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Gingersnap
03-11-2010, 05:00 PM
Pinellas School Board chairwoman under fire for calling disruptive students 'hoodlums'

By Ron Matus and Jamal Thalji, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pinellas School Board chairwoman Janet Clark is coming under fire for using the term "hoodlums" to describe a small group of chronically disruptive students in county schools.

Board members Mary Brown and Linda Lerner criticized Clark at Tuesday night's board meeting. And now Ray Tampa, president of the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP, said Clark's refusal to apologize has made things worse.

"I was disgusted with her response," Tampa said Wednesday.

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement better known as the Uhurus called for Clark to resign for the statement, which it viewed as racist. Clark is white. Tampa said he thought the comment was inappropriate, but not racist.

Tampa said he was considering filing a complaint against Clark, who has a teaching certificate, with the Florida Department of Education's Office of Professional Practices, which handles complaints against teachers.

"The (teacher) code of ethics says you can't embarrass kids or make disparaging remarks about kids," he said.

Clark made the comment at a board workshop last week in a wide-ranging discussion about chronically disruptive students at John Hopkins Middle School and other Pinellas schools.

"So much time is taken up with addressing hoodlums, with kids who don't want to be in school," she said. She also said, "We are talking about a small number of children."

Brown and Lerner weighed in Tuesday night.

"They might be disruptive. They might be in gangs. They might be many things, but they are not hoodlums," Brown said. "I feel that that statement showed insensitivity to our children, and it certainly did not offer good guidance to our staff."

"There are people upset out there about the comment, different kinds of people, including employees," Lerner said. "We have to be careful as board members when we speak."

Before the meeting, Clark said the statement had nothing to do with race. "I made no mention of race," she said. "There are hoodlums of all races and colors and ethnic backgrounds."



But Clark may have stepped into a situation where the same word conjures up different images, depending on who hears it.

It does not appear the origins of the word "hoodlum" have any ties to race or ethnicity. It is an adaptation of a German word that meant "ragamuffin" or "good for nothing," said Michael Adams, an associate professor of English at Indiana University and author of the 2009 book, Slang: The People's Poetry.

But the meanings of words can change, Adams said. Over time, "hoodlum" may have become a more racially identifiable word, in part because of the slang term "hood," short for neighborhood, and also because hood and hoodlum began to be applied to African-American youths by white people, he said.

"Hoodlum, when you look it up in the dictionary, doesn't look so bad," Adams said. But when people in the black community hear it, "they associate it with words and meanings other than (those from) 1871 or whenever it was the word first appeared in print."

The professor said the case reminds him of the uproar from a 1999 incident when a Washington D.C., city official used the term "niggardly" to describe how he was managing budget cuts. It means "miserly," but another employee took it as a racial slur.

Said Adams: "What people hear always means something more than what a word may mean historically."

At Tuesday's meeting, Clark told board members that she knew people were upset, but would not apologize.

"We can't continue making excuses when children don't behave and disrupt the educational environment for teachers and students," she said. "That's all I can say on that matter."

(snip)

The group's president, Chimurenga Waller, said he blames the school's troubles on the adults who run the school system, not the children who go there. "We don't have a John Hopkins crisis," he said. "We have a systematic crisis."

Asked how he would describe the unruly students blamed for the daily fights and misconduct that has plagued John Hopkins this year, Waller declined to answer.

Okay, a bunch of illiterate people who take their organizational name from a TV show character are upset and we're supposed to take this seriously? LOL!

Tampa Bay (http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/pinellas-school-board-chairwoman-under-fire-for-calling-disruptive/1078726)

Apache
03-11-2010, 05:19 PM
Lemme guess... Most of the trouble makers are black...:rolleyes:


Hoodlum hardly denotes race.

Gingersnap
03-11-2010, 05:25 PM
Lemme guess... Most of the trouble makers are black...:rolleyes:

Hoodlum hardly denotes race.

Well, they're probably kind of caramel-colored if they all look like Uhuru.

Just kidding! They're really socialists:


The African People's Socialist Party (APSP) is the organization that built and leads the Uhuru Movement. The APSP is committed to the total liberation of Africa and African People everywhere.

papabull
03-11-2010, 05:25 PM
Lemme guess... Most of the trouble makers are black...:rolleyes:


Hoodlum hardly denotes race.

Black people are getting mighty niggardly about the words they think people should be allowed to use these days. Maybe they should bump up their vocabulary a bit. Dammm, muffa, ho, cracka and ambalamps aren't much of a basis for a wide range of verbal expression.

FlaGator
03-11-2010, 05:54 PM
Jez.... Boys in the hoodlum.

Speedy
03-11-2010, 07:29 PM
Hoodlum hardly denotes race.

But actions do and by just actions alone, it is pretty easy to come to a conclusion with this group. They are Amish, of course.

Gingersnap
03-11-2010, 09:21 PM
But actions do and by just actions alone, it is pretty easy to come to a conclusion with this group. They are Amish, of course.

There are Amish hoodlums. Just none beyond the 8th grade. :D

PoliCon
03-11-2010, 09:27 PM
hoodlum
1871, Amer.Eng. (first in ref. to San Francisco) "young street rowdy, loafer," later (1877) "young criminal, gangster," of unknown origin, though newspapers have printed myriad stories concocted to account for it. A guess perhaps better than average is that it is from Ger. dial. (Bavarian) Huddellump "ragamuffin."

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hoodlum

People should seriously learn what words mean and their origins.

PoliCon
03-11-2010, 09:41 PM
Okay, a bunch of illiterate people who take their organizational name from a TV show character are upset and we're supposed to take this seriously? LOL!

Tampa Bay (http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/pinellas-school-board-chairwoman-under-fire-for-calling-disruptive/1078726)

Their feelings are hurt!!!11!!!!111!!!1!!!!:rolleyes: I love that groups like this attack the people trying to do something about such bad behavior and never say word one about the students who are guilty OF bad behavior.

djones520
03-12-2010, 12:08 AM
Total liberation of Africa? Is The Man keeping them down over there as well? :rolleyes:

Gingersnap
03-12-2010, 12:12 AM
Total liberation of Africa? Is The Man keeping them down over there as well? :rolleyes:

The black warlord "men". That or the white academics who thought "returning the land" was a smart idea.

NJCardFan
03-12-2010, 12:13 AM
Why is it everything that is said that is disparaging against blacks is automatically construed as racist. As I keep saying, on my housing unit I have 124 inmates. 86 of them are black. 70%. So if I were to say this in public, it would be racist? Even if true? These people are becoming, or are the most thin skinned people on this earth. But read closely this comment;


"They might be disruptive. They might be in gangs. They might be many things, but they are not hoodlums,"

So gangs are not hoods? What? I am so sick and tired of these people. Look in the frigging mirror. Stop blaming whitey for your shortcomings. Start cleaning up your own house. If you want people to stop looking at blacks as hoodlums, STOP ACTING LIKE FUCKING HOODLUMS!