Friday, December 11, 2015
UK: Easter eggs 'were re-branded at school linked to Trojan Horse Islamist plot to avoid offending Muslim parents'
Easter eggs were re-branded at a school linked to the alleged Trojan Horse plot in order to avoid offending Muslim parents, an employment tribunal has heard.
The sweet treats were referred to as 'chocolate eggs', removing any mention of the Christian religious festival, according to a former teaching assistant at Birmingham's Adderley Primary School.
Another ex-staff member also claimed lists of Muslim pupils, who make up the majority of the school's roll, were drawn up by teachers so they did not get sent to Easter basket-making sessions.
Teaching assistant Hilary Owens, 46, also told Birmingham's Employment Tribunal she and three other members of staff were the victims of faked resignation letters.
Ms Owens, who described herself as a practising Christian, said staff were told of the chocolate treats: 'We must not refer to them as Easter eggs.'
Ms Owens, who is claiming unfair dismissal alongside three other Muslim teaching assistants by the school's governing board, said: 'I don't understand that, because having an Easter egg doesn't make you a Christian.'
But she added: 'Some parents would have been upset if they came home and said 'Mummy, I've got an Easter egg', so we had to be very culturally aware.' She said she did not recall who had told her about re-naming the chocolate eggs.
She and her ex-colleagues are alleging resignation letters they purportedly signed and sent to the headteacher Rizvana Darr at the end of 2012, were forgeries.
Ms Owens, from Solihull, alongside Rehena Khanom, Yasmin Akhtar, Shahnaz Bibi all had formal grievances against the headteacher at the time of the alleged forged resignation letters.
However, the school and its governors have claimed the resignation letters were part of efforts by the four to destabilise Adderley.
Ms Owens said: 'On December 10, 2012, Mrs Rizvana Darr (the headteacher) said she had received my letter of resignation, which she accepted with immediate effect, and that I was on 'garden leave' until January. 'I said I had not resigned and I had written no such letter.
'The next day I wrote to Mrs Darr again saying how shocked I was at the suggestion that I had resigned.
'I then found out three other members of staff were also told by Mrs Darr that she had received their letters of resignation on December 10.
'I know the pigeon hole where the letters of resignation were put were not secure. I can't possibly point the finger at who put them there, but anyone could have put them there.'
Ms Owens told the tribunal: 'I do not consider that the school treating the letter as genuine and the way that they have acted in this matter to be reasonable and therefore consider I have been unfairly dismissed.'
She also flatly denied being part of any 'conspiracy' together with the other claimants against the headteacher, alleged to have been 'on the grounds that Mrs Darr has an allegiance to a different branch of Islam to the other three claimants'.
Ms Owens added: 'I therefore consider it ludicrous for it to be suggested that I would be interested in becoming involved in some form of conspiracy to remove Mrs Darr on the basis of her religion.'
Earlier, Ms Bibi had claimed Muslim children were excluded from Easter basket-making.
Ms Bibi said: 'Each class teacher made a list of children in their class who were Muslim.'
These children then 'stayed in class' while Christian youngsters went to the craft sessions, she added.
The 'Trojan Horse' letter came to light while the four women were proceeding with an employment tribunal against Adderley school, but the hearing was adjourned when West Midlands Police arrested the colleagues on charges of conspiracy to defraud, in April last year. But in May, 2015, the charges against the women were dropped due to 'insufficient evidence'.
Adderley school was mentioned in the four-page 'Trojan Horse' letter, which detailed a supposed plot by hardline Muslims to take over several city schools, later triggering four official investigations.
Among those inquiries, the Department for Education commissioned former Met counter-terrorism commander Peter Clarke, whose final report stated: 'There is a detailed description of a plan by some members of staff at Adderley Primary School to falsely accuse the headteacher of forging their letters of resignation.
He added: 'It is worthy of note that at the time the 'Trojan Horse' letter was received by Birmingham City Council, none of the details of the Adderley Primary allegations were in the public domain, leading to the inevitable conclusion that the author of the letter was someone with detailed knowledge of what was happening at the school.'
Cross-examining Ms Owens, Edward Williams, representing the school, said: 'An expert report says your signature was forged strongly.
'That was an accurate signature, and unless someone was very familiar with your signature they are going to look at that letter and think you have resigned. 'It is not an obvious fake.'
The hearing continues.
Jerry Falwell on Arming Students: 'It's Where All Universities Need to Go'
Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University, is once again urging all of his students, age 21 and older, to arm themselves for self-defense purposes.
"It's where all universities need to go," Falwell told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night.
Falwell appeared on the show three days after telling Liberty students, "I've always thought if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walk in and kill us." Falwell was talking about the slaughter of 14 people at the hands of Muslim radicals in San Bernardino, Calif. on Wednesday.
On Monday, Falwell told Hannity he is upset about Democrats' calls for gun control following the attack.
Falwell recalled the "terrible carnage" at nearby Virginia Tech eight years ago: "I remember thinking for years after that, what if just one of those students, one of those faculty members, had had a concealed carry permit? What if they had been able to stop that shooter before he killed 30-plus lives?
"And I just determined after that incident to make sure that Liberty University students were prepared, were able to protect themselves, to have the chance to protect themselves. It's not all students. It's only age 21 and older, faculty and staff. So we don't have a bunch of 18, 19, 20-year- old students running around with handguns.
"But it's a policy that's been in place here for several years, and it's worked well for us, and I'm proud that Liberty was one of the only schools to take that position initially. Now dozens have followed suit. And I think it's common sense. It's where all universities need to go."
Falwell called it sad that most university students cannot return fire if the need ever arisis: "They would not be allowed to protect themselves. They would not be allowed to have a permit. We've got to change that in America."
Falwell also told Hannity that Liberty University is offering scholarships to the children of those killed in San Bernardino:
"We now have all the phone numbers and addresses of every single victim who has children, and we're contacting every one of them to offer assistance to their children, so that no matter what it takes for them to get a college education, they'll be able to do it here.
"And that was the context of my remarks (at a convocation on Friday). And then I went on to say that I just could not believe that our president's answer to something so horrific as that (San Bernardino) is more gun control. That just defies common sense. It defies logic."
Falwell at the convocation on Friday repeated his earlier call for Liberty students to get a concealed carry permit: "We offer a free course," he told the convocation. "And let's teach them a lesson if they ever show up here."
Hillary Clinton, appearing on ABC's "This Week," called Falwell's comments about taking out Muslims "deplorable" and "hateful."
"No, I'll tell you what's deplorable is, Hillary's a liar," Falwell told Hannity on Monday. "That's not what I said. I went on to say those Muslims, before they can come in and kill us, referring specifically, if you listen to the first part of my comment, to the community center incident in California."
Squandered Resources on College Education
By Walter E. Williams
Most college students do not belong in college. I am not by myself in this assessment. Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson said, "It's time to drop the college-for-all crusade," adding that "the college-for-all crusade has outlived its usefulness."
Richard Vedder, professor emeritus of economics at Ohio University, reports that "the U.S. Labor Department says the majority of new American jobs over the next decade do not need a college degree. We have a six-digit number of college-educated janitors in the U.S." Vedder adds that there are "one-third of a million waiters and waitresses with college degrees." More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree, such as flight attendants, taxi drivers and salesmen. College was not a wise use of these students', their parents' and taxpayer resources.
What goes on at many colleges adds to the argument that college for many is a waste of resources. Some Framingham State University students were upset by an image of a Confederate flag sticker on another student's laptop. They were offered counseling services by the university's chief diversity and inclusion officer.
Campus Reform reports that because of controversial newspaper op-eds, five Brown University students are claiming that freedom of speech does not confer the right to express opinions they find distasteful.
A Harvard University student organization representing women's interests now routinely advises students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence and that might therefore be traumatic. Such students will be useless to rape victims and don't belong in law school.
And some college professors are not fit for college, as suggested by the courses they teach. Here's a short list, and you decide: "Interrogating Gender: Centuries of Dramatic Cross-Dressing," Swarthmore College; "GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity," University of Virginia; "Oh, Look, a Chicken!" Belmont University; "Getting Dressed," Princeton University; "Philosophy and Star Trek," Georgetown University; "What if Harry Potter Is Real?" Appalachian State University; and "God, Sex, Chocolate: Desire and the Spiritual Path," University of California, San Diego.
The fact that such courses are part of the curricula also says something about administrators who allow such nonsense.
Then there is professorial "wisdom." Professor Mary Margaret Penrose, of the Texas A&M University School of Law, asked, during a panel discussion on gun control, "Why do we keep such an allegiance to a Constitution that was driven by 18th-century concerns?"
Perhaps the newest "intellectual" fad is white privilege. Portland State University professor Rachel Sanders' "White Privilege" course says "whiteness" must be dismantled if racial justice is ever to be achieved. Campus Reform reports on other whiteness issues (http://tinyurl.com/oof9wu3). Harvard's classes on critical race theory combine "progressive political struggles for racial justice with critiques of the conventional legal and scholarly norms which are themselves viewed as part of the illegitimate hierarchies that need to be changed."
Back to those college administrators. Dartmouth College's vice provost for student affairs, Inge-Lise Ameer, said, "There's a whole conservative world out there that's not being very nice." She did, however, issue "an unequivocal apology" for stoking tensions with such a disparaging comment about conservatives to Black Lives Matter protesters.
After a standoff with other Black Lives Matter protesters, Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber acceded to demands that former Princeton President Woodrow Wilson's name be removed from the campus because of his behavior as U.S. president. President Wilson was a progressive and an avowed racist who racially segregated the civil service and delighted in showing D.W. Griffith's racist "The Birth of a Nation" to his White House guests. Professor Thomas DiLorenzo's recent column suggests that a worthier target for Black Lives Matter protesters would be Abraham Lincoln, who he says was "the most publicly outspoken racist and white supremacist of all American presidents" (http://tinyurl.com/jza7ntf).
The bottom line is that George Orwell was absolutely right when he said, "There are notions so foolish that only an intellectual will believe them."
Posted by jonjayray at 1:59 AM