Friday, June 26, 2009

Los Angeles Times: Patrick Judd refuses to allow valedictorian to make a speech...and fires her from her summer job

Being vindictive and malicious to adults is one thing, but Patrick Judd's retaliation against a child in his care is another. Do he and his administrators stay up nights thinking up punishments? Or do ideas just pop into their heads without any effort?

The TAS brass thinks that certain people are so insignificant that there's no need to take any notice of them.

Here's an old saying that might help Mr. Judd rethink this situation (substituting "girl" for "boy"): Always be kind to the office boy, because he's on his way up, and you're on your way down.

What were Lowell Billings and the other trustees thinking when they hired Patrick Judd to be superintendent of The Accelerated Schools? See all Pat Judd posts HERE.

Photo: Christina House / For The Times
Aurora Ponce, 18, speaks about being barred from making her valedictory speech after participating in a student sit-in.

Valedictorian says Accelerated School barred her from making speech
LA Times
By Seema Mehta
June 25, 2009
...Aurora Ponce says she was also deprived of a tutoring job she was counting on to help with coming college expenses after she took part in a protest over school cuts. Officials aren't talking.

Aurora Ponce is senior class president, boasts a near-perfect A average and is UC-bound with plans to study engineering.

But according to the 18-year-old and her supporters, officials at the Accelerated School, a collection of South Los Angeles charter schools, have barred Ponce from making her valedictory speech at Saturday's graduation as punishment for participating in a student sit-in to protest increased class sizes and the elimination of college prep classes. They have also taken away a summer tutoring job and other honors, she said.

"I see it as retaliation," said the South Los Angeles teen. "I just want to speak during graduation."

Officials involved in the actions regarding Ponce did not return calls seeking comment. They include Patrick Judd,
who is in charge of the umbrella organization that oversees the Accelerated Schools; Elizabeth Oberreiter, principal of the Wallis Annenberg High School, Ponce's campus; and Sandra Phillips, principal of the Accelerated School's K-8 school. At least one referred questions to school co-founder Johnathan Williams, who said he was not familiar with the matter and would not release student information to the media in any event.

"All I'll say is this school is doing wonderfully by the children and the families and all the rest," he said. "There's no story here. Everyone is treated fairly here at the Accelerated School and Wallis Annenberg High School."

[Maura Larkins' note to Mr. Williams: If you're not familiar with all the complaints at TAS, then your comments about how wonderful it is are without foundation.]

Dozens of parents and students who protested outside the school Wednesday, many carrying posters calling for Judd's firing, disagreed.

...Critics charge that in recent years, what was once a collaborative environment rich with teacher and parent input has given way to top-heavy management that is not responsive to parents and students and is no longer transparent in its decision-making. These concerns, along with class sizes increasing, popular teachers departing and some college-prep offerings being eliminated, led scores of students to stage a silent sit-in May 15 outside the Annenberg auditorium...

It's unclear how many students were punished, but Ponce said she was immediately escorted off campus without her parents being notified and was suspended for two days. Other punishments have dribbled out since...

Iranian cleric urges firm punishment for protesters
June 26, 2009
Two weeks into turmoil, Iran's leaders turned up the heat Friday as a high-ranking cleric warned protesters that they would be punished "firmly" and shown no mercy.

Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami says rioters in Iran will be "firmly" dealt with if they continue to protest.

"Rioters and those who mastermind the unrest must know the Iranian nation will not give in to pressure and accept the nullification of the election results," said Ayatollah Ahmed Khatami during Friday prayers in Tehran, according to Iran's state-run Press TV.

"I ask the Judiciary to firmly deal with these people and set an example for everyone," Khatami said...


Video shows Honduran troops shooting protesters' bus tires
July 3, 2009

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (CNN) -- Honduran soldiers shot out the tires of buses headed for a demonstration in support of ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya, a video obtained by CNN shows.

This image from a cell phone video shows Honduran soldiers shooting out the tires of a bus.

The video, believed shot within the past two days, shows a line of buses stopped on a road in what is reported to be the city of Limones. The city is about 70 miles (112 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

A noisy, chaotic crowd is milling around the buses while soldiers move among them. Some slight pushing can be seen.

"The people united can never be defeated," many crowd members chant in unison.

Gunfire is heard and the crowd grows quieter. More shots are heard and then the video shows soldiers shooting out the tires on a yellow bus. Air hissing from a tire can be heard and the video shows a flattened tire. ..

No comments: