Public Crying Undiagnosed Autistic Me!


***WARNING- This post is long ***

Dear Readers,

crying face (KimK)

Yeah, about that title! I’m sure that I shared this before, but I’m going to share it again- I don’t like crying in public. Well, let me correct that. I didn’t used to like crying in public. After today, it doesn’t bother me. Part of what changed is that I’m coming into my own. I’ve been going through an awakening. I see more, I feel more, and I have been sharing more. I’ve gotten more in touch with my feelings. So, things that used to bother me, don’t bother me anymore.

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There Is Only One Thing…


Dear Readers,

 

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: THE FEAR OF FAILURE!

It Takes Courage…


Dear Readers,

It’s synchronicity that I found this quote by e.e. cummings because this year has been all about me becoming the ME I intended to be when I was younger. It seems that when you state your intentions and decide to become who you were meant to be, then things begin to happen.

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

~e.e. cummings~

Tough Love


Dear Readers,

It’s that time of year again when I have downtime and really reflect on my school year.

Have you ever had a problem with your students becoming too comfortable in your class? Well, I have! You know what- the fault is all mine. I became too comfortable with them. I would talk to them throughout class; I would accept their excuses; I would get mad at the other teachers for holding them to a higher standard!

Now that I look back on it, I can see where I failed. I had to reflect on their behaviors as I reflected on mine. Going into the next school year, I am going to set boundaries and enforce them religiously. I’m the one who controls my life by making decisions that lead me to being my best self.

If it’s too be, it’s up to me!

Changing My Playlist!


Dear Readers,

For as long as I can remember, I’ve listened to really sad songs. I think it was because I was afraid to be happy. I didn’t even realize they were really sad until one of my students told me that the song that I loved was really depressing. Depressing?!?! Until then I didn’t connect the two.

After she said that, I started paying attention to my song choices. Sure enough, they were mostly sad and depressing. Almost all of them.

Do you think I changed my playlist then? Nope, I didn’t. Wanna’ know why! I hadn’t changed my way of thinking. Until now!

A couple of months ago, I attended an event through L.A.U.S.D. with Siedah Garrett (writer of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” & “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”) as one of the featured performers. She told the story of how she came to write the song, “Answer’s Always Love”.

I know that I keep using this phrase, but I vibed with her explanation and her song so much. I paid full attention to the song as she sang. I was mesmerized. Right then and there, I decided to change my playlist to suit my changed  mindset.

As an added bonus, here’s a poem I wrote in my upcoming book of poetry. Like to hear it, hear it goes:

I Changed My Playlist

My playlist, once so full of sad songs

used to depress me.

But those songs do not represent me 

or my way of thinking anymore.

My way of looking at things shifted.

I’m no longer sad, bitter, hurt, or afraid.

While Keyshia Cole’s “Let It Go”

And Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon’ Cry”

used to be on repeat,

Now, the lyrics to Frankie Beverly’s “We Are One”

and Siedah Garrett’s “The Answer’s Always Love!”

Speaks to me.

Of necessity, I chose to limit my exposure to songs that kept me

angry, bitter, hurt, & afraid. 

While listening to sad songs.

 I was perpetually in an unproductive state of mind

that did not serve my desire to move forward

and heal. 

When your mindset shifts

and you’re ready to move on and

become a better you,

the way out can be as simple 

as changing your playlist!

© Original poetry by Carole L. Banks

Guest Post by Bea Burgess


Dear Readers,

Today’s post is written by Bea Burgess of http://www.abclawcenter.com. I usually don’t post articles that link back to businesses, but this one was quite informative. The article is short, sweet, and to the point. I enjoyed it. Check it out, you might enjoy it, as well! Here’s the title that caught my attention-

Students with Disabilities More Likely to Be Punished in Schools- Especially If They Are Black

Recent reports have indicated that disabled students, and especially black students with disabilities, face inequitable disciplinary action in schools. Here, we’ll first discuss how schools punish students with disabilities at much higher rates than their non-disabled peers. We’ll then examine the intersectionality of disability and race as they pertain to school suspensions and lost instruction.

Across The United States, Students With Disabilities Are Disciplined InequitablyStudents with Disabilities More Likely to Be Punished in School – Especially If They Are Black

About 25 percent of students who are suspended, referred to law enforcement, or arrested while at school have a disability, even though students with disabilities comprise only about 12 percent of all public school students. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that students with disabilities are over-represented by 13 percent for suspensions and 15.5 percent for law enforcement referrals and arrests. There was a substantial disparity in all types of public school, including charters, magnets, alternative schools, and special education programs. Affluent schools were not immune; in fact, there was an over-representation of 20 percent in suspensions (1).

A study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights revealed similar trends. They found that children with disabilities made up 28 percent of school-related arrests, 26 percent of out-of-school suspensions, and 24 percent of expulsions. Moreover, those served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) accounted for 71 percent of students restrained and 66 percent secluded. These conclusions come from a dataset that includes over 50 million students at more than 96,000 schools.

The executive director of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Denise Marshall, told Disability Scoop that she was concerned about these findings:

“Our kids continue to be harmed by the failure of the Department (of Education) to take action to address the gross inequities and disparity in treatment. How many more generations will it take?” (2).

Racial Disparities In School Discipline And Lost Instruction

Researchers from Harvard University and UCLA recently collaborated on a study examining how lost instruction due to discipline varies based on disability and race. Their report is called “Disabling Punishment: The Need for Remedies to the Disparate Loss of Instruction Experience by Black Students with Disabilities.”

They found that black students with disabilities are suspended much more frequently than white students with disabilities – they have on average 77 more days of lost instruction. Of course, this greatly affects how much they learn.

Tomiko Brown-Nagin, director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, told Harvard Law Today that “Far too many school districts are punishing and pushing out black students with disabilities.”

Under IDEA, states must review racial disparities in discipline at the district level, and address the underlying issues.

The Trump administration has made moves toward rescinding certain IDEA regulations, including guidance aimed at reducing disparities in school discipline; this is what prompted the Harvard/UCLA study. Author of the Disabling Punishment report, Daniel J. Losen, told Harvard Law Today that, “We hope the information in this report will serve as a call to action to educators and advocates in every state.”

The report contains recommendations for education policymakers, civil rights advocates, teachers’ unions, and other groups involved in the education system (3).

Conclusions: An Intersectional Approach To Combating Inequality In Our Schools

The high rates of disciplinary action for students with disabilities are fairly distressing even withoutaccounting for racial differences, but when considering the intersectionality between disability and race, the numbers are even more shocking. To promote change, disability rights organizations should collaborate with racial justice advocates. The issues experienced by students with disabilities are not identical to those experienced by racial minorities, but there is certainly a lot of overlap. And for students who are disabled and black, the problem of inequitable punishment must be understood and addressed from both angles.

 

Here’s the link: https://www.abclawcenters.com/blog/2018/05/07/students-with-disabilities-more-likely-to-be-punished-in-schools-especially-if-they-are-black/