Private schools, painful secrets. More than 200 students have been victims of sexual abuse and harassment at New England private schools since the 1950’s. At least 90 students or their families have filed lawsuits or other legal claims. At least 67 private schools in New England have been affected by allegations of sexual abuse by employees disclosed over the past 25 years. The Boston Globe's Spotlight team investigates. CW: The link contains content regarding molestation and sexual abuse that is likely SFW for most but some may find disturbing.
With his project Special Books by Special Kids, special education teacher Christopher Ulmer interviews neurodiverse people about their lives and interests. [more inside]
The Company That Bribed The World - It was the company with jet-set style and dirty hands. From the tiny principality of Monaco, Unaoil reached across the globe to pay multi-million dollar bribes in oil rich states. The beneficiaries? Some of the biggest companies in England, Europe, America and Australia.
Dawson Tamatea was a teacher at the Palmerston North Boys' High School in New Zealand. When Mr. Tamatea's hearse arrived for the memorial service, the entire school performed the Haka for him.
"After surviving one of the most high-profile and long-running school sex abuse scandals in history, a group of 32 men and women banded together to seek solace and justice — only to find that public outrage, a star attorney, and overwhelming evidence are no match for a legal process stacked against even the most privileged or traumatized." - Sam Roudman
Erika Thompson teaches grade school in Whittier, Alaska, a town where most people live and work in one building, and is only accessible by a miles-long tunnel with limited hours. [slyt]
Patrick McLaw, under the pen name "Dr. K. S. Voltaer', wrote a novel about a school shooting in the year 2902. However, Mr. McLaw is a 23-year-old middle-school teacher in Cambridge, Maryland. Because of the content of his sf novels, he has just been placed on administrative leave, according to Dorchester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Wagner as quoted in Raw Story. Mr. McLaw was taken for an 'emergency' medical exam, and the police were unwilling to disclose his location to local TV news. They would say he is not on the Delmarva peninsula. An article in Reason is characterizing the exam as a "mandatory psych eval". According to Reason, Mr. McLaw has yet to be charged with any crime. He teaches eighth-grade language arts.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu said that the laws governing K-12 teacher job security were unconstitutional. Treu declared the rules governing K-12 teacher tenure in California were unconstitutional because they affect predominately minority and poor students, allowing incompetent instructors to remain in the classroom. He said in the decision that the protections "impose a real and appreciable impact on students' fundamental right to equality of education." He went on to say that the evidence for this "shocks the conscience." The decision ends the process of laying off teachers based solely on when they were hired. It also strips them of extra job safeguards not enjoyed by other school or state employees. And, lastly, it eliminates the current tenure process, under which instructors are either fired or win strong job security about 18 months after they start teaching. The case was brought by a Silicon Valley group, Students Matter. The suit has highlighted competing views of teacher tenure. The decision has lead to significant and spirited debate over K-12 teacher job protections.
Washington Post education reporter Valerie Strauss posted some quotes on her blog to answer the question: "How Hard is Teaching?" She then received another response, from a veteran seventh-grade language arts teacher in Frederick, Maryland: "I would love to teach but..."
Rob Meline always dreamed of being an astronaut. He became a teacher instead. But the beloved faculty member at Camas Prairie Elementary in Spanaway, Washington kept a family secret. When he fell victim to it in October 2012, he became the symbol of a flawed judicial system. What his students did next was out of this world.
CourseSmart software enables professors and teachers to track how much of the assigned reading students have completed.
Last June, the New York Times published an exposé of New York's exclusive Horace Mann School, detailing decades of sexual abuse of students by their teachers. The revelations prompted additional accusations and lawsuits from former students, an all-but-useless investigation, an admission by one of the school's former teachers, and a response by the school to parents (pdf). But one person who escaped the Times' notice was former English teacher Robert Berman.
In 1974, Leon Leyson was one of a group of Jews who greeted Oskar Schindler when he visited Los Angeles. It was the first time the two had seen each other since the war. He began to introduce himself, but Schindler interrupted: "I know who you are," Schindler said, grinning at the middle-aged man before him. "You're Little Leyson." On Sunday, the youngest name on Schindler's List passed away at the age of 83. "The truth is, I did not live my life in the shadow of the Holocaust," he told the Portland Oregonian in 1997. "I did not give my children a legacy of fear. I gave them a legacy of freedom." [more inside]
In seventh grade, after school let out, Humaira Mohammed Bachal opened her home in Thatta (Pakistan) to 10-12 friends who weren't allowed to go to school, and taught them what she was learning. By the time she was 16 and ready to take her 9th grade exams, (over her father's objections,) she and four other girls were teaching more than 100 students. Now, her sister Tahira, (age 18,) is principal of the school Humaira founded: with 22 teachers serving more than 1,000 kids in a Karachi slum (yt). All in a country where if you are a young girl in a rural area, you are unlikely ever to see the inside of a classroom, and advocating education for young girls can be life-threatening. [more inside]
British Education Secretary Michael Gove was a dick to his French teacher 30 years ago, so he apologized. The Guardian goes a step further and asks a bunch of writers if they'd like to apologize to their former teachers. To wit: "I was, in fact, incredibly high. So was Pete. Now I can't even remember what happens in The House of Seven Gables, but I learned a lesson that day, just the same. Sorry again, Tim Dowling"
Thought the "rubber rooms" where New York City teachers were sent to wait for disciplinary hearings were closed? Not so much. [more inside]
In school, most grades have a favorite teacher. For Rockport-Fulton Middle School's seventh grade, it's Bobby Jackson. He teaches Texas History. (Via) [more inside]
Years of labour peace between the government of Ontario and teachers came to an end this year. Like their colleagues in British Columbia, Ontario teachers and support staff are complaining of unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional legislation -- the Putting Students First Act, 2012 -- that gives the Education Minister, Laura Broten, unchallenged power to ban strikes, job actions, set compensation and benefits, and to take over local school boards who are non-compliant. Ontario school boards are unanimously opposed to the Act, which reduces their power, and so are teachers and support staff, who feel the government is manufacturing a crisis. Most see this as a cynical ploy to capture public support for two by-elections this week that could nudge the Liberal government into majority status. ETFO and OSSTF, two of the teacher unions involved, have repeatedly pointed out that "the school year is not in jeopardy", that they had already accepted a wage freeze, and that local bargaining is proceeding well. As legislation looms aheads, teachers, support staff, and labour activists are wondering: is this the end of collective bargaining for the public sector? [more inside]
The Ohio Supreme Court has announced it will hear the appeal of John Freshwater, a Mt. Vernon eighth grade science teacher terminated after being accused of preaching Christian beliefs in class when discussing topics such as evolution and homosexuality. He was also accused of burning the image of a cross on students' arms. [more inside]
Traditionally, the Tuesday of the first full week of May is the National Teacher Day in the USA. Here's a message (SLYT) from your kids' teachers.
An oldie but a goodie: David Bennabaum on learning how to program and be a sys admin at his high school in his youth.
Joel Klein wrote an essay in the Atlantic about the reasons for the current problems in the primary educational system.
Louis Menand of the New Yorker looks at the competing theories of education: that it is to create more well-rounded individuals vs. teaching someone what they need to know to get a job.
A kindergarten teacher in La Estanzuela, a neighborhood in Monterrey Mexico, sings with her students as gunfire can be heard outside. [more inside]
In the wake of ever deeper budget cuts, public schools have begun charging students for basics, such as registering for honors or elective classes.
Want to fire a teacher in the LA Unified School District? Be prepared to spend several years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so. [more inside]
England viewed the colonies as nothing more than a back-talking teenager that needed smacked. The Japanese were put in concentration camps, so we could concentrate on them. During this time, Lespians came out of their nests. [more inside]
Dan Meyer is a high school math teacher with a clever idea: make math about the real world. On his blog, he writes about classroom management, the real skills of teaching, labels, information design, and assessment.
Dirty Old Women is an attempt to figure out why older female teachers sleep with younger boys. [more inside]
Raffaella Traniello (Vimeo profile) is an educator and multimedia enthusiast who describes herself as "Animation lover. Linux user. Hungry for clever beauty." She's also committed to bringing free/open source software to the classroom. Her efforts are remarkable in that she achieves pleasant results with community-developed software and involves school children in the production process. Since many users of Linux video editing software -- especially the Cinelerra software package -- are quickly turned off by its opaque interface, Raffaella has also created Cinelerra for Grandma, in which she covers everything from the basics to more difficult subjects like animation.
Fed Up is a blog by a teacher who has decided to eat the lunch her school serves every day. A Japanese Teacher is doing the same thing.
The kids are calling it Two teachers one chair (SLYT). The news says that simulating a lap dance during a high school prep rally is going a little too far. What does in loco parentis mean these days? What's a teacher gotta do to be good these days?
As part of his Masters project at Ohio University, Francis Gardler created a series of ten video clips about photographer and teacher Dave LaBelle. In clip 5, Dave talks about the empathy and compassion needed to photograph other human beings. The title of the first clip: “Connecting The Eye With The Heart” sums up the series perfectly. [via] [more inside]
Circuit relays, fulcrums and pulleys support not just exercise, but concepts in science and social studies, thanks to an innovative gym teacher. [more inside]
A few months ago, a British Schoolteacher in Sudan allowed a class of hers to vote on a name for a teddy bear. The class of seven year olds decided - with a majority of 20:3 - to name the stuffed toy Mohammad. Last week, she was arrested for this 'crime' after several of the parents complained, and has been sentenced to 15 days in prison and will be deported. However, that isn't good enough for the thousands of people that marched on martyrs square today and demanded that she instead be killed for this crime. [more inside]
Meet Uma Khurana, a government school teacher in Old Delhi, who was almost lynched after rumours that she had forced her students into prostitution started doing the rounds, was vindicated when it was discovered that the sting operation to frame her was a scam.
In a lawsuit filed in Oregon, a local teacher with a permit to carry concealed is demanding the right to take her gun to school. The anonymous plaintiff's personal reasons claim a fear for her life from an abusive ex who works at the same school, however, as the argument takes a life of it's own, we can see echoes of Columbine(wikipedia link) and Virginia Tech. [more inside]
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust - an overview of the people and events of the Holocaust through photographs, documents, art, music, and literature. It is designed to prepare K-12 teachers to approach this sensitive topic. The content is presented from three perspectives: Timeline, People, and The Arts. Produced by the University of South Florida.
Love on Campus: Why We Should Encourage an Eroticism (of the Mind) Between Professor and Student. Yale English professor William Deresiewicz argues that the newly-emerged stereotype of professors as "pompous, lecherous, alcoholic failures" is in the main due to our culture's fear of and inability to understand the true intimacy between professor and student: that of the mind. Cf. controversial Hindu teacher-student relationships, the same in Christianity, or merely observe Oscar Wilde: "I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself."
Krazy... Katheists? We see plenty of stories about religion in schools crossing the line. For good reason -- it's pretty topical. This time, though, it's an atheist teacher who crosses the line.
Art teacher in Richmond, VA suspended after his students found a video on YouTube of him painting with his ass.
There's a USA National Bikini Team? Time was you had to actually have sex with a student before you got in trouble. Now it seems, you don't even have to go that far! After all that, let's hope the good ole U.S. of A. can beat the Swedes
Panda's Thumb reports elementary music teacher Tresa Wagonner was put on paid administrative leave by the superintendent of schools in Bennett, Colorado. Her offense? Playing a 12-minute clip from the thirty-year-old children's series "Who's Afraid of Opera?" for her classroom. The series features legendary soprano Joan Sutherland and some cute little hand-puppets who alternate elementary explanations of the libretti with vocal performances of selections from the operas featured. Apparently, Ms. Wagonner's selected episode, Gounod’s Faust, angered fundamentalist Bennettians, already on the warpath over Waggoner's musical choices for last year's Christmas pageant.
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