Friday, September 26, 2014

Obese pupils 'do worse at school'

No mystery why.  It is mostly the poor who are fat and the poor have lower average IQs.  This is an IQ effect, nothing else

Its damage to health is well known but obesity could take a heavy toll on a child’s grades.

At least six studies have found that boys and girls who are dangerously overweight do worse at school than others – with girls particularly vulnerable.

Researcher Anne Martin said the effect is big enough to make a difference to grades and urged teachers to think about the effects of obesity on their pupils.

It is unclear why being overweight harms academic success but possible reasons include fat children being written off by teachers and obesity slowing the development of the brain.

Bullying may also take a heavy toll, especially on girls.

Miss Martin, who is close to completing a PhD, found and analysed 14 pieces of research into the topic.

Around half of the studies showed that children who became obese or who stayed obese did worse in maths over time.

The studies also suggested that the effects aren’t instant – with obesity in primary school taking until secondary school to impact on achievement.

Girls may be particularly vulnerable, with a British study showing that those who were obese at 11 did less well in maths, science and English at 16.

The effect was big enough to make the girls drop down from an average grade C, to a D, the UK Congress on Obesity heard.

Miss Martin, of Edinburgh University, said it is possible that girls are more psychologically scarred by the bullying that fat children often suffer.

Other reasons for the phenomenon include teachers writing off overweight children as lazy or naughty, poor diet and lack of exercise.

It is possible that obesity affects brain development – and also that the diabetes and sleep problems that can accompany obesity lead to youngsters missing more school than usual.

Miss Martin said the finding is important because a child’s performance in school affects their chances of going to university and the kind of job they get.

She says that headteachers need to realise that educating children on obesity could improve academic success, rather than simply waste valuable time.

However, it is not all bad news.  One of the studies Miss Martin analysed showed that obese youngsters who slim down end up doing better in maths than children who have never had a weight problem.


Anti-Religion Group & Satanic Temple to Distribute Materials in Public Schools

Despite their continued verbal commitment to keeping religious materials out of public schools, both the Satanic Temple and The Freedom From Religion Foundation have publicly announced plans to disseminate printed information among public school students in Orange County, Florida.

Some of the educational materials produced by the organizations include  The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities and An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity in the Bible.

On the Satanic Temple’s official website, the New York-based group stated that, “In cooperation with The Freedom From Religion Foundation, and in accordance with School Board policy that allows religious material dissemination, The Satanic Temple announces they will distribute Satanic literature in Florida Public School district.”

According to the announcement released on Sept. 14, distributed materials will include “pamphlets related to the Temple’s tenets, philosophy and practice of Satanism, as well as information about the legal right to practice Satanism in school.”

The Satanic Temple’s website also advertises activity books for children, including coloring pages and connect-the-dots activities to help children learn to draw pentagrams.

Satanic Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves told during a phone interview that the Satanist group decided to pass out their own materials after talking with The Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“I don’t know if you could define it as a partnership, but we consulted with them and we ran it through them because we knew – we found out about this through the stories that were written about The Freedom From Religion Foundation,” Greaves explained. “They had a previous lawsuit and they took issue with the previous religious materials being disseminated in schools.”

“We’ve been quite clear about the fact that we don’t want to disseminate our own materials in the school, if the other materials aren’t there,” Greaves said.

“[FFRF’s] thinking is the same as ours: that religious materials are probably better off left away from the schools. But so long as there’s going to be one represented, they have to accept them all,” he said, adding the group plans to pass out information primarily to high school students.

Anti-Religion Group & Satanic Temple to Distribute Materials in Public Schools, While Opposing Materials’ Distribution
(Photo: The Satanic Temple.)

The day after The Satanic Temple announced their plans to give out their own materials in conjunction with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the foundation issued a statement apparently seeking to distance itself from the Satanic Temple’s materials.

“FRF does not believe that Satanists or Christians or even atheists should be distributing literature to public school students,” the group said in a news release on Sept. 15.

When asked if he thought passing out Satanist materials while condemning the distribution of any religious information could be considered hypocritical, Greaves said he did not think so.

“Well, it would be hypocritical of us if we were to push to have our literature disseminated to the school when there wasn’t already this breach of church and state, but I don’t think there’s a hypocrisy in us putting our material out when the other material is there. Because that is our position, that so long as that is taking place, it’s orders of magnitude better that a plurality of voices is represented rather than just one,” he said.

Like The Satanic Temple, the Freedom From Religion Foundation claims to be against the distribution of materials of any kind, religious or non-religious, in public schools,  but has filed lawsuits demanding the right to do that very thing.

After discovering a local Christian group was handing out Bibles in Orange County public schools,The Central Florida Freethought Community, a subgroup of The Freedom From Religion Foundation, sued the Orange County School last year over the right to distribute their own atheist materials. While the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, the group has since been permitted to pass out their materials.

In the latest news release, the group announced it will distribute its materials again in January to public school students in Orange County.  “FFRF will only distribute its own materials this January, including pamphlets such as An X-Rated Book: Sex & Obscenity in the Bible, the group announced.

This book, essentially a small collection of brochures the foundation has passed out for nearly two years, includes a cover showing an image of an anthropomorphized, cartoon Bible sexually assaulting a screaming woman.

In the news release, the group also claimed to be “consistent” in their message.

“FFRF has remained consistent throughout this ordeal: Public schools should not be allowing the distribution of Bibles, atheist materials or any other religious or nonreligious material,” the group said in the news release. “We do not want the Satanic Temple preying on students any more than we want evangelical Christians preying on students.”


Girl, 11, told by school not to wear 9/11 T-shirt

The stepdaughter of a U.S. veteran was told last week that she was not allowed to wear to school a T-shirt to honor the men and women who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

According to CBS 13, Tim Foster was told by administrators in the Orangevale school system that his stepdaughter, 11, who is in the sixth-grade, would be violating the dress code if she wore the T-shirt, which the family has worn every year since the attacks. The shirt lists the names of those who lost their lives that day in the shape of the twin towers.

We “wear it to honor what had happened on 9/11 and all the people that have perished and the lives that were changed on that day,” Foster, who has served for nearly 25 years, including two tours in Iraq, told the station.

But Foster’s stepdaughter wasn’t allowed to wear the shirt last Thursday, on the 13th anniversary of the attacks, and administrators said she had to wear her uniform – a T-shirt with the school’s name and logo.

Foster said he understands the school’s policy, but was hoping officials would understand the significance of the day and let her wear the commemorative T-shirt.

District spokesman Trent Allen said students are only allowed to wear clothing other than their uniform on free dress days, and Sept. 11 isn’t one of those days


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