Fire Jacqueline Cassell

It seems only parts of stories get out – even with the internet operating at full-tilt-boogie.

I came across the story of Michigan teacher Brooke Harris who was fired from her job because she allowed her 8th grade students to communicate directly with the Superintendent of their For-Profit School, The Pontiac Academy for Excellence Middle School, in Pontiac, Michigan.

Evidently the students wanted to pay $1 so they could wear hoodies to school (I guess $1 is the fine levied for dressing badly) and donate the proceeds to the Martin Family.

Kinda cool idea as the kids are doing something creative.

Most of the stories I found contained references to Ms Harris, the teacher fired. It took a number many more stories to find the name of the person doing the firing, Superintendent Jacqueline Cassell.

The story should really be about this person – or at least on equal footing as far as the naming of names.

In one of the stories (Link), Cassell is quoted:

“I’m a child of the civil rights movement,” Cassell said. But “this is not the time in the school year” to distract students from academics.

The problem is that this administrator has not only forgotten the lessons of the civil rights movement, but she refuses to allow those lessons to be exposed.

We have a country mounting in apathy and frustration. Students are not being taught the proper, peaceful methods to express themselves. This is part of being an American. We have the right to speak and freely associate, but if no one is showing the proper, effective means of doing this, will they be rights much longer?

Ms. Cassell needs to understand that THIS IS part of the academics.

Brooke Harris, a 26 year old, seems to be much more world-wise than her supervisor. Ms Harris is being stopped from doing her best because someone who doesn’t get it is standing in her way.

There are plenty of story lines that can be worked around a topic like this. But the Media needs to change the way it tells the story.

Stupid Questions:

  • Thinking about Ms Cassell’s Management Style of Fire First and ask questions later, how does this bode for a constructive learning environment?
  • What kind of organization will this school be?
  • Why should a teacher allow her kids to think if she is going to get walloped by a termination-happy Superintendent?
  • Do any of us like working for a boss like that?
  • If firing is Ms. Cassell’s method of discipline, at what point does it get practiced upon her?
  • If it is good enough for her subordinates, should she be willing to accept it also when she messes up?

An event like this is not just about an aggrieved teacher – just as much exposure needs to be placed on the aggressive, aggrieving management. The names of the managers need to be placed in the public spotlight too. It is a public service to know who we are dealing with on both sides of a story.

It might actually be journalism.

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