The principal at Coed-y-Brain Primary School in Llanbradach, Wales claims that some students, as young as six, are “initiating games that involve simulating rape and sexual intercourse” because of the video game Grand Theft Auto.
Teachers at the school asked the children, ages 6-11, what they were playing in the school yard, notes the South Wales Evening Post.
The kids reportedly told the teachers that they were doing scenes from the Grand Theft Auto V video game, which has sold more than 32 million copies around the world, but is labeled for users "Over 18."
According to the South Wales Argus, school principal Morian Morgan (pictured) recently sent a letter to parents about the “extremely concerning behavior” of students, which included a "detailed discussion of drug use."
However, none of the children were disciplined.
In his letter, Morgan also claims that children are “acting out scenes from the game which include the strongest of sexual swear words," “having conversations” about sexual acts and “play acting extremely violent games that sometimes result in actual injury."
“Until I went online and checked the content of this game, I thought it was just a bit of swearing and some shooting and I think some of the parents will tell you that they have been equally naive," added Morgan.
“It became more concerning because this newest version (GTA V was released in September last year) seems to be even more shocking than the previous games," wrote Morgan.
Millions of Americans deny global warming exists, but millions do believe that astrology is "scientific," according to a new study.
The National Science Foundation's 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators study says that only 55 percent of Americans in 2012 did not think astrology was scientific.
According to Mother Jones, 31 to 45 percent Americans, depending on their age group, believe that astrology is either "very scientific" or "sort of scientific."
More than half of Americans, ages 18 to 24, are most likely to believe astrology is at least "sort of" scientific, notes UPI.
In comparison, 92 percent of people in China do not believe astrology is scientific.
The highest percentage of Americans who did not believe in astrology was scientific was in 2004, when 66 percent did not believe in it.
Blake Brockington, 17, was named East Mecklenburg High School’s first transgender homecoming king last Friday.
The crowning happened in the school gym in Charlotte, N.C. (video below).
“Throughout my life I haven’t always been treated equally as a male, so I’ve always wanted this and everybody has told me I couldn’t do it," Brockington told WCNC. "Even my peers have said, ‘You are a girl,’ even though I’ve always identified myself as a male."
Brockington lives with a foster family because his biological family recognizes him as a female based on his phenotype.
"I hope this makes everybody know that they can be themselves regardless of what anybody else says," Brockington explained to WBTV. "Even though you go through some things and you have some negative encounters in your life, anything's possible."
Donald Smith, Brockington’s foster father, told WCNC, “He really is hoping that it helps those behind him going through the same challenges and struggles.”
Mark Betterson, a student at East Lee County High School in Lehigh Acres, Fla., recently learned that his school's "zero-tolerance policy" includes defending other students under assault.
Betterson claims that he tried to stop a fellow student James Griffin from attacking a gay student, Jonathan Colon (video below).
According to Betterson, he witnessed Griffin throw milk in Colon's face, use gay slurs and hit the gay student.
"Jonathan was just going to stand there and get beat up," Betterson told Fox 4 Now. "And if I didn't jump into it, it would have gotten serious. I was just trying to break up the whole thing because it's just not fair for somebody to get beat up for something that he is."
Betterson said that after he intervened, Griffin assaulted him and the two ended up in a fight.
However, Griffin insists Colon approached him, said some insults and gave him the finger.
"I don't know what made [Betterson] do this, but it was very rude," Griffin told NBC 2. "He didn't come in like, 'I'm going to save Jonathan.' He came in already with pressure toward me."
Griffin was charged with battery by local police, while Betterson was suspended for 10 days.
Officials at Carondelet High School for Girls in Concord, Calif. are apologizing for celebrating Black History Month by placing watermelon, fried chicken and cornbread on the Catholic school's menu last Friday.
The school's Black Student Union was reportedly the first to raise objections to the controversial lunch menu (video below).
According to NBC Bay Area, Carondelet Principal Nancy Libby explained the situation to students during a school assembly on Wednesday and wrote a letter to parents, which read in part:
I’d like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members. Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate racial stereotypes.
The Associated Press notes that Principal Libby says Carondelet will hold a diversity assembly for students and teachers.
Students are using vapor pens, or "vapes," to secretly smoke marijuana in class at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colo.
Vapor pens are supposed to be used for e-cigarettes and can be legally bought for $25.00. By using a vapor pen, there is no "skunk" smell of pot (video below).
Are the teachers aware of this? Students say "no," but the principal says "yes."
“I’ve seen people in my math class and they’ll be sitting there with the teacher and they’ll be smoking it and they won’t even know,” student Jack Maestas told CBS Denver.
However, Lakewood High School principal Ron Castagna says, “Teachers are aware of what to look for. The nervous habit of biting on your pen has a new meaning to it."
Tim Martinez, the school's security supervisor, explained how the vapor pens work: “You can use them for weed, hash oil. Pens that come with capsules with weed in them, melts the plastic and cooks the weed."
Ironically, vapor pens were marketed to help adults stop smoking, but are being used by teens to start smoking pot.
“A kid could use it anywhere, passing between classrooms, in the bathroom quickly,” Phil Boissiere, a San Francisco psychotherapist, told NBC Bay Area.
Boissiere says teens are vaping at school, but also at home in front of their parents as a part of a weird "game."
“Without mom and dad catching on,” added Boissiere. “There are bragging rights, hide where you can, pull it off, who you can do it in front of without getting caught.”
There are even “vape meets” where users show off their vapor pens, which are becoming accessories for teen girls.
“It’s like if you’re pulling out lipstick, you want to look like you match,” stated Candace Garcia, a counselor for students in Santa Clara County. “So with this e-cigarette or vaporizer pen, if it’s hot pink and you have a hot pink purse, it looks cool. So I’ve seen it a lot.”
The Somerset Preparatory Charter Middle School in Miramar, Fla. went into lockdown yesterday after a school official reported witnessing “suspicious items” placed in front of the school by a woman.
Students and faculty were told to walk to the rear of the school, while a bomb squad was called in and several roads were blockaded by police.
“A school official contacted police, and the woman was no longer on the scene when our officers arrived,” Tania Rues, a spokesperson for the Miramar Police Department, told the Sun-Sentinel. "As a precaution, we contacted the Broward sheriff’s bomb squad to investigate.”
The bomb squad did not find an explosive device, but rather a shopping bag that contained some pillows.
Overreactions are becoming more routine across the country as more Americans see common objects as potential bombs.
In November 2013, Austin, Texas police responded to a “suspicious package” call near a Radio Shack, which was not a threat, but police refused to say what the package was, reported Statesman.com.
In October 2013, San Francisco police responded to a call about an unattended backpack near Union Square, which resulted in a bomb squad being called in and traffic lanes closing down, noted USA Today.
Cafeteria cook Wendy Ferris allegedly threatened to shoot up King Phillip School in Norfolk, Mass., over some burned cookies last Friday.
Ferris was furious after a co-worker said she’d overcooked a batch of cookies and started baking a new order, reports My Fox Boston.
Ferris went to the cafeteria manager’s office in an “uproar” over the burned cookies and told the manager to find another cook.
According to the police report, Ferris told the cafeteria manager, “I’m thinking about going out to buy an AK-47 and shooting this [expletive] school up!”
The school superintendent called the police a short time later.
Ferris was arrested at her home in Cumberland, R.I., on Friday night and held over the weekend, but was freed after paying a $5,000 bond on Monday.
“She’s an incredibly peaceful person,” her husband Philip Ferris told CBS Boston. “It’s beyond me where this even comes from.”
“We’re looking to working with the school department and the D.A.’s office to get to the bottom of this,” added Ferris' defense attorney Peter Padula. “She denies the facts.”
An unidentified co-worker told police that Ferris may have compiled a hit list that included the name of another school employee. The co-worker also said Ferris stated she could "bring a gun in and shoot people."
A judge ordered Ferris to surrender her guns and stay away from the school and its staff.
Dan Joseph, of the conservative Media Research Center (MRC), recently asked students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. what they knew about Justin Bieber's Miami Beach arrest and President Obama's State of the Union Address this week.
Amazingly, few students were even aware of the State of the Union Address, but all of them were up to date on Bieber's legal problems, notes the MRC (video below).
First, Joseph asked the students what Bieber was arrested for, and most knew it was DUI and drag racing, but then he asked them about a "big political speech last night," but most of the students couldn't name it.
A few students did know it was the State of the Union address, but could not say what President Obama talked about.
“I go to George Mason pretty frequently for these types of videos but this trip was more depressing than usual,” Joseph recently told Campus Reform. “Typically there are at least a few students that I talk to that are informed and knowledgeable on the news item that I'm asking about."
"But this time, there was only one guy who had actually watched the speech," added Joseph. "Everyone else either didn't know that the State of Union address had actually occurred or had heard about it but didn't have any idea what issues the president spoke about.”
The parents of students attending Marinette Middle School in Wisconsin are upset over a game organized by administrators that they say revealed too much about the personal lives of students.
The game was called “Cross the Line.”
According to administrators, the game was part of an anti-bullying program and was meant to build stronger bonds between students. Talk to parents and you’ll hear a different story.
In the game, a teacher asks a question like “Do you have any siblings at home?” Any student with siblings at home then steps forwards. The concept of the game doesn’t seem problematic. But check out the kinds of questions being asked by teachers at Marinette:
“Do your parents drink?”
“Has anyone in your family ever been to jail?”
“Have you ever been suicidal?”
“Have you ever had the urge to cut yourself?”
Questions like these, parents say, are inappropriate for middle school children to be answering in front of their peers.
“This kind of stuff, I mean, this can’t happen again,” one mother said. “These are our little kids. We’re parents. We should’ve been protecting them. You should’ve gave us the benefit of the doubt of contacting us.”
Not only do parents believe the game was inappropriate, but they also report that participation in it was required. Marinette administrators claim participation was voluntary, but one student who declined to take part was threatened with in-school suspension.
The student’s parent spoke to NBC 26 about her daughter’s refusal to partake in the game.
“She stood her ground, half her class stood their ground,” Janette Sadowski said. “Those are questions no child should have to answer.”
On Friday, the school sent a letter home to parents explaining why the game was played. Parents are demanding more answers, though, and hope to meet with school officials soon.
“It was too personal,” another parent added. “It’s just things your kids don’t need to be disclosing to other kids.”