The Coachella Valley High School in Thermal, Calif. uses a snarling Arab for its mascot, which doesn't go over well with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
The group sent a letter to officials at the Coachella Valley Unified School District last Friday asking it to drop the mascot because it's offensive and stereotypical, reports CBS New York.
Abed Ayoub, of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wrote in the letter: “By allowing continued use of the term and imagery, you are commending and enforcing the negative stereotypes of an entire ethnic group, millions of whom are citizens of this nation."
The mascot dates back to the 1920s and has undergone various changes, from a turban-wearing horseman to a snarling face with a headscarf (video below).
School Superintendent Darryl Adams says the mascot will be brought up at the Nov. 21 school board meeting.
“Being an African-American from the Deep South, I’m sensitive to stereotyping,” Adams told MyDesert.com. “But in this context, when this was created it was not meant in that way. It was totally an admiration of the connection with the Middle East.”
Some school alumni are defending the Arab mascot.
“There was no intention to demean Arabs or be discriminatory in any way,” said David Hinkle of the class of 1961. “I don’t think it’s right to decide now that you can’t do that anymore. It is political correctness run amok, I would say.”
Anne Daigle-McDonald was suspended for five days by the Hernando County School District in Spring Hill, Fla. after she allegedly forced a fourth grade student to violate his religious beliefs by making him take part in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The unidentified boy's Jehovah’s Witness religion forbids him from worshiping objects, which includes pledging to an American flag (video below).
Normally, he just stood silently while other students recited the pledge, but that all changed on Sept. 11 of this year, reports Yahoo! News.
Daigle-McDonald reportedly forced the child's hand over his heart. However, the boy pulled his arm down and told her that he was a Jehovah's Witness.
The next day, the teacher allegedly did the same thing, said several of the students.
“You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag,” Daigle-McDonald is quoted as saying. “In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge. No religion says that you can’t do the pledge. If you can’t put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country."
"But that’s not what I said," Daigle-McDonald told the Tampa Bay Times. "It was directed at citizenship. I was talking about pledging allegiance to our country, and if you don’t want to pledge to our country, you should go to your home country.”
Daigle-McDonald also claims she didn't know the boy was a Jehovah’s Witness, but added, "His mother told me that he didn't celebrate holidays or birthdays, and I told her that was fine."
“[I] just wanted all of the students to respect the day,” said Daigle-McDonald. “It wasn’t a holiday, so I didn’t see why the whole class couldn’t say the pledge.”
However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students could not be forced to salute the American flag or say the Pledge of Allegiance in a school. Ironically, that case was won by the Jehovah's Witnesses over the West Viginia Board of Education.
Wrestling and Patty-cake may seem like recess staples for many kindergartners, but one Canadian school is enacting a “no-touch” rule for tykes on the playground.
According to a letter outlining the new rule at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary in British Columbia, “We will have a zero-tolerance policy with regards to hands-on play, resulting in the missing of playtime and trips to the office for those who are unable to follow the rules.”
The letter states that some contact games have led to injuries, and therefore kindergartners will no longer be allowed to touch each other while playing. The rule does not apply to students in other grades.
Parents are skeptical at best, wondering how such a rule could possibly be enforced — and if it even should.
“I can’t imagine little kids not being able to hug each other or help each other on the playground,” mother Julie Chen said in an interview with CTV News. “No tag, no hugging, no touching at all.”
On behalf of the district, spokesperson Ken Hoff said that the school was acting in response to parental complaints, and that rough play was becoming a safety issue. He also reassured parents that the punishments for touching would not be harsh.
“It wasn’t meant to be an instantaneous situation where the hammer is just going to drop if a child touches another child,” Hoff said. “I think what it was meant to convey is we are taking the issue seriously.”
Although no-touch rules are not common, one middle school in Fairfax County, Va. enacted a similar policy in 2007. Students and parents were less than accepting at that school, as well. Said seventh-grader Hal Beaulieu, who was given a warning after putting his arm around his girlfriend, "I think hugging is a good thing. I put my arm around her. It was like for 15 seconds. I didn't think it would be a big deal."
Lewis and Clark Elementary School went into lockdown yesterday after an unidentified woman in a Halloween costume was seen carrying a toy gun near the school in Wenatchee, Wash.
Local police and Chelan County sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call from an unidentified resident who claimed the woman was carrying a "M16" and did not see a safety tip on the "gun" (pictured).
Law enforcement searched the area while nervous parents drove around the school, which was almost finished for the day.
Officers found the woman and her fake gun in a nearby apartment.
“We told her that carrying a weapon like that was probably not the wisest of ideas,” Sgt. Jim West told The Wenatchee World.
After about 30 minutes, the school ended its lockdown and students were reunited with their parents, reports KHQ.com.
In January, a school in Long Island, New York went into lockdown after someone called 911 because they saw someone carrying a "gun," reported the Daily Mail.
However, the "gun" turned out to be a lime green and yellow Nerf gun, which was found by police officers who searched all students and their lockers.
While segregating students by skin color was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, one school in La Vergne, Tenn. is currently segregating teens by their grades.
Students with low grades at La Vergne High School are forced to eat lunch in a separate location away from their peers.
Parent Paul Morecroft (pictured) is upset about the policy because his daughter is a special needs child.
"To me, it's considered separation, because you have your special needs kids and the kids getting the good grades on one side, and the kids getting below an 80 on the other side," Morecroft told WSMV (video below).
He considers the policy to be a "civil rights violation and segregation."
If Morecroft's special needs student is legally disabled, the policy may be in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, which states:
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States... shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...
La Vergne High School officials claim that students with lower grades have a split lunch period, which is half academic tutoring and half lunch.
"They are not segregating them in the traditional sense. If the kids' scores are low in certain areas, they are getting help in that area. If you want to label that segregation, then that's not the correct way to label it," claimed Rutherford County Schools spokesperson James Evans.
School officials say the graduation rate at La Vergne High School was about 77 percent two years ago, but is now almost 90 percent, thanks to the segregated lunches, notes The Huffington Post.
Brian Stewart claims he was not allowed to join the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity at Morgan State University in Baltimore because he is gay.
Stewart thought the fraternity would be impressed by his academic background, which included an internship at the White House, but he was turned down for membership the day after he interviewed.
The gay student says that someone sent him text messages between fraternity members that included racial and anti-gay slurs (video below).
Stewart shared the text messages with CBS Baltimore, which revealed two of them:
Yo, this [N-word] Brian keeps callin' me son.
I don't want another [expletive] writing letters.
"I couldn't even be angry because I was so hurt," Stewart told The Baltimore Sun.
Morgan State University started investigating Stewart's claim after he filed a complaint last week.
"The university doesn't tolerate or accept any kind of discrimination," said Morgan State spokesman Jarrett Carter Sr. "It's something that the university takes very, very seriously."
Stewart is no longer interested in joining the fraternity, but added, "I didn't know I was going to have no control, that my interview meant nothing, my achievements meant nothing, because they had already made up their minds."
David Spondike was recently suspended by Akron Firestone High School where he teaches music in Akron, Ohio.
Spondike went on a racist rant this weekend on Facebook about some neighborhood trick-or-treaters, whom he called the "N-word" twice.
According to CleveScene.com, Spondike wrote on his Facebook page:
I don’t mind if you come from the ghetto to trick or treat, but when you whip out your teeny d---- and p---- on the telephone pole in front of my front yard and some preschoolers and toddlers, you can take your n------ a-- back where it came from. I don’t have anything against anyone of any color, but n------, stay out!”
Before deleting his Facebook page this morning, Spondike posted an angry half-baked "apology" defending his actions:
1. The post contains the “n-word”.
2. I sincerely apologize to those who are sincerely offended by the post; it was promptly removed.
3. I am not going to say that “someone hacked my Facebook page”, like most people do.
4. “Racism” implies prejudging, which is clearly not what happened here.
5. Making any excuse for allowing one race to use a word and condemning another race for using the same word is institutionalized racism in and of itself, regardless of the justification used.
6. The incident surrounds the criminal behavior described below, where a teenager exposed himself in front of young children, urinating on a telephone pole in broad daylight during trick-or-treating.
The Akron Firestone High School student body is about half black, half white, reports USNews.com.
“I was actually shocked that a person who's in a school that has a large minority population who actually lives in the neighborhood, who works with kids of color on a daily basis, with staff members or with a superintendent, with a lot of different officials, we're in a multicultural society," Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James told AkronNewsNow.com. "I was actually shocked and very disappointed."
James said Spondike may have violated school district policies about racist language in non-instructional settings and the use of technology.
An unidentified preschool in Richmond, Virginia is refusing to allow parents to pack their child's lunch from home, unless they have a doctor's note.
A letter from the school was recently posted by a mom on her blog My2CrazyCurls.com. She packed a lunch anyway for her son, and then got the letter again with a handwritten part at the top: “Ms Brooks, Please do not send a lunch to school unless a doctor’s note is sent in connection with this letter.”
The letter, also featured on the website Momdot.com, states:
I have received word from Federal Programs Preschool pertaining to lunches from home. Parents are to be informed that students can only bring lunches from home if there is a medical condition requiring a specific diet, along with a physicians note to that regard.
I am sorry for any inconvenience. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Stephanie [redacted] the Health Coordinator for Federal Programs Preschool at [redacted].
The Federal Programs Preschool initiative is part of the Head Start Program, in which children are provided with breakfast, lunch and a snack. It appears that Head Start guidelines are interpreted differently from state to state.
All children in Head Start are served breakfast and lunch, and a snack in the extended day programs. We provide one-third to one-half of the child's daily nutritional need. All meals are USDA approved. Meals must be consumed during mealtime only. Food items high in nutrients and low in fat, sugar, and salt are offered to the children. Also, outside foods are not allowed. This includes goodie bags filled with food items during the holidays and birthdays.
Sources: Momdot.com, My2CrazyCurls.com, HCAPweb.org, SIU.edu
An unidentified teaching assistant at the University of Iowa reportedly e-mailed nude photos of herself to business students, who are taking a pre-calculus math class, on Tuesday night.
"The individual who sent the messages has stated that it was an accident. She regrets her actions," University of Iowa spokesman Tom Moore said in an e-mail. "This incident was inappropriate, and the university will look into it and take appropriate actions under our policies and procedures."
The university isn't identifying the teaching assistant, citing federal privacy laws, however there are no such federal laws that govern the accidental emailing of nude pictures of oneself to college students.
According to TotalFratMove.com, the teaching assistant accidentally e-mailed the nude photos with the text (pictured): "Hi Class, I attach the solutions for number 76 and 78 in this email."
TotalFratMove claims to have copies of the nude images and states: "The images are from a video chat that is quite sexual in nature. It appears that two people are 'cyber-sexing' from different locations using video equipment."
The Iowa City college asked anyone who received the "inappropriate content" to delete the e-mail and not pass it on, but it has been opened and passed on, judging by student responses on Twitter.
On Wednesday, a student tweeted, "A math TA here accidentally emailed naked pics of herself to her students instead of the study guide."
Another student tweeted, "breaking news: An Iowa TA accidentally emailed naked pictures of herself to 80+ students instead of the study guide."
A third student tweeted, "The TA was teaching her 7:30 discussion session this morning trying to act like nothing happened but (was) clearly very rattled. No one said anything about it but it was just extremely awkward."
The University of Maryland recently hosted a sex workshop which included teaching students about various sex acts, sex toys and fetish equipment as part of the school's "Sex Week."
According to CNSNews.com, the weeklong event included seminars such as: "Asking for it: Finding your words for better, sexier communication in the bedroom" and "Bedsider Birth Control 101 Interactive Workshop,"
CNSNews.com added that the "most disgusting workshop of the week" was "Toy Talk for Grown Folks: Why You Should Care What You Buy."
Campus Reform posted a video (below) of that seminar hosted by sex shop owner Jessica VonDykem who taught students about anal toys and playing with prostates on Oct. 15.
"You can actually put this in a pot of boiling water after you're done playing with it, totally sterilize it, then put it in somebody else's butt," advised VonDyke. "It's also good for prostate play, you can put it in people's butts."
According to the University of Maryland''s website, the goal of sex week was "to promote an informed and empowered community to support our fellow Terps and cultivate a campus where we take pride in safety, responsibility and respect. Our FEARLESS IDEA is to take the subject head on and set a precedent to all campuses that our students can BE THE CHANGE."
According to Campus Reform, there was no ID check to make sure that attendees were over 18 years of age at the taxpayer supported sex events.