January 03, 2007
A male student was shot to death at Foss High School in Tacoma this morning.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at January 03, 2007
09:48 AM | Email This
1. This is a cause for great sadness. The loss of any child is a cause for great sadness. Even though the victim was 17, because of the delay of maturity in this culture, 17 year olds may have big bodies, but lesser maturity. Unfortunately, as the public schools decline, events like this will probably occur more often. Parents that have other options will accelerate their exit from public schools. Good teachers near retirement will stick it out long enough to retire and those not close to retirement will probably leave for safer districts. The bureaucracy that is strangling the school institutions will force what is good out of the system.
I can speak as a person of color. The bankrupt moral relativism of the secular progressives has contributed to the cultural morass that is killing Black kids. The First Amendment defense of hip hop for kids has contributed to a demeaning of human life and human values. If one can regulate a kid's driving and have laws that control alcohol and drugs, why not regulate the cultural garbage aimed at kids for profit? The Seattle schools can regulate twinkies and chips but no one can regulate gansta rap? For the personal responsibiity folks out there who say parents need to control the children and children need to be responsible for their actions. That is not what is happening in a lot of schools. Public schools will continue to decline. Precious lives will continue to be lost. It is so sad.
Any bets that the shooter was a legal druggie? By that I mean Ritalin or some other ADHD drug. It would certainly fit the vast majority of other shootings!
Drugging our kids is killing our kids!
I have one simple question to ask - Why should we allow anyone with any "Gang Association"
what so ever anywhere neer school property? Wouldn't a
"gang member" or "know associate of gang members" free
zone make more sense than a "fire-arm free zone" as we
From the News Buffoon article - Valerie Marshall,
whose son attends Foss, said the violence wasn't a
surprise. Gang activity has been on the upswing at the
school, Marshall said.
You and I have tangled before on the issue of race.
1. True gang members should be excluded.
2. The problem is a lot of good kids wear "gansta" clothing because of the predominance of hip hop culture. Many of the kids that one observes in downtown Seattle may look like cretins, but they are good kids with MIA families and few social supports. The current school institutional structure is not going to "mainstream" these kids into society. They need mentors and they may need more discipline than the current secular progressive school agenda will currently allow.
3. The school institutional structure has to change. Just as many of those who post here have the mantra charter schools have failed three times. My mantra will continue to be there needs to be strong neighborhood schools with the flexibility to serve their population of kids.
5. So, if it was a firearm free zone, I'm kind of wondering how the shooter got in???? I agree with WVH on this one. Black kids in our schools are actually feeling the brunt of political correctness in schools and all the kids are being cheated out of an education.
good points VWH--a tragic incident.
laugh at the 'old fashioned' parental and societal discipline/expectations of yore, but they worked fairly well. lots of blame here, esp. parents' involvement and bureaucratic systems. don't forget lawyers & lawsuits that prevent most sensible things.
can't expect teachers alone to do it all. they work with a partially-done & malleable product. but they shuld be empowered to be effective role models too, including disciplinarians if needed. aren't we entrusting them to be quasi-parental in their care during the day?
lawyers and bureaucrats have ruined many worthwhile things. schools included.
I'm a high school student at a Tacoma school - not Foss, although I considered attending there. I haven't been to my school, Stadium, in a while due to illness, but I would gladly go back tomorrow. I don't feel entirely safe there, no, but that is life here.
Tacoma is a city with a gang and youth violence problem. This is the reality of the situation. Finding a parent that says that gang violence is on the "upswing" in a Tacoma school is not a difficult proposition. I do have many friends who go to Foss. It's certainly not the worst Tacoma school, nor the most violent.
My larger point is that I see people blaming "hip-hop culture" here. I disagree. Hip-hop culture is a manifestation of whatever basic emotion that is inherent in adolescence. That may be violence, but simply getting kids to stop listening to rap music and into uniforms isn't going to make someone abandon the decision to take another life.
Any loss of life is tragic, but at the same time, inner-city schools like Tacoma's are always going to be places where students keep their guards up. This is a symptom of a greater disease, but more than anything, this is one boy's failure to cope with life. It is his to pay first, and the system second.
Thank you for your comments. I do blame hip hop culture, however. Let me tell you why:
1. Maturation is a process that includes values
and beliefs. The values of the hip hop culture lead one to demean life and women.
2. There are several studies out regarding the amount of time that young people spend listening to hip hop messages. Those studies indicate that hip hop culture does not have a positive effect particularly if young people don't have strong families and support systems to conteract those messages. The key is the family support and peer system.
3. I can agree with you that some sort of rebellion or pulling away to establish on's identity can be a rite of passage for young people. The question that I put to you is can this rite be accomplished in a manner that has at its core a respect for others and that does not demean women?
All those who can afford, even marginally to send their children to private schools should do so, and especially if it simple means personal sacrifice of extraneous material possessions. The best possible message to send to public schools is to flee from them so that the public school leadership is forced to confront its failure.
This one incident does not indict all public school of course. But with respect to the amount of money spent on the whole, and the overall decline of public school, any self-respecting American who otherwise has high expectations of improvement, growth, profit, product quality, etc. in their private matters should rigorously examine and question the efficacy of public schools.
If large numbers of people refuse to educate their children in the public system, a much greater message will be sent than at the ballot box or in any other manner.
I recently visited a Tacoma school and found that in the lower elementary grades, things worked pretty well, but as children began to approach middle school, the appearance of hip-hop culture was rampant. Even good kids tried to identify with hip-hop culture as a way to fit in with their peers.
Hip-hop is the primary reason to avoid public schools at all costs. Hip-hop culture is negative, violent, vulgar and devoid of basic values that are a part of almost all civil societies. Public school has no choice but to move with the whims of multiculturalism and other failed educational policy as handed down by leftist academics who develop curricula and set the tone for public school leadership. And as such, no one questions the extreme and negative influence of hip-hop and other valueless, hedonistic and demotivating culture.
In private schools, basic standards for decorum, demeanor, academic rigor, parental involvement, discipline can and are set and rigorously enforced. Deviance is not tolerated at any level, and as boundaries are tested by maturing children, they are helpfully limited by clear imposition of positive values. This is the fundamental essence and value add of private school. There is simply nothing to be gained in teaching a child to be tolerant of someone with a failed ideology, and worse to actually accept that ideology as "hip" or equal to other more positive and rational value systems.
Parents, even if it is a stretch, cast your vote against public schools and their failed culture by sending your children to private schools.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply, WVH. In that case, I absolutely agree. On a whole, I think the "hip-hop culture" brings out manifestations of the worst parts of discovering oneself. There are some positive examples, but they certainly do not constitute the driving force of the culture.
My main frustration is that school violence gets the most attention when someone gets killed. This is just an escalation of the problem. It's a tragedy when innocents die, but if someone wants someone else to die or suffer, the battle has already been lost. It's a tragedy that this problem only gets coverage when someone takes it to an extreme. Because, in reality, that's not the prevailing danger of school violence. And until that is recognized by the media and average citizens, I fear that incidents - like this or lesser - will not cease.
People are leaving the public schools. The problem is that the status quo is intent on protecting the status quo. I fear what will happen, unless the insitutional structure changes is that in this state it will cost more to educate fewer kids. Education in this state is a Constitutional mandate. There will be lawsuits to fund that mandate. Everyone knows that the schools will eventually consist of those "left behind." I know the mantra is that charters failed three times, but the best chance at beginning school reform was the charter legislation. Why schools will eventually cost more is that they will have to pay "combat" premium to get teachers.
I am an educator, there are many great teachers that care about kids. I hope that you get well and are able to return to school again. My advice for a successful school experience once you are back is to get involved with clubs and activities.
Another way to remove yourself from the situation is to volunteer at a hospital or find a charity and give them some of your time. When one is giving to others, one is growing in ways that are helpful to self. My best to you.
In response to Benjamin,
Excellent that you are reading blogs and taking the time to look outside of a traditional peer-oriented high school world view. You probably understand or have heard the expression "art imitates life." That is the key to understanding why you should reject hip-hop culture.
Anyone who has a well-formed value system, will reject negative values and take only any limited positive benefit from a failed culture. For example, while you might enjoy the music of a particular rap song, you probably reject any violent or negative lyrics as simply "words in a song, not to be taken seriously." But the problem is that if the state of our art is to provide such violent and negative images as examples of our culture, it is really a reflection of what we have let culture become. Hip-hop is a symptom of a larger cultural failure. But to treat the malaise, we address both the symptoms and the root causes. Rejecting bad culture outright is a necessary step in reclaiming civility in our high schools.
The trouble with most of our public schools is that they are incapable of providing a positive value structure without being condemned as being euro-centric or some other such nonsense that is simply a way of side-stepping what rationally, is a better way to conduct one's life and to acieve one's goals.
Hip-hop, to the uninitiated and immature middle schooler, and especially one devoid of other moral compass points for successful navigation of life, is a massive, looming iceberg that might easily lead a child down a failed path.
Listen to the lyrics, watch the videos, look at what your classmates are absorbing, especially those without a good solid foundation at home, and then see if you don't think that hip-hop might be a significant negative influence. At very minimum, Hip-Hop is a contributing factor and a symptom of a world with lowered standards of what constitutes value.
Too true. One only need to look to NYC to see what combat zones schools have become.
Good to see people fleeing public schools. A family friend has taught in Tacoma for over 30 years. She's taught at many of the different high schools. She says, as a teacher, her most impassioned (and actually unsolicited) advice to us as parents is, don't send your kids to public schools. She teaches math, and she has seen the decline and the repercussions of mathematics in particular, but by far and away, her sentiment comes from her awareness of the decline in cultural values over her tenure as an educator.
To be frank, as in driving, I am really not worried about my own driving, or the values in my own kids, that I can mostly control. What I'm worried about, is the "other guy." At a private school, and, I agree at a charter school, or anything else where there is a modicum of competition and localized authority, there is more than just a hope that the deviance of other children will not be permitted to spread as a cancer and a danger to one's own children. And it's not just hip-hop. I've already curtailed my young daughter's association with other girls whose moms are more worried about gossip, what they wear and other insipid banalities that in no way contribute to the building of a thoughtful, self-motivated and knowledgeable individual.
Culture matters, more than anything else.
In regards to bent on blaming hip-hop.
With no apologies to much of the distasteful MTV hip-hop (descriptions above) and ignoring talented and thoughtful hip-hop by locals such as Blue Scholars, I have to wonder if placing blame on a culture or image is no different than blaming the gun.
- A gun did not kill the teenager
- A bullet did not kill the teenager
- Hip-hop music did not kill the teenager
- Hip-hop culture did not kill the teenager
A person killed a teenager (period).
I do hope a punishment is placed upon the killer that illustrates why a *person* cannot commit such acts in our country.
16. A good question, digitalfoto.
I would argue that the difference lies in what we term "culture." Guns, bullets, and cameras are all tools. They are objects. Culture is something organic, that grows, a complex product of environment and belief. Hip-hop music (whatever that may mean, for the sake of simplicity) both shapes and is shaped by people. It reflects and creates certain behaviors and ideas. (We can also say the same thing about gun culture, camera culture, and so on.)
Thus, the question becomes what culture is produced by certain things? When we look at hip-hop cultures (individually or as a group), what is good, positive, or desirable about them? What kind of people does this culture produce, and what do those people do?
So, if we say 'a person killed another person,' we are oversimplifying towards absurdity as we refuse to discuss the *causes* that would make one person kill another.
I wish there was more support for school uniforms, even in public school. I would bet that many of the behavioral problems that occur in public school now would be curtailed at the very least if kids wore uniforms. I'd be interested if there was a study of similar schools in terms of performance and incidents between ones that wore uniforms and ones that don't.
The hip hop culture is well represented in clothing. It definitely creates division in school. For years, gangs have worn colors to represent their side. Kids are categorized based on what they wear, and it's a distraction from what they are there to do.
As I was reading Benjamin's posts, this comment: "Any loss of life is tragic, but at the same time, inner-city schools like Tacoma's are always going to be places where students keep their guards up. This is a symptom of a greater disease, ..."
made me think. Why don't we have kids shooting each other at any of Western Washington's private schools? When I visit the Christian school where my sister works, I don't see graffiti, girls dressed like hos and kids trying to be (or being) gangstas. All of these kids are subjected to the same stimuli (hip hop, rap, etc.) but something is different. Kids don't seem to have their "guard up" but are happily interactive with other teens and with the adults there. And they are learning.
So the question is why public schools don't want to deliver the same learning experience to the students.
Benjamin, I hope and think that you are going to be OK. Always do what you know is right and don't let others demand you be something you are not. Think for yourself. Look for the truth. Reading the posts here is a good place to be, the people here are smart (I'm the exception) and care what happens in their world.
Palouse - there was a public school that the principal managed - over very strong opposition from the normal groups, with the normal excuses - and the school improved. I thought it was around the Federal Way area. She was allowed to "experiment" with uniforms for a short period and be re-evaluated. Don't remember what the results were of that re-evaluation, but I could take a guess.
All very vague, but the pertinent parts are what I remember, not the detail.
I'm probably one of the last to admit that music influences behavior, but I'm getting on the bandwagon as of late.
My generation (boomers) had the Beatles etc. who wanted to "hold your hand" etc. Never were the women called "ho's and bit@%e$" nor did the Rolling Stones want to "Cap a cashier".
And today, listening to that isn't a factor in any shootings going on today. I've never heard of a Bach, Bethoven or Brahams fan doing this or even a Peter White listener.
In our hallways, we never got away with the language todays schools are saturated with and lucky for us, the principal could introduce our butts to the "Board of education" when we (in hind-sight) deserved it.
Todays teachers have to enforce the school policies their unions lobby so heavily for and yet are the most contradictory laws ever.
For instance...why a youth can smoke a Lucky Strike just out side of school property, yet they can't be searched for possession of illegal substance once the get on campus is beyond me. HOWEVER, if a youth is seen with a GI JOE plastic gun outside of school property, then is rumored to bring it on campus...holy crap the walls come tumbling down. Which is illegal for a youth to have?? Which is enforced to the maximum? But schools have little else to do but worry about your coca-cola intake?
21. Oops, I meant to say "school boards have little else to do...
22. I haven't heard it is a gang banger type incident, but if I had to guess I'd say it probably is.
Every corner of our culture is being twisted into a gang culture, or at least made to "look and sound like" gang culture. Disney channel promotes hip-hop culture. Discovery has Tattoo shows on all the time, MTV is almost 100% gang culture now. So what are kids supposed to do, engage in the "harmless" aspects of this image while somehow not getting drawn into the violent aspects of it? When has a teen-ager ever NOT been drawn to the most gross, basic, crude, and violent activities? It's human nature to do that until you develop a maturity level that helps you grow out of that behavior and become civilized adults. But now, we glorify the behavior so much on TV, radio, print and internet sites, kids NEVER grow out of it. They get guns and steal cars as they get older and bolder because our non-judgemental society shown that we can't look with them and say; "that's not a healthy image". And they feel the power of that image through intimidation. The media have been pushing this culture and this image on kids for 15 years, while at the same time worked non-stop to have any influence of religion and moral responsibility removed from schools. What did we EXPECT?
i'm with Jeff B and WVH (but on most of his parts).
most school & societal reforms that will actually WORK (and--i've experienced them first hand) are not sexy nor expensive. (uniforms, discipline, respect & self-confidence). we do nto need more consultants/bureaucrats to teach us the obvious.
it's mostly elbow-grease work. things we do not want to do today for selfish reasons like watching our favorite TV sitcom. discipline. honor. character. role models. picking good friends. more time with the kids. hard school study with (yes, God forbid, tears & failure sometimes).
how do you temper steel or iron? HEAT & quench in oil or water. watch the steam. some agony. some hand burns. but--a final product that can endure real life & real history & real battles of life.
what say you? shall we have good children & young adults (the oak sapling principle) or limp p.c./diversity deciduous leaves blowing in the wind with no anchored values? (gauntlet tossed)
Stop blaming Hip Hop Culture, had this happened 50 years ago your parents would be blaming it on Elvis swinging his hips on stage and that darn Rock & Roll music.
You should stop blaming the media for promoting hip hop culture, you should blame the companies that make the buck from glamorizing their version of the American Dream (fast cars / women / money). People buy Hip Hop stuff, your stock portfolio goes up, it's capitalism at it's finest. Your happy, the company spends more money to get more people to buy more hip hop stuff, the stock goes up, your happy (until you sell it and pay capital gains tax).
This is just another example of why I removed my children from the Tacoma School District 10 and into Home Schooling & College Prep programs that are offered by many Major Colleges.
I know in the days to follow the Tacoma Mayor "Billy Bumble" and the 8 apostles of the Tacoma City Council, will call for "EMERGENCY FUNDING" for some knee-jerk, blue-ribbon committee to research this matter. The Tacoma School Board will wring their "COLLECTIVE" hands and cry "IF WE ONLY HAD MORE MONEY!"
The rhetoric will fly, the Tacoma Fish Wrapper will put ink to paper, we will read editorials that nauseate, the Race Card will be played...and in a few weeks, all will be forgotten...
Phlash is right. The collective hand-wringing to come will be entertaining, over-the-top, and useless. "How could we have prevented this?" will take on every possible guise except for the reality. What we have in most public high schools is a really crappy, valueless culture that is consistently advocated for by most of our elite academics, artists, moviemakers, etc.
In short, all of the people who are supposed to be our intellectual role models and purveyors of a noble culture to which we should all aspire, have failed us by producing nothing but a relativist, multiculturalist brine, heavy on imagery and emotion and designed to turn everyone into passive victims.
Maybe the citizens of Tacoma will start to stand up and hold their leadership accountable. Doubtful. But without a real leader who stops pandering to the left and starts encouraging an aggressive shift towards a more civil culture, particularly in our high schools, we can expect more senseless activity.
And don't forget, Foss HIgh School is the big IB (International Baccalaureate) school in Tacoma that has all of the politically correct educator types oohing and awing. A lot of good a fancy curriculum has done to inspire some of these kids to do more than affiliate with gangs and/ or resort to violence. All the programs in the world don't do anything to mitigate the defective culture that is still tolerated daily as a completely acceptable behavior for high school students. Just go observe these kids. Listen to how poorly they speak, the words they use, the clothing they wear, their behavior. The state of tolerated daily culture in our public high schools is disgusting.
We must give credit to da things that our schools do good, like putting condoms on bananas, diversity awareness, Gorebot weather forecasting, and abortion rights, yous know da real important things. Remember for good schools just look for the union label.
Benjamin you wanted to know what the difference was between the private christin school and the public school. Well I think it could be summed up as in Private schools the students are taught not only the academic studies, but they are also taught respect of themselves and others. In public schools you tend to see that they are taught very little in the academics and a whole lot of "I am the victim" routines.
If you all want to see another example of a great school district that is ran by the government and very successful all you must do is look at the DOD school system. These are children that on average move around every 3-5 years and yet they still have a much higher literacy and graduation rate than their non-federal public-school counterparts. Part of the success has to do with the school being able to actual set rules that have to be followed and if they are not the student and the parent(military member in most cases) have to face the consequences.
29. "In public schools you tend to see that they are taught very little in the academics and a whole lot of "I am the victim" routines." - Yes you do and there is a purpose behind thid. First inculcate victimhood and you naturally have an oppressor. Class envy comes naturally and low and behold the Democrat Party has the makings of a future crop of loyalists.
I don't remember Elvis calling women Hos. Do you?
My understanding is that although Elvis was a complex and at times troubled man, he treated women with respect. Also, he may have bumped and grinded, the kids are beyond that. A lot of dirty dancing simulates sex. A couple of proms had to be cancelled because of that tendency.
I do blame the companies and corporate types. We are at the same stage that we were and are with ciggerette and liquor sponsorships of sports and the arts. Does one take the money?
That same question that was asked during Watergate - follow the money? Look for who is funding the so-called "freedom of expression" crowd. Adults having total free expression and action is quite different than limiting access for children
Self-destructive cultural indoctrination, parental neglect/absence and expansion of moral relativism all had their place in contributing to this crime, but making a sharp reversal in the crime trend will require some sharp, but subtle, changes in public policy. I propose two:
1. From the age of 12 and up, any intentional misadventure with a firearm that would be a felony for an adult shall be prosecuted as if the child were an adult. The kids know that they can get away with murder until they are 18... take that grace period away. If we need a hard time prison with integral middle-high school for those 12 to 18 to keep them out of the general prison population, so be it. The school uniform will be high visibility orange. Those that complete their sentence and show complete rehabilitation shall have top priority for full governor's pardons.
2. They say we need more parental involvement in the schools. I say we call forth the militia to suppress a violent uprising. That militia should be parents of children in that school. Two on-duty parents per 100 children per day. This would mean once every 50 school days for every parent. They will receive training and refresher training to act as school district security personnel not more than 6 months before their duty day. They will be paid for their training days and duty days at the pay grade of E-1, unless they have a concealed pistol license, in which case they will receive firearm retention training at their own cost and be paid at the rate of E-4 if they bear their weapon during the duty. The public duty will fall under the same protections as other military duty, so there cannot be workplace repercussions. Their actual pay rate will depend on how many years they have performing the duty in Washington state (with credit from any other state that adopts substantially similar programs), taken directly from the DoD pay tables.
Some may think that my proposals are too drastic. I would respond that the situation is already drastic, and the responses to date has been ineffectual, inept and inadequate as proposed without further regard to poor execution. The malarky from those crying out for more gun control laws, or any kind of additional laws, just goes to show how little they care about actually addressing the problem. You need both hands to count the laws broken by the little murderer before he even got to the point of shooting someone... what's another law to someone that may just as well off themselves at the end of their shooting spree?
Put real defense and real deterrence in the schools now! We can work on the cultural and societal ills over the years that will take, but the preventation of felonious violence requires an unmistakable and overwhelming response within ten seconds.
"So, if we say 'a person killed another person,' we are oversimplifying towards absurdity as we refuse to discuss the *causes* that would make one person kill another. Posted by pseudotsuga"
It should be noted that discussion on the cultural, parenting, teaching and personal decision making that factor into events such as this are indeed, very valuable. Some very well written points are just above as an example.
My only suggestion is that we do not over-simplify the other way and blame the murder of a child on culture, music or some other fallout excuse. The point is, someone made the decision to kill someone else and did. No excuse, no one else to blame (in the end) than the perp.
Please place my vote in for a 30 day gallow sentence. No bleeding heart here.
Good decision-making is one of the things we want from a good basic education. A good value system aids in good decision-making. I don't think that anyone is saying there is no personal responsibility when one takes a life. What I am trying to analyze are some of the elements of bad decision-making. The difference between a gun, knife, rock, or other weapon is that they are not a value system, they are inanimate. I group up with weapons, I never thought of using one of the guns which was available to me to kill or harm another person. Hip hop is loaded with plenty of values. The particular genre of hip hop, gansta rap, has among its values:
1. Murder cops
2. Women are hos and should be degraded
3. Racial hatred
4. Drug Culture
5. Settling disputes by violence
Now, if a child is soaked with the above values, should we feign surprise when they take a life?
I am aware that everyone is responsible for their behavior, but wouldn't the behavior be better if the values were? I advocate and will advocate continually the fact that we need charter school districts. Every population of kids is different and what a school needs to do is give kids the values, tools, and education to exist in mainstream society.
This is just another Lefty Feel Good program... a kin to the minimum wage issue...according to the Wall Street Journal less than 2% of all workers in the United States earn Minimum Wages and less than 2% of all gun crimes are committed with guns purchased from Gun Shows.
Maybe it is the same 2%???
Sorry, I hit the wrong button, it's late and I'm mad...
I am going to apologize up front for what I am about to say...
After watching the 11:00 news coverage... if I here, "HE WAS JUST GETTING HIS LIFE TOGETHER" one more time I think I will explode!
The "EX"- Hood who was killed was 17 and a sophomore at Foss H.S.!(Two years behind his class)
The "EX"- Hood who was killed was 17 and had a two and 1/2-year-old child!
The "EX"- Hood who was killed was 17 and had multiple convictions for auto theft!
The "EX"- Hood who was killed was 17 and had multiple convictions for drugs!
The "EX"- Hood who was killed was 17 and well known to the Tacoma Police Dept!.
As Joey Bag of Donuts would probably say: "Dis is the life we choose."
I do not want to see anyone killed... but why was this kid not in jail or some other educational venue. How many decent hard working FOSS kids will be traumatized over this senseless act? How much longer will our children have to put up with this constant crap before anyone with any "BALLS" steps up and separate out these creeps so we can go about educating our kids in safety!
I am sorry if I offended anyone......but sometimes the truth hurts!!!
As always, I enjoyed reading the comments here. I agree that hip hop culture has degenerative elements. I do not mean to dispute that. But I also do not see hip hop as a siren call leading innocent kids to the rocks. To some extent it is, but the fact is many already are there. High school is a time where you decide who you are. There is no excuse as a reasonable human being to choose the lifestyle Doug Chanthabouly chose.
At the same time that I admit that there are many people like this in public schools, I have to adamantly object to the posters here talking about a pervasive culture of violence and disrespect in public schools. The reality is that the vast majority of public school students are decent and law-abiding as any teenager would be, and that staying away from the "gangster" subculture in schools makes things much safer. Very rarely are there entirely innocent victims in school violence. No one deserves to die, but I have had a solid education in public school and feel relatively safe - because I know whom and what to avoid. The point is, we could reinstate uniforms, ban hip-hop music and the like, but that would not rid of the influences that cause people to gravitate toward this lifestyle. And it would do nothing to improve the situations of motivated students, who do not necessarily need more structure, but rather more competence. Or at least that's how I see it.
I think that you have made my point about the need for a charter school district. Every population of kids is different. There should not be a one size fits all school style. For kids who lack strong supportive families and positive peers, they will require more structure and more discipline. Schools are currently governed by the Washington School Manual which is a telephone book size group of regulations. Some schools will need to have longer days, longer school terms, single gender classes, and uniforms. Others may not need these elements as their population of kids is different. The goal of all schools should be to give their population of kids a good basic edcuation.
Because of your family background and support system, you may not need the supports that are necessary for other kids to survive and thrive.
In a much coarser manner than Benjamin, you made my point as well. What the state owes each child is the opportunity to receive a good basic education. Every population of kids is different, there should be the flexibility in the system to use different methods to achieve the goal of basic education. The current institutional structure does not allow for this. Charter schools do. Also, vouchers to get kids out of failing schools do. Unfortunately, the Florida voucher program which was limited to kids in failing schools was ruled unconstitutional. It allowed vouchers to be used in religious schools. Some kids are going to need the values of a parochial school. I know the secularists will scream about that.
Regarding the values issues of your rant. When I was little, people got married and then had kids. Now, they have kids, may get married or not. Or they may have kids and get married and get married and get married and get married. I remember TomKat just got married and Brangelia, well who knows?
The point is to have the flexibiity in the education system to have an option to give all kids a basic education.
The following post is an example of the horrible example set by rappers. We can also debate the cultural impact of TomKat and Brangelina, but they are wealthy attractive, know how to hold forks, and don't do drive-bys.
Rapper Busta Rhymes Arrested in New York
Jan 4, 3:23 AM (ET)
NEW YORK (AP) - Rapper Busta Rhymes was arrested after a man complained that the hip-hop star had beaten him up in a dispute over money, police said.
Rhymes, 34, turned himself in and was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge at a Manhattan police station Wednesday night, police Lt. John Grimpel said. The rapper was to be taken to court Thursday, Grimpel said.
One of Rhymes' lawyers, Scott Leemon, declined to comment.
Representatives of the Manhattan district attorney's office did not immediately return telephone messages left at after-hours numbers.
Grimpel said a man told police that Rhymes had punched and kicked him numerous times in a confrontation outside a lower Manhattan building on Dec. 26. The man, whose name was not released, was treated at a hospital after the incident, Grimpel said.
A message left Wednesday night at the New York office of Rhymes' manager, Violator Management, was not immediately returned.
Rhymes, who was born Trevor Smith, was charged with assault after an Aug. 12 performance at the AmsterJam Music Festival on Randalls Island. He was ticketed in November after police said he was seen talking on his cell phone while driving past a Manhattan police station.
Police have also sought to question Rhymes as a potential witness in the shooting death of his bodyguard Israel Ramirez last February.
Rhymes' hits include "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,""Dangerous" and "Touch It." He has also appeared in films, including 2000's "Shaft" and "Finding Forrester."
Oh, those great hip hop values.
#4 WVH Has this to say "JDH:You and I have tangled before on the issue of race."
To my statement and question -"I have one simple question to ask - Why should we allow anyone with any "Gang Association"what so ever anywhere neer school property? Wouldn't a "gang member" or "know associate of gang members" free zone make more sense than a "fire-arm free zone" as we
Let me now ask you this: What led you to make the leap to race when my statement was concerning gang activity being tollerated? Is it so you could accuse me of being racist? I think it was. Look here buster, I drive past that school daily and I have whitnessed what I recognized as gang or psudo gang goings on there. I have whitnessed this activity on the part of black, white & asian teens in numbers equal to their representation around the school, park and Fred Meyer. It has nothing to do with race, it has to do with behavior period and personally I resent the implication that I view "race" being a contributory factor.
At the time the story broke, I knew NOTHING regarding the race of either the victim or the perp and had made no assumumption other than that this was likely a gang related incident. (From what I have heard last night from people who would know, I am now confident that I was correect in my assumption and the shooting was 100% related to gang activity). It was you that assumed that there was a racial component.
41. We are lucky in "our school district' in that we've had no student murdered. Yet! We have an idiotic sheriff, however, who brushed aside a student who carried a weapon on campus; to sell to another student. No charges filed. When my son was in the 7th grade, he was with students who drove to school, had moustaches. Many pregnant young ladies. He had his watched picked off his wrist. Got thrown up against a locker. I figured that 1) kids who could drive to middle school were too old to be among 7th graders. 2) Pregnant girls...well, I can't express my feelings about that 3) thievery of a watch meant thievery of other things. No chance of the staff helping with discipline. I took him out of school and enrolled him in a private Catholic school next year. Never looked back. That was a long time ago. I often wonder what school would be like for my children if they were just coming up now. They just made it past the threshold of violence.
42. "Maybe the citizens of Tacoma will start to stand up and hold their leadership accountable." - This is not likely. I don't know why it is, but the majority of voters in Tacoma are not interested in cleaning up Tacoma. The reputation Tacoma has is well deserved. As football coach Bill Parcells often said; "you are what your record says you are." Tacoma is what Tacoma's record says it is, a very poorly governed City that manifests all the symptoms of a City that is not at all healthy.
WVH, Criminal acts and poor lifestyle choices are found in any music form or culture, perhaps some more than others.
No one is suggesting you go buy the regurgitated MTV blather your referencing exclusively as Hip-Hop. There are tasteful (and even talented) musicians within the genre. Take these (similar) examples.
I might add that I will listen to Hip-hop per my examples without the feeling or want to rob my neighbors, shoot up 7-11, pimp my (wife) or slap spinning wheels on my Subaru.
Children's actions are responsibilities of parents.
Adults actions are the responsibility of themselves.
It's a matter of degree. Sure there are good kids in every school. And sure most kids will do the right thing. But as a general defective cultural fog descends over our public schools, it enshrouds all students to some degree. Some will take that exposure in stride and based on their own good values learned elsewhere, make good decisions. Others will go to this degree of violence. But everyone is touched by a defective culture in our schools. Even good girls dress a bit more provocatively. Good kids listen to rap and relate to it as their music, even if they don't agree with the degenerative messages in the lyrics, etc.
To dismiss the crappy culture that is the miasma of today's public high schools is to dismiss the real problem.
The best start would be to bring back serious discipline. Students should be expected to work hard, and to face a lot of extra work for stepping out of line. And there should be a lot more punishment and expulsion. That a monster like this kid, who already had a peppered criminal record, was even allowed in the door of the school is testimony to the look-the-other way multiculturalism that has so greatly infected our culture. That we can't even reject an obvious bad apple when we see one, is proof of the failure of our cultural elite and their poor messages.
And to those who blame corporations, you are on the wrong track. Corporations may indeed be somewhat valueless in that they will sell garbage to kids if that's what they want. But that's like blaming drug dealers for kids who use drugs. In the end, the only way to stop the tide is to improve the culture such that people don't head toward such deficient and self destructive behavior in the first place. And the primary mechanism for that is the promotion of positive culture and a good philosophical framework that teaches people to make good choices.
A good framework can come from many places, but the Hollywood left and other Academic elites who have sold us in to our current culture have clearly failed, and should not be given another chance.
Well said JDH...
If one has not lived in Tacoma, you cannot understand. Tacoma has become Mecca for every Meth-Head, Junkie, Crack Ho, Sexual offender and low-life...you get the picture.
Not many people know that Tacoma's Police Dept. is one of the largest "UNACCREDITED" police forces in the U.S. and the Fire Dept. is "UNACCREDITED" too. 80 % of Tacoma's Police and Fire Fighters do not reside in the city of Tacoma. "GREAT place to work but wants to live their."
Taxpayers in Tacoma pay higher per capita taxes for these dysfunctional services then anyone else in Washington, yet our reward for this is higher insurance rates!
Make no mistakes about it, Tacoma is run by the Unions for the Unions and screw the public.
Tacoma should change their City motto to, Higher Taxes, Lower Service, ALWAYS
46. So we shouldn't blame Hip-hop culture? Ok what then? Should we blame social liberalism, moral relativism, political correctness, all of the above? Ok, I'm good with that.
What to do about it... It seems like an 18 year-old young man who would commit such an open, pre-meditated crime would know something about what will happen to him as a result of his actions. But maybe not. Is it possible that schools need to have mandatory classes to point out the obvious? Course material to include general descriptions of crimes, typical punishments, and video of prison life, executions, impact on those left behind by crime? Do we need to SHOW them what happens to criminals? Maybe so. If schools are not allowed to talk about what God wants for us, maybe just putting it in terms of "here's why this behavior is bad, and here's what will happen to you" will scare them enough or at least educate them enough to curb bad behavior.
47. Phlash, you couldn't be more right, but please people don't project our contempt for City Government onto City workers. I have had a lot of dealings with them and when it comes to the rank and file have nothing but praise for the job they do....when it comes to those in City managment positions though, there are too many that just don't have the taxpaying citizen's interest at heart or are flat out incompetent.
" #4 WVH Has this to say "JDH:You and I have tangled before on the issue of race."
To my statement and question -"I have one simple question to ask - Why should we allow anyone with any "Gang Association"what so ever anywhere neer school property? Wouldn't a "gang member" or "know associate of gang members" free zone make more sense than a "fire-arm free zone" as we
Let me now ask you this: What led you to make the leap to race when my statement was concerning gang activity being tollerated? Is it so you could accuse me of being racist? I think it was. Look here buster, I drive past that school daily and I have whitnessed what I recognized as gang or psudo gang goings on there."
1. The last post where I asked you very specific questions was a thread concerning comments on religion made by Professor Mc Kay. You posted a now for something completely different comment about Blacks looking for nannies. I posed some very specific questions on that thread which you never answered.
2. At the time of the murder, I had no idea of the murder victim's race, but I do know that gang clothing has permeated all classes in society. For example, I was on my way to Benoroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony. The symphony has a number of programs for children. On my way there I spotted a young matron with three children in baggy pants, oversize shirts, and hats with the brim in the back. The clothing style has gone mainstream. My point is many dress in hip hop style, even at the symphony. There are good kids that are not members of a gang that dress in hip hop style. P. Diddy, a hip hop artist gone mainstream sells Sean Jean clothing at Macys. Eminem, who is Caucasian, was not born deprived.
3. I never accused you of being a racist, I threatened to accuse you of being an idiot.
4. For long time readers of this blog are familar with the mantra, my mantra has been we need the institutional structure of charter school district. Every population of kids is different and there should be the flexiblity in the system to provide an education for all kids. Some kids, like Benjamin, are probably not going to need as much structure as others.
I suppose if one lives in an environment where all kids have responsible parents, then it is not Bush or Cheney's fault, it is the parents fault. Some parents do not take that responsiblity. Wish it wasn't so, but there we are. I suppose we could deal with throw away kids the same way they do in Brazil. The rogue police and others just shot them like deer. That eliminates the problem. is that what you advocate? If not, we are going to have to give them a good basic edcuation sufficient so that they can enter a vocation or further school choices. It is up to society, do we shot children like Brazil or get real about educating these kids?
50. "On my way there I spotted a young matron with three children in baggy pants, oversize shirts, and hats with the brim in the back" - I have only this to say regarding said "matron" - she is a failure as a parent. And as far as the questions you ask me, in all likelyhood I had other things to do. I never saw them. Can't find them now or I would take a look at the questions and consider responding to them.
WVH: I agree with you, I am in full support of improving education both at home and at school. We should encourage the business sector to increase grants and on-site instruction for different trades.
As to rouge police shooting children, uh, might want to lay off on the caffeine today. I do not even see the connection to anything I stated. I do see a connection between the teenagers interest in gangs and a healthy lack of parenting. It is unfortunate since children have no choice into what kind of family they are dropped into. I am not sure if government programs can make up for the lack of a father or mother.
52. "We should encourage the business sector to increase grants and on-site instruction for different trades." - Wait a minute we are already forking over anywhere from $10,000 to $13,000 annually per student for an education. a) Why should anybody have to suplement this? b) instead of encouraging someone else why don't you fund it if it is important to you? I write checks to the NRA and other organizations that I support to fund educational efforts.
53. Gil talking about gun laws is akin to Castro talking about human rights.
If we all had the "freedom" to leave our guns in cars and have them stolen, would it be a gun problem or a problem with cars not locking up secure enough? Surely it wouldn't be the owners responsibility.
54. How my above posting ended up here is beyond me.
I had opened up the "Gun Show Loophole" comments to post one and voila...
I'll put it where it was meant to be put.
JDH and Digitafotographer:
The question that should be asked is whether money currently spent is effective in providing a basic education as defined in the RCW for all students? The current system is one size fits all mediocrity. There are going to be some people who make it through whatever system there is. Some survived the Gulag. Some kids will need more structure, some kids will need less. Charter schools that have a variety of educational styles offer the best hope.
I don't know if the mother I saw at the symphony is a failure. I do know that a lot of parents of all classes give in to the peer pressure that their children face to "belong." Some feel that clothing is not the battle they pick to fight.
The questions I posed to you as I remember are:
1. I don't care if others are successful, I could care their color or class. I applaud success. Do you care whether the person is a particular color before you applaud their success?
2. I really didn't understand what Black parents looking for nannies had to do with a thread commenting on Floyd Mc Kay's discussion of religious tolerance or intolerance. Can you explain the connection in your mind?
3. I didn't want to assume anything, does the fact that Black people or any person of color is successful enough to require a nanny give you a problem?
I then said, depending upon your answers, I might call you an idiot.
56. This from today's News Bufoon - "Police have maintained that the incident does not appear gang-related, but Chanthabouly associated with gang members and dressed like them, the relative told investigators." I know Tacoma and I had a pretty good idea that there would prove to be gang involvement at some level in this incident. Thank You very much. What is more I know the News Bufoon and this much I promise you...they will slant this story until tney have no other option. They do the City's bidding and right now the word I have is that the City is primarily concerned about "it's image." Which actually means the elected officials are concerned about their image and the News Bufoon being the house organ of Tacoma political insiders will do their bidding.
1) Not in the least.
2) If I remember correctly there was a question of bias in the msm being discussed. The article was from the NYT and was a discussion regarding "nannies of color" preferring not to work for "employers of color." Would you like to make the case that had it been a story about ...let's say people of asian descent prefering not to work for people from a middle eastern backgroung that the NYT would not have reported this very same story withourt bringing racism into the equation? Have at it.
3) Not in the least. The fact that you have made this leap say's a great deal about your prejuduices. I shared the article as an example of the difference way the NYT reports a story. Given the NYT's reputation, the fact that black potential employers have such a poor reputation that they are having a hard time hiring nannies even nannies from their own race, is suspect in my mind and I wouldn't accept it as fact without independant coroboration. Does that give you a problem?
57. I also know that a lot of parents of all classes give in to the peer pressure that their children face to "belong." - that doesn't make it right to do so, doing the right thing isn't allways easy. When I was in school we had a PTA, now we have a PTSA. When I was a kid if I had decided to adopt the lowest filth in society as a roll model there would have been a conversation regarding getting attention and recognition for doing something well and the difference between attention and recognition for doing something weell which takes effort as opposed to doing self destructive things or adopting anti-social behaviors in order to get attention.
58. WVH, I am 100% with you on Charter Schools being the best solution, actually I see them as the only way that American publicly funded education will ever again measure up. That being said, what are the chances ....? Democrats/Education Unions which are essentially one and the same are going to be in charge for quite a while and you can lay that at the feet of Republicans who, like the Catholic Bishops, covered up corruption within the ranks. Don't tell me that the corruption of Cunningham, Delaty etc was not institutional in nature and that it was not well known. I was not born yesterday.
59. One other thing, the TPD does have a "motive" and has had but they are "sitting on it." Whether or not the Buffoon knows what it is yet is debatable, but they have to know that the police do have a motive. I talked to several people who would know and they said that TPD does know what the underlying issue is.
"Not in the least. The fact that you have made this leap say's a great deal about your prejuduices. I shared the article as an example of the difference way the NYT reports a story."
Give me a break, the original thread dealt with religion and you put this story on the thread?
What I said was:
3. I didn't want to assume anything, does the fact that Black people or any person of color is successful enough to require a nanny give you a problem?
I simply asked a question, I didn't leap to any conclusion. However, your lame defense does give me some thoughts. I still say on that thread, the now for something completely different was out of place. I do agree with you that the MSM media does slant stories and omit facts. There is a psychological term called transferance and I don't think I'm the one that is prejudiced in this instance.
Regarding the mother I observed. A lot of people have "back in the day" stories. You are right that parents should hold the line against cultural influences. I think that it is probably more difficult now than it was in years past because do to technology the culture is more pervasive. I wish all parents attempting to parent now the best. She did win one little battle, the kids were with her at the symphony. Sometimes a series of small victories win a war.
61. WVH, there is also something called "compartmentalization." When manifested by a person like Bill Clinton it is clear to se that it is a pathology, however you are fooling yourself if you think that a child whose partents facilitate emulation of destructive roll models will bget much, if any, benefit from sitting in a charter school for six hours per day. It just ain't gonna happen, what charter schools will do is allow childeren whose parents care enough about them to raise them in a consistently responsible manner to not be sitting in a classroom loaded down with bad infleuences and it will aslo allow these same parents to select a school where standards of discipline and conduct are enforced and academic standards are high. There is no magic bullet or fairy dust that is going to "rescue" the childeren of pathetic miscerable failures. Some of the kids who are unfortunate enough to be in these families will break the cycle but damn few of them, and that is unfortunate, but overcoming poor values learned in their family is not a task that any school is consistently capable of suceeding in that it allows parents of all economioc levels to place their child in the school of THEIR choice and if they are responsible that will mean a school that does not tollerate anti-social behavior emulation in any way, shape or form. Hey, within minutes of the shooting the other day I said that it was likely related to the gang activity that is present at Foss, why do you think that that was? Could it be because it is that evident? The obvoius gang activity at Foss is so out in the open a blind man could see it, it absolutely permiates the culture around that area.
1. I direct you to two Black educators who have managed to change the dynamic by tough love kick your sorry little butt dynamics. They are Marva Collins and Joe Clark.
2. The traditional Black family had a lot of tough love. Many successful Blacks grew up in the kind of family I grew up in. There was no time out, you got time to figure out whether you chose death or life. I know that is not PC, but that was what got a lot of kids through. I understand from my Latino and Asian friends that that was also true in their cultures as well. I don't even want to describe the Grandmothers.
3. Many of these kids can be saved with the right circumstances. Investigate Collins and Clark. What neighborhood schools will do is bring out the people who can help mentor these kids. Another thing that needs to happen is, I knew as a kid I didn't have rights, the thought of my parents suing the school for my bad behavior wouldn't have happened.
63. See # 59 above. "Police: lack of respect fueled shooting" - The News Buffoon has a thousand times the resources I have, it is not possible that they could not get the same information I had just by talking to a couple of people. They are nothing but Tacoma political insider's "House Organ." Furthermore why are they still trying to deny the gang connection, what do they think we are a bunch of idiots "lack of respect," is the most common "motive" for a gang related shooting. The City has been sitting on this info whiler trying to figgure out a way to spin the incident as "not gang related" when it was so obvious to everybody that it was. And round and round it goes....
Whether the shooting was gang related or not, what is your point? I think most here as suspicious of info from the MSM. Tough policing helps to control gangs. A good basic education will not eliminate most gang problems, but it does give those willing to take the option a way out. Gang problems are complex. There are indigeous gangs - the Mafia comes to mind, gangs of color and increasingly because of lax immigration, we are getting gangs to take root who are based in Mexico, Latin America, and Asia. My point is that the gang problem is complex and will require many points of attack.
65. Did you notice that the TPD, City government and msm conspired to sit on the motive story until Friday night? That is a common tactic when there is bad news. WVH, I will try to find time to look into the references you give to see if they actually allow the youths they are trying to help to continue emulating and therefore looking up to gang members and the "lifestyle." Until I have had a chance to do that I will reserve judgement, but let's just say I am sceptical.
Your mind is so closed it probably couldn't be pried open by the jaws of life. I think my original assessment was correct. My best to you.
67. WVH, As you are probably of the mind that an alcoholic can quit drinking all together yet continue to hang out in drinking establishments, while maintaining sobriety....there isn't going to be much the two of us will agree on. There are allways giong to escape a bad family situation, but the percentage is small. Of the cases I have seen DOCUMENTED where the percentage goes up the first order of business is ending relationships with destructive influences. I don't deal in annectdotal anomolous behavior as proving much, if anything. From my experience it is primarily a tool of mountebanks which they use to justify money flowing their way.