The World is Waiting For You

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Gallaudet University website: Commencement Day 149th Ceremony

Commencement is the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory for our graduates and their families and friends. It is the day to celebrate our graduates’ hard work that goes into the achievement of graduating…..”

Friday, May 17, 2019:

Live streaming.

EPHPHATHA as seen on huge black Gallaudet seal banner on the wall behind people’s back while signing front of the audience, it is a political satire of Deaf people at least.

When those Deaf graduates go home carrying a degree with the same seal you see would make a political satire in your space even as the story about EPHPHATHA who espouse false hopes make the news, those very same Deaf graduates are granted rights in the Amendment VIII to push for justice. What is Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution?

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

What we saw was absolutely horrible and inhumane. It was a poor taste of showing large banner “EPHPHATHA” in spelling. Again, it was supposed to be the most important event and once-in-a-lifetime memory.

No, it is not just “be opened.” It is ABOUT “ears be opened”—they should not be facing “excessive bail” just because they are being Deaf—connected to the cruel punishment inflicted. Deaf graduating students as always shall be protected even in educational system, Gallaudet University, always shall eager to overcome Audism what little remains of the privileges that limit Deaf students by mocking them, frequently justifies what it shall be ordered by saying that EPHPTHATHA wants the power to prescribe serious effects the state of being Deaf and therefore comes under Congress’ power to regulate this.

When Deaf graduates restore and gave confidence to countless hours and their consequences are very real and with the systematic Audism, trying to make the most of each and every day, but Gallaudet University had the nerve to show the banner the power of hearing privileges on the most important day for Deaf graduates, why cannot they restore their confidence as state of being Deaf?

Gallaudet University also said: There is no other place like this in the world.

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Then the huge banner should not be shown at graduation day again because it is where Deaf students connect their world with the rest of the world and Deaf community we once knew as home.

The Commencement Day is about deep respect to step out and thrive on Deaf community behalf. Without being insulted. Gallaudet University needs a positive approach. When Deaf students growing up, they might be appeared to be happy to graduate, you would never guess how many of them would suffering through some dark times. Imagine from K to 12th grade, they would get bullied, physical and emotional times. They end up feeling worthless and think they would treat that way for the rest of their lives.

Gallaudet University, the beacon of healing and hope for Deaf people, seeking mental health help, they either are more or less tried to act like it never happened. The hope should be provided all the times. This month, May: Mental Health Awareness.

So, in 2019, EPHPHATHA should not hold the power and did not choose to empower Deaf students to prohibit oppression even in public accommodations. The banner shows the greatest invisible Audism on Gallaudet campus, properly acting under the rules. Then why is it continues to construe—to flagrantly oppress, to its advantage—a higher educational oppression problem?

With the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as the rights to the state of being Deaf—First Amendment, written to protect the rights of “speech” to use American Sign Language (ASL), EPHPHATHA authorizes Gallaudet University to oppress Deaf students with any goal that it asserts in a way, however struck, with an order to practice the reverberation of Audism.

Supposedly, there is no banner showing EPHPHATHA, would Deaf graduating students more vocal about their mental health and what they were going through with those around them as Deaf identity to be proud of? It would be a huge help on those roads to healing in all. Would it be nice to see with a smile on their faces that their lives is a precious thing with state of being Deaf without punished, I am sure that we all would not want to steal that away. Right?

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-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

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WPSD Graduation 2016: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

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Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Hunger strike at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD) was so important to the Deaf Education it represents academic freedom. It is now becoming a central theme in the history of WPSD. The hunger strike must not be more invoked than deeply understood.

Not everyone will agree with hunger strike, but it is essential for three critical reasons: 1) it is necessary for WPSD hunger strikers; 2) it is necessary for the Deaf community; 3) it is necessary for the quality of higher education for the Deaf. I will discuss each reason here. First, I understood the importance of hunger strike—even though I was not a student at WPSD, but I went through same thing at Tucker Maxon Oral School with similar principles.

Hunger strike becomes necessary. WPSD needs to be the place of the free exchange of ideas in the language and culture of the Deaf. Unless students and faculty are provided liberty to use American Sign Language (ASL) without misunderstanding, no genuine higher learning and teaching is possible at WPSD.

Those hunger strikers represent the best of the Deaf community. WPSD was supposed to be the primary source for dissenting ideas and vibrant debate in ASL. Nowhere else are intense intellectual debates in ASL, a common part of Deaf culture. When ASL is not understood, Deaf Culture is silenced.

Dr. Ronald Stern sent the wrong message for graduating students—talking about hunger strike is not an inspirational speech—it is a belittling message in the higher tone. Those graduating students certainly do not need to see that kind of message from a leader like Dr. Ron Stern. The graduating students put on their academic robe; they are scholars—believe it or not. The world needs to see them in this fashion to understand their struggles at WPSD—a flawed procedure leading to select an inappropriate speech by Dr. Stern.

Academic regalia have a history for more than 800 years. In Medieval Europe, scholars in many universities such as Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, etc.—wore gowns. In America, professors and students wore regalia for high school graduations, college graduations, and university graduations. In the past, these academic regalia symbolized scholarship. It is still an open question as to whether academic robe finds its sources chiefly in ecclesiastical or in civilian dress code.

Dr. Stern is a scholar and chooses this presentation in a very misleading and non-symbolic message.

WPSD hunger strikers delineates the quality of higher learning and teaching to attract the graduating students to the academy where ASL was supposed to be their human right. I support WPSD hunger strike from day one.

The deliverance of reasons for the graduation at WPSD does not seem reasonable at all. When asked how the students felt, for example, most of us imagine something about being neutral is a good thing to be. A little democracy reveals, however, that such neutrality would be as bad as the known oppression.

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-JT

Copyright © 2016 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.