Sunday, January 13, 2019

Three middle school girls were unlawfully arrested to 'prove a point.' San Bernardino County just paid them $390,000

Something like this had to happen given the present reliance on the police for school discipline.  The police are not trained  for it

Three San Bernardino County middle school girls who were unlawfully arrested “to teach them a lesson” were awarded $390,000 this week to settle their case, their lawyer said.

The 2013 incident began when Balbina Kendall, then assistant principal at Etiwanda Intermediate School, asked the school resource officer, sheriff’s Deputy Luis Ortiz, for help with a group of girls who were involved in an “ongoing feud” with another group, according to court documents.

The girls, two of whom were age 12 and the other 13 at the time, had gone to the school office that morning to complain to administrators that they were being bullied and physically attacked by four other girls at the school.

An audio tape of Ortiz’s encounter with the girls reflects some whispering and quiet giggling in response to his questioning, according to court documents. Ortiz told the girls he was arresting them because he was not “playing around” and that he was taking them to jail to “prove a point.”

The girls eventually sued the county and deputy for violating their constitutional rights.

“The people they have as school resource officers are not well trained,” said Jerry Steering, the girls’ lawyer. “This guy was a bad egg.”

Steering said his clients were the victims of bullying. He said the school did not discipline any of the seven girls involved, and no criminal charges were filed.

The settlement follows a decision issued in September by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court found that the special needs doctrine, an exception to the 4th Amendment that permits police to make searches and seizures that would otherwise be deemed unconstitutional, doesn’t apply to the arrests of students.

“The summary arrest, handcuffing, and police transport to the station of the middle school girls was a disproportionate response to the school’s need,” Judge Jacqueline Nguyen wrote in the opinion for the three-judge panel. “No reasonable officer could have reasonably believed that the law authorizes the arrest of a group of middle schoolers in order to teach them a lesson or to prove a point.”


Girls’ self-confidence falls below that of boys from around age of six – but not if they go to a single-sex school, Australian study finds

Girls at risk of becoming less confident than boys may hold on to their self-esteem if they attend single-sex schools.

Evidence shows some girls start to believe they cannot be a clever or brilliant as boys from the age of six. But a study has found girls who go to single-sex schools do not have this crisis of confidence.

Researchers looked at more than 100,000 students aged 12 to 17 in single-sex schools and found no significant difference between the self-confidence of boys and girls.

Numerous previous studies have found girls are less confident in their own abilities than boys, which has been blamed for the lack of women in science and technology careers.

But the latest results suggests girls who are kept separate from the opposite sex may not start to believe they are inferior.

Dr Terry Fitzsimmons, who led the study from the University of Queensland, said: ‘We hope our research will empower caregivers and teachers to inspire confidence and purpose in young adults, especially when they are deciding on their subjects and careers, which can be as early as 13 years of age.’

The study’s authors state that parents and teachers can influence children at a young age on ‘what boys are good at’ and ‘what girls are good at’.

A previous study from the University of Illinois found females are less likely to believe other girls can be ‘intelligent’ or ‘brilliant’ from the age of six.

But the study of students at single-sex schools found, if anything, girls are slightly more confident than boys in every year except year 10 of school.

It concludes that travel, sport and leadership roles are most likely to build schoolchildren’s confidence.

However girls are still less likely to be allowed to be left to their own devices, with the Hands Up for Gender Equality study finding 82.2 per cent of boys reported doing activities unsupervised, compared to 79.2 per cent of girls.

Following the study, Dr Fitzsimmons said: ‘Key recommendations include urging parents to assign and pay chores equally, encouraging schools to prioritise excursions to help develop self-confidence, and urging industries traditionally dominated by one gender to send diverse role models to schools to talk about careers.

‘Correcting the gender imbalance in the workforce and creating a more equal and fair society is everyone’s responsibility and it’s important we start now.’


Australia: The number of graduates in full-time jobs edges higher

The proportion of Australians who landed full-time jobs within a few months of graduating university in 2017 was slightly higher than the year before, but remains significantly lower than a decade ago.

A new government-funded survey has found 72.9 per cent of graduates in 2017 found full-time work within four months, compared to 71.8 per cent the year before.

The 2018 Graduate Outcomes Survey puts the gradually improving result reflects down to broader strengthening of the jobs market.

But the figure is still down from the 85.2 per cent of 2008 graduates who found full-time work within four months.

"Since the global financial crisis, graduates have taken longer to gain a foothold in the labour market," the report released on Friday states.

Ultimately 92 per cent of 2017 graduates were in some kind of employment, with 37.9 per cent working part-time, slightly down on 37.3 per cent the previous year.

The median salary for undergraduates in full-time employment is $61,000, up from $60,000 the year before.

Education Minister Dan Tehan says the results reflect the government's sound economic management, with newly-created jobs meaning more opportunities for graduates.

The figures are also "great news" for about 260,000 prospective university students set to receive offers to study on Friday, he said.

"In this country, if you have a go, you get a go," he said. "Those Australians making the commitment to improve themselves and improve their job prospects through higher education should be congratulated."

Maintaining a trend in last year's survey, 2017 graduates from regional or remote areas were more likely to secure full-time work within months than those from cities.

Their full-time employment rate was 76.7 per cent, compared with 71.8 per cent for metropolitan graduates.

Women graduates continues to earn less than men in their first year, with a median gap of $3000 or 4.8 per cent.

The gap had narrowed to $1100 last year, but had been $3600 for those who graduated in 2015.


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