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  1. #1
    nexus's Avatar
    nexus is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    Default 13 year old persecuted over essay?

    http://www.blackeconomicdevelopment.com/

    Can educators feel so threatened by the thoughts of a 13 year old unbelievable!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nexus View Post
    http://www.blackeconomicdevelopment.com/

    Can educators feel so threatened by the thoughts of a 13 year old unbelievable!!!
    that is a dang-gone shame...there is also an email address on the school district website
    webmaster@rcsdk12.org <Linda.Dunsmoor@rcsdk12.org>
    Last edited by soapinphilly; 03-13-2012 at 01:43 AM.
    Instigating and waiting for the REVOLUTION to begin!

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    Everybody on this board needs to make some calls.

    Jada Williams, a 13-year old student in Rochester, New York, wrote an essay comparing and contrasting her school experience in 2012 to the educational challenges described in “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass“.
    On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York presented the first Spirit of Freedom award to Jada Williams, a 13-year old city of Rochester student. Miss Williams wrote an essay on her impressions of Frederick Douglass’ first autobiography the Narrative of the Life. This was part of an essay contest, but her essay was never entered. It offended her teachers so much that, after harassment from teachers and school administrators at School #3, Miss Williams was forced to leave the school.

    We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation honored her because her essay actually demonstrates that she understood the autobiography, even though it might seem a bit esoteric to most 13-year olds. In her essay, she quotes part of the scene where Douglass’ slave master catches his wife teaching then slave Frederick to read. During a speech about how he would be useless as a slave if he were able to read, Mr. Auld, the slave master, castigated his wife.

    Miss Williams quoted Douglass quoting Mr. Auld: “If you teach that ****** (speaking of myself) how to read, there will be no keeping him. It will forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master.”
    Miss Williams personalized this to her own situation. She reflected on how the “white teachers” do not have enough control of the classroom to successfully teach the minority students in Rochester. While she herself is more literate than most, due to her own perseverance and diligence, she sees the fact that so many of the other “so-called ‘unteachable’” students aren’t learning to read as a form of modern-day slavery. Their illiteracy holds them back in society.

    Her call to action was then in her summary: “A grand price was paid in order for us to be where we are today; but in my mind we should be a lot further, so again I encourage the white teachers to instruct and I encourage my people to not just be a student, but become a learner.”

    This offended her English teacher so much that the teacher copied the essay for other teachers and for the Principal. After that, Miss Williams’ mother and father started receiving phone calls from numerous teachers, all claiming that their daughter is “angry.” Miss Williams, mostly a straight-A student, started receiving very low grades, and she was kicked out of class for laughing and threatened with in-school suspension.

    There were several meetings with teachers and administrators, but all failed to answer Miss Williams’ mother’s questions. The teachers refused to show her the tests and work that she had supposedly performed so poorly on. Instead, the teachers and administrators branded her a problem.

    Unable to take anymore of the persecution, they pulled her from School #3. Wanting to try another school, they were quickly informed that that school was filled and told to try “this school.” During her first day at this new school, she witnessed four fights, and other students asked her if she was put here because she fights too much.

    Long story short, they took an exceptional student, with the radical idea that kids should learn to read, and put her in a school of throwaway students who are even more unmanageable than the average student in her previous school. To protect their daughter, her parents have had to remove her from school, and her mother has had to quit her job so she can take care of Miss Williams.

    To date, the administrators of School #3 have refused to release her records, even though she no longer attends the school, and they have repeatedly given her mother the run around. We at the Frederick Douglass Foundation have contacted school administrators in regards to this situation and have also been told to hit the pavement.
    That’s what we intend to do. If this school will sacrifice the welfare of an above-average student whose essay, that they asked her to write, they find offensive, we intend to make everyone aware of this monstrous injustice. The school has a job, and it is not doing it.

    We would like as many folks as possible to call the Principal of School #3 and complain about this injustice. Her name is Miss Connie Wehner, and she can be reached at (585) 454-3525. This treatment of Jada Williams cannot stand.
    What say you? Start by making the call!
    Revelation 21:4 - Psalm 51 - Psalm 121 - Ephesians
    (All words typed above are my experience and/or opinion, please feel free to agree or disagree....just please, do so without malice.)
    Loc'ed: 19/NOV/08 - Love ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~NP Convert since 06/08

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    ...so again I encourage the white teachers to instruct and I encourage my people to not just be a student, but become a learner.”
    Where ALL the teachers at the school white? Otherwise, the white teachers could take offense at being called out for no valid reason. Are all the Black teachers doing "their job" more so than the white teachers? Since when is it the white teachers' job to encourage "her [Black] people"?

    I think they are making too big a deal out of the inexperienced words of a child. However, I don't think this is a "simple" racist issue.

    I've never heard of a school or teacher refusing to show a parent a student's work. Also, why did the mother have to quit her job? What was going to be achieved by that? There was no mention of whether the parents took the issue up with the school district officials or even with the state education regulatory body.

    I'm not sure the dispute has been explained to the point where I feel moved to make a phone call.
    Last edited by chachadiva; 03-13-2012 at 01:51 AM.
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

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    Quote Originally Posted by chachadiva View Post
    I've never heard of a school or teacher refusing to show a parent a student's work. Also, why did the mother have to quit her job? What was going to be achieved by that? There was no mention of whether the parents took the issue up with the school district officials or even with the state education regulatory body.
    ^ I'm wondering the same things. How far have the parents taken their complaints? I do hope they [the parents] kept documentation of their complaints to school officials. When the parents met with the school officials, there had to have been some sort of hearing, for the parents to formally express their complaints. If so, what was the result [before the girl withdrew from the school].

    Before I send a complaint against the school district, I want to know more of the story. So many questions.









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    More on the story including the admission made by the Superintendent of not handling the situation properly as well as an apology to the family.

    Huffington Post Link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1321926.html

    Why did they have to wait for their spot to get blown up before making an apology? They should have just handled this with a meeting with her parents and the student to discuss what would make school better...

    Locs 2nd Set: April 3rd 2012 - Yup they're back

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    ^thanks for the link, Cutie.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cutie McPretty View Post
    Why did they have to wait for their spot to get blown up before making an apology? They should have just handled this with a meeting with her parents and the student to discuss what would make school better...
    ^Um...yeah. Could have turned this into a teachable moment, so to speak.









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    IMO the essay is an insult to teachers. While i'm sure there's educators who stifle and/or believe students are "unteachable", the mindset isn't limited to White educators. Secondly, was Miss Williams educated by all the White teachers in her school? What about White teachers who make an impact and actually teach? If I was an administrator of the school, I'd omit her essay too because what are you saying about my school? Is this the representation I want to submit? Miss Williams issues should be discussed at school board meetings and/or with the school chancellor. I'd find it offensive as a teacher who is doing their best with the circumstances presented. As a student, I would be wise enough not to categorize an entire school and/or sect based upon my limited experience. As a parent, I'd educate/advise my child to brace herself for the backlash or reevaluate her essay.

    In any event, the parent has the right to review her child's record and a new school should have the record upon transfer. It isn't necessary for a parent to quit her job for a child w/ sound mind and a self learner. RE: making a call to the principle? No.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutie McPretty View Post
    More on the story including the admission made by the Superintendent of not handling the situation properly as well as an apology to the family.

    Huffington Post Link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1321926.html

    Why did they have to wait for their spot to get blown up before making an apology? They should have just handled this with a meeting with her parents and the student to discuss what would make school better...
    From the earlier article, it says that there were numerous meetings held.

    I'm actually a bit disturbed that they went through all of that for an apology. Folks should never get hung up on someone apologizing, whether right or wrong.
    No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

  10. #10
    JayEnn's Avatar
    JayEnn is offline Active Nappturality Member
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    I am inclined to agree with Fuzziwuz, this child is obviously intelligent to know that this is an extremely contraversial issue that would most certainly get a school's back up. If this was an issue that she/her parents believed needed to be addressed, there are more appropriate ways and means to do it. if after exploring those means you are ignored and/or push aside/ victimised that is when (IMHO) you can unleash such an essay.

    It may very be the absolute truth but somehow I question the forum. Did she/her parents really believe that the essay would be submitted? Did they really believe that there would be no backlash? I have seen teachers react and take stuff out on children over the smallest of comments made by a parent so the inital response by the school does not surprise me in the least. I am glad that the family got the apology that they sought but ... where there is smoke there is definately fire.
    Transitioned for 4 months
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