A Tale of Two Back to School Nights

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Excitement and enthusiasm were in the air as teachers in my new high school in a middle class neighborhood prepared their classrooms by decorating their bulletin boards, displaying student work, and straightening desks. Welcome messages abounded, Remind.com messages were sent, and we opened our doors to meet the parents.
I have done these events for 24 years, four times a year at my former school in South Central L.A. But this year’s Back to School Night left me reflecting, and perhaps shedding a tear.
First, my new parents were fantastic. They were friendly, enthusiastic, and supportive of the new ideas I bring to the school. I knew in them I would have allies to incorporate my findings from my Fulbright exchange in Finland earlier this year. Parent after parent nodded their heads and strongly affirmed that break time was important to students, teachers, and workers in general. They were excited to hear about the summer travel programs I had prepared.
As I looked at their warm and s…

To wand or not to wand?

http://www.trbimg.com/img-57560b23/turbine/la-me-ln-wanding-20160603-snap

Admittedly, the first time I saw this happen it was jarring.

But one time, the administrators found a gun in a student's backpack (at former school.)

Another time, they found a razor the student had been using to mutilate herself. They gave her the help she needed.

Some parents appreciate the random security checks. In a country where mass shootings happen daily, folks want to get offended that we wand?

Methinks we have bigger things to argue about. Like suspensions.

P.S. The charter schools oppose wanding...of course, you already expelled all the potential safety risks and sent them back to us. Bye, Felicia!

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