Friday, June 16, 2023

UK: Teacher faces having to remortgage home due to mounting legal costs after being suspended for refusing to use transgender student's preferred pronouns and name

The woman, who cannot be named as a result of a court order, was suspended by a primary school after she refused to use a student's preferred pronouns and name.

The pupil, who was born female, had been placed in her year 4 class and used male pronouns and had a male name.

After arguing that it could be harmful to encourage the child's belief that they were 'in the wrong body', the teacher was sacked last year when she continued to challenge the school's policies.

The High Court rejected the teacher's application for a judicial review and ordered her to pay the council's £14,000 legal costs, according to The Times.

The court ruled that she lacked 'standing' to challenge safeguarding failures. It also noted that the school had moved the child to a different class in response to raising a safeguarding concern.

Now, Nottinghamshire County Council say she is not 'impecunious' and that she owns a four-bedroom property. Council lawyers say that a charge could be placed on the home to settle the costs.

Speaking to The Times, the teacher, referred to as 'Hannah', said: 'Teachers are being bullied not to question trans-affirming policies when evidence shows that the actual result of the approach is to put the welfare of children at serious risk.'

The Christian Legal Centre, which is representing the teacher, said she has launched a tribunal claim against the school for allegedly victimising her for whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and religious discrimination. The tribunal is expected to hear the claim in August 2024.

At the time of her bid for a judicial review, the teacher told The Sunday Times that 'children are being experimented on', adding: 'Schools are silencing teachers who disagree with the policy of simply accepting that if parents ask for a child to be treated as the opposite sex, they must go along with that.'

When the High Court rejected the application last month, the reasons cited for stopping the case from going ahead included the teacher lacking 'standing' to challenge safeguarding failures in relation to an individual child at the school.

It emerged yesterday that lawyers for the council have told the teacher that it would be lawful to 'enforce' the costs immediately and have put forward the proposal that she could remortgage the house she shares with her husband.

Lawyers for the teacher argued that she has been left impoverished by being sacked.

They also argued that enforcing an order on legal costs would be unlawful under whistleblowing legislation before an employment tribunal rules on her case.


‘Eat or Be Eaten’: Academe’s Cancel Culture Law of the Jungle

In the savagery of the jungle, the rule is “Eat or be eaten.” It seems that law of the jungle has made its way to college campuses.

“At Oxford, students now live in fear – they think cancelling each other will help them get ahead” reads a headline from the British outlet the Telegraph, depicting a reality many warned would happen if cancel culture were allowed to rage unchecked.

The once prestigious institution has followed its academic peers across the globe in becoming a hotbed of illiberal activity.

Just last month, students protested a planned appearance by feminist scholar Kathleen Stock over her views on gender, claiming that allowing her to speak would be endorsing what they call “transphobia.” Stock’s position that transgenderism is ideological nonsense ensured she inevitably became the target of activist students.

Two years earlier, Oxford played host to a cadre of leftist professors who claimed that musical notation was a “colonialist representational system” and that it was complicit in perpetuating white supremacy.

Dominus illuminatio mea, “The Lord is my light,” may be the official motto at Oxford, but the discourse going on at the university is anything but illuminating.

It also should be cause for concern.

The insanity occurring at the university has caused the students there to mutate into a new kind of beast, one more than willing to cannibalize others to achieve dominance.

From the Telegraph article:

At parties and events, people live in fear of something they say or do being recorded. This is more than just the effects of the internet age. It is well-known that certain people, especially in student politics or journalism, often secretly audio-record the entire evening in the hope of catching someone out.

And buried deeper in the article was an anecdote that would be hilarious if it weren’t such a grim reminder of the state of college campuses.

“I remember how, at the dawn of the invasion of Ukraine, there was a scramble among students to be the one who set up the University’s Ukrainian Society,” the author writes, adding:

Once formed, it was immediately added to some of the victorious founders’ LinkedIn and Twitter bios, even though they were yet to do anything.

In an ecosystem where all that matters is the perception of virtue, it should come as no surprise that the animals within will do whatever it takes to seem virtuous. They act like woke peacocks that are willing to kill other birds to be the most beautiful one of all.

While this urge to hunt prey has unfortunate consequences for the state of higher education, it has even more dire consequences for the state of Western civilization.

The law of the jungle at its core is that the strong will dominate the weak. The snake eats the mouse and is in turn consumed by the hawk.

The point of civilization is to reject the natural, entropic state of things, to bring order to the chaos by establishing a society where the weak can coexist with the strong. The snake and the mouse and the hawk are all neighbors and only fight over politics or sports.

By so callously looking for opportunities to destroy their opposition, to tear them apart with fang and claw, the students at Oxford backslide into a state of nature and barbarism.

Once they leave campus, there’s zero doubt the “eat or be eaten” philosophy they so carefully honed at school will follow them.

In a brilliant article from last year, historian Victor Davis Hanson warned that “Americans will come to appreciate just how thin is the veneer of their civilization” and that “we are relearning that what lies just beneath is utterly terrifying.”

What lies beneath is the beast, the primal state of man. And it’s hungry.


Teachers Union Unveils LGBTQ+ Toolkit for Indoctrination

This month, the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the country, released a toolkit for educators intended to help guide them on LGBTQ+ issues with their students.

According to the NEA’s “LGBTQ+ Support & Protection” webpage, the toolkit, titled “Defending the Freedom of our LGBTQ+ Students to be Themselves,” gives teachers guides to addressing students by their preferred pronouns, offers LGBTQ+ classroom library book recommendations, and provides art that teachers can display in their classrooms to use as a “tool for change.”

“In English, we have two sets of gendered pronouns: 'she/her/hers' and 'he/him/his' are pronouns that are attached to a particular gender. Men/males have typically been referred to using he/him/his and women/females by using she/her/hers. We likely all grew up assuming we knew someone’s pronouns just by looking at them, or knowing their gender, but that isn’t the case,” the NEA’s Pronoun Guide document states. “In an effort to be more affirming of all, it is important to get out of the habit of assuming pronouns. Plural pronouns are becoming more widely accepted as gender-neutral singular pronouns. It is grammatically correct to use singular ‘they’ to refer a singular person of unknown gender or to a non-binary person who does not feel gendered pronouns work for them.”

The toolkit encourages teachers to use “gender neutral” pronouns, which includes “they/them/theirs” and terms like “ze/zim/zir/zirs/zirself/zay” and includes six “professional learning” modules for educators to use to learn about “addressing bias around sexual orientation and gender identity,” and “how to create a safe school climate for students and staff.”

In recent years, teachers unions have circulated materials in schools pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity, which Townhall has covered. Last fall, it was revealed that the NEA equipped teachers in Ohio with QR-code badges that direct students to how-to guides promoting “non-binary” gender identities, “queer sex,” and the idea that “transgender men” can become pregnant, among other things.

"Instead of doing the work to teach kids what pronouns actually are, the NEA wants to push very controversial ideas about sex and gender,” Alex Nester, an investigative fellow with Parents Defending Education, told Townhall.

Last fall, Townhall covered how teachers unions across the country refused to return to work after COVID-19 lockdowns despite extorting billions of dollars from taxpayers in order to open schools back up. And, when schools were scheduled to open up, teachers unions in several cities went on strike over issues like air conditioning, class sizes, salaries, among other issues. At the same time, the National Assessment of Educational Progress' scorecard was released showing that students suffered irrecoverable learning loss due to lockdowns. The scorecard showed that students who were already behind in school fell even more behind.

“That's all they're doing here. It's not about inclusion, or caring for kids. If the NEA really cared for kids, they would work to improve test scores and student achievement--not promote political agendas,” Nester added.




Thursday, June 15, 2023

Middle school students tear down Pride banners, chant 'USA are my pronouns' while wearing red, white, and blue

School administrators in Burlington, Massachusetts, called the actions of students who resisted a middle school's Pride Month celebrations "completely unacceptable." They also said it was "demeaning" to other students while likening it to violence.

According to, on June 2, 2023, students at Marshall Simonds Middle School showed their obvious displeasure with the school's "spirit day" celebration. The event was requested and sponsored by the school's Spectrum Club, a student group for alleged LGBTQ+ students and allies, according to the outlet.

The club decorated the school with "Happy Pride Month" signs and posters that said “Why it’s not ok to say ‘That’s so gay.’” Rainbow streamers, banners, and stickers were handed out while students and faculty were encouraged to wear rainbow clothing.

Opposing students reportedly tore down banners and signs and chanted “U.S.A. are my pronouns” as they wore red, white, and blue clothes with their faces painted. The outlet also reported that students were seen “being inappropriate” with the rainbow stickers used during the event.

School Principal Cari Purchase said in a letter that she was “extremely disheartened” by the students. She both said that she respects "freedom of speech" but also claimed beliefs that are "demeaning" to others are not acceptable.

“I fully respect that our diverse community has diverse opinions and beliefs. I also respect individuals’ right to express their opinions through clothing choices and freedom of speech,” she wrote. “When one individual or group of individuals’ beliefs and actions result in the demeaning of another individual or group, it is completely unacceptable.”

“I am truly sorry that a day meant for you to celebrate your identity turned into a day of intolerance," the principal continued. "Schools are supposed to be a safe place for ALL students and faculty. Some community members’ actions created an unsafe environment for many of our students, caregivers, and faculty,” she added.

The Burlington Public Schools Superintendent, Eric Conti, also reportedly wrote a letter to parents to denounce the students. The administrator allegedly claimed that there has been an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ violence in the country and that it “has no place in our schools.”

“Like any spirit day celebration at MSMS, participation is optional. Respectful behavior across the entire student body, however, is non negotiable,” he wrote.

Even a school board member, Mike Espejo, condemned the students for their actions. “I didn’t think this could happen in Burlington,” he said. He then reportedly stated that he was disappointed that the school has yet to hire a diversity, equity, and inclusion director yet.


Principal Purchase said that the school would look into a program that would teach the children about tolerance, acceptance, and respect.

A local group of non-profits that claim to promote diversity, the Burlington Equity Coalition, demanded the children be punished and that the district hire a diversity, inclusion, and equity director. ?


UK: History teacher, 54, was 'treated like a paedophile' and faced classroom ban after giving science lesson about puberty that 'upset' children with gender dysphoria

A senior teacher has told how he was ‘treated like a paedophile’ and faced being banned from the profession over a science lesson about puberty that upset children with gender identity issues.

Roy Huggins, 54, a history teacher with more than 30 years’ experience, was asked to fill-in for an absent colleague to teach a class of 11 and 12-year-olds.

He read from a national curriculum textbook about the physical changes to the bodies of boys and girls during puberty and provided some additional explanation to help the pupils understand. He believed the lesson went well.

But unknown to Mr Huggins there were at least two pupils in the Year 7 class who were ‘diagnosed with gender dysphoria’ and several pupils later lodged complaints about ‘inappropriate’ comments he made in the lesson which caused offence.

Instead of simply discussing the problem with Mr Huggins to avoid a repetition, the school reported him to the local authority safeguarding body who deal with allegations against adults working with children.

To his relief Mr Huggins was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing and he said the authority even ‘criticised the school.’

But not satisfied with the conclusion, the headteacher at Retford Oaks Academy in Nottinghamshire then referred Mr Huggins to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) who have the power to ban teachers from working with children.

It triggered a ‘nightmare’ two months during which the married father-of-two and grandfather became ‘suicidal’ as a reputation built up over decades at the top of his profession was put at risk.

He blamed his treatment on a culture at the school for ‘pushing a radical agenda.’

Last week he received notification from the DBS that he was in the clear as there was no case to answer, but he decided to publicly reveal details of his ordeal as a warning of what can happen to teachers treading through today’s gender identity minefield.

Speaking from his home in South Yorkshire, Mr Huggins said: ‘What’s happened to me is a cautionary tale for our modern times of how systems can be abused by people pushing an agenda. Maybe my experience has shined a light on why quite a few people are leaving the profession.’

Instead of backing him, he said the school authorities ‘threw me to the lions’ and warned in the current culture ‘they are prepared to sacrifice people on the altar of these ideologies.’

During a long career as a history teacher he has also been an assistant head, educational consultant and written books and education content about teaching.

He was helping struggling pupils in the library when he was called to teach a class of 30 children who had no science teacher. The head of science told him: ‘Roy you are dealing with this lesson on puberty.’

He said: ‘It’s every teacher’s nightmare to be stuck with something like that and I said “can we change it to something else as I’m not comfortable teaching it?” This is a difficult subject to teach in today’s day and age and I’m a history teacher with no training in something like this.’

However, he agreed to stick to the planned lesson topic. The task was to take information from a textbook to design an information poster about changes to a boy and girl' body in puberty.

He said: ‘I read from the textbook and talked about the hormonal changes that take place to the body during puberty. The text book described how boys develop broader shoulders and girls develop wider hips. One child said to me “Sir why do women have bigger hips” to which I replied “to have children.”

‘I said when my grandson was born last month he fitted into the palm of my hands like this [cupping his hands together] and was the size of a small football.

‘I said during puberty boys develop more muscles, women also develop more muscles as well but different muscles in order to give birth. I said when my wife gave birth and my daughter gave birth it was rather like “having a poo.” You say this because they tell you to personalise it, contextualise it.’

Mr Huggins said he talked about developing body and facial hair and when boys should start to shave. He also said it was a good time for boys to work out in the gym to add muscle as they produced far more testosterone ‘than an old man like me.’

‘What I didn’t know is that there were children in that classroom who were diagnosed with gender dysphoria and who were apparently upset by this. I had no idea of this.

‘In order to be referred to safeguarding you have got to have caused “serious harm.” They said I made inappropriate comments and caused offence and harm to the children.’

Mr Huggins has never been given any details of the gender identity issues of the pupils involved, who has complained or told by the school why he was referred to the authorities.

However, he was given feedback about the complaints from the supply agency. He was accused of saying ‘boys must be muscly to attract girls’, ‘boys must start at the gym at 12 to get muscly’ and ‘girls get hips to allow them to child bear, something all women should do.’

Other alleged comments were: ‘Stay away from women at the time of the month’, ‘boys must be clean shaven and girls must shave too’ and ‘make sure you smell nice to attract the ladies.’

One pupil also complained of being told to draw a penis, breasts and V shape in his book by the teacher.

Mr Huggins said the comments were either ‘untrue’, taken out of context or the result of a misunderstanding.

In his statement given to the local authority, he stated: ‘I feel my conscience is clear and that I have not done anything wrong. I am always happy to reflect and learn from my mistakes, but I am at a complete loss over the allegations that have been made and why they were not addressed at the school level as they are pretty laughable.’

Two days after the lesson Mr Huggins was phoned by the supply agency as he drove home from work and told ‘there has been a complaint.’

For the next two months the family man’s life was on hold. The letter stating he faced being barred from teaching caused him to ‘almost have a heart attack.’

‘I was on the floor, it was the worst thing that can ever happen to you as a teacher. You are being put through the same process as though you were a paedophile or hit or harmed a child. That’s how serious it is and it can destroy your reputation.

‘There I was at the end of a glittering career and it could all be destroyed by these false allegations by a school who decided to pursue this radical agenda.

‘It utterly destroyed my confidence and left me at times feeling suicidal. Thinking I’ve worked hard all my life, I’ve devoted myself to teaching, they are desperate for teachers and they are treating someone like me like this, why?’

He was so ‘embarrassed’ about the accusation he only told his wife Julie, a primary school teacher.

Mr Huggins said his crime was to ‘upset some children who have got gender issues.’ He is ‘mystified’ as to why they complained but believes it must be because they don’t conform to the genders he was discussing.

Despite being cleared he has never received an apology and must inform any school of the investigation if he applies for work in future.


Maine Is Sued for Seeking To Evade Supreme Court’s Ruling That Forbids Excluding Religious Schools From State’s Voucher Program

The campaign by the state of Maine to avoid having to obey a 2022 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting discrimination against religious schools in its voucher program will be challenged by a new lawsuit filed by a Catholic school and Catholic authorities in the state.

St. Dominic Academy, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, and a local Maine family filed a lawsuit yesterday in the federal court for the District of Maine against the commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, A. Pender Makin, and members of the Maine Human Rights Commission.

In St. Dominic Academy v. Makin, they allege that the policies of the department and commission target religious schools to prohibit them from the school voucher program and violate the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

In 2022, the Supreme Court ruled, in Carson v. Makin, that Maine’s education assistance program, which prohibited the use of vouchers for religious schools, violated First Amendment protections. Maine provides tuition assistance vouchers to families in rural areas where there are no available public schools so that children can attend private ones.

While the Nine was deciding Carson, Maine bureaucrats and the legislature, sensing that the state would lose the case, amended its human rights law to make it virtually impossible for religious schools to comply, thereby excluding them from the voucher program in all but name only.

“Maine’s attempts were open and blatant: craft a new policy to get out from under the clear pronouncement of Carson,” the plaintiff’s complaint says. “Maine implemented these changes to continue the exclusionary practices that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in Carson.”

“You can’t do an end run around the Supreme Court,” a senior counsel at Becket, a nonprofit law firm focused on religious liberty, Adele Keim, who represents the plaintiffs, tells the Sun. “The Supreme Court said excluding religious schools because they’re religious is wrong. And Maine needs to obey the law just like everybody else.”

Among the new laws and regulations plaintiffs contend exclude religious schools from the voucher program are ones stating that a school cannot allow for religious preferences in hiring, and that if a school permits religious expression it must allow any kind.

“So a Catholic school that has Mass would also then have to have a religious service from another faith, like the Baptist students would be able to use the chapel,” Ms. Keim says. “A Catholic school can’t do that. That’s not what it means to be a religious school.”

The other major contention in the plaintiffs’ complaint is that Maine’s human rights act with regard to gender identity and sexuality makes it impossible for religious schools to comply with both their beliefs and the regulations. The act states that it is a violation of the law to prohibit a student from using the bathroom a aligns with gender identity, say, or a violation when a teacher “refuses to acknowledge a student’s gender identity.” Catholics, as is true of Muslims and other faiths, may have different views on gender identity and same sex-marriage than bureaucrats at Augusta.

“Diocesan schools cannot delegate their responsibility to make religiously grounded decisions regarding appropriate student conduct to the Maine Human Rights Commission,” the plaintiffs’ complaint states. “The Catholic faith views parents as the primary educators of their children. … But the Commission, the state agency responsible for enforcing the Act, has interpreted the gender-identity nondiscrimination provision to require a school to facilitate a student’s efforts to change his or her gender identity even if the school knows that the student’s parents object.”

“You can’t have the Maine Human Rights Commission, which enforces the Maine human rights act, telling the Catholic school how it should teach what marriage is or what sex is or what gender is,” Ms. Keim says. “The Catholic school needs to be able to teach Catholic things about those.”

Plaintiffs also contend that the state of Maine intentionally crafted these regulations to exclude faith-based schools from the voucher program. Replying to a tweet saying Maine had outmaneuvered the Supreme Court by passing new rules for schools receiving vouchers, the then-speaker of the Maine house, Ryan Fecteau, tweeted, “Sure did. Anticipated the ludicrous decision from far-right SCOTUS.” The state’s attorney general also issued a statement saying he was “terribly disappointed and disheartened” by the Carson decision.

“The education provided by the schools at issue here is inimical to a public education. They promote a single religion to the exclusion of all others, refuse to admit gay and transgender children, and openly discriminate in hiring teachers and staff,” Maine’s attorney general, Aaron Frey, said.

The Catholic family suing in this case, Keith and Valori Radonis and their three children, want Maine to amend its law so they can get vouchers for their children to attend St. Dominic Academy. “All families should have the option to provide the education that’s right for their children using Maine’s tuition program, including religious families like ours,” they said in a statement.

Maine’s Department of Education has not replied to a request from the Sun for comment.




Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Biden Admin Says Suspending Minority Students for Skipping School Is Racist

President Joe Biden's Education and Justice Departments on Wednesday released their "Resource on Confronting Racial Discrimination in Student Discipline," which contends that persistent racism clouds school disciplinary systems. That racism is exhibited in school disciplinary codes and actions as early as preschool, according to the memo, and is evident when schools discipline minority students for excessive absences or for failing to follow the dress code, among other examples. "Discrimination in student discipline forecloses opportunities for students, pushing them out of the classroom and diverting them from a path to success in school and beyond," the memo states. "Significant disparities by race—beginning as early as preschool—have persisted in the application of student discipline in schools."

The Justice Department lays out actions it has already taken to correct course, including pushing one Maryland school district to promise to no longer suspend students for truancy. The department says frequently skipping school is not a "severe" misbehavior and asks schools to instead opt for "restorative practices" such as "conflict resolution" and "reflective writing assignments."

Biden administration officials have a long history of accusing America's public educators of racism. In 2021, liberal education policy expert Kayla Patrick blamed "whiteness" for creating a "racist" student disciplinary system in public schools across the country. Just months later, Biden's Education Department tapped Patrick to run its Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development.

"In this country, nearly 80 percent of the teachers are white. And sometimes their mindsets are based solely in whiteness," Patrick said. "So that means when they come into school, they have predisposed mindsets about who black children are, what they need to wear, and how they need to behave. And so instead of celebrating their identities and cultures, schools often erase them."

The administration's Wednesday memo outlined numerous investigations federal civil rights officials undertook to correct the racism supposedly baked into public schools' disciplinary systems. It also laid out the outcomes of those investigations, each of which involved changes to school disciplinary policies or procedures.

In one case originating in a Maryland school district, black students were allegedly "overrepresented" in misbehavior incidents that included school resource officers. Following pressure from the Justice Department, the district agreed to refrain from using "exclusionary discipline" to address truancy and other misconduct, instead opting for "behavioral support plans, reflective writing assignments, conflict resolution, and restorative practices." The district also agreed to allow truant students to make up schoolwork, rather than giving those students failing grades.

In another case, the Justice Department found that black students in a North Carolina district were "overrepresented in discipline for subjective offense categories" and unfairly suspended for repeated "lower-level infractions." As a result, the department pushed the district to provide "implicit bias training for district staff," agree to "community involvement in district development of student discipline practices," and implement "alternatives to suspensions."

The memo is seemingly at odds with other federal government findings on school discipline. Last year, research from the National Institutes of Health indicated that, "regardless of race," students in lower socio-economic classes "received more childcare provider behavioral complaints" than white and minority children of higher socio-economic status. Still, the Biden administration's Wednesday memo did not discuss the impacts economic factors have on student discipline rates.


Violence Against Teachers Is on the Rise

When English teacher Lauren Forbus saw three students at her middle school sneak in through an exit-only door, she stood in the hall with outstretched arms and told them to turn around. Instead, she said, they cursed at her and told her to move.

Then came a push that spun her around, she later told school police. Her face smacked into a set of blue lockers. Dazed, she found herself lying on the carpeted floor, tasting blood, as her colleagues called for help and Dilworth Middle School went into lockdown. Her right eye later turned black and blue.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” she recalled. “I just knew I was in pain.”

The incident on Dec. 15 jolted the 61,000-pupil Washoe County School District and injected fresh urgency into its efforts to better protect staff amid growing concerns about student violence.

So far this school year, students in the district have committed more than three dozen acts of criminal battery against staff, according to school police. District officials call both the frequency and nature of the incidents alarming.

“Most minutes of the school day everything is fine, but then there are these flashpoints of violence,” Washoe County school board president Beth Smith said.

Across the U.S., violence against teachers has ratcheted up since the widespread return to in-person learning in 2021, and in some areas the problem is worse than it was prepandemic. The data are limited, because many states don’t specifically track teacher assaults, or use the same methodology to make the data comparable.

From September through May of the current school year, the number of assault-related workers’ compensation claims filed at some 2,000 schools in different regions of the U.S. topped 1,350, a five-year high, according to claims and risk-management services firm Gallagher Bassett.

The average cost of those claims has increased 26% to around $6,700 compared with the same period in 2018-19.

“We are witnessing the highest levels of frequency, severity and complexity for these kinds of assault claims when compared to the last four complete school calendar years,” said Greg McKenna, public-sector practice leader at Gallagher Bassett.

Several high-profile attacks on educators have made national headlines, such as in Newport News, Va., where authorities said a 6-year-old boy wounded teacher Abigail Zwerner in January by intentionally shooting her in the hand and chest with a gun he brought from home. The boy’s family has said he has an acute disability. His mother faces criminal charges of child neglect and for leaving the gun in reach of the child. She hasn’t entered a plea, her lawyer said. In March, two administrators at Denver’s East High School were shot and wounded by a 17-year-old student who fled and was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

In a nationwide American Psychological Association survey of nearly 15,000 teachers and staff from July 2020 to June 2021, 14% of teachers reported physical violence from students, and 49% of teachers said they wanted to quit or switch schools. While teachers are frequently hurt intervening in fights, some are targeted. The incidents go along with more attention on violence in schools more broadly, including fighting and bullying among students.

“Across the board, we continue to see significant mental and behavioral health challenges with youth, some of which are manifesting in violence and aggression to fellow students and staff,” said Kelly Vaillancourt Strobach, director of policy and advocacy at the National Association of School Psychologists. She said greater access to school psychologists, counselors and social workers is needed, along with increased involvement of students’ families.

Many educators cite unmet mental-health needs and social disruption during the pandemic as causes. Others partly blame a shift to disciplinary practices they say create a sense of impunity among students by de-emphasizing traditional punishment for misconduct.

Teacher safety concerns—largely tied to student fights—are a front-burner issue in northern Nevada’s vast Washoe County. The district is taking a multitrack approach, officials said, working to toughen penalties for misbehavior and to make it easier for teachers to summon help, while expanding students’ access to mental-health care.

In the first 110 days of the school year, the district recorded 7,418 violent events, a category that includes fighting and bullying. That is the most in five years and an 8% increase from 2018-19, officials said.

Also up are the number of incidents in which students strike school staff, said Paul LaMarca, a social psychologist who oversees behavior issues as the district’s chief strategies officer. “It seems like it’s been a bit more extreme, a little bit more frequent this school year than it has in the past,” he said.

A subset of more-serious incidents classified as criminal battery by school police, who are armed law enforcement, are down compared with 2018-19, but have edged higher since the start of the pandemic. School district officials said the data aren’t complete because teachers don’t always report incidents, but administrators, teachers and school board members say they feel the problem has gotten worse.


Students groan, jeer, boo when Pride video is shown in class; teacher threatens 'Saturday school' if they don't 'knock it off'

A video has been circulating on social media showing students in a classroom reacting negatively to a Pride video being shown to them. Amid numerous students jeering and booing, a teacher is heard threatening students with "Saturday school" if they don't "knock it off."

What are the details?

The clip purportedly was shown in a math class in Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California. The date the video was shown is unclear.

Early in the clip, the teacher gives an initial warning for unruly students to "stop!"

When the negative reactions continue, the teacher adds, "Hey, I'm warning you guys now, if you're gonna be inappropriate, I will have supervision down and give all of you a Saturday school for next year. So knock it off."

While many have reacted harshly toward the teacher in question as if airing the clip was her idea, conservative commentator Robby Starbuck — who posted the clip on Twitter — noted in a subsequent tweet that "some 10th grade students came forward to tell me that this video was played in ALL classes that day, not just math class. They’re upset about it and want the school to refrain from playing videos like this."

They don’t want you to see this … Big Tech does its best to limit what news you see. Make sure you see our stories daily — directly to your inbox.

Another Twitter user — @inminivanhell — made a similar claim on Twitter, saying the clip was shown in all classes and actually is from the student news channel.

That Twitter user added, "In an effort to control the class, the teacher can be heard warning the students if they can’t behave they will receive Saturday school. This teacher is now dealing with her picture & name being posted all over the Internet — because she asked them to behave in class."

That same Twitter user also noted the following: "Further context: the student news video was 10 mins long, it shared graduation information, interviews with students, sports recap, and videos reflecting on their school year. This video clip about Pride was a 1-min segment during the episode."




Monday, June 12, 2023

Asian-American who scored 1590 out of 1600 on SAT, got 4.65 GPA says he applied to Harvard, Princeton, 4 other elite colleges — and they all rejected him

Jon Wang, an Asian-American, achieved a nearly perfect sore of 1590 out of 1600 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and attained 4.65 grade-point average in high school — well beyond perfect.

Most folks likely would assume that waves of red carpets would come rolling in from elite colleges that would love nothing more than to scoop up a student boasting such numbers.

Indeed, Wang told Fox Nation he applied to six "top-tier" institutions of higher learning — Harvard, Princeton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the California Institute of Technology, Carnegie-Mellon, and the University of California, Berkeley.

But the verdict — despite Wang's performance, which included a perfect 800 on the math portion of the SAT — was a resounding no from all six schools, the cable network program said.

Wang — a Florida native and the son of two first-generation Chinese immigrants — told Fox Nation the rejections weren't entirely surprising given that he spoke to friends and school guidance counselors amid the application process, and they all said the same thing.

"They all told me that it's tougher to get in, especially as an Asian-American," Wang told Fox Nation. "I just took it as gospel."


UC Berkeley Brings Chesa Boudin Aboard

“The University of California at Berkeley has chosen Chesa Boudin, former San Francisco District Attorney, as founding executive director of the UC Berkeley Criminal Law & Justice Center.

“The center will serve as a national research and advocacy hub focused on critical law and policy changes to advance justice in the criminal legal system,” Boudin explained. “We will participate in impact litigation and help to educate the next generation of frontline advocates, policymakers and thought leaders emerging from the UC Berkeley School of Law.”

Elected in 2019, “Chesa Boudin threw a monkey wrench into the city’s criminal justice system,” recalls Richie Greenberg, San Francisco resident and business consultant. “Amid a series of high-profile cases, his promise to release repeat criminals and to allow quality of life crimes to go unpunished, San Francisco descended into a scofflaw paradise.”

Greenberg spearheaded a recall effort, and in June of 2022, San Francisco voters booted Boudin by a 60-40 margin. Mayor London Breed then appointed University of Chicago law alum Brooke Jenkins, a prosecutor in the city’s homicide division.

Jenkins proceeded to fire 16 Boudin loyalists, part of “important changes to my management team and staff that will help advance my vision to restore a sense of safety in San Francisco by holding serious and repeat offenders accountable and implementing smart criminal justice reforms.”

Last November, Jenkins prevailed over three rivals with approximately 54 percent of the vote.

Boudin will not contend for the job. The rejected DA is “choosing a different path for now—that is still consistent with my lifelong commitment to fixing the criminal legal system, ending mass incarceration and innovating data-driven solutions to public safety challenges.” The new executive director believes he’s uniquely qualified for the position.

“Both of my biological parents were arrested when I was a baby and spent a combined 62 years in prison. A lifetime of visiting them behind bars, together with the years I spent as a public defender and then an elected prosecutor, taught me how catastrophically California and the nation’s current approach to justice are failing.”

His biological parents were Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, members of the Weather Underground. They were arrested for their involvement in a 1981 armored car robbery in New York State that claimed the lives of security guard Peter Paige and two police officers, including the African American Waverly Brown.

Kathy Boudin is the daughter of Leonard Boudin, a lawyer who represented Cuba’s Communist dictatorship. Chesa, named after fugitive cop-killer Joanne Chesimard, worked for Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez but wanted to make a difference in America. San Francisco voters turned him out, but UC Berkeley rolled out the welcome mat.

“Chesa was chosen after a national search and has substantial experience across the criminal justice system,” proclaimed Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law. “He has thought deeply about the system, and I cannot think of anyone better to create and direct this important center.”


Protests mounting and Pride flags underfoot after Ottawa teachers told to refer to all students with 'they/them pronouns' and prohibit opt-outs from '2SLGBTQ+ learnings'

In its latest effort to force staff and students to fully embrace LGBT activism and gender ideology, an Ottawa school board appears to have found Canadians' breaking point.

Upon learning that students will no longer be referred to as boys or girls, but will rather be addressed as sexless pluralities, protesters took to the streets, demanding that the leftist administrators "leave the kids alone."

How did it start?

A trio of Ottawa-Carleton District School Board superintendents reportedly sent a letter to staff May 31 entitled, "Supporting Inclusivity: Actions for Pride Month and Beyond." The letter, obtained by Chanel Pfahl, a school trustee candidate, clarified that nothing save for total submission to LGBT precepts would be acceptable in the district.

Mary Jane Farrish, the superintendent of equity instruction, Shannon Smith, superintendent of indigenous education instruction, and Brent Smith, acting superintendent of program and learning, stressed that "2SLGBTQ+" representation in the curriculum and classroom is a "fundamental human right."

Accordingly, staff must embed resources that "accurately reflect and honor 2SLGBTQ+ identities into curriculum subjects and the overall learning environment, from Kindergarten to Grade 12."

The superintendents noted that honoring non-straight "identities" and peddling LGBT propaganda in every grade were only partial measures.

Teachers were further instructed to use "they/them pronouns" when referring to all students, not just those with gender dysphoria.

Extra to asking teachers to apply a blanket denial of biological reality in their engagement with students, the superintendents underscored that "2SLGBTQ+ learnings should be offered to the school community without the option to opt out. It is essential to understand that human rights are not open to debate or selective participation."

The Counter Signal reported that last week there was a silent protest in the district: absenteeism skyrocketed on the first day of Pride, with absences reaching above 60% in two schools and over 40% in nine others.




Sunday, June 11, 2023

Teachers Are Divided on Whether Arming Themselves Would Make Schools Safer: Poll

Those in support of the Second Amendment have argued that police presence at schools, as well as more mental health resources, could reduce school shootings. Some have argued that arming teachers would make schools safer. A new survey published this week asked teachers if arming themselves could make schools safer.

In the survey conducted by the RAND Corporation, more than half of teachers said that they believe arming teachers would make schools less safe (via CBS News):

Still, 19% said they would be interested in carrying a gun to school, according to the RAND Corporation's survey of K-12 teachers — which would equate to more than 550,000 of the nation's 3 million K-12 teachers.

The remaining 26% said it would neither make schools more or less safe, according to the survey of 973 K-12 teachers conducted by RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, between October and November 2022.


White teachers were more likely to believe carrying firearms at schools would make them safer, compared to Black teachers. Male teachers in rural schools were also more likely to say they would carry a firearm if the school allowed, according to the survey.

According to the survey, the top concern for students among teachers is bullying.

"Despite the prevalence of anti-bullying programs, everyday school violence is a concern for teachers. Bullying, not active shooters, was teachers' most common top safety concern, followed by fights and drugs," Heather L. Schwartz, a policy researcher at RAND who co-authored the study, said.

In the findings, 49 percent of teachers said their top concerns were bullying and cyberbullying. This reportedly varied by the age of the students taught. Middle school teachers said self-harm was also a top concern.


Parents livid over Pride video shown to 3rd, 4th, 5th graders in which child says, 'I never really felt like a boy, and I don’t really feel like a girl, so I’d rather be both'

Some parents in Connecticut are up in arms over a Pride Month video that was shown to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders; one of the scenes features a child revealing, "I never really felt like a boy, and I don’t really feel like a girl, so I’d rather be both."

What are the details?

Some parents whose children attend Wells Road Intermediate School in Granby argued that they should have been told about the video before their children were shown it, WFSB-TV reported.

What's more, some parents said their children are too young to learn about the topics like gender, the station said, adding that parents should be the ones to have such discussions if they so choose.

The video shows children describing what Pride Month means to them, WFSB said.

“Pride means you should be able to be free," a participant named Simon — who uses he/they pronouns, said in the clip. "All my life I never really felt like a boy, and I don’t really feel like a girl, so I’d rather be both."

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Parents told the station the day the video was shown at school, their kids got home and told them about it.

"When I saw the video, I was extremely disturbed," parent Kyle Reyes noted to WFSB. "These are conversations that, if anyone's going to have with ... kids, it should be parents having them with [their] kids."

Reyes added to the station that he's pulling his four children — all of them under the age of 9 — out of the district over the video.

WFSB showed the video to a mother who was in the school pickup line Monday: “They needed to get parents’ permissions to show their children that. We should’ve been told so we can have a conversation at home and not be thrown off guard this way.”

Stephen Davis was picking up his 8-year-old granddaughter and told the station that "there was nothing warning us" and that children "don’t have to worry about being an adult when they’re 8 years old."

What did the district have to say?

The superintendent’s office said parental concerns are being dealt with internally — and that the video was designed for 2-to-12-year-old students, WFSB reported.

The station said it obtained a letter from Wells Road principal Pauline Greer sent to parents over the issue: “It certainly was not intended to alienate or disturb any child. In context, we were trying to remind students that it is ok to be who you are and still be treated with respect dignity, and kindness.”

Reyes noted to WFSB that "parents are starting to come out of the woodwork, and it’s time to start fighting back."


Australia: Parents left in the dark by new-age learning

In the jargon and edubabble much loved by new-age, Woke educrats teachers no longer teach, instead they are described as facilitators and guides by the side, and students, instead of being students, are knowledge navigators and digital natives where self-agency and self-directed, inquiry-based learning prevails.

Teacher-directed lessons have been scrapped to be replaced by collaborative, negotiated, goal-setting based on deep dives and holistic synergies. Instead of pass/fail, assessment is based on muti-tiered progression points and zones of proximal development.

Welcome to the mad, crazy world of 21st century learning where teachers are drowned in education gobbledegook making it impossible to teach effectively and to ensure students work hard to achieve the best results.

No wonder, despite the additional billions invested over the last 10 to 20 years education standards, as measured by international mathematics, science, and literacy tests, have either flatlined or gone backwards. Employers also complain about young employees lacking basic skills.

Teachers are no longer the masters of their subject based on the fact they know more than their students. Instead, learning is restricted to the world of the student. Teachers are told students must have choice, voice, and agency when it comes to what happens in the classroom.

Primary school children, in particular, are centre stage where self-directed learning draws on a process model that allows students to engage with the curriculum at their point of need and that engages them as the centrepiece in the inquiry cycle.

Students pose questions, seek answers, and are guided to become effective researchers where they take ownership and co-construct meaning with peers. To cater for all learning styles, success-criteria is outlined and/or co-constructed so that they can be set up for success, and ultimately be rewarded in the classroom.

When it comes to assessment the new-age classroom is also progressive and decidedly Woke. Gone are the days when students either passed or failed and where the class was ranked in terms of performance.

Those responsible for Australia’s National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) boast there is no pass/fail in the national test as students are assessed as either exceeding, strong, developing or needs additional support. Whatever that means.

Instead of summative assessment, where 4 out of 10 means fail and work is ranked A to E, teachers now use an assessment that is descriptive, diagnostic, collaborative, and based on a developmental continuum with various progression points.

Not only do students progress from year to year without any explicit measure of whether they have mastered what is required, but parents are left in the dark as their children progress through school. The first time students face a high-risk, objective test is Year 12.

Not surprisingly, one of the common complaints made by teachers is that instead of having the time and energy to actually teach and interact with students they are exhausted by a new-age approach to learning and assessment that is cumbersome, time-consuming, and counter-productive.

What needs to be done? Instead of meaningless edubabble what happens in the classroom should be expressed succinctly and directly in plain English based on what the evidence suggests is the most teacher friendly and effective approach.

Teachers, instead of being guides by the side, must be authority figures in charge of the classroom. Students, especially boys, need boundaries as the most effective classrooms are those where there is a disciplined, industrious environment with consistently enforced consequences for bad behaviour.

One of the reasons Australian classrooms are ranked among the most disruptive and noisy across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries is because schools have adopted fads like open classrooms and teachers as friends instead of authority figures.

Teachers and schools must also set high expectations where students are pressured to excel instead of excusing failure because students are from so-called disadvantaged groups and less well-off communities.

One of the reasons Asian students in places like South Korea, Japan, and China outperform Australian students in international tests like TIMSS and PISA is because every student, whether poor or rich, city or country is pushed to excel.

The expression only a fool repeats again and again what has been proven to fail is especially true when it comes to education. Notwithstanding that the gobbledegook forced on teachers is responsible for falling standards and teacher burnout, it is still all pervasive.

The most recent asks teachers to implement a multi-tiered level system of teaching, involving ‘universal student screening, evidence-based interventions provided on a sliding scale of intensity, and progress monitoring of students receiving intervention’.

Asking teachers to evaluate and monitor every student, each lesson based on individualised learning programs and progression points, once again, overwhelms them with paperwork, taking time from actually teaching and raising standards.