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Who’s Bad?

From the desk Alice…

I cannot remember how I came across the link but in an era of visual clutter on social media, this one stuck with me.

I made a mental note to watch it and even tried to find it on cable so I could DVR the next episode.  After a little more investigation, I found out it is a full independent film on PBS (available until April 14th).  So I watched it this week and it’s a keeper.

For those of us who have always been drawn to the “bad” kids, this film speaks volumes.  It humanizes the kids who are on the margins…the “fringe” as I used to call them.   These are the kids that made me a better teacher.  These are the kids that helped me become more patient, taught me empathy,  about the need for loyalty, and how to treat the the marginalized with respect.

This film makes the case for compassion in our schools.  As educators, we need to continue to educate the whole child, not the half child that we have created with an overuse of standardized data and an underuse of common sense.

The students in the film are authentic and are in every school system across the United States.  The wonderful thing about this film is that the filmmakers capture the complexities of real school and the incredible fluidity of the relationships at play each moment.

Data driven decisions are important.  However, not all data is useful and our students are not just numbers.  They are humans with names and faces.  Lou Pepe & Keith Fulton capture these true stories and in the process, point out complex issues in education that are no joke.  In addition, they quietly highlight the incredible role teachers and administrators play in changing lives each and everyday.  Without compassion, none of the relationships in our schools are possible.

The name of the film is The Bad Kids and you can find it HERE.

Block off 96 minutes and watch it.  Then talk about it and share it.

At the end of the day, we have to do what is right for kids.

I feel that slipping away each day in our schools for a variety of reasons and it is a slippery slope.

If we remove kids from the focus of our schools, then who’s really bad?

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