Tuesday, September 09, 2014

High school coach accused of roughing up students

A Massachusetts football coach is on paid leave after being accused of  "roughing up" students:

Harry Taylor, a physical education teacher, is also an assistant football coach at Duxbury High School.

The school committee chair said the alleged incident involving Taylor happened last week in the school and that other students witnessed what happened. He said the allegations are not sexual in nature.

Independent state investigators were brought in look into the allegations, the school committee chair said.

Former school security guard charged with child sexual abuse

A former Tulsa school security guard has been charged with child sexual abuse:

Prosecutors filed the charges Monday against Yvon Demesmin. They come after reports that Demesmin molested a 13-year-old girl.

He was previously a security guard at Booker T Washington High School. The school district released him as soon as it heard about the allegations. Officials don't believe at this point that he had any inappropriate contact with students.

Demesmin remains in the Tulsa County Jail on $150,000 bond.


Seven foot Burmese python found near school

A seven foot Burmese python was found lurking near a California school Friday:

 The snake, which was more than 4 inches around and weighed more than 40 pounds, was spotted under a car by a sheriff’s deputy at Pescadero Elementary and Middle School at 620 North St. just before 3:30 p.m.

A deputy wrangled the snake and took it to a substation in Half Moon Bay, where it was turned over to the Peninsula Humane Society. Scott Delucci, a Humane Society spokesman, said the snake is suffering from some skin issues and isn’t very well socialized, but is otherwise in good shape.


Monday, September 08, 2014

D. C. schools inundated with undocumented children

A massive influx of undocumented Central American children into Washington. D. C. schools is causing problems:

Officials at Mary’s Center, a nonprofit health agency that provides 12 schools in the District and Maryland with mental-health therapists, said they have been swamped in the past two weeks with school referrals.

“What’s different is the sheer volume. There’s been a huge influx of kids with a plethora of issues,” said Kara Lowinger, who directs the center’s therapy program.

“They come with a tremendous amount of trauma, and they feel like they’re living with strangers.”


While several school counselors and therapists described a variety of problems they have seen in newly arrived children, they said confidentiality rules barred them from discussing individual cases.

Chavez said she had heard numerous stories about violent drug gangs kidnapping children and their smugglers as they made their way across Mexico. Several counselors said some teenage girls had been sexually assaulted en route or had previously been abused by relatives.

Note to teachers: Don't write anything stupid on social media

What were they thinking?

That's the first thing that nearly always runs through my mind when I see that a teacher has been fired or suspended for posting something on Facebook.

Last week, it was the teacher who talked about various weapons she would like to use on her students. It may be freedom of speech, but it is hard to believe that the teacher, who was suspended, but not fired, is ever going to be able to have any kind of rapport with her students or with their parents.

The San Jose Mercury News has an article in today's edition about the rules (there are not many) for what teachers can and cannot write on social media websites like Facebook:

Eric Goldman, a law professor and co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law, said the drafting of policies is not easy.

"Some school districts are making rules," Goldman said. "But it requires careful thought. The policy has to navigate between legitimate use of social media and the free speech rights of employees. School districts basically have to tell their teachers not to do anything stupid online. That's the gist of it."

Or as Ligia Giese, a Berkeley mother of two students in public schools, put it, it's about respect.

"I think if you're talking about your job, whether it's in public, on the Internet or in any other forum, I would like the teacher to have respect for the students," Giese said. "I couldn't pinpoint the wording of the rule, but I would expect a teacher, like any professional, would speak with a modicum of respect."

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Kindergarten student suspended for threatening to shoot teacher

A South Carolina kindergarten student was suspended after threatening to shoot the teacher:

Authorities at Reeves Elementary School were notified after a school volunteer overheard the child telling another student that he had at home and was going to shoot the teacher, according to Dorchester School District spokesperson Pat Raynor.

The child reported there were guns at his residence and stated one of them was on the washing machine, the incident report states.

However, the child did not have a weapon in his possession at school, deputies say.

Deputies went to the child's home and spotted a pellet gun on the washing machine of the front porch of his residence, the report states.

The child's mother showed deputies the only firearm she said she had in the house, which deputies say was inoperable and incapable of use in its current state.

The child has been allowed to return to class.

School bus driver punched after refusing to let kids off bus

A Massachusetts school bus driver was punched by a 16-year-old following his refusal to allow children to get off the bus, according to a Boston Globe story:

A school policy says that kindergartners must be matched with their parents before they can be let off the bus.

That process apparently took too long, and the Worcester school department said in a statement that a few parents tried to get on the bus. The driver then closed the door, trapping the kids inside.

As seen on MassLive’s video, the bus remained in place for several minutes as parents became increasingly upset. The bus then attempted to move forward, at which point things escalated quickly: Some parents jumped in front of the bus to block it, while others ran to the back and helped the children, who were screaming and crying by this point, escape out the emergency door.

At some time during the melee, the bus driver was punched by the 16-year-old, according to the police report.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Police update on Johnson County Community College lockdown

Investigators look into rape at KU

Shotgun-wielding woman has Johnson County Community College under lockdown

Teacher faces jail time for phoning in bomb threat

An Illinois teacher could be facing up to five years in prison after admitting she phoned in a bomb threat to the school where she worked:

Thirty-six-year-old Michelle Lynn Smith of Jerseyville pleaded guilty to one count of conveying a false threat. She remains jailed, pending her sentencing on Dec. 15.

Authorities say Smith left a computer-generated note April 28 in a restroom at the Calhoun County High School in Hardin, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis.

The letter prompted an evacuation of the 170-student school, but no bomb was found.

The district's superintendent, Kate Sievers, says Smith was fired by the school board in May.