Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Texas professor sparks outrage after he bans students from saying: 'God Bless you' in class if someone sneezes

A Texas professor has sparked outrage after he banned students from saying 'God Bless you' in class if someone sneezes 'because it could be disruptive.'

The professor from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has not been named, but his unusual list of demands have gone viral on social media.

In a long list of do's and don't for the new college year, the professor detailed a list of demands that students should follow.

It included:  'Please refrain from saying, 'God bless you' during the classes and exams.'

An image of the demands spread across social media soon after the first day of class.

Marcos Villarreal, a student at the university told Action 4 News: 'It's kind of ridiculous, first amendment, freedom of religion. It's there. We shouldn't have to block that out of school'.

Meanwhile, John Taylor was in shock over the rule.

He told Action 4 News: 'You shouldn't have a boundary on what you believe in, especially in the classroom.

'I would've not said anything, but it would've bothered me because as common courtesy, I say God bless you to people who sneeze.'

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley professor distributed the syllabus on the first day of school. The name of the professor and the course has not been released.

Along with the rule on what not to say in class, the professor listed the semester's coursework and also asked students to refrain from using electronic devices - such as cellphones.

The university said in a statement: 'The professor's syllabus sought to identify examples of potentially disruptive behavior the professor believed could hinder the classroom learning environment, including use of cellphones.'

'The intent was not to limit the religious freedoms of UTRGV students, but to avoid unsolicited comments that might distract others.'

The university announced that the offending rule has since been removed.


British teacher brainwashes primary school children into writing letters of support to Syrian jihadis calling them 'diamonds'

A teacher working in a British classroom had pupils send handwritten letters to 'hero' Syrian terrorists.  The decorative notes - which include drawings and finger-paintings - were addressed to Al Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra fighters.

The children described their planned recipients as 'diamonds', 'role models' and 'brothers'.

It is not known at which school they were written, but are thought to have been penned under the persuasion of the unidentified class teacher.

The pupils were forced to write in both English and Arabic, opening each of their notes: 'To our brothers in...'

Images of the letters were shared on Twitter by a woman using the handle @irhabiyya_18, which translates to 'terrorist_18'.

Keeping her identity hidden by choosing not to display her own photograph in her profile picture, the unknown woman uses her social media account to promote the jihad. She has previously shared extremist views using the account, and boasted to her 500 followers about the content of the letters.

When posting them online, she wrote: 'lil kids put their heads together to "post" letters to the muhajideen :)'

She followed that up by tweeting: 'Please encourage these lil enthusiastic daughters of this ummah...they eagerly awaiting a response...' before adding how particularly fond she was of one of the notes.

The letters were discovered online by American think tank The Middle East Media Research Institute.

Haras Rafiq, head of the counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation, said: 'She is clearly brainwashing youngsters. These kids are vulnerable.'

The teacher's Twitter page also features sickening images of beheading victims.


UK: Giant secondary school with 2,500 pupils and 16 forms in each year is planned as the crisis over rocketing pupil numbers deepens

A giant secondary school with 16 forms of entry and more than 2,500 pupils is being planned as the pupil places crisis deepens.

Councils are drawing up controversial proposals to cope with the ‘unprecedented’ bulge in student numbers that is now transferring from the primary to secondary sector.

Local authorities across the country are struggling to cope with the increased school population following a baby boom that began more than a decade ago and immigration.

Barking and Dagenham, East London, says it experienced the ‘highest growth’ in infants aged up to four in London, which is ‘starting to move through into secondary provision’.

The Times Educational Supplement revealed that the council has now asked all its secondaries to look at admitting more students.

This includes requesting one current ten-form entry secondary school to consider growing to 16-forms of entry, which would take its roll to more than 2,500 pupils.

If the proposals are agreed, the school - which has not been named - would be among the biggest of its kind in the country.

A spokeswoman for Barking and Dagenham council said the borough ‘continues to see rapid child population growth’.  She said: ‘Projected figures suggest that by 2020 we will have around 1,000 more pupils entering Year 7, so we will need around 30-35 more forms of entry.

‘To address this, we have been working with our secondary schools to look at the best way to meet the increased demand.

‘One possibility, where there is sufficient space, is rather than place two or three forms of entry into already busy secondary schools and science, sports and arts facilities become over burdened, is to add six or more forms of entry.

‘This would allow the creation of new school buildings so that specialist provision is available as well as basic classrooms.

‘These proposals are being discussed with schools and no decisions have been taken. This is an option available to more than one school.’

The council has one of the largest population changes seen in any borough across the country due to the age of residents, the rise in birth rates and ‘changes in migration patterns’.

Meanwhile one of the country’s largest secondaries - Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough - is also considering expanding from 12 to 15 forms of entry.  It currently has 2,025 pupils - compared to a national secondary school average of 957.

Principal, Julie Taylor, said the school was ‘heavily oversubscribed and the situation isn’t going to get any easier’.

Ashfield School, an academy in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, already has 2,500 pupils and 183 teachers. Each year group is split into 18 forms, with average class sizes of 22.

Headteacher, Dick Vasey, told the TES he was not concerned about a generation of children being educated at large secondary schools.  He said: ‘One of the advantages of a big school is that we’ve got more resources, so we get smaller class sizes and a broader curriculum choice.’

A downside is that new pupils tend to get lost on their way to lessons, at least for the first few weeks but new signage has been installed ‘to make things a bit clearer’.

He said that ‘for obvious reasons’, the school has no staffroom. ‘We would need about 200 chairs in there,’ he added.

Ruth Bagley, chief executive of Slough borough council, said the town was facing an ‘unprecedented’ rise in secondary pupil numbers.

Between 2012 and 2022, the number of secondary places would have to rise by 64 per cent, with the number of forms of entry across the borough’s secondary schools rising from 57 to about 95.

Ms Bagley said the council was exploring ‘every opportunity’ to create new places and had made plans for the expansion of three of the town’s 11 schools.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: ‘Significant investment during the last Parliament has helped to create half a million new school places since May 2010.

‘A further £7billion has already been committed to crate even more places over the next six years. We have also changed the rules to make it easier for schools to expand.’=


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