UPDATE


Toilet paper returned to Florida elementary school bathrooms after parents complained

Published: Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 10:05 AM

Florida Elementary School Returns Toilet Paper to Bathrooms After Parents Complained

A Florida elementary school has returned toilet paper to its bathrooms after parents told ActionNewsJax story about the school’s actions.

Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Jacksonville had been refusing to put toilet paper in the stalls there.

Instead, parents told Action News Jax, teachers at the Magnolia Gardens neighborhood school were handing wads of toilet paper to individual students, as needed.

>> Read more trending news 

Half an hour after Action News Jax’s story aired, Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Laureen Ricks called the newsroom to say toilet paper has now been returned to the stalls.

Related: Carter G. Woodson teacher accused of calling black students 'rats' resigns

Mother Shantia Peterson said it was not only embarrassing, but also worried about whether it was sanitary.

“You can’t just have it going from hand to hand,” said Peterson.

Peterson said she was sending her 4th-grade daughter to school with a toilet paper roll in a Ziploc bag.

“I did speak with the teacher about it as well. And I asked, I said, ‘What about if they run out?’ She said, ‘Well, we have a student in the bathroom that can give them extra.’ A student? A student!” said Peterson.

Ricks said Carter G. Woodson Elementary was advised against withholding toilet paper from the stalls.

“The practice of not keeping toilet paper in school restrooms – as a result of misuse or waste – is not encouraged by the district. We will continue to communicate this to our schools to ensure consistency district-wide. We invite parents to contact their school or the district if they have any concerns about this practice taking place in their child’s classroom or school so that we can immediately address. We also ask parents to partner with us in talking to students about appropriate bathroom etiquette and the importance of respecting school supplies and resources,” Ricks said in a statement.

Peterson recently moved her daughter to a different school.

“I told her, I said, ‘Your new school, they’re going to have toilet paper in the bathrooms.’ My daughter got excited. She said, ‘What, are you serious? They’re going to have toilet paper in the bathroom?’” said Peterson.

Peterson said she wants school leadership to care more about students’ hygiene than the toilet paper budget.

Georgia State soccer player withdraws from school after backlash over racial epithet

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:53 AM

Georgia State Soccer Player Uses Racial Slur On Social Media, Suspended From Team

A Georgia State University soccer player who was suspended from the team after she used a racial epithet on social media has withdrawn from the school, officials said.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: Georgia State soccer player suspended over racial slur used on social media

Some students had called for the expulsion of 18-year-old freshman defender Natalia Martinez after the epithet appeared on her Finsta page, a secret version of Instagram that is growing in popularity among teens.

>> On AJC.com: What is a ‘Finsta'? Teens and their secret Instagram accounts

“As a progressive, diverse university, we ... feel like this sort of behavior should not be tolerated,” said India Bridgeforth, who created a petition demanding the university take a tougher approach with Martinez.

The petition had garnered more than 500 signatures by Monday afternoon when the university announced Martinez had “officially withdrawn.”

Associate athletic director Mike Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials were made aware of Martinez’s post Friday morning — just days after the University of Alabama expelled a 19-year-old student who posted a video of a racist rant on her Finsta page.

>> Read more trending news 

That student, Harley Barber, uploaded a second video on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in response to people who were upset by the language and threatened those who wanted to report her fake Instagram account, The Washington Post reported

Ohio lawmakers could mandate students learn cursive handwriting again

Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 1:10 PM

VIDEO: Ohio Students May Soon Have to Learn Cursive Handwriting Again

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

>> Read more trending news

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.

RELATED: Cursive returns to Louisiana schools with new law

Schools have dialed back handwriting instruction to make more time for core academic requirements, such as helping struggling readers in first through third grades.

RELATED: What happened last time lawmakers tried to bring cursive back?

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.

RELATED: Other states have mandated cursive for public schools

The same bill was introduced in 2015 but failed to pass before the two-year legislative session ended. Advocates of mandating cursive instruction say it helps hone fine motor skills, is needed for signing important records , and comes in handy when reading historical handwritten documents.

Substitute teachers accused of forcing students to crawl on asphalt track as punishment

Published: Saturday, December 02, 2017 @ 3:06 PM

The hands of one of the children allegedly injured during a physical education class in Florence, Texas.
Courtesy of Nancy Gonzalez
The hands of one of the children allegedly injured during a physical education class in Florence, Texas.(Courtesy of Nancy Gonzalez)

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.

>> Read more trending news

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.

READ: Georgetown preschool teacher accused of slapping 4-year-old

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.

Teacher told student to 'go back to Mexico,' protesters say

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 1:24 AM

School bus (stock photo). AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN file photo
AMERICAN-STATESMAN file photo/Austin American-Statesman
School bus (stock photo). AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN file photo(AMERICAN-STATESMAN file photo/Austin American-Statesman)

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."

>> Read more trending news

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.

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