Posts tagged education
Posts tagged education
Brandon Ambrosino wrote an autobiographical piece for The Atlantic on his life at Liberty University, evangelist Jerry Falwell’s Southern Baptist university, and how it changed as he came to terms with his homosexuality. It’s quite raw at times, as he describes coming to terms with himself, but it’s also quite optimistic:
Many of us view the world as an ugly place with a few beautiful redeeming characteristics. Unfortunately, that’s also how we view humans. But what I learned at Liberty was that this idea is the exact opposite of reality: The world and the people in it are really wonderful with just a smidge of ugliness about them.
I enjoyed his story.
Michael Rubinkam, AP:
Waiting in line for the bus, a Pennsylvania kindergartener tells her pals she’s going to shoot them with a Hello Kitty toy that makes soap bubbles. In Maryland, a 6-year-old boy pretends his fingers are a gun during a playground game of cops and robbers. In Massachusetts, a 5-year-old boy attending an after-school program makes a gun out of Legos and points it at other students while “simulating the sound of gunfire,” as one school official put it.
Kids with active imaginations? Or potential threats to school safety?
Some school officials are taking the latter view, suspending or threatening to suspend small children over behavior their parents consider perfectly normal and age-appropriate — even now, with schools in a state of heightened sensitivity following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December.
The article is more about zero tolerance policies than guns; it’s just that recent school shootings are potentially the impetus of these zero-tolerance violations.
My reaction to the incidents in the first paragraph was that this was a total overreaction, but it got me thinking: is there simulated violence that’s not okay? Play-shooting and play-swordfighting are part of the experience of being a kid in the United States I think, but are there types of violence that aren’t acceptable for children, like play-vehicular homicide or play-physical beating? Is there a difference between pretending you’re shooting someone and pretending you’re torturing someone to death?
I have a notion that there’s a cruelty aspect involved: that there’s an arbitrary line somewhere demarcating “clean” roughhousing from more vicious “games.” But I also feel like that feeling is shaped by a normalization of certain kinds of violence more than my actual sense of right versus wrong.
This isn’t an argument in any way. I’m just trying to figure out what I think.
NBC News’s PhotoBlog posted an excellent set of photos from President Obama’s trip on Thursday to a preschool in Decatur, Georgia. This photo by Brendan Smialowsky for AFP/Getty Images was my favorite. The girl is pouring on a tremendous amount of disdain.
The self-proclaimed “America’s Toughest Sheriff” joined forces this weekend with action movie star Steven Seagal to train volunteer armed posse members to defend Phoenix-area schools against gunmen.
Seagal, best known for his roles in movies such as “Above the Law” and “Under Siege,” will lead training on hand-to-hand defense tactics, among other techniques, drawing from his expertise in martial arts, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
Steven Seagal is weird.
AP report on the latest crisis gripping American schools: free yoga classes:
A group of parents is bent out of shape by free yoga classes at schools in this San Diego County beachside community, fearing they are indoctrinating youngsters in eastern religion.
“There’s a deep concern that the Encinitas Union School District is using taxpayer resources to promote Ashtanga yoga and Hinduism, a religion system of beliefs and practices,” the parents’ attorney, Dean Broyles, told the North County Times.
Ring the alarum-bell!
Weird, a school starts trying to actually help their children and finds it works. Life is strange.
I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: treat children and teens like people, and they’ll act like people.
Jeff Wilson, AP:
Student claims that a junior high teacher was moonlighting as a porn star were initially dismissed after school officials said they couldn’t find any images of her on the Internet.
The investigation was quickly restarted, however, when other teachers showed them downloads from smartphones, and the officials realized the school computer system blocked access to sex sites.
Denise Lavoie, Associated Press:
Students and faculty at Harvard University are calling on the school to award posthumous degrees to seven students expelled nearly a century ago for being gay or perceived as gay, and they’re timing a rally for their cause to coincide with a visit by Lady Gaga.
But Harvard says it doesn’t award posthumous degrees, except in rare cases where students complete academic requirements but die before degrees have been conferred.
The university apologized a decade ago, after a student reporter found a file marked “secret court” in the university archives and wrote about the expulsions.
Wait, Harvard did what?
The group wants Harvard to formally abolish the secret court, a tribunal of administrators that investigated charges of homosexual activity among students at the Ivy League school in 1920. The tribunal remained a secret for decades and only became public in 2002 after the report in the Harvard Crimson magazine.
Mother of fuck.
D. Aileen Dodd, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
A Gwinnett schools investigation found former Beaver Ridge Elementary School teacher Luis Rivera was the author of a third-grade homework assignment that used slave beatings to teach math concepts.
In a statement to school officials obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, Rivera, a teacher at the school since August 2008, apologized and said some of the questions he wrote were in “poor taste.”
Rivera’s 20-question homework assignment used slave beatings and picking cotton to link lessons about ex-slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass to math computation. One of the problems read: “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”
What the fuck.
Bruce Schreiner, AP:
A 9-year-old autistic boy who misbehaved at school was stuffed into a duffel bag and the drawstring pulled tight, according to his mother, who said she found him wiggling inside as a teacher’s aide stood by.
Why the hell would you do this. Like, what possible rationale could there be for
At a meeting with school district officials, the bag was described as a “therapy bag,” Baker said, though she wasn’t clear exactly what that meant. She said her son would sometimes be asked to roll over a bag filled with balls as a form of therapy, but she didn’t know her son was being placed in the bag. She said school officials told her it was not the first time they had put him in the bag.
Nominating “therapy bag” as euphemism of the year ‘011.