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Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 3:53 AM
PLEASANT VIEW, Utah — Administrators in a Utah school district are investigating a disturbing video that appears to show a group of cheerleaders shouting a racial slur, KSTU reports. The 10-second recording, which was posted to Instagram, features a group of teenage girls who individually and as a group repeatedly yell a profane phrase with the N-word while laughing.
“We are shocked by the conduct of these students and the contents of the video,” read a statement from the Weber School District. “School officials have started an investigation and the matter is being taken very seriously. We are trying to determine when the video was made, where it was filmed, why the students would engage in such conduct, and how the clip ended up on social media.”
School officials first became aware of the footage on Monday after it began making rounds on social media. While they confirmed three of the girls in the video are cheerleaders, there is no indication the footage was filmed during extra-curricular activities. The IT department has been instructed to look into whether the clip was created with a video-editing app capable of generating the offensive phrase.
“The video was then possibly uploaded into an app that plays it backwards, producing an entirely different-sounding phrase. In this case, a very derogatory, offensive racial slur,” the district explained, adding that the girls may have actually been saying the phrase “surgeon cuff” and playing it backwards.
Other students were quick to point out that, forwards or backwards, the intent was the same.
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.