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The Limits of Free Speech in Schools

From the guy who brought you the Whitewater scandal and the impeachment of President Clinton for lying about oval antics in the Oral Office, a legal push to make the Supreme Court just say no to "Bong Hits 4 Jesus." Ken Starr's petition to the Court [PDF] makes clear that Starr believes this is no laughing matter, but a chance for the Court to make a landmark ruling that will give school adminstrators the power to limit student speech: "This case presents the Court with a much-needed opportunity to resolve a sharp conflict among federal courts (and to eliminate confusion on the part of school boards, administrators, teachers, and students) over whether the First Amendment permits regulation of student speech when such speech is advocating or making light of illegal substances."
posted by digaman on Aug 28, 2006 - 131 comments

Supertankers in the French Alps

Port Revel sits at the foot of the French Alps near Grenoble, France. Since 1967 [PDF], its landlocked harbor has been the place to go if you want to learn how to sail a fleet [PDF] of the world's largest ships.
posted by cenoxo on Aug 6, 2006 - 6 comments

Learning can be fun.

Science sites of all kinds for kids. Archeology. Entomology. Natural Symphony. Baseball in Space. Philosophy. Process or Content. Science songs. Physics songs, relativity. String theory. Science and Art.
posted by nickyskye on Jun 26, 2006 - 9 comments

Art teacher in hot water over topless photos

Art teacher in hot water over topless photos - Meet Tamara, a 29 year old art teacher at Austin High School (notable alumni) in Austin, TX. She's in danger of losing her job with the Austin independent School District over inappropriate photos posted to her Flickr account (may be NSFW). "I'm an artist and I'm going to participate in the arts," Hoover said. "If that's not something they want me to do then I want to be told that. I don't feel as if I was doing anything that was beyond expectations."
posted by nitsuj on Jun 17, 2006 - 88 comments

This programming brought to you by the numbers 3, 12, and Pepsi

BusRadio has a simple dream: to improve the safety of school bus rides for all students. Or, wait, maybe the dream is to exploit our kids for profit. To be fair, they aren't the only ones who think this is a great idea. Thanks, Massachusetts!
via CommercialAlert, which we've talked about before.
posted by gurple on Jun 5, 2006 - 35 comments

Speaking Truth to Power: When Power Speaks Back

Speaking truth to power: when power speaks back (scroll down). Graduating senior Jean Rohe & Senator John McCain spoke at the New School's graduation ceremony at Madison Square Garden this Saturday. Rohe's speech attacking McCain's actions & positions has been hailed by many on the Left as "speaking truth to power". McCain staffer Mark Salter thinks Jean isn't being fair to his boss. Scroll down to read his reaction.
posted by scalefree on May 22, 2006 - 122 comments

How far do the protections of the First Amendment extend in public school?

The Ninth Circuit (maligned by many as a hotbed of extreme liberal judicial activism, but defended by others PDF) issued its opinion in the case of Harper v. Poway Unified School District last week. Judge Stephen Reinhardt - who, to some people, embodies the alleged evils of the Ninth Circuit - issued the majority opinion, and Judge Alex Kozinski filed a strong dissent. The majority opinion held that a high school principal who ordered a student to remove his T-shirt that said "Homosexuality is Shameful" did not violate the student's First Amendment rights, reasoning that "limitations on speech" are permissible in cases where speech is "derogatory and injurious remarks directed at students' minority status such as race religion and sexual orientation," and the limitation is "narrow, and applied with sensitivity and for reasons that are consistent with the fundamental First Amendment mandate." [more inside]
posted by Pontius Pilate on Apr 26, 2006 - 152 comments

Chicago teacher runs his mouth on blog, angers students

A Chicago teacher vents about the situation at his school on his blog and ends up angering the student body, fellow teachers, and parents.
posted by bubblesonx on Apr 23, 2006 - 106 comments

Build a better Leprechaun trap.

Who knew that the building of Leprechaun traps are to St. Patrick's day what candy hearts and valentine mailboxes are to Valentine's day. All over the country, elementary school kids are displaying their Leprechaun traps today. What to use for bait? Gold, shamrocks, 4 leaf clovers, rainbows...
posted by 445supermag on Mar 17, 2006 - 26 comments

All we are saying...

Is a Peace Studies class appropriate to be taught in a public high school? Ok, but what if it's an elective? And if it's taught by this guy you could probably understand why some people would think it's lame.
posted by butterstick on Mar 8, 2006 - 35 comments

School shooting suspect caught via his Myspace profile

Marcus McKinney was arrested Wednesday for the gang-related shooting of Michael Jacola at Orange Park High School in Jacksonville. Florida. Marcus was caught because left his photo on his Myspace.com profile alongside various comments about belonging to a gang.
posted by tapeguy on Feb 24, 2006 - 40 comments

Belgian vs. American students

The Belgian kids cleaned the American kids' clocks. For "Stupid in America," a special report ABC will air Friday, we gave identical tests to high school students in New Jersey and in Belgium. [...] The Belgian kids called the American students "stupid." Interesting insights into the different school systems employed in both countries.
posted by slater on Jan 14, 2006 - 124 comments

The one room school house project

The one room school house project - stories, photos, and documents.
posted by Wolfdog on Dec 10, 2005 - 2 comments

B- Lite

B - Lite He is white. He is blind. He is a rapper with an old school sound. And he may worship Satan. Sea Cruise is my fave but MeFiers will probably dig Wall - Mart. Mp3s on right.
posted by vronsky on Nov 20, 2005 - 22 comments

Get your music education on the cheap

What would you do with $100 million? OK, scratch that. What would you do if you were the head of a top US university with an anonymous gift of $100 million? Well, if you're Richard C. Levin, you'd take a cue from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and decide to let music students in for free.
posted by emelenjr on Nov 7, 2005 - 31 comments

Into Africa

From Baltimore to the Bush. Until 2003, the Baraka School in Kenya was home to 20-40 underachieving teenagers from inner-city Baltimore. As Time Magazine reported in 2000, the experiment was not without complications, ranging from curriculum deficiencies to disciplinary issues. PBS also did a short piece on Baraka the same year.

By 2002, though, things were shaping up. The Baltimore City Public School System found that students at Baraka improved markedly in their academics. One alumnus is an up-and-coming hip-hop star.

Baraka was closed indefinitely in 2003 due to terrorism-related security threats. But a new documentary, The Boys of Baraka, recaptures the essence of the place, its successes and its failures alike.
posted by greatgefilte on Oct 5, 2005 - 8 comments

Female Brains Need Less Hair

Female Brains Need Less Hair Girls going to public schools in Togo have been ordered to shave their heads by the country's Education Minister. It's supposed to make them concentrate on school work instead of looking cute.
posted by chai-rista on Oct 5, 2005 - 45 comments

LiveJournal puts in a school-browsing feature.

LiveJournal puts in a feature which lets you browse journals by schools. Schools from the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines to Siberia are browsable by location. The different perspectives make for interesting reading.
posted by Count Ziggurat on Sep 27, 2005 - 15 comments

Devolution is real, spuds.

A racist moron gets punched in the head for wearing a racist shirt to his high school. The undershirt the white student wore had a confederate flag on the front with the words "Keep it flying." On the back, a cartoon depicted a group of hooded Klansmen standing outside a church, waving to two others who had just pulled away in a car reading "Just married." Two black men in nooses were being dragged behind. Yet, somehow, he declares he's not racist: "I'm not racist or anything," he said. "It's just, some people I hate, some people I don't get along with. And black people just happen to be the ones because they think they're better than everyone else." [via SLOG; Previous Fleming Island Clothing Issues]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me on Sep 16, 2005 - 152 comments

photographs of your suicide

On September 15, 1959, student Bill Thomas witnessed the bloody aftermath of a bomb going off at Poe Elementary School. "This was an extremely upsetting event for me and my fellow six-grade students, but no consideration was ever given to the treatment of our trauma. In fact, nothing much was even said about it when we returned to school the next day." Decades later, he deals with what happened by taking photographs of himself in which he's seen committing suicide in a variety of convoluted ways.
posted by iconomy on Aug 5, 2005 - 25 comments

Evolution: Views Differ

Bush comes out in favor of teaching "intelligent design" alongside evolution in American schools. Is this the latest evidence of the White House willing to champion worthy but controversial ideas that have been sidelined by liberal bias, or strictly from Paul Krugman's theoretical headline, "Shape of Earth: Views Differ"? [Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Lone Star State, Texas educators ignite brouhaha by adding Bible study to the public-school curriculum].
posted by digaman on Aug 2, 2005 - 343 comments

Bibliture

Reason #48713 for teaching the Bible in schools: "The classics of British and American literature are filled with biblical allusions that would be lost on a reader without basic knowledge of the Bible"
posted by afx114 on Jun 22, 2005 - 200 comments

Lionel Shriver wrote an interesting book.

Woman wins Orange Prize for novel "many people will hate" Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin is one of the few novels I've read in which the protagonist admits that she dislikes her child and is ambivalent (to put it mildly) about motherhood in general. In this case, she has good reason--the boy has a few problems, which culminate in a school gym massacre (preceded by something really grisly). (I'm not giving anything away by saying this, it's not a mystery novel.) Many people do indeed hate it; I personally thought it was fascinating. See also The Independent, The Guardian, ID Theory, Salon, and many more.
posted by scratch on Jun 8, 2005 - 58 comments

Meat Packer

School Mistakes Huge Burrito for a Weapon Ok, now it's time to get away from the computer after a long week.
posted by terrier319 on Apr 29, 2005 - 42 comments

Teachers gone Wild

Teacher gone wild. Again. While not as crazy as this, (discussed here previously) Mrs. Miller definitely needs some therapy. Perhaps these 4th graders should have had camera phones like these kids... Though at least the U.S. isn't as tolerant of teachers behavior as Moroccans. Frankly my dear, they don't give a damn!
posted by Debaser626 on Apr 12, 2005 - 50 comments

Only Wayne

Only Wayne. A racist bullying case study in wiki format.
posted by plep on Apr 2, 2005 - 22 comments

Your great-great-grandmother didn't have to surrender her children. What happened?

The Underground History of American Education
You aren't compelled to loan your car to anyone who wants it, but you are compelled to surrender your school-age child to strangers who process children for a livelihood.... If I demanded you give up your television to an anonymous, itinerant repairman who needed work you'd think I was crazy; if I came with a policeman who forced you to pay that repairman even after he broke your set, you would be outraged. Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government agent called a schoolteacher?
posted by anastasiav on Apr 1, 2005 - 95 comments

Worst since Columbine

School shootings in Red Lake Minnesota leave ten dead.
posted by Demogorgon on Mar 21, 2005 - 117 comments

feed me better

Feed Me Better Jamie Oliver (UK fat tongued food wizard) campaigns to ban the junk food and get fresh, tasty and, above all, nutricious food back on school dinners menu.
posted by Spoon on Mar 17, 2005 - 47 comments

Gender reassignment by community consensus?

I enjoy being a girl boy. - 4th grader
posted by soyjoy on Mar 7, 2005 - 225 comments

Tanár úr kérem!

School stories (long out of print in English) of Frigyes Karinthy. Short, funny, and occasionally bittersweet; favorites include The Good Student and The Bad Student Tested, and Hanging From the Apparatus.
posted by Wolfdog on Mar 1, 2005 - 2 comments

weird science?

[Resolved, the Kansas Dept. of Education is hereby directed to collect comments from the public regarding the various proposed changes to the Science Curriculum Standards, either contained within the Science Curriculum Standards Draft or contained within the minority report.] Kansas Citizens for Science are arguing that the intelligent design folks are just trying to put religion in the schools. But are the proposed changes in the minority report really pro-religion, or are they just pro-"raise kids to be inquisitive"? I, for one, am honesty not sure.
posted by bingo on Feb 24, 2005 - 56 comments

37 degrees of separation

Mapping couplings at a high school Sociologists graphed the romantic and sexual relationships of 80% of an entire high school (832 out of ~1000 students). The research indicates that high schoolers lack sexual alpha-persons resulting in partner maps that are mostly long lines rather than the more hub and spoke like maps common in adult maps.
posted by Mitheral on Jan 31, 2005 - 47 comments

The gayest post title ever

Planes, Trains, and Plantains, or the Greatest Essay Ever Written.
posted by swift on Jan 14, 2005 - 27 comments

Dry Pain-Free Freak Dance

Upon this desiccating planet, will I employ religion to increase pain threshold. Why? So I may get my freak on.
posted by mcgraw on Jan 12, 2005 - 28 comments

Is a smaller school always a better school?

Is a smaller school always a better school? School districts across the US are seizing on size as the key to reform. But some experts worry that the rush to create smaller schools is happening too fast.
posted by Postroad on Dec 14, 2004 - 33 comments

Homosexuals take note

Are you a gay teen in Utah? Do you want to attend a high school dance with a same-sex date? Better bring a note from your parents!
posted by mr_crash_davis on Dec 2, 2004 - 26 comments

What if we voted on issues?

What if we voted on issues? "They booed the results of their vote. They were upset that they had voted for the 'wrong guy'."
posted by GernBlandston on Sep 23, 2004 - 53 comments

RoPma

Russian TV broadcasts siege video: [BBC link: RealPlayer/RealAlternative/Windows MPC] SFW
Unknown provenance of footage, but clearly genuine. Terrorist uses 'Dead Man's Brake' switch on a bomb, also shots of Hoop Bombs'. Beware: NewsFilter
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 7, 2004 - 39 comments

????? ??? ????? ?????? ?? captors

Possibly 1,000 Hostages taken at Russian School. Earlier reports were 350, but an anonymous report claims total is much larger. So far more than one dozen hostages have been killed.
posted by Keyser Soze on Sep 3, 2004 - 65 comments

Prom Story

Prom Story In a series of essays at Slate (1, 2, 3) a journalist in his mid-20s lightheartedly recounts the experience of escorting a 17-year-old girl to her high-school prom (purely for journalistic purposes, it's worth noting). Posters at Slate's reader discussion forum, in spite of its supremely cumbersome interface, express their strong (and not always coherent) disapproval, based mostly on the age difference between the author and his prom date. The author of the essays responds: "As the film critic Richard Roeper (who is much older, and much more influential than myself) pointed out in Esquire recently, this is indeed a strange cultural moment, one made all the stranger by the fact that we're not supposed to admit [it] actually exists." I'm not the biggest fan of journalists who engage in seemingly socially taboo behavior for the sole purpose of writing an article, but this made for interesting reading nonetheless.
posted by Prospero on Jun 17, 2004 - 53 comments

Governor's Schools

Arkansas Governor's School, one of over 100 "Governor's Schools," starts today. The program is going in to its 24th year despite years of controversy over several mediums.
posted by whoshotwho on Jun 13, 2004 - 17 comments

"With his blue ox, Emily Dickenson, Walt Whitman traveled across young America . . .

"With his blue ox, Emily Dickenson, Walt Whitman traveled across young America . . . and helped the nation grow into the angry powerhouse it is today." End of the year (2000), pressure from Mr. Farlow to take the class seriously and pick a real poet, Honors Student has 15 cups of coffee and cranks out a masterpiece . . . Not Walt Whitman. Anyone have any information on teacher, student, or their subsequent careers? (via Blogdex)
posted by palancik on Apr 25, 2004 - 34 comments

teacher freakout!

There are goofy news items every day, but once in a while you have some story that transcends them all. Teacher accused of ordering student thrown from window is quite possibly the silliest story I've seen this year. It's beyond the Onion. Teacher enters class and takes photo of students, one student objects, teacher makes a disparaging remark about the way the student looks and student hits an emergency button, then the teacher orders two boys to throw her out the window (where she suffered injuries). Best line about the boys "they threw the girl out the window because they did not want to be written up for disobeying a teacher."
posted by mathowie on Apr 23, 2004 - 29 comments

School Bans Common Sense

Bellevue school bans hats, hoods... In order to curtail unproven gang activity, Interlake High School has banned baseball caps, and the wearing of hoods, stemming from alleged gang involvement on the part of a few students. The faculty "believes" there to be gang actvity, and we all know that gangs require hooded-sweatshirt / ballcap uniforms, or you're out... Gang members can usually be singled out due to their poor fashion taste, but it has nothing to do with how they joined. This must be more of that freedom we North Americans seems to endorse so much...
posted by Dark Messiah on Mar 8, 2004 - 63 comments

Go To School, Do Nothing.

Go to school and do nothing. The Sudbury approach to learning is one in which the kids can do whatever they want. Literally. Want to play games all day? Fine. Want to read comics all day? Fine. Want to watch movies? Fine. From the FAQ: What happens if a student doesn't do anything? It is actually impossible to do nothing. I think what most people are concerned about is students doing what looks like nothing; for example playing video games, playing magic cards, reading all day, etc. The truth is that everything the students do has value. Take video games for example; this "teaches" reading skills, social skills, the ability to concentrate and focus, and, depending on the game, history, strategy, math or science. Is this a good way to educate kids?
posted by Atom12 on Mar 4, 2004 - 71 comments

Georgia considers banning 'evolution'

Georgia considers banning 'evolution' OUTSTANDING! Nice work guys. Meet the new south, same as the old south?
posted by asparagus_berlin on Jan 30, 2004 - 87 comments

Deep Springs College

DSC - Deep Spring College is a prestigious all-male (currently) college almost nobody has heard of. It consists of only 26 students and was founded by Lucien Lucius Nunn in 1917. The average SAT score is 1500. There is no tuition; instead the students physically work for their education. It is located on an isolated ranch in Deep Springs Valley and the only way there is a two hour greyhound bus ride that stops at the Cottontail Ranch Brothel, followed by a one hour ride on the college's own transportation. Anyone interested in attending?
posted by Hypharse on Jan 19, 2004 - 22 comments

Nobel Prize Winners Hate School.

Nobel Prize Winners Hate School. Not that it takes a genius to figure out that 'school is a lot like prison but worse' (George Bernard Shaw) or that it "smothers every truly scientific impulse" (Einstein)....
posted by limitedpie on Jan 14, 2004 - 49 comments

Ethical Behavior in America.

Does our culture actively discourage ethical behavior? The alarmingly high rate of cheating in schools, discussed by David Callahan, seems to imply that cheating is not an aberration in our culture but more like a norm. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jan 11, 2004 - 48 comments

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