Monday, February 26, 2018

A new high point of modern American education: Louisiana Student Investigated For Math Symbol, Classmates Thought It Looked Like A Gun

A discussion among students at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, La., about a mathematical symbol led to a police investigation and a search of one of the student’s homes, according to the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On the afternoon of Feb. 20, detectives investigated a report of terroristic threats at the school, where they learned that a student had been completing a math problem that required drawing the square-root sign.

Students in the group began commenting that the symbol, which represents a number that when multiplied by itself equals another number, looked like a gun.

After several students made comments along those lines, another student said something the sheriff’s office said could have sounded like a threat out of context.

Police searched the student’s home, where they found no guns or any evidence that he had any access to guns. Authorities also wrote there was no evidence the student had any intent to commit harm.

It seems the silly season on gun politics has reached a new level.


UK: Furious parents slam primary school for inviting DRAG QUEEN who calls herself 'Bristol's Resident S**g' and a troupe of cross-dressers to read stories about tolerance to the children

Furious parents have slammed a primary school for inviting a drag queen who calls herself 'Brisol's Resident S***' to read stories to children.

The performers are visiting the school to read tales about tolerance to the kids for World Book Day.

Parson Street Primary School in Bristol is welcoming the Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) organisation on March 1.

The team of six drag queens in the project have performed to over 2,000 children in the UK during the past eight months.

But a number of parents expressed concern about who the drag queens are and the age-appropriateness of the reading materials.  One mother claims one of the drag queens calls herself 'Bristol's Resident Slag',

She said: 'Lots of parents at the school are not happy about it but the headmaster says there's no negotiation.

'He said if we don't like it we should take our kids out of school on an unauthorised absence.

'There are books dotted around the school about sexuality, they learn a lot about LGBTQ+ in school and that's fine.

'But I just think it's gone too far now and the head is using his position of power and influence to push this information on the children.

'One of the drag queens refers to herself as Bristol's Resident S***, these are children of between four and 11 - they don't need to be exposed to that.

'They are adult entertainers, I just don't see how that is age appropriate'.

Several mothers also accused headteacher Jamie Barry of being 'vague' about which drag queens were attending the school and what stories they would be reading.

But the school stated it takes the safeguarding of its pupils to be their absolute priority.

It confirmed it has communicated information about DQST to the parents of the school prior to the event.

Parson Street Primary School recently won the Gold Best Practice award from LGBT education charity Educate & Celebrate.

Parents say they are also concerned whether or not the drag queens who volunteer with the self-funded organisation are DBS (police) checked.

But the organisation reassured many of the drag queens it uses are already DBS checked for jobs they have done previously as teachers and volunteers.

DQST organiser Tom Canham said: 'All of the reading material we use at our performances are specifically written for children, and cover all of the topics we engage with in an age-appropriate format.

Parson Street Primary School, the school that has invited the drag queens in to read stories to children    +3
Parson Street Primary School, the school that has invited the drag queens in to read stories to children

'If parents have any worries, especially in regards to age appropriateness then I encourage them to go on our Facebook page.

'It has all the books and authors we use at readings. It ranges from The Hungry Caterpillar to And Tango Makes Three.

'When you introduce tolerance at a young age they take it on board.

'Many of these children will not be LGBT themselves but they will at some point come into contact with someone who is.

'We have an opportunity to provide our children with a better world in which to grow up, free from fear of rejection, or abuse, for being who they are.

'Drag Queen Story Time is proud to be working with fantastic organisations all across the country to help make that a reality.'

Head Mr Barry said: 'We are a community-focused school and lots of effort is put into working in partnership with parents.

'We understand the concerns that have been raised and have spoken with many of our community to reassure them of the appropriateness of the activities planned.

'Children are at the centre of all that we do at Parson Street so it is fantastic that so many of them are excited about March 1.

'We know that many of our parents are also equally as excited and they look forward to also joining us on the day.'

Parson Street Primary School is the first Bristol school to be awarded a Gold Practice Status for promoting equality and diversity.

Cllr Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills for Bristol City Council, said: 'We are very supportive of children engaging with different groups of people in an educational setting as it teaches them about accepting themselves and others.

'We know that good reading skills can help set children up for life and reduce inequalities.

'Our experience of welcoming Drag Queen Story Time in to our libraries was very positive and successful.'


Campus political correctness threatens our democracy and prosperity

American universities pose a terrible threat to our prosperity and democracy.

All college graduates should be well equipped at critical thinking — the capacity to reach measured conclusions from available statements and data, independent of preconceived notions.

Although essential at every level of professional work, employers find that facility lacking in about four in 10 graduates. As alarming, the College Learning Assessment Plus found four years of college often adds little to students’ analytical abilities, even at many prestigious institutions like the University of Texas.

In the 1950s, freshman composition was an arduous rite of passage. Each week, students wrote themes, which were rigorously graded for grammar and logical structure. They learned not merely how to bang a subject against a verb but also how to think clearly and put aside personal biases.

Gradually, such rigor has been removed from required undergraduate curricula. These days repeating faculties’ and administrators’ politically correct orthodoxy, and running off campus speakers whose views challenge their prejudices are what passes for intellectual competence.

In a less technical era, a general education — with a major in anthropology or history — was enough to launch a career. These days something more practical like software engineering or finance is required for most students to succeed.

Too often faculty and administrators dupe students with nostrums like “you can accomplish just about anything with a humanities degree” and offer examples of alumni in their 40s and 50s with enviable careers.

They don’t tell students that those alumni graduated into a more robust, less technologically demanding job market, and were better equipped, by virtue of more rigorous curricula, for self-directed continuing education.

America can’t expect to compete internationally with such ill-prepared citizens.

As importantly, universities are undermining American civic values of tolerance and respect for due process.

Broadly understood norms requiring faculty to abstain from the most hideous hate speech have morphed into expansive campus codes and tribunals — essentially required by a 2011 Obama administration directive to universities — that investigate faculty for posing ideas students decide are homophobic, racially charged or otherwise discomforting.

The slightest and most innocent turn of phrase — or ideas that cause students to question any form of political correctness — can land faculty in the dean’s office and cost them their jobs or at the very least leave the wrongfully accused marginalized and ostracized.

All reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition.

As a defensive mechanism, many instructors are removing material that challenges cultural norms, values and prejudices. A professor of film at CUNY has dropped “Birth of Nation” because it deals with racism and “Tootsie” because it brings up too many gender stereotypes.

Much is appropriately made of assaults on free speech, but those have morphed into broader attacks on the most essential element of academic freedom — the latitude to thoughtfully challenge — free from fear of retribution — widely accepted ideas about society and science.

In an op-ed, Professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander from the Universities of Pennsylvania and San Diego argued that the decline of a unifying culture that valued hard work, self-discipline, child rearing in stable marriages, service to employers and community, and respect for authority greatly contributes to poor economic and social conditions among working class whites and minorities. Colleagues responded with a firestorm of attacks and the usual invectives about racism.

Bowing to mob rule and embracing vigilantism in lieu of due process, the law school dean removed Professor Wax from a mandatory first-year course and asked her to take a leave of absence. Maybe it’s the dean and some of her colleagues who are in need of a time out.

America is unique among nations, because it was founded on the idea of the fundamental sanctity of individual liberty and freedom of thought, and not as a place defined by a specific ethnic, language or religious identity. All that is needed to become an American is to embrace this basic creed and take up the shared responsibility to preserve it.

It is difficult to see how a civilization that puts so much stock in those values and equal treatment under the law can long survive when its young people are required to embrace such intolerance and taught by example those accused of transgressions are entitled to no more due process than the mob rule of a fascist state.


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