All Articles Tagged "school"

School Officer Assaults 13-Year-Old Student With Baton

January 31st, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Parents of students at Baltimore Vanguard Middle School are outraged after some very disturbing footage leaked.

According to Gawker,

A clip—published by WBAL today—opens on Starr, a middle-schooler, arguing with the unnamed officer. The officer pushes Starr against a wall, and Starr’s sister, also a student, walks toward the pair. Diamond, Starr’s cousin, then appears to make physical contact with the officer, who chases her and hits her at least twice with her baton.

Diamond was hospitalized with 10 stitches, her mother Tashona Neals told WBAL’s Jayne Miller, and the other two girls were pepper-sprayed. A photo taken after the incident shows Diamond’s shirt splattered with blood.

Both Diamond and the other 2 girls were charged with assault and suspended from the school. All 3 young ladies were forced to attend another school. However, after reviewing the footage, all of the decisions may be overturned.

After reviewing the footage, what do you guys think? Did the girls start a fight with the officer?  Or was the officer completely out of line?

What Do Your Children Know About Africa?

October 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Every Saturday my sister and I teach an ethnic studies class. Basically, we teach minority children, who range from 7-12, about world cultures. Naturally, since history and science has told us that human life was first documented in Africa we decided to start there.

I googled “Introducing Africa” and there were some great resources available. Including an introductory lesson about “Unearthing Stereotypes” about Africa. It actually turned out to be very thorough. There were 12 pictures, each from various countries in the continent. There was a boy drinking from a Coca Cola can, buildings in downtown Uganda, a castle in Morocco, the pyramids of Giza and a Black man and White man working side by side in South Africa.

The children were supposed to look at the pictures and determine whether or not the subjects and scenes in the images were located in Africa and explain why or why not.

We heard all types of rationalizations.

– The boy with the Coke can wasn’t in Africa because they “don’t drink from cans in Africa.”

– The pyramids were not in Africa because the pyramids are in Egypt.

– The skyscrapers were not in Africa because they don’t have tall buildings there.

– The crossing guard wasn’t in Africa because they don’t have those in Africa.

It completely and utterly blew their minds when we told the students that every last image they had seen was a scene photographed in Africa.

I’d like to think they learned that day.

When my sister and I took their papers home, I was saddened to see some of their thoughts about Africa and the pictures they saw. It wasn’t until my sister asked me a very rhetorical, very telling question about our own education system, that I started to understand it really wasn’t their fault.

“What did you learn about Africa in school?”

Really, aside from a unit on Egypt, in middle school, not too much. And even then, I don’t know if the fact that Egypt was in Africa was really stressed. In all honesty, my African education came from my parents first, later, research of my own and then traveling to Ghana and Egypt once I was old enough.

Our children aren’t the only ones ill informed or misinformed about the continent. For instance, today when we wrote about Nicki Minaj’s canceled concert in South Africa, someone suggested she didn’t show up because was she scared of contracting Ebola.


Ebola is currently affecting West Africa. And Africa is a continent. It’s the equivalent of saying people in the southern most point of Mexico should take cover because there’s been an outbreak in the northern most point of Canada.  There are thousands of miles between the two regions of a continent.

In our ethnic studies class, we have a lot of Latino students so we were going to just spend a couple of days on Africa and then move on to other countries, so they see themselves represented in the lesson. But seeing those responses, we might have to take a few more days to make sure they understand the width and depth of Africa’s richness, diversity and influence the world over.

I’m writing all of this as a cautionary tale. Don’t assume your child’s school is doing their due diligence when it comes to educating our children about our heritage, outside of slavery. And you know if our children, in this age of connectivity, don’t know what they should about Africa, our generation and older learned practically nothing. This could be a great way for us all to get it right together.

Things We Used To Love About Going Back To School

September 26th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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We’re all well past the days of school bells, yellow buses, and lunch bags, but once upon a time we lived for those things and once every 365 days for 13 years we experienced the height of our youth on the date known as the first day back to school. With kids all over the country gearing up to head back to these educational institutions after a short summer, we decided to take a look back at some of the things we used to love about going back to school. We know you can relate.

Benefits Of Joining Your Alumni Association

November 6th, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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Are you a proud former Howard University Bison, NC A&T Aggie, Temple Owl or UCLA Bruin? Do you bleed that blue and white, red and black or blue and orange for life? Joining your college or university’s alumni association is one of the best ways to show your pride after matriculating. Those four years of hard work, hard partying and great memories were worth it. Now that you’ve gotten the diploma, give back to your university by being active in your alumni association. Here are some benefits to becoming a member.

Arrested Emotional Development: The Real Reason So Many Female Teachers Are Having Sex With Students These Days

April 4th, 2013 - By madamenoire
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

From YourTango

By Mary Jo Rapini

There has been a series of news stories about female teachers having sex with their students. Almost every state in the United States is reporting similiar cases, and everyone is asking the same question: Why? In 2004, the United States Department of Education reported that 40 percent of perpetrators of unwanted sexual attention toward children were women and that number has steadily risen over the past nine years.

To understand why a female teacher would become sexually involved with one of her students, you have to understand what is going on in her head. Most of these women appear to be vibrant, normal, healthy adult women, but they may feel like teenagers themselves inside. Many of them have arrested emotional development; they giggle and carry on very much as a teenager. What’s strange is that they choose one aspect of the student they focus on and they idealize that aspect into being one of honesty, integrity and innocence — separate from the jadedness of the adult world.

Soon they see this teenager as being their age, like a peer. In psychology, this is frequently seen and is called “counter-transference”. The teacher focuses on one aspect of the child and idealizes it romantically; she then projects that on to her distorted reality. No one else realistically sees what the teacher has created in her mind. It becomes so bizarre that soon the teacher is planning her married life with kids after her student finishes high school.

One thing to consider is that we — as the public — tend to focus on the sex part of this relationship because that’s what ultimately leads to the arrest of the teacher. However, an emotional relationship usually develops long before sex take places. That is, the grooming, the meeting up, the numerous texts, the cute hand-written love letters and the sleepless nights. If an intervention is made at this time, you can end the relationship before sex takes place — getting help for the child and taking legal action against the teacher.


Sad News: Police Slowly Finding Out ‘Why’ Connecticut Elementary School Massacre Occurred

December 15th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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"SHES police"

Source: AP

Details are very slowly emerging about Friday’s tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.

Lt. Paul Vance held a press conference Saturday morning and stated that all victims, 20 children and six adults, have been identified and their families have been notified.  All of the bodies have been moved from the school to the local morgue as the investigation continues. The medical examiner is expected to speak to the press later on Saturday and will be charged with identifying the names of all the victims.  Lt. Vance pleaded with the media to respect the wishes of the parents and families by not hounding them for comments and respecting their privacy. To that end, each family will be supplied with a trooper to be by their side at all times.

The police also didn’t say much about the shooter, now identified as 20 year old Adam Lanza.  While his older brother, Ryan, was detained for questioning by police on Friday, there has been no word on whether or not he was involved in this shooting.  The shooter killed his mother, Nancy, in her home before continuing on to the school, bring the death toll to 27 people.  Nancy Lanza was also a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. Law enforcement is still checking on a third crime scene in New Jersey but are not giving more information as to not give false information.

Lt. Vanza added that it appears that the shooter was not just openly welcomed into the building and forced his way in. It has been reported that the shooting occurred in a very specific area of the school and targeted only two classrooms.  There were three weapons found: a Bushmaster rifle was found in the car of the shooter and two pistols were found on him, all of which were legally purchased by his mother and in her name.  It is assumed that he killed himself after he finished his massacre.

The police expect the investigation will continue for at least another day while they continue to figure out the timeline of events.  Further, while they have not stated a reason for the shooting, police say they found evidence at Nancy Lanza’s home which gives them a good idea as to how and why it happened.



We will keep you posted when any major news is given.

A Dollar And A Dream: Education for Entrepreneurs On A Budget

November 14th, 2012 - By C. Cleveland
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“A Dollar and A Dream” spotlights low- and no-cost ways to build a better business. The economy may be lagging, but new resources are empowering small business owners like never before. Follow the series to learn how to take your dreams to the next level without breaking the bank.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”  -Nelson Mandela

We’ve all heard soaring quotes about the value of an education. The poetry of these words has never been more practical. Today’s business world requires entrepreneurs to make education a priority.

More than keeping you on the top of your game, learning improves your bottom line. Whether you take a class in calligraphy or small business principles, growing your expertise will save you from spending money on consultants and cleaning up after your own mistakes.

With the ramifications of the student loan crisis looming, students and institutions alike are looking for better ways to signal knowledge and skills to employers. Educational institutions are rethinking the way they teach and experimenting with technology to democratize education. In the future, a resume may display a digital badge, showing the completion of an online course rather than a degree.

The debate on the future of education is nowhere near settled. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and life long learners can take advantage of the benefits coming out of the discussion.  Class is in session with the best minds in the world, and tuition is free.

Online courses lack the intimacy of the classroom. Some websites offer assignments and quizzes to track your learning. But, don’t expect the same experience as an in-classroom course.

Online resources, like those listed below, will you give enough direction to refresh your skills or feed your interest in a new subject. Unlike traditional programs, online study can be easily tailored to your schedule and areas of interest. If you’re really feeling fierce, start a study group within your network to encourage one another and capture that classroom feel.

Coursera is a social entrepreneurship company that partners with the top universities in the world including Stanford, Princeton, and Emory.

Price: Free

Style: Lecture

Topics: A wide range spanning the humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, and many others.

Sample Courses:

30 Second MBA is an ongoing video curriculum, presented by Fast Company, of good advice from successful people in business today.

Price: Free

Style: Short, unfiltered videos

Topics: Business questions ranging from the practical to the philosophical.

Sample Courses:

Back-To-School Gadgets For Your Child

August 29th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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Source: Detroit Mommies

Classes are slowly coming back in session, so  it’s no time to slack on school supplies for your kids (though some people are noticeably waiting a little longer to buy those supplies). With various technologies out there geared toward students, sending your children to school with just a ruler, a pen and some paper probably won’t be enough.

If you are thinking about buying a laptop, smartphone or tablet for your 14 or 15-year old you are thinking right.

“Parents today see the value in helping their kids get an early start on becoming more comfortable with technology, which is why you’re seeing more tech in smaller and younger hands every day,” advises a Best Buy spokesperson, who spoke with us via email. He notices the change in technology affecting even how normal school supplies are marketed. “You’ll also notice that the growth in technology has also altered other back to school supplies. For example, many backpacks now include a pocket for a laptop.”

Access to the Internet is also becoming an increasing way students are getting access to their homework, e-textbooks and other class material.

Making Your Purchase Affordable

Nowadays, it’s important that parents budget for these technological needs. Although a laptop or other technologies might seem rather costly, there are ways to make these classroom necessities a little more affordable. “It’s always a good idea to start with your school and ask about any software site license programs they may have, as well as group technology buying programs,” recommends a Best Buy spokesperson.

If you are not tech savvy enough to handle another piece of equipment, many stores have salespeople willing to help you understand and work the device. (Your kids might know how to work it already!)

Online versus In-Store Shopping

If you are more of an in-store shopper, use the back-to-school sales to your advantage and go into a store for your child’s latest gadget.

“Parents looking at new technology should stop into local stores with their children to check out new gadgets to better get a feel for how well the keyboard fits them, how heavy the device might be if it needs to be portable” and other features and benefits, adds Best Buy.

Online technology shopping is also another great (and increasingly popular) option, with plenty of back-to-school and online shipping and delivery deals that will increase your savings. Check your daily email newsletters and the gadget’s official website and you might find discounts for students beginning high school and college.

What Gadget Works For Your Child

If you have a younger child who is in grade or middle school, many parents should be looking for a desktop PC, if you don’t already have one. Besides being able to monitor your child’s computer access in an open place in the home, desktop PCs are less likely to be destroyed.

For students in high school and beginning college this year, laptops are more of a benefit to their academic success. Laptops are great for older students who have more classwork requiring note-taking, going online for research, typing up essays and for students who are “leaving the nest” for college. Once your child hits college, a laptop is almost essential for every major.

From the grade-school level to high schoolers, here are a few gadgets you should consider purchasing for your child to maximize their success this school year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of Speech? School Temporarily Bans 10 Year Old Kameron Slade’s Same Sex Marriage Speech

June 16th, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Kameron Slade won a class speech competition and that allowed him to be part of the school wide speech competition at P.S. 195 in Queens, NY.  Instead of taking on a topic that many other students would probably pick, 10 year old Cameron decided on something else: same sex marriage. Kameron, along with his mother and teacher, worked diligently on the speech so that he would be prepared for last Friday’s competition.

He didn’t get to do the speech because just two days before, the principal told Kameron’s unidentified mother that he needed to change the topic or be removed from the contest.  Although Kameron changed the topic (he spoke on animal cruelty) and subsequently lost the speech contest, his opinions on same sex marriage conversations as it pertains to children apparently remained the same:

“There is no point in really trying to hide it because us children, we are going to figure it out some time now or later.”

When news fthis story broke on NY1, there was immediate outrage from gay and lesbian advocates and caused Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to speak on what was happening. Walcott said the principal, also unnamed, felt she needed to connect with the parent community first because of the nature of the topic.  A final decision was made on Friday that Kameron would be allowed to deliver the speech at an assembly at the school on Monday.  If any parents have problem with their child hearing the speech, they’re encouraged to contact the principal.

Interesting indeed.  There would likely be some children in the audience who would might still be sheltered from knowing about same sex relationships and marriage so to find out from a fellow student might be a bit much.  On the other hand, children today learn a lot about social happenings while being in school so it’s possible that it would have been easier to understand coming from a classmate.

Do you think the principal made the correct decision? Would you have been upset if a speech like that was delivered in front of your child? What is a good age to talk to your children aboutgay and lesbian relationships?

What Would You Do If Your Child Said College Wasn’t For Them?

June 7th, 2012 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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First and foremost, let me say that this story isn’t about my child in particular, but about a niece of mine with a lot of talent and potential. I just thought I would bring this scenario to you guys to get your opinion on it and know what you would do as a parent (as I know many of our readers are mothers).

So during a recent trip to see my family, I had the chance to see almost all of my nieces and nephews. Two of them, twins, my family has been somewhat estranged from because of their mother and her rocky relationship with my brother. They’re both married to different people, but they still don’t get along all these years later. I also had something of an online argument with her and her sisters after one of my nephews other aunts decided to publicly disrespect my brother–his father–via Facebook after HE did the same. After some good time passed, my niece and nephew came to my mother’s home for the first time in years during Thanksgiving and we all got to reconnect. At THAT time, they were talking about their post-high school plans, their sports (which had always been a huge part of their high school career) and what they hoped to study.

Fast forward to graduation time and my visit home in May. As my sister picked up her doctorate, my cousin graduated from high school and talked about going away to a Big 10 University in the fall, and my nephew was asked to play baseball at a Division I school, my niece was the only graduate I knew who didn’t seem to have any after-the-fact plans. When I talked to her father about it all, since she was doing a good job of being MIA after all the festivities, I was quite disturbed to find that she had told him and others that she really didn’t think she was going to go to school. Though she had been accepted to a good school that wanted her to play softball in another state, she didn’t want to go that far because she didn’t know anybody out there…

Always one to stand out and stand on her own, even as a twin, she all of a sudden wasn’t ready to stand completely alone for the sake of her education. It was almost June and she hadn’t said yes or no to any school, and it seemed she was just going to take a break from school altogether. I could understand her reservations about attending a school far away from home, as I was the last child in my family and was somewhat scared about making  the decision to go out-of-state for school back in the day. But to have no plans and to say you’re not really feeling the idea of school? C’mon, this is 2012, and in this world and in this tepid economy, NOT going to school these days is unacceptable in my opinion.

And I’m saying it’s not acceptable because I think it’s a wack way of thinking or something like that, but rather, because as a friend would say, these days a bachelor’s degree in SOMETHING is your ticket in the door. At this point, it’s what the high school diploma used to be, and while many would say that a college degree doesn’t guarantee you any kind of job in this shoddy economy, we know that it at least offers you a shot at something and you won’t have your resume immediately put in the “No, thanks” pile. Many fields require a bit more, but a bachelor’s degree is something you should strive to have, whether you’re taking a few classes while working, or if you’re literally in the books full-time solely focused on your studies. If my niece decides to take some time off, that’s fine, but the whole concept of saying, “School’s just not for everybody” is on the nonsense level at this point. It’s for everybody, son. Even if she doesn’t go away, she needs to take her behind to school and not waste too much time waiting to do so. Her parents don’t seem too bothered by her choice at the moment (only time will tell how they’ll act if she’s sitting around on her mother’s couch in the fall), but as her aunt, I’ll say I’m clearly a bit worried. It’s already tough out here, I hope she doesn’t make things for herself much tougher.

So I guess that leads me to my question for you: As a parent, how would you react if your child (or even your niece or nephew as in my case), told you they didn’t want to go to college? No big deal? Or big problem?

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