Texas school principal shuts down entire cosmetology course to keep a gay man from taking it. Yep, everything is bigger in Texas. Even the bigotry. —-
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In case you live under a rock, or just someplace more enlightened than the backwoods armpit of America I call home, you might not be aware of what I’m going to talk about today. That’s ok, though. I can bring you up to speed. But be aware that, while I’ve written this in my standard irreverent tone, it’s a very serious issue. Please lend your support accordingly.

Basically, it’s like this. The local school district here in Beaumont, TX used to offer a night course in cosmetology at the Taylor Career Center. But this year, a guy that the principal of the campus thought looked a little gay tried to enroll. I’m not sure what looked gay about him, but I’m assuming he had on a unicorn sweater-vest with rainbow earrings and a giant button on his crotch that said, “I LOVE PENIS. ASK ME HOW!”

But anyway, according to the class instructor, the principal immediately told her to not allow the student to take the course, on account of his perceived gayness. To her credit, the instructor refused and the principal was forced to meet with BISD’s legal counsel, during which he learned that he couldn’t discriminate against the student by refusing to allow him to take the class. So instead, he reacted in the most sensible way any reasonable bigot in his situation would: HE SHUT IT DOWN. The entire night course. Gone.

Naturally, this didn’t take long to hit the Internet, where it quickly shot to national attention. Strangely enough, people seem to have a problem with shutting down an entire course just because a gay guy wanted to take it. Especially when it was a course in hair styling. I don’t want to get all stereotypical on you here, but come on. If the principal doesn’t think at least a few gay dudes have slipped under his radar to learn how to cut hair over the years, he’s slower on the uptake than that guy on the Titanic who stayed in bed because he was pretty sure all the water coming into his stateroom was from the toilet he’d backed up after devouring forty tons of shellfish on the rich-bastards-only buffet.

So yeah, the rest of the world got in on the outrage, a Facebook group got started, protests were organized and eventually the wrath of Reddit descended upon the Beaumont Independent School District Of Intolerant Cruelty until they finally relented and decided that it might be a good idea to go ahead and offer the course, after all. Gee, ya think?!


Originally citing “budget restraints” as their reason for shuttering the course
, the district has suddenly found a way to keep it open…by funding it in the exact same way it was funded before: through student tuition. Of course, it’s important to note that they chose the term budget restraints rather than the more expected budget constraints. Granted, BISD’s communication department is no stranger to being a stranger to the dictionary, so it’s entirely possible that they just used the wrong word because it sounded close enough and they just didn’t know any better. Then again, budget constraints would imply that a limited availability of funds caused them to shut down the course, which would be odd because they’re always talking about how much money they have. Budget restraints, however, would tend to suggest that, while the money was there, they decided to restrain themselves on how they wanted to spend it. Or, more specifically, how they didn’t want to spend it teaching gay dudes how to make people look FAAABULOUS!

Either way, they’ve decided to go ahead and offer the course. After issuing a statement explaining how the principal has been properly disciplined and will be removed from his position, along with offering a lengthy apology to the LGBT community and the city as a whole, the BISD communication department then slapped me with a trout and told me I’d never amount to anything until I stopped letting Kevin Bacon dance with Jon Lithgow’s daughter…

Later, after I woke up from my nap, I realized I was dreaming. BISD doesn’t apologize, dammit. Apologies and responsible actions are for the weak! Or something.

Anyway, they did release a statement explaining themselves by not explaining anything at all. First, they said there wasn’t enough student interest in the course to continue offering it. Then, they said that there was so much interest, they just had to offer it. And then they said the media lied about everything, presumably because of reasons.

There was a protest at the BISD Administration building today that had a fairly good turn out, and there will be another one at this week’s school board meeting. I doubt anything will come out of it, though. This is the same district that re-hired its electrical contractor after he admitted defrauding the district, despite enormous public outcry to, you know, not keep paying money to a criminal. It’s the same district that purchased countless copies of a horrible book self-published by its own spokesperson to distribute to graduating seniors. It’s the same district that had one of the highest paid superintendents in the nation, with a history of corruption, unaccountability and disdain for the public interest that always seems to skirt its way around ever actually getting in trouble for anything. Of course they’re not going to do anything about this principal’s bigotry, except maybe promote him to the executive cabinet. That’s what they do.

Still, it’s nice to see regular folks taking some sort of political action, even if it’s less David and Goliath and more David and Goliath’s Unholy Bazooka Of Pitiless Smiting. Then again, BISD has pretty much just spat in the face of the Golden Rule Of Our Time, which is simply: Don’t piss off the Internet.

By making the front page of Reddit, BISD might just be forced into action after the angry, unwashed horde of net savvy redditors storm their little castle and start making demands. And I hope that’s what happens. What the principal did is inexcusable – and therefore, no excuses should be made for it. He should be terminated, the district should issue an apology to the community, and the teacher – who was let go, by the way – should be given her job back. With a raise. And the ‘gay’ student should get to take the class for free, after BISD’s new Superintendent buys him the fanciest set of scissors, clippers and combs available to today’s discerning cosmetological professional.

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

BISD Program Ended Due To Homophobia

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UPDATE #1: As you’ll see in the archive of the live blog below, the BISD school board made it clear that they have no intention of investigating this matter beyond any cursory, done-in-a-few-hours investigation they claim to have already done. They also made it clear that they most likely won’t be releasing any documentation to support their stated reasons for closing down, then re-opening the cosmetology program. It’s just more cover-up and doublespeak for a school district well-versed in the machinations of deceit.

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UPDATE #2: The Beaumont Independent School District has begun mailing out their Fall 2012 class list for Adult and Community Education, which is where the administration has decided to “continue” the adult cosmetology program. So, let’s take a gander at a few of the courses they’re offering:

  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch classes
    Fee: $120.00
  • Introduction to Computers
    Fee: $130.00 (includes text)
  • Zumba Fitness
    Fee: $40.00
  • Power YOGA
    Fee: $40.00
  • Concealed Handgun License
    Fee: Not specified
  • Self Awareness Class
    Fee: $25.00

So yeah, that’s a nice course listing. There are other courses like beginning piano lessons and grant-writing, but it’s important to know that you can get your Zumba on after some Power YOGA, before you learn how to use your iPhone and become Self-Aware that you’re carrying a Concealed Handgun. And they’re all reasonably priced, too. Good for you, BISD! Way to show the residents of Beaumont that you care.

Except, well…there’s this entry:

  • Adult Cosmetology Course
    (1500 hours is necessary for certification)
    Cost of course: $3,000.00
    Course-related fees:
    $100.00 Lab Fee (non-refundable)
    $25.00 State Fee
    $175.00 Lab Kit
    $200.00 Book Fee
    Time: Monday – Thursday, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Yikes! Something strange happened there, but in case you missed it, the cost of this one course (as compared to the others) shot up by just shy of OHMYGODITSFULLOFDOLLARS! Granted, $3,500.00 is still a pretty good deal for an entire course in cosmetology, assuming it’s a full course that will end in certification, like the one Lamar offers for around $6,000.

Oh, and a minimum of ten students must sign up for the course, which is probably what BISD is hoping won’t happen.

Shortly after writing this update, it was brought to my attention that the course used to cost $75 tuition per week, along with $100 non-refundable deposit, a $175 lab kit and $25 registration fee. The current course allows the $3,000 tuition to be paid in bi-weekly installments of $125, which would actually make the course cheaper at $62.50 per week, not counting the extra $200.00 book fee.

So, it turns out that BISD is actually offering a pretty good deal here – one that, apart from the new book fee, is actually cheaper for students than it was previously. You know, when they cancelled it due to “budget restraints”. I guess charging less for something now makes sense after cancelling it for not bringing in enough money then. Or something. This is BISD. Logic need not apply.

It’ll be interesting to see if the documentation ever turns up that supports their stated financial reasons for shuttering the course, considering that the supposed documentation can in no way make any sense at all. Something costs too much? Cancel it! Then bring it back! But this time charge less!

Then again, we’re talking government math here. In that context, their figures actually make a sort of sense. In a weird, totally doesn’t make any sense at all sense, but it’s a still sort of sense, nonetheless. And that’s something. I guess.

If you’d like more information about the Adult Cosmetology Course, contact Ms. Sheryl George at (409)617-5740 ext. 3819. Just make sure you call before 4:00 p.m., because we’re dealing with government hours here. Working until 5:00 is just so private sector.

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UPDATE #3: I’ve been told that the tuition for the course has not changed. It always worked out to $3,000, which is what BISD is now charging for the course. The $200 book fee is new, but everything else remains unchanged. Well, everything except for one teensey-weensey detail the district would rather us not talk about…

And that’s the specialty courses. Previously, the Adult Cosmetology Program offered the following specialty courses, which amounted to roughly 50% of student enrollment:

  • Manicuring (600 Hours)
    Fee: $1200
  • Hair weaving (300 Hours)
    Fee: $900
  • Braiding (2 Weeks)
    Fee: $300
  • Instructor course (250 Hours)
    Fee: $900
  • Refresher course (2 Days/Week)
    Fee: $25

It seems strange that the district cites “budget restraints” as the original reason for shuttering the course while, at the same time, reinstating the course without these money-making specialty courses that, I’ve been told, accounted for roughly half the student enrollment in the Cosmetology program. If money was the issue, why cut out 50% of your student enrollment along with 50% of the income generated by the program? It’s all beginning to make the sort of sense that doesn’t.

Unless, of course, they’re lying. Unless they want student enrollment to drop below the new 10 student minimum so they can go ahead and shut down the course anyway. Unless everything they’ve said up to this point has been a total fabrication designed to lead to the inescapable result of BISD just doing whatever it wants to whomever it wants, regardless of how anyone feels about it. Especially if they’re gay.

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UPDATE #4: I’ve learned that, at the time Thomas Amons shut down the adult Cosmetology program at Taylor Career Center, the course had the new minimum number of ten students either already enrolled and attending, or ready to enroll. So, let’s add all this up. The cost of the program hasn’t changed. The number of students hasn’t changed. The BISD budget hasn’t changed. State cuts that might have affected the budget haven’t changed. In fact, nothing has changed except for a gay guy trying to enroll, and, well…you can take it from there.

Don’t believe me? Didn’t Dr. Chargois talk about how the state cuts in funding might have been to blame for the “budget restraints” the district has cited as the reason the course was cancelled? So I must be making this up, right? I mean, I’m one of those mean-spirited bloggers that’s worse than the media, who “isn’t always your friend,” according to BISD Board President Woodrow Reece.

So yeah, I’ll just let ol’ Woodrow tell it like it is:

Um…
Did you catch that? In case you missed it, here’s the quote, taken from “Principal Matters” as made available on BISD’s website on August 28 of this year:
“Well, so far, from the last cut, we did not lay anyone off. A lot of the school districts laid folks off. They had to cut here and cut there. We didn’t have to cut here and cut there. We’re fortunate that we’re financially safe. We’ve taken care of business. We’ve done projects, but we still have money for education.”
Did you catch that? A month ago, the state cuts hadn’t impacted BISD at all. No layoffs, no cutting here or cutting there, nada. But a month later, and well, you see, the state cut their funding, so naturally they had to close programs. Both of these statements can’t be true, so we’re left to wonder: Were they lying then, or are they lying now?Also, keep in mind how the BISD Administration has repeatedly stated that the course should have never been run from the Taylor Career Center, and that as soon as they were made aware of its existence, they had to shut it down. And fire the teacher who blew the whistle on the principal’s alleged bigotry. And then re-open the course under the Adult Education umbrella after they got caught and the Internet found out. I’m not entirely certain how they were so unaware of the program and how it was run when the adult cosmetology course was putting on hair shows and popping up on local news every year, but hey, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure no one like the Special Assistant to the Superintendent knew about it or anything. I mean, it’s not like she had Thomas Amons telling her about it himself on her goofy TV show back on August 20, 2010 or anything, right?

Wrong.

Granted, he’s talking about the high school program there, but he specifically mentions the night courses, which is when the adult classes were held. So maybe Jessie Haynes was blinded by the golden splendor of her magnificent banana suit during that interview and just doesn’t remember it. I guess, when you really stop to think about it, the whole program could easily have escaped the notice of the BISD administration for years. After all, it’s not like the Beaumont Enterprise ever ran a front-page story about Cequena Clark and the Cosmetology program back on November 15, 2011 or anything.

Wait. You mean they did? Ok, but lots of people don’t read the paper, I guess. Too many words and all that thinkin’ too early in the morning is probably the last thing the royal court of BISD wants to do before stumbling into the office. So I bet they never even saw the story. It’s not like it was posted online or anything, was it?

It was. Well, crap. Let me think for a minute. Hrmmm…well, we did just get a fabulous technology display at the last board meeting, so I guess it’s possible that the presentation was to let the upper echelons of BISD know that the Internet comes on computers now. Or something.

Oh, fine. Have it your way. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re probably right. Of course BISD knew about the program. However you slice it, its existence was more obvious to the BISD administration than a Taco Bell fart in a compact car, and there’s really no way they can continue to claim otherwise. Except that they will.

I’m in the process of getting some documents up for you guys to check out that will shed further light on all this nonsense, but mull this over until then. The fact is, BISD knew about this program, supported it, promoted it and condoned its existence for years. The fact is, there were no financial reasons for closing the adult cosmetology program, as it was self-funded in the exact same way, for the exact same price as it is under their new version of the program.

Of course, now BISD has to pay to get a new license and go through a chain of command to get the program going again after moving it to Adult Education, but I’ll have more on that later. For now, let’s just sit back and enjoy Dr. Chargois talking about how bad GED students smell. Because that’s always fun.


That’s the smell of learning, Tim.

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UPDATE #5: I have a couple of quick scans of a document to show you. These are from last year’s Adult Cosmetology program. The first one shows that the program was always self-funded by students, and that the cost of the program has not changed in any significant way under BISD’s new version.

So much for those “financial restraints”…

The next scan shows the specialty courses BISD has quietly omitted from the new version of the program. Remember, these specialty courses accounted for roughly half of the students enrolled in the program, and they weren’t exactly cheap. Now, losing these specialty programs and the income they generated might not seem like the smartest idea for a district claiming that “financial restraints” caused them to close the program down in the first place, but it does…if they have no real intention of starting the program back up, anyway.

Specialty courses? We don’t need no stinkin’ specialty courses!

You see, in order to even offer the course, BISD has to do a few things first. Keep in mind, I’m not exactly a cosmetology licensing expert or anything, but I’ve been contacted by someone a little more well-versed in it than me, and they had a couple of questions. First, they’re not even sure opening a new school operating in the same space would even be legal. When the course was entirely handled by the Taylor Career Center, that didn’t matter. One school, one license. But now that the adult course has been entirely separated from the Career Center (although it will still be taught there, in the same location) and brought under the Adult Education program’s umbrella, BISD probably can’t use Taylor Career Center’s license to teach the adult course. And, even if they did get a new license, it might not even be legal to operate two separate schools with two separate instructors in the same location, with students from one mingling with the other.

Of course, to even get a new license, BISD is going to have to submit a financial plan, write and submit curriculum, then pay a $200 inspection fee and a $500 application fee to the Texas Department Of Licensing And Regulation – and, from what I’ve been told, none of this has been done yet. Which is understandable, I guess. After all, why should the district go through all that effort when it’s already doing its best to make sure that they won’t even have to offer the course, anyway?

So let’s recap. BISD claims it shut down the program to save money. Then, it opens the program back up under a different department, creating a potential licensing conflict with the state in the process, followed by the increased cost of having to get new licensing, inspections, curriculum, etc…

Saving money by spending money? That’s BISD math right there. I wonder if they test for voodoo arithmetic on the STAAR™?

Please check the How You Can Help section below for information regarding who you should contact to lodge complaints. For license-related inquires specifically, check out the contact info for the Texas Workforce Commission and the US Department of Justice.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP:

The best hope we have of getting some semblance of justice or transparency out of this district is you. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, please share this story with your friends, share the links to the news articles I’ve placed within this post and, most importantly, let the Beaumont Independent School District hear from you. The more their inboxes and voicemails and pony express satchels fill up with the complaints of concerned people from all over the world, the more likely it is that they’ll be forced to take some sort of action to respect the wishes of the people they claim to represent. But we can’t do it without you. We need your help, Internet.

Sign the petition, then email the BISD Administrators and let them know how you feel. Of course, this is easier said than done, since they like to keep their addresses secret and hidden away from public scrutiny. So naturally, this means I have them.

I’ve added links that point directly to the inbox of each relevant administrator below. Because I love you.

Also, be sure to check out the link to the Texas Education Agency to find out how to report this incident higher up the chain of command.

Help.
Be heard.

Make a difference.


BISD Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Timothy Chargois (tchargo@beaumont.k12.tx.us)

Special Assistant To The Superintendent
Jessie Haynes (jhaynes@beaumont.k12.tx.us)

Taylor Career Center Principal
Thomas Amons (tamons@beaumont.k12.tx.us)

Adult and Continuing Education Programs Director
Richard Cantu (rcantu@beaumont.k12.tx.us)

Communications Specialist
Ron Reynolds (rreynol@beaumont.k12.tx.us)

BISD School Board
trustees@beaumont.k12.tx.us

Texas Education Agency
TEA review process for school discrimination complaints

Texas Workforce Commission
The Texas Education Agency out sources the licensing and regulation of private career schools and colleges to the TWC’s Career Schools and Colleges program
512-936-3100

The United States Department of Justice
DOJ Educational Discrimination line
1-877-292-3804 or 1-202-514-4092.

Additional reports:
theexaminer.com
patheos.com
hackcollege.com
queerty.com
jonathanturley.org
radionz.co.nz
outsmartmagazine.com

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LIVE BLOG ARCHIVE
BISD PROTEST
AND SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2012
(Archive below Related Posts)

 

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:35 pm

That’s pretty much it. Goodnight, kids.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:29 pm

The meeting has been called back to order. They’re just running through action items now, and will be done soon.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:28 pm

One of the speakers tried to go talk to Chargois. We’ll wait to see if she comes back alive before we sign off.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:22 pm

And that’ll pretty much be it. So a whole lot nothing happened. It’s BISD, folk. What’d you expect? Accountability?!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:22 pm

We’re taking an intermission.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:18 pm

And then, laughter.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:18 pm

Tom Neild asked Chargois if BISD will provide the documentation necessary to support its claims about the closure of the cosmetology program. — pregnant pause — “…We’ll do our best.”

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:15 pm

Chargois says they won’t tolerate anyone being discriminated against, but they’re also not going to respond to every little thing that might happen after its already happened.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:13 pm

“Anybody and everybody can call anybody and everybody and say anything and everything they want to say to anybody and everybody they want to say it to.” -Dr. Timothy Chargois, Expert Communicator

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:11 pm

Mike Neild just slammed the BISD Communications Department. Sorry, Mike. NO GIANT FACE FOR YOU!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:10 pm

There’s a whole lot of talking without very much information. Apparently, the program was so poorly run that citing even one way it was poorly run is just silly.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:08 pm

Chargois was almost able to say unequivocally when he said he can unequivocally say that no member of the career center staff discriminate against anyone.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:06 pm

S oit was just mismanaged, then?

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:06 pm

Chargois is now implying it was his decision to cut the program, because it wasn’t being run how this new superintendent would run it. That’s new. And totally not made up.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:04 pm

Neild asked Chargois for enrollment numbers. He doesn’t have them with him at this time. Because coming prepared would make too much sense.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:03 pm

Board member Mike Neild has a question now. He wants a discussion about the cosmetology program. In other news, we want a moon pony. I bet I get my wish first.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:02 pm

Mike Getz is up now, responding to insinuations that the reason the West Brook field house was delayed was because of court actions. Getz says that the district lost both times. So yeah, the hearings caused delays because they stopped BISD from doing things wrong. Duh, Mike.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20129:00 pm

The next speaker is talking about race, and how, as “a white man in a black district”, he’s a minority. He wants people to stop picking at scabs. Because yeah, that’s just gross.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:58 pm

The next speaker is pro-Amons, and has brought with her some staff from the Taylor Career Center. She’s saying “erroneous” a lot. They’re standing. She’s smacking. I do not know why.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:57 pm

She wants to see the previous years’ enrollment to see what was different about this year than years past that caused the decision to close the cosmetology program. You know, other the gay kid trying to enroll.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:55 pm

The next speaker wants the district to open an investigation, and asked if she could refer to people by title rarer than name. The BISD attorney said no. Unless she wanted to say something nice, that is.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:54 pm

The next speaker says, if the district cannot access documentation to support their claim that the cosmetology program was shut down due to the budget now, then the documentation didn’t exist when they made the decision.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:52 pm

Woodrow Reese advised speakers that the public is are “guests” of the board and that they should respect the “privilege” of being able to address the board. Because public access to public officials is just CrAzY!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:48 pm

The first speaker is addressing suicide and bullying among LGBT teachers. She playing it smart by not naming names and generally framing the career center incident. She’s not been cut off yet.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:45 pm

The state of the district report is now over. Now on to the public speakers!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:44 pm

No, Dr. Chargois, you will not be showing us anything “on tomorrow”. Because nothing happens “on” tomorrow. Except bad grammar.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:43 pm

Looks like we’re done with technology now. No word yet on if anything else is going to be theatrically thrown into trash cans.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:42 pm

“We don’t want to ask our kids to come to school and log off their devices.” We don’t?! Sweet. I’m going to start texting my kid his test answers.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:38 pm

Technology is great at infrastructure and support, so what he’s saying is important. This talk actually makes sense. Too bad he’s already put the board to sleep. Uh, basically.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:36 pm

Amidst the many instances of “uh” and “basically”, he’s actually talking about something that makes a lot of sense and saves money. But, uh, basically, he should’ve included some kids throwing things in trash cans.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:34 pm

Jarod Parnell, the preacher from earlier and a member of the technology department, is now talking about server virtualization. He just lost 90% of the board with those two words alone.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:32 pm

He’s showing an eTextbook with interactive models and videos and stuff, which is pretty cool. I liked it better when it was called Microsft Encarta and it didn’t make anyone any smarter in the ’90s, though.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:30 pm

Greg Schumacher, the director of the technology department, is up at bat now. I predict this one will go more smoothly.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:29 pm

Knight says we need to retrofit 1,000 classtooms for $6,500,000. Because that’s what it takes to replace kids raising their damned hands.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:26 pm

Now she’s talking about projecting things to make them become “interactive”. Because writing on paper is totally not interactive. The paper just sits there, demanding you put something on it.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:25 pm

Sorry for the typos. M iPad has issues with my snausages.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:24 pm

Knight started off by insulting e classroom of the past, with kids paying attention to the teacher and raising their hands. She envisions a 21st century classroom where every kid is staring blankly at their own computer screens. Because yeah, that’s better.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:23 pm

Now we have another technology presentation, this time by Kimberly Knight. Let us pray is does not involve anything about anything.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:19 pm

“Pencils? Where we’re going, we don’t need pencils.” -Dr. Emmett Brown, inventor of the flux capacitor.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:18 pm

Apparently, kids of the future will answer questions by pointing unreliable magic techno wands at computer screens because raising their hands is just so last century.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:16 pm

The technology director just tried to go up to help, but he was turned away by the presenter, presumably for that making too much sense.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:14 pm

The technology presenter is having technical difficulties presenting technology. This does not bode well.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:12 pm

Oh, lord. Now we’re going to play, “Is the board smarter than a 5th grader?” because of course we are.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:12 pm

A bunch of kids just walked up and threw their backpacks in the trash, because technology is going to eliminate the need for backpacks. Or maybe because backpacks are evil. It was unclear.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:08 pm

Wait. It looks like this guy is crediting the video, except he said they customized it for BISD. So there’s that.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:06 pm

And by “crafted by BISD”, I mean it appears they found it on YouTube. And then downloaded and converted the video to present as their own. Neat!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:05 pm

Here’s the video, carefully crafted by the crack BISDCommunications Squad to reflect where Dr. Chargois is going to take the district, and the challenges it faces along the way. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmwwrGV_aiE&sns=em

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:02 pm

Now some stuff about technology and Facebook. And a totally groovy upbeat porn soundtrack.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:01 pm

It’s some sort of Did You Know? thing, with scary facts about lots of Chinese people and smart Indians. Or something.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:00 pm

Damn. Not so lucky.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20128:00 pm

And saved by technical difficulties!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:59 pm

Oh, no. An inspirational video.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:54 pm

Dr. Chargois is having Parsons go through their work on the bond because he’s interested in finding out what’s been going on while he was in the Executive Cabinet when he was told everything that was going on. This is lip service for the public. And it drags out the meeting, so bonus.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:48 pm

Maybe not in those exact words, though.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:48 pm

Thomas Neild is saying the additional funds for the field house were diverted to the Carrol A. “Butch” Thomas Giant Monument To My Golden Penis Educational Support My Ego Center.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:45 pm

Woodrow Reece is following his script, and has asked Ambres if the West Brook field house could have been built for $5 million. Because there are “…all these people running around town, talking about this field house mess.”

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:41 pm

Gwen is blaming the West Brooks field house woes on “the people in the west end.”

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:40 pm

If I’d known they were going to be filibustering tonight, I probably wouldn’t have slurped down that 44oz. Coke on my way to the meeting.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:38 pm

Gwen Ambres is spending a few forever a talking about how awesome she is. She worked 12-14 hours a day every Saturday while working on the bond. I think. It’s hard to remember, as she’s only said it about 500 times so far.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:36 pm

As you might imagine, there was groaning at the Amons comment. And maybe a few giggles.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:34 pm

“Mr. Amons was unavailable to be here tonight.” Awww. But how will his face know what his face looks like?!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:32 pm

Ah, Dr. Chargois just explained everything by thanking Jessie for coming up with is idea. It makes a lot more sense now that I know it doesn’t.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:31 pm

We’re doing middle schools now. It’s that Annual Presenting Of Your Face To Your Face Ceremony.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:30 pm

To the commenter who asked if these are mugshots: No. They haven’t gotten to Ozen yet.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:29 pm

Apparently it was just elementary school principals. Sorry I didn’t clarify that. I was distract by the fact that every face was holding a giant face of its face.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:28 pm

School principals are being introduced now, one by one, as they’re forced to stand up in front of the audience while holding giant foam-core signs of their own poorly-photographed faces in front of everyone. For some reason.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:27 pm

We also had a little prayer from Jarod Parnell, with approximately 57 “fathers”, 83 “gods” and at least 42.8 “father gods”, although I can’t be sure of that count. Because I’m bad with numbers.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:24 pm

+10 cool points to the commenter who got the Arrested Development reference.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:23 pm

We just said the pledge of allegiance, with helpful lyrics plastered across 3 screens. While Jessie took pictures with her iPad. Because she’s one of Those People.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:17 pm

“There’s always money in the banana suit!”

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:17 pm

Also a little disappointed that Jessie Haynes isn’t wearing her traditional “controversial board meeting ” banana suit tonight. I was looking forward to it.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:15 pm

A hush has fallen over the crowd due to nothing at all happening.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:14 pm

Yeah, I’ve been avoiding saying “protesters” until I Googled how to spell protesters. Don’t judge me.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:12 pm

The protest folks have been lined up along the back wall, presumably so they don’t go about causing nasty problems by doing things like actually being seen.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:08 pm

So now I’m posting my last update that will start with, “So now”.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:07 pm

So now everyone is standing around chittering while we wait for 7:15 to roll around. Ah, government.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:05 pm

So now the “public hearing” is adjourned. The actual board meeting starts at 7:15. Seems a little pointless.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:04 pm

Financial stuff. Superior rating, Clapping. Blahblahblahing.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:02 pm

Not many people are actually in the audience. Again, disappointing.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:01 pm

The board meeting has started. Th school board president just introduced the new superintendent. There was clapping, and at least one whistle.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20127:00 pm

The board meeting should begin in a few minutes.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:59 pm

Sorry, didn’t mean to go dark on you there. Technical difficulties of the “I was talking to people” variety.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:33 pm

And now, my comfy position leaning against a tree is in jeopardy due to the sun. I look at the protest am I’m blinded by the holy rays of judgment! I’m ready to move on in to the board room now. Mostly because there’s no chanting.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:29 pm

There is a decided lack of chanting, though. Disappointing. I do love a good chant, you know.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:28 pm

The parking lot is filling up, yet there are several open spaces near the protest that people just keep driving by. Weird. I guess they don’t want to get any civil rights on their paint jobs,

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:25 pm

Oh, wait. That’s just the ROTC kids. Nevermind.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:24 pm

Rifles! Men with rifles and helmets. THEY MEAN TO KILL US ALL!

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:23 pm

There’s probably a little over two dozen people now, with more walking up. One of the news stations is filming them. And crap. They just whipped the camera around in my direction. Stupid teevee.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:16 pm

I can tell you what they’re not doing, though, and that’s standing on the sidewalk, per police order. Because activism is good for the grass, I guess.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:15 pm

There’s really not much to talk about right now. Some more people are showing up to protest. They are being handed signs. And protesting.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:13 pm

I put my sign down. Too much activism is a gateway drug to, like, becoming active and stuff..

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:09 pm

Actually, I think that’s just sweat. Because Texas.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:07 pm

I’m holding a sign. A SIGN! Is this what activism feels like? It tingles.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:04 pm

Protest has started. About a dozen folks so far.

Kristian Bland September 20, 20126:02 pm

Hello, world.

Kristian Bland September 19, 20128:15 am

The live blog entries from Thursday’s board meeting will appear here.

Comments

  1. Heather says:

    Always lovely to read your take on things. :)
    ~h

  2. Heather says:

    Have you seen the news about Carrol Thomas applying for the Lamar Presidency position?? I sooooooo hope the commitee selecting the new President sees through Thomas’s crap and skips right over him! I seriously may have to transfer to a new school if he gets that position.

  3. Richard Simmons says:

    Are there many gay people?

  4. Richard Simmons says:

    What like the lady in the 3000$ banana suit is going to be open with the public? COME ON!

    Huzzah!

  5. Richard Simmons says:

    Are they getting their own mugshots?

  6. Huzzah says:

    If any on the board were to side with the protestors I am pretty sure it would be ambres.

  7. Huzzah says:

    Hmmmm sounds like bulllllllsssshhhhiiiiiiittttttt

  8. Huzzah says:

    Did that guy say his name is imadouche?

  9. Huzzah says:

    Only 7 people?

  10. Huzzah says:

    Good night sweet prince!

  11. Kimber says:

    Kris,
    I am just now reading this and, BTW my name is Kimber, not Kimberly and I am the Director of Performance Management and Instructional Technology. I am so pissed at what I just read. What the hell did I ever do for you to be so mean? Your blog is a bunch of BS. Of course, technology has issues and we would expect something like what happened to happen. Even though we had tested it 3 times before the meeting, tech problems happen.

    1. Sorry, Kimber. I was Live Blogging from my iPad, which probably autocorrected your name to Kimberly.

      I’m sorry that you’re “pissed” at what you just read. You didn’t ever do anything “the hell” to me for me to be so mean. I just don’t think technology has an instructional place in the classroom. Never have, never will. As a supplement to traditional instruction, sure, but using technology for technology’s sake is just silly, in my opinion.

      I’m also sorry that you’ve concluded that my entire blog is “BS” just because I don’t happen to agree with you about technology in the classroom. What did I ever do to you for you to be so mean? :)

      The fact that you tested the tech 3 times before the meeting and problems still happened says to me that maybe the technology isn’t quite ready for prime time for daily use in the classroom. Failing 1 out of 4 times isn’t exactly a great track record.

      But there’s always room for differences of opinion. Lots of people think technology is really great in the classroom. I’m just someone who doesn’t, as evidenced by my previous entry on this subject, from way back in 2009.

      It concerns using technology to teach and evaluate performance in writing, although I was forced to withdraw the name of the company and the title of the software by BISD when the company expressed their displeasure at my opinion. If I remembered the name of the software, I’d put it back in, but as the Director of Performance Management and Instructional Technology, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about.

      Have a great day!
      -Kristian