Story: Some Harrisburg schools closing early because of heat
We heard that you were closing school because temperatures were approaching the high 80's. Modern air conditioning was invented in 1902. It has since been an invaluable way to maintain a cool, comfortable indoor climate during warmer weather. We hope you consider this amazing device.
Your friends in Miami
PS- Our temperatures are in the 90's every day and we have to walk outside to get to every class. You don't see us crying.>
Story: Students in School Drug Raid to Split $1.2 Million
Attention Principals, here's a great way to connect with your students (taken from Stratford High School in Goose Creek, SC):
1) arrive at school early, so you can be there when the majority of the kids in the halls are African American due to the bus scheduling
2) bring in the local police department k9 drug unit
3) watch as the cops draw their weapons and terrorize the entire student body
4) try to justify the fact they didn't find ANY DRUGS
What a shit show! This was in 2003, but the court has just approved a $1.2 million dollar settlement to be split between the students. The principal ended up resigning.
Say Uncle Sam, how's that war on drugs working out for you?
The above is actual video from the search.
It was learned that the teacher may have feared the threat of ninjas taking over the school.>
Story:Bronx School Evacuated After Teacher’s Threat
This 55 year old computer teacher was recently reprimanded for using corporal punishment (Illegal in NY State) on a student. He retaliated by barricading himself in a classroom, claiming he had planted a bomb in the library, and declared he was "on a hunger strike".
No dude, you're on an intelligence strike.
So, the teacher finds a turd on the floor. She assumes it's from a student who had had some accidents before, and decides the best idea would be to wrap the little guy (the poop, not the pupil) in a paper towel, and send it home with the student.
From the mom:
"She found a clear plastic bag with a piece of fecal matter wrapped up in a brown paper towel with the note on it. This little turd was on the floor in my room. And that's all it says. Nothing else. If it was his did she see him do this? Did she follow him around to make sure this was his, did she see it drop out? Or just assume it was his because he had an accident a couple of months ago?"Say Mrs. Graham, are you sure that little turd you found wasn't just what you've been passing off as your teaching credentials?
Here is a video from CNN:
This morning DetentionSlip was invited to attend a panel moderated by Stephen Colbert to announce a new partnership between DonorsChoose.org and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Charles Best, DonorsChoose.org founder, explained how the non-profit came about after a discussion in a teachers lounge. The organization allows teachers to post projects they are seeking funding for on the DonorsChoose website, then, "citizen philanthropists" can fund the projects whole or in part with any amount of money.
They are all about transarency as well, allowing the donors to pick which projects to fund, and giving them a breakdown of how every cent is spent.
The Gates Foundation got involved to match donations 1 for 1 for projects specifically targeted at helping students go on to college.
Afterward, I spoke with another blogger who was in the press section, and he told me DonorsChoose is very addictive. You donate a hundred bucks, and then you get this packet of photos and thank you letters from the kids you've helped.
In an effort to raise awareness about this great charity, we have selected one cause we liked. Check it out, and if you decide to give a buck or 50, put in the comments section DetentionSlip.org sent you. It would be awesome if our readers could make this happen!
Featured Cause: Resurrect "Print" Journalism from the Dead
Also, for you teachers out there if you have a need for some materials -- books, supplies, etc. Visit the site and submit your project. If it has to do with College Prep, it will be INSTANTLY funded 50% by the Gates Foundation.
Story: Student, 10, cracks Pa. state school test code
Story: DoGooder.tv Short Film Contest
Here is an interesting short film from ASCD that illustrates what a high school would look like with a freshman class of 30 students. If you like it you can vote for it at DoGooder.tv
I remember a scene from the movie Toy Soldiers where Sean Astin and his gang of classmates are held hostage by terrorists. During the standoff, the boys are routinely strip-searched and head counts are conducted every hour to ensure that none of the students have disobeyed their higher order. The sad news is, this standard practice often shadows a day-in-the-life of many current middle and high school students in the year 2009. But was it like this even a decade ago?
The shooting of Columbine helped institute a new popularity of the term "zero tolerance." Students as young as first grade have been suspended from school simply for drawing a picture of a gun! Dress code policies were dramatically revisited. (No colored hair. No piercings. No over-sized coats or pants. No bookbags. Basically, no individuality.) The addition of metal detectors have left teens with a sense that they are entering prison every morning at 7am. Many schools don't even allow students out of their classrooms without a legit reason.
Even though the shooters, Dylan and Eric, were not bullied, goths, or outcasts (as detailed in Dave Cullen's new book), they have lead us to believe that anyone who acts or dresses out of the ordinary will be labeled as a threat to our safety. Zero Tolerance can be the key factor that feeds us these beliefs. Although students will probably act the same exact way in school for years to come, teachers and principals would rather make us feel that a threat is always pending, so it is their job to forbid any behavior that might be seen as a warning sign. It is like living in a perpetual fire drill. No one takes it seriously except the administrators calling the shots.
Columbine instilled fear into the veins of the American public. School shootings and bombings are actually pretty rare. While youth have almost become desensitized to these threats (it's just another day you don't have to go to school), some teachers will argue that they fear every day of work because of how unpredictable children have become. A fear that most likely originated the day after Columbine. (For the record, based on statistics, your child has a greater chance having a sex-scandal occur in their school than a shooting.)
So what does it all mean? Are all students suspects? Judging by the number of teachers who would carry a gun to school if they were allowed, some might respond "yes." The label safety is the #1 most common tag on DetentionSlip. This suggests that it is a major concern of our public schools. All we hope is that students are able to focus on their education, without the distraction of ridiculous Zero Tolerance policies clouding their experience. But on the other hand, does this generation know any different?
Story: Fourth Circuit's Turnitin.com Ruling Brings More Trouble for Plaintiffs
The Virginia Supreme Court just ruled that a private company, Turnitin, has the right to archive the complete text of students essays (without their consent, or against their direct request) under the fair use claim. Plagiarism
Turnitin is a private, for-profit company. They archive student essays in a giant database, and allow teachers to check the 'originality' of other essays by a proprietary algorithm that compares them to the archived text.
Two straight A students in Virginia didn't like the idea of being assumed to be de facto plagiarists, and filed a suit. They filed for official copyright of their papers with the federal government, and also included instructions that "the papers not be archived via Turnitit" -- of course, they were anyway.
First of all, hats off to these students -- I love the way they executed this, and had everything in order for the suit, and I hope they appeal the case.
As for the fair use law -- it's a victory, and as a news / journalistic site, we should be happy. But it is still unsettling that a private company is being allowed to archive student essays, AGAINST the request of the author. You could envision dozens of reasons a student wouldn't want their work seen by anyone beside the instructor (they reveal something very personal, it's a draft of a larger project, etc). Especially if the students are writing THIS IS NOT TO BE ARCHIVED on the essays. Shouldn't authors be able to own the copyright to the work? Further, should this company be allowed to profit off the essays of the students? Surely, the value of Turnitin increases exponentially with each essay added, and with each iteration the essasy is being referenced. Should the students not be entitled to a royalty payment every time the system reads the essay? The company claims to prevent plagarism, but seems to make money off outright copying of students work, without their consent.
Let's get some reader thoughts - comment below.
Here is a 2007 article from the Washington Post that gives some more background:McLean Students Sue Anti-Cheating Service - 3/28/2007
On Monday, DetentionSlip.org co-founder Anthony David Adams was a guest on FoxNews.com's Strategy Room. Turns out the ENTIRE segment ended up discussing Corporal Punishment. We're working on getting the full length video, but here is 6 minute clip.
Thanks for all our fans who sent in hundreds of emails while we were on the air.