Well, there goes THAT suit…
The latest KABOOM occurred when I read this report about Felicia Smith, a Houston 40-something middle school sexual predator masquerading as a teacher, who gave a a male student a lap dance in class, in front of his classmates, for his birthday.
I’m not going to reprint the details here; there are not levels of inappropriate lap dances for pre-teens. The teacher is under arrest; that’s not enough. A school that vets its teachers this negligently is a menace; a profession that allows a practitioner with such wretched judgement and such vile proclivities in its ranks is innately untrustworthy and an ugly sham. And a society that entrusts its vulnerable young to a system so corrupt and inept that this could occur is irresponsible.
One young maniac attacks a school in New Town, and a national movement of fear is launched to remove a Constitutional right. Teachers sexually assault students nearly every day. What are schools doing about it? What are teacher unions and the education profession doing to protect potential victims? Where is the oversight? Does anyone believe that until she turned into a middle school stripper, Smith never demonstrated any suspicious tendencies? She just awoke one morning and decided that this was the day to give a child a lap dance? I don’t. Continue reading
Say thanks to Michael, everybody.
An ethical culture is constructed of millions of acts, small and large, prominent and not, that reinforce the best of human values, priorities and aspirations. The Ethics Heroes among us are those who recognize the opportunities to engage in such acts, and who have the courage, initiative and wisdom to not merely perform them, but to perform them impeccably.
Meet waiter Michael Garcia, Ethics Hero.
Garcia, a waiter at Laurenzo’s in Houston, Texas, was serving a family that has regularly patronized the restaurant since it opened. The family’s five-year-old son Milo has Down syndrome, and was talking and making noises, not being disruptive, but still noticeably different than the usual young patron at the family restaurant. A member of a family at a neighboring table in Garcia’s serving section became annoyed, and began making disparaging comments about Milo. That family farther away from the child, and from that table, still within Garcia’s service responsibilities, said, the offended patron said audibly,
“Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.” Continue reading
Michael Brown---wife-beater, humanitarian.
Michael Brown founded Houston’s Brown Hand Center, which specializes in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. He is now on trial for assault, after being arrested last year for attacking his his wife, twisting her arm behind her back and, among other things, hurling his 2010 Joanne King Herring Humanitarian Award at her.
I have often thought that those who give out humanitarian awards for specific instances of good conduct have an ethical obligation to make sure that recipients conform to the definition of “humanitarian” in their overall conduct. One of the definitions of humanitarian is “ethical.” Official pronouncements that an individual is ethical can be very effective false advertising for the character of someone who is anything but. Mr. Brown illustrates my concerns.
By 2010, when Brown received his award, he had already pleaded no-contest in 2002 to aggravated assault for beating then-pregnant wife, Darlina Brown, with a bed post. Call me a stickler, but I think there should be an automatic “Beating a pregnant woman with bedpost” disqualification provision for humanitarian awards. Then, in 2006, Dr. Brown’s medical license was revoked after he tested positive for cocaine use. So to summarize, at the time he was deemed worthy of the honor of being the 2010 humanitarian of the year, Brown was already an admitted wife-beater and an ex-doctor found unfit for the continued practice of medicine.
What a guy!
How about a rule that if you try to kill someone with your humanitarian award, it is automatically revoked?
It is not directly relevant to Natalie Munroe’s complaints perhaps, but when students today seem less than in awe of those adults who claim to be qualified to guide them to wisdom and success in school, they often have good cause to be wary. Take the example of Stephanie Plato, a sixth grader at Cobb Elementary School in Houston’s Channelview school district.
Stephanie was suspended from school because the red and blonde highlights her mother let her get died into her hair as a 12th birthday present violated the school’s code of conduct.
You read that right.
We are not talking electric orange here, or anything strange and disruptive. Just a few red highlights in her naturally brown hair. But the school dress code bans “inappropriate hair color”…such as red. Don’t ask me why. It doesn’t matter why. It is stupid. Continue reading