Once Again, And It’s Not Yet Black History Month! – Reason 453 for Why You May Want To Consider Homeschooling Your Kids

Wow, another one of these assignments, so soon after the Georgia story? (See here: http://cornerstonedad.com/2012/01/10/parents-protest-at-school-over-slave-math-lesson-reason-344-for-why-you-may-want-to-consider-homeschooling-your-kids/)

What’s the workbook for teacher workshops these days, the Willie Lynch letter?

Some have rightly argued how could many African-American’s vote for Barack Obama just because he is of their same people group.

How about because many people are tired of the only thing African-Americans are known for is being a slave!

Maybe 30 years from now the assignment will be, “How did it feel to run for president and have people doubt whether you were even born in America?” Or, “Imagine being President and having other political colleagues disrespect you and the position in ways they have never done to any other before, treating you worse than one who was extremely promiscuous and of your same party?”

Well, at least in the report below, I see my high school’s slave auction doesn’t seem quite as bad now.

For those who may feel this isn’t that bad, perhaps you’re right. Maybe we as a society shouldn’t be so sensitive. Maybe next September 11, we can have some students pretend they are jumping out windows or pretend they are held by terrorists and about to get their head’s chopped off.

Yea, that’ll be cool.

Of course, we could always have our Jewish brothers and sisters pretend to starve, be infected with diseases, or how hot it would feel to be in an oven. I’m sure some kids in the class will be German so they can chip in as oppressors (or say they were just following orders).

Oh, that would be a real teaching moment for the kids.

And before you read the article below, please remember there’s no such thing as “biracial”. There aren’t two races of human beings. That’s a topic for another day.

CornerstoneDad’s, read over those school assignments!

Michigan mom slams son’s assignment on slavery

MELVINDALE, Mich. – Jessica Gibson says she won’t let her 11-year-old son complete a school assignment that she says took a lesson about slavery too far.

Gibson, 27, of Melvindale, Mich., said her sixth-grade son, Taylan, received the social studies assignment from a Strong Middle School teacher last month. But her son hid it from her, later telling her he didn’t want to do it. Gibson found out about it last week.

“He’s never had a master nor will he ever have a master, so why should he have to pretend to have a master?” Gibson said. “That really disturbed me.”

The written portion of the assignment asked students to answer five questions, which included describing what the slave area and the plantation area are like and what the owner and his family are like. It also asked students what kind of activities go on at their plantation, whether they have any friends or family at the plantation and whether anything extraordinary has happened in their lives as a slave.

A video portion of the assignment asked students to talk about the life they described in the journal, according to the assignment Gibson shared with the Free Press on Monday.

The teacher, Michelle Angileri, told the Free Press she wasn’t allowed to make any statement and directed a reporter to talk to the principal. The Free Press was unable to reach the principal or district superintendent Monday.

Taylan had been learning about slavery when he got the assignment. He said it embarrassed him.

“I’m black, and it was a slave assignment,” he said.

His mother, who is biracial, said she doesn’t think anyone should be required to complete the assignment, regardless of race.

“For him to pretend to be something he’s never been or never will be, that’s going too far,” she said.

Teaching slavery is a sensitive topic that has sparked controversy before. This month in Atlanta, teachers used slavery themes to teach math concepts, including questions such as: “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

Last year, teachers in Virginia and Ohio held mock slave auctions in which they had white students auction off black students as part of lessons on the Civil War.

Gibson said she tried talking to school officials about her concerns, but didn’t receive a satisfactory solution and doesn’t want her son to get a zero for not completing the assignment.

“Find a different assignment for them to do,” she said.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-01-17/michigan-assignment-slavery/52610652/1

Parents protest at school over slave math lesson – Reason 344 for Why You May Want To Consider Homeschooling Your Kids

You know, one day I’ll do a podcast or article on some of the racist things done at some of my schools when I was growing up.

The worst by far was the Slave-Trade that my high school put on to raise money by auctioning off athletes.

Oh wait, shout out to the NFL and NBA who still do that…

But you know, I can honestly say I’ve never had to take a test like this.

Beaver Ridge Elementary parents held a protest outside their Norcross school Tuesday after a lesson on Frederick Douglass prompted third-grade teachers to use slave beatings to teach math concepts.

One of the questions on the worksheet. A school spokesperson has said the questions were "poorly written."

Channel 2 Action NewsOne of the questions on the worksheet. A school spokesperson has said the questions were “poorly written.”

Another question on the worksheet. Several parents have complained about the assignment.

Another question on the worksheet. Several parents have complained about the assignment.

School officials said that the questions stemmed from an effort to incorporate history into math lessons.

Channel 2 Action NewsSchool officials said that the questions stemmed from an effort to incorporate history into math lessons.

The protest was held as some parents of third-graders who saw the homework assignment met with the school’s principal.

About 60 parents, community activists and church leaders assembled outside the school. A few carried signs that read: “Shame on them” and “The teachers need to be fired.” Some drivers passing by the demonstration honked to show support.

Parent Christopher Braxton, who complained to the district about the slave math questions, said his son’s class was being led by a substitute teacher for the second day in a row as the investigation into the incident continues.

Braxton said Beaver Ridge Principal Jose DeJesus would not elaborate on the status of the probe or his son’s teacher.

“They apologized for the situation and said they could not speak about it further until they finish the investigation,” Braxton said.

Four of the school’s third-grade classrooms received the assignment, which made references to slaves picking oranges and filling baskets with cotton. It also included the question: “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”

This is the second time in two years race and ethnicity on a homework assignment sparked complaints at Gwinnett Schools. There was a similar incident in Cobb Schools last fall.

Last school year, third-graders at Gwinnett’s Chesney Elementary were given a reading homework packet that included a story titled “What Is an Illegal Alien?” The assignment, which was copied from the Internet by a new teacher, was not reviewed by the school’s subject area department chair before it was distributed. The math sheet created at Beaver Ridge also failed to undergo a content review, officials said. Under district policy, the worksheet should have been reviewed before being handed out to students, but that process was not followed.

In September, Cobb Schools came under fire for a similar incident, an assignment by a teacher at Campbell Middle School. Students were asked to write on the issue of dress codes and read a fictional two-page letter written by a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian woman. The character wrote approvingly of wearing the Islamic veil — and of her fiance’s multiple wives and the law of Sharia.

Gwinnett Schools human resources officials are investigating the Beaver Ridge incident to decide whether punitive action is necessary. District officials said they would work with math teachers to come up with more appropriate questions.

“These particular questions were an attempt at incorporating some of what students had been discussing in social studies with their math activity,” said Sloan Roach, Gwinnett Schools spokeswoman. “One teacher developed the questions, another made the copies and it was used in four classes.”

Ed DuBose, Georgia NAACP president, had a strong view: “The teachers, the staff responsible for allowing this to go forward should be fired.”

DuBose called off a press conference Tuesday and met with Gwinnett superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.

One of the teachers involved in the incident is Hispanic, Braxton said. The district would not release the teachers’ names or races. All involved are being questioned about their role and are still employed with the district, Roach said.

School officials said the questions were not intended to be offensive and that copies of the assignment were being pulled so they wouldn’t be circulated.

Copy and paste the link to check out the video of the story:

http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/parents-protest-at-school-1296640.html

Must See TV (or Web Streaming): Black In Latin America

The series began in April 2011 and our family has been catching up on episodes over the last few weeks. Henry Louis Gates Jr. does a phenomenal job exploring the lives of African descendants in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico and Peru. Every story goes into the history of how Africans arrived in that country and why those descendants are in the economical and cultural condition they are in today.

Does your family need to watch?

Do YOU need to watch?

Ask yourself and your children a few of the following questions and decide:

– What does my family know about the Trans-Atlantic slave trade?

– Was the United States the only country that imported African slaves?

– If not, did the United States import the most African slaves?

– Why is Haiti so poor?

– Why does baseball bring players from the Dominican Republic and not Haiti when they are right next to each other geographically?

– Why does the United States not have a good relationship with Cuba?

– Why do Brazilians speak Portuguese?

– Why does Brazil consider itself free of racism but not the United States?

– If you are considered an African-American in the United States because of your dark skin, what is someone from Mexico considered if they look just like me?

– If they are considered different, why, and how did it get that way?

There is so much more that can be asked as those only scratch the surface!

Ironically, American’s often speak of the necessity of knowing a second language like so many other nations around the world. However, American’s often want to learn a country’s language in a vacuum, without learning about the country’s culture, it’s people or the history.

Then again, American’s tend to have selective amnesia when it comes to its own history, so I’m really not surprised.

Why Do I Homeschool You Ask? Wait, Why Do You Send Your Kids To School?

 

It is time for me to come out of the closet here at CornerstoneDad. My wife and I homeschool our children. There, I said it. I know, I know, you probably have a ton of questions and they are well meaning. However, some of you do not have true questions, but criticisms about a decision we made for our family.

I do not know why. I would never ask you if your kids attend government schools and then go on to ask more questions in a condescending way. But there is so much on this subject that I will write about in the future. So first, I will kick off my “coming out party” with the greatest article that I have found for the critics.

Enjoy!

Source: http://www.secular-homeschooling.com/001/bitter_homeschooler.html

The Bitter Homeschooler’s Wish List

by Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007

1 Please stop asking us if it’s legal. If it is — and it is — it’s insulting to imply that we’re criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?

2 Learn what the words “socialize” and “socialization” mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you’re talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we’ve got a decent grasp of both concepts.

3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.

4 Don’t assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.

5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a “reality” show, the above goes double.

6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You’re probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you’ve ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.

7 We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they’re in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.

9 Stop assuming that if we’re religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.

10 We didn’t go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.

11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn’t have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don’t need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can’t teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there’s a reason I’m so reluctant to send my child to school.

12 If my kid’s only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he’d learn in school, please understand that you’re calling me an idiot. Don’t act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.

13 Stop assuming that because the word “home” is right there in “homeschool,” we never leave the house. We’re the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it’s crowded and icky.

14 Stop assuming that because the word “school” is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we’re into the “school” side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don’t have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.

15 Stop asking, “But what about the Prom?” Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don’t get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I’m one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.

16 Don’t ask my kid if she wouldn’t rather go to school unless you don’t mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn’t rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.

17 Stop saying, “Oh, I could never homeschool!” Even if you think it’s some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you’re horrified. One of these days, I won’t bother disagreeing with you any more.

18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you’re allowed to ask how we’ll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can’t, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn’t possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.

19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child’s teacher as well as her parent. I don’t see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.

20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he’s homeschooled. It’s not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.

21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she’s homeschooled.

22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.

23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.

24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won’t get because they don’t go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.

25 Here’s a thought: If you can’t say something nice about homeschooling, shut up!

 

Great work Deborah, I could not have said it better myself!