Friday, March 11, 2016

UK: Primary school bans children from playing 'tag' claiming some have become upset during traditional break time game

Australian kids call the game "tiggy" but regardless of what you call it, it has been played for generations without causing concern.  It is a good outlet for kids' energies and promotes psychomotor skills.  And it's FUN!  That has to be stopped, of course

A primary school has banned children from playing 'tag' as it claimed the traditional playtime game had left some children upset and with torn clothing.

Christ the King school in Bramley, Leeds, introduced the rule to allow pupils time to 'settle down a bit' and because the playground was 'too small'.

Children are allowed to play 'air tag' instead and those caught flouting the ban are disciplined and kept inside.

The popular playground pastime, also known as 'tag', 'tig' or 'you're it', is a chasing game that involves minimal physical contact.

The temporary measures brought in by the school has enraged parents.

Billy Salkeld, who has a child at the school, said: 'The world's gone crazy, kids can't do 'owt these days.' 

Dawn O'Toole, a parent who used to work at the school as a playground supervisor, said she was told to stop children playing tag about a year ago as it was 'causing arguments'.

She said: 'If we saw them playing tag, we had to go over to them and ask them to stop and find something else to play.  'I was very shocked, it is a natural game for children and the children themselves weren't very happy about it.'  Her son said he had been disciplined for playing the game and kept inside at break time. 

Head teacher Neil Ryan said while the school was eager to see pupils enjoying games at break times, the playground was too small for some activities.

He said: 'We've had a few instances recently of children being upset and having clothes torn during games of tag.

'As a temporary measure, we have decided to ask pupils not to play tag in our small playground for now. 'Once the weather improves and the larger school field is available to use, the children will be able to play tag again.'

This is not the first time a school has banned the popular pastime.

In 2013, Egerton Community Primary near Bolton prohibited children playing 'tag' as it was causing 'accidents' in the playground.  Alternative play zones were created for children to play games such as basketball. 

Following that, furious parents launched an online petition calling for the decision to be reversed.


Jewish students are feeling isolated by a growing tide of anti-Semitism at Britain's elite universities

Jewish students are being made to feel isolated by a growing tide of anti-Semitism sweeping across Britain's elite universities, according to a new report.

A dossier compiled by Student Rights reveals dozens of incidents involving students from a large number of universities including Oxford, Nottingham and the London School of Economics.

Some students were shouted down in meetings with anti-Semitic abuse while in other cases rants were posted on student society social media pages.

Events featuring extremist anti-Jewish speakers have also been advertised on some campuses.

At one event at the Oxford Union, a debating society affiliated with the university, a student allegedly shouted 'slaughter the Jews' at Israel's deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon.

In another incident, an anti-Israel activist is reported to have said that the best thing Jews have done is to 'go into the gas chamber' at an event at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Student Rights, a project run by the Henry Jackson Society think tank, said it had logged more than 30 acts of intimidation towards Jewish students in person and online over the past five years.

Rupert Sutton, Director of Student Rights, said: 'Too many campuses have seen a form of identity politics, which perceives Jews as privileged and powerful, combined with a virulent anti-Zionism fuelled by one-sided speaker events and inflammatory social media posts.

'This has led to a blurring of the boundaries between pro-Palestine activism and anti-Semitism, exacerbated by the failure of students and university authorities to challenge bigoted views, and by a culture in which Jewish students who raise concerns are mocked or accused of 'crying wolf'.

'Until this changes, and universities take disciplinary action against those students and societies involved, we will continue to see anti-Semitism on our campuses.'

It comes after a co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour club claimed a large proportion of members 'have some kind of problem with Jews' and resigned.

Members are alleged to have called Jewish students 'Zios' and sang a song about rockets over Tel Aviv.

Labour Students, the national youth body of the political party, is investigating the claims.

Earlier this year, a talk at the King's College Israel Society had to be abandoned because of violent protests by pro-Palestine protesters.

Student Rights said it had seen the boundary between pro-Palestine activism and anti-Semitism become increasingly blurred, with the promotion of conspiracy theories about Jews.

In 2012, a University of Westminster student's attempt to challenge the views of the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir was met with groans and shouting when he made the admission that he was Jewish, resulting in the student leaving the room in distress.

The same year a Jewish student was allegedly assaulted during a Nazi-themed drinking game on a London School of Economics ski trip.

Anti-Israel activists are also reported to have vandalised the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) at the National Union of Students (NUS) Conference.

The Oxford Union incident, which Mr Ayalon described as 'tantamount to a call for genocide', was investigated by the police in 2010 but the case was dropped.

The student involved said their Arabic words had been misinterpreted, but Mr Ayalon stood by what he said he heard.

Since 2014, Student Rights has also been documenting the on-campus activity of National Action, a neo-Nazi group with a history of targeting universities whose members promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and share Nazi imagery and Holocaust denial online.

One member is accused of shouting 'Gas the kikes, race war now!' at a conference in May 2015 and activists from the group distributed posters at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University during February 2016.

On social media, the researchers found a number of posts on student society pages relating to conspiracy theories to do with Jews.

One member of Westminster Palestine Solidarity Society page stated: 'I believe that Zionist Israel is actually worse than the Nazis'.

The report recommended students be encouraged to report and challenge anti-Semitic material posted on student social media.

It also called for a consistent sector-wide policy to be formulated for institutions regarding the use of social media by affiliated student societies.


If you majored in the humanities, you really should apply to Harvard Business School

If you studied the humanities in college, Harvard Business School doesn’t just want you, it needs you.

As director of admissions Dee Leopold told Quartz, Harvard’s case method—where students examine real-world business examples from all angles—benefits from a multitude of perspectives. If everyone in the class has a background in finance or engineering, the group suffers.

Scholars of the humanities are comfortable with problems that don’t have just one correct answer, Leopold said.

“They’re used to managing ambiguity,” she said. “They have an ability to think broadly, an ability to take a stand, and yet know there are other approaches.”

Leopold, who earned an MBA from Harvard in 1980, is stepping down this year after 10 years as director and more than 30 years in the admissions office. Over the decades the admissions process has become much more transparent than when she applied, Leopold said, with a wealth of statistics about the admitted class available online.

That transparency comes with a price: Potential students who could benefit from an HBS education—and from whom HBS could benefit—see the average test scores and careers of admitted students, and choose not to apply. The result is a more homogeneous applicant pool. Last year, 81% of admitted students had a background in business, economics, or the STEM subjects.

Humanities education has been under attack in recent years, with politicians from Barack Obama to Marco Rubio scoffing at the contribution of art history or philosophy majors, and state universities systems prioritizing STEM subjects (those related to science, technology, engineering, and math) at their expense. Tech billionaire Vinod Khosla recently published a jeremiad on Medium attacking the liberal arts and calling for science-based learning instead.

While Leopold wants French majors in her MBA program, they still need to do the work.

“You can’t come and be quant-phobic, or think someone else will do the math for you,” she said. But you don’t need business experience. Neophytes who need a primer in the language of finance can get up to speed on Harvard’s online platform, HBX, before their first class. This year, 140 took the online course.

The odds are still daunting. Harvard’s MBA program gets about 10,000 applicants each year for a class of 935, and it costs almost $100,000 per year to attend, including tuition, housing, books, meals, and health insurance. The payoff? The median annual salary for a 2015 graduate was $130,000, with many graduates receiving signing bonuses of $25,000 or more.

What Leopold wants are students with leadership potential, who are curious about the world, and can navigate complex, nuanced issues.

”These are essentially human problems,” she said. “You can learn how to do accounting. But it takes judgment to do what we do here.”


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