North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un Visits Chinese President Xi Jinping; Protests in Sacramento Over Police Shooting of Stephon Clark; Former Boss of Larry Nassar Accused of Sexual Harassment at Michigan State University; Interview with Erica Trevino, Deaf Female Police Officer; Updates with Tennessee School for the Deaf’s Removal of Dr. Nancylynn Ward; Guest Deaf Bing Videos
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, March 28. Ready for news?
This week there have been rumors circulating about a train from Pyongyang that pulled into Beijing, China on Monday night. Many people suspected that it was North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-Un going to meet China’s president, Xi Jinping. Today, China confirmed that he did, in fact, visit them.
Chinese state media showed clips of the welcoming ceremony where each leader shook hands. This is the first time Kim Jong-Un has left North Korea since he took control of the country in 2011 and also the first time he’s ever met with another world leader.
One publication said that during their meetings Kim told Xi he is open to dialogue with South Korea and is committed to denuclearization of both countries. Kim will meet with South Korea next month and then later he will meet with President Trump. It’s interesting to see how much things have changed.
When Trump became president, Kim Jong-Un escalated his military program and developed missiles that could strike the U.S. That has caused Trump and other world leaders, including China, to impose strict sanctions against North Korea.
China has said that their relationship with North Korea has improved.
Today Trump tweeted that he was looking forward to the meeting with Kim, but that for now, maximum sanctions and pressure would still be applied against North Korea.
There were several protests in Sacramento, California over the police shooting death of Stephon Clark, who died in his grandmother’s backyard while holding a phone — police thought it was a gun.
Last night his brother, Stevante Clark, barged into a city council meeting and sat on the top of the dias in front of the mayor and shouted that the mayor and the city has failed all of you.
There were 300 protesters around the building. They shouted, “you shoot us down, we shut you down!”
People in the audience took out their cellphones and asked the council if it looked like a gun.
The meeting was later shut down over safety concerns.
Other protests had people blocking the entrance of NBA team Sacramento Kings, forcing the stadium to be closed. The game went ahead with an almost-empty stadium while other fans who hadn’t entered were forced to go home.
The California State Attorney General Becerra said his office would open an investigation in the shooting and review the police department’s training and protocols.
Clark’s family has hired a lawyer and is considering a lawsuit against the police department.
Remember Larry Nassar? The doctor from the USA Gymnastics team was recently sentenced to 125 years in jail for sexually abusing his patients.
It has been discovered that his former boss, who was a dean at Michigan State University was also involved. The man’s name is William Strampel.
A document released by police said they seized Strampel’s computer in February and discovered 50 photos including pictures of women’s private parts and many other pornographic images.
Many of the photos appear to be students of the university. There were also videos, including one video of Nassar “treating” a young female patient.
The document accuses Strampel of asking female medical students for sex, asking for nude photos from them and groping them.
Strampel has always defended Nassar, saying he did not believe the accusations. He even allowed him to return to work and see patients while he was the focus of a separate investigation related to discrimination.
Nassar continued to abuse patients until he was eventually fired.
Here is an interview with Erica Trevino, a deaf female police officer who was just sworn in to duty today to serve in the Dalhart Police Department (at the top of the Texas panhandle).
Officer Trevino: Hello, my name is Erica Trevino, you can call me Officer Trevino. I’m a police officer with Dalhart Police Department.
Alex: Are you the first deaf female police officer in Texas?
Officer Trevino: Yes, the first deaf officer in Texas, but the second deaf female officer in America.
Alex: What motivated you to become a police officer?
Officer Trevino: I’ve wanted to become a police officer since I was a little girl, at age five – but people always told me no, because I’m deaf. I was devastated because I believed it. As I got older I focused on making good grades in school and just moved on.
At one point I decided, ‘you know what? I am fed up with people telling deaf people they can’t do it just because they’re deaf. I’m fed up with it. That’s enough.’ I decided I would become a cop. I went to college and got my associates in Forensics Science and then I got my bachelors in Criminal Justice.
My advisor had told me that I should major in General Studies. I asked them why. They said, ‘because you’re deaf, you can’t.’ I said no, put me in that class now. I will be a cop. Watch me. They said okay, and nodded me off – but I made it. Here I am. That’s my motivation.
Alex: Your first official day on the job is coming up soon. What will that look like?
Officer Trevino: They will start me on patrol. My first week will be the day shift. Then after that it will be night shifts. All new officers are required to work the night shifts. My goal is to protect the community and clean up the city by getting rid of the bad people. I want to teach kids that anything is possible if you work hard for it. My boss has been getting a lot of calls from people wanting to meet me. They want to know how deaf people can do it. So he’s been answering a lot of calls about it right now – poor guy. [laughs]
Alex: You have a cochlear implant, you can speak, and you can sign. How do you get around that physical hearing requirement that many deaf people have thought was a barrier – just like in the military? How did you get around that to succeed in your goal to become a cop?
Officer Trevino: It was a very hard path, I’ll tell you. It took a lot of hard work, and a lot of people said no to me, rejected me. It required a lot of patience to keep pursuing it.
I didn’t speak until I was five. I got the cochlear implant when I was five. So my first language is sign language. I grew up fluent in sign language. About 1-2 years after I got the implant, I started to speak more, finally. I had to take speech therapy. Eventually I learned how to use my cochlear implant – it’s not easy, but I learned how to use it. Then I went to the police academy and when I was filling out the application forms, one of the requirements was a hearing test.
They were concerned that I couldn’t do it. I said watch this. I went to my doctor and paid for the hearing test with my own money. That showed them I was motivated. I paid for a test without the cochlear implant on and then one with the implant on and I showed that I was have the required level of hearing to meet the requirements to become a law enforcement officer. I brought the paper proving I met the hearing requirement to my boss and they said, ‘you passed the final requirement. You passed everything else, all you needed was this last requirement.’
Alex: Before you worked in the jail system. How has your time there helped prepare you to become a law enforcement officer?
Officer Trevino: I worked in the jail system for two and half year and I learned how to work with a lot of different people. Rude people, people who curse, drunk people, people high on drugs. I learned how to treat them all fairly. You have to be neutral, impartial, but you have to remind them that we are the boss - we’re in charge and they have to follow the rules or they’ll be penalized. That helped a lot to prepare me for dealing with people on the street. I was the first person people would see they entered jail so now I will be dealing with those people in the streets.
Alex: How do you feel about starting your career as a police officer?
Officer Trevino: I’m excited. I’ll be honest, I’m nervous too, but that’s normal. All new officers, whether you’re hearing or deaf, everyone is nervous their first time on patrol because it’s dangerous out there. Just recently there were three officers involved in a shooting, so it’s dangerous. I have to learn to watch my back and be vigilant. I can’t afford to be laid back or lazy. Pray for me, please, that’s all I ask for.
Alex: There have been multiple incidents of police shooting and killing deaf people. Some people in the community are concerned about the relationship with police. How do you plan to help bridge the gap between the police and the Deaf community?
Officer Trevino: That’s why the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement started a new requirement for officers to take a class called “Interacting with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Drivers”. It just started about one year ago. They tapped me to teach it. I’ve taught about six classes total. Each class had about 50-75 officers. I taught all of the officers how to properly approach and engage with deaf drivers. Many officers don’t know what to do because they can’t sign. So that’s what I’m trying to teach them. I’m also trying to teach Deaf people how to work with police officers as well, like don’t touch the cop or make sudden movements because the cop might think you’re trying to attack them. I know that it’s in our nature for Deaf people to be very expressive, so I’m trying to educate both.
Alex: Would you like to add any additional comments?
Officer Trevino: There’s only one thing. I want every deaf person to know and believe in you heart that you can do anything you want if you’re willing to sacrifice the time and do the hard work and be patient. A lot of people will insult you and put you down. Like right now, there are many comments from people being positive, but there are also some horrible messages with negative comments and insults towards me. What do I do? I ignore them and I focus on my goal. Find someone or a few people who believe in you and hold on to that in your heart. Remember that those people support you no matter what. Work hard. You can do it, no matter what you want to become, a doctor, a lawyer, an actor or a cop. Just be ready to work hard.
Alex: Thank you for your time, Erica. Very inspirational to see you reach your goals. You’ve achieved what was thought impossible. We hope for your safety as you start serving the community.
Here are updates with the Tennessee School for the Deaf and the removal of Deaf woman Dr. Nancylynn Ward from her superintendent position last Monday.
I talked with several people who are familiar with the school.
They described rampant discrimination and audism on campus, saying it has been going on for years. When Dr. Ward was hired, they looked at it as an opportunity for a new era, and are now deeply disappointed she is gone.
One person said there was an “old guard” of employees who did not like the changes Dr. Ward were making on campus, such as requiring hearing staff to sign instead of only using their voices, pushing for a bi-bi educational approach, changing class scheduling structures, or hiring more deaf staff — so the “old guard” reached out to the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) in Nashville to make complaints.
The DOE is said to be receptive to the complaints from the “old guard” but never asked or gave Dr. Ward the opportunity to address the issues — leaving Dr. Ward out of the loop.
After Dr. Ward was relieved of her position last Monday, she posted a statement on her personal Facebook wall saying she was “at peace,” that she was walking with God out of “this mess” and that the “fissures” would lead to a better future.
A Deaf woman, Mary Wynn-Carver, who had a daughter that attended TSD several years ago, said in a Facebook vlog that she looked at Dr. Ward’s statement as a “call to action.” She said we shouldn’t accept oppression and show young children that it was okay on how Dr. Ward was treated.
Her daughter, Torey also made a vlog saying she is sad and disturbed at Dr. Ward’s removal and that this was another instance of oppression.
I reached out to the TDOE again with this new information, and they said they couldn’t share any details regarding personnel matters and decisions. They said the department does not discriminate in any way in making hiring or termination decisions.
That’s all the updates I have for now.
Alex: Ready for more guest Deaf Bing videos? Here you go!
“Hearing People Looking at You”
You know when you’re out with your friends or family and you’re chatting in sign language and then you notice hearing people staring at you? Then you get sick of it so you wave at them and they freak out and look away! That’s Deaf Bing.
This Deaf Bing, or rather, Deaf Gain happened at my son’s swimming class. There's a glass wall that separates the pool area and where the parents sit. My son, who is seven, and I can see each other, and ever since we started the class I always check in with him while he’s on the other side, “Any issues? Everything good?” Sometimes we’ll talk for a bit, like “Good job! I’m proud of you!” and the other parents are like, “You so lucky you can communicate with your son!”. They are limited to miming basic gestures through the glass like thumbs up but my son and I can have full conversations throughout the glass. That’s Deaf Gain.
Hello, this Deaf Bing is about Deaf classrooms. Everyone must sit in a half circle around the teacher. If someone enters the room, we all wait for the person to sit and then we continue.
During my break from driving for Lyft I thought of two Deaf Bings! 1) Sometimes when I’m chatting with my wife or my friends in the car, I might get distracted and the car might start to drift to the side and I have to move it back in the center of the lane. 2) Sometimes I might get distracted by friends or by a customer and miss the GPS telling me to take a turn.
“ASL During Cold Weather”
During cold weather our hands get stiff and it’s hard to sign, so we have to warm them up, either by rubbing them together, breathing on them, or using a fireplace, then we can pick up our conversation again! That’s Deaf Bing.
“Deaf at Amusement Park”
Here’s two Deaf Bings: 1) At the amusement park there’s always long lines - Deaf people tend to have long conversations and before we know it, we’re at the front saying, “Time flies!” 2) Another thing that happens is that sometimes we feel foolish because hearing people have to tap us and say move along because the line has moved and there’s a huge gap in front of us.
“Is It My Order?”
When we’re at Mcdonalds, or some other fast food place, we get our order ticket and then we’re waiting for our food. We’re always watching the counter like, “is that our food? No… it’s another person’s…” How do I know when it’s my food? I watch the hearing people around me. If they call out a number and someone walks up to take it, I know it’s not my food. But if they call a number and no one walks up for a while - that’s when I know it’s my order and I go grab my food. That’s Deaf Bing.
Alex: Thanks to everyone who sent in videos!
That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!