Eighteen students and two teachers are dead, and many others are injured, after a shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The named suspect, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, opened fire on students at Robb Elementary School today after reportedly shooting and killing his grandmother. Sources say Ramos was a former student at the school. He is also reported to be dead after a standoff with border patrol agents. Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed that Ramos was a United States citizen.
Students were evacuated a few hours later to Sgt. Willie Deleon Civic Center, a mile and a half away from the school, while parents were alerted to where to pick up their children.
Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, is 80 miles from San Antonio, and 60 miles from the Mexican border. It serves students from second to fourth grade. The student body reflects the demographics of Uvalde, with over 90% of students listed as Hispanic or Latino. Nearly 90% of students qualify as low-income. The school falls well below the state average for standardized test scores.
Edit: It was previously reported that the death toll included only 14 students and 1 teacher; the number of deaths has, sadly, risen since the original publication of this post.
A kindergarten class in Alert Bay, British Columbia, was asked to go home and masturbate and to report back on where in their home they did it.
In the school’s meager defense, the teacher seems to have acted on their own, and not in accordance with whatever school sex ed policy existed (hint: the policy should be, “Parents, Teach Your Own Children About It”).
The worksheet sent home with children from T’lisalagi’lakw School (part of Namgis First Nation), is adapted from a sex ed book geared toward preschoolers called Body Smart: Right From the Start (and I refuse to link it because no book should promote masturbation among young children). Somehow teaching children to touch themselves is meant, according to the book’s author, to prevent sexual abuse. OK. Sure.
We need to stop believing that every teacher that comes in contact with our children has pure intentions. Even if there is transparency in the curriculum, even if they belong to your church, even if the principal “runs a tight ship,” teachers’ views and opinions trickle down into their work, the same way they would for anyone in any profession. There are plenty of teachers in America and elsewhere that think worksheets like these are perfectly acceptable. Are you absolutely sure they aren’t planning to unleash one in your child’s kindergarten class? Or that they haven’t, already?
An Illinois student is recovering after a bully took things too far when the taunts became physical last week, knocking out Charlee Funes’s tooth and leaving her bruised and bloody.
Funes, by all accounts a sweet and well-adjusted girl, was being bullied by a classmate at Gardner Grade School in Gardner, Illinois, apparently since the FOURTH GRADE (these girls are now in seventh), but prior to the May 14 incident the threats had all been verbal. Not so during P.E., when her attacker decided to up the ante and slam Funes into the ground, face-first. Her facial injuries are extensive.
In response, the attacker’s mother insists the “little girl” was mouthing words to her and apparently deserved what she got.
Funes’s attacker (who seemingly had prior issues at other schools) was given 2 days’ suspension from school; administrators neglected to involve the police or even discuss the matter further with the victim’s family without an attorney present. Her family took to social media to decry the treatment they’ve thus far received.
Still sensing a P.R. disaster, the Gardner Community Consolidated School District 72 released a full statement to the community at large:
“I am writing to inform our community of an incident of student misconduct that occurred last Thursday during a physical education class that resulted in injuries to one of our students.
In response to the incident, the District immediately began an investigation. Throughout the investigation, the District worked collaboratively with law enforcement, and took immediate action in response to the student who committed the misconduct.
While the District is unable to share the details of the investigation and the actions taken to respond to the misconduct due to student confidentiality and privacy laws, the District takes all incidents of misconduct seriously and our student’s safety is always our firstpriority.“
— Michael Merritt, Gardner Community Consolidated School District 72 Superintendent
The above statement was gleaned from news organizations who seemingly obtained it from families of children attending the school; it is virtually absent from their website, though it can still be viewed via Twitter. Speaking of social media: they have apparently deleted their facebook page amid the backlash from the Funes’s supporters.
The family has elected to start a GoFundMe to help raise money for Charlee’s legal and medical bills.
Gardner Grade School serves about 200 students in grades K-8 in Gardner, IL. Ninety-two percent of students are white, and the school outperforms the state average on standardized tests. About a third of the student body classifies as low-income.
In a stunning example of how schools are so far removed from the “real world,” a high schooler’s jaw is wired shut and his assailant is already back in class. If you were assaulted and wound up with multiple broken bones, missing teeth, and profuse bleeding, you’d likely expect the attacker to be off the street for a heck of a lot more than 3 days.
Not so in a Louisiana high school, where 17-year-old Mauricio Brown is still recovering from his extensive injuries after being attacked in a Westgate High School bathroom, while the 18-year-old that committed the act served a mere 3 days’ suspension. No word, of course, on if any of the many witnesses (who of course, did nothing other than watch – and maybe capture some of it on video, as the news outlets have obtained) have received any sort of punishment for their inaction.
We’re told time and time again that schools are more than just centers of learning; they are places to build character, places to raise future leaders, a “zero tolerance” atmosphere were bullying is never allowed and students learn to treat each other with respect and dignity. Yet here’s a case of at least one school essentially saying, “Oh, well, too bad.”
Brown’s family is now taking legal action against Iberia Parish School District, who they say didn’t do enough to punish the offending student. The school district insists that the investigation is still pending, but as is the case when teachers are caught doing something wrong, it’s likely they’re just hoping this will all go away quietly.
Westgate High School in New Iberia, Louisiana, serves over one thousand adolescents in grades 9-12, and most of their inmates students perform below state averages. About three quarters of the student body qualify as low income. Not surprisingly, the graduation rate is uncommonly high (if they’re refusing to properly suspend or expel violent students, this could be part of the reason why).