Presumably in response to OCR finding of racism, assemblies on race were held at the middle school and the high school recently. Typical of the Paymore/Dolan decisions, they cheaped out and hired an unqualified group that just created more racial tension at the schools and put faculty in the difficult position of having to deal with the aftermath with no training. Instead of hiring someone competent, they hired an improv group that did some skits and then gave a microphone to the kids. There was no competent moderation and many kids spouted ignorance they obviously heard in their homes and community. Basically, they created an atmosphere where the minorities felt targeted and uncomfortable once again. Then the kids were sent back to class and the teachers were supposed to engage them in further discussions. Many teachers understandably felt unqualified to deal with the tension. They were asked to take on a task that even professionals have difficulty with without training. Result: the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen because of poor planning and execution. They just don't care and seem to just be going through the motions in response to OCR. Disgusting.
I was also told by my HS student that there was a lot of tension between black and white students after this assembly. The black students were saying that they don't understand their struggles because the whites were never slaves. So as anyone with half a brain would answer, the white students pointed out that neither were they. So much for their attempt to start a healthy dialogue. I firmly believe Obama set racial relations back 50 years.
These are not the days were there is one black family in town. There is pretty much diversity everywhere. Are there fewer blacked than whites. Of course. They still only make up 14% of the U.S. Population. But they are here. If we just stopped pointing this out, if we stopped trying to force kids to interact, if we stopped pointing out to kids that yes their is a difference, and I think this is done more by people trying to help than not, then they wouldn't even think twice about it. If people stopped playing the race card then things would improve. My own kids have been called racist because they said they don't like someone of color. There are plenty of white jerks that they don't like which no one seemed to mind, but if they ever said they didn't like someone of color, someone because that someone also happened to be a jerk then they were automatically called racist.
Great post. One kid plays the race card; another adult jumps on board to further their own employment dispute and everyone is up in arms because the hyper-liberal OCR is looking into things. What a bunch of crap. The complaints are nonsense and so is the "training." To all you bashers using this because you failed with the nonsensical open meeting law complaints I offer a giant F U.
So judging by your post it's okay with you for a teacher to tell a black kid to go back to the plantation. Or paraphrased - go back to being a slave.
Thanks, "Okay." The previous ugly poster ("well said") sounds like someone very angry that they didn't get their way on the Override. OML? What do the complaints about transparency (all valid as far as most of us can now pretty easily ascertain) have to do with OCR complaints, and why is this suddenly a "liberal" vs whatever-the-hell that person thinks he/she is (sounds like a total bigot!)? Is this just Vuvu coming out of the shadows now that her precious administration has been totally humiliated with a 2 to 1 against the override? Ugly Melrose at its worst. And the administration just keeps behaving with complete ignorance and contempt, further igniting an already very ugly situation.
No it's not okay for a teacher to say that. Teacher should know better and certainly be punished. I'm saying there are so many different "colors" everywhere today kids don't even think twice about it. Let them be. They're not stupid. They will judge people based on actions. But unfortunately if they judge someone of a different race based on actions they are automatically deemed racist nowadays. They see what's going on in the country, Ferguson, Baltimore and like I said they're, most of them, are not stupid. They know these people are acting like animals and they know that there are people fanning the flames, allowing it to happen, instead of quelling it. Kids too are getting fed up with the bullsh*t and its not helping anything.
By the way the second civil rights violation filed by the teacher is nothing but getting even as they were about to be let go and everyone in the system knows it.
No, just someone fed up with this liberal, politically correct nonsense that is infecting our daily lives. If I had a kid at MHS I would refuse to allow them to attend these nonsensical training sessions. Oh, and I voted against the override.
And I guess it's okay with you to have an Arts teacher fired because she refused to separate 3 girls of color in her class from sitting together.
The reason that the "ultra liberal" UNITED STATES OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS" is investigating two and now possibly three complaints against Melrose is because the administration (and the fish rots from the superintendent's office and mayor's office on down) tried to cover it up and then moved the teacher to the high school. Instead of firing Naomi Baline, they allow her to retire after her racist remark made to an 7th grade child. And in the superintendent's infinite wisdom, she chose to fire a teacher that REFUSED to participate in following a racially motivated demand from her supervisor to separate 3 girls in her class who sat together.
The kids in Melrose seem to be a whole lot more sensitive and rational that the administration in this city. Any focus on race relations should be directed to Cyndy Taymore and her need to take race relations courses! NOT THE KIDS!
What you don't seem to understand is the seriousness of these
investigations. We may ultimately lose federal funding! And if that happens, the blame rests squarely with Dolan, Taymore, VanCampen and anyone else that the investigations may find responsible for this awful tragedy.
yada, yada, yada, that sky is falling, yada, yada. This city did the foolish training. This will fade into the background, as it should, just like the nonsensical OML complaints.
The sky has already fallen, bonehead. Now we have to clean up the mess it made.
"afraid" reply that race should be ignored is obviously the response of a white person in the majority. Police don't ignore race, parents do not ignore race, kids do not ignore race, grocery store clerks do not ignore race, and on and on. Race is the first thing you see about a person. Black people in this country are treated very differently than whites. To deny the fact that race has impact on the daily lives of black people is a privilege only whites can or want to make. "Afraid" reply is what makes the schools a hostile environment for black people and other people of color. Exhibit A for display of white privilege is the attitude of "afraid" above. Bad idea for a white person to tell black people what is and isn't racism.
Yeah, and the super's great new hire last year as Fine/Performing arts chair is the one who got to stay in the district instead of being fired for a a racially discriminatory evaluation, just like the 8th (not 7th) grade history teacher was allowed to be promoted to work at MHS to get her last year in and retire with a full pension instead of being fired for cause, as both of these jerks should have been. But then the jerk in charge doesn't have a problem with overt racists apparently, and is quite comfortable keeping them in her employ while victimizing not only those who were directly impacted, but in fact the whole community. All of us are already paying for the atrocious conduct of this chief administrator, and we'll be paying for a very long time when all the lawsuits roll in, as is inevitable. Meanwhile watch as the sour grapes pity party/revenge fantasies over the override continue. One by one some of the top brass will start quietly finding reasons to leave ("personal reasons" no doubt). Let's hope that the super and RD are first in the exodus. They need to take the city solicitor, IT director, CFO, school biz "mgr" (Not), and asst supers with them on the first ride out of town, followed by every blasted one of the principals and most of the dept. chairs. There are lots of candidates out there who would love to come into a district where there is a comprehensive re-boot with reasonable, actually qualified administration, which is what Melrose will need if it has any hope of cleaning up this $hitshow.
"The kids in Melrose seem to be a whole lot more sensitive and rational that the administration in this city. Any focus on race relations should be directed to Cyndy Taymore and her need to take race relations courses! NOT THE KIDS!"
Agree that the admins need the courses but actually, the kids do need to be included because the hostile environment created by the administrators has allowed racism to bleed into many areas of school life. Melrose is virtually all white. There are black and of color families, but not many of them. Admins at the school always incorrectly assume that any black student is from Metco. Melrose is still back in the '50s for many in terms of race relations. The black kids and kids of color face a hostile daily environment. Some of the kids in the assembly were definitely not sensitive to racial undercurrents. In fact, many were yelling and fanning the flames of racism. The fact that those kids saw nothing wrong with what they were saying speaks volumes about the racial ignorance in our town. The kids say this type of stuff all the time in front of the black students. Many have no understanding or sensitivity about race. Most, like their parents, are too concerned with arguing that race is about whites not getting what they need and claiming there is no racism and how when people mention race, it's all reverse racism. It is a sad time for Melrose and for the kids who face this garbage every single day.
Melrose has never previously addressed issues of race. They've been ignored or swept under the rug.
I would have expected OCR to have expertise in making things better. Seems as if OCR is making the schools put on assemblies which are simple knee-jerk reactions to undercurrents of racism. They aren't thought out well. The middle school one in September wasn't focused. The schools didn't know what to do at this last one. Apparently OCR doesn't, either. Melrose can't be the first community struggling with these issues.
What does a community do to take on racism directly to work through it to a better place? What resources are there? Does NAACP have some? How about JDL? Does anyone know?
"Afraid"...get your facts straight before posting. The art teacher who received the directive from the new arts chair to move and separate students of color actually brought the issue to the superintendent BEFORE filing with the OCR. It was only after Taymore didn't find any issue with it and supported the arts chair that the teacher filed with the OCR.
Also, if you think the art teacher was only filing out of retaliation, did you ever wonder WHY the district was not renewing the art teacher otherwise? In the time that the art teacher was at MHS, the amount of students who won awards for their art drastically improved, and she even had a student win 2nd place in the entire country! Also there was a write up on Principal Farrell's web page about how in the art teachers 2nd year at MHS, she was recognized nationally as a teacher of excellence. There was another write up on the web page about how other teachers had asked to present this art teacher's lesson at the National Art Education Conference as an exemplary example. In addition to all of this, she was apparently well liked by students and parents that knew her. I believe she also took a group of students on a trip to Italy during April vacation one year.
Does that sound like a teacher you want administration to get rid of? In my opinion, that's the kind of teacher I would LOVE to be teaching my children and the type of teacher that Melrose needs!
Is this art teacher still there? There is one there now who kids have told me holds up kids art work and humiliates them by showing kids what not to do. I'm sorry but no matter how great an art teacher is not all kids are going to have the artistic ability.
Well it is obvious someone is monitoring these boards because a follow-up email was sent out regarding the assembly and how "productive" it was. The day of the assembly my sophomore and two friends got into the car and immediately said how there was arguments back and forth between the groups and how they are still "crying" about slavery. What am I supposed to say to that when I agree that many of those here now didn't even have slave ancesters and that it should not still be held against whites today, most of whom also didn't have ancesters who owned slaves.
There was also mention of more of these assemblies. I would like to know what exactly went on at this one and how they approached the subject. Done by a company called Urban Improv I assume it was an inner city company. So does that mean it was told from only the blacks point of view? Did they present it in such a way that paints all whites as racist? I have a college freshman who also went through MHS. He was called white boy and cracker, mostly banter between teammates and friends but was also told by a black girl once to get his white eyes off her. Did it bother him? No, but stuff like that happens. It's not a one-sided issue and until someone addresses the fact that non-whites can also be racist then nothing will get better. Like someone previously said, many are getting sick of that narrative. Of the race card being played and it's not doing a **** thing to help.
As far as other cutures it's hard for kids to accept some when the pc police are out in full force and want to change everything about their American culture. The high schoolers today are probably the first group who went through elementary school not being allowed have a Christmas concert and instead had to have holiday concerts and couldn't even sing Christmas songs. Everywhere they here Christmas is bad. The American flag is evil. Does anybody think that trying to brainwash the younger generation like this is working? I think it's actually building resentment towards the other cultures.
OCR has nothing to do with this. There is no resolution agreement yet. This is the superintendent's superficial window dressing to make it look like she and her staff has been doing something about discrimination and harassment. Ironically, it has been almost entirely her, her administrative staff and a select few principals and teachers who have been the violators of civil rights laws. They are the ones who need the training. The kids and their parents have been their victims: Victims of civil rights violations, as well as victims of intimidation and retaliation any time they file complaints with the school administrators. The middle and high school kids in particular are well aware of the hostile environment the school department, school committee and city solicitor's office has created for students and parents who report discrimination or other educator misconduct. They brazenly protect the perpetrators and instead, retaliate against and intimidate the victims and those who report violations to frighten them into backing off. It worked for the last several years or so but it was just a matter of time before victims went outside of our corrupt city government to blow the whistle on this devious policy created to circumvent Federal Civil Rights laws.
Did the schools ever publish the results of the civil rights investigation from April, 2014 which was written about by the Free Press? If they didn't publish it does it fall under freedom of information laws so we can see what they found?
Teacher’s actions under examination
By Jessica Sacco
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at 4:32 PM
Updated Apr 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM
A Title IX investigation is underway at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School (MVMMS) after an allegedly racial incident occurred between a teacher and student this month.
Superintendent Cyndy Taymore and MVMMS Principal Tom Brow declined to comment on the nature of the April 1 issue, which involves a female teacher and male student.
"Whatever exchange occurred — occurred between the teacher and the student — is under investigation," City Solicitor Rob Van Campen told the Free Press. "…What exactly happened between the student and the teacher, that is still being investigated."
Although school and city officials are staying mum on the personnel matter, it hasn’t stopped allegations from spreading like wildfire throughout the community, some of which claim the incident involved racial remarks.
"Whether or not such comments were made in this instance is a matter that is still under investigation," Van Campen said.
Taymore, however, confirmed a Title IX investigation is under way. Title IX refers to a section of civil rights legislation, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Others have said that following the incident, police escorted the teacher from the school.
"Any rumors that a Melrose Public Schools teacher was removed from the building because of this, they are completely false, without any basis," Van Campen said.
The woman in question, who has been an educator in the district for more than 15 years, will continue to teach while officials look into the conflict.
"The teacher involved has a relatively unblemished record with the school district, is a very good teacher, and that based on what I’m hearing in the community, whatever may have transpired, is being completely misconstrued," Van Campen said.
Claims that the teacher was fired are also unfounded, according to officials. Van Campen would not comment on whether the teacher could be dismissed in the future pending the results of the investigations.
He also declined to comment on whether the youth had a history of problematic behavior in the classroom, or whether the student remains under the teacher’s instruction.
Parents in the middle school were not notified of the incident.
"The matter was isolated," Van Campen said. "It was something that the district immediately addressed. There was really no need to notify parents en masse."
To all administrators and anyone else in charge of these assemblies. In the future you had better notify parents before holding these so I can opt my children out of them. I am not subjecting my children to sitting there being told that they have white privilege and that they are probably racist. I am sick of that train of thought. It's not doing anyone any good.
Some smart a** likely would post that you should communicate directly with administration in place of posting on this message board.
In a school system which isn't vindictive, you simply could write to administration and request to opt your child out of any future such assemblies. Better yet, you could register with them your concerns about the way they are conducting the assemblies and this 'blame the students' approach, they would respond maturely and adjust their methods appropriately.
From personal experience I know the Melrose administrators would, instead, place you into their 'uncooperative' category and treat your child with contempt for the rest of their time here in Melrose. I understand exactly why you post here.
As the saying goes, "A fish rots from the head down!"
I went back and looked at my emails and only found the Nov newsletter about an assembly by Urban Improv on Nov 3. Was there another more specific one because that is certainly not enough information. So like I said if they ever plan on doing any more of these in the exit 5 years when both my chores will be gone I and I'm sure many others wish to be notified exactly what they have planned.
What exactly went on during that assembly? People seem upset but I can't tell the specifics.
Thanks for that, Consider. We occasionally need a reminder of the utter idiocy out there trying to pass as rational thought.
That Prof. McIntosh wrote this little piece of absurdity 30 years ago shows how profound an impact it had on society. I especially love how she, having spent 2 whole years of her 80 on this Earth in England, clings to Britishisms like "colour".
I'm hard-pressed to decide who's the bigger buffoon, the writer of this drivel or the one touting it as worthy of attention.
When you're through unpacking your white privilege, maybe you can explain how a study by Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton about the death rates for middle-aged WHITE males rising while every other demographic was falling was rejected for publication by academic journals.
Seriously Consider? Sorry I procreated with a white partner and created white children. If I had known they would be so privileged and make others feel inferior I never would have done it. How shameful of me. They must now be forced to sit and listen about how privileged they are and that they're racist because blacks don't feel there views are represented. It's all our faults we're all racist.
I happen to think there is PLENTY of opportunity for blacks. Sorry if you disagree with me. There are black CEOs, doctors, dentists, police officers, news anchors, newspaper columnistsand maybe you haven't heard but we have a black president. If this were truly a racist country these things would NEVER happen. They have all the opportunities if they work just like everyone else. Problem is those in the inner city, most growing up fatherless, most believing that white people hate them and that white people are the enemy and they don't want them to succeed so why bother trying. But the fact there are examples of many who have worked hard and risen proves the opportunity is there and there are plenty of black organizations there to help.
My point is it's not my fault I was born white nor my kids. We have nothing to be guilty about. But I'm getting fed up with being made to feel priveledged as are many many people.
Being told the only reason we don't like Obama is because he's black. The ridiculousness of it all.
Just how "racist" was this teacher? I heard tonight all she did was separate the black kids so they wouldn't be noisy and disrupt the class. Is this true or complete BS?
Let's be honest, people - it's the Democrats who foster this attitude about white supremacy and go along with these groups who imagine to be suppressed, demeaned, insulted, and deprived of their liberties! All you need to do to counter this attitude is to live overseas for a couple of years and try to make a life in another country to turn yourself around on this type of thinking.
Our immigrant population realize the freedom and opportunities our country has to offer them compared to those countries they came from. But the Democrats even try to poison this pool of people as they begin to assimilate into American life.
Of course these negative attitudes always seem to have the support of a certain political party as they try to gain control of government bureaucracies to perpetuate this nonsense and our current President plays right into their philosophy. With a change in the Presidency in 2017 - we can only hope this situation will change.
There are so many racists posts on this site. If you think that racism is a political construct of the democrats I don't even know how to respond. As I said before about the site administrator, look in the mirror before you get so enraged about the issues at the middle school and high school. At least the administration is trying to foster a dialogue about race in response to the issues there. But here, you are hosting a site where people with racists attitudes are allowed to spew their nonsense without consequence. Until there is some sort of outrage over the posts here, I have no respect for the righteous outrage people have regarding the issues in the schools.
The 18 point list posted by CONSIDER is correct.
Please learn the 150+ years of history you are missing if you disagree.
1863 - today
Read a book, take a class, something. But learn it.
So, the HS assembly broke down because it was recommended that the white students examine their attitudes toward students of different races?
And the white students got irate & made racially hostile statements in response?
If I had a child of color at that event, I would pursue this to the highest levels. It sounds like an attack. By the majority present.
Completely irresponsible for school admin to light this powder keg & from what I can tell not be present in the room. Or if present, allow the situation to reach fever pitch.
Sounds like the school system is really at the starting point when it comes to racial relations. That nasty Cyndy Taymore really does represent some of you parents because that's how the children learned these attitudes. You deserve her.
You don't need to feel guilty about being white but you do need to educate yourself. I see a serious lack of knowledge on this board regarding the history of African Americans in the US. Many of you are missing the basics. Did you not have history in HS? It appears that your HS students haven't either.
The way to improve race relations is not by telling whites to feel privileged or to call them racist every time they pick the white kid over the black in kickball. That does not foster good dialogue. And as we can see by the direction the country is heading, it's not working either.
Any of you with students in either the MS or HS hear from your children about the behavior of black students and what they get away with as compared to the white students. My children tell me about the disruptiveness in class, the disrespect towards teachers they get away with and my kids ask why. Why are they allowed to do this? They tell me how aggravating it is that the teachers allow it. They don't understand and I dont have answers. What am I supposed to say. Well because some of their ancestors were slaves 200 years ago so we should feel bad for them and allow them to act out. Give me a break. Every hear of indentured servants? What was the difference?
MFD.........normally when I read your political posts I just smile or chuckle, but I had to shake my head in amazement at your post above. I'm sorry to have to say, but that's the most inane drivel I've ever seen you spout. Have you ingested so much of the Republican koolaid that you can no longer think (politically speaking) rationally?
Was the evacuation plan/drill held last Friday a last minute decision by administers because they feared some kind at fall out from this assembly? I did not see it mentioned on the calendar in the November newsletter.
"'Well because some of their ancestors were slaves 200 years ago so we should feel bad for them and allow them to act out." Give me a break. Every hear of indentured servants? What was the difference?"
We should feel bad that some of their ancestors were slaves, just as we should feel bad for all the Jews murdered during Nazi rule, or for the Cambodians wiped out by the Khymer Rouge, or for any of the other horrific injustices that have occurred throughout history. Should they be allowed to act out any more than any other race or ethnic group? Of course not. People are afraid of insisting they behave for fear of being called "racist". I've been called "racist" a couple of times by someone playing that card. My response was to get angry and let them know I was just as insulted by being called that as they were to be discriminated against. Their are two kinds of people - good people and a$$holes. Skin color plays no part in that determination.
Actually indentured servants were, in most cases, treated much more badly than most slaves. Slave owners had an economic interest in keeping slaves healthy and productive, whereas indentured servants after seven years, the average length of their liability, provided no long-term economic benefit.
Democrats can't seem to handle the truth MFD.
I want to know are there Jewish people in Europe who use the excuse that they were discriminated against, that Hitler killed hundreds of thousands of them, that they were oppressed so they can lash out and live off the system until kingdom come?
You mean my European ancestors may have been indentured servants (my family is originally from the south) and probably treated poorly because, yes, many did not live beyond their time served, and the woman were harassed by "Masters"? Hell where's the nearest Walmart to loot. I need to start Christmas shopping!
The experience of African Americans in this country does not compare to that of any people other than Native Americans.
I suppose some of you want to devalue the Native American experience too?
African American came here in chains and were brutally forced to work. Husbands, wives, children sold without regard for family ties. Women raped so frequently, a distinctive biracial look became common. The black man considered by our country to be 3/5 of the white man. After slavery ended blacks continued to be brutalized by this country. Sharecropping (similar to your indentured servitude), the Klan, all manner of preventing jobs, education, voting, land ownership, you name it. Jim Crow laws and segregation kept black progress down.
It's convenient to ignore the history of the African American in this country but that didn't mean it didn't happen and that this horrific history doesn't have an affect on people today.
Just look at how some of you are talking today. Here in the supposedly educated northeast.
MFD -- To suggest that racism is a democratic party construct has got to be one of the most ludicrous, stupid and baseless things I've heard from a rethuglican, that includes Trump. Rubio and Huckabee and the rest. In the past I have thought some of your posts made a good point. Now I realize you are a simply a one dimensional irrational old man who is out to denigrate anything related to the democratic party. You lack logic, knowledge of history, discernment and thoughtfulness. The only good news is that you were stupid enough to write your name next to that post. Any whiff of credibility you ever had, if any, is now gone. That post defines you. Shameful.
So it's ok for you (and all dems) to call out republicans as racist? Why? Because we don't want people in the country illegally? Because we're tired of carrying them on our backs? Go take a ride in your Prius and cool off.
Apparently you don't know which party founded the KKK and which party was against ending slavery.