Lead, Book Purging And Censorship Displaces Reading, Writing And Arithmetic At Borough Schools

https://i2.wp.com/bestfountainideas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/are-school-water-fountains-safe.jpg

Left to right then left to right; generic photo of health hazardous water fountains, a pile of discarded textbooks from a secondary school in Manhattan, the student journalists at Flushing High and their snowflake asshole dictator principal.

To be a kid going to school today is quite an adventure. While most will have to deal with fascist peer pressure, sadistic bullies and all their studies centering on obtuse exams provided by CommonCore standards, now they have to deal with those assigned for their health and well-being mucking up their educational process and progress into adulthood and bringing their parents along with an additional thing to worry about to add to the terminal stasis of struggling with the cost of living in the 5 boroughs of NYC.

A few short months after an public/intermediate school in Manhattan was found to have enormous levels of lead in the water coming out of it’s shower pipes exceeding the scandalous contamination in Flint, Michigan, recent reports by the DOE has shown that one out of  20 of the faucets in 80% of the city schools borough wide, including drinking fountains and taps from cafeteria kitchens, have similar and extra dangerous amounts in their plumbing. One particular school in Crown Heights, PS 289 had a water fountain by one classroom that had lead levels of 15 ppb (parts per billion), 1.7 more than the most found in Flint, back in December 2016, which parents of students at the school were only notified of just a few weeks ago. Even the recently installed Pre-K schools across the boroughs have shown lead contamination in their drinking fountains.

The response by officials have been dismissive and encouraging, or dismissively encouraging as a health official quoted that there isn’t much of a risk:

An official with the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene downplayed any dangers posed by the Room 222 fountain.

“These testing results don’t reflect a steady state or result,” said Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the agency’s first deputy commissioner.

“If there was a true risk here, we would have seen it already,” she said.

As is habit under the hand of Mayor De Faustio and his cabinet, this devastating health concern is being handled with a contradictory but reassuring sounding response:

City officials found the high lead levels in 10,633 samples taken from 1,278 public school buildings, representing 8% of 132,276 samples taken.

But the amounts revealed in the long-awaited test results did not indicate potential harm to students, schools Deputy Chancellor Elizabeth Rose said.

“Families should rest assured that water in schools is safe for students and staff to drink,” Rose said. “The number of elevations are minimal and we take immediate action to remediate all fixtures.”

After this bland assurance from Ms. Rose, parents of students are advised to equip their kids with thermoses (more stuff to carry to school), bottles of poland spring or from of the corporate soda companies (more money to spend), or maybe Brita filters of their own. In the meantime, costs to refurbish or replace these tainted pipes and demands by concerned borough hosts presidents to provide bottle water to those schools affected will probably encroach double digit millions.

As if the risks of drinking tainted water without being informed by those responsible for their welfare during the day is not tense enough, now the kids will have to struggle and literally mine in garbage for books and hide them from demented overseers to be traditionally taught. Because at a high school in Manhattan, the Life Sciences Secondary School, Principal Kim Swanson and Assistant Principal Derek Premo have made the supply-side cost-cutting decision to get rid of all the textbooks, primers and even classic literature to make way for the supposed dominance of technology replacing paper and the fact that they personally don’t like books.

Swanson and Premo, who took the helm of the 616-student joint middle and high school in 2015, sent aides from classroom to classroom in November to collect the books. Workers also emptied book storage closets. Hundreds of tomes were tossed over the Thanksgiving break.

“They made an announcement that they were getting rid of the books because they were antiquated and outdated, and we should be using new technology,” a teacher said. “I hid some of my books to prevent them being taken.”

“We’re not allowed to use books,” said a second staffer, who advised struggling students to “go downstairs, grab a book from the pile, and take them home — because they’re just going to throw them out.”

These people were hired in executive positions to run a facility for teaching and learning. Apparently, in their zeal to waste taxpayer funded money to destroy these books, the school still doesn’t have enough computers to go around and learning and grade averages have regressed.

To complete the city’s DOE malfeasance hat trick of debilitating the youth of today, there is the pervasive spread of obstructing journalism and manufacturing consent by higher echelons. Flushing High School’s Principal Tyee Chin ordered to kill the publication of these aspiring student journalists, the Flushing Advocate, because of what he perceived was negative criticism of the teachers under him and being slighted by not having his tyrannical face on the cover of the issue.

Tyee Chin has refused to publish the third issue of the fledgling Flushing Advocate, calling everything in it and a prior issue “negative and disparaging.”

I will not approve this edition,” Chin declared in an e-mail.

Chin cited a feature that infuriated him: “What Makes a Good Teacher?” which quotes multiple students.

One sophomore commented, “Good teachers help you struggle less and help you get motivated, but to be honest, Flushing High School lacks in those kinds of teachers. Out of my 8 classes, only 3 of my teachers really care.”

Chin was also displeased by the placement of his “Principal’s Corner — a note from Mr. Chin” on Page 4 in the last issue, a student said. “He’s like ‘Give me the front cover’ . . . He got really angry about that.”

The behavior of this vain snowflake official comes hot on the heels of recent events involving Mayor De Faustio’s disturbing efforts to control the narrative in his responses and non-responses to reporters at press conferences and public appearances, and somewhat similar to the corporate news media’s decisions to slant reporting to their target demographic ideologies.

But mostly, this gives the impression that our city schools are trying to condition the kids for the rough times ahead and make them adjusted to squalid conditions, unskilled labor, and shoddy, uninformative reporting. Mostly it’s too disengage them from the desire and the right to be informed.

These are offenses that should warrant punitive actions like fines, suspensions and in the case of all three, the firing of these people responsible for the welfare of toddlers, kids and young adults during the working hours of their parents. Which again leads to the question of the person assigned to this duty…

Where in the frickin’ city is School Chancellor Carmen Farina?

Why here she is, materializing to decree that all schools, including 80% of those with excessive lead toxicity amounts in the water, those that threw thousands of books into the garbage and the one where journalistic integrity and reporting is controlled by one vain prick, have one bathroom for transgender students.

NY Daily News: Every NYC school must provide a single-stall bathroom for students with gender identity concerns

Every city school must arrange for at least one designated single-stall restroom to protect students with medical issues or gender concerns, the schools chancellor said Tuesday.

The designated bathrooms will provide an additional safe space for the students and will not require special permission or medical proof to be used, according to Chancellor Carmen Fariña and the city Department of Education. All school buildings will have single-stalls installed for students by January 2018, Fariña vowed.

To reach that goal, school officials will team up with custodial staffers and principals at each school to identify an existing single-stall bathroom in their building that can be converted for student use, officials said.

This woman is an idiot. What are really the qualifications for those kids to be permitted to use them. And how does transgender apply to kids anyway? Back in the day, they used to be called tomboys or tomgirls (I think). When I heard this applied to kids, I thought parents were approving sex altering operations for their prepubescent offspring.

And the costs to determine where to install these “safe spaces” and deciding who will use them will be astronomical. There’s also the prospect that this will not stop bullying, for bigoted kids will just wait for them by these new facilities to verbally or physically beat them up instead of in the required bathrooms. Clearly this comes from the orders from the corrupt Mayor De Faustio and the usual inclination of neoliberals to follow the political activist trend of the moment.

This self-satisfying nonsense comes at the expense of suffering students everywhere, at least the ones who yearn to learn and be truly independent. Both progressive and conservative. Instead, this city and the ones that legislate it would rather have the kids dumb as shit and uninformed. That’s a good way to keep the permanent government system thriving by the next generation of voters, whose minds are warped by lead poisoning, to choose stupidly or lazily not show up on election day at all.

Where In This Frickin’ City Is Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina?

Here she is!

Ozone Park, Queens, N.Y.

Some disturbing news from the childhood home of Jimmy Breslin. A public school, P.S. 63, attended by children ranging in ages from 5 to 12, has recently experienced a case of the deadly strain meningitis in a kindergarten student last Thursday. The school dutifully sent letters with this pertinent information, along with symptoms to watch out for, to parents of the kids who go there which they all collectively received.

This is quite disturbing. Mostly because nobody knows when this child was diagnosed or when she actually contracted the disease. More disturbing and off-putting is that the school with this crucial info, decided to send letters through the mail instead of contacting the families by email or instant messaging.

But most disturbing is the rarity of the presence of this disease, which according to the department of health and hygiene, only shows up a few times a year. And now it’s happened in a big school and in a very populous area in Southeast Queens. Naturally, the residents must be heavily concerned and are deserving of more information and proactive measures by officials.

But this is just par for the course and business as usual under the auspices of the regaled but elusive chancellor of the DOE, Ms. Carmen Farina.

This is a hard woman to find. Especially in the past year, or maybe even the past 3 months as schools have seen other current health threats, ominous, existential and just plain disgusting.

In Manhattan, PS/IS 217, water level toxicity was found in the locker room the amount of poison in the water in the Flint, Michigan criminal transference of filtration systems to cut costs. The weight room faucets actually released toxicity levels over 200 times the amount found in the locker faucets, and 120 times the amount in Flint. Fortunately, it was non-drinking, but some water does get ingested while washing off in the shower.

Being that the Flint scandal made national and international news, all borough presidents made themselves useful and all wrote a strongly worded memo a month ago to take immediate action after a study in late January found that 9% of faucets checked had lead levels over the 15 parts per billion danger level.

Since it wasn’t from a drinking fountain, the chancellor reportedly did not answer. 9% isn’t that big an estimate to warrant attention apparently either.

Then there is the cuisine at Stuyvesant High School, 6 blocks west of City Hall. Words alone cannot illustrate the vileness of the food and the blatant negligence of the B.O.E, led by Chancellor Farina.

CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer was demanding answers Tuesday.

Students at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St., were ordering lunch at a nearby deli Tuesday because, they said, the cafeteria food was a little funky.

The students were even more determined to avoid eating in after CBS2’s Kramer showed them pictures of items that until a few weeks ago were cafeteria staples.

Pizza and chicken have been pulled from school cafeterias because of contamination such as nails found inside chicken fingers. And this was not an isolated incident.

Although it was difficult getting information from the fortress-like Department of Education, a whistleblower provided CBS2 with disturbing pictures. The pizza appeared to have green mold on it, while the chicken tenders had pieces of metal.

Saying, “The safety and well-being of students always comes first, the Department of Education stopped serving the pizza a week ago, and the chicken two weeks before that.

But that is not the whole story.

Sources claim that between Feb. 17 and March 13, there were reportedly four complaints about the pizza from schools across the city. The chicken tenders are even more problematic – a sources said last September that bones were found four times.

A school cafeteria worker choked on a bone, requiring a Heimlich maneuver.

Sources said the chicken tenders were removed from the menu temporarily. The Department of Education admitted that its solution was to have the tenders X-rayed for bones.

Tenders were apparently back on the menu in January, and the pieces of metal started turning up in February.

CBS2’s Kramer has been demanding answers from the Department of Education for about a week, and she said it has not been easy. The department did not have answers for simple questions such as whether parents had been notified about tainted food.

A spokesman said, “I’ll have to get back to you on that one,” Kramer reported.

A day later, Mayor De Blasio Faustio addressed this repulsive health hazard, reportedly he did so furiously.

But as naturally inclined, the teflon mayor, as with other pressing issues that once dogged him, like illegal fundraising, pay to play governing, and the bigoted murder of a poor man on the street, he still claims ignorance and obfuscates.

Kramer: “Why were the parents not informed? Where is the transparency?”

De Blasio: “I don’t know enough about what they’ve told parents.”

On Tuesday, Kramer asked a spokeswoman for schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña if the parents were notified. Spokeswoman Toya Holness replied, “I’ll have to get back to you on that one.”

But the Department of Education did not comment further at the time, so Kramer pressed the mayor for an answer.

“If they haven’t informed parents enough, we want them to right away, so I’ll certainly direct DOE to be very, very clear,” de Blasio said.

Kramer also asked the mayor about why the department that served meals to 1.1 million students did not fire the supplier immediately.

“I don’t know the facts,” de Blasio said. “I’ll need to get the facts from the DOE, and then I’ll happily comment.”

Meanwhile, after two days, the Department of Education finally responded Wednesday afternoon to Kramer’s question about whether parents were told about the contaminated food. The answer was no, they were not, but the department was planning to notify them.

“We are sending information to schools to share with families,” the DOE spokeswoman said.

Kramer has not heard back after asking when the information would be sent to parents.

The only information gathered here is that the DOE seems to have 2 spokeswomen, because the first one is identified and the second one is not. And Chancellor Farina cannot be found.

Actually, just last week, Chancellor Farina surfaced and spoke when there was inquiries about investigations on certain yeshiva schools not devoting classes to secular studies. Investigations approaching 2 years

NY Post:

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Tuesday strongly denied claims that the city is dragging out a probe of yeshivas so as not to upset the politically powerful Brooklyn Hasidic community.

As The Post reported, advocates say dozens of the religious schools aren’t teaching secular studies, as required by state law — and they charge Mayor de Blasio with turning a blind eye.

“[Politics] has not even entered our minds,” Fariña told reporters at City Hall after testifying at a hearing on the new city budget. “This is not politically motivated. I didn’t take this job to do a political job. I took this job to do an educational job.”

She said the probe has entered its 19th month because the issue is complicated — including witnesses testifying about the education they received as long as 20 years ago.

It’s not clear why the DOE is interviewing students who are that far removed from graduation.

Fariña also noted that “there are a lot of people very happy with these schools.”

So she deigns to address the press and the public to provide sanctuary for her boss’s debt to a minority yet powerful sect of the Orthodox Hasidic communities. But she notices that people seem happy there, for they don’t shower with lead tainted water and dine on vantablack pizza and metal studded chicken cutlets

And then she was gone again.

This is quite eccentric behavior from someone tasked specifically to look out for the interests and education of children and young adults. Yet it’s not at all abnormal when cognitive dissonance, gaslighting and plausible deniability are the default methods utilized when dealing with issues of public interest in this city and state. Which is what you get when 76% don’t show up to vote and the victor gets to appoint his circle of well-meaning but incompetent friends to cabinet posts.

Is this really what kids these days, who are not self-absorbed and distracted, should be learning. Or should they embrace cynicism as early as Pre-K in the government process and shoddy deployment of services displayed by these elected and appointed hacks.

Chancellor Carmen Farina is still not available for comment.

Editor’s Note: The headline was inspired by the children’s cartoon, “Where in the world is Carmen Santiago”. But because of lack of skills and the lack of Photoshop, I couldn’t post an appropriate or relevant rendition.

Update: Marcia Kramer found the Chancellor. But not without being initially oppressed from doing her job as a journalist.