Utah teen homework
Police in Orem say they tracked a USB drive found at the burglarized home to Dallas Naljahih. They say the computer hard drive contained his homework and was in a backpack abandoned in the backyard.
A 75-year-old man and his wife reported their home had been burglarized early Saturday. The husband says he was woken up by a light in his office, and found a man who was looking through a desk.
The suspect punched the man and fled on foot.
Police say that Naljahih was found asleep at his house along with evidence connecting him with the burglary.
I don’t know the statistics, but I’m guessing a LOT of people “went purple.”
Are our schools safer today because of it? I mean, yes, I tweeted for #SpiritDay; I tried to find something purple to wear. I showed my support and stood up against anti-LGBTQI bullying. I’m all for solidarity and visible allies, but really – is a gay kid safer in school today because half of his peers wore purple? Will the trans girl in 9th grade start feeling safer now?
The question here is not about the efficacy of #SpiritDay and similar campaigns against bullying; what I’m questioning is the scope of these efforts. What does it mean for LGBTQI kids to be safe at school? Does school safety only mean protection from physical and verbal assault?
Let’s step back for a second, to our school days. Maybe some of you are still in school and won’t have to move through the cobwebs in memories like the rest of us (I turned 24 recently and middle school seems like ages ago).
What did you get out of school? An education? Fine motor skill development? A friend group? A loose direction in life? The development of an ultimately lifelong passion? A respect for authority and walking in straight lines? Probably these things. How about identity development? I wish we were all in a room so I could say, “If you are LGBTQI, could you please raise your hand if you believe you had room to develop your identity at your preK-12 schools? Your full identity?Listen, I’m not raising my hand, and my queer and trans friends aren’t either. Almost every school lists in their mission or their educational philosophy that they want to develop the “whole child.” They’re shaping people not manufacturing educated machines. And yet, there was a very large part of my identity that I didn’t even get to explore in school. I am of course talking about my gender identity and my sexuality. I was talking to friends about this recently – about how I was never offended by the fact that I couldn’t bring a girl to a dance, for example (oh remember that at this time I was presenting as a woman, didn’t know I was a guy, and sort of identified as a lesbian). My friends agreed that we just assumed school wasn’t the place for that part of us.
But looking back, school did seem to be the place for that part of my straight and normatively-gendered peers. Heterosexual, cisgender people, for the most part do get to develop their gender and sexual identities in school. From early childhood through high school graduation, schools seem a little more committed to the development of the whole child for those guys.
Most bullying occurs in the school setting where teens are open targets; however, the bullying continues through text messages, Facebook slandering and other technological messaging media. In the Salt Lake area, the school districts have adopted a policy of “Zero Tolerance” for bullying and violence of any sort. There are severe consequences for such behavior; most incidents end with the student being reprimanded by school administrators; State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 ”allows the suspension of a student for behavior or threatened behavior that poses an immediate threat to the welfare, safety, or morals of other students or personnel”("OLEVEUS BULLYING PREVENTION PROGRAM, The World's Foremost Bullying Prevention Program"). In Utah, the victim also has the right to press criminal charges.
In March 2011, Utah’s Govenor Herbert signed a new anti-bullying law that will go into effect in schools September of 2012. “The bill expanded the definition of bullying to include online intimidation and threats” (Metcalf Jr.). This bill was introduced by Senator Ralph Okerlund (R-Monroe) after a boy from his area was the victim of cyberbullying, and he took his own life. It has become evident that bullying doesn’t just involve physical injury; it also includes emotional and mental torment.
Utah State Board of Education Policy R277-613-1 and Utah Code 53A-11a-201 both require that Utah District School Boards adopt a “bullying or hazing policy”. There are a few programs that have been adopted around the world with success. “ . . . the Seattle-based international nonprofit, Committee for Children, has studied school violence and has developed anti-bullying programs currently used in over 25,000 schools in 21 countries”(Williams)., and the “Olweus (pronounced Ohl-VAY-us) is an internationally recognized program that employs a fully-integrated approach to bullying prevention”(Pertler) Both are very successful and advocate early education concerning bullying as well as positive parental involvement. Parents are the first line of defense and are always teaching their children by example.
Obviously all bullying does not end in suicide as in the case of Phoebe Prince or the Monroe area boy; however, a teen who is being bullied is being beaten down physically, mentally and emotionally on a regular basis which leads to loss of self-esteem. The teen will begin to withdraw, become quiet maybe even sullen. It is important that parents develop a good relationship with their teen that includes an open avenue of communication. Parents need also be aware of changes in their teen’s behavior.
Dallin Alofipo, Jenna Casas and Steven Cabrera love to make, and record and edit their own music. In fact, that's what they were doing when KSL visited their clubhouse on Monday.
"I first started coming here just to do my homework and stuff, like after school," Dallin said.
But he was having such a good time and learning so much that he comes all the time now -- as does Jenna.
"They teach me a lot about technology stuff, so I usually come and edit videos and music and a lot of cool stuff," Jenna said.The software the kids use is never older than two or years, and the hardware is updated about every five years.
Soon the three will travel to Boston to meet with hundreds of other kids from 100 other Computer Clubhouses around the country; some kids will come from as far away as New Zealand, India and Russia.
"They will be presenting different projects that they do within our clubhouse, and sharing information about what they've learned, and working in workshops learning new techniques and new technology," explained Janette Nelson, event coordinator at Salt Lake's Computer Clubhouse.
Dallin, Jenna and Steven wrote, shot and edited a video they'll be sharing. While creating the video was fun, they say they have to know how to do this.
"People won't hire you if you don't have computer education," Steven said. "In the real world, you're going to need it in your life."