Thoughts on School District Practices

Two seats are open for the November 2018 election. Last year’s candidates spoke about testing, teacher retention and academic achievement.

My thoughts:
1. Testing. Standardized testing is a money maker under the guise of being an assessment to ensure students are learning content. There is no application component. We are not teaching our students to be complex thinkers. We are giving them practice in being assembly line “yes” people. True assessment, called authentic assessment, includes students presenting portfolios and research-action projects.

2. Teacher retention. The assessments created for rating teachers is also not authentic. The National Board Certification process is more thorough, but even then, it is a series of hoops to jump through, to be eligible for a bonus check in October. Are there some reasonable and useful components? Yes. But to have been a teacher in the classroom for 20 years, kneel down to speak with a student on hownto improve their writing, and then to be marked down on an evaluation for not recognizing student needs? Absolutely ridiculous and frustrating for the teacher. How do we increase teacher retention? We treat them as professionals. We give them the ability to use personal days and sick days as mental health days. We give them the ability to donate sick days to colleagues. We give them the ability to purchase products through “non-approved vendors” like second hand stores where you can get a steal on previously owned items. We give them student aides and foster grandparents for classrooms. We support them when they send a student out of the classroom. We give them time for properly preparing for their lessons. We give them professional development opportunities over the summer in areas of interest, in partnership with Universities, to earn continuing education units. We give them opportunities to advance in their teaching posts. We provide support people — translators, counselors, aides, tech support. We listen to teachers’ ideas.

3. Academic Achievement. Learning how to fill in a bubble is easy. And boring. We must challenge our students. We must listen to their interests. We must be teacher facilitated, and student centered. We must not only focus on STEM programs, but we must also provide home economics, social and political awareness and engagement, community projects. We must commit to helping our children become complex thinkers, self-motivated learners, effective communicators, responsible citizens, able to work with their community, and research the better solutions. We must commit to teaching and modeling compassion and empathy. We must commit to common sense, outside the box, inside the box, no box, individual perspectives. We must help our students understand that we are each a piece of this puzzle of life.

Viva! (La revolucion)
❤ Felicia
#DontThrowTheBabyOutWithTheBathWater #LearnFromMistakes #LetsGo

Reflections on CPARB and TPD

I served on the Citizen Police Advisory Review Board (CPARB) for four years beginning in 2011, first as a non-voting advisory member, then a regular member, then the vice-chair, and the chair.

As a member of CPARB, I learned a lot about the Tucson Police Department (TPD) — its successes, and its needs.  I learned about the Chain of Command, the disciplinary matrix, and what it was like to be on duty (Board Members were required to participate in two ride-alongs per year).

I learned about the equipment, the resources, and the facilities.

I learned that the Department is understaffed and overworked.

This was all significant to me becaue I had personal experiences with TPD — both positive, and negative.

As a volunteer member of the Board (all members are volunteers), I reviewed an average of three closed internal review cases per month (selected by the Chairperson of the Board), attended monthly meetings, participated in ride-alongs, and monthly dialogues with a senior member of TPD.

Because of my personal beliefs that there should be increased transparency, I identified additional ways to let members of the Community know about meetings, and the existence of the Board,  by creating a Pro-active Outreach Possibilities (or “POP”) sub-committee.

I also worked to have reports included on the CPARB website, and ensured the website was updated with current contact information.

And I worked to educate community members about the importance of providing compliments and complaints to TPD.

As an educator of 25 years, who uses restorative practices and continuous improvement strategies and techniques I believe it is important to thank and compliment others, and also to follow processes for developing new habits for unsafe behaviors.

My hope is for the following:

1. The Citizen Police Academy returns and is available to the public;

2. Increased involvement and relationship building between officers and the community;

3. Increased use of the online compliments and complaints system;

4. Increased and continuous transparency of TPD;

5  Understanding that TPD is a piece of the puzzle for a happier, healthier, safer community, and work towards making it so.

Lesson Twenty-One. Save Fourth Ave

Part of what makes Tucson what it is?  Its funkiness.  We can promote economic development while keeping the funkiness amd uniqueness of #OurTucson.

The “easy” way is to build in 4th Ave.

The better way is to connect the rest of Tucson to 4th Ave and Downtown areas through an improved transit system, and better quality of living in *all* of Tucson.

How?  Focus on:
– In-fill
– Increased community participation
– Family events
– Funky art and music

Look at the reports shared recently about our city overall (some good, lots bad)

Bring “the bottom” up, and make things better for all of us, not just some of us.

**IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: This does not mean “handouts”, or those darned safety pins (which are TEMPORARY fixes).  I am sorry for those of you who I have offended.  We do the best that we can.  It is time to stop letting others control us, and take control of our lives.

This means getting to THE ROOT of the problem, and asking questions like:

– why do some people think it is okay to beat their partner?

– why do some people think it is okay to belittle or demean someone of “lower stature”?

– why do some people think it is okay to litter?

– why do some people think it is okay to say “That’s not my job!”

– why do some people think it is okay to drastically change the culture of our community and neighborhood through excuses, excuses, excuses, and overtures of being the benevolent leaders?

It is time to #SpeakUp, say #Enough, and #FindTheRootToTheProblem.  It is time to #DoTheRightThing!

#StopJustifying #StopGentrification #StopClassism #StopBeingAJerk #StopSayingItIsNotPossible #BeTheChange #MakeTheDifference #ThatOneStarfish #MeanPeopleSuck #WakeUp #GetMAD #BeSMART #MeToo #OurTucson #OurStory #OurFuture #EachOfUs #AllOfUs #ChewForTucson #NOW #NAACP #ThisAffectsAllOfUs #OARP #LookBeyond #OurChildrenAreWatching #RealSocialServices  #IUsedTooManyTags

Viva! (la revolucion)
❤ Felicia

Crime or No Crime?

Crime or No Crime?

SITUATION #1: A young boy (Bob) receives a gift of a handsome jacket from an uncle.  Another boy (Jim) teases Bob about the jacket.  Bob feels embarassed about the jacket and gives it to Jim.  Jim wears the jacket and brags about how handsome it looks.  Bob decides he wants the jacket back.  Jim refuses to give the jacket back to Bob.

Was a crime committed?


Crime or No Crime?

SITUATION #2:  A man (Jack) and his wife (Jill) are watching a movie.  In the movie, there is a lot of violence and the hero of the movie shoots and kills the wife when she doesn’t listen to him.  A few days later, Jack and Jill are having a disagreement.  During the conversation,  Jack says:  “Oh, I guess you just aren’t able to understand me.  You win.  Let’s talk about something else.   I had fun at the movie last week!  It was nice to get away from the kids, just you and me.  I was thinking that we should start saving up for some things for the home.  Oscar just bought a gun for home security… what do you think about getting a gun for our place?”

Was a crime committed?


Crime or No Crime?

SITUATION #3: Angie reports to Mr. X that Tina has been telling Tina that Angie is stupid and dumb. Mr  X. tells Tina to stop.  This goes on for many months.  Angie commits suicide.

Was a crime committed?

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life; without each of us our picture is incomplete.”


Good morning, world.  Buenos dias, ohayoo gozaimasu, zhou sun, do sin, bon matin, k:odon a’wa dewa’kya…

The past 48 hours:

Guest teacher in a high school classroom. Senior English where I told students don’t listen to their teacher when they say something will happen… check out their claim and find evidence.

Then 9th Grade English where there were wiggly squiggly worms in grown up sized bodoes, with sass and snark, and unsure of why they had the sass and snark when questioned.

Then finding out that the bill I had written was not going to be continued, because there just isn’t enough time before the deadline.  And the frustration I felt with the system, because I realized the system does not support the voices of those who are uneducated — not because they don’t have the desire, but — because the system does not allow those who are poor to participate.

The system that keeps the poor people working, and unable to stop their jobs, because then they risk losing their homes, and having no food.

The story gets twisted: That the rich are taking bigger risks when they re-invest their wealth, and they could lose it all.  And this narrative perpetuates the cycle of poverty and crime.

I am now realizing that narrating all 48 hours is unnecessary, and perhaps distracting.  So I jump ahead to this morning, and a comment I wrote on a post I posted:


My comment:

Thanks everyone for comments so far. I appreciate the different perspectives. We definitely need to lay the groundwork ahead of time that we do the best that we can, where we are, when we are.

We should not shame nor expect nor guilt others who are unable to speak up.

However, we have a very real problem and potential problem of people being lulled into the idea that it is okay to scream angrily at a video game: “WHAT THE HECK!! I HEADSHOT HIM WITH A REVOLVER! WHY ISN’T HE DEAD?!”

And we have a culture that has been blaming, shaming, and guilting parents, teachers, and others for our children’s inappropriate behaviors.

We must meet them where they are. We must help them process what they see.

And unfortunately, there are people of various ages in our community who have no empathy, or lack empathy, because of situations that were beyond their control.

We must teach self-control, and an understanding that there are areas we cannot control, and that it is NOT OUR RIGHT TO CONTROL OTHERS.

There are choices. Always choices.

❤ Felicia

The other event over the past 48 hours is in regards to my music production efforts with my great genius producer.  I remembered:

The most beautiful moments are the raw ones, which we aren’t able to record…. because those are the magical ones that keep us in the present moment and connected with others.

Last thoughts for this morning:

I have suffered from not being able to work with many people long-term because I think everyone is out to get me; it is a result of being consistently in controlled relationships for a long time.

And that is why I fight.


Diary of a Hopeaholic

I have had a tendency to be a hopeaholic… part of being a victim/survivor of domestic abuse. I am also hypervigilant. And I have a sense of urgency, where others do not.


I hold on to the hope that things will change.

#HopefulButNotAHopeaholic #HopeaholicsAnonymous

I am feeling pretty discouraged right now. Everyone says coercive control is a real problem, but not very many people are willing to do something about it.

#StopCoerciveControl #CoerciveControlIsACrime #CriminalMinds

And so it continues, because of the fear that things will get worse for victims and survivors.

Here’s the thing: IT CAN’T GET MUCH WORSE.

NOTHING IS MUCH WORSE THAN HAVING HOPE CRUSHED – REPEATEDLY – by those who are supposed to be the protectors.

Death? Death seems almost better than continuing through this cycle of abuse.

I have been criticized for being too emotional.

But, when you see the same cycle going on over and over and over again… and you see perpetrators continuing to work the system… and you see the guilt and shame…. and you see the effects… you get emotional.


Who will come with me, and say #Enough! ?

#HopeAsTinyAsAMustardSeed #NeverthelessShePersisted #RosaTakeMeOnTheBusWithYou

The question: What is the #Action that every person can take?

#BecomingAnActivist ?

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life; without each of us our picture is incomplete.”

What Does a Bill Look Like?

Here is the updated draft of the bill for Domestic Violence – Coercive Control and Child Welfare.

The entire sections are included as is. Additions are in ALL CAPITALS and deletions are struck through. Additions are also in blue for easier viewing online or with color machines.


“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”

The words we choose

I posted several images on my personal Facebook page last week, of words that were spoken about me, as a result of my Chinese heritage. I was curious to see what responses the posts would receive. The posts were:

The comments I received ranged from surprised to shocked to casual. I found it interesting because I have been subject to these types of comments since I was in Grade 6.

I remember that was the first time that I felt embarassed and ashamed of who I was.

(This is probably why I have an implicit bias towards students in Grade 6.)

As a child, I was offended by those words because the people around me laughed at me, and no longer wanted to be my friend.

As an adult, I look back and realize that the majority of my friends did not feel that way at all. Yes, there were a few of my classmates who did not like me due to jealousy, fear, selfishness, ignorance, learned behavior, implicit bias, and prejudice, but I can count them on one hand.

In My Story, I write about the self-hate and the desire to have the house with the white picket fence. I wanted those things (and hated those things) because that is what society was pressing as the message: We were supposed to be living in The Great American Melting Pot. I bought the message hook, line, and sinker.

As an adult, I recognize that there is another way of living together in harmony, and that is through Acculturation — the Salad Bowl, not the Melting Pot. We are each a piece of this puzzle of life; without all of us, our picture is incomplete.

So while the words of others sting, as an adult, I realize that I am a unique ingredient in this Salad of Life. We each are unique ingredients.

All of that being said, it is necessary for someone to speak up when someone says something that can be misconstrued. Identifying malicious individuals and separating them from ignorant or learned behaviors is possible. It takes time to identify, but there are fewer narcissistic sociopaths than we think, and when we identify them and separate them, and meet them where they are, we can have real change — we can make things better for #EachOfUs and #AllOfUs


How can we protect survivors of domestic abuse – coercive control?

a. Add coercive control as a crime. Work with local law enforcement to determine the language is appropriate.





a. No contact with the victim until the required DV coercive control counseling/therapy sessions are completed (top of page 3, Items B-F).


b. Family/Support Persons Therapy. Not just for the victim and the abuser, but also for the siblings, parents, and support persons… so they can be aware of what domestic violence coercion control looks like, and when it is being committed.

c. Victim Therapy. Exists, but can be cost prohibitive to victim.

3. FINANCIAL. It is necessary to include that the abuser must contribute to household expenses by being able to continue to go to work, to pay for bills, etc., or some other source of funding must exist, otherwise the victim cannot survive.

a. The creation of an “escrow account” that convicted offenders must pay into, especially for those who have children. The funds in this account are for use if/when the abuser is arrested again, to pay for rent, electricity/gas, water, basic phone service, car insurance and payments, and had to transport children to school and activities. How this is presented to the abuser is important, and awareness that the abuser is likely to become resentful at some point, or refuse to participate because of the lack of control. So it is important to emphasize that this is a future emergency fund, not simply a punishment. Would be nice if this contributes to credit score ratings.

b. The victim can also have an option to have a separate “escrow account”. Even better if it can somehow be counted to improving the credit ratings of the victim.

a. Parent in custody change to legislation. Addressed in draft at the bottom of page 6 and on page 7.



b. Child testimony change to legislation. Addressed on page 6

a. Victim Testimony change to legislation. Addressed on pages 5 and 6


b. Victim Contact change to legislation. Page 5

Coercive Control Is A Crime.

We have the definition for coercive control, in the wheel of power and control, but we are too afraid to use it, because we are afraid that victims will be arrested. We are afraid of the narrative and reality that abusers have created through the use of coercive control.

We are helpless when it comes to stopping abusers who use coercive control, because Coercive Control is not defined in our current statutes.

Because the definitions of coercive control are not included in the statutes, law enforcement officers cannot make arrests; judicial officers cannot assign sentences; and victims and their children continue in the cycle of domestic violence.

A victim can show physical abuse, because physical abuse has a definition.

A victim cannot show verbal or emotional abuse because neither verbal nor emotional abuse have definitions.

Here’s the good news: They are defined. They are defined as coercive control.

Too often, victims refuse to press charges against abusers — because of coercive control. Victims’ realities are changed because the abusers control their victim’s realities: Victims feel guilty and/or they are shamed when their abusers are arrested. So victims cry and ask the judge to release their abuser. These victims become known as “frequent flyers”, are shamed by society, and the cycle continues.

Or the victims speak up, but their abusers are able to use coercive control to give their victims just enough doubt in themselves, so that the Victims appear to be lying — or to be crazy — to law enforcement and/or judicial officials.

Most victims do not speak up. Most victims are too busy trying to survive. Most victims are being convinced– coerced — into believing temporarily that there is no problem — until the cycle starts again in their lives, and into the next generation — Some children grow up to be abusers.

Many victims are unable to contribute fully in completing their responsibilities. They walk on eggshells. They are distracted. They lose focus. They cannot parent their children. They can be explosive in their emotions, as a result of keeping everything inside, and releasing everything when anyone will listen.

I understand that victims, not abusers, have been arrested. I believe that additional education about abuse, especially coercive control, will empower law enforcement officers, judicial officials, and victims. If coercive control is in the statutes, the number of victims who are arrested will lessen, because victims will have a voice.

As you read this, another child cries themselves to sleep, confused and exhausted at the emotional maltreatment that they are witnessing and experiencing. Another victim contemplates suicide, but is left feeling guilty that they would abandon their survivor.

We must not let fear hold us back from doing the right thing. Coercive Control is a crime and must be stopped.