In today's world, the way in which information is communicated and received has a profound impact on our understanding of reality. The narrative that dominates the conversation has the power to shape our beliefs, values, and perspectives, even if it is far from the truth. The spread of misinformation and the suppression of dissenting voices can have serious consequences for our society and our democracy. This article delves into the various methods employed to stifle dissenting voices, including censorship, character assassination, and retaliation, and their consequences, as seen through my eyes, within our community.
The Dark Reality of NB’s No Place for Hate Committee
The Northern Burlington Regional School District holds a paramount duty to create a safe and inclusive atmosphere for all students and community members, regardless of their beliefs or opinions. Yet, recent emails obtained through an OPRA request reveal a hostile reality where diversity of thought is suppressed, and respect is only granted to those with "correct" opinions.
The Misuse of The New Jersey School Ethics Act: A Burden on Taxpayers
The New Jersey School Ethics Act was enacted with the noble intention of promoting ethical behavior among school board members. However, in recent years, it has been utilized as a tool to stifle the free speech rights of board members who express their opinions on matters of public concern. This misuse of the act has resulted in an unnecessary burden on taxpayers who must bear the cost of defending against meritless complaints.
New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ Education Law
New Jersey's primary law mandating the teaching of LGBTQ+ issues in public schools is bill A4454 (codified N.J.S.A.18A:35-4.36a), officially titled "An Act concerning diversity and inclusion." Signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on March 1, 2021, this law requires that all public schools in the state incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion, including gender identity and sexual orientation, for grades kindergarten through 12.
Are Schools Promoting Tolerance or Silencing Dissent?
In recent years, the topic of sexuality, gender identity, and sexual freedom has become increasingly prevalent in schools. While schools claim they are promoting "acceptance" and "tolerance," some parents are concerned that the materials and discussions being presented to their children are not age-appropriate. Furthermore, they feel they are being silenced and labeled as bigoted or intolerant if they voice their objections. This article aims to address the concerns of these parents and promote open and honest discussion without resorting to name-calling or labeling.
Ideas for Distance Learning
COVID-19 is currently putting the education system to the test by forcing face-to-face learning environments to quickly move online. As an educator who has implemented online instruction both as an elementary teacher and private tutor, here are a few recommendations in an effort to help make the transition from face-to-face learning to online modalities efficient… Continue reading Ideas for Distance Learning
Engaging Stakeholders for Sustained Success
If school leaders want to build support for ongoing and sustained success, they need advocates and supports outside the immediate organization. School leaders must encourage collaboration with stakeholders who understand the mission of the school, who share vision and passion for student success, and most importantly who have a personal stake in the performance of the school and its students.
Multi-Tier System of Supports: Professional Reflections
MTSS is not merely another initiative; it promises to reform education in significant ways, through a more personalized learning approach. From this experience, I learned that school leaders must provide quality, ongoing, professional development when implementing change and district-wide initiatives. It didn’t matter how perfect the paperwork and digital resources were, or how well the MTSS committee worked as a team, if teachers don’t know how to implement tiered supports in the classroom, the initiative is a moot point.
Facilitating Change in Schools
Effective leadership is an essential component in facilitating change that will improve student achievement and educational experiences. Research has concluded among the school-related factors that are associated with students’ achievement, leadership is second only to classroom instruction.
Characteristics That Define Excellent School Leadership
I believe the defining characteristic of a successful leader is their ability to accelerate lasting and meaningful change. They can see beyond the ambiguity and challenges in front of them, and envision a better future. At the core of effective leadership, is the ability to chart a course for improvement aligned with a shared organizational vision.