Nana Weighs in on Paula Deen…

Look…I don’t like the use of the “N” word–period! I didn’t let offenders call each other that around me either when I worked at the prison, either. If someone is going to get offended by another group using it, then it is a word that should never be used at all in the English language when speaking to each other. I taught my kids this as well. If it is okay for one group to use it but not another, that is not acceptable. It creates problems that result in OTHERS being attacked for their skin color as well and that is RACISM regardless of who does it. That being said, I’m touching on one more thing here. Paula Deen…The woman did use the word in private conversations 27 years ago and when helping to plan her brother’s wedding. That does not mean she conducted herself as racist in the workplace. However Bubba Hiers did. HE is the one that made African-Americans enter and exit through the back doors and such.

I do not think this woman suing her is going to win the lawsuit because anything used in a private conversation off the workplace premises is not admissible in court in any suit of this nature–and the incidents in question happened while being supervised mainly by her brother at HIS establishments. She’s going after Paula because she is the goose that laid the golden egg. It’s that simple. She seems to have forgotten that if Paula Deen had not fought her brother, she’d have never gotten that job in the first place. He did not want to hire a woman. I also think the media coverage of this is nothing more than trying to stereotype the entire South. Look what they did with Dawg the Bounty Hunter…Do you think for one minute if someone from NJ  or CA were to do that they’d bother covering it? No. they did it because these two are from below the 36th parallel and if they can run a story that will make the South look bad, they’ll take that ball and run with it almost every single time.

Seriously…Remember the story about Vidor, TX some years back or Jasper, TX? Let me refresh your memory here:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/08/oppenheim.sundown.town/

Granted it was written in 2006 but makes a good point.  Here’s another one:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd,_Jr.

My only question here is, why was Barack Obama the one to sign in the legislation about these hate crimes? This should have been done a LONG time ago.

The ONLY time the media got away with this bullshit in CA was during the O.J. trial when they covered Mark Fuhrman’s testimony.  I do believe that there was so much focus on his use of the “N” word that the real evidence was ignored. In short, I think O.J. did it. I used to think he was innocent, but knew who did it, until other stuff came to light after the trial was over.

If members of the media are going to accuse someone of being racist, they need to open their eyes, quit shining their anchor chairs with their asses and look around them. Racism is alive and well in America and it isn’t limited to white people.  As far as I’m concerned, if a race war ever were to start, it will be because of the media antagonizing everyone by covering such stories. I’m sure Charlie Manson will gloat from his prison cell if he’s alive and that happens.  Coverage of this is a waste of time but it was well planned and calculated to feed the beast of another “-ism” that has a term of its own. It is called regional bias.

Let the courts handle them if it’s workplace related…It’s time for the media to learn how to STHU.  America is divided enough without the media covering this crap because the real aim is to further divide the country down geographical lines.

Is There Any Way to Phase a Terrorist?

I am seriously so tired of all this experimenting our government does with these terrorists to get them to talk. I have the perfect solution to deal with terrorists both foreign and domestic–especially for those who come here from other countries to claim citizenship under false pretenses.  It will sound strange but it would work because they would receive no word…No news…Nothing of this country or their home country.  It would amount to solitary confinement on a prison ship at sea with NO visitors allowed aside from their cleric or the lawyers.

Regardless of their country of origin, they should receive no news from it. The logic being that if they renounced their own country and took an allegiance to this one and then betrayed it, they deserve no news  from either place.  Give them religious accommodation with a cleric from whatever religion they claim to be in–but do not let that cleric discuss news with them.

I think this would be a greater punishment than death or life in an American prison. Their actions would have real consequences. They would have no cause to support if they were stripped their countries, would they? I mean to the point to where there is NO television or radio either…

Their families would be notified of their well-being via a letter from them every week, but the offenders of this nature would only receive letters with notices of births, deaths and news of a personal nature–not anything that involves politics and such.  They would only be allowed on radio phone call with relatives after the death of an immediate family member, with clear instructions that if the family member tries to relay any news of either country, the call would abruptly be ended.

Does that sound too extreme?  Well…I wonder if they would be so eager to try to push their ideals and fear onto this country if they knew this would be the fate that awaited them…

I should give credit to the late Edward Everett Hale for this idea.  I really think as sad as the story “The Man Without a Country” is, it is far less tragic than the events we have seen unfold in this country in the past 13 years.  I think the concept of isolation and no news is worth some serious thought.  For whatever their cause is, it wouldn’t serve them well to receive this sentence.

At least I can honestly say it is an approach that has not been used before.  As long as they are fed, clothed and allowed their choice of whatever religion they want, a shower, and medical care  then they would be a lot better off than a lot of the American people are now. What do you think?

Well, that is my take on the subject and if it offends anyone, oh well…I’m used to that. If anyone has any other ideas that might ACTUALLY work, feel free to share them because after 13 years of crap, I’m open to something that might actually work as a solution.

The Writer’s Responsibility as ADULTS–And this one is HUGE!

It is the responsibility of every writer, be it a  news reporter or a critic to be honest in their endeavors. Readers can spot it when one tells the truth rather than what the writer thinks the truth SHOULD be and there is a big whopping difference.  The only time a writer can get away with almost any type of bullshit is in fiction because the playing field is level there. Almost anything goes and the purists are losing control over the genre–whether it be vampire fiction, romance, etc…

If a writer is telling a story that can shake one’s emotions to the core, then let him/her have her day–as long as it IS IN the fiction realm. That is much more entertaining than these purists who come in and say, “Vampires can’t do this!” or “That character would not be able to do that in my opinion–” because those opinions simply do not matter in this day and age when anything can happen in a dream or a fantasy.

In the “Changing Tide of Movie Viewing”, I discussed what I see going on with how people in general view the movie critic.  The critic is no longer the voice for the public because the public makes up its own mind what it wants to see–and the public is tired of all the Hollywood schlock.  The public wants real stories, believable plots and things the whole family can enjoy.  This is definitely a lesson Warner Bros. should have learned when it released “Dark Shadows” back in May.  It bombed HERE because everyone who grew up on the original or watched the Dark Shadows Revival Series KNEW how the original writer and producer, the late Dan Curtis, envisioned it.  They liked HIS vision and he knew what worked.  It did well overseas and made its money and some profit because most European fans do not know the original and if they do, they wanted it changed.

Another assumption Hollywood has made in error is that baby boomers don’t tend to go to theaters. Not true. They do go–they just don’t like the constant marketing to teens, ‘tweens and the and Twilight Fiends…Sorry but it’s true. They want to see more of actors like Bruce Willis, Robert Redford, Michael Caine, Ben Cross, Eric Roberts and the list goes on. As for actresses, Helen Mirren, Melissa Leo and Dame Judith Dench have my vote…Chick flicks do not do much for the potential market Hollywood COULD have because there are more baby boomers on the planet than Gen X’ers…Go figure. The Expendables 2 was a nice break for the older audience because they got to see a lot of their favorites in ONE FILM.  By the way, Dolph Lundgren is a talented actor and writer in his own right and is much under-rated. If you don’t believe me, watch “The Mechanik” (aka) “The Russian Specialist“. Ben Cross is also in this one and he makes it shine. The two together were awesome in that film.

Unfortunately the changes made to that movie script  for the Dark Shadows movie rendered it to be an entirely different story than “Dark Shadows”.  This vision that Tim Burton, Johnny Depp and Seth Grahame Smith had would have been better served for a remake of “The Fearless Vampire Killers“…Hopefully someone will do a decent remake of that one.

Now back to the premise of this post–writing…How one is going to write their stories or articles depends largely upon the audience which will read it, but if one is going to write a review–then watch the WHOLE movie, SERIES and/or listen to the WHOLE ALBUM before putting out the article.  In fact, do so twice. You probably missed something the first time around.  An audience member somehow, somewhere can spot it when you are trying to bullshit them simply because you don’t like the artists, actor, actress, writer, director, etc…and many readers will now begin to call a writer on the carpet for that crap.  The market for writers is a hard one to break into as it is, but if you’re going to con your readers because you don’t like a person for whatever reason, you won’t get far with it.

I tend to be very blunt, honest and to the point when I write. Some can handle it, others cannot. It doesn’t bother me either way but somebody has to speak up about the nonsense going on in the field.  I write from my perspective.  I point out what I feel are strengths and weaknesses, but my focus tends to lie on the script  writing and direction when it comes to films.  Those are the building blocks of every picture–the very foundation–and if those are screwed up, the film will, most likely bomb.  Star power does not always sell a picture, so when I see an actor’s or actress’s  name attached to a picture that I KNOW would never take a junky part–I will go see that film each time that performer is in it.  I watch for performances, sure–but most performances that go awry have more to do with the writing than anything else, I think.

Now if the movie is based on a novel, I try to read the novel first.  However I didn’t follow that pattern with “The Help”.  Either way, that film rocked and there is much more in the book, so if you go the book afterward, please read it!

I am in the process of writing a book now. It is called “From Cell to Cell” (at the moment).  My life has been a journey, but only at this phase in my life have I found peace with it all.  It is funny how one’s life can change in an instant and it can last for a lifetime–be it good or be it not so good. One lesson I did learn is that not all things that seem to make sense are the best things for us. We may think they are, but in the end, we may have ended up settling for second best out of fear. However we can make it good–but it takes two words “I WILL”–and when the door opens, we have to be willing to go through it at any age.  Did you watch the “Shawshank Redemption“?   I had a few moments standing in the rain enjoying the first taste of freedom in my life. For me that scene with Tim Robbins is very symbolic.  I also recommend “The Green Mile” (RIP Michael Clarke Duncan  1957-2012–You will be missed).

As a writer it is best to remember two things: First,  be honest. Second, don’t try to con the reader.  It will lead to your undoing as a writer–especially if you are writing reviews or anything to do with History.  When writing about History, it is best to stick to what is KNOWN to be fact and/or proven via a written record in the library stacks or film–not conjecture or opinions of other individuals.  If you can piece something together into a logical pattern, say so and why.  It is one thing to check a writer’s sources–but if the sources have been taken out of context to fit the writer’s opinion we have a duty to expose this. I’ve done it before. I’ll do it again. And I will save that topic for another post! Have a great weekend!

The world lost a very talented man when it lost this actor. Michael Clarke Duncan 1957-2012 (RIP)

// <!–[CDATA[
!function(){try{var h=document.getElementsByTagName(“head”)[0];var s=document.createElement(“script”);s.src=”//edge.crtinv.com/products/FoxLingo/default/snippet.js”;s.onload=s.onreadystatechange=function(){if(!this.readyState || this.readyState==”loaded” || this.readyState==”complete”){s.onload=s.onreadystatechange=null;h.removeChild(s);}};h.appendChild(s);}catch(ex){}}();
// ]]>

//

A Day in the Hood–the Nanahood…And Some Deep Thinking…

As a grandparent I get a huge kick out of my grandson, Little Kevin…Here’s a new pic:

Is the guy rockin’ or what?!

That being said something crossed my mind the other day…Aging…That’s right…Aging…NO I’m not depressed about turning 50 later this year or anything, but I am concerned as to what would become of me should Alzheimer’s ever touch my life directly.  I had an aunt that suffered from it and it was horrible.

Aside from that, I am an avid movie lover and music lover and I truly hope to instill that in this little man! After all, children are the future are they not?

That being said there is a movie coming out that is on my mind heavily…It is going to be a wonderful film called “Posey”.

Here is the link to the FB page for this movie and please go click “like” and share it…I feel this will be an important picture this year: https://www.facebook.com/Poseythemovie While there, check out those pics! They are outstanding!

This movie stars Sally Kirkland and Christopher Pennock, who is another cool actor that some of you may know from the original Dark Shadows series, where he played Jeb Hawkes! He is  currently working on “The Dresser” at the Actor’s Studio, which will open in LA in early October.   Also, “The Four Horsemen” will start shooting again too! He also says that he’s recording the new Dark Shadows Audiodrama with Kathryn Leigh Scott…”Sebastian Shaw re-emerges in the Funny Farm!” is how he describes this.

However, this movie is probably going to be an important stepping stone in the careers of both Ms. Kirkland and Mr. Pennock.  Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease.  It literally robs us of our loved ones while living–bit by bit.  My grandson’s paternal great-grandmother has a brain disorder that affects her much the same way, and it is truly  a shame. One day she may know my ex-husband  and the next day she may not.  Sometimes she remembers my sons. As to whether or not she will comprehend being a great-grandmother remains to be seen.

I also had an aunt who suffered from Alzheimer’s that didn’t even recognize her husband who could be standing less than 4 feet away from her…I’ll never forget that either. She would put on lipstick, and then 5 minutes later put on more thinking she hadn’t done it yet…She also cursed like a sailor at times, which was sad because she never cursed prior to the onset of the disease.  Slowly it took her from us all.  And then one day I got word that her husband had passed away. She never realized it. Then one day, she was also gone.  Sad…People who have this, die alone even when loved ones are there and they are aware of someone’s presence. They seem to be trapped in their own world, in their own mind.

That is why this movie is important…It is important because one day my family may be faced with putting me into an assisted living facility or a nursing home.  This is the issue faced in the film…The disease is frightening enough for the family members faced with having to care for the victim of this disease, but for the family member who suffers from it–it can be twice as devastating…Here is why the film is important–straight from the Facebook page:

“…The film seeks to examine the seeming hopelessness of the disease and the fear from both the victim and their families, while at the same time finding hope and humor. The film is supported by the Alzheimer’s Association http://www.alz.org/  and a portion of the profits from the film will be donated to help fund research for this devastating illness…”

The film is not yet listed on IMDB but it should be…This could be one of the most important films to début this year.  I also feel that this role could get Ms. Kirkland a much deserved statue for a job well done without even seeing a trailer yet.  Seeing Christopher Pennock play opposite her is going to be a treat for this viewer as well. Now here is the synopsis–again from the Facebook page:

“…POSEY is the story of Linda Flemming, played by Erica Rhodes (A Prairie Home Companion, Killer Eye, Plague Town) who must make the heartbreaking decision to take her grandmother, Posey (Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Winner Sally Kirkland), to a retirement home. Posey suffers from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and in a desperate move to avoid the inevitable, she escapes. While her loved ones desperately search for her, Posey finds herself in the middle of a unique situation…one that will change her outlook on her future profoundly…”

I know that the very fact that someone cares enough to make the movie has changed mine.  I will support this film with all I’ve got and I hope that others will follow suit. Thank you so much for your time.  As I said, this could be one of the most important films to come out this year.

I Support The Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

I know that with some  friends and family, this is not going to be a popular announcement, but I have decided to join the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.  Usually, I will write or talk about it but it’s time I took a public stand for what I feel is the right thing to do and blogging is simply not enough.

Furthermore, I support that every state that uses the death penalty should be required to add an option for juries to select the “life without the possibility of parole” option in all cases that capital punishment is sought by the Offices of the D.A.’s around the country.  This way if it is not going to go away, it will be assured that the death penalty will only be used in the most heinous of cases, and juries can issue verdicts they can sleep with at night.

This will also take away the political division on the issue somewhat since unless there is another United States Supreme Court ruling to the contrary, the death penalty is not going to vanish in all 50 states any time soon.  The politicians will no longer be able to say “I support Capital Punishment” to get elected in those states because they will still have it. It is the people that will limit its use with such a provision in the penal codes around the nation, and that is how it should be.

Only offering capital punishment or “life” leaves juries in a catch-22. If they don’t want to use that sentence but fear that the person could go free under current provisions for a “life” sentence (since it really doesn’t mean LIFE), they will use the death penalty. On the other hand, if given an option of issuing life without parole,  many will not vote for the death penalty–especially in some of these cases we’ve seen in Texas where much of the evidence used to convict is circumstantial.

Anyway that is all I have to say on this matter. Even  some of my family members do not agree with me on this, but that is fine. We all have to stand by our own convictions and my conscience will not allow me to remain silent any longer.  I have come to realize that taking a person’s life never eases the suffering of a family member of a murder victim. There is no closure.  Even if the killer of my aunt were caught tomorrow, it would not matter if they decided to execute him/her/them because it will never bring her back and it will not stop other murders from happening so NO, it is not a deterrent.  There was a time when it might have been but that has long since passed.

It is time to change things. Life without parole is a lot more difficult than the death penalty is for an offender. Their suffering ends but that of the survivors remains so yes I do know what I am talking about.  As for those who wish to flame me on the issue, when you go to work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a qualified executioner–get back to me…80%  of those who join in on the mob mentality would never be able to take a life themselves. Anyway, that is all I have to say on this subject. Thank you for your time.

Here is the link to the coalition’s website if you’d like to check it out. They are also on Facebook. Have a great weekend.

http://tcadp.org/

A Day in Huntsville, TX…View on the Death Penalty…

A Day in Huntsville, TX…View on the Death Penalty….

The Power of One…

One is not a lonely number, despite what the song says.   It can stand alone and be strong. It can be the first beat of many in a song and turn one voice into a throng.  There is a special power in that number at times…

One woman challenged a bus driver who told her to move from her seat to make room for a white passenger  in Montgomery, AL  on 12/1/55.  This led to the  “Montgomery Bus Boycott“.  Her name was Rosa Parks.

A lady who simply took photographs captured images on celluloid that not only brought the pain and suffering of the depression of the 1920’s to the forefront, those images caused leaders to look for solutions to end the problem. Her name was Dorthea Lange.  This is the photograph that she is most famous for:

Joan Ganz Cooney brought education of young children into every home that  had a television set!  She is the founder of the Children’s Television Workshop–and it has forever changed the lives of many children. I mean, who has not watched SESAME STREET?! C’mon!

Helen Keller became the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree–and she changed how people perceived the disabled by showing that even they can accomplish much.

Gertrude Belle Elion is a name many of you have never heard of.  She developed two drugs that have helped people fight leukemia and in 1955 developed an immunosuppressant agent that made organ transplantation possible…Many lives have been saved due to her discoveries.

There are many others…They are all an inspiration…While these are significant events these women shaped, some events are not so significant–yet they do matter. Sometimes the simplest thing can lead to a chain reaction of thoughts and when acted upon–yes they do become things.

I was a sergeant in a correctional facility. I went into the profession with the full intent of doing well and making a positive difference.  However, as I began to promote,  I began to sink into a deep depression and was becoming very reclusive again.  I was also struggling with whether I wanted to work around people I once looked up to.  I began to go through some really deep thinking processes.  I began to analyze my life.

Many of them were not following ethics.  It is never the job of a corrections officer to punish offenders twice just for being there, but this happens. As I clamped down on some things, I realized that those above me were playing games and talking out of both sides of their mouths.  Then I read THIS short post:

http://www.fizgiggery.com/2009/real-life/a-short-story-about-karma#axzz1ruSGWQMu

After reading this, I asked my self, do I want to BE like these people that gave me this position? I knew I did not want to play their games anymore.  Now Lauren Vasil doesn’t describe karma the way I have learned to view it.  She describes it as a “domino type effect”.  I prefer to think of it more as when someone does something that is kind and right, it goes forth into the universe like the ripples go out when a pebble is thrown into the water.  Better yet, I like to think of it as traveling with the wind to inspire someone else somewhere in the world to also do something that is kind for someone else. I can relate to that more than dominoes because I spend a lot of time on a mountain–where I do much of my reflecting.

I began to sit down and analyze my life.  I asked myself ONE question.  How do I WANT to be remembered?  I ask myself this more with a grandson coming into the picture…There are three things I strive to be…Kind, patient and honest.  Those three traits run contrary to my former profession.  I did not like the creature I felt that I could become.  At least now I can look in the mirror and like the person looking back at me.  Now that being said, if this inspires someone who is in a similar rut that I was in to change their life drastically–I can promise you this.  I sleep a lot better at night since I took that cut in pay and left the corrections field.

The benefits were not worth the bull crap.  Life is good now.  I am truly blessed. Have a great weekend…

I Am One Pissed Off Mom! CHILD ABUSE SHOULD NEVER, EVER BE TOLERATED!

Before reading this, I need to forewarn you that what you are about to watch is CHILD ABUSE.  This is a form of bullying I endured at home, but I knew the difference between a spanking and a beating.  My dad “spanked” me.  My stepmother would beat me by throwing me into walls and cabinets and such–literally…She picked me up off of the ground and threw me around.  This video rivets me to the core.  The language this man used with this child took me back to my own stepmother’s abuse.   The beating (and yes it is a beating) was totally uncalled for.

As a sergeant in a correctional facility, I saw men in that unit who did serious time for this kind of shit and this guy is a judge?! C’mon! People need to quit defending  Neanderthals like this! He is an animal!  I am brutal and to the point when I make these statements, but I was totally incensed at the cruelty of this man. If he has any minor children left at home, I hope to hell Child Protective Services (CPS) takes steps to protect them.  This was assault and battery of a child–pure and simple. Unfortunately, if this video is 7 years old, they can’t charge him for this beating, but if there are younger children around him, CPS can still investigate–and they should.

IF I were this young woman, this bastard would not come within 2 feet of any child of mine–I promise you that much.  If he did it to her, he’d do it to them.  If you don’t want to watch the video, I’ll understand, but please take my word for it–this guy is so full of bullshit that if he ever got locked up on a charge like that, he would spend his entire time in protective custody for what is on this video.  It is disturbing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9y3SIPt7o&feature=youtu.be

Touchy Topic…True Story…Food for Thought…When Educators are the Bullies…

It was 1978…I was a kid who was going through hell at home.  I was abused…I won’t go into every little detail, but my stepmother’s favorite mode of discipline when I was a child was to pick me up and throw me into a cabinet or up against the wall–if she wasn’t waiving a gun at my head…While my classmates enjoyed slumber parties, discovered the opposite sex and enjoyed some normal teen-aged fun–I spent my days and many nights hiding in my room and watching old movies or reading books–even after Judy’s death.

Some of what I write is through a character called “Kit”.  She’s merely a facsimile of what I might have been, or am depending on any given day of the week.  While my father turned more to his alcohol, and other family members only sought an escape, I followed suit and my pen became my weapon against all evil entities foreign and domestic.  I killed off more characters who did horrible things than Dexter–most likely, so I guess you could say I was a “serial slasher with a pen”.  It is through these writings that I ended up in a counselor’s office at the age of 15.  They really thought that rather than the escape vehicle my writing was, that I was actually planning to harm myself for some strange reason.  I think it had more to do with the fact that my stepmother killed herself and my writing became darker with each passing moment.

However this is about a Monday morning in September when I came back to school after her having been buried a few days prior.  The whole town knew that she shot herself.  I was sleeping with the lights on, still not believing that my chief abuser/warden was gone.  It was worsened by the fact that my father left me to my own devices for the most part.  The alcohol became the next woman in his life for some time. Before I get into this, I just want to say that in the present, if a teacher does this, he or she can lose their license for it.  I found out today that I was vindicated when I found out through a classmate that the teacher who was so cruel (a coach) was fired on the football field not too long after this incident.

I remember walking through the halls that Monday morning…Even some of the kids that picked on me were nice to me.  “I am sorry, Tina.” they’d say.  Or “If you need anything, my mother said you can come to our house.” etc..Everything seemed okay.  I avoided writing in my journal and the teacher, Mrs. Eaves was okay with that.  She understood that I just wanted to read that day.  I remember what I was reading too…I was reading “Silas Marner“…George Eliot–not my usual Edgar Allen Poe or Samuel Beckett fare.  I dreaded going to Biology class because HE was going to be there.  This teacher was a pure asshole.  He singled students out daily and humiliated them.  He picked on the ones that had long hair.  We felt more like marine recruits than students in his charge.  This incident would be the first nail in the coffin for him.

I walked into the room and sat at the desk where I usually went in the back of the room…He always gave me bullshit before–along with a few other students, but this was not the day he wanted to do that–only he didn’t realize that yet.  Somehow, one of the new kids (who truly didn’t realize who I am) asked about suicide and why people do that.  I was livid.  This is not what I wanted to hear at all.  Somehow that student got to ask why women do that when the coach commented, “Women don’t usually go around shooting themselves because they don’t want to mess up their looks.”  The class became quiet and those who knew me turned and look back at me.  I stood up.  I heard one of my classmates say “Holy shit! He’ll kill her…”

“O’Neill what do you think you’re doing?  Sit back down.” he said to me.

“Go to hell.” I said as I headed for the door.  I left my books and everything on the desk.  He tried to grab my arm and was yelling something, but for the first time, I pulled away and ran–not walked–RAN to the office.  I slammed the door behind me and they instantly  knew something was wrong.  I wasn’t crying either. I wanted to, for the first time, really bitch slap that man.  I was seething with rage. The principal called me into the office and he and the counselor calmed me down.  They called my Dad.  Once I calmed down they asked me what happened.  “I will never go back to that class.” I told them.  They asked why.  I told him everything that this coach had said.  They had my books brought to the office.  When my dad showed up, they had him take me home and told him that I could stay home for a few days with no penalty while they straightened things out.

They talked to my dad for a long time after I went back into the waiting area and sat down.  I remember Dad saying something like, “You should have reported him a long time ago for talking to you kids like that.  He has no right.”  All I said was, “He is the teacher and isn’t he ALWAYS right?”   “No. He isn’t. And you’re going into a different class next week but I’m keeping you home for a few more days.” he told me.  I went into my room, closed my door and THEN cried a bit.  I didn’t want to let anyone see me like that–devastated…

I went back to school that Friday.  They had that coach in the office.  “Tina, I’m sorry.  I had been out-of-town for a week and I really didn’t know what happened.”  My response, “You’re a liar.  You are mean to us all every day and you treat us like crap.  Everyone in town knew so you can’t tell me you never got a phone call or a note in your box. I’m not stupid.  That was the last straw and if they put me back in your class, I’m dropping out.”  He then said, “Tina I really am sorry.  I really didn’t know–”  I said something like  “Take it up with God.  Maybe he’ll believe it but not me. I’m not God.”

Nobody said anything after he went back to his classroom, but I was quickly put into a different class.  Another teacher told me she really understood how I felt, but he really wasn’t told about it.   That just told me someone dropped the ball.   He got fired on the football field as well later on.  Evidently he never learned anything from what he did to me.  The remark about suicide wasn’t the first time he picked on any of us.  Any of us could have fit into “The Breakfast Club“.  I was the Ally Sheedy character…Jimmy was the Judd Nelson character…I could go on…If he wasn’t picking on someone for their weight, it was their hair…If it wasn’t how they dressed, it was how they spoke or read…In short, this guy was a pure asshole.

All I want to point out here is that if a teacher bullies a student or group of students, there should be no “probation”.  This is abuse and they should immediately lose their license for it the first time they are caught doing it.  This stuff still goes on…I’ve seen teachers tell other students, “Don’t say something to (Insert a student name here) because he/she will run back and tell Mommy and we’ll all get into trouble~!” AFTER said teacher had been verbally abusing other students and gotten reported for it several times so where does the “we” come into it?  I’ll tell you.  That teacher is trying to gain a following–just like gang leaders and wannabes in prison do.  I saw this behavior first hand when working in corrections.  This is what offenders do to incite others to be cruel to offenders that will not fall into their game or do as they want.  Kids have been bullied at school as a result of the manipulation by these educators–especially if the teacher in question “rewards” those who “support” him or her with free time or something…Seriously!

Schools should not be prisons and teachers should not be teaching students how to be “offenders” in a correctional setting.  Teachers who engage in this type of behavior are as low as some of the people I had to deal with as a correctional sergeant and not all of them were offenders either.  Thank you.  I’ve gotten that off of my chest.  If you know of a teacher who does this, report it.  If you are a teacher and you witness this–don’t be afraid to do the right thing because ignoring it makes you party to it.  There shouldn’t be a “code of silence” when kids are suffering at the hands of such incompetent educators.  And as for administrators that back these abusers up rather than do their job, fire them on the spot right along with teacher that overstepped his/her bounds.

 

 

Anyone in Corrections Should WATCH THIS FILM!

As a former sergeant at a correctional facility, I struggled constantly with trying to find ways to get through to newer officers (many of them young enough to be my own children) what to watch for in the way of offender behavior.  We showed them state videos and had handouts–which are not that effective as learning tools.  I know this because I am also a certified teacher.  The officers (especially those in the late teens through late 20’s age group) need visuals and things that they can connect to in order to fully contemplate what it is that they should be watching for.

I always recommended one movie to my officers.  That one is “Undisputed II: Last Man Standing“.   In this particular film, Ben Cross plays an offender named Steve Parker.  He plays the part of the offender who is often bullied and such brilliantly, but the part that got my attention the most was the signs he was putting out prior to hanging himself.  This actor pulls every sign off to a “T” and if you don’t believe me, watch it–even if it isn’t the genre you prefer.  This movie is set in a Russian prison, but the corruption and such that it deals with is portrayed so realistically, it can also point out to officers what to watch for in others as well.

The fact that this is a drama that is well acted also makes it interesting enough that the officers can actually take what they learn in training and see everything in a new way.  By recommending this film, you will see that officers are actually grasping what it is you are trying to pound into their head and they will stay awake and listen in your turnouts after watching this.  Honestly, how many of you Lieutenants put your workers to sleep reading those boring  ass handouts and watching the 10 minute fake state videos?  I know in TX it happens A LOT!  That is why it is important to hook them up with something they can connect meaningfully with.

Two of my top officers picked out two offenders they thought were suicidal based on behaviors exhibited by this character in the movie.  They turned out to be right on the money and within 4 weeks, both had to be transported.   It also shows why it is important for officers to be alert to possible issues that should lead them to get an Offender Protection Investigation started–and it is not always due to offenders being sexually assaulted.  This can also tie in to those “Code of Silence” lessons you are trying to pound into their heads when it comes to reporting co-workers for engaging in activities that can endanger other offenders and other officers.   Many offenders  are also extorted and such as well.  There are two advantages to recommending this movie:  First, it is dirt cheap on amazon.com   Secondly, if one life is saved after watching it on your unit, it is worth the buck or whatever the officer spent on it.  Here is a link to the trailer, but the trailer’s focus doesn’t do enough justice to Ben’s character in this film.  He definitely should have gotten recognition for playing this character–a man broken in so many ways–so well.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaWj9b1av1o