pmitch (Phil Mitchell)


Comment history

Banner featuring Shawnee Mission North Indian mascot taken down at Lawrence High School

It seems obvious to me that Shawnee Mission would be one of that last places it would considered to use a native mascot. Forced relocation to a reservation through bogus treaty, forced and sometimes violent assimilation, only to be forcefully relocated again to OK. What exactly are we honoring through this mascot?

February 18, 2017 at 9:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A Thousand Voices: Respondents mostly support banning the Confederate flag from school grounds

As a teacher at Free State I have some sense of the impact the presence of the flag has had and the general climate of the school in regards to race.

Without speaking for others, my observation is that the battle flag and the collection of acts done by students in response to its presence has in fact cause disruption to the classroom. It has also presented opportunity for impactful educational fodder for some classrooms. Ultimately, threats of violence and theft, both real and perceived, were felt by students on both sides of the debate.

As far as school climate, we have had recent incident involving the use a racial slurs toward the student body of Lawrence High. Those students were discipline to the fullest extent of the district's disciplinary code to my knowledge. To call this an annual tradition would be to my knowledge blatantly false.

However, a school climate survey has been administered twice this year as part of a wider effort to improve the learning environments across the district. Among students of color, an alarming percentage did not feel overly welcome at FSHS.

A number of motivated students have been active to creation a place for issues of culture and race within our building and community through an organizing called "Can We Talk?". This group held a widely attended meeting this week including guest speakers discussing the history of Confedrate Battle Flag and the legal issues that surround it.

In my opinion it is vital that Free State student and staff continue to confront issues of race in our building. I do not view this work as some sort of ideological propaganda, rather an imperative for all people to build a greater understanding of the racial issues that still clearly exist in our country, state, community and school--as perhaps best demonstrated by last year's vandals or this year's flag flyers.

February 7, 2016 at 3:28 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

LHS, FSHS claim four state track titles so far

Callie Hicks has a season best of 12'3". I saw it, it was incredible.

May 30, 2015 at 12:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Perfect storm: Elijah Johnson buries ISU with 39 points

I have had a number of refs not give us similar charge calls on the high school circuit, only to explain that the defender began to fall back before contact was made. Definitely the case if you watch the replay. And anybody who watches a fair amount of college basketball should not be surprised by the refs sucking their whistles at the end of a game and there's contact at the rim. Really, the more surprising call to me was the holding foul that followed the no call.

And I would echo the comments that point out a number of pretty poor calls that went against Kansas in the second half of the game. More importantly, with such competitive games, nastiness, and bad blood, perhaps we've found a replacement second rivalry in the BIG XII? Makes sense in a geographic and slightly historic sense...

February 26, 2013 at 10:09 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Teachers are key to education success

Curriculum designed by computers??? Is that after they enslave mankind?

Professional teachers are what keep public education from becoming state-sponsored propaganda. They use their professionalism to determine fair coverage and treatment of history and politics within state-authored curricular standards. They encourage students to do their research when making arguments instead of babbling recycled rhetoric from their church group or drum circle.

The only way to keep public education vibrant and free from state and federal dogma is to attract intelligent, responsible, brilliant people into this profession at all levels and subject areas. Otherwise we rely purely on altruism to supply our schools with powerful and professional minds to lead our country...and let me tell you, altruism can evaporate very quickly.

June 19, 2012 at 3:06 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Double whammy: KU's Marcus Morris erupts for 33 against Iowa State

“I personally think there will be games Kieff can get 30 and Selby can get 30,” he added of Markieff Morris and Josh Selby, who scored 17 and 14 respectively Wednesday. “I had an on-night tonight. There’s other players on my team who can do it, too.”

If you have a night like this, I'm pretty sure reporters are going to keep asking you questions about your performance. And, he should be proud. As for bringing it every night, it would be great to be "in the zone" all the time, but there are so very few that can do that. I think as we get into conference play and go into more hostile environments we're only going to get better. It's when we get on neutral courts in giant arenas when I get worried.

January 13, 2011 at 4:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Should Lawrence public school teachers take a pay cut to help the district make up for a $5 million shortfall in funding?

As a local third-year teacher, and a student of society, I like many others have seen these clouds on the horizon for a while now. There are a couple of things about this poll and the subsequent comments that I find troubling.

The first is the overwhelming lack of vision on both sides. What we should be asking ourselves is WHY are our public schools, in a town WITH such a high standard of living, are facing such a deficit and HOW did this situation come to be (again)? The lack of revenue for public programs across the state is the result of the self-interest and short sightedness of our state officials, who in the interest of (re)election have promised the voters again and again what they want: lower taxes. Not that I blame them, surely they shouldn't be asked to "take one for the team" and have the state's best interests in mind, re-election be damned. No, it's the voters, and THEIR greed, THEIR inability to budget, THEIR refusal to live within their means, and the consequent demand for lower taxes that have put us where we currently find ourselves.

Secondly, the negative attitudes and beliefs held by so many on this forum in regards to public schools and teachers are concerning. Research repeated shows that adults who hold negative attitudes towards school often had negative experiences while they were in school. Perhaps our refusal to support teachers is the result of the poor performance of the teachers, schools, (and students) of the past. Yet without community support, how can teachers and schools ever be expected to improve? You staunch capitalists out there can't argue that higher teacher salaries won't create higher interest in the field and get more talented young people to devote themselves to teaching.

Teachers are continually expected to do more with less. A student in my class this morning was irate that her teacher was could no longer be present at weekly after-school tutoring session because he was the coach of a spring sport. When I suggested that his choice was logical in that one use of his time was paid and the other was not, she scoffed and claimed that "if he's in it for the money, he shouldn't teach!" This is an eighteen-year-old woman. Where did her beliefs toward teachers and their place within society come from (see above comments)?

As a relatively novice teacher, it is difficult to make ends meet. I DO work for the TWO months I have off in the summers, while simultaneously taking post-graduate courses to further my education and ensure an eventual pay raise. I am grateful for job I have, and sincerely hope that I am able to hold onto it for next year. If I were faced with the choice of taking a pay-cut or losing this job, the choice would be obvious. But why should I be the one to be asked to sacrifice? Isn't clear that I, like so many other young people who have devoted themselves to teaching, already am?

March 5, 2010 at 9:53 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Wages clarified

Actually, the wages he was referring to are in regard to the regular minimum wage, NOT the server/waiter wage that the uninformed person above eluded to. Having been a past employee, I can say with confidence that Rudy's, along with many other downtown local businesses pay their employees well. They do this in order to attract and retain a good staff, which is much of what makes a good downtown business. A minimum wage hike will make it difficult for local businesses to continue this practice without increasing their prices. Many downtown employees prefer to spend downtown as well. So, they may get paid slightly better after the wage increase, but they will probably have to pay higher prices to support the businesses they love.

January 13, 2007 at 10:23 a.m. ( | suggest removal )