Issue #480 September 2014
Our Annual Back-to-School Issue!
Racism at Colerain infuriates
The Far Right’s viselike hegemony over our local school districts continues unchecked, and Colerain
High School outside Cincinnati is the latest locus of this misrule and bigotry.
ack in !"ril, # black students at this "ublic school $ere rounded u" by Colerain To$nshi" "olice,
brutally interrogated for % hours in a $indo$less room, and e&"elled from school. School officials said they $ere
e&"elled because they $ere gang members'though one $as e&"elled because of a dress code violation. Three of
the # $ere eventually allo$ed to return'but barred from "artici"ating in e&tracurricular activities.
(o$ the "arents of the e&"elled students are suing the school district and the "olice in federal court
because the students $ere denied due "rocess because of their race. )hite students $ho $ere gang members $ere
not e&"elled. *f course, the school system denies all of this, but +’ve been around long enough to kno$ not to
automatically believe anything a school
says ,i.e., +’m older than -..
This isn’t the first instance of
racism carried out in recent years by
!merica’s schools or even by schools
locally'and +’m sure +’ve discussed at
least one such story in these "ages before.
/ven without the racial as"ect, this
is a maddening story. The school and "olice
have committed a litany of other civil
liberties violations that fa" under the radar
screen. (obody mentions it because
everyone has been bullied for so long by
the action figures $ho run our schools that
they’re conditioned into "laying dead and
acce"ting it. 0olice a""arently $ent
snoo"ing around on social media to
discover the students’ alleged gang
affiliations. Then they got the school
involved even though the alleged offenses
took "lace a$ay from school. Then the
school e&"elled them $ithout even "roving
they $ere guilty. The la$suit charges the
school and "olice $ith unreasonable search
and sei1ure'and $ith violating free
s"eech, a""arently because of the dress
code e&"ulsion.
There $as a rumor of a shooting
threat on cam"us on the day of the
e&"ulsions, but it a""ears that the e&"elled
students had nothing to do $ith it. !s is
usual behavior by right2$ing educrats far
and $ide, the school misfired. !gain and
again, $e kee" reading about ho$ schools
can’t investigate harassment against
students because it $ould violate the
harassers’ 3rights4 if the school looked at
$hat they’re doing in "lain sight. Schools $ill $ireta" innocent students, but they $on’t even look at $hat real
troublemakers are doing in full vie$ of everyone.
That’s because today’s out2of2control school officials $ere yesterday’s "layground bullies. + often look at
the Facebook "ages of some of the $orst schoolmates + had gro$ing u", and no$ they’re al$ays the assholes
defending authority figures $ho are out of control. ! lot of times, they are the authority figures $ho are out of
control. They’ve al$ays been drunk on "rivilege'and it continues for another generation because nobody ever
set boundaries for them.
*ngoing bigotry is our schools’ rot and ruin.
Mowing Astroturf: te !80 "oston of te 21
(obody here ever said that "eo"le $ho try to mo$ artificial grass are smart. 5aybe you said it, but not
ut it recently ha""ened at a high school in an uns"ecified locale. The landsca"ing cre$ used a la$n
mo$er to try to cut the grass on the football field'even though the field $as com"rised of !stroturf.
This foul'if not funny'act of modern society turned the field into a bald "lain. Hilarious "hotos of the
destroyed field $ere "osted on the +ntertubes.
Ho"e they didn’t mo$ any dog2doo6
Such a conce"tual s$itcheroo is not un"recedented in high school lore. )hen + attended the far2right
isho" rossart High School, my so"homore geometry teacher "urchased a oston brand electric "encil
shar"ener. He brang it to class for students to use. ringing such a "recision device to Brossart of all "laces $as
7ust asking for trouble, because some of the kids there $ere so destructive that they could have ruined all the gold
at Fort 8no&. ut they didn’t. +nstead they ruined a brand ne$ "encil shar"ener'or almost did.
!s you’ll recall, shortly after the "encil shar"ener arrived in the classroom, the teacher had no choice but
to remove it. He lectured the class that somebody had used the electric "encil shar"ener to try to shar"en things
other than "encils. He said that this 3broke4 his 39:; oston.4 Here’s a list of ob7ects that students at rossart
re"ortedly tried to shar"en using the instructor’s "ri1ed electric "encil shar"ener ,in increasing order of
ridiculousness or stu"idity or both.<
• crayons
• chalk
• markers
• "ens
• glue sticks
• batteries
• "a"er
• food ,"ossibly including bubble gum.
• rocks
• condoms
)hy the hell $ould anyone need to shar"en a
battery any$ay= !fter all, this $as before they made
batteries too big to "ro"erly fit in a S"eak > S"ell.
Ho"e they didn’t shar"en any dog2doo6
Mug is gum spelle% bac&war%s
Flashback, flashback, flashback6
+’m high school edumucated. ?ranted, 7ust barely. !fter getting e&"elled from rossart for disagreeing
$ith their Tea 0arty loserocracy, + attended a s"ecial class for 3bad4 kids and had an absolute blast. 5y senior
year didn’t accom"lish that much in the long run, and because + turned @: right before it, + could’ve ski""ed the
$hole year if + had the backbone back then that + have no$'but the year had its u"roarious moments. ,+’m not
encouraging Auitting school'unless you’re in a com"letely, utterly, totally, irre"arably ho"eless situation like +
$as, $hen there’s 7ust no "oint in continuing. +f you are, Auitting is your decision..
There $as one hilarious incident from my senior year + $as thinking about recently that +’ll never forget
unless + drink a huge vat of forget 7uice. *ne morning, a student ,not me. started arguing $ith the teacher about
something. *h $ell. Bust another day. ut the student $as che$ing a huge "ile of bubble gum. +t is unkno$n
$hether or not he bubbled. Historians don’t al$ays kee" track of im"ortant details like that after CD years.
!nyho$, $hen the teacher left the room, the student sauntered u" to the teacher’s desk and eyed her coffee mug.
+t $as full of steaming coffee. The "u"il "rom"tly leaned over the mug and s"it his gum sAuarely into it.
! fe$ minutes later, the teacher returned. The first thing she did $as grab
her coffee mug to take a si". She got the mug all the $ay u" to her li"s $hen she
noticed the "ink morsel of bubble gum floating in it.
3)ho thre$ gum in my mug=64 she declared.
The $hole class burst into laughter.
She couldn’t figure out $ho s"it bubble gum in her coffee mug= There
$as one student che$ing gum before, $ho no$ $asn’t. The gum obviously
$asn’t "laced by some random "erson off the street ti"toeing into the classroom
for a s"lit second.
+ also remember one morning in $hich a "articularly hotheaded student
argued $ith the teacher, got u" out of his desk, $ent over to the teacher’s desk as
the instructor $as sitting at a table across the room, and grabbed the teacher’s
cigarettes out of her desk.
“GET OUT OF MY DESK!!!” the teacher e&claimed at the to" of her
)ithout saying a $ord, the student "rom"tly $alked out of school $ith
the teacher’s cigarettes.
!lso, after losing at a E.S. trivia board game, this same youngster became angry and loitered outside the
"ublic library across the street after school to confront the $inner. )ith that level of bad s"ortsmanshi", he must
have been a Re"ublican6
+t is also kno$n that a student once smoked in the in2school sus"ension room. ! "u"il also urinated all
over the floor in that room.
There $as one day $hen + $as a 7unior or senior $hen a classmate decided a change of eye$ear $as in
order. + noticed one day that he $as $earing glasses'$hich he had never done before. ut his many minutes of
battling $ith glasses didn’t last long6 Fater that day, + noticed that he $as once again $ithout glasses. !
mischievous grin gre$ on his face as he said to me, 3Check this out.4 He o"ened his clenched hand and revealed
the frames of his s"ectacles broken into tiny "ieces'and + mean tiny. /ach "iece $as only about a half2inch long.
Someho$, $hen nobody $as looking, he had "oked the lenses out of his glasses and tore the frames into crumbs...
+t $as another day in the saga of a school that "re"ared us $ell for a career in "overty. +f you really $ant
to go far in life, + kno$ $hat schools not to attend. Ho"e the school system is ha""y for the missed o""ortunities
they created and the hilarity that $ent along $ith it.
Rapist fine% !2'
*ne of the defining features of the C:2year2long hard free1e of rightism is that our rulers'$ho falsely
claimed to be "aragons of morality'recast actions that $ere "reviously considered evil and criminal and began
taking them to be acce"table and even desirable.
Take school harassment, for instance. E" until D;
years ago, $ho $ould have ever thought an !merican
community of G;,;;; $ould normali1e and encourage the
ty"e of bullying violence in our schools and community that
$e later e&"osed= Fooking at it through an ethical lens, it’s
grotesAue. +n any setting that isn’t "lagued by harassment
culture, the "er"etrators $ould be vie$ed as thugs.
!t minimum, a"ologists for their behavior say there’s
no $ay to sto" it so $e might as $ell 7ust acce"t it. The
reality though is that'in harassment culture'this conduct is
o"enly encouraged.
/ven $orse, harassment culture blames the victims.
Hictim2blaming is one of the key characteristics of fascism.
This lack of basic standards of conduct also "romotes ra"e culture. This isn’t an e&aggeration. +t’s real.
y that, + don’t mean something like someone calling their "rinci"al a 3toiletface4 in a ne$sletter and
having it overanaly1ed by academics for the ne&t C; years. +’m talking about the actual violent crime of ra"e'a
crime that seems to be encouraged more and more at some of !merica’s cam"uses. )hile this crime might have
only a small number of "er"etrators, it "robably has many more victims'and all too often seems to be tolerated
by school authorities.
+’m not "re"ared to go into more detail about this story from an academic stand"oint, but + $ill "resent
the facts from a crime fighter’s vie$. Fate last year, a student at the Eniversity of Toledo'a "ublic institution in
*hio'$as ra"ed. !fter she came for$ard and re"orted the incident, the university "roceeded to conduct an
investigation that $as biased in favor of the "er"etrator.
The result $as that the ra"ist $as only fined 9CI. (ot only $as he allo$ed to remain as a student, but he
$as also allo$ed to kee" his 7ob as a student $orker.
+ $as e&"elled from # schools even though + have never ra"ed anyone. Jet the ra"ist at the Eniversity of
Toledo $as never even sus"ended for a day. 0lus, as a result of the Toledo ra"e case being mishandled, the victim
had to transfer to a different school.
+t isn’t only the Eniversity of Toledo. The victim filed a federal Title +K com"laint against the school,
$hich $as "art of a series that also included com"laints by students at the Eniversity of 5ichigan and the
Eniversity of California at Santa arbara against their res"ective schools.
Harassment culture and ra"e culture have something in common< Hictims are being blamed for someone
else’s criminal behavior. )ith harassment culture and ra"e culture looming large, $hat’s ne&t= 5urder culture=
The $ay this is headed, + $onder ho$ long it $ill be before murders regularly "lague cam"uses and school
officials o"t to do nothing about it. ,+t’s not as if schools haven’t covered u" a""arent homicides before..
This is C;@#. Schools need to sto" blaming the victims for the actions of la$breakers $ho don’t kno$
ho$ to live in society.
,+t also doesn’t hel" that a guy $ho re"ortedly committed domestic violence in college and had his crime
covered u" is no$ deemed a serious candidate for governor'thanks to the Tea 0arty media "romoting him every
chance they get..
(i%s bill e%ucation officials for waste% test time
!t long last, some good ne$s in our schools6 !nd believe me, that’s rare, because the @L has long made
it a to" "riority to break you $hen you’re young instead of $aiting until it’s too late.
/arlier this year, education officials decided to randomly single out %
2graders in +"s$ich, 5assachusetts,
for an e&"eriment on standardi1ed testing. The ne$ e&am $as called the 0artnershi" for !ssessment of Readiness
for College and Careers test. The students $ere forced to sAuander CM hours in 5arch and another D hours in 5ay
taking a trial test instead of studying math like they should have been doing.
+t begs asking $hy kids $ho $ere only in %
grade $ere already being tested for college readiness and
"igeonholed into a s"ecific career. 0lus, the test is develo"ed by a for2"rofit com"any. Since the students $ere
being used as machines for someone else to 5ake 5oney, they figured it $as only fair to send federal and state
education officials a bill for the time they $asted taking the test. ! teacher 7oked that the kids should be "aid for
their time, and the students decided this $as actually a good idea.
The students $ould have earned a grand total of 9@,%C: if they had charged minimum $age'enough to
buy CC te&tbooks, almost G,;;; "encils, @-I,;;; "recious sheets of "a"er ,salivating!., or almost D;; sim"le
calculators. So they sent in a bill for that amount.
Fast + heard, they $ere still $aiting for a res"onse.
!n eAually im"ortant "oint is that schools s"ending so much money on standardi1ed testing has forced
them to sacrifice books and other su""lies.
That’s right, the schools’ money is being com"letely $osted.
)our mone#*s no goo% an#more
+t’s hard to take any "arty that su""orts (o Child Feft ehind seriously $hen they intentionally leave
behind some of 8entucky’s best and brightest. +f you’re "oor, odds are that your hard2earned money is no good at
the Eniversity of 8entucky anymore.
Recently it $as revealed that 8entucky’s flagshi" "ublic university $as turning a$ay accom"lished high
school grads because they didn’t have money. Some "ros"ective students $ho $ere turned back had a #.; ?0! in
high school. That’s because the university is moving its resources a$ay from hel"ing lo$2income students and
instead recruiting rich kids from other states. (o$ only #L of the school’s institutional aid goes to students $ho
need financial hel".
Then $here in the big, mean, stinky $orld does the other G%L go= !s it turns out, one2fourth of students
$ho got financial aid from the school had no economic need for it.
+ guess university officials like the rich better, you see.
E8 isn’t the only offender. (ation$ide, many institutions are doing something similar. They blame
decreasing funding from la$makers for 3forcing4 them to recruit out2of2state students $ho "ay higher tuition. +t’s
a shame legislators slashed funding ,it’s the Tea 0arty thing to do., but it’s still no e&cuse.
! lot of our "ublic officials back do$n $hen confronted by $hat they think 3force4 is. For instance, they
think they can’t do anything about the Far Right’s gutting of cam"aign finance la$s'because 3or else.4 elieve
me, if + $as 0resident, the Citi1ens Enited ruling $ould be a "ile of sa$dust by no$.
Non’t blame "eo"le $hen they end u" facing a lifetime of debt to "ay off their college tuition. + think it’s
time for *ccu"y to "ut its student debt strike back in the s"otlight ,even if it means $e get assaulted by Tea 0arty
thugs again like $e did at our student debt march of (ovember C;@@..
St+ ,ouiseein* is St+ ,ouisbelie-in*
Fast month'from !ugust @- to @G'+ $ent on a tri" to St. Fouis for the second time this year. This $as a
family event that had nothing $hatsoever to do $ith items that $ere in the ne$s last month.
5onday $as the most eventful day of the tri", bar none. !t the ?ate$ay !rch, several celebrity look2
alikes $ere seen. First, $e sa$ an /lvis 0resley look2alike. Then, inside the observation area of the !rch, + sa$ a
Falco look2alike chitchatting $ith the ranger. !s $e $ere heading back do$n, a 5oon Oa""a look2alike $as
!fter the !rch, $e all $ent to Enion Station, a train terminal that has been converted into a no$2dying
mall. There, $e ke"t arguing $ith the man at the fudge stand and running around aimlessly. !s $e $ere getting
back in the car, the unmistakable rumble of a hilarious loud2and2"roud bunker blast $as detected.
The mischief rating continued to rise at the baseball game $here the Reds lost to the Cardinals. )e
assisted drunken fans making asses of themselves as they dangled over the railing to try to catch balls before the
game. !lso at the stadium, $e sa$ a 8aty 0erry look2alike $alking u" the aisle bet$een the bleachers.
)hen + got back to our hotel in Ha1el$ood, 5issouri, that night, + needed a snack, but the hotel did not
have a vending machine, and there $as no store any$here near. + discovered this $hile $alking around the
neighborhood at midnight. +t didn’t scare me. (ot one bit.
+f "oo, last month’s tri" "robably $on’t even be the last time + go through St. Fouis in the foreseeable
)ou*-e got a .ran&/ 0a poop#ism1
5y I
grade teacher adored Bohn Nenver. ut it $as nothing com"ared to the "raise for Frank Sinatra that
$as e&hibited by a high school teacher in Riverside, +llinois, back in @GGC.
He idoli1ed Sinatra. He $as utterly obsessed $ith him. !nd he couldn’t understand $hy teenagers in @GGC
$eren’t fans too.
So he decided that any student $ho got detention in his class $ould be sub7ected to a half2hour of
listening to Sinatra’s music. 3The kids 7ust hate it,4 he boasted. Re"ortedly, he even sang along.
!nytime a student’s bad behavior resulted in a detention, the teacher $ould declare, 3Jou’ve got a
Frank64 *ne student managed to amass @C Franks'but the student said he started en7oying Frank Sinatra
eventually. ! Sinatra s"okes$oman $as shocked that most PG;s teens didn’t.
+ ho"e the school’s Frank Sinatra records
$eren’t "irated, like rossart did $ith a 0hil
Collins record.
Co"yright Q C;@#. !ll rights reserved.