A Nebraska school district is apologizing for a flyer that went home with students instructing them on how to handle bullying.
The flyer, sent home by Zeman Elementary with the school’s fifth-graders, lists rules on how to “turn bullies into buddies.” Some of these rules include not telling on the bullies, not being a sore loser, and learning to “laugh at yourself” along with the bullies.
Zeman Elementary received word that the document had been sent home with the fifth grade students and immediately released a statement to parents apologizing.
“A flyer that contained inaccurate information regarding how to handle bullying situations was sent home with Zeman Elementary School fifth-graders,” wrote the school in the statement. “Our educators at Zeman Elementary School work hard to provide accurate and appropriate lessons and education for our students in how to handle bullying situations. The flyer was sent home with good intentions, unfortunately, it contained advice that did not accurately reflect LPS best practices regarding response to bullying incidents."
School officials say that they are trying to figure out where the oversight occured, but they acknowledge that officials never approved the document and allowed it to be sent home with the students. They say they plan to speak to students directly to explain what happened and provide them useful strategies on how to properly deal with bullying.
"We've taken the action that we think we need to take and really use it as a learning experience," said Russ Uhing, Director of Student Services at Lincoln Public School District.
A 17-year-old boy in Dublin, Ireland is in a coma after a classmate attempted a strange prank that wound up going haywire.
The student was put into a medically induced coma because he reportedly suffered a heart attack after a friend thought it would be funny to squeeze his testicles. The unnamed 17-year-old was walking back to St David’s CBS with his friends when they started goofing around with each other.
When the boy passed out, a schoolteacher, along with another student, attempted to perform CPR while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.
Dublin police are currently investigating the incident. The boy’s family says he is in stable condition but has not woken up from the coma yet. They don’t believe that the other student was attempting to do any harm, and as of right now, it appears that the student will not face any charges.
A science teacher at Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles was suspended because another teacher thought some of his students’ projects were dangerous.
Greg Schiller was suspended from the school because the other teacher believed that two projects looked like weapons. Schiller says that the one project was an air cannon and another was an electromagnetic coil gun, and by the time he was suspended, he hadn’t even gotten a chance to grade or look them over.
“I discussed with them scientific principals but the projects were removed before I had an opportunity to fully examine them,” said Schiller to KTLA.
Student Asa Ferguson, whose electromagnetic coil gun got Schiller in trouble, explains the function behind his project and why he believed it caused issues.
“It has appliances in roller coasters and spaceships. It’s been theorized to be able to launch spaceships in space for cheaper,” said Ferguson. “I think that if I had said it was an electromagnetic propulsion system it would not have been taken out.”
Now, Schiller’s students are protesting at the school, demanding that their beloved teacher be allowed back.
“We want Mr. Schiller back. We want him out of ‘teacher jail.’ We want him reinstated,” said Samantha Healey. “No one got hurt, no one was going to get hurt. He’s a really great teacher, and he really cares, he really wants to teach and he loves teaching.”
Most of the students placed duct tape on their mouths and wore signs that read, “I will not talk until Mr. Schiller is reinstated.”
While the school isn’t really commenting on the issue, they did say that they are simply following protocol.
“There is an ongoing investigation, therefore, we cannot comment,” said Tom Waldman, director of media and communication for the Los Angeles Unified School District, in a recent statement. “It is the practice of the Los Angeles Unified School District to reassign an employee to a non-classroom setting when there are allegations related to student safety.”
A Facebook page made by some of Schiller’s students has already garnered over 700 likes.
Over the past few months, first lady Michelle Obama has helped roll out a new public lunch program aimed at providing healthy, nutritious lunches to all kids in school, regardless of their financial status. The program seemed to be a positive step in the right direction, as obesity rates in young people have increased drastically in recent years, but tweets from students directly affected by the program show that it may not be going as well as Obama had hoped.
The Blaze first reported on the recent increase in rants on Twitter from students who received food as part of the White House’s public lunch program. All of the students appear to be less than pleased with the food they’ve been given for lunch, and they all seem to blame it on the first lady.
“I’ll never forgive Michelle Obama for this school lunch,” tweeted user Anthony Gallimore.
Another student tweeted a picture of what appears to be a hot dog bun filled with tomato sauce and cheese alongside three cherry tomatoes and a carton of milk with the caption, “You call this f------ ‘lunch’? @BarackObama @MichelleObama.”
More students were just as quick to post pictures of their lackluster lunches and lay all of the blame on Michelle Obama. Just last week, reports claimed that more than 1 million students had turned down the public lunch program because they felt the food was subpar. Still, she said from the beginning that they were working on making sure the healthy food still tasted good.
"Because of this act ... 32 million children get more of the nutrition they need to learn and grow and be successful and I do hope it's delicious — we're working on that, yes, indeed," said Obama in a statement last year.
Clearly, many students are not happy with Michelle Obama’s new public lunch program, and it will be interesting to see how long it can last the way it’s going now.
A dangerous new game called the “Eraser Challenge” is being played by kids across the country, and now, a Connecticut middle school has pledged to do whatever they can to put a stop to it.
In this game, students take an eraser and furiously rub it against their skin while reciting the alphabet and thinking of a word for every letter. Once they reach the last letter in the alphabet, the eraser is passed to another student. At the end, all of the students compare wounds.
“Most students use their arms to do this, from their elbow to their wrist — however, it can be anywhere on their body,” wrote Bethel Middle School Principal Derek Muharem in a letter sent to parents. “What I found out was kids were sharing erasers, so as they broke the skin they were passing the eraser off to somebody else, body fluids being shared, and that’s a concern of mine.”
“Please take the time to talk to your child about this to make sure they are not involved in this ridiculous and unsafe act,” continued Muharem.
The game didn’t start at Bethel Middle School, however. There are numerous videos on YouTube depicting kids playing this dangerous game.
“I don’t understand why kids are mutilating themselves or doing things to hurt themselves,” said parent Jason Luhrs to FoxCT.
Doctors say that this game could lead to serious health complications such as infections. Muharem says he believes students play the game because of peer pressure, and that he hopes to be able to put a stop to it at Bethel.
"It's happening all over," said Muharem. "What concerns me is that kids see something and they try it because of peer pressure. Our job is to keep kids safe."
Muharem adds that no students will be punished for playing the game.
A former elementary school lunch lady has been sentenced to seven days in jail and a year of probation for paying students $1 to beat up a fourth-grader.
Brooke Wilson-Johnson, 19, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, was working as a lunchroom aide at Campus Elementary when the incident took place. According to Wilson-Johnson’s claims, the fourth-grader had disobeyed her and called her a “pregnant bitch,” and that prompted the school employee to pay a few students $1 to hurt him.
"What makes your case unique is, of course, you are entrusted with the care of other people's children and that is significant," said Kent County District Judge Donald Passenger to Wilson-Johnson in court. "In this case, the conduct is particularly egregious, and I think you get that with hindsight."
The student who was pushed around by his peers apparently went to teacher Renee Lance to tell her that Wilson-Johnson paid the other kids to hurt him.
“Mrs. Lance, you gotta help me! That lunch lady is giving kids a dollar to beat me up,” Lance claims the student said to her.
Wilson-Johnson initially denied the claims against her, but on February 14, she wound up pleading guilty. Judge Passenger said that because she has no prior criminal record and because the student wasn’t injured, he didn’t want the punishment to be too harsh.
"I think seven days in jail is probably enough to have the impact that we want,” said Passenger. The lunch lady will also be required to pay a total fine $1,125, of which $200 has already been credited after repaying bond in December, leaving her with $925 left to pay.
Wilson-Johnson was sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which stipulates that the young woman’s records would be sealed and once she successfully completes probation, the charge against her would be dropped completely.
"It is a special status for first-time offenders between the ages of 17 and 21," said Charles Boekeloo, the lunch lady’s attorney. "If she completes her probation satisfactorily, there never will be a conviction."
The victim was reportedly pushed, thrown out of his seat, and had his lunch taken away by the paid peers, but he did not report any injuries as a result. His mother Stacey McLain said she was mostly happy with the sentencing.
"I believe this will teach her a lesson," said McLain. "I would have been happier if she was also required to take parenting and anger management classes because people need more than punishment."
Wilson-Johnson stopped working at Campus Elementary following the incident in October.
11Update: Union Says NJ Teacher May Be Fired Because She "Failed To Supervise" Students Found Naked In Bathroom (Video)
On Sunday, we told you about Kelly Mascio, the New Jersey teacher who could be fired because she walked in on two of her 5-year-old students naked in the bathroom together. Now, the teacher’s union is saying that the reason Mascio may be fired is because she failed to supervise her students.
The incident happened back in September, and Mascio reportedly found two 5-year-olds, a boy and a girl, naked in the bathroom together, claiming they were “having sex.” Mascio immediately reported it to the principal but was still suspended with pay. The school board is now deciding whether or not she should be fired, and while many are outraged that she would be let go for this, the teachers union is explaining their reasoning.
“Originally they said it was failure to supervise her students,” said Mullica Township Education Association President Barbara Rheault to the New York Daily News, adding that she believed Mascio, “acted in a professional manner and responsibly reported the incident.”
The school board had a closed meeting on Wednesday to discuss whether or not they should let Mascio go, and even though the public was not allowed to hear the discussion, 200 people showed up to support the teacher of 15 years. The school board has not yet said if they came to any conclusions.
“We question why the administration would forgo the disciplinary route available and taken one that is so severe,” said a spokesperson for the state Department of Education.
Still, Superintendent Brenda Harring-Maro refuses to publicly comment on the issue and said that it would be irresponsible of them to do so.
“The district takes its responsibilities very seriously regarding the health, safety and welfare of our children,” said Harring-Maro. “Simply stated, it would be unprofessional and irresponsible for anyone associated with the school district to speak about school district students or for others to seek to capitalize on that unprofessional and irresponsible behavior.” She also added that, “public reporting of this matter is neither complete nor accurate.”
Mascio has also been silent about this issue as her the future of her jobs remains in limbo.
Most will probably remember the incident at a Salt Lake City elementary school in which school administrators disposed of the lunches of students whose parents owed money to the school. When Opposing Views first reported on this story, many were outraged that the school chose to deal with the issue like that, and since then, the administration has been doing damage control.
Now, the United States Department of Agriculture has reportedly put in its two cents, asserting that school systems should not refuse their students lunch just because their parents have not paid their accounts.
“Under Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Concannon says in a letter to state school chiefs that schoolchildren should not be subjected to undue embarrassment and stigma when they have outstanding balances in their school lunch accounts,” reports NPR’s Howard Berkes. “That’s a response to the incident in Salt Lake City last month when school lunches were taken from children and tossed in the trash due to unpaid bills. Parents at the school complained they weren’t adequately notified. Concannon urged school districts to adopt clear procedures for payment and notification of overdue balances. The Salt Lake City school board is seeking an independent audit of the incident, and plans to spend nearly $50,000 for public relations help.”
Fallout from this situation still continues as Salt Lake City School District attempts to build itself back up. As Berkes reported, the district has reached out to a public relations firm, planning to spend $49,999 on help with its image.
"We spend money on what we think we need in order to improve the overall operation of the district and sometimes that means you have to spend on things that are not directly involved in the classroom,” said Heather Bennett, school board vice president. “Many districts in the state have multiple people in public information, and we’ve only got one.”
With the federal government now involved in this matter, many hope that schools will no longer throw away students' lunches due to unpaid accounts.
Former gym teacher Matthew LoMaglio is currently serving a four-year jail sentence for sexually assaulting a then 8-year-old boy back in 2006 and 2007, and now, reports are claiming that 22 of his fellow teachers wrote letters to a judge supporting their former colleague during his recent trial. This has outraged parents of students at the Rochester, New York school as well as parents all over, and some have started a petition demanding the names of the teachers who are supporting the sex offender.
“We believe that children in the Rochester City School District (RCSD) are in danger,” reads the petition. “The lack of cooperation stifles the investigation, impedes discovery of the abuser, and lengthens the amount of time a child is in danger, until authorities uncover the abuse and intervene. As responsible parents, family members, friends, community members and concerned citizens, it is our duty to demand full justice for the child that was sexually assaulted, and to do everything we can to protect other children from being sexually abused.”
According to reports, parents attempted to file a request under the Freedom of Information Act in an effort to get the names of the 22 teachers, but the judge denied their request, saying that it could only be made by government officials.
Angry parents are expressing their disgust at the supportive teachers in their comments on the petition.
“Any teacher supporting this guy is a scumbag and should not be working with children,” wrote one livid parent.
School officials are reportedly also trying to get their hands on the names of the teachers that wrote letters to the judge supporting the abuser.
“We can tell you with great certainty that the City School District did not authorize any employee to write a letter supporting Mr. LoMaglio,” said a school official to Fox News. “The letters are part of a sealed court record, but we are working through legal channels to obtain them and simultaneously conducting an internal investigation. If employees used work time or resources to write such letters, or pretended to speak on behalf of the District, we will take disciplinary action.”
In the meantime, the online petition has garnered hundreds of signatures and is being spread all over the Internet. LoMaglio is currently serving four years in prison for the sexual assault.
The mother of a student at Marshall Middle School in Texas has complained that on two occasions, when her daughter’s lunch account displayed insufficient funds, cafeteria workers dumped her food off her tray and into a garbage can.
The middle school student was then provided with a cold sandwich and milk instead.
“She has come home starving to death because she didn’t have enough money in her account,” Michelle Bass said in a phone interview on Friday. “It’s embarrassing for me as a parent.”
These occurrences seem to challenge what should be happening during the school’s lunch hour. According to Joanna Genuardi, child nutrition director of Beaumont ISD, the district Marshall Middle School is in, the district has a policy to feed al l students “regardless of the amount of money in their accounts.”
“We have many students whose only meal they get is at school,” Genuardi stated.
In another case reported from a Texas middle school, Jennifer Castilleja said that her 12-year-old son was denied breakfast because his account was 30 cents short. When Castilleja told the school she would come in pay, she was told she would have to pay before her child was allowed to receive the school breakfast.
“There were kids all around him,” Castilleja said, adding that he “may have been a little embarrassed and upset and, of course, hungry.”
In situations where a student picks out food, only to realize that they cannot pay for it afterwards, health code regulations forbid cafeteria workers from simply handing out that same food to another student; instead, it must be disposed of.
Distric 22 State Rep. Joe Deshotel has suggested that as a solution to this problem, cash registers be moved to the front of the line. Thus, each student’s account balance would be determined before he/she touched any food.
Others schools in other districts have different policies when it comes to students purchasing lunches.
Some schools allow students to charge lunch to their accounts several times, before their lunches are tossed away, and are instead replaced with milk and “a cold sandwich – sometimes cheese or peanut butter and jelly.”
Another school system operates on a no-charge policy: if students don’t have lunch money, they must throw away the food they stood in line for, and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead.
Yet other schools have put teachers in charge of monitoring elementary school students’ accounts before lunchtime, thus helping students and workers alike determine which students will be receiving altnernate meals that day.
Superintendent Mark Porterie said that students of the Port Author ISD don’t have to worry about having sufficient lunch money, because every student receives free breakfast and lunch thanks to a national free lunch program.
While different school districts have different methods of regulating account balances and distributing meals, one fact remains solidly indisputable.
As Joe Deshotel put it, “Throwing away food doesn’t seem to solve the problem. It wastes food and embarrasses the kid.”
Photo Source: www.beaumontenterprise.com