History In Halstead

Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

From one of our neighboring school districts

By Amy Houston

A Valley Center family has filed a lawsuit against U.S.D. 262, alleging discrimination based on race in the high school basketball program.

Teresa Garvey, whose son Joe is a Valley Center High School senior, is the plaintiff in the class-action complaint for civil rights violations. A scheduling conference was held Wednesday morning before Magistrate Judge Karen Humphries in federal court.

Teresa Garvey declined to comment about the case.

“It’s unfortunate,” she said. “I really don’t want to put the school down. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.”

Her husband, Ray Garvey, also declined to comment.

“There’s nothing that I can comment on at the moment,” he said. “I’d have to refer all questions to our attorney.”

The Garveys’ attorney, Lawrence Williamson Jr., said the case is in the discovery phase when both sides may review records and take depositions. A jury trial has not been scheduled.

“It’s still way early in the process,” Williamson added.

The Valley Center school district is represented by Alan Rupe, Richard Olmstead and Patricia Dengler. Superintendent Mike Meier declined to comment on the case.

Wayne Morrow spent five years as head coach for the high school boys’ basketball team. He most recently was assisted by Matt Klusener and Kenny Carter. Morrow resigned in March and a new basketball coach, Brett Flory, was hired for this school year. Morrow is teaching and coaching in Larned.

The Garveys’ complaint alleges that selection procedures for the high school basketball team are excessively subjective.

“Selection of a sports team undoubtedly requires some subjectivity and discretion,” it states. “However, when that subjectivity and discretion is without boundaries, in the hands of racially or culturally biased coaches, such limitless discretion will have a disparate impact against minorities: just as it has in this case.”

The complaint outlines Valley Center’s cut policy and evaluation sheet for prospective basketball players. According to the policy listed in the Garveys’ complaint, the coaching staff makes a final cut for the basketball teams after a minimum of three full practices in November.

It states that students are evaluated in the mile run, vertical jump, consecutive tips, two-minute sprint, dribbling, shooting and the following intangibles: team player; heart, desire and dedication; caring; coachability; athleticism and size (positions); character; competitiveness; past basketball experiences observed; mental and physical toughness; basketball savvy; poise; intensity; passion; will to win; and will to persevere.

The complaint alleges that coaches often fail to correlate players’ scores to their completion of a task, and they fail to place a numerical value on the intangibles listed. It accuses the school district of “turning a blind eye to discriminatory impact that the neutral policies had upon the plaintiff and Class,” failing to adequately train staff and showing a deliberate indifference to Joe Garvey’s constitutional rights.

The class-action aspect pertains to minority students who were enrolled since Jan. 1, 1999, at Valley Center High School and who may have been “excluded from athletic competition because of their race, ethnicity and/or color.”

It continues: “Such discrimination has undermined and detracted from the plaintiff’s educational experience that has effectively denied plaintiff’s equal access to his school’s resources and opportunities and has had a concrete, negative effect on the plaintiff’s education. Additionally, plaintiff’s concentration level has been reduced, and anxiety increased.”

According to the complaint, damages should be awarded for the continuing offenses of lost educational benefits, financial loss, humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish. It requests a declaration that the school district violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and an order to develop and implement a plan to ensure students will not face a discriminatory educational environment. Finally, it requests that the district be ordered to provide an annual report to Williamson for three years detailing the implementation of its plan and that it be ordered to “provide such relief as is necessary to compensate plaintiff for the discrimination to which he was subjected.”

Williamson said his clients’ goal is to persuade the district, either through a jury trial or settlement, to initiate a policy that prevents coaches from reaching decisions about players based on their race and to take complaints seriously

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A nice overview..... especially in Kansas

I haven't posted in a while and that is poor of me but there is just too much going on. I also found out that the kids at school can not post here on our school computers because it is blocked. This irritates me and I vow to get it fixed. I think blogs are too valuable not be integrated into classroom activities. Anyway this government classic was posted at Coach Brown's site and I thought it was worth bring to Halstead.

A bovine guide to political theory

Feudalism : You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

Fascism : You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

Pure socialism : You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

Pure communism : You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you share the milk.

Bureaucratic socialism : You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as much eggs as the regulations say you should need.

Russian communism : You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

Pure democracy : You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

Representative democracy; You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

American democracy : The government promises you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow features.

Capitalism : You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Hong Kong capitalism : You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using the letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt-equity swap with associated general offer so that you will get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows? milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the feng shui is bad.

Totalitarism : You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

Anarchism : You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

Dictatorship : You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

Surrealism : You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons

FOR DISCUSSION: Which system of government is practiced in Mr. Warsnak's classroom?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Another Former Student From Germany!!!

I always love it when former students email or post on the blog and sure enough Jan, a foreign exchange student from last year, has made contact. He says

hello mr. warsnak,...

if you are surprised, yes, i really do read your blog from time to time,
and yes, i figured out your email that way ;-)

well, anywas i hope you're doin well with your new class,...
i heard you have a lot of new students.

let's see, first of all, about the spelling in germany about which you
wrote about on august 14th on your blog, it's really not that bad!
most of my friends, and of course me also, know how to write most of
thestuff, and let's be honest, the first time i got an agenda with a page
"commonly misspelled words" was in the US.

Katrina was a pretty big deal in germany, and what's really interesting
is to see the "other" side of the politic "war" in the world.Everyone
pretty much is scared or hates G W. Bush here.The media is showing it
that way too,... he's responsible for everything
and the "worst" leader in the world.
I guess you know that I would've never supported him, but the last year
really kinda changed my mind and sometimes i catch myself defending him

I will start college this october in san francisco to study new media
arts and animation. I sometimes miss the small town quiet feeling, but
I'm still more comfortable with the bigger cities, so i guess this is
right for me.

I hope to hear from you and a nice weekend and next week!
Also tell all the colleagues I said hi,


I think Jan makes some great points and it is good to hear that things are going well for him. I hope that we get more notes and posts from him.

Happy Constitution Day

Use the website below to help with today's assignment

National Archives

Saturday, September 17, 2005

And This Guy Runs A Country????

From Yahoo news:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Friday he has documentary evidence that the United States plans to invade his country.

Chavez, interviewed on ABC's "Nightline," said the plan is called "Balboa" and involves aircraft carriers and planes. A transcript of the interview was made available by "Nightline."

He said U.S. soldiers recently went to Curacao, an island off Venezuela's northwest coast. He described as a "lie" the official U.S. explanation that they visited Curacao for rest and recreation.

"They were doing movements. They were doing maneuvers," Chavez said, speaking through a translator.

He added: "We are coming up with the counter-Balboa plan. That is to say if the government of the United States attempts to commit the foolhardy enterprise of attacking us, it would be embarked on a 100-year war. We are prepared."

Chavez has been attending the summit of world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week. On Thursday, he denounced the U.S.-led war in Iraq and told other leaders they should consider moving the U.N. headquarters out of the United States.

To prove U.S. intentions to invade Venezuela, Chavez offered to send "Nightline" host Ted Koppel maps and other documentation.

"What I can't tell you is how we got it, to protect the sources, how we got it through military intelligence," he said.

In the event of a U.S. invasion, Chavez said the United States can "just forget" about receiving any more oil from his country.

FOR DISCUSSION: Which line in the article was better?

1.In the event of a U.S. invasion, Chavez said the United States can "just forget" about receiving any more oil from his country.


2. Chavez said U.S. soldiers recently went to Curacao, an island off Venezuela's northwest coast. He described as a "lie" the official U.S. explanation that they visited Curacao for rest and recreation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Nice Honor For Halstead

Today it was announced that Halstead-Bentley USD 440 School District was one of the 16 school districts in the state of Kansas to be awarded the highest rating by Standard & Poor's Education Evaluation Program. The KC Star reported:

A preliminary report from analysts at Standard & Poor's has given
16 Kansas school districts its top rating when it comes to using their money to reach academic goals. The list was released Tuesday by S&P and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who called the information key to ensuring that the state's 300 school districts are getting the most from tax dollars, a subject of years of litigation and political rancor.

The 16 school districts rated "highly resource effective" are Arkansas City, Baldwin City, Geary County, Halstead,Hays, Hesston, Lincoln, Macksville, Nickerson, Renwick, Rock Creek, Scott County, Spearville, Stafford, Vermillion, and Wamego. The study looked at districts with more than 200 students, or 264 of the 300 districts.

Halstead has done this while spending less than the state average on instruction which is going to be cannon fodder for Democrats who are against the Republican idea of mandating 65% of state money on curriculum and instruction. From my stand point Halstead has been able to be successful by finding, recruiting, hiring and retaining a quality staff. That staff has then helped to find other quality teachers. I am sure that there are other factors but if I was to choose one it would have to be the quality of our teachers.

Miner Chapter 1: Child of the Grassy Plains

First, in my opinion the first chapter should have been entitled “The Keepers of the Gates of Hell”, what a vivid image only to find out that it is used to refer to meteorologist stationed in Kansas City.

The first chapter of Miner’s book does exactly what one would expect a book covering the History of Kansas would do in the offset. It goes through the sketchy early history of the state when it was first settled by Native Americans up through the mid nineteenth century. The fist half of the chapter also covers some of the basic geographical features of the state. This includes the general make up of the state, major vegetation patterns and a lot of discussion of the weather in the state. Minor also makes references to some of the resources in Kansas while making it clear that Kansas actually has a lot of diversity.

The second half of the chapter hits on the Europeans entrance into Kansas history. From there the chapters discusses the Indians and there removal from the east to Kansas and then quickly dives into the territorial issues of Kansas after the Kansas Nebraska Act. This inevitably brings up the issue of slavery with those supporting the peculiar institution while the Emigrant Aid Companies were organizing anti-slavery forces.

One of the items I thought about as far as using the material in class was the following question: How did national policies effect early Kansas and how did Kansas effect national policies. Many of my students look at history a items, famous people and big events that happen but they really don’t think how these events effect the common man. Using Kansas history in this context could be beneficial.

Favorite lines from the chapter:

“Shall there be schools of Ohio, or ignorance of Tennessee?”

“They often seem to be people from another time . . . who just happen to find themselves surfaced in an era of X-rated movies, the Internal Revenue Service, Styrofoam burger boxes and nuclear medicine”

“It would be untrue to classify together the Egyptian, the Indian, and the Central American, as to speak of the Kansan man without distinguishing between the Eastern Kansan, the Central Kansan and the Western Kansan.”

And from the introduction:

“the largest, longest running agricultural and environmental miscalculation in American History”

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Great Weekend Of Football

Almost everyone of my favorite teams won this weekend. The only sad spot was the Halstead Highschool Dragons could not win their second straight game but the rest of the weekend was sweet. Here is the list of the winners:

Pittsburg State Gorillas
Kansas City Chiefs
KU Jayhawks
New Mexico (they beat Missouri which is always a bonus)
Iowa State (beat a Big 10 school)
Notre Dame over Michigan!!!
Nebraska looking decent
Oklahoma State
Texas over a Big 10 school!!!!

I am almost caught up on my grading and this week is looking very busy but I think it might be a good week of teaching. Hopefully I will get some of my posts done for my college class and be caught up by next week.

FOR DISCUSSION: How did your teams do this weekend?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

African American’s In Wichita 1900-1950 (Project eHIKES Kansas and the West)

This is the preliminary idea and outline for a research paper I am working on. Feel free to leave me any comments or suggestions.

General Topic: This paper will analyze life in Wichita, Kansas for Africans Americans during the first half of the twentieth century. The paper derives itself partly from Gretchen Cassel Eick’s book Dissent In Wichita which focuses on conditions from 1954 to 1972. I hope by looking at the social, economic and political conditions in the early 1900s than a better understanding for the later actions can be reached.

Possible Sources:

Secondary Sources
Stories from the heartland : African American experiences in Wichita, Kansas / by Judith R. Johnson and Craig L. Torbenson (BEST SECONDARY SOURCE)
Wichita by Fred Harvey
Dissent In Wichita by Gretchen Eick
Wichita 2000 A. D: build a better community : a bicentennial project to honor the past by building a better future
Wichita branch of the NAACP 75th anniversary celebration
Wichita, Kansas as I knew it by Ralph Richards
Selected characteristics of Negro population in Wichita, Kansas, in 1950, by Margaret Mullikin

Primary Sources
Wichita at a Glance: 1927
Committee report on study of community resources, for Race Relations Clinic 1947.

Wichita 1860-1930 by Jay Price
Wichita Negro Telephone Directories
Wichita African American High School Alumni Reunion books

The establishment and growth of Negro schools in the city of Wichita from 1912-1933 by Gordon Loraine Wes
African American Newspapers from
The Enlightner
The Negro Star
Wichita Globe
Wichita Free Star


I. Introduction
Possible Thesis: There were many factors in the first half of the twentieth century that laid a foundation and foreshadowed the cities coming civil rights turmoil.

II. African Americans in Kansas

III. Brief overview of the history of Wichita

IV. Economic Conditions for African Americans prior to 19590
A. Business opportunities
B. Housing conditions
C. Changes due to World War I and World War II
D. Wichita Urban League

V. Social Conditions for African Americans
A. Prejudice in the city
B. Church community
C. Educational opportunities

VI. Government Issues and African American
A. Laws affecting African Americans
B. Participation in Government
C. Education for African Americans in Wichita
D. Segregation (dejure and de facto)

VII. Conclusion

Thursday, September 08, 2005

In Case You Missed It

One of myu former students, Becky, made refernce to Kayne West's comments on NBC. In case you missed it you can see it here:

Kanye West

My Opinion: I suppose the 1st amendment gives him the right to say it but I have the right to say that he is totally wrong. Still, I can watch the clip a thousand times just to watch Mike Myers' reaction. It is his best comedy role since So I Married an Axe Murderer

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Great Day In Halstead

Both the weather and my classes have been wonderful thus far this year. Today was a fun teaching day. We had a great look at photos of the ruins from ancient Rome (I love my LCD projector...thank you eHIKES), I showed economics graphs to one of Gerber's classes which Coach Brown would disagree with but I find the students do pretty well with them, then my honors US history class was a bit lazy with their powerpoint presentations but I think they will get used to my expectations soon. My other US history class looked at imperialistic aquisitions which was alot of fun and finally Mr. Gerber and I did a mock debate over the Patriot Act for the debate class. I spoke against the Patriot Act which is not my real view but I still beat the pants of him. I'll leave you with that vivid thought.

A Former Student and Aide Stops By

Like the prodigal son returning from nowhere I had one of my former aides and student leave a post. Sam was my most recent aide and a wonderful history student. She is in her first semester of college and thing sounf pretty good. In case you missed it she said:

Hey Mr.Warsnak,It is I, your favorite aid, Ms. Regier. I thought I should
update you on the general happenings of my college experience and some weird
things.I've found that I really am enjoying college. Sterling is the perfect
place for me.I'm in honors classes and thus surrounded by people as nerdy and
over-acheiving as myself.Here's the one thing I really wanted to tell you
about:my history/world civ teacher.The first day of class he had on a
archeologist-style hat, unbuttoned the top buttons of his shirt for that nice
"manly chest hair effect", and was wearing sandals. I thought, "This guy has a
serious Indiana Jones-complex." He also has an interesting voice. i figured it
out the other day that is sounds like Daryl Hammond doing an impression of Al
Gore on SNL. What a combonation. Sooner or later I think he might bring one of
those whips that Indian Jones had to class and insist that we call him 'junior'.
I think it will be a very interesting semester.All that is to say that I'm going
to miss your normal(sometimes) lectures and the fact that you wear suits and
never sandals.Hope the school years is going great so far and that John isn't
causing you too much trouble.


Sam always has a great attitude and I am sure she would be a great social studies teacher but she's into art education (I think) which she will do well with. My aides over the years have been wonderful and save my teaching career on numerous occasions by allowing me to vent, finding food and coffee, laughing at my jokes, grading stuff and making way too many copies. Thanks for the help and I hope you all are doing well in college.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Honors US History

Post your links to primary source databases here

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Is it racism? Posted by Picasa

Racism and the Hurricane

There has been a lot of discussions about captions pertaining to the hurricane victims. I would hope the wording was unintentional but at the very least I think it warrents some thinking about. I have included some of the discussion from Salon.com and the pictures:

Two photographs of New Orleans residents wading through chest-deep water unleashed a wave of chatter among bloggers Wednesday about whether black people are being treated unfairly in media coverage of post-hurricane looting.

One of the images, shot by photographer Dave Martin for the Associated Press, shows a young black man wading through chest-deep waters after "looting" a grocery store, according to the caption. The young man appears to have a case of Pepsi under one arm and a full garbage bag in tow. In the other, similar shot, taken by photographer Chris Graythen for AFP/Getty Images, a white man and a light-skinned woman are shown wading through chest-deep water after "finding" goods including bread and soda, according to the caption, in a local grocery store.

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