It Gets Worse. The Pinnacle Schools’ Teaching Techniques — and Torture.

From the website of the private corporation that is being paid 1.5 million of tax monies this year alone to educate at-risk students:

“The academic programs of The Pinnacle Schools are designed to support students therapeutically by providing a safe learning environment in which their self-esteem is positively impacted by success in school.”

From al.com, Nov. 2, 2012:

“Police on Wednesday arrested a security guard for Pinnacle Schools, the Huntsville school district’s alternative school, in connection with the alleged beating of at least one Huntsville student at the school last month.

“Julian Lorenzo Boykin, 31, of Huntsville is charged with torture and willful abuse of a child, according to Harry Hobbs, a Huntsville Police Department spokesman. . . .

“Will he receive more charges?” Hobbs said. “My best answer would be (that) he might be charged with some more misdemeanor level charges if the evidence supports the allegations.”

Julian Boykin Pictured: Julian Lorenzo Boykin (Madison County jail)

Pinnacle Schools stands behind him. Innocent until proven guilty — fine. But you know what? Huntsville police spent 21 days investigating before pressing charges. I was starting to give up hope that this would not just disappear into the ether. I’m glad to see that this hasn’t happened.

In her report, Crystal Bonvillian quotes another boy whose allegations aren’t the subject of the current arrest but of the others possible as investigations occur:

“Boykin is accused of pulling several students out of class on Oct. 10 for talking.The boys were allegedly locked in a room with Boykin, who students know as “Mr. B,” and another security guard and forced to assume the plank exercise position.

“‘Mr. B teamed us all up and made us do planks on the ground, if one student fell the other team mate got punched in there (sic) sides and we were being hit so hard it was knocking the air out of us,’ one 13-year-old boy wrote in an account provided to The Times by his mother, Nacole Seldon.”

Note the offense for which the kids were punished: talking. Note how they were (allegedly) punished: by being forced to do exercises. Note the sadism: the boys were put into teams, and if the one doing the exercise fell, the other kid got punched.

These are 13-year-olds. What’s the most one of them likely weighs? Average weight for a 13-year-old boy is 102 pounds.

Take a look at Boykin. Weighs a bit more than 102 pounds —  likely more than 204.

What kind of lesson is being taught when you (allegedly) team kids up, force them to do exercises in the planking position (already outlawed as dangerous in a number of states), and then, when the one exercising falls — falls, mind you — you punch the other team mate black and blue.

I know Superintendent Wardynski doesn’t know squat about pedagogy — that is, teaching techniques — but would this be tolerated at any military boot camp?

Of course not. It teaches nothing but helplessness. It teaches that those who are bigger and stronger can behave as sadistically as they please to those at their mercy.

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Now, what I want to know is, if this is going on among the day kids at Pinnacle, what in hell is happening out at Elk River? Well, Supe? Board? You are responsible for this despicable situation. You should be ashamed.

Cancel the contract with Pinnacle. I’d say if these charges stick, it should lose its license, but I can’t find anything to suggest the day school is licensed. I’d say it should lose its accreditation — but it isn’t accredited. Great choice, W and Board

Let’s return before closing to the Pinnacle Schools website, where we discover that:

“The staff at The Pinnacle Schools has been carefully screened and selected for their leadership skills, maturity and compassion.”

Compassion? Compassion? Compassion?

The Lees are hopeless. So let’s invite comments from some of these other compassionate professionals.

Wayne Wilson, Ed.D, Licensed Psychologist.  Dr. Wilson: please explain to me how the “beat the team member when his partner falls down” approach to discipline for talking in class contributes to a safe learning environment and academic success.

Albert L. Sprinkle, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.  Dr. Sprinkle: Is the “beat the team member when his partner falls down” approach to discipline one you encourage at Decatur General West? Did Boykin train with your night staff over there? Listened to any concerns of your patients (yes, patients: or so they are regarded when it is time to file for insurance) regarding their after-hours’ experiences? How about your private patients? Do you suggest the the “beat the team member when his partner falls down” technique to their parents? Great way to build healthy sibling relationships.

Kimberly Cox, RN, BSN, Director.  Nurse Cox: I notice you are proud of your training “to facilitate others in interpreting the Bible for themselves.” Is the “beat the team member when his partner falls down” approach to discipline based on biblical principles?

You didn’t know what was going on? Sorry. That won’t cut it. Why didn’t you know?

Wardynski, McCaulley, Blair, Robinson, Birney: Enough is enough. Resign or start taking responsibility for your actions.

Good luck, new Board member Mike Culbreath. You’ll need it. I wouldn’t want to be associated with this crew. Don’t drop to their level of incompetence and indifference. Please — please — be a voice for integrity, decency, responsibility, and, yes, compassion.

 

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