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View Full Version : Hivemind, I could use your opinion on how to respond to a high school injustice



Perks
03-29-2017, 06:51 PM
Tell me true.

My daughter left at horrible o'clock to go to on a band trip to Disney. The band had done well with donations and equipment replacement over the last few years, so their account was a bit in the black and they decided to subsidize part of this fairly ambitious trip. But still, the cost to students was right around $1000. There were a few school fundraisers that the kids could participate in, but since we're not a giant community, there are only so many people you can hit up for poinsettias and cookie dough and Yankee Candles and chocolate bars.

About two thirds of the class come from families that were able to make this happen. So they are, as we speak, on a trio of buses headed to Florida.

The rest of the band just showed up in class to discover (this is being conveyed to my daughter via text) that the remainders - who could not afford to go, or who chose not to for whatever reason - are assigned a 3 - 5 page research paper on a music topic, requiring cited sources in the footnotes. It is due to be turned in to the asshole band director when he returns and they will receive a letter grade demotion for every day that it is late.

The kids, who were sad enough to be left behind, are now some combination of furious and heartbroken. They want to boycott the assignment and I am -this close- to offering to edit whatever they'd like to draft in response to the band director, and copying in the administration and the school superintendent.

I can't see this any other way than these kids, whose hard work and dedication just yesterday earned all superior ratings - the highest possible - in the statewide music program assessments, are being punished for parental decisions and financial restrictions.

Any advice?


ETA - I did just find out that this is absolutely punitive.

The freshman players did not have the opportunity to go on this trip and the band director exempted them from having to do the assignment. They are being allowed to use their band class time as a study hall for these three days.

cornflake
03-29-2017, 06:58 PM
Wait, confused.

Is the trip a just-for-fun thing? Are they performing? Will they be graded on stuff they're doing at Disney? Are they out of school entirely but the other kids are at school? What do the kids on the trip do for regular school/classwork?

Is there a band class -- like a class period that they're in that this assignment is for? What else would they do in class while 2/3 of the class is gone?

ETA - I went to a very small h.s. that had no band and did a single trip a year, just for upper class members, over spring break, so sort of lost as to the setting, sorry!

AW Admin
03-29-2017, 06:59 PM
Go for it. I'm livid on their behalf.

They're being punished unfairly.

They should be given some kind of alternative reward. Hell, I'll chip in to buy them movie tickets or something, I dunno.

ETA: Obviously the kids have to have class while the rest are away, but this is punitive. They should instead be given an alternative that is educational (as presumably much of the Disney trip is) but also fun, and rewarding.

Plan and rehearse a mini concert? Music listening? Something.

Brightdreamer
03-29-2017, 07:07 PM
That sounds wrong on so many levels...

Heck yes, I'd complain! They're punishing students for not being able to afford a reward! (And whose idea was it to pick such an expensive trip, anyway, one that would put a significant strain on finances and families? Was it a set-up from the start?)

Sheryl Nantus
03-29-2017, 07:12 PM
Boycott and screw the damned music teacher.

This is plain old discrimination against the poor - I know *I* wouldn't have been able to get 1K for such a trip and then to be told that I'm being penalized for it?

Scream to the heavens about how unfair this is - I suspect the music teacher didn't want the kids to do nothing while he was away, but this is blatant punishment against those who couldn't get the money together. I suspect the people further up the ladder have no idea this is going on.

If all else fails, call the local press. They'd LOVE a juicy story like this.

Screw the teacher. He's getting to go play at Disney on the school's expense. To hell with him!

Maggie Maxwell
03-29-2017, 07:14 PM
Jesus, rub salt in the wound why don't they? Pass over a few lemons too. "Too poor or busy to go to Disney with the rest of the group? Do some more homework. Essay's are kinda like Splash Mountain, right?"

Count me in with complaining too. That's not okay. If the Disney portion of the class isn't expected to do an essay during their trip, then the rest of the class shouldn't have to, either.

edutton
03-29-2017, 07:17 PM
The rest of the band just showed up in class to discover (this is being conveyed to my daughter via text) that the remainders - who could not afford to go, or who chose not to for whatever reason - are assigned a 3 - 5 page research paper on a music topic, requiring cited sources in the footnotes. It is due to be turned in to the asshole band director when he returns and they will receive a letter grade demotion for every day that it is late.F 'im! The research paper on its own, MAYBE... although it's still rude. But a letter grade a day? That's bullshit. I'd take it straight to the principal - and beyond if necessary.

Old Hack
03-29-2017, 07:17 PM
That's really unfair. I'm furious on their behalf.

Perhaps for their assignments they could email musicians, conductors, composers, and ask them what they think of this assignment they've been asked to do, and then use those quotes in their citations.

edutton
03-29-2017, 07:20 PM
That's really unfair. I'm furious on their behalf.

Perhaps for their assignments they could email musicians, conductors, composers, and ask them what they think of this assignment they've been asked to do, and then use those quotes in their citations.
+1

Myrealana
03-29-2017, 07:26 PM
I'm a band parent and that is NOT cool.

If they can't play music because the school didn't arrange a substitute who could facilitate that, they could listen to appropriate music, or watch an appropriate movie. Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 are great for music education and completely G rated.

I would 100% support a boycott of this assignment. It's unfair and mean.

Maggie Maxwell
03-29-2017, 07:27 PM
If they can't play music because the school didn't arrange a substitute who could facilitate that, they could listen to appropriate music, or watch an appropriate movie. Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 are great for music education and completely G rated.

Heck, take them on a small field trip to see Beauty and the Beast in theaters. It's Disney, it's music. It's not an assignment.

mrsmig
03-29-2017, 07:35 PM
That's awful. Not being able to go on the trip is bad enough, but to be penalized for that inability (particularly when it's a financial issue) is just unjust.

I'd start with a call to the principal's office to get the school's take on what's going on.

Perks
03-29-2017, 08:14 PM
That sounds wrong on so many levels...

Heck yes, I'd complain! They're punishing students for not being able to afford a reward! (And whose idea was it to pick such an expensive trip, anyway, one that would put a significant strain on finances and families? Was it a set-up from the start?)

I have to admit that I was surprised at the expense of this year's trip. I don't know why they decided to do it this way.

Perks
03-29-2017, 08:16 PM
Wait, confused.

Is the trip a just-for-fun thing? Are they performing? Will they be graded on stuff they're doing at Disney? Are they out of school entirely but the other kids are at school? What do the kids on the trip do for regular school/classwork?

Is there a band class -- like a class period that they're in that this assignment is for? What else would they do in class while 2/3 of the class is gone?

ETA - I went to a very small h.s. that had no band and did a single trip a year, just for upper class members, over spring break, so sort of lost as to the setting, sorry!

They are performing, but they are performing the same music that they prepared for yesterday's stellar competition. So these student who are on the trip did not do extra work in preparation.

And, yes, they take band as a class every day. We are in NC, so the two-thirds who have gone to Florida are missing full class days. The school knew in advance that they would be out for these three days, so they are excused absences.

Perks
03-29-2017, 08:18 PM
I did just find out that this is absolutely punitive.

The freshman players did not have the opportunity to go on this trip and the band director exempted them from having to do the assignment. They are being allowed to use their band class time as a study hall for these three days.

Myrealana
03-29-2017, 08:23 PM
I did just find out that this is absolutely punitive.

The freshman players did not have the opportunity to go on this trip and the band director exempted them from having to do the assignment. They are being allowed to use their band class time as a study hall for these three days.
Very uncool.

Punishing kids because their financial situation or prior obligations keep them from going on a trip outside of school is unacceptable.

Maggie Maxwell
03-29-2017, 08:27 PM
Absolutely. Not. Okay. I'd be getting parents together for a trip to the principal's office.

cornflake
03-29-2017, 08:34 PM
I did just find out that this is absolutely punitive.

The freshman players did not have the opportunity to go on this trip and the band director exempted them from having to do the assignment. They are being allowed to use their band class time as a study hall for these three days.

Oh, that is fucked up. The kids on the trip get excused absences from all classes, don't have to do extra work for this class and the kids left behind who couldn't go for financial reasons -- or who didn't want to (I wouldn't have wanted to go on a bus ride to Fla. even in h.s., heh) -- have to do a graded extra thing?

Fuck that and the horse it rode in on.

Support the kids in protesting to the principal or whomever, because hell to the no.

kuwisdelu
03-29-2017, 08:35 PM
Ugh. That is so so wrong.

Please do everything you feel comfortable doing.

KateSmash
03-29-2017, 08:36 PM
Don't wait until the bulk of the class is back. Start coordinating with other parents and the unjustly-punished students now and bring it straight to the principal. Not in writing, in person and as a group. A unified front face-to-face is a lot harder to brush off than a letter. This guy probably gets away with a lot that he shouldn't because the band performs well. So go around him.

Marissa D
03-29-2017, 08:51 PM
Oh, definitely get a group of like-minded parents together to pay a call on the principal. And maybe bring along a writer from the town paper with you.

shakeysix
03-29-2017, 08:58 PM
Well, as long as you are bitching to the school, and I hope you are doing it in person, get in a dig for me. The idea of assigning a research paper as a punitive assignment has me, and I'll bet any other English teacher, frothing at the mouth! WT BLOODY F? How is any English teacher going to get kids ready for college writing if every imbecile with a baton and a scrap of tinsel on his hat, decides that a research paper is a handy punishment?

I realize that band teachers are a different breed--remember that band teacher in Funky Winkerbean who never takes off his uniform? He's swear to god drawn from real life.-- This clown, though, is ruining not one but two subjects for those students. Research should be a joy--something to bring to class discussions, something to be shared with the teacher--not a tedious chore to be tackled alone! Any decent teacher would have left the kids a challenging but fun assignment. Something fun to be presented to the rest of the class when they return. And they should be communicating through out the trip--both halves of the class sharing posts and visits.

And, while I am still wound up, let me make another point: I'll bet that scaly little ratbastard has no intention of grading those papers. Now, I don't know how much pull you have with the powers that be but, trust me, a teacher cannot assign a paper that will not be graded. You, Perks, should call the principal and make certain that EVERY paper will be graded on a rubric with attention to cites and grammar, sentence structure, content and originality. Be sure to ask the principal which style your daughter should use, AP, Chicago, MLA. If this was not included in the assignment, Mr. Brass could already be in trouble. Be sure to get a timeframe for those papers--they will be graded by ___(date)_ using the ____ stylebook and the ____________ rubric. BY THE HAND OF MR. BANDHAT--you want to see his scribbling on every page. If he won't do that, then it was punishment, pure and simple and his bandass is grass!

In my high school the English Department and the other departments worked in conjunction on any written assignments so that the kids were taught the same styles at the same times and so that the grading was uniform and fair. I can't imagine that what goes in Kansas high schools won't go in other states. Get a bunch of English teachers roped into grading and advising an unexpected research paper at this time of the school year and they will make that band teacher's time in the teachers' lounge a little slice of hell.

Okay. I'm calming down a little but Jesus Hoptoad Christ! What a way to sour a kid on music and writing! --s6

Siri Kirpal
03-29-2017, 09:45 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Gather as many parents as you can and go to the principal. Now! This is beyond not cool.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

AW Admin
03-29-2017, 10:32 PM
Well, as long as you are bitching to the school, and I hope you are doing it in person, get in a dig for me. The idea of assigning a research paper as a punitive assignment has me, and I'll bet any other English teacher, frothing at the mouth! WT BLOODY F? How is any English teacher going to get kids ready for college writing if every imbecile with a baton and a scrap of tinsel on his hat, decides that a research paper is a handy punishment?

What she said; this is not only inappropriate in that they don't merit punishment, using writing as punishment is fucked up.

That band teacher is a pedagogical dimwit.

Cyia
03-29-2017, 11:22 PM
My gut reaction is to appeal to social media. Facebook, Twitter, even GoFundMe, just to get the word out. Start a petition online to garner signatures to have the punishment officially and publicly repealed. And, most importantly, contact Disney World. They absolutely answer all email communications, and this has "positive PR situation" written all over it. Be specific, but don't name the band director - just the school and the band. Average response time is 48-72 hours. No joke.

edutton
03-29-2017, 11:24 PM
My gut reaction is to appeal to social media.
And turn the school administration against them before they even get started?

Myrealana
03-29-2017, 11:32 PM
My gut reaction is to appeal to social media. Facebook, Twitter, even GoFundMe, just to get the word out. Start a petition online to garner signatures to have the punishment officially and publicly repealed. And, most importantly, contact Disney World. They absolutely answer all email communications, and this has "positive PR situation" written all over it. Be specific, but don't name the band director - just the school and the band. Average response time is 48-72 hours. No joke.
I would give the school a fair chance to remedy the situation before pillorying them on the Internet.

Cyia
03-29-2017, 11:33 PM
This isn't the school's fault.

When I said to mention the school, it was only in reference to the specific band, not to punish the school for one bad teacher.

ULTRAGOTHA
03-30-2017, 02:47 AM
Of course it's the school's fault, this is a school assignment. The school doesn't get a pass just because the teacher is a jerk. They're LETTING the teacher be a jerk. Unless no one has told anyone at the school, in which case I encourage a considered meeting with Administration.

I don't understand--why are these kids being punished for not going? Was it a required trip? What?

Perks
03-30-2017, 02:56 AM
Okay, so here's what we've done for Step 1. We haven't heard anything back yet.

I talked with two of the boys who stayed behind and helped them with their email to the band director. I advised them on what seemed their strongest points and helped them with wording it.

Both of their parents are fairly annoyed about the situation. One boy let slip that his parents were offended because they really felt like the director was penalizing their son for their inability to pay. (That family has six kids! They can't afford anything extra. But they are very involved parents.)

I told the boys to make their case and if he didn't come off of it on that discussion alone, and if their parents wanted to talk to the band director and/or the principal, I'd be willing to go with them, if they wanted.

We'll give him a chance to fix it. I'm dubious, but hopeful. The school is likely unaware that he's done this. There's no way that they can make $1000 trip mandatory. This is just nuts.

shakeysix
03-30-2017, 03:11 AM
You might not get that clown fired but you can force him to grade every one of those research papers and fairly! --s6

AW Admin
03-30-2017, 03:11 AM
Okay, so here's what we've done for Step 1. We haven't heard anything back yet.

I talked with two of the boys who stayed behind and helped them with their email to the band director. I advised them on what seemed their strongest points and helped them with wording it.

Both of their parents are fairly annoyed about the situation. One boy let slip that his parents were offended because they really felt like the director was penalizing their son for their inability to pay. (That family has six kids! They can't afford anything extra. But they are very involved parents.)

I told the boys to make their case and if he didn't come off of it on that discussion alone, and if their parents wanted to talk to the band director and/or the principal, I'd be willing to go with them, if they wanted.

We'll give him a chance to fix it. I'm dubious, but hopeful. The school is likely unaware that he's done this. There's no way that they can make $1000 trip mandatory. This is just nuts.

Yep, and good for you Perks. You're a good egg, particularly in the way you helped the two boys.

Albedo
03-30-2017, 04:27 AM
People get eaten by alligators at Disney sometimes. Very sad. Just saying.

Albedo
03-30-2017, 04:39 AM
What I'm saying is that sometimes band directors accidentally get trussed up with belts of juicy steaks tied around their middles, and accidentally tied to stakes on the shores of lagoons. Terrible tragedy, but Florida's an unpredictable place like that.

edutton
03-30-2017, 04:43 AM
Okay, so here's what we've done for Step 1. We haven't heard anything back yet.

I talked with two of the boys who stayed behind and helped them with their email to the band director. I advised them on what seemed their strongest points and helped them with wording it.

Both of their parents are fairly annoyed about the situation. One boy let slip that his parents were offended because they really felt like the director was penalizing their son for their inability to pay. (That family has six kids! They can't afford anything extra. But they are very involved parents.)

I told the boys to make their case and if he didn't come off of it on that discussion alone, and if their parents wanted to talk to the band director and/or the principal, I'd be willing to go with them, if they wanted.

We'll give him a chance to fix it. I'm dubious, but hopeful. The school is likely unaware that he's done this. There's no way that they can make $1000 trip mandatory. This is just nuts.

Is good plan.

Perks
03-30-2017, 06:15 AM
That little rat turd didn't even reply to the boys. Instead, he sent an email to the principal and the vice-principal and copied the boys in (conveniently leaving out their original, respectful petition.) He said that their assignment was purposely long and difficult to offset the six hour effort the Disney kids were having to give up to perform.

So, I checked with my daughter. They are performing one 12-minute song - that is part of the repertoire they have all been mastering over the last three months. That's all. Now, yes, they will have to dress for and travel to the event, and sit through an awards presentation, but a) they love that stuff and b) as my daughter put it, "And we'll be at friggin' Disneyworld."

So, fuck that guy. I sent my own email to the principal and vice-principal.

And I bet mine's better than his.

We'll see what happens. I will keep you posted.

Thank you for your views on this. It just feels very wrong.

cornflake
03-30-2017, 06:53 AM
Of course it's the school's fault, this is a school assignment. The school doesn't get a pass just because the teacher is a jerk. They're LETTING the teacher be a jerk. Unless no one has told anyone at the school, in which case I encourage a considered meeting with Administration.

I don't understand--why are these kids being punished for not going? Was it a required trip? What?

I wouldn't think the school would know unless it was brought to their attention. The band director did it -- why would he tell anyone? In my general experience, teachers don't run assignments by administrators unless there's specific cause.


That little rat turd didn't even reply to the boys. Instead, he sent an email to the principal and the vice-principal and copied the boys in (conveniently leaving out their original, respectful petition.) He said that their assignment was purposely long and difficult to offset the six hour effort the Disney kids were having to give up to perform.

So, I checked with my daughter. They are performing one 12-minute song - that is part of the repertoire they have all been mastering over the last three months. That's all. Now, yes, they will have to dress for and travel to the event, and sit through an awards presentation, but a) they love that stuff and b) as my daughter put it, "And we'll be at friggin' Disneyworld."

So, fuck that guy. I sent my own email to the principal and vice-principal.

And I bet mine's better than his.

We'll see what happens. I will keep you posted.

Thank you for your views on this. It just feels very wrong.

Uh, besides that that's obviously bullshit -- and sort of offset by that I doubt they're walking into Disney, performing, walking out and getting back on the bus, the kids on the trip aren't having to do or give up anything, right?

They all chose to go -- and paid for the privilege. That's like gee, since your sister is having to sit through Hamilton, after choosing B'way tickets as her big Xmas gift, you'll have to clean the windows as an equivalent outlay for the three hours she's spending there.

regdog
03-30-2017, 03:39 PM
Count me among the WTF is this asshat thinking. Punishing students for their financial situation is appalling and shaming.

I love what you've done so far, and I hope the kids who couldn't go all boycott the assignment. What I would do is one essay about classism.

Sheryl Nantus
03-30-2017, 03:44 PM
It is very wrong. Seems like the band director is now going to be out to "get" the kids because he had to answer for his punishing those who didn't pony up the money.

Definitely keep your options open to go to the media, IMO.

Netz
03-30-2017, 04:09 PM
Count me in as another one disgusted by this.

Layla Nahar
03-30-2017, 04:18 PM
Wait - please explain - what are these kids being punished for? Is it for missing a performance? Is that the logic?

Layla Nahar
03-30-2017, 04:19 PM
(If that's the case, and it was that important to the teacher, why didn't he pay their share??)

Sheryl Nantus
03-30-2017, 04:26 PM
Wait - please explain - what are these kids being punished for? Is it for missing a performance? Is that the logic?

AFAIK, and someone will correct me if I'm wrong - the band teacher took a bunch of kids to Disneyland for a concert. Each of the kids had to raise some big cash to go and if you didn't, you stayed behind. If you did stay behind you had to write a HUGE research paper on something or other.

So if you were just too poor to go, you got slapped with an assignment that would directly affect your grade while the other rich kids got to go to Disneyland and toot for fifteen minutes.

Yeah. That.

travelgal
03-30-2017, 04:39 PM
That little rat turd didn't even reply to the boys. Instead, he sent an email to the principal and the vice-principal and copied the boys in (conveniently leaving out their original, respectful petition.) He said that their assignment was purposely long and difficult to offset the six hour effort the Disney kids were having to give up to perform.

So, I checked with my daughter. They are performing one 12-minute song - that is part of the repertoire they have all been mastering over the last three months. That's all. Now, yes, they will have to dress for and travel to the event, and sit through an awards presentation, but a) they love that stuff and b) as my daughter put it, "And we'll be at friggin' Disneyworld."

So, fuck that guy. I sent my own email to the principal and vice-principal.

And I bet mine's better than his.

We'll see what happens. I will keep you posted.

Thank you for your views on this. It just feels very wrong.


Rat-turd is the word.

The powers that be had better do the right thing and rescind that punitive assignment, if only to cover their asses before this goes poo-poo in social media. That rat-turd needs to be fired. How dare he punish kids who don't have money? Who the hell does he think he is?

ap123
03-30-2017, 04:51 PM
Is this a public school? If so, I'm pretty sure this is (for now, anyway) illegal. If the students who don't attend the trip can't because of funds, the teacher/school cannot punish the kids who aren't attending. And the administration cannot plead ignorance, all trips have to be signed off on by administration before those permission slips go out. I'd threaten going to the ACLU.

If it's private, I'd still complain, but you may not have any recourse.

Perks
03-30-2017, 05:01 PM
AFAIK, and someone will correct me if I'm wrong - the band teacher took a bunch of kids to Disneyland for a concert. Each of the kids had to raise some big cash to go and if you didn't, you stayed behind. If you did stay behind you had to write a HUGE research paper on something or other.

So if you were just too poor to go, you got slapped with an assignment that would directly affect your grade while the other rich kids got to go to Disneyland and toot for fifteen minutes.

Yeah. That.

Exactly. When he announced, at the end of last year, that the band was going to take this ambitious trip, he made comments suggesting that if everyone just saved their pennies - to the tune of 100,000 pennies - then they all could go. He asserted that ten months was plenty of time to save $1000. He didn't, apparently, take into consideration that some families would never prioritize a trip to Disneyworld, no matter how much time they had to save $1000. A thousand saved dollars can do a lot of good within a family in all kinds of applications. Disney is a luxury, if not all the way to a frivolity.

This trip was always voluntary. This is a public school system. They cannot require anyone to haul ass to Florida - not on their own dime. As it happens, roughly half the band (I thought it was even more) did opt to prioritize the trip, which is great fun for the kids who can go.

But I can tell you that the kids on the trip do not feel good about the assignment that their bandmates discovered yesterday. (The director had never mentioned the five-page research paper, only left the shitty assignment and threat of a-grade-per-day-demotion for late work. I don't think that anyone would pay $1000 just to get out of a research paper, even if they had known, though.)

For me, the biggest insult and argument against this is what I expressed to the principal and vice principal in my email. If the kids on the trip had devoted extra time and effort to learning new music for the 12-minute performance in Florida, maybe you could justify making the kids who didn't go do some extra work as an attempt at some sort of parity. This is not the case --- at all.

This is an excerpt of the email I sent to the administration -


Every one of the Symphonic Band musician/students have spent the last three months preparing the music that will be played in Orlando by the fortunate few who were able to go. They all have been diligent in mastering these pieces, as evidenced by their achievement of straight Superior ratings in every category at the MPA evaluations just yesterday. They all went to MPA yesterday, the entire band, and could not have done any better, because they all put in the same amount of effort and hours to the success of their class.

The students in Orlando will be performing one 12-minute song from this repertoire. It is true that part of their day will also include dressing for and traveling to the event, and sitting through an awards presentation. But the kids like to perform. They like getting dressed up and reaping the benefit of applause for their hard work. This is why they've all been in band for up to the last seven years. It's what they do. And if that wasn't enough, as one student put it, "And we'll be at friggin' Disneyworld." The students who are there don't feel good knowing that their classmates, who are not getting to share in this celebratory adventure, have to do a five page research paper while they ride roller coasters and post their grins all over social media.

Perks
03-30-2017, 05:32 PM
I will say this too: It might seem weird how driven I am in this, considering my kid got to go on the trip. But this is personal for me. I grew up so very poor. I never got to do any of the fun extras. It was so painful. The humiliations and exclusions were a constant in my life, and there was never anything I could do to fix it. It would have broken my heart to come into that classroom, with half my bandmates gone on this huge, happy adventure, to be handed this shitty assignment.

I swear to god, I can't stop tearing up over it. Maybe that's silly.

Sometimes adults don't think about what they do to kids. Even worse, I have heard the argument made that some of these heartbreaks are useful in cultivating a Scarlett O'Hara As-God-is-my-witness-I'll-never-be-hungry-again resolve. And that is horseshit. This pain reinforces generational poverty and hopelessness far more than it inspires yanking on your own bootstraps.

Now, I would never say that anyone in the community should shell out the nearly $50,000 in extra funds it would have taken to send the rest of the class. (It's a huge band.) Sometimes (all the time, for some kids) you have to learn to deal with not getting what other people do. Fair enough. But there is no cause for making it worse.

Perks
03-30-2017, 05:42 PM
And, goddammit. I hate the resolution to this.

One of the kids just emailed me. The administration has allowed the band director to offer a different "alternate" assignment. The kids who couldn't go can perform for the director the same piece that the kids on the trip will perform in Orlando. They will be graded by the MPA standards and take that on their report cards.

That might sound like a win, but I still hate it. For one thing, the group left over is the poorer part of the band - the kids who never paid for private lessons and may not have had the same level of support and encouragement as their wealthier peers. No one can do anything about that, but what bothers me is that the entire ensemble just already performed this piece on Tuesday and were graded by MPA standards two fucking days ago and received the highest marks achievable.

If you take away half the ensemble - the more affluent half, full of kids who have been in private lessons for years - the remainders may or may not be able to pull off a top-rated performance. They are all competent musicians, who would have undoubtedly added to the richness of the performance of the group in Orlando had they been able to go (as they already did, two goddamned days ago at the MPA evaluations) but if you take out the most developed and accomplished ones, their performance will suffer.

This asshole will not be satisfied with anything less than a bold delineation between the haves and have-nots in this case. What a fucking prick.

be frank
03-30-2017, 05:50 PM
Count me in the "this is effed up" crowd.

re: the "resolution." Is the group on the trip being graded for anything beyond what they've already done in class in NC? If not, why the hell is the group being left behind being graded on anything outsideof classwork they've already completed? This makes absolutely no sense.

Perks
03-30-2017, 05:52 PM
re: the "resolution." Is the group on the trip being graded for anything beyond what they've already done in class in NC? If not, why the hell is the group being left behind being graded on anything outsideof classwork they've already completed? This makes absolutely no sense.

Nailed it. It makes no damned sense.

The group in Orlando is doing nothing that the entire group didn't just receive all Superior ratings for ---- two days ago.

Maggie Maxwell
03-30-2017, 05:54 PM
What Be Frank said. If the kids in Disney are not being graded for their performance there, there is absolutely NO REASON for the other kids to be graded on absolutely anything and should have 0 effect on their report cards. None.

Tazlima
03-30-2017, 05:55 PM
Good email. I'm...I, I just want to scream and throw stuff, but instead, I'll share my own experience with performing on a similar trip many years ago (also via public school).

First off - We fundraised the hell out of our trip and scrimped and saved, and the students who just couldn't manage it? I don't recall the details of how it was managed, but NOBODY was left behind. That part of your story alone gets a GRRRR from me. If we hadn't been able to work it so everybody could come, they would never have arranged the trip.

Second - Six hours of performing? That's a fucking joke. We performed for 15-20 minutes and from everything I've ever heard, that's about typical. We put on our costumes, tromped through Disneyland, sang some songs (BTW, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, and if someone had asked me at the time if it the singing itself fell into the category of work, reward, or punishment... definitely reward), changed back, and spent the rest of the day having a romp at Disneyland. Because it's freakin' Disneyland.

Additionally, you know how Disney has in-house musicians (i.e. the Side Street Strutters)? Yeaaah, THEY don't perform in six-hour stretches. Nowhere close to it. They perform in sets and take breaks in between. No way Disney would be idiotic enough to ask that of a bunch of kids. It would probably break a hundred labor laws, and it would be a PR nightmare to boot. And let's not forget the weather in California and Florida. I can just imagine the poor children, doing their best to keep playing as their sight fades in and out, until finally they buckle at the knees and succumb to the heat, gasping with their last conscious breath, "I hope this doesn't affect my grade."

No.

This is the ultimate "kicking someone when they're down." Screw that band teacher. I hope this costs him his job. Someone who would punish a child because they can't round up $1,000 to blow on a three-day trip has no business working with kids. One of my high school teachers (Ms. Havens - she was the best), once told my mother that high-school students are like butterflies; you have to handle them gently or you may crush their wings.

This douchebag? He's ripping off wings for fun.

ETA: Saw the "resolution" was posted while I typed this post. It's not sufficient. "Oh, gee, I can't make them write a research paper as punishment (and a punishment for WHAT?! They didn't do anything wrong, and having to stay home will already have felt like a punishment)...so they have to give me a private performance that I may lord over them in judgement? Judgement of a performance, too, a task which contains a certain level of inherent subjectivity, so that he has an excuse to take reveng on the students who dared defy his will?" If this occurred between a manager and employees in a company, it would qualify as a hostile work envirionment and HR would be flipping their shit. Between a teacher and students? I don't have the words.

Perks
03-30-2017, 05:59 PM
What Be Frank said. If the kids in Disney are not being graded for their performance there, there is absolutely NO REASON for the other kids to be graded on absolutely anything and should have 0 effect on their report cards. None.

The Orlando kids might get a grade, I'm not sure. I mean, they will definitely be evaluated, but I don't see why it has to be included in their grade back here in NC --- especially since the whole ensemble was never going to be able to be there as they were at the required to be at MPA evaluations on Tuesday, where they took the highest marks.

Perks
03-30-2017, 06:01 PM
Second - Six hours of performing? That's a fucking joke. We performed for 15-20 minutes and from everything I've ever heard, that's about typical. We put on our costumes, tromped through Disneyland, sang some songs (BTW, we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it, and if someone had asked me at the time if it the singing itself fell into the category of work, reward, or punishment... definitely reward), changed back, and spent the rest of the day having a romp at Disneyland. Because it's freakin' Disneyland.



This is exactly their itinerary.

ElaineA
03-30-2017, 06:06 PM
I'm just sick reading this. The resolution is still not fair. (Also I'm having the vague feeling that with his "punish the poor" mindset, this band director would be a perfect fit to lead the White House band.)

I'm also curious how the carryover funds from the prior fundraiser can be said to have been fairly used on only half the class. That seems discriminatory, too. If they were going to dip in, it should have been for something the entire class would get to do.

Good on you for taking a stand, Perks. I'm sure the parents of a lot of the kids who couldn't afford to go have felt this sort of discrimination from the school in other, less widely-known ways, and may very well feel they can't fight against it. It's nice you (and any other parents) have championed the cause. It's really wrong on so many levels.

Tazlima
03-30-2017, 06:09 PM
This is exactly their itinerary.

Oh, and the performance wasn't graded (not that it's relevant to this situation, just mentioning it for the sake of comparison).

Sorry if I got a bit ranty up there, but...ugh.

BTW, I have no idea if you have any use for it, but if you want to use any portion of my posts in this thread as you deal with the situation, you have my full permission to use them however you deem fit.

Myrealana
03-30-2017, 06:20 PM
I'm glad that they don't have to do the essay but it's STILL an unfair burden to place on those kids for the "crime" of not having enough money to go on a trip to Florida.

Our high school does a similarly large trip every 3-4 years, but there is absolutely no extra work or preparation placed on the kids that don't go - regardless of the reason. The year my son went, the students who had to stay behind watched videos. As long as the sub gave a good report on their behavior, they had no other assignments.

Sheryl Nantus
03-30-2017, 06:33 PM
Right. Call the local paper. Call the TV station.

The school had their chance and they screwed up. Now it's time to bring the pressure down to do the right thing. Hit FB, I'll share it. Hit Twitter, hit Instagram and let everyone know that this bastard is out to punish kids who didn't find the money to subsidize HIS trip - because I'm pretty sure HE'S not paying $1K for this.

Unleash the hounds.

Brightdreamer
03-30-2017, 06:45 PM
Sometimes adults don't think about what they do to kids. Even worse, I have heard the argument made that some of these heartbreaks are useful in cultivating a Scarlett O'Hara As-God-is-my-witness-I'll-never-go-hungry-again resolve. And that is horseshit. This pain reinforces generational poverty and hopelessness far more than it inspires yanking on your own bootstraps.

+1

So many people - including an unfortunate number of those currently in power - peddle this notion that "if they only tried harder to *not* be poor..." or "Great-Grandad started with nothing but two hands and a busted shoelace and went on to run an international conglomerate, so clearly that kid today who can't afford lunch just isn't applying himself because people keep handing him things like food and shelter"... it's wrong, it's sickening, it's teaching kids to base their worth and the worth of others on their pocketbooks, and as such it's thinly-veiled justification of what amounts to bullying - emotional and economical bullying, if not (always) physical bullying. Kudos to the kids who get it, at least.

And I second the call to not let this lie as it stands...

I don't suppose there's any way you could help organize something for the left-behinds, movie tickets (like someone upthread mentioned) or online music gift cards (iTunes or whatever) or something?

mrsmig
03-30-2017, 07:03 PM
No matter how you slice it, this teacher is punishing the kids who didn't make the "optional" DisneyWorld trip - twice. First, by leaving the kids who couldn't afford the trip behind; second, by making them do an assignment that the DW kids don't have to do. If he can't wrap his head around that, then he shouldn't be teaching.

It makes me wonder how many other ways he rewards the the "haves" and punishes the "have-nots" in his classes.

I'm not a usually a fan of the social media shaming route, but sometimes it helps shed a necessary light into dark corners.

Tazlima
03-30-2017, 07:11 PM
Right. Call the local paper. Call the TV station.

The school had their chance and they screwed up. Now it's time to bring the pressure down to do the right thing. Hit FB, I'll share it. Hit Twitter, hit Instagram and let everyone know that this bastard is out to punish kids who didn't find the money to subsidize HIS trip - because I'm pretty sure HE'S not paying $1K for this.

Unleash the hounds.

Seconded.

Layla Nahar
03-30-2017, 07:41 PM
Whoa - they're being punished because they could not find 1000$ on 10 months notice.

How can this person not understand that even with how ever much notice, $1000 is a lot of money. Wow. And how can the school justify agreeing with him on this? wow.

Cobalt Jade
03-30-2017, 08:32 PM
Perhaps you can call this to the District Superintendant? Or the State Education Director? Going over peoples' heads can be effective.

Perks
03-30-2017, 09:23 PM
I'm a little reluctant to bring in media - professional or social. It's fine enough for the seniors, because they'll be gone in a few weeks, but the juniors and sophomores have to deal with this guy for a while. Not to mention that my own youngest will be starting that school in the fall.

I'm working with that same kid to help him write up a case to let the whole ensemble play together when they get back if he wants to grade them again -- which would be silly, since this bit of music has been their grade all quarter AND they were just evaluated by the state on Tuesday. I mean, they can do it again when everyone gets back, if he wants...

Sheryl Nantus
03-30-2017, 09:39 PM
I'm a little reluctant to bring in media - professional or social. It's fine enough for the seniors, because they'll be gone in a few weeks, but the juniors and sophomores have to deal with this guy for a while. Not to mention that my own youngest will be starting that school in the fall.

I'm working with that same kid to help him write up a case to let the whole ensemble play together when they get back if he wants to grade them again -- which would be silly, since this bit of music has been their grade all quarter AND they were just evaluated by the state on Tuesday. I mean, they can do it again when everyone gets back, if he wants...

Maybe save it for the PTA or whatever you have there. Let everyone know at the meeting about this asshole and how abusive he is to those kids not endowed with a fat wallet.

Siri Kirpal
03-30-2017, 10:08 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I would express your concerns to the administration again about this "resolution."

And I'm with you Perks. In 6th grade, my class spent a week at a camp on Mt. Palomar. I did get to go, but I saw the faces of the two kids (both Latino, and one of whom I am still close to) who were left behind because they couldn't pay. Kind of spoiled the experience. To think they had to do any kind of unfun work would have torn me to shreds.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

cornflake
03-30-2017, 10:56 PM
I'm a little reluctant to bring in media - professional or social. It's fine enough for the seniors, because they'll be gone in a few weeks, but the juniors and sophomores have to deal with this guy for a while. Not to mention that my own youngest will be starting that school in the fall.

I'm working with that same kid to help him write up a case to let the whole ensemble play together when they get back if he wants to grade them again -- which would be silly, since this bit of music has been their grade all quarter AND they were just evaluated by the state on Tuesday. I mean, they can do it again when everyone gets back, if he wants...

Not if he gets fired, they won't.

Layla Nahar
03-30-2017, 11:08 PM
Are enough of the students who went on the trip concerned enough to participate in speaking out against this?

Perks
03-30-2017, 11:52 PM
Not if he gets fired, they won't. Yeah, that's a big if. I don't really see that happening. Especially since he begrudgingly agreed to modify the assignment.


Are enough of the students who went on the trip concerned enough to participate in speaking out against this? I'm not sure, but I would have to doubt it.

Tazlima
03-31-2017, 12:47 AM
I dunno. Changing the assignment is like if someone went to their boss and said, "Look. George in accounting keeps trying to show me nudie pictures on his computer. That's textbook sexual harrassment and something needs to be done." If HR came back and said "It's all sorted out... we made him delete the pictures," well, that doesn't address the real problem, which is that George felt it was OK to treat someone that way in the first place. It also gives George absolutely no reason to not simply find another target (or the same one. After all, the powers that be did nothing to protect the harrassee) and resume his harrassment. It's not even a slap on the wrist.

I know everybody has to pick their battles, and maybe this one isn't worth the headache. As the one actually dealing with the situation, you're the most qualifed judge of how far to push the issue. I guess it just breaks my heart to think of what future students may have to endure if this man, who already has a heckuva lot of nerve, comes to believe he can do whatever he likes as long as he walks it back when someone calls him out.

AW Admin
03-31-2017, 12:51 AM
This asshole will not be satisfied with anything less than a bold delineation between the haves and have-nots in this case. What a fucking prick.

Yep. He's a shit-heel. They aren't the full band; they're going to sound off, no matter how good they are.

This is absolutely unfair.

neandermagnon
03-31-2017, 01:41 AM
This is not just morally/ethically fucked up, it's actually illegal to do what they're doing in the UK as schools are not allowed to charge for any school trip that is part of the national curriculum and/or is required for any exam, syllabus, to get grades, etc. (And even on the trips they are allowed to charge for, kids whose parents are on income related benefits such as jobseeker's allowance or income support have to be exempted from any charges.) They can ask for voluntary contributions, but are not allowed to discriminate against children whose parents don't make voluntary contributions.

So if that teacher was in the UK, he and the school would be facing legal proceedings.

I don't know if this info will help in any way when negotiating with the school and/or presenting to the school just how fundamentally fucked up what they're doing is, (especially the "resolution" that requires children who aren't going to do something extra to make up their grades) but in case it does, here's a page from the government website about it. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charging-for-school-activities

So yeah. Totally fucked up on so many levels.

My personal view is that the teacher sounds like a vindictive git who seems to have taken it personally that some students aren't going (what the hell did he expect if it's going to cost a thousand dollars?) and so he's decided to punish the children who aren't going. If he really felt that strongly about everyone going, maybe he should've bloody well reached into his own pocket, especially if he has so much money that $1000 dollars seems like something so easy for parents to come by.

neandermagnon
03-31-2017, 01:47 AM
I know everybody has to pick their battles, and maybe this one isn't worth the headache. As the one actually dealing with the situation, you're the most qualifed judge of how far to push the issue. I guess it just breaks my heart to think of what future students may have to endure if this man, who already has a heckuva lot of nerve, comes to believe he can do whatever he likes as long as he walks it back when someone calls him out.

Agree with you about all the future students having to endure stuff like this. It's a battle that needs to be fought. How many more kids are the school going to double-punished by a) excluding them from trips because their parents can't afford to pay and then b) making them do extra graded assignments to "make up" for not going. Some of those kids will already be up against it due to financial difficulties impacting their education - as has been mentioned, the ones going are the ones whose parents can afford extra tuition and everything. That's before you factor in the impact of the double punishment being handed out by this school.

Even if this particular battle can't be won, challenging schools on this kind of thing generally is very necessary.

Perks
03-31-2017, 02:41 AM
There are a few things that I am hoping to accomplish with my involvement in this situation. The most important thing to me was that the students who didn't go on the trip had an ally in their logical objection to the assignment. I think it's very important to acknowledge correct thinking, for positive reinforcement and to establish trust for the times that you will have to point out when they're wrong-headed. I wanted them to know that I completely understood their objection and that they were right.

Secondly, I wanted to kill that damned assignment.

Beyond that, the band director does now know that it's not okay and he will be challenged. The principal seems to be behind him in this alternate assignment, but the students feel emboldened to talk to him about it when he gets back.

I don't think he's done anything illegal. And there is just about zero chance that he would lose his job over this.

I will have dealings with him for the next four years and I will not let him go unchallenged when he does stupid shit. I probably cannot prevent him from saying and doing things I object to. But object I will, and in doing so, hopefully will show the kids what they don't have to be silent about. Maybe he'll learn. Maybe he won't.

I don't have any confidence at all that my intervention beyond what I've done is going to yield any good result. I'll be in contact with the kids through next week about this and will be ready to step in if they need me to say something.

Layla Nahar
03-31-2017, 03:24 AM
After I mentioned the kids, I realized that the thought that was really growing in my mind was - are there other parents as angry as you? I guess the kids would talk to thier parents, and maybe your child would know about that? It's hard for me to imagine that most people (band parents or not) would not react the same way as you and everyone else in this thread.

I'm still flabbergasted by this.

Perks
03-31-2017, 05:02 AM
I guess the kids would talk to thier parents, and maybe your child would know about that? It's hard for me to imagine that most people (band parents or not) would not react the same way as you and everyone else in this thread.

I've been amazed, in other situations, how little some kids tell their parents about their day. I don't really know what the other parents think. I'm a hermit.

travelgal
03-31-2017, 10:12 AM
I've been amazed, in other situations, how little some kids tell their parents about their day. I don't really know what the other parents think. I'm a hermit.


I can think of a dozen reasons kids don't tell their parents about their day, but then, I grew up in an abusive household and learnt from an early age adults cannot be trusted. Other kids don't want to compound the burdens their parents already carry.

That prick knew very well he had done wrong from the get-go, but the school admin clearly support his shit.

Damn right it's illegal. A poster above explained why. It's a public school.

The resolution is no resolution. It's another opportunity for that prick to punish the have-nots.

I am sure other parents are steaming. This needs to be fought. He needs to be fired.

Thank God the kids have you.

GailD
03-31-2017, 01:26 PM
There are a few things that I am hoping to accomplish with my involvement in this situation. The most important thing to me was that the students who didn't go on the trip had an ally in their logical objection to the assignment. I think it's very important to acknowledge correct thinking, for positive reinforcement and to establish trust for the times that you will have to point out when they're wrong-headed. I wanted them to know that I completely understood their objection and that they were right.

Perks, you've done a wonderful thing, here. Those kids who were obliged to stay behind really needed their voices to be heard and you did that for them. Go you!!!

As a retired teacher, I'm shocked at the act of giving an assignment to the kids who couldn't go on the trip. That's not just mean, it's unconscionable and I'm so proud of you for speaking up about it and getting it stopped.

I've been following this thread and there is a very interesting parallel between what's happening here and some work I'm doing at the moment. I'm editing a book for one of our universities, it's compilation of essays written by some of the students who took part in the #FeesMustFall movement in 2015 and last year. Enraged by the enormous cost of university education and the announcement that fees would be increased again in 2016, university students all over S. Africa began a mass protest action that shut down practically every college in the country. The situation got very ugly. Police, in full riot gear were brought in and students were tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets, blasted with water canons, beaten with night sticks, arrested and thrown in jail for days on end, with no charge or bail (illegal in SA). You might have seen some of this on CNN last year.

Working through these essays is not comfortable, to say the least. Their rage, and the enormous hurt lying beneath it, is painful to read. But one message is coming through loud and clear. Excluding the poor from receiving an education by creating a financial barricade between the haves and have-nots, is just not acceptable any longer. Neither is, as one student put it, 'the crippling debt you're left with afterwards, if you're lucky enough to have to got into university in the first place.'

It's that excluding of the poorer kids from this trip that really parallels, for me, what is happening in my country. So, AW'ers, if things like school trips (generally educational, right?) are only for those kids whose parents can afford it, what stops the entire school working together to raise the necessary funds to enable the entire group/grade/class to go on the trip? Wouldn't this be a community-building thing? Teaching empathy, generosity of spirit etc.?

I know, I know. I woke up and my coffee was cold.

Perks
03-31-2017, 05:42 PM
Damn right it's illegal. A poster above explained why. It's a public school.




I so appreciate the commiseration with any and all of us who are upset by this situation. But it's important to be correct as well as right. There's been nothing revealed about this scenario that suggests any laws were broken.

- Extracurricular trips that are organized by the school, but require student payment to participate, are common and not illegal.

- If these trips include time away from the classroom, it is expected that the teacher will make plans and arrangements for the students who didn't go to be occupied during the missed class periods.

So, that's the framework which led to what some-to-many of us consider to be unpleasant and very possibly mean-spirited choices by this teacher. The case he's made for the original assignment and the new, alternate, assignment ticks the boxes he's required to account for in his absence. He will not be fired for this.

Perks
03-31-2017, 05:52 PM
It's that excluding of the poorer kids from this trip that really parallels, for me, what is happening in my country. So, AW'ers, if things like school trips (generally educational, right?) are only for those kids whose parents can afford it, what stops the entire school working together to raise the necessary funds to enable the entire group/grade/class to go on the trip? Wouldn't this be a community-building thing? Teaching empathy, generosity of spirit etc.?



Wow, Gail. What an incredible change in your country -- and what a valuable and fascinating (and painful) chronicling of it. Hopefully, the world will learn from your struggle.

Many field trips are subsidized by the school and the community. Educational funds for this sort of vital enrichment have been slashed to next to nothing. We're lucky that our band program is as robust as it is. The smaller, less expensive excursions have much more push to make sure that anyone who wants to go can go. I've been happy with the display of generosity in this community.

For the Disney trip, that just wasn't feasible. Way too expensive. I don't think that means that we shouldn't have taken the opportunity to go, but I am shocked and saddened at the lack of empathy for those students and families who would not be able to swing this expenditure. The callousness of what was assigned to fill up their time was (is) infuriating to me. It didn't have to feel like a punishment. That's why I got involved. I still disagree with the assignment that replaced it and am supporting the kids in their case to petition the teacher to either let it go or to let the whole band perform for him together (again - how silly) when they return.

AW Admin
03-31-2017, 05:56 PM
I am shocked and saddened at the lack of empathy for those students and families who would not be able to swing this expenditure. The callousness of what was assigned to fill up their time was (is) infuriating to me. It didn't have to feel like a punishment. That's why I got involved. I still disagree with the assignment that replaced it and am supporting the kids in their case to petition the teacher to either let it go or to let the whole band perform for him together (again - how silly) when they return.

Yes; this is the core issue.

Pedagogically speaking, using writing to punish accomplishes the incredible feat of making students hate writing.

Good move band teacher; you're clearly a stellar teacher with loads of compassion.

There are any number of other options he could have gone with, all of which would have been pedagogically effective, and rewarding for the kids, ranging from mini concerts of solos, to music listening, to all sorts of opportunities that he wasted.

ULTRAGOTHA
04-01-2017, 02:23 AM
- If these trips include time away from the classroom, it is expected that the teacher will make plans and arrangements for the students who didn't go to be occupied during the missed class periods.

If that's the case, why not give the students left behind the music for the NEXT big thing they're going to play? Let them get a head start on the kids who can afford to go to Disneyland.

It's well within the curriculum. It lets the ones who can't afford private tutoring more time to practice. And it isn't punitive.

cornflake
04-01-2017, 02:54 AM
I've been amazed, in other situations, how little some kids tell their parents about their day. I don't really know what the other parents think. I'm a hermit.

Oh, I like, never did that, as far back as I can remember really, and certainly not in high school. It's just a personality thing with some people, I think -- not to discount that there are issues in other cases -- or a general family dynamic. We weren't big sit-and-sharers in my box.

As to the trip thing, that the trips happen while school is in session is what really gets me about it. It just seems so odd and punitive by its nature; not only do poorer kids not get to go, they have to go to school.

I didn't go to public school, and we did the single trip a year, during break, which was, iirc, like a couple, three grand? It was always a European trip to a single country -- week in Italy, Spain, France, whatever. No one raised money for kids who couldn't go (it wasn't a super expensive school and had many students not paying full tuition so perfectly plausible people would not be able to afford the trips); kids just didn't go, but no one had to show up and sit in class and stew about it ffs. We were on holiday anyway.

Perks
04-01-2017, 03:27 AM
If that's the case, why not give the students left behind the music for the NEXT big thing they're going to play? Let them get a head start on the kids who can afford to go to Disneyland.

It's well within the curriculum. It lets the ones who can't afford private tutoring more time to practice. And it isn't punitive.

I totally agree with you. There were so many way not to have this feel lousy.

Catherine
04-01-2017, 10:07 PM
Just read through the thread. He may very well have violated a policy for the way in which he did this. It may take some fine print reading to figure it out. This teacher's attitude floors me. Where is his compassion?

My daughter is in choir. If you miss a local scheduled performance, you may have a make-up assignment but this is spelled out at the beginning of the year in the class syllabus. If you have a copy of the class syllabus, the grading requirements should be spelled out. This assignment seems arbitrary and capricious.

Perks
04-01-2017, 11:29 PM
As an update, this is what the band director used as justification for assigning a hard research paper in his absence:


The students meet with a professor of music to have master lessons and to learn new music. Immediately after the performance, they have an oral critique for about 30 minutes by the music professional. These activities combined with full-group and sectional practices totals over 6 hours and does not include the time each individual student chooses to spend practicing on their own.

And I confirmed that this didn't happen. They had a one-hour rehearsal on Friday, a very early wake up call today, a twelve-minute performance, a fifteen-minute critique, and then the awards presentation later. That's it.

I rather think the principal should know this.

AW Admin
04-01-2017, 11:29 PM
As an update, this is what the band director used as justification for assigning a hard research paper in his absence:



And I confirmed that this didn't happen. They had a one-hour rehearsal on Friday, a very early wake up call today, a twelve-minute performance, a fifteen-minute critique, and then the awards presentation later. That's it.

I rather think the principal should know this.

I rather think he should too.

Perks
04-01-2017, 11:46 PM
I rather think he should too.

She ;)

AW Admin
04-01-2017, 11:53 PM
She ;)

She!

I'm baffled that anyone with classroom experience would think the paper assignment was either fair or pedagogically effective.

Perks
04-02-2017, 12:01 AM
She!

I'm baffled that anyone with classroom experience would think the paper assignment was either fair or pedagogically effective.


The band director, in the two years I have dealt with him, is a strange man. In some ways, it seems that he was almost personally annoyed or offended that, given a full ten months, so many families didn't strive for this trip.

Then when confronted with the reaction to his assignment, he went to the principal and convinced her that it was equitable.

Sheryl Nantus
04-02-2017, 12:43 AM
As an update, this is what the band director used as justification for assigning a hard research paper in his absence:



And I confirmed that this didn't happen. They had a one-hour rehearsal on Friday, a very early wake up call today, a twelve-minute performance, a fifteen-minute critique, and then the awards presentation later. That's it.

I rather think the principal should know this.

I do as well. There's a big difference there.

Sounds like the idiot just wanted to go to Disneyland and flash it on his resume. I'd update the principal on this, since you have actual proof there was nothing like this happening.

regdog
04-02-2017, 02:51 AM
It is compromise it is just a different way of punishing kids for being poor.



The band director, in the two years I have dealt with him, is a strange man. In some ways, it seems that he was almost personally annoyed or offended that, given a full ten months, so many families didn't strive for this trip.

Then when confronted with the reaction to his assignment, he went to the principal and convinced her that it was equitable.

Just my opinion, but I think the music teacher has probably never had to do without for financial reasons and he no comprehension how much money $1000 is for some people. For a family of means it is reasonable, for a family without means, it is many times the difference between having a roof over their heads, heat on and food on the table.


One of the accountants who worked in the same office as my aunt was like that. He was a partner and she was a secretary. His salary was in the mid 6 figures. One day when she was unpacking her lunch he looked at her and said "What you brown bag your lunch? Are you too cheap to buy lunch?" My aunt looked at him and said "If I made the same salary as you, I could afford to go out to lunch everyday, but since I don't, if I want to have lunch, I bring it." His jaw fell open and he slunked off down the hall.

Sheryl Nantus
04-04-2017, 06:05 PM
bumping this - any update?

Perks
04-04-2017, 06:30 PM
The upside is that the students didn't have to do the paper, and the band director now knows very well that people are paying attention to his attitudes toward the students. The students also know now how to reach out for guidance and alliance when things don't seem right. So, I can only be happy about those things.

The downside is that he is still requiring the students who stayed behind to re-perform the piece for him. It's a pointless exercise and utterly beside the point that he should have given far better thought to what they could have done in the absence of their teacher and half the class.

The kids who went on the trip did very well in the competition, to the extend that they took first place in every category they were eligible for. So, the band director is in a great mood and not feeling particularly Scrooge-y in the redundant evaluation.

So, I'm somewhat satisfied, but don't see an opportunity to make any more progress with this infuriating situation.

Sheryl Nantus
04-04-2017, 06:45 PM
Well, at least they didn't have to do the paper. From a student's POV that's definitely a win.

And yes, now he knows people are watching. This may cut back on the douchebaggery....

;)