Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pupils walk out of lessons after British school BANS them from wearing bracelets to support classmate with leukaemia

I once told a bureaucrat to stick his policies up his A**.  Sounds like the students below were of a similar mind

A huge group of angry pupils went on strike yesterday after their school banned them from wearing bracelets in support of a classmate with leukaemia.

Police were called in when 100 pupils walked out of lessons at Bilton School in Rugby, Warwickshire, after being told they could only wear 'Team Joel' bracelets on a non-uniform day next month.

Pupils who want to wear the wristbands in support of Joel Smith - a Year 11 pupil who is undergoing hospital treatment - on other days have been warned they will be violating the school's uniform policy.

Joel's family have been making and selling the beaded bracelets to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. But yesterday, pupils mounted a protest against the bracelet ban on the school field.

Mother Emma Howell told the Daily Mirror that she would support her daughter Laura's participation in the strike, despite it resulting in her missing a mock examination yesterday.

She said: 'I support my daughter. If she's excluded for five days there will be no punishment at home. She won't be missing out on anything because she's just revising anyway as she's in Year 11.

'The only resolution I can see is if the school back down because the pupils are very passionate about this, and I can’t see them letting it go.’

The school said it had responded several weeks ago to a request from the children to have a non-uniform day for Joel, and he had requested that pupils wear blue and white coloured clothing.

This was planned for April 11, but the school also told pupils that the bracelets could only be sold and worn on that day - a policy which has caused much anger among the children.

A spokesman said: ‘We spoke to students and said that they could show their support by attaching the bracelets to bags or keys but not wear them as bracelets, in order to comply with our policies.

‘This has been the topic of quite extensive social media comment over the last two days, culminating in a call from students and parents for students to strike yesterday.

‘Although this was a largely peaceful event, we called the police who supported us in evaluating the safety of staff and students, which is paramount to us.’

The school added that it then told pupils how it was helping Joel and his family - and the many of them who quickly returned to lessons would make up the lost learning time during detentions.

But the spokesman continued: ‘There were a small minority of students whose actions can only be described as anti-social and potentially dangerous who used this as an opportunity to be disruptive.

‘These students were putting pressure on others not to go back into classrooms and contacted the press. We will be evaluating the actions we will be taking with these students over the next few days.’

The Facebook page 'Spotted: Rugby Town' has been inundated with angry comments since the ban on bracelets was announced.

One comment said: ‘Disgraceful, how must Joel be feeling knowing his own school are not supporting him in the biggest fight of his life? They should be ashamed of themselves.’

And another added: ‘Students should keep wearing them, they can't send the whole school home. Show solidarity against a stupid rule.’

It comes after MailOnline reported last week that a teacher in Essex allegedly ordered a 10-year-old boy to take off his Help for Heroes wristband because it could cause offence.

Tracy Tew was shocked when her son Charlie was put on a report card at Maldon Primary School after he refused to take off the charity rubber bracelet sold to honour injured soldiers.

Charlie wore the wristband - bought at the Colchester Military Festival - in honour of murdered soldier Lee Rigby and service personnel in his family, including his great-granddad and uncle.

Tracy Thornton, the headmistress at that school, insisted wearing wristbands was against the school’s jewellery policy.


British school bans red ink - and tells teachers to mark in green instead

A school has banned teachers from marking in red pen because is it judged a ‘very negative colour’.  Teachers at Mounts Bay Academy near Penzance, Cornwall, have reportedly been told to use green pens instead.

Pupils, meanwhile, are being asked to comment on marking using purple pens.

According to The Cornishman, the new system is designed to encourage dialogue between teachers and students.

‘Switching to the new marking system is certainly not about us going all soft and fuzzy,' vice principal Jennie Hick told the paper.  She said that the system will see teachers make ‘two or three positive comments’ about homework.

It is hoped this will encourage pupils to not just look for their overall marks, but get them to respond with comments of their own.

She told the paper: ‘I think it was felt that red ink was a very negative colour.’

However, Campaign for Real Education chairman Chris McGovern told the paper that, in fact, students prefer red ink because it makes comments easier to read.

He said: ‘A lot of schools seem to have a culture where they don’t like criticising children but actually this helps them.’


Oklahoma Parent Trigger

Oklahoma legislators are considering an education reform that has garnered significant national attention: the Parent Trigger. The legislation, first passed in California, has been considered in approximately 20 other states. A Parent Trigger typically allows a simple majority of parents at a school to “trigger” one of several reform options, including its conversion to a charter, closure, and offering students vouchers with the school’s per-pupil funds. The Oklahoma bill would offer parents the ability to petition the state to replace school staff and leaders at a low-performing public school and to convert it into a charter school.

The Parent Trigger would empower parents and increase competition among schools, thus holding educators and school systems directly accountable for their performance.

Critics charge the measure would turn public schools over to private corporations, removing them from state requirements for public schools and reducing the transparency of how tax dollars are spent. They also say not all parents want the power to control schools and the law would pit parents against each other and teachers.

Proponents say decades of research have shown private enterprises consistently perform services more completely, less expensively, and with better customer satisfaction than government institutions do. Charter schools and private management have a relatively short track record but already have demonstrated better student achievement at lower taxpayer costs than traditional public schools. Given Oklahoma’s poor academic performance, particularly in urban school districts, parents and children need all available tools at their disposal.

Choice proponents also note parental authority over their children’s education puts power in the hands of the people who care most deeply and only about the children involved. The trigger requires these parents to work together, not against each other, and allows them to exercise their rightful authority. The measure also gives them a bargaining chip to make school administrators take their concerns more seriously, making resorting to the trigger less likely.


No comments: