Sunday, March 07, 2010

Middle school student suspended for REJECTING pill

And these brainless loons are the ones teaching kids!

The parents of a Kentuckiana seventh grade student say their young daughter was suspended from school for doing exactly what she's been taught to do for years - to just say no to drugs. The girl did not bring the prescription drug to her Jeffersonville, IN school, nor did she take it, but she admits that she touched it and in Greater Clark County Schools that is drug possession.

Rachael Greer said it happened on Feb. 23 during fifth period gym class at River Valley Middle School when a girl walked into the locker room with a bag of pills. "She was talking to another girl and me about them and she put one in my hand and I was like, ‘I don't want this,' so I put it back in the bag and I went to gym class," said Rachael.

The pills were the prescription ADHD drug, Adderall. Patty Greer, Rachael's mother, said she and her husband are proud of their daughter for turning down drugs, just like she's been taught for years by DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructors at school. "I'm proud her conscience kicked in and she said, ‘No, I'm not taking this. Here you can have it back,'" Patty Greer said.

But just saying no didn't end the trouble for Rachael. During the next period, an assistant principal came and took Rachael out of class. It turned out the girl who originally had the pills and a few other students got caught. That's when the assistant principal gave Rachael a decision. "We're suspending you for five days because it was in your hand," said Rachael.

After hearing the news, Patty Greer went to school officials. "He said she wrote it down on a witness statement and she had told the truth, he said she was very, very honest and he said he was sorry he had to do it but it was school policy," said Patty Greer.

According to Greater Clark County Schools district policy, even a touch equals drug possession and a one week suspension. "The fact of the matter is, there were drugs on school campus and it was handled, so there was a violation of our policy," said Martin Bell, COO of Greater Clark County Schools.

We wanted to know what would have happened if Rachael had told a teacher right away. Bell said the punishment would not have been any different. District officials say if they're not strict about drug policies no one will take them seriously.

"That's not a good policy," said Patty Greer. "We're teaching our kids if you say no to drugs you're going to get punished, it's not right."

Greater Clark County School district officials would not tell us how many other students were involved, but they did tell us there were other suspensions and some students were moved to an alternative school.


Britain to fire some of its most eminent professors

PLANS by two leading universities to dismiss renowned academics to implement Lord Mandelson’s spending cuts have sparked worldwide protests by thousands of scholars. King’s College London has caused the greatest outrage with a proposal to sack David Ganz, Britain’s only professor of palaeography and one of the world’s most eminent experts in ancient handwriting. Thousands of academics — led by professors from the American universities Harvard and Stanford — have signed petitions and joined Facebook groups to save Ganz and his department.

At the University of Sussex, plans to shed 115 jobs, including cutbacks in languages, history and science, have sparked student occupations of a campus building and international anger led by Princeton.

King’s and Sussex have announced the deepest cuts so far to cope with the £1 billion reduction in higher education funding announced by Mandelson, the first secretary of state. Last month, Mandelson attacked his university critics, saying lecturers “think they have a right to be set in aspic”.

By this weekend, the Facebook group campaigning to save Ganz had attracted 6,273 members, while a separate petition had 7,493 signatures. The Daily Princetonian newspaper wrote: “Faculty members [at King’s] will be let go not because they have ceased to research or teach effectively, but because their fields ... don’t spin money. “Similar measures are under way at another once excellent institution, Sussex.”

Protesters against Ganz’s proposed redundancy include Jeffrey Hamburger, professor of German art and culture at Harvard. He called the plan “nothing short of a disaster”.

Two senior researchers in computational linguistics, Shalom Lappin and Wilfried Meyer-Viol, are among 125 King’s staff told they are likely to lose their jobs. Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard, said of the plan: “To give the boot to a scholar like Lappin is an act of madness.”

At Sussex, the 115 staff scheduled to lose their jobs include Naomi Tadmor, a senior history lecturer. The university told her of her fate while she was in Israel for her mother’s funeral. Sussex is to stop teaching English history from before 1700 and all pre-1900 European history. Other courses facing the axe include undergraduate degrees in foreign languages.

Sussex said: “We have a strategy of growth, seeking additional income from non-public funds and making targeted savings in areas that have the largest gap between income and spending.”

King’s said: “This is not a bunch of management consultants parachuted in, this is the heads of schools and their teams coming up with proposals — and they are academics.”

Ganz declined to comment on his future, but said: “It would be a brave parent who would send a child to university in the reign of Mandelson.”


Australia: Row over barbecue as primary school opts to offer halal sausages

A ROW over sausages has a school community sizzling amid competing claims of bigotry and animal cruelty. What was supposed to be a welcome-back barbecue for students at Coburg West Primary School has turned into a debate over the Islamic halal method of preparing meat.

Members of the school's Parents and Friends Association believed they were being inclusive when they ordered halal-only sausages for last month's barbie. But some parents thought it was political correctness gone mad to offer only halal meat.

Parent Diane Rees said yesterday that she was outraged when told by the PFA that "we have to buy halal because we have some Muslim children in the school". "I said to the principal, 'I think you're discriminating against the majority of the school and appeasing the minority by only serving halal,' " she said. "It's not fair on my children that they can't eat at the school."

Ms Rees said she wasn't anti-Muslim - her concern was over the way animals were killed under the halal method, which involves a knife cut to the jugular veins and carotid arteries in the neck. "They take two long minutes to die and I think that's bloody cruel," she said.

But Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said research showed that, done properly, halal was a quick and humane slaughter of animals. "I think they are using the issue of some halal sausages at a barbecue, for God's sake, to bring out their own xenophobic bigotry," he said. "It was very thoughtful of the parents and friends association to try to cater for Muslims. I think they (the critics) need to get real and get a life on this one."

School principal David Kilmartin, who has been in the job for only a month, said halal-only barbecues were not school policy and the PFA had been told to provide a choice of meat in the future. "I don't think it was done with any malice. I'm assuming there would have been requests from Muslim families to have halal meat," he said.


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