Currently Browsing: Education
Apr 21, 2014
Behold the nine year of daughter of Bergen Community College (New Jersey) professor of art and animation Francis Schmidt.
She’s a cutie.
The young girl was practicing yoga in her “Game of Thrones” tee-shirt when her father snapped a picture and put it on his Google+ account.
A dean at the school who received the post notified the school as he took the picture as some sort of “threat.”
In an email, Jim Miller, the college’s executive director for human resources, told Schmidt to meet with him and two other administrators immediately in light of the “threatening email.”
Although it was winter break, Schmidt said he met with the administrators, including a security official, in one of their offices and was questioned repeatedly about the picture’s meaning and the popularity of “Game of Thrones.”
Schmidt said Miller asked him to use Google to verify the phrase, which he did, showing approximately 4 million hits. The professor said he asked why the photo had set off such a reaction, and that the security official said that “fire” could be a kind of proxy for “AK-47s.”
Despite Schmidt’s explanation, he was notified via email later in the week that he was being placed on leave without pay, effectively immediately, and that he would have to be cleared by a psychiatrist before he returned to campus. Schmidt said he was diagnosed with depression in 2007 but was easily cleared for this review, although even the brief time away from campus set back his students, especially those on independent study.
Maybe the cat in the image terrified the dean who reported the picture as well. After all, a small cat can be a metaphor for a flesh eating lion being let loose in the halls of the college. (It makes about as much sense as “fire” and “AK-47′s” being the same thing.)
We cannot believe that a professor was told he could not return to work for posting a picture of his daughter in a tee shirt from a popular TV show.
The wrong person was suspended and told to visit the psychiatrist.
Apr 2, 2014
A group of parents at a high school in Plymouth, Michigan decided that instead of watching their child’s baseball game by standing along a chain link fence, they would raise money to erect build bleachers. At the same time, the parents raised money to pay for a new scoreboard.
We certainly applaud their efforts which demonstrate that working hard can get you things that you want. In addition, working as a group can yield benefits for others that come behind you.
All in all, good lessons to be teaching and demonstrating to your kids.
The government can’t allow that.
A new set of seating is being torn down outside the Plymouth Wildcats varsity boys’ baseball field, not long before the season begins, because the fields for boys’ and girls’ athletics must be equal.
A group of parents raised money for a raised seating deck by the field, as it was hard to see the games through a chain-link fence. The parents even did the installation themselves, and also paid for a new scoreboard.
But, after a complaint, the U.S Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights investigated the new addition and says it must be torn down. It says the facility was no longer equal to the girls’ softball field next door, which has old bleachers and an old scoreboard.
There was also an issue that the bleachers were not compliant with the American with Disabilities Act which requires a certain area within the bleachers be designated and designed for wheelchairs. The accessibility issue was not something that could not be overcome with a small fix but that won’t happen.
The school dismantled the bleachers and put them in storage until funds can be raised or found for bleachers for the softball diamond. The scoreboard will be able to stay because the softball field is getting a new scoreboard as well.
Mar 12, 2014
An article in the FloridaToday newspaper dated May 7, 2014 heralds the return to success of long time Brevard County business Richard’s Paint
After brush with ‘Great Recession,’ Richard’s Paint back in the black
When the national housing crisis began in 2007, Richard’s Paint Manufacturing Co. in Rockledge was among the first businesses to notice the slowdown.
The paint business, headquartered at the appropriately addressed 200 Paint St. in Rockledge, began drying up. The family-owned company, which had been in business for more than half a century at that point, saw annual revenues drop by more than 10 percent.
As the “Great Recession” started to reverberate across the nation, Richard’s company laid off more than 20 workers and its managers volunteered to take a 5 percent pay cut.
These days, with the American housing industry bouncing back, the outlook is much brighter at the 60-year-old business.
Richard’s, which employs about 80 people, is expanding and exporting its products to independent paint retailers all over the world. Its profits are at record highs. This year, the company expects revenue to peak near $23 million.
“We’re now shipping to 40 states, including Alaska, and we’re opening up a new warehouse in Texas,” said Eric Richard, the president of Richard’s Paint Manufacturing Company and the youngest of four children of the company’s founder, Edward Richard Sr.
Also, Richard’s has rehired some of those who were laid off. And for those who took salary reductions, the company reinstated those wages and offered full reimbursement for prior pay cuts.
We hope you read the whole thing because it is a great story about a small business fighting to stay alive in a county that was hurting because of the economic downturn in so many sectors.
It would have helped somewhat if the Brevard County School District Richard’s Paint as a valued partner in both the community and as a valued vendor, but the District chose not to.
Mar 3, 2014
Above is a composite of four high school scoreboards taken from around the United States.
Take a moment and figure out what may be wrong with them.
By “wrong with them,” we don’t mean what scores they represent. We don’t mean what sports they represent. We don’t mean what teams they support (after all, the “Panthers” are disproportionately represented.) We don’t mean “what sport rules do they violate?”
No, we are asking “what is illegal about these signs?”
Got it yet?
Promotion of sugary drinks and junk foods around campuses during the school day would be phased out under the Agriculture Department rules, which are intended to ensure that marketing is brought in line with health standards that already apply to food served by public schools.
That means a scoreboard at a high school football or basketball game eventually wouldn’t be allowed to advertise Coca-Cola, for example, though it could advertise Diet Coke or Dasani water, also owned by Coca-Cola Co. Same with the front of a vending machine. Cups, posters and menu boards that promote foods that don’t meet federal standards would also be phased out. (emphasis ours)
Feb 27, 2014
It turns out, water intoxication is a real thing! But should you be worried about it?
Feb 13, 2014
Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Lee Hark announce that school will be closed Feb. 13, 2014.
Thing is, we wonder how many of the kids know the “Ice Ice Baby” reference?
Very well done gentlemen.
Feb 16, 2013
We should be so far beyond anything like this ever happening – especially in an educational setting.
The principal of Mission Viejo Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado, Andre Pearson, finds himself in a little bit of a predicament.
We think he should out of a job. (Or at least suspended.)
Pearson sent a letter home to parents advertising the school’s new tutoring program. In the letter, Pearson said the program was only for “children of color.”
One of the parents whose child needs or wants tutoring was going to contact Pearson directly when they received a voice mail from the principal:
“This is Andre Pearson. It’s focused for and designed for children of color, but certainly, if we have space for other kids who have needs, we can definitely meet those needs,” Pearson told Cox in the voicemail.
The school has reversed the policy and will allow kids of all races into the tutoring program. Tustin Amole, a spokesman with the Cherry Creek School District said Pearson made a mistake.”
Anytime you have kids in a school program who are excluded by race, it is wrong. It is morally, legally and ethically wrong.
A kid writing 2+2=5 on a test is a mistake. This is professional malfeasance and stupidity.
The principal should be suspended (at the very least) and required to take some sort of “sensitivity training.” After all, if the principal had excluded children of color from the program, that is the minimum that would have happened. To be consistent, that is what should happen here.
As a nation, we should never tolerate racism in any form. Ever.
It happened in Aurora, Colorado and should not be tolerated.
Feb 9, 2013
While we were on “computer hiatus,” our friend William Teach over at the Pirate’s Cove wrote a brief article on a 10 year old child who was arrested for bringing a toy gun to school and showing it to friends on the bus.
The boy, a fifth-grader at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School whose name is not being released, was charged as a juvenile with brandishing a weapon, police said.
He was also suspended from school, and Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman said further action is being considered, including expulsion.
On Monday, the boy showed the plastic gun to at least one other student during a bus ride home from the school. The 10-year-old did not point it at anyone or threaten to shoot it, but he neglected to mention that the weapon was fake, said Alexandria police spokeswoman Ashley Hildebrandt.
There is so much stupidity here it is hard to imagine. The child wasn’t “brandishing a weapon” because the toy isn’t a weapon. There was no risk of any one being harmed. Furthermore, the allegation by the Alexandria police spokesperson that the child neglected to mention the toy was a fake gun is belied by the fact that the toy had an orange tip to it, which is mandated by the Federal government for toy guns that cannot fire a projectile. The very presence of that orange tip screams “this is not a real gun.”
We can argue all day long as to whether the 10 year old should have brought the toy to school, but it seems to us there is very little argument that arresting the kid will do anything to make anyone safer, teach the child a lesson, or anything that schools should be doing. All the arrest does is show how ridiculous the actions of some people in school systems are and how they lack critical thinking skills.
Take for example the case of a fifth grader in Philadelphia who was searched in front of her classmates, yelled at by administrators and called a “murderer” by those same classmates for the awful “crime” of having a piece of paper torn and folded into a shape that resembled a handgun.