Educate to Liberate

A Case Study of Mis-Education

Dr. Q was a twenty-year, veteran educator of Jewish descent who had worked the vast majority of her career in a suburban ‘gifted’ school environment. For reasons deemed only as ‘personal’, she (rather abruptly) separated from service from her previous school district and successfully interviewed for a first-grade teaching position in our inner city, Title I PK-8 institution entrenched in a highly impoverished metropolitan Detroit community. With the initial period of tense salary negotiations aside (needless to say – the limited constraints of what we could offer her paled in comparison to the kind of salary that her level of education and previous suburban employment status commanded); In any case, Dr. Q readily agreed to begin the school year with 22 eager six and seven year old ‘live wires’ and by all accounts, seemed equal to the task at hand.

It was not long into the initial, fall semester before it became apparent that in spite of her documented years of classroom instructional experience and extensive educational credentials, classroom management was an elusive component of her skill set and an otherwise very real concern and looming obstacle to the daily delivery of standards-based instruction in Dr. Q’s wildly untamed 1st grade classroom. It must be noted for the record that this loosely disciplined and unstructured environment was an anomaly at our school (with the exception of the 1-2 classrooms covered by novice teachers in their first 1-3 years of experience and/or those being covered temporarily by substitute teachers). Initially, this realization presented no major concern, as a teacher’s weakness in a required instructional skill set is merely an opportunity for a consummate leader to provide tangible, immediate support. I did/do consider myself an exemplary administrator who is first and foremost an instructional leader and curriculum coach, with whom the buck stops in terms of academic achievement. Thus, I was eager to offer immediate support and Dr. Q was afforded with levels of remediation ranging from my classroom presence as a co-teacher during the most crucial core curricular junctures; to peer mentorship from her grade-level partner, an exemplary first-grade teacher with many years of expertise and a willingness to document and then properly model her own observations for improvement; to a personalized professional development plan which included, among other things, tons of resources to strengthen her knowledge, resources and skillful use of universally high expectations, positive reinforcement, automated classroom procedures and protocols. There was every anticipation that these efforts would in turn strengthen her classroom management expertise (as it had done for so many teachers before) and serve to transform her classroom from a disorderly holding pen, into a safe, vibrant and intellectually engaged learning environment in which children could learn/grow and prosper. The greatest disappointment was that all attention was met with hostility, resentment and even an incredulous persona of “I’ve got this”, despite the fact that Dr. Q’s children would literally be swinging from the rafters under her exclusive watch, on a daily basis. Sigh . . .

Perhaps adding insult to injury, this particular classroom had been historically manned by a young, novice and extremely successful African-American teacher with a slight build and who barely spoke above a whisper yet managed to maintain full, continuous command of her first-grade classroom from day one. This teacher was explicit in her instructions, rewarded positive behaviors frequently, implemented seamless procedures and protocols and essentially ensured that her classroom of eager learners, ran like a well-oiled machine. From an academic perspective, Mrs. T had always used the district provided curriculum, but personalized instruction and embraced a much more hands-on approach to meet the multifaceted needs of each of her vibrant, yet academically diverse students. So unquestionably, the easily remarkable rapport which had been established by the previous first-grade teacher was not even comparable to the wild, untamed environment developing at the hands of Dr. Q. And of all stakeholders, the parents were not the least bit amused by the new teacher seemingly harboring such unorthodox “freedom of expression” classroom views and discipline (or lack thereof), in instructing an entire class of spirited first-graders. Admittedly, the only reason we even needed to interview for the teacher vacancy in the first place was the painful realization that sadly, we had lost our ‘gem’ of an awesome teacher to illness, due to a debilitating, physical illness she had long suffered – ultimately forcing her into frequent absences and life-saving hospitalizations – spanning roughly 35% of the prior school year. In any case, this teacher was quite easily the hardest act to follow as an incoming staff member due to the fact that in spite of her unplanned bouts of illness, extended absences and her weakening physical state – Mrs. T’s students still garnered the highest achievement scores of any elementary teacher on staff. This petite, soft-spoken woman could literally manage a classroom full of spirited seven-year olds with the ease of a twenty-year veteran teacher, while still nurturing the academic strengths and weaknesses of each child’s varying in needs. Certainly, filling a gap of this magnitude was much easier said than done.

Alas, I digress and must attempt to set the stage for what became of Dr. Q’s intentionally creative and loose, yet highly unorthodox classroom environment and her ultimate demise. Early on, and in spite of instructional feedback to offer tangible levels of classroom management support from her colleagues in the PLC structure to an up close one-on-one approach with the lead administrator, it became clear that the discipline issue would seemingly be only one component of the disastrous impact of this case study. A glaring absence of academic rigor and refusal to teach the curriculum as outlined in the strategically designed pacing guide proved to be the ultimate undoing for all the vast, apparent knowledge base of one (whose qualifications might have otherwise equipped her to offer a wealth of high expectations or preferably a dose of her previous gifted curricular resources), to her students. Sadly, the greatest obstacle to Dr. Q’s classroom success, having newly transitioned from the nearly all-white, affluent school district to our all-Black, impoverished district, was her own admittedly lowered expectations regarding the ability of her Black students.

In a manner of exercising White privilege and scarcely affording full consideration to the rigorous standards and curriculum meticulously provided by her competent Black administrators, Dr. Q was convinced that she knew what was best for her classroom and that she could “handle” the little Black children under her watch, so she proceeded to spend the bulk of her days reading toddler level, sight word books on a beautiful, plush carpet she deemed “the beach” and to routinely speak in condescending, harsh tones to children as a result of their predictable, unruly behavior. The students were literally bored beyond belief and any educator can imagine the impact of all of the idle time. Meanwhile Dr. Q chalked up the children’s behavior to a lack of discipline as taught at home or an overwhelming majority of children harboring special needs, without ever considering to interrogate her own abject bias and ineptitude.

As further documentation of her cluelessness, any/all offers for assistance were abruptly declined and heavily frowned upon as nuisances and/or unnecessary gestures of kindness – largely because they emanated from her bevy of all-Black instructional and administrative peers – who she deemed well-intentioned (at least at first), but ultimately concluded were beneath her. Because of her staunch refusals and rebukes for any/all help and a worsening classroom environment and academic achievement forecast, an administratively coordinated joint meeting with the teacher and teacher’s aide was convened to address the concerns about lowered academic expectations and a laissez-faire classroom management style with a directive to implement the following, immediate interventions: a small group instructional strategy to divide the students into heterogeneous, small and flexible groupings for core subject instruction – to be strategically split between the two of them; implementation of a mandated peer observation schedule (especially given that in the past her co-teacher put in the bulk of all of the effort into Dr. Q’s own improvement plan); and finally, Dr. Q was formally made aware that she was subject to a firm progressive disciplinary plan to closely monitor her compliance with the administrative directive to begin to skillfully utilize daily common preparation periods and weekly PLC meetings to forge universal protocols for classroom management w/ her K-2 peer group in collaboration with her agreement to submit to and demonstrate documented evidence of having fulfilled her personalized professional development plan goals, uniquely geared to addressing her multiple areas of professional weakness.

As could have been easily predicted, as the year progressed countless formal and informal teacher observations yielded generally unfavorable results, citing strong knowledge of content area lesson planning (in written form) but reflective of unacceptable form in execution – as all instruction was offensively dumbed down to an infuriatingly slow or basic level instructional pace. Overall, poor instructional practice(s) and a less than tame, unpredictable classroom environment proved unequal to favorable student academic performance and increasing parental feedback. Within short order, the class size abruptly decreased from just 22 to 18 students as the parents of the most bright, high-spirited and otherwise gifted children demonstrated their most vocal form of silent protest to the existing class dynamics; by simply exercising their right to school choice (three children left the district within the first 3 months, while one transferred to the alternate, very high performing first-grade classroom of now 27 students). From an equally revealing and individually accountable data standpoint, while many students typically perform poorly at the start of a school year – there is always an expectation and precedent that slowly, but surely, even the lowest performing, below grade-level proficient students amongst the class would incrementally increase their social and academic performance levels over time. And although first-graders are not yet subject to state-mandated, high stakes assessments – the district administered universal formative assessments to assess proficiency and evaluate areas in need of remediation. In terms of high academic expectations, the same is anticipated for our K-2 students as is the universal expectation for those in grades 3 and above. In any case, all district assessment data reflecting the performance for this particular class demonstrated the reverse of the typical data snapshot of their first-grade peers. Those who languished in Dr. Q’s poorly managed and increasingly low-performing first-grade classroom (I.E. a large percentage of children who originally performed in the 70th and above percentile in the fall had regressed to the 50th percentile by spring testing, rather than increasing as was the common tradition and expectation). In terms of the logic to explain their performance? Dr. Q began lamenting in weekly PLC meetings and public staff meetings of the lack of preparedness which could be attributed to the prior grade level teachers, who had clearly inflated students’ readiness for her grade and/or failed to prepare them for the promotion to the next level. Really?! In the final analysis, the bulk of her previously high-performing, well adjusted primary students soon morphed into insecure, behaviorally challenged and bored scholar students whose proficiency improved less than a year’s growth should typically yield and who otherwise demonstrated alarming evidence of having failed to meet grade-level promotional benchmarks or even regressed altogether. Needless to say, this was an unacceptable and damnable indictment against this sole teacher’s unprofessional and unethical teaching practice. Within months, her job security was at risk and an unsatisfactory teacher evaluation rating loomed as testament to the failure of all efforts to date.

What happened to Dr. Q you might wonder? Well, despite the time, collaborative effort and proven, research-based protocols implemented to strengthen her professional practice, all such investments were for naught in the face of countering a lifetime of implicit bias and racist tropes driving her unconscionable lowered expectations, micro aggressions towards her students and rejection of all professional training improvement efforts. Over time, Dr. Q became even more defiant, and morphed into her authentic self: an angry, arrogant, overeducated and under qualified racist who used each day as another opportunity to model her disdain for her Black students and the inner city environment in which she taught. She was a literal nightmare to deal with, as she demonstrated half-hearted compliance, an overall nasty attitude, sulking and self-righteous indignation – while she secretly plotted, and quietly pursued (an anticipatory) wrongful termination lawsuit against the administrators and Board of Directors of the small, family oriented and all Black school district. Her intentions were rather transparent as she began to obsessively document and/or audiotape everything and became vehemently outspoken that all aforementioned exemplars of support were being regarded as punitive measures of discrimination.

Clearly, in a society which fosters so much implicit and explicit bias, abject racism and general disdain for Blacks (and to a lesser extent, other people of color), one would probably expect a base level of unpreparedness for the exemplary educational standards encountered in our all Black, Title I institution – particularly from one outside the culture who somehow expects to find stereotypical, low-performing staff and students who merely languished in a struggling school environment or perhaps pretended at educating our children against insurmountable odds. On the contrary, save the absence of a modern, state of the art facility and tangible resources which accompany the school funding allotment for suburban schools, there’s no less commitment or talent among the educators, students in the inner city zip codes. And for the record, I guess all assumptions be damned, because we too had hoped that a highly educated professional (with a history of having been brutally and unlawfully persecuted by the scourge of institutionalized racism), would be equally averse to allowing themselves to propagate mis-education among Black students to this extreme. It turns out that we were both wrong. In the real life scenario, certain to rival any Hollywood inspired, Dangerous Minds script, there was a level of rebellious resistance and a degree of abject racism which emerged over time to reveal the true, insidious nature of Dr. Q.

In the administrative followup session (which she dramatically audio-recorded), Dr. Q was presented with extensive documentation of her unfavorable classroom observations, a compilation of incident reports (reflecting injuries and referrals emanating from her small classroom), parental complaints, and most importantly evidence of each of her student’s dramatic academic decline in the course of the academic year. Though she reluctantly acknowledged the presence of several parental complaints as valid and even came around to agree with widespread, existing concerns regarding her increasingly ‘chaotic’ classroom atmosphere – by her own admission, she was never permitted to implement her own ‘best practice’ certain to prove the way in which she could best teach “these Black children” and she hastily retorted that she felt she lacked both disciplinary support from administration and the Dean, psychological support from the school’s social worker and the proper administrative confidence and support from the principal. Really?! Insert any gif of a Black woman’s eye-rolling face when she is less than impressed here. Nevertheless, Dr. Q countered by insisting that her struggles could only be attributed to ‘cultural/ethnic differences’ between her all-Black classroom and she, a middle aged Jewish woman; and that over time, if given the time, opportunity, space and support to administer her program of teaching (which had always worked well for her in the past), a common ground would eventually emerge whereupon academic progress and behavioral compliance would miraculously manifest. In other words, she foolishly believed her professional failings were nonexistent or would somehow work themselves out, or perhaps even that her abject disdain for Black people would have no impactful bearing upon her teacher/student interactions and their resulting performance (for the record, this is a common misconception which must be permanently laid to rest). It is worth noting that roughly 25% of our district’s instructional staff were White and had no such cultural/ethnic obstructions to account for their rousing success as classroom teachers.

Undoubtedly, the general consensus from a purely data based lens, is that this teacher’s inability to regard her students as equal to the curricular challenge as those she encountered at the gifted school – severely debilitated her ability to appropriately engage, teach them. Likewise the inordinate amount of time and energy spent on the re-direction of children’s (predictable) bad behavior severely detracted from an ideal teaching and learning atmosphere in Dr. Q’s classroom. The joint racist fueled/classroom management issue became increasing points of contention as the year progressed and as data (from Scantron, Star Reading/Math and Early Literacy tests and Learning.com assessments) evidence mounted. Thus, under increasing administrative and exemplary peer performance pressure to raise student achievement and to resolve worsening classroom management issues all at once – Dr. Q resorted to vocally and quite frequently whining incessantly (in both PLC and during weekly faculty meetings), of the general unreliable nature and adverse affects the frequent testing requirements, particularly district-mandated assessments, were having upon “real teaching”. Her contention was to conclude that such tests were grossly unfit for either academic or teacher evaluation purposes and should be regarded as a necessary evil in upper elementary and middle grades, but generally frowned upon or given less weight and credence in the early primary grades. These impromptu ‘speeches’ were met with varying degrees of: agreement, apathy and a general acceptance of the inevitable nuisance of such mandated measurements by the majority of our instructional staff. It is rather commonplace that educators nationwide are universally and increasingly held accountable for similar or even more extensive evidence of academic achievement of their own students. The argument is certainly well intended, but in the case of an educator with a less than stellar performance record, then in many ways the point is moot and the premise for poor performance deemed an exercise in futility.

Alas, the final ‘line in the sand’ was drawn with respect to Dr. Q’s strongly held and increasingly contentious opinion on this issue when she rejected the validity of her year-end teaching evaluation status (a composite score based upon all previous classroom observations & assessment data). Upon receiving a formal copy of her unsatisfactory rating, she contested the validity of her students’ scores on year-end assessments, citing among other things, adverse testing conditions including: time constraints (a common concern on modern computer-adaptive tests), computer literacy (or lack thereof) of the mandated, technology based tests and when/how frequently (once every 6-8 weeks), the tests were administered by the district. She went on to counter that she had devised of her very own, teacher-created measurements of academic achievement, based upon the district-approved Common Core standards and similar to the format of the questions being assessed by the district’s formative assessment earlier in the year and noted that her children had performed much more favorably on this alternative, written and classroom administered test. Alas, when this assessment and the corresponding results were considered but then rejected by administration as an unscientific, unapproved, ‘subjective’ model lacking rigor and insufficient to meet the universal standards of the data driven results of all other K-2 students, Dr. Q abruptly ended her formal ‘exit interview’ with a profanity laced, shouting match to rival other speeches delivered in eloquent fashion and within the hour had tendered a formal letter of resignation.

In the final analysis, the environment for mis-education flourishes in the absence of a shared experience and an equal investment in the innately endowed capabilities and worth of Black students. As a longtime teacher and administrator, I have witnessed forms of disservice from mild areas of weakness, that one chooses to ignore and remain underdeveloped; to more severe cases of arrogance (I’ve got mine, you get yours), apathy (assigns busywork or uninspired, antiquated curriculum content), to outright ineptitude (varying degrees of unpreparedness, substance abuse, verbal/mental abuse or hostility) and each has resulted in the gradual erosion of our inherent right to be educated or liberated, as an African people. Rarely has an authentic case study of a real teacher, school district and administrator’s experience, been more of a cautionary tale of what not to do in future pedagogical practice. Please feel free to share your critical analysis on this case study and be mindful in your responses that the classroom is no place to experiment with one’s own interpretation of beliefs and best practices.

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Educate to Liberate

From Schools To Starbucks: White Spaces Abound

Mis-education occurs in American schools because of an unprecedented level of reactionary remedies to systemic problems, rather than a substantive plan to restructure a failing model and proactively change from within. The failure of U.S. schools to properly value and serve the needs all of its students is not unlike the perpetually low quality, discriminatory, public image of Starbucks – in that both operate as unofficial ‘White spaces’. For Blacks (particularly those of us in notoriously racist and segregated cultures like America or South Africa), navigating outside of the preferred norm is an inescapable reality. However, when racial tensions are exacerbated by White supremacist leadership (Trump) and militia controlled politics (NRA), then literally no place is safe or neutral from race-fueled persecution and consequences.

For the benefit of the privileged who incessantly question the veracity of racial profiling and are either exempt or blithely ignorant of the inescapable reality of the oppressed, I will attempt to elucidate how schools and Starbucks are indeed ‘White spaces’ wherein any/all grievances from parties outside of their intended target population of affluent Whites, falls on deaf ears. Sociologist Elijah Anderson, researched the hostility encountered by Blacks who reflexively adjust our level of comfort when in a ‘White space ‘, and defined this as an area whose “most visible and distinctive feature is [the] overwhelming presence of white people and [the] absence of black people.” According to Anderson (2015), “society is still replete with overwhelmingly white neighborhoods, restaurants, schools, universities, workplaces, churches… associations, courthouses and cemeteries, a situation that reinforces a normative sensibility in settings in which black people are typically absent, not expected, or marginalized when present.” Though essentially sound, the fatal flaw in Anderson’s (2015) sociological theory regarding ‘White space’, is that he erroneously assumed that middle class Blacks who permeate formerly all-White spaces, are only occasionally subject to profiling, despite the affluent veneer that their suburban homes, luxury vehicles or designer clothing affords. When in actuality, ALL of America is essentially a ‘White space’ in which all Black people-men, women and children; regardless of socioeconomic class are profiled on a daily basis and in every, single place. Increasingly in 2018, our very essence as a people, warrants second-class citizenship, and no institution, site or environment is absent the polarizing ‘White space’ demarcation.

In the wake of a spontaneous, social media ignited and widespread public intent to #BoycottStarbucks for yet another, egregious example of racism toward its Black patrons, the company now reportedly seeks to improve upon its historic disregard and initial embarrassing, dismissive apology in cutting their losses via engaging in a single day of diversity training for all of its staffers and locations. Diversity training (please insert the straight face and/or a blank, incredulous look here)? This action is a public relations stunt at best, and is doomed to fail given its temporary and insignificant potential to counteract generations of institutionalized racism, firmly embedded into the fabric of American society and imprinted upon the psyche of its corporate structures and people.

Similarly, schools consistently fail our students on the margins (Black, Latinx, Native American, special needs, impoverished, etc.), because these institutions were designed, by default, to educate White landowners and existed only to perpetuate the status quo – the means to keep each of the aforementioned populations oppressed. Thus a vicious cycle of mis-education ensues whereby – as students fail to demonstrate proficiency on high-stakes assessments (intentionally designed to widen the achievement gap between the have and have-not’s), then already underpaid and overworked teachers are forced to endure inane, ineffective, ‘silver bullet’ solutions of single day professional development training(s). These trainings are unrealistically thought to impact a more favorable academic achievement outcome for our most at-risk student populations. Yet, the historically flawed system which inequitably funds high-poverty schools thus crippling them with outdated supplies and curriculum resources is never fundamentally altered. So even though the well-intended diversity training, increasingly common in schools given the growing disparity between the nearly all-White teaching force and the overwhelming majority of students of color, might succeed at expanding the knowledge base of some willing participants, this does not, nor has ever, resulted in significant or systemic policy shifts or intended changes.

Racism in America is institutionalized, and is therefore generationally and deeply entrenched into the very fabric of all social and political norms of this society. As such, single-day initiatives are woefully insufficient to cure what ails us, in either schools or overpriced coffee shops. Bear in mind that “white people typically avoid black space, but black people are required to navigate the white space as a condition of their existence” (Anderson, 2015). Given the inevitability of our precarious position to be racially profiled and/or victimized on a daily basis – it is incumbent upon us to collaborate on a substantive plan to restructure our failing, racist institution models and proactively change these structures from within.

It’s imperative to start by acknowledging that all of America is essentially a ‘White space ‘ in which 14-year old Black boys cannot safely knock on front doors to ask directions to school, without risking the loss of their own life to gun violence at the behest of racist, suburban retirees. Also consider that Black people can not: drive, walk, sit, shop, or even safely be in our own backyards, merely holding a cell phone without ‘fitting the vague description’ of a criminal and innocently, tragically, falling victim to assassination at the hands of corrupt police. In sheer acknowledgment of the fact that Blacks are subject to racism-both overt and subtle-it might empower others to temporarily eschew their White privilege (as did the ethical and courageous White patrons at Starbucks, who recorded, posted and advocated on behalf of the Black investment bankers to simply BE Black) in an un-official ‘White space’. This unified voice against injustice ultimately intensifies the power to cry foul and balk at any/all feeble attempts to profile and criminalize an entire demographic in an inescapable and age-old caste system.

As for the institutions themselves, solutions are likely to be forged in valiant attempts to engineer substantive change through conscious rebranding to reject their historic ‘White space’ designation and to reflect the broad inclusion of those who are systematically targeted and oppressed. There need not be any special legislation or reactionary protests to signal the implementation of such change, this transformation must occur immediately, organically and from within at the uppermost levels to the grassroots workforce ranks. It would also be a powerful testament of transformative justice to align intended professional training(s) with tangible, financial renumeration for the victims of mis-education and/or discriminatory hate-crimes, as this demonstrates authentic investment in the healing of those oppressed and consistently marginalized by inescapable forms of systemic racism. Expanding upon insufficient levels of school funding to Title I schools and conscious, substantive investment in the urban communities where all of these institutions are located, speaks volumes of a willingness to do more than apply temporary bandages to long-standing and life-threatening wounds. Finally, long-term investment in the social and political initiatives which exist to counter the forces of oppression including, but not limited to the countless agencies devoted to eliminating racial profiling, discrimination, police brutality and the prison industrial complex represents the most profound indicator of change. Collectively, this degree of impactful, economic reparations aids in re-branding the powerful, revitalized image of your institutions as value-added resources, rather than as a legendary corporate scavengers of oppressed people.

Educate to Liberate, MSU, Student Activism

MSU Offers More Scandal Than Substance

As a Michigan State University Mom, I am wholly disillusioned with the degree of scandal permeating the school. More importantly as the parent of a Black woman, I am acutely aware of MSU’s failings in the forms of: a legacy of non-existent sexual abuse prevention policies, institutionalized forms of blatant racism, willful tolerance and inaction to seemingly all forms of human rights violations and as such, my family must seriously consider all alternative undergraduate options. Honestly, all families of the nearly 40,000 currently enrolled student roster of MSU, must similarly begin to assess and legitimately exercise financial leverage to guarantee our young adults more than just the abject public shame now uniquely associated with earning a degree from MSU – an increasingly beleaguered institution.

The school’s missteps have been plentiful, but the damage? Seemingly incalculable and ongoing, as MSU officials continue to showcase record levels of ineptitude. In addition to a demonstrated failure to appropriately address the rampant criminal sexual misconduct of Larry Nassar, a longtime university employee who victimized in excess of 250 young women; this past week William Strampel, the former dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine (and Nassar’s former boss), was arraigned on eerily similar, serious charges of criminal sexual misconduct of a host of MSU students. High profile staff reprimands are apparently commonplace, given that former President Lou Anna Simon and Athletic Director Mark Hollis resigned in absolute shame following their respective administrative lapses in effective leadership. And even now, despite mounting criticism and statewide calls for the resignation of the school’s eight-member and exceedingly out-of-touch Board of Trustees, this incompetent body of sycophants was incredulously allowed to appoint the woefully unqualified and legendary racist, John Engler (former MI governor), as the university’s interim President. Adding insult to injury, it comes as no surprise that MSU’s negative S&P Global credit rating now further deleteriously affects the university’s future. There is no illusion of a model to educate nor liberate at Michigan State University…sigh.

This week while the University of Michigan dominates the national news media in positive press for heading to its second men’s basketball championship game in just six years, MSU continues to bring dishonor to the state of MI and corner the market on negative press. MSU has consistently been in the hot seat for fostering a hate-filled campus climate conducive to producing alt-right attorney and former MSU campus organizer, Kyle Bristow and for recently hosting White supremacist icon, Richard Spencer. Amid news of their current position to protect the “free speech” of a Brighton resident, Jillian Kirk, who has been formally reported on for her rampant use of racial slurs both on campus and on all social media platforms – MSU continues to blithely offer more scandal than substance.

Since the university is so glaringly tone deaf to its own increasingly negative, racially hostile public image and worsening campus climate – the all-encompassing degree of widespread MSU shame is admittedly – the final straw. For the record, repeated refusals to take formal action against criminal sexual offenders and card-carrying racists alike, speaks volumes. The verdict is clear: Michigan State University offers more scandal than substance. Further, Michigan State University is overwhelmingly synonymous with dysfunction and as such, it appears that “Spartans Will”… be forced to exercise more feasible enrollment options elsewhere.