Somerset Middle School in Somerset, Wis. has been accused of segregating boys and girls based on gender stereotypes, which may violate gender equality laws.
The ACLU of Wisconsin claims that the middle school's use of gender stereotypes is depriving students of an equal education.
“There is no solid evidence supporting the assertions about supposed differences between boys’ and girls’ brains that underlie these programs, and there is absolutely no evidence that teaching boys and girls differently leads to any educational improvements. It’s harmful for schools to promote these types of generalizations about boys and girls," Galen Sherwin, of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, said in a press release.
The ACLU claims that documents obtained via open records laws show the school uses different teaching methods for boys and girls, who are separated into single-sex classrooms. The kids are also segregated by during extracurricular activities, lunch and recess.
According to the ACLU, the school claims “girls hear better,” “boys are messy," “boys value team affiliation above friendship" and "girls are more easily distracted than boys and prefer quiet and focus.”
The ACLU is calling for the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education to investigate.
The school's program is heavily influenced by Dr. Leonard Sax and corporate consultant Michael Gurian, who have advocated for the choice of single sex education.
However, The New York Times reported in 2011 that eight scientists wrote in the journal Science that "sex-segregated education is deeply misguided and often justified by weak, cherry-picked or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence.”
“It’s simply not true that boys and girls learn differently,” the study’s lead author Diane Halper told The New York Times. “Advocates for single-sex education don’t like the parallel with racial segregation, but the parallels are there. We used to believe that the races learned differently, too.”
Afro-American Society president and student Jalil Bishop led a protest at Dartmouth College on Monday against the school's alleged indifference to racial equality, sexual assault and fraternities that have held racist parties.
The protest occurred on the Hanover, N.H. campus during speeches to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, noted The Dartmouth (video below).
Bishop criticized the school for putting effort into MLK celebrations, but not putting the same work into ending “oppression on campus.”
“Ask yourself why Dartmouth has spent more time, money, and resources into celebrating this so-called ‘justice work,’ than into actually doing justice work,” said Bishop.
“Dartmouth is complicit,” added Bishop. “We are complicit in failing to break down the structure that keeps so many black and brown bodies across the country and around the world marginalized, and keeps so many white bodies benefiting from that marginalization.”
At one point, Bishop stated, “Stand if sitting is no longer an option, stand if you understand that we must eradicate white supremacy."
About a third of the student audience joined Bishop on stage with signs while chanting “No justice! No peace!”
According to ValleyNews.com, Bishop spoke for twenty minutes during the protest.
Eventually, Dartmouth's keynote speaker, ABC News reporter John Quinones, was able to give his speech after the protesters left the stage.
After speaking, Quinones told The Dartmouth, "It says a lot about this university that they were allowed to go onstage and get their message out. There are other places where they could have been arrested or pulled off the stage or something ridiculous like that. I hope people will hear and listen and that somehow there’s a conversation that’s started.”
11Colorado Ballot Initiative Will Require Marriage Education Courses Prior to All Weddings in the State
A group in Colorado is causing a stir after proposing a ballot initiative that will require couples looking to get married to go through educational classes prior to actually being allowed to wed.
The ballot, known as the Colorado Marriage Education Act, will make it mandatory for new couples to go through 10 hours of educational courses before getting married. If someone is getting married for the second time, the number of required hours would increase to 20, and for a third time, 30. A widow or widower that is remarrying, however, would only be required to go through 10 hours of classes.
Those in favor of the bill, like David Schel and Sharon Tekolian of the group Kids Against Divorce, say that the point is to, “better prepare individuals going into marriage to fulfill their new roles as spouse and potentially as parent, to furthermore protect children given that marriage is the foundation of a family unit."
Those opposed, however, feel that it is inappropriate to have laws regulating education when it comes to marriage.
"This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard," said the three-time married Alyx Reese-Giles. "The government has no business deciding what education people should or should not get before entering into marriage. Marriage is about communication and being ready to commit, and no class is going to teach you that."
In addition to proposing mandatory classes for couples wanting to get married, the ballot also proposes annual tax cuts for couples that willingly continue the educational courses each year of their marriage, saying that will “reduce the billions of dollars taxpayers spend annually on divorce.”
The group that proposed this ballot initiative say they’ll need 86,000 signatures in order to get the Colorado Marriage Education Act on the voting ballot for November.
The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was suspended from Arizona State University (ASU) after the local chapter threw a "MLK Black Party" on Sunday.
The student party-goers posted pictures of themselves on social media wearing basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and drinking from watermelon cups, reports CBS 5 (video below).
ASU called the unofficial party "misguided" and "offensive." Tau Kappa Epsilon reportedly held the party off campus without university permission.
"ASU has suspended chapter operations, can and will take additional action against the individuals involved, and is meeting with the national TKE organization today to take further action," ASU spokeswoman Sharon Keeler told the Phoenix New Times.
"ASU has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major university in the country, and it is unfortunate that a few misguided individuals held an offensive party at a time when ASU, the state and the nation are celebrating Dr. King's achievements and legacy. The university will not tolerate this kind of behavior," added Keeler.
Patrick Gleason, of the national TKE chapter, told CBS 5, "I'll be meeting with the school as well as the local chapter, as I said, to really flush out the details of this incident and get a full scope of what occurred, We have been in contact with the chapter and have been working with them to help them get back onto campus."
Robert Marucci, 18, was reportedly kicked out of Cocoa High School in Cocoa, Fla. for performing in gay porn to help support his family.
Two weeks ago, Marucci said that some fellow students discovered his videos on an adult website SeanCody.com, shared sexual pictures of him on their phones and bullied the young man (video below).
Marucci said school administrators expelled him, claimed he was a disruption and accused him of threatening to bring weapons to the school, which he denies.
"I feel like I have been treated unfairly and this is unjust," Marucci told ClickOrlando.com. "This was completely legal. I didn't break any laws, and this took place out of the school."
Marucci's mother, Melyssa Lieb, knew her son was working in porn films, but adds, "I think he's the most awesome person in the world. He stood up and he was the man of the house when I couldn't be."
Lieb says the school principal told her, "He was expelled due to his explicit lifestyle career."
"I think that it is Dr. [Stephanie] Soliven's morals and her personal beliefs and I don't think that this is anybody's business except for my son's," added Lieb. "The children at the school found [the porn] and she didn't do anything to stop it."
According to the Daily Mail, students staged a walkout last Friday to support Marucci and created a Facebook page to garner public favor.
Michelle Irwin, a spokesperson for the Brevard County School District, said in a statement this week: "No child would ever be suspended for a job that they have outside of the school environment."
But Irwin wouldn't say why Marucci was expelled citing privacy laws.
After the story broke in the news, the Brevard County School District said they would allow Marucci to return to school, but made no mention of the students who bullied him, reported ClickOrlando.com.
South End Elementary School in Reidsville, N.C. is catching heat from an African-American mom, Natasha Lea, because a teacher at the school gave her son, Jacob, a Confederate Army cap.
The cap doesn't bear the Confederate flag, but does say the word "Confederate" inside (video below).
“I did not want to believe that the school actually let him walk around, as an African-American child, with a Confederate cap on," Lea told Fox 8. "This stands for a dark time in our history.”
“What is this hat doing in that school, period?” added Lea. “For any child?”
According to FreakOutNation.com, Rockingham County spokesperson Karen Hyler said in a statement, "Before winter break in December, the class had an auction where students could bid on different items using their big bucks. Many of the items are donated by families. One of the items for bid was a grey cap with a black bill. The cap did not feature any additional decorations.”
“Ultimately, the teacher had no malicious intent offering this cap as a reward," said Hyler. "The school has reflected on this issue and will be sure to thoroughly screen items donated to err on the side of caution that they could not be seen as potentially offensive.”
Sources: FreakOutNation.com and Fox 8
Many of today's college graduates are likely to be employed in jobs that don't require a college degree, pay small salaries and are part time, according to a new study.
Research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York claims that 44 percent of recent college grads were working jobs that did not require an undergraduate degree in 2012.
According to ThinkProgress.org, jobs (electricians, dental hygienists, mechanics) that do not require a college degree, actually pay more than the jobs these college grads are landing.
One sector of America that is facing a staffing shortage of applicants are police departments.
Layoffs, hiring freezes, furloughs and reductions to salaries and benefits have contributed to the staff shortage, reports Police Chief Magazine.
Besides the economic factors, many police departments don't want college graduates to even apply.
Apparently, this is because college grads look at joining police forces and SWAT teams as a temporary stepping stone to build their resumes.
This topic was recently discussed at the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) at the annual National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show, which took place in Las Vegas this month, notes BreitBart.com.
“Instead of having 20 people staying there 20 years, you have people stay there five to seven years,” stated Captain Ed Allen, NTOA Eastern Region Director and Instructor.
Another problem is that most college graduates don't share a hunger for violence.
“What’s gone is police departments looking for the defenseman on the hockey team, the rough guy who can prepare to visit violence [on] a bad guy who would do us harm," stated one police officer. "[He is replaced by] the university graduate who comes with his entitled attitude."
Another police officer added, "We got lawyers. We got Ph.Ds. We got everything but police officers. They can’t clear a corner. You tell them, 'Get out of the squad car and go clear the corner;' but they can recite to you a formula, Starling’s law for cardiac help or something."
Daytona Beach, Fla. law enforcement training specialist David Agata told BreitBart.com, “The challenge is we got a mindset that says, 'I don’t need to pay the price to get to where I need to go,' or they really don’t understand the job that they really have to do. Why? Because they haven’t done their homework."
After cursing at his teachers on several occasions, a 12-year-old Texas boy named Dylan was punished by being forced to stand at a busy intersection with a sign explaining his circumstances.
“I was suspended from school for cussing out my teacher,” the sign reads.
A close family friend, Rachel Macha, came up with the idea after she said the boy’s mother had exhausted all other forms of punishment. Grounding him and taking things away had not been successful in altering Dylan’s behavior.
“He cursed at a couple of his teachers on two separate occasions and was suspended from school today,” Macha said. “He wasn’t raised to speak that way.”
With the consent of Dylan’s mother, Macha designed the sign and made the boy stand at the intersection holding it.
Whether the sign has had an impact on Dylan is unclear, though it certainly impacted people driving by.
Barbara Perales, a passerby, noted that it could be good for children to see. Her 12-year-old son, however, called the act crazy.
Marcha hopes the exercise will help Dylan grow as a person, and added that if he can talk like a man he should take his punishment like a man.
A teacher in Memphis, Tennessee landed herself in hot water after deciding it was a good idea to lock a 5-year-old girl in a closet to reprimand her for “being bad.”
According to reports, Kristin Oshfeldt, a kindergarten teacher A.B. Hill Elementary, has been suspended with pay following the incident that has left 5-year-old Akeelah Joseph terrified to go back to school. Joseph was in the dark closet for over an hour and was only found by a substitute teacher after Oshfeldt wound up going home early because she was sick.
“I was playing too much,” said Akeelah of the reason why Oshfeldt locked her in the closet to begin with. “I almost peed on myself if I didn’t make it the bathroom.”
Akeelah’s mother Wanda Joseph says she was horrified to learn that the teacher treated her daughter so poorly.
“I am hearing that the teacher locked my child in a closet, because she was supposedly bad,” said Joseph. “You don’t do that. I hurried up to the school and started yelling, ‘Where my daughter at? Where my daughter at?’ She was cold. She came out cold and shaking. Plus she has asthma. She could have had an asthma attack in that closet!”
Reports claim that this may not have been the first time that Oshfeldt has locked a child in the closet to discipline them, and the mother of one another kindergartener at A.B. Hill says that’s not what she sends her child to school for.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about this,” said mother Branelle McGaughy. “You send your kids to school to learn. Not to be put in closets and hit over the head with rulers and stuff like that.”
Akeelah’s mother says that locking a young child in a closet as punishment is unacceptable.
"You don't do a child like that,” said Wanda Joseph. “If you're going to punish a child, you tell them to stop and behave or you're going to write them up and send them to office. You don't put a child in a closet, period.”
The school district, the Memphis police department, and the Department of Children’s Services are currently investigating the incident. Oshfeldt remains suspended with pay while the investigation continues.
Jordan and Juwaun Jackson have been suspended from Sheboygan Falls High School because of a picture (with their brother Jamal) in a local newspaper that interviewed them about playing basketball.
The Sheboygan Falls, Wis. school district claims the two brothers were making hand gestures that “looked like” gang signs in a “goofing around” photo (video below).
The Sheboygan Falls News ran the "feel good" story and the “goofing around” photo on Jan. 1.
The boys were suspended because some parents claimed the brothers were making gang-related hand signs, but this came as a surprise to the boys.
Jordan says he did not know the "3" gesture was a gang symbol used by the Los Angeles-based "Bloods."
"I had no idea," Jordan told TMJ 4. "They told us it meant blood."
"I did it like every other kid does it when they make a 3," added Jordan. "When you make a 3, everyone does this sign. You’ve probably seen LeBron James or someone do it. I did the 3 in the picture, and my little brother pointed at the camera.”
Police Chief Steve Riffel determined that the boys did make gang signs, but after investigating them, found no actual threat, reports WHBL.
Sheboygan Falls News Editor Jeff Pederson tried to calm the hysteria on Facebook today:
The sign made by Jordan Jackson (on the far left side of the photo) is also commonly used by NBA players, such as James Harden, Lebron James and Brandon Jennings, after making a 3-point shot. The good intentions surrounding a positive article about high school student-athletes adjusting to a new school and contributing to an SFHS sports program has somehow taken an ugly turn.
...In my 20 years in mainly small-town newspaper journalism, I have fielded plenty of complaints from readers. However, I have never seen anything published in a paper I have been a part of escalate to this very unfortunate and negative magnitude.
The Sheboygan Daily reports that the ACLU of Wisconsin condemned the overreaction of the school district and police department.
“It appears as if the Sheboygan Falls school district and police department are unprepared to respond to the increasing diversity in the schools in an appropriate and educationally sound manner,” said ACLU of Wisconsin Executive Director Chris Ahmuty.
“The ACLU will be seeking information from the schools in order to assess their compliance with pupil non-discrimination rules," added Ahmuty. "The ACLU asks the district to immediately make the brothers eligible to play in tomorrow’s game.”