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Sunday, April 30, 2023

Greene isn't responsible for anything, just ask her supporters (draft)

 Being a super has to be incredibly difficult, and being a super in Florida has to be nearly impossible; I get it. That being said, it's a job Greene signed up for, and there should be nothing wrong with wanting her to do her job well; we should all not just want it but expect it too. Unless you are one of her supporters in the recent dust-up with the state, then she gets a pass because she's not responsible for anything.  

I have talked with several people I respect and like who is solidly on Team Greene, wondering what I was missing. I did not see this level of support for somebody who has been over backward to appease the extremists, something one of them said. 

I expected most people to shrug their shoulders and prepare to move on.  

After hemming and hawing, the reasons for their loyalty were universally light on substance or incorrect.

They said she has had a target on her back since COVID. Um, no, Greene did everything she could to support the DeSantis agenda. She fought against masks, and it was only a rare showing of backbone that saw DCPS initiate a mask policy that Greene quickly kneecapped.  

They have said she has been forced to follow the DeSantis agenda, and yes and no.

First, this makes it sound like she is just following orders, which has never been a winner in history.

Then she is not forced to do anything; she can make choices and say no. Now there may be consequences, and one can argue those are what she has sought to avoid, but in doing so, she just passes on consequences to teachers who had their classroom libraries stripped and LGBTQ children who have been attacked and hounded. She made her being safe and comfortable her priority, and fair enough, but let's not pretend there is anything noble about it.  

I also want to point out that I have never called for her breaking or resisting laws. We have an angry child in the governor's office. Instead, I have called for her to follow the laws and educate people as she does. She made the choice over and over to stay silent. She could have said, as super, I am obligated to follow these laws, but these laws hurt children and teachers, these laws are bad for public ed, and I would urge you to find candidates who support public ed, who want to help it succeed instead of tearing it down. Instead, she remained silent time and time and time and time again.  

Let's talk about D.A. I have heard over and over there were other supers in charge while things were going on, and where true; Greene has been in charge since 2018. Isn't she, at the very least, partly responsible? The same goes for the Grand Jury, which reported the district covering up crimes from 2016-2020.  Nothing? She gets a pass? Well, some of her supporters think she should.  

Emptying classroom libraries, she was forced to, they say, which doesn't explain why 65 of the 67 school districts didn't do it.

Attacks on the LGBTQ community, she didn't have a choice? This is true except for the scraping off of safe space stickers, the gutting of the handbook, the taking down of anti-bullying videos, ending the relationship with JASMYN, and getting rid of every book with a gay character.  

Nothing is her fault, and everything can be explained away.

What am I missing? Is she not in charge of or responsible for anything?

This is my bottom line, I think there are definitely politics going on; DCPS embarrassed the governor, and even though she has been in lockstep with him, somebody has to pay, and I also believe there is a racial component; if she was not a black woman, the support for firing/keeping, form both sides would be different but after all that, I don't care. If she ends up leaving partly for some bad reasons, I am more than okay with it because she has given us plenty of good ones.  

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Lets talk about Greene's two year attack on the LGBTQ community

 Florida has become increasingly hostile to the LGBTQ community, but there is Florida and Dr. Greene who has gone above and beyond. 

Remember when the district gutted its LGBTQ support guide. 

They got rid of 29 out of 37 pages of the support guide and stripped out all the written protections for transgender students. The gist is now they will take cases on a case-by-case basis, which means 160 schools will do things in 160 different ways, which seems like a terrible way of doing things, but more insidious, teachers and staff will be required to out children who identify as LGBTQ children who for whatever reasons haven't informed their parents, to those parents. Now there can be lots of reasons a child has made that decision, but as far as I can tell, none of them are good.

The thing is, they weren't required to do so. The district chose to do so. 

We have all heard the old saying, with friends like these, we don't need enemies. Superintendent Greene has repeatedly said she supports our LGBTQ students, but her actions speak a lot louder. With a  friend like her, the LGBTQ community definitely doesn't need any enemies.  

Over the summer, she had her district apparatchik scratch off rainbow stickers from classroom walls and doors, followed by district changing policies which now say teachers could no longer post items like safe place stickers and rainbow flags in their classrooms. Shortly thereafter, the district LGBTQ  support guide was gutted, and anti-bullying videos were taken down.

How about JASMYN? 

 Attacks are coming fast, and furious against Florida's LGBTQ community, and nowhere is that more evident than in Duval County Public schools, where teachers had rainbow stickers scraped off walls and all the protection that LGBTQ children had have been gutted.

Superintendent Greene has been pushing her anti-LGBTQ agenda for months now and if the past is prologue Greene's excuse blaming recent "media" for severing the district's relationship with JASMYN is nothing but an excuse, and it would have happened sooner or later, with emphasis on the sooner with April Carney now on the board. 

Even if you think JASMYN messed up, doesn't a 20-year relationship and the important work they do deserve a second chance? Nope, not to Greene, who reassigns loyal admins as easily as I breathe; she again sided with the moms for liberty bigots. 

 What about canceling the play Indecent?

When I went to high school, we had an annual event called Mr. Ugly, a beauty pageant of sorts where high school boys dressed up as women. I wonder if this decades-old event is going to be allowed to continue or not.  

I ask because, inexplicably, DCPS made Douglass Anderson School for the performing arts cancel their spring play Indecent. The reason they gave was it had adult themes.  

From the Jax Today newsletter. 

A high school production of “Indecent,” a play about censorship featuring a prostitute and gay Jewish characters, has been canceled due to what Duval County Public Schools describes as “inappropriate” content. 

Hmm, a story about a Jew and prostitute. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Maybe from a little book called the bible? 

While we are at it, how about those times the district-approved charter schools run by blatant homophobes. This tweet was from the former operator of Jacksonvilles 2 classical charter schools 

That's right, my LGBTQ friends, you don't have to burn in hell; it's a choice.

When people stand up for Greene, they are giving the LGBTQ community the middle finger. Please don't tell me she has been forced to do it, like just following orders will ever be a valid excuse, because much of what happened in DCPS was a choice, but regardless, the bottom line is when you partner with bigots and homophobes, its impossible to tell you apart.

Teachers are the last ones who should be supporting Greene

 For those teachers still willing to give some largess to Greene, remember when DCPS teachers were called groomers and pedophiles, and she stepped up and said that was ridiculous, and when DeSantis teacher pay scheme cut veteran teacher salaries and seriously disrespected them and said, that’s wrong? You don't? Neither do I.

I do remember the grand jury report that said her administration helped cover up hundreds of crimes, including dozens of batteries on school board employees.

How about work expectations? Does anybody work a few hours beyond the contract because there is too much to do? Dozens, hundreds?  

Remember, she said we had enough subs at the height of the pandemic? What the beep, was that? She said we were fine when we were drowning.

How about classroom libraries? Has anybody had theirs taken out? That's a Duval thing if you didn't know. Only 2 of the 67 districts went that route.

Once, Greene gave us a pin, and people have confused that with her having teachers' backs, something she has never done.

Now some people might say what about the millage increase, which is going to be a good thing, but that wasn’t just her, that was the union and school board too, but she definitely played a large role in it; I can't say she didn't. The thing is, we were so desperate, it was needed so badly that the second it passed, the district promptly said, forgetaboutit, we will do something next year.

All I ask is you give her the same support that she has given you, which isn’t much.