Rochester, NY - Rochester schools throughout the city will celebrate Black Lives Matter Day, February 17, 2017.
According to WXXI News, that Friday has been set aside "as a day of understanding and affirmation in city schools that while all lives matter, black lives deserve special affirmation, attention and understanding right now."
There has been criticism of the event from others within the school district which has been met with the response that affirmation of black lives doesn't take away from other people's lives or identities.
The school district said that 57% of its students are black "and by almost every measure, people of color are not treated equally by our society." The school district also said that "It is especially important to highlight the value of black lives in a society whose history involves centuries of slavery and denial of civil rights to black citizens, the impacts of which continue to this day.”
Chris Widmaier, one of the event's organizers, and a science teacher at World of Inquiry School, said that there are a number of ways students and teachers can participate in the event, which include inviting local activists and experts as guest speakers, initiating classroom discussions, or wearing t-shirts and stickers to show support. He suggested that if a person feels uncomfortable, then he or she should 'study' and do some reading on Black Lives Matter.
Event organizers said that it is not a part of the national Black Lives Matter movement; that group is the well-funded marxist anti-police political group.
The event is supported by the Rochester Teachers Association, the Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester, and the Rochester Board of Education. But links on the resource toolkit include the website for the national movement Black Lives Matter, and a TED talk with the founders of the national movement, according to The Daily Caller. This completely undermines the organizers' claim that there's no association.
The resource kit for the schools to use on that day has specific curriculum for each school according to grade level. Elementary school students are taught lessons such as “Looking at Race and Racial Identity Through Critical Literacy in Children’s Books," and are given coloring books with the title “Black Youth Matter."
Secondary level students have lessons such as Racial Disparity in the Criminal Justice System,” “Using Editorial Cartoons to Teach Racial Profiling,” and “What is the School to Prison Pipeline?” They also watch a video of Jesse Williams's fiery BET speech and learn to formulate responses to why 'all lives matter' isn't a good response.
Children will be encouraged to visit websites discussing Michael Brown, and to read essays such as "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies.” There is also a link to "the Black Lives Matter Syllabus" which includes as its content the “moral ethics of black rage and riotous forms of protest,” “the hyberbolic media myth of 'black on black' crime,” and violent vs. non violent protest.
We've seen a lot of Black Lives Matter in schools recently, and between lying about the Michael Brown case, promoting a national hate group, teaching that law enforcement officers are racist, and promoting rioting, this is the worst we've seen; at least, this is the worst we've seen where the information was publicly available.
When educators go off the rails like this, it makes the entire teaching profession look bad. Our teachers should be recognized for being the hometown heroes that many of them are, not promoting hate.
Do you think it should be illegal to teach Black Lives Matter material in schools? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the poll below or on our Facebook page.
[socialpoll id="2419633"]Fresno, California - A video posted on Wednesday is starting to go viral which shows a Fresno police officer arresting a black teen. The officer is getting accused of racism and unlawful arrest, but the video shows otherwise.
The video starts with the unidentified Fresno police officer trying to stop a teen, Keyshawn, from walking away. What happened before the video is unknown, but he was reportedly being stopped for jaywalking. After Keyshawn refused to obey the officer's commands, and tried to leave, the officer decided to place him under arrest.
While the officer was attempting to arrest Keyshawn, he aggressively resisted arrest by grabbing the officer. Grabbing a police officer is considered aggressive as it places the officer in a very dangerous situation. When somebody is able to control the movements of an officer, the suspect can seriously injure the officer, gain control of the officer's weapons, or just prevent the officer from defending themself. To counter this level of resistance, police officers are legally allowed to use impact weapons, Tasers, and OC (pepper) spray.
When somebody is aggressively resisting, they are likely to escalate if you don't gain control over them quickly. The situation was made even more dangerous by Keshawn's hostile friend, Johnny, being present. At any moment, the officer could have been fighting two people.
The Fresno officer decided to risk Keyshawn escalating, and risk Johnny intervening; the officer continued to try to use control holds to gain control of Keyshawn. The officer was finally able to get Keyshawn on the ground to hold him until another officer could arrive to assist.
While the officers were taking Keyshawn into custody, you can see that Johnny was acting aggressive, refusing to stay back, and made threats to attack the officer. After Keyshawn was taken into custody, his Johnny was also arrested.
Keyshawn's friend posted the video to Facebook with the following description: On our first day of senior year my boii KC was about to cross the street, but he J walked, so this cop from Fresno PD started disrespecting him and grabbing him for jus j walking. Then after they arrest KC, they arrested my nigga Johnny too for recording. I didn't wanna start senior year off like this but fuck it shit happens. Fuck the cops for this smh. I even had a couple blunts rolled for us but this shii happened so I had to face the blunts lol. But now they Tryna charge KC wit resistance and battery on an officer smh While we don't have an official account of what happened, it's easy to see how this event could have been set in motion.
The Fresno police officer reportedly stopped Keyshawn for jaywalking, however he refused to stop. People cannot refuse to stop when ordered to by the police; this would effectively make enforcing laws impossible. When Keyshawn refused to obey the officer's commands, he was committing a crime for failing to stop when ordered to by a police officer. At the start of the video you could see the officer was giving him orders to sit down rather than arresting him; the officer was trying to give him a chance to not get arrested. Unfortunately, Keyshawn continued to ignore commands.
When Keyshawn committed the crime of failing to stop, the incident became about that crime more than the jaywalking. Every subsequent crime made the incident more serious; this was not about jaywalking. When Keyshawn grabbed the officer, that was an assault on the officer. When Johnny refused to get back when ordered to by the officer, he was interfering with an arrest. When Johnny threatened to assault the officer, that was another crime. Both Keyshawn and Johnny committed the crime of resisting arrest.
This pair is so self-righteous and ignorant, that they posted evidence of their crimes on Facebook for the world to see. They are apparently completely oblivious that they were in the wrong. Had they just stopped, and listened to the officer, they likely would have just been let go with a warning. Instead, they are now each facing criminal charges.
We don't know what they were actually charged with, but they each committed several crimes on the video.
This unidentified officer did an amazing job, putting his safety at risk to use as little force as possible during this arrest. However, the video is becoming viral for the poor black teens who were brutally assaulted for nothing but jaywalking and filming a police officer. Please share this story to counter the popular false narrative on this incident. And be sure to comment on Facebook with your take on this incident.
UPDATE: Fresno PD released this statement on the incident: On Monday, Aug. 15, traffic officers were assigned to areas surrounding schools for the purpose of keeping students safe on their first day back to school. At 7:30 a.m. a traffic officer riding a police motorcycle turned northbound onto First Street from Barstow when he saw a student beginning to run westbound across First Street, north of Barstow Avenue. The student was not in the crosswalk and the pedestrian crossing light was blinking red. The officer told the student to go back onto the sidewalk and cross the intersection in the crosswalk when the signal changed. The student ran behind the officer to the crosswalk and immediately entered into the intersection within the crosswalk but against the red signal. The officer told the student to return to the sidewalk until the signal changed. The student smiled at him and continued to walk westbound against the red signal.
The student then entered the crosswalk to walk southbound on the west side of First street on the appropriate signal.
The officer made contact with the student on the southwest corner of First and Barstow for the purpose of issuing him a citation for “pedestrian walking against the red signal” after the warning was ignored. The officer directed the student to stop walking and to come over to him as the officer was parking his motorcycle. However, the individual kept on walking. The officer told the student a second time to stop and “come here,” however the individual laughed and continued to walk away. The officer ordered him a third time with the same result. The officer then grabbed the student’s arm to prevent him from leaving and the student pulled away.
As a result, a physical confrontation occurred between the officer and the student and the officer took the student to the ground and placed him in a headlock until another officer arrived to assist with handcuffing the individual. The student was determined to be 16 years of age. A second person who had been walking with the 16 year old began to videotape the encounter and yell at the officer who was on the ground with the 16 year old. This person was within 5 feet of the officer and at one point said he would break the officers nose. When the officer attempted to detain him for obstruction of justice he ran from the officer. He did return a short time later and the officer attempted to detain him again, but the individual ran again. When the person returned the third time the officer arrested him for obstruction of justice.
The 16 year old was arrested and booked at Fresno County Juvenile hall for battery on a police officer, obstruction of justice, and being a pedestrian walking against a red signal. The second individual was arrested for obstruction of justice, transported to his mother’s house, issued a citation and released.
An internal investigation was initiated for the purpose of determining if the officer violated department policy during the detention and subsequent arrest of the 16 year old student and the individual who was with him. The investigation will also look at whether the officer used appropriate de-escalation tactics during this encounter. The officer was wearing body worn camera which has been reviewed as part of the internal review.
The officer did receive a cut/abrasion to his elbow as result of the physical confrontation. There were no apparent injuries to the 16 year old, but he was taken to the hospital to be examined at the request of his mother who responded to the scene.