Sunday, August 14, 2011

State of Illinois deems future soldier unfit for football after basic training

The usual anti-military hatred that pervades the educational establishment

In a shocking decision, the Illinois High School Association board of directors has refused to issue a waiver to a high school football player seeking to play in his school's first game who missed the start of preseason training while away on Army basic training in Georgia.

According to the Paxton Record's Cody Westerlund, Paxton-Buckley-Loda star running back and linebacker Eddie Nuss, who is a rising senior at the school, has been forced to miss nearly all of PDL's preseason training because he is still in the midst of Army basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He won't return until August 19, which is only one week before the school's football season opener.

That seven day preparatory period falls short of the 12 days of practice that the IHSA requires all student athletes to go through before participating in a varsity football contest. Knowing that Nuss' practice time could be an issue, the family had a lawyer draw up a signed liability waiver that would have cleared the IHSA and all affiliated groups from any responsibility if Nuss was hurt in the season's opening game, but the IHSA board rejected the waiver citing, "concern for the person's well-being."

"There's this overriding safety issue," IHSA executive director Marty Hickman told the Record. "Our sports medicine committee continues to feel that being in shape and being in football shape are two different things. We've had this issue a number of times. It's been brought to the board's attention, and they've consistently said that they're not interested in modifying this policy.

"Maybe something more from the person [could offer further protection for the IHSA]. But really at the end of the day, it's a combination of that and concern for safety that led the board to believe our currently policy should be enforced."

Not surprisingly, Nuss' father thinks both the IHSA's final ruling -- and the reasons behind it -- shouldn't apply to his son, who is in the midst of intense physical training.

"Four days a week, [Eddie Nuss] runs five miles with his gear and pack on," Pat Nuss, Eddie's father, told the Record. "That's an extra 20-30 pounds in 100-plus degrees. He'll be in better shape than any kid on the football field when he's out of basic training."

That day will come soon, though there is little chance for the younger Nuss to compete on the opening weekend barring a dramatic turn of events, or a court injunction against the IHSA. That second option remains a possibility, and is one that the family may take advantage of, though Nuss' father told the Record that he can't afford to pay thousands of dollars in prospective legal fees.

The drive for additional review of the issue has even been pushed by the local state senator for Paxton, Shane Culta, who brought the issue to the IHSA board and expressed frustration with the sense of hypocrisy he drew from board's final decision.

In the meantime, the returning two-way starter -- Nuss was a star running back and linebacker in 2010 for PBL -- will continue training for his military future, a path in which he will continue to follow in his father's footsteps; the elder Nuss was also a high school football player and is now a military veteran.

"I'm disappointed in them," Nuss' father, Pat, said of the IHSA. "It's not like he's on vacation. He's not running around doing something illegal. He's doing something good for the country."


Sex Education is Mandatory for Children as Young as 11 in New York City

Sex education will become a mandatory part of learning for New York City middle and high school students for the first time in almost 20 years. One of the lessons: how to put on a condom. That’s according to a report from the New York Times, which says the teaching will also advise students on the appropriate age for sexual activity.

The mandate calls for schools to instruct a sex education class in either 6th or 7th grade, and then again in 9th or 10th grade. Students are required to take one semester of the classes. This teaching, of course, brings up the long-time national debate about what, if anything, school should teach their students about sex.

“We must be committed to ensuring that both middle school and high school students are exposed to this valuable information so they can learn to keep themselves safe before, and when, they decide to have sex,” NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott wrote in a letter to principals and obtained by Fox News Radio.

This new requirement comes as a part of the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to improve the lives of young minorities in the city, according to the New York Times. The outreach is especially focused on young men.

“We have a responsibility to provide a variety of options to support our students, and sex education is one of them,” the chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, said in an interview with the New York Times on Monday.

Officials say the intent of the lessons is to get young adults to wait longer before experimenting with sex, but didn’t shy away from admitting there would be indiscreet discussion about graphic topics such as anatomy, pregnancy and puberty with children as young as 11.

Parents do have the option to remove their children from certain talks about birth-control methods. Also, local principals will be able to tweak the cirriculum to a certain extent, keeping their specific students and families in mind.

That said, school administrators say they are expecting some backlash from the community. “We’re going to have to be the bridge between the chancellor’s requirements and the community,” said Casimiro Cibelli, the principal of a Bronx middle school, where many of the students come from immigrant, religious families with traditional views on sex. “Hopefully, we’ll allay their concerns because of their trust in us.”

Ray Parascando, pastor of Crossroads Church, called the news “disheartening.” “Children are being forced to learn about this away from home,” he told Fox News Radio. “There’s nothing wrong with learning about the human body, but when you start going into discourses on sexuality, I worry that we’re opening students up to other agendas.”

While some have taken up arms, New York officials say sex education classes have been a point of contention before. They also point out that high schools in New York have been distributing condoms for more than 20 years.

The mandatory classes will begin in this coming school year for students in New York City.


Britain: Evangelical church application to set up new free school where it will teach creationism is approved

An evangelical church with creationism at the heart of its belief system has been given outline approval to run a free school. An application by the Everyday Champions Church, based in Newark, Nottinghamshire, has been accepted by the Department for Education. The church intends to teach the biblical belief that God created the world in six days, but evolution will only be taught as a 'theory'.

Education Secretary Michael Gove, had promised that creationism will not be taught in free schools. He is 'crystal clear that teaching creationism is at odds with scientific fact', the Department of Education confirmed.

But in January he said he would consider applications from creationist groups on a case-by-case basis.

Now it has emerged that a panel of civil servants interviewed Everyday Champions Church leaders last week after their initial application was approved. It is not known if they agreed to drop plans to teach creationism. Officials told the Daily Telegraph they could not comment on the application but each one would be treated with 'due diligence.'

Free schools can be set up by charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, teachers and groups of parents. They are independent from local authorities and do not have to follow the national curriculum. However, lessons must be 'broad and balanced.' As with independent schools, free school teachers will not need formal teaching qualifications.

The church wants to open the new 625-pupil school in September next year and says there are currently not enough secondary places available in the area.

Pastor Gareth Morgan, the church's leader, told the Independent: 'Creationism will be embodied as a belief at the Everyday Champions Academy but will not be taught in the sciences. Similarly, evolution will be taught as a theory.'

The church's website says the new school, with will be 'multicultural in philosophy and will welcome children from all faiths or none'. However, it adds that the 'values of the Christian faith will be the foundation of the school philosophy'.

The website says: 'We believe that the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives.'

Secular groups have criticised education officials for accepting the application and were 'astonished ' it was even considered. Richy Thompson, of the British Humanist Assocaition, said: 'Everyday Champions Church have been very clear that they intend to teach creationism as valid, and sideline evolution as just ‘a theory’.

'Given this, how can the Department for Education have now allowed this proposal to pass through to the interview stage? '‘The creep of creationism into the English education system remains a serious concern, and the Department have a lot more work to do if they want to stop extremist groups from opening free schools.’

The Government has approved 35 free school applications to move to the business case and plan stage, and eight of these have been given the go ahead to move into the pre-opening stage.


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