Re: Single-Sex, Title IX, the OCR and School Violence.

jdespain (
Wed, 8 Apr 1998 13:12:48 -0700 (PDT)

First off I want to thank Linda Purrington for her voice and her knowledge
on this list. She is an inspiration for me as I continue to do my little
job day by day going into new situations and guiding children through
their day with my philosophy of equity and human dignity.

As a substitute I am prejudiced against and face a second class approach
by "my colleagues" as I begin my day. If I'm subbing for a male teacher,
my peers will say,"Are you Joe today?" When I introduce myself by name
and then say I am here for Joe...they usually go off in a huff...never
introducing themselves or being positive. They snicker in the lounges
about "subs" even when your in there.

As for speaking up about concerns or find it's best to be
quiet for you face an affront that all the kids problems get blamed on
you. You're a dumping ground.

Having come from an abusive childhood with a very dominating father, I
went into education 25 years ago with a vision for well-being for
children. What I found was a very dominating system....which has a
mediocre agenda..doesn't like or want change..won't deal effectively with
emotions and says it's doing it's best.

In a recent two year full time position, where I hoped to facilitate
equity education I was sabotaged by the male staff while the women
buttoned up their lips and turned their backs. I learned that teachers are
their for their jobs first, rather than their for the children first.

I have spoke out all over the district to find deaf ears.
I was rather depressed for most of last year.
Now I'm talking again.

I don't agree that these things are easy to say, while I agree that
ACTIVISM is imperative. We really do need to paint the vision over and
over, with each other and out there to parents, the schools the society at
large. The vision is what upholds are hopes and facilitates the need for
action. Talk of vision is not cheap. It is our hearts daring to speak out.
Most people don't have the slightest idea that any of this stuff is going
on. Therefore talk is very much the facilitator of action. I have had a
long term illness brought on from my abusive childhood. It took me years
to get better and to find and use my voice. For me talking is a gift.

Finding people who can reciprocate intelligently about these matters;
finding those who can share with others; finding those who can take a
stand; and finding those who can facilitate masses to change laws and
manifest the vision...all will occur as long as we keep talking.

I thank you all for your work and your vision. Keep it up!
For the Children.

Jean-Marie DeSpain, M.S.
Educational Ideals

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