Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Maryland High School Football Players Accused of Raping Teammates Indicted by Grand Jury

This is clearly an initiation ritual, common in private schools, colleges, clubs, fraternities etc.  It has its place in the Army, where it is referred to as "bastardization, but it often goes too far in other settings.  It is right that this case is going to court

A grand jury on Thursday indicted four Maryland high schoolers accused of sexually assaulting football teammates involving a broomstick.

Damascus High School sophomores Jean Claude Abedi, Kristian Jamal Lee, Will Smith and Caleb Thorpe were previously charged with one count of first-degree rape, three counts of attempted first-degree rape and one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree rape, the Washington Post reported. The indictments added three more conspiracy charges for the 15-year-old suspects.

One of the victim’s father found out about the alleged abuse after finding his son crying in his room on Oct. 31, the same day as the assault. The father reported the incident to the school, according to ABC News.

“JC Abedi and KJ Lee grabbed (victim B) by the shoulders and threw him on the floor,” ABC News reported. “One of them held his feet down and while he was face down on the ground, his pants were pulled down and he was ‘poked in his buttocks with the wooden broom.’”

Another victim was allegedly punched in the face and stomped on, according to ABC News.

Some of the suspects and the alleged victims told officials the incident was part of a “tradition” done to junior varsity football players. School officials said they were unaware of the football program’s alleged tradition, according to The Washington Post.

Attorney Shelly Brown, who is representing Thorpe, believes her client “should be treated as a child in the justice system,” ABC News reported.

“Jean Claude is a young man who is caught up in case that is larger than him,” Daniel Wright, Abedi’s attorney, said to ABC News. “Why is the school and the state seeking to fix all of the blame only on children?”

Damascus High School is part of Montgomery County Public Schools, the largest school district in the state.


Chicago School Board Sues DeVos After $4 Million Funding Withheld over Alleged Incompetence

Chicago Public Schools sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the U.S. Department of Education on Friday for withholding $4 million in grants.

The funds were withheld due to the district’s alleged mishandling of sexual assault complaints. The funds would have turned three public schools into magnet schools, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Magnet schools are still public schools, but often specialize in specific themes like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) or the performing arts.

“Chicago Public Schools is filing suit in an effort to restore millions of dollars in funding that was abruptly and unlawfully taken from low-income students without providing the district with the opportunity to appeal the decision,” CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton said, the Tribune reported

The $4 million was part of a nearly $15 million Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant that would be given over five years, the Tribune previously reported.

CPS was notified about the revocation of the 2018-2019 academic year grant Sept. 27 by the DOE over alleged lack of compliance with Title IX rules.

The DOE’s decision came after the Tribune released a report claiming the district did not effectively respond to sexual assault allegations over the summer.

“Betrayed” alleges some teachers and principals did not immediately alert child welfare investigators when abuse allegations were made.

Inefficient background checks led to children being around employees with criminal convictions and arrests for child sex crimes.

The Tribune’s report resulted in CPS creating The Office of Student Protections and Title IX, which handles student-related sexual assault complaints.

The office received more than 600 sexual assault complaints in one semester, 133 of which were adult-related complaints.


Canberra (ACT) pulls out of 'costly' Teach for Australia program over retention rates

A copy of "Teach for America" program. It gets a few bright sparks into education but the reality of poorly disciplined schools puts off most

The Australian Capital Territory government has cut its ties with the controversial multimillion dollar Teach for Australia program, citing concerns about the program’s value for money.

Guardian Australia can reveal the territory formally split with Teach for Australia in July this year, unhappy with the cost of the program and unconvinced it was “delivering classroom ready graduates that remain in the teaching workforce”.

Launched by the Gillard government in 2009, Teach for Australia provides graduates from non-teaching backgrounds with 13 weeks of intensive training before they begin a two-year classroom placement at a regional or low socio-economic school.

The program has been hugely controversial since its inception. While successive governments have increased its funding, teachers’ unions have long criticised its costs and retention rate and argued it undermines the teaching profession by placing teachers who have not yet completed their qualifications in schools.

The ACT’s education minister, Yvette Berry, told Guardian Australia the decision to withdraw from the program was based on “two main factors”.

“The first of concern was the low retention of participants in the teaching workforce compared to the investment required to collaborate with TFA,” Berry said.

“The second of which is the ACT government’s focus on investment in strengthening initial teacher education, support for new graduates, and growing the existing workforce capability as one strong cohort of educators.”

But in questions to the ACT education department, a spokeswoman admitted cost had also been a factor. Guardian Australia understands the ACT paid about $15,000 for each new Teach for Australia graduate, while the commonwealth has committed $77m to the program between 2009 and 2021.

“Yes, on balance the TFA model proved costly without strong evidence of delivering classroom-ready graduates that remain in the teaching workforce,” the spokeswoman said.

With the ACT’s departure, Teach for Australia remains in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. New South Wales, the state with the country’s largest teaching workforce, has refused to join since the program was launched.

In a statement the Teach For Australia chief executive and founder, Melodie Potts Rosevear, said the organisation was “very proud of what we have achieved in the ACT”.

The program, she said, had made “a significant contribution to reducing educational disadvantage over the past eight years, and will continue to support the active associate and alumni community in the region”.

“Our growth strategy is to partner with jurisdictions across Australia to place our associates in schools that are experiencing the most disadvantage,” she said.

“Next year will be our largest intake of associates yet, with growth in teacher placements across Victoria, WA, NT and Tasmania – with nearly half in regional and remote communities.”

The program has maintained the support of federal governments from both sides of the aisle since it was launched.

When a government-commissioned evaluation of the program released last year found Teach for Australia associates “outperform other early-career teachers” against professional standard measures, the then-education minister Simon Birmingham said its teachers were “helping plug the gap in disadvantaged Australian secondary schools”.

But the report also raised concerns about the Teach for Australia attrition rates and the placement of teachers.

While the program is designed to place graduates in socially disadvantaged schools, the evaluation report found that 13% of its associates worked in schools above the national disadvantage median.

It also found that three years after the placement had finished, less than 50% of graduates were still teaching. Only 30% of those left were in schools below the national disadvantage median.


No comments: