School bans clapping and allows students ‘silent cheers’ or air punching but only when teachers agree

Children (6-13) in school auditorium giving standing ovation, portrait

Via new.com.au: Clapping has been banned at a Sydney primary school which has introduced “silent cheering”, “pulling excited faces” and “punching the air” to respect students who are “sensitive to noise”. The school now only allows its pupils “to conduct a silent cheer” when prompted by teachers and says the practice “reduces fidgeting”.

Elanora Heights Public School, which is on Sydney’s northern beaches, announced its new “silent cheer” policy in its latest school newsletter.

The ban on clapping at Elanora Heights Primary School emerged on the same day that an exclusive girls school banned teachers from calling “ladies” or “women” in favour of “gender-neutral” terms.

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic). “If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads. “Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot. The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.”

no clapping

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed. Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.

The ban follows a direction at exclusive Cheltenham Girls High School in northwest Sydney for teachers to avoid discrimination and support LGBTI students by avoiding the words “girls”, “ladies” or “women”.

The measure followed the introduction of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program and teachers were told at a meeting if they did not comply they could be deemed homophobic and breaking the law.

The school also has a “Queer-Straight alliance” club and holds gender equality events such as Wear it Purple Day. Last month, it lowered the Aboriginal flag to raise the rainbow flag at half-mast following the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Local MP Damien Tudehope told the Daily Telegraph that parents feared their daughters might be ostracised if they didn’t comply with Rainbow Day and Purple Day.

Elanora Heights Public School’s ban on clapping in favour of silent cheering comes after several schools have banned hugging. In April, hugging was banned at a Geelong primary school and children were told to find other ways to show affection. St. Patrick’s Primary School principal John Grant said “nothing in particular” had caused hugging to be replaced by high fiving or “a knuckle handshake”. “But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.

He said he had spoken to teachers about his decision to ban hugging and then the teachers had spoken to classes, instructing the children on different methods of showing affection. He had not sent any correspondence home to parents but said there would now be a letter going home on Monday.

“There’s a range of methods including a high five or a particular knuckle handshake where they clunk knuckles as a simple way of saying ‘well done’,” Mr. Grant said. “There are also verbal affirmations and acknowledgments.”

Children at the school have been enthusiastic huggers, he said, with hugs given out to teachers and other children. “We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”

Comment from Elanora Heights Public School about the clapping ban has been sought by news.com.au.

DCG

Did Hillary have a brain seizure on camera?

Voters have the right to know about a presidential candidate’s health. In Hillary Clinton’s case, reports and rumors of her ill health have dogged her campaign. See:

The latest disturbing signs took place on June 17, 2016, when Hillary was asked by NBC News’ Monica Alba if she had discussed a possible V.P. role with Sen. Elizabeth “Fauxcahontas” Warren.

Below are two videos taken from different angles, showing Hillary acting bizarrely, suggestive of a brain or epileptic seizure. She quickly recovered and “blamed” the seizure on the cold drink she’d just sipped.

You be the judge!

See also:

H/t GiGi

~Eowyn

This CNN headline says it all: Obama’s warped reality

obamas warped reality

The headline under Obama reads, “Obama: Trump’s doom-and-gloom doesn’t match reality.”

Obama also said this yesterday, in response to Trump’s speech at the RNC convention:

President Barack Obama this afternoon dismissed Donald Trump’s doom and gloom speech Thursday night at the Republican convention as a distortion of what’s happening in America.

‘This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse, this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn’t really jive with the experience of most people,’ Obama stated.

The exiting president says he didn’t watch Republicans’ convention. But he did see the news clips, he said today, and thinks Trump and the Republican Party have it wrong. ‘Some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week just don’t jive with the facts,’ Obama said.

The crime rate in America has went down since Republican hero Ronald Reagan was president, Obama said Friday afternoon.

So have the incidences of murder and violence and intentional killing of police officers, even though it may not seem that way based on the violence recently in American cities. Illegal immigration has also slowed, he protested.

‘We have put unprecedented resources at our border,’ Obama asserted.

obama

Read the whole story here.

h/t Twitchy

DCG

Governor Malloy Bypassed Airport Security Checkpoint With Son’s Backpack

Rules are for little people.

dannel malloy

From The Courant: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (demorat) bypassed a federal security checkpoint at Bradley International Airport last Nov. 27 while carrying a backpack belonging to his son, Samuel Malloy, through a private corridor to the departure gate area as he and first lady Cathy Malloy saw their son off for a flight, a Courant investigation of the episode has found.

Security camera footage shows Malloy carrying the red backpack on his shoulder through a side door within the Bradley terminal to which airport security personnel admitted him. Then he was ushered by state police with his wife through a secure, non-public interior corridor and ended up at the airport’s departure gates, the video shows.

The corridor bypassed one of the now-familiar security checkpoints where U.S. Transportation Security Administration agents electronically screen travelers’ bodies and baggage with X-ray devices 2 million times a day, the investigation found.

Malloy, in an interview, confirmed the bag was not screened.

Malloy’s 23-year-old son went, separately from his parents, through the regular public security checkpoint while carrying no baggage, then caught up to them at the departure gate area. The videos do not show Malloy turning the backpack over to his son – but Malloy said it was at the gate area where his son took the pack from him, and then boarded the plane headed toward his home in Los Angeles after a Thanksgiving visit.

The episode was flagged by airport personnel, who objected to the Malloys getting special VIP treatment that enabled them to get the son’s backpack around the public security checkpoint, and into the gate area where no member of the public can go without a boarding pass. At least one expressed alarm at a backpack getting onto a commercial jet without undergoing normal scrutiny.

Internal emails written by one or more individuals who work at the airport said it was “a violation” of security rules and that “this Governor is not above any law.”

Asked about the bag and security, Malloy apologized and said he’d been in a hurry to get his son on the flight because “we were running a little behind.”

“It was kind of an absent-minded mistake,” Malloy said in an interview on Wednesday. “And I am sorry. You know, to cause anybody consternation is not what I was trying to do. I was just trying to see my son off with his mother.”

“It would have been very easy…to have had him take his own bag” through the security checkpoint, he said.

Malloy said his state police security detail made all arrangements for his family’s movements at the airport – including going through the secure corridor to the gate area, rather than saying goodbye before the security checkpoint as the general public must.

“The reality is, I’m kind of led around a little bit” by the state police security detail assigned to protect him, Malloy said. “I haven’t been outside of my house without somebody standing beside me in many years. And so my security knows what the mission is, and I basically follow them.”

TSA higher-ups later reviewed the incident, examining the videos, and found no violation, saying the backpack wasn’t a threat. TSA officials declined to release a copy of their investigation.

Freedom of Information Act requests by The Courant for security footage and other information relating to the incident – which happened during a 20-minute period between 11 a.m. and noon on the day after Thanksgiving – were denied in recent months by the TSA, the Connecticut Airport Authority, and the Connecticut state police.

However, the video footage and several emails were obtained by The Courant.

Malloy has been vocal in urging vigilance for against terrorism – saying “if you see something, say something.” Asked Wednesday if he thought airport personnel were right to “say something” about the incident involving him and his son’s backpack, he said “absolutely.”

He said if he had it to do over, “I would have thought about it and it wouldn’t happen. There’s no reason for it to happen except that we were trying to get my son on a plane to say goodbye and we were running a little late.”

The governor said as far as he knows, the backpack went onto the jet with its contents unexamined. Asked if it was inspected at Bradley, he said, “No, it was not.” Had his security detail examined the contents earlier? “I wouldn’t think so,” he said. But he also said he didn’t think anything in it would have been a problem at the checkpoint. “No,” he said, “Not that I know of.”

Read the whole story here.

h/t Hot Air

DCG

Millions of LinkedIn passwords hacked and sold on black market

I’m a paid member of LifeLock. This afternoon, I received an email alert from LifeLock that “LifeLock detected a piece of your personal information” — my email address — “being sold online.”

privacy

The alert said my email address was found on “social media,” specifically the “potential impacted site” of http://www.linkedin.com — the website of LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals and business people.

Fortunately, the personal data that was breached is one of my email addresses. LifeLock warns that “If your debit card, credit card, bank account numbers or PINs appear in this alert, change all accounts sharing the login name and password, and contact the corresponding financial institutions immediately. We recommend you use different logins and passwords for each account; this will minimize the scope of your potential risk.”

After freaking out for a few seconds, I got to work.

First, I went on the net to search for LinkedIn having been hacked. This is what I found.

Jose Pagliery reports for CNN Money that four years ago, in 2012, LinkedIn was hacked, resulting in, we were told, the theft of 6.5 million passwords.

Companies typically protect customer passwords by encrypting them. But LinkedIn was hacked because in 2012, the company had a rather lackadaisical security policy that eschewed adding a pivotal layer of security that would have made the encrypted jumbled text harder to decode.

The massive hack led computer security experts to wonder why it took so long for LinkedIn to figure out what happened to their own company computers, and to acknowledge it publicly. Brad Taylor, CEO of cybersecurity firm Proficio, asked: “If LinkedIn is only now discovering the scale of data that was exfiltrated from their systems, what went wrong with the forensic analysis that should have discovered this?”

It gets worse.

It turns out that the number of passwords stolen was way more than 6.5 million. In actuality, 117 million LinkedIn passwords were stolen by hackers.

Then it gets really really bad.

According to the tech news site Motherboard, on May 18, 2016, LinkedIn acknowledged that a massive batch of login credentials is being sold by hackers on an online black market called “The Real Deal”.

Worst still is this: Since we tend to reuse our passwords, the hackers who have the 117 million LinkedIn passwords are more likely to gain access to those 117 million people’s email and bank accounts as well.

Put on the defensive, LinkedIn’s chief information security officer Cory Scott said, “We take the safety and security of our members’ accounts seriously,” blah blah blah. The company is now scrambling to try to stop people from sharing the stolen goods online — often an impractical task — as well as invalidating all customer passwords that haven’t been updated since they were stolen 4 years ago.

LinkedIn also said it’s reaching out to individual members affected by the breach, but I’ve received no notification from LinkedIn. If it wasn’t for LifeLock, I would not know that my email address was hacked and is being sold on the black market.

If you are a member of LinkedIn, you should:

  1. Change your password.
  2. Add two-factor authentication, which requires a text message every time you sign in from a new computer.
  3. Here’s my advice: If you use your LinkedIn password on other accounts, change those passwords as well, especially for bank and other financial accounts, such as PayPal. I spent several hours this afternoon doing just that. I also closed my LinkedIn account.

~Eowyn

New USDA Rules Eliminate Junk Food in Schools

Apparently Michelle hasn’t ruined the kids’ lunches enough already.

An example of Michelle Obama's mandated school lunches

An example of Michelle Obama’s mandated school lunches

From Yahoo:  Students might notice some changes in the cafeteria when they go back to school in a few weeks.  The USDA will announce rules today that require schools to get rid of unhealthy snacks and eliminate students’ exposure to junk food, ABC News has exclusively learned.

The biggest difference this year will be what students see around the school. If a snack, food item or beverage is not healthy enough for a school to sell or serve, it can’t be advertised either. That means no more pictures of soda on vending machines or in the cafeteria.

Katie Wilson, USDA deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said many schools requested these changes.  “Education and wellness and advertising to kids about healthier choices [and] that all has to be part of the school environment just like making sure they have pencils and paper and computers,” Wilson said.

One study found that 70 percent of elementary and middle school students see ads for junk food at school and research published earlier this month showed that kids tend to eat more after seeing ads for unhealthy food.

Another lovely school lunch

Another lovely school lunch

Snacks can’t have too many calories or too much sodium, fat or sugar, according to the guidelines for schools. Foods that are “whole grain-rich” or mostly made up of fruits or vegetables are emphasized, and schools are recommended to sell only water, low-fat milk or milk alternatives, or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

Wilson said 98 percent of schools around the country already meet these standards. Now that the rules are finalized, she said the USDA will continue its efforts to educate parents, communities and school staff about better nutritional food choices.

Healthier food in schools is nothing new. Guidelines about healthy school lunches and snacks have been rolling out for several years and are part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign launched in 2010 to fight childhood obesity.

mooch eating

DCG

Socialist Sawant wants to cap fees landlords charge Seattle renters

Is the socialist going to pick up the tab for any unpaid fees? Don’t hold your breath.

Socialist Kshama Sawant

Socialist Kshama Sawant

From the Seattle Times: Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on Thursday proposed legislation that would put a cap on the amount of money landlords charge incoming renters.

The ordinance would limit move-in fees — including a security deposit and any nonrefundable, one-time payments — to no more than the cost of one month’s rent.

Sawant’s legislation also would require landlords to allow renters to pay their move-in fees in installments rather than immediately and in full. Landlords asking for last month’s rent up front would likewise be required to accept that sum in installments.

The council member said her proposal is aimed at reducing costs for Seattle renters during a time in which many of them are struggling to make ends meet.

“Seattle renters are facing a serious crisis. In May, one-bedroom apartment rentals rose 11 percent, the highest increase in the nation,” Sawant said in a statement, referring to a report by the rental-search website Abodo. “We need to reduce all barriers faced by renters. The cost of moving into a rental unit is first on that list.”

The Abodo report said the price for an average one-bedroom apartment in Seattle rose to $1,906 in May from $1,722 in April. The company’s most recent report said the price for an average one-bedroom in Seattle fell 9 percent from June to July.

Read the whole story here.

See also:

DCG