Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seattle teacher clueless and cruel is What Got To Me Today!

When I was about thirteen, I remember not being allowed into a home while wearing my winter coat, because it smelled like smoke.  True, I lived with a smoking parent (didn't we all back then?), and the house in question was a non-smoking house (I totally get it because as an adult, my house is a non-smoking house and I can't stand the smell of smoke either). I was met, however, by the homeowner, with an "'re going to have to stay out in the garage until you get that coat off, I don't want it in my house."  Well, I was totally mortified and embarrassed, which is probably why I still remember it today. 

Now, take that mortification and multiply it by 1000.  This has got to be how it felt for an eight year old girl in Seattle when her teacher kicked her out of the classroom because the scent of her hair (from a hair product) made the teacher ill.  It is reported the teacher also told the girl she was allergic to her hair, even though she wasn't allergic to her own dog's hair, before kicking her out.  She said  the hair made her feel faint and like she was going to vomit.  This happened openly in front of the little girl's classmates.  Add to it that the little girl is bi-racial, the only ethnic student in the advanced placement class, and that she was outcast first to the hallway, and then to a lower level class because of the way her hair (product) smelled. 

Okay...let me take a deep breath here because I am so outraged by this that if I don't, my hands will shake too much for me to type.

What in the h*** is this woman doing in a classroom if she can't even realize the negative and hurtful impact her words and actions are going to have on this little girl?  According to the father, who is African-American, he has been encouraging his daughter to not give in to peer pressure to straighten her hair like her white classmates.  He writes on his blog, "I want her to know she's beautiful".  So, in compromise, the girl wears a hair lotion (Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Moisturizing Hair Lotion) to keep her hair in a natural state.

I understand that some people have real physical reactions to chemicals and perfumes.  That isn't the issue.

The issue is how the teacher treated the little girl.
The issue is how the teacher never contacted the parents. 
The issue is how the school didn't return the parent's call, or deal at all with the situation, when the girl told her parent's what had happened.

So, if the situation continued to be ignored, the little girl would no longer be allowed into the advanced placement class.

Well, needless to say, due to the failed response of the school, the matter has escalated.  The parent's do not wish to send the girl to school in the current environment.  The NAACP has stepped in, and the school has turned to it's lawyers.  By what I've read so far, there has been no action to the teacher, and no apology to the little girl or her family.

If the teacher would have made her concerns known to the parents, it is very likely they may have changed products to alleviate the problem, in a way that was sensitive to the girl's self-esteem.  The teacher had a real opportunity here to create a supportive environment, and even turn it into a teaching moment.  Instead, this young girl will never forget how she was singled out, insulted, embarrassed in front of her peers, her hair compared to that of a dog, and demoted to a lesser level of learning.

I remember a smoky winter coat from 23 years ago.  You cannot tell me this 8 year old little girl will forget.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A non-spoiler review: Sex and the City

Don't worry, this isn't going to be the kind of review that ruins it for you if you haven't seen it yet.  This is actually going to be pretty quick and to the point.  For those who have seen it, it is a sequel.  With the exception of the Harry Potter series, when is a sequel ever better than the first film? But to fans of Kerry, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, we don't need an oscar.  We just want to see how our girls are doing.

Well, they are aging, which is evident (except for Charlotte--naturally age defying), but we don't care because we are all getting older too.  Women audiences are always complaining there aren't enough roles for over-40 women in Hollywood, so this is just one more case where older women are gorgeous, smart and sophisticated.

I want to elaborate on the "smart" part. This film may have been a fluff film, for entertainment purposes only, but don't you be fooled, especially with Sarah Jessica Parker at the helm.  Here is the list of political points made in the film.  Kudos ladies, kudos!
  • gay marriage and how it is only legal in five states
  • the transition of straight men from less accepting to more accepting of gay men
  • surrogacy/pregnancy surrogate
  • difficulties of motherhood
  • recognition of how hard it is for mothers who cannot afford nannies or outside help
  • women's rights or lack thereof in the middle east
  • women's sexual freedoms
  • discrimination against women in American boardrooms
  • variations of infidelity
  • individualized marriages, which rules work for whom?
  • aging, gracefully or not?
  • independent married women
Then of course, on the gorgeous candystore of fashion side of things...we were not disappointed.  The shoes, the clothes, the make-up, the accessories and jewelry...dripping and sparkling and a downright golden goo-fest...which we LOVE!

And yes please, bring on the hunks..Big (my personal fave), Aiden, Smyth, even Harry and Steve if you are into the adorable type make their appearances...and a new one, Ricard...a steamy Aussie who showed himself (actually more of himself than any of the others!)  throughout the second half of the is rated R, after all.

What the critics say is true...there is a lot less sex and a lot less City.  The two things missing that I found noticeable and a bit of a bummer were the absence of the theme music anywhere in the film.  It opened to Alicia Keys instead of the piano we all love--so much it's my ringtone!  The other thing missing, which my husband James pointed out (yes, my husband who has watched and enjoyed the series with me since the beginning...yeah, he's awesome) was Kerry's writing.  Not once do we see her words typed across the screen.  We see her old apartment, we see the laptop on the desk...not seeing her typing away is like seeing Peyton Manning on the sidelines, just watching the ball.  (Did I really throw an NFL comparison into the story?  Yep, I like sparkle and football).

Anyway, it was nice to see the girls and where they are in their lives.  It was fun to laugh at the witty writing that is signature Sex and the City.  It was terrific to get lost in the fashoin and glitz and it was an awesome excuse to have a date night with my hubby.

If you've been a follower, it's worth it to see it.