02-19-2017  8:37 am      •     
Jefferson school protest

The possibility that Portland Public School teachers might strike for the first time in city history triggered a massive demonstration by the Portland Students Union at Monday night’s Portland Public Schools meeting.

The twist is that the demonstration drew national attention and name-calling from a prominent conservative blogger, as well as a political “citizen journalist” who videotaped the students’ activities and posted them online as a form of ridicule.

Apparently tweeting from her home in Philadelphia, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin posted Portland blogger Dan Sandini’s video of Monday night’s demonstrators – many of whom appeared to be elementary-aged children marching with their parents – under the headline “Commie Mob Crashes School Board Meeting.”

The video appeared on the “Laughing at Liberals” Youtube channel and Sandini’s “Daylight Disinfectant” website.

A quick look at Sandini’s website shows his apparent dislike of “multiculturalism” and liberalism in general.

In one of the two protest videos he recorded Monday night, a JeffersonHigh School student leader is called out by name.

“After crashing the Portland school board meeting, Sekai Edwards leads a profanity laced chant in front of small children and shouts other nonsensical crap into the megaphone,” it says.

Sandini earned ridicule of his own in 2010 when he was thrown out of an Urban League candidate forum for disrupting the event in at the EmanuelTempleChurch in North Portland. As reported by Denis Theriault of The Portland Mercury, Sandini had at first been known anonymously as “Daylight Disinfectant,” videotaping the Occupy camp and posting his film with an array of insults.

However, The Mercury tracked Sandini to the EmanuelTempleChurch incident, which the right-wing blogger developed into a critique of “free speech” which he implied was violated by Portland’s black community at the candidate forum.

His video of the incident, posted on his website and on The Portland Mercury, features two of Portland’s prominent Black leaders asking him to turn off his camera, interspersed with Sandini’s apparently ineffective attempts to identify their names; soon a third well-known community figure directly punches the camera lens.

Sandini and Malkin’s name-calling spree comes as Portland’s district and teaching union enter their tenth month of negotiations, with a mediation session scheduled Thursday.

Rob Cowie, spokesperson for the Portland Public Schools, said Tuesday that the two sides are working for a settlement.

The Portland Association of Teachers did not respond to a request for comment by press time, but they and the district remain in mediation.

The school district could implement a contract even without union agreement by giving the teachers seven days notice. Teachers can strike if they give the schools 10 days notice. Some believe a strike may be closer because union representatives have been calling substitute teachers and asking them not to cross picket lines in the event a strike is called.

The Portland Students’ Union first came together when over a thousand students marched to Pioneer Courthouse Square on May Day of 2012 to fight against budget cuts by the state legislature. Now the students are rallying behind the teachers, with boisterous rallies and at least two school walkouts so far.

Students at JeffersonHigh School walked out Jan. 10 to voice their support for their teachers and to demand smaller classes.

Chanting, “We are the future,” and, “We deserve a better education,” the students marched out of the school and walked along North Killingsworth Street. Some held signs with messages such as “We love our teachers,” and “No racist school closures."

After a short but exuberant march, protest organizer Sekai Edwards called on the group to return to class.

“We’re going to go back to our classes and be the best students we can be,” she said.

Students at WilsonHigh School walked out Friday, and a small group of Cleveland students came to support the Jefferson protest.

Among the students demands’: smaller class sizes, wrap-around support services, less standardized testing and a no school closures, and advanced classes in every school. 

Find out more about the Students’ Union at www.portlandstudentunion.org. Follow the teachers’ union activities at www.pdxteachers.org. Follow the Portland Public Schools bargaining bulletins by clicking here.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Oregon Lottery
Carpentry Professionals


Reed College Jobs
His Eye is on the Sparrow