Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tufts University Bans Christian Student Group for Requiring Leaders to Embrace ‘Basic Biblical Truths of Christianity’‏

Tufts is a great church of Leftism so this sort of anti-Christian Fascism is to be expected.  I rather wonder why Christian students go there.

If the local churches put up on their billboards something like:  "Tufts is anti-Christian.  Don't go there", it would probably have a salutory effect.  I think the time has come for churches to come to the aid of Christian students.  The Leftist oppressors should not have it all their own way

Ironical that Tufts was originally founded by Christians devoted to religious tolerance.

There’s a troubling pattern developing on college campuses across America, as universities are increasingly preventing Christian campus groups from requiring that their leaders be practicing believers. If these clubs fail to comply with so-called “non-discrimination policies,” they are often de-legitimized and banned from official-recognition.

Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, is the latest higher education facility to crack down on student-led religious groups. In a recent move, the school’s student government banned the Tufts Christian Fellowship (TCF), an evangelical organization. The decision was made because TCF, which is the campus’ chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, requires that those serving in leadership positions must embrace “basic biblical truths of Christianity.”

The group’s demand that leaders be Bible-believing Christians was found to be in violation of Tuft’s non-discrimination policy. Last month, the Judiciary recommended that the belief requirement be moved from the constitution’s bylaws to its mission statement; while the bylaws are legally-binding, the mission statement is not. TCF didn’t comply and, now, the group is officially unrecognized by the university.

The ban, which was put in place by the Tufts Community Union Judiciary, means that TCF can no longer use the Tufts name for official campus activities. Additionally, its members are forbidden from scheduling events or reserving space through the school’s Office for Campus Life. As is generally the case when these bans go into effect, the group will also be unable, as other student groups do, to receive money from the school.

While TCF plans to appeal the decision, it could be an uphill battle — especially considering the similar trend that other schools seem to be following. TCF has 10 days to appeal and must file paper work with the Committee on Student Life (CSL), a panel comprised of students and faculty, The Tufts Daily reports.

In 2000, the group faced a similar situation when a student complained that she was denied a leadership role due to her sexual orientation. After being re-recognized, the organization appealed to the CSL and was re-instated.

“We’re deciding to appeal this decision because we feel like just the purpose of our organization is to…encourage understanding and celebration of each belief [in the Basis of Faith], and the best way to fulfill that purpose is to have leaders that are centered on and unified by these beliefs,” one of the student leaders of the InterVarsity chapter told the Daily. ”We feel like we have the right to be selective on the basis of belief for our leaders since we’re a student group that is trying to encourage understanding about a faith-based set of beliefs.”

Tufts isn’t the only campus community battling over Christian student groups’ rights to require faithful leadership. As TheBlaze reported earlier this month, Yale is facing a similar issue after the Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX) fraternity has come under fire for requiring its members to embrace Christianity. And the non-discrimination policy issues at Vanderbilt University have been widely-reported as well.

While non-discrimination policies are well-intentioned, the notion that a Christian group would be forced to allow leaders who don’t embrace the faith is relatively silly. Similarly, a gay rights group being forced to allow someone opposed to same-sex marriage to lead would also be problematic.


Ohio Student Suspended for Growing Out Hair to Donate to Charity‏

I understand where the school authorities are coming from here but -- at the risk of being tediously trite  -- there are exceptions to very rule.  And charity is very much to be encouraged  -- JR
Zachary Aufderheide has run afoul of his Ohio high school's dress code because of his desire to grow his hair long enough to donate it to Locks of Love, an organization that provides wigs to needy children who've lost their hair because of medical problems.

Zachary, 17, of Canton is about an inch away from the 10 inches of hair he needs to donate to the organization. Faced with an ultimatum, the Canton South High School junior decided to accept an in-school suspension rather than cut his ponytail.

The minimum length of hair needed for a hairpiece is 10 inches, according the Locks of Love website.

Zachary said he is passionate about donating hair to the organization because he was picked on as a child and now wants to help sick children who might have lost their hair avoid the feelings he experienced when he was teased.

"I was picked on so I know where they're coming from, I know how they feel so I sort of sympathize with them because I've been there," he said Monday.

Zachary's mother, Robin, said she understood and respected the school's dress code, but wanted officials to make an exception in her son's case.

She said her son went to a school board meeting in September, explained what he was doing and asked them to consider allowing him to reach his goal.

She said board members came up to him after the meeting and commended his efforts, but said the board had voted to uphold the school's dress code, without giving him an explanation.

The school's principal told her son he had until Monday to get his hair cut, she said.  "And we didn't do it. We didn't do it. I measured it and he's got, oh, less than an inch to grow …," she said.

The school's principal, Todd Osborn, has not replied to requests for comment placed by as of this writing.

Robin Aufderheide said she was surprised by the board's decision, but her son wasn't.

"I feel pretty disappointed with their decision because, honestly, I really put a lot of heart and soul into my demonstration, like, my presentation of the idea to them, and then when they just all unanimously voted against it … it was just kind of heartbreaking to me," he said.

According to the dress code in the Canton Local School District's student handbook, "Hair for male students shall be neat and clean and shall not be worn covering the eyes, in a ponytail, or extending beyond the bottom of the regular shirt collar."

Zachary isn't sure what will happen after the two-day suspension ends, but says if he cut his hair before reaching his goal, "then, personally, that would be admitting defeat to them. It would be meaning that I would just give up on what I view as important to myself. So this is more or less like a battle of my morals and my values, really."

After he donates his hair, he said, he'll be happy to maintain it at regulation length.


Homework controversy in Australia

Working by yourself is an important part of learning and THAT  is what homework is for -- JR

HOMEWORK has no benefit for very young children and only small benefits for those in upper primary, academics say.

Their comments come after France announced last week it was planning to ban homework altogether for children under 11.

Controversy around homework is set to reignite with the launch of a new book today urging reform of homework policies in Australia.

Central Queensland University professor Mike Horsley, co-author of Reforming Homework: Practices, Learning and Policies, said research showed students who did the most homework on international exams performed the worst, while those who did the least performed the best.

Fellow author and University of Sydney professor Richard Walker said Australian students needed more challenging homework that gave them some autonomy and control.

"A lot of homework in schools is just drill and practice worksheets that students get to take home and that is really of no benefit to students," he said. 

"There are a whole lot of ways in which the quality of homework can be improved. I think there is a very strong case that (younger) students should be doing other things."

Prof Horsley said they were not calling for a homework ban.

"We argue that far too much homework involves tasks kids can already do and isn't challenging enough," he said.

"Instead, there is scope for less homework that is of a higher quality and more highly structured."

Education Queensland's homework policy states Prep pupils generally aren't assigned any, while Years 1 to 3 students could have up to one hour each week. From Year 4 homework can be set daily, with Year 4 and 5 students set "up to but generally not more than 2-3 hours per week".

"Homework in Year 8 and Year 9 could be up to but generally not more than five hours per week."

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said homework remained "the subject of significant debate" and individual school communities needed to make their own decisions on whether to use it.

"I don't necessarily accept the view 'it is not good to do just drilling', in that practice is an important part of the whole learning process. For some children sight words and doing word lists is an important part of the process of picking that learning up," Mr Bates said.

"To have anybody from outside come in and say this is how homework will be done is totally unacceptable because it has to fit within the school's ethos of learning. It is equally valid for a school to decide to have no homework or to have regular weekly homework."


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