Teacher forces student to wipe off Ash Wednesday cross

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@artz on UnSplash

Bountiful, Utah, situated less than a half hour north of Salt Lake City, is the state’s 15th largest city. Its residents primarily belong to a Christian sect known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and are often collectively referred to as Mormons. There was, however, no Christian understanding for a fourth grade boy who was forced by his teacher to wipe off his Ash Wednesday cross yesterday.

“I’m Catholic. It’s the first day of Lent. It’s Ash Wednesday,” William McLeod told his friends when they asked what was on his forehead. As one of the few observant Catholics at Valley View Elementary in Bountiful, McLeod said he was the only one who came to school that day with ashes. Apparently, it was too much for his classroom teacher, who later approached him and asked him to remove the religious symbol. He tried to explain his reasons for keeping it, to no avail. McLeod informed his family when he returned home, and they approached the teacher, citing the boy’s First Amendment rights (which are notoriously infringed upon in public schools). The teacher claimed to have never read the Constitution.

Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams apologized, as did the unnamed teacher – the latter, with a handwritten note and candy (interesting to note: many Catholics give up something for the 40 days of Lent, and candy is a common sacrifice). The teacher may face disciplinary action.

If schools in a conservative state like Utah can’t seem to honor people’s religious beliefs (especially when those beliefs are Christian), what hope do more liberal states have? The pressure to keep schools as secular as possible (though, some will argue, the push has more to do with keeping Christianity out of schools, not other religions) has some teachers acting in ways they might not otherwise have thought wise.

Utah teacher forced student to wash off Ash Wednesday cross on forehead, family says

Utah teacher forced student to wash Ash Wednesday cross off his forehead

 

Middle school students threaten to shoot teacher and her family

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A teacher is sleeping a little easier tonight now two of her students at Southwood Middle School in Palmetto Bay, Florida were arrested Sunday after they threatened, via Instagram, to kill her and her children on Valentine’s Day. The news comes as Florida mourns the anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

 

The victim, a 36-year-old teacher who by many accounts is beloved by her students, was told “You and your children are next on Valentine’s Day for making my life I’m finna kill all yo family and shoot up yo bitch ass school.”  They also brought to her attention a picture of her infant daughter. The woman, fearing for her life and that of her family, contacted police, who were able to trace the bogus social media account account (appropriately-named, and very indicative of the young children who created it, “Southwood School Shooter”) and arrest a 13-year-old child, who then implicated his 12-year-old friend as an accomplice. Both boys confessed and were charged with Aggravated Stalking and Written Threats To Kill or do Bodily Injury and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools issued the following statement through their Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho:

“Recent arrests of students for hoax social media threats demonstrate clearly and unequivocally that Miami-Dade County Public Schools has a zero-tolerance policy related to this type of activity. Parents and students must understand that any threat – real or fabricated – to schools and students is a serious matter. It is unacceptable and those involved in such activity will be prosecuted. Prank and hoax threats made against a school are counterproductive to the life-saving work of law enforcement and compromise the safety of everyone.”

Televised interviews show parents who seem content to believe that the district has done enough to keep their children safe, and that they do an adequate job of communicating all of the potential threats in their schools to families. Some believe it’s not that serious because it’s “most likely” just a hoax, anyway.

DCPS states they’ve received 60 threats to their schools in 2019, and 12 of them have resulted in arrests.

Southwood Middle School is the site of a fatal stabbing that took place in 2004, when Michael Hernandez murdered classmate Jaime Gough, earning him a life sentence. Both victim and perpetrator were 14.

Today, the school boasts a positive report on GoodSchools.Org, with above average test scores in the state for both reading and math, as well as a decent representation of ethnicities among the student population. Southwood serves approximately 1500 students in grades 6 through 8.

2 Southwood Middle School students accused of threatening to shoot teacher

Two Southwood Middle School Students Arrested For Threatening To Shoot Up School, Kill Teacher

Southwood Middle Students Threaten to Kill Teacher on Valentine’s Day

Press Release – Hoax Threat to M-DCPS School Results in Arrests

‘You and your children are next on Valentine’s Day.’ Boys threaten teacher, police say.

(2016 article) Student who stabbed classmate to death at Southwood Middle returns to court for sentencing

Southwood Middle School Center for the Arts

GreatSchools.Org – Southwood Middle School

Teen steals, then runs over accuser

thousandoakshs

A 16-year-old boy was arrested after he allegedly ran over a woman with his car after she accused him of stealing, leaving the victim in critical condition.

Some articles said she confronted him about stealing candy or “packaged food items,” while others assert it was money that was pilfered. Either way, the incident took place in Thousand Oaks High School in Thousand Oaks, California, during a basketball game last Friday evening. Lisa Solis, an activities assistant at the school, witnessed the teen stealing from a concession stand at the event, and confronted him about it when he fled outside to a Mercedes Benz sedan in the parking lot along with four of his friends. Solis stood in front of the car to prevent him from leaving when he decided it’d be a good to idea to not only use the car to knock her to the ground, but run over her as he left the scene. She was subsequently rushed to the hospital, and police quickly caught up with the unnamed teen, who was taken into custody on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and booked at Ventura County’s Juvenile Justice Center.

Solis remains in critical condition with extensive injuries, including bleeding on the brain, broken ribs and collar bone, punctures in both lungs, and a broken jaw. Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical bills.

Thousand Oaks High School is part of Conejo Valley Unified School District and serves approximately 2300 students in grades 9 through 12. Nestled in an affluent, primarily-white neighborhood where homes regularly sell for well over half a million dollars, the school boasts a 98% graduation rate, and above average performance on standardized tests, as well as an elevated SAT college readiness rate. A student reports via GreatSchools.org that minorities receive a great deal of bullying within the school. This is a perfect example of the school construct itself breeding criminal activity, and not merely culture or socioeconomic status. A spoiled rich kid deliberately ran over a school employee in his Mercedes, while his friends laughed in the back seat. This isn’t a blog about white privilege, but one cannot help but draw those parallels. Still, one only needs to look at prisons throughout the world, in every location, housing people from every walk of life, to see that crime begets crime, criminals come from anywhere, and concentrating them into as unnatural of circumstances as prisons (or schools) serves as a detriment to those there that aren’t a threat to society. They just get caught in the crossfire.

Teen arrested after hit-run leaves Thousand Oaks school employee in critical condition

Teen suspected of deliberately running over a Thousand Oaks High assistant is arrested

Teen intentionally ran over woman at Thousand Oaks High School, authorities say

California teen runs over woman with car after she confronts him about stealing at high school: officials

GreatSchools.Org – Thousand Oaks High School

Thousand Oaks, CA Real Estate – Realtor.com

Conejo Valley United School District – Thousand Oaks High School

#stayingstrongforlisa – GoFundMe Page for Lisa Solis

Middle school assault over snitching

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image courtesy @kj2018 on UnSplash

Frederick County Public School District in Frederick, Maryland, is investigating an alleged middle school assault at Urbana Middle School on Wednesday that was captured on a cell phone camera after the victim was accused of “snitching” on another student who had brought a type of electronic cigarette to class.

The video appears to show the victim being accosted somewhere outside the school, and after running away, and then apologizing, being attacked to the approval of an excited mob of students. He is also shown, and heard, begging for mercy, as the camera continues to roll. While FCPS insists it was made aware of the assault “almost immediately,” one wonders what the character education in Urbana Middle School includes, if no student is purported to have attempted to help the student who was attacked. And while the video provides impressive evidence against the attackers, the culture of “watch, don’t act,” is not only alive and well in junior high, but seems to be enabled. Of course, the spokesman for FCPS stressed that this was not the case: “Anytime an incident like this happens, school administrators and law enforcement work hard to determine the cause of the incident, but the most important thing to us is that violence of any kind is simply unacceptable, so regardless of the exact precipitating events, we want to help our students find productive and safe ways to deal with events at school.”

Drawing parallels between public school and prison is a simple task, indeed. When do the majority of prison assaults occur? When authority figures’ backs are turned. What happens during the assault? Do fellow prisoners come to the victim’s aid? Or, if they were afforded the use of a cell phone camera, might the same thing happen that occurred on the grounds of Urbana Middle School?

Disciplinary actions were taken by the school, but FCPS declined to disclose what those actions were. The assault is also being investigated by local law enforcement.

FCPS spokesman Michael Doerrer said a lot of things were up in the air, but he did affirm, “What I do know for sure is that the school is safe.” Is it?

Urbana Middle School in Ijamsville, Maryland, serves approximately 1000 students in Frederick County, and lists two of its core values as “demonstrating empathy, caring, and respect for all,” and “Creating and maintaining a safe school climate.

Assault leads to disciplinary action, investigation of Urbana Middle School students

Frederick County Public Schools – Urbana Middle Schoool

Maryland high school football players accused of raping teammates

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photo courtesy Montgomery County Public Schools

Boys will be boys, they say. Somehow I don’t think that defense is going to work in the favor of four 15-year-old Maryland boys accused of sexual assault.

The four junior varsity athletes accused, namely Jean Claude “JC” Abedi, Kristian “KJ” Jamal Lee, Will Daniel Smith, and Caleb Thorpe, will be tried as adults; three are charged with two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of attempted rape, while the fourth is charged with four counts of first-degree rape. The incidents in question apparently took place within the freshman locker room of Damascus High School in Damascus, Maryland, on Halloween of this year. The students were apparently readying for football practice when someone turned off the lights, and the assaults took place. The students stopped when they were alerted of their coach’s approach.

They’re excuse? “It’s tradition.” Well, so’s jailtime for assaulting people.

Besides eyewitness testimony, the suspects also engaged in conversation about the incident on Snapchat. Because apparently the old adage about dumb jocks rings true.

Damascus High School was established in 1950 and is part of the Montgomery County Public School System. It serves approximately 1200 students within grades 9 through 12. It ranks in the top 5% of Maryland schools in overall test scores. Minority enrollment at Damascus High is 39%, which is nearly half that of Maryland’s average. Their website neglects to mention anything regarding the assaults on school property. Today’s announcements made sure to include volunteer opportunities, SAT prep information, and details about school performances. You know: the important stuff.

The accused students face up to life in prison if convicted.

Maryland high school football players accused of raping teammates with broom

High school football players face life in prison for raping teammates with broom

Damascus High School – Montgomery Schools MD

Damascus High School – Public School Review

High school “mean girls” fake sexual assault

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In this “Me Too” era, men are being held accountable for sexual misconduct, whether it be unwanted comments, harassment, abuse, or assault. But at least one young man has been punished for things he didn’t even do.

A boy at Seneca Valley High School in Harmony, Pennsylvania, has endured more than a year of hell, after five girls who “didn’t like to look at him” fabricated stories of sexual abuse and fed their lies to school officials, who bought it hook, line, and sinker. Later admitting to conspiring against their classmate, one girl admitted it was all a farce.

But the damage was already done. After the girls’ allegations came to light, the entire school turned on him, ostracizing him and placing “predator” stickers on his back. He was bullied to the point of his parents withdrawing him, to homeschool.

The parents of the boy, who is only identified as T.F., filed a lawsuit against the school, Seneca Valley School district, and the parents of the girls involved, citing multiple court appearances, the losing of their son’s job, juvenile detention, and other hardships he faced, just because some girls didn’t like his face.

The school district defends its actions at the time, reportedly refusing to apologize to T.F. and his family, and insisting the lawsuit against them “is without merit.” So a boy’s life was destroyed, no big deal.

Faculty and students alike at Seneca Valley High School are suddenly rallying around T.F. (who, wisely, will not be returning to their school), inventing hashtags in support of him, wearing t-shirts with his name, and cheering for him at football games he probably isn’t even attending. One has to wonder where these students were when he was being bullied, in the first place.

Mob mentality is at its height in places like schools, when hundreds of students are crowded together and feed off one another, causing riots, collectively singling out the weak from the herd to pick to death. It’s incredibly cruel, and incredibly unnatural. It’s no secret that to be a white male in this country is one of the worst things to be, right now, when you can be vilified merely if a girl looks at you the wrong way. If this is what we see in our schools, what will it be like when this generation is running our country?

The girls appear to be suffering no direct consequences, as the school refuses to mar their academic records with the information, and the district attorney’s office won’t prosecute them.

School under fire for turning blind eye to female students’ false sex assault allegations

Parents file a lawsuit against high school ‘mean girls’ who falsely accused son of sexual assault

High school clique of five ‘mean girls’ are sued for targeting a boy with false sexual assault allegations because they ‘just don’t like him’

Lawsuit accuses Seneca Valley ‘mean girls’ of targeting boy with false allegations

 

Teacher accused of sexting with student

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image courtesy of Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office

A high school English teacher in New Jersey is in trouble after being accused of sending nude pictures to and engaging sexually explicit conversations with a 17-year-old male student.

According to Somerset County Police, 29-year-old Michelina Aichele, of Hillsborough, was arrested October 5 and charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She’s currently in Somerset County Jail, pending a detention hearing. She has been suspended from her job at Montgomery Township High School (where she makes roughly $70,000 a year) since October 4 – and as we’ve seen before, there’s a good chance it’s a “paid suspension,” pending the outcome of the investigation. Of course, we should be grateful there *is* an investigation, as we also know how many allegations are swept under the rug, instead.

Montgomery High School teacher accused of sending nude photos, sexual messages to student