Currently Browsing: Education
Jul 1, 2016
We haven’t mentioned our buddy William Teach who runs the blog “The Pirates Cove” in awhile. Teach is a seagoing rogue of sorts and we have not found a better blog for aggregate information on climate change, the science and the hypocrisy of those who are called “warmists.”
Teach also ventures into politics and the absurd and a few days ago wrote a post called “Police Called To School Over ‘Simple Name Calling.'”
To say the least, we were intrigued.
The town of Collingswood, New Jersey is embroiled in a controversy over the use of police in disciplinary actions that would be normally handled by school personnel.
We can’t think of many things that would be more ridiculous, but we underestimated that when we read this account:
On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class. After another student exclaimed that the remark was “racist,” the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the boy’s mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities.
Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about snacks, not skin color.
“He said they were talking about brownies. . . . Who exactly did he offend?” dos Santos said.
The boy’s father was contacted by Collingswood police later in the day. Police said the incident had been referred to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency. The student stayed home for his last day of third grade.
Let’s start with the obvious. A brownie is a baked good of yummyness and commenting on that yummyness is not racist.
Jun 6, 2016
Spessard Holland Elementary School principal Ricky Delano Sheppard, was arrested last Friday after police searched his home and allegedly found 1,100 “child notable” images in his possession.
Sheppard is not talking.
However, the Sheriff’s Office and the Superintendent of Schools are talking and held a press conference announcing the arrest. At the press conference, the head of Brevard County Public Schools, Dr. Desmond Blackburn, announced that Sheppard had been relieved of his duties as principal and that at the school board meeting of June 14th, he would seek to have Sheppard fired.
(Please note that at the time of this writing, no official charges have been made against Sheppard. He has not been tried or convicted of anything. We are not defending his alleged actions, but rather the callousness of the press conference announcing the arrest and attempt at firing Sheppard. At this point in time, this is a public lynching and it is disturbing to us especially when it comes to the handling of law enforcement officers who are accused of crimes or impropriety.)
The public is outraged over this event as in 1999, Sheppard was issued an official reprimand giving “excessive gifts and personal comments” to one of Sheppard’s first grade students while teaching at Gemini Elementary School.
This means that the Brevard County School System knew they had a potential issue on their hands and yet eventually promoted Sheppard to the position of a principal in an elementary school. People are wondering why nothing was done about Sheppard in 1999 other than a reprimand. Remember, this is a school district that suspends kids for aspirins and having a butter knife in a lunch box but only reprimands a teacher who appears to have been targeting a 6 or 7 year old kid. That doesn’t seem to be the correct balance of “justice,” punishment and accountability there, does it?
We have a different question for Brevard County School System:
May 29, 2016
The headline reads: “Brevard School Board candidate arrested during LGBT meeting.”
School Board candidate Dean Paterakis was charged with disrupting a school function and resisting an officer without violence Tuesday after he was ejected from a school board meeting dealing with LGBT issues. The incident was caught on video.
Paterakis was released on $750 bond before midnight on the two misdemeanor charges.
As often is the case, the headline and the opening paragraph from the Florida Today is not accurate. The headline can be more accurately described as sensationalism.
This was not a “LGBT meeting.” One of the more contentious items may have been what was called “Agenda Item G37″which was to be a vote on holding a workshop to examine including new language into the Board and school policies that would add gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgendered and “gender identity” to a “protected class” status for the purpose of so called discrimination within the County.
The public believed, and based on the wording of the agenda itself, that the vote would be on adding the proposed wording to the policy as opposed to voting to hold a workshop in June to discuss the proposed wording to the policies.
The meeting can be viewed on the Brevard County Public Schools website. Before Public Comments and agenda item G37, Board Chair Andy Ziegler stated Item G37 was on voting to hold a workshop and not on accepting the actual proposed language.
At the start of the Public Comments, Ziegler also made this statement:
“Please be reminded that profane, abusive, or slanderous speech is not permitted. To clarify, we consider this Board Room an extension of the school environment and therefore, if it is not an appropriate conversation in a school, we don’t consider it appropriate conversation here.”
That statement needs to be examined because it doesn’t matter how Ziegler and the Board views the meeting, what matters is the law. As far as the law is concerned, Ziegler is way out in left field.
May 24, 2016
A five year old in Brighton, Colorado has been suspended from school for bringing a “gun” onto school grounds.
The “gun” in question is a bubble gun as seen to the left.
It “shoots” bubbles.
Gee, who would have ever thought a 5 year old would be excited and want to play with bubbles her classmates.
With a “zero tolerance” policy towards guns, the school suspended the child. They called her mother and told her she needed to pick up the weapon totin’ miscreant immediately.
Not at the end of the day, but immediately.
“I apologized right away and said that I am so sorry she did that,” said the girl’s mother. “I appreciate that they’re trying to keep our kids safe, I really do. But there needs to be some common sense. It blows bubbles.”
“If asked, ‘Is it really necessary for me to come get her?’ And they said, ‘Yes, this is our zero tolerance policy, and somebody needs to come get her immediately.”
Monday night, she said her daughter was so upset, she asked to stay home and help clean house instead of going to school.
“It’s a shame because it’s the end of the school year, and it’s kind of ending on a bad note now,” she said. “And she didn’t deserve that. She didn’t deserve a punishment like that.”
How dare the mother bring common sense into this! Doesn’t she know that someone could have been seriously injured when a bubble struck them? Doesn’t she know that kids might have gotten soapy water on their hands and clothes?
Think of the carnage those bubbles could have caused!
No wonder the kid broke the law. The mother actually had the gall to think a school would apply some sort of reason and thinking to this situation.
The school, for their part, stands by their decision:
Apr 22, 2016
Often in the case of sexual assaults, there is an element of “he said – she said.” In cases of domestic abuse, sadly an abused spouse will retract an accusation of abuse for any number of reasons, leaving prosecutors with no case to pursue.
But what happens when the alleged victim of rape claims that the sex was consensual? What happens when that sex occurred when both parties were capable of consenting (ie not high or drunk)? What happens when a woman tells another that she had sex multiple times with a guy and the second woman makes the accusation of rape?
If you are Grant Neal who attended Colorado State University – Pueblo, what happens is you are suspended from school for multiple years, losing your athletic scholarships, ruining your education and life.
Neal’s expulsion (it’s silly to call it a “suspension”; multi-year suspensions are expulsions) stemmed from his allegedly improper sexual relationship with a female student and athletic trainer, Jane Doe. In the fall of 2015, Neal was a sophomore at CSUP: he and Doe became good friends and eventually developed romantic feelings for each other. Sexual relationships between athletes and trainers are frowned upon, however, so they first attempted to remain friends.
On October 23, they went to the movies together. Afterward, they kissed and engaged in consensual sexual behavior. They did so the following evening as well. These were not drunken hookups: these were mutually-agreed upon encounters, according to the details in the lawsuit.
At one point, Neal expressed concerns about giving Doe a hickey—a kiss mark on her neck—because the other trainers might notice it. Doe encouraged him to do so anyway, and promised to wear a hoodie the next day. These and other anecdotes demonstrate Doe’s full complicity in the sexual activity that took place, though her statements are even more definitive.
The hickey was indeed noticed by another trainer, described as the “Complainant” in the lawsuit. When confronted, Doe confessed to the Complainant that she and Dean had engaged in sex. According to the lawsuit, the Complainant “presumed” this sex was nonconsensual, and reported it to the director of the athletic training program.
Notice what happened here. It wasn’t the woman who had sex with Neal that made the complaint. It was a person who did not witness the sex, nor did she witness Neal and “Jane Doe” being together any of the nights they were together – either before or after the sex.
Even worse, Neal was not allowed to present witnesses in his defense that corroborated his account of the events and the woman’s account of the events.
Mar 31, 2016
According to the article we are about to cite, “Rachel E. Huebner ’18, a Crimson editorial writer, is a psychology concentrator in Pforzheimer House.”
Huebner’s editorial for the Harvard Crimson has caught the eye of many people because she describes the suppression of ideas and speech at colleges, including Harvard.
This is the passage that has many talking:
In a class I attended earlier this semester, a large portion of the first meeting was devoted to compiling a list of rules for class discussion. A student contended that as a woman, she would be unable to sit across from a student who declared that he was strongly against abortion, and the other students in the seminar vigorously defended this declaration. The professor remained silent. (more…)
Mar 30, 2016
Via Ace of Spades comes this interesting question and a father’s fight against the educational system, standardized tests, and the people who care more about protecting the system than education.
Here’s the question again:
What’s the largest number you can represent with 3 digits?
If you answered 999, you’re wrong.
The key to the question is the term “represented” not “written.”
There for the largest number that can be represented by three digits is:
Mar 21, 2016
A raging discussion is going on concerning the actions of a teacher and school in Durham, North Carolina.
Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina has enrolled grade-school students in a “Black Lives March and Rally” scheduled for March 17, 2016. The teachers can opt-in or opt-out their classes, but parents have not been given a choice.
Stef Bernal-Martinez, a teacher of 6-year-old children, signed up all the children in her class for a “Black Lives March and Rally” to take place during the school day, at the city’s downtown Central Park and Farmer’s Market. Ms. Bernal-Martinez describes herself as a “Radical Queer Progressive Educator” and “white-passing Xicana.”
In an interview with IndyWeek, Bernal-Martinez responded and tried to offer clarification to the incident:
Anyway, we asked Bernal-Martinez, the indoctrinator in question, about Thursday morning’s march, which commenced at around 8:45.
“It was really fun and exciting,” she reported. “It was a beautiful day.”