Wednesday, June 27, 2007

School Violence


One of my favorite NPR shows is Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Yesterday, she interviewed two Philadelphia teachers who were attacked in two separate incidents, and seriously injured by students.

WTF?
I heard one of these guys interviewed a while ago...the math teacher who sustained a broken neck, broken shoulder and a brain injury. I was also speaking with a recently retired teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts. She was telling me a gruesome story of having a high school social worker stabbed and murdered right outside her classroom door by a student she had just disciplined the day before.

I can't help but be incredibly disturbed by these stories.

For one, I consider education to be one of the critical solutions this world has to the many of its problems, especially poverty, class differences and even crime.

But without a safe environment for students to learn, there will never be a chance for education to take place successfully.

I've been wanting to have a blog contest for a while, and this latest interview with Philadelphia teachers has prompted me to use a blog contest to support a charity called Year Up, one of the more well-run educational charities that is doing excellent work with inner-city education.

Blog Contest
Blog Contest is simple. Make a contribution, or in some way support Year Up (they have local volunteer opportunities, or the ability to donate goods, etc.). Just let me know via e-mail at queerjoe@comcast.net that you've done something to support them by July 15th at midnight, U.S. Eastern time, and I'll enter you in a drawing for one of three modest prizes:



Prize one: A copy of Kaffe's Classics
Prize two: A knitting project bag from KnitPicks
Prize three: A copy of Marianne Kinzel's Modern Lace Knitting

Please note in your e-mail which prize you would prefer, and I'll try to match the winners to their prize preference.

If you'd like to make a contribution directly on their site using a credit card, I don't need any verification of your donation...just your word that a donation has been made. If you contribution is less than $25, and/or you'd prefer to donate via PayPal, and you don't care about the tax benefit of your donation, you can make your donation to my PayPal account, and I will send all donations received this way to Year Up in one lump payment.

Click Here To Donate Via PayPal

I know the prizes aren't anything spectacular, but I do appreciate any support you could give to this very worthy cause.

Current Knitting
I finished two more scarves...I'll post pictures of them in my next blog entry.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the Boteh Scarf, Glen writes, "I was wondering if I could get the knit version of the pattern from you, because I haven't a clue as to how to convert a crochet pattern to knit or vice versa."

Actually, I don't have a specific knit pattern written up for this scarf, and I don't think I'll be writing one...sorry. But here's why, first, I don't like how it looks in knit format, and second, I don't want to take away from Kathy's lovely crochet accomplishment by bastardizing her design.

Regarding the knit/crochet scarf I did in Kaffe's Kid Silk, Franklin asks an exceptionally inciteful question, "I'm curious, does the crochet edging have a noticeable effect on drape or stretch?"

A little on stretch, and none on drape. I mimicked the looseness of the knitted fabric with the crochet, so the drape would stay the same (very loose and drapey). The crochet edging does provide a little more structure than the original knitted edge, and will definitely help keep the scarf in it's original shape.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a shame! I would love to donate to your charity, but sadly I gave all my extra cash to another knitblogger/designer who needs to renovate her kitchen. Maybe next time.

nishanna said...

wow. In 2000 I began my undergrad at Springfield College in a 5 year undergrad to grad social work program. After a year I went home to NYC because i didn't feel safe there (among other reasons). There is a special place in me for at risk youth and after many years of consideration of where i can help I decided to work for early intervention and family therapy services for children birth to three and their families. i really feel it starts all the way in the beginning. I can't donate right but I'm doing my best with my families every day <3

Carol said...

I love the idea of an "inciteful" comment -- I guess it would be the kind that starts a flame war -- but I think you mean "insightful," dearie.
I'm sorry. I don't know why I feel obliged to do that.

Mel said...

One thing you didn't mention, Joe, is that the donation site for Year Up allows you to make recurring donations. I set mine up to donate $5 monthly. It won't noticeably impact my finances and still allows me to contribute a decent sum over the course of a year.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha anonymous. I thought everyone was paying for her vacation by the lake.

Marilyn said...

To add to Carol's correction, I lovingly add this: It's = it is. Its is the possessive.

I'll be donating. Thanks, Mel, for the info about the recurring donation. You're so right--$5 a month ain't nothin' but may mean something to Year Up.

Christy said...

I work for a non-profit organization in Philadelphia-- we do college preparation work with students from the general admission public high schools. Some of the kids in our program go to Germantown HS, the school where the teacher's neck was broken over an iPod.

The kids in our program are amazing-they are smart and motivated. What they are not-- is prepared. How can you learn in an environment where your teachers have to worry about being physically injured?

Thanks for bringing attention to the issues of urban education and school violence, and to organizations that are making a difference.

jo said...

I thought about your blog a lot yesterday. I am (rather was) an inner city teacher in Denver. This spring, much to my shock, I was hit by a student who ws angry over a cell phone issue. This was not a terribly serious assault; however, what was serious is that the school did absolutely nothing about it. That incident was indicative of the lack of support which is endemic in our schools. We are expected to handle every issue on our own, an approach which seems absurd to me. Even loving parents sometimes need an objective voice or support from a friend/relative when dealing with their children. How much more so a teacher with 30 struggling students in the classroom.

Debra said...

Joe,

12 years ago I quit teaching High School. A 19 year old sophomore (who had return to school from prison time for murder so he could sell drugs in the school) threatened the life of myself and 2 other teachers. When suspended, his family sued for prejudice, he was allowed to return to school, and the only strong vice principle was fired.

I never felt safe again.