Tuesday, May 19, 2015

York school changes American flag policy after demonstration

YORK COUNTY, S.C. -- Controversy at a York High School prompted a demonstration of patriotism.

York Comprehensive High School student Peyton Robinson was not happy after being told to remove his American flag from the back of his truck.

Robinson posted this comment on his Instagram account:

"I've been told by 2 administrators at my school this morning that I can't have an American Flag on my truck because other people have complained about it. Well let me tell you something, I have every right to fly an American flag. It will not be coming off of my truck. This really pisses me off. I ask that everyone that sees this post that attends York Comprehinsive flys an American flag of some sort on whatever they may drive to school tomorrow to prove a point. I will not let this go down without a fight. "#America #fightforourright

"It's America you should be able to fly your flag anywhere. I was pretty upset about it," student Cheyenne Lane said.

Many students felt the same, prompting a community-wide show of support. "Any student that has pride in their country should stand up for something like this," Robinson said.

Thursday morning students, parents and community members met to fly their flags around town. York resident Russell Shively says, "You got somebody that's showing their patriotism and flying an American flag on the back of their truck and you want them to take it down? That's not America."

Principal Christopher Black says their policy to not have flags on campus was never an issue of patriotism, rather, safety. "Some of them are driving for their first time ever and anytime you get a flag of any kind flying it creates a visual distraction," Black said.

But that reason wasn't good enough for many of the people in York.

The district posted a message on their Facebook page saying,

"Due to the outstanding display of patriotism through peaceful demonstration, it is apparent to us that many are not happy about this policy."

The school has since adjusted the policy making an exception for the American flag as long as the size of the flag doesn't create a driving hazard.

"This is what York's about, it's small town America," Shively said.


Zero tolerance idiocy in Britain too

Police were called to a primary school after a nine-year-old boy was caught using a ruler as a pretend sword in a playground game of 'knights and dragons'.

Teachers have been accused of overreacting after asking officers to speak to Kyron Bradley, who waved the ruler around as he played with two friends at St George's Bickley CE Primary School, in Bromley, south London.

The youngster's mother Natasha Bradley said she burst into tears after hearing police were being called over a 'stupid game'.

Miss Bradley, a 27-year-old carer and mother-of-two, said she had attended a meeting with headteacher Geraldine Shackleton following the incident on April 27, and had assumed it had been 'dealt with'.

However, she was then told that police officers were coming to the school to speak to her son, a pupil in Year 4, about his behaviour, on April 29.

Miss Bradley, from Orpington, said Kyron had only been doing 'what boys do' - playing at 'swordfighting' with a pal in the playground.

She said: 'I explained to my son that it was a stupid game to play as he could have fallen with the ruler. He cried, but he understood.

'I had already dealt with Kyron myself. Why the police were involved I haven't a clue.  'I was so disgusted with the way he was being dealt with I burst out crying.'

Miss Bradley told the News Shopper, a local newspaper in South London: 'I am quite a strict parent. I am not saying my child is an angel, but he has never been in trouble for anything more than being a bit chatty.'

Another parent at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: 'These boys were just playing knights and dragons in the playground.  'They could have been using a stick, a ruler or their imagination - the whole thing is totally over the top and a waste of police resources.'

The school declined to reveal precise details of action taken against Kyron but Mrs Shackleton said: 'Sometimes having a gentle conversation with children, with parents or guardians present, can help young people fully understand possible consequences of actions they have taken.

'I am expected to use my judgement and act appropriately to ensure children and staff in my school are safe.

'It would not be appropriate to discuss individual situations, but in general terms schools work closely with local police as a matter of routine to gain help and guidance in these matters.'

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers from the local neighbourhood team had been sent to the school in the wake of the incident - but the force said it 'does not comment on individual incidents involving under 18s'.

A spokeswoman added that police routinely visit schools to assist with 'early identification, support and where necessary challenge of pupils involved in or at risk of offending', and where appropriate for 'the safety of pupils, staff and the school site and surrounding area'.


British middle class families being 'squeezed out' of top private schools by foreign pupils and Chinese students are the biggest group

Britain's most prestigious boarding schools are enrolling one foreign student for every five new pupils amid school fee rises that are 'squeezing' the middle class.

Institutions such as Eton and Wellington College, Bedales School in Hampshire and Malvern St James Girls' School are taking in foreign students at a higher rate than ever before, according to a Sunday Telegraph survey.

News of the changing demographics comes just days after Eton headmaster Tony Little warned middle-class families were being 'squeezed' out of the country's elite institutions because they could no longer afford the fees.

He said schools were in danger of being ‘polarised’, with only the very rich able to pay and only the very poor able to obtain bursaries.

The survey revealed Eton and Wellington Colleges attracted 15 per cent of their pupils from abroad - almost double that of two decades ago.

And foreign students at Bedales School have grown from 2.6 per cent to 3.6 percent of the total enrolment, while British students among new entrants at Malvern are among a 46 per cent minority.

Ten days ago Mr Little warned that average boarding school fees had risen faster than inflation and disposable income, increasing by four times more than the average increase for other goods and services between 1990 and 2013, according to one measurement.

He said: 'Many of us are conscious that there is a risk that boarding becomes polarised, in the sense of being accessible to the very rich on full fees and the very poor on bursaries, with the middle squeezed out.

'It is important and a wonderful thing, to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds by helping them gain access to our schools.'

The survey results come just as new figures from the Independent Schools' Commission (ISC) reveal Chinese students are by far the biggest nationality from outside the UK studying in British schools.

Sarah Hamlyn, author of The Good Schools Guide, told the paper that overseas parents often remained able to afford costly British boarding schools.

'If you have the money but you don't like the rigidity of the education system and the politics in your home country are not congenial, you opt for independent schools in the UK that encourage creative thinking.'

While there are 27,211 pupils studying in British schools with their parents living outside the country, there are another 16,821 whose parents live within the country.

Eton, which offers bursaries to poorer students, has fees exceeding £34,000 a year, with some other elite schools charging even more.

Former pupils of the world-famous school include David Cameron, Boris Johnson, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry.


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