19 May 2014
Ohio Teacher Caught Telling Students That Alaska Research Project is Controlling The Weather
Posted by Dan Satterfield
Toledo, Ohio Meteorologist Ross Ellet got a real shock while talking to students at Star Academy Charter School last week. He’d been asked to talk to the students about weather and science, but he got a question that left him totally stunned. One of the students asked him “what kind of job will you get when HAARP is controlling the weather, and you’re no longer needed?”. Now, Ross knew what the student was talking about, because every on-air meteorologist in the country gets emails and letters about HAARP (and chem-trails) on a weekly and even daily basis.
Ellet asked the student who had told him this, and was floored when the student (along with several other students) indicated that it was their science teacher!. Ross tells me that afterwards the red-faced teacher admitted it to him! I found out about this because Ross asked his fellow forecasters what he should do about it. Most of us suggested that he notify the newsroom of a potential news story, and also write the school board and superintendent. I’ve thought hard about whether I should even write this post, but Ross gave me permission to use his name, and the name of the school (Star Academy in Toledo).
For those that do not know, HAARP is the High Frequency Active Aurora Research Program in Alaska. The ‘tin foil hat’ crowd believe that HAARP and chem-trails are ‘secret GUVMENT projects to control the weather and influence the minds of ‘poor defenseless freedom lovin uhmerrakuns’. Many users of the photo sharing service FLICKR have learned about chem-trails, because they get comments from the tin-foil hat brigade whenever they share a photo that has a jet contrail in it. Chemtrail folks believe that those white lines behind airplanes are NOT condensation clouds of water vapor produced during the combustion of high-grade kerosene (otherwise known as Jet-A fuel), but instead are mind control gas! I know of one commercial pilot who jokingly adds the line “chem-trail gas on?, check!” to his preflight cockpit checklist!
Meteorologists are used to dealing with more mundane situations, like a fellow meteorologist in Detroit who shared this response when he posted a story about Jupiter’s shrinking red spot over the weekend:
We tend to just ignore this kind of thing, because nothing you can say will change the writer’s opinion, but if it’s on a public page, then I usually either delete it or answer it with proper science. A more difficult problem was faced by another meteorologist who was asked to talk about Antarctica to a home school class. He was told beforehand not to mention anything about fossils, or that Antarctica was once part of the super-continent of Pangea, because the students were not taught such things. I don’t know if he accepted the restrictions or not, but I would have told them that any well founded scientific understanding is fair game, and let them decide of they wanted to withdraw the invitation. I also have first-hand knowledge of a case where a parent removed his daughter from a classroom talk about weather and climate, because they felt that “climate change was a liberal conspiracy”. That talk went ahead, while the student in question spent the hour in the school library.
Is there any doubt that the internet is making it much easier these days for those with silly conspiracy theories to get positive reinforcement to their belief system? I think not, but it can have amusing consequences, like when well-known figures get caught spouting nonsense about the president’s birth certificate etc. It can have very detrimental consequences as well, and the rise of diseases for which we have working vaccines is a perfect example.
I witnessed one of the more amusing events while riding my bike down the Mall in DC on Sunday. 10 million people were supposed to descend on Washington and remove the President and Vice President from office, and to take back our constitution (which as far as I now is readily able to be seen in the National Archives building). They were a bit short however. By about 9,999,900 actually (and that’s if you count the folks in the rascal scooters who were moving along with them up the Mall Sunday).
Seriously though, it seems that conspiracy theories are now held by many more people than in the past. Would they realize how ridiculous they sound, If they had been taught some basic physics about the energy it takes to raise a cubic km of air by a tenth of a degree C?? What If they had enough basic math to figure out how many tons of lethal mind control gas it would take to dose 3000 million people from 10 kilometers up? Would they then realize how stunningly ridiculous these claims are (not to mention the fact that such chemicals do not really exist without side effects that would be immediate and consequential)?
I don’t know, but I do know of a professor who is teaching a college course for freshmen called Physics for Future Presidents. In it, he covers all of these things, We need to teach this course in 8th grade, and leave out the kind of absurd claims that you see in the supermarket scandal sheets. If you are a parent of a student at this school, you should certainly find out if your child has been taught any of these crazy ideas. Note: I did not reveal the name of the teacher on purpose. The person in question has a right to defend themselves of such a serious accusation.
Being a charter school, I wonder what the teacher’s credentials consist of. It’s hard to believe they have a degree in science, or even an ed degree with a concentration in science.
I wondered that myself. I left out the description of the male teacher, but it was not flattering.
I’m offended at the suggestion that teachers at charter schools are somehow less qualified to teach than their public school counterparts. I teach social studies at a local charter school and have my Master’s degree in social studies education. In fact, over 50% of my colleagues have advanced degrees in their fields.
Interesting story. Then I saw this today on Doubtful News:
But again, the conspiracy nuts never have a shortage of targets, it seems. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
Indeed, What comes next is sure to be entertaining!
Dan – thanks for this posting. I am a geologist and as part of my work, I have presented workshops and seminars to industrial groups, federal agencies, colleges and to the public. A few years ago a local county agency ,approached me about doing seminars on geology for teachers. I waived the speakers fee as a donation.
I married into a family of educators. Nearly everyone in my wifes family has a PhD in education. My wife has all but completed writing her PhD thesis and has taught for about 20 years. That said, I have never encountered a group that is so unprofessional, rude and entitled, as teachers. I did work shops for a couple of years. It was expensive for me as I own a consulting firm and am always swamped with billable work. I will never work with teachers again. Middle School kids have better manners.
Educators play a vital role in our world, yet tragically, there are far too many lazy, irresponsible and incompetent teachers on the public payroll. As for being underpaid, most of the public school teachers I know are knocking down $70-90K..not per year…but for only 9 months of work..and they retire with 100% of their salary. We know one couple – both teachers who retired, each getting $90k/year retirement!
We are NOT getting what we are paying for. There is a huge and wide spread problem in the education profession…from an outrageous sense of entitlement to just plain sloth. Yes, there are fantastic teachers out there -but if you pulled a random sample, odds are, over 50% would be lousy.
Except for me, all of the men in our church are business owners or have side business on top of their regular work. Guess what their discussions are often about? Lazy employees and failed drug tests. The latter people are fired, the former are tolerated because replacements are very hard to find (because most people fail prelim drug tests). There will always be lazy employees and many will remain gainfully employed right through to retirement. Its a fact in every industry, not just teaching. And you anecdotes about teacher pay do not represent most areas. Our teachers are paid next to nothing. Your experience cannot be extrapolated to all teachers.
Teachers don’t work 9 months of the year. They spend their summers in training, continuing education, and preparing for the next school year. Please stop spreading this misconception.
Thank you, Alissa! We certainly do work all summer long! And I don’t know one teacher, working or retired, who pulls down $90k a year. Maybe a few around $70k, but that’s at the end of a career working 30+ years. Also, to get 100% salary in retirement, you have to work 40 or more years. Most teachers retire after 30 (because it’s such a demanding, stressful, mentally draining job), which allows 68% of salary. Actually, in my state, it was just raised to 35 years to get 68% in retirement. Sounds like Enviro Geologist is being rather self righteous here. He does not know the half of what we truly go through in this job. Of course there are lousy teachers. Every profession has lousy, jerky workers….I’d go out on a limb and say even professionals who own their own consulting firms or even geologists. It is far and few between in the teaching profession. 50% is a ridiculous number. Please stop spreading lies and rumors about this honorable profession!!!
Get paid for 12 months while only working 9? As an educator with 35 years experience in the classroom and a Masters degree, let me correct your sadly misinformed statement, Enviro Geologist. They take a teacher’s salary and divide it up into 12 months. So, while we are taking classes, working in your classrooms preparing for next year, we are NOT being paid. We’re just receiving our pay we’ve already earned. And retiring on 100% pay? Wow. I’d like to teach wherever they are. I’m eligible to retire next year but can’t because there’s no way to afford it. I’m sorry for the rude teachers. There’s no excuse for that. In any profession. I’ve only seen teachers over the world glad to have someone come in and give another perspective of our subject. It must have been the bad bonbons in the staff room making their tummies upset.
Where do you live that teachers are making 70-90K?? I’ve taught for 15 years and don’t come close that that figure, and I have a Master’s degree. And as Alissa said, our jobs are not just 9 months. After continuing ed classes and prep for the coming year I have maybe 4 weeks to enjoy with my family. Being married to a teacher I’d think you would realize that. Furthermore, when I retire after 38 years (at age 60),
I will not get 100% of my salary. I will receive a percentage of the average of my last 3 years salary.
Maybe the reason teachers get so defensive is because we are tired of people telling us how easy our jobs are and how
overpaid we are for this easy work. My job is far from easy. I’m not working an assembly line making widgets. Every child is unique; each one learns in his/ her own way and at his/ her own pace. Maybe if teachers in this country were
treated with the same respect as teachers in countries like Finland and Japan, we wouldn’t be so defensive. After all, where would any of us be in this world without our teachers?
I’m sorry that you’ve had the misfortune of working with some ill-mannered teacher groups. However, all professions have members with less than perfect manners, and I don’t think we should judge an entire profession based on encounters with a few select groups. And how sad for your wife and her family that you think so poorly of their profession. I don’t expect my comments to change your opinion of educators, but perhaps it will encourage you to be a little more tolerant.
The comments here have gotten far off track from the subject of the original post, and that is probably my fault. I’ll end this thread by saying that good teachers are certainly not getting paid enough, and I know a TON of really great ones. There are also a LOT of really bad ones who are protected by tenure and I agree with the majority who feel this needs to change.
As for the teacher in Ohio, he needs to be informed that this kind of behaviour must end and that if it happens again, he will be without a job. The parents should also be notified of what they were told, so they can correct it or remove their child from the classroom.
Most of the results from the HAARP experiments have been published in The Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Review Letters, and other space and plasma physics journals. Apparently, those with the tin-foil hats have never tried to learn about the experiments that are actually done there. While the DoD now wants to quit funding HAARP, space scientists want to keep using it for research.