March 17th, 2009

raving rabbids

Student rejects 'demeaning' test, is suspended

From skywardprodigal:

High achieving Lori Phanachone may be expelled from school because she refuses to take the English Language Development Assessment Test. School officials claim that she has to prove that she's literate by taking and passing that test. She's got a 3.9 GPA.
Phanachone, who was born in California and lived in upstate New York before moving to Storm Lake with her family in 2006, said she has never been enrolled in any English Language Learning or English as a Second Language program.

"Someone told me I should have put English as my first language when I registered for school," Phanachone said. "But I refused. I will not deny who I am. And I will not disrespect my culture or my mother."

High achiever faces possible expulsion

By Russ Oechslin, Journal correspondent | Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2009

STORM LAKE, Iowa -- Lori Phanachone is a member of the National Honor Society, has a 3.9 grade point average and ranks seventh in the senior class of about 119 at Storm Lake High School.

But school officials have told her she is considered to be illiterate based on her refusal to satisfactorily complete the English Language Development Assessment, a test she says is demeaning and racist.

On Wednesday, Phanachone finished serving three days of in-school suspension for what school administrators say is insubordination. She faces another three days for continuing her silent protest with a second refusal to take the test. According to a written statement presented to her Wednesday, Phanachone said, she could be suspended again and then expelled for a fourth refusal.

"Mr. Ruleaux (assistant principal Beau Ruleaux) told me I was 'no Rosa Parks' -- that I should give up because I would not succeed in my protest," Phanachone said.

Senior Kristi Davis is one of several students who believe Phanachone is being treated unfairly and that her punishment is too harsh.

Davis called Phanachone "a really smart, very talented person. She has a passion for everything she does."

"Lori has never gotten into trouble or done anything bad," Davis said. "She's always been successful at anything she has done. But she sees this test as incredibly racist.

"Many minority kids don't want to take it. But Lori is the first to actually do something about it."

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At a glance

The issue: Lori Phanachone, an honor student at Storm Lake High School, has had to serve in-school suspension and been threatened with expulsion and loss of college scholarships for refusing to take an English proficiency test.

What's happened so far: Phanachone has served three days of in-school suspension and is beginning a second round.

What's next: Phanachone and an attorney plan to appear at a school board meeting this morning in case her situation comes up. Some students want to stage an all-day protest Friday, but Phanachone and her friends want to make a more restrained statement.
corset & bougainvillea

I can see the future. Cancer Horoscope for week of March 19, 2009:
A famous Youtube video shows a small crab perched on top of a giant jellyfish that's swimming in the ocean. (It's here: Apparently this is a common phenomenon. The species known as the graceful rock crab not only grabs free rides on jellyfish, but also steals food from them as it does. This creature is your role model, Cancerian. See if you can develop a safe and symbiotic relationship (perhaps temporarily) with a big stinging blob. At the very least, wangle some benefit out of a clueless behemoth.
What are you trying to say, Rob?