Thursday, February 13, 2014

British school BANS skirts in crackdown on 'immodest' clothes after girls keep their hemlines rising

A school in Norfolk has banned students from wearing skirts in an attempt to crack down on 'immodest' clothing styles, after giving up on the struggle to stop girls from shortening their skirts.

From September, both boys and girls at Diss High School will have to wear trousers. following a school ruling.

The decision has been described as 'ridiculous' and 'poorly thought out' by parents, residents and local council officials.

Diss High School, Norfolk. The school has taken the decision to ban female pupils from wearing skirts, they will only be allowed to wear trousers

In addition to banning all skirts, the governors also backed the school's decision to ban make-up for pupils in years 7-11; which consists of children aged 10 to 16.

The decision to ban skirts was floated by a group of governors, pupils and staff, who met last year as part of a focus group on school uniform.

Headteacher Jan Hunt said: 'Girls already wear trousers at Diss High School.  'The reason the school is making this compulsory is the tendency for some girls to wear really short skirts.  Hemlines have risen to a level that is both impractical as well as immodest.  'Inevitably, this decision is popular with some parents and not with others.'

Dr Hunt said: 'The same responses would be true for pupils.  'Financial support will be offered to parents to support this transition.'

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: 'In terms of uniform policy that is not something we administer, it is purely down to the school to make that decision.'

Councillor Florence Ellis, a former teacher, spoke out against the ban.  She said: ‘I think that setting rules and regulations is good for parents and students, adhering to them is preparation for life.  'We lost shirts and ties to polo shirts and sweatshirts thus lowering standards.

'They should be maintaining the rules that have been successful in the past, like monitoring skirt lengths, rather than an overall ban.

'By not conforming to rules and regulations in something like the length of a skirt can lead at a later date to disregard for rules/law and order and may encourage anti social behaviour.

‘What if there are parents or students who are against wearing trousers for religious reasons?  'What happens when it gets to summer and girls no longer want to wear trousers in the heat? Are they going to have to wear shorts?   ‘I wonder has the school really thought this through.’

Local parents and residents have also spoken out against the prospective ban.

Amber Ervine, 26, said: 'I don’t know if I agree with it. I see teenage girls walking round with tiny skirts but I don’t know if you can ban them from wearing them.'

Jane Brown said: 'I think they should be able to wear skirts so long as they are not really short.  'I would restrict the length of them so they looked respectable.'

Teresa Mayston, 56, said: 'It is ridiculous.  I think it is silly to ban them at school because it is free choice, isn’t it?  'As long as the skirt is of a certain length then I think they should be able to wear skirts.  'But unfortunately I think the rules are not being adhered to and some of the skirts are not skirts.'

The trend of short skirts has been popular for ages, with recent films like St Trinian's, and provocative advertising campaigns making the style even more popular in recent years.

The typical fabric used to make school skirts makes them very easy to adjust, with methods of adjustment ranging from simple sewing techniques to rolling up the skirts at the waist to make them shorter.


Rubio: The "Right" Education is Now a "Necessity for Nearly Everyone"

The U.S. higher education system must be reformed to better prepare students for jobs in a 21st century market economy. Unfortunately, the price of admission to many of the country’s traditional, four-year universities is too high; today U.S. students are collectively more than $1 trillion in debt. So the question is: how can we make higher education more affordable and more available to students today -- and future generations tomorrow -- eager to pursue a post-secondary education?

On Monday, in a speech entitled “Making Higher Education Affordable Again” at Miami Dade College, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed some of these issues. He argued that because it’s harder and harder to make it -- and live in -- the American middle class, “the right education is no longer just an option; it has become a necessity for nearly everyone.”

“One of the central problems of our outdated higher education system is that it has become increasingly unaffordable for those who stand to benefit the most,” he said, according to prepared remarks. “Tuition rates have skyrocketed at a rate far exceeding the rise in inflation. Even when the Great Recession took hold 5 years ago and Americans had less to spend, the rise in tuition only continued to accelerate. Between 2006 and 2012, the cost of college increased by 16.5%.”

This is unacceptable and unsustainable. The goal, then, is making college more affordable for everyone by bringing down college costs while at the same time expanding opportunity. But before that can ever happen, Rubio argued, students must be given the relevant information they need to make wiser and better informed decisions about where they pursue their studies.

“Students and their families need to be equipped with the information necessary to make well-informed decisions about which majors at which institutions are likely to yield the best return on investment,” he said. “This is why I, along with Sen. Ron Wyden, proposed the “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act,” which aims to give students reliable data on how much they can expect to make versus how much they can expect to owe.”

This is a good start. But even if students are given the data they need to make smarter decisions about their education options, how do we begin addressing students’ rising costs concerns? As it happens, Rubio argued giving prospective employers and companies the option to subsidize students’ tuition rates would be one possible way. He called these quid pro quo agreements “Student Investment Plans.”

“Let’s say you are a student who needs $10,000 to pay for your last year of school,” he explained. “Instead of taking this money out in the form of a loan, you could apply for a “Student Investment Plan” from an approved and certified private investment group. In short, these investors would pay your $10,000 tuition in return for a percentage of your income for a set period of time after graduation -- let’s say, for example, 4% a year for 10 years.”

“Unlike with loans,” he added, “you would be under no legal obligation to pay that entire $10,000. Your only obligation would be to pay that 4% of your income per year for 10 years, regardless of whether that ends up amounting to more or less than $10,000.”

Another way to make college more affordable and accessible, he argued, is pursuing accreditation reform. Currently, many innovative online programs could offer students a different and more flexible path to a four-year degree. However, since traditional schools often control the accreditation process, it’s harder for online schools to compete.

“Free online learning is already a reality, we just need the established system to catch up,” he said. “Here’s how it could work. After completing a free online course, a student could pay a relatively small fee to take a standardized test that, if passed, would allow them to count the class toward a degree or job certification.”

“To make this a reality,” he continued, “Congress could establish a new independent accrediting board to ensure the quality of these free courses and make the credits transferable into the traditional system.”

But even online courses can be expensive, too. And not everyone wants and/or needs a four-year degree to find gainful employment in their preferred fields. This is why Rubio proposed creating more apprenticeship programs for those who don’t want to spend their time or money acquiring degrees they won’t necessarily use.

“We should make career and vocational education more widespread and more accessible. For instance, here in Miami, the local school district has partnered with a car dealership to create an innovative approach to career education. The students in this program attend traditional high school classes each morning, then go to auto dealerships where they are trained to be certified technicians. When they finish high school, they graduate not just with a high school diploma but with a job-ready industry certification from an automobile manufacturer.”

He continued:

“Another example of this is apprenticeship programs, which provide valuable on-the-job training for employees,” he said. “So instead of having to pay for schooling, an employee can often get paid to learn and work toward a degree while on the job. We need policies that encourage industries to expand apprenticeship programs and work more closely with their local work-force training boards to make these viable options for gaining certification or degree credit.”

These are only some of the reforms Sen. Rubio proposed at Miami Dade College today. You can watch the entire speech here to learn more.


Homosexual mania in a Canadian university

The University of Ottawa’s student federation may have voted against it, but the Sochi 2014 Olympics are streaming on campus regardless.

Last semester, the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) debated whether it should stream this year’s Olympics considering the tension surrounding Russia’s anti-gay legislation. At a Dec. 1 meeting, the Board of Administration ruled against it.

That doesn’t mean students can’t watch the Olympics on campus, though. Community Life Service (CLS) is showing the games in the Jock Turcot University Centre.

Myriam Hugron, a marketing and communications officer for CLS, said the decision was made recently, after the SFUO vote.

“It is for the university to be an inclusive community,” she said. “It was important for us to give students the opportunity to view the Olympics, and for us it’s a question of supporting Canadian athletes by broadcasting them.”

Hugron said CLS was unsure whether live streaming was even feasible due to technological restraints. The International Olympic Committee airs the Olympics, preventing live-streams from the Internet, according to Hugron.

Nicole Desnoyers, vp equity of the SFUO, said she is “disappointed with the U of O for not taking a similar stance” with the student federation.

“The SFUO decided not to engage in the Olympics this year because we stand in solidarity with the queer students on this campus,” she said.

Hugron said the SFUO and CLS maintain a “respectful relationship,” and that the decision to air the Olympics was made independently from the SFUO.

“They voted and came to this agreement, and from what I understand, it was not an easy nor a unanimous decision,” she said. “From our standpoint, it’s an inclusive campus. We celebrate all students, regardless of discrimination, and for us it was a question of supporting our Canadian athletes.”

The games were also aired at 1848, the student bar run by the SFUO. According to vp social Pat Marquis, the bartenders wanted to watch the games, unaware that the BOA had voted against airing them. He said it is being discussed between the SFUO executive and bar staff whether the games will be allowed to be shown there.

Additionally, community assistants at Stanton Residence planned an event to watch the opening ceremonies and have an ice cream social.

Kaitlynne-Rae Landry, president of the Residents’ Association of the University of Ottawa, said it was “fairly well-attended.”


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