Saturday, October 28, 2017
Marijuana: A female high school senior's response:
8:26 am edt
I flip on the television. Ten o’clock on a Tuesday night- prime
time for viewers. American Horror Story has already started. This show is shocking and gruesome and it seems to
be speaking to an entire nation of “mature audiences”. This is its seventh season and I know a good amount
of my friends are watching right now.
The social commentary
this time around is a little more direct than past seasons, and each character seems to portray a different side of our current
political extremes. I direct my attention when a woman in her late forties makes an appearance on my screen. She’s
centered sitting in her living room looking powerful yet calm. It’s an intense scene and she begins to speak her
mind; one of the only truly sane and morally sound characters in the show. She’s an intellectual, a feminist,
one could say even a role model to young women. Next thing she does? Pulls out a stash of marijuana and begins
to roll a joint.
This is my generation’s
exposure and perception to weed. Marijuana is no longer seen as a dangerous drug. It is an innovation that has
been marketed to not only druggies and gangsters, but law abiding citizens who seek medical help and even recreational usage.
Whether or not it’s legal, marijuana is no longer seen as the evil substance it’s been portrayed to be for
decades before. Sometimes I think that kind of thinking is even more dangerous because young people don’t know
who to believe; our parents, the cops visiting our school, or our celebrity role models. They all have something different
to say. And my friends and I? We’ll just try not to get caught and do what WE think is right. That
is the reality in which high school students are living in and the only way to change it is by starting an honest discussion;
legality, health repercussions, and morals included.
A Piece Full World’s turn next week.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
A Fork in a Road. A PIece Full World Goes Right
9:34 am edt
A Fork in
a Road. A Piece Full World goes right.
in a road. Signs at the fork. The sign leading left: "Illegal". The other: "Legal." I'm standing
at the fork with two high school seniors. We're arguing about how to go forward. I turn right. I want them to
go with me. I turn alone for these two high school seniors smoke weed. They want to continue smoking weed. They do not
want to continue their journey with me for to do so would be to stop doing this illegal thing.
I am tired of their arguments. Tired of "Yeah but-ing" their
defense of smoking marijuana. "Yeah, but weed can hurt your lungs. Yeah but marijuana is a gateway drug. Yeah but
it's dangerous to purchase drugs on the street. You do not know what it's laced with."
"You didn't get caught!" yells the male senior.
"You have a successful life now." Another "Yeah, but"...this one speaking to my screaming fear of
getting caught at that time. I remember. Ah yes, I remember. But I do not speak. I put up my hand. I look this beloved person in the eye. It hurts me that
he uses this story against me. I silently shake my head. Take a step.
A Piece Full World turns right with me. Although A Piece Full World's stated mission is to end workplace and youth bullying
in public schools, there is more at stake for our children. There are drugs. There are lies. These two have lied. I
want to know why. I want to give them an opportunity to explain themselves and so I will. They have agreed to
counter this blog and those upcoming--my continuing my journey to the fork's right--with their decision to turn without me
to the left.
Today I begin dialogue.
am going right, young people. Young people doing illegal things. Young people putting futures in jeopardy. Young
weed smoking people. You smoke weed in alleys and in trees. Dead of the night kind of stuff. You hide and
you lie. Sneak out of windows. You rationalize. Defend your actions. You scream when confronted with your illegal
You have much to lose."
I take a stand.
week I will write about my journey doing legal things. It's, in my opinion, just a better road to travel.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
My Harvey Weinstein.
9:55 am edt
The silence inside of
me is really not silent at all. It presses from within. Rumbles. Often it tickles brain and heart cells. His name
flutters at my lips and fingertips. "Say it," demands my silence, for my silence speaks. "Say it to people
who, with their positional power, can stop him. Who can protect other women."
"But I have. I have done that. Leave me alone."
"Then type it. Type his name. Send it. Attach to it all
the whispering public records stuffed into drawers. They are not silent. There are many voices there. They need
"But I've done
I haven't done this: I haven't sent the name as the subject line of emails to news
organizations. I haven't typed the name and added a back slash/"Workplace Bullying in Public Schools".
Surely, news organizations would be interested in my story.
Surely no one would be surprised that abuses of power are not just presidential. That they don't just flourish at Fox
News. That they are hierarchal, organizational and institutionalized. And because public school districts are just that--hierarchal
and organizational--there would be a recognition of how especially awful workplace bullying is in public schools.
There must be someone who would recognize with clarity that
children are not safe from bullying when their teachers are vulnerable to top down male dominated institutionalized bullying.
There have to be many in news organizations who would recognize the irony of Harvey Weinstein's having produced the movie
After nine years,
the silence crusts my insides. It's impatient. For surely the four syllables of his name are easily spoken. Easily
written. Four vowels. Fours syllables. Simple. Simple.
But the silent crust is not easily broken.
To be fair to myself, I have spoken those syllables and vowels. I've wrapped
the vowels in their consonants. I've spoken them to investigators. To district leadership. To school board members.
To my union.
A year ago I allowed his name to
leave my lips in therapy. Diagnosed with PTSD from being a target of his workplace bullying, an event triggered a roaring
Danger frays our telomeres. I was
in danger at that school. My trusting telomeres are forever frayed and so a troubling event easily pushed my teetering
recovery into the PTSD abyss.
I've typed the four syllables of
his name in bodies of emails requesting public records. In other emails, I've typed them in support of other targets.
Their stories were much like mine and so I typed my story without explanation points. Sent matter-of-fact numbered lists
of my living hell to school board members.
I've typed the vowels and consonants
of those four syllables to insurance companies. I'd been denied long term coverage because of my "disability".
Oh, how I want to add an explanation point to that. And so I will; I was denied long term coverage because of my "disability"!
Indulge my "Ha!"
Harvey Weinstein, the producer of
the movie "Bully", bullied and harassed women for years. Other men knew. Women too.
My four syllabled name bullies and harasses women. Other men know.
Maybe the silent crust inside is
Saturday, October 7, 2017
8:19 am edt
latest report: A black administrator to a white teacher; "You need to go teach your own kind." Reportedly yet another
screamer and profanity user.
I am going to attend
the International Bullying Prevention convention soon. There is no scheduled presentation at all on workplace bullying
prevention in schools. There are presentations on the ties between bullying and suicide for children; on line dangers
and the like; experts addressing the never ending issues of child safety. But there is absolutely no acknowledgement of principal/district/state
boards and departments of education abuse of their teachers.
Another report: a male student taking a picture up a female teacher's skirt. The teacher, after reporting
the incident to her principal, accused of bullying the student.
Smiling faces on brochures; well-coiffed hair. Heads tilted left or right, depending on presenters' "best
sides." All experts in the field of bullying prevention. On and on and on we go about the dynamics of bullying. And
no one even acknowledging that those same dynamics apply to adults in schools. First to adults--teachers and counselors--the
lowest rungs on the education ladder.
Olweus Bullying Circle defines children's roles in bullying events. There's the targeted child, the bullying child and
her supporters. There are onlookers and possible defenders. One voice, speaking up for the targeted child, might
topple the "supporting dominoes." One voice saying to a bullying child and his supporters; "Stop." That's
not right. That's not nice. You wouldn't want that to happen to you." Others then might say, "Yes.
Stop. We don't like it."
that....well, that, might change the world. One piece at a time. A Piece Full World.
But for adults...there is a lot of silence. We educators are scared. Our
principal bully bosses have many defenders. Those defenders include school board members and district leaders. We've
seen over and over again, our friends lose their jobs and their health. Some even lose their lives. We know it's
dangerous to speak up. And so most of us remain quiet.
Values, it seems, really do not matter when it comes to teachers' emotional and professional safety.
So, here, right now, I am going to cut through the silence.
"Hey Mr. Bully Boss. Stop. That's not right. That's not nice."
I am hoping that my supporters will be school board members.
Maybe superintendents. Maybe their voices will join mine and yours. Maybe they will finally acknowledge
that placing and leaving screaming and dangerous principals in our schools, just isn't right. Just isn't nice.
Maybe they will agree that they wouldn't want that to happen
Monday, October 2, 2017
Please do not be offended...
5:03 pm edt
Almost 1,500 individuals took a look at A Piece Full
World in September. They read close to 28,000 pages. Many spent more than an hour on my site--looking for hope; hoping
for answers. A Piece Full World's only true offering is insight and knowledge that, no matter what, they are not alone.
Not alone in Miami, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Ohio, Georgia, New York or any other state. Certainly not in Rhode
Island. And the state of Virginia's public school educators? I hear ya loud and clear! Maybe this little
ditty will "ring true".
Being (and not being) a school principal's "lil' b@#ch."
A female friend--an educator like me--told me she wouldn't be her
former male principal's "little b@#ch" and so she was transferred. I thought I knew what she meant, and to
be sure I looked the term up on Urban Dictionary. One of the term's definitions is "someone you own."
My "Bingo Brain Moment!" chimes rang. Ding-a-lin-a-ling! He
wins! You lose!
My former principal "owned"
a lot of the people who worked for him. Once, I saw an email from "one of (his) fallen/owned". It called
him the "best boss in the whole world."
The email was sent to soothe his manly
nerves. The sender had solicited work at a different school. She wanted him to know that her desire to work elsewhere
had NOTHING to do with him! Oh no! It wasn't because he screamed and used profanity! Not because of his lies and
coercion! Not his disdainful smirking misogyny either!
Sliced bread, you better look the other way! You are NOT the best thing ever! My former principal
is. According to my former co-worker.
I'd watch in wonder this doctoral candidate woman around him become gigglingly girlish. She heard
and saw years of evil, but she never spoke it.
tittered. They simpered. A school full of professional woman tittered and simpered. I heard that a teacher
candidate in an interview with him did a cartwheel. According to tittering and simpering lore, she stated in the interview
that she'd been a cheerleader. She felt that her "pep" would inspire and motivate children.
"Show me," I can hear him leer. "Do a cheer for me."
Go team! Go!
My examples of not being my former
boss' "lil b@#ch":
1. Did not lie on documents. "JUST
GET ME DATES!" he screamed at me.
Told the truth. "I told the truth," I desperately said to him the first day of school of the 2009-2010 school year.
He was waiting for me. "That's a problem," was his reply.
3. Requested respectful treatment. "Don't call me honey." and "If you continue to talk
to me like that (he was yelling and swearing) I will have the union present."
He did not own me. But....there is more. There is always more.
Next up another of the Urban Dictionary's
definitions of "little (lil') b@#ch."
Click here for my district's bullying and harassment policy. You will see I have made comments....