Justice, first as legal counsel, then as Deputy Administrator. He’s now a crime consultant to law enforcement, and serves on the editorial board for the Juvenile & Family Court Journal.


And now you think scaring kids about bullying and racism is somehow going to make them all better because they hug and cry when all is done and said? Social Centric Training and Consulting is not an organization only this guys dba. http://www.trulia.com/homes/Arizona/Phoenix/sold/219428-1575-E-Cheery-Lynn-Rd-Phoenix-AZ-85014

He simply has a website and uses that first impression of his lectures as proof of his effectiveness.


If you think hiring someone who dresses like Amilcar Shabazz Jr. to scare our children into not bullying by making them hate themselves is effective, then you haven't looked at the history of all of these scare-tactic programs that not only don't work, but eventually cause the opposite effect.

Anonymous said...

My 8th grade daughter was deeply moved by the workshop. She said that what Mr. Terrell made students do got them way out of their comfort zone, forcing them to confront difficult stuff. She said it was one of the hardest things she's ever been through and then said, "I hope he's coming back." She said that students were apologizing for past conduct, thanking people who have helped them along the way, and then hugging each other and crying. While some students may have been negatively impacted, many students were profoundly affected in excellent and important ways.

Anonymous said...

If you have a child in the E'S you should contact the principal immediately and demand prior notification of any presentations by this guy.

Anonymous said...

If this person doesn't even look into the real history revolving around Lord Amherst (doesn't even know his proper first name) but instead in the video, speaks like an authority, incorrectly characterizing Lord Jeff as 'the' person who handed out blankets to the Indians, what does that say about his presentation to our children. What knowledge and what background does he use with our children. Does he use whatever story works to make his point regardless of the truth. Is his work researched and is is safe for our children or does he simply state "facts" as he incorrectly does about Lord Jeff who NEVER handed out blankets. All it would do is a simple web search to see that notion is false. I can't find any real credential for this person on his website other than a list of companies that have paid him to speak. People pay Dick Cheney to speak too.

Anonymous said...

His presentation was perfect for feeding the racial fire burning here in Amherst. He's been at it for years. Our administration should have known better.

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2008/081001/FrntSBDiversity.html

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they called them something other than "coffee with the principal" if they'd get parents other than the affluent white mothers showing up.

keithw said...

I realize it's a different world now than when I was younger in Amherst, but at least guest speakers were memorable. I still remember some of the stories, poems & songs that Eshu Bumpus did for us at Fort River back in 1982. And nobody had to leave in the middle to throw up.

Anonymous said...

In Amherst, if you're lighter than a paper bag you're no good. That's the agenda folks. Get used to it. Pretty clear that its not about equality, but achieving superiority by creating fear amongst the majority. People are being silenced by fear of repercussion. ( Hence my ANON post) As long as we allow the agenda, it will continue. STOP PREACHING ABOUT COLOR! It makes no difference. Love one another for the person under the skin, that's what counts.

Anonymous said...

anons @1139 and 117:
I hope that all the crying makes a difference but I've seen it before. The biggest bully crying when called out for her bad behavior and "feeling" sorry. No resultant change in behavior, however. It seems the tears aren't for the person who got bullied but for themselves momentarily "feeling bad" because they were called out for their actions. I wish I knew how to teach kindness and empathy. All I can do is hope, watch and see if the "climate" improves in the MS.

Anonymous said...

Why do you presume the presentation was focused on race?

Yes, it was a strong dose, but not about race. It was about bullying and how people are programmed to think a particular way, like presuming that poor people are lazy and don't work.

The apologizing I saw was more about bullying and meanness than race.

Anyone who knows anything about the highly successful 12 step programs knows that the apology is a necessary and fruitful step toward healing.

Are tears spilled? Yes. Is there pain in the healing process? Yes.

Should the school system have done a better job preparing the community for this and similar events? Yes.

There is a balance one can strike where we teach middle schoolers and high schoolers how to stop being mean.

Throwing the baby out with the bath water, a typical move on this blog, isn't going to accomplish much.

In fact, many posters on this blog are down right mean. Gee I wonder where the kids get it from.

Paula Barrows said...

Calvin Terrell is a social justice motivational speaker. He is known nationwide. He is also known for being controversial. He spoke last year at the HS and also today. In both cases my daughter, a sophomore was highly effected. Yes it was slightly upsetting but it was eye opening and thought provoking. These dialogues even through shock therapy is important. Many times shock therapy is necessary for us to really take a look at ourselves and each other. Would it be better for the shock to come when they are out in the world? At some little college town perhaps?

Larry Kelley said...

Sure didn't know his history very well.

Anonymous said...

By having the Coffees with the principal on a weekday meeting you essentially eliminate all working parents from attending. Leaving only affluent parents who are able to attend. I complain about this every year at my child's school to no avail. It's wrong and elitist. I have never attended one of these Coffees in 5 years because I have to work for a living.

Anonymous said...

Shock therapy for adults and high schoolers is one thing. For middle schoolers and younger its something else. I will not allow my 4 th grader to listen to him. She is very sensitive and will not do well with shock therapy.

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 403. I meant to say weekday MORNING Coffees. I hate the society l auto correct on my phone.

Anonymous said...

Coffee with the principal began at 7:45. Many people do not have to be at work until 8:30 or 9:00 and could be there for at least some of the meeting. There were plenty of mothers and fathers there this morning dressed in work attire.

Anonymous said...

Anytime the University or the public schools or town government respond to controversy or criticism Larry calls it "backpedaling", when the APD or UMPD respond it's "defending the correct actions".

Anonymous said...

Many people do not have to be at work until 8:30 or 9:00...

Make that "a few people". At 7:45 I'm getting my elementary school aged child ready for school which starts at 8:40. What about the people who start work at 6 or 7?

Works for the "many" who can make it somehow. Take a look at the demographic of attendees at the "coffee"...notice anything?

Paula Barrows said...

Certainly his presentation would be inappropriate for elementary school students. Or let's just shield our children from the ugliness of the world until they are 17 or 18 or until ugliness crashes down around them.

Marcia T. said...

I was told today that there are currently no plans for him to speak at Crocker Farm.

Larry Kelley said...

Well that's good! He did say yesterday to the 7th graders that he was using a presentation he gives to 5th graders.

Marcia T said...

Yikes! My information came from Mr. Shea, in a response to my email, btw.

Dr. Ed said...

I wonder how many children will be so traumatized by this that they have to go into SPED now.

And how much that will cost...

Anonymous said...

My child is in ES and there is no way I can go to the 845 Coffee with the principal. I put my child on the bus and immediately head out to work. 845 coffee with the principal is elitist.

Anonymous said...

God you're an idiot, Ed.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I would like to have seen this presentation. I no longer have a child in the school but will soon. Just from what I have read it sounds like he gave them scenarios for everyday life situations that we can't protect our children from witnessing. They see violence every time they turn the tv on or playing a video game. Times are changing and I'm sorry, but as a parent of children growing up in today's world, they need to know that life isn't flowers and candy. Welcome to the 'real world' not a part played on tv.

Larry Kelley said...

Great then let's allow 12-year-old kids to attend violent R-rated movies or download porn.

Do nothing, it's eezie. said...

Rick Hood says,


let's make the most of this

bee-u-tee-ful dayyyy...


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


Fcking idiot.


-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. Ah well, at least he's got a nice little buffer. How about you?

Anonymous said...

Are there really middle school parents who think their kids don't already know about the evil and brutality in our world?

I watched FOX news and MSNBC once and I had to go throw up.

Anonymous said...

Larry, R-rated movies and porn are not depictions of reality.

Larry Kelley said...

You're watching the wrong R rated movies and ...

Anonymous said...

I watched a locally produced "poetry slam" and I had to leave and throw up.

Anonymous said...

Geesh- You had me thinking that The Judge Rotenberg Center was relocating to Amherst

Nina Koch said...

Squeaky,

What is your problem with Rick Hood? Do you have a man-crush on him or something??

He had nothing to do with this assembly. And he wasn't around when you lost your job. Why don't you move to Bedford and bug Jere Hochman?

Anonymous said...

Why are we paying this guy 38K when Geryk has all these people in house earning big bucks for climate, guidance etc? When do we stop writing checks at will?

Larry Kelley said...

I think Amherst College is picking up most of it.

But obviously that money could go towards a more fruitful endeavor.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that the positive responses to the event are far outnumbering the negative, the rich white female coffee klatch notwithstanding.

Larry Kelley said...

Actually the Principal said this morning that it was split about down the middle. Although interestingly she did confirm that some teachers were not pleased with the performance

Anonymous said...

No doubt a couple of administrators made a mistake by not telling parents ahead of time what the presentation would contain, and not giving the parents and the kids the possibility to "opt out". The guy seems like a phony to me, like the professors who wore their Che Guevara shirts to lectures, but apparently lots of kids are able to connect with him and appreciate his style.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, I don't shelter my kids from the world, but the school should have notified parents ahead of time so they could decide if they wanted to let their child attend the presentation and what it would contian. Some kids can handle things like that and others can't. The school really messed up and now they are trying to cover their collective asses. I know some kids so I have heard thought it was good and others who did not. I think this person getting paid 38K is wrong. The parents should have had a say in weather or not their child attended. I feel bad for all the kids that were affected baddly by all this. I wonder how many of those kids will need extra counsling after all this and not just from the school. I find the way the school handled things was so and is so very wrong.

Mommy, are you allowing them to use us? said...


http://newobserveronline.com/hidden-facts-about-slavery-in-america/

Nuff said, aint it?


-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. Oh, not quite:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps-hP8XkhjA

Anonymous said...

Rich white females? You clearly don't know who was there.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 9:15

Don't you know that the term "rich white elitist" is a term used to discredit any opinion contrary to the establishment of ARPS system.

You hear it followed by things like "its complicated", "you wouldn't understand", "lets have a meeting next week and talk about it", etc.

The people who like to experiment on our kids need to be fired. They clearly have an inflated sense of the value of their ideas and themselves. What a waste. Just another day in Amherst.

Anonymous said...

"rich white females"

I know, right? That was such a stupid comment.

Anonymous said...

Whether Calvin got his first name correct or not, it is clear that our town is named after a man who, at the very least, made plans for genocide. http://www.umass.edu/legal/derrico/amherst/lord_jeff.html
A few choice quotations from his letters during Pontiac's Rebellion. "...try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race." "...their Total Extirpation is scarce sufficient Attonement(sic)....", "Measures to be taken as would Bring about the Total Extirpation of those Indian Nations..."

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with Amherst, if it's a parent meeting at 8:30 it MUST be for white people only. Bullshit! If a minority kid can't keep up, it MUST be because the school is hindering minority learning. Yea, I'm sure teachers are thinking "well I like Tommy, but Daryl is black so I'll make it harder for him. Utter bullshit.


It's this head counting that is creating divide and pushing crap down your kids throats that everyone is the same, and everyone is a winner regardless. All bullshit and all setting your children up to fail in a world that will step on them like bugs.


I am one of the core parents always around my kid's school. I attended the last coffee with the principle at my school and the only people there were concerned involved parents. There were men, women, gay people, people of ethnicity other than white, and all sorts of people, the ones some of you love to count to make sure everyone is ALWAYS represented and complain if they aren't.


I know I don't count heads and make sure minority quotas are kept, or that one group gets special treatment, or that there are too many whites, or if there aren't any blacks we must be discriminating. I don't see color, only other people. The only people I saw there were parents who care and had the time to be there. P-E-R-I-O-D!


Everyone talks about how ethnically diverse my school is, but frankly I don't it. I see lots of white kids and mixtures of other ethnicity too, but the way people talk about it in this town, I should be seeing 10 black and Hispanics to one white kid and because I don't somethign is wrong and we must be holding them back.


I see people as people and I don't label them, nor make sure the egg basket has one egg from every chicken and that's what my kids are taught by me. There seems to be some mysterious group whose agenda is to cage, count, classify, distinguish and segregate in the name of mixing crayons in a pot. To me it's about as productive as mopping a floor with dirt on your shoes.


In my school, I'd say over the last few years I've probably seen the same core 20 or 30 parents involved in most everything. These are the same people that go to special events, coffee events, pot lucks, class trips, etc. My first guess is that like any group only a small percentage of parents actually get involved. I dare say most of them are probably white so I'm sure the secret group will say that must mean discrimination.


The rest of the parents who have children in my school either work and can't come, have other things to do that prevent them from coming, or don't look at getting involved at the school as important. It's no different than any other school I'm sure.


Only problem with Amherst is that if every color in the rainbow isn't involved in every single thing then someone will call out racism, unfair, and all the other bullshit that goes along with political correctness and some sort of retribution for 10,000 years of a predominantly white European culture.


How about focusing on your kids and stop worrying what color all the other kids are and who is and isn't failing. If half of you worried about your kids excelling and stopped coddling and hovering your kids might actually end up being more than adults that will someday live in your basement. Of course they'll make sure to have an ethnically diverse spouse.


I'll save you the $38,000 wasted on another ethnically non-white male who is going to teach the world to drink Coke. Start getting involved with your kids lives and stop covering their ears and eyes. Accept the fact that bullying is the latest word-of-the-day amongst the politically correct. It's been around since your distant relatives lived in a cave, is part of human existence, and it isn't going to be healed by some guy who hit pay dirt taking your money with no proof that anything he does or says makes a difference in the end.

Anonymous said...

"Whether Calvin got his first name correct or not, it is clear that our town is named after a man who, at the very least, made plans for genocide."


_________________

As someone noted earlier, yes Lord Jeff wold have loved to kill all the Indians. Why not, they would kill him if they could. But other than a few letters from and too others, Nobody gave Indians smallpox under his command.


This guy walks the earth acting as if he is the great Indian whisperer and talks about how many reservations he visits. He was wrong about something someone like him should have known. He said Lord John handed out blankets. He didn't do anything like that and his name was Jeff. He's the John Edwards of the let's all get along crowd.

Too bad he wasn't around then. He could have brought Lord Jeff to tears and had him hugging all the Indians and passing the pipe.


Anonymous said...

Anon 1120
I did NOT say that if a parent meeting is at 830 am it must be for white parents. I said it was elitist, which it is. Only parents who don't have to go to work everyday can make those meetings. They could be white, black, brown or purple. I happen to be white and I have to go to work to support my family and so I cannot go to those meetings. It makes me angry. I'd like to get to know the principal of my child's school just as much as the next person but I can't because I have to go to work. It has NOTHING to do with race. And I never said it did. It does have to do with a different type of equity. Socioeconomic equity. Anderson and Shabazz and Baptiste have the whole town believing there is only one type of equity issue - black/white equity. The ETF is only looking at Black/White equity issues. It's time the conversation in town and on the ETF was broadened to include other equally important topics of equity.

Anonymous said...

"A picture says a 1,000 words" Two things I noticed, the audience lack of people of color. And secondly, in my day teachers, principles, and even students did not dress in jeans and tee shirts....Mr. Saldiq and the principale!!!

Larry Kelley said...

They probably knew it was gonna be a long hard day.

Anonymous said...

It should be a given that what happened was wrong. Basic understanding of the research about how humans process things would inform the schools that you do not do those sorts of activities in groups of 100s. For the parents whose children can handle this sort of activity (visualizing death and trauma) that is great... You are lucky. How many children in the audiences have had trauma in their lives and have not been able to process it because children's brains are not wired to process trauma?

My greater concern is the central office's inability to just say they were wrong. The superintendent is a school psychologist, she knows in her heart and brain that it was wrong. She needs to step up and say it was. They either did not preview the material or got caught up in the fact that he is a "guru" in race relations and forgot about the audience. They messed up..... It happens. The survey they are now doing is a nice thought, but not the right approach. How many parents need to write back that their child experienced trauma in their lives and now are reliving it for it to be wrong? It is not about stats here.

Being able to say you're wrong is one of the most important traits of strong leadership. It would be outstanding for the superintendent to do that here. It would restore some faith.

Anonymous said...

Parents have had concerns/ complaints about this presentation since 2008

ARPS needs to learn how to do their research!

http://www.sonorannews.com/archives/2008/081001/FrntSBDiversity.html

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who knows anything about the highly successful 12 step programs knows that the apology is a necessary and fruitful step toward healing.

Are tears spilled? Yes. Is there pain in the healing process? Yes."

People choose to participate in 12 step programs- A required assembly= Our children had no choice!

Anonymous said...

Complaining here on Larry's blog is fun and entertaining for the rest of us, but in the end, useless, because it doesn't do anything productive.

If you don't like it, attend the meetings, join the school committee, and vote to have it changed.

Or, if you're a parent, complain in writing to the committee and the state board of education.

Anonymous said...

This was deliberate. The tactic is known as 'ask for forgiveness rather than permission'. The goal was to shock kids and get some of the 'I hope he comes back' reactions so the APRS administration could say 'see, it worked for a few kids so we need to keep doing it'.

This approach represents the latest variant of the ARPS administration's mentality of 'we know best'.

$38,000 for an person whose approach has no evidence-based effectiveness? And this when ARPS has gone to such lengths to implement PBIS.

Qualitative efforts like this are flashy and get headlines because lots of people hear that the schools are doing . However they do not produce lasting, effective results.

Anonymous said...

Here is a novel idea, if you want to be included, then contact the administration and tell them you think more parents would be better served if coffee with the principal was done perhaps at 6pm or another time where parents who can't attend morning meetings can. The superintendent has a blog and you can ask questions. You can call the office too. There is a directory on the website to email anyone. There are so many options for communicating with the administration. It took Larry's post for you to complain? Clearly you aren't that interested or you would have done so already.

Here's a trick that works well in Amherst, call and cry racism. Works real well in Amherst "where everyone is equal."


As for this so-called issue where pictures show mostly white people, yeah, Amherst is nearly 75% white. Did you think this was Detroit or Harlem? Perhaps we should bus blacks and people of color in so that we can make Amherst look like a rainbow lollypop. Simply absurd.


Parents attend events if they want to because they can and/or are interested. I'll let you in on something that will get your hairs to raise, less educated and economically challenged people tend to be less concerned and are less involved with their children. Wait, could that be a reason why minorities often don't score as well or is it that the system tries to keep them down.


Truth is it's almost an oddity to see parents of color attend any events in the school system. You call it racism and want to believe it's because we have bouncers at the door sending them home, or we burn crosses on their front yard, or call them and threaten them to stay away in the middle of the night, or we don't give them the opportunities that white kids get. I call it life. It's just the way it is. Must there always be some sort of reason beyond what it is.


Why people want to force race as an issue and save the planet when it is far less of an issue than those that walk around with magnifiers want to believe is why Amherst has more issues that have little to do with education than any school system in 500 miles.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't like it, attend the meetings, join the school committee, and vote to have it changed."

_________________



But don't tell them you are black or other-than-white or they will ignore you. LOL

Hey wait, Amherst is 10% Asian and I never see any Asians in the pictures. I know it's not Larry cause isn't his spouse Asian. Blacks are only 4% so shouldn't I at least see an Asian face before a black face in any picture? Sounds like Amherst is being racist. LOL



Anonymous said...

Anon 10:08:
"If you don't like it, attend the meetings, join the school committee, and vote to have it changed."

Wait ... you think the School Committees have any power? Especially in this town, they do not have much.

Anonymous said...

Do they allow hats to be worn in school?

Anonymous said...

Calvin Terrell seems to stereotype people, and piegonhole school children into five categories he defines. Then he made every other 4 types to be despicable and coerce his children listeners to be with him. He exploits mind-control technique to manipulate children's immature mind, create trauma on some children and profit from the process handsomely.

Amherst school doesn't need this type of race relation agitator. Amherst Families don't want to waste another year on this debate.

Anonymous said...

I have complained about the morning Coffees, which I believe I stated in my comment. Not complaint. Comment. Big difference. You need to read what is actually written before complaining about it. You missed my point entirely. From a SE point of view I should not have to ask the PGO to schedule evening meetings. I have and was ignored.

Anonymous said...

Larry's wife is white

Nina Koch said...

Scheduling meetings is difficult because there will always be some people who can't come at that time. Just this past week, one of my students said his parents couldn't come to ARHS Open House because they work second shift.

I think the best approach is to vary the meeting times-- have some in the evening and some during the day.

Mommy, are they stealing our money? said...

Ripping you the F off


hook


line


and sinker.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLlS_IOt1xQ


Drooooool...


-Squeaky Squeaks


p.s. Just keeeeeep doing nothing.
Self respect? Who needs it?

Anonymous said...

Responding to Anon 7:21: You're right, the Equity Taskforce should be examining all types of inequity. We can't expect much from this group - notice in this week's Bulletin who the 9 people are who are allowed to vote on the taskforce - the majority are well-known anti-school activists. The likelihood for any objectivity is practically zilch.

Anonymous said...

Objectivity in Amherst is a rare thing. Even if someone has it, their words would be twisted into making others believe they are not objective. When they are critical of the schools they are bashing but when they support the schools in something good the schools do they are a patsy falling inline with the machine.

Anonymous said...

"...the Equity Task Force should be examining all types of inequity..."


The openly stated first priority of the ETF according to sc member and task force leader Amilcar Shabazz was to brainstorm ways to "support Carolyn Gardner". Since the strategies Shabazz's crew employed last year resulted only in bedlam, they've modified their agenda to align with the statement Ross released after ultimately declining WHMP's invitation to attend their private, for-profit forum entitled "Reading, Writing, and... Racism?"

Anonymous said...

The ETF is a joke. No one takes it seriously.

Anonymous said...

...Shabazz suggested that some or all of the three subgroups within the equity task force consider disbanding because currently they are subject to the state’s Open Meeting Law which makes it difficult for them to confer informally. Instead, he said, “research groups” not subject to the Open Meeting Law could be formed instead to review specific areas of concern.

So, in other words, the general public won't get to attend all meetings/know when they are being held, or have means to know what this sub-committee of the SC discusses and decides upon? So maybe this shouldn't be a sub-committee of the SC if the chair doesn't want its workings to be "Open" to the voting public, and if he'd like to see it proceed more "informally".

Six months in now and they are just now creating "a framework for making decisions"? When will we get to see what they've produced in the last half year?

Anonymous said...

ETF should strive to come out with a color blind school policy recommendation of providing each child an challenging environment that encourage each child to learn, prosper to its ability, regardless race, social-economic status, or any other differences. An education policy that favor one race over another race, or boost one race at the expense of another race by selective supression is RACISM.

Anonymous said...

Given that Superintendent Geryk meet with him (http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2014/08/come-together-right-now.html) and the new ARMS principal did not, I hold her accountable for not ensuring that the content was appropriately vetted. This was a top-down presentation. It would have been better managed by ARMS staff- pre-teaching of content and societal context for the content could have made it less upsetting to many. My kids thought it was powerful but very intense. He, however is a very mature kid. I can certainly see how, based on his description of the content, it could be overly intense for kids with sensitive personalities or traumatic histories. The worst mistake was not letting families know ahead of time so that parents could opt out.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, can you say "Chapter 51A"?

Remember that the school is considered a parent -- it has the same legal obligation not to put a child in physical or psychological harm and it's considered child abuse if they do.

Yes this should be reported to Malden (DESE) but I am thinking that psychologically traumatizing children is something that DC&F (DSS) is far more able to respond to....

Getting rich off your stupidity said...

They will friggan

drain

you

dry.


FYI, the real party begins at 12:30.


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


But whatever man.

I mean, can you ~really~ trust

a sewer rat?


-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. No more bananas until you ~earn~ them.

keithw said...

If a 51A were filed, it would likely be the school filing on itself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:11, all meetings of the Equity Task Force are public meetings, subject to the OML, & all the decisions about what the ETF will recommend to the Reg. School Committee will be made at those meetings. I believe that Mr. Shabazz was just referring to some of the working groups/research groups that are researching certain topics in detail and then advising the ETF.

Dr. Ed said...

Hare to tell you but those groups are also bound by the open meeting law. I made the mistake of mentioning that during the Chancellor Search but I digress.

As I remember it, any subcommittee or task force of a body bound by the OML is itself also bound by it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 324.
The working groups ARE the ETF. The working groups are developing the ETF recommendations. Shabazz is wrong and someone should file an OML violation if he does not follow the rules. I know he and Baptiste think the rules were not made for them and they can do whatever they want but they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

So where are we at? Shabazz is quoted as saying that he suggest that the sub-groups within the ETF should disband from the ETF so that they are not subject to OML, so that they can confer "informally". So if the sub-groups disband, they are no longer part of the ETF, correct? Is he saying that after they disband and confer informally that they will at a later date re-join the ETF so that they can deliver their recommendations "formally"? Or do the people in the sub-groups who disband become just regular residents, Douangmany and Vernon-Jones and Anderson and Sonji-Anderson will chat about racism in Amherst around their kitchen table, and then Shabazz will give those residents' opinions and recommendations more weight than other regular residents? How will this work? Is this guy whacked?

How much "informal conferring" (violations of OML) has gone on within this sub-committee of the SC already???

Anonymous said...

Probably none of this is what Shabazz meant, and I'm sure he's very sorry that we misunderstood the words he said.

Anonymous said...

The $38,000 would've been better spent on a newly hired teacher (I believe starting salary for teachers is in this range) that would work with students for the entire school year!

Dr. Ed said...

October 5, 2014 at 6:13 PM -- They then are in violation of the State Ethics Laws. If the good professor pays more attention to them than any other similarly situated group of member of the general public, he is too.

It really is about time that someone nails one of these people to the wall...legally of course...

Anonymous said...

I feel like the real issue here is whether or not this type of program really adds value to the kids of Amherst.

Would these kids be better off having more instructional time in English, math, science, social studies, etc.

Doesn't Amherst already do lots and lots of work promoting equality. I feel like either the work they are doing is enough or if this is the right solution (which I doubt) then cut out some of the standard equality teaching.

Education is the great equalizer, this is a known fact. Does Amherst express this to students who are at risk. Do they drive the value of education home to those kids? And no, we promote life long learners everyday is far from adequate.

I think the administration should take a long hard look at all of the half baked programs they push year after year. They need to admit which work and which don't. Back it up with facts. Stop wasting students valuable education time.

Larry Kelley said...

Not to mention Amherst College's and taxpayer 's money.

Anonymous said...

anon@923: do you have kids in ARMS? Are they happy with the "climate"? If not, then you don't know what you are talking about. The climate sucks! What the admin can do about it is questionable. They are btwn a rock and a hard place. They HAVE to try something. Debates/discussion can center around that but we can't ignore this enormous problem and the psychological damage and the obstacles to learning caused by the out of control behavior of many of our MS kids.

Anonymous said...

"we can't ignore this enormous problem and the psychological damage and the obstacles to learning caused by the out of control behavior of many of our MS kids."

And when do we start looking at the parents? Eventually you have to ask what kinds of values are these children being taught. Or is it a case of many Amherst parents who think that reading book after book, and shuttling your kids from one sport to another, with little or no real nurturing will make them well-balanced adults. It's easy to blame a school for out-of-control kids, but eventually you have to start looking at what kinds of families these kids come from.

One of the real ills Amherst lifestyle presents is latchkey kids whose parents are always working, or busy at home working and think that simply putting your kid in as many programs as possible will create well rounded child.

Then instead of parenting we'll hire a "guru" to fail at teaching our kids values that we can't, don't, or don't know how to. If we knew how to we wouldn't need to waste $38k on a hipster, know-it-all.

Everything wrong with the youth of Amherst is and always was first and foremost from the parenting they received. Anything else is simply an excuse for being your kids best friend rather than their parent.

Anonymous said...

anon@955: while parenting *may be* the primary contributor to kids' behavior in the MS, it is still a problem and the school's can't reach out to tutor parents. My view is that kids of all kinds fall into all the types of behaviors at the MS (target, bully, bystander). I hope that somehow the school can create the climate where targets are protected by peers, bully behavior is discouraged by peers, and bystander participate in supporting the targets and discourage the bullies. They have the numbers, they need the will and courage...

Why would you think its ok to let the current situation work itself out? Why would you think its ok to stand by and let these kids suffer? What is wrong with you? Do you even have kids? In the MS? Stop your generalizing- it doesn't help.

Anonymous said...

http://www.coming-together.org/

Anonymous said...

"it is still a problem and the school's can't reach out to tutor parents."

Schools shouldn't have to be the tutor. Not their job to tutor the parents or the kids.

Some liberal witha bunch of philosophy degrees might have gone on MSNBC and declared a war on bullying, but here's the problem, it's a part of growing up. Label it politically incorrect but human nature and our social structure actually includes bullying. Teach a kid all you want but his/her natural urges are going to take over. Your dogs do it, your cats do it, your hamsters do it and your kids do it here and everywhere in the world.

You can make a war on it but you can't stop our natural urges. Bullying will not go away anytime soon.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2011/12/15/the-origins-of-bullying/

Anonymous said...

Oh yea that's the answer Anon 1124. NOT!

Anonymous said...

I have a simple request:

I don't want any child that is enrolled in the school system that I contribute my tax dollars to to have to endure the bullying that I and others had to going to and from school in the 1960s.

I believe that the bullying that went unaddressed in the schools in that era has reemerged in adult form as domestic violence, some of which I became more intimately familiar with as a prosecutor in the past 20 years.

I don't think that any of this intimidation and violence is some necessary rite of passage, or a product of "our natural urges". Yes, we aren't going to eliminate violent crime, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to nip it in the bud.

In short, I don't think that every kid should feel that he/she needs to learn how to fight. There's something terribly wrong if that's the case.

Rich Morse

Anonymous said...

You can nip it but just don't expect it to go away anytime soon. We may think because we are humans, that we are above animals, but most of how we act and what we do still has a great deal to do with everything but our higher brain function which has only really made bullying for our species worse.

Unfortunately for the undeveloped brain of a middle schooler those urges overpower their logical reasoning brain no different than alcohol prevents a 24 year old from making the right decision about drinking and driving.

It doesn't mean we should not educate. We should. Just don't expect it to be a s simple as telling a kid something is bad so you shouldn't do it, then expecting bullying to go away.

What is also important is not to label anything and everything as bullying. Kids disagree and sometimes aren't nice to each other. If we are going to say any time a kid isn't nice to you it is bullying we are doing a tremendous disservice to children. Wrapping them in bubble wrap will only make them bigger failures as adults.

Wasting time and money by doing a hour-long bullying assembly by some 'guru', then telling kids you have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying is A WASTE OF TIME and in Amherst's case, money. We must start the process and the message must be consistent and done constantly.

Scandinavian countries started anti bullying programs in the 1970's and today we are seeing positive results. School must consistently reinforce that bullying is not acceptable. Bullying needs to be nipped in the bud immediately when it occurs. That's a good start.

It took the Scandinavians 40 years but they now have the lowest rates of bullying in he world. It's a good start for us too.

Nick said...

Anonymous of October 4, 2014 at 8:21 AM said "[I]n my day teachers, principles, and even students did not dress in jeans and tee shirts....Mr. Saldiq and the principale!!!"

The new principal has instituted a program where she wears college t-shirts on Fridays and encourages her staff and the students to do the same. You will notice that in the picture both she and Mr. Sadiq are wearing college t-shirts.

Anonymous said...

October 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

"do you have kids in ARMS? Are they happy with the "climate"? ... The climate sucks! What the admin can do about it is questionable."

I am wondering how much Maria Geryk has contributed to the ARMS "climate". She said school suspension will go away unless it is related to physical assault, or weapon. That sends an encouraging message to bad behaving students. If I were a ARMS student, and I wasn't in a good mood to learn anything in that class, Geryk's message is encouraging and enpowering to me. Knowing I will be understood, forgiven, and sympathized, without punishment or consequence, I would just disrupt the hell out of that class to release my anger, anxiety so I can feel better. Classroom teacher should not intervene, because it is still a "MINOR" problem in ARMS. I didn't threaten anybody's safety, I just felt "frustrated" that day. I couldn't learn anything in that class on that day, why anybody else should learn, and I have to do catchup in the future? School's holy grill measure of "equality" was not violated, or better words "preserved", since nobody had learned anything more than me that day, and everybody was just as equally miserable as I were. Everybody stood "solidarity" with me, like it or now. I got the magic wand from Maria Geryk. The only "MINOR" lost to other students is the RIGHT TO LEARN AT SCHOOL!

What a shame!

Anonymous said...

Of course, with reduced number of discipline in school, ARPS looks better on paper, and Maria Geryk will get a higher salary raise next time. It is all according to the plan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:33

My kids left the MS several years ago and while there was some unfortunate racial divide it seemed much less contentious. Can you elaborate on the type of psychological damage out of control behavior you are hearing about or seeing today.

Anonymous said...

Rich Morse,

Generally I agree your sentiment. We need to teach our children proper behavior.

The times we live in don't seem to support better behavior or responsibility for one's actions. Our political climate is filled with hyperbole. Significant arrest were never made after the banking crisis. Those people ruined the lives of millions all over the globe.

We nationally have police abusing power with civil forfeiture laws literally stealing peoples property. No one stops them. Some DA's support this type of behavior.

Here in Amherst we have three kids, one of whom is a child of our middle school counselor, Mr. Sadiq, allegedly bullying another, Justin (I believe), with no punishment given.

We have an HR director (Ms. Mazur) who fires Justin's father unjustly with no recourse.

With this type is behavior locally and nationally how can we ever hope to teach our kids right from wrong. Who will stand up at even a local level to call people out, who are corrupt?

Anonymous said...

2:49 PM Elimination of suspension in most cases is being considered and in its place more effective methods of discipline and consequences instituted. How do you feel about the more effective methods the schools have researched and are employing? Would you just "act out" if you knew the new and more effective methods would be applied to your behavior?

You don't even know what the new and more effective methods of discipline are, do you?

Anonymous said...

ARPS, the hogwarts school of equality, where learning only comes second. Every faculty and student is given a magic wand and everybody is given equal right to slow down the collective learning process. If I have some reason not to learn today. I am righteously wave my wand to stop you from learning. In the end, you are not allowed to learn anything more than I do!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the MS climate sucks and that there is a lot of 'mean girl' (and I hear, 'mean boy') stuff going on at the MS. And a lot of troubling behavior starting in 7th grade (eating disorders, cutting). But how does having the kids close their eyes, and visualize a toddler that you love holding one of your hands, and an adult relative you love (like an uncle) holding your other hand, die in front of you due to gun shot wounds help the anti-bullying effort?. Included to assist the visualization exercise were sounds of gun shots and gun battles (made by Calvin Terrell's voice as he spoke). Fine, it may scare kids from joining a gang, but the bullying that is going on in Amherst is not racially-rooted, nor is it gang-related. It is just plain mean kids, from all of the families and socioeconomic groups. Everyone who lacks self-confidence, who feels they can get a leg up by putting someone else down. I am sure that there are better anti-bullying programs around (assuming that was the goal of CT's talk). And - how about getting someone to help the kids visualize what happens when one person does well in school vs another treats it like a joke?! Or have successful people come into the schools to talk about what they needed to do to overcome big obstacles? I'd prefer inspiration over scaring/scarring the kids if you are going to hire motivational speakers for our students.

Anonymous said...

5 boys at the middle school tied me to a tree stump and threw dirt and cans and rocks at me until one drew a lot of blood and they ran away. A bystander finally untied me and another called 911. I was so embarrassed. Two of the girls standing around had told me they liked me but they didn't do anything

Anonymous said...

some people on this blog seem to think that when they hear about one event that lasts about an hour, that's all that has happened so far this year, that some of their other concerns about learning subject matter at high levels and other kinds of bullying aren't addressed. thousands and thousands of academic and social opportunities and events happen every day. also the equity gap is being confronted by this school department and school committee and the kids in a way that is unmatched, no one has a magic wand to erase the things that cause the gap so we have to go steady and everyone including the parents of the underachieving kids need to get involved in a proactive and POSITIVE way.

Anonymous said...

also "coming together" is scheduling a lot of movies and speakers to help white people in the community learn that they are biased and yes even racist, all white people even if it's unconscious.

please read the quotes from the website which was planned a long time before "amherst together" and please read through some of the links and information on the website.

"We suggest that most white people have more to learn about contemporary racism."

"Racism can be hard to see when you are white."

http://www.coming-together.org/

Anonymous said...

"With this type is behavior locally and nationally how can we ever hope to teach our kids right from wrong. Who will stand up at even a local level to call people out, who are corrupt?"

You can't control the rest of the world but at the end of the day YOU are the biggest influence and have the most power to see your child thrive. Nothing else means more.

Anonymous said...

"5 boys at the middle school tied me to a tree stump and threw dirt and cans and rocks at me until one drew a lot of blood and they ran away. A bystander finally untied me and another called 911. I was so embarrassed. Two of the girls standing around had told me they liked me but they didn't do anything"

This also happened to Ed as a child, and at UMASS.

ARHS Student said...

As someone who actually got to listen to Calvin Terrell speak at ARHS last year and attended a workshop with him just a few days ago, I find some of the views and ideas expressed in this article troubling.
First of all, the idea that Calvin’s entire presentation must solely address racial harmony is ludicrous. He goes all over the country giving these presentations, and while embedded racism and racial tension are key ideas and issues that he speaks about, he deals with many other important problems in our society and the world other than just racism. He did visit Amherst again in lieu of racist graffiti and the racism exhibited by ARHS and ARMS students, but that does not mean that he should reshape his entire presentation for us, nor does it mean that the other issues he discusses are not still incredibly important to the world, as well as us here in Amherst. As Calvin points out, going back to our town’s roots, we are named after a man who is famous for his use of biological warfare towards the Native American population (this is a fact that has been confirmed by numerous historians and documents). He doesn’t say this to condemn us or make us feel bad, but to show how these issues have always existed and will continue to exist unless we consciously come together as a community and eliminate them.
Second of all, the notion that Calvin doesn’t open our eyes and motivate us to become better people is simply incorrect. He may have shocked some students at the middle school a little too much, but even the vast majority of them were totally fine and inspired to become better people. Being a student at ARHS, I saw firsthand what he can do to change an entire school for the better. Every single high school student and teacher that I know of was moved and enlightened by his presentation and determined to implement his philosophies and make our school a better place. The thing about Calvin is that he doesn’t lie. He may shock us, but every single thing he says is the whole truth, and not just the distorted truth like some of the statements in this article. I can say from my recent personal experience that in Calvin’s workshop he didn’t preach his ideas so much as he let us do the talking and he showed me and the rest of the group how many problems there are that are persisting around us while we pretend and believe that those sorts of things don’t go on in Amherst.
The things I learned from Calvin have been life changing, as they have been to others who shared these experiences with me. It is dishonest and unfair to criticize Calvin for his work when you haven’t met him and are basing your attacks exclusively off of the complaints of a few parents of startled students, when hundreds of young adults are motivated and inspired by his words.

Larry Kelley said...

Which actually brings up an interesting point.

Mr. Terrell did appear last year (late September)at the High School and the initial troubling racial incident with Ms. Gardner happened soon after in October.

Anonymous said...

9:18pm: whoa, beware the true believer.

As a parent, I would have liked to have fair warning that my 14 year old daughter was going to be exposed to this. Not all kids are the same, and parents are the best judges of what is developmentally appropriate for their younger kids.

SOME kids were very upset by the presentation, coming home crying hysterically, feeling very dark about the world.

You're the *only* ones buying this! said...

"also "coming together" is scheduling a lot of movies and speakers to help white people in the community learn that they are biased and yes even racist, all white people even if it's unconscious."


Unconscious?


You mean?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWLRb2Ay2QE


Aw yeah,

it's ~alllllll good~

in the hood,


right?


-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s. When you can't feel,
you can't deal.

Anonymous said...

So, the opinion of the principle is that half the students were moved by the presentation and half had were disturbed by it. Add to that students who write how moving this is and throw in the parents who talk about their children crying and we have a 50% success rate? The presentation almost seems binary. It either works really well or does damage.

So if I came before the SC and the administration and gave them this pitch, " I have a presenter who is going to speak to the children. He is going to reach 50% of those kids in a way that is so moving it will help guide them in many ways for years to come. The other 50% will be traumatized but with counseling will recover in a few weeks. My fee for this service is $38,000.00" Who in their right mind would sign up for this.

Amherst just did.

Great job Superintendent Geryk.

Anonymous said...

My advice to Mr. Terrell:

No-load mutual funds, preferably index funds.

The best place to put the cash, the milk of human anxiety flowing to him.

What a country.

Anonymous said...

When in doubt in the twenty-first century, express guilt and remorse.

Crying (with real tears) helps, as it's a visible sign of self-loathing and regret. Hang your head a lot, and be sure to not miss the hugging.

If you can express that you didn't mean anyone harm, but you did it anyway, that always keeps the authority figures happy. After all, they are desperate to show the community that they've actually accomplished something.

Anonymous said...

Terrell's presentation will help the kids who became very upset by it become more like us adults, who remain relatively unmoved by daily horrific events around the world. For example, yesterday on the internets, I watched a terrorist behead a reporter and read a story about a young teen who stabbed a female classmate to death, and in response I had a pimiento loaf sandwich and watched the football game.

Anonymous said...

Rent the movie "The Music Man" in the restored Blu-ray widescreen edition.

Check out Robert Preston playing Professor Harold Hill as he bilks a small town in Iowa out of its money in order to provide music lessons to the young people there. We quickly learn that Harold Hill has no music background at all.

Now you can easily update this story for our time in Amherst. Our Harold Hill is doing his thing.

Anonymous said...

When he gets done disparaging every single aspect of American life he can think of, he can then celebrate that he was able to do all of that, funded by taxpayers, in a public school, without being shouted down or being arrested and taken off to jail.

Remind me again? Which tradition is THAT from?

Dr. Ed said...

"This also happened to Ed as a child, and at UMASS."

As a child, yes, but not at UMass. People would have died if they'd tried -- "Mutual Assured Destruction" -- and they somehow knew that.

They wisely decided not to push things beyond a certain line, or at least most of them did...

What the ACT Nazis failed to understand was the distinction between "could" and "would." What I hope they understand now is that "payback's a bitch" and that it is great fun to do unto others as they've done unto you, but that it is even greater fun to do it the exact same way they did it....

Not to worry, it won't be anything violent or even illegal, instead it will be the same type of crap that you folks are so good at. And never forget that I know the Psych Regs better than you folks do -- I've actually read them...

But as to bullying in general, I'll take it one step further than Rich Morse -- I'd have preferred not to have to learn how to kill because I'm not a violent person and all I'm asking is for people not to maliciously hurt/harm me. All I ask is for people not to hit me, is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

Yes, 11:40 PM!, Here here! Amherst parents, rent the film version of a play that ran on Broadway 57 years ago if you need some perspective on this matter!

Gee, there are no "coloreds" in this picture...why, Mommy?

Nina Koch said...

oh come on, Larry. You really want to suggest that Calvin Terrell's visit last year caused the incident in October?

Larry Kelley said...

Sure as Hell did not prevent it.

Anonymous said...

I think that when Amherst schoolchildren (and the rest of us) are being lectured by this guy about "John Amherst", an episode that is both well understood to be historically odious (although a little off the mark) and a constantly repeated cliche, there's got to be some question about whether this was money well spent.

Anonymous said...

Terrell's visit last year didn't prevent the use of chemical munitions by our police force against a mob of binge drinkers, either.

The people responsible for the racist graffiti were determined to disrupt the peace by any means necessary regardless of whether Terrell visited or not.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:40,

When you say our "Harold Hill", I'm trying to figure out if you mean Terrell or Maria Geryk. The argument for Terrell is clear. His self promoted approach is a disaster. Your words should either reach people or do no harm. He has caused great harm and should be held accountable by being asked never to come back.

Now if you mean Maria Geryk, I would also agree. She allowed this guy in. She is directly responsible for all of the trauma to each child who felt it. In the days of old, when people where held accountable this would be the nail in her coffin. Now, you almost need to commit a felony to get removed.

For many years people who support Maria on this blog tell us to give her time. Her programs are working, you will see if you are patient.

Well it has been over 5 years. What do we have. A school system where kids are leaving the system faster than the population is declining. No real improvement to education of the poor and minorities. Higher racial tension and bullying seem to have become the norm. The cost continue to skyrocket. The administration is becoming overly bloated. And now she admits she needs a better vetting process for speakers because he just traumatized half the middle school.

If this does not prove her incompetence to those in the system nothing short of a felony ever will. Maria Geryk has no vision and is not a leader. She is a great political manipulater who moves as the wind blows to satisfy enough of the populace to keep her job regardless of the impact to the students and the taxpayer.

If she has any integrity she should step down. Enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

If you had any integrity you'd sign your name when you say the superintendent should step down.

Anonymous said...

we need a supt. who has all the magic answers for the achievement gap, bullying, and racism.

Anonymous said...

and not one who seeks to address them with program after program after program.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 9:25,

Nice try on the integrity slant. Many have tried having integrity and failed. When the powers that be (school administration) and the patsies (school committee) who support them year after year have all the power, the only power left is anonymity and public outcry.

She is incompetent and you know it too. Otherwise why did you remain anonymous as well if you represent the views of the majority.

But hey don't let my opinion bother you. Maria Geryk will never leave and why should she? She answers to no one. Well, at least no one who will actually hold her accountable.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Terell's interview last year at Amherst Media. much less provocative.
https://archive.org/details/82931Voices5713

Walter Graff said...

"If you had any integrity you'd sign your name when you say the superintendent should step down."


I did not write that wonderfully worded and dead-on post but I will sign my name to Maria Geryk stepping down. I've said it from day one, she is a disaster. Nothing has changed for the good since she has got her job by being the friend of a friend. The school system is far worse off now that it was before she started. She was unqualified when she was hired and still is.

Anonymous said...

" ARHS Student said...

As someone who actually got to listen to Calvin Terrell speak at ARHS last year and attended a workshop with him just a few days ago, I find some of the views and ideas expressed in this article troubling... "


Thank you for penning that Calvin Terrell.

Anonymous said...

s.i.c.k. No other way to explain this. And he received nearly $1,500 an hour (probably a bit more) when he presented in two former 'shows.' What is going on? anon 9:25 you're absolutely right--the superintendent answers to no body, not one. Pretty dang scary--but yet she gets powerfully evaluated by her cronies. Corruptness has taken on a whole new look. This whole scene begs the question; Would such gory detail have been inflicted on our youth if the shooter had been black?

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that Calvin Terrell recently (10/2) spoke to 9th grade students too.

On the ARHS web site, there is a letter from Mark Jackson encouraging parents to check in with their children about the presentation. "The emotion was strong as were some of the images that Calvin employed to demonstrate the costs of bullying and cruelty.... If you think your child could use additional support or someone to talk to, please call or
email your child's counselor."

Anonymous said...

The "Harold Hill" reference is to a slick-talking person, who poses as an expert, who moves from town to town, exploiting the anxiety of the moment ("we got trouble, right here in River City"), and making money as a result.

But if you have to explain the analogy.........

Larry Kelley said...

Perhaps "Snake Oil salesman" would be better?

Anonymous said...

so what should we call the slick talking people who live in Amherst and make lots of money telling people they will solves our problems year after year.

Only the solutions never seem to materialize.

Anonymous said...

On posts of the Equity Task Force--it is not a joke. Far from it. The voting members need to be kept in an open meeting bylaw state. This is so important to the work-- otherwise it's been a colossal waste of time and energy. The task force is looking at economic inequities in this town--You can't speak to racial inequities without realizing the class differences that exist in this town. The recommendations put forward by the subcommittees of the ETF are to be included in the superintendent's evaluation. If she doesn't live up to them she walks away--probably to a land near Jere Hochman. A.S. created this entity and so it seems he is disbanding it as well--that is too bad--since the injustices our children living in poverty have endured are the creation and maintenance of their 'achievement gap.' It is that simple--and yes--someone wrote that an adult is not likely to punish one child because s/he is white, but will punish the other child for the same behavior because s/he is black--this is happening!! Look at the discipline records--they speak for themselves. :(

Anonymous said...

I was one of those girls "standing around" and I have a reason! Those boys are mean and they will attack you if you blink at them.

I'm also white which means I have to keep my mouth shut if I want to graduate. I know what they do to white kids who don't at Amherst

Dr. Ed said...

"I'm also white which means I have to keep my mouth shut if I want to graduate. I know what they do to white kids who don't at Amherst"

Smart kid.

She's right you know -- and I still say that sooner or later, something really bad is going to happen.

Anonymous said...

11:24--when??? and holy shit! I mean really--now we have to get counseling for our children because of a freaken' presentation?! There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

Anonymous said...

I think it's cute that anon 1:17 PM believes the recommendations the ETF makes will determine whether or not the superintendent decides to stay or leave before her contract is up, but I think it's sad that she approaches her job on the ETF believing that society and "the system" are responsible for some kids' inability to to achieve and stay out of trouble, and not the environment the kids spend most of their time in, which is at home with the parent(s).

Anonymous said...

is not likely to punish one child because s/he is white, but will punish the other child for the same BEHAVIOR because s/he is black--this is happening!! Look at the discipline records--they speak for themselves.

Discipline records don't include behavior that wasn't addressed, only behavior that was, so looking at them can't possibly prove that--they don't "speak for themselves".

The only evidence that could support that is if you get some kid to say it's happening (I wonder if Camila Carpio is available?)

PLEASE start taking responsibility for your kids behavior!

Anonymous said...

I long for the day when we have competent, strong leadership in the schools again. This morass does not benefit anyone.

Anonymous said...

4:41--responsibility for your kids behavior? --This is so off target--How can the child be responsible when the adults are blinded by the unjust ways they treat certain youth? This is such a ridiculous statement--honestly. It is like blaming the victim of rape on the clothes s/he wore. A child who is consistently being reprimanded by an adult for behaviors the same adult lets slide for other children--can see the unjust actions of the adult and knows what is happening--so belittle the reality or not--it is happening--and if you read the discipline reports they speak loudly of the disparity being dished out in the discipline department. That is all there is to it. So you can blab all you like--Amherst schools have along way to go before they can ever consider themselves a fair, equitable entity. And yes--if you're white, quiet, rich, and come from a 'good home' you've got it made. This isn't the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

" And yes--if you're white, quiet, rich, and come from a 'good home' you've got it made."

Lucky me. I'm in the majority.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, for example the black kids who threatened Akalis sure got different disciplinary action against them than the white kid they bullied and assaulted, I see your point, 8:52 PM.

Sure, some black kids are crying "how come he didn't get in trouble for it" and some white kids have a pretty different story to tell. The story ISN'T told in "discipline reports".

Take an honest look, and take some goddamn personal responsibility for your kids' actions and stop blaming everything on the "racist teachers". You're really not doing yourself any favors, the folks who cried "racism" all last year completely marginalized themselves from the community and the REAL work and the REAL conversations.

Anonymous said...

oh, so it's just the "rich" white kids who are getting the breaks and have "got it made"? i wonder how the teachers get a hold of the parents' tax returns?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous Anonymous said...
4:41--responsibility for your kids behavior? --This is so off target--How can the child be responsible when the adults are blinded by the unjust ways they treat certain youth? This is such a ridiculous statement--honestly. It is like blaming the victim of rape on the clothes s/he wore."

NOPE, NOPE, NOPE it's actually like blaming the rapist FOR THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR, rather than excusing it by saying "But wait, somebody else may have got away with rape so help, help, I'm being oppressed because I'm being punished for my OWN behavior.

Anonymous said...

Well maybe Maria Geryk has some leader in her after all.

http://www.wggb.com/2014/10/04/families-react-to-controversial-amherst-speaker/

She is taking full responsibility for the assembly and standing behind Terrell for better or worse. That is a sign a leader. If she is wrong the district will be paying the fees for Therapists for years to come and celebrating the kids who flourish from this encounter.

Only a real leader can hold there head up high and defend unpopular decisions.

Anonymous said...

The acknowledgement from Maria Geryk comes after families report trauma and public outcries as a result of the talk. She has nobody to unload this responsibility.

We want to see Maria Geryk to take full responsibility for the last five years of Amherst Schools, where cost go substantially higher (20k per student this year?) Students quit ARPS to attend other area schools in accelerated paste, low performance students are not being lifted up, and high performing students are held back from acceleration quoting "equity" goal. Racial tension in school is high, bully rampart, and teacher morale is low.

Should Maria Geryk take full responsibility for all this happening under her five year as superintendent? Where is her vision? Can she share her vision with the community? It is time for Maria Geryk to show her ability to lead the school out of the shadow, lift students of all kinds, and unite the community, and truly propel the school to it old glory in the state. We need a true leader of the school. Be a true leader if you are in that spot. If you cannot really lead the school at this critical point, be a hero, and find a true leader.

Anonymous said...

"Only a real leader can hold there head up high and defend unpopular decisions."

Clearly Maria Geryk did not post this but based on the improper use of language, her husband probably did.

Anonymous said...

If you think things are bad now just wait until the ETF recommends the abolishment of all honors and AP courses. Their reasoning is that since not enough black kids have chosen those courses no one should be able to choose them. FYI. Anyone can choose to take an honors or AP class at any time. If you value honors and AP classes now is the time to let the SC know. It will be their decision whether to eliminate all honors and AP classes.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:00

That sounds about right. The best way to ensure there is no achievement gap is ensure there is no achievement. What kid wants to take AP courses anyway. It so much more fun playing video games or just walking around town.

If you take AP courses someone might expect you to go to college. After that they might want you to get one of those stressful jobs, buy a house , raise a family. Who needs the hassle.

It all starts with AP. So I agree do away with this elitist program. Lower the bar, buy some video games, move into mom basement and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

The improper use of language is a sign post that it was written by a disgruntled woman of Asian descent who posts here frequently and also shows up at various school things. I don't fault her for her language. I know I could not even begin to know how to speak any of the Asian languages much less write them. I admire anyone who is fluent in more than one language.

kurt geryk said...

10:55 AM: Nope. But thanks for thinking of me.

kurt geryk said...

I did just post these interesting articles on facebook though:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/06/opinion/sahlberg-finland-education/index.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

Anonymous said...

Just like everything involving liberalism, let's dumb it all down so everyone and anyone can pass. Now instead of looking at anti-deficit framing, we focus far too much on deficit framing. Basically what no one will simply come out and say it's white peoples fault for black failure. Tell that to Colin Powell, Don Thompson, and Ursula M. Burns for example.

Powell was raised in the South Bronx to poor immigrant parents and went on to be Secretary of State.

Thompson grew up in Chicago near a housing project. Today he is the President of McDonalds.

Burns was raised by a single mother in the Baruch Houses, a New York city housing project and is now the President of Xerox.

It's easy to play the race card and read a statistic to "prove it", but another to empower yourself and achieve. If you play the race card your response to the above examples is that they had an unfair advantage. If you play the ideology of the American Dream you'd say they worked hard to rise above the rest and achieve what anyone could, with enough work and perseverance.

Unfortunately in a liberal culture like Amherst most folks like to play the race card which spouts unfair advantage and discrimination.

Rather than take individuals for who they are some want to say teachers hold back blacks, or that white culture doesn't let blacks in, or that everyone should perform exactly the same on a test and assign a lifetime bell curve to living. I've sen someone here say that whites are racist and don't even know it. No, some blacks are really the racist ones and refuse to find their place in society and would rather take advantage of people to achieve their goals.

Instead of focusing on what it takes to fit in and find a place, some blab off statistics to show how 'unfair' the system is. Reality is it's all about how you frame it.

For instance take the deficit-oriented stance that blacks are not equal and the question would be-

"Why do so few Black male students
enroll in college?"

Now instead of taking the victim roll, frame that as a anti-deficit question and you can ask-

"How were aspirations for post-secondary education cultivated among Black male students who are currently enrolled in college?"

BIG difference.

Or you could play the guilt card and ask-

"Why are Black male students’ rates of persistence and degree attainment lowest among both sexes and all racial/ethnic groups in higher education?"

That will throw some serious guilt on everyone. Now re-frame that and focus instead on achievement, goals and empowerment, not deficit and you get-

"How do Black male collegians manage to persist and earn their degrees, despite transition issues, racist stereotypes, academic under-preparedness,
and other negative forces?"

If blacks et al want to find "equality" it's up to them to do it. Sure blacks were forced to live in a white culture and feel that they lose their identity if they 'give in', but like other minority cultures (Asians, Indians, etc) they can keep their identity and work in a system that at the end of the day doesn't care what color you are, just how hard you work.

So go ahead and complain and cry unfair. When it's all said and done you will have done nothing to improve your standing, rather you'll remain the victims of the system, a system that far too many blacks cry about, but refuse to do anything to rise above.

Anonymous said...

Yes Kurt, Finland has some fine schools. and the reasons are all everything Amherst USA lacks. You can't achieve much with poor leadership and no clear goals.

Anonymous said...

Eliminate AP and Honor course in Amherst High school? That is a continuation of assault of traditional quality school program that takes years of efforts of both faculties and students to develop.

Last year, when ARMS eliminates the long held, tradition of honor Algebra and Geometry from curriculum, some parents fear that would not be the end of assault to curriculum. Damage will go on to high school.

We hear it now.

Education "equity" is twisted in Amherst. If I cannot understand that topic, you are not allowed to learn it at school. As one commenter put it, the hogwarts school of equality, shows its ugly head. When the "school leader" cannot lift the struggling kids, it just hammer down every other kids so the "achievement gap" appear to be "achieved". In fact the school will follow a minimum standard approach, where every student's achievement is reduced. Below that minimum standard, the state school board will come and take over the school, like some of the Springfield schools.

I can now understand why ETF feels that open meeting law can hamper its secret efforts, when such destruction of quality school program will cause community revolt.

ETF owe community at large a explanation, now. What do they want to do with our schools?

Larry, this can be a topic by itself, since quality education of our school is at risk!

Down this road, I can see more exodus of our students to other schools, more community divide, quality of degradation of school, and eventual school budget cut by disgruntled property tax payers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your uneducated and cowardly and anonymous opinion which lacks any supportive data.

One of the things that occurred to me is that many of the elements cited as strengths in the Finnish school system are some of the elements Amherst's leaders have implemented over the last few years: availability of early childhood education and time for teachers to work together with their colleagues during the school day, for starters.

I'd like to see more "play" time as well.

kurt geryk said...

But we're not going to discuss those things...are we?

Anonymous said...

Kurt seems to buy into that Finland education is all about equity, and play. Excellence is not part of Finland education goal. By "equity" and "play", Finland got high on PISA test.

This is BS. I have contacts at Finland. Public School in Finland nudge their students performance ahead just like our private school does in the US. It is sad that our public education in the US is lagging behind. Especially, in Amherst, the public educaiton is as expensive as a private one, funded by local property tax payer.

It must be day dreams that a student will play through youth years and still score high in standard test.

Another look at the 2012 PISA top performing countries in Math. It is all Asian countries with reputation of encouraging each student to perform at its best.


1 Shanghai, China 613
2 Singapore 573
3 Hong Kong, China 561
4 Taiwan 560
5 South Korea 554
6 Macau, China 538
7 Japan 536

kurt geryk said...

And you, with the "contacts in Finland" who can't sign their name, are...?

You obviously do not get the gist of the articles, no one said there is a direct causal relationship between "play" and "equity" and standardized test scores. Finland DE-EMPHASIZES standardized testing in favor of allowing the TEACHERS to do their jobs and assess their students' achievement. The POINT is after grueling coursework the kids in Finland get 15 minutes of time to socialize and pursue personal play interests, as opposed to the U.S. where "...a national poll of elementary school principals found that up to 40% of U.S. school districts have reduced or eliminated recess in order to free more time for core academics, and one in four elementary schools no longer provides recess to all grades." But that doesn't appear to be working, does it?

And my prediction was correct: you don't want to talk about the effect on kids achievement related to things the schools' leadership has implemented, such as availability of early childhood education and time for teachers to work together with their colleagues during the school day...rather how the Asians are crushing the rest of the world in math. Thanks for the breaking news.

But you must be correct, CAN 2:59 PM, after all, you have contacts in Finland.

Anonymous said...

To be clear. Ms Geryk and the other administrative leaders in our schools DO NOT want to eliminate honors and AP classes. And I hope the SC will not vote that way either. But the current SC is very dysfunctional right now and they are also VERY afraid of Shabazz and Baptiste and their associated minions. So unless the silent majority of parents in Amherst start speaking up I fear the SC could vote to eliminate honors and AP courses. The silent majority parents in Amherst need to start showing up at SC meetings. Right now the only ones showing up are Kathleen Anderson and her gang so those are the only ones the SC is listening to. If you value our schools in the least you'll start making your voices heard. This is a critical year.

kurt geryk said...

"When poverty explains up to half of student achievement (in the U.S.), schools must have measures to better cope with the harmful consequences that disadvantaged family backgrounds have on teaching and learning in many schools."

Anonymous said...

Whether Finland seeks "excellence", whatever that means, who knows. But for sure the quality of life there exceeds ours here in the Republic of Amherst. Just ask your contacts.

Anonymous said...

I knew Kurt wouldn't stay away long. He has to feed that urge to show us all how wrong we are.

Anonymous said...

Just because I'm smarter than the rest of you doesn't mean that I don't enjoy reading silly posts from folks that are too unsure of their opinions and too scared to put their names behind their words.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 3:39

Embrace change. Encourage the SC to drop AP courses. It is in the best interest of the Amherst school system, in the long term anyway.

Our system is completely dysfunctional. This has occurred and festered because the SC is weak. It has been for years. What needs to happen is for massive negative change to occur for a significant revolt to happen. The revolt will clean out the SC and in effect the superintendent.

Dropping AP should be just what we need to start the revolt. So embrace change. It will be good for kids, just not our kids.

Oh, and Kurt, great to have you back buddy.

Anonymous said...

"But we're not going to discuss those things...are we?"

Hey Kurt, let's discuss how the teachers in Amherst hate your wife. Yes I use the word hate. Don't tell them you're your wife's husband and ask them what they think of her and the system.

Anonymous said...

"And my prediction was correct: you don't want to talk about the effect on kids achievement related to things the schools' leadership has implemented, such as availability of early childhood education and time for teachers to work together with their colleagues during the school day...rather how the Asians are crushing the rest of the world in math. Thanks for the breaking news."

It just hit me, you and your wife are the equivalent of the president and Vice President. The president hasn't a clue or a plan, nor an original idea, and the vice president can't keep his mouth shut and stay out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

"Another look at the 2012 PISA top performing countries in Math. It is all Asian countries with reputation of encouraging each student to perform at its best."

Tonight at dinner my son laughed and said that another child got mad at him because while playing soccer my son stole the ball. The other child told my son that one can't steal the ball in soccer, it's against the rules and not fair. He went as far as to say if my son stole it again he was going to tell. Only in Amherst.

You'll never see the US on that list with the bullshit parents are teaching their kids these days.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:39 pm:
Why do you think that the other SC members are afraid of Shabazz & Baptiste & their "minions"? I just don't see that. There are disagreements, definitely, but fear? Not so much.

and our SC does not have that much power.

Anonymous said...

Just the fact that Baptiste was elected chair of the SC is evidence of the fear.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of stupid hillbillies that post on this blog.

kurt geryk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I hope someone got a screenshot of that.

Anonymous said...

Another arrogant post by Kurt that he realized he should remove. Sorry bud, but I know some of your friends and they are embarrassed by your comments.

Anonymous said...

Whew~wake up call. My 'kid' is being raised in a respectful home, with respectful parents/adults all around her. She is modeled behaviors of kindness, good manners, polite ways to greet adults, knows all about yes please, no thank you, and thank you--Says hello or good morning to answer adults who greet her accordingly--but hell people--What about those racist adults who just plain simply hate anybody who doesn't look or act like them? Are you saying they do not exist?

Anonymous said...

Oct. 3, 11 am anon: You've got a really good perspective of the middle school -- and also one of this outrageous presentation. The thought that a 12 year old was in the bathroom throwing up after a 'lecture' is a bit hard to digest. It makes absolute no sense -- and really is not tied to race, but rather good judgment/common sense. Children--any age--middle or high school--should not be crying either after what they've heard in a presentation that really is of one person's opinion rather than a clear and accurate picture of
history. Is he still employed by the town? when will he return--does anyone know--we deserve fair warning--His charisma may be one thing--but how could the superintendent allow him to traumatize students this way?!

Nina Koch said...

"Hey Kurt, let's discuss how the teachers in Amherst hate your wife." That's right -- be anonymous, be mean.

Please don't make sweeping statements about a non-existent monolithic block of people. I am one of "the teachers" and I don't hate Maria.

I disagree with some of her positions, but I also disagreed with some of Jere's and quite a few of Gus's. That just comes with the territory. But even though I disagreed with Gus most of the time, I still enjoy running into him at the grocery store. He's a nice guy.

As an adult, I don't go around hating people. I get mad at them, sure, but I don't hate them. If you think that all teachers in all buildings are walking around "hating" Maria, you are simply misinformed. I imagine your sample size is very small. How many high school teachers did you talk to before you arrived at this conclusion? 1? 2? None? Yet you have just included all of us in your statement.

From day to day, we don't tend to spend much time talking about the central office (good or bad). There are other things that are more immediate to our daily experience. A typical lunch time conversation might focus on some potential change within the building, like going to a new schedule in 2 years, or a new lesson someone is thinking of trying in class, or maybe a story about big data that someone heard on NPR -- that kind of thing.

I have not heard even one person say that he or she "hates" the superintendent. If this sentiment were so widespread, there would be a very low probability that I avoided hearing it.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...
" ARHS Student said...

As someone who actually got to listen to Calvin Terrell speak at ARHS last year and attended a workshop with him just a few days ago, I find some of the views and ideas expressed in this article troubling... "


Thank you for penning that Calvin Terrell"


Thank you for penning that Larry Kelley

Larry Kelley said...

No, actually not.

Unlike you CAN, I put my name on everything I do or say.

ARHS Sophmore said...

As an ARHS student who has heard Calvin's assembly last year and also participated in a workshop with him last week, I have nothing but positive things to report about Mr. Terrel. Although some of the topics and points that he makes involve images or statements that can be difficult to digest, I have been deeply inspired by them. I do agree that parents should know what will happen in the assembly before it happens, but I think that this isn't Mr. Terrell's fault and is more the fault of the administration for not sending a message to parents at the middle school. However, I "survived" Mr. Terrell's assembly and was not scarred or traumatized and I know that many of my fellow students found the assembly to be inspiring, eye-opening and worth listening to. I am deeply disturbed by the comment by Mr Kelley that implied that Mr. Terrell's assembly was a contributing factor in the racism against Ms. Gardner last year at ARHS. That accusation is essentially the same as saying, hypothetically that after President Obama gave a speech about gun rights and regulation, that city experienced gun increased gun violence in the next month, or saying that as the number of fire stations in America rose, so did the number of citizens with heart disease. Stats and facts can be easily manipulated to prove a point and I sincerely hope that Mr. Kelley was not serious in his comment. I believe that Calvin is inspiring and is helping our schools children and our community by coming to our town. Also, there is a common misconception that everything Mr. Terrell says is about racism and how to stop it. That is just the tip of the iceberg of what I heard at the assembly and workshop. Although what he says can be upsetting, it is thought provoking and I know has made people determined to be better people and to be more conscious of about the words we use and the actions we take. I hope that he continues to return year after year to spread his positive message at our schools.

Larry Kelley said...

Don't count on it kid.

Anonymous said...

anyone else ever notice that Kurt G.'s most inappropriate, provocative comments tend to be posted in the middle of the night. maybe he should try going to sleep instead.

Larry Kelley said...

Both here and on my Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Almost 200 comments on this post; quite a milestone.
Your posts about our schools sure get a lot of attention & reaction. It's good you are raising these topics & giving people a forum to talk about them. The district provides only minimal opportunities for public comment on its own: 15 minutes total at the start of a school committee meeting is not much.

Anonymous said...

Kurt goes into attack mode when people criticize Marie because he knows his Golden Goose is cooked.

Anonymous said...

Assuming that only affluent parents can attend these meetings is ridiculous. Many of us have to work but unfortunately, in this economy it is just as likely that a parent has been laid off and lacks the option to go to work. Watch your judgmental assumptions. You don't know and pointing fingers makes it worse.

Larry Kelley said...

Looked to me like a fair amount were dressed for the workplace. Besides that, being a stay at home parent IS a full time "job".

One obviously upset man was there because he "works for a corporation" and Mr. Terrell basically told his child that all corporations are evil.

Anonymous said...

When would you suggest the administration make itself available on a regular basis? I think they do have a right to go home at night, no? Wouldn't it be elitist and leave out singlee parents to have meetings at dinner time? Kids need to eat. 8pm? We need to put our babies to bed. 3pm? We are still at work. Maybe Saturday morning? That's family time! Any time of day may be deemed elitist...except that moment that happens to be convenient for each onew of us, right? Not trying to be horrible, but get my point?

Larry Kelley said...

Well they could always start a blog.

Oh, that's right ... they did. Sort of.

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