Know your rightsAw, listen to how sweet these Michigan junior high kids are, you guys. They wanted to hold a fundraiser for Travyon Martin’s family:

[T]he students wanted to help Martin’s family and asked the school’s administrators if they could pay $1 each to wear hoodies instead of school uniform for a day, the [Southern Poverty Law Center] said. It said the school regularly has fundraisers in which students can “dress down.”

So yeah, the literature teacher who encouraged them to ask has totally been fired.

[Superintendent Jacqueline] Cassell rejected the request and she suspended Harris for encouraging the students to make their request in person, the group said.

Anything else to add, Frau Cassell?

“I’m a child of the civil rights movement,” Cassell said. But “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics.

“In every situation, there are work rules,” she said. “When rules are violated, there are consequences.”


Harris then was fired for showing up at the school during her suspension, the group said. It said [totally fired literature teacher Brooke] Harris had gone to the school to drop off prizes for the students.

“I was told I was a bad teacher, that I was being unprofessional, that I’m being paid to teach, not to be an activist,” [totally fired literature teacher Brooke] Harris told the Detroit Free Press. “When I tried to defend myself, it was construed as insubordination.”

Totally fired literature teacher Brooke Harris is the worst kind of race hustler, obviously: THE KIND WHO DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. Could someone please give her some civics lessons on what is proper race-hustling, and when in the school year is the right time to ask to pay $1 to wear a hoodie? [AP]

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  • Barb

    I'm sure there are some schools in the dirty dirty south that would be more than happy to raise money for Zimmerman's legal defense.

  • mavenmaven

    Furthermore, the candy machine that sold skittles was forcibly removed from the school.

    • sewollef

      I hear it was frogmarched out of the school… and thrown on a bonfire with all those burning books.

    • walterhwhite

      …forcibly removed from the school and shot in the coin dispenser.

  • OC_Surf_Serf

    I call BS. There cannot possible be a literature teacher left in Michigan.

    • ElPinche

      I think the only thing left is that that giant pawnshop on teevee.

    • Negropolis

      We may not be Massachusetts, but we're not Mississippi, either. The nation still sends it kids to college, here. Too bad we send our's to other states.

  • sullivanst

    What a beacon light of post-racial society this school is, firing that obviously racist teacher for being racist by supporting the family of a deceased black child!

  • OC_Surf_Serf

    Hoodie-wearing Skittle eaters are people too , my friends

    • LesBontemps

      Not in Sanford, FL, they're not.

      • BaldarTFlagass

        Yes they are. Dead people.

  • memzilla

    “I’m a child of the civil rights movement,” Cassell said… "

    So were David Duke and George Wallace…

    • sewollef

      and don't forget Augusto Pinochet, sorry, I mean Dick Cheney…

    • miss_grundy

      I saw the report on Channel 4, the NBC affiliate, and the principal is a blah, so I don't understand her at all. Don't worry though, I'm sure the teacher will get a good attorney to take her case and then the principal will be really sorry.

  • Sassomatic

    God, these people.

    • Swampgas_Man

      Yeah, I'm snarkless.

  • Barb

    Michigan, where all idiots who fire good and caring teachers are just the right height and just the right color.

  • sullivanst

    You know who else was a child of the civil rights movement…

  • BaldarTFlagass

    The kids should all start drinking tea and eating Skittles in class.

    • Generation[redacted]

      They tried. It was a bloodbath. Special guest lecturer George Zimmerman has been in hiding ever since.

  • Blah blah "not the time for distracting the kiddies" blah is less born of civil rights movement legacy than of demoralizing-the-schoolteachers pedantry.

  • Baconzgood

    Man "Big Hoodie" has been taking it on the chin the last few weeks.

  • “I’m a child of the civil rights movement”

    Did Martin Luther King Jr. bang Cassell's mom?

    • sullivanst

      Well, you know those people will bang anything that moves.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      They say he got around a bit.

      • The movement must've been HUGE.

        • Lascauxcaveman

          LOL, you could just as humorously apply that response to my Clarence Thomas comment on the "You know who else…" thread a few comments above this one.

  • “I’m a child of the civil rights movement,” Cassell said. But “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics.

    -Jacqueline Cassell

    Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

    -MLK, Jr.

    I mean, it's like they're twins, separated only by the years between them, right?

    • I wish I could double fist you up!

    • Doktor StrangeZoom

      Appalling silence of the moderates, etc.

    • Swampgas_Man

      And the first student who quotes that MLK paragraph will be expelled.

    • emmelemm

      Many fists for thee.

  • So it wasn't the protest that got the teacher suspended but that she had the temerity to insist the students ask permission?

    Wait. What?

    • elviouslyqueer

      Oh no, it was because the kids were actually coming to her office. Which, judging from the 50-gallon drum of hand sanitizer on her desk, could be a touch problematic for Mama Cass.

      • sullivanst

        Looks like she was running low, too.

      • Baconzgood

        "EWE! Filthy children are so dirty. Why did I get into this field????….Oh that's right I got into teaching because I can't 'DO' "

        (SHHHHH Don't tell Baconz's lil' lady I said that. Her family is packed with teachers)

        • One of my bffsy's flipped the ever-loving fuck out when I half-mumbled the first half of that adage in front of her. God, physics teachers can be so goddamned touchy.

          • doloras

            Those who can teach, do teach; those who can't teach, bitch about teachers.

      • Fare la Volpe

        That sure is a fancy eagle statuette. Five bucks says it has a glittery tear dripping down its cheek.

    • MozakiBlocks

      Yeah, my flabber is a bit gasted here.

  • Baconzgood

    “I’m a child of the civil rights movement…this is not the time in the school year”

    Yes, civil rights expression time comes between football season and basketball season just before winter break but not past the valentine's day dance.


    • sullivanst

      Because if there's one thing the civil rights movement knew, it's that justice delayed is justice more awesomer, or something.

      • We shivered with an…..

    • SorosBot

      It's too bad that Mr. Martin had the bad luck to get shot and killed at the wrong time of the school year for civil rights expression.

      • Fare la Volpe

        How inconsiderate of him.

  • CapnFatback

    [Superintendent Jacqueline] Cassell rejected the request and she suspended Harris for encouraging the students to make their request in person, the group said.

    What a Jac Cass.

  • MissTaken

    But “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics.

    Well, duh! 'Black History Month' is February! The rest of the year is 'Forget That There Are Black People' Months.

    • SorosBot

      And hey, we straight white men also give you little ladies March, the inscrutable Asians May, the flamboyant gays June, and the spicy Latinos September. See, we can condescendingly pretend to care about your 'history'! The other months of the year are all still straight white men's history months of course.

      • MosesInvests

        "…the inscrutable *Orientals* May,…." FIFY

  • Wonderthing

    Shut up! Sit down! Don't sass! No! Yes! Maybe! Don't you give me that look!

  • Mahousu

    “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics.

    She is right; Trayvon should have known better than to get shot so close to midterms.

  • “I’m a child of the civil rights movement,” Cassell said. But “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics.

    Rigth, because I'm sure not one teen is taking advantage of the lovely Spring weather to cut class.

    • Swampgas_Man

      If they weren't, they probably are now.

  • I hate people. (present company excepted)

    • Doktor StrangeZoom

      Oh, hell, I hate all of us, Katie.

  • KotBR

    “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics…by firing their teacher and speaking openly to the press about it…

    But, who's counting?

  • Lascauxcaveman

    when in the school year is the right time to ask to pay $1 to wear a hoodie?

    Easy. At football games. And soccer and lacrosse (if you're that kind of private school.)

    • sewollef

      Hmm… in my school days, we always did our civil rights protesting, right after the senior boys polo game. We were usually SO psyched after six chukkers…

  • I certainly wouldnt want to suggest that people write to Dr. Cassell and express their outrage, but I notice she has a webpage…perhaps we can understand her position better after carefully reviewing it

    • If she wrote the slogan, she, is certainly no English teacher. There were TWO comma splices. Bad girl!

    • walterhwhite

      Awesome! Just did it.

  • edgydrifter

    Junior high is about the right time for students to learn that being a decent person will get you ridiculed, fired, sued and maybe even killed in America.
    Assholes win, kids.
    The more you know.

    • Doktor StrangeZoom

      Education is all about preparing children for the real world, after all.

      • Baconzgood

        I can't tell you how much I use the State Capitols and the pythagorean theorem every day at work.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Critical thinking is not encouraged. Now go learn to count change and flip burgers.

  • AlaskaGrrl

    I think it perfectly appropriate in this case to blame the schools.

  • MadBrahms

    Here in socialist college land, we call these things "teachable moments", not "distractions". But ok, sure, pretend there's nothing happening beyond the school walls that could be remotely relevant to learning about how to live in and think about society.

    • sullivanst

      And also that suspending and then firing their teacher is the way to reduce the distraction. Yeah, that'll work.

  • __kth__

    A picture of Superintendent Cassell, in case anyone got the wrong idea. Not that that excuses Ms. Harris' firing. I get the vague idea that a lot of majority-black cities are, in 180-degree contrast to the stereotype, totally in "don't piss whitey off" mode these days. I base this partly on a handful of vaguely-recollected news items, partly on a distant relative, age 90-something and of Jackson, MS, accidentally running someone over in broad daylight and not even losing his license over it. Even though he was a mean old cracker and everyone in Jackson gov't from the mayor to the dog-catcher is black these days.

    • Lascauxcaveman

      She looks like she could be the mom of that Fox news reporter who was writing about that "civil rights group" now patrolling Trayvon's old nabe.

      Having said that, it's possible what you said plays into it, and it's possible that she's desperately trenching since her charter school is close to going down in flames, as so many of them are turning out to be majorly sucky failures. I hope I'm wrong, but that seems to be the trend these days.

      And if that is the case, it's also possible that there was already bad blood between the teacher and the superintendent, (happens a lot in failing schools) and this was just the final straw.

  • Blueb4sunrise

    flamingpdog had linked to it last night.

    • Jeebus, the school is a CHARTER so of course the fired teacher has no rights. Go, school reform.

  • Gotta draw the line somewhere–if they are allowed to organize to raise money for the Martin family today they might grow to up organize for equal pay for equal work in Wisconsin or some other unAmerikkkan stuff.

  • FraAnima

    I weep for humanity.

    Except for all those shitheads like Frau Cassell, assuming that they have any humanity left.

  • Callyson

    [Superintendent Jacqueline] Cassell rejected the request and she suspended Harris for encouraging the students to make their request in person

    Yeah, that'll learn 'em. Now they know better, and will sneak around with the fundraising next time–just like good Republicans do.


  • Which Civil Rights Movement? I'm guessing she's from one the Faux Newz people favor.

  • BerkeleyBear

    I made the mistake of looking at the Yahoo comments on the same story. Every right wing trope out in force, from the idea the teacher was a "union thug" (at a charter school) to a "black racist" (no idea what her race is, but I'm not seeing the racism – still – in supporting the grieving family of a child) to claims she "got what she deserved" because "politics don't belong in the classroom.

    • Swampgas_Man

      NEVER, EVER EVER read the Yahoo or (shudder) Youtube comments. You've been online long enough to know that, young man. You have only yourself, and human Evil, to blame.

    • doloras

      Left-wing politics don't belong in the classroom. Free-market, American-exceptionialist, theocratic politics are a-okay with these people.

  • Callyson

    [T]he students wanted to help Martin’s family and asked the school’s administrators if they could pay $1 each to wear hoodies instead of school uniform for a day, the [Southern Poverty Law Center] said. It said the school regularly has fundraisers in which students can “dress down.”

    In what way does "the time in the school year" have *anything* to do with kids having a fundraiser that does not involve interrupting classroom instruction?

    This person supervises the education of children. I am frightened.

  • Doktor StrangeZoom

    Just to repeat what I said yesterday in response to flamingpdog's original post:

    The Pontiac Academy for Excellence is a nonunionized charter school. According to Superintendent Cassell, Brooke’s contract makes no provisions for formal appeal, and Michigan is an “at will” employment state.

    See, no union-thug contract nonsense, and no tenure. That's so they can fire the bad teachers. Or the ones that teach too well about stuff that the superintendent disagrees with.

    • sullivanst

      I also note from the report of his link on this thread, Brooke Harris won Teacher of the Year twice in the last three years.

      • Geminisunmars

        Clearly a trouble maker/activist.

      • sullivanst

        (oops, that was supposed to say "repost", not "report")

  • WiscDad

    My first question of course is when IS the best time of year to distract students from academics? Shame on Trayvon for being murdered so close to final exams…shame, shame, shame

    • Baconzgood

      It's Stanford Achievement Test week. Priorities kids, priorities.

  • If you don't take your tests you can't wear any hoodies!

    How can you wear any hoodies if you don't take your tests?!?!?

    • Generation[redacted]

      But in the town it was well known
      If you went home at night
      A fat psychopathic man would shoot you
      Then claim he feared for his life

      Wooooo ooo oooo….

  • WiscDad

    Has anyone else noticed this extremely weird connection between Michigan and Florida since this whole thing flared up? It's like a fucking time warp pulling them closer together.

    • ElPinche

      The good thing is that both states are peninsulas (MI being in fresh water) and both can be sawed off the continent eventually.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Haven't been able to use this in a while, from the archives:

    That cunt.

  • rickmaci

    The Supe may claim she is a child of the Civil Rights movement but on the surface it sure seems like she must have missed class or didn't learn any of the lessons.

    The Admin is a respected black educator with a Phd., the teacher is black and highly acclaimed, the students are predominately black. My former stringer gut tells me there is more to this story than one irrational decision.

  • LesBontemps

    Pfft, "Pontiac Academy for Excellence." If it was really excellent, it would be a Cadillac.

    • widestanceromance


  • Native_of_SL_UT

    The children have learned a valuable lesson in the way the country works now.
    That lesson is to just shut the fuck up and obey.

  • Fare la Volpe

    “When rules are violated, there are consequences.”

    And when a kid gets murdered, someone gets arrested.

    Funny how things change.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Count me in for the fundraiser.By sheer coincidence, I'm even wearing a hoodie today.

  • MissTaken

    The parents of the civil rights movement are so proud of their 'child' today.

  • Geminisunmars

    Am I rubbing your baconzgood?

  • Nopantsmcgee

    I left a message for the Super at the school. I was respectful but firm.


  • "Another brick in the wall…"

  • hagajim

    I'm sure Faux news will now have an entire day of programming dedicated to faux outrage that this teacher was fired….wait, what?

  • Limeylizzie

    I looked at her picture and there appears to be a lot of Christiany-type crap on her shelves.

  • DahBoner

    OT: On April 10, 2012 America has FINALLY run out of Santorum…

  • Generation[redacted]

    "Child of the Civil Rights Movement."

    Children always rebel against their parents.

  • finallyhappy

    Because I am sure a school in that area can afford to lose an excellent English teacher. Teach needs to learn her place, just like the superintendent did- you don't progress by being an excellent teacher and helping your students understand the world- you progress by keeping a low profile and doing what the masters want.

  • lochnessmonster

    Where is the teacher's union in all this?

    • BerkeleyBear

      Charter school. Another great benefit of the charter movement – empowering martinet administrators to fire whoever they feel like.

  • LemonySnicket

    Some middle school aged kids were aware enough of topical news of the day and compassionate enough toward total strangers who lost a child in another part of the country that they wanted to hold a fundraiser to help, so they went to their teacher, who helped them follow proper protocol, including a request to be seen in person when the original request was denied.

    Yeah, I totally see the problem here. Of course they fired the teacher. Clearly, she’s a witch and these kids are all victims of her brainwashing witchcraft. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

  • Negropolis

    BTW, this story is less about Trayvon than it is about the dismantling of the public school systems of Michigan. Detroit is about to become a city within the next school year or two where more students will be in charters and privates (a whole helluva lot of them controlled by wingnut conservatives looking for profits instead of results) than in the public school district. Just over 50% of school-aged children go to Detroit Public Schools, which is why the school district is tiny for a city of its size (~60,000).

    This is also a story about these schools teaching to the test. Apparently, there is no room for creative teaching and thinking in "academies". I'm tired of these blah administrators in charter schools being tight-asses because they bought into the lie that "these children" can't handle anything beyond rote memorization, that "these kids" can't walk and chew gum at the same time. We get enough of this shit from the general society, we don't need to be treating our own students as if they are in a juvenile detention facility.

  • ttommyunger

    I feel sorry for the poor students at this crap factory. May they always have fresh batteries in their bullshit detectors.

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