Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sitting On My Porch Part Sixty Four

Tonight is one of the best nights in a sports junkie’s life. It’s NCAA tournament time. Normally I would be watching CBS and letting Greg Gumble switch me to the game that is the most interesting at the time. Now I have to keep turning to all these different channels with no guarantee that anything exciting is going on. It doesn’t matter. I got beer. Everything is done for tomorrow so I’m going to sit here and watch Gonzaga and St. Johns.

There are a lot of things going on in the world. I’ve been watching Japan and hoping they can hold back most of the radiation. I don’t want to say anything misinformed or ignorant that disrespects the plight of the Japanese but I do have two thoughts about the nuclear problem. The first thing is that I don’t know how reactors work but I have to believe there’s a way to back up the back up system to the back up system before you start operating these things around people. I know that was a powerful earthquake with a tsunami to follow but this just seems ridiculous.

The second thing is that everyone who works in those nuclear sites is underpaid. I am sure they are making a lot of money right now and they are still underpaid.

The Justice Department released their report on the New Orleans Police Department. It wasn't good. My favorite quote from the report is this one…

”The patterns of policing in New Orleans are biased against several demographic groups, including black residents, people who don't speak English fluently, gay and transgendered people and women.”

Given the demographics of the city, this quote means that the NOPD is fair and balanced to about 500 people. I don’t have a problem with Chief Serpas personally. I just think he has the same weakness that Chief Riley had before him. There are too many personal allegiances to officers that need to be fired. It doesn’t make either man corrupt. It just makes them products of the culture of the city like the rest of us. Chief Serpas may eventually clean up the force but he’s going to have to be willing to not be invited to a lot of parties and seafood boils. That’s more difficult to deal with in your hometown then most people will admit.

The last thing I want to mention is the story about the 14 year old kid at McDonald City Park Academy who was put in an equipment locker. He called his mom saying he was being locked in a cage. I don’t know this kid or his behavior but there is no reason to lock them behind a cage at school if that’s what happened. I don’t know what the alternative is besides suspending them but being behind anything that looks like a cage conditions them for the wrong thing. You don’t want them to get used to that. In the story it is noted that the mom of the kid quit her job just to be able to get him on track. I don’t know if that means she wanted to be home in the evenings to help him or he was getting in so much trouble that she couldn’t stay at work anyway because she had to leave. I know one thing for sure. When you go to school with the kind of kids that need to be removed and isolated from everybody else there’s no way your teacher is going to be able to focus on educating you. She’s going to spend the entire time trying to get them under control and little time showing you what you need to be successful.

When I was in 7th grade there were a few guys that I thought needed a cage, medication and shock treatment. My poor old 7th grade English teacher spent an hour and a half fighting and dodging things being thrown at him and the other 30 minutes trying to remember what he was supposed to be teaching us. I guess that’s why he just gave up and passed everybody who turned in the ten definitions for homework. When people start talking about low test scores and horrible graduation rates these are the kind of things that lead to that happening.


suspect device said...

"... there’s a way to back up the back up system to the back up system before you start operating these things around people."

There is. They already burned through that. AND the system to back up the system that backs up the system.

Anita said...

I've been loving your posts lately. (I'm not one of those 500 people, btw.)

It bothers me that there's a nuclear plant built on the San Andreas fault and one that's on the Hudson River not that far from New York City. It seems to me we need to be raising some serious tax money and bringing our infrastructure up to speed with our own redundant backups and improving the education all over the whole country. There are two ways to balance the budget. Cutting out everything people need to maintain our common good is not the way to go.

Enjoy the tournament. It's important to enjoy what you can.

E.J. said...

I don't know this kid's deal, but if a kid is so out of control that he needs to be separated from others until he calms and is not a danger to himself or others, then so be it if that cage is the only room in the school free of harmful projectiles and other objects.

Schools are left to deal with severely troubled students because there are NO day therapeutic treatment programs in all of south Louisiana. The nearest one in Mandeville, called Challenges, was closed by the state this fiscal year.

Cousin Pat said...

When people start talking about low test scores and horrible graduation rates these are the kind of things that lead to that happening.

Experiencing this sort of thing during my year of teaching demonstrated the real insiduous nature of institutional racism.

Children that behaved in such ways were removed from the schools I attended growing up. Small town white and middle class black families would not tolerate that sort of behavior being allowed where thier students went to school.

In 5th grade, one student called the teacher a bad name, and we didn't see him again until the 7th grade. That year, he started a fight in a classroom, and we didn't see him again until high school. It didn't matter that his daddy was a lawyer, they took him out of the school and sent him to a program - so he could continue learning and so the non-disruptive students could continue learning.