Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Looking for Red Flags


          Whenever something serious is going to happen, someone beside the potential perpetrator knows about it. In 81% of school shootings, someone knew it was going to happen before it happened.

These “red flags” may come from comments on the internet, or the actions of an individual.. This is not an easy task. It is difficult to read minds but it is possible to read body language, listen carefully to spoken words to understand the actions of a child in trouble.

It is essential for all educators to develop a rapport with their students.  If educators have a good rapport with student’s they will immediately take action. Of course there are times when discipline is necessary but if you have that rapport, even discipline is more effective.  Explain to students when they see dangerous words on social media, they may save lives by informing the proper school staff and their names will be kept confidential.  

Utilizing the school psychologist, the social worker and a consulting psychiatrist from a local hospital, parents and educators can be taught how to look for “red Flags” when they show up. Often these “red flags” will be subtle and difficult to discern.  Here are some recognizable warning signs:

    1. The most notable warning signs are when students become isolated. It is the nature of children to belong to a group. If they avoid groups and even friends, they would be worth watching.

     2. Additional signs might include fantasies of violence, or acting out violence. This will be difficult to determine as today’s video games utilize violence on a regular basis. When observing those acts it would be valuable to see if they were connected to a specific game. If that is problematic, simply ask the student what game they are emulating. If they don’t respond, pass that information on to the school psychologist or social worker. In this school the roles of the support team may change from those of past years

    3. Violence toward animals, even pets, if noticed near school or at home is an indicator of more problems to come.

    4. Changes in academic performance. The lack of focus on academics as well as projects may be an indicator of a potential crisis.

    5. Getting in to fights or other forms of aggresion must be monitored and dealt with in a way that will bring forth deep seeded information.

          Psychologist’s and social workers are  qualified, as therapists, to take caseloads for counseling. It is essential for the school to team with a local hospital that will provide the services of a consulting psychiatrist to meet with an administrator and the therapists on a monthly basis. This will allow for a discussion of students in need as well as general issues facing the school.

It is essential to bring in professionals in the area of mental health to present red flag information to school staff as well as parents.  There are always signs of potential violence and these might show up anywhere.  Once they are recognized, action MUST follow. These warning signs won't always lead to violence, however, when they are recognized, more observation followed by therapy would be essential to curbing school violence.  Therapy might help turn som eone around, but at the very least, school staff will be alerted. Therapists must be prepared to recognize severe problems and take action. There is a point where the school action isn't sufficient. Police, then must be immediately involved and the student kept out of the school.

These are jumping off points to slow or stop violence in schools.  Here are some other pros and cons:

1.  Background checks will help to an extent.  However, be aware that those with mental health problems are good at "masking" their behaviors.

2. There is absolutely no reason to allow anyone to carry a gun in public.  If only criminals had a gun they would be identifiable.  A gun in hand means jail or death. Even now officers don't have time to check a "rght to carry card"  DUH!

3.  Devise "safe paths" for children who walked to school utilizing families and business to come out at the start and end of the school day.  

4.  At the beginning of the school day, have security, teachers and administrators in front of the building.

5.  Secure every possible entrance to the building allowing only one legitimate entance that is locked during the school day with a staff member monitoring it.

6.  All classrooms are to be locked.

7.  Security plans are in place.


Ah yes, save our freedom to murder?

There are many more that would be available for some schools.  Security cameras, drones etc.  Let nothing stand in the way of the safety of the children.

Cap Lee was an adminstrator of an alternative school that servesd not only students with behavior problems, but  those with psychiactric  problems. In a public school setting he worked with 5 therapists and a consulting psychiatrist with a student population of 75.

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

Do we "teach" CRT?

 Do we teach Critical Race Theory?

Well, here I go, off the deep end without a life jacket.  Do we teach CRT, do we teach the Bible, do we teach about pretending Colombus discovered America?  These questions are endless.  Do we continue to have school board members and textbooks telling our kids what to learn.  As the old saying goes, What's good for the goose is good for the gander. 

It is past time when we stop politicians from deciding what kids must learn.  If the door is open to CRT, it is open to whatever that community wants to brainwash kids with their philosophy of life.  That has been and will forever be a disastor.  In my book I talk about kids making choices, not just puking out what they are told.  Colombus didn't discover America yet many cities, counties, days of celebration etc are named after him.  And all the Vikings get is a football team in Minnesota,

It is  time to let children research, analyze, debate, and defend their thoughts, wherever they land. Use CRT and a wide variety of intellectual writings as references especially as we teach  the history of the country.  As real learning progresses, students will talk, aloud, about their thoughts and all musty be respected as the debate goes on.  

With this process, they go beyond the headline and dig deal into the gits of our history.  If their parents tell them not to read about CRT, fine, but they are not told they can't explore the atrocities of this country no matter where they fall.  And they are not told they can't listen when some students talk about CRT.  And if time goes by and a part of history is not touched, the teachher will guide them to the issue, not the headline.

When children discover learning, they are more apt to internalize it rather than memorize what they have been told.

Cap Lee  


Pandemic Solutions to a 200 year old Crisis


Sunday, November 7, 2021

After the Pandemic, what now!

 After  the Pandemic:  Fail  without learning or retain into oblivion?

As students return to in school learning the reality is their skills and abilities may be all over the board. As educato, do we move students forward to stay with their class recognizing their skills may not be consistent with their placement? Or do we fail students into oblivion, retain them with younger students while making their graduation date even further away?

Parents must be aware of the trickery that may follow when administrators place students in a short summer school or allow promotion from the number of minutes receiving tutoring. Sitting time is not learning time. 

    Another reality smacks us in the face. Their is no solution under the current system of education.  And if someone says there is, they are lying.

    With systemic change comes the reality that letter grades are a lie often used to cover up for the lack of learning. They are designed to promote children without learning simply by giving them a feel good grade. Grade levels also come into play as rarely do grade levels encompes children with that grades level of skills. Remember, a "D" student along with an "A" student end up in the same class. Are they all on the same level?

    The solution is complex and I tackle it with my new book soon to be released entitled "Replacing a Failed System of Education". to learn more.

    Simply put, under the new plan, grade levels are no longer indicators of achievement. The truth be told they are not indicators of achievement and may have never been. And letter grades are replaced with proficiencies as demonstrations of learning. As these innovative ideas are implemented a wide range of "dominoes" will fall until the system of education becomes truly about learning, rather than about winning a race.

Cap Lee

Friday, March 5, 2021

Does Poverty + Pandemic = Disaster?

We have all heard, by some, that poverty is not destiny.  We have also heard from others that poverty is destiny.  Let's now explore what poverty plus pandemic leads to.

It is easy to justify ones point of view when they talk in generalities.  Of course there are some who have lived in poverty yet escaped the roadblocks that might bring them down.  On the other hand, (other than four fingers and a thumb) There are many who live in poverty who are brought down by roadblocks such as childhood stress, and they are troubled.  They become the destiny that others talk about.

So, now that we know how politicians and educators alike scam their constituents, let's take a deeper look at the current problem.  Most students are away from school for longer than an year.  Some have computers, parents at home, computer knowledge, and learn best through that technology.  Many, if not most, are missing some of these elements as well as living with the road blocks that hinder learning.. 

I will focus on that last group.  Here is one scenario on how this could play out.

1.  A child is forced by poverty to live in a rough neighborhood where shots are fired daily.  For that reason alone, that child has undo stress.

2. Childhood stress, in the words of Dr.Kara Fitzgerald, "When something stressful or threatening happens, it's not just our brain that is involved.  We have to recruit everything from the immune system, to that fat system to the heart."  "And they are kind of altering multiple systems to deal with hard life."  Damn, try to study with all that going on.

3.  Now that child enters our current system of education.  As that child develops slower than most, teachers have a fundamental choice.  They can pass a student with D- or retaining them.  Of course there are tweeks like summer school or tutoring etc.  Those are ok but often lead to the student being taught in the same way and thus progressing, or failing, in the same way.  Although there are exceptions, there will be those who return at the same skill level at which they left the class.  Again, passing without learniing or being retained.

4.  Of course when they are retained, whether it be for the whole grade level or one class, they move one year away from graduation.  The second time retained, they reaize they will be over twenty when they graduate and drop out.  This realization usually occurs around ninth grade.

5.  Now we add the pandemic.  As I mentioned before, those who do not have access to the computer, have parents hustling for a living because their job closed down leaving little support at home, do not have computer skills, and who do not learn best through a computer, will return with their collective skills all over the board. 

6.  As students return, educatiors will recognize that one size fits all doesn't work.  And summer school and other tweeks will make little difference.  They then slip into the horrible system of failure that was developed in the eighteenth century and still exists.

7.  And who will the politicians blame?  CORRECT, BLAME THE TEACHERS!

As children return to in school learning, there will be a huge wake up call, a large slap in the face to those politicians who have no clue how to serve kids in this generation.

Now you might ask, what are the solutions?  I'm glad you ask.  I have a whole book full of solutions. You can go to any dot com or my website and they only cost $25.00.