Easy trick teaches the impact of cyberbullying.

 A  schooteacher in Britain used an incredibly effective trick to teach kids the powerful effects of cyberbullying.She posted an image of two apples cut in half on her Facebook page. The image communicated a powerful lesson. In front of a classroom, she insulted and continuously dropped one apple on the ground to symbolize the effects of bullying.On the outside it looked just like the apple that was not "bullied," but when split in two, "the apple we'd said unkind words to was bruised and all … [Read more...]

Remembering Ira Sandperl—mentor to Joan Baez and a big influence in my life.

When I first met Ira in Palo Alto, California in the fifties, he had a fondness for Brooks Brothers clothes, Black Russian cocktails, and beautiful art---especially Tolstoy's writings. Not surprising for the son of a wealthy St. Louis surgeon! Ira had come west to study at Stanford over a decade earlier and had lived a playboy’s life the first couple of years until, as he said, "he left school to continue his education." At one point Ira saw a book about Gandhi in a bookstore window, and from … [Read more...]

Saying Goodbye to Ira Sandperl, a Hero who was not always a Saint.

Last week, I attended Ira's memorial service in his adopted, long-time home town of Menlo Park, California. A few people flew in from across the country, which may be par for the course in an age when airplanes ply the sky like buses. . . and the deceased often reach the ripe age of 90 allowing them to influence many lives. Ira influenced more people than most, however. But therein lies the "unsaintly" rub. His influence came at the expense of his two children and other loved ones who often … [Read more...]

Heroes on the Front Lines in the Classroom–Violence in Taft & Newtown

  Less than a month after a disturbed  20 year-old gunman killed 20 children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, authorities hailed California science teacher Ryan Heber and campus supervisor Kim Fields as heroes for talking a 16-year-old shooter into putting down his shotgun. The school personnel  thus averted further carnage at Taft High School 30 miles southwest of Bakersfield, California where the shooter with a hit list had opened fire and critically wounded a student he … [Read more...]