Discipline in Public Schools

PHS added a dress code this year.  Oh, the outcries of offense!  But the administration stood firm.  The dress code policy reduced violence in the school.   Ninety-six students were expelled (not suspended) the year prior to the dress code.  This year, the first year of the dress code policy, one student has been expelled

Ninety-five percent of the prior year expulsions were a result of fighting, drugs, and failure to make academic progress.  All that changed this year.  Teachers report a big difference in classroom performance, student attitude, and learning.  The administration and staff took charge of the school.  Rules and order govern the school, not gangs and violence.

A dress code is a form of discipline – something sorely lacking in most public schools.   PHS would almost certainly benefit from other forms of discipline, but this is a good start.  When students receive discipline, they can develop self-discipline.  Self-discipline leads to success and positive accomplishments.  Thanks, PHS, for this great example.

The Bean Dance

Piki Bread

Last Saturday, Zoe and I (along with Nancy, a friend) enjoyed the Bean Dance at Mishongnovi, Hopi, AZ on Second Mesa.  Zoe and Nancy went early and helped the women prepare the food.  They saw things I didn’t.  The Bean Dance is associated with couples’ engagement to be married.  It involves the exchange and consumption of much food and Kachinas.

The whole week before the day that the woman takes the food to her in-laws, her family prepares a lot of pastries like cakes, pies, cookies, donuts, sweet rolls, etc.  Baskets and baskets of bread are also prepared as are strings of fruit.  The female relatives bring boxes of Piki bread, a traditional food only made on a hot, flat stone.  Piki bread is made from dried Sweet Corn kernels.  Dried Sweet Corn is a very costly commodity and  must be finely ground to make what the Hopi call a ‘Horse’.  It is actually a kind of a cake.  Many families have to prepare for this event a year or two in advance to be able to have everything ready.

The Dance itself has Kachinas coming out of the Kivas and dancing, chanting, snorting, and making other noises as they scurry in and out of the kivas with loads of food and other gifts that they take to members of the village.  The event we attended lasted approximately two hours.  This was preceded by a nice meal in the ancient home of the family of the woman who invited us.  Her home was directly across the street from three Kivas, so we literally had a ringside seat (sitting or standing just outside the front, and only, door).

We feel honored to have been invited to and participate in The Bean Dance.