Russ Gibb at Random

A teacher speaks out.

January 19, 2008

Hi Mr. Gibb,
I teach at one of the high schools in the Dearborn Public Schools and probably should not be writing about this, but frankly I've had enough of the wimps in charge of our schools.
I have a student who was suspended for 10 days for purchasing a stun gun from another student in school. I have no idea what punishment the seller is facing, as he is special ed. The purchaser is not, and got to come back to school after his 10-day suspension. I hear the police ticketed the purchaser for having "a dangerous instrument", not a weapon. How fantastic that this young man is back in school after having that kind of item!!!
I've been reading a lot of the posts here today about DPS and want people to know that as teachers, we want to keep our students and ourselves safe. It's not going to happen when you have people on the hearing board letting kids who sell drugs, assault teachers, threaten to kill teachers, carry weapons, etc. return to DPS. I'm wondering just what it takes to get expelled anymore?? Does someone actually have to be severely injured or killed?
Perhaps if Paul Smith, Marc Zigterman or Wageh Saad would come to our schools and see what we deal with everyday, they would attempt to clean our schools of these students.
Yes, it sounds harsh coming from a teacher (many years in DPS), but it's time our good kids get to go to school in a safe environment. Our principals are good people and do what they can to get paperwork on these kids, but it's the hearing board that allows them to return. If you talk about this, please do not use my name on the computer. I enjoy my job very much but am fed up with the trash that is allowed to stay in our school and basically do whatever they want and get away with it. Thank you for reading this.

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28 Comment(s)

Even someone getting killed won’t get these habitual trouble makers out of school! We have seen example after of example of the board caving when a lawyer gets involved.

It seems like the job of central office administration is specifically to find ways to keep deviant and violent students IN school. It is easier to keep suspending them over and over than have to explain to the State of Michigan Department of Education that they can’t come back.

Your beef is not with DPS, it’s with Lansing and Washington. The wrong-doers have more rights than the good people do. They are the ones who force our hands to let these habitual troublemakers back into school.

If the parents of problematic students were dragged into court for being delinquent parents, I suspect we might have fewer problems with their kids running wild. Many of those parents just have them labeled "special ed" and than they can do whatever they want with no consequences. The ones that are truly special ed, have parents in denial and will not relent that something is wrong, so their kid stays in regular ed classes and disrupts them from beginning to end.

This problem starts with parents and the state government that gives them the power to torture our kids with their blessing. Smith and Zigterman are just following the law.

--by The truth on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

A Poem , A farewell.

"Burrrrrl!" They said and off he went
Onto the seat the last guy spent
And in it sat this big ole’ guy
Who said to all “let ‘okay’ fly!�

In left hand he had held the book
Of how to be the district crook
In right hand he had wrote the page
Of how to act the kindly sage

“Oh Burrrrrl!� We cried,
“We have no paper!
Our teachers sit, our students caper!�

“Oh Burrrrrl!� We shout,
“Our kids all fail!
The students play, the teachers wail!�

And there he sat, his face a wreck
His chin curled up, he cracked his neck
A bead of sweat rolled down his brow
Until he shouted, “I get it now!�

He went off to the boards and wrote
A set of goals to put afloat
That may be lower than before
But now the district failed no more!

Said Burrrrrl,
“I changed the game and now it works!
If teachers blame: I’ll cut their perks!
I see the best in all progress
So when they fail I’ll say ‘no less!’

They learned a thing or two this year
How to add a number or spell ‘brazierre’
And for that we say, ‘you did okay’
And in Dearborn that’s like an A!�

--by Brian says you can sing it too... on 1/20/08   Lives: USA  

Hooray. Brian should get an A.
Hopefully, Burrrrrl will go away.
And even better if it's today.

--by Parent taxpayer on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Mr Gibb, Does the Dearborn Board of education know the havoc that Dr Artis and his policy's has wrought on the Dearborn Public School ?

--by Wake-up call on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Another Poem

Ode to the teacher, the parent the fools
That God has given us so many tools
The laws that gives us so many rules
The problems that whip us like rented Mules

Blame the kids
Blame the staff,
We blame each others
The kids just laugh

Now the prisoners run the jail
The parents gripe, the students fail
The teachers bitch, the mothers cry
Our common sense begins to die

Fear and hate and blame we must
There is no cure, there is no trust
Just who wins in all this plight?
Who will rise to win this fight?
Who will be the light at night?

We all throw the rocks, we scream their names
We stoke the fire, we fan the flames
Blame is easy, it takes no will
It's far more work to climb the hill

Stop the whining, stop the blame
The goals we have should be the same
To right the wrong, to fix our plight
This should be our common fight.

--by So sing I shall on 1/20/08   Lives: Michigan  

Wake up call. I think the majority of the Board knows about Dr John Artis. However, I don't belive Board member Aimee Blackburn gets it .

--by Fordson teacher on 1/20/08   Lives: Detroit area  

I am not surprised that these students are in our schools. The Student Sercices person in charge is handing out "waivers" to kids who do not live in the district, allowing them to attend Dearborn Schools. So much for Board Policy! No one has to follow the rules.

--by Taxpayer on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Marc Zigterman does not follow the law, or district policy, when it comes to ALLOWING out of district students into our schools.

--by In the Know on 1/20/08   Lives: Michigan  

Here is a puzzle for you.
Fly off early for distant lands and let the painter cover for you. And when you return ask General Anthony Wayne to explain the meaning of recycled words to you. Up is down and down is up, and the big clock in the hall, knows all.
Doors are shut but, yet wide open and the computer keys never,never forgets.

--by Fordson walls on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

So how does one go about truly verifying whether someone lives within the district or not? If they show up with all the necessary utility bills and identifications, what would Marc Zigterman do? Have a PI follow them for a week to see if they lay their head down in the Dearborn City Limits? We have hundreds of kids who live with divorced parents outside the city but claim the address of the non custodial parent. How do you handle that? Do you all want more teachers in the class room of more people banging on doors to check to see if the kids actually live here? You can’t have it both ways.

The problem REALLY is that there are a lot of people in this district that think they can SEE a non resident because of, you guessed it, the color of their skin. Other than that, how else would you know unless mailings going home are returned to the school? Right now, that’s all they have to go on as well as whistle blowers. Even with whistle blowers, try to prove that the kid does not live where he says he does under the current rules without being called a racist. We all know how quickly the administration buckles when the “R� word is played.

When we undertake the task of forcing EVERY student to bring 5 pieces of ID or utility bills and custody papers in, we may catch some of the malfeasance, but that will never happen because those out of district kids are bringing $$$ into the district. How hard do you really think they are going to pursue getting them out? Several current school board members opposed stepping up the verification procedure and re-verifying current students but how did the public react? You re-elected them resoundingly. Well, you asked for it, now live with it. The biggest offenders as a group are connected to the purse strings of the strongest PAC that funds those school board members.

--by The truth? YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH! on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Let me amend my statement by adding KNOWINGLY ALLOWED, a non resident to attend our schools. That's the truth.

--by In The Know on 1/20/08   Lives: Michigan  

Oh yea, by the way:

Anyone want to guess who proposed stepping up the district residency rule and re-certify every single student in the district about a year ago?

It was Marc Zigterman who first proposed it to the school board almost a year ago. He framed it to the board as being a huge job but could be started through implementation at school entry (students changing from Jr. High, to High School, new students etc.) but it fell on deaf ears.

I'm no Marc Zigterman disciple, but this problem is way bigger than just one man. It’s a broken district policy being perpetuated. The enrollment "bubble" is upon us and we will be leveling off or declining in the next 5 years. Problem is, so will funding from the Grandholm administration, the other albatross you all elected.

--by More painfull reality on 1/20/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Dangerous Instrument VS Weapon

What's the difference between these??
Calling a Rose, by any other name -- its still but a rose!!

What is a Gun?

What is a Assult Rifle?

What is a Pistol Revolver?

What is a Knife?

What is a Sword?

What is a Machete?

What is a NightStick?

What is a Taser?
"A Taser is an electroshock WEAPON meant to stun a targeted subject from a distance."

Answer to all of the above: Things that should not be in schools.

This is TRULY a case of using "terms" to sweep it under the rug.

The reason the board doesn't want to kick a student out like this truly MUST be because the more students (good or bad) that the district can keep in the schools, means more money from Lansing (Count day is coming)!!!

As far as a student who lives in Dearborn, its simple: The Student MUST live in Dearborn with their "Custodial Parent". The term "Custodial Parent" means the parent that has the care of the child. There is paperwork that documents this. You then use the utility bills to the "Custodial Parent" to prove THEY live in Dearborn. Sounds simple enough to me!!! Im sick & tired of people playing the "Race" card into EVERYTHING!!!

--by The Blue Parrot on 1/21/08   Lives: Detroit area  

Points to Brian and the others for creatively expressing their opinions. I would like to point out, though, that JBA is effectively gone as our superintendent. We need to worry now about whom the Board will hire to replace him.

I suggest that Zigterman touch base with the school counselors concerning possible out-of-district students. They sometimes obtain information that would help.

--by Points for form on 1/21/08   Lives: Dearborn  

After my last posting, I realized that someone could use many other items as "weapons". We need to stop looking at the label of something and simply ask ourselves -- is there ANY reason why ANY student needs a taser in a school (when so many students are forgetting their books to class)???

And this is a poor discussion to play your "race card" it doesn't matter if the student is Red, White, Blue, Black, or any other color -- they dont need a Freekin' Taser in school.

As for JBA - he aint gone yet?? Granted he is a lame duck sup' but he still is here, with the backing of "his" board.

Its funny that you mention the Zman POINTS FOR FORM. Makes you wonder if they brought the Zman back to Ten Eyck to groom him to be our next Sup'??? Things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMMM?????

I step down from my soap box, and relinquish the balance of my time to Mr Gibbs and his following.

--by The Blue Parrot on 1/21/08   Lives: Detroit area  

Hmmm, not sure how all of a sudden race became the main issue from my original post. The student who purchased the stun gun was caucasian and I think has been in Dearborn schools most of his life. There is no reason a student who brought/purchased a weapon to/in school should be back--he poses a danger to those around him. I don't care what his reason is, if I were a parent I would be furious that my child (who as far as I know doesn't bring weapons to school)is in a building with this kid. I've been teaching a long time and I have to say that race/ethnicity/gender have never given me a hint as to how good/bad a student will be.

--by The Teacher That Spoke Out on 1/21/08   Lives: Detroit area  

The Dearborn Public Schools are in tatters.

--by I've been shattered on 1/21/08   Lives: Detroit area  

Shattered, Yes, an Artis, Blackburn and Lane have a lot to answer for.

--by The seeing eye on 1/21/08   Lives: Dearborn  

"The Teacher That Spoke Out" sure makes some good points.

If bringing a weapon to school is not a ground for expelling a student, what is?

Arguing that a Taser is not a weapon is just quibling. This sort of dangerous misbehavior should simply not be allowed in a public school (or in any school), where hundreds of innocent children spend many hours every weekday.

That having been said, I note that State Representative Arlan Meekhof, R-Olive Twp, is proposing that Michigan's adult citizens should be allowed to carry Tasers for their personal protection. A newspaper article in the Holland Sentinel recently reported that Michigan is one of only five states nationwide that do not allow citizens to carry Tasers for their personal protection. Here is the link to the newspaper article:

My gut reaction is that it might be a good idea for Michigan go join the majority of states in allowing adult citizens to carry Tasers for their own personal protection--so long as the licensure process is similar to that for carrying a gun.

--by Streuvels on 1/22/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Aimee Blackburn is the only thing still good about the Dearborn public schools.

--by Aimee for Super on 1/22/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Here's a riddle for everyone:

What blade can not strike the heart, can not strip the lard and only chew the bark, yet in hands of harm be a weapon in the dark?

The answer is: A paring knife.

A paring knife has been ruled by the Dearborn Schools as grounds for Expulsion because in the right hands, it was used as a weapon.

If this weapon that shows OBVIOUS INTENT FOR HARM because it has NO PRACTICAL USE was brought into the schools, why hasn't the kid been expelled? You can't skin an orange with a taser!

--by Brian has a riddle for you... on 1/23/08   Lives: USA  

LOL Aimee {I'm all for me me me} Blackburn. ? She is a board member who never misses an out of state trip at taxpayers expense. Check it out.

--by Keeping score on 1/23/08   Lives: Dearborn  


You're Aimee's mom, right? Only a mother...

--by OKAY, MOM on 1/23/08   Lives: Dearborn  

Based on her performance and that of her superintendent Dr.Artis I dont think even Aimees mom would vote for her again. A mothers love can only go so far......................................

--by Roni on 1/24/08   Lives: Detroit area  


You are SO WRONG! The people of Dearborn will RESOUNDINGLY re-elect her, just like they always do. In Michigan we seem to always want to re-elect people who do nothing short of destroy everything they touch. Let’s think about it:


The list goes on and on. Our school board is no different. Wandless-Adams, Schoolmaster, Guido, we just keep sticking them back in there over and over to do the same old same old.

The one time we had a chance to make a positive change that would have been to the better of our district, we allowed her to slip away from us just like so many good teachers and students in our district. We develop the best teachers in this city and than throw them away like garbage by laying them off every year and sending them looking for new jobs. It happens because our “ball-less boys� at Teneyke are deathly afraid to stand up and make a decision for fear of political fall out. It always comes down to the same old thing Russ, they are afraid to take a stand about anything! Its all “milk toast� politics at the administrative level.

Here is a news flash for you all. Why don’t you all question how the class of 2011 (the first under the new “hands off� attendance policy) is doing in this first semester. I can assure that you will see two huge spikes in statistics. The number of absent student, and the number of failures in our 3 high schools (or at least a bumper crop of D-‘s).

--by Not so fast on 1/24/08   Lives: Michigan  

Can someone explain the new "hands off" attendance policy???

--by in the dark on 1/28/08   Lives: Dearborn  

To Not So Fast:
Yes, you are entirely correct. People, sadly, keep electing the same old bunch of do-nothing hacks who have no business in public service. I get physically ill watching the school board meetings on public access knowing that many outcomes are well decided ahead of time. The same story can be seen on the public access when watching the city council meetings. People in Dearborn need to demand more and expect more from elected officials. They work for us, not the other way around.

--by Bill on 1/29/08   Lives: Dearborn  

I too have watched the meetings on public access.
Makes you wonder if it was worth getting a judge involved to get Comcast NOT to send Dearborn Public Access Channels (and other cities) into outerpace on channel 902??

--by The Blue Parrot on 1/29/08   Lives: Detroit area  

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