Monday, December 5, 2016

Must read UPDATED

This was in the "Must Read" section of the PG over the weekend.

Mt. Lebanon police probing racist, anti-Semitic graffiti at schools and football field

Someone sent me a link to this local blog, covering this topic. Mt. Lebanon resident Dr. Anthony Moretti is the Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Directed Engaged Learning at Robert Morris University, where he also is an Associate Professor in the School of Communications and Information Systems.

An ugly three weeks for the Mt. Lebanon School District

Update December 5, 2016 7:15 PM From the Middle School Principals today:

 Mellon Middle School <>
Sent: Monday, December 5, 2016
To: Middle School Parents
Subject: Message to Parents

Middle School Families,

We are writing to follow up on the recent email you received from our Superintendent. Please know that a safe school is our number one priority. Establishing an inclusive and welcoming environment is essential to that priority. We feel very strongly that the recent incidents at our middle schools are not reflective of our students, faculty, or staff.

We have taken several steps to address the recent incidents that are contrary to our inclusive and welcoming culture. As principals, we met with our respective faculties to review these issues and reinforce our expectations for reporting and responding. We also reported details of the incidents to the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, PTA leaders, and local religious leaders. Our local Rabbis have been reliable partners as we formulated plans to take appropriate further steps.

Our programs, designed to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment, begin early in a child’s educational career and occur on a regular basis. This includes our middle school anti-bullying program known more commonly as “Tuesday Talk” that is grounded in the research-based tenets of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. Themes that are discussed annually in our “Tuesday Talk” program include: respect, acceptance, empathy, and appreciation of diversity.  

Our most recent “Tuesday Talk” focused on two essential questions - 1) How do we make other people feel welcome in our classrooms and school? and 2) How do we improve upon the inclusive community so all students feel valued? It was a productive conversation that affirmed our positive beliefs about our students. Our work on this topic will continue.   

As parents, you can support our efforts by continuing to have conversations with your child(ren) around the theme of helping others to feel welcome and valued.  If you learn of inappropriate, discriminatory, or intimidating behavior occurring in our schools, please contact a teacher, counselor, or ourselves.  We will immediately investigate and appropriately address any concerns.  

We continue to believe we have caring students and exemplary schools.

As always, our doors are open to you. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Kelly Szesterniak                    Christopher Wolfson
Principal - JMS                        Principal - MMS


E. T. Gillen said...

I am cross-posting comments submitted over the weekend under "The hate is spreading to our children."

"No students were disciplined in the chanting incident. No students were lectured. The entire student body nor all parents were informed of the incident. School mishandled and buried it."

"When did this chanting incident occur??? My daughter goes to JES. I have heard nothing about this!"

Jason Margolis said...

Wow, those comments about MTL on the other blog are brutal.

I wonder if "Pass Time" will try to save MTL's false image on that site as well?

Anonymous said...

I can assure you, Mt. Lebanon's image is doing just fine. No other community offers core amenities such as annual wildlife management, cutting-edge sports field surfaces or police enforced pedestrian mitigation services.

E. T. Gillen said...

Hey "I can assure you!" I thought you were going to stop reading this blog. I knew you weren't a student. A Mt. Lebanon student would not overuse a phase. "I can assure you."

Anonymous said...

Elaine: I'm not sure what to make of your blog post on racial slurs and hate.
I'm sure it exist here, but for the most part I think the majority of our neighbors in Sunset Hills, both Ds and Rs, are an accepting bunch. We have blacks, Jews, lesbians and near as I can tell, probably gays.
I'll concede that it's most likely that in this neighborhood preferences be told, most people would hope for new residents like themselves. But that doesn't mean they'd "go after" people of different races, gender preferences or religions.

I'm wondering if this sudden uproar isn't a progressive agenda to undermine Trump's presidency.

I think this comment from Jon Stewart (definitely not a Trump fan) speaks volumes about this subject and especially B's comment from last week.

Stewart said: "And I’ll say this, I know a lot of first responders. I spent a lot of time in that community. A shitload of them voted for Trump. The same people that voted for Trump ran into burning buildings and saved whoever the fuck they could no matter what color they were, no matter what religion and they would do it again tomorrow. So, if you want to sit and tell me that those people are giving tacit approval to an exploitative system ― I say, ‘OK, and would you put your life on the line for people who aren’t like you? Because they did.’ I get mad about this stuff."

A good question to B would be- Do you think the MTLPD officers are bigots or unfair towards women?

My opinion a lot of this is a continuing progressive narrative to brand Trump voters as " a basket of deplorables."

Anonymous said...

I don't think these incidents are aimed at taking down the Trump presidency. There are some hateful kids out there. On Friday, at my child's elementary school, someone wrote FU in the mulch. Not a hate incident but certainly not healthy, happy kid behavior. There were some were some other disturbing incidents as well -- one that required the principal to speak to all the fourth and fifth grade students of one gender. Again, not a racial incident but problematic and disturbing.

At JMS, the incident with chanting occurred on a school bus going to the high school for a band rehearsal. The teacher emailed all the parents and the principal spoke to all of the students that are in the band -- although one student in particular appeared to be responsible for the chant. I don't know what happened to him. The teacher did not email again.

Anonymous said...

Dec 5, 12:29 makes some good points and then cites a Breitbart article.... man...

Anonymous said...

6:39 FYI...

Josh Earnest talks about Breitbart News being at the White House - YouTube