Monday, October 15, 2007

The Martin Lee Anderson Boot Camp Verdict

The drill instructors and nurse were acquitted: not guilty in the death of Martin Lee Anderson. Humm ... I saw the event many times on my TV and if you watch the news, you saw it also.

When I was a college student, not one prof told us that we should modify a student's behavior using methods that military drill instructors use on recruits. I supplemented my education with psychology books that I bought from the college book store. There was nothing there that justified using book camp methods either.

External to the University environment I would occasionally hear some one say "Spare the rod and spoil the child," and "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

There must be thought leaders somewhere that are propagating a philosophy that condones the behavior that resulted in the death of Martin Lee Anderson. What is the supporting philosophy called? Who is the thought leader that is the source of this philosophy? What group is promoting the boot camp method of behavioral modification? Why is the community where this happened called the Redneck Riviera? This is the link to the AP story about this case.

You can see this method of behavioral modification being applied by watching the Steve Wilkos show.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kid Nation

I'm watching Kid Nation and loving every moment of it. I'm just now seeing behavior I've read about and now I'm seeing it for the first time.

It's important that you watch Kid Nation. If you do, I'll be sharing the experience with you.

This is the link to the Kid Nation website.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jesus Camp

Maria deBorbon wrote the following after watching the Jesus Camp video.

This female preacher was disturbing to me on many levels. First of all, it is so easy to manipulate children because they accept what any adult says as the truth. They have sensitive feelings because they’re innocent and haven’t been hardened yet by harsh reality. To use these innocent children to spout her own extremist view of how everyone should conduct themselves as far as their spirituality is concerned is criminal.

The fact that parents who see what is happening and condone this manner of teaching is mind boggling. I can only reason that they have a very low intelligence or they have a very narrow and one-sided view of the world.

The fact that the female preacher is collecting money from conducting the camps also disturbs me. I get the feeling that she is trying to build a cult where she is the dominant leader and intends to have total power over her followers. I’m glad that this video was made in order to expose her....hopefully she will be stopped in time before she does any more harm.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dancing In School To Shed the Pounds

Schools all over the U.S. have finally figured out that dancing make you happy and keeps you in shape! In an effort to help rein in our obesity epidemic and introduce non-competitive physical activities into shcool, some geniuses have brought the interactive video game Dance Dance Revolution into schools! The New York Times reports that DDR shoud be in over 1,500 schools by the year 2010! Will it be in yours? Source:

Friday, August 31, 2007

Science - Religion

Science is a way of knowing system; whereas, religion is a belief system.

Who's More Fit? Dancers or Athletes

If you think athletes are more fit; you're wrong.

Here is the explanation.

Michael Leslie, physical therapist for the San Franciso Ballet, says that the specificity of dancer's training probably plays a big part in this adaptability. Athletes focus principally on their sport and train primarily with that in mind. Dancers, on the other hand, are taught a variety of skills. We have to balance on one leg while turning and go from moving very quickly to being completely still. This type of "cross-training" gives us, in Leslie's words, "the ability to do advanced things with a huge range of motion and extraordinary dexterity," which many athletes lack.

You can read more about this in September's issue of DanceSpirit; How Fit Are You? by Peter Brandenhoff.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Your Student's Bring Their Home Life Style Into Your Classroom.

You can gain insight into your student’s lives by watching reality TV programs. Trading Spaces, Wife Swap and Nanny 911 will give you a window into their lives. You will not be able to change what is happening at home, but you certainly will gain insight that will help you understand your students.

Watch enough reality programs and you will eventually see students like yours preparing for school in the morning from being awaken to being dropped off at school. You may even see their nightly activities before they go to bed. And, see them doing their homework, if any is being done as well as how they interrelate with their parents.

This window into the lives of students like yours will not be open long. Audiences get bored and producers will create something different. So, I suggest that you make the most of this opportunity while you have it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

South Park High

I got a note telling me that the Principal wanted to see me in his office. I had brought by class to assembly late and now I had to account for the error. His office had a large formal desk and windows facing the street that covered most of one wall. Mr. Burt was sitting behind his desk when I entered his office. He said, “You and your class were late for assembly.” I don’t recall much of what he had to say, perhaps because I was focused on the bullet hole in the window near his head. I wondered at the time if he had been sitting there when the shot was fired. Mr. Burt said, “My school doesn’t have any problems.” I didn’t ask, “How do you explain the bullet hole in your window?”

I watch only part of South Park High. It was too real and disturbing to watch all of it. I hope for your sake that you are not in a school like South Park High. If your are; well, then I wish you lots of luck and success in finding somewhere else to teach.

My first year teaching was in a school like South Park High. I did not return the following year.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

This was written by Mitchell A Fleisher, MD and published in Vitamin Research News.

ADHD is a syndrome characterized by inability to focus attention and/or periods of hyperactivity, more commonly exhibited in children, but also affecting adults as well. The term "attention deficit" may be misleading, in that the current theories suggest ADHD patients actually have difficulty: 1) regulating their attention spans; 2) inhibiting their attention to non-relevant stimuli; and/or, 3) focusing too intensely on specific stimuli to the exclusion of what is relevant. Rather than diminished attention ability, many individuals with ADHD may focus their attention upon too many things at once, i.e., not "see the forest 'fore the trees," resulting in poor concentration, erratic thought processes and decreased intellectual productivity.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Our Shrinking Attention Span

Developing post .....

I've been asked not to write this, even though the site statistics indicate that the average time you visit this page is only 8 seconds [July there was 60 visits] ; hardly enough time to read what has been written or post a response. Could it be that you are like a fly at a picnic? I will continue to collect statistical evidence and will later draw conclusions based upon the statistics.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Teacher Baiting

Teacher baiting is when students create a situation that is intended to humiliate their teacher and then record it with a cell phone camera. The movie clip is then uploaded to YouTube for others to see the incriminating clip.

The consequence of this is that you will be evaluated by school administration and perhaps be disciplined. Even if you don’t get disciplined, the event will be in your record and used as part of your performance review. If you were being considered for the Teacher of the Year award, forget about it. It’s not going to happen.

What will your students be doing? They will be flocking to YouTube to see the movie clip, laughing and telling their friends to see the clip too. Some of these students will be doing the same thing to other teachers. I became aware of this about a year ago. I see now that it is proliferating.

The best way to prevent teacher baiting in your class is to stop students from having a cell phone in your classroom. Cell phones are not the only devices that have cameras. All recording that isn't authorized by the teacher must be stopped.

Remember, there isn’t any way to undo the damage after it has happened. So prevent it from happening.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No Bookstores at the Mall

I was surprised to discover that a large local mall that had 2 bookstores now has none and the Science Store had been replaced by Spencer's. This sadly indicates to me that we are buying fewer books, reading less and have a decreased interest in science. I recently completed reading World Of Pain by Lillian Rubin. There is no way other than by reading to learn what is in this book.

Reading books and magazines such as Scientific American are a major source of knowledge for me. This knowledge makes my life more interesting, helps me understand what is happening and the information is background for my decisions. I'm on the Internet many hours a day too. That is just another source of information, but it does not replace books and journals.

Think about the cost of replacing the bookstores that have been lost at your local mall. Do you think a business person will open a bookstore at the mall if they cannot pay expenses and earn a profit from the sale of books? You may never see another book seller in the mall.

I recall that there was a book written titled Dumber and Dumber. Hummm .... Could be the author's thesis is coming true?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dr. Winerman's Attempt to Teach Tampa, Fl High School Students Dance.

From: Stephen Lyons
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:54 AM
To: Dr. Arline Winerman
Subject: Your High School Teaching Experience.

Dear Arline,

Your description of your high school teaching experience is like what I've witnessed at the WT. I don't know why this is happening. It may indicate something negative about the [Tampa, FL] public school system.

Even if we could determine the cause, there's likely nothing that could be done if the problem is systemic.


Dr. Winerman wrote:

The kids this year were very different from last year. There were more blacks last year. There did not seem to be as many in total attending this year. They had lots of choices of things to do, so were busy running around. Just seemed like they did not want to dance - not even free style etc. I hate to think that young people do not love to do some kind of dancing. Times are sure different from when I grew up! I am glad I do not have kids or grandkids!!! See you Thurs. Regards - Arline

Friday, May 04, 2007

Could These Be Your Boys?

Mi Maria,

This morning I encountered 3 boys about the age of your blond hair boy when on the bike ride. I was riding in the lane required by law and each of the other boys crossed their lane and acted as if they were effecting a head-on collision with me. This testosterone driven behavior is one of the many reasons I would not go back into the classroom.

Your blond haired boy is the most likely person who destroyed your tire and dented my hood. Since he was not caught in the act nor has he admitted to it and apologized, it will always cloud any relationship that I have with him. We do have a relationship and it is negative.

He knows if he did it. Josh, my nephew took all my money from my wallet. I know he did it. When boys like this get away with thing like this, they use it to prove to themselves that they are of superior intelligence to adults. They think of us as being stupid. That is what happens when we are passive and forgiving. The boys should be aggressively confronted, then there is a base for moving forward that is best for the boys. But, there is seldom any positive payback for the adult. So, I avoid and minimize any contact I have with them.

Any aggressive confrontation with these boys without authorization from their parents or the legal system is personally destructive. The only course of action left to me is to collect evidence, call 911 and avoid them.

I think life is much better without these boys.

Your Stephen

The Education Resource Group is dedicated to helping professional educators, student teachers, parents and tutors educate by providing lesson plans and access to education resources. We did this by creating has served over 3.43 million educators.

Mi Stephen,

It’s unfortunate that what should have been a pleasant bike ride was spoiled by the act of those 3 boys. When things like that happen to me I could do two things: Get angry about it.....or feel sorry for the boys who are going to have a lifetime of misery happen to them due to their aggressive behavior. They are possibly going to be the type of person who chooses to attain what they want in life through intimidation. In the end, they will elicit only fear and hate from the people they encounter throughout their life.
I’ve seen enough babies growing up to know that this is learned behavior. A person who grows up in a non-loving atmosphere with parents who don’t treat them with respect and kindness have a much more difficult time learning to give these two things to other people. Sometimes they can change if they encounter a role model that they respect who treats them well. I know that there are a lot of good role models in this world; it’s just that the media (newspapers and TV) tend to report only the stories that will sell newspapers. It would be wonderful if we could fix all the people who come from dysfunctional families, but there are only two of us. Maybe we should just try to make our own lives as serene and productive as we can.
I did send you a message earlier, hope you were able to bring it up. It was just my good morning note to you.

Su Maria

From: Stephen Lyons [] Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:07 AMTo: Marie deBorbon RoundsSubject: Bicycle riding and blond hair boy.

Friday, April 06, 2007

13-Year-Old Arested In School For Writing On Desk

(CBS) NEW YORK In this day and age where young students are frequently charged for serious school offenses such as possessing weapons, dealing drugs, or assaulting other students on school property, one Brooklyn teen's arrest may come as a surprise. A 13-year-old girl was handcuffed and placed under arrest in front of her classmates in Dyker Heights after she wrote "Okay" on her desk.

The "suspect," Chelsea Fraser, says she's sorry for scribbling the word on her desk, but both she and her mother are shocked at the punishment.

"I'm appalled, because here we have rapists, murderers, and you're taking a 13-year-old kid? Wasting valuable manpower to arrest a child who wrote on a desk?" Fraser's mother Diana Silva told CBS 2.

Police confirm that that's exactly what's written on her arrest record and for the crime, she's been charged with criminal mischief and the making of graffiti. Fraser says the day she marked her desk, she was wrongly grouped together with troublemakers who had plastered stickers all over the classroom.

Fraser was arrested at the Dyker Heights Intermediate School on March 30 along with three other male students. She says she was made to empty her pockets and take off her belt. Then she was handcuffed and led out of the school in front of her classmates and placed in the back of a police car.

"It was really embarrassing because some of the kids, they talk, and they're going to label me as a bad kid. But I'm really not," Fraser said. "I didn't know writing 'Okay' would get me arrested."

"All the kids were ... watching these three boys and my daughter being marched out with four -- they had four police officers -- walking them out, handcuffed," Silva said. "She goes to me, 'Mommy, these hurt!'

"The students were taken to the 68th Precinct station house where Silva says they were separated for three hours. "MY child is 13-years-old -- doesn't it stand that I'm supposed to be present for any questioning?" Silva said. "I'm watching my daughter, she's handcuffed to the pole. I ask the officer has she been there the entire time? She says, 'Yes.'"

On her report card, under conduct, Fraser has earned all "satisfactory" marks and one "excellent" mark.

"My daughter just wrote something on a desk. I would have her scrub it with Soft Scrub on a Saturday morning when she should be out playing, and maybe a day of in-house and a formal apology to the principal," Silva said.

CBS 2 contacted both the NYPD and the Board of Education for a response. The police say the arrests followed a request by the school's principal. The Board of Education said the matter is under investigation, adding that graffiti was found on several desks.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

In his preface, Philip Zimbardo stated that he didn’t want to write a book after his Stanford Prison experiment ended because he didn’t want to relive the negative emotions that the experiment caused. He agreed to write a book only after the nefarious events in the Abu Ghraib prison and being an expert witness for one of the Abu Ghraib guards. He didn’t want to write it, but he did. I didn’t want to read it, but I did.

I knew about the experiment. However, it has been so many years ago that I had forgotten where it happened and I knew none of the details. It happened when I was a graduate student at CMU. A professor may have talked about it. I only remembered that the experiment was important.

As I read the book, events that had happened in the education institution where I was either a student or a teacher flashed back. Some of the events that happened in the Stanford Prison experiment had happened in schools where I taught. Events then past by me without realizing what I had witnessed. Reading the Lucifer Effect opened my awareness: kind of late. Now I know what should have been stopped and what to avoid.

Philip wrote in detail about the behavior of an assistant that had been imprisoned and paroled prior to being made a part of the Stanford Prison experiment. I thought that he would have been sympathetic to the plight of the student prisoners. Empathy should have caused him to not do to them what was done to him [The Golden Rule]. That was not the case.

This is what I realized from reading what was written about the paroled prisoner that became the chairman of the Parole Board at the Stanford Prison. When roles are reversed after someone has had their self-esteem attacked by system authority figures, they will egregiously wage an attack on someone else’s self-esteem and then justify it with eloquent reasoning or defend themselves with anger. Knowing this is another reason why you should read The Lucifer Effect. You owe it to your students to understand how good people turn evil. The best way to do that is to read The Lucifer Effect.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cops in Schools

Pinellas County Florida has uniformed cops flaunting weapons as they patrol the halls. They are stationed in the high schools where they operate out of an office that looks better than anything I ever had as a teacher. What I find most offensive about this is that they have usurped the responsibilities of the counselor.

When I was a high school student, we had hall monitors: not cops. When I was a teacher, there weren't cops in the schools. There should not be any now. Involving law enforcement into a behavioral problem was always the last resort. Bobby Todd brought a starter pistol to class, I sent for a counselor. The problem was quietly solved. It is usually that easy.

If you routinely allow law enforcement for function within your schools as counselors then there has to be negative long term consequences. They are not counselors any more then they are medical doctors. If a student has a personal problem, then that problem should be taken to a counselor, teacher or the school nurse. They will know if law enforcement should be involved. Otherwise, law enforcement should stay out of it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Teacher or Educator?

According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the maintenance man would remove them and the next day the girls would put them back. Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses). To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required. He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers.... And then there are EDUCATORS

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The War Prayer

Mike Mirra, teacher, wants you to think about this.

This is from "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain.

God sends an visitor to a church congregation that is praying for
victory. The visitor says that what they were really praying for
needed to be put into words. He does as written here.
He, in his way shows them how UnChrist like they are.
He then tells them "You have prayed it"


O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broke! n in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it--for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

Christ said that he who lives by the sword shall perish by the
sword. He said that when the people live according to God's law
they would beat their swords into plowshares. He also said
that the peacemakers are to be called the children of God.
Even the old 'eye for an eye' old testament has God saying

Friday, February 16, 2007

Kids In Church: funny

3-year-old Reese:
"Our Father, Who does art in heaven,
Harold is His name.
A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."
After the christening of his baby brother in church,
Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
"That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I wanted to stay with you guys."
One particular four-year-old prayed,
"And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they
were on the way to church service,
"And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl replied,
"Because people are sleeping."
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
"If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,
"Ryan, you be Jesus!"
A father was at the beach with his children
when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
"Daddy, what happened to him?" the son asked.
"He died and went to Heaven," the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said,
"Did God throw him back?"
A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
"Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
"Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Great Truth That LIittle Children Have Learnd:

1. No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2. When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3. If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4. Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5. You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6. Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7. Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9. Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10. The best place to be when you're sad is Grandpa's lap.


1. Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
2. Wrinkles don't hurt.
3. Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts.
4. Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5. Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6. Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not thetoy.


1. Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2. Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3. When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4. You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rockingchair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5. It's frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers toask you the questions.
6. Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7. Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.


1. You believe in Santa Claus.
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3. You are Santa Claus.
4. You look like Santa Claus.


At age 4, success is not peeing in your pants.
At age 12, success is having friends.
At age 16, success is having a driver license.
At age 35, success is having money.
At age 50, success is having money.
At age 70, success is having a drivers license.
At age 75, success is having friends.
At age 80, success is not peeing in your pants.

Remember to forget the troubles that pass your way but don't forget the blessings that come each day. Have a wonderful day with many smiles.Take the time to live! Life is too short.

Source: Trevor

Monday, January 15, 2007

Maria deBorbon wants us to read this.

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the "Peanuts"comic strip. You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just read it straight through, and you'll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Contest.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.
2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.
Pass this on to those people who have made a difference in your life.
"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia " (Charles Schultz)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007 is ahead of us.

You have an opportunity here to share your thoughts with us. If you are a student, there must be something you want teachers to know about your learning experience. If you are a teacher, there must be something you want parents or other teachers to know.

I'm going to be posting thoughout the year. I hope you do also.