Friday, September 17, 2021

Virginia Tech professor is slammed by students after 'apologizing' to them for being a white, straight female - and saying that racism is 'innate within the reality of white people'

A Virginia Tech professor is under fire after she allegedly apologized to her students for being a straight, white woman.

Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane, who taught human development and family science, is accused of using her Human Development 1134 course syllabus to push her students into addressing inherent biases and racism, according to Campus Reform.

'I am a Caucasian cisgender female and first-generation college student from Appalachia who is of Scottish, British, and Norwegian heritage,' Duncan Lane, whose Virginia Tech faculty page has been deleted, reportedly wrote.

'I am married to a cisgender male, and we are middle class. While I did not 'ask' for the many privileges in my life: I have benefitted [sic] from them and will continue to benefit from them whether I like it or not.'

Her students said Duncan Lane's commentary was not appropriate or relevant to the course.

In the Who I Am section of the syllabus, which was obtained by Campus Reform, Duncan Lane referred to her privilege as 'injustice' and apologized for the way white people have treated people of color throughout history.

She also encouraged students to take initiative to combat racism.

'I want to be better: Every day. I will transform: Every day. This work terrifies me: Every day. I invite my white students to join me on this journey. And to my students of color: I apologize for the inexcusable horrors within our shared history.'

The news outlet spoke with two of Duncan Lane's Human Development 1134 students who both expressed discomfort with the professor's verbiage.

'It is a class about disabilities, not political opinion, affiliation, nor judgment in any sort. If you are discussing disabilities, stick to your course,' student Natalie Rhodes explained.

'It hurts that someone says I was born with "innate racism" because of my skin color. [It] makes me feel like I should hide and worry about everything I say,' shared another student who spoke on the basis of anonymity.

The students' frustrations were echoed by social media users.

'Crystal Duncan Lane? Fire this weak excuse for a human. She is an abomination,' tweeted @kelley_dan.

'I am not apologizing for being born white and neither should any other white. This woman should never be in front of any student, white or black.'

'You should probably help Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane feel better about herself and fire her immediately and replace her with a person of color,' echoed @ChrisW37679955.

Twitter user @donttre78745568 wrote: 'Fire Dr. Crystal Duncan Lane! She is only helping CREATE a generation of racists!'


School Board CAUGHT Giving Pornographic Material To Students!

A mayor in Ohio has given an entire school board a shocking ultimatum – resign or face a criminal complaint, after sexual writing assignments were given to underage students.

Hudson High School’s Liberal Arts II writing class assigned shocking tasks such as: ‘Write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom’, ‘Describe a time you wanted to orgasm but couldn’t’, ‘Write an X-rated Disney scenario’ and write a description about ‘A room full of people who want to sleep together.’

Hudson mayor Craig Schubert addressed the incidents on Monday during a school board meeting, as angered parents cheered him on.

“It has come to my attention that your educators are distributing essentially what is child pornography in the classroom”, he said.

“I’ve spoken to a judge this evening and she’s already confirmed that. So I’m going to give you a simple choice: either choose to resign from this board of education or you will be charged”.

While it’s unclear whether the assigned tasks violates child pornography laws, an enraged Mayor Schubert left the meeting after delivering his ultimatum.

The book in question, 642 Things To Write About, contains many overly sexual tasks – especially when distributed to high school children. The writing class allegedly assigned the book in association with Hiram College for college credit.

The Plain Dealer spoke with one of the parents at Hudson High School. Former public school teacher Monica Havens deemed the material “paedophilia” after the topics were allegedly encouraged and read by adults.

“I asked my daughter if she had been reading a book with inappropriate stuff in it and she said yes”, she said. “I can’t even wrap my brain around as a teacher, I don’t care if it’s for college credit, these are minors.”

Haven proceeded to compare the assignments to that of “grooming” before claiming that the book had been on the curriculum for six years, meaning that the board had been “sleeping on the job.”

“Each and every one of you should be ashamed”, she concluded.

Hudson High School has since issued an apology after claiming they were unaware of the book’s inappropriate nature.

“There are times we need to take a step back, reflect and get better”, Principal Brian Wilch said in the meeting.

“We did not exercise our due diligence when we reviewed this resource and we overlooked several prompts that were not appropriate. We felt terrible. You can’t unsee them.”


Washington University student leader desecrates memorial to 9/11 victims

A student leader at Washington University in St. Louis on Saturday dismantled a public memorial for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Fadel Alkilani, the vice president of finance for the school’s student union, removed nearly all of the 2,977 flags that the school’s College Republicans had placed on campus. Each flag represented an American killed by Islamic extremists on Sept. 11, 2001. Alkilani was caught stuffing flags in trash bags twice on Saturday morning. In a statement criticizing the U.S. military posted to Instagram, he claimed including American flags in the memorial was “insidious.”

“A memorial which uses US flags is especially insidious, as it does not recognize those who have fallen, but uses a symbol that was on the shoulders of those who are responsible for the deaths of 900,000 people,” Alkilani said, referring to those killed in the war on terror. Such a memorial “uses the innocent lives lost during 9/11 as a political prop upholding American hegemony.”

Sept. 11 memorials at several universities were vandalized this weekend, Campus Reform reported. The University of Virginia’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom found its 9/11 table and flag display in shambles. At Michigan State University, students crossed out a sign that said “Never Forget” and wrote “Never Israel” in its place. At Mount Holyoke College, one student wrote “there is blood on U.S. hands” underneath a chalk message memorializing those who were killed in the attacks.

Nick Rodriguez, president of the Washington University College Republicans, told the Washington Free Beacon that Alkilani has since deleted his Instagram. Rodriguez says Alkilani’s actions are equivalent to “pissing on the graves” of Americans killed during the attacks.

While Rodriguez said he can’t recall another time when conservative students were openly attacked on campus, he said those who share conservative or moderate views on social media often face backlash. The environment has, over the past several years, become “hyper-liberalized.”

As the vice president of finance, Alkilani is responsible for managing the student union’s budget, which includes funding for student clubs. Rodriguez said Alkilani’s actions demonstrate a “conflict of interest” he has in budget-related matters.

“I think his actions are ridiculous and malicious and regarding his position, that is the most gross malpractice for a leader of the student community at Wash U, and at minimum shows a conflict of interest with the budget,” Rodriguez said.

Razing the College Republicans’ memorial wasn’t the first time Alkilani expressed hostility toward the American response to the Sept. 11 attacks. In 2019, Alkilani wrote in the Washington University Political Review that Americans “united in hatred” against “those who are ‘other.'”

University officials have released two statements in response to the incident. The school’s initial statement called Alkilani’s actions “reprehensible.”

Washington University has not taken action against Alkilani as of this writing.

“The 9/11 memorial has always been a nonpartisan nonpolitical moment that has brought together unity on this campus,” Rodriguez told the Free Beacon. “He broke campus rules, violated numerous policies, stole property, and above all else, he broke what is a rule of living in America and at the very least holding some sort of remembrance to the memory of 9/11.”




Thursday, September 16, 2021

Colleges Have a Guy Problem

The account below offers many reasons but overloks the sheer hostilty to males in the educational system. Feminism is bearing bitter fruit

American colleges and universities now enroll roughly six women for every four men. This is the largest female-male gender gap in the history of higher education, and it’s getting wider. Last year, U.S. colleges enrolled 1.5 million fewer students than five years ago, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. Men accounted for more than 70 percent of the decline.

For decades, American women have been told that the path to independence and empowerment flows through school. Although they are still playing catch-up in the labor force, and leadership positions such as chief executive and senator are still dominated by men, women have barnstormed into colleges. That is the very definition of progress. In poorer countries, where women are broadly subjugated or otherwise lack access to regular schooling, girls enjoy no educational advantage whatsoever.

Still, gender inequality on something as important as education presents problems, no matter what direction the inequality points in. While men are more likely to go to college than they were 10 years ago, something seems to be restraining the growth of male enrollment. In 1970, men accounted for 57 percent of college and university students. Two years later, Congress passed Title IX regulations that prohibited sex-based discrimination in any school that received federal funding. “The fact that the gender gap is even larger today, in the opposite direction, than it was when Congress determined that we needed a new law to promote equal education seems like something we should pay attention to,” says Richard Reeves, a Brookings Institution senior fellow who is writing a book about men and boys in the economy. “I’m struck by the fact that nobody seems to understand why this is happening.”

The U.S. education gender gap isn’t just a college phenomenon. Long before female students outnumber men on university campuses, they outperform boys in high school. Girls in elementary school spend more time studying than boys, are less likely to misbehave than boys, and get better grades than boys across all major subjects. “For decades, guys have been less likely to graduate from high school, less likely to enroll in college immediately, and less likely to finish college and earn a diploma,” Reeves told me. “There is a linear educational trajectory for girls and women. Boys and men tend to zigzag their way through adolescence.”

Sociologists and cultural critics have taken many dubious stabs at why the gender gap in education is growing. Some have blamed the feminist dogma of the education system and the inherently distracting presence of girls in classrooms. I don’t put much stock in those explanations.

The story I prefer begins with the economy. For much of the 20th century, men without any college education could expect to earn a middle-class salary in fields such as manufacturing and mining. In the 1970s, the share of the labor force working in these brawny industries declined. But men—especially in poor areas where college attainment is low and may even be falling—have struggled to adapt to a 21st century economy, where a high school diploma alone is often insufficient to earn a middle-class wage.

The sociologist Kathryn Edin has written that men without college degrees in deindustrialized America have been adrift for decades. They face the simultaneous shocks of lost jobs, disintegrating nuclear families, and rising deaths of despair in their communities. As 20th-century institutions have crumbled around them, these men have withdrawn from organized religion. Their marriage rates have fallen in lockstep with their church attendance. Far from the ordered progression of the mid-century American archetype—marriage, career, house and yard—men without college degrees are more likely to live what Edin and other researchers call “haphazard” lives, detached from family, faith, and work.

This male haphazardness might be reproducing itself among younger generations of men who lack stable role models to point the way to college. Single-parent households have grown significantly more common in the past half century, and 80 percent of those are headed by mothers. This is in part because men are more likely to be incarcerated; more than 90 percent of federal inmates, for example, are men. Men are also less likely to be fixtures of boys’ elementary-school experience; about 75 percent of public-school teachers are female. Suggesting that women can’t teach boys would be absurd. But the absence of male teachers might be part of a broader absence of men in low-income areas who can model the path to college for boys who are looking for direction.

This argument might sound pretty touchy-feely. But some empirical research backs it. A 2018 study of social mobility and race led by the Harvard economist Raj Chetty found that income inequality between Black and white Americans was disproportionately driven by bad outcomes for Black boys. The few neighborhoods where Black and white boys grew up to have similar adult outcomes were low-poverty areas that also had high levels of “father presence.” That is, even boys without a father at home saw significantly more upward mobility when their neighborhood had a large number of fathers present. High-poverty areas without fathers present seem to be doubly impoverished, and boys who live in these neighborhoods are less likely to achieve the milestones, such as college attendance, that lead to a middle-class salary or better.

The college gender gap is happening not just in the U.S. but in a range of upper- and middle-income countries, including France, Slovenia, Mexico, and Brazil. “In almost every rich country, women earn the majority of bachelor’s degrees,” Claudia Goldin, a historian and economics professor at Harvard University, told me. As a general rule, almost every country that gives men and women equal access to education discovers, within a few decades, that women are doing better.

The international nature of the gender gap invites biological explanations, which should be neither overstated nor categorically dismissed. Prominent psychologists, including Angela Duckworth, the author of Grit, have found that, while girls and boys have similar IQ scores, girls get better grades thanks to their superior self-control and ability to delay gratification. But that just begs the question of where girls’ superior self-control really comes from. Perhaps the fact that girls’ brains mature faster than boys’ gives them an early advantage in elementary school, which shapes the culture of success throughout their education. Perhaps subtle hormonal differences, particularly in testosterone levels, affect how boys perceive the risk of ending their education.

“Historically, men have been more likely to drop out of school to work in hot economies, whether it’s in the factories of World War II or the fracking mines of the Dakotas,” Goldin said. “I don’t know for sure if testosterone’s effect on impulsiveness and risk is the key player here, but men’s higher likelihood to drop out of college for perceived short-term gains in the labor force might tell us men are more likely to do risky things.” Neither Goldin nor anybody else I spoke with suggested that biological drivers of the gender gap ruled out the importance of culture or public policy. It is safer, I think, to say that some blend of variables—including economic, cultural, and biological factors—has created a scenario in which girls and women are more firmly attached to the education pipeline than men, in the U.S. and across the developed world.

The implications of the college gender gap for individual men are troubling but uncertain. “My biggest immediate worry is that men are making the wrong decision,” Goldin said. “I worry they’ll come to severely regret their choice if they realize the best jobs require a degree they never got.” There is also the issue of dating. College grads typically marry college grads. But this trend of associative mating will hit some turbulence, at least among heterosexual people; if present trends continue, the dating pool of college grads could include two women for every guy. As women spend more time in school and their male peers dwindle as a share of the college population, further delays in marriage and childbirth may ensue. That would further reduce U.S. fertility rates, which worries some commentators, albeit not all.

The most severe implications, I suspect, will be cultural and political. The U.S. electorate is already polarized by college and gender: Women and college graduates strongly favor Democrats, while men and people without college degrees lean Republican. Those divisions seem likely to worsen if the parties’ attitudes toward each other calcify into gender stereotypes. “My biggest worry is that by the time policy makers realize that gender inequality in college is a problem, we’ll have hit a point where college will seem deeply effeminate to some men in a way that will be hard to undo,” Reeves said. “That’s why we need both parties to offer a positive vision of college and a positive vision of masculinity. If male identity is seen, by some, as being at odds with education, that’s a problem for the whole country.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that some colleges are putting their finger on the scale for male applicants, to avoid having their schools become 70 percent female. But it’s a mistake to exclusively see the female-male gender gap as a college problem. “If we wait until college to intervene, it’s too late,” says Thomas Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. “The pivot point is in adolescence, and the foundation is laid in the early grades.”

This gender gap is an economic story, a cultural story, a criminal-justice story, and a family-structure story that begins to unfold in elementary school. The attention-grabbing statistic that barely 40 percent of college grads are men seems to cry out for an immediate policy response. But rather than dial up male attendance one college-admissions department at a time, policy makers should think about the social forces that make the statistic inevitable.


Technology does widen the education divide. But not always in the way you expect

The pandemic has turned children away from tech, says early-years teacher Maria

I teach at a school whose intake includes children from some very privileged areas, but which also covers some very poor pockets. Up until the pandemic, screen time grew and grew for children. Parents were clearly hiding their guilt about this. I remember a parent with a babe in arms holding an iPhone in front of the child’s face to calm them down during a parent-teacher meeting.

Pre-pandemic, once you turned a smart board on in the classroom, the children would be magnetically drawn to it. If you tried to turn it off or ration it there would be lots of moans. In the early-years classes, kids were traditionally allowed 15 minutes of screen time, and some would try and steal the iPad to stretch this out. We had to think very carefully about policies around technology.

When children started returning to school after lockdown, it was clear something had changed. They had been inside a lot. Some had been forced to work in cramped conditions, sometimes with multiple children all doing home learning and parents struggling to supervise them. You could tell many had experienced real chaos. Some had struggled with limited devices, and inadequate broadband, using Google Classroom on tiny screens, for example.

Now they craved completely different things – to climb and be physical. They really fell in love with real books again. They wanted to be read to, to role play, and do drama. That’s what they’d been starved of during lockdown.

It was clear some found technology quite intimidating, having been under pressure to use it for months. This was particularly true of children from English-as-an-alternative-language families. One said, “please don’t force me to speak to someone else on Zoom.”

Even in the older years, children were constantly asking, “when can I go outside again?” Technology had lost its association with “fun” and was less compelling.

I know from friends in the independent education sector that during lockdown their children were expected to get up, put a uniform on, and sit in front of the computer all day. This has often had a negative effect and, to be fair, the results aren’t better. But because parents were paying for it, that’s what parents expected.

The fact is children have to be independent learners. While we worked hard to ensure children had the technology to access school remotely, we also worked hard to ensure that this was complemented with printouts and other material. None of our early-years children were asked to be online all day. Those who attended online lessons have progressed academically, but there are clear gaps in terms of social and personal development.

So, I think the experience shows that children really need a broad curriculum and a range of experiences to thrive. An over-reliance on technology and remote learning can widen the education divide, even within the same institution, because children do not receive the full education experience they deserve.


Teach for America faces failure

A friend of mine left the teaching profession recently.

She didn’t retire. She didn’t win the lottery or get offered more money in another career field. She left because she was burned out. She was a young teacher — and a good one — but the field wasn’t working out for her. She’s not alone.

For the past few years, even before the coronavirus pandemic, various public school and teacher organizations have warned of a teacher shortage, fed in part by people leaving the profession. In 2019, the Economic Policy Institute warned that almost 14% of teachers nationwide were leaving their schools on a yearly basis, with about half of those leaving the profession, as compared to going to another school.

In Missouri, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is worried enough about the trend to join a national public service campaign to recruit and retain teachers. “The future depends on teachers,” it says.

I grew up believing that sentiment, and still do. My dad was a teacher and a coach before he retired. He never made much money, but it was a calling, and a good one at that. Toward the end of his career, he would complain more: Parents were less supportive. School politics were harder to navigate. Maybe that’s one reason why my friend left the profession.

It’s also a reason why a nonprofit organization that has been providing teachers to several area school districts is changing its focus with a bit of a twist that at first seems disconnected from the problem. Despite the teacher shortage, New York-based Teach for America is no longer providing teachers to the St. Louis Public Schools and other districts. Instead, it will work on training school leaders, like principals, administrators and school board members.

It’s a change that to some degree comes from a place of failure. Teach for America was founded in 1990 as an education reform organization, to try to boost academic achievement of students in urban settings and reduce the learning gap between white and Black students. But the numbers haven’t budged much after 20 years of training young teachers who make a two-year commitment to come to places like St. Louis and teach in public or charter schools.

“As a whole, student achievement is not growing the way we intended it to,” says Elizabeth Bleier, the interim executive director of Teach for America in St. Louis. Bleier came to St. Louis from Chicago. She taught in the St. Louis Public Schools for a few years, and then worked at charter school KIPP in the city for a few more, before going to work at TFA.

With 600 similar alumni in St. Louis, TFA plans to help mentor those teachers and former teachers. This week it announced its latest class of Aspiring School Leaders Fellowship, in which 15 existing public school or charter educators, many of them people of color, will be trained and mentored for a year while earning a principal certification through St. Louis University.

In turning the focus to training principals and other school leaders, Bleier says the goal is to improve school cultures so that teacher retention eventually improves. “There is a lot of teacher and principal turnover in St. Louis,” she says. “When there is a strong school leader, teachers are happier and stay longer. We want our people to be able to go into the schools and have an influence.”




Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Washington school bans students’ 9/11 tribute for being ‘racially insensitive’

Students at a Washington state high school football game were banned from wearing red, white and blue in honor of 9/11 victims because some may find it “racially insensitive.”

The students at Eastlake High School in Sammamish said they were told at the last minute they couldn’t come to Friday night’s game in the patriotic colors, according to KTTH radio station.

“They had explained that red, white and blue was going to be seen as racially insensitive and may affect people in a way that we will not understand and for that reason that we were to change our theme,” one student told the outlet.

The students had been promoting the event on social media, calling on attendees to “dress in your USA best.”

In an email sent to parents, principal Chris Bede and associate principal Darcie Breynaert blamed the move on teachers — and insisted the reasoning had been explained to students.

“Our leadership teachers made this decision and explained it to students,” Bede wrote.

“I know tomorrow is 9/11 and understand the sacrifice and values our flag represents, but I think they just did not want to unintentionally cause offense to some who see it differently,” the email continued

The school did not elaborate specifically on what offense could be caused.

“I was instantly upset, and frustrated,” one student said.

“If Eastlake is all about including everyone’s beliefs and being together as a ‘family,’ then why are we being told we can’t represent the country we live in? I have seen other [Lake Washington School District] football teams that held a flag or did some sort of memorial recognition towards 9/11, but apparently we weren’t allowed to even wear USA colors.”

Another student said they opted to not go to the game at all in the wake of the decision.

“I was fairly upset and ended up not attending the game … [It] was really kind of [confusing] as to why the topic was so controversial that we couldn’t wear that clothing,” that student said.


Virginia high school English teacher faces calls to be fired for claiming on video that telling kids to sit still is 'white supremacy'

A Virginia high school teacher has sparked outrage on social media after posting a TikTok video in which he argues that expecting students to behave, follow directions and sit quietly is 'the definition of white supremacy.'

Josh Thompson, an English teacher at Blacksburg High School in Montgomery County, specifically referred to his district's use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), a model educators use to keep students focused and respectful in school.

It is not clear how parents or students at the school are reacting to Thompson’s video or if they’ve seen it, but many Twitter users are asking that the district address it and some have even demanded that he be fired.

In the since-deleted video, which was originally posted in May, Thompson says, ‘I stated that PBIS is white supremacy with a hug and a lot of y'all wanted to know more about that . . . so if PBIS concerns itself with positive behaviors, we have to ask ourselves, “Okay well what are those positive behaviors?” And it's things like making sure that you're following directions, and making sure that you're sitting quietly, and you are in your seat and all these things that come from white culture.’

He adds, ‘The idea of just sitting quiet and being told stuff and taking things in, in a passive stance, is not a thing that's in many cultures. So if we're positively enforcing these behaviors, we are by extension positively enforcing elements of white culture. Which therefore keeps whiteness at the center, which is the definition of white supremacy.’

Conservative author Brigitte Gabrielle shared the clip with the caption, ‘FIRE this teacher,’ and Max Lugavere, also an author, shared it with the caption, ‘This is actual racism. And condescending af to people of color.’

Blogger Ian Miles Cheong shared the video with the caption, ‘Where does he teach? Do the parents know?’ And Twitter user Jovon, a black athlete and alumnus from Florida A&M University, tweeted the clip with the caption, ‘We are at the most comfortable period in human history.’

The Montgomery County School District said that they support Thompson’s right to free speech, but asserted that his views are not their own and defended their use of PBIS.

District officials told Fox News that, "A teacher is entitled to their personal belief regarding any division program. The statements made by this teacher do not reflect our PBIS program or the behavioral expectations that we have of students in our schools."

The district added that it ‘has used PBIS in our schools for eight years. We are proud of our PBIS work. This work helps create a standard for social-emotional learning and behavior expectations in the school building.’

In another video of Thompson shared by Libs of TikTok, which yielded 23,500 views, he asserts that police brutality is ‘directly connected’ to education.

He said, ‘I want to remind educators that instances of police brutality and the murders of black and brown people by police officers is directly connected to the work that we do Because if any of those people had been white, chances are they wouldn't have been murdered. Chances are they wouldn't have been brutalized. And if you don't believe me, just take a look at all the instances of white people, especially white men, who oftentimes are brandishing weapons and who were taken into custody alive.’

He adds, ‘But much of this is wrapped up in implicit bias and we have incredible power to changes peoples’ biases when they’re young. We have to talk about these issues in school because every bit of it impacts our work. The ways in which we teach, the ways we interact with students, the practices and policies we have, the way in which they’re implemented. There’s so much. And many of us our talking about this, many of us are advocating for these changes, but not enough of us are.’

Thompson’s videos come after two teachers in California faced backlash for politicizing their classrooms earlier this month. In one case, an Orange County teacher was fired after admitting on TikTok that she hid her classroom’s American flag and told students to say the pledge to a pride flag instead. And in another, a Sacramento teacher displayed an Antifa flag and Mao Zedong flag in his classroom and suggested that students were fascist if it made them uncomfortable.


Students being told to 'deconstruct' Australian flag

The IPA's Bella D’Abrera says students being told to ‘deconstruct’ the Australian flag is part of a “wider problem in our society” where there is a minority of people who seem to “hate” Australia.

It comes as state and federal education ministers in Australia have slammed lessons put together by a third party and promoted by the NSW Education Department.

Students are asked to examine the Australian flag in part of a project to ‘deconstruct’ symbols of Australia.

"Unfortunately, these are the people who are writing the school curriculum, these are the people who are unelected bureaucrats sitting in the Department of Education in New South Wales," Ms D'Abrera told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“It’s divisive, it’s critical race’s everything that they shouldn’t be taught.”




Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Professors Accuse Trump-Era 'China Initiative' of Racially Profiling Chinese Scholars

Over 100 professors at Stanford University are calling for an end to the "China Initiative" – a Trump-era program meant to prevent espionage and technology theft from China – by claiming that it fosters a hostile environment for Chinese workers at universities.

In a letter sent to the Justice Department last week, 177 Stanford faculty members argued that the program is harming academic settings by racially profiling and unfairly targeting Chinese researchers.

The China Initiative was first launched in 2018 with the goal of combating economic espionage, trade secret theft and technology threats associated with China's government. However, the Stanford professors argued that the initiative has since "deviated significantly" from its intended purpose by terrorizing Chinese scholars simply because of their ethnic ties.

"We understand that concerns about Chinese government-sanctioned activities including intellectual property theft and economic espionage are important to address. We believe, however, that the China Initiative has deviated significantly from its claimed mission: it is harming the United States' research and technology competitiveness and it is fueling biases that, in turn, raise concerns about racial profiling," the researchers wrote.

The professors claimed that investigations from the initiative are often fueled "not by any evidence of wrongdoing, but just because of a researcher's connections with China," and Chinese researchers have subsequently been prosecuted "without solid evidence."

"Moreover, racial profiling – even when undertaken in pursuit of justice – is both inconsistent with U.S. law and with the principles underlying our society, the letter added. "These actions do not just affect the prosecuted faculty but affect the many more university researchers who are targeted, investigated, and feel threatened by inquires initiated without prior evidence of significant wrongdoing."

The professors also argued that the initiative has prevented talented Chinese scholars from coming to or engaging with U.S. researchers, and is, therefore "harming the U.S. science and technology enterprise and the future of the U.S. STEM workforce."

In response to criticisms, Justice Department spokesperson Wyn Hornbuckle told Reuters that the government is "dedicated to countering unlawful (Chinese) government efforts to undermine America's national security and harm our economy," he said, adding "We take seriously concerns about discrimination."

Since the China Initiative was launched, the Justice Department has published details of at least 27 cases, some of which included guilty pleas, while others have been dropped or are remain ongoing, Reuters reported. Among those include charges brought against professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

Last month, more than 20 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups also signed a joint letter urging President Joe Biden's administration to pause the China Initiative and conduct an independent review of the program, according to Japanese- English newspaper Rafu Shimpo.

Representative Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, has also condemned the China Initiative and called for the program to be dissolved.

"Instead of the normal process of beginning with a crime and searching for a suspect, the FBI has, through its China Initiative, started with racially profiled suspects and searched for a crime," Chu said in a statement, Rafu Shimpo reported.


Structural Racism? Try Public Schools

Persisting in collectivist education practices is systemic racism at its core.

Public schools have long been in a downward spiral when it comes to giving all students a good education. There are many reasons for this: lack of parental involvement, poor and dishonest teachers, and misuse of standardized tests. Perhaps the biggest indicator of this plummet is the poor performance of black children.

When playing with the different datasets of The Nation’s Report Card, the results are unmistakable. Black students consistently score lower than their white peers.

Why is that?

It’s certainly not for lack of money, which is the Left’s favorite way of trying to solve problems. The last census report states:

Of the 100 largest public school systems (based on enrollment), the six that spent the most per pupil in FY 2019 were the New York City School District in New York ($28,004), Boston City Schools in Massachusetts ($25,653), Washington Schools in the District of Columbia ($22,406), San Francisco Unified in California ($17,228), Atlanta School District in Georgia ($17,112), and Seattle Public Schools in Washington ($16,543).

The real reason may be that leftists have simply given up on trying to bolster black achievement. Instead of modeling their schools to help children achieve, they are content to sweep poor grades and test scores under the rug. If there’s no proof of malfeasance, then it can be ignored. This is a classic example of the bigotry of low expectations.

To compound matters, leftist educational policymakers and teachers unions have put roadblocks in the way of school choice, wherein funds that the government is already paying to the public school system would provide an opportunity for black students to get into schools that actually care to teach them.

Political commentator Rick Moran puts it poignantly: “There are pockets of black achievement even in the most violent, drug-ridden neighborhoods. They can be found in charter schools and private parochial schools. But instead of making it easier for black parents to send their kids to schools that will make the effort to educate them, teachers’ unions — and politicians who cater to their agenda — try to limit opportunities for back parents to take their children out of violent, failing schools.”

But the heart of the issue goes even deeper than bad policy and lack of school choice. Our education ideology is collectivist in nature. The current philosophy treats students like a number. In the public schools, that number comes with state funding attached. Here are some truths that this author can impart as a professional teacher:

No two children are alike or learn alike. Therefore, a public school system that tries to force each child into the mold of their own curricular practices is doomed for failure.

Large class sizes are detrimental to children. No matter how good and experienced the teacher is, children’s educational needs will fall through the cracks by virtue of sheer volume.

If education is not a value in the home, building the bridge to a love of learning is much more challenging — and in the upper grades, well nigh impossible.

Children should not be used as fodder for political cannons. There is such a thing as teaching bad ideas.

Teachers should be held accountable. This is achieved through the realization of common educational goals with the students at the center and not based on standardized achievement testing.

Persisting in these collectivist education practices is systemic racism at its core. All children are worthy and are gifted in their own way. They each have something to offer the world. They are not blank slates, activists, or a dollar amount.


Fact Check: NPR Claims Scientific Evidence in Favor of School Masking Is 'Conclusive.' It's Not

It's time, once again, to return to the subject of school mask mandates, which we've explored on several occasions. In the United States, the elite consensus is that requiring masks in classrooms is what The Science demands, and dissenters are anti-science and anti-child. That tribal conclusion would likely come as a surprise in the United Kingdom and across much of Europe, where data and experience have led to dramatically different policies on the subject. In a previous post, I quoted a New York Magazine deep dive into the subject, a portion of which bears repeating:

Many of America’s peer nations around the world — including the U.K., Ireland, all of Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy — have exempted kids, with varying age cutoffs, from wearing masks in classrooms. Conspicuously, there’s no evidence of more outbreaks in schools in those countries relative to schools in the U.S., where the solid majority of kids wore masks for an entire academic year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

These countries, along with the World Health Organization, whose child-masking guidance differs substantially from the CDC’s recommendations, have explicitly recognized that the decision to mask students carries with it potential academic and social harms for children and may lack a clear benefit. To date, the highly transmissible Delta variant has not led them to change this calculus.

In that same piece, I wrote: "Not requiring students to mask up, or at least offering exceptions and opt-outs for parents, seems like an entirely reasonable public policy call for officials to make. If data were to emerge that masks are significantly effective in stopping the virus from spreading in schools, that would be one thing. We should always be open to data." A new report from NPR purports to demonstrate that such data exists and is "conclusive":

Notice the title of the piece is framed as a snarky fact check of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose parental opt-out policy is generally in line with Europe's approach (in fact, it's arguably more pro-school masking in some ways). But as writer A.G. Hamilton notes, the supposed evidence doesn't support the confident substance and tone of the headline. "This is selective misinformation," he writes. "CDC's own study determined that 'lower incidence in schools that required mask use among students was not statistically significant compared with schools where mask use was optional.' Europe has come to same conclusion." The difference in COVID spread between masks-required and masks-optional schools was statistically insignificant, according to a CDC study. More context:

A CDC study of Georgia schools published in May...found that COVID-19 infection was 37% less common in schools that required teachers and other staff members to wear masks, similar to the difference associated with “improved ventilation.” But the same study found that requiring students to wear masks was not associated with a statistically significant reduction in case rates.

In Florida, the CDC found that school districts without mask mandates had higher infection rates. But the researchers noted that smaller districts were less likely to require masks, and they also “had a higher proportion of students attending in-person instruction,” which likewise was “positively correlated with the student case rate.” The CDC says “most studies that have shown success in limiting transmission in schools” involved “prevention strategies” that included requiring “staff only or staff and students” to wear masks. The implication, of course, is that some schools had “success in limiting transmission” even without mask mandates or with mandates that did not apply to students.

In Florida, where many districts did not require masks, the CDC found that less than 1% of students were infected in schools during the first semester after they reopened in August 2020. During the same period, school-related COVID-19 outbreaks were likewise a minor problem in England, where students were not required to wear masks.

The NPR article asserts a powerful conclusion that simply is not justified by the actual available evidence:

Let's also recall that many of the people screaming loudest about the essential nature of student masking are the same people who wrongly fought to keep schools closed last year, harming millions of children (I'll also note that it has now been twice documented that teachers unions directly influenced CDC guidance, inserting special interest agenda items into the supposed science). One union boss was recently quoted claiming that learning loss is a myth, along with other nonsense. She's dead wrong, of course, as a growing mountain of data shows:

"How [are] we feeling about closures of 12-18 months?" Mary Katharine Ham asks, forebodingly. Meanwhile, as we approach the coming debate over child vaccination, here's former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb advising parents that the issue may not involve one-size-fits-all guidance:

Children basically do not die from COVID, which is a blessing that should impact public policy involving kids and COVID. And though the number of COVID-related hospitalizations among juveniles has clearly increased during Delta, it's not clear if the hospitalization rate also increased. And those very few kids who do end up in the hospital with or from COVID overwhelmingly survive.




Monday, September 13, 2021

Food Inflation Hits Record High, getting harder to put any kind of meat on the table

A product of excessive government spending

Putting food on the kitchen table has become much more expensive, squeezing household budgets at a time when many families are already stressed by the Delta variant surge hitting as kids go back to school.

Food prices rose a full percentage point in August, up from six-tenths of a point in July, defying predictions that inflation would cool off, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Friday. Compared with a year ago, food prices are up 12.7 percent, outpacing the overall increase of 8.3 percent in the Producer Price Index.

On an annual basis, that is the highest level of food inflation in records that go back to 2010. The monthly figure is the third-highest on record, following May 2020’s pantry-raid that emptied many grocery store shelves and February 2011.

Prices of some staples have been driven sky-high. Some of the truly startling annual numbers from Friday’s Producer Price Index:

Beef and Veal: +59.2 percent
Pork: +34.1 percent
Chickens: +32 percent
Fish: +18 percent
Turkey: +41.4 percent
Fresh eggs: +31.7 percent

Shortening and cooking oils are up a jaw dropping 43.5 percent.

Not all food prices are up, of course. Dairy prices are down. Fresh fruits and vegetable prices have fallen (although canned fruits and vegetable prices are up).

Grain prices are up an incredible 98 percent, although that largely reflects the plunge in global demand last year combined with a surge this year.


Chatting With Larry Elder: The Mystery of California

Roger L. Simon

I motored up to Larry Elder's house for an interview that turned out not to be an interview, at least not in the conventional sense.

It had been scheduled for a couple of days and I had plenty of time to think of some questions, even had jotted a few down, but never asked them.

Elder was just getting off a Zoom press conference when I arrived and we just started talking, no notes, no recording, until he had to go off to yet another conference in his quest to upend Gavin Newsom and become governor of California.

And I'm pretty sure it was better that way, because Larry Elder's stances on the issues are more well known than just about any political candidate I can think of. He's been talking about them on air for roughly quarter of a century, often in far greater detail than you ever get from elected officials.

Also, as he was no doubt aware-we have known each other for some time-I pretty much agree with all of them. So I'm the last person to have asked him probing questions.

So we talked.

And the substance was this: How, given the atrocious condition of the state of California and the city of Los Angeles, where I lived for fifty years and he still does, would any sane person not want to try to a new approach to government and a new governor?

Call it the mystery of California. How did the most beautiful piece of real estate arguably in the entire globe turn into-let's be blunt-a rubbish heap?

I had just seen it up close and personal. Driving up to Elder's house, I had taken a familiar route up Cahuenga Boulevard into the hills, only Cahuenga was no longer the Cahuenga I had known.

Once the vibrant heart of LA's, even the world's, entertainment district, it resembled what you would imagine the back streets in an impoverished neighborhood of Calcutta might look like (with apologies to Calcutta because I have never been there).

The homeless, aka the "untouchables" as they would say in India, were everywhere, interspersed with angry, amphetamine-crazed kids on skateboards flying against traffic, daring you to collide with them, like a scene out of some dystopian horror flick.

It was the kind of place you didn't want to make eye contact with anybody.

Couple this with the Barrio and South Central remaining what they always were, and you would think it's time for a change.

I asked Elder if he had detected any change, particularly in the black community. For years he has been called an "Uncle Tom," "Oreo Cookie," and so forth for daring to swim against the conventional tide of what's called "liberalism" in our society. He made an award-winning documentary on the subject.

Elder said that in the last year or so he had noticed some change, but there was still a distance to go, even in the black religious community where you would hope for more responsiveness to a new approach.

Unfortunately, in a recent campaign discussion, he had spoken with a group of black pastors about his view that systemic racism did not exist, how the idea was actually destructive to black people, and got back endless talk of George Floyd and how the police discriminated against people of color, despite the data showing the reverse is true.

Whites have considerably more to fear from the police than blacks, as has been extensively documented by Heather Mac Donald among others, but these pastors didn't want to hear about it. And of course they didn't want to hear about black on black crime or the decline of the black family or the other issues Elder has been talking about so eloquently over the years.

They were wedded to a delusion just as white so-called elites are wedded to similar delusions, making California, a land where the rich live like gods while pretending they are helping the downtrodden by mouthing "woke" rhetoric and voting Democratic as a replacement for religion.

I have been told by locals that eventually you just ignore the mayhem around you while returning to your manse on the hill or the beach.

Meanwhile, democracy is dying in ignorance. Whether that ignorance can be overcome is what's at stake in the California recall election. Elder is working hard to overcome that ignorance in a state that is really a country of its own with the fifth biggest economy in the world.

And he's clearly not alone. Despite the above mentioned pastors-who-see-no-evil, or at least no evil beyond what they have had drilled into their heads by left/liberal media, people across this state are waking up and Elder's popularity is great-whether great enough we shall see.

The Clockwork Orange-like atmosphere I witnessed in Hollywood is clearly disturbing a lot of people. Not everyone can afford private security like the Newsoms and Pelosis of the world. Few can.

And matters are made considerably worse because of the "left of Trotsky" district attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco who make the clich‚ "soft on crime" an understatement of monumental dimensions.

So it's no accident Elder is holding frequent press conferences highlighting what only can be called a crime wave in the state, today's featuring a woman named Carla Pearson, whose stepson was killed by drunk driver, who was paroled by Gavin Newsom's parole board.

Yesterday's had Tania Owen beside him, a retired Los Angeles Sheriff's Department detective and widow of Sgt. Steve Owen (shot by a gunman in 2016), now head of the Recall George Gascon campaign. (For those who don't know, Gascon is the LA DA who seems to have some kind of affection for violent criminals.)

Yes, Newsom's isn't the only California recall campaign.

And, yes, California is a mystery-how all this came to pass. It's the mystery of democracy. Can it work if the public doesn't pay attention-or if they're consistently lied to?

The Elder campaign may give us an answer, and hopefully a positive one.

It's been interesting here, to say the least, but I'm returning to Nashville Friday and I can't say reluctantly. I didn't leave my heart in San Francisco. I didn't even go there. That would have been too much. ?


Google has launched 'racial equity training' for employees
Documents from the training sessions have purportedly been leaked by disgruntled employees

Google has launched 'racial equity training' for its employees, with one session asserting that America is based on a 'system of white supremacy' where babies learn to be racist at three months old.

Whistleblower documents from the trainings obtained by City Journal reporter Christopher Rufo were published Wednesday, with the sessions seemingly based on the core principles of Critical Race Theory.

Several of the trainings feature CRT buzzwords and phrases such as 'equity' 'intersectionality,' 'white privilege,' and 'systemic racism'.

The training features a number of videos from guest lecturers, including Ibram X. Kendi, who penned the controversial bestseller How To Be An Antiracist .

In his training clip, Kendi states: 'To be raised in the United States, is to be raised to be racist, and to be raised to be racist is to be raised to almost be addicted to racist ideas.'

He adds: 'The youngest of people are not colorblind - between three and six months, our toddlers are beginning to understand race and see race.'

A separate video session features Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times journalist best known as the editor of the '1619 Project', which retells the founding of America through the eyes of slaves, but has been criticized over multiple inaccuracies. 'If you name anything in America, I can relate it back to slavery,' Hannah-Jones says in her clip for the Google training.

'The first Africans being sold [in 1619] is more foundational to the American story' than 'the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock', she goes on to state in the video, according to Rufo.

Meanwhile, another training module, titled 'Allyship in Action,' asks employees to 'identify their privileged identities' and rank themselves on a hierarchy.

One diagram - which was purportedly given to Rufo by a disgruntled Google employee - is titled 'Wheel of Power/ Privilege'. One slice of the wheel asserts that 'gay men' have more privilege and power than 'lesbian, bi, pansexual and asexual people'.

There are also a number of unofficial documents purportedly circulating amongst Google staff.

According to Rufo, one Google DEI Lead has created an internal document titled 'Anti-racism resources', which contains readings and 'racial-consciousness exercises'.

The document includes a graphic which lists covert or 'socially acceptable' forms of white supremacy. According to the list, the phrase 'Make America Great Again' is a form of covert white supremacy.

Others forms of covert white supremacy include 'white silence', 'denial of white privilege', 'colorblindness', 'paternalism', 'tokenism' and the 'meritocracy myth'.

A separate graphic in the resource package is titled 'The White Supremacy Pyramid'. It features conservative commentator Ben Shapiro at the base of the pyramid, before working upwards to other figures who are deemed more insidious.

Donald Trump features partway up the pyramid, while the apex features photos of white mass murderers including Norwegian killer Anders Brevik.

Rufo claims the graphic 'advances the idea that Ben Shapiro is a foundation of 'white supremacy' and that Donald Trump is moving society on a path toward 'mass murder' and 'genocide.'

The 'racial equity trainings' were announced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai last year in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

'We'll be welcoming external experts into Google to share their expertise on racial history and structural inequities, and start conversations on education, allyship, and self-reflection,' Pichai wrote.

'We plan to roll out this training globally by early next year. We'll also integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into our mandatory manager trainings,' he added.

Rufo - who been working to expose alleged 'critical race theory indoctrination' in American companies and institutions - told Fox News he is alarmed by Google's trainings.

'What we see inside these companies is that increasingly, the ideology of Google employees is actively hostile to the United States and other documents say that the United States is a system of white supremacy and that everyone in this country is 'raised to be racist,' he stated.

'This is a deeply false and damaging kind of thinking. It should have nowhere in America's biggest and most powerful companies'.


9/11: Four faces of failure

In the 9/11 coverage, the press is making a big deal about all the wonderful (read: post-Trump) presidential unity. Here's CBS's story and that's just one example:

Three presidents and their wives stood somberly side by side at the National September 11 Memorial, sharing a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the nation's worst terror attack with a display of unity.

President Joe Biden and former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton all gathered at the site where the World Trade Center towers fell two decades ago. They each wore blue ribbons and held their hands over their hearts as a procession marched a flag through the memorial, watched by hundreds of Americans gathered for the remembrance, some carrying photos of loved ones lost in the attacks.

It all looked very nice as if something was being sold to the public. Unity? Isn't that what Joe Biden talks about? The show of presidential force from just Democrats and their one Republican ally isn't quite unity unless President Trump never happened. Trump, in fact, the only New York native, was attending his own events with first responders.

To the ordinary observer, the "presidential unity" was actually the four faces of failure. It was a reminder to the public of how many presidents had failed us.

Afghanistan was a disastrous war that ran for 20 long years in the wake of 9/11 and the presidential failures there were emblematic in that lineup.

Bill Clinton, who occupied the first slot, was the sorry president who turned down the golden opportunity to destroy Osama bin Laden who'd launched a string of pre9/11 terrorist attacks when Sudan offered it to him on a platter.

George Bush, who came after, was also pretty wretched. Rather than just blow the hell out of the terrorists in their nests, he turned his whole project into a nation-building operation, which ended up being a lot of consultant contracts. Worse still, he failed to learn the lessons of post-World War II as long as he was big on national building. Were property rights and personal security placed first, as Gen. Douglas MacArthur had done? No, they weren't. It was all about the Afghanistan girls, and wokester education, bolstering the blue-city dynamic at the expense of the countryside.

This disturbing, haunting, and likely true long story by Anand Gopal at the New Yorker pretty well lays out the entire failure of the Bush nation-building project. Back home, Bush gave us the nationalized TSA, making blue-haired grannies open to frisking as if maladjusted Middle Eastern military-aged young men weren't the actual terrorism perpetrators.

Then there was Barack Obama, who extended the legal handcuffs on our troops he sent to Afghanistan to fight. He gave the order to get bin Laden but he ruined the victory by giving bin Laden a proper Muslim burial as if this monster were some kind of good Muslim who deserved one, and after that allowed no pictures of his sorry rotten carcass to demoralize the enemy as if he wanted no terrorist feelings hurt. Worse still, he traded five top Taliban leaders imprisoned at Gitmo for the sorry U.S. deserter, Bowe Bergdahl, complete with a bizarre White House ceremony. Today those savages rule Afghanistan, in powerful positions such as intelligence. Failure? That's putting it politely

But none could top the kingpin of failure, miserable Joe Biden, the man who alone opposed the 2011 killing of bin Laden. After that, as president, he then delivered the Afghanistan pullout fiasco, the worst foreign policy disaster in American history. He failed to plan for the inevitable in setting up the pullout, he focused on giving the enemy a symbolic 9/11 date and they took advantage. When disaster came, he hid in his basement for most of the horrible news footage. When he came out it was to blame his predecessor and claim himself the hero. He stiffed America's allies, longtime Britain and the Afghani military at Bagram Airfield, pulling out without notice and refusing to take their phone calls.

He hauled in tens of thousands of unvetted Afghans who managed to push and shove their way onto departing American planes to the states while leaving Americans and Afghani translators behind. Some 44 unvetted Afghanis who were brought to the U.S. without papers have been found to have terrorist ties at last count and Biden doesn't know what to do about them. His failures were the apex and cascade of all failures that could come of his pullout. Our enemies are licking their chops now, with China coolly eyeing Bagram.

Unity? An aw-shucks wonderful presidential picture? No, just failure, failure in so many different forms. Frankly, I couldn't stand to look at the picture.




Sunday, September 12, 2021

Court Allows DeSantis' School Mask Mandate Ban to Resume

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates in schools was reinstated Friday by the First District Court of Appeals.

The ruling reverses a decision from a Leon County Circuit judge earlier this week that put the mask mandate ban on hold while legal challenges go through the courts.

The court's Friday ruling means that parents will be allowed to make the decision about whether their children should wear face coverings in school.

"Just like last year in the school re-opening litigation, the First District Court of Appeal has reinstated Florida’s ability to protect the freedom for parents to make the best decisions for their children while they make their own ruling on the appeal," Taryn Fenske, DeSantis' communications director, said of Friday's ruling in a statement to ABC News. "We look forward to winning the appeal and will continue to fight for parents’ rights."

Florida officials will now also be able to issue financial consequences to schools that decide to defy DeSantis' order and mandate that students wear masks. The Biden administration, however, has previously promised to reimburse school districts who endure financial penalties over their decision to implement mask mandates.

School boards in 13 districts in the state have voted to defy the governor's anti-mask mandate order and require masks in schools due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.


Los Angeles school officials order sweeping vaccine mandate for students 12 and older

All children 12 and older in Los Angeles public schools must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January to enter campus under an order approved Thursday by the Board of Education, the first such mandate among the nation’s largest school systems and a decision that triggered immediate pushback.

The requirement cements the standing of the L.A. Unified School District as an early adopter of COVID-19 school safety measures that are wide-reaching and aggressive. The nation’s second-largest school system has moved faster and more comprehensively than most others in testing all students and employees for coronavirus infection every week, requiring masks indoors and outdoors and ordering employees to get vaccinated.

L.A. schools Interim Supt. Megan K. Reilly said the student mandate was the next logical step to keep children, staff and community members safer from a COVID-19 pandemic that still poses significant risks.

“We’ve always approached safety with a multilayered approach: masks, air filtration and coronavirus screening,” Reilly told The Times. “But we are seeing without a doubt that the vaccines are one of the clearest pathways to protecting individuals from getting severe sickness as well as for mitigating transmission of the COVID virus. It is one of the best preventive measures that we have at our disposal to create a safe environment at schools.”

New York City’s school system, the largest in the nation, so far has ordered athletes in high-contact sports to begin the vaccination process before competition starts. New York City and Chicago, the nation’s third-largest district, are among a growing number of school systems that have enacted mandates for employees.

The L.A. district action “could provide the model for a comprehensive school response to COVID mitigation, so that schools can move on to student academic and mental health recovery plans,” said Odis Johnson Jr., executive director of the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. “Mandatory vaccination mandates move us forward toward finally addressing students’ developmental, social and academic well-being.”

One vaccine, made by Pfizer, has received full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people 16 and older. Those who are 12 to 15 can be inoculated under a federal emergency use authorization. L.A. Unified is not waiting for full vaccine approval for those 12 to 15 — although that approval by the FDA is widely expected in the coming weeks. And President Biden on Thursday pledged to expedite approval of the vaccine for younger children.

Reilly estimated that about 225,000 students in grades six through 12 would fall under the policy. District officials estimate that roughly 80,000 students are not yet vaccinated. Also affected would be about 17,000 students in independent charter schools that use L.A. Unified campuses.

Students who are not vaccinated by the deadline will not be allowed on campus, she said. The alternative for them would be to enter remote learning through independent study, a program that was overwhelmed at the start of the school year when more than 10,000 students signed up.


British university clears don of being anti-Islam but then cancels his course anyway after students launched 'vicious and militant' campaign

A professor has hit out at cancel culture after his lectures were axed following a 'vicious, militant' campaign by students who branded him Islamophobic.

University chiefs rejected complaints that human rights expert Steven Greer had expressed 'bigoted views' after a five-month investigation – but have still pulled his module from their syllabus.

He accused senior academics of 'capitulating' to the threats of students who had called for the module at Bristol University's law school to be scrapped over his 'reported use of discriminatory remarks and Islamophobic comments'.

An online petition which was launched by members of the university's Islamic Society, Brisoc, attracted 3,700 signatures.

Meanwhile, Prof Greer said he had to flee the family home amid fears for his safety following the campaign against him.

Critics claimed a lecture slide that mentioned the 2015 terror attack on the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a magazine that had published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, was 'Islamophobic rhetoric'.

Prof Greer also highlighted the inferior treatment of women and non-Muslims in Islamic nations, and the harsh penalties handed out under sharia law.

But he believes he largely came under attack because he supports the Government's Prevent programme to stop radicalisation, which critics have branded anti-Islamic.

Prof Greer, who has worked at the university since the 1980s, told The Mail on Sunday: 'Brisoc's campaign has been vicious and punitive and has put me and my family under intolerable stress. It has been very threatening and frightening.'

He revealed that he 'came across a stranger loitering outside our home' shortly after news of the controversy emerged, adding: 'They gave an implausible excuse and left.

'Was it just a coincidence or a reconnoitre? We'll never know. My family and I were, of course, very rattled by this. 'Taking no chances, my wife and I fled our home to stay somewhere safer for several days. 'Going public in The Mail on Sunday may increase or decrease the risk to my personal safety. I just don't know.

'But the attack upon me is an attack upon a fundamental freedom and this is something worth standing up for, even if I'm harmed as a result.'

Although a formal investigation came down in favour of Prof Greer, he received an email from academic chiefs last week which said his module on Islam, China and the Far East was being dropped so Muslim students would 'not feel that their religion is being singled out or in any way 'othered' by the class material'.

Prof Greer said: 'Militant minorities are increasingly intent on dictating the content and delivery of university education through vilification, intimidation and threats. 'Their purpose is to silence lawful and legitimate opinion simply because they disagree with it.

'The law school has capitulated in a manner which is at variance with the result of the university's inquiry into my case.'

Prof Greer faced particular criticism over his defence of Prevent, but said the allegation that the programme was Islamophobic had been 'resoundingly discredited by the best and most recent research… it simply doesn't stack up against the evidence.'

Of the 697 cases taken on by Prevent last year, 43 per cent were for far-Right extremism and 30 per cent were Islamist.

Prof Greer, whose book, Tackling Terrorism In Britain: Threats, Responses And Challenges Twenty Years After 9/11, will be published next month, is due to retire at the end of this academic year, but has been signed off work by a doctor because of the impact of the saga on his health.

Students can appeal the ruling in favour of Prof Greer, and a Bristol University spokesman said: 'Our student complaints procedure has two stages and remains ongoing until both stages are complete.

'Material from the unit in question is still being taught but in a new format. This change is quite independent of the complaint raised and conforms with normal practice in the school in allowing the development of new teaching material to match students' current interests.'

Avon and Somerset Police said it was investigating a complaint of harassment. Brisoc did not respond to a request for comment.

Their online petition referred to 'a pattern of what can only be perceived to be hostility and bigotry towards Muslims which Prof Greer freely disseminates under the pretext of 'academic freedom'.'

Toby Young, of the Free Speech Union, said: 'Bristol's treatment of Prof Greer is outrageous.

'By kowtowing to the Islamic Society, the university has issued a gold-embossed invitation to activists to submit vexatious complaints about its employees.'


Teachers Unions Threaten CDC

School-aged children have long been unwitting pawns in the game of politics. After all, if you can influence the thinking of impressionable children, you can control the culture. Teachers unions are very aware of this fact and have undue influence over spreading pertinent culture issues with a leftist bent.

Back on May 13, when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was issuing guidance for vaccinated Americans and masking, the National Education Association (NEA) sent a threatening email criticizing the CDC for not specifically outlining guidelines for school safety and warning that it would make its scathing remarks public.

When the CDC updated its guidelines on May 14 to include the masking guidance that the NEA wanted, the teachers unions were still not satisfied. In emails obtained by Fox News, the leaders of the CDC, NEA, and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) colluded to enforce tighter mask mandates regardless of vaccination status for students, teachers, and school staff. On May 15, the CDC caved to the teachers unions.

This is not the first time this year that the teachers unions have manipulated the CDC for their own agenda. The AFT lobbied and won the delay of schools going back to in-person learning. At the time, it was a big controversy because it was contrary to the available science.

After all this, Randi Weingarten, the manipulative president of the AFT, is pushing the idea that conservatives are using kids and schools as a battleground for the culture wars.

In her own words: “Normally, our kids have been off-limits. We had tension over Common Core. There was tension over other issues. But in modern history, since the huge desegregation battles, kids have been off-limits. Now, they are the battlefield.”

This is outrageous chutzpah. Notice how Weingarten neglects to mention tensions over No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration’s education policy. This dishonest statement would almost come off as naivety except that she has been around teachers unions and education policy professionally since the mid-1980s. Leftists have always used kids in the culture wars, though perhaps what she is inadvertently pointing out is that the teachers unions have gone too far to hide their incessant pulling of political strings.

One could also argue that conservatives are rather late entering the fight. For far too long, the leftist teachers unions have gotten their way in curriculum and policy. This has allowed dangerous agendas such as Critical Race Theory, sex education in kindergarten, and LGBTQ+ to influence our most vulnerable. Conservatives are now vocally running for school board positions; parents are actually attending meetings and making their voices heard; and governors like Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida are fighting against the mask mandates. These are all changes for the better.

If standing up to the teachers unions and pointing out their corruption is what it takes to reclaim education, then so be it. The minds of our children are worth fighting for.