Betsy DeVos releases final changes to campus sexual assault policies

Now, under reworked federal rules, alleged student perpetrators will have added protections, including the presumption that they are innocent throughout the disciplinary process and the right to be provided all evidence collected against them. Those students can also cross-examine their accusers and vice versa during live hearings, although it must be done through a lawyer or representative.

…They come after the Education Department “heard from too many students whose careers were tarnished by administrators without any resemblance to due process,” Kenneth Marcus, the agency’s assistant secretary of civil rights, told reporters. “This must stop.”

…Misconduct must fall under certain categories, including unwelcome conduct that is “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” that it “denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”

Betsy DeVos releases final changes to campus sexual assault policies



Texas Revises History Education, Again

The resulting standards were so flawed that even the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute blasted them. The institute’s scorching 2011 review of state US history standards characterized the Texas standards as “a politicized distortion of history.” Among other things, noted the report, the standards offered an “uncritical celebration of ‘the free enterprise system and its benefits,’” completely overlooked Native Americans, downplayed slavery, barely mentioned the Black Codes or Jim Crow, and dismissed the separation of church and state as a constitutional principle.

But beyond politics, the 2010 process created problems for teachers in the classroom. The standards posed an instructional challenge because, says Quinn, they became “long and unwieldy.”

…What’s happening in Texas, says Gonzales, is a “classic content-versus-skills debate”—teachers would like more class time focusing on teaching such skills as historical thinking, but there is little consensus on how to assess them. Content knowledge, conversely, is easily measured and therefore remains in place, despite its many flaws. Most teachers inevitably find themselves teaching to the test. But as Calder and Steffes write, “The problem with including content knowledge as a goal for assessment is the question of which knowledge to test.” This is one reason why it has become impossible in Texas to separate politics from history education.

Texas Revises History Education, Again | Perspectives on History | AHA


Texas’s board of education drives how poorly we teach history

When the 15-member Texas State Board of Education voted preliminarily last Friday on streamlining cuts to the state’s social studies curriculum, it made its usual splash. The verdict: Moses (whose “principles of laws and government institutions informed the American founding documents”), the “heroic” defenders of the Alamo and the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel” as the source of Middle East conflict stay in. Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller are out.

Since 1917, when Texas law authorized the state board to purchase textbooks for all of its schools, a small group of people has held a great deal of power over what young Texans learn and how. And that group of people, largely non-educators, has long been influenced by conservative activist groups.

In the early 1920s, religious conservatives, including the Klan, induced the state board to forbid references to evolution in Texas textbooks.

Today, in a changed political atmosphere, liberals still lack voice on the state board. Democrats occupy just five of 15 seats. Most members lack any public school teaching experience.

And all of this has a deep national impact. Even with the adoption of the Common Core State Standards elsewhere, Texas has maintained a special sway over the content of textbooks that serve students across the United States. During the Cold War, Texas shaped the work of every major national textbook publisher. Today, one of every 10 public school students in the United States is a Texan, and publishers still don’t want to print books that can’t be used in the state. [emphasis: Peanut Gallery]

…More than the inclusion of any particular event or figure, it is this deeply simplistic, often anti-historical approach that presents the greatest obstacle to [American] students learning how the past can inform contemporary problems and debates.

…This approach fails to teach students about the often complicated, sometimes painful reality of our nation’s history, with its equal parts violence, dispossession and disenfranchisement and democracy, individual freedoms and justice.

Once again, Texas’s board of education exposed how poorly we teach history – The Washington Post

‘Please let me go:’ Video shows 6-year-old girl crying, pleading during arrest at Orlando school

Orlando Police Department officials previously declined a public records request to release the body camera video showing Kaia Rolle’s arrest at Lucious and Emma Nixon Academy on Sept. 19, 2019, citing student privacy issues, however, the family’s attorney was given a copy and shared it with local news outlets.

…Kaia’s grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, previously told News 6 her granddaughter was acting out in class, a side effect of a lack of sleep from a medical condition, so she was sent to the office. While Kaia was there, a staff member grabbed her wrists in order to calm her down and that’s when she lashed out and kicked, according to Kirkland.

Turner wrote in Kaia’s arrest report that Beverly Stoute, whom he identified as an assistant principal, was the victim in the case and she wanted to press charges because Kaia kicked her on the legs and punched her arms several times.

‘Please let me go:’ Video shows 6-year-old girl crying, pleading during arrest at Orlando school

The arrest record is the legal record of the incident. You don’t call the police unless you want someone arrested. Period. The school denial of the goal being the child’s arrest is galling. Lying to save their own jobs should preclude them from working in education.

Similarly, the department’s apology is meaningless. It is 100% responsible for their officers’ behavior. There are no mistakes in law enforcement, only justice and injustice.

Finally, Beverly Stoute is the perpetrator in this injustice, not the victim. Any other telling of these events is an outright lie.

As long as we tolerate people like Stoute and Turner working in our country’s schools no child is safe.

Fired Orlando cop who arrested 6-year-olds said school faculty member wanted to press charges against girl, report shows

In the student’s arrest report, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel late Tuesday, Turner said staff member Beverly Stoute — identified in the report as an assistant principal — “stated she wanted to press charges and would testify in court.”

…The report included only a brief, four-sentence narrative and didn’t indicate how the incident began.

…Though Stoute was identified in the arrest report as an assistant principal, she was listed as a teacher on the charter school’s website, one of five named on the site’s staff page. There were no assistant principals listed, only a principal and a dean of students.

There was no record of a Beverly Stoute in the state’s online teacher certification database. Two other staff members at the school — the dean and a teacher — also did not appear to be in the system. Florida law requires teachers “employed by or under contract to” a charter school to be certified by the state.

…Over the course of Turner’s 23-year tenure at OPD prior to retiring last year, he was disciplined seven times for violations of department policy that ranged from unsafe driving to a child-abuse arrest in which he was accused of injuring his 7-year-old son. He was also accused of sending threatening text messages to his ex-wife in 2009 and racial profiling

…The Nixon academy, which had 116 elementary students enrolled at the end of last school year, earned a D on Florida’s annual school report card issued this summer.

Fired Orlando cop who arrested 6-year-olds said school faculty member wanted to press charges against girl, report shows

The officer should have been in jail for tasing a victim repeatedly after they were on the ground and posed no threat to the officer, not to mention his own domestic violence. The thin blue line protects criminal and thugs and sanctions lawlessness on the part of the people charged with upholding the law.

A school administrator who cannot handle a child’s temper tantrum should not be that job. Wanting to press charges on a six year old child should disqualify them from ever working around children again. This individual poses a clear risk to children. They should be forbidden to be alone with children, let alone employed in a school.

The administrator in question doesn’t have the proper qualifications and certifications to work in the school in the first place, a glaring act of malfeasance by the school system she is employed by.

Finally the school is not functional and needs to be closed.

Video: 6-year-old cries for help as Orlando police arrest her

The body camera footage still upsets her, Kirkland said, especially when Turner “callously” talks about arresting children.

“You’re discussing traumatizing a 6- and 7-year-old — and that’s a boasting right for you?” she said. “These are babies.”

Kirkland said her granddaughter had sleep apnea, which could cause her to act out in school — a condition that Kirkland had repeatedly worked with the school to manage, she said.

Kaia was completely processed at the county Juvenile Assessment Center, where the girl’s mugshot and fingerprints were taken, Kirkland said, adding that employees at the center had to use a step stool so Kaia could reach the camera for the mugshot.

Kaia has since re-enrolled in a private school, after refusing to attend a school with an officer on campus, Kirkland said. She said she worries about how the trauma from the arrest will affect her granddaughter in years to come.

Video: 6-year-old cries for help as Orlando police arrest her – Orlando Sentinel

The family needs to sue the school system and the city of Orlando into the ground. Consequences are the only thing that would induce people without souls to change their approach to issues like this.

Florida Officer Who Detained a 6-Year-Old for Throwing a Tantrum Caught on BodyCam Bragging About Arrest

Florida Officer Who Detained a 6-Year-Old for Throwing a Tantrum Caught on BodyCam Bragging About Arrest

So much for the officers had no choice and went along with this unwillingly….

The school official who sanctioned the call to the police (and any policy makers who created protocols to do so) need to be fired and banned from working with children.

The officers involved? Cuff, court, conviction, and then into general population imprisonment they go.

Anything less is lawlessness and child abuse.

Florida Baker Act: 6-year-old girl sent to mental health facility by school

According to a sheriff’s report, a social worker who responded to Nadia’s tantrum at Love Grove Elementary School stated the girl was a “threat to herself and others,” “destroying school property” and “attacking staff.”

She was removed from school and committed to a behavioral health center for a psychiatric evaluation under the Baker Act, which allows authorities to force such an evaluation on anyone considered to be a danger to themselves or others.

Nadia’s mother, Martina Falk, said her daughter has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a mood disorder.

…”She’s traumatized. She is not herself anymore. I don’t know what the long-term effects are,” she told CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez.

Florida Baker Act: 6-year-old girl sent to mental health facility by school – CBS News


‘It’s About Power’: D.C. Students Seek To Remove Bias In School Dress Codes

“Too many dress codes are rooted in really dangerous sex stereotypes about what we think a girl should look like, and what we think a boy should look like,” says Nia Evans, lead researcher of the report. “And those are really outdated binaries that we’re moving away from as a culture.”

…“Dress codes aren’t even meeting the goals that they’re intended to meet: to limit and reduce distractions or foster a sense of professionalism,” Evans says. “Students that we worked with have said, ‘I’m actually not learning either of those things. I’m just getting punished for the fact that I have a curvy body or I’m wearing my hair in a head wrap.’

…The study also found a correlation between how strict a school’s dress code is and the racial makeup of the student body. High schools with majority black students (schools where African American students make up more than 50% of the students enrolled) have more dress code restrictions than other high schools. Majority black schools also suspend girls at nearly double the rates of other schools, according to the study.

Researchers found that black girls in the District remain 20 times more likely than white girls to be suspended, despite no evidence of more misbehavior.

“Black girls deserve to bring their authentic selves to school, and we should hold our schools accountable to that,” Evans says.

…“Girls felt creeped out by their classmates and teachers commenting on how they looked and it empowered students to scrutinize each other, which makes them feel even more self-conscious,” Zerwitz said in the report.

… Many took aim at the stereotypes embedded in dress codes, rules that deny girls class time, and the “culture of harassment that paints girls as distractions.” [emphasis: Peanut Gallery]

‘It’s About Power’: D.C. Students Seek To Remove Bias In School Dress Codes | WAMU


Avigilon’s appearance search tool isn’t technically facial recognition, but it still invades students’ privacy

Appearance Search can find people based on their age, gender, clothing, and facial characteristics, and it scans through videos like facial recognition tech — though the company that makes it, Avigilon, says it doesn’t technically count as a full-fledged facial recognition tool.

Even so, privacy experts told Recode that, for students, the distinction doesn’t necessarily matter. Appearance Search allows school administrators to review where a person has traveled throughout campus — anywhere there’s a camera — using data the system collects about that person’s clothing, shape, size, and potentially their facial characteristics, among other factors. It also allows security officials to search through camera feeds using certain physical descriptions, like a person’s age, gender, and hair color.

…“People don’t behave the same when they’re being watched,” warns Brenda Leong, the director of AI and ethics at the Future of Privacy Forum. “Do we really want both young students and high schoolers, and anybody else, feeling like they’re operating in that environment all the time?”

Adding to privacy concerns surrounding a tool like Appearance Search is the fact that it’s not exclusively being used to address violence in schools. School administrators are already using the system to try to intercept bullying, to deter code of conduct violations, and to assist in investigations of school employees.

…Avigilon would not share how many schools are using Appearance Search. While Recode identified at least nine public school districts that have acquired or have access to the software, it’s likely many more schools are using the tool.

For instance, the New York Civil Liberties Union says that more than a dozen school districts in New York State have purchased Avigilon equipment. While the NYCLU doesn’t know for certain how many have access to or have used the Appearance Search tool, technology strategist Daniel Schwarz said in an email that “given its inclusion into the main [Avigilon Control Center] software it is likely that a high percentage of schools will have the feature at their fingertips.”

At the schools that have gotten the tool, we already have a sense of how it can be used.

…Appearance Search has been used to locate children lost in schools, to investigate complaints against staff, and to deter violations of codes of conduct. He says the software has also made the school security staff aware of disciplinary infractions they otherwise would not have known about.

…As Kai Koerber, a recent graduate of MSD, told Recode about the technology: “I don’t think [students] should have to — by going to school — volunteer to accept this kind of new social contract where you’re going to be recorded and traced through your every move. I do think people have the right to be able to walk to the next class without being identified.”

…“Yes, it may work in terms of, ‘we can identify people who don’t belong on the campus.’ At the same time, we are invading the privacy of each and every student,” he said.

Koerber’s concerns are echoed by student privacy advocates, who say the tool could be used to track and surveil students. “It is surveillance technology, and it is tracking technology, and any school implementing any variation of those is potentially creating more harms and risks than they’re solving,” said Leong.

Avigilon’s appearance search tool isn’t facial recognition, but it still has privacy risks. – Vox


‘They Sprayed Her Blood All Over Her Fellow Students’: Cops Assault Teen In Viral Video

Attorney Paul Jubas has been retained by the girls family to take legal action.

“Sergeant Christopher Mordaunt and Officer Tommy Trieu committed a crime when they brutally assaulted this tiny girl,” he said in a December Instagram post. “They sprayed her blood all over her fellow students and incited riot-like conditions on a school bus. Everything was calm on this bus until these officers began their vicious assault. To make matters worse, other videos prove they lied in their affidavit of probable cause.”

‘They Sprayed Her Blood All Over Her Fellow Students’: Cops Assault Teen In Viral Video | News One

daaa faaa?!

How Philadelphia Flipped: Second Chances for Youth

Bethel’s aha moment came after he went to a conference and heard terms like “trauma” and the “school-to-prison pipeline.” He said he had no idea what they were talking about. 

When he returned home, he pulled up the data on in-school arrests. And he was taken aback by what he saw.

“I thought, let’s take that back 20 years. Look at the thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of kids we had locked up for minor offenses. And where they are now?… And why were we doing that?” Bethel said. “I mean, thousands and thousands of kids for fighting in school. Stuff that I did as a kid in school.”

…Early studies by the Juvenile Justice Research and Reform Lab at Drexel University show that even though school arrests are down, school safety hasn’t been compromised.

…She showed me on a white board a list of minor offenses that used to get students arrested.

“Scissors. Knives. Marijuana. Pills. Vandalism. Trespassing,” she said. “You know if the kid is fighting in school…they would actually charge him with disorderly conduct.”

…“I was in solitary confinement. So, I was in my cell like 22 hours a day,” Le said. She is 20, and one of the youngest staff members at YASP. Even if all the current reforms had been in place when she was arrested, they wouldn’t have applied to her. Because she had a gun charge, she was held in an adult facility.

There are rules saying that the youth jail population should never interact with the adult jail population, which is why Le was held in solitary by default.

How Philadelphia Flipped: Second Chances for Youth – YR Media