Friday, May 06, 2011

Riot Police Called in to Restore Order at Tucson School Board Mtg.

Of course this gets a pass in the Leftist "progressive" media, but non-violent Tea Party rallies are demeaned and attacked

Rowdy protesters in Tucson have struck again. And this time, it involves riot police. Those protesters are hell-bent on keeping the district’s shocking, and concerning, Mexican-American studies program as-is. And while they’re causing a ruckus to prove it, there could be a lot more behind the story — mainly, who’s behind the protests.

At a Tucson Unified School District school board meeting on Tuesday — which was a make-up for one canceled after students chained themselves to board-room desks on April 26 — riot police were called in to restore order after program supporters become restless during the public input section of the meeting. Local station KGUN-TV describes the scene:
Nine On Your Side Reporter Ileana Diaz was inside at the time and says after the call to the audience the crowd motioned to the Board to continue hearing from the public. The microphones were turned off and Board Members called for Tucson Police to come inside the room.

Officers in full riot gear escorted Board Members to safety and took control of the room. Police asked people to be calm so the meeting could continue. After about 20 minutes the Board Members walked into the room and resumed with the meeting.

KOLD-TV adds:
The crowd turned uncivil at Tuesday night’s TUSD board meeting to discuss its ethnic studies program.

A call to the audience became an opportunity for audience members to confront the district board about its plans for the program. It grew raucous at times, with one man saying the board’s actions were “disgraceful,“ and that he hoped the board members would ”go to hell for it.” ....

The meeting has been called to order. Security officials are standing in rows, as people chant “No vote.”

KVOA-TV reports seven people were escorted out of the meeting for interrupting by reading prepared statements. There were also several arrests made, but no reports on exactly how many.

So what exactly has the protesters upset? The answer may surprise you. As we’ve previously reported, the district isn’t trying to ban the program outright. Instead, it wants to make a controversial history class — that calls for “death to the invaders” and was found to advocate overthrowing the U.S. government — an elective instead of allowing it to substitute for required history credits. That’s it. And the disturbing class would still be available to students.

But that’s not the rhetoric coming from the supporters. They’re trumpeting the message that the district is trying to eliminate the program altogether, a tactic used to stir up anger and action.

“Last week brave students from UNIDOS took over the Tucson Union School Board meeting and turned it into a pachanga,” a petition e-mail supporting the student action, and obtained by The Blaze, says. “They chained themselves to the seats to prevent the school board from voting to put ethnic studies on the chopping block. Their action worked.”

Outrage over the program isn’t split down liberal vs. conservative lines. As local citizen journalist Mike Shaw recently found out, some of the biggest advocates of removing the program and class are liberals and Democrats. He also found those who believe the student protest movement is being organized by a state university professor:

According to Shaw, the students are getting support from more than just one academic. While reviewing footage from the April 26 chain-in, he noticed something interesting. According to him, Ward Churchill (the controversial, one-time University of Colorado professor who was fired for his views on 9/11) was spotted supporting the protests:

So what became of the Tuesday meeting? Well, nothing. The board decided not to vote on the Mexican-American studies class pending the completion of community forums on the issue. Another vote has not been scheduled.

“It is clear there is a great deal of misperception and miscommunication about the reason for consideration of this item,” district President John Pedicone said in a statement. “This has resulted in heightened levels of frustration.”


Insane British school

Fired for 'abuse', teacher who carried naughty boy of six in from playground

A respected deputy head was sacked after she helped carry a boy of six into school when he refused to leave the playground. Debbie Ellis, who had an unblemished 20-year career, was accused of ‘physical and emotional abuse’ after she and a teaching assistant lifted the boy by his armpits – even though his mother didn’t complain.

Mrs Ellis had taken action because a sex offender had recently been spotted at the school gates.

Yesterday her solicitor described her dismissal as ‘incomprehensible’ and vowed to clear her name.

Mrs Ellis, a policeman’s wife, had been in charge of Hafod-y-Wern primary school in Wrexham, North Wales for the day last June because the head was away. When the boy refused to come inside after playtime, staff phoned his mother, but she wasn’t able to come to the school straight away.

So Mrs Ellis and a teaching assistant went outside, lifted the boy under his armpits and carried him indoors. Mrs Ellis told the head on his return and school governors launched an investigation, which lasted nearly a year.

Police were informed at the time, but there were no grounds on which to prosecute. Now, however, Mrs Ellis has been sacked for ‘gross misconduct by physical and emotional abuse’. She is taking her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal.

Yesterday her solicitor, Tudor Williams, said Mrs Ellis felt ‘a deep sense of grievance’. ‘What’s happened is incomprehensible,’ he said. ‘For acting in the best interests of the child she gets the sack. It’s totally unfair and over the top. ‘She’s had a 20-year teaching career without a stain on her character, ten years at this school.’

Mr Williams said Mrs Ellis had been sacked despite CCTV footage of the incident showing she hadn’t used excessive force. ‘My client used the minimum of physical restraint to lift him up and carry him to the classroom,’ he said. ‘His mother came to the school and saw him, and made no complaint.’

Mrs Ellis was finally dismissed in February after a two-day disciplinary hearing at which she was represented by the National Union of Teachers. Another teacher at the school was sacked and two teaching assistants were disciplined, but yesterday the school’s governing body declined to give more details.

Mr Williams said: ‘It seems some governors have lost sight of the reality of the situation.’ The playground of the school, which is on a housing estate, is sometimes used as a short cut. Mr Williams said that two weeks earlier, a man had been spotted performing a sex act outside the school gates. ‘Any teacher would be concerned about a pupil being outside in the playground on his own,’ he added. ‘Anything could have happened.

‘Just imagine if he had been allowed to stay there and wandered off on to the main road, or a stranger came in and abused or abducted him. ‘All these things weighed on my client’s mind.’

An NUT spokesman said Mrs Ellis’s dismissal was ‘perverse’ given that she had been acting to keep a child safe.

Mrs Ellis is claiming unfair dismissal and breach of her human rights by allegedly not having a fair hearing.


Australia: Victorian schools allowed to bar non-believing teachers under law change

RELIGIOUS schools will be able to reject teachers belonging to different faiths under Baillieu Government changes to Victoria's equal opportunity laws. Christian schools will be able to ban single-parent teachers or others not fitting their beliefs. Jewish and Islamic schools will be able to hire only those teachers who uphold their values.

Islamic schools will also be able to make head scarfs compulsory for female students in changes that allow faith-based schools to uphold their religion through uniform and behaviour standards.

Strict equal opportunity laws banning discrimination against teachers were initiated by the Brumby government last year and were to take effect on August 1. But the overturning of the laws by the Coalition paves the way for religious organisations to employ only staff who share the beliefs of their communities.

The reforms will also strip Victoria's Equal Opportunity Commissioner of powers to investigate and enter workplaces. The commission was to be handed similar powers to the Office of Police Integrity under a Labor policy.

As part of the Coalition's "operation common sense", Attorney-General Robert Clark will force the commission to get VCAT permission before compelling a person or company to hand over documents, attend a hearing or give evidence about claims of persistent discrimination in workplaces.

Mr Clark said removal of employment restrictions for faith-based schools was a commonsense measure to retain a consistent approach, where the values of teachers match those of students, parents and volunteers. "The changes would apply the same rules to employment as to all other aspects of the organisation's activities - such as provision of services or engagement of contractors," he said.

If challenged on their grounds for rejecting a teacher, schools would have to persuade VCAT their reasons were in keeping with their wider religious beliefs. That would mean the more extreme the school community's beliefs were, the greater their range of exemptions could be.

Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green said she was pleased the Government was amending the legislation so parents wanting a choice for their children's education were not disadvantaged. "We were concerned that the rights of independent schools to employ the most suitable staff would have been curtailed," she said.

"Choice in education is very important and we think it is common sense that religious schools ought to be able to choose staff they believe are the most appropriate for their school."


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