Monday, January 21, 2013

Moronic Pennsylvania school

Girl, 5, in trouble for chatting about shooting bubble gun

MOUNT CARMEL - Talking with a friend about a pink toy bubble gun got a five-year-old kindergarten girl in the Mount Carmel Area School District labeled as a terrorist threat, according to an attorney.

The incident occurred Jan. 10 while the girl was waiting in line for a school bus, said Robin Ficker, the Maryland lawyer retained by the girl's family. He would not identify the girl or her parents, but gave this version of events:

Talking with a friend, the girl said something to the effect “I’m going to shoot you and I will shoot myself” in reference to the device that shoots out bubbles. The girl did not have the bubble gun with her and has never shot a real gun in her life, Ficker said.

Elementary school officials learned of the conversation and questioned the girls the next day, Fickler said. He said the girl did not have a parent present during the 30 minutes of questioning.

The result, he said, was that the student was labeled a "terrorist threat" and suspended for 10 days, Ficker said. The school also required her to be evaluated by a psychologist, Ficker said.

"This little girl is the least terroristic person in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Ficker, who said he was contacted because the mother had read he handled a similar case in Maryland, suggested she ask the principal to expunge the record. That did not happen, but her suspension was reduced to two school days, and the reason for it changed to being labeled as a threat to harm another student.

“She’s branded,” Ficker said.

School district solicitor Edward Greco said Friday the allegations are being looked into but neither he nor school officials could discuss disciplinary actions. Greco and Ficker acknowledged they are trying to arrange a meeting next week to discuss the situation.

Ficker believes the girl’s record should be expunged and she be offered an apology.


How to deal with school bullying the modern way

This must be one of the most gross examples of "blame the victim"

A mother in St. Louis, Missouri was stunned after her daughter’s school allegedly suggested breast reduction surgery as a possible way to combat bullying.

Tammie Jackson said her 13-year-old daughter Gabrielle has been dealing with bullying and sexual harassment since last semester, so she called the Riverview Gardens School District to complain.

“The lady on the switchboard told me that they could transfer my daughter to a different school, but she [said] her boobs are so large that she’s going to always get teased,” the mother
claimed. “And then she told me that the only suggestion she could make is for my 13-year-old daughter to get a breast reduction.”
Fox affiliate KTVI has more:
“It makes me feel like now you are telling me it’s my fault, it’s God’s fault the way He made her. The lady on the phone said they could transfer my daughter and said her boobs were so large she will always get teased. And the only suggestion she had for me is to have my daughter get a breast reduction,” said Jackson.

FOX 2 stopped by the school district for a response and we’re told they’re working to counsel students to resolve the bullying issue. As for the claims about the surgery, we’re told they are still looking into it.

Jackson also says her 9-year-old son Elijah has bullying issues. He has a rare heart condition and she says kids make fun of his surgical scars, causing him to make suicidal comments.
Jackson says all she wants is resolution to an issue she says can affect kids for the rest of their lives, “Talk with the kids. Let them know people’s bodies are changing, everybody is different, but God made us all great.”

Superintendent Clive Coleman reiterated that the issue is under investigation, but speculated that the controversy may be a “product of miscommunication.”


Rise in British tuition fees leads to 40% drop in university admissions

The hike in tuition fees has caused 'wild and dangerous swings' in university admissions, with some institutions taking on 43 per cent fewer students that the previous year.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) revealed that 51,000 fewer students started degree courses last autumn - a fall of 12 per cent - after fees nearly trebled to £9,000 a year.

Ten of the 24 leading universities from the Russell Group, including Leeds, Imperial College London and Warwick, registered drops.

London Metropolitan University, which last year had its licence to sponsor international students revoked, suffered the biggest fall at 43 per cent.

Enrolment also dropped 13 per cent at the University of Southampton, 10% at the University of Liverpool and 9% at the University of Sheffield.  There was also a 7 per cent decline at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham University and 6 per cent drops at the University of Leeds, Imperial and the University of London.

But some institutions managed to buck the trend, including University College London, where enrolment rose 22 per cent, and the University of Cardiff, which posted an increase of 13 per cent.

King's College London boasted a rise of 12 per, while admissions were up 11 per cent at the University of Edinburgh.

Shadow universities minster, Shabana Mahmood, said the figures show the Government's decision to raise the cap on fees is having a chaotic impact on higher education.  She told The Guardian: 'Ucas reports wild and dangerous swings - with some huge losers and some winners - but the variations show severe volatility in the system that should be a concern for everyone.

'The government must now answer for the damage it has done to those universities that have suffered as a consequence of their reforms and decision to raise fees to £9,000'

Ms Mahmood said the decline could have a devastating impact on local economies of cities such as Manchester and Leeds.

Patrick McGhee, vice-chancellor of University of East London and chairman of Million+, which represents new universities, said the figures do not include a decline in students studying part-time.  He told The Times: 'The need for Government to launch a campaign to promote the value of higher education is all too obvious.'

In 2010, thousands of people staged a series of protests against a rise in fees ahead of the vote in the House of Commons.

There were violent scenes at the Conservative Party's Millbank campaign headquarters in London.  Protesters stormed the building and a fire extinguisher was thrown from the roof.

The Liberal Democrats bore the brunt of many people's anger and last year Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg apologised for an election pledge not to raise fees.


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