An 8-year-old boy in Howell, Michigan is proving that there are still plenty of good people in the world after launching a fundraising effort to make sure that his classmates are able to have hot lunches at school, even when their parents can’t afford it.
Third-grader Cayden Taipalus was moved to start the campaign after a friend at school was given a sandwich rather than the hot lunch that all the other kids got because he had an unpaid negative balance on his account. Taipalus was upset that his classmate was unable to get a hot lunch, so instead of doing nothing, he sprung into action and got the fundraising effort started online.
“I just want to make kids have a better lunch,” said Taipalus to NBC's Today.
According to Taipalus’s mother Amber Peters, what started out as a small gesture to help his fellow students turned into a huge effort that raised enough money to make sure students in the entire county had hot meals to eat.
"We went from just paying off his elementary school to paying off the entire Livingston County," said Peters. “Doing something little can turn into something big and go a long way. Paying it forward is a big deal.”
Thomas Gould, director of public relations for Howell Public Schools, says Taipalus’s campaign is admirable, but he makes sure to mention that no child ever goes hungry.
"What Cayden is doing is very generous and it shows how caring all of our students are," said Gould. "It's also important to know that all of our kids are offered lunch no matter what."
Still, Peters says that offering students who have negative balances a cold sandwich isn’t right.
"They are sitting there with a cheese sandwich on their plate when the child next to them is having French toast, milk, juice,” said Peters. "The idea is to remove the negative stigma."
As of today, the online fundraising campaign started by 8-year-old Cayden Taipalus has $19,275, just $75 away from its $20,000 goal.
Kindergarten Teacher Finds Two Students Naked In The Bathroom, Reports It To The Principal, and Could Now Lose Her Job
A New Jersey kindergarten teacher could be fired from her job after discovering two of her young students naked in the bathroom together and immediately reporting it to the principal. Now, fellow teachers and residents in Mullica Township are trying to stop that from happening.
On September 30 of last year, Kelly Mascio, a teacher of 15 years at the Mullica Township school, discovered two 5-year-old students, a boy and a girl, in the bathroom naked together, announcing that they were “having sex.” Mascio followed protocol and immediately reported it to the principal.
Following the incident, Mascio was suspended without pay, and now, Superintendent Brenda Harring-Marro announced that she has filed tenure charges against the teacher, despite the fact that a police investigation early on said that there was no wrongdoing.
“Our main concern is that the administration has completely forgone all traditional disciplinary avenues available in handling the incident,” said Barbara Rheault, Mullica Township Education Association President. “The administration has selected a disciplinary route that has resulted in enormous emotional and professional turmoil, and has strained the confidence and trust of school staff, parents and community members.”
Parents and fellow teachers are outraged that Mascio has been fired and say that she was doing exactly what she thought was the right thing to do. The board of education recently met to decide whether or not they could fire Mascio, and amazingly, around 200 allies showed up to throw their support behind Mascio.
Social media also blew up after The Press of Atlantic City first reported the story.
“Did I miss something?” asked one Facebook user. “She finds a naked girl and boy in the bathroom who say they are having sex, she tells the principal and now she may lose her job???? What part am I misunderstanding because that makes no sense.”
Other users on Facebook questioned why the parents of the children weren’t being investigated.
“Geez. I wonder what these parents are letting their children see at home,” said one commenter. “Also could be a sign of sexual abuse. Poor teacher.”
Mascio hasn’t commented on the incident and there have been no updates as to whether or not she will actually be fired.
Father Discovers Pervert Masturbating At His Daughter's Bus Stop and Punches Him in the Face (Video)
Gresham, Oregon resident Jeremy Clouse was walking his young daughters to their bus stop one morning when he saw a car parked right near the group of children. When he approached the vehicle, he immediately noticed that there was a man inside masturbating, and that’s when Clouse took matters into his own hands.
"He's looking at them funny," said Clouse of the man watching the children. When he realized the man was masturbating, Clouse went up to the car and confronted the pervert. The suspect looked at Clouse and giggled, and without thinking, Clouse punched him in the face.
"The father responded by punching the man in the face, which stopped both the giggling and the sexual behavior," said Gresham Police Department Lt. Claudio Grandjean.
The suspect drove off right after being punched, and police are now actively searching for him, describing the man as being Hispanic, 180 pounds, and having “fresh bruising on the left side of his jaw or eye.”
As for Clause, he says that although he injured his hand from punching the man in the face, he knows he did the right thing.
"My hand still hurts," said Clouse. "I bet he hurts a lot worse. Nobody needs this in any neighborhood.”
Gresham police are on the hunt for the man, searching specifically for gray Nissan Sentra he was driving at the time.
A Columbus, Ohio school bus driver who caused a boy to suffer whiplash and a concussion after driving drunk has been sentenced to five days in jail for the November incident.
Tia Denton was driving her normal school bus on November 25 of last year when she was pulled over for driving erratically. Denton blew into a Breathalyzer and her blood alcohol level was measured at 0.216 percent, well above the legal limit in Ohio.
Denton was initially convicted to 180 days in jail, but a judge reduced her sentence to only five days. The parents of the child who suffered the injuries said that while they respected the judge’s decision, they didn’t exactly understand it.
“I respect the judge’s decision,” said the boy’s mother Angela Williams “As far as satisfaction, I don’t know yet. We’re still trying to process everything.” Her husband Dion added that they would be happy, “if this never happens again to another Columbus school student.”
The students on the bus at the time of the incident reportedly yelled out the windows, ““She’s going to kill us! She’s going to kill us,” as the Denton sped through the streets.
“I cannot express my regret and my remorse for what I have cost you and your children and families who are not represented here in court,” said Denton during the sentencing. ““They [Columbus schools] gave me a position of trust and I betrayed it.”
In addition to her five-day prison sentence, Denton is also required to complete two years of probation as well as six months in an in-patient program for alcoholism.
A well-known gun safety activist was arrested yesterday after actually carrying a loaded gun at an elementary school where he was leading a program.
Dwayne Ferguson, 52, was mentoring students at Harvey Austin Elementary School when the school was suddenly placed on lockdown. A confused Ferguson called Buffalo, New York police to ask why the school was on lockdown, and they told him that there were reports of a person with a gun on the campus.
The school was shut down for hours as authorities swept through, searched for a gunman, and tried to get students off the property as soon as they knew it was safe. The entire ordeal lasted hours as terrified parents were forced to stand by, helplessly thinking their children were in danger.
After hours of searching, authorities discovered that Ferguson was actually the gunman they were looking for. As it turns out, the gun safety activist, who is well respected in the local community, was carrying a gun on him but didn’t realize it. Ferguson had a permit to carry a gun, but because he had it on school property, he was arrested and charged with two felonies. He says that he honestly didn’t realize that he was still carrying the gun when he went to the school to mentor.
“I’m sure Dwayne went into the school not thinking he had the gun on him,” said Rev. James E. Giles, a friend of Ferguson’s. “We know this for a fact, that he called out to a Buffalo police lieutenant asking why the school was in lockdown, and that they were looking for a man with a gun. Dwayne’s reaction was to get his kids, he had about 50 of them, and make sure they were safe. He led them into the cafeteria and closed the doors.”
“Mental lapses happen,” continued Giles. “Things happen. It’s an unfortunate mistake. Dwayne was not conscious that he was in school with a gun.”
Ferguson reportedly has a good relationship with local police and has been active in the Buffalo area for years, working hard to fight violence and drugs in the community. He is currently the president of MAD DADs, Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder, and has even fought to have legislation passed making it illegal for anybody to carry a gun on school property. Ironically, Ferguson was arrested and charged under the very same law that he fought to pass.
Superintendent Kevin Brinkworth said that Ferguson had no bad intentions and probably just made a terrible mistake, but said they are still trying to figure out exactly what happened.
“I will say he had no ill intent to harm these students,” said Brinkworth. “I don’t know why he had it on him.”
The events are currently being investigated, and the school’s emergency response system is also being looked at following the ordeal.
Heated debate has broken out on social media after Fort Collins High School in Colorado nixed a student council idea to make one of the days in Spirit Week “Merica Day.”
Student council members reportedly approached school officials to ask that Monday, the start of Spirit Week, be called “Merica Day” and allow students to celebrate what it means to be an American. Schools officials shot down the idea, saying that the term “Merica” has a generally derogatory connotation.
Still, despite the understandable explanation, many believe that the school’s decision is wrong.
“It doesn’t smell right to say it was because it was slang,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith. “That’s not an inclusive issue. If they wanted to address the slang issue they could have. So I’m doubtful of that version of events.”
Still, student Patrick Case says it really does come down to the issue of the word choice, not an infringement on constitutional rights, as many on social media claim.
“We decided that it was really rude of them, because ‘Merica’ is a slang for a bad version of us,” said Case. “We wanted to show that we’re ‘America’ not ‘Merica’. They were just trying to take a derogatory term and make it correct.”
Schools officials suggested that the student council call the day “My Country Monday” but it has now been renamed, “America Monday.”
Yesterday, Opposing Views reported that Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City, Utah had come under fire after reportedly giving 40 students their lunches, immediately taking them back, and discarding them in front of the children. Parents were outraged, and when the story started to spread on social media, people around the world were angry, too.
Now, school officials say that a cafeteria manager at the school has been placed on paid administrative leave while the situation is being investigated. Superintendent McKell Withers says that as the investigation unfolds, more employees could also be placed on leave.
School officials say the decision to give and immediately take back lunches from some of the students was because those particular students had unpaid balances on their accounts. The students that had their lunches thrown away were given a piece of fruit and milk each.
To me this rises to the level of bullying," said Utah Senator Todd Weiler. "Children were humiliated. I think it’s an abuse of power. This person came into a school and used her power to humiliate and embarrass children and I think we ought to draw a line and say that’s not acceptable behavior."
The school district has apologized for the incident, but many are not taking it seriously. Reports claim that school officials have received threats, but the nature of those threats cannot be confirmed.
Elementary School Kids in Utah Given Lunches Only To Immediately Have Them Seized and Discarded Because of Their Parents' Unpaid Balances
Parents in Salt Lake City are outraged this week after their children’s lunches were thrown away right in front of them because school officials realized that some of them were behind on their payments.
According to reports, around 40 students at Uintah Elementary went to retrieve their lunches but had them immediately taken and thrown away.
"She took my lunch away and said, 'Go get a milk,’” said student Sophia Isom. "I came back and asked, 'What's going on?' Then she handed me an orange. She said, 'You don't have any money in your account so you can't get lunch.’”
Isom’s mother says that the school was completely out of line and could have handled the situation an entirely different way.
"I think it’s despicable," said Isom’s mom Erica Lukes. "These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up."
Jason Olsen, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City School District, said that cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which students owed money until they were given their lunches, and then when they figured out who had balances on their accounts, the lunches were taken away. Olsen says that the lunched were thrown out because once food is served to one child, it can’t be served to another.
"Something’s not working, and that’s what the school and child-nutrition department are going to work on together," said Olsen. “This can be easily prevented. We need to make sure proper notification goes out to the parents and they have time to put money in the accounts. If students were humiliated and upset, that’s very unfortunate and not what we wanted to happen."
Despite the district’s explanation, parents of the affected students are not planning to be quite about this.
"You would think in a public school system your child wouldn’t be turned away from lunch," said Lukes, "especially when people usually settle their balances."
It’s reported that all the students whose lunches were discarded were given a piece of fruit and a carton of milk instead. Children say that one of the cafeteria workers cried during the incident but couldn’t do anything to stop it.
It is easy to see why a young man by the name of Guo Shijun has won the hearts and minds of folks all over the world. His story is not only deeply moving, it serves as a reminder of how selfless, loving and devoted people can be.
Guo Shijun, 20, has worked hard his entire life. His mother was rendered mentally disabled following a bout with meningitis. He and his father dotingly took care of her for years. Despite his heavy workload growing up, Guo Shijun was able to get into a top-notch university.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck the family yet again.
While working on a bridge, Guo Shijun’s father fell down and badly injured himself. Doctors eventually determined that he would be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. Realizing that their daughter could no longer be cared for, Guo Shijun’s grandparents took in his mother; however, his father was still hurt – and he had nobody to watch after him.
Most people would look at Guo Shijun’s predicament and see two viable options: he could either drop out of school and take care of his father, or he could stay in school and let someone else worry about his father.
Guo Shijun opted for Option C.
He begged his university to let him keep his father in his dorm room. Initially there was some resistance, but ultimately they obliged. He then went out and borrowed money to be able to pay for food, tuition and the cost of caring for his dad.
Along the way, in what can only be viewed as a testament to his hard work, Guo Shijun earned a scholarship. This has helped him pay for some of the expenses he was racking up.
Asked by the Daily Mail about how he managed to deal with so much hardship, Guo Shijun simply said:
“I can't say life is easy, but the only way out of the problem is through hard work so I'm not complaining.”
In an unorthodox effort to encourage active play in a New Zealand primary school, a principal has stopped enforcing rules on the playground. According to TVNZ, children at Swanson Primary School in Auckland can be seen “climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime." Aside from successfully encouraging children to be more active during the time alloted for recreational activities, the study has had some unintended positive consequences.
Since implementing the new no-rule policy, the school has experienced a decrease in instances of bullying, vandalism and injuries. The school even claims that the concentration levels in class have increased as a result of the new policy.
School Principal Bruce McLachlan explained that preventing trouble is as simple as allowing children the freedom to explore and take risks on their own.
“We want kids to be safe and to look after them, but we end up wrapping them in cotton wool when it fact they should be able to fall over. When you look at our playground it looks chaotic. From an adult’s perspective, it looks like kids might get hurt, but they don’t,” McLachlan said.
The primary school’s new playground policy actually began as part of a larger study conducted by two New Zealand colleges, the Auckland University of Technology and Otago University. The goal of the study was simply to encourage more “active play” on the playground, but McLachlan saw such vast improvements in his school that he decided to drop the playground rules altogether.
“The kids were motivated, busy and engaged,” McLachlan said about the results of the study, “In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged.”
AUT Professor of Public Health Grant Schofield explained that he conducted the study under the belief that children “have to learn risk on their own terms. It doesn’t develop by watching TV, they have to get out there.”
According to the Sun News Network, Swanson Primary School no longer needs a timeout area or as many teachers on patrol during recess.
McLachlan also encouraged other schools throughout the country to take similar action, explaining how his simple method has worked wonders.
“It’s a no brainer. As far as implementation, it’s a zero-cost game in most cases. All you are doing is abandoning the rules,” McLachlan said.