The Daily Moth 12-12-18: Part I

December 13, 2018

0:38 – Jamal Khashoggi and Other Journalists Selected for TIME 2018 “Person of the Year” Honor 

3:21 – President Trump Debates Border Wall and Government Shutdown With Democratic Leaders

5:56 – Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay Trump $294,000

8:45 – Colorado Deaf Community Expresses Concerns for CSDB Superintendent Search

15:23 – Parents and Activists Claim San Antonio School District Is Taking Away ASL and Deaf Culture From Deaf Mainstreamed Students

**Correction and clarification: Ray and Associates (RA) plans to do two rounds of interviews in January, then pass on a list of nominees. The list size may vary.


Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! I’m sorry for missing yesterday’s news. Today there will be a “double” news feature — the news that I planned to share yesterday, and with Renca Dunn covering today’s top stories. I am on a trip to California this week so Renca will cover today and tomorrow. I will do an off-site video from there on Friday, so see you then. Ready for news?




Jamal Khashoggi and Other Journalists Selected for TIME 2018 “Person of the Year” Honor


TIME magazine has honored Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October, and other journalists under attack, as the “2018 Person of the Year.”


TIME dedicated four different covers to “The Guardians and the War on Truth.”


Khashoggi has his own cover and he is the first deceased person chosen for the honor.


The second cover honored the Capital Gazette, a small newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland who saw five employees killed by a mass shooter in June.


The third cover honored two Reuters reporters who were jailed for seven years in Myanmar for reporting on the deaths of Rohingya Muslims. Their names are Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone.


The fourth cover honored a 55-year old woman from the Philippines, Maria Ressa, for starting “Rapper,” an online news site that focuses on President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war that has killed an estimated 12,000 people. Her website was charged with tax fraud and and Ressa is facing up to 10 years in prison.


TIME said they wanted to honor the courage of four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price for speaking up.


The next two people in TIME’s short list for “Person of the Year,” in order, are President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.




President Trump Debates Border Wall and Government Shutdown With Democratic Leaders


Today there was a debate and arguments in the Oval Office between President Trump and top Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer about border security and how disagreements on funding could lead to a government shutdown.


Vice President Mike Pence was there, but didn’t say anything.


President Trump invited the press to come in and film the meeting.


President Trump said he would be proud to shut down the government for border security. He has demanded $5 billion for a wall, but Sen. Schumer said they would only agree to $1.3 billion for border security.


Pelosi said if the government shut down, it would be a “Trump shutdown.” She asked to have this discussion in private, but Trump said this is called transparency.


The three kept on exchanging points, one over the other.


After the meeting, Sen. Schumer said Trump’s temper tantrum will not get him his wall and will hurt a lot of people because he will cause a shutdown.


The White House said there is still major disagreement on border security and transparency.


The deadline for a new budget is December 21. It will require at least 60 Senators to pass a funding bill.


Trump said before the meeting that he would use the military to build the wall if Congress doesn’t fund it.




Stormy Daniels Ordered to Pay Trump $294,000


A federal judge in California has ordered Stormy Daniels to pay Donald Trump $293,000 in attorney fees and $1,000 in sanctions for filing a defamation lawsuit against him that was tossed out in October.


Stormy and her attorney Michael Avenatti sued Trump for saying that her claim that an unknown man threatened her to keep quiet about her affair was a “total con job.”


The judge disagreed that it was defamatory. He said Trump’s statement was "rhetorical hyperbole” and protected under the First Amendment.


Trump’s lawyer, Charles Harder, said this was a total victory for the President, and a total defeat for Daniels.


Avenatti tweeted that Trump and Harder were dishonest — saying that Trump would have to pay Stormy $1.5 million in a separate case about her non-disclosure agreement.


That non-disclosure agreement is at the center of the federal case against Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.




Colorado Deaf Community Expresses Concerns for CSDB Superintendent Search


By Shay Bertling, Contributor to “The Daily Moth”


Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind (CSDB) in Colorado Springs, is looking for a new superintendent to lead their school.


The CSDB Board of Trustees has hired an independent consulting agency, Ray and Associates (RA for short) to do the first part of the search process. RA is responsible for advertising the job position, screening all applicants, and doing the first round of interviews. They will nominate their top three picks, then the Board will take over from there.


During the last week of October, the CSDB Board invited the CSDB community to share ideas and create a criteria of the perfect candidate, so RA could collect all the suggestions.


Ida Wilding, a CSDB community member, said she had some concerns about the search process, especially the part between the top three picks and the Board’s choice. Wilding said she observed a previous Deaf school allowing their departments to interview all the finalists and allowed their community to be involved in the entire process.


She is not the only one who is concerned. There was a Facebook page set up about the CSDB superintendent school search. Many people were shared concerns about the deadline being December 21st. Others were concerned about how the Board would try to involve the community once the three finalists were picked.


On November 30th, several Deaf leaders in Colorado published a letter addressed to the CSDB Board with two concerns and a request for a meeting.


Their first concern was on how the Board needed to have members who had a meaningful connection with the Deaf and blind communities. The current board has seven members, one is deaf, one is visually impaired, and one is a parent of a deaf and low-vision CSDB student.


The second concern is about the Board’s decision to hire RA to do the search. The letter said they were an agency with no knowledge or understanding of the Deaf community, or even where to reach out to potential Deaf applicants.


The Daily Moth reached out to Teresa Raiford, the board member who is a parent of a CSDB student. She said it is standard procedure for districts to hire independent agencies for superintendent searches. She said the board chose RA because they had experience with superintendent searches for other deaf and blind schools.


This is a fact: RA did conduct the search process for Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind, and Iowa School for the Deaf a few years ago. But RA is a national agency with regional offices, so it’s not clear whether the CSDB team are the same people with actual experience regarding Deaf school superintendent searches or just the same company.


The Daily Moth reached out to Robert Vizzini in Iowa, who followed Iowa School for the Deaf’s superintendent search process in 2014 as the chair of the Deaf Coalition of Iowa. He feels that RA was fair and did their best to hear all concerns, but explained that they didn’t have authority to make final decisions. He said ISD had a search committee with 12 people, but only two or there were Deaf.


To compare ISD and CSDB — CSDB does not have a search committee to make the pick for the superintendent position. That is up to the Board.


Vizzini pointed out that the search committee in Iowa appeared to put more value on public school administrative experience over those who had administrative experience directly with Deaf people.


The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) website has a page about Deaf School Leader search processes. The page has two recommendations: that the search committee should include several deaf or hard of hearing persons with strong relations to the school, and the search committee should engage with the deaf community around that school, and provide updates of the search process.


The NAD page emphasizes the importance of including the deaf community, who are invested in the school and its future.

A representative for the Board said during the CSDB community meeting that they hope to have the top three finalists in January and make their pick at the end of the month.


Facebook Forum:




Parents and Activists Claim San Antonio School District Is Taking Away ASL and Deaf Culture From Deaf Mainstreamed Students


There is a parent of a 6-year old deaf mainstreamed child at Braun Station Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas who is raising complaints that the school is changing and cutting several programs that benefited her and other deaf students.


The mother’s name is Regina Johnson, her daughter is Mylyana.


There was a protest and a rally in front of the school in the middle of November.


A representative for the Texas Association of the Deaf Region 4 and Texas Deaf Grassroots Movement, Thumas Lee, attended the protest and said he was told that the school is telling the students to not sign, that ASL is discouraged.


Lee said this started last month, that deaf students are told not to sign when they are in the cafeteria. He said there used to be a group of deaf students together, but they are now separated from one another and “isolated” with only hearing students.


Lee plans to attend another rally planned on January 22, where there will be a board meeting.


I reached out to Regina Johnson, the mother, on videophone. She said the school used to have 23 students, but because of the situation, there are only 10 students left because other parents are pulling out their students.


She explained that the school had an “auditory impairment (AI)” classroom, where deaf students are placed with other students with an AI teacher who teaches them in ASL additional information from classroom education that the interpreter is unable to share. This is to meet the students’ ARD/IEP requirements for a least restrictive environment.


Johnson said the program was the best program in the San Antonio area and that parents would relocate so their kids can be a part o the program, but now it’s changed.


I asked her on why the program was being changed. Johnson said she suspected it had to do with another school in the San Antonio area — Sunshine Cottage. Johnson said they are an oral program that discourages sign language.

Johnson said her daughter was a student at Sunshine Cottage before she decided to move her to Braun Station because she wanted her to get ASL and Deaf culture, but now she claims that is being taken away from her.

Johnson said some of the staff from Sunshine Cottage  is now working at Braun Station and influenced the administrators there to have the same philosophy as them, to disassociate from ASL and Deaf culture.

Johnson said he’s fought with the administrators at Braun Station, but that they called her a “liar.” She said she had to hire a lawyer. She said she only wants the school to abide by her daughter’s IEP/ARD — to receive education in ASL.

Mayda Garcia, a hearing community activist who used to work at a deaf school and knows ASL, said in a vlog that Braun Station’s principal changed the program without informing the parents by taking away their two auditory impairment rooms and stopping ASL instruction.

Garcia claimed that the principal said, “There is no Deaf culture, we don’t need to sign to your Deaf child.” She said the deaf students are not allowed to socialize with their deaf peers.

Garcia told me that she led a rally at the school because she has a history of being involved with activism and protests. She is a part of a Native American community and she said her family and community is always doing this kind of thing. She said we need to make changes.

She said with her conversations with staff at the school, she knows there are teachers, interpreters, and staff that have an opinion on all of this, but are scared to speak out.

She plans to attend the second rally on January 22, during the board meeting.

The school is within the Northside Independent School District (NISD).  

I reached out to their communications director, Barry Perez, for insight on this.

I asked him how many deaf or hard of hearing students there were within the NISD.

Perez said NISD has 24 students through the Northside Regional Day School Program, with a total of 174 students in the district who are deaf or hard of hearing.

He said some parents have expressed the need for more self-contained instructional time and that they have met with parents as a group and individually to address their concerns. He said he hopes to continue to dialog about serving our deaf students.

This situation was featured on a Fox 29 San Antonio news article in November.

I asked Johnson if she thought of taking her daughter to the Texas School for the Deaf. She said she didn’t want to bring her to a boarding school because she wanted to keep her close with her family, but is now considering a potential move to Austin. /







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