Left to right then left to right; generic photo of health hazardous water fountains, a pile of discarded textbooks from a secondary school in Manhattan, the student journalists at Flushing High and their snowflake asshole dictator principal.
To be a kid going to school today is quite an adventure. While most will have to deal with fascist peer pressure, sadistic bullies and all their studies centering on obtuse exams provided by CommonCore standards, now they have to deal with those assigned for their health and well-being mucking up their educational process and progress into adulthood and bringing their parents along with an additional thing to worry about to add to the terminal stasis of struggling with the cost of living in the 5 boroughs of NYC.
A few short months after an public/intermediate school in Manhattan was found to have enormous levels of lead in the water coming out of it’s shower pipes exceeding the scandalous contamination in Flint, Michigan, recent reports by the DOE has shown that one out of 20 of the faucets in 80% of the city schools borough wide, including drinking fountains and taps from cafeteria kitchens, have similar and extra dangerous amounts in their plumbing. One particular school in Crown Heights, PS 289 had a water fountain by one classroom that had lead levels of 15 ppb (parts per billion), 1.7 more than the most found in Flint, back in December 2016, which parents of students at the school were only notified of just a few weeks ago. Even the recently installed Pre-K schools across the boroughs have shown lead contamination in their drinking fountains.
The response by officials have been dismissive and encouraging, or dismissively encouraging as a health official quoted that there isn’t much of a risk:
An official with the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene downplayed any dangers posed by the Room 222 fountain.
“These testing results don’t reflect a steady state or result,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the agency’s first deputy commissioner.
“If there was a true risk here, we would have seen it already,” she said.
As is habit under the hand of Mayor De Faustio and his cabinet, this devastating health concern is being handled with a contradictory but reassuring sounding response:
City officials found the high lead levels in 10,633 samples taken from 1,278 public school buildings, representing 8% of 132,276 samples taken.
But the amounts revealed in the long-awaited test results did not indicate potential harm to students, schools Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose said.
“Families should rest assured that water in schools is safe for students and staff to drink,” Rose said. “The number of elevations are minimal and we take immediate action to remediate all fixtures.”
After this bland assurance from Ms. Rose, parents of students are advised to equip their kids with thermoses (more stuff to carry to school), bottles of poland spring or from of the corporate soda companies (more money to spend), or maybe Brita filters of their own. In the meantime, costs to refurbish or replace these tainted pipes and demands by concerned borough
hosts presidents to provide bottle water to those schools affected will probably encroach double digit millions.
As if the risks of drinking tainted water without being informed by those responsible for their welfare during the day is not tense enough, now the kids will have to struggle and literally mine in garbage for books and hide them from demented overseers to be traditionally taught. Because at a high school in Manhattan, the Life Sciences Secondary School, Principal Kim Swanson and Assistant Principal Derek Premo have made the supply-side cost-cutting decision to get rid of all the textbooks, primers and even classic literature to make way for the supposed dominance of technology replacing paper and the fact that they personally don’t like books.
Swanson and Premo, who took the helm of the 616-student joint middle and high school in 2015, sent aides from classroom to classroom in November to collect the books. Workers also emptied book storage closets. Hundreds of tomes were tossed over the Thanksgiving break.
“They made an announcement that they were getting rid of the books because they were antiquated and outdated, and we should be using new technology,” a teacher said. “I hid some of my books to prevent them being taken.”
“We’re not allowed to use books,” said a second staffer, who advised struggling students to “go downstairs, grab a book from the pile, and take them home — because they’re just going to throw them out.”
These people were hired in executive positions to run a facility for teaching and learning. Apparently, in their zeal to waste taxpayer funded money to destroy these books, the school still doesn’t have enough computers to go around and learning and grade averages have regressed.
To complete the city’s DOE malfeasance hat trick of debilitating the youth of today, there is the pervasive spread of obstructing journalism and manufacturing consent by higher echelons. Flushing High School’s Principal Tyee Chin ordered to kill the publication of these aspiring student journalists, the Flushing Advocate, because of what he perceived was negative criticism of the teachers under him and being slighted by not having his tyrannical face on the cover of the issue.
Tyee Chin has refused to publish the third issue of the fledgling Flushing Advocate, calling everything in it and a prior issue “negative and disparaging.”
I will not approve this edition,” Chin declared in an e-mail.
Chin cited a feature that infuriated him: “What Makes a Good Teacher?” which quotes multiple students.
One sophomore commented, “Good teachers help you struggle less and help you get motivated, but to be honest, Flushing High School lacks in those kinds of teachers. Out of my 8 classes, only 3 of my teachers really care.”
Chin was also displeased by the placement of his “Principal’s Corner — a note from Mr. Chin” on Page 4 in the last issue, a student said. “He’s like ‘Give me the front cover’ . . . He got really angry about that.”
The behavior of this vain snowflake official comes hot on the heels of recent events involving Mayor De Faustio’s disturbing efforts to control the narrative in his responses and non-responses to reporters at press conferences and public appearances, and somewhat similar to the corporate news media’s decisions to slant reporting to their target demographic ideologies.
But mostly, this gives the impression that our city schools are trying to condition the kids for the rough times ahead and make them adjusted to squalid conditions, unskilled labor, and shoddy, uninformative reporting. Mostly it’s too disengage them from the desire and the right to be informed.
These are offenses that should warrant punitive actions like fines, suspensions and in the case of all three, the firing of these people responsible for the welfare of toddlers, kids and young adults during the working hours of their parents. Which again leads to the question of the person assigned to this duty…
Why here she is, materializing to decree that all schools, including 80% of those with excessive lead toxicity amounts in the water, those that threw thousands of books into the garbage and the one where journalistic integrity and reporting is controlled by one vain prick, have one bathroom for transgender students.
Every city school must arrange for at least one designated single-stall restroom to protect students with medical issues or gender concerns, the schools chancellor said Tuesday.
The designated bathrooms will provide an additional safe space for the students and will not require special permission or medical proof to be used, according to Chancellor Carmen Fariña and the city Department of Education. All school buildings will have single-stalls installed for students by January 2018, Fariña vowed.
To reach that goal, school officials will team up with custodial staffers and principals at each school to identify an existing single-stall bathroom in their building that can be converted for student use, officials said.
This woman is an idiot. What are really the qualifications for those kids to be permitted to use them. And how does transgender apply to kids anyway? Back in the day, they used to be called tomboys or tomgirls (I think). When I heard this applied to kids, I thought parents were approving sex altering operations for their prepubescent offspring.
And the costs to determine where to install these “safe spaces” and deciding who will use them will be astronomical. There’s also the prospect that this will not stop bullying, for bigoted kids will just wait for them by these new facilities to verbally or physically beat them up instead of in the required bathrooms. Clearly this comes from the orders from the corrupt Mayor De Faustio and the usual inclination of neoliberals to follow the political activist trend of the moment.
This self-satisfying nonsense comes at the expense of suffering students everywhere, at least the ones who yearn to learn and be truly independent. Both progressive and conservative. Instead, this city and the ones that legislate it would rather have the kids dumb as shit and uninformed. That’s a good way to keep the permanent government system thriving by the next generation of voters, whose minds are warped by lead poisoning, to choose stupidly or lazily not show up on election day at all.