Another FAMU hazing case surfaces; damage lingers

Again, a DeKalb County (Georgia) connection.

A mother reports that her daughter was compelled to witdraw from Florida A&M University three years ago following a brutal beating at the hands of marching band members. The entire family was traumatized and the former A&M student, now 21, hasn’t touched her clarinet since that time.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Her daughter also said that she was beaten by so many people, she couldn’t name all of them.

Now, however, Smith said, she can no longer remain silent about what  she believes is a pervasive culture of abuse that begins even before students arrive at FAMU’s marching fields.

“I have been angry for three years now, so angry about what happened to my daughter,” she said.

In part, she blames herself.

Read more.

Review of Chain Gang Elementary in New Review of Books

If you haven’t seen this one, please take a moment to check it out. And if you know a parent or educator caught in the grind, turn them onto this poignant, timely book.

And remember, the 99-cent eBook sale for Chain Gang Elementary is still going on at, Barnes and Noble, and! Click here to see buying options.

Praise for Chain Gang Elementary

“Those who have written education columns for newspapers, survivors of parent/teacher organizations as well as many others will find that Grant has done an exceptional job of weaving educational fact and enticing fiction together. For that, he deserves an ‘A.’” —Jack Kennedy, former president, Education Writers Association

“Truth or fiction: ‘Chain Gang Elementary’ cuts too close to reality. A novel that reads like daily news.”—Diane Ravitch

“(Jonathan Grant’s) writing is intelligent and real and I look forward to seeing more from him!”—Beth Alston, Times-Recorder

Chain Gang sheriff suffers setback due to those pesky laws

It pays to keep tabs on “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”

This is the guy who set up chain gangs  (that is so 1930s). His deputies were also implicated in the apparent taser-related death of a Latino veteran who was being arrested for assault. And then there’s this. From USA Today:

PHOENIX (AP) – America’s self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” has been dealt another setback to his immigration enforcement efforts by a federal judge’s ruling that bars deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they’re in the country illegally.

The ruling issued Friday sets the stage for a possible trial in a lawsuit that alleges racial profiling in the patrols in Arizona’s Maricopa County, and would further limit Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s immigration authority after Washington yanked his federal powers earlier this month.

Lawyers pushing the lawsuit on behalf of five Latino clients also won class-action status that lets other Hispanics join the case if they have been detained and questioned by Arpaio’s deputies as either a driver or passenger in a vehicle since January 2007.

Read more.


Mom says school stuffed her 9-year-old autistic son in a bag

Hey, is anybody in there?

OMG. Are we losing our minds?

And she says school officials told her it’s not the first time, either.

From the Associated Press, via Time:

A 9-year-old autistic boy who misbehaved at school was stuffed into a duffel bag and the drawstring pulled tight, according to his mother, who said she found him wiggling inside as a teacher’s aide stood by.

The mother of fourth-grader Christopher Baker said her son called out to her when she walked up to him in the bag Dec. 14. The case has spurred an online petition calling for the firing of school employees responsible.

Read more.