Wednesday, May 28, 2014

School Hands 13-Year-Old Over to Cops for a Doodle of a Man Hanging

Another child victim of zero tolerance policies by schools around the country. The law of contagion led to a freak out over a 13-year-old boy's doodle at a school in Beaverton, Oregon. Via Courthouse News Service:

    [Robert] Keller, suing for himself and his son, B.R.K., claims that on May 2, 2013, his 13-year-old son "was interviewed at his school, Raleigh Hills, K-8, by officers of the Beaverton Police Department regarding an alleged threat of harm based on a doodle [showing a person being hanged ] that was drawn during class. B.R.K. was removed from his classroom and placed in the principal's office of Raleigh Hills K-8 to be questioned about offenses that he was alleged to have committed…"

The doodling incident occurred on April 30. Keller says his son was suspended pending a "risk assessment" and that despite telling the school they were not allowed to interview his son without a parent present, a school psychologist and police interviewed the boy. Keller is seeking $100,000 for violations of his son's Fourth and 14th Amendment rights.


British education Secretary attacks 'fictitious' claims he has banned US books from schools

Leftists deliberately misrepresented him in an effort to discredit him

Michael Gove has hit out at the “culture warriors” he says have falsely accused him of banning American novels including To Kill a Mockingbird from English literature GCSE courses.

It was reported that classic US texts such as Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck and The Crucible by Arthur Miller will be excluded from the UK syllabus in favour of works by British writers.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Gove says that the claims are “rooted in fiction” and that teachers will still be free to teach American novels in the classroom.  “I have not banned anything,” Mr Gove writes. “Nor has anyone else. Teachers are as free to introduce children to the brilliant writing of Lee, Steinbeck and Miller today as they were yesterday and nothing this government is doing will change that in the future.  “All we are doing is asking exam boards to broaden - not narrow - the books young people study for GCSE.”

Paul Dodd, from OCR, one of the biggest UK exam boards, claimed that Mr Gove’s personal literature preferences had influenced policy decisions.  “Of Mice and Men, which Michael Gove really dislikes, will not be included,” he told a newspaper. “It was studied by 90 per cent of teenagers taking English literature GCSE in the past. Michael Gove said that was a really disappointing statistic.”

Mr Gove adds: “Do I think Of Mice And Men, Lord Of The Flies and To Kill A Mockingbird are bad books? Of course not. I read and loved them all as a child. And I want children in the future to be able to read them all.  “But sometimes a rogue meme can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

Authors and academics criticised Mr Gove following the reports. Sam West, the actor and director, said that children would now be kept away from books that have "moved and inspired" young people "because their authors aren't British".

However, Mr Gove writes: “Last year the Department for Education set out new requirements around which exam boards would frame their specifications.

“The new subject content for all GCSEs is broader and deeper than before - reflecting a higher level of ambition for children. “In English literature we emphasised that students must read a wide range of texts. We also set out a minimum core that had to be covered - specifically a whole Shakespeare play, poetry from 1789 including the romantics , a 19th-century novel, and some fiction or drama written in the British Isles since 1914.

“Beyond this exam boards have the freedom to design specifications so that they are stretching and interesting, and include any number of other texts from which teachers can then choose.”

He says that teachers had welcomed a “specification that allows for Keats and Heaney, Shakespeare and Miller, the Brontes and Pinter”.

The Education Secretary says that the critics from exam boards who have accused him of “hating” Of Mice And Men have never met him to discuss his reading preferences.  “I would have thought that making an assertion unsupported by evidence is the sort of thing exam boards would want to discourage,” he adds.

“But in any case, there are four exam boards which can offer GCSE English literature and there are no rules either requiring them to exclude or marginalise any writer - if they wish to include Steinbeck - whether it’s Of Mice And Men or The Grapes Of Wrath no one would be more delighted than me.”


A Young College Grad Calls My Show

Dennis Prager

Last week, on my radio talk show, I received a call from Jeff, a 21-year-old in North Carolina. I have abridged it and edited it stylistically.

JEFF: I wanted to respond to your question about America being feared in the world. You brought up Syria. I think it's a little naive, and maybe that's not even the right word, to boil down such complex international issues into just good and bad. Like to say that America, for you, represents good. And to just boil down the Syria situation into good and bad is to underestimate the complexity of the situation. Because if the United States were to get involved there, you know, there might be consequences for us in that region that I think would be definitely more bad than good.

DP: Like what?

JEFF: If we were to depose Assad, there could be a power vacuum and that could create more problems than we intended.

DP: There are two separate questions here. One is: Should the United States be feared by bad regimes? The other is: What should the United States do? They're not identical. So let's deal with the first: Would you acknowledge that it would be good if countries like Putin's Russia, Iran or North Korea -- though I don't compare Putin to North Korea -- feared us? And do you think they do?

JEFF: I think that's a really good question. If I had the answer to that I think I'd be secretary of state.

DP: It's not that tough a question. What we should do is a tough question. But whether America should be feared by bad regimes is not a tough question.

Let me just throw in a tangential comment that I think is important: I presume you went to college.

JEFF: Oh, yeah.

DP: The reason I presume that you went to college is that you were taught -- and this is no knock on you whatsoever since anyone who takes liberal arts courses, in political science in particular, is taught -- what you just told me: You can't divide between good and bad, because it's too complex.

But that's not accurate. There is a good and bad. Yes, sometimes there is bad and worse -- in Syria today, for example. But between Syria and the United States the difference is between bad and good. Would you agree that it's between bad and good between Syria and the United States?

JEFF: As an American, absolutely.

DP: Wait a minute. That's a terrible answer. I don't want you to answer me as an American. I want you to answer me as a moral human.

JEFF: I can only answer you as an American. I can't answer you as anyone else.

DP: That's not true. If I asked you how much two and two is, you wouldn't answer me as an American.

JEFF: Here's my only comment, I would just, you know, hesitate to boil down international issues of such complexity, with multiple variables, to, "It's simply good or bad." And that's my only comment.

DP: Thank you for calling.

What Jeff said is what I was taught at college. It is heartbreaking to hear how effective left-wing college indoctrination continues to be, with its morally obfuscating concepts such as "too complex."

The morally obvious fact is that the United States is overwhelmingly a force for good both in the world and within its borders, and Syria is overwhelmingly a force for evil both in the world and within its borders. Yet, colleges have taught for at least two generations that such judgments are illegitimate.

If you want to judge whether Sweden or Denmark is better, that's complex. Or whether Iran or Syria is more evil. That, too, is complex. But between Denmark and Syria, there is no moral complexity.

The other revealing comment my caller made was that he could only say "as an American" that America was a better country than Syria.

This, too, reflects a fundamental left-wing doctrine taught at colleges -- that there are no moral truths, and we can only subjectively observe the world as members of a group. There are, therefore, black truths, white truths, rich truths, poor truths, male truths, female truths. Accordingly, for example, since men do not get pregnant, they cannot morally judge abortion.

To Jeff's credit, he listens to a radio show that so differs from what he was taught in college. There is therefore some hope that he will eventually realize how much nonsense he was taught at college. Dangerous nonsense.


No comments: