Allow us to introduce you to Katie Nash. The 33 year old mother was recently let go from her position at the Frederick County Public Schools (Maryland) District as the “web-experience coordinator.”
The school hired Nash because according to the Nash:
“We had received feedback from some students in a focus group that our tweeting was a bit flat, they were looking for some more engagement,” Nash said. “They were looking for us to tweet back at them and I really took that to heart because I know that I am a little bit older and maybe not as hip as some of the student’s are, so I took that to heart and I took that feedback in.”
(They held a focus group concerning social media and Twitter? They really did that? “Social media” was somehow important to the School District?)
When winter weather was approaching the area, a student by the name of Nathan tweeted this: “close school tammarow PLEASE”
Nash responded by tweeting “but then how would you spell tomorrow : )”
Seems like a great response to us. It’s lighthearted, funny, and makes a point about education.
The exchange got “liked” and re-tweeted 1000’s of times and we assume eventually hit the desks of the head of the Frederick County Public Schools.
They held a meeting with Nash and ended her position with the school district.
“Dear Katie, this letter confirms our discussion today that your probationary period as a Web Experience Coordinator for Frederick County Public Schools will not be extended. You will be terminated from your assignment, effective January 13, 2017.”
Obviously, the tweet must have offended the student which is why the school took action, right?
In a school allegedly full of adults making adult decisions, the University felt it necessary to warn students to the evils of Halloween costumes.
October brings fall weather and Halloween. If you choose to participate in Halloween activities, we encourage you to think about your choices of costumes and themes. Some Halloween costumes reinforce stereotypes of particular races, genders, cultures, or religions. Regardless of intent, these costumes can perpetuate negative stereotypes, causing harm and offense to groups of people. Also, keep in mind that social media posts can have a long-term impact on your personal and professional reputation. The University of Florida’s Division of Student Affairs
Diversity and Social Justice Statement reminds us that UF fosters a community that values and respects diversity. An inclusive definition of diversity recognizes the variety of personal and social experiences that make individuals and communities different from one another. (emphasis ours)
Really? A costume can “cause harm?”
Even if someone is offended by a costume, isn’t the adult response to either walk away or say something to the wearer?
After all, if you think that you are going to go through life without someone saying or doing something that offends you, you are in for a rude surprise in the real world.
Instead of encouraging students to handle the situation themselves, the University has made counselors available to those who are offended.
As a community, we aspire to demonstrate integrity, respect, and compassion that strives to maintain an affirming campus climate for all members of our community. If you are troubled by an incident that does occur, please know that there are many resources available. Please take advantage of the 7 day a week presence of the U Matter, We Care program at the University of Florida by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, there is a 24/7 counselor in the Counseling and Wellness Center available to speak by phone at 352-392-1575. (emphasis ours)
But the fun killing, always offended social justice warriors in the form of the University Administration aren’t done yet. (more…)
This video is about why entropy gives rise to the arrow of time, and also how the initial low-entropy condition of the universe is responsible for the fact that we experience time right now, and how ultimately it will lead to the high-entropy heat death of the universe.
The University of Michigan decided to make a policy where students register on a web page for the pronouns they want professors and teachers to address them by.
A designated personal pronoun is a pronoun an individual chooses to identify with and expects others to use when referencing them (he, she, him, his, ze, etc.).
Students can designate pronouns in Wolverine Access through the new Gender Identity tab within the Campus Personal Information section. This page can be used to enter, update or delete pronoun information.
Designated pronouns will automatically populate on all class rosters accessed
through Wolverine Access. Rosters pulled from other systems will not have designated pronouns listed. If a student does not designate a pronoun, none will be listed.
The University of Michigan yesterday unveiled a new webpage that allows students to choose their preferred pronouns, including “they” and “ze.”
Preferred pronouns will appear on class rosters, and if professors accidentally use the wrong pronoun, “you can acknowledge that you made a mistake and use the correct pronoun next time,” said the university’s provost and vice president for student life in a campus-wide email announcement. It also called using preferred pronouns “one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.”
Failure for faculty to follow the student’s request comes with a price: (more…)
There are several histories floating around on the origins of “Herky,” but it appears that the current version of the Herky was based on a design that incorporated a famous Iowa wrestler and the cartoon character Mighty Mouse. (Yes, really!) There were technical issues with the costumed Herky including a fiberglass head that weighed 30 pounds and cracked all the time, so the University decided to “update” Herky with a carbon fiber head and an little more aggressive look. (seen above.)
Incredibly, that look now has upset a professor at the university.
“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages,” Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of pediatrics at UI, wrote recently in an email to UI athletic department officials. “And our campus community is doing a great job in that regard when it comes to words. However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, faces conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence are not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community.”
The email was included in a message Oral sent Tuesday morning to other members of the UI Faculty Senate, where she is one of the representatives from the UI Carver College of Medicine.
This is an interesting take on laughter in a marriage. It is important to realize that what is being said is not that laughter makes a good marriage, but the absence of laughter is an indication of other issues.
And there is even science to back this up!
How do you know if your relationship is going in the right direction? Is there a way to tell if you’re in love? Well, yes, and studies confirm that the measuring stick is how much laughter there is in your relationship. Comedian Yakov Smirnoff, host of PBS comedy special “Happily Ever Laughter”, explains.
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.”
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. (more…)
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: (more…)