Category Archives: Education

U.S. 9th Circuit Court rules high school can ban students from wearing American flag T-shirt

More than 4 years ago on May 5, 2010, Cinqo de Mayo, four students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California — a school with a predominant Mexican-American student body — were ordered by the vice principal Miguel Rodriguez to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out.

From left, Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano and Dominic Maciel were sent home from school because they were wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

One of the boys, Daniel Galli, said they were told they could wear the flag T-shirt any other day “but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it’s supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today” because their T-shirts were “incendiary” and could lead to fights on campus.

The boys said their T-shirts were an expression of their American pride. When they refused to turn their T-shirts inside out, they were ordered to go to the principal’s office and threatened with suspension. So the boys went home to avoid suspension.

The boys and their families met with a Morgan Hill Unified School District official. The district released a statement that “The district does not concur with the Live Oak High School administration’s interpretation of either board or district policy related to these actions.”

The boys were not suspended and were allowed to return to school, one of them wearing an American flag T-shirt. (Read more about this here.)

Fast forward four years.

Eric Owens reports for The Daily Caller that on Sept. 17, 2014, Constitution Day, the notoriously liberal U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order declining a request for an en banc (full court) hearing in a case involving the four Live Oak High School who were sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo.

In so doing, the Ninth Circuit judges signaled their agreement with a lower district court and with a trio of appellate judges that officials at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Calif. could censor students who wanted to wear flag-emblazoned shirts.

“[N]o further petitions shall be permitted,” the court ordered.

In the three-judge ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that school officials have wide latitude to limit freedom of expression: “Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence. Here, both the specific events of May 5, 2010, and the pattern of which those events were a part made it reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

Consequently, the court proclaimed, vice principal Rodriguez acted constitutionally when he told students to turn their American flag shirts inside-out or hit the road with an excused absence because he was trying to prevent potential violence.

An online version of the opinion, Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist., is available here.

The practice of limiting one group’s free speech rights because that speech might cause another group to react violently is known as a “heckler’s veto.” It is understood by free speech advocates to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights.

liberty gagged

~Eowyn

Seven-year-old punished at school for bringing in souvenir shell casing

casing

Fox4KC: Sherry Falke  said her seven-year-old son came home from school Tuesday crying hysterically. She thinks the school went overboard with a punishment her son received at s bringing in a souvenir shell casing.

“He felt it in his pocket, and he took it out and was showing some of his friends at school,” Falke explained. She says her son Zane forgot he left the shell casing in his pocket, a souvenir he received at the 9/11 ceremony from the VFW in Carrollton, given to him and his Cub Scout group.

The principal proceeded to reprimand him as though he were bringing live ammunition to school. I understand that’s in the policy, in the handbook, that they can’t bring guns to school, I fully support that, but it’s an empty blank casing,” Falke added.

Zane’s teacher took the shell casing, and took him to the principal’s office. Falke says they told Zane he could be suspended from school for 10 days, but instead gave him a silent lunch where he sat by himself, and missed two recesses.

Dr. Feagan

Dr. Feagan

“In today’s society, unfortunately, we do have to be concerned with those types of things in schools,” said Dr. Roger Feagan, the superintendent of the Norborne R-VIII School District. He says while the shell casing is not a huge deal, the safety and security of students is their number one priority. (Because an empty shell is dangerous how?)

“Though this seems minor, if we don’t handle the minor things, they can unfortunately escalate into major things down the road,” added Dr. Feagan.

Falke said she called the school and explained the significance of the casing, and asked if they would reduce the punishment knowing now what it was.

“Had he brought a war medal to school, would he have been punished?” Falke asked. “They also passed out American flags to all the kids, if he brought that to school would he have been punished?”

The school said no, the punishment stands. “We didn’t want anything to lead to anything further with that student or think that was OK to bring to school,” said Dr. Feagan.

The school handbook specifically says weapons, firearms, knives, and the like, are not allowed. While the shell casing doesn’t exactly fall into that category, the school feels the punishment was appropriate, and a common consequence for minor offenses.

The school says it stands behind the punishment, and the superintendent adds that hopefully this is a learning experience for everyone. He says had the school been informed ahead of time about the souvenir, and where it came from, it could have been a great discussion topic in the classroom.

homeschool

See also:

DCG

Amerika: A nation of know-nothing potheads

sheeple

This past Wednesday, Sept. 17, was Constitution Day — the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a sad day for our Founding Fathers because after they had labored and sacrificed to establish a government of checks and balances and the rule of law, for the people, by the people, and of the people, only 36% or about one of every three Americans can name the three branches of government — executive, legislative, judicial — which the Constitution had created.

Reid Wilson reports for The Washington Post, Sept. 18, 2014, on more findings from the new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center:

  • Only 38% of Americans know the Republican Party controls the U.S. House of Representatives, while 17% think Democrats are still in charge. Worse still, fewer Americans –a drop of 17% — now know the GOP controls the House than back in 2011, right after Republicans had reclaimed control of the lower chamber.
  • An identical number, 38%, knows Democrats run the Senate, while 20% believe Republicans control the upper chamber.
  • Only 27% know it takes a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate to override a presidential veto.
  • 15% of Americans correctly identified the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts; but 27% know Randy Jackson was a judge on American Idol.
  • Only 13% know the Constitution was signed in 1787.

There are groups, like the Civics Education Initiative (CEI), which are are pushing to include more civics education in high schools by requiring students to pass the same citizenship test that immigrants do when they come to America. CEI will introduce legislation in seven states that would require passage of the citizenship test before graduating.

Meanwhile, Kate Rogers reports for CNBC, Sept. 18, 2014, that 1 in 10 Americans are showing up to work high on pot.

A new survey conducted by Mashable.com in partnership with SurveyMonkey found 9.7% of Americans fessed up to smoking marijuana before showing up to the office. Worse still, nearly 81% said they scored their cannabis illegally.

james Madison

Think you can do better than the 36% of Americans who can’t name the three branches of the U.S. government? Take the American Civics Literacy Quiz!

After you’ve taken the quiz, compare your score to our elected officials by going to “How Elected Officials Scored on American Civics Literacy.”

~Eowyn

California charter school removes Christian books from library

River Springs Charter School

Springs Charter Schools, aka River Springs Charter School, is a charter school in the city of Temecula, Riverside County, southern California.

On its “About Us: Vision & Mission” page, Springs Charter Schools describes itself as “created and is operated by parents” and that “We value Parent choice and involvement, Using the community as the classroom, Fostering a child’s innate creativity, Collaborating to achieve goals, Building relationships, and Personalizing learning.”

What the page leaves out is that Springs Charter Schools also values CENSORSHIP and ANTI-CHRISTIANITY.

Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), a conservative legal defense organization in California, is sounding the alert that Springs Charter Schools is violating the First Amendment by removing library books based on their perceived Christian content.

In an email, PJI states:

A parent of students enrolled at Springs Charter Schools was recently shocked to see some of the books being targeted for removal, including the well-known account of Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place.  The parent contacted PJI after library personnel explained to her that they had been directed to remove Christian books, books by Christian authors, and books from Christian publishers.

PJI attorney Michael Peffer sent the school a cease-and-desist letter on August 22, citing long-established Supreme Court precedent that strongly disapproves of school libraries removing books based on opposition to their content or message.   
 
Last week, the Superintendent of Springs Charter Schools, Dr. Kathleen Hermsmeyer, ignored the precedent in PJI’s letter and instead insisted, “We . . . do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves.”
  
PJI President Brad Dacus commented, “It is alarming that a school library would attempt to purge books from religious authors.  Indeed, some of the greatest literature of Western Civilization comes from people of faith.  Are they going to ban the sermons or speeches of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?  What about the Declaration of Independence that invokes the laws of nature and nature’s God?  We are calling on Springs Charter Schools to immediately reverse their ill-conceived and illegal book-banning policy.”  
 
PJI responded to the school this week by sending a public records request and is prepared to take further legal action if the school continues to ignore its constitutional obligations.  

To contact the Pacific Justice Institute:

Brad Dacus (916) 857-6900

Scrolling through the Springs Charter Schools’ very long list of “Administration Contacts(Bloated Bureaucracy Alert!), I can’t find any contact info for its superintendent.

As if that could end my search. [smirk]

From the California Department of Education website:

Kathleen M. Hermsmeyer
Superintendent
Ph: (951) 252-8800 ext. 891
Email: kathleen.hermsmeyer@harborspringscharter.org

Kathleen Hermsmeyer, 47

Kathleen Hermsmeyer, 47

I also saw this on Springs Charter Schools’ very long list of “Administration Contacts“:

Enchanted Learning – Amber Zielinski (951) 252-8841

“Enchanted Learning”? I dread to ask what that is.

H/t FOTM’s MomofIV

~Eowyn

100 most livable cities in USA

bay6

Livability just came out with their 2nd annual top 100 best small to mid-sized cities in the U.S.

More than 2,000 cities were ranked by the following criteria:

  • Amenities: Variety of terrain; access to water; farmers markets; golf courses; parks; a moderate climate; role of arts in the community. 
  • Demographics: Racial, ethnic, and age diversity; population growth.
  • Economy: income inequality; income growth forecasts; employment; the amount residents spend on food.
  • Education: Quality of public schools; presence of colleges and universities; education levels of the adults.
  • Health care: Presence of hospitals within the town limits; low-birth-weight rate among children; obesity rates among adults; ratio of primary care physicians per 100,000 residents.
  • Housing: Access to affordable housing; diversity of housing stock.
  • Social and civic capital: Who are the people in your neighborhood? and what do they do for your neighborhood?
  • Transportation: Access to major airports; walkability; transportation costs; percentage of the population who commute to work by some means other than driving alone.

Below are the top 100 cities:

  1. Madison, Wisconsin
  2. Rochester, Minnesota
  3. Arlington, Virginia
  4. Boulder, Colorado
  5. Palo Alto, California
  6. Berkeley, California
  7. Santa Clara, California
  8. Missoula, Montana
  9. Boise, Idaho
  10. Iowa City, Iowa
  11. Bozeman, Montana
  12. Asheville, North Carolina
  13. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  14. Bellevue, Washington
  15. San Mateo, California
  16. Santa Barbara, California
  17. Overland Park, Kansas
  18. Salt Lake City, Utah
  19. Rockeville, Maryland
  20. Eugene, Oregon
  21. Pasadena, California
  22. Fargo, North Dakota
  23. Ventura, California
  24. Fort Collins, Colorado
  25. Sunnyvale, California
  26. Mountain View, California
  27. St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  28. Santa Monica, California
  29. Durham, North Carolina
  30. Ames, Iowa
  31. San Rafael, California
  32. Frederick, Maryland
  33. Greenville, South Carolina
  34. Lakewood, Colorado
  35. Provo, Utah
  36. Sandy Springs, Georgia
  37. Lincoln, Nebraska
  38. Miami Beach, Florida
  39. Quincy, Massachusetts
  40. Cambridge, Massachusetts
  41. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  42. Towson, Maryland
  43. Tempe, Arizona
  44. Portland, Maine
  45. Alameda, California
  46. Renton, Washington
  47. Bellingham, Washington
  48. Beaverton, Oregon
  49. Fullerton, California
  50. Columbia, Missouri
  51. Bismarck, North Dakota
  52. Helena, Montana
  53. Irvine, California
  54. Reno, Nevada
  55. Olympia, Washington
  56. Santa Cruz, California
  57. West Des Moines, Iowa
  58. Honolulu, Hawaii
  59. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  60. Ashland, Oregon
  61. Monterey, California
  62. Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  63. Alexandria, Virginia
  64. North Bethesda, Maryland
  65. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  66. Lexington, Kentucky
  67. White Plains, New York
  68. Costa Mesa, California
  69. Corvallis, Oregon
  70. Manhattan, Kansas
  71. Tampa, Florida
  72. Silver Spring, Maryland
  73. Kirkland, Washington
  74. Lawrence, Kansas
  75. Westminster, Colorado
  76. Bend, Oregon
  77. Redmond, Washington
  78. Santa Rosa, California
  79. Goleta, California
  80. Knoxville, Tennessee
  81. Stamford, Connecticut
  82. Des Moines, Iowa
  83. Fayetteville, Arkansas
  84. Denton, Texas
  85. Springfield, Missouri
  86. Orlando, Florida
  87. Menlo Park, California
  88. Salem, Oregon
  89. Burbank, California
  90. Hayward, California
  91. Greensboro, North Carolina
  92. Charleston, South Carolina
  93. Richardson, Texas
  94. Tysons Corner, Virginia
  95. La Crosse, Wisconsin
  96. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  97. Framingham, Massachusetts
  98. Billings, Montana
  99. Brookline, Massachusetts
  100. Coral Gables, Florida

Do you live in one of the above cities?

Do you agree with the ranking criteria? (I’m surprised crime rate isn’t a criterion.)

~Eowyn

Tranny voted Colorado high school’s homecoming princess

All of a sudden, trannies are all the rage.

In May, a bearded transvestite named Conchita Wurst (see below) was voted the winner of Eurovision, an annual song competition held among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Note the intertwining snakes, more like worms, on his chest.bearded tranny Concita Wurst

Here in America, Time magazine’s cover of June 9, 2014 proclaimed we’re at a “Transgender Tipping Point: America’s Next Civil Rights Frontier”!

For that matter, the late Joan Rivers, two months before she died from a botched “routine” endoscopy, had admitted “we all know” Barack Obama is “gay” and Michelle Obama is a “tranny.”

With a tranny as the First Lady of the United States, it’s no wonder the media and pop culture have seized upon transgenders as their newest cause célèbre. The latest to join the tranny bandwagon is a high school in Colorado, where a cross dressing boy, who feels he’s really a girl, was selected as the school’s 2014 homecoming princess.

Andy "Scarlett" LenhTraditionally, homecoming princesses are selected based on their physical attractiveness. As you can see for yourself in Andy “Scarlett” Lenh’s pic above, I doubt he was voted homecoming princess based on his pretty looks.

Debbie Kelley reports for The Gazette, Sept. 13, 2014, that 16-year-old Scarlett Lenh, a biological male, was officially crowned the 2014 homecoming princess for Sand Creek High School during Friday night’s football game.

Scarlett was born Andy Lenh and this school year started identifying as a female transgender.

After he found out at an afternoon assembly that the majority of the junior class had voted for him over three other candidates, Scarlett/Andy said, “It was really exciting. It felt really good. I couldn’t stop smiling.” Two of the other girls who were nominated by their peers were “extremely supportive,” but the other “was really upset.”

Scarlett/Andy said that being in the running for homecoming princess was no joke to him: “One of my friends mentioned it, and I didn’t think anything of it because I didn’t think I’d be nominated. But, now, it really matters to me. This is something I’ve wanted to do since my freshman year. I want people to be themselves and not feel uncomfortable in their own body and mind.”

Andy/Scarlett has dressed in girls’ clothing for the past few weeks and also uses the girls’ bathroom at Sand Creek, which is on North Carefree Circle in Falcon School District 49.

Some students and adults are upset about both issues.

“It’s craziness,” said Jana Neathery, whose granddaughter attends Sand Creek. “Originally, it was a joke that he was going to be nominated for homecoming princess, but he got a lot of nominations,” Neathery said, referring to Scarlett, “and now there are a lot of upset girls because a spot was taken from them. I’m very sympathetic that he’s transgender, but he should be on the boys’ side, not the girls’.”

Neathery also is mad that Scarlett/Andy uses the girls’ bathroom: “It’s ridiculous – he’s interested in girls, and they’re allowing him to use the girl’s bathroom.” Neathery said that when she complained to the principal, he told her if a girl feels uncomfortable in the bathroom when Scarlett/Andy is in there, the girl should leave. “I suggested he go to a nongender-specific restroom, whether it be in the office or the teachers’ lounge,” Neathery said. “I said, ‘So my granddaughter can put on jeans and say I feel like a boy today’ and go into the boys’ restroom?’ ”

Some students say it’s strange to have a student who has a male body in the girls’ restroom. Scarlett/Andy said his high school counselor would speak with administrators to “figure out a solution.”

Jarrod Clarke, a junior at Sand Creek, said, “I think it’s wrong because he’s actually a guy, he’s not a girl, and he hasn’t been doing this his entire life – he’s only been recently doing it. We thought he was doing it as a joke. He’s a guy and doing this for whatever reason. But he’s still a guy.”

Another Sand Creek student who asked not to be identified said of Scarlett/Andy, “We know him pretty well. He’s only cross-dressing, putting on girls’ clothes.”

D-49 spokesman Matt Meister said he could not comment on the issue due to student privacy laws but in a statement said, “The leaders at Sand Creek High School and in District 49 respect the decision of the Scorpion student body in electing their homecoming court. Our board policy sets the standard that we do not exclude any person from participating in any program or activity on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.”

When asked by The Gazette if he is attracted to girls, Scarlett/Andy said, “For the last year and a half, I haven’t been attracted to anything.”

In June 2013, at another local school, Coy Mathis, a transgender first-grader who was born a boy but identifies as a girl won the right to use the girls’ restroom at Eagleside Elementary in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8.

Coy Mathis’ parents took the case to the Colorado Civil Rights Division, claiming the district’s refusal to allow Coy to use the girls’ bathroom violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act. The division ruled in favor of the “girl,” saying keeping the ban in place “creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive.”

Back to Scarlett/Andy.

He said he has known since he was 7 or 8 years old that he felt like a girl and not a boy. “It was always in the back of my mind. In middle school I tried to block it out. This year, I got serious about expressing it. I see it as a great thing. I hope it helps people understand if they want to be something and work hard at it, it can happen.”

Scarlett/Andy told his family this week: “It was really hard. My mom didn’t like it, but she wants to support me for what I do in life.”

H/t FOTM’s MomofIV

See also”

~Eowyn

College abandons traditional applications, transcripts and test scores are ‘all about privilege and wealth’

white privilege

Campus Reform: A liberal arts college in Maryland is forgoing the traditional application process as it is “all about privilege and wealth.”

According to José A. Bowen, president of Goucher College, college acceptance is no longer based on merit or academic success in high school. Beginning next year, Goucher will become the first college in the nation to offer students the opportunity to simply submit a two-minute video as the main part of the application process, which will still require the same monetary fee as the traditional application.

“Access to higher education should be about potential and not just previous achievement,” Bowen said in a press release.

In their admissions videos, students will explain in two minutes how they will thrive and fit in at Goucher. Students will submit videos through the newly created Goucher Video App (GVA) and will still be required to sign a statement of academic integrity, submit two works (one of which must be a graded assignment) from high school, and pay a $55 application fee.

“There is an inherent risk admitting students without seeing prior high school course history,” Christopher Wild, an admissions counselor at Goucher told Campus Reform. “However, the GVA does include a graded writing sample…and additional work from the high school.”

Wild also said that as Goucher classes are different from high school classes—Goucher classes apparently require students to “analyze” whereas high school simply tests how well students can “regurgitate content”—the graded writing sample will be enough to determine a student’s preparedness for the school.

“With the graded writing sample, we will be able to determine a student’s preparedness for a Goucher classroom,” Wild said.

The Common Application process, which allows students submit high school transcripts and letters of recommendation from advisors and teachers, is still an option. That application fee is also $55.

However, Bowen says that sometimes the Common Application process can be too confusing or discouraging.

“For most Americans, applying to college is a giant mystery,” Bowen told The Washington Post. “The whole system is broken. Nobody thinks this is a good thing. It’s very high-stress. It’s all about privilege and wealth. I’m convinced we are leaving talent on the table in this country because the process is so complicated and stressful. I want to level the playing field.”

According to the college, Goucher has been “test-optional” since 2007, meaning applying students were not required to submit either SAT or ACT scores.

Students applying to Goucher via video are still eligible for need-based financial aid. Students who wish to be considered for merit scholarships will still need to submit a high school transcript with the option of submitting SAT or ACT test scores.

Video applications will be judged on the “thoughtfulness of the student’s response,” the press release states. Wild confirmed to Campus Reform that the new application will not affect staffing, but will be a “new process” for Goucher staff to learn.

Goucher College, located north of Baltimore, was also the first college to require undergraduate students to study abroad.

Last year, Goucher was home to around 1,450 undergraduate students. It admitted 72 percent of its undergraduate applicants.

Video essay? Hey, that worked for Elle Woods (despite her white privilege)!

DCG