Monday, June 18, 2012

TX: Parents sue school staff for forcibly bathing “dirty” child

Sounds like the teachers deserve a medal and some parents have got a lot to learn

The parents of a third-grade boy have sued two Texas school employees, alleging that they forced their son to strip and shower in front of them because he "smelled badly, was dirty and had bad hygiene."

The eight-year-old was singled out last November and taken to the nurse's office at Peaster Elementary School where he was forced to remove his clothes, the suit alleges, the Courthouse News Service reported.

The two school officials then "began violently washing his body with a washcloth, scrubbing him over a large portion of his body, stuck cotton balls in his ears, all while ridiculing and harassing him about being 'dirty,'" the complaint claims.

The child's parents, Amber and Michael Tilley, said they lodged a police report over the incident but no charges were laid.

On Thursday, the Tilleys filed their lawsuit against Peaster Independent School District and Peaster Elementary School employees Julie West and Debbie Van Rite in federal court in Fort Worth.

"It's terrible, and we don't want anything like that to happen to any other children," Amber Tilley told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth.

According to the lawsuit, the incident left the boy "visibly and severely distraught," and he had to see a therapist after.

"He just kept on and on, wanting to take baths," Amber Tilley said. "You know, he just felt so disgusting."

She added that her son did not have a problem with body odour or cleanliness.


Do we need more education?

Krugman criticizes Romney:
    In the remarks Mr. Romney later tried to deny, he derided President Obama: “He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.” Then he declared, “It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

    You can see why I was ready to give points for honesty. For once, he actually admitted what he and his allies mean when they talk about shrinking government. Conservatives love to pretend that there are vast armies of government bureaucrats doing who knows what; in reality, a majority of government workers are employed providing either education (teachers) or public protection (police officers and firefighters).

    So would getting rid of teachers, police officers, and firefighters help the American people? Well, some Republicans would prefer to see Americans get less education; remember Rick Santorum’s description of colleges as “indoctrination mills”? Still, neither less education nor worse protection are issues the G.O.P. wants to run on.

    But the more relevant question for the moment is whether the public job cuts Mr. Romney applauds are good or bad for the economy. And we now have a lot of evidence bearing on that question.

I didn’t follow the Romney narrative. But he was on to something even if he indeed did backtrack –- Obama wants to grow the public sector and so does Krugman. They both want more teachers (and police and firefighters, presumably.) The current level is never optimal. More is better. It doesn’t matter if the number has grown dramatically lately. More is better. Similarly, we never spend enough on education. So if you want to spend less on education, that means you’re against education. The fact that there is little evidence that spending more actually produces more education is ignored. Spending on education is presumed to produce more education. Similarly, adding teachers and reducing class size means more education even if there is little evidence of this effect.

Missing from Krugman’s article is any historical perspective on how many teachers, police officers, or firefighters we had five or ten years ago. The fact that employment is falling at the state and local level is seen to be a sort of exogenous bad turn of events. But my guess is that the source of the calamity was a previous increase in state and local employment that was not sustainable. The states can’t afford these workers any longer.

If someone has reliable link to time-series data on state and local, please post in the comment. I could only find 1997, 2002, and 2007 in the Census data.

The New York Times titled Krugman’s piece, We Don’t Need No Education, as if opposing increases in the number of teachers or educational spending means you want zero education. More education would be nice. Spending more or expanding the number of teachers isn’t the way to get there from here.


No pork sausages in British school meals

Roast pork and sausages have always been a staple of British diets.    But now hundreds of school children will be denied them for school lunches because of 'religious reasons'.

Pork, which is not eaten by devout Jews or Muslims, has been banned by councils across the country to satisfy the needs of staff and pupils who are not allowed contact with it.

However, it is thought many schools do not serve halal or kosher meat, so Jewish and Muslim children would not be able to eat it anyway.

The decision has been criticised by MPs who have said the ban will cause unnecessary resentment among pupils and religious leaders who said they never asked for a ban in the first place.

John Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said it was simply not an issue and added that Jews of a certain level would choose not to eat in non-kosher environments.

'Children at mainstream school who are bothered would probably have packed lunches,' he said to the Sunday Telegraph.

'Children who are comfortable with using the same cutlery and crockery as everyone else would choose their dishes from the options available. It is live and let live - we are certainly not calling for this.'

Muslim leaders have only ever asked that halal and non-halal meat be handled separately in an effort to avoid any cross contamination and for clear labelling when serving school dinners.

Haringey Council, north London, recently issued advice to all its schools and recommended a ban to meet the needs of staff and pupils who are not allowed contact with pork for religious reasons.

Figures supplied by school caterer Pabulum, in the south-east of England, show that around 20 of the 48 schools it supplied chose non-pork options.

In Haringey's infant, junior and primary schools, 37 out of 47 have a no pork rule. In Bradford 24 out of 160 schools choose not to have pork and in Newham, east London, 25 out of 75 opt out.

Luton has 23 out of 57 schools which choose not to supply pork to pupils and in Tower Hamlets, east London, 85 out of 90 do not offer a pork option. All schools offer a vegetarian option.

Conservative MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, Philip Davies, who has campaigned for clearer labelling on meat products said the bans were 'misguided political correctness'.

He said he fully believed that pupils should be able to choose not to have pork but added that it was unfair to deny those with no objection to the meat.

Mr Davies said decisions like these could cause resentment among pupils and added that he hoped schools would change their stance.

Stewart Houston, chief executive of the National Pig Association said the decision by schools was disappointing and added that sausages and roast pork were a staple of British diets.


No comments: