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View Diary: NYC Principal Stages Hoax School Shooting on 300 Special Ed Kids (100 comments)

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  •  Its easy to criticize and mock (6+ / 0-)

    inner-city school teachers and administrators. It looks like someone truly fucked up here, for sure. But these people every day do a tough, tough job in a difficult environment for low pay and with limited resources. Theyre human, they make mistakes. My progressive brain is telling me that they deserve to be cut some slack.

    •  doc2, I agree to this bit: (13+ / 0-)
      But these people every day do a tough, tough job in a difficult environment for low pay and with limited resources.
      Yes, humans make mistakes.  However, my progressive brain, along with my parent of a youngster with special needs brain & my retired sp. educator brain is telling me that the actions of that school's admn. speaks volumes regarding judgement & the impact of their action- now & in the future- for the kiddos & staff subjected to this form of abuse & terror.

      Sorry, low resources, funds & tough working environment does not necessitate the use of ill thought out draconian methods, IMHO.  

      As a species & as a nation we should be better than this.

      •  Yes, yes, and yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But they are human, and they did make a mistake, and it was all done with the right intentions (to prepare the kids for an actual emergency). It was ill-conceived, and kinda stupid, I agree. But in the end it was a mistake, and I am of the mind that they be given a break. I'm not joining in with the mob demanding their hides.

        •  Ouch, re mob mentality. Yes to shining a light on (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          what NOT to duplicate; what needs are being unmet & hopefully a huge lesson to any who may need it regarding knee jerk reactions to tragedies that precipitated this kind of "mistake".

          Ya know?

    •  The average salary among the current 1,500 school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      leaders tops $133,000."

      Combined with the less than 8hr day and many vacations that's some serious bread. One percent territory. Guy must be a flake, and no doubt a lot of people know he is, hard to hide that degree of stupidity, yet not only did he have a principals job but he kept it.

      He could be down at Micky D's frying up a great burger of flippen the fryalator.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:58:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NYC public school principals (5+ / 0-)

        are now considered the rich? Sorry, but that is ridiculous. These are dedicated public servants who are doing a job most of us would never do. I think they all deserve our appreciation. And when they fuck up, as someone decidedly did here, I think they deserve a second chance. I'm not joining in with the pitchfork crowd demanding vengeance here.

      •  you have a serious misconception of what (7+ / 0-)

        1% territory is if you think $133K goes very far in NYC.  Seriously.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:25:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I think you have a serious misconception of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          howd, jfromga

          what being rich and entitled is. I laugh every time someone tells me how being rich in NY isn't really rich, tell that to the huge number of poor people in NY. Wonder if they double the poverty rate? No.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:08:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have a serious misconception of poverty? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            miss SPED, FloridaSNMOM

            I made $411 last year, I am well aware of what actual poverty IS, thank you very much.

            I also know that to be comfortable versus actually "filthy rich" is a much bigger gap than you are allowing for at all.

            As someone who just moved from my edge of society poverty into my parents comfortable home - there are a whole lot of things that are different to get used to - and comfortable isn't RICH.  Yes, they could do with less - but they aren't rich by any real means in the rest of the country.

            I didn't like living shitty close to death every day - why should they give up everything they worked for (and my parents WORKED for their modest house and retirement) because you think they or anyone else has too much money in the middle?

            Rich means something else.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:47:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Please remember what that includes (6+ / 0-)

        When an educator's -- or most public servants' -- salary is presented, it includes the value of sick time, vacation time, insurance, pension and so on -- including those parts paid by the employer.

        When I present my salary, I don't include -- don't even think to include -- whatever may be paid by my employer for my health insurance, FICA, the cost of my sick days, vacation days, 401(K) match and so on.

        This leads to artificial inflation of the appearance of the public employee's salary vis a vis a private employee.  A nice little tactic, hm?

        In addition, if you are looking at NYC, you are looking at one of the most expensive places in the entire country to live -- and I suspect that there are limits to where a NYC public teacher can actually live.  I know out here in the sticks of Milwaukee, they have to live in the county.  And I also know that when I looked at what it would cost for me to maintain our very modest standard of living (3 BR, 1 BA ranch or apartment equivalent, etc.) in NYC, I was looking at about 175% of what I was making at the time.  Just to stay even.

        And let's not even get on how many hours a teacher or administrator REALLY works.  The principal at my daughter's middle school was in by 7:30 AM (school started at 9:00), skipped lunches regularly and went back in his office to continue working after the PTO meeting ended at 8:00 or 8:30 PM.  We started bringing food to the meetings to make sure he got something to eat.

        History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

        by stormicats on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:28:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Puleeze! Who has health insurance or sick pay? (0+ / 0-)

          There are people who work in this world. 401K? ha ha ha ha

          As I said above I'm happy anyone makes lots of money, but most people in this country don't. Poor people in NY don't make any more than poor people in east bum fuck.

          When someone is making more than 99% of Americans, they have to realize they can't be a fuck up, if they do they can go find out how everyone else lives.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:13:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Pardon me, your slip is showing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            miss SPED

            I am sorry you don't have a good job.  But that is no reason to vindictively stomp on those who have them as if they are some kind of mythical creature.  You make yourself sound so petty and mean doing that -- as if you hate those members of the 99% who are doing a little better than you, simply because they are.  

            Would it make you feel better to have everyone as physically and spiritually impoverished as you are yourself?  Must we all drown in the mud before you are free to look up at the sky and help us work for something better?

            Do you realize that's exactly the attitude the Republicans have been fostering, nursing, encouraging along for the past 30 years? Hate the poor, because they are beneath you.  Hate the slightly more well-off, because they have what you don't and they don't "deserve" it if you don't have it, too.  And the wealthy?  Honor and admire and worship the wealthy.  They have caught the brass ring -- and they will do their best to convince you that you might be next -- while never releasing it from their hands.

            There are lots of people with health insurance, sick pay, and 401(K)s.  And they are not glitteringly wealthy, they are not the bloody 1% and they do not owe you any saintly infallibility to "pay" for the sin of making a decent wage.

            History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

            by stormicats on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:50:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perks? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Where I work, most teachers make in the forties. Many aren't paid extra for graduate degrees.  We pay for health insurance which for my family has covered nothing (deductibles are high.) We get five sick days a year. No 401ks, but a pension if you teach long enough and it is reduced depending on if you would be receiving social security and how much SS payments are.

              Stormicats has a point - that principal doesn't have to pay for making a decent wage.  I feel she should pay for her cruelty.
              I am sickened by the principal, not because she makes, likely, 100k, but because she is sadistic.

              •  Bingo! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Her pay has nothing to do with it.  If what is reported is accurate, her actions would be equally reprehensible if she made $20,000 -- or $200,000, or $2,000,000.  Wrong is wrong regardless of the pay grade, and neither a high salary nor a low one makes it more or less so.

                History should teach humility and prudence, but America doesn't seem to learn. I've never seen a virgin who loses her innocence so often. -- Gordon Wood

                by stormicats on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:49:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Short days and many vacations? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bkamr, Mentatmark, emidesu, Lujane, miss SPED

        Teachers and school administrators don't stop working just because the students aren't in the building.  They have long hours of work after school and over school vacations, and they do it with limited resources and few thanks. It's unfortunate that so many people have allowed themselves to believe that there's something cushy about teaching and running schools.  These are jobs that require a high level of responsibility and preparation, and also enormous physical stamina, patience, and insight. Few jobs that require a college educations are as demanding, or as misunderstood.

        •  my parents were teachers, I've had tons of freinds (0+ / 0-)

          who are teachers, my best neighbor is a teacher. Spare me the violins. Probably 10% of teachers shouldn't be allowed to handle chalk, 80% do ok, and 10% are outstanding. The degree is mostly credentialism, I've seen places where high school grads teach after one year of prep, kids come out and compete with ours in the world.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:18:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where are those places? (0+ / 0-)

            Even alt-cert programs for teaching credentials require college degrees, afaik.
            Day care centers may call their teachers, 'teachers'. Public schools require, for the most part, 'highly qualified' teachers; No Child Left Behind has been in effect for many years.
            As a special Ed teacher, I find this principal's actions unconscionable.  Do NYC schools still have those rubber rooms, and can administrators be placed in them?

            •  Asia (0+ / 0-)

              China, Laos, and probably many other places. Teaching kids to read and write, giving them the basics with wich to continue learning for a lifetime is as much an art as a science. Though I must say connections within the party have as much to do with advancement there as anything.

              I noticed also in Thailand and Taiwan the proliferation of after school schools taught by day time teachers at greatly increased salaries. Getting hired was extremely competitive and those who couldn't perform were booted.

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

              by ban nock on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:22:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  seems to me the real meat (0+ / 0-)

        in that article isn't the money, but whether or not the trend of the program to put younger, less experienced principals with 'academic' credentials in charge of so much is really going to work.  It sounds like it is early days in a massive experiment, but maybe not so good.   Most people running a private enterprise with a staff of 50-100 and  custodial care for several hundred more would be paid much more than the salaries in the public school system.

        We are always too quick to focus on dollars spent without looking at what we are spending them on and what we are getting for those dollars.

    •  Anon teachers allege a cover-up. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mentatmark, Lujane

      In this diary:

      In fact, multiple sources claim that the UFT rep took the lead in threatening their own members that the principal will suspend anyone who continues to speak to press or reach out to parents.
      There are more specifics on

      Groups: Toolbox and Trolls... to preserve the best & the worst of DailyKos.

      by opendna on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:00:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever. The intention was a good (0+ / 0-)

        one (to drill the students in case of a real emergency), but the execution was idiotic. What kind of standard should these principals be held to? Perfection? Sorry, but these humans are heroes to do what they do and I think each of them is entitled to one big mistake once in a while. Nobody died here.

        •  Except it's the kind of 'drill' that doesn't work. (9+ / 0-)

          You want people to drill for high-stress situations without the stress present. That means that when the stress is affecting their judgment capacity, they already know what to do and the memory of having done it helps them remember what to do.

          The intruder drills my high school did post-Columbine involved nothing more than teachers walking us through what we should do if an event occurred in their classroom - where the safe spots to clump out of sight were. There was no intentional adding of stress beyond the natural 'you are training for an event that could kill you if you get this wrong, and maybe if you get this right' response.

          Doing something that could give everyone involved the same PTSD as being present for a real event? That's more likely to trigger a meltdown in a real dangerous situation that would keep someone from being able to get to safety - and possibly turn them into a danger for anyone trying to help get them to safety. And that would be true of this occurring in any school or workplace.

          Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

          by Cassandra Waites on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:11:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra Waites

            It can be argued that this not only is a cruel and worthless tactic for drills, it is also so criminally negligent that it may make response to a real one more dangerous than it could have been.

            This school has had lockdowns before, real ones, less dramatic and more professional when some possibly disgruntled students who have been removed from the school return without authorization. So it is not out of the question that this hoax may have fatal repercussions in the future when a real lock down occurs.

        •  But the students and the teachers maybe be (10+ / 0-)

          living with flashbacks for the rest of their lives. Seriously.

          And, as pointed out down below, if one of the teachers had been armed, as Wayne Lapierre and the NRA wants, some of the students and or the teachers and or the administrators, could be dead.

          There are some mistakes which are too big to allow the possibility that they might happen again.

          Also, I haven't seen this mentioned here, so I will also point out that the admins didn't contact the police to let them know about the drill either, so when a 911 call went out from a terrified teacher, before the "drill" was called off, police officers did arrive. Someone may have died because those police officers' time wasted.

                              Just my two cents,


          Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

          by Chacounne on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 08:40:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What the heck are you talking about? (6+ / 0-)

      Nobody's "mocking" the teachers!  The teachers - as well as the students - are the VICTIMS here.

      It's the administrators who did something incredibly stupid, insensitive, cruel and sadistic.  They are the ones who should be disciplined for what they did.  And Greer Phillips herself should be summarily fired.  Then prosecuted.  Vigorously.

      The points you're making, while true, have almost nothing to do with the inexcusable lapse in judgment (not to mention basic humanity) that happened here.  Empathy and compassion are wonderful things.  But not at the expense of holding to high standards of legal, moral & ethical conduct.

      I'm in no disagreement with your "progressive brain".  It's your bleeding heart that concerns me...


      Truly knowledge is power. And knowledge of spiritual things is spiritual power.

      by Mystic Michael on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:06:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh come on. (0+ / 0-)

        Since when are lapses in judgment "inexcusable"? If that is the way you feel, that one mistake should result in termination (and prosecution?), what exactly is it that makes you a liberal at all? It was a friggin' mistake man, maybe a dumb one, but a mistake nevertheless. Why make this into some struggle between good and evil? Sorry, but if it were up to me I'd give the benefit of the doubt to the administrators who thought this was a good idea (but were definitely wrong).

        •  This was WAY more than a garden-variety "mistake". (7+ / 0-)

          Yes, some violations and some abuses do actually transcend the "honest mistake, don't do it again" level.  In this particular case, either the principal's judgment was so impaired that she never realized the effect her little stunt would have on other people - highly vulnerable people...OR she was so desensitized to their trauma that she just didn't care.  Either way, she's not fit to continue in her position.

          BTW, being "liberal" doesn't necessarily mean being permissive.  And having a soft heart shouldn't necessarily mean having a soft head too.  Think what you like about that, but I reject the "squishy & spineless" stereotype of progressivism that so many people - even fellow progressives...apparently even you - seem to embrace.  And I resent your attempt to pigeonhole me accordingly.


          Truly knowledge is power. And knowledge of spiritual things is spiritual power.

          by Mystic Michael on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:25:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read the background (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FloridaSNMOM, Cassandra Waites

            This was a pattern of behavior by the principal and her administrators.
            Drills in the cold rain for kids in wheelchairs?
            That is sadistic. IMHO.
            I have been outside for fire drills in the rain with my kids. It is not pretty -and they had a change of clothes.
            This story makes me sick.
            To lockdown within days of a mass murder at a school, as a pretense, is sick.  My school peeps felt from sober to heartbroken that day. I can only imagine how their teachers felt in Harlem when a shooter/intruder was announced on the intercom. And the kids? The people who are charged to keep them safe announce fake killers on campus?
            What kind of human treats other human like this?

        •  You would? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opendna, MRA NY, FloridaSNMOM

          I wouldn't, and if my school district EVER did such a stupid dumbfuck thing as this, I would make sure they were bankrupted by the lawsuits and replaced with people who knew good judgement from obscene.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:18:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I teach in an inner city school (11+ / 0-)

      We had to take hours worth of NIMS courses -- all of it just basic common sense really.

      We reviewed our lock down procedure after Newtown and we had a drill -- all sensibly conducted.

      Being an inner city principal is no excuse for the stunt this douche pulled.  This is just an incompetent person.

      Light is seen through a small hole.

      by houyhnhnm on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:09:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's mistakes and there's mistakes (9+ / 0-)

      This one at least stretches the boundaries of honest error.

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