Day 66 Tuesday April 27, 2010: One Headlight


Today is Tuesday, April 27, 2010, and it is Day 66 on my time left at the Mont. I saw a memo Barbara Stam has already written about and others discussed it, regarding the acts of vandalism which occurred at 11;25 on Sunday night, April 25. I wonder how one is able to, from surveillance tape, determine the ages of those committing the crime to be “18 to 24 years of age.” When I was involved in reporting an incident to the Montclair P.D., and I was asked for a description, I made a guess as to the ages of those involved and the officers told me that if I couldn’t see their faces, my guess about ages couldn’t hold up.


Let me be clear. I am not a fan of the Good Doctor’s actions. I feel that what he is doing in the name of NCLB is loathsome. What he and the District will say and do to get Federal grant money disgusts me, just as I watch the changes in people I know. And, fear not, I’ll wax prolific on that topic later. But, no, I do not condone vandalism, even though every teacher at the Mont is forced to endure it on a daily basis. That doesn’t make it right, but it is a part of our lives at the Mont. Maybe there won’t be any at the new school I’m shipped to. Yeah, I didn’t buy that one, either.


I do understand the administration’s venom directed toward the graffiti. As quoted in the third paragraph of Mr. Balderas’ memo, dated April 27, “As reminder, acts of vandalism on school property are prosecutable by the fullest extent of the law with a minimum of a $1000 fine or up to 60 days in jail.” I am confused about this being an “act of violence,” as stated in the same paragraph, but then I am only a teacher and can easily be replaced. If this was an “act of violence,” then we all live with violence every single day at the Mont. We are trapped in an abusive relationship, for I see tagging every day in every room; there is tagging in my room, on chairs, desks, furniture I built. There is tagging in the stairwells and in the hallways.


In the fourth paragraph, Mr. Balderas writes, “This act of cowardness is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” Alas, if only such a reaction came forth for the other graffiti which appears with depressing regularity on this embattled campus. Is it the graffiti (I didn’t see any of the tagging on the north side of the main building, the quad nor on the fountain) or the subject which makes it unacceptable?


I wonder, when the Academy of Environmental and Social Justice opens in July (actually in late August), will the idea of “situational justice” be discussed?


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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.


    August 2010



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