“Fuck You, Bitch! Get Your Ass Out of My Face, Bitch!” What Kind of Rubric Solves this Daily Misconduct, Especially when the Spineless and Lazy Administrators Do Nothing? I Call this Management by Watermelons (MBW).
By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD
As we write repeatedly in The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education (Big Daddy Publishers, 2014, 615 pages), our public urban schools are a wasteland. They are war zone schools. Discipline is essentially a foreign concept. Students curse and assault (and occasionally batter) their teachers with virtual impunity. Yet, the educational nitwits and EDAs (Educational Dumb Asses) are acting like the emperor is not naked. They think that this unconscionable condition in these schools can be managed by lofty objectives and crazy-ass rubrics.
Management by Watermelons
I remember taking my first administrative course at the University of Georgia in the spring of 1980. I was still teaching and had accepted an assistantship at the University in the Department of Social Science Education to work on my doctorate. Later that summer I had changed my mind about being a professor of education and knew that I wanted to be a practitioner rather than a theoretician. So, I accepted a better paying graduate assistantship at UGA’s Department of Educational Administration and Field Services. The plan was to become a superintendent of schools one day, and that plan could have easily played out…if I had ever demonstrated that I would kiss ass on a regular basis and eat a little proverbial dodo. I refused, however, to eat it in even capsule form. I digress. Let’s get back to that first course. We used a very thick and erudite-looking textbook in this Introduction to Administration class. The book was assiduously tied to the management theory of the time called “Management by Objectives.” It was bullshit, pure and simple. I knew bullshit when I saw it even back then. This notion of “management by objectives” attempted to treat leadership and teaching as a science. That sounds good, but it just does not smack with reality.
I compare this “management by objectives” to a store manager at a Walmart working diligently to raise his sales at his particular store. He does well, but he still can’t make the sales to jump precipitously because his store is located in a very economically depressed location. He even put some workers out on the street waving signs and offering free coffee inside his Walmart. It worked a bit, but there were no measureable increases in the economic ledger of the store. But, his friend who had been recruited with this manager and had gone through the same training as he had was having an even more difficulties with sales. He did everything that he had been taught at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management where he earned his MBA, but there were things happening at his store that were frustrating sales on a daily basis. His products kept jumping off the shelves – quite inexplicably and randomly. His “management by objectives” [or TKES training] did not prepare him for this phenomenon. It all started with the bars of soaps just jumping off the shelves into the aisles. Well, this was inconvenient but did not cause too much mess on the floor once one of the workers retrieved the bars of soap and were put back on the shelves. But, later it was a lamp problem. The lamps kept jumping off the shelves and busted on the floors. Glass was strewn everywhere. Then it was the eggs. Nearly every carton of eggs ended up having broken egss in it – and the mess had to be cleaned up and the eggs had to be replaced. On a few occasions, the bicycles which were placed up high on the racks came tumbling down. Several customers were hurt and lawsuits ensued. This poor manager had to deal with insurance companies and had to keep explaining why his sales were stagnant. What I think took the cake was the watermelons, especially those sweet melons that were so popular during the summer months. Those damn melons kept jumping off the shelves in the produce section and burst all over the floors. Customers were slipping down and busted their asses. One older lady landed on her head and the ambulance came and took her to the emergency room.
This incident with the older lady landed on the front page of the local newspaper and was the lead story on two television stations on 11:00 PM news. No one wanted to shop at this store anymore. But, this man’s regional supervisor didn’t want to hear any excuses. His mantra was, “Every store can sell.” He mandate to this young manager was to increase the sales production or admit his failure and resign…or be fired. He didn’t want to hear anything about those bicycles and watermelons jumping off the shelves.
This story may seem silly but this is exactly what is going on in our public schools today. Exactly. The students are allowed to defy the teachers, verbally assault them, cause all kind of disruption in each class, and berate and batter other students and sometimes the teachers. But, the “Regional Managers” (Educational Dumb Asses/Superintendents) don’t want to hear anything about this. If you send the defiant and disruptive student to the office, the student is sent back to the room with no punishment and the teacher is actually written up for reporting it. This is wild, but this is what is happening in our schools. The other day, a teacher from Price Middle School in Atlanta told me that one young lady keep calling her a “bitch” in the most derogative way on a daily basis in front of the other students. “Fuck you, bitch” is par for the course. Price is the school where you had a shooting not long ago. I was told by a North Clayton Middle School teacher that a fellow teacher (and coach) reported to him that he was trying to get a student to be quiet in class but the student blurted out in front of everyone that he was not going to stop talking, In fact, this teacher reports that the teacher/coach reported to him that the student further told him, “Fuck you! I fucked your mama last night and I ate her pussy. What are you going to do about that?” The teacher/coach apparently sent the student to the assistant principal who apparently sent the student right back to the classroom. When the teacher/coach confronted the assistant principal after class about the situation, we were told that the assistant principal said, “I couldn’t do anything but laugh when I saw that referral” (or words to that effect).
The Thomson High School students have fought back the kicking to the curb of their teacher, even producing t-shirts to express their displeasure with this inexplicable decision.
The above video shows Mr. Osbon doing a Canterbury Tales Prologue Rap in his classroom, with one of his students lending a hand with the beat. Great teachers are very creative with their students.
The STAR Teacher (who has also been Honor Educator and Teacher of the Year on several occasions) at Thomson High School in McDuffie County apparently raised the ire of the administration in that county when he approached the administration about the terrible disciplinary conditions at the high school. This teacher is enormously popular with the students and the parents in McDuffie County, but this did not stop Superintendent Mychele Rhodes from forcing him out as a teacher. See, these administrators just don’t want hear anything about discipline problems. Nothing. This does not fit into their “management by objectives” matrix. They apparently just want the teachers to click their heels like good little Nazis. Recently, we heard that there was a gun discovered at the high school during standardized but there apparently was no lock down at the school. There is talk that they may have been two other guns at Thomson High School as well. The principal’s name is “Mr. Strong” but when it comes to discipline he acts like “Mr. Weak.” I just got through talking with a teacher in Houston County who tells us that a gun was discovered at the new Veterans High School, but they the powers in control have kept this quiet and did not even report it to the District Attorney’s Office. I understand that this story is about to break in the news down in Houston County.
Mychele Rhodes was determined to get rid of one of McDuffie County’s most popular teachers, STAR Teacher Neil Osbon.
There cannot be a more strange school system in the entire United States than the Murray County School System in Chatsworth, Georgia. What goes on under the watching eye of Fort Mountain is enough to raise the hair on your neck. It is a very nepotistic community with a couple of families to seem to control or have major influence in every fact of the county, including the school system. Superintendent Vickie Reed married into the influential Reed family (though now divorced). There is talk galore about a high school coach verbally assaulting and cursing a very popular teacher in the hallway at the school. This teacher (the victim of this alleged assault) was apparently forced out because of this confrontation. His Quiz Bowl team had finished Second Place in the State. He, like the STAR Teacher in McDuffie County, was suspended by the superintendent and placed in a “penalty box” for an interminable time which is in complete contravention of the State Code (OCGA 20-2-940[b]).
Check out the above video of Mr. Justin Frazier doing impressions. Who would not love to have had a talented teacher like Murray County’s Frazier? I would have loved to have had Mr. Frazier and Mr. Osbon as my teachers in high school. But I have advised very popular teachers through the years, saying this: “Be careful about being too popular with the students and the parents. This makes the administration nervous. They don’t like this.” It is a shame that good, professional, effective, and popular teachers have to suffer this fate.
I have been contacted by dozens of Citizens from Murray County in the last couple of weeks. This morning I woke up to a private message on my Facebook, inquiring what Citizens of Murray County could do about their dismal situation. I pecked out this response on my cell phone. This advice could be used in any community where the school board members and superintendents seem to be non-responsive to the citizens. He is my response, with minor editing:
Go to the school board meetings. Try to get on the agenda to speak (they will probably fight this too). Show up with florescent-colored signs with bold letters, “Reed Must Go!” It’s hard for the media to ignore this. The younger folks, with their ever-present iPhones and Samsung cell phones, will capture the moment and have it all over social media. Go to the Voter Registration Office (it may be located within the Probate Judge’s Office or another office but it is somewhere in or near the courthouse). Find out which school board seats are open for the next election. Have planning sessions under the name of the “Murray Citizens Movement.” Decide on one candidate to support for each seat to run against the incumbents. At that point, I can help you. Your opponents will fight you tooth and nail. They will tear down your signs every night. Keep putting them back up! Use social media to catch them and to spread the word. The Murray Citizens Movement (MCM) will grow exponentially. You might even see Reed retire. But, you simply have to take back your county at the ballot box. Voter fraud can be a serious federal offense. The oligarchy running Murray County does want not the Feds to come in. But, if voter fraud does take place, this is when you file a complaint with the U. S. Justice Department. It takes courage to step up to the plate to take back your county. It is YOUR county, not their fiefdom. Be bold. Start having organizing meetings…initially in homes. But when you get 50 to 100 committed Citizens who are part of the Murray Citizens Movement (MCM), you might even want to meet at Edna’s Restaurant. LOL! Seriously. And proudly wear t-shirts emblazoned with this message, “Murray is a Republic, not a Kingdom!” — or some other appropriate and catchy slogan. I like this: “Because it’s OUR County.” The young people will really get into this. Personally, I see the school board seats are there for the plucking. But, no one will just give you power; you have to take it…legally and at the ballot box. Take care.
Mr. Neil Osbon, the STAR Teacher at Thomson High School, may just run for the school board himself in McDuffie County. We believe that he would win in a landslide victory!
By the way, Mr. Justin Frazier (the talented teacher in the second YouTube video above) is not a member of MACE but he roundly endorses MACE. He only found out about MACE after so much damage was done to him professionally. I talked to Mr. Frazier the night before he resigned contingent upon a settlement agreement, but now it appears that the Murray County School System is intending not live up to this agreement, claiming that Mr. Frazier has breached the agreement but the school system apparently provides no specificity. Well Mr. Frazier can sue the Murray County Board of Education for breaching the agreement. I always say, “Let the depositions be forthcoming!’ LOL! Legally, this process is called “discovery.”
If you want to dispute anything that I write here on my personal blog, just contact me. This forum is wide open to you. I will publish anything that you write (please limit it to 1,000 words) and submit to me for publication, as long as it is not libelous or totally tasteless. If you disagree with any of the content that I have written, you have the forum right here on Georgia Teachers Speak Out! I want to be eminently fair to everyone. © GTSO, 2015.