In School or On the Streets, Belligerence is Deliberately Destructive ⋆ Politicrossing
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Education

In School or On the Streets, Belligerence is Deliberately Destructive

The impact of belligerence in the classroom or anywhere else in society is real and destructive

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As Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle experience renewed turmoil propagated by Antifa and other anarchist groups, I am reminded of a time many years earlier. While my daughter was in middle school and high school, and even after she graduated, I volunteered on ‘career day’ to teach in classrooms about being an author and speaker. Other parents in other professions did the same.

Constant Commotion

I eventually gave it up because, invariably, one or two of the minority students — African American — in each class simply could not sit still. These were 14 and 15 year olds, and this happened in 2014, in President Obama’s sixth of eight years in office.

Obviously in writing this article I could avoid citing their minority status. That might be deemed the ‘politically correct’ thing to do, nevertheless I’m duly recounting what led to my departure.

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One certainly could engage in a long sociological discussion about their behavior and what prompts it. They would be disruptive, make one-line comments, sit on their desks, make noises, intentionally seek to distract me, and diminish the quality of interaction in the room. At 6’3″, and an athletic 188 pounds, I could have physically intimidated any of the disruptors, but I did not.

Elective Not Mandatory

These students were not forced to attend such sessions; all of these classes for career day were elective. Students signed up in advance for the presenter in the field in which they were interested, or at least feigned interest. In class, most students listened attentively.

Some asked serious questions. Many were thankful for the session. You could see the look of disdain on their faces when others sought to disrupt the class. It was apparent they had witnessed such intentional disruption many times before.

On this last time that I would volunteer in this capacity, and following my last session, I went downstairs to the school office. I told the vice principal and a secretary the reason why I would not return in the future and waste my time. Confidentially, the secretary told me that other presenters had shared the same experience.

The Progression to Belligerence

If I had been a full-time teacher, the unprovoked, continuing belligerence of some students would have changed my perception about the profession and about such students. How might I have reacted if the disruptors were Caucasian? I would, unquestionably, have been equally agitated. This didn’t occur, but it could have.

Was I naive in thinking that I could make my annual presentation and remain unscathed? Perhaps. Maybe it was a matter of time before I ran into such belligerence, but I don’t think so.

What happened was a progression: All students in my earlier years were polite. Then, in subsequent years, some disruptors began to emerge in small ways. Then, disruptors set about to openly flaunt classroom decorum.

At least subconsciously, the disruptors incrementally determined what they could get away with, in a variety of situations, without penalty. Undoubtedly, this was in motion long before I arrived on the scene. I surmise that they were constantly testing the waters – with substitute teachers, instructors, coaches, trainers, and any adult authority figure with whom they felt they might gain leverage.

To No One’s Benefit

Don’t discount the impact of belligerence in the classroom or anywhere else in society. It is real and destructive. Presently, municipal city police officers face constant war zone-like conditions in areas of high belligerence. Such intense, daily experiences have a deleterious effect on their homeostasis, well-being, judgment, and reflexes.

In that regard, U.S. police officers face more conflict than many soldiers in war zones and suffer the same type of traumas such as PTSD. One can’t help but wonder to what their daily, repeat-exposure to domestic war zones leads. Perhaps PTSD like symptoms are at the root unfortunate, fatal encounters in recent times.

Liberal Mayors and city-councils, in Democrat-run municipalities, who do not support their police forces, play a dangerous game with all of the citizens whom they were elected to govern. Squeamish mayors end up helping no one, and indeed, hurting many.

Only in Imagination

The media machine censors news items about those who act aggressively, but only in the ‘progressive’ imagination are police officers invariably at fault, and the array of perpetrators that they encounter are universally law-abiding and upstanding citizens.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Education

Did You Stay 33 Feet Away From Everyone?

Once even a bogus rule is put in place it’s difficult to eliminate it

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This Christmas, did you stay 33 feet away from everyone? I didn’t think so. How about six feet, does that seem more reasonable? Guess again. Once a rule is put in place it’s difficult to eliminate it even though the original reasons for its generation are long gone, according to author Roger von Oech. His prime example:

In the 1870s the leading manufacturer of typewriters at the time received complaints that too many of the typewriter keys were sticking together if the operator went too fast. In response to this, the company produced the QWERTY type keyboard — a configuration standard on all keyboards — to slow down operators so that the keys wouldn’t jam together.

Today, technology permits us to produce typewriter keyboards that can operate much faster than any human could possibly type, such as Dvorak keyboards, but the QWERTY configuration still dominates and likely will for the foreseeable future. Concurrently, six feet of social distancing is a farce, held over from some bogus rule years ago.

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Anthony Fauci should know better, but he has been compromised and corrupted in so many ways, and has lied so often to Congress and the media about his projects and funding objectives, that his advice and proclamations are valueless; actually less than valueless. A cough or a sneeze, even through many types of masks, can travel 28 to 33 feet.

The nugget for us all: introduce new rules, new regulations, and new procedures carefully, and scientifically or analytically monitor their long term effectiveness.  Otherwise you’re selling snake oil.

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Education

To the Left, Even Math is Racist!

The false bill of goods that Leftists peddle will haunt their advocates and apologists for decades

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Picture a young Isaac Newton, Madame Curie, Henri Poincare, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, or, for that matter, Pythagoras, Euclid, or Archimedes as newly enrolled in a Portland, Oregon grade school. Exposed to this state’s edict regarding how math is to be taught, would any of them have achieved prominence? Would the world be the same?

Consider the ladies profiled in the movie Hidden Figures, including Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan. Without them, we probably still would have made it to the Moon, but maybe with more difficulty and more delay.

Racism! It’s Everywhere!

The Left relentlessly seeks ways to dumb down education so that anybody, at any time, can get a passing grade regardless of what they know. If black lives truly matter, as well as white lives, shouldn’t students be competitive in the workplace? Otherwise, how are they going to land decent jobs?

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‘Social justice’ warriors detect racism, real or imagined, all day long, everywhere they look, particularly in education. Achievement tests, end-of-grade testing, report cards, and the mere act of assigning letter grades to a student’s performance are all absolute signs of racism according to the Left.

Nevertheless, if a student — any student — has been attentive and diligent and has applied himself or herself, not one single quiz, achievement test, final exam, or end-of-grade test precipitates undue concern. Such tests do not represent a stumbling block for students who have been appropriately taught, been attentive in class, done their homework regularly, and appropriately studied for tests.

Even in ‘poor’ schools, a decent teacher and a motivated student can yield academic success.

Measuring Tools Matter

Those on the Left prefer to cast aspersions on American education, stop all testing, apparently for all students, for all time. So, no more SATs for high school juniors and seniors. No more ACTs. After all, the tests are hopelessly biased against anything but the Caucasian majority. Although Asians seem to do well…

To the Left, testing, academics, and the English language, in and of itself, are merely tools of oppression and must be abandoned – now.

Isn’t it odd that the Left never pushes for more rigorous standards? “Why are tests needed at all?” they demand to know. “Learning takes place on many different levels. Why conform to the white man’s version of what represents academic achievement?”

Let’s assess the ramifications of such assertions.

The Very Long Way Home

How confident would you be driving across a high bridge, over a wide river, knowing that the bridge was designed by engineers who ‘learned’ math in Oregon, or didn’t take any final exams in college? Knowing the academic credentials of the bridge designers, or lack thereof, could change your driving habits.

What if you need brain surgery? Among a handful of brain surgeons in your area, you learn that some never took final exams in medical school, or any exams at all! These same surgeons turned in no college papers, took no quizzes, and perhaps spent little time in class.

Suppose they’re all good surgeons and have successfully operated on others? You’ve got this nagging suspicion, nonetheless, that your best choice would be among the brain surgeons who attended class, did well on quizzes and tests, passed final exams, and proved to be academically superior.

Would anyone find you to be discriminatory? Can we find fault with your decision to seek a formally trained and tested brain surgeon?

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Mechanical and structural engineers, and brain surgeons, do not represent the brunt of society; everyday people do. Whether it’s receiving change at the grocery store, having your car fixed, hiring a masseuse, or any of dozens of other product and service options, as Ghostbusters fans would say, “Who ya gonna call?”

The lifetime economic curse that Leftists advocates bestow upon those who follow their edicts is crippling. Suppose you attend a university, such as Rutgers, where proper English is not required, exams are not given, and graduation is all but guaranteed? Knowing the background of students who matriculated from such an institution, what future employer would choose such students over others who have bonafide academic credentials?

Haunted for Generations

The false bill of goods that far Left groups peddle will come back to haunt their advocates and apologists, not merely for years, but for decades to come.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Based on what the Left deems to be sufficient, anyone who thinks he or she will be able to compete for jobs is in for a lifetime of rude awakenings.

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