Friday, February 04, 2022

Why They FIRED A Teacher For Not Meowing At A Student

A substitute teacher claims she was fired from her job because she refused to “meow” back at a child who believes they are a cat.

The substitute teacher posted a video on TikTok going by the handle @crazynamebridgetmichael alleging she was fired by school officials for not “identifying with” a student who “identifies as a cat” after she refused to meow back at the child in class.

During roll call, the teacher said she heard meowing as she walked up and down the aisles of students.

“I get to the third row and I hear this ‘meow!’ Uhhh, excuse me? Excuse me?” she narrates on a TikTok video she posted detailing the bizarre incident.

“I start looking on the ground, through the fourth row—everything’s good. Go to the fifth row—everybody’s there. Then I hear ‘meow!’ I’m like, ‘Okay, what’s up with that? Who’s doing it?’ And this little girl in the very front row says, ‘You have to meow back at him; he identifies as a cat.’”

The teacher responded by asking, “Is there a litter box in here somewhere?”

The ‘cat’ child “storms out of the classroom,” she continued.

Although she said she thought better of it afterward, she followed up with a “RUFF” as he walked out, making the rest of the children laugh.

At the end of the day, she said she was let go from her position for a failure to “identify with all the students.”

“We no longer need your services if you can’t identify with all the children in the classroom,” the school allegedly told the teacher after the incident.

“I didn’t know cats were considered people; I thought they were pets,” she told the office staff.

“And you wonder why they don’t have any subs!” she exclaimed.

“Another school off my list,” she concluded.

Here are some comments from folks online:

“We have lost our ever-loving minds. You can now get fired if you don’t believe a child should identify as an animal? Lord, help us!”

“Leftist insanity is destroying our children,”

“This is beyond INSANITY!”

“A society that accommodates insanity can not long survive as it can no longer rightly distinguish between reality & falsehood. #AntonioGramsci #subversion #truth #mindcontrol,”


Strange scholarship at the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne advertises itself as Australia’s best university—the first and only member of the Australian Ivy League. This isn’t an unreasonable claim. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2019 put the University of Melbourne 32nd in the world, 17 spots ahead of Australian National University, its nearest Australian rival. Numerous other figures seem to demonstrate the school’s excellence at preparing students for prosperous employment and at developing their critical thinking skills.

Naturally, I was pleased and even proud to have been accepted into the University of Melbourne’s 2017 Master of Journalism program. I believed, without really thinking about it, that I was in for a challenging year and a half at a school far more rigorous than the one from which I received my baccalaureate. (The University of Oklahoma consistently lands somewhere in the 400s on the Times Higher Education index.)

Of course, I was aware of the complaints directed at Australian universities—that the integrity of their curricula had gradually been compromised to appease social justice activists. Ubiquitous Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson expresses these concerns somewhat apocalyptically:

You may not realize it, but you are currently funding some dangerous people. They are indoctrinating young minds throughout the West with their resentment-ridden ideology… They produce the mobs that violently shut down campus speakers, the language police who enshrine into law use of fabricated gender pronouns and the deans whose livelihoods depend on madly rooting out discrimination where little or none exists… And now we rack up education-related debt, not so that our children learn to think critically, write clearly or speak properly, but so they can model their mentors’ destructive agenda.
It’s natural that these denunciations should sound wildly hyperbolic—a bit like Joseph McCarthy’s claim that there were 81 Communists lurking in the State Department. Who but a political cultist would be willing to believe something like that without seeing it for himself?

The first indication I received that something had gone awry at Australia’s best university was in a criminology class titled “Violence, Trauma, and Reconciliation.” According to the University of Melbourne handbook, this class “considers the forms of trauma people experience as a response to… forms of violence and explores how this trauma propels calls for apologies, truth commissions, retribution, and torture.”

The instructor, Dr. Juliet Rogers, devoted a lecture to female genital mutilation—a natural enough topic for a class on trauma. In Rogers’s view, however, the true source of trauma was not the practice of FGM itself, but the “violence” of anti-FGM laws. After all, Western societies pressure women into body modification in the form of ear piercings—so who are we to pass judgment on those who practice clitorectomies and infibulations on children? And isn’t it true that legislators’ supposed concern with FGM is actually motivated by “Islamophobia”?

In the article “The First Case Addressing Female Genital Mutilation in Australia: Where is the Harm?” Rogers takes issue with Australian “prejudice” against the practice of clitoral “nicking”:

For each claim that a woman’s sexual health is impacted, there is a study which suggests it is not, and others which suggest it is enhanced. For each claim of trauma, there is another which claims empowerment. However, it is the violent images which are played and replayed, on airport shelves, in documentaries and in fiction that form opinion. These, “through repetition” have come in Obermeyer’s terms again “to gain authority as truth.” Similarly, in the FLC’s [Family Law Court’s] Report the image of violence is only presented and then repeated, with the name “female genital mutilation” always attached. There is no discussion of the benefits of the practices, the increases in sexual enjoyment that women report, the cultural empowerment that women experience, the desires of many to undergo the practices or the rage that many women have at being called ‘mutilated’ when so many clearly feel that they are not.

While working with the US Peace Corps in rural Gambia, I encountered the practice of female genital mutilation firsthand. The empowering effect of having one’s clitoris razored off was not readily apparent.

It was clear from the tone of Rogers’s lecture that she regarded these ideas as quite subversive and challenging. However, most of the room nodded along quite comfortably. If we didn’t actually find these ideas challenging, we could at least derive some satisfaction from the thought of how challenged a less enlightened third party might be.

Another peculiar class was Terror, Law, and War, ostensibly a survey of legal and military responses to terrorism. In practice, the class focused almost exclusively on American, European, and Israeli misbehavior, and on the perceived ridiculousness of Australian anti-terrorism measures. Islamist terrorism was left unconsidered except as a hallucination of xenophobic Westerners. As if to drive the point home, one presentation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict referred to Palestinian suicide bombings as “terrorism,” in scare quotes.

We spent a period discussing a televised interview with Wassim Doureihi, spokesman for the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. During the interview, Lateline host Emma Alberici took a combative stance, demanding that Doureihi either clearly denounce the Islamic State’s tactics or admit that he condoned them. Doureihi refused to cooperate, instead pushing the conversation toward Australian mistreatment of Muslims.

The subsequent class discussion became something like a rally: we unanimously acclaimed Doureihi’s dignity and courage and took turns mocking Alberici’s hypocrisy and ill-concealed racism. The teaching assistant declared with apparent pride that she was friends with Doureihi and that he had confided in her that the interview was a trying experience, but necessary. Some of the students who rose to voice their support for Doureihi were so agitated that their voices shook. Somehow, throughout this bacchanal of self-righteousness, the fact that Hizb ut-Tahrir is an explicitly anti-democratic organization that supports the killing of apostates and whose leaders describe Jews as “the most evil creatures of Allah” escaped mention. Evidently, one can’t take sides between liberalism and totalitarianism without knowing the pigmentations of those involved.

To hear Australia’s most privileged youth praise a theocrat like Doureihi was unsettling, but classes equally often took a turn for the comical. On one occasion, Rogers interrupted a Violence, Trauma and Reconciliation lecture to tell us about Lego’s “criminal” figure (right). The figure is about what you might expect: a child-friendly depiction of a burglar, sporting a sinister grin, a stocking cap and a black-and-white-striped prison uniform. What this piece of Lego has to do with either violence, trauma or reconciliation may not be immediately obvious: the criminal, you see, is depicted with visible chest hair. This chest hair is a coded indication that the criminal is nonwhite, thereby implying that people of color are criminals and terrorists. Oddly enough, another of my instructors also brought up this Lego figure and its racist chest hair during her own class. I suppose it had been doing the rounds among the faculty.

Students were always instructed to question their assumptions rather than acquiescing mindlessly to the status quo. At the University of Melbourne, however, the assumption that racial identification is of paramount significance, that Western societies are uniquely malignant and oppressive, that Islamist theocrats are victims and not perpetrators, et cetera, is the status quo. What does it signify when the authorities tell you to dissent?

In some classes, the frantic obsession with demographics was spearheaded by the students, against the apparent wishes of their instructors. In one nonfiction writing class, discussion of Gay Talese’s influential 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra centered not on Talese’s quippy yet unhurried scene-setting, or on his vivid portraiture of a subject he’d never actually interviewed, but on Talese’s misogyny. (One student said that Talese’s description of two Sinatra groupies as “attractive but fading blondes” was “chilling.”) David Foster Wallace’s essay “Tense Present” was subjected to a similarly myopic “discussion” of Wallace’s whiteness and his failure to acknowledge English as an “imperial language.” Any technical lessons we might have taken from Talese or Wallace were lost altogether—instead, we enumerated the things they might have learned from us.

During these Two Minutes Hate sessions, the instructor often stood back, grimacing uncomfortably and sometimes trying to steer the discussion back toward the piece of writing at hand. He was a gentle man with a clear love for long-form journalism, and I suspect he sometimes wondered why his class discussions had grown so frenzied.

What if I’d heard about this from someone else? I asked myself from time to time. What if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes? I knew the answer—I wouldn’t have believed a word of it. I would have assumed the narrator of these outlandish events to be a right-wing doomsayer ready to contort the truth however necessary to vilify his opponents. Can I reasonably expect more charity from you, the reader of this article? Hard to say.

Perhaps the most unexpected part of life at the University of Melbourne was how easy the actual work was. In Terror, Law and War, the essays I submitted consisted of structureless, deliberately turgid summaries of class readings, enlivened with the odd anti-Western cliché and handed in without proofreading or revision. This seemed to be the level of seriousness appropriate to the class. My diploma is proof that this material, produced almost without conscious effort, was up to the standards of Australia’s top university.

During one and a half years attending journalism classes, I was exposed to surprisingly little information on the actual craft of journalism. Recipients of the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism degree will know about the inverted pyramid model and other basic concepts. Deeper questions, however, are left mostly unexamined. When should an interviewer rely on a list of questions and when should he improvise? How does one efficiently cut a news story down to 125 words? How does news writing differ from other prose in grammar and punctuation? It is possible to obtain a 150-point journalism degree from the University of Melbourne without learning the answers to these questions. Of course, who has time for such trivialities when there’s a revolution on? University of Melbourne students may matriculate unprepared to produce clear and accurate news articles, but they will understand their political objectives.

I graduated in December 2018, amidst rallies against “fascism on campus.” (Given that, in 18 months on campus, I encountered no fascists, these rallies seem to have been very effective.) Behaving compliantly throughout these peculiar antics was a mistake. The most I can do after the fact is relay my observations without inventing a heroic role for myself.

Was pursuing a degree at Australia’s top university a waste of time? Not necessarily. The name of an institution whose superiority is supported by so many statistics surely helps beautify my résumé. And I was granted the chance to dip into a strange emerging culture, one whose existence I probably would not have accepted if I hadn’t seen it for myself. It seems the doomsayers are sometimes correct.


Ex-UCLA lecturer facing charges for threat-laced video, ‘manifesto’

A former UCLA lecturer was slapped with federal charges for emailing students and faculty a threatening video and an unhinged “manifesto” that temporarily shut down the college’s campus this week.

Matthew Harris, 31, allegedly sent out a rambling 803-page manifesto to members of the philosophy department that mentioned the words “kill,” “bomb” and “shoot” 12,000 times.

He was arrested in Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday and appeared in US District Court in Denver on Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Burn and attack Boulder outside by the university,” the manifesto said, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit cited by the Times.

”Hunt them where they work … Kill their children at freshman orientation. Shoot them at the opening weekend, Bombs at middle schools, no threats, Shot gun columbine university slaying, Kill the board of trustees at every university.”

Harris had been a postdoctoral fellow in philosophy at UCLA before he was booted from the program last year amid increasingly bizarre behavior that unnerved colleagues and led to a restraining order from the University of California, reports said.

A former UCLA lecturer was slapped with federal charges for emailing students and faculty a threatening video and an unhinged “manifesto” that temporarily shut down the college’s campus this week.

Former UCLA lecturer Matthew Harris allegedly emailed a menacing manifesto to faculty members. In his manifesto, Harris said ”hunt them where they work … Kill their children at freshman orientation.”

On Monday, the ex-lecturer sent an email received by about 35 people, linking the so-called manifesto as well as videos — including one titled “UCLA PHILOSOPHY (MASS SHOOTING),” the Associated Press reported. The video spliced footage from a mass shooting in Las Vegas and scenes from a 2003 movie depicting a mass shooting called “Zero Day.”

The UCLA campus was shut Tuesday in the aftermath. Harris, who was found to have moved to Boulder last year, was arrested later that day at his apartment complex after he barricaded himself inside for a time, Boulder police said in a news release.

Harris had been put on leave as a fellow from UCLA in March after he sent some disturbing and inappropriate emails to women in his research group, according to the AP. The next month, he visited his mother in North Carolina but she feared for her life and slept with a knife near her bed, the complaint against him said.

The University of California had previously known about Harris’s disturbing behavior toward faculty members.

UCLA closed its campus on Feb. 2 after Harris emailed a video promising a mass shooting against students.

He was committed to a psychiatric hospital but later released. In May, UCLA got a protection order against him for threats he had made to a professor at UC Irvine, the affidavit said. After moving to Colorado in 2021, he tried to buy a gun but was rejected, Boulder police said.

Harris is facing charges of transmission of threats in interstate commerce and is being held without bail pending a hearing on Tuesday.




Thursday, February 03, 2022

Yet Another History Professor Says Collin College Fired Him Over Free Speech Concerns

For months, Collin College history professor Michael Phillips had advocated for colleagues who claimed they were fired in violation of their rights. Now, it appears he’s next on the chopping block.

In a Twitter thread Monday, Phillips announced that Collin College decided against renewing his contract, which expires May 15.

For one thing, he says, the administration was upset that he’d publicly posted about a policy preventing professors from recommending masks in class. Despite this, Phillips encouraged mask use, discussed anti-mask leagues amid the 1918 influenza pandemic and assigned coursework related to the history of epidemics and pandemics. Soon enough, Phillips said, he received a discipline warning for his social media posts and classroom speech.

Phillips also says he was warned by an administrator that he’d violated school policy after co-authoring a 2017 open letter that called for the removal of Dallas’ Confederate statues. The letter identified him as a professor at Collin College. Another professor there had also signed the letter, which she claims became part of the school's reasoning for her termination.

“The news that I have been fired is heartbreaking to me,” Phillips said in a tweet. “Teaching, mentoring, and getting to know my students and watching them flower into full adulthood has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life.”

Speaking with the Observer, Phillips said the school was upset that he’d made the masking “gag rule” public and spoken to the Board of Trustees.

“It’s just apparent that they feel like college policy trumps the First Amendment, some kind of vague policy that the foundational document of the United States somehow is not relevant anymore,” he said. “It doesn’t say in the First Amendment I have the freedom to petition my government for a redress of grievances — as long as I talk to my associate dean first.”

In his Twitter thread, Phillips says that last week, he was called in for a meeting in which the institution’s senior vice president suggested he make a “graceful exit” from Collin College. Phillips claims that he was asked to work in tandem with the school to “construct a narrative” around his departure, such as by telling others that he would be leaving voluntarily.

“He further said that, with such cooperation, the college could help me in my search for a new position,” Phillips continued. “I declined the offer.”

When asked for comment, Collin College spokesperson Marisela Cadena-Smith sent a statement describing the school’s contract renewal process. She declined to publicly comment on personnel matters “out of respect for the privacy of our faculty members and their respective current and future employment.”

In a separate email, the Observer also specifically asked about Phillips' allegation that he'd been encouraged to say his departure was voluntary, purportedly in exchange for help finding another job. Cadena-Smith reiterated that the school would provide no further comment.

Phillips is the latest Collin College professor who says the school targeted them over free speech. He’s long been a harsh critic of district President Neil Matkin, but he’s far from the only one.

Lora Burnett was a history professor at Collin College until last year, when she says she was let go in violation of her constitutional rights. So, she sued the school, and last Tuesday accepted its offer to pay her $70,000 plus attorneys’ fees.

Burnett said she was “absolutely beside [herself] with righteous indignation” when she learned of her former colleague’s announcement.

Phillips is a beloved employee and longtime advocate for the rights of all North Texas citizens, in addition to being an all-around extraordinary person, Burnett said. For the administrators to suggest that he lie about the circumstances behind his non-renewal is perhaps the most shocking thing she’s ever heard coming out of Collin College, she said, adding that “if that’s not criminal, it should be.”

Moving forward, Burnett said, she’s willing to do everything she can to support Phillips, who tirelessly advocated for her and other professors who were “wrongfully fired.” She will continue to focus public scrutiny on the malfeasance of Collin College, a government entity that has continually violated the citizens’ constitutional rights, she said.


Virginia's new GOP AG prompts three largest universities to drop vaccine mandate for students

The three largest universities in Virginia have dropped their sweeping vaccine requirements after the state's attorney general issued his legal opinion calling such mandates illegal.

George Mason University, Virginia Tech and the University of Mary Washington all announced reforms to their previously strict vaccination requirements. The colleges now emphasis recommendations to vaccinate without negative consequences for remaining holdouts.

"Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer a condition of students’ enrollment or in-person attendance, nor will unvaccinated or eligible unboosted students be subject to separate testing requirements," University of Mary Washington wrote in a memo.

Virginia's newly elected Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares warned the universities they would not be allowed to mandate vaccines for students in a legal opinion published Jan. 26.

"Virginia’s public institutions of higher education are public corporations," Miyares wrote in the opinion. "As such, they are afforded separate corporate status but remain under control of the General Assembly and may only exercise such powers as the General Assembly has expressly conferred or necessarily implied."

The attorney has already taken hard line stances on public policy from education to criminal prosecution, saying that Virginia would be moving forward with "common sense" instead of partisan platforms. Unpopular mask and vaccine mandates at public schools and universities are a focus of both Miyares and Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

"All George Mason University students are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and to submit COVID-19 vaccination documentation and COVID-19 booster documentation," the university now says, though the request for documentation is now rendered toothless.

The university followed up the change with a letter to students from the school's president, Dr. Gregory Washington.

"Given our high vaccination rate, the continued decline of the omicron variant, the Governor’s recent executive orders and directives, and the recent Attorney General’s opinion, we will now strongly encourage vaccination protocols for all Mason students, faculty, and staff, though we no longer require them," Washington wrote. "We also strongly encourage everyone to upload their vaccination status so we can continue to understand the effect of the virus on campus community."

Virginia Tech is also following the new legal opinion, stating that the school "will no longer require students to be vaccinated as a condition of enrollment or in-person instruction, effective immediately."

However, the University of Virginia wrote in an online message, "Attorney general opinions, though they do not have the force of law the way a court ruling does, nonetheless warrant careful consideration."

The university said that because over 99% of its students are already fully vaccinated and boosted, they do not intend to follow the attorney general's opinion, but will not disenroll students who have not received a booster.

Within hours of taking office, Miyares announced investigations into two campaign issues that were prominent topics on the campaign trail, the Loudoun County, Virginia, sexual assault controversy and alleged impropriety within the Virginia Parole Board’s release of dangerous criminals.

Fox News Digital reached out to Miyares' office for comment but has not yet received a response.


Harvard’s Method of Discrimination Is Affront to Individual Dignity

In a move that may finally put an end to race-conscious admissions, the Supreme Court accepted a petition to hear Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard on Jan 24.

The case was filed by a group of Asian Americans who allege, with strong evidence, discrimination by the nation’s most prestigious school, for reasons related to ensuring a diverse “racial mix” in the composition of its student body.

The Supreme Court will now begin debate on whether the value of racial diversity can truly trump the constitutional prerogative to not discriminate on the basis of race.

In the case of Harvard, race is not simply used as a tiebreaker in admissions. A 2013 internal Harvard study revealed by the lawsuit showed that had Harvard only considered academics, Asians would make up 43% of Harvard’s student body. Adding legacy, athlete recruitment, “extracurriculars,” and a “personal” score lowered Asians to 26%. Finally, in the years the internal Harvard study looked at, Asians actually made up only 19% of the student body.

Central to the case is Harvard’s especially distasteful method of discrimination: the creation of a “personal score” that, evidence shows, the school manipulates to give Asian applicants the lowest scores. Although this sort of discrimination avoids the blunt edges of explicit racial quotas, such as President Joe Biden’s explicit insistence that he will nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court following Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, it is arguably crueler to those who fall under its exclusion.

Harvard’s discrimination is discrimination via character assassination. For Harvard to suppress the vast quantity of qualified Asians (who make up 50% of the top SAT scores in the nation) from its admissions books, it questions their character and minimizes their accomplishments.

Harvard’s admissions officers conveniently rate Asian Americans lowest in the “personal score,” having never met them, while similarly academically qualified black, Hispanic, and white students respectively score first, second, and third. What is the evidence Asians deserve this sort of treatment in the personality measurement?

The objective evidence points to none. Asian Americans get the highest alumni interview scores, the highest teacher recommendation scores, and the second-highest counselor scores out of all the racial groups. There is simply no objective basis for Harvard’s attack on Asian American “personalities.”

Instead, the admissions officers who make the final judgements on applicants disproportionately label Asians “standard strong,” which is another way of saying “good but not good enough.”

When you get “standard strong” on your Harvard application, “It’s automatic you don’t get in,” says Duke professor Peter Arcidiacono, the expert witness for the plaintiffs who read and analyzed every Harvard application in the case. “And Asian Americans get ‘standard strong’ more often than any other race.”

The use of the personality score for nefarious purposes borrows from Harvard’s history. In 1922, Harvard’s President Abbott Lowell proposed capping Jewish enrollment at 15% of the student body. His proposal was widely criticized and eventually rejected by Harvard’s admissions committee, which opposed an explicit quota. Lowell responded by adding a non-academic “character” evaluation to the admissions process:

To prevent a dangerous increase in the proportion of Jews, I know at present only one way which is at the same time straightforward and effective, and that is a selection by a personal estimate of character on the part of the Admission authorities, based upon the probable value to the candidate, to the college and to the community of his admission.

He targeted Jews with low personal character scores, forcing Jewish Americans to the threshold he desired. Lowell explicitly invented the character evaluation for the sake of racial gatekeeping, and it remains in full force today. Although Harvard moved away from anti-Jewish discrimination, it retains the system and applies it to a new “overrepresented” racial group—Asian Americans.

Harvard’s blueprint of discrimination, if not checked by the U.S. Supreme Court, allows any actor with racially malicious intent to bury their discrimination underneath a fake “character” trait, while gaining full legal immunity in the process. Any lawyer will be able to point to Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard ruling to show that their discrimination is legal.

The primary consequence of Harvard’s discrimination won’t just be Asian American deprivation. It will be the penalization of hard work felt by America’s high-achieving students. Asian American success in education is no secret: They study twice as many hours as the average American and take more challenging courses than other racial groups.

Harvard’s discrimination will teach children not to aspire to be like the highest-achieving kids in their class. Rather, students will get rewarded for playacting a certain victimhood category than they will by working hard and becoming academically competent.

When the Supreme Court hears Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard this year, more will be on the line than just a few admissions spots. The strength of our commitment to the ideals of a colorblind meritocracy, where hard work and drive is rewarded irrespective of one’s background, will be tested.




Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Bridgewater College shooting leaves two officers dead; suspect in custody

It'S Hard To Imagine why A Stupid Kid would Blow Up His Future like This. Maybe he was high on something

A 27-year-old man opened fire at Bridgewater College in Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, killing one police officer and one campus safety officer, according to authorities.

The two officers were responding to a report of a suspicious person near Memorial Hall on Bridgewater's campus when the suspect opened fire, striking and killing both of them.

Alexander Wyatt Campbell fled the scene but was apprehended on an island in the North River about half an hour later.

The liberal arts college, which is home to about 1,500 students, issued a shelter-in-place order that lasted about three hours as police cleared campus buildings.

Bridgewater College President David Bushman identified the deceased as campus police officer John Painter and safety officer J.J. Jefferson in a letter to the school community.

"These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the 'dynamic duo,'" Bushman wrote.

"John was J.J.’s best man in his wedding this year. They were beloved by students, faculty and staff. I hurt for their families and loved ones, as I know we all do."

Campbell, the suspect, also had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound but was treated at a hospital and is now being held at the Rockingham County Jail without bond. He is facing four felonies, including two counts of capital murder.

Multiple guns were discovered on Bridgewater's campus as law enforcement retraced Campbell's steps.

Caleb Needle, a senior at Bridgewater College, told WSHV that he was in class when he heard three or four loud bangs outside and everyone dropped to the floor.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin ordered the U.S. and Virginia flags to be flown at half-staff on Wednesday in honor of the two slain officers.

Several other universities around the country are dealing with threats to their campuses this week.

UCLA canceled in-person classes Tuesday after a mass shooting threat. Multiple historically black colleges and universities reported bomb threats on Monday.


Ronald Reagan’s favorite Chicago School continues to thrive despite the odds

While education standards in most K-12 schools across America have fallen gradually for several decades, the pace accelerated in recent years due to racial equity initiatives. The stated goal of these initiatives can often be summed up as the elimination of racial disparities between races, especially between blacks and whites. However, this goal is far from noble, and the immorality in this quest to achieve racial equity lies in the belief that lowering standards for blacks is the way forward. But how can stigmatizing blacks as inferiors inspire them to reach great heights?

There is a school on the West Side of Chicago in the middle of the violence and poverty that wholeheartedly rejects this lowly view of blacks. Since 1969, Providence St. Mel School has pursued academic rigor and, in 2019, the school sent the entire senior class to colleges on academic scholarships.

"Providence St. Mel is a private independent school on the West Side of Chicago — used to be a Catholic school," Ervin said. "In 1978, the archdiocese was going to close the school because of low enrollment, but the principal at the time, Mr. Paul J. Adams III, said he was going to keep it open, and he kept it open. He's kept it open now for 44 years as a private independent school."

When Adams was named principal in 1972, he enacted strict rules that made gang association, drugs, gambling, graffiti, stealing and fighting grounds for expulsion. This zero tolerance policy cleared the way for academics to be the sole focus for all students.

"We do not lower standards," Ervin continued. "Many of our students also receive college scholarship dollars, and many of our students are accepted to the top 50 colleges in the country."

"One of your biggest early supporters early on was President Ronald Reagan. Can you tell us about that a little bit?" the pastor asked.

"President Reagan visited the school in the early '80s, 1982, I believe. Because he heard about the success of the school, he wanted to come and visit," Ervin said.

President Ronald Reagan was so impressed he returned for a second visit in 1983 where he was pleased that 44% of the recent graduates wanted to pursue a science-related career.

Of the school, Reagan was later quoted saying: "Poet Tennyson said, ‘I dipt into the future, as far as the human eye could see, Saw a Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.’ Well, Providence St. Mel has looked into the future and seen what a wonder it is … So, let us pray that Providence-St. Mel will be a shining example to schools all across this country. The future isn't something to fear, and today's problems can be tomorrow's victories, and that working together, there isn't anything that we can't do."

Reagan would have been pleased to learn that the school has not backed off its mission to this day.

"Another thing that I don't want to gloss over: 100% of y'all students get scholarships or go to college," the pastor said.

"Providence St. Mel is located on the West Side of Chicago in East Garfield Park, one of the toughest neighborhoods in the city. Murder and crime rate is very high. Violence is definitely prevalent in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods," Ervin answered. "Our students, when they get to Providence St. Mel, they know they're safe because the school looks like a castle on the outside and it feels like a castle on the inside … And we make sure that we don't have any foolishness going on inside the school, and our students are safe from the time they walk in that building until they get in their car with their parents or if they have to walk to the bus stop."

"For over 40 years, y'all been doing a great job, making sure that students go to college, making sure that students meet the standards," the pastor said. "You're not lowering any standards just to give students a quick fix, but you all keep the discipline intact, the parents involved."

The tragedy of it all is that today’s racial equity educators failed to see what Reagan saw: a school model that proved that blacks could succeed no matter what background they came from. Instead, they chose to see blacks as inferiors and America is paying the price for that.


Many lessons to learn in improving Australian education

Australia’s low ranking in education performance is one of the greatest dangers to our long-term national prosperity as we enter a new skills-based industrial ­revolution.

This national danger has triggered much-needed efforts to reform curriculums. But the NSW Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstraat’s research reveals an even deeper problem: our systems of recruiting and training teachers are simply not working and he recommends fundamental change.

The Achterstraat plan concentrates on NSW but the teacher recruiting and training mistakes he isolates are duplicated around the nation.

The Achterstraat conclusions were publicised last year but over the new year break the NSW commissioner sent me a personal copy of his massive document entitled “rebooting the economy”. And to make sure I understood what was happening he highlighted key sentences!

And while I was looking at the education sections that dominate Achterstraat’s 370-page productivity document, across my desk came an article from Malcolm Elliott, the president of the Australian Primary Principals Association. Elliott was criticising NAPLAN but the thrust of his remarks showed that those at the top of the teaching profession do not recognise the validity of Achterstraat’s warning.

Accordingly, we are headed for a nation-changing debate that will determine our future. I hope both major political parties address the education crisis at the next federal election.

Around the nation many parents don’t have Achterstraat’s research but recognise that something is wrong in the way their children are being taught the basics.

Some are paying large sums to buy dwellings in selected catchment areas so they can send their children to a government school that they believe has attracted excellent teachers who excel in teaching the basics – reading, writing, science and mathematics. Others with the same view send their children to selected private schools.

Achterstraat does not make detailed evaluation of curriculum issues but says NSW needs to ­redesign and modernise its curriculum, providing strong foundations for lifeline learning. It needs to cut “inessential teacher workloads” so teachers can focus on the core of their jobs: teaching our children.

The NSW experience shows that simply spending money on education does not solve the problem.

Federal and state governments increased spending on each NSW student by 22 per cent in the decade to 2018-19 but not only did NSW performance decline but states like Victoria, where less money was spent, performed better than NSW.

The proportion of NSW students failing to achieve minimum standards across the three PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) domains has risen from 32 per cent in 2006 to 42 per cent in 2018. Achterstraat believes these bad educational outcomes are surface manifestations of fundamental flaws in teacher recruiting and training.

He emphasises that the quality of our schooling system ultimately rests on the quality of classroom instruction by our teachers and school leaders. Learning is usually determined by how teaching is delivered in classrooms and how the curriculum is conveyed to students.

I isolate some of the areas where Achterstraat says the system is failing and then summarise some of the Achterstraat solutions which would revolutionise Australia’s teacher recruitment and training. The faults:

* Australia has introduced waves of reform demanding that new teachers must meet increased academic requirements to enter initial teacher education programs.

But these more onerous and longer qualifications for new teachers have unintentionally raised barriers for talented people entering the profession.

Worse, the evidence suggests that the educational gains from longer teaching pathways are minimal or even nil.

* Some teachers realise that they are poorly suited to teaching only upon entering the classroom and extra university training delays this discovery. The messages from their bad experience adversely impacts teacher recruitment.

* Like any other worker, a teacher cannot improve “without setting goals, striving to achieve them and receiving insightful, regular and constructive feedback plus correctional help”. But currently goals and benchmarks are often poorly defined, making it very difficult to identify relevant evidence and measure performance against them. A teacher with relatively low-performing students may be driving strong improvement while a teacher with high performing students may not be contributing much to their performance.

* Australia is not matching the world in high-performing education systems to supplement standardised teaching, with indicators that help show what teachers and schools are contributing to student learning growth.

* In many areas of Australia, including NSW, teacher standards and teacher accreditation has seen weak implementation and there is only a loose link between creditation and teacher effectiveness. It becomes difficult to identify relevant evidence and measure performance against them.

The solutions:

* Given the teacher entry system is not working as planned, it needs to be reviewed to make it less onerous, but identifying better teaching prospects and broadening the source of quality teachers with employment-based teaching pathways.

* Systems of classroom observations including peer-to-peer and supervisor observations need to be implemented.

* A separate set of aims should be established for school principals that reflect their unique role and makes them accountable for improving school teaching. They must report annually on the implementation of these performance measures.

Australia’s problem is that we have a substantial number of teachers who have not been trained along these lines and will vigorously oppose it.




Tuesday, February 01, 2022

Fourth School Accused of Secretly Helping Children Turn Transgender

Sometimes Leftism gets really obnoxious

When Bonnie Manchester was told by school administrators to call a female student by “his new gender name” and not to tell the girl’s parents about it, that was the last straw for the Ludlow, Massachusetts, school teacher.

“I did what any teacher would and should do, I told the parents,” Manchester told The Epoch Times.

The child was just 11 at the time and as Manchester learned, the school was not only meeting secretly with the girl but also meeting secretly with her 12-year old brother regarding his alleged interest in regendering as a girl.

Manchester, who was a social studies teacher at the district’s Baird Middle School, was fired for telling the children’s parents about the school’s secretive activity. School principal Stacy Monette called Manchester’s “conduct unbecoming a teacher” referring to her “inappropriate communications with the parents of a student.”

“You shared sensitive confidential information about a student’s expressed gender identity against the wishes of the students,” Monette wrote in an April 16, 2021, letter terminating Manchester.

Monette was named Middle School Principal of the year for the state of Massachusetts by the Massachusetts School Administrators Association in 2020.

She and other school administrators did not respond to requests for comment.

It is one of what appears to be a fast-growing number of similar cases cropping up across the U.S.

On Monday, parents in Jacksonville, Fla., filed a federal lawsuit against their 12-year daughter’s school for having secret meetings with her to encourage her to identify as a boy after she began expressing gender confusion at school. The parents only found out after the child tried to commit suicide by attempting to hang herself in a school bathroom.

Last week, a Salinas, California, parent filed a notice of intent to file a lawsuit against the Buena Vista Middle School for allowing two teachers, who she alleged tried “to secretly brainwash her teenage daughter into identifying as bisexual, and later as transgender.”

And a week earlier in Texas, an anonymous teacher outed her school by releasing documents to a digital media outlet from the district’s training programs that shows teachers were being told to keep parents in the dark about any disclosures their children make at school about gender identity feelings. “DO NOT contact their parents and out them to their families” the training documents advises.

Mary McAlister, senior counsel for The Children and Parental Rights Campaign, said her organization also represents a New York family about to file suit on similar grounds.

“Schools are secretly grooming kids to be gay,” McAlister told The Epoch Times, and “they have outside influences teaching them how to do that. Lesson number one is to cut the parents out of the picture.”

According to the Florida lawsuit, which was filed by McAlister’s organization on behalf of the parents, the school withheld the information because they knew the parents were Catholic and would not agree with the children’s regendering.

The school’s guidance counselor admitted that she had been secretly meeting with the sixth grader on a weekly basis over a span of four months to discuss gender identity issues, the lawsuit alleges.

In the California case, parent Jessica Konen alleged that two teachers “coached” her daughter to change her identity at LGBTQ+ club meetings they held during their lunch hour.

In an exchange of emails, the child asked the teachers what name she should write on her school binders “in light of the fact she was not going by” a boy’s name.

“Write whatever your mother will approve and we’ll fix it when you get to school,” the teacher wrote back.

In another lawsuit filed in November in Florida, the school district admitted it was deliberately not telling parents if their children were having gender identity issues at school because a guidebook warned it could lead to homelessness for them.

The guide book called the LCS Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Questioning Support Guide, warned that as many as 40 percent of homeless youth are LGBTQ+, largely due to many of them being rejected by their families.

In the Ludlow school case, Manchester said she knew the two kids were being groomed by the school. She had them both in her special education class and knew the family. “I knew there was no way the kids thought this up on their own,” she told The Epoch Times.

Before she was fired, Manchester was also the subject of a sexual harassment complaint the school librarian filed against her for objecting to sexually explicit LGBTQ+ books she ordered and placed in the school library.

Manchester and 18 other teachers submitted a letter to the school administration and school board complaining about the books. The librarian, who identified as “non-binary,” has since resigned. School Superintendent Todd Gazda also resigned over what he called an “intolerance of LGBTQ” individuals.

At the time of the superintendent’s resignation, several parents submitted a letter demanding the school stop promoting transgender and homosexual ideas at and to use a student’s given name and “actual pronouns.”

The parents also demanded the school “stop retribution against teachers who expose these abuses to parents.”


Vaccine Mandate ‘Feels Like Coercion,’ Says Boston Teacher Who Fears Being Fired

Arrogant fools

Special needs teacher Angela Jones could be fired from her job with the Boston school system. Why? Because she is unvaccinated.

Jones teaches elementary students in Boston Public Schools, where she has taught for nearly 20 years. She says she is one of more than 400 teachers there who have declined to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, Jones and her unvaccinated colleagues face termination.

The vaccine mandate for Boston teachers “feels like coercion,” Jones, 52, told The Daily Signal during a phone interview Friday.

“We don’t want to put this [vaccine] in our bodies,” she said, adding that all she and her colleagues want to do is “live our lives and teach children, which is our livelihood.”

“If we are not allowed to choose what goes in our body,” Jones said, “ … that to me is the ultimate loss of freedom.”

Angela Jones isn’t her actual name, but a pseudonym used by The Daily Signal to protect the teacher’s identity.

Last month, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a Democrat, announced Dec. 20 that all city employees would be required to receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 15. Following that order, Boston Public Schools announced that all its staff “will adhere to the announced vaccine policy for City of Boston employees.”

On Thursday, a Massachusetts Appeals Court judge temporarily suspended Boston’s vaccine mandate for city employees.

The stay comes after three unions—the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 718, the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, and the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society—filed a lawsuit over the vaccine mandate.

The city has until Feb. 3 to file a response before the court’s final ruling. The Wu administration paused enforcement of the vaccine mandate while the legal process plays out.

“The stay decision means the vaccine verification policy is paused, and no educators will be placed on administrative leave or terminated at this time,” Becky Shuster, assistant superintendent of equity for Boston Public Schools, told The Daily Signal in an email Friday.

Wu said Thursday that 95% of city employees already have been vaccinated.

The concern for teachers such as Jones is that if the court rules in favor of the city and the vaccine mandate remains in place, they risk losing their jobs because they’re not vaccinated.

Jones applied for a religious exemption in early January, but it was denied.

Those denied religious exemptions are not allowed to appeal the decision, the Boston teacher said, but may add information to their request and resubmit the paperwork.

Jones herself did this, only to be denied a second time.

Jones sent The Daily Signal a copy of the email she received from Shuster denying this second request for a religious exemption.

“We have not approved any religious accommodations because the safety of students and staff is our highest priority,” Shuster told The Daily Signal.

Michael King, director of community alliances for Massachusetts Family Institute, says he finds that troubling.

“Denying the religious exemptions of these teachers is a tragedy not only for these teachers, but for the thousands of students in their care,” King told The Daily Signal.

Shuster did say that the Boston school system’s Office of Equity “has approved numerous accommodations should the policy ultimately be implemented.”

Of those asking for a medical exemption to the vaccine, Jones said, she is aware only of some who have received temporary exemptions—such as until the end of a pregnancy.

Teachers who refuse a COVID-19 shot are “from all races and creeds and walks of life,” Jones said.

The school system’s vaccine mandate “affects black and Latino teachers more than any other group,” she said. “They’re at a higher rate of not getting the vaccine.”

Asked about the mandate’s adverse effect on Latino and black teachers, Shuster said: “Boston Public Schools has been diligently working to engage its staff to explore their vaccination options and to provide timely information about the vaccine.”


Australia: Citipointe Christian College defends demanding parents sign contract on student gender identity, homosexuality

Why is this controversial? There are plenty of other schools the sexually abnormal can go to. Let them choose a school that accepts them and leave Christians free to obey the repeated statements in the Bible about sexual deviance being an abomination to God. See Romans chapter 1. It's not as if anybody is compelled to go to that school.

And the limits the school imposes could well make it popular with many parents, Christian or not. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle many parents would want for their children.

Up until relatively recently, the American Psychological Asociation categorized homosexuallity as a mental illness -- until Leftist pressure got that expunged. The long term adverse consequences of homosexuality remain, however. There have always been homosexuals in my social circle and I have seen the sadness that eventually comes to them. Women, by contrast, have always been a source of happiness to me.

I sent my son to a Catholic school precisely because I thought he would get Christian teachings there. He did. Even under Pope Francis, church teachings on homosexuality have remained unwavering in opposition to it

Citipointe Christian College on Brisbane's southside sent families a contract last Friday and said parents must sign the contract or unenrol their child from the school.

More than 26,000 people have signed an online petition demanding the college recall the enrolment contract, with organisers arguing the school is "using their religious beliefs to openly discriminate against queer and trans students".

In an e-mail to parents on Friday, principal Pastor Brian Mulheran said the new clauses in the enrolment contract were included to "ensure that we retain our Christian ethos, which is the foundation of what has made the College what it is today".

The contract states "the college will only enrol the student on the basis of the gender that corresponds to their biological sex" to maintain consistent with the college's "Christian Ethos Requirements".

The contract goes on to state that the college "acknowledges the biological sex of a person as recognised at birth and requires practices consistent with that sex".

Another clause states the college has the right to "exclude a student from the college" should they not adhere to the "doctrinal precepts including those as to biological sex".

To keep their child enrolled at the school, parents must agree with a set of "religious beliefs" laid out in a "Declaration of Faith" attached to the contract.

Part of the declaration states that "any form of sexual immorality (including but not limited to; adultery, fornication, homosexual acts, bisexual acts, bestiality, incest, paedophilia, and pornography) is sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society".

'We weren't given any warning that this was happening'
A parent, who is also a teacher at Citipointe and did not want to be named, said she was "saddened that students who are struggling or going through their journey of finding out who they are were going to be encased in more vocabulary of them being 'other' and not accepted".

"As an educator whose priority it is to look after a child, and as a parent wanting to bring up a young [child] to be a functioning member of this society, I knew I was in trouble as to whether I could sign this document," she said.

She said she was "extremely angry" about the timing of the contract's release because students were starting school today. "I felt very much backed into a corner," she said.

"We, as the staff, weren't told about [the contract amendments]. I only found out about it because I was a parent."

She said she was now looking for another school for her child because she was unable to sign the amended enrolment contract.

"I am having to ask [the child] now to leave their friends through no fault of [their] own. We weren't given any warning that this was happening, and we've been told you either sign it or you have two weeks leeway to go," she said.

"I feel like my options are very, very limited."

She also said this would have a wider impact on the community at Citipointe.

"It is going to be so divisive in the school. It's going to separate people. And that's not my understanding of what the Christian faith is all about," she said.

A 2018 Citipointe alumnus Bree Leitch, who identifies as bisexual, said she was "pretty floored" when her parents received the amended contract on Friday.

She said her brother has been attending the school and he was supposed to start Year 12 today.

"I'm worried about what my brother is going to do and how he's going to get his education and graduate this year, and I'm really wanting to do something about it," Ms Leitch said.

Ms Leitch said she came to terms with her bisexuality when she was in Year 12 at Citipointe.

"I remember when I was in school, I would always think, 'If I was gay, I would never come out' … that would just be so hard. So scary," she said.

"And you just don't know what would happen, whether you'd get kicked out, there was just so much fear there.

"And having to just keep that part of me completely silent, and question it alone without being able to talk to anyone about it is pretty scary."

Ms Leitch said the amended contract was a "horrible thing" but "it means that it's something we can fight directly."

"It's something that's there and it exists, and it's black and white. And we're able to be say 'this is not OK'… we have a platform to build off of now," she said.

Ms Leitch said she wanted queer students at Citipointe, and other schools, to know they were not alone.

"You're valid and these things they're saying is not true. Don't let it change how you see yourself and don't let it make yourself think that you're not worthy. This whole community of people will stand behind you and support you, and we're doing to do everything we can to change this experience for you."

School has 'certain freedoms' under law to include clauses
In a statement to the media, Principal Pastor Brian Mulheran said the college "does not judge students on their sexuality or gender identity and we would not make a decision about their enrolment in the college simply on that basis".

He said the college wants to give parents and students the right to make an "informed choice" about supporting the school's approach to Christian education.

"We have always held these Christian beliefs and we have tried to be fair and transparent to everyone in our community by making them clear in the enrolment contract," he said.

"The college, through the freedoms afforded to it by law, has outlined our common beliefs and practices, so that parents can choose for their children to be educated at Citipointe and join our faith-based community."

Mr Mulheran said the school had sought legal advice in amending the contract, and argued it had "certain freedoms under international law and under Commonwealth and state legislation" which allowed it to include the new clauses.

Independent Schools Queensland chief executive Christopher Mountford told ABC Radio Brisbane independent schools were "their own entities" and could "deliver their own enrolment contract".

"The schools are being transparent and up-front in their enrolment contracts around the issues and beliefs that they have as a school, and that's consistent with other independent schools as well, and those contracts are legal under the current legislation," he said.

"The question of whether or not the school should or could do these things, is best answered by thinking through 'what are the school's ethos and processes they're putting forward to the community?' Is it reasonable and legal, what they're putting forward, and then can parents choose to engage in that school or not?"

He said it was important to have diversity across schools to allow parents to send their child to a school that "aligns with their beliefs and values".




Monday, January 31, 2022

Jeff Jacoby: More education choices, fewer education fights

WITHIN HOURS of being sworn in as Virginia's new governor on Jan. 15, Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order empowering parents to decide whether their children should wear masks in school. That effectively made masking optional for students across the state, triggering a backlash from education officials who support mask mandates. Seven school boards quickly filed lawsuits to block Youngkin's order. "We will fight it to the end," vowed a defiant Jason Kamras, the superintendent of schools in Richmond.

In justice to Youngkin, he was elected on a platform of strong support for parental rights in education and opposition to COVID-19 mandates. And his executive order lays out a reasonable case for not obligating schoolchildren to wear masks. It notes that the health benefits of masking children are "inconsistent," but that the costs — such as delays in language development, difficulty breathing, and increased feelings of isolation — can be significant. "While the Center for Disease Control recommends masks," the order states, "its research has found no statistically significant link between mandatory masking for students and reduced transmission of COVID-19."

In justice to Youngkin's critics, on the other hand, a solid majority of Virginians support mask mandates in schools. A Washington Post poll in September found that 69 percent of voters statewide approved of a statewide mask mandate within school buildings. A survey conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University yielded similar results: 71 percent of Virginia residents agreed that masks should be mandatory in K-12 schools.

On the merits, I sympathize with those who don't want children forced to wear masks. Youngkin is right: The claim that schools with unmasked kids are at greater risk rests on shaky evidence. On the other hand, why should a policy favored by a large majority of parents in a given school or district be overridden by a governor's edict? Youngkin claims that his order "bans neither the wearing of masks nor the issuing of mask mandates" — it simply lets parents decide. But that's disingenuous. A mandate is futile if it's unenforceable. And making masks optional is no option at all for those who fear an outbreak unless masking is universal.

This is not, however, a column about masks. It's a column about minimizing disputes by maximizing choice.

What is true of mask mandates in Virginia is true of a wide variety of school policies in every state: Parents disagree, often profoundly. They come down on different sides of important issues, and in a one-size-fits-all school system there is no way to accommodate them all. Only when there is school choice can incompatible priorities coexist.

Should classroom lessons advance an "anti-racist" agenda focused on the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow, or should they emphasize the ideal of colorblindness and judging individuals by the content of their character? Is it more important to expose students to classic literary works of the Western canon or to lesser-known works by female, nonwhite, or LGBT authors? Should the K-12 curriculum include — or shun — prayer and religious instruction? What should kids in school be taught about sex? About gender identity? About abortion, guns, immigration, American history? Should teachers be union members? Should everyone wear masks?

Reasonable people can hold very different views on such matters, most of which are zero-sum policy questions that cannot be resolved through compromise. Whatever course of action is adopted is apt to greatly please some parents and deeply distress others. When kids' education is at stake, passions often boil over. There have recently been numerous scenes of angry parents venting their outrage during school board meetings. But such protests aren't new.

"Throughout American history," the Cato Institute's Neal McCluskey has observed, "public schooling has produced political disputes, animosity, and sometimes even bloodshed between diverse people. Such clashes are inevitable in government-run schooling because all Americans are required to support the public schools, but only those with the most political power control them."

Discussions of school choice commonly focus on achieving better educational outcomes for children in underperforming public schools or from economically deprived families. By now there are scores of empirical studies documenting such gains. A statistical survey published last year by the University of Arkansas concluded that "expanding parental options in education . . . is consistent with improvements in average student performance for US states." And those improvements aren't limited to the students whose parents take advantage of school-choice options to move them out of traditional public schools. Researchers have repeatedly found that when families have the option of using vouchers or educational savings accounts (ESAs) to pay for non-governmental schooling, public schools tend to improve.

But robust school choice programs do more than boost grades and test scores. They also have the power to lessen hostility and keep communities from fighting over what gets taught and how schools should be run. One-size-fits-all is sometimes inevitable — everyone has to drive on the same side of the street — but it's a poor template for education in a society committed to freedom. Far better is a system of schooling premised on pluralism, freedom, and respect for the rights of parents to make choices for their kids. No elected official decides what clothing children should wear, what religious beliefs they should be taught, or what pediatrician they should go to. In matters great and small, society trusts parents to exercise good judgment. Only when it comes to education is the government presumed to know what's best.

Things may be changing. The COVID-19 pandemic sharply increased discontent with public schools. Support for school choice has soared. "How have your opinions on homeschooling changed as a result of the coronavirus?" asked a Morning Consult poll last month. Fully 68 percent of respondents said they were more favorable to homeschooling now than they were before the pandemic. Support was high as well for publicly funded school vouchers (supported by 77 percent of school parents), ESAs (81 percent), and charter schools (68 percent). Nationwide, school choice programs were created or expanded in 22 states and the District of Columbia last year.

At a time when so many trends in American life have been bleak, this embrace of school choice is something to cheer. The more liberty parents have to choose how, where, and what their children learn, the more tolerant and peaceful America's educational landscape will become. If anyone should know that, it is Virginia's new governor, who campaigned on a platform of respect for parents. He could have ordered simply that each school be free to adopt the mask policy it thought best — and that mothers and fathers be free in turn to choose the school they thought best. Less coercion and more liberty: That's the formula for keeping the peace.


This Mom’s Side Job Just Cost Her Children A Decent Education!

image from

A mum-of-three who went viral for her OnlyFans account has now revealed her children have been expelled from their school as a result.

Tiffany Poindexter, who lives in a close-knit Catholic community in California, says she’s received backlash after her secret OnlyFans account was exposed.

Crystal Jackson – who goes by the name Tiffany Poindexter online – found herself embroiled in a row after mums in her East Sacramento community found out about her OnlyFans page, which has since made her up to $100,000 (£71,000) a day.

Mum-of-three Crystal says she then learned via email on Sunday evening (21 February) that her children had been expelled from school after she went public about the bullying she has experienced.

The entire reason three California children were tossed out of the local Parrish Catholic school is that the optics are awful. The actual truth has nothing to do with the dogma spoon-fed into young impressionable minds at Sacred Heart Parish in Sacramento.

Instead of addressing the real and actual education needs of students, by using the controversy to teach some root basics of human biology and psychology, the Catholic hierarchy prefers to pretend certain issues don’t exist. They would rather protect pedophile priests who abuse children in secret because at least they do it quietly.


Liberals Caught LYING To You About The “Banning” Of MAUS comic book

From Fact to Fake news real quick. This is how the left makes every truth spin into fake news once it didn’t fit their narrative.

They previously reported how a Tennessee school district has banned a book about the Holocaust. The said book was all about the author’s parents surviving the Holocaust and McMinn Schools has been accused of banning Maus. The book is a highly respected and Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

I couldn’t see any reason why would a school would ban such a book like this. No reason because the truth is they didn’t make any ban, the school only removed the book from the 8th-grade curriculum but it is still available in the school’s library.

And the school’s reason for removing it from the 8th-grade curriculum wasn’t because of the Holocaust but because they didn’t want the 8th graders reading content with curse words in it.

Leftists couldn’t see the difference between the two. The book is still available in the school libraries and it can still be read by the students it’s just no longer part of the required curriculum.

Take a look at how the media and the radical left is spinning the truth:

To ban #Maus for being an uncomfortable read is, in fact, to be against teaching the Holocaust, regardless of the school board member’s protests to the contrary.

As of the moment I only cite one media outlet that’s brave enough to cover and show the truth.

Here’s an excerpt from the Red State:

McMinn County, Tennessee, made the news late last night and it will, I suspect, make news today. If one is a devotee of the left, McMinn’s school board is composed of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals and anti-Semite book-burners. Reality is different.

McMinn County has a total population that wouldn’t fill a baseball stadium but it became a lighting-rod on Wednesday, when its school board voted to remove one book from the 8th grade language arts curriculum.

The book, titled, “Maus,” is a serialized graphic novel. “Graphic novel” is another way of not calling a 296-page comic book a comic book. Its subject is the Holocaust, and it’s illustrated with animal metaphors. Jews are mice (thus the title), Germans are cats, and the French are frogs. The author of “Maus” is Art Spiegelman. “Maus” is told as an interview with Spiegelman’s father (a Polish Jew) who survived the Holocaust. Published in the 1980s, the novel uses heavy-line cartoon imagery to tell a story of the Holocaust. In 1992, it won a Pulitzer Prize by special award.




Sunday, January 30, 2022

Mom Sticks Up to Virginia's Largest School District on Mask Mandates

On Tuesday, Carrie Lukas showed up to Forestville Elementary School with her two young children, ages 9 and 7, unmasked. The school is located in the Fairfax County Public School system, the largest district in Virginia and one of the largest in the country. Despite Gov. Glenn Youngkin's executive order leaving the decision of whether children should be masked up to parents, Lukas' children were sent home and suspended. Further, the school's security officer called the police to shoo away a handful of other parents who had gathered, and Luke Rosiak, a reporter for The Daily Wire, whose child will be eligible for that school next year.

Lukas, who spoke to Townhall about the experience, explained that school had also been made aware the night before by her. She explained she let them know "I was going to be exercising my rights" and understood her children might be suspended. Lukas emphasized in our conversation that she likes her school, and has no ill will towards them, but shared "I'm frustrated with Fairfax County Public Schools, I think it's important to make my views known."

She also shared that she had been speaking about this issue before and encouraging others to get involved in such a way. The Independent Women's Voice (IWV), which Lukas is vice president of, in addition to being president of Independent Women's Forum (IWF), encouraged parents to sign onto a letter.

The suspension is consistent with news from last Friday that students in the school system who did not wear masks would be disciplined in such a way, though a text message sent to families attempted to do damage control that same night.

A point Lukas emphasized throughout is that she had a nice conversation with the assistant vice principal, who did not want to suspend her children and tried to do so as nicely as possible. However, Lukas also emphasized that the behavior from the security guard, who is not normally at the school, seemed "really aggressive."

Rosiak was also there to witness and film the exchange, but because he and the other parents were being treated so harshly and aggressively by the security guard, it became an even bigger deal than was likely necessary. Lukas referred to the matter of the security guard calling the police as "tremendous overkill."

Not only was a security guard present that day, which is out of the norm, but so was a press person, both of whom were sent by the school system to handle the exchange and try to block coverage of it. "Had they sat there and treated us like I was trying to treat them, it would kind of have been a non-story," Lukas shared.

She would go on to respond, when asked by Townhall, that the school "definitely did not want press to witness this."

It was the lack of trust that Lukas perceived existed, which she said bothered her the most, considering that the school system is the one breaking the law.

Rosiak was treated as if he were part of the paparazzi or a criminal. Even if there were more parents there, though, and had brought signs, Lukas went on to question why it would be an issue.

"Heaven forbid we had had people who showed a sign, what would have been so terrible about that," Lukas wondered. "It's just the extent of having this absolute 'you must comply and how dare you question us.' That's the thing, it was like they were so outraged that one of us might possibly push back on their authority, when in my mind, I think they're completely in the wrong. They're completely disobeying our duly elected governor's executive order just for political reasons. It's completely senseless."

Lukas' children are back in the classroom, masked, as she does not want them to miss a lot of school, she shared. When asked what the motivation behind Tuesday was, she spoke to being a voice for other parents, and even teachers, in the district, who feared being ostracized and who did not have such jobs where they knew they had the backup that Lukas has.

"I thought it was important for them to have to show the consequences of their decision," Lukas shared, referring to the school. "I think they were hoping parents would just comply and nobody would push back." Lukas went out to call out the school as well. "They denied my kids educational services, based on their decision not to follow this executive order." Lukas explained that she put it in legal terms in a letter that she suffered a harm with such a loss.

"I think it's important that they had to do that so that they know that there are aggrieved parents like me who know they have potentially actionable claims against them. I wanted them to know."

As Landon reported on Monday, Fairfax is one of seven boards in the commonwealth to sue Gov. Youngkin, with those districts asking for an immediate injunction on the order.

At issue, according to the school boards, is whether the governor's executive order can override the local school board's authority. Youngkin, however, as has Attorney General Jason Miyares, have framed the issue as parents having authority over their children.

Lukas will be attending a school board meeting on Thursday night she shared.


Left Barely Masks Its Contempt for Parents’ Involvement in Education

As a rule, leftists are pretty stealthy about expressing their true feelings, preferring to pose as “moderates” until the time comes to actually impose their radical agendas.

That results in a good deal of dishonesty when it comes to their message, but every so often a whiff of candor does leak out—only to be quickly suppressed.

The Michigan Democratic Party made just such a gaffe last week when it posted on Facebook the unattributed sentiments of one of its leaders:

Not sure where this ‘parents-should-control-what-is-taught-in-school-because-they-are-our-kids’ [narrative] is originating, but parents do have the right to send their kids to a hand-selected private school at their own expense if this is what they desire.

The message continued:

The purpose of public education in a public school is not to teach students only what parents want them to be taught. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client of the public school is not the parent, but the entire community.

Predictably, the post was scrubbed within hours and replaced with a bland disclaimer:

We have deleted a post that ignored the important role parents play—and should play—in public schools. Parents need to have a say in their children’s education, end of story.

And just as predictably, it was the end of the story as far as the media were concerned.

Perhaps remembering how Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe last fall scuttled his own gubernatorial campaign by smugly proclaiming that he didn’t “think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” newspaper editorial boards across Michigan and the rest of the nation evidently convinced themselves the second, sanitized post more accurately reflected the party’s sentiments.

Parents, however, are getting better at sifting through the education establishment’s lies. That’s a good thing, because they’re more brazen than ever.

The insistence, for example, by radical leftist teachers unions that students be force-fed toxic critical race theory nostrums over parents’ objections illustrates how much credence liberals give to dissenting voices far more vividly than phony posts from party hacks.

Just one year ago, educational leaders, media elites, and leftist politicians were assuring parents that critical race theory was a complicated area of study only taught in law schools. But with students banned from the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, parents got to observe firsthand the propaganda streaming into their living rooms via remote-learning lessons.

Immediately, the narrative changed from “There is no critical race theory in K-12 classrooms” to “If you don’t like it, you’re a racist.”

School board meetings became more contentious as parents of all demographics showed up by the hundreds and even thousands to express their displeasure at what their children were being taught.

School board members across the country began imposing more and more restrictions on how many people could speak at their meetings and for how long.

Ultimately, they began canceling public meetings altogether so they wouldn’t be confronted by the angry people paying their salaries.

President Joe Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, even issued a memo comparing those parents to “domestic terrorists” for refusing to stand idly by as their tax dollars are used to transform public schools into socialist indoctrination centers.

The scandal was compounded when public records requests revealed emails showed Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona requested the National School Boards Association ask for Garland’s help in targeting those parents in the first place.

Garland eventually walked back his words, and the National School Boards Association disavowed the letter, but the damage was done.

Members of Congress and parents groups are calling for Cardona’s resignation, but like their allies in Michigan, Garland and Cardona aren’t on the hot seat for failing to articulate their true feelings. It’s because they most certainly did.

The past year has demonstrated all too clearly for parents and well-meaning teachers alike just how badly our educational system can unravel when controlled by leaders who care more about flexing their power than about the students who suffer significant developmental, social, and educational setbacks as a result.

As we mark National School Choice Week (Jan. 23-29), we applaud the parents fighting for and taking back control of their kids’ education, as well as the teachers who are leaving their radical unions behind and no longer pushing a political agenda they don’t support.


Older people say school curriculum is ‘too woke’, Australian values must be protected

Generations are split over whether schools should protect Australia’s “inherently Western and Christian” values, as academics slam the curriculum.

Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg says people would be supportive of keeping Australia Day but also establishing a second day to celebrate the country’s Indigenous heritage. “More Indigenous leaders are talking about the value of keeping the day on 26 January because it is a day of truth telling,” Mr Bragg told Sky News…

Seven in 10 Baby Boomers think more needs to be done to nurture and protect Australian values.

Overall, more than half of Aussies want to see our values protected, according to an exclusive YouGov poll commissioned by News Corp between December 27 and January 10.

But there are big differences in opinions between the generations, with 15 per cent of Gen Z – those born after 1997 – going as far as saying there should be less emphasis placed on Australian values.

The survey of 2297 people also found that one in four Australians have concerns that the school curriculum is too ‘woke’.

Fiona Mueller, an adjunct scholar from the Centre for Independent Studies, said while teachers tried to instil respect, compassion and fairness in schools, the current curriculum made it almost impossible for students to develop a deep appreciation of our “inherently Western and Christian” based Australian values.

“There is no overarching intellectual and academic framework that places Australian values at the heart of learning,” she said.

“It is ironic that the dominance of themes such as climate change, racism, globalism and all the other -isms makes it hard to maintain a clear emphasis on longstanding Australian values.”

Temaeva Legeay-Hill, 21, who is studying accounting and finance at university in Melbourne, said the combination of compassion and giving people a fair go was her interpretation of Australian values and ones that the government promoted on its Home Affairs website.

She said Gen Z was becoming increasingly disconnected with these values because they were not seeing them in society.

“Based on the data, our First Nations peoples are not being given a fair go,” Ms Legeay-Hill said.

“Academically they have lower levels of numeracy and literacy and poorer health outcomes.”

She said Gen Z would only want to nurture Australian values if they were authentic.

Meanwhile, the poll also showed that 56 per cent of people believe the curriculum should continue to include lessons on Australia’s links with Asia, Indigenous Australians and the environment.

While a quarter felt the curriculum had become too “woke”, Gen Z does not agree with that sentiment.

Ms Legeay-Hill said including “humanity into academia” was not a bad thing and helped to strengthen cultural bonds.

Glenn Fahey, a research fellow in education policy, said today’s curriculum was contributing to children having a “negative, pessimistic view of Australia – and life in general for that matter – that will feel foreign to past generations and to parents”.

He said there was nothing woke about learning of Australia’s role in Asia, the lives and histories of Indigenous Australians, or the environment, but it depended how the subjects are taught.

He said a “woke” example of Australian history is to paint it “as a racist, genocidal country rather than recognising that we live in the most harmonious and successful multicultural country in the world”.

“The problem is that students may only get a one-sided, politicised view that fails to provide the full context,” he said.