Friday, April 21, 2023

Sending little kids to childcare is not good for them

Judith Sloan mentions a number of considerations below but fails to mention that most children in childcare have much higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol -- compared with their levels at home. Chidcare is DEMONSTRABLY bad for chidren. You can see it at the physical level. Organizational childcare stresses and worries the little kids. They feel afraid, not secure. It destroys their confidence in their environment. And it sometimes has lasting bad effects. See, for instance:

Children develop best in a loving home. It has to be a really bad home for childcare centers to be beneficial

I have a confession to make: I never sent my children to childcare. They did go to kinder/preschool when there were four for a few days each week during the school term, but that was it. Sorry, kids.

Actually, I’m not sorry. While I was at work, they were happy at home being looked after by the same loving nanny we were lucky to have. Even to this day, I’m not convinced of the benefits of centre-based childcare, particularly for very young children.

I get it; a lot of parents have no choice but to place their kids in childcare centres for financial reasons. It’s only by going down this path that the generous taxpayer-funded subsidies are available. Notwithstanding the restricted hours these centres operate, they do provide potentially more reliable care than (expensive) nannies or relatives during the core working hours.

I also get why many parents want to believe that centre-based childcare, including the incorporated preschool programs, offers their children a range of benefits such as socialising with other children and play-based learning (whatever that is). Less mention is made of the frequent bouts of infectious diseases that children pick up at these centres and the rapid-fire phone calls from management to collect the children within five minutes.

It has got to the point where parents are brainwashed into believing that it is their civic duty to plonk their very young child in a childcare centre as soon as possible after birth and return to the workforce in order to boost the economy and pay taxes. Throw in a bit of self-actualisation and is there really any choice?

Mind you, the busybody feminists whose aim in life is to have every woman working full-time, pre- and post-partum, remain frustrated that so many young mother apparently are happy to work part-time while their children are young.

To be sure, many more women with children now participate in the workforce than was once the case. In 1991, just under 60 per cent of women with children under the age of 15 worked; by 2020, this proportion had climbed to nearly 75 per cent. But the majority of mothers with young children (4 and under) opt to work part-time.

These same activist feminists, who have generally had dream runs in the workforce ending in cushy corporate board positions, argue that it is the way that childcare fee subsidies work that explains the dominance of part-time work among new mothers. Those extra days of work are simply not worth it. It doesn’t occur to these campaigners that most mothers actually prefer to spend as much time as possible with their babies and toddlers because this is good for the children and for them.

This relentless advocacy has all the hallmarks of the old Soviet model of child-rearing. Women were forced to leave their very young children (cared for by women workers) in order to undertake full-time jobs to support the communist state. The idea that mothers would be given any choice was of course anathema to the autocratic rulers – they must be made to work for the state.

The early model of the kibbutz in Israel also involved communal child-rearing in which some women would be assigned the role of looking after all the children while the other women undertook the various other tasks at hand. In some instances, parents wouldn’t see their children all week. Unsurprisingly, this feature of the kibbutz ultimately didn’t survive as parents expressed their desire to be fully involved in bringing up their own children.

So let’s go back to current day Australia and examine the articles of faith to which the Labor party (and to some extent, the Liberal party) adhere. They are: centre-based childcare is good; it must be heavily subsidised by taxpayers, with the most generous assistance being directed to those on the lowest incomes; renaming it early childhood education and asserting that it is beneficial for children, both in the present and the future, provides the basis for even more generous subsidisation, even ‘free’ childcare.

In Labor’s case, you can throw in the potential for the unionisation of childcare workers and the scope for generous pay rises based on either arbitration or enterprise bargaining. Let’s face it, there’s no hope of getting nannies into the union and mothers staying at home are no good either.

One of the most astonishing aspects of the debate about childcare and the role of government is the relative absence of research on the impact on the children. There is a very old study – the Perry study from the US – that is often quoted to support the benefits of structured, free-of-charge childcare. But the numbers in the study were tiny and the parents selected for the study came from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds. (Some of the fathers were in jail.)

It is hardly surprising that those children who attended childcare compared with the control group did better on a number of measures, including behaviour, progress at school, staying out of jail and the like. But there was never any scope to generalise the findings because they were mainly driven by the socioeconomic backgrounds of the treatment and control groups.

A more recent study and quoted by Rod Liddle in this magazine relates to childcare in Quebec. The provincial government decided many years ago to provide close-to-free childcare; the rest of Canada did not follow suit. According to Liddle, ‘studies showed a significant development decrease in Quebec children relative to those in the rest of Canada’. He quotes some alarming figure in relation to ‘social competence, external problems and adult-child conflict.’

Perhaps the most worrying finding is that the negative effects of childcare appear to be long-lived. ‘By age 15, extensive hours before age four-and-a-half [in childcare] predicted problem behaviours… even after controlling for daycare quality, socioeconomic background and parenting quality.’

In the case of Australia, we are only too aware of declining school student performance over the past decade and a half, coinciding with a period of rising participation in centre-based childcare. Of course, this correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation but it’s not a great start for the advocates of further government subsidisation of childcare.

A final word of warning: when you read about the benefits of early childhood education in Australia, a lot of conflating goes on. Centre-based childcare for very young children is not early childhood education and a few days per week of preschool for three- and four-year-olds is not full-time childcare.

Keep these differences in mind when assessing the self-interested demands being made by the various lobbyists. ?


UK: Single-sex schools will be able to reject transgender pupils and teachers can refuse to call children by their preferred pronouns under new Government guidelines

Single-sex schools will be able to reject transgender pupils under new government guidelines.

The move comes after school leaders and governors met with lawyers amid fears about discrimination claims from parents of transgender pupils if they refused to accommodate them.

The guidance, which will apply to all state and independent single-sex schools in England and be issued in weeks, is being drawn up by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch.

Under it, school leaders will also be able to refuse demands by pupils to use different pronouns. A Department for Education source said: 'Single-sex schools can refuse to admit pupils of the other legal sex regardless of whether the child is questioning their gender.'

The document will also set out that children who change their gender identity cannot share changing or shower facilities with the opposite sex.

The guidance is intended to clarify how schools should respond to children with gender dysphoria and comes after a dramatic increase in the number of children who claim they are trans.

A leader of a girls' school in London told the Telegraph: 'There's anxiety around litigious parents. Most schools say they will be supportive but there are grey areas the Department for Education needs to clarify.'

It comes after Mrs Keegan insisted teachers should be able to say 'good morning, girls' at a single-sex school.

Urging schools to take 'a big dose of common sense' when navigating trans issues, she said: 'We need to look after the wellbeing of all pupils. In that case, the wellbeing of girls is also very important and 'good morning, girls' is absolutely fine to say in a girls' school to a girls' class.'


Indiana Public School Officials Admit Lying to Parents About Critical Race Theory

Tony Kinnett

When I received an email from Nathalie Henderson, chief schools officer of Indianapolis Public Schools, demanding that I and other administrators lie to our parents and teachers about teaching critical race theory, I was amazed at the boldness in her request that I be dishonest.

At the time, I was the science coordinator for Indianapolis Public Schools.

Henderson instructed us, as fellow school system administrators, to tell parents that we weren’t teaching critical race theory, but just a form of “racial equity.”

By dodging parents’ questions and misleading them with alternative terms deemed not upsetting, we were sheltering our inboxes from the disgust of parents, whose approval we didn’t concern ourselves with.

After a virtual meeting with critical race theory scholar Gloria Ladson-Billings in which I watched my colleagues laugh about teaching critical race theory and how proud they were of it, I decided that I’d had enough.

The next morning, Nov. 4, 2021, I recorded and tweeted a video explaining exactly how Indianapolis Public Schools teaches critical race theory, cited my sources, and warned parents to “keep looking” whenever a public school administrator brushed off their concerns.

I was called a liar by Nikole Hannah-Jones, creator of The New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project. I was banned from entering any property of Indianapolis Public Schools for fear that I might “psychologically traumatize” fellow staff. And I eventually was fired by the school system.

I was told that I was imagining things, that critical race theory was taught only in graduate schools, and that school system administrators weren’t lying to parents.

Now many of those administrators, who I was assured never would lie to parents about what schools were teaching, have been exposed while admitting that they constantly mislead parents about what’s being taught in the classroom.

A recent hidden-camera investigation by Accuracy in Media, on which the organization reported Wednesday, revealed that principals and superintendents in Indiana knowingly and regularly obstruct curricular and pedagogical transparency by misleading parents with different terms for critical race theory and social and emotional learning so that parents won’t get upset.

Brad Sheppard, an assistant superintendent at Elkhart (Indiana) Community Schools, told the investigators: “We just have to avoid the words, you know? The labels.”

Social and emotional learning, Sheppard said, “has become a bad phrase and we don’t openly use that phrase but we’re still doing it, so… I mean, just to avoid anything, I mean, we have not really been hit with it, but just to even avoid it.”

Critical race theory is a societal view stating that the cause of every historical event, the foundation of every system, and each facet of U.S. life is built upon white supremacy. Social and emotional learning is a style of education that encourages children to analyze and manipulate emotional responses based on a set of fluid values, often reflective of education philosopher John Dewey’s “Humanist Manifesto.”

Due to events such as the Indianapolis Public Schools’ exposure by Accuracy in Media, parents are now aware that school districts rebrand principles of critical race theory as “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” So other school districts also have begun avoiding labeling anything as DEI.

Tracey Noe, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment for Indiana’s Goshen Community Schools, told Accuracy in Media’s investigators that administrators had renamed their “Equity and Inclusion Committee” a “work group,” explaining that “we just didn’t want to make a target of it.”

It’s not hard to imagine why school district administrators who adhere to critical race theory and certain social and emotional learning styles are trying to hide these curricula and practices from parents: The content is very unpopular with parents.

Since Accuracy in Media published its video, Elkhart Community Schools’ Sheppard and Goshen Community Schools’ Noe have been placed on leave, pending an investigation.

The Goshen school district claims that Noe “misrepresented the district” with her statements. The Elkhart district hasn’t stated why it placed Sheppard on leave, but called on Accuracy in Media to release the entire video, sans editing, “in order for the full context to be understood.”

Penn High School, near South Bend, Indiana, was caught giving teachers a social and emotional learning lesson on “Racism and Anti-Racism” in early 2021, according to documents unearthed by Parents Defending Education. The lesson equated supporting former President Donald Trump, saying “MAGA,” and calling for detention of illegal immigrants with “Calls for Violence” and “Genocide.”

Northview Middle School, in Washington Township in Indianapolis, informed a woman that her son could not join an engineering program because he was “not a minority.” After some backlash, the school’s principal reluctantly informed the mother that her son could apply for the program (but did so after the application deadline had passed).

Parental dissatisfaction with diversity, equity, and inclusion programs led to the sweep of “pro-parent” school board candidates in 2022 at Hamilton Southeastern Schools in Fishers, Indiana.

The election results followed a series of scandals in which Hamilton Southeastern Schools planned to punish students for “microaggressions,” spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on social and emotional learning surveys, and required teachers to participate in disturbingly discriminatory racial equity training sessions.

As additional public school districts—not just in Indiana, but across the United States—continue to be exposed for their strange fascination with critical race theory and other progressive education methods, I encourage parents to continue looking. Don’t take administrators’ word for it.

Every secret recording, email, document, assignment, training, and policy reinforces what parents have discovered post-COVID-19: Many administrators think they know better than parents and will ignore, obfuscate, and tell outright lies to continue their work.

My message remains the same since November 2021. When officials tell you critical race theory isn’t taught in our schools, they’re lying. Keep looking.




Thursday, April 20, 2023

Ohio School District Arms Teachers and Staff: "'Our Schools Will No Longer Be Soft Targets'

In response to concerns about active shooter response times, Ohio’s River Valley Local School District in rural Marion County has adopted a new policy allowing teachers and school staff to be armed.

According to the Marion Star, River Valley joins 22 other Ohio school districts that permit approved staff members to carry weapons on campus.

Superintendent Adam Wickham stated that schools would no longer be “soft targets and unprotected,” noting that most active-shooter events occur in areas designated as “gun-free zones” or with minimal safety measures.

He emphasized the importance of ensuring that their schools will not be soft targets.

Wickham also highlighted the potential for armed staff in rural communities to save lives due to longer response times in the event of an active shooter.

He cited recent school shootings in Nashville, Uvalde, and Parkland as examples of how quicker response times could potentially save lives.

Wickham confirmed that each of the district’s four buildings, including a high school, a middle school, and two elementary schools, would have an armed staff member in addition to the school resource officer on campus from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

While some parents have expressed concerns about the training and selection process, the superintendent noted that the majority of parents appreciate the proactive approach to protecting their children.

Wickham acknowledged that not everyone would support the program, but emphasized that every safety measure, including the use of armed staff, is put in place to ensure the safe return of staff and students to their families each day.

Republican Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 99 on June 13, 2022, allowing school districts across the state to authorize teachers, principals, and other staff to carry guns into classrooms with 24 hours of training.

Despite criticism from some Democrats who argued that the law sent the wrong message following the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, lawmakers fast-tracked the legislation.

Wickham stated that armed staff in the River Valley Local School District would undergo more training than recommended by the state. In 2020, the district required a total of 50 hours of training for armed staff members.


This Christian college is booming as campus enrollment has more than tripled in the last decade

A conservative, Christian college has tripled its enrollment in the last decade by establishing a "new model for higher education" that makes college affordable to all socioeconomic classes, the university president told Fox News.

"When families hear that there's an affordable private Christian university in Phoenix, Arizona, it's very attractive to come and visit," Grand Canyon University president Brian Mueller said. "Core competency, we think, is to understand where the economy is going, where the jobs are going to be, how people can build great careers and how they can do it without taking on large amounts of debt."

Grand Canyon University, a private Christian college in Phoenix, Arizona, founded in 1949, has grown from 7,602 on-campus students in 2012 to 25,350 in 2022, according to a university spokesperson. Online enrollment also doubled in the last decade.

"Every class is another record-breaking class in terms of numbers," Mueller said. "In the next 10 years or less it will grow somewhere around 50,000 students. We have acquired the land and have the building process in place to do that."

In 2008, Mueller joined GCU as their president when the college had only around 1,000 students. Since then, GCU has invested billions into the campus and grown its academic programs from 100 to 300 for on-campus and online students as students flooded in, the university president said. Mueller attributed some of the university's growth to the college building up the campus in a disadvantaged neighborhood, freezing tuition costs and offering generous scholarships.

"We were in a neighborhood that was very, very challenged from a crime perspective, from a poverty perspective," Mueller said. "But we thought we could use this to create a new model for higher education, one that would make it affordable to all socioeconomic classes of Americans."

GCU, which is located in West Phoenix, offers free tutoring to local K-12 students and provides a full-tuition scholarship program to local high school students that is meant to encourage more low-income, first generation students to go to their college.

The university also launched several local businesses that generate jobs for students and residents.

"When you're able to do that, you're able to fulfill the real goal and objective of higher education, which is to lift all boats," Mueller said.

"Higher education should be a great democratizing force in our country," Mueller told Fox News.

Lower tuition costs have driven student debt down, creating "an environment where socioeconomically we're extremely diverse," Mueller said.

The average GCU student paid $9,200 in tuition before scholarships this past year and about $8,897 for room and board on campus, a university spokesperson told Fox News. In 2022, the college offered $180 million in scholarships. Costs are kept low by employing a small staff to serve both in person and online students.

The numbers run counter to other private universities across the country. Average tuition for private institutions increase 4% in 2022-2023 to $39,723, according to an annual U.S. News and World Report survey.

"We haven't raised tuition for 10 years," Mueller said. "And the average student graduates with less debt than the average state university student."

The average debt level for GCU graduates was $21,557, according to a university spokesperson. In comparison, the debt of college graduates at private institutions averaged $31,820 in 2021, according to a U.S. News and World Report survey of 1,047 colleges.


Jews no longer so welcome at the Ivies

At every point in their history the Ivies have revealed what the existing elite values and whom it is willing to welcome into its ranks. Jews benefited from the meritocratic system of elite production that the Ivies administered in the postwar years and are at an apparent disadvantage now that the old system is considered exclusionary, unrepresentative, and otherwise ill-suited to the current needs and values of the people oveerseeing it. The Ivy League now presents conflicting answers as to whether Jews have a place within whatever post-meritocratic national elite the schools understand themselves to be building.

American Jews—at least the wealthy and relatively liberal ones who cluster in the Northeast—achieved their present status through a mid-to-late-20th-century credentialing system that tried and failed to exclude them. From the 1920s until the early 1960s, Yale’s administration implemented a series of secret admissions rules that had the effect of keeping the Jewish percentage of the student body at a consistent 10%. “They publicly said, and said it to themselves: We are not discriminating against Jews per se. We’re just trying to set up criteria so that the Jews we bring in will be the right kind of Jews,” said Daniel Oren, a psychologist and author of a book about the history of Jews at Yale. Harvard officially admitted to having a quota system in the early 1920s. In research for a 2017 senior thesis on the history of Jews at Dartmouth, Sandor Farkas found evidence that the school’s quotas on Jewish admissions lasted through the 1960s.

Aspects of the quotas have lingered on—it is harder for just about any student from the Northeast not classified as a racial minority, including Jews, to get into Harvard than it is for one applying from Iowa or Nebraska. But beginning in the mid ’60s, Jews were the primary beneficiaries of a half-century window in which the path to the Ivy League became reasonably straightforward: Excellent grades and a high SAT score could get you into a place like Penn, which had a 41% acceptance rate in 1990. That window is now just about closed. Unlike in the ’90s, the Ivies now solicit a high volume of applicants, and it has become harder to establish variance across the applicant pool than it was in past decades. Deliberate, systematic grade and SAT-score inflation have obliterated any obvious quantitative differences between students who are truly great and those who are merely very good. Earlier this year, Columbia became the first Ivy League school to drop its SAT requirement entirely. With the end of the last comparatively objective means of evaluating applicants, admissions criteria have become “holistic” and hard to even identify.

There is compelling though occasional anecdotal proof that top students are clustering in those schools that do continue to select on merit: 21 of the 25 top finishers in last year’s William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition were MIT students. Such proof isn’t needed though, because the Ivies openly and proudly admit that they are no longer taking the top applicants: “If we wanted to, we could take students who had only perfect GPAs and only perfect board scores and fill a class with them,” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber told CBS in 2017, before confirming that “we do take race and ethnicity into account in building a diverse campus.” Harvard is currently the defendant in a Supreme Court case in which the university is arguing for its right to continue assessing applicants based on their ethnic background, anticipated personality traits, and other factors that have little to with the usual notions of academic merit. “Yale will not waver in its commitment to educating a student body whose diversity is a mark of its excellence,” Yale President Peter Solovay wrote in 2020, arguing that Yale retains its status as a top school as a result of its admissions office’s skill at demographic engineering.

In practice, the commitment to diversity, which the Ivies view as part of their larger mission to improve society, is reflected in drop-offs in the white percentage of student bodies. “Jews are de facto discriminated against, even if it’s not based on animus” a nationally renowned mathematician employed at an Ivy League school said of Jewish applicants to top colleges. “The counterargument is that they’re discriminated against the same way any other white person in the Northeast whose parents went to top schools are discriminated against.”

This “discrimination” against Jewish applicants isn’t narrowly the result of affirmative action, at least not in the sense of the redistribution of benefits, like elite university admissions, as a way of rectifying historical wrongdoing. Instead, the muddling of admission standards under the sign of social justice is an expression of a deeper and much older mentality among the Ivy administrations, one that predates affirmative action by decades or even centuries. The Ivy League schools are jealously protective of their self-image as the vanguard of the national elite—a self-appointed purpose that was always the sole determinant of whether Jews or any other demographic group would be admitted in large numbers. The Ivies operate like rentier states whose legitimacy depends on the wise dispersal of a lucrative and diminishing resource. In Ivy League administrations, that resource is prestige.

Toward the middle of the 20th century, after decades of trying and failing to maintain their status as exclusionary clubs for monied Northeastern men, the times called for the prestige-supply of the Ivies to be distributed among the best and most qualified students—male and female, gentile and Jewish—in order for the Ivies to credibly retain their gatekeeping role. Conversely, in the 2020s, another period of social upheaval, excellence has gone out of fashion among an elite whose new watchword is “equity.” Given that Jews are less than 2% of the U.S. population, harsher and even more significant reductions in already-declining Jewish undergraduate populations at the Ivies would be necessary in order for closely curated student bodies to “look like America.”

In their implementation, the Ivies’ attempts at demographic engineering have little to do with any clear idea of either merit or justice. Indeed, if historical wrongdoing was the core issue, it would be hard to find a group in America that was explicitly targeted for exclusion for longer and to greater effect than Jews, including by the Ivies themselves. Instead, the Ivy student bodies reveal the absurdity of present efforts to equitably distribute prestige in an increasingly unequal society. At Penn, the percentage of Black students barely changed between 2010 and 2016, a time when the Jewish population sharply declined. The percentage of Asians and international students markedly rose—along with the average income of families sending their kids to Penn. “The admissions data allowed Penn to virtue-signal that it was doing something for diversity,” said one source familiar with Jewish life at the school. “But what it really was doing was swapping out wealthy Jews for wealthy Asians.” This was partly enabled through an initiative to prioritize “first generation” college students in admissions. But the university employs a tortured definition of “first generation,” one that allows it to create the illusion of greater equity without risking its academic reputation or its bottom line: At Penn, a “first generation” applicant includes people whose parents earned college degrees outside the United States—the children of nearly anyone who immigrated to the U.S. with a degree, no matter how rich or poor—or who did not “attend a research university with the resources and opportunities a Penn education provides.”




Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Ivy League university moves to prioritize 'free expression' months after students heckled conservative pundit

Cornell University will announce plans to feature "free expression and academic freedom" as its theme for the 2023-2024 academic year on Monday, dealing another blow to censorship on college campuses.

The preliminary announcement came Friday, months after students heckled conservative speaker Ann Coulter, a Cornell alumna, at a November 2022 event by blasting music, blowing whistles and more, the university's newspaper, The Cornell Review, reported at the time.

Cornell President Martha E. Pollack is expected to announce the theme, encouraging students to "engage with these ideas, and in civil discourse about them, through a wide range of scholarly and creative events and activities, from lectures to community book reads to artistic exhibitions and performances," according to Friday's announcement.

Pollack called the initiative "critical," per the report, arguing that the university's must focus on its mission to "think deeply about freedom of expression and the challenges that result from assaults on it, which today come from both ends of the political spectrum."

"Learning from difference, learning to engage with difference and learning to communicate across difference are key parts of a Cornell education. Free expression and academic freedom are the bedrock not just of the university, but of democracy," she said.

The university will reportedly launch a website dedicated to the theme this fall, detailing the corresponding goals and events aimed at furthering free expression and academic freedom on its multiple campuses.

"Early planning anticipates reading groups on free expression, debates with invited speakers modeling respectful dialogue, and exhibitions that may span art, film and fashion," the announcement reads, continuing later with, "the programming aims to offer students, faculty and staff opportunities to further develop the fluency and skills necessary for democratic participation, such as active listening, leading controversial discussions, leading effective advocacy and managing responses to controversial interactions."

The announcement also highlights the themes as "core parts" of the institution's "identity" and "founding." Cornell also adopted "free and open inquiry and expression – even of ideas some may consider wrong or offensive" in its 2019 outline of core values and, according to the release from Friday, adopted a policy statement two years later, affirming a free speech commitment.

The announcement comes after Pollack struck down a Student Assembly resolution to precede potentially offensive or triggering class discussions with trigger warnings earlier this month, citing the move "would infringe on our core commitment to academic freedom and freedom of inquiry" in conflict with the institution's goals.

Pollack, in a joint rejection with provost Michael I. Kotlikoff, said the resolution would potentially curb free speech by restricting faculty members' "fundamental right" to determine what curriculum to teach.

Pollack also urged the importance of free speech on campus after the Coulter incident in November, urging students to listen to as many perspectives as they can, including those they disagree with.

"Don’t avoid people whose viewpoints you think are wrong. Don’t try to shout them down. Hear them out. Ask them questions. Put in the effort to understand their point of view," she said, according to The Cornell Review.


Female teacher at £20,000-a-year British girls' school is forced to apologise to pupils for saying 'Good afternoon, girls'

A teacher claims she was left 'humiliated' after being ordered to apologise to 11-year-olds at a private girls' school – for calling them girls.

Bosses at the £20,000-a-year school told the woman to deliver the mea culpa after her class complained that she had said 'good afternoon, girls' at the start of a lesson, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

After being told by the pupils that 'not everyone here identifies as female', she arrived in class the following day to find they had pointedly written their names and pronouns on the board, including one who used they/them.

They also held a lunchtime protest after she refused to acknowledge their demands.

Last night, the philosophy and religious education teacher spoke of her belief that she was 'managed out' by senior staff at the prestigious institution, which is part of the independent Girls' Day School Trust, but only after she was forced to publicly apologise.

The woman, who gave evidence last week to an ongoing review into child and adolescent gender dysphoria care, led by paediatrician Dr Hilary Cass, said the problems began in May 2021 after some Year 7 students complained when she greeted the class with 'good afternoon, girls.'

After being told that not everyone identified as female, one pupil stood up and challenged her to 'acknowledge' their pronouns.

But the teacher, who has requested anonymity to protect the pupils, replied that if their pronouns differed from their biological sex, she would need to involve parents.

The teacher then said she sought guidance from the head of year about what to do if a pupil was experiencing gender dysphoria – a term used to describe a mismatch between biological sex and gender.

But her superior allegedly told her she had no knowledge of the terminology or whether any communications had been had with parents on the issue.

The students then held a lunchtime protest against the teacher – and she said senior staff appeared to side with them. 'I was told that they made placards with slogans on such as 'Trans lives matter',' she said.

'Before the end of the week I was in some sort of disciplinary process and the head of year was telling me I had to apologise to the girls.'

The teacher then described how she was accompanied by the head of year, who addressed the pupils while she stood to one side.

She said: 'She spoke to the children on my behalf saying no one here would want to hurt you and you're all really loved by us.

'She then worded the apology in terms of, 'I am sorry you're upset and we didn't mean to offend. I'm sorry you felt bad.' But it was all pretty humiliating and embarrassing.'

The teacher said the problems started less than a week after the sixth form's 'diversity and inclusion' prefects delivered an assembly on gender and pronouns.

During the session, the 17- and 18-year-olds showed a video discussing gender identities and sex being assigned at birth.

The tutor believes that as a result of her refusal to capitulate to her students' gender demands she was 'managed out'.

She said the head teacher rejected her application to remain at the school after her one-term contract came to an end.

The Girls' Day School Trust, a group of 25 schools and academies, attracted attention in January 2022 after it controversially updated its gender identity policy to ban applications from students who are legally male but identify as trans or non-binary.

It defended the move, saying that it was necessary to protect its schools' single sex status.


Muslims Turning the Tide in the School Culture Wars

In a slap to Muslim girls at Stuyvesant High School, the school is cancelling single-sex swim lessons, even though swim instruction is required to graduate. That forces the girls to choose between preserving their modesty and getting a diploma.

Count on Muslim families to fight back and likely prevail. Nationwide, Muslims are taking up the battle in schools to protect traditional religious values, including modesty.

Move over, Roman Catholics, evangelical Christians and conservative Jews. Reinforcements have arrived, and they're turning the tide.

Even in the Ivy League. After weeks of protests by female Muslim students, Yale University is switching its campus housing policy for the coming academic year to offer single-gender dorms and bathrooms.

From Michigan to Virginia, Muslim parents are showing up at local school board meetings to oppose graphic sex education and gender fluidity indoctrination. Their engagement is impacting politics. More Muslims are voting Republican, concluding that the Democratic Party is trampling Islamist values.

In Dearborn, Michigan, left-wing Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib opposed the Muslim parents in her district protesting sexually explicit materials in school.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues its lurch to the extreme left. President Joe Biden's Department of Education announced double-barreled rule changes last week, one favoring transgender athletes in elementary and middle school, and the other revoking a Trump-era commitment by the department to protect religious clubs and associations on college campuses. Flipping the bird to people of faith twice in a single week.

Sexual modesty is a core value in Islam. Muslims observe a dress code and guard against physical contact between sexes once students reach adolescence.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects an employee's right to practice religion in the workplace, but there is no comparable statutory protection for students. Muslims are waging the battle one campus demonstration and school board meeting at a time, often winning.

Muslims are powerful at Yale. In 2021, undergrads elected a Muslim woman to be student body president. And on March 10, Yale acceded to demands from the Muslim Student Association, Orthodox Jews at Yale and other religious groups to provide single-sex campus housing. Muslim women students had protested that with men in the bathroom, they couldn't even remove their hijab.

Modesty is the issue at Stuyvesant High School, too. Brian Moran, assistant principal of physical education, told the student newspaper that the girls' single-sex swim classes clashed with other scheduling priorities. He made it sound like a mere scheduling inconvenience was justification enough for the change, and told the girls to wear full-body burkinis. Sorry, but those still cling to the body when wet.

New York City's Board of Education website promises trans students "alternative arrangements" for anyone with "a need or desire for increased privacy." Why should Muslim students get less? One in every 10 students in the city's school system is Muslim.

Last September, Muslim women at Syracuse University waged a battle for swim time without men in the college pool and won a concession that starts next fall.

In Utah, the Muslim Civic League worked with the Sikh and Jewish communities to pass a state law in February allowing school athletes to wear turbans, hijabs and modest pants and tops in competition instead of the regulation form fitting uniforms.

Luna Banuri, the league's executive director, said: "All faiths have modesty standards. We believe this affects multiple communities." Maryland and Illinois recently passed similar laws.

In Bethel, Ohio, a coalition of Muslim and Christian parents are suing to preserve single-sex bathrooms and locker rooms and halt a rule change that would allow biological boys to use the girls' facilities.

Most Muslims still vote Democratic, but the shift is beginning. According to a Wall Street Journal exit poll, 28% voted Republican in the 2022 midterms, a double-digit increase over the 2018 midterms.

Republicans are gaining ground as more Muslims conclude the Democratic Party doesn't show regard for Islamic values.

Tell educators to respect families with faith-based values instead of shunning them.




Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Missouri School Offered ‘Sweet Prize’ to Students for Reading Sexually Explicit Books

A Missouri high school offered prizes to students who read books featuring sexually explicit LGBT material, critical race theory, and transgender education.

The high school librarian in the Webster Groves School District, located in the suburbs of St. Louis, encouraged students to check out books from her commonly banned book list to enter a raffle for a “sweet prize.”

“Select and check out any book from this list during Banned Book Week to enter your name in a drawing to win a sweet prize,” librarian Liz Forderhase posted on the Webster Groves High School library webpage.

“Banned Book Week” was Sept. 18-24. The raffle offer was removed from the school library website after a parent activist exposed it, but the book list remains.

The list contains “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” which has been removed from libraries in at least 29 school districts nationwide due to concerns about “sexually graphic material, including descriptions of queer sex,” according to The New York Times.

Libraries around the nation are using children’s books to peddle radical gender and critical race theory. A public library in Washington, D.C., put up a display of LGBT-themed children’s books ahead of a March 30 Christian book reading. Almost 90% of books removed from Florida schools since the beginning of the academic year in September were pornographic, violent, or inappropriate for students’ grade levels, according to school district data submitted to the state’s Department of Education.

Other books on the Webster Groves High School recommended list include “Stamped From the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” by critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi; “The Hate U Give,” which has been criticized for featuring 89 instances of the f-word and promoting anti-police sentiments; “Being Jazz,” the story of a transgender teenager; and “This Book is Gay,” a guide for “anyone who’s ever dared to wonder” about their “gender or sexual preference.”

Forderhase also recommends “Beyond Magenta: Transgender and Nonbinary Teens Speak Out,” which examines the “life, love, and struggles” of transgender teens; “Am I Blue: Coming Out From the Silence,” a collection of short stories about growing up gay; “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” the fictional tale of a teen sent to a “conversion therapy center”; and “Annie on My Mind,” the story of two female teenage best friends who fall in love.

The raffle was removed from the website between Feb. 24 and March 19, according to the parent activist who exposed it, and the name of the list was changed from “Commonly Challenged Books” to “Celebrate the Freedom to Read.”

When asked about the removal of the raffle offer, Webster Groves High School Principal Matt Irvin told The Daily Signal, “I understand that we are no longer doing it.” Neither Irvin nor Forderhase responded to questions about why the raffle was removed from the website.

The parent activist who exposed the school district for incentivizing high schoolers to read inappropriate books told The Daily Signal he is disappointed to see a Webster Groves librarian attempting to influence local children against the will of parents.

“Aggregating a list of books for which district parents are most likely to find inappropriate and rewarding children with prizes to read them can only be seen as activism,” he said on the condition of anonymity to protect his children from bullying at school. “Many of these books contain sexual, gender ideology, and critical theory content.”

In October, Webster Groves Schools reluctantly removed 11 books from school libraries after a Missouri bill passed banning sexually explicit materials in schools.

The district’s communications director Derek Duncan said that although it was essential for Webster Groves to follow state law by removing the books, the district would “continue to strive to provide materials that mirror our student population and celebrate the diversity that exists within the world around us.”

The parent activist, who is a father of a Webster Groves High School student, said not a single member of the Webster Groves Board of Education supported the removal of the explicit books, which he said indicates that the board members prioritize politics over children.

“It is disappointing to see the high school librarian engaged in activism as a direct representative of the Webster Groves School District,” the parent continued, “especially considering that the activism is designed to influence our children.”


NY private school STILL enforces masks outdoors, silence lunches as part of strict COVID measures

The federal government says the COVID is over — but tell that to this upstate New York school.

A private school in Ithaca is still forcing draconian measures on its students, including making them wear masks outdoors and eat lunch in silence — three years after the pandemic began, according to a report.

The Elizabeth Ann Clune Montessori School of Ithaca (EACMSI), which costs up to $18,000 a year to attend, is currently one of the last schools in the nation to still be imposing such strict COVID measures, The Free Press reported.

Dr. Beth Stein, who pulled her kids out of EACMSI and put them in private school because of the strict measures, told The Free Press she initially welcomed the precautions, but they became overly burdensome as time went on.

“I could tolerate most of the stuff — the teachers in N95s and face shields while standing behind plexiglass barriers, the 12 feet of distance for band members, the ban on singing ‘Happy Birthday’ in class,” she said. “I just wanted them to end the outdoor masking.”

The board-certified doctor also claimed her students were almost kicked out of the school after she complained about outdoor masking.

The school doesn’t have a cafeteria and students eat lunch in their classrooms.

Stein said some days her 13-year-old daughter’s teacher would play movies during lunch, but on other days they ate in complete silence. If a student dared to ask their teacher a question during lunch, the kid would first have to put on their mask in order to speak, and then could take it off again to go back to eating.

Sometimes, teachers took the mandated silent lunch as an opportunity to keep teaching, the mom said.

Stein’s 10-year-old daughter said kids in her class wanted so badly to converse during lunch that they invented their own sign language to communicate. “We just really wanted to talk,” the girl said.

When EACMSI held a student orchestra performance indoors this January, students playing wind instruments were still required to wear masks, according to the report.

Parents had to figure out how to make or alter masks so their children could both play the instrument and have their faces covered. “I see the current situation as ridiculous,” another parent, who wished to stay anonymous, told the outlet.

The school, which enrolls about 220 kids between ages 3 to about 14 or 15, says its “pedagogy is child-centered, hands-on, individualized, and serves the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.”

EACMSI’s policies go beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which only recommend indoor masking in the nurse’s office or if a community has high rates of COVID.

CDC COVID guidelines for schools also currently recommend staying home when sick, improving ventilation in school buildings and encouraging students to stay up-to-date on vaccinations.


Maryland Governor Tries to End School Choice for Low-income Families

Families and students in Maryland can breathe a sigh of relief after lawmakers agreed to provide $9 million in funding for the state’s school choice scholarship program for low-income families. The program was originally on the new governor’s chopping block.

Gov. Wes Moore’s fiscal year 2024 budget called for a 20% cut to the state’s $10 million scholarship program. He also stated his desire to entirely phase out the Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today, or BOOST, program, even though its price tag is a pittance compared to the state’s record $8.8 billion in spending on K-12 public schools.

Lawmakers in Annapolis restored $1 million in cut funding and removed language that would have eventually ended the program.

Moore’s initial plan to cut BOOST scholarships is a useful reminder that in politics, historic “firsts” often help candidates more than their constituents. Those constituents include many low-income students in Baltimore who likely felt a rush of pride seeing a black man ascend to the state’s highest office.

Moore himself stressed the historic nature of his gubernatorial victory. Indeed, he was sworn in on the Bible once owned by Frederick Douglass.

While Moore paints himself as a proud son of Baltimore, he actually attended Riverdale Country School, a tony private school with ivy-covered buildings that sits on 27.5 acres in the Bronx, New York. Tuition and fees there currently total $61,305 per year. The governor later graduated from another private school, Valley Forge Military Academy and College, before enrolling at Johns Hopkins University.

Moore’s early education surely fueled his long list of professional accomplishments, so it is unlikely that he opposes private schools in principle. It is hard to imagine him managing the state’s budget if he had attended one of the 23 Baltimore schools that did not have a single student who was proficient in math in 2022.

The parents working to save the BOOST program want the same fighting chance for their children that the governor’s mother wanted for him.

BOOST is not perfect by any means. The average scholarship is less than $3,500, a fact that likely explains why the program serves a disproportionate number of students who were already enrolled in private schools. But the interest groups and ideologues who want to shutter BOOST do not oppose it because it serves too few families.

Moore and anti-school choice advocates claim public dollars should not go to private schools. Yet they apply this stance only to K-12 education. No one has ever called for restricting the use of publicly funded Pell grants only to public universities. Perhaps that is because there is not a union for college professors and university administrators that is as politically influential as local and national teachers unions. Both oppose expanding charter schools and any type of school choice voucher program.

The same groups have encouraged the last two Democrats in the White House to cut a similar program in Washington, D.C. Congress created the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program in 2004 after local parents organized an effort to provide education options for low-income students. One of Barack Obama’s first acts as president was to try to axe the program. Ultimately, he was unsuccessful.

President Donald Trump increased funding for the program, but the political football was tossed again in 2021, when the Biden administration took over. Much to the delight of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, one of the first things the current administration did was move to phase out the program.

In Maryland, Moore’s initial plan to phase out the BOOST program would’ve meant fewer chances for students from low-income families to get a good education. Instead of pulling the plug, Maryland lawmakers should follow the example of other states that have embraced innovative school choice policies.

Neighboring West Virginia, for example, is one of five states that have moved to universal choice programs for all students that focus on funding students, not systems. These states recognize that the funding source and beneficiaries in a “public” education systemmatter more than the way it is delivered—public, private, or home-school.

Seven other states have developed education savings accounts for specific populations only, including low-income families and students with special needs.

These programs put the key decisions about a student’s academic future in the hands of the people who care about them most—their parents.

What is happening in Maryland should be a cautionary tale to all voters. The politicians who try to convince you that they understand your plight because you share the same skin tone often serve special interests instead.

Any politician who opposes school choice should send their own children to the low-performing public schools that they consign poor families to attend.

Progressives claim to work on behalf of the poor and middle class. But when it comes to school choice, their message is clear: Teachers’ unions matter more than students, and private schools are only for people who can afford them.


Indian students banned or limited as Australian universities crack down on bogus applicants

At least five Australian universities have introduced bans or restrictions on students from specific Indian states in response to a surge of applications from South Asia and an accompanying rise in what the Home Affairs Department described as fraudulent applications.

An investigation by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald has obtained emails from within Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, and agents working for Southern Cross University that show the crackdown on applications from Indian students.

Australia is on track for its biggest-ever annual intake of Indian students, topping 2019’s high watermark of 75,000. But the current surge has prompted concerns from government MPs and the education sector about the integrity of Australia’s immigration system and the long-term impact on the nation’s lucrative international education market.

“The volume of students arriving has come back a lot stronger than anyone was expecting,” said Jon Chew from global education firm Navitas. “We knew there would be a lot of pent-up demand, but there has also been a surge in non-genuine students.”

With many applications deemed by universities not to meet Australian visa requirements that they be a “genuine temporary entrant” coming solely for education, universities are putting restrictions in place to pre-empt their “risk rating” being downgraded.

The Home Affairs Department keeps a confidential rating of each country, with each university and college also ranked. Students from countries with higher risk ratings are required to provide more evidence that proves they will not overstay their visa, not work more hours than allowed under their visa, and not use fraudulent material in their application.

Those universities that have restricted access to some Indian states are concerned Home Affairs will reduce their ability to fast-track student visas because of the number of applicants who are actually seeking to work – not study – in Australia.

“In an effort to strengthen the profile of students from areas where we have seen increased visa risks, VU will implement a higher level of requirements in some areas in India,” the university’s regional recruitment manager Alex Hanlon wrote to education agents. A university spokeswoman said these additional requirements included “assessing gaps in applicants’ study history to determine if they are suitably qualified and prepared for international study in Australia and can support themselves adequately”.

Those restrictions came just days after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited India, in part to celebrate Australia’s education links and announce a new agreement with Australia’s universities and colleges that would, he said, herald “the most comprehensive and ambitious arrangement agreed to by India with any country”. Crucially, the agreement included a “mutual recognition of qualifications between Australia and India”, which will make travelling to either country for university study easier.

The deluge of applications from south Asia began after the Morrison government, in January 2022, removed a 20-hour per week limit on the amount of work students can do – meaning there were no longer any restrictions on how many hours students could work. The move encouraged those wanting a low-skill Australian work visas to apply to cheaper education institutions. The Albanese government will on July 1 reintroduce this work limit, but lift it to 24 hours a week.

The Age and the Herald has confirmed with five universities, or in one case agents working on a university’s behalf, that they have put restrictions on students wanting to come to Australia from India. Another list seen by The Age and the Herald and authored by one Australian education agency, showed 12 universities and colleges had put in restrictions. The agency asked not to be named for fear it would damage its relationship with education providers.

It is not just universities that are grappling with a surge in applications from people seeking to work in Australia and gain permanent residency – rather than studying – in Australia. The vocational education sector is also seeing a surge in applications from students ultimately judged to be too risky to accept.

Under the process for getting a student visa, education providers accept applicants who are then assessed by Home Affairs. In February, Home Affairs rejected an unprecedented 94 per cent of offshore applicants from India to study in Australia’s vocational sector. It compared to less than 1 per cent of student applications from countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and France. In 2006, when Home Affairs started publishing records of this nature, 91 per cent of applicants from India were accepted.

The international students pouring back into Australia fuel an overseas education industry worth about $40 billion annually, trailing only iron ore, coal and natural gas as an export.

The University of Sydney took $1.4 billion of revenue in 2021 from fee-paying overseas students, Monash University collected $917 million in tuition fees while the University of Queensland got $644 million, federal education department figures show.

“Many universities, like Monash, Melbourne, Sydney and the University of New South Wales, already receive more revenue from international students than from domestic students,” said Peter Hurley, director of Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute. “International education is an incredibly valuable resource. It is really important that we manage it properly so that it works in everyone’s interests, especially international students.”

Hurley said international students provided both students for the nation’s higher education sector, and workers for Australia’s booming jobs market. “We need this workforce,” Hurley said. No Australian university could now function without international education revenue, he said, noting international students provide some institutions with three times as much in tuition fees as a domestic student.

Education agent Ravi Singh said too many of Australia’s training colleges had become “visa factories” interested in offering immigration pathways, not an education.




Monday, April 17, 2023

Inquiry calls for universal preschool for three-year-olds to be rolled out in SA from 2026

This is just Leftist anti-family rubbish. Karl Marx would be pleased. There is no basis for it in science. The research shows that kids do better at home rather than in preschool. Preschool in fact holds the kids back, often permanently. Mothers are the best teachers in all but the most deprived homes. See the following for summaries of the evidence:

What Gillard "genuinely believes" is of no importance

A royal commission investigating how best to launch an earlier start to education in South Australia has recommended all three-year-olds be entitled to 600 hours of preschool a year.

The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care was launched last year to work out how best to deliver the SA Labor Party's election promise to give three-year-old children access to preschool from 2026.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who was appointed to lead the $2.45 million commission, has made 33 recommendations in her interim report handed to the state government today.

Ms Gillard said three-year-olds should be offered the same universal entitlement to preschool currently offered to four-year-old children — 600 hours a year, or 15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year.

"I genuinely believe this report should be of interest to every South Australian, whether or not they have young children in their family or young children in contemplation in their families' future," she said.

"We have a moral obligation to every child to make sure every child has the best opportunity to grow and learn and thrive."

The commission recommends 15 hours a week be viewed as a minimum and is also contemplating greater entitlements to fund extra hours for children deemed most at risk of developmental delays.

"We also, as a state, have a shared economic interest in making sure that we set our children on the best pathway in life, because the research tells us crystal clear that intervention in the early years can make the biggest difference," Ms Gillard said.

"If we do not set children up well in the early years of life, if children present to school with developmental delays then it can be very hard to catch up and that disadvantage will continue to show in their adult life.

"It shows in life expectancy, in poorer health, in poorer economic outcomes, in greater welfare dependency and even potentially in involvement with crime."

The proposed approach will cost the state about $162 million a year.

The commission recommends three-year-old preschool be delivered in a mix of government and non-government settings, including in early learning centres and long day care.

The approach will need 32 new preschools to be built, at a cost of $111.2 million.

Ms Gillard said the approach would also build on the work currently being done by those who worked in early childhood education, often informally and unpaid, to link families with other support systems.

"That can be everything from recognising that a child might need to be connected to the professional services of a speech pathologist, to recommending to a family that if they need assistance with food, that is a Foodbank in the local community," she said.

"At the moment that kind of building of connections is being done as an act of goodwill of individuals, it's not built-in as a feature of practice all day every day and we want to make sure that it is."

Premier Peter Malinauskas said it would be the biggest reform to early childhood education the state had ever seen.

"What we're doing here isn't just nation-leading, but it's global-leading," he said.

"It's important we look at these recommendations with a holistic view, that we take the time to ask questions, and critically view our education system, so that any actions from this are the right ones for the next generation."

The commission, which is seeking feedback from the public on its report, found the rollout "could be completed by 2032", but is still looking into the issue of workforce supply.

The final report is scheduled to be released in August.


Gender Curricula May Be Fueling A Dangerous Fad

Gender and sex education curricula in schools have become a highly contentious topic in recent years

The programs are becoming widespread, and while they may appear to be designed to respond to increasing gender dysphoria, mental health professionals are concerned that they may cause irreparable harm to children.

Curriculum implementation has been met with mixed reactions from parents, teachers, and policymakers.

While some argue that gender education promotes healthy relationships and informed decision-making, others contend that it is too graphic and highly inappropriate for children.

In her article in The Free Press, former case manager Jamie Reed blew the whistle on The Washington University Transgender Center (WUTC) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which has experienced a dramatic influx of young people requesting gender affirmative care.

The increase in gender dysphoria among youth has drawn the public’s attention, Reed said. “There are more than 100 pediatric gender clinics across the U.S. I worked at one. What’s happening to children is morally and medically appalling.”

While the public is beginning to learn about the impact of gender dysphoria treatment, which often includes the use of hormones and surgeries, little is known about the impact of teaching gender identity in the academic environment and its effect on the mental health of children.

The Rampant Spread Of Gender Confusion In Youth
Dr. Alex Smith, a psychologist in the Greater Philadelphia area, works closely with school-aged children. Smith is concerned that gender confusion is becoming widespread, particularly through social media.

Using a pseudonym due to concern of reprisal, Smith told The Epoch Times that children are highly influenced by the popularity of social media celebrities and influencers who are adept at spreading gender confusion. When a child realizes the attention they can get, they’re encouraged to talk about gender, especially when it appears that “changing their gender makes them cool,” Smith said.

Dr. Shannae Anderson, a psychologist from Thousand Oaks, California, told The Epoch Times, “This may be a fad, similar to the ’80s with eating disorders and ’90s with ‘cutting.’ Now, it’s identifying as LGBTQ+.”

Children often have unlimited access to social media on which they can spend an excessive amount of their time. Since its inception in 2017, TikTok has become a popular space for children in the United States, with 32.5 percent of its users being between the ages of 10 and 19.

TikTok provides image filters that can alter the appearance of someone’s face, allowing them to have a more masculine or feminine appearance in the blink of an eye. This has made it particularly popular with school-aged children who may identify as “queer” or “questioning.” (pdf)

Smith explained that on social media, children can be highly influenced by users spreading gender dysphoria. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, biased content can cause a child to behave in a way they may perceive will help them gain acceptance.

School materials being presented to children that focus on gender and sexuality may also be contributing to the confusion.

“As a gay parent, I am concerned,” Marci Strange wrote on the website Gays Against Groomers. Strange asked why schools are sexualizing our children. She pointed to a California “Healthy Kids Survey” that asked students, “Are you straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or something else?” Another page asks if kids are different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

“Unless parents ‘opt-out,’ it can confuse and make suggestions kids may never consider,” said Strange.

A child’s desire for acceptance and popularity is no mystery to parents and school staff. Children may take drastic measures to fit in, even at their own expense. In the context of gender, children may choose to behave differently than they otherwise would to gain attention and recognition.

Dr. Barbara Ellis, a psychologist from the Greater Philadelphia area said that in middle school, children become less dependent on their family and begin to transfer more of their social interactions from family to their peers. They have a “great need to be accepted,” she said.

As children enter adolescence, identity exploration and behavioral experimentation takes off.

Because the adolescent brain is undergoing profound reconstruction and is not fully developed until age 25, we’re dealing with kids who do not have solid brain architecture, Anderson said.

This can result in dramatic shifts in their personality and behavior, said Anderson. Further, she explained that these trends often end with the behavior resolving as children mature.


Teen suspended for opposing trans ideology files human rights complaint: 'Shockingly discriminatory'

A lawyer for a Canadian teenager who was suspended from his Catholic high school after opposing transgender ideology has filed a human rights complaint alleging religious discrimination.

Attorney James Kitchen with Liberty Coalition Canada filed the application to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal earlier this month on behalf of his client Josh Alexander, 17, a junior who was first suspended from St. Joseph’s High School in Renfrew, Ontario, and issued a trespass notice in November.

Alexander drew the ire of school leadership when he organized a student walkout at the public Catholic high school against biological males in girls' bathrooms, according to the complaint. He also reportedly argued in class that God created two unchangeable genders.

The complaint recounts that students erupted during a math class when Alexander argued against the school's bathroom policy. When he claimed that men have penises and women have vaginas, his classmates reportedly called him a "misogynist," a "racist," and a "homophobic transphobe," while the teacher allegedly "nodded and gestured at the students yelling at Josh, indicating his approval of the students’ name-calling."

Alexander was ultimately suspended and told that his continued attendance would be detrimental to the physical and mental well-being of transgender students, the complaint says. His suspension was technically lifted in January but has effectively continued after the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board "excluded" him for the rest of the school year.

Principal Derek Lennox would allow him to return to school only if the teen stopped using the "dead name," or given name, of transgender students and avoided attending classes with two transgender students, according to the complaint. When he attempted to return to school on Feb. 6, he was arrested for allegedly violating the exclusion order.

The school board has declined to hear Alexander's appeal regarding the suspension, arguing that he has not withdrawn from parental control, according to a letter sent to Kitchen in January. The lawyer argues that the school board made its decision despite being provided affidavit evidence to the contrary.

Kitchen also filed an application at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to compel the school board to hear his client's appeal.

"Kicking Josh out of school for expressing his Christian beliefs regarding sexuality and gender is unlawful religious discrimination," Liberty Coalition Canada said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital. "The application details the shockingly discriminatory conduct of teachers and students at St. Joseph’s, as well as Principal Lennox’s retaliatory decisions to suspend and exclude Josh for expressing his beliefs and organizing a student walk-out to protest St. Joseph’s policy of permitting biological males to enter and use the girls’ washrooms."

"Among other things, Josh is seeking from the HRTO a declaration that the School Board discriminated against him on the basis of his Christian beliefs," the coalition added. The school did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.

The complaint points out that Alexander describes himself as a Christian and has protested transgender ideology because of his faith.

"Josh believes he is called by the Lord Jesus Christ to proclaim the truth which includes telling those around him about the Lord’s design for gender and to openly oppose the School Board’s policy of permitting males to enter the girls’ washrooms," the complaint said. "Josh believes he would commit a sin if he disregarded the Lord’s calling on his life and remained silent."

Kitchen told Fox News Digital in February that he believes freedom of religion and freedom of expression are in steep decline in Canada, but noted that religious liberty is evaporating more quickly. He said many Canadians do not understand the gravity of the threat their government increasingly poses to religious freedom, which he said is "essentially dead" after withering "for about 10 or 15 years."


University ‘blocks’ academic from her own gender wars research over ‘dangerous’ data

Auniversity has “confiscated” the findings of an academic studying Britain’s gender wars in a row over her “dangerous” research data, The Telegraph can reveal.

Dr Laura Favaro began the first ever taxpayer-funded study into whether social scientists at universities feel censored over their views on transgender issues in March 2020 at City, University of London.

But it has descended into chaos, with the study’s author allegedly hounded out of the university, stripped of the findings she collected and barred from publishing them amid claims of transphobia.

Dr Favaro is now bringing an employment tribunal claim against City for harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing detriment, and claims she was discriminated against for her protected philosophical belief in the reality of biological sex.

The postdoctoral researcher was invited to move from Spain to City’s Department of Sociology to conduct the study, which received £18,000 from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the equalities watchdog, and £10,000 from the British Academy. She produced a summary report on her findings for the EHRC that still has not been published.

Hundreds of documents

Her study involved 50 individual interviews with academics in gender studies who identified as feminists, a representative survey of social scientists with 650 responses and hundreds of documents and tweets.

Scholars told her that they had threats of violence in the gender debate, hostility from colleagues, and others said they felt their careers “can’t survive that sort of backlash”, and that they have to have “secret conversations” to avoid reprisal and because “we are all so afraid”.

Her final work has not been published, as it was derailed by complaints about an article for Times Higher Education in which she warned that “a culture of discrimination, silencing and fear has taken hold”.

Following this, she says, her line managers told her that the study had “become an institutionally sensitive issue” and that “City considers my data to be dangerous” and is “frightened of making it public”.

A research participant who “did not like the findings” and academics sympathetic to trans issues were among those who complained. One, Dr Sahra Taylor, a City lecturer, claimed it was an “attack piece on trans people [and] our existences” that has “clearly caused harm to many interviewed”.

City found following an investigation that there was “no evidence” that the research breached any ethics criteria.

But City allegedly locked the email account Dr Favaro used to communicate with survey respondents, and demanded that she hand over all of her interview and survey data and delete any copies of it, before making her redundant on March 31, despite her claiming she has a permanent contract. Dr Favaro also claims City rejected her offer to give a talk on her findings.

It means she cannot publish her survey or deposit it in the UK Data Archive, as she had hoped to, and feels her career is now in ruins.




Sunday, April 16, 2023

Transgender Teacher Who Threatened to Shoot Students Gets Booted from School

A transgender teacher in Hernando County, Florida has been fired from Fox Chapel Middle School over comments that threatened the safety of students.

Alexander Renczkowski, who goes by Ashlee, admitted to having suicidal thoughts and wanted to shoot some students, according to Fox 13. In a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report from March 24, Renczkowski told the guidance counselor being upset after learning "about a social media post where people were talking negatively about [Renczkowski's] sexual orientation." Renczkowski also revealed to be in possession of "three handguns at home" and wanting "to shoot some students due to them not performing to their ability."

After making a comment about shooting students, Renczkowski then backtracked said that would not actually happen. A sheriff deputy took custody of the handguns during a home visit. The Post Millennial reported Renczkowski's comments were found to be non-threatening, went to therapy, and was allowed to teach again, angering parents who later discovered the incident after Moms for Liberty released the sheriff's office report.

The Florida Department of Education said in a statement released on Friday Renczkowski was only fired by the school district after the Department brought the matter to the superintendent's attention.

"Therefore, the teacher is no longer at the school."


Awakening the Sleeping Giant

There is a quote at the end of the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! by the Japanese commander after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor that applies to the pro-parent education movement today: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

All over the country, parents have been “awakened” to the indoctrination of their children by the liberal, woke education establishment… and they are resolved that it will not stand.

School boards have become key ground to take and hold, both because of their influence on education and the low turnout rates which make these elections feasible to swing.

What provoked this education revolution? Drag queen story hours for children. Pornographic library books. Abolishing honors courses in the name of “equity.” Hiding a student’s gender transition efforts from his or her parents. Allowing male students to use female restrooms and locker rooms. Resisting parents’ efforts to find out exactly what their students are being taught.

These are all examples of decisions made by or under the oversight of school boards who have bought into the tenets of critical race theory and the cult of LGBTQ activism, or simply refused to stand against them. This has pushed parents and citizens to become involved in school board races — as candidates, activists, and voters. By flipping seats, they are determined to restore sanity for the sake of their children and the future of our country.

This education revolution will not succeed unless voters can determine whose side their candidates are really on. Local races are especially difficult because information is scarce and most voters do not know where to look, or what to look for. Thorough research and evaluation of candidates is needed, which is where iVoterGuide comes in.

Based on this information, each candidate receives a political ideology rating on the conservative to liberal spectrum from our volunteer panelists. These ratings are not endorsements; they are simply descriptive labels based on the evidence.

It is vital that parents are equipped and empowered to identify (and replace if necessary) those school board members who are promoting woke and gender ideologies. It's time for us to stand up and retake the power over our children’s learning back from the educational establishment. That can only happen with information. As the saying goes, knowledge is power.

Voters are motivated. I witnessed their resolve in the results of the school board elections iVoterGuide covered in 2022. Unfortunately, 25 percent of races we covered did not even have a conservative on the ballot. And 10 percent of the races had more than one conservative candidate, splitting the vote. But in the races with only one candidate who was rated on the conservative spectrum, the conservative candidate won 69 percent of the time! (72 of the 104 races.)

There are many lessons we learned through that experience. The most important is that more conservatives need to step up and run, even if they don’t have children in the public school system. I am encouraged that we see this happening! Additionally, it is essential that we cooperate to avoid splitting the vote. But none of that matters if we don’t inform conservative voters.

This year, roughly 69 percent of the nation’s school districts are holding elections. If we don’t speak up and vote on behalf of our children, others will — and have been for many years. I am praying an army of concerned citizens will commit to do three things:

1. Vote in their next school board election.

2. Cast an informed vote using sound research.

3. Encourage and equip likeminded friends and neighbors to cast an informed vote.

In addition to all this, we must be in prayer for our children, for the candidates, and for current school board members. In many cases, the policies being fought against are not just poor education; they are pure evil.

The “sleeping giant” of parents and concerned citizens has awakened. They just need the tools to succeed. When it comes to children, we can never back down from the fight.


Texas teacher fired for turning middle school classroom into student ‘fight ring’

A substitute teacher in Texas is under investigation after she allegedly turned her classroom into a cage match and encouraged students as young as 12 to fight each other.

Natally Garcia, 24, was immediately fired after the incident at Kimbrough Middle School in Mesquite on Wednesday, the school district told KXAS-TV.

Shocking footage from inside the classroom shows desks pushed into a circle to create a “fight ring” while 12- and 13-year-old students duke it out, leaving some battered and bloody.

“Her actions are appalling and intolerable,” the Mesquite ISD said in a statement.

The school district also said Garcia outlined rules for the children to follow and told one to keep watch at the door while the fights occurred.

In the video, Garcia can be heard telling her class that she “does not want this on record” and threatening to confiscate cellphones if students had them out.

The clip shows at least four students fighting each and a timer can be heard going off at different points during the melees, Garcia shouting “30 seconds” before one fight began.

Video from the classroom shows at least four students fighting in pairs of two with desks and chairs pushed to the side.
“I was devastated. I was like, I couldn’t watch the full video,” Beatriz Martinez, whose daughter recorded the incident, said. “I had to stop it multiple times because I didn’t think it was real. I was like, this must be a prank. This is not real.“

“There’s no explanation, she just wanted those kids to fight,” she added.

Martinez said Garcia taught her daughter’s class at least twice before and there had been no previous incidents.

She said her daughter had been pushed to fight three girls during the makeshift fight club, but the class concluded before that could happen.

The school district called Garcia’s actions “appalling and intolerable” in a statement.

Mesquite ISD said Garcia had been hired on March 6, but she was fired after the incident and is not eligible to be rehired.

“Our investigation revealed that this substitute teacher encouraged students to fight each other during class, outlined rules for the students to follow and even instructed a student to monitor the classroom door while the fights took place,” the school district said.

“As educators, our hearts are heavy knowing that an individual entrusted with the supervision and care of our students could behave in this manner, and we share the disgust that the families of students in this class must feel,” the district added.