Sunday, January 24, 2016

University's Israel society event is attacked by demonstrators who throw chairs and smash windows

One of Britain's top universities had to be evacuated when violent protesters stormed an Israel society meeting and began rioting.

Ami Ayalon, the former head of the Israeli secret service Shin Bet and commander-in-chief of the navy, was speaking with students at Kings College London in his new role as a peace activist when the campaigners - believed to be from KCL Action Palestine - burst in.

Eyewitnesses described seeing the mob throw chairs, smash windows and set off fire alarms before the building was shut down by police.

The incident comes amid growing concerns over the rise of intimidation and the suppression of free speech on British university campuses.

Esther Endfield, from the KCL Israel Society - who were hosting the event with a group from the neighbouring London School of Economics, posted on Facebook: 'Never did I ever think that I would have to write a post like this, but in life sometimes you do things that you never expect.

'Protests by KCL Action Palestine at this event was inevitable but it was never inevitable that it would turn violent, not to the point that I have reported being assaulted to the police, which is also being investigated as under a hate crime.'

She continued: 'When did it become so unsafe in one of the global universities in the world that we can no longer hold an event without being scared of our safety?  'What if KCL Action Palestine would have come to the event with questions and challenged the speaker in a respectful and peaceful manner?'

The meeting had to be stopped after the rioters broke in.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing two police cars, two vans and more than 15 officers race to the scene. A Met Police spokesman confirmed that officers attended following reports that demonstrators had gained access to the building but added that no arrests were made.

Tonight Universities Minister Jo Johnson criticised the protesters. He told MailOnline: 'Britain and Israel share many important academic links and speakers must be able to address meetings peacefully.

'Our universities should be safe spaces for students to expand their minds, and there can be no justification for violent intimidation that curtails free speech.'


Racial bean-counting is making schools unsafe

President Obama's acting secretary of education, John King, hijacked Martin Luther King Jr. Day to accuse public schools of racism because black students are punished more often and more harshly than others.

The Obama administration has been threatening school districts with lawsuits and federal-funding cuts wherever it finds "racial disparities" in who gets suspended or expelled.

But racism isn't to blame. Black students misbehave more often. Tragically, school administrators are so fearful of saying it that they're being intimidated into ceding control of classrooms to violent, disruptive students.

That's the story in New York City, where serious crimes in schools are soaring. Forcible sex offenses are up 90 percent year over year, according to state statistics. Assaults with weapons causing serious injuries are up 69 percent.

Mayor de Blasio has implemented the Obama administration's policy of replacing suspensions with "restorative justice" - a kind of talk therapy - even for serious offenses such as insubordination, fighting, arson, assaults and marijuana possession.

The only penalty for a student at Adlai Stevenson High School in The Bronx caught with seven bags of marijuana on him was being handed a warning card that said "Please bring this card home to your parent(s)/guardian so you can discuss the matter with them."
Sounds more like "Leave It to Beaver" than 2016. It would be laughable - if it weren't so destructive.

The de Blasio administration is touting a dramatic decrease in school suspensions. That's only because the unruly students are allowed to stay in the classroom, continuing to disrupt. Last week, at a United Federation of Teachers meeting, 81 percent of teachers said their students are losing learning opportunities because of the disorder and violence.

No one believes black students should be treated differently from others. The notion that racist educators are to blame for more suspensions and expulsions of black students is preposterous, says Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald. Teaching is "the most liberal occupation."

A primary cause of student-discipline problems is the breakdown of families, Mac Donald says, which is especially severe among African-Americans. These households are missing fathers. When discipline isn't enforced at home, students don't behave in school, either.

Or on the streets. Mac Donald points out that the homicide rate among males age 14 to 17 - high schoolers - is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than for whites.

Families for Excellent Schools, a pro-charter group, is lambasting de Blasio for misrepresenting what's happening in schools. City Hall claims school crime is down, but the pols are playing numbers games, mixing minor infractions with major crimes.

In terms of serious and violent crime, schools are more dangerous than before. Assaults are up a shocking 40 percent in one year.
The mayor's coverup is an insult to caring parents and dedicated teachers alike. No wonder on this issue, de Blasio and the unions part ways.

De Blasio's lax policies are "grooming criminals" according to Gregory Floyd, president of the union representing school-safety officers. Eighty-four percent of the schools deemed persistently dangerous by the state's Education Department are in New York City.

"The mayor is saying crime is down in the schools. Crime is not disappearing. It's just that we're ignoring it," reports Floyd, who is also opposing de Blasio's push to reduce the use of metal detectors at schools.

Ignoring school crime punishes all students. But the biggest losers are from poor, often minority, families who can't afford to escape these dangerous schools.

That's why de Blasio and the Obama administration should stop the racial head-counting and adopt a color-blind approach to discipline. That would actually honor, rather than exploit, the memory of Martin Luther King Jr., who had a dream that "children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character."


Detroit Public School Teacher ‘Sick Out‘ Underway While Just 8% of Students Can Read Proficiently

Nearly all schools in Detroit were closed Wednesday due to a massive teacher “sick out,” preventing students from attending class.  Teachers have complained about over-crowded classrooms, poor school conditions, and dissatisfaction with the idea of charter school growth in Michigan.

The teachers’ sick-out includes a planned march, which will conclude near a venue being visited by President Barack Obama Wednesday. Meanwhile, 46,000 kids are unable to attend school in Detroit.  Among those 46,000, it’s likely that less than 4,000 of them can read proficiently.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, just 8 percent of Detroit eighth-graders can read proficiently. Eight percent. And just seven in 10 students graduate.

But lack of progress is due not to a lack of resources in Detroit public schools, which spend roughly $16,000 per pupil per year. According to the Mackinac Center and a separate analysis by Randan Steinhauser:

– About 75 percent of the annual District budget goes toward paying employees covered by its current collective bargaining agreement for teachers.

– Out of a new $7,450-per-pupil grant the Detroit school district will receive this year, $4,400 will be spent on debt servicing and benefits for teachers who have retired.

– The average Detroit Public Schools (DPS) superintendent makes between $121,091 and $178,871 a year.

– The superintendent can select up to two “professional associations” (unions) to be a member of each year, and the district (taxpayers) will reimburse his membership dues.

– DPS has a debt of over $3.5 billion, which includes unfunded pension liabilities.

Funneling money into a mismanaged school system has not created an environment conducive to improving academic achievement in Detroit.

Serious reforms to the district are necessary. Policymakers in Michigan would do well to enable every Detroit child—and every child in the state—to exercise school choice through the use of education savings accounts (ESAs), accounts that enable families to harness the funds that would have been spent on their children in their assigned pubic school to craft a customized education plan. They can begin by considering how to tackle the barriers to school choice that currently exist in the state.


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