Friday, July 29, 2022



At This Manhattan Middle School School, Sixth-Graders Are Asked To Surveil Friends and Family for ‘Microaggressions’

A New York City public school encouraged students as young as 10 years old to keep a list of all the "microaggressions" they witnessed, both at school and in their own families, according to materials from the school’s curriculum reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. The same students were also asked to list their gender identity—"cisgender," "nonbinary," or "trans"—as well as their sexual orientation on a graded worksheet.

The sixth-grade humanities curriculum from Lower Manhattan Community Middle School, where just 31 percent of students are white, required students to read Tiffany Jewell’s This Book Is Anti-Racist, one of only five books assigned for the 2021-2022 year. The book contains 20 lessons on "how to wake up, take action, and do the work"—including the work of confronting the police, which Jewell suggests white students can do without ending up "in jail or harmed."

"If you are a Black, Brown, or Indigenous Person of the Global Majority, you will need to decide how each outcome could end for you," Jewell writes in a chapter called "Choosing My Path." "White people, this is not something you need to do because you are at the center of the system."

From Tiffany Jewell's ‘This Book Is Anti-Racist'

The book also asks students to surveil their friends and family for racist behavior. "Grab your notebook," one "activity" instructs readers. "Look and listen for the microaggressions around you. Write them down and note your observations." Another activity asks students how "folx" in their families "resisted" or "contributed to racism," defined as the "systemic misuse and abuse of power by institutions."

The curriculum, which went into effect August 2021, came as parents across New York City were mobilizing against critical race theory in public schools—and as education officials across the country were denying that there was any such thing.

"Critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools," Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, asserted in July 2021. Parents "are bullying teachers and trying to stop us from teaching students accurate history."

One month earlier, New York Regents chancellor Lester Young stated that critical race theory "is not our theory of action" and assured parents that "we are not preparing young people to be activists."

Jewell’s book belies that assurance. "We will work together, in solidarity, to disrupt racism and become anti-racist accomplices," the preface reads. "There are many moments to pause in this book so you can check in with yourself and grow into your activism."

The curriculum could spell legal trouble for the school, which is already under investigation for separating seventh and eight-graders into racial affinity groups. That practice prompted a civil rights complaint in December from the watchdog group Parents Defending Education; on July 13, the Department of Education announced it would investigate the middle school over the complaint.

"It’s astonishing that administrators at Lower Manhattan Community seem determined to create a racially hostile educational environment on top of the civil rights investigation that was just opened," said Nicole Neily, the president of Parents Defending Education. "Parents who were once proud of the school’s academic performance compared to other New York City public schools are now concerned—justifiably so—about the school’s increasing fixation on race."

Those concerns come amid steep enrollment declines—and budget cuts—in New York City’s public schools. With enrollment down 8 percent since 2020, schools have lost $215 million in funding this year alone, forcing widespread layoffs and larger class sizes.

Divisive curricula like the one at Lower Manhattan Community School have exacerbated that exodus. One parent told the Free Beacon that their child would not be returning to the middle school this fall on account of an assignment that required sixth-graders to disclose their "social identities"—including their sexual orientation—on a worksheet. Though students did not have to "write something for every category," instructors collected the worksheet for a grade.

Such lessons aren’t the product of a few school administrators run amok but reflect the race-conscious worldview of the New York City Department of Education. In June 2020, then-executive superintendent of Manhattan public schools Marisol Rosales hosted a panel on dismantling "systemic racism in our schools," which held up Lower Manhattan Community School’s "mission statement on race" as a model for the entire school system.

"To undo the legacy of racism and oppression in this country that impacts our school community," the mission statement reads, Lower Manhattan Community Schools works to instill "anti-racist beliefs and practices."

The school’s sixth-grade humanities curriculum is a microcosm of what that education looks like in practice. Three of its five units concern "identity," with Jewell’s book listed as a "key text" for unit one. The "social identities" worksheet was part of a broader lesson on "the dominant culture," which consists of "people who are white, middle class, Christian and cisgender."

Whoever does not fit into this "box," Jewell writes, is "part of what’s called the ‘subordinate culture.’" Her description of that culture is exhaustive, albeit studded with solecisms: "Folx included in the ‘subordinate culture,’ include Black, Brown, indegenous People of Color of the Global Majority, queer, transgender, and nonbinary folx, and cisgender women, youth, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, atheist, and non-Christian folx, neurodiverse folx, folx living with disabilities, those living in poverty, and more."

"The people who want to talk about racism all the time are the racists," said Maud Maron, who served as an elected representative for parents in the district where Lower Manhattan Community School is located. "The people who suffer are the kids who get cheated out of a wholesome school experience and hours of learning that should be focused on academics instead of race indoctrination."

Lower Manhattan Community School did not respond to a request for comment.

The focus on race extended to the seventh-grade social studies curriculum—ostensibly devoted to early American history—which used "anti-racist" guru Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning as its main textbook, according to a syllabus for the 2021-2022 school year reviewed by the Free Beacon.

These curricula do not seem to have soothed racial tensions at Lower Manhattan Community School, which is 41 percent Asian, 15 percent Hispanic, and 7 percent black.

A group of parents and administrators in April began planning a "restorative justice circle" to address alleged incidents of racism that had taken place over the school year, according to emails reviewed by the Free Beacon. The incidents included a black student calling a South Asian student "Indian Boy," an Asian student touching a black student’s hair, and a "rumor" that a white student "used the N-word."

The school eventually canceled the circle after a parent objected that it would "violate students’ privacy" and "possibly put current students at risk"—and after parents started to litigate the incidents over email, replicating the racial catfighting that had consumed the classroom.

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Critical Race Theory taught to future military leaders at U.S. military academies

United States military service academies have taught or introduced some form of critical race theory or "anti-racism" training on future military leaders, according to CriticalRace.org, which monitors CRT curricula and training in higher education.

CriticalRace.org had previously examined CRT curricula and training in higher education, elite private schools and medical schools. The project from Legal Insurrection Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to campus free speech and academic freedom, has since expanded its database to include military academies.

"The good news is that CRT and related ideologies have not yet captured the military service academies the way they have overrun higher ed, professional schools, and increasingly K-12. The bad news is that these ideologies have established a beachhead at the military service academies and are likely to expand as part of a more general military wokeness campaign from the top down," Legal Insurrection founder William A. Jacobson told Fox News Digital.

Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, founded CriticalRace.org’s extensive database. The group’s latest venture explored the United States Air Force Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, United States Naval Academy, United States Merchant Marine Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

"The purpose of the military service academies is to educate and train our future military leaders. The public has a strong interest in what happens there. Whether these students will graduate with the skills and motivation needed to defend the nation is a matter of national interest and security," Jacobson said. "The military leadership needs to consider whether training military officers in ideologies that separate Americans by race and other group characteristics, and that incessantly demonize the United States as systemically evil, serves a valid military or national security purpose."

CriticalRace.org found that all five federal service academies have some form of critical race, anti-racism, or related objectives, which sometimes fall under the umbrella of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals.

For example, the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs requires a course on "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Students," according to the database. "This course includes a video on the subject of Black Lives Matter," CriticalRace.org wrote.

Four of the academies were found to offer materials by authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi, whose books explicitly call for discrimination, according to Jacobson.

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, helped make critical race theory a national conversation in 2021.
Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, helped make critical race theory a national conversation in 2021. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

All five academies also have offered voluntary CRT-related trainings or activities to their students, faculty and staff, while two have mandatory trainings for faculty and staff, according to CriticalRace.org.

"Do we really want our future military officers to view themselves and the troops they will command through an obsessive racial lens? Is military cohesion and effectiveness improved by putting people into racial and ethnic boxes? These are questions the military leadership will need to consider as it evaluates whether and how far it takes the teaching of CRT and related ideologies as part of a military service academy education," Jacobson said. "Because the education of military officers is so important to our nation, public and political scrutiny is justified."

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The truth about trans teaching in schools

The LGBT advocacy group Stonewall has come in for criticism over recent months with many big name organisations – including the BBC and the cabinet office – withdrawing from its diversity champions programme. Yet rather than toning down its controversial claims and divisive rhetoric, the charity insists on doubling down. It now seems to have children firmly in its sights.

‘Research suggests that children as young as 2 recognise their trans identity,’ Stonewall recently declared. ‘Yet, many nurseries and schools teach a binary understanding of pre-assigned gender. LGBTQ-inclusive and affirming education is crucial for the wellbeing of all young people!’.

Following a huge backlash to that tweet, Stonewall clarified that it does not ‘actively work on nursery education’. Indeed, Stonewall goes so far as to claim that ‘young children should be able to play, explore and learn about who they are, and the world around them, without having adults’ ideas imposed upon them.’ If only.

Today, from the tiniest village primary to large academy trusts, schools teach about sexuality, relationships and gender identity. They have written policies on gender identity or transgender pupils. Most are identikit statements, but the practices they engender should concern us all.

From early in childhood, children are encouraged to think about gender as something quite distinct from biology. Shropshire Council’s Family Information Service advises parents and teachers alike that: ‘While biological sex and gender identity are the same for most people, this is not the case for everyone.’

When gender is separated from biology, it cannot be assumed. The onus is on everyone to work out what their gender is and then declare it to a receptive world. Schools and local councils are on hand to guide children through this complicated process.

In Scotland, the ‘Gender Friendly Nurseries’ initiative trains staff to use gender neutral activities and toys. Course material informs nursery-workers that ‘the pressure children and young people experience to conform to binary gender definitions affects all children.’ Before they even start school, four year-olds in Brighton were once asked to choose whether they are a boy, a girl or something else.

St Leonard’s RC primary school in Sunderland informs parents that ‘gender identity is often complex and there is a spectrum of gender which is wider than just boy/man or girl/woman.’ The Castleman Academy Trust, a small group of first and middle schools in Dorset notes: ‘The culture in the UK could be described as ‘binary’…Some will be aware that their gender feelings and expressions do not match the expectations of society, whilst others will not have ‘worked it out’.’ Meanwhile, Havering Safeguarding Board tells primary school teachers: ‘Remember that a pupil who identifies as a trans girl but was born a genetic male, is not a ‘boy dressed as a girl’, but is a girl who outwardly at this point resembles a boy.’

Talk of gender being on a ‘spectrum’ suggests there are degrees of masculinity and femininity, and that whether you are male or female depends upon where on the sliding-scale you situate yourself. This is scientifically nonsensical and highly contested.

Once, progressive teachers encouraged girls to aspire to become doctors and not just nurses; or they made it clear that boys could play with dolls. The same teachers are now likely to tell children that if they like dressing up then they might be a girl; or if they prefer getting dirty in the sand pit then they could be a boy. This is a huge leap backwards for sexual equality.

At Pikes Lane primary school, in Bolton, teachers are told to: ‘Avoid where possible gender segregated activities and where this cannot be avoided, allow the child to access the activity that corresponds to their gender identity.’ We are back to the days of woodwork for boys and cookery for girls, only now children must first choose which category they fall into.

Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) lessons are the key site for promoting gender ideology in schools. Glebe primary school in Hillingdon provides a list of key words that Year Four children will cover in their Health and Wellbeing Module. It includes: gender, gender identity, sexuality, (lesbian, gay, cisgender, transgender, sexual orientation, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, gender expression, biological sex, intersex, non-binary, gender fluid, pronouns, transition, gender dysphoria, questioning and queer). Remember: Year Four children are just eight years old. Why must an eight-year-old know the difference between bisexual and pansexual? Wouldn’t their time be better spent learning their times tables or becoming engrossed in a story?

But such classes, it seems, are endemic. Benhurst primary school in Havering expects Year Six children to ‘know about gender identities and have an awareness of transgender issues’. This includes understanding ‘the difference between being transgender and transvestite’. At age ten.

The promotion of gender ideology is not restricted to the PSHE curriculum but is built into the core values of many schools. Castleman Academy Trust states that, ‘wherever possible, individuals should be given opportunities to say how they identify or describe themselves. This is called ‘self-identified gender’.’

Children are rightly taught about people who are different from themselves. They also need to be tolerant and respectful of other people. Yet it seems unlikely that children are also being encouraged to question the emerging gender ideology orthodoxy.

What is being taught in schools is, inevitably, hard to work out. But what we do know is that some schools now seek outside help when it comes to supporting trans kids. St James’ primary school in Leyland promises to ‘engage with any local transgender groups’ in order to ‘ensure access to information is available for transgender pupils and their parents/guardians.’ Is this really what parents want? Teachers in Bolton seeking ‘resources and further support’ when it comes to trans guidance are pointed in the direction of Mermaids, a charity that supports transgender children. Is this really the best place to look?

At all stages of schooling, teaching about gender is presented as promoting tolerance, diversity and inclusion. But this masks the fact that a highly political agenda is being promoted to a captive audience. Children are being indoctrinated into a one-sided and controversial view of gender when they are too young to challenge what they are hearing and lack the capacity simply to walk away.

Children who go along with what they are taught and decide that they have indeed been born in the wrong body find themselves feted. They are celebrated as brave victims and noble revolutionaries. This is a high pedestal from which to fall if a child comes to change their perception of their gender identity.

Sometimes, too, parents can be left in the dark. Cornerstone Academy Trust, a small group of primary schools in Devon, is not alone in stating that ‘school staff should not disclose information that may reveal a child or young person’s transgender status or gender non-conforming presentation to others, including parents/carers and other members of the school community unless legally required to do so or because the child orparent/carer has given permission for them to do so.’

It’s terrible to think that parents will be kept abreast with how their son or daughter is getting on in their school report, but not always be told that they’re transgender.

Schools nowadays are even offering guidance on situations where trans pupils might bind their chests. Pikes Lane primary school advises: ‘If a pupil is binding their chest, they should be monitored carefully during particularly physical activities and in hot weather. There is a chance that the binding could cause discomfort or even impair breathing. Short breaks from activity could be offered discretely.’

Upper Wharfedale, a secondary school in North Yorkshire, goes even further in its advice about binding. ‘It might make certain PE lessons difficult for them to participate in and could sometimes lead to breathing difficulties, skeletal problems, and fainting,’ the school notes, but nonetheless it is ‘very important to their psychological and emotional wellbeing.’

This is a shocking statement: even though children may suffer physical harm from wearing a chest binder this, we are told, needs to be balanced against their mental health. This truly beggars belief.

Parents have rightly raised concerns about their children being indoctrinated into questioning their gender identity while at school. One mother is currently embroiled in a dispute with Haberdashers’ Hatcham College in south-east London after her request to view handouts and lesson plans relating to teaching about race and gender was rejected. Staff declared the materials to be ‘commercially sensitive’.

More here:

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Thursday, July 28, 2022



Leftist University Students Fought to Cancel Pro-Life Speaker, Plan Completely Backfires on Them

Left-wing students at the University of Michigan Medical School attempted to make a woke statement on Sunday in a thankfully failed effort to cancel a pro-life physician who was asked to deliver the keynote address at a ceremony for the school’s medical students.

Ahead of the address Dr. Kristin Collier, an assistant professor of medicine at UMMS, a group of over 300 students, alumni and physicians attempted to get her barred from the White Coat Ceremony, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The doctor’s speech was not expected to focus on abortion, but the anti-free speech students and faculty wanted to make her appearance impossible, according to Fox News.

The leftist attempt to quash free speech, though, was actually rebuffed by school administrators, and Collier spoke during Sunday’s event, anyway.

After the school’s decision to refuse to cancel Collier for the White Coat Ceremony, dozens of anti-free speech students decided to walk out during her address.

The White Coat Ceremony is a milestone in the academic career of potential medical professionals.

Video of the walkout earned more than 700,000 likes on Twitter.

Despite the handwringing by the leftists, Collier did not bring up abortion in her speech, but at one point she did make might be considered an allusion to the incidents of the previous weeks.

“I want to acknowledge the deep wounds our community has suffered over the past several weeks,” Collier said, perhaps in reference to the cancellation attempt, or even the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

She went on to add, “We have a great deal of work to do for healing to occur,” Fox reported. “And I hope that for today, for this time, we can focus on what matters most: Coming together to support our newly accepted students and their families with the goal of welcoming them into one of the greatest vocations that exist on this earth.”

At the ceremony were 168 new medical students, according to Fox.

Many leftists students, though, did not want to hear from Collier. In their petition, they claimed that the Dr. would perpetuate “a pattern of disregarding an[d] actively silencing the voice of students and members of our community,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

The woke students went on to blame Collier for “the expansion of [the university’s] police force in the 1990s” and the “delayed reporting of a child pornography scandal at UM Hospital under the past and interim President Mary Sue Coleman,” the newspaper reported.

Still, the effort to cancel Collier came as a surprise to some students and alumni. Replying to the petition, which was organized by the group Medical Students for Choice, according to the Free Beacon, faculty member Dr. William Chavey ridiculed its claims.

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School Meals Bill Serves Up 2 Unappetizing Helpings of Left’s Agenda

The House Committee on Education and Labor is expected this week to consider legislation known as the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act.

HR 8450 is a far-left wish list, seeking to expand welfare for all through universal free school meals and trying to use the school meals programs as a pretext to push far-left environmental, labor, and social justice policies.

There are many egregious provisions in the legislation, but here are two of the worst:

1) Welfare for all: The legislation is a blatant attempt to expand welfare for everyone, including the wealthy. In the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, a controversial provision was included known as the Community Eligibility Provision.

If 40% of students within a school or school district are deemed to be from “low income” households, then all of the kids within the school or school district can receive free meals.

The Obama administration’s Department of Agriculture then improperly expanded that provision to allow a subset of schools within a school district to be grouped together to trigger free meals.

Therefore, it’s possible for a school with a significant low-income population to be grouped with a school with not a single low-income student, and both schools could provide free meals to every student within those schools, regardless of income.

For years, critics of the Community Eligibility Provision rightly claimed that it was just a scheme to create universal free school meals. Now, there’s no pretense otherwise.

The proposed legislation would reduce the already low 40% threshold number to just 25% and create a statewide Community Eligibility Provision.

The Community Eligibility Provision was purportedly a means to ensure that children who are eligible to receive free meals do in fact receive those meals. Supposedly, it wasn’t intended to be a scheme simply to provide free meals to everyone and create universal free school meals. But that’s what the provision already does to a significant extent, and this proposed bill would take a huge step in making universal free school meals a reality.

2) Far-left values: As mentioned, the school meals program is being used as a pretext to push unrelated left-wing ideological objectives, with children as pawns in this “game.”

Title VI of the bill has two provisions that are especially alarming. Section 601 is titled “values-aligned procurement.” Currently, under existing law, the Agriculture Department is supposed to encourage the purchase of locally grown and locally raised, unprocessed agricultural products. The bill would change that procurement policy to integrate “values” that would encourage the purchase of such products that are produced:

in an environmentally sustainable manner.

by a certified organic farm or ranch.

by a farm with employees who, as permitted by law, are represented by a collective-bargaining agreement or a memorandum of understanding.

by a farm participating in a worker justice certification program.

by a farm participating in an independent animal-welfare certification program.

Clearly, “values” simply mean those consistent with left-wing environmental, labor, and/or social justice agendas, among other things. Another provision under Title VI of the bill, Section 604, would create a “pilot program” for schools to create 100% plant-based food options.

That pilot program would likely be the start of a permanent one. It’s a dietary experiment on kids. School meals are supposed to be based on the federal meals standards, which are required to be consistent with the federal Dietary Guidelines, but this provision would ignore that.

As an aside, Congress should move away from the prescriptive federal standards and instead allow the food provided at local schools to be determined by parents and local communities.

But that’s not what’s happening here with the plant-based diet experiment. Congress would be promoting a specific diet it favors for ideological objectives. This isn’t unlike the environmental extremists who have been trying to change the Dietary Guidelines so that nutrition is based on environmental concerns as much as the dietary needs of humans.

In general, this proposed legislation would turn a means-tested welfare program into one that doesn’t even bother to look at means (i.e., need). It uses a program designed to help children as a way to push unrelated ideological objectives.

The bill is also a slap in the face of American farmers and ranchers, and littered with policies that reflect a rejection of American agricultural practices, from how crops are grown to how animals are treated.

It’s yet another extremist effort to use federal policy to promote an anti-meat agenda, including by trying to indoctrinate kids into being anti-meat and to eat accordingly.

Congress does need to make changes to school meals. But it needs to make changes that help the children the programs are intended to serve, not the extremists who want to use school meals for their own ends.

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Australia: Desperately short of qualified staff, childcare centres ask to bend the rules

The requirement that child care staff must be university-educated is a nonsense. How many mothers have relevant degrees? Some training would probably help but a tech college certificate in the subject should suffice. The shortage of staff is a government-created one

The latest data reveals that 8.1 per cent of childcare providers operated with a staffing waiver in the first quarter of 2022. They could not meet the legal requirement for suitably qualified early childhood teachers on staff.

The staff shortage is likely to get worse and could undermine the Albanese government’s promise to lower childcare costs.
More childcare centres are operating without enough qualified early childhood teachers because of a worsening staff shortage that could undermine the federal government’s pledge to make childcare more affordable.

The latest data from the national early childhood education regulator reveals that 8.1 per cent of childcare providers operated with a staffing waiver in the first quarter of 2022 because they could not meet the legal requirement for suitably qualified early childhood teachers on staff. Four years ago, the figure was 3.9 per cent.

A further 3.1 per cent of service providers received a waiver because the physical environment of their centre was not up to standard. Four years ago, that was 2.3 per cent.

Long day care centres, preschools and kindergartens are required by law to have a certain number of qualified early childhood teachers, based on the number of children being educated or cared for.

Centres that cannot meet this staffing obligation need a waiver from the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority.

Jobs data indicates the shortage is likely to get worse, and could affect the sector’s ability to deliver on the Albanese government’s promise to lower childcare costs, which is, in turn, expected to increase demand.

National Skills Commission data also shows that in May, the number of vacancies in early childhood education and care hit a record 6648 positions. The figure has more than doubled in the past three years.

John Cherry, head of advocacy at Goodstart, Australia’s largest not-for-profit early learning provider, said pandemic border closures had deprived the sector of a pipeline of qualified staff from overseas. Most Australian states were also failing to invest enough in building a domestic qualified early learning workforce, he said.

“More services have been struggling with some of the requirements to have a certain percentage of your educators with a diploma qualification because there’s just not enough educators out there,” Cherry said.

He said attrition was also a serious problem for the sector, with many qualified early childhood educators moving on to better paid careers elsewhere.

“The award rate for a teacher in early childhood is $10,000 to $20,000 less than the award rate for a teacher in the government school sector,” Cherry said. “So when you look at those numbers, you rapidly realise why we keep losing people – our rates of pay just aren’t where they need to be.”

Federal Education Minister Jason Clare said finding enough early childhood educators to meet demand was a big challenge.

“We have a shortage of early childhood education and care workers now and this is expected to get bigger,” he said.

Clare said the Albanese government’s fee-free TAFE and additional university places would help to train more early childhood education and care workers.

Early childhood educators are planning to strike on September 7, highlighting low pay and poor conditions. Hundreds of centres around Australia are expected to have to close on that day.

Laureate Professor Marilyn Fleer, the foundation chair of Early Childhood Education and Development at Monash University, said qualified early childhood educators helped to set children up for a better start to school.

“There is such long-standing evidence that shows there is a qualitative difference in how a university-qualified early childhood educator interacts with children,” she said.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022



Biden is considering extending student loan payment freeze for several months and forgiving $10,000 per borrower

President Biden is considering extending a Covid-19-induced pause on student loan payments yet again and the federal government has in recent weeks told student loan servicers not to contact borrowers about making payments again one month ahead of the moratorium's deadline.

The president is also still considering forgiving up to $10,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

The current moratorium is expected to end Aug. 31 and Biden could extend it through the end of 2022 or until next summer as the president seeks to appeal to young voters ahead of the midterm elections.

Debt forgiveness may follow the extension, though the president has not reached a final decision, according to Bloomberg. Biden has been under intense pressure from progressives to do forgive as much as $50,000 in student debt and it's unclear if forgiving $10,000 will soften their cries.

'Today is good day to cancel student debt,' Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Critics have said that student loan forgiveness would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, and for that the Biden administration plans to cap eligibility somewhere between a salary of $125,000 and $150,000.

Biden has neared a decision on student loan forgiveness three times over the last several months but backed away each time, one Democrat close to the White House told Bloomberg. At a time of 9.1 percent 40-year-high inflation, aides worry about giving Republicans another opportunity to say they are adding fuel to the fire.

But the Education Department has been telling student loan servicers not to give borrowers the required advanced notice that their payments will kick in ahead of the Aug. 31 moratorium deadline, Scott Buchanan, the executive director of the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, told the Wall Street Journal. 'Maybe the department expects that the White House will yet again kick the can down the road.'

Biden told reporters last week that another extension was indeed on the table.

Federal student loan payments have not been required in over two years, first put on pause in March 2020. The freeze has been extended six times since then, twice under former President Trump and four times under Biden.

And while Biden has not come to a decision on a mass student loan forgiveness plan, his Education Department has implemented smaller plans to forgive the debts of those who were defrauded by schools or borrowers and those who work in public service. So far under Biden around $26 billion has been forgiven from hundreds of thousands of borrowers.

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The Sexual Experiment at the Ivy Leagues

Until very recently, most people were unaware that asserting that only women can menstruate and become pregnant could be controversial, or that pronouns could be incendiary. Yet today, gender ideology dominates the news cycle. Netflix employees protested Dave Chappelle’s comedy special with “transphobic” jokes. Avid Harry Potter fans boycotted J. K. Rowling’s work because of her supposedly “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” views. It’s not merely a culture war. The State Department recognized International Pronouns Day. Recently, President Biden signed an executive order to “advance LGBTQI+ equality,” which in part promotes “expanded access to gender-affirming care,” even for minors.

How did such radical social change happen so quickly? As incubators of gender fundamentalists, universities are equipping students with ever-expanding terminology for sexual orientation and encouraging activism without cultivating a sense of intellectual humility. Graduates become the directors of corporations, editors of newspapers, and staffers to politicians, thus occupying powerful positions that shape American culture. To help readers understand the college-campus dynamics, National Review compiled academic coursework, extracurricular programming, and institutional resources related to gender and sexual ethics at the eight Ivy League institutions, which serve as exemplars of higher education and train the country’s future elites.

Brown University

Brown’s Pembroke Center houses various academic initiatives, including the gender- and sexuality-studies department, which offers an undergraduate major. In April, the Pembroke Center hosted Tufts University professor Kareem Khubchandani, who responds to “any pronouns” and performs as the drag queen “LaWhore Vagistan,” a pun on Lahore, Pakistan, and a nod to Khubchandani’s research on South Asia.

At Brown, one also finds the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender, whose mission is “to engage the campus community through a feminist praxis of activism and academics.” The center’s FAQ page includes: “I don’t identify as a woman. Is the Sarah Doyle Center for me?” The center responds in the affirmative: “Yes! The Sarah Doyle Center welcomes people regardless of gender identity, presentation, or sexuality.”

Brown recently offered the course Pornography. The “course agreement” subsection of the syllabus clarifies that “this course will involve our viewing and discussing sexually explicit material” and that, by enrolling, students consent that “I have read the syllabus for Philosophy 1576, Pornography, and understand that the course will include both discussion of and viewings of sexually explicit material (i.e., pornography).” Students would be expected to “practice analyzing pornographic media” and “to watch one film per week, privately”; in addition, the syllabus notes, “every other week we’ll devote a class to discussing two films.” Upcoming Brown courses include Queer Dance, Black Queer Life, and Latinx Social Movement History.

Brown University affirms that it is “committed to supporting trans students, staff and faculty and the LGBTQ Center is here to help provide our campus community with information, education, support and resources.” The LGBTQ Center’s recent programming included a voguing workshop and a “Disability & Sex” series, which consisted of “discussion covering pleasure for non-normative bodies & sex toy accessibility.” The center shares various infographics on social media, such as endorsements of phrases like “people with penises” and “people who menstruate.”

Columbia University

Upcoming Columbia courses in women’s and gender studies include Indigenous Feminisms, Decolonization and Feminist Critique, Practicing Intersectionality, Abolitionist Feminism, and Theorizing Activism.

In 1889, Columbia University refused to admit women and founded the affiliate women’s-only school Barnard College, whose mission was and remains “to provide generations of promising, high-achieving young women with an outstanding liberal arts education in a community where women lead.” In 2016, Barnard began accepting “applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth,” specifying that “the applicant must identify herself as a woman and her application materials must support this self-identification.” This policy disqualifies applicants who are female but identify as male, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming.

The Columbia “identity-based group” Conversio Virium is described as “the oldest university student-run BDSM education group in the United States.” The club stresses that one of its “community pillars” is to honor preferred pronouns, including “xe.” The club says it is welcoming and emphasizes the need for respect: “Sometimes people have kinks that you do not personally share, and that is okay—please don’t disrespect people based on their kink.” Previous events include “Rough Sex for Nice Folks” and “Discreet Public Erotic Role Play: How to Do It Safely and Get Away With It.” Participants in the 2018 “YesFest: Beat-a-Bear Workshop” event “practice[d] negotiation, spanking, and usage of other impact-play implements.”

Cornell University

The program in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Cornell “offers students the opportunity to study a wide range of fields from the perspectives of feminist and LGBT critical analysis, in a global context and with the purpose of promoting social justice.” All undergraduates pursuing the major or minor in the department must fulfill a course in each of the three distribution areas: “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies (LGBT); the study of intersectionality; and geopolitics and transnationality.” One upcoming course is Nightlife, which focuses on “queer communities of color”; students “interrogate the ways in which nightlife demonstrates the queer world-making potential that exists beyond the normative 9-5 capitalist model of production.” Additional upcoming courses include Beyonc√© Nation: The Remix and Queer Time and the Senses. Undergraduate students can also minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies.

Cornell’s Women’s Resource Center (WRC) supports “women-identified students” and “strives to be a welcoming space for people of all genders and identities.” The center “especially encourage[s] women of color, Black feminists/womanists, queer and trans folks, and people with disabilities” to be involved. In 2019, a WRC post said, “We recognize trans women as the women that they are,” emphasizing that “the Women’s Resource Center is a safe space on campus for members of the trans community and has an array of resources for members.”

In 2020, the WRC posted a statement: “We are angry, frustrated, and shaken by Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court. Those among us who are women and gender marginalized; black and brown; queer, trans, and gender non-confirming, immigrants; have mental health challenges or are of varying abilities; and, and, and . . . we are anxious and scared and angry.” The accompanying photo shows both Justice Barrett and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the quote “expand the court” attributed to AOC. The WRC has shown a different attitude toward other female justices. In April 2022, it posted a photo of Ketanji Brown Jackson with the celebratory “CONFIRMED!!” In 2021, the WRC featured Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the “Woman of the Week.”

The WRC annually hosted the event “I Love Female Orgasm” and encouraged people “to come learn about everything from multiple orgasms to that mysterious G-spot.” The advertisement affirms that “all genders” are welcome, “whether you want to learn how to have your first orgasm, how to have better ones, or how to help your girlfriend.” The 2021 event “Sex in the Dark” was a “lights-off virtual event” that allowed attendees to stay anonymous and have their “deepest, darkest questions” answered by “professional sexperts.” In 2022, the WRC sponsored “Decolonizing the Body” and explained that, “when we look at menstruation through the lens of our current colonial, capitalist society, we often see pain, shame, discomfort, & disposability.”

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth’s Center for Professional Development lists resources for “womxn students.” Upcoming courses offered by the program in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies include Social Justice & the City; Radical Sexuality: Of Color, Wildness, and Fabulosity; and Sex, Celibacy & the Problem of Purity. Previous courses include #BlackLivesMatter, Black Consciousness & Black Feminisms, and Queer Popular Culture. The department sponsored the lecture “I Was a Queer Child and So Were You: Kissing, Queer Children, and Structural Change.” Other events hosted by the university include “Decolonization in the 21st Century,” “Decolonizing Environmental Politics,” and “Gender Equality in the Arctic.”

The religion department hosted the drag show “Dragmouth” with the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, which describes itself as dedicated to “the values, needs, strengths, and practices of marginalized communities” and lists “intersectionality” as a core value. The office also hosted “Transform,” a drag show that “actively disrupts the cultural gender policing, cissexism, and heterosexism on campus.”

Harvard University

Harvard offers both major and minor undergraduate degrees in studies of women, gender, and sexuality. Spring 2022 courses included Leaning In, Hooking Up: Visions of Feminism and Femininity in the 21st Century, and Indigenous Feminisms: Environmental Justice and Resistance. The spring 2021 course Topics in Advanced Performance Theory: Gender and Sexuality addressed “racialized and gendered structures of feeling; queer transnational social histories; technosexuality and mutation; and minor keys of Black unruliness and fugitivity.”

Like Brown University, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics hosted the Tufts professor who performs as “LaWhore Vagistan,” dubbed “everyone’s favorite academic South Asian drag queen auntie.” The professor regards his “greatest accomplishment” as “teaching a semester-long undergraduate course called ‘Critical Drag’ that birthed 21 new baby drag artists.” In courses, he “brings the nightclub to the classroom and vice-versa by teaching critical race, postcolonial, and gender theories through lip sync and lecture.”

The Harvard College Women’s Center addresses the question “What’s with the ‘e’ in Women’s Center?” The center explains its decision to refrain from the word “womxn” but affirms that “we emphatically welcome people of all genders and no gender into our space and invite you as collaborators in our work towards gender equity.”

The Women’s Center offers a land acknowledgment: “We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land.” It touts its “justice commitments,” namely reproductive justice, anti-fetishization, racial equity, and environmental justice. Among the workshops the center hosts is the “Gender 101” workshop on gender as a “constellation framework.”

The Harvard Women’s Center condemned the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade and committed to partnering with student organizations that are “pursuing reproductive justice goals.” These include Sexual Health Education & Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH), but not Harvard Right to Life, the pro-life student organization.

SHEATH hosts an annual “Sex Week” in the fall and “Sex Weekend” in the spring. The 2021 Sex Week included “Feel Those Good Vibrations: Sex Toys 101,” “Come Together, Right Now: Orgies 101,” and “What What, in the Butt! Anal 101.” The “F*** Fest” event celebrates Sex Week, and attendees are encouraged to wear lingerie. The 2022 Sex Weekend events included “Feelin’ Chemistry: Psychedelics and Sex,” “Pussy Portraits: Celebrating Genital Diversity,” and “Banging Beyond the Binary: Trans Sex 101”; meanwhile “oh-mazing toys” were raffled after each event.

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Five is too young for radical gender theory

Kevin Donnelly

The Sydney parent of a 5-year-old child attending Roseville Kids Care complaining about his child being indoctrinated with radical LGBTQ+ gender theory has done Australian parents a great service.

On being interviewed by the Daily Telegraph the parent complained, ‘There was a giant out-size pride flag, it was the biggest flag in the room, far bigger than the Australian flag.’ And, ‘When I went in there was an entire wall describing different sexualities giving definitions of things like pansexual and lesbian.’

Parents have every reason to be fearful and anxious. Proven by the National Quality Framework Approved Learning Discussion Paper pre-schools are the latest ground in the cultural-left’s long march pushing radical gender and sexuality ideology.

This can be seen in the documentation.

Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity
Children have multiple and changing identities. There is a push for strengthening the identity of children and young people as Australian citizens with connection to the identities of others. Aspects of identity formation that encompass gender identity and gender expression (with a non-binary dichotomy) and family diversity are also critical.

Pre-schools and kindergartens across Australia have to abide by the Discussion Paper and there’s no doubt, compared to the previous guidelines, the proposed new framework represents a radical change.

Gone are the days when pre-schools and kindergartens focused on finger painting, learning to socialise, physical play, and learning the alphabet and rudimentary numbers. Instead, pre-schools and kindergartens are told ‘children have multiple and changing identities’.

In a similar manner to the Marxist-inspired Safe Schools gender fluidity program, the Discussion Paper states, ‘Aspects of identity formation that encompass gender identity and gender expression (with a non-binary dichotomy) and family diversity are also critical.’

At a time when most pre-schoolers want to enjoy childhood and lack the ability to conceptualise and understand complex ideas, gender activists want to weaponise the early years of childhood to indoctrinate sensitive minds to adult concepts that require sexual knowledge.

Ignored is the science proving the overwhelming majority of babies are born as girls and boys with XX and XY chromosomes respectively. Also ignored, according to Identity matters: sexual identity in Australia published by the Commonwealth’s Parliamentary Library, heterosexuality is the norm with only 4 per cent of the population aged over 15 years identifying as non-binary.

Proven by the rationale underpinning the gender fluidity Safe Schools program, funded under Labor and Liberal governments, parents need to realise that the campaign to undermine human biology and radically change how society views family, gender, and sexuality is Marxist in origin.

One of the founders of the Safe Schools program, Roz Ward, admits the school program has nothing to do with stopping bullying, rather, ‘Marxism offers both the hope and the strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinary, new and amazing ways.’

As argued by the Italian philosopher and cultural critic Augusto Del Noce, the origins of radical gender theory can be traced to the Marxist academic Wilhelm Reich whose book The Sexual Revolution was published in 1936. Reich argues traditional sexual morality is used to reinforce capitalist control and domination.

To bring about the socialist utopia Reich argues people must be sexually liberated and empowered to express themselves free of what he describes as ‘repressive morality’. Concepts like the nuclear family and human biology are condemned as oppressive, restrictive, and binary in nature.

During the cultural revolution of the late 60s and early 70s Reich’s book was re-discovered leading to a sexual revolution epitomised by the slogan ‘Make Love, Not War’, the birth control pill, free love, and the emergence of the gay/lesbian pride movement.

Parents also need to realise the campaign to impose this radical gender ideology now infects primary and secondary schools from preparatory to year 12. In English classrooms, students are taught that traditional fairy-tale stories like Cinderella and plays like Romeo and Juliet are guilty of heteronormativity and cis-genderism.

The Australian Education Union for over 30 years has argued ‘homosexuality and bisexuality need to be normalised’, it’s wrong to assume being male or female is ‘natural’ or ‘normal’ and the school curriculum must embrace ‘non-heterosexist language’.

While unfair discrimination is wrong and all, regardless of sexuality and gender, must be treated without prejudice, what parents are facing is a doctrinaire campaign by the cultural-left to condition children to accept its radical ideology.

Whereas education was once based on the premise the curriculum should be balanced and impartial, and that teachers should refrain from proselytising, pre-schools and schools have become one of the front lines in the Culture Wars.

As a result, instead of parents being their children’s primary educators and moral guardians the cultural-left is all pervasive. It’s time for Australian parents, as they are doing in American states including Florida and Virginia, to reassert their right to teach their children and for schools to focus on education and not Marxist-inspired indoctrination.

Childhood should be a time of innocence and wonder, a time when children can enjoy being happy, playful, and creative instead of being burdened by cultural-left ideology riven with identity politics and victimhood.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022



‘Queer All School Year’: Los Angeles School District Forces Gender Theory Into Classroom

The Los Angeles Unified School District is using presentations, training programs, and clubs to instruct K-12 students on gender identity. (Photo Illustration: JackF/Getty Images)

The largest public school district in California is teaching a curriculum promoting transgenderism and gender theory to children, according to public documents.

The Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity department at Los Angeles Unified School District is using presentations, training programs, and clubs to instruct K-12 students on gender identity, according to public documents, first reported by City Journal, that include classroom instruction materials and district-sponsored event calendars. The “trans-affirming” curriculum first appeared during the 2020-2021 academic school year.

For example, the district hosted a virtual conference that featured a panel of “queer 7th graders” to advise parents on what their “queer middle schoolers want you to know,” the documents showed. The conference also included a presentation encouraging queer athletes to “come out.”

A workshop on “International Transgender Day of Visibility” said “history has a disturbing way of elevating certain voices while silencing others,” the documents showed. The presentation focused on raising awareness for the transgender community to achieve “trans justice.”

The “Standing with LGBTQ+ Students, Staff and Families,” run by school administrators, taught “local social justice engagement” and gave out free “gender-affirming clothing,” the documents stated. Teachers were instructed how students can be “Muslim and Trans” and taught how to address different “religious objections” to gender theory.

A trans-affirming calendar, deemed “Queer All School Year,” featured different pride events in each month such as the “Standing With LGBTQ Students Conference,” according to the documents. The training program “Queering Culture & Race” promoted the abandonment of gendered expressions such as “boys and girls.”

“The Black community often holds rigid and traditional views of sexual orientation and gender expression,” the presentation documents showed. “Black LGBTQ youth experience homophobia and transphobia from their familial communities.”

Teachers in the district are instructed to address a student by their chosen name and pronouns, and are not permitted to alert the parents of the student if they change, the documents said. Students were also told they can use any pronouns, including “tree” or “ze.”

The school also established a “gender neutral dress code and school uniform policy” as an “elimination of barriers,” the documents stated.

More than 600,000 students attend the K-12 education in the school district that includes more than 115 schools and campuses, making it the second-largest district in the nation, according to the school’s website.

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‘Cancel culture’ backfires as donors pull cash from Edinburgh University

The University of Edinburgh has seen its donations slump by almost £2 million after it “cancelled” the philosopher David Hume over his slavery links.

The institution said that 24 donations and 12 legacies had been “cancelled, amended or withdrawn” in response to the September 2020 renaming of a prominent campus building dedicated to its former student, one of the leading figures of the Scottish enlightenment.

While he argued against the institution of slavery, Hume was condemned by student activists largely for a footnote in a 1758 essay in which he said he was “apt to suspect the negroes to be naturally inferior to the whites”.

The David Hume Tower was rechristened 40 George Square with the university claiming that while Hume’s opinions were “not uncommon” when he wrote them more than 250 years ago, they “rightly cause distress today”.

While it refused to say how much money had been withdrawn by donors directly due to the renaming row, overall donations to the university fell from £23.2 million in 2020-21, to £21.3 million the following year.

A small number of those to cancel donations also cited the treatment of the academic Neil Thin, who was investigated and later acquitted after wrongly being accused by students of expressing racist and other “problematic” views.

Dr Thin, a senior lecturer, was a vocal critic of the campaign to rename the tower.

Pam Gosul, the Scottish Tory spokesman for higher education, said: “The reduction in donations will offer university bosses the chance to reflect on decisions they have taken.”

The information was disclosed to the Scottish Daily Mail in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The university said that while it knew how much cash it had lost from donors who specifically cited the Hume and Thin controversies, it would not make the total public as it considered this commercially sensitive.

A spokesman said: “Every year, several thousand donors support our students and life-changing research, for which we are deeply grateful.

“Views among our donors will vary widely and we respect the fact individuals may sometimes disagree with decisions we take, and may choose to suspend or cancel their support.

“We always want to thank them for their generosity on behalf of the students, researchers and communities beyond campus who have benefited.”

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Teachers' body urges mandatory bag and pocket checks of students to stop 'out of control' vaping in schools

Vaping in schools is so 'out of control' that a leading teachers' body is begging for pocket checks and bag searches to be imposed on students as they enter the classroom.

A recent survey of 196 Australian schools found more than 80 per cent of high schools are aware of students who vape, with 16 per cent of parents or guardians giving their children e-cigarettes.

Teachers' Professional Association of Queensland secretary Tracy Tully said stricter measures must be put in place to tackle the looming health crisis.

'They should be doing bag checks and pocket searches on entry to schools. It's not a privacy issue, all the schools would have to do is amend their behavioural management plans,' Ms Tully told The Courier Mail.

'These vape instruments are very hard to detect, they can be so easily concealed.'

A George Institute for Global Health study found more than half of the students and teachers surveyed believe vaping has resulted in a 'shift in school culture'.

It revealed lunch was the most popular time to vape for high school students, with before and after school the preferred times for primary school kids.

A small number of respondents across primary and high schools reported students had even vaped in classrooms.

Bathrooms and sporting fields, however, were the two most popular locations for students to vape.

George Institute's Professor Simone Pettigrew said the research suggested Australian students have easy access to vapes.

'Our study shows some concerning trends in e-cigarette use in Australian schools – particularly primary schools – that need to be nipped in the bud to prevent future harm,' he said.

It is estimated around 400,000 Australians now vape, including one tenth of the NSW population aged 16-24, with numbers doubling in the last year.

Experts warn e-cigarettes are actually even more dangerous for teens than smoking cigarettes.

The battery-powered vapes work by heating the liquid inside and producing an aerosol which is then inhaled.

But the vapour - once touted as a safer alternative to cigarettes - is made up of various 'cancer-causing' chemicals such as heavy metals - even if labelled 'nicotine free'.

Other risks of vaping can include cardiovascular disease and mental illness.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Monday, July 25, 2022



Children could be radicalised over summer break, London police warn parents

The Metropolitan police force has taken the unprecedented step of writing to parents of school-age children, urging them to look out for signs of radicalisation because it fears the six-week summer holiday could lead to a rise in extremism.

Det Supt Jane Corrigan, of the Met’s counter-terrorism command and lead officer in the anti-terrorist Prevent programme, sent a letter to primary and secondary schools in London – the first time such a step has been taken – to distribute to parents last week. In it she expresses concern that children would be spending more time online during the summer holidays, and that this would create the risk they could come into contact with those attempting to radicalise young people.

She advised parents to use the ACT Early website to identify signs of radicalisation, such as becoming obsessive or expressing extreme views, and to contact Prevent for support.

The government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation welcomed the development, saying the police had concluded that tackling the radicalisation of youngsters required society’s efforts as a whole.

Jonathan Hall QC said: “What’s so striking is that counter-terrorism usually operates behind the scenes – they have a minimal public presence – and that’s why this letter seems really important. They’re coming out and saying: ‘We can’t do it on our own’.”

Prevent is intended to divert people away from extremist ideologies. Corrigan manages London’s vulnerability support hub, which works with psychiatrists, psychologists and nursing staff. “Our job is really about making sure that we catch people and support them before it’s too late,” she said. “The purpose of my letter was to make sure that we appeal to parents, because they are usually the ones that will identify that deterioration, that vulnerability.”

Corrigan said about 30% of Prevent referrals came from schools, so the letter was important to ensure children did not slip through the net when not being seen by teachers.

She said that police often did not need to intervene because families were already receiving support from children’s mental health services, education support workers or social services. “If you think they’re vulnerable to being radicalised and need support, then call the advice line and we will ensure they get the support they need,” she added. “That’s our job, and sometimes that means difficult conversations with statutory partners.”

Corrigan said that the nature of terrorism threats had evolved from groups with clear ideological motives to individuals often described as “lone actors” with “mixed, unstable or unclear ideologies”, which accounted for more than half of the referrals to Prevent across the country.

“We’ve also seen that those ideologies are diversifying, and they’re becoming less fixed,” Corrigan said. “Subjects are often picking and choosing extremist contents from a range of sources. So people are kind of flip-flopping between ideologies and beliefs, and in most but not all cases, they’re inspired to conduct low sophistication attacks.”

Vulnerable and marginalised people were often targeted by extremists, Corrigan added, noting that an Islamic State promotional video included a sign language interpreter. “The reason they’ve got somebody signing is because they’re trying to reach the deaf community. Who is thinking about approaching the deaf community in terms of them being radicalised? It’s not something that automatically springs to mind.”

London continued to see more referrals for Islamist threats than extreme rightwing ones, a situation “at odds with the rest of the country”, she said.

In May, a leaked version of a report by William Shawcross, Prevent’s independent reviewer, said that the programme was “carrying the weight for mental health services” because of the lack of resources, and that people had been referred simply to access other types of support.

The issue of youngsters being drawn into extremism has posed an increasing challenge for police and the intelligence agencies with a recent speech by Hall warning that teenagers suspected of sharing and promoting terrorist material online should be spared prosecution if they were just “keyboard warriors”.

Data shows that of the 20 under-18s arrested in 2021, only five were charged and one convicted, suggesting that the police were aware of the difference in threat between youngsters posturing online and a genuine terrorist

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Zuckerberg-backed Summit Learning platform suggests schools 'listen' to parents' 'online conversations'

Summit Learning, a digital learning platform funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, recommended that schools monitor some parents' online activity, such as their critical comments and Facebook groups that are public.

Summit recommended that schools should "Listen to online conversations" from parents and provided instructions on how to do so. Fox News Digital uncovered Summit Learning's recommendations in the internal portal that is not available to the public but to educators who use the platform.

The digital platform is used by hundreds of schools around the U.S. and was developed, in part, by Facebook engineers who continued to work with the platform until Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's organization entered into the partnership in 2017.

Schools attempting to implement Summit have met pushback from parents concerned about students' data security, among other aspects of the program. For example, after Cheshire Public Schools in Connecticut entered into Summit in 2017, parents' "opposition" caused the program to be terminated, according to Summit. The Cheshire superintendent acknowledged that the platform would have access to students' names, emails and analytics on their performance.

Furthermore, research from The National Education Policy Center, which is housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, alleged that Summit's contracts with schools "presents a potentially significant risk to student privacy and opens the door to the exploitation of those data by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and possibly by unknown third parties—for purposes that have nothing to do with improving the quality of those students’ educations."

Summit Learning disputed the researchers' allegations, calling them "incorrect."

"Protecting student privacy is a top priority and something we take very seriously," Fox News Digital was told. Summit's privacy policy states that they "don’t sell or use personal information to make money" and that they "don’t use student personal information for anything other than educational purposes."

"In certain cases, we may use de-identified information, (i.e. information that cannot be used to identify or contact an individual) to improve your experience on the Learning Services," the policy added.

Using Cheshire as an example, Summit provided instructions to schools for an "aggressive communications strategy" to prevent a repeat of parents' successfully uprising against the platform.

"Online discussion group: Parents may create groups on Facebook or other online platforms to discuss Summit Learning… [these groups] have… been used to build a campaign against Summit Learning," it said. On this point, Summit suggested schools watch for "groups with critical names."

"You can stay up to date by establishing Google alerts that an email notification when keywords (such as ‘Summit Learning’ + your school name) appear on a website. Regular monitoring of your school’s social media accounts for comments and questions about Summit Learning is also critical," it said.

Summit suggested that schools should also "watch for" social media posts from reporters requesting interviews with parents about Summit Learning.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Summit Learning said, "The document you shared encourages School Leaders to pay attention to questions from their community so they can provide factual information and have open conversations about their vision for education."

To ward off anticipated resistance from parents, Summit suggested that schools should "cultivate" parents who can be "allies" a "year before controversy starts." For example, schools can encourage parents to speak up at school board meetings to balance out negative statements and write letters to the editor following negative coverage in local media.

"If you have already identified supportive parents… Explore whether they are willing to share their experiences with other parents through a letter, newsletter, or school board meeting."

"The claim that the program encourages educators to 'spy' is untrue," Summit explained to Fox News Digital. "Connecting with parents on public social media outlets, paying attention to the local news, and having conversations with families are positive ways educators can understand, address and support the needs of their community."

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Some University of Michigan medical students walk out of pro-life speaker's keynote address at White Coat Ceremony

Dozens of incoming University of Michigan Medical School students walked out of a pro-life keynote speaker’s address, after a previous petition to get the speaker removed failed.

Shortly after Dr. Kristin Collier, a pro-life assistant professor of medicine at UMMS, took to the stage Sunday to address the new students at their White Coat Ceremony, several dozen people got up from their seats and headed for the auditorium doors, video of the ceremony showed.

Collier’s speech was not expected to focus on abortion, but some students petitioned the school weeks prior to remove her as the keynote speaker over her support for the unborn.

"I want to acknowledge the deep wounds our community has suffered over the past several weeks," Collier started her speech, which could have been a veiled reference to the controversy surrounding the protest or the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.

"We have a great deal of work to do for healing to occur," she continued, the National Review reported. "And I hope that for today, for this time, we can focus on what matters most: coming together to support our newly accepted students and their families with the goal of welcoming them into one of the greatest vocations that exist on this earth."

The protesting group included students, donning their medical white coats, and some parents. The school said 168 new medical students attended the initiation ceremony and took the White Coat Pledge and the Hippocratic Oath.

The petition to remove Collier, who is also the director of the UMMS Program on Health Spirituality & Religion, was ultimately denied by the school’s dean, Dr. Marschall Runge.

In his decision, he expressed the "critical importance of diversity of personal thought and ideas, which is foundational to academic freedom and excellence," according to the report.

The students, in the actions they displayed Sunday, expressed their disapproval of his decision.

According to the report, Dr. Collier made no mention of abortion, Roe v. Wade, or any political topic during her keynote speech. She simply encouraged students and parents and offered them advice on what to expect as they begin their careers in the healthcare field.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Sunday, July 24, 2022



NYC students stuck on hot school buses during heat wave with no AC

This is crazy. NYC regularly has hot summers. It was quite hot last time I was there. All buses should have working AC

Many public school buses transporting young students and children with disabilities during an interminable heat wave in New York City don’t have air conditioning, families told The Post.

The advocacy group Parents to Improve School Transportation (PIST), citing workforce sources, says more than half of the buses don’t have cool air.

The city Department of Education has received hundreds of complaints about sweltering conditions on the vehicles since the “Summer Rising” academic and camp program began July 5, according to city data. The DOE did not provide its own counts of the buses without air conditioning or affected students.

“The bus drivers are sweating through their uniforms, the attendants [too],” said Paullette Healy, a parent in Brooklyn with two children in public schools and member of the Citywide Council for Special Education. “Kids are coming off flushed, fatigued, exhausted — so many signs of dehydration and heat stroke.”

The DOE estimated there are roughly 41,000 students being bused this summer.

The crisis reached a boiling point on Thursday, when an overturned school bus in the Bronx injured dozens of drivers and staff, and led to delays and prolonged commutes for many more children. Advocates told The Post that children got nauseous and dizzy on the bus.

“It’s hot. The AC is not working. They have no access to a bathroom or to water. Those are the circumstances that follow when accidents like this happen,” said Healy.

According to the DOE, AC-related complaints so far this summer are down since before the pandemic in 2019 by approximately 75% — from 1,124 in 2019 at the same point in the summer to 285 this year as of mid-week.

But advocates are certain that the number is an undercount, as parents report being put on hold for hours by the Office of Pupil Transportation’s call center — or not getting through at all. And when families try to file complaints online, they receive an auto-reply to call the hotline, they said.

Rima Izquierdo, a Bronx-based parent and advocate, told The Post she has filed multiple complaints about the heat, but the cases get closed because the buses are standard and do not have the capacity for cooling.

“They’re deterring people from filing incidents that give you a number and become something you can track,” Izquierdo said.

Those issues have persisted despite a recent $9.4-million contract to expand help desk services to support school bus inquiries, including up to 20,000 calls and 2,000 web chats monthly.

“My kids will come off the bus red, very flushed. Feverish. Sweating,” said Izquierdo. “The back of their shirt soaked, the front of their shirt in the middle soaked. Maybe sometimes the pants will have sweat marks from sitting down for so long. Both of my kids have asthma, so sometimes it results in them feeling tightness in their breath.

Of the drivers and attendants, she added, “Those are deplorable work conditions. You have to take care of children, you have to be attentive. How, if you feel you’re going to pass out yourself? It’s not safe for a driver to be driving in that heat.”

The Special Commissioner of Investigation put school bus vendors on notice in 2019 with an investigation into those operating at dangerously hot temperatures. Since then, the DOE says it has heightened inspection of vendors, including surprise visits, and increased follow-up on violators. Officials did not give the results of the actions, including fines.

The DOE also conducted meetings with bus companies reviewing “Climate Control Policy,” it said, but would not provide additional details. Buses without AC installed are ventilated with open windows, they added.

Queens mom Denise Owens said her 11-year-old son Evan, who has autism, is legally entitled to cooler school buses as part of his individual education plan, or IEP.

“The city is having cooling centers, yet we’re putting our children on a hot bus. We’re giving out heat advisories, but we’re going to throw children with special needs on a hot bus,” Owens said.

Owens told The Post she has at least three open complaints to the pupil transportation office.

“When it comes to AC specifically, they’re breaking the law,” said Healy. “Any company that is not pulling a vehicle off the road without AC is violating the law.”

Climate change experts are “virtually certain” that heat waves will become more common and more intense in future years.

“Every student who relies on school busing deserves a safe and comfortable ride to school, and we hold bus companies accountable to this standard,” said Jenna Lyle, a spokesperson for the DOE.

“The DOE’s Office of Pupil Transportation tracks and quickly addresses any and all escalations related to temperatures on school buses, including assigning inspectors as needed and following up with bus companies based on reports received.”

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Los Angeles Unified School District has adopted a radical gender-theory curriculum encouraging teachers to work toward the “breakdown of the gender binary,”

I have obtained a trove of publicly accessible documents from Los Angeles Unified that illustrates the extent to which gender ideology has entered the mainstream of the nation’s second-largest school district. Since 2020, the district’s Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity department has created an infrastructure to translate the basic tenets of academic queer theory into K-12 pedagogy. The materials include a wide range of conferences, presentations, curricula, teacher-training programs, adult-driven “gender and sexuality” clubs, and school-sponsored protests.

In a week-long conference last fall, titled “Standing with LGBTQ+ Students, Staff, and Families,” administrators hosted workshops with presentations on “breaking the [gender] binary,” providing children with “free gender affirming clothing,” understanding “what your queer middle schooler wants you to know,” and producing “counter narratives against the master narrative of mainstream white cis-heteropatriarchy society.” The narrative follows the standard academic slop: white, cisgender, heterosexual men have built a repressive social structure, divided the world into the false binary of man and woman, and used this myth to oppress racial and sexual minorities. Religion, too, is a mechanism of repression. During the conference, the district highlighted how teachers can “respond to religious objections” to gender ideology and promoted materials on how students can be “Muslim and Trans.”

In another training program, titled “Queering Culture & Race,” the Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity office encouraged teachers to adopt the principle of intersectionality, a key tenet of critical race theory, and apply it to the classroom. First, administrators asked teachers to identify themselves by race, gender, and sexual orientation, and to consider their position on the identity hierarchy. The district then encouraged teachers to “avoid gendered expressions” in the classroom, including “boys and girls” and “ladies and gentlemen,” which, according to queer theory, are vestiges of the oppressive gender binary. Administrators also warned teachers that they might have to work against the families of their minority students, especially black students, regarding sexuality. “The Black community often holds rigid and traditional views of sexual orientation and gender expression,” the presenters claimed. “Black LGBTQ youth experience homophobia and transphobia from their familial communities.”

Finally, Los Angeles Unified has gone all-in on “trans-affirming” indoctrination. The Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity department has flooded the district with teaching materials, including, for example, videos from the consulting firm Woke Kindergarten encouraging five-year-olds to experiment with gender pronouns such as “they,” “ze,” and “tree” and to adopt nonbinary gender identities that “feel good to you.” The district requires teachers to use a student’s desired name and pronoun and to keep the student’s gender identity a secret from parents if the student so desires. In other words, Los Angeles public schools can facilitate a child’s transition from one gender to another without notifying parents. And the district is far from neutral: it actively celebrates sexual identities such as “pansexual,” “sexually fluid,” “queer,” “same-gender-loving,” and “asexual,” and gender identities such as “transgender,” “genderqueer,” “agender,” “bigender,” “gender nonconforming,” “gender expansive,” “gender fluid,” and “two-spirit.”

The problem with creating a “trans-affirming” culture is obvious. In one of the district’s own materials, “Mental Health Among Transgender Youth,” the Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity department cites a survey by Mental Health America pointing out that, among 11-to-17-year-old transgender youth who were screened for mental health issues, 93 percent were at risk for psychosis, 91 percent exhibited signs of posttraumatic stress disorder, 90 percent likely used drugs and alcohol, 90 percent experienced moderate-to-severe anxiety, and 95 percent experienced moderate to severe depression. Additionally, according to a Trevor Project study, 71 percent of transgender youth have been diagnosed with eating disorders, with the ratio even higher for female-to-male transgender children.

These numbers are deeply alarming. But rather than provide a sober assessment of these risks and seek to mitigate them, Los Angeles Unified has adopted a year-round program glamorizing transgender identity and promoting an uncritical, “trans-affirming” culture in the classroom. It is, of course, a noble goal for schools to provide a safe environment for minority groups and to affirm the basic dignity of all children regardless of their sexuality. But Los Angeles Unified’s program goes much further, promoting the most extreme strains of transgender ideology, which almost certainly contributes to the “social contagion” effect documented by Abigail Shrier and others.

The Los Angeles Unified School District governs the educational life of more than 600,000 children, the majority of whom are racial minorities from poor families. The implicit cynicism of the district’s gender-ideology instruction is sickening: highly educated, well-paid bureaucrats promote fashionable academic programming that will do nothing to provide a basic education for these children or help them move up the economic and social ladder. It will only keep them trapped in a morass of confusion, fatalism, and resentment—while the bureaucrats keep collecting their paychecks.

https://www.city-journal.org/sexual-liberation-in-public-schools ?

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Girl, 13, is youngest black student accepted to medical school: ‘What is age?’

At just 13 years old, Alena Analeigh Wicker just became the youngest black student to ever be accepted to medical school.

The young girl, from just outside Fort Worth, Texas, was reading chapter books at 3 and taking high school courses at 11 — and she enrolled in two colleges at 12 to earn two separate degrees.

But she’s not focused on her age — just her potential impact.

“What is age?” Alena asked during an interview with the Washington Post. “You’re not too young to do anything. I feel like I have proven to myself that I can do anything that I put my heart and mind to.”

The brilliant young teen has always been a few steps ahead of her peers but doesn’t think she’s too different.

“I’m still a normal 13-year-old,” Alena insisted.

Aside from her studies, she still enjoys going to the movies, playing soccer, baking and hanging out with friends.

“I just have extremely good time management skills and I’m very disciplined,” she explained.

Alena is currently a college junior at both Arizona State University and Alabama’s Oakwood University, where she is earning two separate undergraduate degrees in biological sciences through mostly online courses.

Encouraged by her family, educators and advisers, she applied for early acceptance to medical school at the University of Alabama’s Heersink School of Medicine for 2024.

In May she was accepted into the program — even though she is more than 10 years younger than the average incoming med student.

And regardless of her age, the chances of Alena being accepted were already very slim, with only 7% of applicants being accepted into US medical schools and only 7% of those being black students.

“Statistics would have said I never would have made it,” Alena wrote in an Instagram post sharing the exciting news last month. “A little black girl adopted from Fontana, California. I’ve worked so hard to reach my goals and live my dreams.”

“Mama, I made it. I couldn’t have done it without you. You gave me every opportunity possible to be successful. You cheered me on, wiped my tears, gave me Oreos when I needed comfort, you never allowed me to settle, disciplined me when I needed. You are the best mother a kid could ever ask for. MAMA, I MADE IT!” she continued.

“You always believed in me. You allowed me space to grow and become, make mistakes without making me feel bad. You allowed me the opportunity to experience the world.”

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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