Sunday, September 8, 2013

Waldorf Teacher Dies after colliding with Charter School Bus

Here's a story about a Waldorf teacher who had her mind on other things... and turned right into a charter school bus.

BELFAST, Maine — A woman who apparently drove into the path of an oncoming charter bus on U.S. Route 1 in Belfast Saturday evening has died, police said. Chief Michael McFadden has not identified the woman, who was in her 50s.

Witnesses told officers that it looked like the woman driving the car turned left from Northport Avenue into the path of the bus, which was traveling north on U.S. Route 1.BELFAST, Maine — A woman who apparently drove into the path of an oncoming charter bus on U.S. Route 1 in Belfast Saturday evening has died, police said. Chief Michael McFadden has not identified the woman, who was in her 50s.

Witnesses told officers that it looked like the woman driving the car turned left from Northport Avenue into the path of the bus, which was traveling north on U.S. Route 1.

BELFAST, Maine — The woman killed Saturday night after her car was hit by charter bus on Route 1 was a teacher who spent the last day of her life getting ready for the start of the next school year.

Jayashree Kalmath, 61, of Camden apparently had been turning left onto Route 1 from Northport Avenue when she drove into the path of the bus, police said. It took rescuers more than an hour to cut her out of her crumpled Subaru, and by the time she was freed, weather conditions grounded the LifeFlight helicopter that had flown to get her. She was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by ambulance for medical treatment, but did not survive.

Kalmath, originally of India, had taught at the Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport for five years. That school is unique in that teachers progress through the grades along with their students, so she had taught her class since they were in the first grade, according to Laura Purdom, public relations and marketing director at the small school.

Laura Ferris - truthfully LYING about Waldorf
Waldorf preschool
"They were teaching them things, but in such a way that the kids didn't even know they were learning."

Pete Karaiskos SEPTEMBER 07, 2013 | 5:37 AM
My comment: Pete Karaiskos SEPTEMBER 02, 2013 | 7:17 AM I know Waldorf... I know Ms Ferris and Highland Hall quite well. "They were teaching them things, but in such a way that the kids didn't even know they were learning." This doesn't even begin to say it all! Waldorf is the missionary arm of Anthroposophy - something this article doesn't seem to mention. The "Waldorf method" IS teaching Anthroposophy to children covertly - so they don't realize they're learning it. And you know who else doesn't realize they're getting Anthroposophy? Parents! Parents buy into the "Waldorf" appearance, and admittedly, some Waldorf ideas sound great - like no computers in the classroom... until you realize the reasons for this have nothing to do with education and everything to do with Anthroposophy. The devil of all things mechanical is Ahriman. Children become "Ahrimanic" when they enjoy mechanical things or or (get this) too intellectual. If this sounds like a good system to you... if putting your child with people who can't be honest about why they do what they do sounds right... then Waldorf may be a good fit. Please read The Waldorf Review for the insights of parents who tried Waldorf only to find out what I have said is true.
Margaret Sachs SEPTEMBER 02, 2013 | 12:31 PM
Despite the fact that I like Laura Ferris as a person, I can't keep quiet about the fact that her article is a puff piece written by an Anthroposophist about Anthroposophy schools. When my husband and I enrolled our first child at Highland Hall, I was told Anthroposophy is not a religion and is neither in the curriculum nor in the classroom. So what a surprise I had when I was invited to join my second child's kindergarten birthday celebration to see my child as the centerpiece of a reincarnation ritual. Oh well, I thought, it's harmless, and I've always been open to the possibility of incarnation. We saw a lot of odd things over the many years our children were at Highland Hall, but there always seemed to be some sort of acceptable explanation for them. Parents who pulled their children out in anger over one thing or another were, I thought, failing to communicate properly with the Anthroposophists who run the school. Then, one of our children had a horrible experience that made us realize other parents who had left the school in anger probably had good reason for it and, if their experiences were anything like ours, a breakdown in communication with the Anthroposophical faculty was not the fault of those parents as I had previously thought. By then, the Internet was part of our lives. We went online and discovered that Rudolf Steiner was a crackpot occultist and not a scientist as was touted. He designed Waldorf schools to spread Anthroposophy and instructed Waldorf teachers to deceive parents about the role of Anthroposophy in the classroom. We learned the ridiculous occult reasons behind so much of what went on in the classrooms. We realized the real reason there were no textbooks. We realized what we perceived as weakness in the academics was no accident. We realized how many red flags we had ignored. We learned that huge numbers of people in other parts of the U.S. and in other countries shared experiences like ours and had discovered the deception of Waldorf PR.

Green Meadow Waldorf School Teacher groped student.

Green Meadow Waldorf School

The high school math teacher’s pretense for the regular after dinner walks, Kate Christensen wrote, was so he could lend guidance and support to her, a vulnerable young student far from home.

But the 16-year-old’s reality was much darker. The walks, she said, led to terrifying episodes in a deserted field where he kissed her and pinned her to his belly, grinding himself against her and laughing at her attempts to flee.
But 35 years later, the PEN/Faulkner award-winning author has written a memoir that exposes those disturbing encounters and the revelations have set off an aggressive investigation by the progressive private school into other wrongdoings that may have gone on decades ago.
Her former teacher, identified by the Green Meadow school as John Alexandra, is a 71-year-old father with grown children. He lives with his wife in Spring Valley, a couple miles from the campus.
One student, Craig Gordon, spent 12 years at Green Meadow and left in 1979 without graduating. He didn’t know Christensen, but heard her being interviewed about the book July 10 on National Public Radio. At that point, he didn’t realize that they went to the same school.

“I literally had to pull my car over and stop and catch my breath,” he said. “And I thought, ‘Oh my God, did that crazy stuff happen at another Waldorf school like it did at mine?’ ”
Gordon said this ideology, taken piecemeal, can be positive. But when “organized in a dogmatic way, it gets dark,” he said, referring to Christensen’s revelations about her old teacher.

He said it was common knowledge at Green Meadow that some teachers and students carried on affairs in those days.
“Naturally it didn’t take long for him to suss me out as vulnerable prey: a fatherless girl, far from home,” she wrote.

She eventually told her mother, but nothing happened when her mother complained to the school and confronted the teacher, Christensen contends.


“He was the Green Meadow Molester,” a schoolmate e-mailed me the day after I wrote to tell him how the interview had gone. “You blew the lid off the silence. You were the only one who spoke up.”
“I didn’t blow the lid off on purpose,” I wrote back. “Dave Davies made me!”
“You’ve done a good thing for so many people. You’re heroic,” he shot back.
But I wasn’t heroic—I was a victim, though by making public what happened, I ceased to be only a victim.

Decades of sex abuse: Waldorf school probe cites multiple teachers; failure to act

An investigation launched last year after the Green Meadow Waldorf School alumna accused a former teacher of molesting her alleges that he sexually assaulted her, 11 other girls and a woman during his decades-long tenure there.

The findings, revealed in a damning report by a private investigative firm hired by Green Meadow, also accuse two other teachers of sex crimes — one of possessing child porn and another of assaulting a girl on a school-sponsored trip. It says the school failed to act when complaints of teachers' alleged criminal behavior surfaced.
In the case of John Alexandra, the alleged serial offender, the school's lack of response enabled his predatory behavior, the report finds.
"Allowing Mr. Alexandra to freely roam Threefold property resulted in giving him essentially unrestricted access to students and faculty members, and thereby enabled him to continue to victimize others," investigators said.
Many of the alleged victims didn't report what happened at the time, for fear they wouldn't be believed, investigators said. In some cases, they found, Alexandra's alleged victims felt that other adults at Green Meadow were complicit in his behavior because they observed it yet encouraged students to maintain relationships with him, an esteemed member of the community.
Investigators say Alexandra committed "a multitude of crimes" over his decades at the school. They also accuse him of stalking, harassment and child endangerment.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Highland Hall - Raising Killer Bees on Campus

Where the bees SHOULDN'T BE!

Highland Hall has employed someone on campus to raise bees...
Not honey bees... African bees!  While I'm certain this man is well-meaning, anyone who has read my blog knows that idiots are abundant in Waldorf environments.  From the article linked above:

“These honey bees have African genes, which means they’ll swarm to defend themselves if they feel in danger. You have to approach the hives calmly and carefully,” he explains softly as he sprays smoke into several wooden boxes before peeking inside. “I inspect the hives every few weeks to make sure they are ok.”

Notice, the guy is wearing a protective suit... head to toe with head gear, gloves and so forth.  Safety first.  I happen to know Highland Hall... and I can tell you the lower school playground (1st - 3rd grade) is on the other side of the wooden fence where the bee hives are.  "A Texas couple was attacked by what is being described as a swarm of 30,000 killer bees. "  July 29, 2013
Two dead horses, five dead hens, and their owner with a couple hundred bee stings — that’s the end result of a recent bee attack in Texas. The bees in question initiated the attack on Kristen Beauregard and her animals shortly after she had finished exercising the two horses on Wednesday afternoon — according to Beauregard, the attack was completely unprovoked, her and her animals were nowhere near the hive at the time.
Texas has been making national headlines since early June, when a 62-year-old farmer from the Waco area was fatally attacked by a swarm of 40,000 killer bees after he disrupted a hive near an old chicken coop. The expert charged with removing the nest told area reporters that although the sub-species is still rare, he had spotted at least fives hives in the last month.
And the strange bee incidents keep coming:
  • A woman in Pasadena nearly died on June 18 after bumping into a hive while mowing her lawn,
  • In Arlington, a couple was severely injured on July 27 as they unsuccessfully attempted to save their two miniature horses from roughly 30,000 killer bees,
  • A Cypress family discovered mores than 100,000 honey bees living in a front yard tree,
  • In north Houston on Aug. 1, a dog named Ace was killed by a swarm while an elderly person was sent to the hospital. Days later, hundreds of thousands of bees were removed from a nearby oak tree, along with 250 pounds of honey.
The family of a Texas man attacked and killed by a huge swarm of Africanized killer bees said Larry Goodwin suffered more than 3,000 stings and collapsed as he was apparently trying to reach a hydrant to wash off the bees.
Bees were attacking workers near discarded trailers and trucks at the scrapyard. It all started when 75-year-old Ramon Figueroa Rascon was helping to clean up trash and debris. Little did he know when he moved an old tire, he would disturb a bee hive underneath.

Nogales Fire Dept. Division Chief Gerry Castro said, "We received a call that several people were being attacked by bees."
But firefighters had a battle on their hands because these were not just any ordinary bees -- they were Africanized "killer" bees.
PFLUGERVILLE, Texas -- A 40-year-old warehouse worker has been stung more than 300 times after accidentally disturbing a massive colony of Africanized bees in Central Texas.
Some experts don’t like the term “killer bees,” as it evokes B-horror movies about giant ants, marauding tomatoes, or blobs that ate things. But honestly, what else does one call the africanized honeybee? After all, they swarm and kill.

I'm certain Highland Hall's irresponsibility with regard to the safety of children comes as no big surprise to many of us.  Sure, the world needs bees... but there's a place for everything.  Raising African "killer" bees has its place.  But no reasonable person would suggest that place is on a campus full of children.  The articles above show these bees can attack without provocation or warning.  With the playground just over the wall, it's amazing there hasn't been news of an attack yet.  Clearly, it's only a matter of time before a child or group of children are harmed.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Whidbey Island Waldorf School

This school is pretty much a disaster. We were there for 7 years, fortunately mostly in early childhood. Despite what looks like a beautiful and caring environment to send your children, underneath the appearances it is plagued by dysfunction. Apart from the substandard academics, and they are substandard, the weird teachings of Rudolph Steiner are the foundation of the school. These teachings result in all kind of hurtful dysfunctional behavior. Please educate yourself thoroughly on what anthroposophy is and how waldorf school teachings are based on it. This is not explained or even disclosed when you apply to the school. This may not seem that relevant at first, particularly if you like the spiritual beliefs on the surface and are enticed by the beautiful pictures on the wall. However, what you will find is that parents are often kept out of the loop of what is happening with their children, that there is poor or nonexistent supervision of teachers (bad teachers are allowed the play out their "karma" at your child's expense). Research, research , research! there are hundreds of parent blogs detailing consistent bad behavior and patterns that exist on a global level at Waldorf-Steiner schools. Despite the temptation to escape mainstream media driven culture, the Waldorf Schools are not a healthy alternative for children, look elsewhere.