Category Archives: Education

Southern Oregon elementary school will change “harsh” consequences for tardiness

 

lunch kid

Oregon Live: Officials at Lincoln Elementary in Grants Pass say they plan to change the consequences for students who are tardy after a grandmother’s photo of her first-grade grandson stuck behind a cardboard wall in the school lunchroom prompted widespread outrage on Facebook and in phone calls to the district.

In a posting on the school’s web page, district officials wrote Thursday that their practice of separating students behind a cardboard shield during lunch “was never intended to isolate or stigmatize students.”

But that was exactly what it looked like to parents, grandparents and anyone on Facebook who saw the photo of little Hunter, dejected behind a screen as his classmates eat together at a nearby table.

Students who are chronically late to school or who miss too many days of school are in serious jeopardy of not learning to read and not graduating from high school. For that reason, good schools stress the importance of regular on-time school attendance and take steps when a student is frequently late or missing. In Oregon, the problem begins in kindergarten and is pronounced in kindergarten and first grade.

But experts and educators recognize that when 5- and 6-year-olds are late to school, it is the parent, not the child, who is doing something wrong and needs to do better.

That is exactly the point that Laura Hoover of Grants Pass made in her angry Facebook post:

His momma’s car sometimes doesn’t like to start right up. Sometimes he’s a couple minutes late to school. Yesterday, he was 1 minute late and this is what his momma discovered they do to punish him… for something that is out of this baby’s control! They make a mockery of him in front of the other students! His mom found him there, crying, and took him home for the day.

Nearly 50,000 people shared her post. Many people who send or have sent their children to Lincoln Elementary commented.

They explained that the school has an official policy, instituted by the principal,  that students who are tardy four or more times will be subject to “lunch detention.” Students are forbidden to talk during that time and are put behind a screen if they try, parents wrote.

District officials posted an extensive explanation and pledge to make changes on Lincoln Elementary’s web site:

“There has been considerable general and social media attention regarding the Lincoln Elementary School Attendance/Tardy Academic Catch-up Protocol, which is intended to help support students address learning gaps arising from chronic tardiness/absenteeism. Principal (Melissa) Fitzsimmons immediately reached out to the parents involved in order to meet, and we are looking forward to addressing their concerns regarding Lincoln’s current practice in this area. Lincoln’s current attendance support protocol was communicated to parents via newsletter and is intended to provide the students with an above average level of tardiness, supervised additional learning time in a non-distracting setting. It was never intended to isolate or stigmatize students.

The District is taking the concerns raised very seriously and are reviewing alternative approaches for Lincoln Elementary to accomplish this worthwhile objective while avoiding any chance of adversely impacting a child, which was never intended. Lincoln Elementary is a warm and caring learning community receiving Student Success Champion School recognition from the Oregon Department of Education in 2012 as an inspiring example of what is possible when teachers, administrators, parents, students, and communities come together behind a shared vision of excellence for all students.

The District is open to constructive criticism with respect to current practices which can almost always be addressed and resolved informally. Modifications are already being made to the Lincoln tardiness support protocol in order to ensure “catch-up” learning opportunities are being provided in a supportive and caring setting.  In order to minimize the disruption of Lincoln’s ongoing educational process, please submit any additional concerns or input to the District Office at info@grantspass.k12.or.us.”

A call to the school went straight to voice mail and Fitzsimmons has not yet responded to the request for comment.

Personally, I don’t  think that punishment is harsh. And if grandma is so concerned about it, maybe she should help get the baby’s momma a new car.

Then again, public school indoctrination policies are always messed up.

DCG

Public university omits race from crime alerts to protect minority students’ feelings

stupidity

Campus Reform: The University of Minnesota has discontinued using race in campus crime alerts sent to the Twin Cities community.

In an email sent to faculty, staff, and students at the U of M, President Eric W. Kaler and Vice President Pamela Wheelock said they had been made aware of the “negative impact of using race as part of the suspect descriptions” and will cease to use racial descriptions in alerts that are “too general.”

“We have heard from many in our community that the use of race in suspect descriptions in our Crime Alerts may unintentionally reinforce racist stereotypes of Black men, and other people of color, as criminals and threats,’ Kaler said in the email obtained by Campus Reform. “That in turn can create an oppressive climate for some members of our community, a climate of suspicion and hostility.”

According to the email, Kaler and Wheelock have been discussing the removal of racial descriptions from the crime alerts for more than a year—since Dec., 2013.

“As a student here, I feel that any details that can be shared with me about the suspect are important to know for my safety,” Matthew Ricker, a freshman at U of M told Campus Reform. “If the university is withholding information that can help me identify a threat to my safety, I cannot support their actions.”

In her statement, Wheelock said that while crime alerts are supposed to help people be safe, they can also impact people’s feeling of safety.

“For some, knowing they have all the information available about a crime, including the complete suspect description, makes them feel better informed and increases how safe they feel,” Wheelock said. “But others—particularly Black men—have shared that suspect descriptions negatively impact their sense of safety. They express concern that Crime Alerts that include race reinforce stereotypes of Black men as threats and create a hostile campus climate.

According to the email, racial descriptions will be included in the crime alerts only when the university thinks there is “sufficient detail that would help identify a specific individual or group.”

The email also claimed that U of M’s campus has become safer in the past 18 months as the number of robberies has decreased, and U of M faculty, staff, and students are “more aware” of campus safety measures.

pc police

DCG

Washington State spends millions on convicted teachers retirements

say what

King5.com: In Washington, public employees who commit a crime don’t lose their taxpayer guaranteed retirements, and teachers can earn the right to a lifetime retirement after working for as little as five years.

KING 5 asked the state for a list of all the teachers who have had their Washington teaching license revoked and compared that list to a list of all the public employees receiving a pension.

The state has multiple retirement plans for teachers. Two of them would be considered a traditional pension plan, the third includes a private component. KING 5 only focused on the first two.

That led to a list of 22 teachers, most who had been convicted of crimes against children, who together have received about $5.1 million above their own retirement contributions, interest included as of the end of 2014.

That’s about $236,027.95 on average per person.

The list includes people like Norman Standley, David Lloyd Anderson, William Pickerel, Ruben Carrera, Alfredo Castillo and Ande Strittmatter, who were all found guilty of child molestation, Larry Pierson who was found guilty of assault with sexual motivation, Craig Figley who is serving a life sentence for molesting children and Christopher Loftus who was convicted of child rape.

messed up

In one specific example, KING 5 looked at the records for Laurence “Shayne” Hill. Hill was convicted on multiple counts of child molestation in King County in 2005 after he admitted to molesting his 10-year-old and 11-year-old students.

By the end of last year, Hill had received about $334,471.03 from the state retirement system; just over $208,568.16 was money above and beyond what Hill contributed into his own retirement, interest included.

“What! It’s that gut reaction of, ‘Oh, my gosh!’ This person is in prison for this and they are receiving several thousand dollars a month? What?!” exclaimed Anne Marie Gurney, a researcher with the Freedom Foundation, a conservative policy group in Washington state.

Gurney contacted KING 5 with concerns about the state’s pension laws. “To a certain degree, we need to protect our taxpayers,” Gurney said.

At least 25 states, including Alaska, California, and Arizona, have pension forfeiture laws, in other words public employees and/or elected officials convicted of a crime lose at least some aspect of their taxpayer funded retirements. Washington does not have a pension forfeiture law.

“I really think that probably it has never really come to the surface,” said State Senator Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. Bailey is the chair of the Select Committee on Pension Policy.

“I would agree, you know some things are so egregious you really can’t understand how these things can happen,” Bailey said regarding teachers who have committed crimes against children and are still receiving a pension.

Bailey said she’d consider whether public employees who commit a crime should be required to forfeit a portion of their pension, for instance to help pay for incarceration costs. “I think that is only fair, and I think taxpayers would agree,” Bailey said.

Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane, said he would be open to considering some kind of pension forfeiture law for future hires, but he would want to make sure whatever penalty was imposed only negatively impacted the person who committed the crime and not his or her dependents.

“I would fight it,” said Kit Raney, President of the Washington Teacher’s Association-Retired. She represents the interests of retired teachers. “So, this is just pure noise and a non-issue as far as I’m concerned,” Raney said.

Raney said she doesn’t believe teachers should lose their pensions under any circumstance. “If a worker commits a crime, it is handled by the legal system. The trial, the conviction is part of the legal system. It is totally separate from the pension system, which they contributed to and earned throughout their career. It’s apples and oranges,” Raney said. Raney accused the Freedom Foundation of being anti-teacher and anti-pension.

Gurney said the issue is not teachers or their pensions, but creating the legal room for taxpayers to have a choice. “I think taxpayers should have a choice if they are going to fund the pension of hardened criminals,” Gurney said.

Any new legislation would be met with by lot of resistance.

For now, Senator Bailey said she’s studying her options and the earliest she would propose a bill would be next year.

DCG

Higher Education: Students create BDSM club at all-women’s school

BDSM gear

Campus Reform: Students at an all-women’s school are seeking funding for their very own BDSM club. More than 60 Mount Holyoke College (MHC) students RSVP’d to the first meeting of the club which calls itself “The Control Tower.”

BDSM—or Bondage, Dominance, Sadism and Masochism—constitute a variety of sexual practices that have risen in popularity recently due to the release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey.

chokeClub members plan to use the organization to educate MHC students about BDSM practices and the safety procedures.

Caedyn Busche, a sophomore at MHC and a psychology and gender studies student, founded the club and told Mount Holyoke News in an interview that BDSM is a “huge topic of passion” for her.

scratch

Following the release of the film adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey, club organizers pointed out the need for discussion around BDSM topics. “Especially with 50 Shades of Grey coming out, it’s important for a group like this to meet,” MHC senior Jessica Avery told Mount Holyoke News. “There needs to be positive dialogues around consent, safety with a partner, proper usage of toys and basic knowledge of what BDSM/kink is outside of the false Hollywood fantasy.”

last picture

Despite some students’ excitement for the group, not all students are sure whether or not it’s appropriate. Mount Holyoke first year, Elizabeth Desimone told Campus Reform she thinks the funding of the group is inappropriate.

“Many students have a hard time paying their books each semester. I’m shocked that a club promoting sexual desires would request college from the funding. Not that I’m against clubs of this nature, but I think if MHC agrees to this, they have lost sight of their priorities,” Desimone told Campus Reform.

The club welcomes students of various “experience” levels and is open to all MHC students and students from other local colleges.

MHC is not the first college in the area to host a BDSM event; Hampshire College recently held a BDSM related workshop called “BDSM 101: Whip Yourself into Shape!” Pennsylvania State University also has its own BDSM club called Kink Positive (kink+) and Harvard University founded a kink-related club in 2012.

Busche told Mount Holyoke News that the The Control Tower’s only rule is “don’t yuck someone else’s yum.” Caedyn Busche declined to comment for this article.

See also:

DCG

Twilight of Capitalism: Number of U.S. corporations at lowest level in 40 years

“If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” -Obama in a campaign speech on July 13, 2012, in Roanoke, Virginia.

“We don’t believe anybody is entitled to success in this country.” -Obama in a campaign speech on Oct. 5, 2012, in Fairfax, Virginia.

you didn't build that

For more than six years, America’s entrepreneurs and businesses have been subjected to a stream of verbal abuses from a President whose own life has been one of privilege and mediocrity, instead of his “poor me” portrayal of himself as a child of a single mother who spent his childhood in an impoverished Third World country (Indonesia) and then was raised by his grandparents in difficult circumstances. (More on that later.)

So it shouldn’t surprise us that after years of Obama’s hectoring, the can-do spirit of American capitalism seems to have petered out.

Ali Meyer reports for CNS News, Feb. 19, 2015, that the number of business corporations in the United States has hit the lowest level seen in 40 years, according to data from a report by the Tax Foundation.

It doesn’t take an Einstein genius to know that fewer businesses mean fewer jobs and less tax revenue for the government.

The report, “America’s Shrinking Corporate Sector,” states that “recently released IRS data shows that there were 1.6 million C corporations in 2011. This is the lowest number of traditional corporations since 1974 and 1 million fewer than there were at the peak in 1986. In other words, in every year since 1986, roughly 40,000 U.S. corporations have disappeared from the tax rolls. However, the losses have accelerated since 2006 to a rate of about 60,000 per year.

While C corporations have seen a decline in number over the years, the number of partnerships and S corporations have increased.

Note: C corporations generate more tax revenue for the federal government because they face double taxation due to the corporate tax and shareholder taxes on dividends on capital gains. In contrast, S corporations and partnerships are subject to just one layer of tax, the individual income tax, because they pass their profits to owners who report them on their individual tax returns.

 The Tax Foundation’s report explains:

“The decline of the traditional corporate sector has generally coincided with the rise of the pass-through sector, comprised of businesses such as partnerships and S corporations that pass profits to owners who report them on their individual tax returns. Pass-through businesses are subject to just one layer of tax, the individual income tax, while C corporations face double taxation due to the corporate tax and shareholder taxes on dividends and capital gains.”

But the problem is more than C corporations being eclipsed by S corporations, as the latter aren’t doing that well either. The report explains that in addition to a decline in the number of corporations, business sector growth and profits have taken a dip as well:

“The recession and subsequent slow recovery have led to slow overall growth in the business sector. As a result, the growth rate of pass-through entities have tapered off in recent years.

Since 2006, S corporations have grown at a rate of about 1 percent a year, down from a rate of about 8 percent in the 20 years prior. Likewise, partnerships have grown at a rate of about 2 percent a year since 2006, down from a rate of about 3 percent in the 20 years prior.

Not only has the total number of traditional corporations declined, so has the total of their profits. C corporation profits, while extremely volatile, have generally trended downward as a share of GDP in recent decades, while the profits of S corporations and partnerships have trended upwards.”

The irony is that when Obama told entrepreneurs, “You didn’t build that!” and “You’re not entitled to success in this country” ’cause it’s all due to “blind luck” and piggy-backing on “a generation of women doing someone else’s laundry and looking after someone else’s children to get you here,”Obama is projecting his life history onto us. It is his success that’s all due to blind dumb luck.

*Obama said that in his keynote address at the Harvard Law School Association “Celebration of Black Alumni” Award Luncheon on Sept. 17, 2005. (WND)

For the truth is Barry Soetoro Barack Hussein Steven Dunham Obama grew up in privilege. He was born to a maternal grandmother (Madelyn Dunham) who was the vice president of a bank in Honolulu. From ages 6 to 10, Obama lived in the home of his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, in an exclusive section of Jakarta, Indonesia. The family was so well off that they hired a gay transvestite nanny to look after young boy Obama.

As recounted in the Washington Examiner‘s Special Report “The Obama You Don’t Know,” when he was 10 years old, mommy sent him back to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents who paid for his education at the costly élite private Punahou School — one of the most expensive schools in Hawaii — which Obama attended from 1971 to 1979. Obama admitted in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, that his grandfather had pulled strings to get him into Punahou: “There was a long waiting list, and I was considered only because of the intervention of Gramps’s boss, who was an alumnus.”

After he graduated from Punahou, Obama went across the Pacific Ocean to attend the private Occidental College in Southern California. Today, tuition for a full-time student at Occidental College is $43,490 per year, which doesn’t include room-and-board and the costs of books and supplies.

After two years at Occidental, Obama transferred to another expensive private university, Columbia University, where no student or faculty can remember ever having seen him in the two years he supposedly spent there, reportedly graduating with a mediocre 2.6 (B-) GPA . Despite his lackluster GPA, he was admitted to yet another expensive private university, Harvard University Law School.

By his own account, Obama was a mediocre student in high school and college who lived a “party” lifestyle of cocaine and booze. Since he refuses to make public his college records, including his GPAs at Occidental, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School, as well as his SAT and LSAT scores, we can assume that those records are lackluster because, being the grandiose narcissist that he is, he would most certainly make known those records if they were sterling.

After Harvard Law, he taught for 12 years at University of Chicago Law School as a part-time lecturer, not professor. Despite Time magazine gushing in 2008 about Obama being “a rock-star professor with hordes of devoted students,” his law student evaluations show him to be a mediocre teacher. After his first two years of teaching, his popularity fell steadily. In 1999, Obama was the third-lowest-ranked lecturer at Chicago Law School that year, with only 23% of students saying they would repeat his racism class. By 2003, only a third of the student evaluators recommended his classes.

And, unlike others on the Chicago Law School faculty who published numerous articles in legal journals, Obama’s byline did not appear in a single legal journal while he taught there. Nor did he publish any articles in legal journals before and after his stint at Chicago Law School, which is puzzling for someone touted as “the smartest man ever.”

While he was teaching part time at Chicago Law, he served one singularly undistinguished term in the Illinois State Senate. According to Gov Track.us: “From Jan 2005 to Oct 2008, Obama missed 314 of 1300 recorded or roll call votes, which is 24.0%. This is worse than the median of 2.4%.”

Then he was elected to the U.S. Senate where, after having served only two lackluster years, he decided to run for president and became his party’s nominee. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he was hailed as messiah and compared to Jesus, despite his mediocrity and in spite of his pro-abortion and pro-infanticide positions that are the antithesis of Christ. With just a vague campaign slogan of “Hope and Change,” millions of Americans projected their dreams and fantasies onto this man whom the media deliberately refused to vet, and elected him President of the most powerful country on Earth.

After just 9 months as president, without a single foreign policy achievement, he was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

In other words, when Obama decries success as due to blind dumb luck, he was describing himself. For surely, his astonishing successes are not due to any excellence on his part.

Yes indeed, Obama. You didn’t build that! And you most certainly didn’t earn, don’t deserve, and are not entitled to your success.

See also:

~Éowyn

Muslim student’s wild tale of a hate crime was completely fabricated

messed up

Dallas News: A UT-Arlington student who claimed she was threatened at gunpoint on campus this week admitted Friday that she’d lied, a university spokeswoman said. The student told police she hadn’t even been at the school the day she said the incident occurred.

UT-Arlington had been investigating the complaint with Arlington, Denton and University of North Texas police, school spokeswoman Kristin Sullivan said.

Officials have not released the student’s name, and it was unclear Friday night whether she would be charged with filing a false police report. The student could not be reached for comment.

University President Vistasp M. Karbhari said in a written statement that he appreciated the police efforts in the case. “We take these issues very seriously,” he said. “The safety and security of all UT Arlington students, faculty and staff is our utmost concern.”

The university had issued an alert Friday that the student told police she had been followed six miles by a man in a pickup before she reached the campus. The man who followed her was driving a white Ford pickup with a Texas flag on the antenna.

When the student parked her car about 9:15 a.m. in Lot 49 at South Cooper and West Mitchell streets, she said, the suspect got out of his truck, yelled a threat and pointed a gun at her. Afterward, the man left the scene.

The suspect was described as a white man in his mid-30s wearing a camouflage baseball cap, a short-sleeve blue shirt and bluejeans. He also wore a black bracelet and a wooden bead bracelet on one wrist.

The student also posted on social media that the man might have targeted her because she is Muslim. In a Facebook post, she referred to the killings of three Muslim students this week in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Chapel Hill police say a long-running parking dispute between neighbors motivated 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks to kill Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina campus.

A Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization has asked authorities to address speculation about possible religious bias in the Chapel Hill slayings.

DCG

Feminist, LGBT orgs threaten to ‘take action’ when Christian group invites them to debate

lauren bacall

Campus Reform: A female student was threatened by feminist and LGBT organizations at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington after she invited them to attend a pro-life event.

Madison Marston sent personal email invitations to UNCW’s National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), PRIDE, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Student Association (WSSA), to extend an invitation to Ratio Christi’s “Abortion and Human Equality: A Pro Life Defense of the Unborn” discussion. The three organizations collectively declined while threatening Marston for sending the invitation.

“Each of the leaders of PRIDE, NARAL and WSSA ask that you no longer contact us directly,” the email, obtained by Campus Reform said. “As a student organization, your events are on the CAIC calendar, part of Hawk e-News, and disseminated in a variety of other ways, which is sufficient for us to be aware of them. We do not need, nor want, these invitations. If you continue to attempt to contact any of us, we will take further action.

In the email, the organizations said they already had a separate event scheduled for that same date but also said they will not participate in any debates with the Christian apologetics organization as they do not share the same beliefs when it comes to abortion and LGBT issues.

“As such, we have no desire to debate them with you or your organization,” the organizations said in the email. “We have no desire to hear from Mike Adams who has routinely mocked us and engaged in hostile and belittling behavior towards our organizations and beliefs. We have no desire to attend any event sponsored by your organization and its narrow beliefs steeped in religious bigotry and intolerance.”

As previously reported by Campus Reform, UNCW’s NARAL chapter celebrated those who provide illegal abortions—or “abortion heroes” as they called them—in the fall. The organization partnered with the school’s LGBTQIA Resource Office and the Women’s Studies and Resource Center (WSRC) to put on the event, which was promoted by school faculty.

Ratio Christi’s event, scheduled for Feb., 26, will host Adams, an outspoken conservative professor at UNCW, “to present a scientific and philosophical argument on the topic of abortion,” according to the event’s press release obtained by Campus Reform.

The free event has a Q&A portion concluding Adams’ talk, during which Marston, a biology and chemistry major, was hoping the other student organizations could participate.

“I had naively thought UNCW’s pro-choice student organizations would jump at any and every opportunity to participate in events on the topic of abortion,” Marston told Campus Reform in an interview. “Or at least, I thought they would be somewhat interested in having a platform to defend their views. If they believe so strongly that abortion is a woman’s right—why are they afraid to defend their belief?

Marston said she was not surprised that the organizations declined to participate in the event as they have not extended invitations to any pro-life organizations while hosting pro-abortion events in the past.

“If Ratio Christi is the intolerant party, why will NARAL, PRIDE, and the WSSA not tolerate our personal invitations?” she said. “Why will they not tolerate our attempt to engage with them on a topic of mutual interest?” UNCW’s College Democrats also declined the invitation to attend the event as “our party’s views do not align with the views of the speaker.”

“The unborn are viable at 21 weeks. Unfortunately many campus liberals are not viable even after 21 years,” Adams told Campus Reform. “They simply cannot survive in a free and open marketplace of ideas. That is why they demand to remain undisturbed inside protective wombs like the safe zone and the campus diversity center. That is also why they threaten to abort free speech by prosecuting those who seek to openly debate controversial ideas.” “If this is not intolerance I don’t know what is,” he said.

Marston told Campus Reform that she’s hopeful to eventually be able to plan an event with NARAL, PRIDE, and WSSA in order to discuss and debate topics such as abortion. Her response to the organizations’ email that clarified the event and encouraged them to attend, at least for the discussion portion, has gone unanswered.

NARAL, PRIDE, and WSSA did not respond to repeated requests for comment from Campus Reform. A representative from UNCW also did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

liberal tolerance

DCG