Friday, January 02, 2015

Student, 13, Shares Lunch, Gets Detention

A 13-year-old boy at Weaverville Elementary School in California shared his school lunch — a chicken burrito — with his friend who was hungry. For this, he got detention. The food-sharing miscreant, Kyle Bradford, told KRCRTV:

    “It seemed like he couldn’t get a normal lunch so I just wanted to give mine to him because I wasn’t really that hungry and it was just going to go in the garbage if I didn’t eat it,” said Bradford.

    But the Trinity Alps Unified School District has regulations that prohibit students from sharing their meals.

    The policies set by the district say that students can have allergies that another student may not be aware of.

    Tom Barnett, the Superintendent of the Trinity Alps Unified School District says that hygiene issues also come into play when banning students from sharing meals.

    “We have a policy that prohibits students from exchanging meals. Of course if students are concerned about other students not having enough to eat we would definitely want to consider that, but because of safety and liability we cannot allow students to actually exchange meals,” said Barnett.

Maybe he knows more about those school lunches than we do. But he seems to know less about 13-year-olds, who would certainly understand their allergies by that age, and know enough to fend for themselves.

The rule treats teens like babies and lunch like crack. It also reinforces the lesson: Don’t do what’s right, do what the craven, liability-obsessed, compassion-free administration TELLS you to do.

For his part, Kyle said he would share his lunch again.


In other news, Jesus and several disciples are facing legal action after distributing loaves and fishes to several thousand people last week. “You can’t just go sharing food,” stated one onlooker. “What if someone was allergic to fish?” Publishers of Jesus’ popular book, “The Bible” have stated that they will revise future editions, removing several passages that seem to  suggest giving food to the hungry. “You just can’t be too careful,” said a spokesperson for the publisher.


UK: Labour is waging 'class war' against private schools when parents spend more moving into state school catchments, says top head

Labour has been accused of embarking on '1970s class war' with attacks on private education by one of the country's leading private school headteachers.  Alun Jones, principal of St Gabriel's in Newbury, argued that referring to independent schools as bastions of 'elite and privilege' is outdated.

And he claimed some parents pay far more by moving house or hiring private tutors to keep their children in state schools.

Mr Jones is the new president of the Girls' Schools Association (GSA), and the first man to be appointed to the post. Speaking before taking up the role, he warned against 'outdated' perceptions of private schooling.

Labour's education spokesman Tristram Hunt was accused of launching a class war last month after he warned public schools they must do more to work with state schools or lose tax breaks worth £70million by 2020.

He faced a furious backlash for turning education into a 'class issue', with even the headteacher at his old school condemning his 'offensive bigotry'.

Mr Hunt, 40, attended University College School in Hampstead, north London, where a place costs £17,835-a-year. He went on to study history at Trinity College, Cambridge and the University of Chicago.

His father, Lord Hunt of Chesterton, went to fee-paying Westminster School and is a former chief executive of the Met Office who was given a seat in the Lords by Tony Blair.

Critics accused Mr Hunt of trying to make it harder for others to have the choice that he and his parents had.

Mr Jones insisted that it is time to banish 'stereotypical, out-of-date' references to the independent sector.

'It's going back to the old 1970s class war, it's so outdated, the reference to the independent sector as that type of elite and privilege.'

He added: 'My school, like many, many other GSA schools, are real world schools where mum and dad are working very hard to prioritise their income to benefit their children.

'And it's funny, I would say 80 per cent of the social apartheid one sees in schools at the moment is actually because of geography, and some parents can access incredible education and incredibly successful schools because they can afford incredibly expensive housing in expensive areas of the country.'

There is a question over what is the greatest privilege - paying school fees or moving into an expensive area, Mr Jones said.

'Some parents will actually prioritise their household income in order to make significant sacrifices to send their children to independent school, other parents will choose to look at geographical locations of where to buy and will be able to afford incredibly expensive housing in what they consider to be a far better school area.  'They supplement this with tutors and extra lessons in all sorts of other activities.'

This does mean that some state schools 'can end up being more exclusive than many independent schools', Mr Jones said.

But Mr Hunt rejected the claims. 'There is more to be done to share facilities, insights and expertise between the state and private sectors. We would not be setting up any new quangos,' he told The Guadrian.

'We will ask the independent schools inspectorate to ensure that exactly the type of successful partnership St Gabriel's has developed is emulated across the sector.'


UK: Teacher parents who took their children out of school for year-long caravan tour of UK have no regrets... and they've already chalked up 2,600 miles on the road

They have cooked outdoors on the banks of a Scottish river, enjoyed adrenaline-fueled sports and explored some of Britain’s best known historical sites.

Ella Meek, 11 and her sister Amy, nine, were taken out of school in September to embark on a caravan tour of the UK after their teacher parents became disillusioned with the school system.

Father and mother, Tim and Kerry, sold their house in Arnold, Nottingham, to fund the 12-month, £20,000 ‘ed-venture’ - and with one term gone the family insist they made the right decision.

The youngsters have swapped the classroom for ‘road school’, travelling thousands of miles, packing in scores of daily learning activities and even meeting celebrities along the way.

Sleeping in the caravan, the family have travelled from Nottingham, up to the north of England and the Scottish borders, back down to London and across to Norfolk with the children learning as they go.

Among dozens of locations, they have visited windfarms in Derbyshire, a dormant volcano in Scotland and the spectacular coast of Norfolk. They have even tried their hand at sand yachting and paddleboarding.

Speaking from their caravan, Mr Meek, 45, told MailOnline: ‘We've got no regrets at the moment. It is certainly exceeding our expectations about how good it was going to be.

‘We thought it would be more of a challenge all being in a small space but we have coped ok and we have not had too much of a cold snap yet.

‘We have had a great time with the kids and they are learning and developing so it seems to be going really well.’

While Mr and Mrs Meek were not unhappy with their children’s school or their previous place of work, they are disillusioned with the school system.

They insist they do not blame teachers, schools or even local authorities for their disenchantment with conventional schooling.  Instead they say Government policies do not cater for the day-to-day needs of children and that youngsters are taught simply to pass exams.

They deregistered Amy and Ella from their school, which parents are entitled to do in England.  Instead, they have spent the last term adopting a more flexible approach.  ‘We wanted to rethink our work-life balance and decided to quit our jobs and sell our house and live in a caravan for a year.

‘We don’t really have a schedule and only plan about four to six weeks ahead. We wanted the whole thing to be flexible which allows for us to pick up on learning opportunities that might arise along the way.

‘We have not done this year in the caravan without having already spent three to four years of adventures and challenges and things that require working together.

Their highlights so far include watching salmon leaping as the children cooked chicken on their own stoves on the banks of a river near Selkirk, Scotland. But even this was an opportunity to learn, Mr Meek said.

The children have also met BBC news presenter Fiona Bruce when they travelled to London to learn about how the six o’clock news was created while the family also met ITV presenter Adrian Chiles.

They have spent almost every night in the caravan since September – apart from taking up on accommodation during occasional visits to their grandparents.

The youngsters keep in contact with their friends using Skype and visit when passing through Nottingham.

To avoid arguments, the family have ‘daily gratitudes’ explaining what they are thankful for every day and try hard to be ‘tolerant and appreciative’.

‘We do lots of things like that - the upshot is that we are quite able to spend time together in a caravan that is small without it getting to us and it being a problem.  ‘The children really see the benefits of this.’

‘The journey is very much led by the children’s interest and their lines of enquiry.

‘On a daily basis we get people saying well done and we get lots of messages on Facebook saying it’s brilliant and to keep doing what we are doing.

‘Everyone has been in the educational system so this resonates with everyone.  ‘We have had very few people saying that what we are doing is not the right thing.’

Nottinghamshire County Council's education standards service director, John Slater, said previously that the authority had 'no concerns' about the Meeks' alternative education plan because both children were 'high attaining'.

As they embarked on their journey, Mr Meek said earlier this year: 'Education is becoming overly dominated with tests, assessments and targets, at the expense of rich, engaging and enjoyable learning.

'Children are not sausages in a sausage factory to be pumped full of facts and content ready for regurgitation at the end of some arbitrary Key Stage, when they take high-stakes assessments.

'We've given ourselves a minimum of an academic year but we are realistic and we know the girls will return to school at some point.


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