log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 1:10 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Some Ohio lawmakers want elementary school students to be able to print letters by the third grade and write documents in “legible cursive handwriting” by the time they finish fifth grade. The Ohio House could vote Dec. 5 on a bill to require a return of teaching cursive writing
In February, Ohio House Education Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, introduced a bill to mandate that kindergarteners through fifth-graders be instructed in handwriting.
Schools have dialed back handwriting instruction to make more time for core academic requirements, such as helping struggling readers in first through third grades.
Cursive instruction is included in the state’s “model curriculum” for grades 3 and 4 and the State Board of Education passed a resolution in early 2014 in support of teaching cursive. But it isn’t a hard-and-fast requirement.
Published: Saturday, December 02, 2017 @ 3:06 PM
FLORENCE, Texas — Police are investigating reports that two substitute teachers at a Texas middle school caused children to injure their hands Thursday by forcing them to crawl on an asphalt track during a physical education class, said Florence Police Chief Adam Marsh.
Charges have not been filed, Marsh told the Austin American-Statesman.
Marsh said he has seen blistering and bruising on the hands of four children, who were in a sixth-grade class at Florence Middle School. He declined to release the names of the two teachers being investigated.
Marsh said two sets of parents filed complaints with the police at 6 p.m. Thursday saying their children were forced to do bear crawls around the track. A bear crawl is done on the hands and feet without the knees touching the ground. The exercise is used for endurance and strength-building, Marsh said.
Police are continuing to investigate the case, which involves many children, he said. They will submit their findings to the Williamson County District Attorney’s office to see if charges should be filed, Marsh said. He said Child Protective Services also is involved in the investigation.
He declined to comment further on the case.
Lisa Block, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said the state agency is working with the police to investigate the incident.
One of the parents who filed a complaint with police, Nancy Gonzalez, spoke through an interpreter during a phone interview with the Austin American-Statesman Thursday.
Gonzalez said that when she picked up her 11-year-old daughter from school Thursday, her daughter had bruised hands. Gonzalez said her daughter told her that two substitute teachers forced her and her class to run and do bear crawls for half an hour around an asphalt track as punishment for what another student had done.
Gonzalez said she was “horrified” to see her child’s injuries and went to the school office to talk to someone, but that an official there wouldn’t talk to her.
Florence School District Superintendent Paul Michalewicz said Friday school officials are cooperating with police and also are conducting their own investigation. He declined further comment.
Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 1:24 AM
AUSTIN, Texas — 4 p.m. CST Wednesday: Several students who walked out of Fulmore Middle School in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday told the Austin American-Statesman they were protesting because a teacher in a Social and Emotional Learning class told a student, who was speaking Spanish at the time, to “go back to Mexico.”
The teacher made the statement about two weeks ago, according to students who were in her classroom at the time, and some Fulmore students felt that administrators did not adequately address what this teacher said.
In a letter to the school’s community, Fulmore Principal Lisa Bush acknowledged that "an adult staff member made an insensitive statement to a student. Comments such as that are not tolerated at any level and appropriate actions were taken."
Bush’s letter did not specify what was said nor what action was taken.
Multiple students said the school building was damaged during the protest. Students mentioned a window was broken, part of a fence was knocked down and a ceiling tile in a hallway was punched.
At least one school board member commented on the situation.
“I am confident the superintendent and his team are gathering the facts and responding appropriately,” said school board member Geronimo Rodriguez, who represents South Austin. “I expect a quick response. This is a teachable moment for our diverse community regarding our culture of treating people with dignity and respect.”
ORIGINAL STORY: A group of students walked out of the Fulmore Middle School building as part of a protest Wednesday, according to school officials.
School officials said students are now back in their classrooms.
They’re walking the halls, chanting “Say it loud. Say it clear. Refugees are welcome here!”— marissa (@MarissaElayne) November 15, 2017
(Video sent to me by niece, a student there) pic.twitter.com/WwHWn5b2bh
Published: Saturday, November 11, 2017 @ 1:46 PM
RENTON, Wash. — A senior at a high school in Washington state is upset about a video featuring her classmates that she says mocks slavery.
Michelle Boyd told KIRO7 she recorded the video this week at Lindbergh High School. For a school project, students performed a song during which they changed the lyrics to a well-known nursery rhyme.
"Old MacDonald had a slave," the students sang. "E-I-E-I-O. And with that slave he worked all day. E-I-E-I-O."
Boyd explained why she found the video offensive. "I mean I don't think it was necessary for them to make a mockery out of it. Because people did die in slavery. They were raped and beaten and stuff like that. I don't think that is a joke at all," she said.
Boyd confronted the students, but she claims they told her that the teacher gave them permission to perform the song.
Boyd showed the video to her mother, Charrita Tatum, who posted it on Facebook.
Tatum said she learned almost immediately she wasn't the only one who found the video offensive.
"Anytime there's a question, it should have just been nipped in the bud," Tatum said. "I do feel like the teacher's judgment call on this was absolutely incorrect."
"It's disturbing," Renton school district spokesman Randy Matheson told KIRO7. "It's inappropriate and it needs answers."
Matheson says with school out for Veterans Day, the teacher will have to answer for this Monday.
"A teacher should certainly know that checking with students to find out if it's OK is not the way you go about making sure something is appropriate in the classroom," Matheson said.
Michelle and her mother say they want the district to talk to the teacher and the students, three of whom are African-American, to make sure this doesn't happen again at Lindbergh or any other school.
Published: Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 5:15 PM
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A teacher taped shut the mouth of a 26-year-old disabled student who wouldn’t be quiet, part of a series of abuses against the woman, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the woman’s parents.
The student’s attorney, Jonathan Marko, told reporters Thursday that over the 10 years she attended classes in the Washtenaw Intermediate School District in Michigan, she suffered “medieval-type torture,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
“She had scalding hot coffee spilled on her, leaving permanent scarring. She was locked into a bathroom by herself,” Marko said. “She was slapped in the face so loud in the school yard that the bus driver across the school yard heard it and reported it to her parents. She was bound and gagged, and she had tape put over her mouth.”
The student has cerebral palsy and cognitive disorders, according to the Free Press. She uses a wheelchair and cannot speak.
According to MLive.com, the student attended High Point School. The school is operated by WISD and serves students with disabilities. Named in the suit were a special education teacher, the school’s principal and WISD, MLive.com reported.
Among the abuses the student suffered, the lawsuit claimed that her teacher, Nesa Johnson, covered her mouth in tape, photographed her and sent a text message of the image to the student’s mother.
“Help. She won’t be quiet!!!!” Johnson wrote in the text message, according to the lawsuit.
Filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, the lawsuit claimed that the student was “physically unable to remove the tape, has trouble breathing and clearing her throat, and breathes out of her mouth,” MLive.com reported.
"To think this is going on in today’s day and age, at an educational institution ... is abhorrent," Marko said, according to the Free Press.
He said the parents brought concerns about possible abuse to the school multiple times over the years, but each time, “The school assured them that they were taking care of it, that (the parents) were overreacting, that whatever was happening, whatever they saw or that was going on, that it was” the student’s fault, the Free Press reported. Her parents kept her at the school because they didn’t realize the extent of the abuse, according to the newspaper.
WISD spokeswoman Emma Jackson told MLive.com that Johnson no longer works for the school district, but she declined to discuss the specifics of the case.
"The Washtenaw ISD wants to assure the parents of our district that we take the health, safety, and education of all of our students very seriously," Jackson told MLive.com in a statement. "As to the subject of this lawsuit, the family did not report this, or any other complaint to the district until nearly a year after it occurred. During that subsequent year, the student continued attending school, in the same classroom, with the same teacher. When we were first informed of the family's concern, we immediately conducted a complete investigation and took appropriate remedial action."
Jackson told the Free Press that Johnson’s supervisor, Anne Nakon, is no longer employed by WISD either. It was not immediately clear if their departures were related to the allegations set forth in the lawsuit.
Nakon had previously told the Free Press that she was told about the allegations several months ago and that she “shared that I was unaware of any misconduct toward this student or any student.