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Sunday, May 25, 2008

05/25/08 - Hamilton Avenue School Parent Mina Bibeault Has Had Enough: She Files A Federal Civil Rights Complaint Against The Board Of Education


Headlines:

Betty Sternberg Gives More To Rich Kids Than Poor Kids

West Side Story - Wealthier Greenwich Students Get More School Resources Than Poor Disadvantaged Greenwich Students.

The Unfulfilled Promise Of Brown Vs. The Board Of Education In Greenwich - Rich And Poor Students Treated Differently In Greenwich

Quotes:

"It was only when our children were recently dispersed into other Greenwich schools that were gushing with beautiful resources like a fully stocked library and a computer lab, that I realized how much our children were robbed of a proper elementary school experience. I find myself wondering, 'Why us?", said Mina Bibeault,"The Board of Education likes to say that our children are 'resilient,' well we are tired of having to make our children be resilient. They are vulnerable little people who deserve just as much as the next kid."

Connecticut has the largest achievement gap between the have and the havenots in school. The purpose of this No Child Left Behind law is to close that gap. I hope this is the beginning of a revolution,” said Scot Esdaile, president of the Connecticut State Conference of NAACP branches

News Links:

US investigates Greenwich Board of Education
Hartford Courant, CT

Local officials, citing mold and health concerns, shut the Hamilton Avenue School that served the town's largest number of minority students. ...

Ham Ave. parent files civil rights claim
Greenwich Time, CT

By Hoa Nguyen

The US Department of Education is investigating the Board of Education for possible civil rights violations against Hamilton Avenue School ...

US investigates Greenwich Board of Education
WTNH

... _ Complaints of disparities in Greenwich schools serving minority and white students have prompted an investigation by the US Department of Education.

Comments:

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court in Brown overturned the “separate but equal” doctrine and held that racial segregation in public schools violates the U.S. Constitution. Chief Justice Warren described education as “perhaps the most important function of state and local governments” and the “very foundation of good citizenship.” Where a state has undertaken to provide education, Warren continued, “it is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” With this background, Warren addressed the central issue in the case: “Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though physical facilities and other ‘tangible’ factors may be equal, deprive children of the minority group of equal, educational opportunities? We believe that it does.”

The Supreme Court went on to recognize that separating students, particularly grade school and high school students, solely because of their race “generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone.” Warren concluded that, “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

For far to long, the Greenwich Board Of Education has allowed disparities between Western Greenwich and other school children in the district.

Just last month the Connecticut NAACP, won another educational legal victory.

The US District Court of Connecticut rejected the Connecticut proposed "No Child Left Behind" plan for not applying the same academic standards to all students. The case highlighted the detrimental impact of low quality education on the future life outcomes of poor and minority students.

Greenwich was recently the subject of a civil rights complaint that was resolved through an agreement.

Now, once again The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has had to open a federal investigation and plans to visit the town and the public schools.

The Office for Civil Rights
(OCR) is a sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Education is now officially investigating the Greenwich Board of Education over accusations of racial discrimination.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that is primarily focused on protecting civil rights in Federally assisted education programs and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, age, or membership in patriotic youth organizations (ie. Boy Scouts).

The OCR is one of the largest federal civil rights agencies in the United States, with a staff of approximately 650 attorneys, investigators, and staff. The agency is located in twelve regional offices and in Washington, D.C., headquarters. The Office for Civil Rights is responsible for ensuring compliance by recipients of federal education funds with several federal civil rights laws, including:

The Connecticut Constitution guarantees the all the children, rich and poor, a "Fundamental right to an education".

Superintendent Betty Sternberg and The The Board Of Education must recognize
the detrimental impact that a low quality education has on the future life outcomes of poor and minority students on the west side of Greenwich.

Will Sue Wallerstein's Mold Problems Bring A Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit To The Greenwich School System?

Failed Greenwich school administrators have disenfranchised and radicalised Hamilton Avenue School Parents who have had to endure the original mold infestation that organized parents to fight for a new Hamilton Avenue School.

Eventually, the Hamilton Avenue children were sent to modular classrooms that became contaminated with mold. School administrators discovered the mold over a year ago and knowingly left the children in the contaminated classrooms until March of this year.

Greenwich Public Schools Assistant Superintendent / Business Services Sue Wallerstein's lack of experience and incompetence caused major construction delays that kept the Hamilton Avenue in the contaminated modular classrooms for an additional year and thus forced an expensive emergency relocation.

School employees who directly report to Assistant Superintendent Wallerstein eventually were forced to respond to complaints of classroom water leaks in the contaminated modular classrooms. Ms. Wallerstein's department recommended to close the contaminated modular building, when parents began to openly speculate that constant water leaks could cause another hazardous mold condition.

Little did the parents know that 90% of the modular overhand contained mold growth.

Greenwich Public Schools Superintendent Betty Sternberg then ordered an emergency shut down of the contaminated modular classrooms and sent the Hamilton Avenue School children home for a week. The children were then disbursed to various schools all over the town.

Hamilton Avenue School Parents were shocked at the resources that other wealthier Greenwich School Children received in town.

Hamilton Avenue School parent Mima
Bibeaul took the bold step to file a Federal Civil Rights Complaint. Her complaint cited how the other schools had a fully stocked library and a computer labs. These are resources that the poorer disadvantaged children from Hamilton Avenue School never had.

School Superintendent Betty Sternberg has been hiding the Federal Civil Rights probe from parents for quite a while. Hamilton Avenue School Parent Mina Bibeault filed the Federal Civil Rights complaint over two months ago.

Yeaterday , School Superintendent Betty Sternberg announced variuos Assistant Principal Transfers within the school district .

In April of 2007, New Lebanon School and Hamilton Avenue School in Greenwich were warned, by the state Department of Education, that their enrollments do not reflect the demographics of their communities and might violate the state’s racial balance law. Sixty percent of Hamilton Avenue School students are minorities, the highest percentage in the district.

Connecticut State Law says the proportion of minority students in any school must not be more than 25 percentage points above or below a district’s overall average.

Superintendent of Schools Betty J. Sternberg — a former state education commissioner — convened a task force to review the issue. After, one year no plan to resolve the racial imbalance has been formulated.

Hamilton Avenue School Parents must serve as effective advocates and partners with the Greenwich Public Schools to ensure quality educational opportunities for their children and communities.

Mina Bibeault, submitted the complaint on behalf of all parents and students. She said she has two children at the school, one in kindergarten and another in second grade.

Other Hamilton Avenue School and New Lebanon Parents can help support Mina Bibeault's complaint by contacting the OCR and submitting their complaints at:

U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Customer Service Team
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100

Telephone: 1-800-421-3481
FAX: 202-245-6840; TDD: 877-521-2172
Email:
OCR@ed.gov

Or they can contact the regional office at:

Boston Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
33 Arch Street, Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110-1491

Telephone: 617-289-0111
FAX: 617-289-0150; TDD: 877-521-2172
Email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov

Or you can use the (or use OCR's online complaint form).

Take A Look At:

Washington, DC, 2008, Parental Empowerment workshop at the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) National Legislative Conference. The presentation included an overview of how parent and community organizations can train parents to advocate for school improvement and educational opportunities.

Click here for Parental Empowerment Power Point

Note To Betty "I Give Less To Disadvantaged Kids" Sternberg:

Western Greenwich Parents are no longer going allow their children to be cheated out of an education. If you continue to treat Western Greenwich Children differently from other children in town then get ready to have your butt dragged before a Federal Judge.

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05/25/08 - Sunday's News Links From The Greenwich Time




The May 5, 1938 edition of Greenwich Time was 14 pages and sold for 3 cents. The front page headlines included: "Cos Cob Woman Hurt In Fall Down Stairs; Says She Was Shoved," "Asphalt Blaze Blackens Side of Apartment," "Builders Yield to Carpenters on Wage Rates" and "Rotary Holds Ladies Night."

Some stories were less than politically-correct by today's standards, including the headline, "Negro is Held on Guns Charge." Another reported that despite the poor reputation of women drivers, men racked up three times more traffic summons in the previous month.


Woman's press dress turns 70

Yesterday's news is today's fashion. As part of a Greenwich Time promotion 70 years ago this month, Lillian Healy was presented with a white cotton dress that had been run through the newspaper's printing press.
Full Story

Teen pill parties growing in town

Placed next to the chips and salsa is a bowl filled with prescription pills. This is how casually some teens view using pain killers or mood-altering drugs at parties.
Full Story

More than 2,200 people went to Greenwich Point yesterday to kick off the summer season. "Since it's a holiday weekend, it's busier than ever," said Annmarie Smutney, gatekeeper at the popular park.
Full Story

05/25/08 - Here is an idea Arrest a few parents, publish their names in the paper and see how fast the parties come to an end


Teen pill parties growing in town

Quote:

"We're not seeing it ourselves, but when we interview the kids, they are telling us there is a high volume of prescription drug use,"said Richard Stook, a town neighborhood resource officer.

Story:

Placed next to the chips and salsa is a bowl filled with prescription pills. This is how casually some teens view using pain killers or mood-altering drugs at parties.

And although "pharming" or "bowling" parties are not new, they have become a growing problem in town and throughout Fairfield County, according to Stephanie Paulmeno, community health planner for the town Health Department...

...Many prescription drugs labels state the dangers of taking more than one medication at a time, or using with alcohol, but most teens ignore this, Paulmeno said.

"Who knows what they are mixing at these parties. The interactions of these drugs can be catastrophic," Paulmeno said.

Teens readily have access to these drugs, either from their parents or friends' medicine cabinets. Many people keep old prescriptions, but this can have dire consequences.

"Parents should keep their prescriptions locked up and dispose of the bottles after use,...
...Despite the lack of specific data, statistics show that individuals in a higher- socioeconomic status are the ones most often abusing prescription pills, making Greenwich a community at risk, according to Gillespie.

The Health Department and other agencies are looking to survey teens on this issue and find out who and why they are engaging in this behavior. If officials can learn more than perhaps more can be done to prevent the rise of teens hospitalized for this emerging problem, Paulmeno said.

"If we have more information, than more can be done to address it," she said.

Full Story: Greenwich Time

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