DISD Sends Boys to See a War Movie Without Girls. Why, What a Good Bad Idea.

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Talk about mixed feelings. I'm trying hard to be honest with myself about the big blow-up over the Dallas school system spending $57,000 yesterday to take 5,000 fifth-grade boys to a war movie while the fifth-grade girls had to stay back at school to watch a movie about a spelling bee.

Tell you what. Somebody obviously never lived at my house. Oh, man. If I were ever in the newspaper for having made a decision like that? Shoot. I'd call a neighbor and ask him to go over to my house and try to get my toothbrush and bathrobe and bring them to the Motel 6.

But was there a reasonable explanation? I think there could have been. Not one you can say in the paper. Well, except for this paper.

red_tails_two.jpg
I am the proud father of a wonderful young man who used to be a boy. I've had a lot of boys around my house. I think I know a thing or two about boys. Boys are wonderful. Some boys are very smart, while other boys are intellectually challenged.

The problem is, they are all idiots. Idiots. Especially when you take them to a war movie. Double especially if there are girls around.

I don't know how we deal with that issue realistically in this age of political correctness and caution. It's one of those things everybody knows but nobody can say out loud.

The Dallas school system now operates all-boy and all-girl schools. I discussed that issue a couple weeks ago with Shirley Ison-Newsome, one of the DISD administrators who later made this decision about the war movie. We laughed about boys. I told her I attended an all-boys school for much of my adolescence but transferred to a co-ed school toward the end of high school.

I even remember walking into a classroom and seeing girls at desks for the first time. It was like an instant lobotomy. Girls make boys stupid. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking with it.

I'm not sure it's even a sexual thing. I look back now, and I know that a few of the boys in high school who were rendered stupid by girls were guys who turned out later to be gay. It must be something weird about brain waves.

Bottom line: Having shepherded large groups of boys to movies myself, I can see how somebody might just not want to deal with the whole boy-girl thing. Plus, this was not just any movie. It was Red Tails, George Lucas' unabashedly jingoistic old-fashioned macho move about the Tuskegee airmen.

It was a hero movie about guys making things go boom. You take busloads of boys to a hero movie about heroes making things go boom, then you need to just wait outside after it's over.

You don't even have to wait that long. Twenty minutes, tops. Watch through the door. Wait until they stop popping up and down and biting each other. Then you can bring them out and put them in your vehicle.

But if you put girls in there with them? Oh, man. That's gasoline on the fire.

I don't think the gender separating was wrong, necessarily. It was the separate movies. The real significance of the Lucas film for all kids today, black, white, Hispanic, Asian and everything else, is the window it provides on white American racism as a force in history.

We don't want to leave that out of kids' educations any more than we want to forget about the Holocaust. Racism is not gender-specific. The girls need to know that lesson every bit as much as the boys do.

In fact, maybe more. You know why? Let's say you take them all to the movie together. Girls come out, file aboard the bus, sit down, start doing their homework. Boys pop up and down and bite each other for about 20 minutes, then get on bus.

After you drive for five minutes, you can ask, "How 'bout that movie?" The girls will already have their notebooks out working on their essays about it. But you know what the boys' answer will be, right?

"What movie?"


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
69 comments
JOSHUA
JOSHUA

They gonna take the Hispanic boys to watch The Alamo?

minimark
minimark

I'm not going to comment on the story, but I'm glad to hear that my 8th grade boy (doesn't give a F about school) and 6th grade daughter (cries when she makes an 88 on a daily quiz) are stereotypical in your world, Jim!  And BTW I'm not being sarcastic in case you think so due to this forum.  It's the truth! 

Wilma Fingerdo
Wilma Fingerdo

I watched two different one hour shows about the Red Tails on the History Channel today. Was cheap enough and definately more historically accurate.

Guesto
Guesto

If corrupt, wasteful Dallas ISD felt half the shame they try to instill in white people perhaps that would be all the stimulus they need to properly educate these kids, instead of ditching them at the AMC.

holman
holman

Little boys love war movies, little girls don't .

steven
steven

while we are on the subject at the elementery school near my house (Martgha Turner Rielly) they are puting in a sprinkler system. like the school finances are not a problem any more? there is no drought? we are asked to restrict our water consumption yet they have spent 2 weeks (with a private contractor) so far on a large amount of ground that has not had decent grass since the 80's. so i guess they will have to resod it? i accepted the not watering of this grass when they stoped watering medians and other greenbelt areas as it is a waste of money and resourse.but now we suddenly have money for it.maybe you and others are not truthful about the finances of the district,city,state,iread about teachers ripping us off 1/2 hour a day. homeowners are encouraged to xeroscape yet they can find money for this irresponsable project. steven@srgdtx@rock.com

Montemalone
Montemalone

History ChannelMilitary History ChannelNational Geographic ChannelSmithsonian ChannelScience ChannelAll have docs about this topic that can be viewed in the classroom, for a lot less than $57K.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I look at it like this: Lucasfilm should've arranged the screenings and donated the tickets instead of using my tax money for it, not to mention bring in the real tuskeegee airmen to talk w/ the kids as well, would make a much larger impact in these kids lives..

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

1.  It is my opinion that Shirley I-N is THE poster child for all that is wrong with DISD.  Like many of her type, I have no doubt she can be charming in a brief, 1-on-1 with a reporter.  However, I can't think of any DISD personnel who are fooled.  2.  If TEA does not approve this as Title I, taxpayers will eat the cost of this field trip.3.  If TEA does approve this, then every single field trip to every single movie out there will have to be approved.  Taxes will be raised so Title I funds can increase.  So kids can watch historically inaccurate films in theaters.4.  A parent whose son went reports on DMN that not all 5th grade boys at her child's school could go due to space constraints.  She said all the boys who had to be left behind were Hispanic.  

5.  We the public are responsible for how 150,000 children are treated.  If we look the other way for the benefit of people like Shirley Ison Newsome, we do so at the expense of children.  There are multiple people waving red flags and the red flags are being ignored.  $57,000 plus the cost of subs is a lot of money taken from these kids.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

No, bad idea, plain and simple. It is 2012, for crying out loud. How can ANYONE think that inviting ONLY boys to do ANYTHING  is a good idea, much less a LEGAL ONE?

When I taught AP Art History, I spent close to a $1,000 on supplies, books, DVD's and information. I got ZERO dollars to help with that, unless you count the $250 stipend we used to get--but that would also cover my World History classes. About $1.85 per student....for a YEAR of teaching.

Sounds like teachers were told about this last minute. Where is this idea in the CPGs? We are told to plan bus use for field trips WAYYYY in advance---what was the turn around time on this thing? Did the teachers have a choice to opt out?

WHO exactly thought this up, not just who approved it?

As a veteran, an educator and a woman, this is so hurtful, to literally leave girls behind. If they had taken the boys-only school, fine. But girls will NEVER forget the feeling of being told, "No, you can't go because you are---a girl." NEVER.

And besides, what impact can you have in a dark room with several THOUSAND boys? Were they paying attention? were they taking notes? Seriously, had any of the teachers seen it ahead of time?

There are a hundred questions to be asked about this. We are literally fighting for our jobs this year. We are fighting to keep schools open--and losing, and they do THIS?

I would write an email abotu it to my trustee, but --------

LA
LA

Not only is it sexist and a huge waste of $ (and I totally agree that the amount seems way too much for a 5,000-child matinee group rate--please investigate!), it is entirely inappropriate for the district to take ten and 11 year olds to see a PG-13 movie, signed waivers or not.

El Rey
El Rey

For $50,000, I'll give the boys my collection of Black Tail and throw in my collection of Shaved Tail as well!

Marvin
Marvin

So they took the boys to a movie that teaches them the evils of making stupid generalizations about a whole group of people, and treating them like second class citizens.  What could be wrong with that?

 

Shelley
Shelley

So girls don't like explosions and war movies and like movies about spelling bees? That's absurd and sexist.

Robert B. Abtahi
Robert B. Abtahi

All other points aside... I thought it was interesting that they decided to spend $57,000 at a Mesquite movie theater as opposed to one in Dallas...

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

RED TAIL ? Driving safety film ?Maybe a Health class movie ?

I find any post I might make on this Rather disturbing 

Soooooo.that just leaves ,

Haters gonna Hate

loubhagg
loubhagg

Jim, some good points but I keep hoping, hoping, hoping that you will do a good investigative expose on Shirley Ison Newsome.  She is a huge problem and DISD needs to get rid of her.  She has been responsible for getting rid of some really good adminstrators.  There is an interesteing post on the DMN blog of this story with a little more of her history.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

JimS - as a father to 4 boys and 1 girl, I will conceed on the need to seperate the sexes to get anything done.  What bothers me is that people are more upset that the girls were not allowed to participate in the boys assistance of DISD stealing Federal funds, rather than the fact the boys assisted in stealing Federal funds.  Jon Dahlander position is basically that the District did not violate Title IX during their violation of Title I.  Lew Blackburn's solution is to balance the situation for a girls movie day.  Where do we stop?  The fourth grade got completely screwed.  Are we going to let them take home grant purchased computers in order to be fair.  Then everyone will be happy, unless your a third grader.If in fact the District's monitor approved the trip, this might not bode well for him. The District is basically washing its hands of the incident by saying they used restricted funds which can't be used otherwise, saying it related to the subject matter and saying the monitor approved it. I strongly do not think that the TEA will absolve the District in its role. What really blows my mind is why the District would attempt something like this the same week we discover that Commissioner Scott is warning the District that its $79 million in Title I is already at risk.

We cannot focus on the unfair performance of the noncompliance rather than the actual noncompliance.  This would be like instead of going after Al Capone for bootlegging or even tax evasion, they would go after the mob for discrimination in hiring practices to perform their illegal activities.  

peanutgalleryallergy
peanutgalleryallergy

I believe that theater group in Plano(the one that was gonna do "Hair") is talking about tackling this project next!

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

I wonder how much a good history teacher costs. In the DISD, they're probably priceless.

Also, pretending it actually made sense for them to do this, I still wonder if this was the best deal they could get. Break that expenses down for us, Jim. I'm sure they probably also cover transportation costs, but did they rent out screens or at least get matinee discounts, or did they pay full price? And couldn't they have waited two months and rented copies of the film directly from the distributor for less?

One more thing: please check into who manages the theater(s) where they went, make sure they're not related to whoever decided to do this.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

OK, does the district not understand what spending $57K on boys and $0 on girls means?  Are they prepared for the lawsuit?

And you know, you could have just shown the earlier, and far superior, version of The Tuskegee Airmen in the auditorium to everybody for a LOT less money.

Greytluv
Greytluv

Please! This had nothing to do about separating boys and girls because they would be in a dark theater together. And if, as you say, the boys would act as mad men afterwards that just shows another reason why boys are doing so poorly in school. But the real reason DISD did this was their foolish, ancient idea that girls should be little girls and boys should be the big men. Otherwise they wouldn't have had the "little girls" stay at 'home' and watch some stupid movie about a spelling bee. History lesson- WASP Women Air force Service Pilots WW II. PLENTY girls like war movies about heroes

Kergo 1
Kergo 1

Love that!  They can barely keep the doors open, and they spend a good wad on movies!?  Only in Dallas.  Thank god my parents had me in Plano schools.  In Dallas you graduate and you can barely spell cat.....in Plano, you can walk right into college study.  Fail?  Build another bridge with lights on it.  Or how about a GIANT hotel that doubles as a "Jerra" viddja board.  Fail. 

cp
cp

Two things: 

1) Red Tails sucked but at least the P-51 Mustangs were sweet.

2) DISD is stupid.

The. End.

Guest
Guest

Another issue we don't like to acknowledge:  Our Black boys are doing worse in this world than our Black girls.  The girls will make more money.  They are more likely to go to college.  They are infinitely less likely to get arrested.  It's harder to keep the Black boys interested in school.  I expect the movie idea was focused on that issue.  I do think it was poorly implemented and probably a bad idea.  But I think everyone's heart was in the right place.  

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I completely agree with you.

Mowers and leaf blowers are also extremely distracting at schools.

If you have a 50 minute period and an important topic, it is so aggravating to have to give up and draw (you can't even concentrate enough to read) while the grounds crew is at work.

Students could get involved with xeriscaping; they could vote on different (donated) planting plans, they could do most of the labor, and they could conduct all sorts of investigations (which plants seem to thrive?).  

School properties should not be vast expanses of anything that uses energy to water or mow.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

But why do that when we can spend (squander) tax monies?    Seriously this is yet another example of the "out of touch"  DISD administration.   They just can't help themselves -they are born to squander tax dollars.   Heaven help us tax payers there is no common sense at the DISD.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Let's add to the list the fact that this isn't an educational movie!  It's fiction, based on real events, but not in any way a documentary or an educational feature.  If the point was moralizing about discrimination and our country's history of racism, then that could have been accomplished in the classroom with a DVD.  If the point was to present facts about history, then it was a bad idea to begin with.

Jd
Jd

Brainwash them early and often.

Buckeye
Buckeye

I thought it was "Hairspray".  Big difference.

Guest
Guest

 Hey. I remember in 4th or 5th grade when all the girls got to go watch some horror movie with blood and guts called "Whats Happening to my Body?" one day while the boys had to participate in extra P.E. To this day I've still wondered what that film plot was........Anyone know if it was about "Red Tails" too?

Jay
Jay

 The cynic in me is looking for the connection between the theater owner/operator and one of the decision makers at DISD.

Marvin
Marvin

They both got both see movies.  "Separate but equal".

Shelley
Shelley

It's a Title IX violation if I've ever seen one.

Guest
Guest

Well, I graduated from a Dallas high school and not only can I spell cat, but I also had absolutely no problem obtaining my MBA with my little DISD public school education. I agree this was a dumb move on DISD's part. I also think the parents of the kids attending Dallas schools contribute to the "Fail".

NewsDog
NewsDog

Kergo,Please demonstrate how well that superior Plano ISD education works and explain how Dallas ISD would have benefitted if the City of Dallas had not spent the money on the bridge and hotel (both of which are stupid ideas)?  Different governmental agencies, different budgets, different leaders {term loosely used}.  

Guest
Guest

Here's a take on the difficulties Black boys (and other Black and Latino students have obtaining an education, from a consultant from outside of Dallas.  Yes, in the real world, there are people whose hearts are in the right place, and who do the right thing:  http://blogs.edweek.org/teache...

Philomedia
Philomedia

Where is the thumb's down button?  If black boys are doing badly as a group, then how is feeding them some Hollywood going to do anything more than reinforce an illusion? Pardon me, but I thought that facing reality is the real prerequisite for change.  Fictionalized, glamorized accounts of events fit into the same category as drugs, alcohol, DISD meetings... roll out the fog machine.    Shirley Ison Newsome's heart is notoriously in the right place about like Idi Amin smiling for the cameras.  It will be worth the $57K if this is the event that leads people to speak out about what damage she has caused over the years in the Dallas school system.  She is ultimately no friend of African American school children.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

So all 5000 of the boys were black?

Plus your heart can be in the right place without $57,000 being in the wrong place. A DVD of Memphis Belle would've cost alot less.

JimS
JimS

The trends may be more extreme when you focus only on subgroups, but my understanding is that boys of all groups generally are getting shouldered out of med school, law school and everything else by girls. Personally I hate it.  I keep thinking of the massacre of the drones.http://www.biobees.com/forum/v...

Kergo 1
Kergo 1

Well, as long as the heart's were in the right place!  Now let's all jump off a frickin' bridge-ok?

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

But are all the screens IMAX?  Or did a second round of discrimination have to occur?

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Us boys went to a different movie at that same time. It was about a bunch of guys who went to a drag strip and picked up a bottle blonde.

Still remember some of the dialog:Worried guy #1 "Hey, do you think that girl had something?"

Wise ass guy #2 "Oh you KNOW she had something!"

mark zero (Jason)
mark zero (Jason)

That one was sponsored by Kotex, right? I heard Tampax offered a movie, too, but it had strings attached.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

The fact that they went to Mesquite instead of a Dallas based theater I think supports this notion.  My bet is also, if that connection is discovered, any benefit as a result of the connection will not be towards the District. (i.e. no deep discount in ticket prices)

JT
JT

DISD's mentality was common during the Vietnam "Police Action."  What they didn't know then was that the draft would be replaced by an all "volunteer" military in which poor girls would grow up to enlist while rich boys would grow up and go to college.  This mentality doesn't take into account the last "good" war (WWII) in which both men AND women volunteered because both genders wanted to help save the world.  Title IX violations were the way of the day back then (1960's) and for at least two more decades.  It is sad that the ones controlling DISD's purse strings aren't half as wise as they should be.  I bet they are not veterans, either.  Then again, idiots have always been in high places, because they keep the deck stacked against the rest of us.

Guesto
Guesto

 you can get an MBA online from any diploma mill but you are right about the parents.

Kergo 1
Kergo 1

sometimes a shiny turd appears in a terlit of dump(S).

Guest
Guest

Well, there is something to be said for Plano's success with poorer, English-as-a-second-language students in its east-side schools. But I don't know the actual causes of that success. Even when one of the east side elementary schools, for example, had almost half of its students qualifying for free or reduced lunches (one measure of poverty within a school), they were still scoring high enough to be either recognized or exemplary according to the TEA standards.

Granted, even a 50% percentage of poorer children in a school isn't the same level of poverty that some Dallas neighborhood schools have, but we can't just close our eyes and cover our ears and claim that the success of others doesn't have any relevance to Dallas ISD. Look hard enough, and there may be some solutions to be had from following the lead of other districts.

In my opinion.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 Jim, women have all the pussy in the world, and for years men had all the money.  That is turning around.  Now, women have the money, and men have all the dick.  Maybe we'll learn to work as hard in unappreciated ways as women do; but getting on the early part of that curve might be pretty sweet.

Guesto
Guesto

 " Maybe we'll learn to work as hard in unappreciated ways as women do"

What a load of feminist crap.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...