Nobody in America who works should be poor

“We need a new language for talking about poverty. “Nobody who works should be poor,” we say. That’s not good enough. Nobody in America should be poor, period. No single mother struggling to raise children on her own; no formerly incarcerated man who has served his time; no young heroin user struggling with addiction and pain; no retired bus driver whose pension was squandered; nobody. And if we respect hard work, then we should reward it, instead of deploying this value to shame the poor and justify our unconscionable and growing inequality. “I’ve worked hard to get where I am,” you might say. Well, sure. But Vanessa has worked hard to get where she is, too.
But they’re working too many jobs to vote, they don’t buy enough important stuff, they live in “that” part of town so they must be “those” kind of lazy druggies and welfare queens, they are transparent and can be safely underpaid, politically ignored, and blamed for their fecklessness.”
Source: Mathew Desmond, NY Times Magazine, September 18, 2018
I am indebted to Tom Miles for bringing this to my attention.

September is Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide has become the second leading cause of teenage death – replacing automobile accidents which moved to position #3.

I will be delivering three workshops at the National Dropout Prevention Conference in Columbus Ohio, October 27-31. For additional information check,

Check out The Children’s Safety Network for additional information.



Create New Licenses for Elementary School Teachers

Nearly 1/3 of all fourth-graders fail to reach a “basic level or reading ability” according to the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress’ Nation’s Report Card on Reading. By the eighth grade, nearly a quarter of students still lack the basic skills to identify statements regarding simple inferences  from texts or interpreting the meaning of a word based on how it is used. Hispanic and African-American students scores are even lower.

Elementary school teachers in the United States are generalists. They are licensed in elementary education. They are rarely specialists and may not be proficient in math, science, technology or teaching reading. If we wish to emphasize S.T.E.A.M. subjects or Special Education, we should create new licenses in elementary education which include reading, math and science in elementary education training in schools of education at the college level.

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), 40 states do not have sufficient licensing tests on the science of reading in place for elementary and special education teachers. If reading is fundamental and essential for eventual success in graduation and employment than schools need to emphasize the teaching of reading.


FBI Report on Active Shooters

The FBI has issued a new report (6/2018) on the Pre-Attack Behaviors of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2000 and 2013. While the report doesn’t just focus on school shooters, the report should be read to identify behaviors and allow schools to get rid of incorrect information.


I am being quoted in an article from Gambia, Africa dealing with school bullying


I am being quoted in an article from Gambia, Africa dealing with school bullying

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

“Bullying brings about violence and where violence exists it results to anarchy, which directly or indirectly will affect the lives of the young children of our society,” said a senior education officer in Region One.

So many children feel very discomfort in schools as a result of school bullying. Authorities need to do lot to dent this menace because it has and still serving as obstacle for so many children.

Bullying exists in schools and in communities and therefore a more collaborative effort is needed to make a stop. This would require both parents and teachers to work hand-in-glove by putting in mechanisms that would arrest the situation.

In the United States, according to the FBI, “Bullying remains one of the largest problems in schools, with the percentage of students reportedly bullied at least once per week steadily increasing since 1999.”

In today’s world, bullying goes beyond school. It goes on the internet which is becoming even more common in Western world. According to Franklin Schargel, cyberbullying has become more rampant and has contributed many committing suicides especially among children. The Internet has unleashed meanness to a degree unseen before. Thanks to the accessibility to the Internet and the affordability of new technology, bullies now have multiple ways to harass their victims. The current generation has the added ability to use technology to expand their reach and the extent of their attacks exponentially.

To address the issues in advanced world, Schargel suggest a need to assess the awareness and the scope of the bullying problems at school through student and staff surveys.

Also in The Gambia, to address the issue of bullying and other violence, matters concerning them should not be hidden. They should come to the fore for relevant authorities to take all necessary steps in solving them or minimizing them to certain level.

Our school authorities should also be vigilant as we are in a technological world in which many students go to school with electronic material including mobile phones and tablets and other gargets. These materials can be used as tools for students to bully their fellow students making them very discomfort in their learning.

Parents should also be checking on their children to monitor their performances and their relationship with their colleagues so as to help them to be comfortable to learn.

“Bullying is never fun, it’s a cruel and terrible thing to do to someone. If you are being bullied, it is not your fault. No one deserves to be bullied, ever. ”

Raini Rodriguez

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Franklin Schargel



New Secret Service Report on School Violence

The Secret Service and FBI issued a report on school violence as a result of the mass school shooting in Columbine, CO on April 20, 1999.  Mass school shootings have not abated. This month, the Secret Service released Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing School Violence as a result of mass school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and Santa Fe HS in Santa Fe, TX. This report can be accessed at

It is in the public domain.


Wonder – The Movie

I do not use this website to recommend movies however I have just seen a movie which I highly recommend Wonder. It is based on a book with the same title. The film should be seen by every teacher and student. You might want to show it on the first day of school. I think it can generate discussions at the elementary, middle and high school level.

The film deals with a boy born with a deformed face and his first year going to a private middle school.. The film deals with people who do not fit it and that includes all of us. It is a story of love, friendship, bullying and more. The acting is superb, the directing is excellent. Bring tissues.


Audience Reaction to the Wounded Child Conference in Orlando, Florida

I delivered two workshops at the Wounded Child Conference in Orlando Florida. Here are some selected evaluations:

I loved Franklin’s use of statistics, his humor and the strategies he present. A really great program!

Wise concepts for non-traditonal learners of today.

The best thing about the workshop was “the factual information. A. Banks, AVID

All great information and facts. Great at incorporating humor into the training.

Great workshop tools and techniques offered from a presenter who is passionate about his work!

Interactive. T. Dumas, Director, Cleveland OH


Latest Information About Youth Suicide

 The deaths of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade highlighted the rising tide of suicides in the United States. There are alarming new statistics that show that young children are increasingly at risk of suicidal thoughts, attempts and deaths. According to a recent study from Vanderbilt University published in Pediatrics, there was a more than doubling from 2008 to 2015 of school-age children and adolescents hospitalized for suicidal thoughts or attempts. Just more than half of those were youths between the ages of 15-17, followed by those between the ages of 12-14 (37 percent) and those ranging in ages from 5-11. More than two-thirds of children hospitalized for thinking about or trying to kill themselves were girls. But boys are more likely to die by suicide.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2015, suicide was the second leading cause of death, behind unintentional injuries.

The rate of hospitalization is higher during the school year, suggesting that academic and social pressures are influencing their behavior. Social media and cyberbullying may also be a factor. What causes these very young children attempting to take their lives?

  • Breakup of relationships
  • Teen isolationism,
  • Break up of families through separation and divorce.
  • A perception of being a burden
  • A disconnection from others
  • Pressures from school (via testing, being cut from a team or play
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Increased media use




Wounded Student Conference

I will be delivering two workshops at the Wounded Student Conference to be held June 24-June 27 at the Embassy Suites  Lake Buena Vista South,  Orlando, Florida. One workshop deals with bullying prevention and is called No Place to Hide. The other workshop is entitled Stopping Wounded Students from Dropping Out. Come and join me.


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