Thursday, June 18, 2020

Journal Entry #52 - Morningside Middle School Debacle

Name: Manley M Collins
Social Security Number: 5 7 9 - * * - 6 5 4 1
Date of Birth: 06/21
Place of Birth: Washington, District of Columbia
Country of Birth: United States of America
Date: June 21, 2020

TOPIC: Morningside Middle School Debacle

DEPARTMENT: United States Department of Labor
DEPARTMENT: United States Department of Education

In February 2020, Kelly Education Services, the current contractor for Charleston County School District and Berkeley County School District, hired me on as a substitute teacher.  The experience was very different since I could teach or monitor various grades and various subjects. Alexandra Barney gave the training presentation.  Melanie Douglas came in to announcement herself as handling some of the background paperwork.  Janelle Clark was the person to give me Frontline Access/AESOP substitute teaching assignment system.  Dana Mentel was the Charleston County School District Account Manager.  Dana and I, started out fine until things started happening at the schools.  Sarah Petty was the Berkeley County School District Account Manager.  Sarah and I got along well as she I was dressed professionally with khakis, sweater, and collared shirt.  Everyone else at the schools were dressed in shorts, jeans, and very comfortable attire.  Every school provided a different experience.  I personally selected schools that were on my everyday route or just had interest in.

My first school was Amy Moye, Whitesville Elementary, First Grade (Berkeley County School District).  It was a rambucious group of kids with high energy.  Of course, my adult learning skills was no match for these kids.  They listened, then they played, then got out of hand.  Everyone wanted to help.  They knew Ms. Moye's routine.  They were operating smartboard and everything.  Most of them completed the assignments.  However, after the student's lunch, some of the neighboring teachers came to help calm the class down.  I felt a little guilty when the educator had the class apologize three times for not listening.  I did run into one of my high school classmates, Shawn Ravenell. He looked great....slightly stocker and thicker than the slender high school figure, but tall and handsome as usual.  Thanks, Shawn Ravenell, for your military service. Thanks, Amy Moye, for your educator service. Thanks to all the teachers that day giving me tips on disciplining and positive reinforcement techniques. It was a good first day as a substitute teacher.  Berkeley County School District timekeeping was done through iPad and technology.

My assignment with Cross High School, my alma mater was very unique (Berkeley County School District).  It showed me how so much have changed over the years.  The classes changed from 45 minute periods to one hour and a half.  Hardly anyone that graduated from the school was teaching at the school.  I was substitute teaching for Christin E. Clark for 7th/8th grade Science.  Christin E. Clark was also a schoolbus driver. The kids were well-behaved in a sense that I did not have to bring another educator in to help calm the class down.  Unexpectedly, I was teaching three of my classmates' children, Keon Pinckney's child, Terrance Nelson's child, and Leroy Ravenell's child.  Other names came about, such as Octavia Cohen's cousin.  We had good time discussing families and they completed their assignments.  I did meet and spoke to Clarissa Shepherd.  Pat Wilson made me feel right at home by having a conversation like I was never missed.  I did meet the principal Alicia.  She was nice.  I did give a courtesy call over the school network to the athletic director, Shaun Wright, and see how he was doing.  Thanks to all the educators, staff, and administrators for their services.  Sarah Petty did call to substitute at the last minute for Christin Clark, but I could not retrieve the voice message until I got into a T-Mobile cellphone tower area (most likely Moncks Corner, SC or St. Stephen, SC).  I took a photo for social media.  For the day, we had a fire drill and active shooter drill.  Assignments were done on Google Chromebooks.  I ran into Terrance Nelson's mom on the way leaving the high school.

My assignment with Northwoods Middle School was very entertaining and diverse (Charleston County School District). I was substitute teaching for Carole L Bennage-Hernandez, 6th/7th/8th grade science.  The classes were half latino/hispanic and half African-American with some Caucasian/European students.  My high school Spanish did not help at all.  I felt very useful helping the students through their assignments and ensuring they understood what they read.  It was an instant gratification to make a difference in a student's life.  Carole and I took a photo for social media.  Carole was still in place and help with the transition to teach her class for a half-day.  Mrs. Bennage-Hernandez had a personal errand to run.  Learning science again at the middle school level taught me how specialized I became in life.  Charleston County School District timekeeping was done manually and done through AESOP Frontline timesheets.  They still had a mix of textbooks and Google Chromebooks to get the assignments done.  Thanks, Mrs. Carole L. Bennage-Hernandez, for your educator service.

My assignment with Timberland High School (Berkeley County School District) was unique.  It was my very first visit since the school was built.  Timberland did keep some history in the having the last yearbooks from the schools that merged St. Stephen High School and Macedonia High School.  I went through St. Stephen High School yearbook and it was so many names and faces I totally forgot about....said, 'Wow'.  I was substituting for Carrie R. Grudzien, Cross Categorical subjects.  The students were mixed 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders and special education.  However, I learn the students had Read 180 or System 180 assignments, Math assignments, and Google chrome assignments specialized to each student. The core periods were long.  Mrs. Carrie class did have two helpers, a long term substitute assignment, Mrs. Middleton, and an athletic coach.  The athletic coach was taught by the long term substitute at Timberland.  Timberland was a large school, but had a different feel of tameness on the day I went.  We had a fire drill in the rain.  Classes were combined for assignments in Home Economics. Every teacher had to escort their classes to the buses loading zone.  The fire drill presented a perfect time to take a picture with the educators, but the rain was distraction while keeping track of the kids.

My assignment with St. Stephen Elementary (Berkeley County School District) was a big reunion.  Some staff, educators, and administrators from Cross Elementary and High Schools were at St. Stephen Elementary School.  I was substituting for Lisa N. Cooper, Second Grade Teacher.  It was an interesting bunch of children.  Some students were helpers.  Some students were very intelligent and smart. Some students tried every excuse to get out of doing any work.  Lisa N. Cooper did have a conference call with the AmeriCorps Reading Partners inside the classroom.  We did have a fire drill.  The cafeteria served grits in the morning to the teachers.  It was good seeing everyone and speaking with them including some strangers.  I gave my information to one of the Reading Partners volunteers to let them know I had interest in the program for the next academic year.  I did take a social media photo.  Thanks, Lisa N. Cooper, for your educator service.

My assignment with Berkeley Middle School (Berkeley County School District) was okay.  The classes were large and full.  I was subtituting for Maxwell J. Burke, 7th Grade Social Studies.  The students discussed that he had a reputation for always being present in the school.  He had two desk in which I kept going back and forth through the students to ensure they were doing their assignments.  I did give a courtesy call/voice message to Dana Copeland, with the assumption she was connected to Patreece Copeland or Cross High alumni.  I saw one person I knew from Cross High School days.  It was a very professional environment with everything from the substitute teacher binder, what, who, when, where, and how situation.  I was impressed.  Thanks, Maxwell J. Burke, for your educator service.

My assignment with Military Magnet Academy (Charleston County School District) was a great experience.  It was a very disciplined school with uniforms and structure.  I was substituting for Simona Spinner, Math teacher.  I saw University of Phoenix under her door name plate.  I was not sure if she graduated from there or promoted the school.  However, her desk was an entire Sam's Club, Walmart, Bi-Lo, FoodLion, Office Depot/Max, and Staples combined into one.  I rewarded the students with the mints she had for them.  Thanks for the mints in my substitute packet and binder.  It was very coincidental that I met her daughter, who escorted me to the classroom.  The front office, Ms. Yeadon, was helpful, but I was not sure if she was related to Cross's Yeadon family.  It was definitely an honor and pleasure seeing a black male doctor as the principal of the school.  It was drill day or the alternate day from the regular core classes day.  I did take a social media selfie photo.  I saw the students and marching band march around the school.  It was impressive.  All the students did their work assignments and acted appropriately.  I did allow them to listen to their smart devices as long as they completed their assignments.  No additional help was needed to keep the students calm.  The classes was small.

My assignment with H.E. Bonner Elementary (Berkeley County School District) was the beginning of the downside of teaching.  The substitute from Timberland warned me that the school was bad/mischievous.  Of course knowing me, I had to test that theory.  I was substitute teaching for Lisa T. Johnson, Fifth Grade Teacher. Kelly Education Services had a policy of 'no touching students' policy regardless of the situation.  The class was very energetic and talkative, but by lunch, the class started getting angry.  We lined up for lunch.  The teacher's favorite helper African-American student was being taunted or started launching blows at a white student who was much smaller.  It was a hard to watch scene.  I tried to insert my body between the two and help restrain the black male student, but the African-American male student went around me and kept pummeling the white male student, who finally fought back.  The class was constantly instigating.  The fighting stopped once I went to the phone to call the teacher that was suppose to help.  I did not catch up to the emergency helper teacher until we got to the cafeteria.  I wrote an incident report for the vice-principal and principal, and Kelly Education Services.  Kelly Education Services Sarah Petty and I had a long discussion about the incident.  Disciplining students have changed and watching an actual fight happen without help is very difficult.  I took an panoroma photo for social media.  Thanks, Lisa T. Johnson, for your educator service.  This was a tough day for me as a substitute.

My assignment with Morningside Middle School (Charleston County School District) was awful. I was substituting for Domonique S. Finley, English/Language Arts teacher.  It was a diverse group and full class of students, even though some of them had field trip.  I did meet Mrs. Finley-Thompson. We had a cordial and candid discussion about the students and overall operation of the class.  However, the black button became an issue in the end of the day.  These kids were horrible.  They were videoing dance routines in the classroom, took naps, sat on window sill, kept walking in/out of the classroom, and it was no control with them.  The students did not listen to the administrator of the wing/grade and did not listen to the substitute.  I tried to hold on for dear life so I can have a peaceful exit from the school, but long and behold I got a book thrown to the face right before the school day ended.  I had to seek medical attention. Kelly Education Services Dana Mentel was informed.  Nikki Woods tried to get worker's compensation for me and got the medical attention needed.  The school kept stressing something about a black button that I did not see or was not shown where it was.  I called 911 and reported the incident to a cop, reported it to Mrs. Thompson, and the administrator.  It seems everyone was upset at the 911 call.  The main office and Charleston County Police deferred the incident to the School Resource Officer and principal.  The principal seemed to routinely state it is a disciplinary incident.  Please see attached report of how it all happen.  Thanks, Domonique S. Finley, for your educator service.  

My final assignment was canceled for Cane Bay High School (Berkeley County School District). It was for an Ashley A. Barnes, Special Services Program Lead.  It was because of the Morningside Middle School (Charleston County School District) incident.


This is the what I sent to the Mayor of Charleston and North Charleston, City Councils of Charleston and North Charleston, Charleston County Sheriff Department, South Carolina Department of Education, Kelly Education Services, Charleston County School District HQ, and United States Department of Education.  My presumption when a child's behavior is beyond repair or acting out, it is a call for help.  Here is my email dated March 10, 2020 at 10:15 AM:

Good morning Sir or Madam, and team,

I am writing as a victim of Morningside Middle School in South Carolina Public Schools – Charleston County School District cry for help. I have attached the appropriate incident and medical report for your review.

 These are the items needed for the educational institution as follows:
1. Tear the institution down and rebuild in its place.  Raise property taxes to better support the school, expand programs, etc.
2. An adequate bell system.
3. An annual directory of all staff, administrators, and professionals at the school in each classroom.
4. An adequate substitute teaching system supporting absent faculty or administrators.
5. An actual, upgraded phone system for all classrooms.
6. Brand new student desks.
7. Uniform policy enforcement for faculty, staff, administrators, and students.
8. A supportive and trusting classroom for faculty (the ability to store and care for professional and personal items and supplies).
9. Better decorative theme for classrooms.
10. A balance between textbooks and chromebooks.
11. A better and appropriate response system for substitutes, interns, volunteers,  and assistants than a black button system.  I felt trapped in the classroom by the rules  and responsibility of students.
12. Penalty and harsher enforcement for non working students because it seems the misbehaving students and mischievous that do not care for any adult or their work.
13. Resource Officer or actual offenders from the prison system to show the students what happens in a school-to-prison pipeline for assaulting adults if there is a no-touch policy for substitutes. One session per week or assembly per month and let them ask questions how serious life is.
14. No cellphone or smartphone zones. Collect them at the beginning of the day and return them at the end of the day.  Each teacher is responsible for their homeroom cellphones.
15. Need the pledge of allegiance recited by students and staff in morning.
16. Need school pledge of becoming a better self recited by students and staff in morning.
17. Need a mission statement recited by students in morning.
18. Need American flags in all classrooms and hallway.
19. Need school flags in all classrooms.
20. College, University,  and military paraphernalia need to be spread throughout entire school.

This is just a start. Since I do not hold the winning lottery ticket for South Carolina Education Lottery, this is my process:
A. Address the issue head on with all levels of education headquarters, associated politicians, and professionals to reach the chief.  This gives everyone a chance to discuss and make some changes.
B. Next is the levels of the court system. December is my second favorite month of every year. My expected award for second degree assault with a harmful weapon is $5,000,000.
C. $5M dollars is the value of the protected minor's life that assaulted me.
D. Arbitration and Mediation is welcome, but I am set in my ways to go fully through the court system to create a six bill for all parties involved.

Pure example of turning around a impoverished school is below.

I am witness to South Carolina Public School Berkeley County School District – Cross Middle/High School. The school went through subtle and major changes when faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators cared about the institution.  Politicians and the county increased property taxes eight times from 1990 to 2020 to support and upgrade the school.  The school has become a silver medal standard of the community, county, and many families.  The school has expanded its academic, athletic, and trade programs. Students' behavior problems are minimal...still chatty...but no throwing things or unexpected weapons.


Adrienne Rubel, HR Consultant, made the ultimate decision to terminate me from Kelly Education Services for social media photos.  I never heard of Adrienne until this email.  This is Adrienne's email dated April 3, 2020 at 8:29 AM and CC'ed Dana Mentel:

Mr. Collins,

Dana Mentel and I have made multiple attempts to contact you via phone. On 4/1, we tried to call you at a time you indicated you would be available, the line went immediately to voicemail. Dana then followed up with an e-mail to determine a new time to have a conversation. As of now, we have not heard back from you.

The purpose of the call was to formally request that you delete all photos of students and schools from your social media platforms, as well as from any personal devices.

Taking photos while acting in the role of a substitute teacher is a violation of the Kelly Standards of Professional conduct. The Standards of Professional conduct, which is covered during orientation, states that substitute teachers will never use recording devices or picture/video cameras, including cellular phone cameras, on academic institution grounds.

In addition, we were calling you to advise you that due to the violation as outlined above, the decision has been made to terminate your employment effective immediately.

Thank you,
Adrienne Rubel | HR Consultant | Human Resources Knowledge Center
Direct: Ph: 248-244-5623 Fax: 248-244-4106

My response was absolutely not.  South Carolina Public Education school system ranked between number 45-50 by US News and World Report, the United States Department of Education and other educational system rankings.  The contractor and public school system worried about selfies, and when every student has a smartphone.  Yes, I am product of the South Carolina Public School System, but I was corrected the minute I left in 1998 by the other 49 states and major cities on the reality of education and life.


Document Link #1 - Typed Incident Report

Document Link #2 - Written Incident and Medical Report

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home