Sunday, April 28, 2013

Middle School Changes Policy After Student Sent to Office for Wearing `Support Our Troops' T-Shirt.on an Army Base

A Kentucky middle school has changed its dress code after a student was sent to the office for wearing a "Support Our Troops" T-shirt, a spokeswoman told TheBlaze.

That school would be Mahaffey Middle School, which is actually located on the Fort Campbell Army base.

Student Cejai Taylor told Nashville Fox affiliate WZTV she wore the T-shirt right after her dad, Sgt. James Taylor, was sent on his sixth deployment overseas. Mahaffey requires all students to wear collared shirts, but has dress-down days once a month where they can wear jeans and school-approved shirts. The "Support Our Troops" shirt was not approved, and a teacher saw Taylor wearing it and told her to go to the office.

Her mother, Cassandra Taylor, said she chose to pick her daughter up from school instead of making her change her clothes.

"I'm not going to make her change, she's standing her ground and as her mother and as a military wife I support my child," Cassandra Taylor said. "It's a military school on a military base."

Cindy Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense education system, told TheBlaze on Wednesday that "patriotic T-shirts" will now be permitted on dress-down days.

"We've incorporated patriotic T-shirts [into the dress code]", Gibson said.
Middle School Changes Policy After Student Sent to Office for Wearing Support Our Troops T Shirt

Image source: WZTV

Gibson said the principal will be sending a letter home to parents on Thursday detailing the policy change.

Cejai Taylor told WZTV she has spoken with her father since the initial T-shirt flap.

"He says he's very proud of me for standing up for what I believe in, and he can't wait to see me," she said.


Schools should exclude children who have not had MMR jab, says leading scientist

Sounds fair.  Ignoramuses should not be allowed to endanger other people's kids

Schools should have the right to refuse access to pupils who have not had the MMR jab, a leading scientist has said.

Biologist Dr Craig Venter said that vaccinations should be made compulsory for children who wish to attend school and benefit from the NHS.

His statement comes after health officials have launched a new programme to help stem the measles outbreak in South Wales and stop it spreading more widely across the UK.

Dr Venter was the first scientist to successfully sequence the human genome as well as create a cell with an artificial genome.

'People think they're making individual decisions for themselves and their family not to get vaccinated,' Dr Venter told The Times. 'It's not just an individual choice, you're a hazard to society.'

He said that unvaccinated individuals are putting the population at risk.

The number of people infected with the virus in Swansea in now approaching 900.  The city has been left especially vulnerable to measles since the 90s, when a local newspaper campaigned against the MMR vaccine.

There are now concerns the outbreak could spread to London.

David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the Department of Health said: 'What happened and continues to happen in Swansea could happen anywhere in England.

'I worry about London. It's a fast moving group of people, with new families coming in and families moving out. It is harder to track immunisation status.  Historically there is also a legacy of poorer immunisation.'

Health officials announced today that at least a million children and teenagers are to be vaccinated against measles in an attempt to stop expected outbreaks in England.

Some will never have had a jab, while others have only had the first of two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Many of those affected are teenagers who missed out on vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s when parents were concerned about a link between MMR and autism that has since been discredited.

Dr Venter also warned that low vaccination rates raised the prospect of circulating infections mutating into new forms. This could lead to current vaccines no longer offering protection, and putting the entire population at risk.

'Strains that could not develop in a population that was vaccinated could mutate and affect everybody whether they have been vaccinated or not," he added.

The Department of Health said increased vaccine level were proof that Dr Venter's proposal was unnecessary, arguing that it risked alienating parents.

However Dr Venter's call for a mandatory vaccination was supported by Rino Rappuoli, global head of vaccines research at Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics.

The two scientists were speaking yesterday at a House of Commons event to raise the profile of the first approved vaccine for Meningitis B, which they have jointly developed.


Education vouchers not implemented in Britain

Regrettably, one of the most sensible, pragmatic, and consequentially sound policy ideas of our time has never made it into policy - the education voucher.

The best version would be an education voucher, distributed annually to parents for each child, to be redeemed at any school of choice. In some cases, it would cover the full cost of a year's tuition, in others, it would contribute to the cost with the parent topping up the remainder. The purpose of implementing a voucher is twofold. Firstly, it would provide an introduction of free-market practices to the sector, without being so radical as to be a complete privatisation.

It retains the element of public sector provision that would prevent an outcry - so-called "free" provision, whilst enabling the positive consequences that would speak for themselves, and remind the populace that a sector can be productive, successful and efficient without government intervention. Correctly applied across, it could pave the way for the gradual but meaningful movement towards a more economically-free society.

Secondly, the policy would reinforce the choice element of demand. The government would not be permitted to stipulate which institutions the vouchers could be used at, only which child is to be registered for education. New private schools could establish themselves as educational institutions and accept the vouchers as full payment, providing direct competition with the state alternatives. Like other private schools, they would have the ability to earn profit, and so new entrants would enter the market if they felt they could favourably compare both financially, and qualitatively, with the incumbent state comprehensives, whilst turning a profit. They undoubtedly could.

The idea of parents being allowed to choose schools due to location ("catchment area") would be replaced by a business ethos - accepting parents and children, rather than turning them away based on their postcode. It would challenge the state-dominated status-quo.

Just like with most other service areas, people choose to purchase what gives them the most for their money. Educational quality is easier to measure than most, given as "quality" is based on exam results and league tables; this information about a school's achievements is readily available from numerous sources.

There's no reason for the State to maintain an iron-grip over how our children learn. Slowly, we can move to a situation where families choose and pay for the education provision themselves. This is the first step to getting there.


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