Category Archives: Education

Insane US School Principal Wants Students to Throw Canned Food at Intruders

downloadby C.A. Pinkham 18/01/2015

Picture yourself as the parent of a US middle schooler. Now picture you get a letter from a school administrator asking you to have your child bring in an 8 oz canned food item. “Great!” you think. “Canned food drives are helpful to the homeless and destitute!” Then you read the rest of the letter and find out that the food isn’t going to be used to feed the needy, but will instead be weaponized for use against school intruders.

That’s actually a thing that is happening right now. God, I love this country sometimes.

Priscella Holley, Principal of W.F. Burns Middle School in Valley, Alabama* is, like most school administrators, justifiably concerned about the possible presence of intruders on school grounds. Where Principal Holley differs from most administrators, however, is in the fact that her solution to the potential problem is less “call the police” or “have evacuation/lockdown procedures in place” and more “pelt the criminals with baked beans.” The aforementioned letter was sent out just over a week ago, and reads, in part:

“We realize at first this may seem odd; however, it is a practice that would catch an intruder off guard,” she wrote in the letter, published by TV station WHNT in Huntsville.

“The canned food item could stun the intruder or even knock him out until the police arrive,” Holley wrote. “The canned food item will give the students a sense of empowerment to protect themselves and will make them feel secure in case an intruder enters their classroom.”


Sadly, it would appear no one has thought to ask the obvious questions of Principal Holley, such as “why not just give the kids nunchucks,” “what is the air speed of a laden can of creamed corn,” and “are you fucking high?” Holley does insist that the projectile pea assault would be a “last resort” and that if they weren’t used by the end of the year, all the collected cans would be donated to a local food pantry.

While I obviously don’t want to see any kids put in danger, I can’t even pretend that I’m not desperately hoping for a follow-up story where a deranged criminal is put down by the combined efforts of Goya Black Beans and 13-year-old Sarah Pennington’s golden throwing arm.


* Alabamans are frequently noted for their creativity in place names, evident in such notable locales as Forest, Alabama, Swamp, Alabama, and Thin-Little-Strip-of-Land-Between-Two-Watery-Things-What-Do-Y’all-Call-Those-Again, Alabama.

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Texas’ New Public School Textbooks Promote Climate Change Denial and Downplay Segregation

StoryBy Mariah Blake Wed Sep. 17, 2014 9:48 AM EDT

The battle over Texas textbooks is raging once again. On Tuesday, hundreds of citizens turned out for the first public hearing on the controversial social-science materials now under review as part of the state’s contentious once-in-a-decade textbook adoption process. During the all-day proceedings, activists and historians pointed out numerous factual errors and complained that the books promoted tea party ideology while mocking affirmative action and downplaying the science linking human activity to climate change. “They are full of biases that are either outside the established mainstream scholarship, or just plain wrong,” Jacqueline Jones, who chairs the history department at the University of Texas-Austin, said from the podium. “It can lead to a great deal of confusion in the reader.”


Other speakers raised concerns about the treatment of religion, especially the tendency of some books to play up the role of Christianity in our nation’s founding. Kathleen Wellman, a professor of history Southern Methodist University, noted with dismay that a popular civics text was filled with references to Moses and claimed that the biblical prophet had inspired American democracy. If the draft texts are adopted as is, she argued, Texas children could grow up “believing that Moses was the first American.” Conservatives, meanwhile, complained that the books gave too much space to liberal figures such as Hillary Clinton.

Continue reading Texas’ New Public School Textbooks Promote Climate Change Denial and Downplay Segregation

Denver school students walk out in protest at curriculum changes to reduce emphasis on ‘Social Strife’

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Hundreds of High Schoolers Walk Out to Protest Conservative Takeover of History Standards – The proposed curriculum changes downplay “social strife.” September 24, 2014

As part of the long-running textbook wars over American school curricula, the Jefferson County, Denver,  Colorado Board of Education moved earlier this month to alter AP U.S. history standards to meet a more right-wing view of the world, emphasizing “patriotism” and the “free enterprise system” and downplaying “social strife.” Its proposal reads as follows:

Review criteria shall include the following: instructional materials should present the most current factual information accurately and objectively. Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.

What Board Chairman Ken Witt probably didn’t expect is what happened next. Yesterday, hundreds of students from five high schools marched out of their classrooms and into the streets to reject the conservative board’s proposal. Carrying signs such as “people didn’t die so we could erase them,” the students demanded that the proposal be withdrawn.

To get a sense of the size of the protests, the local CBS station reported that 500 students walked out at a single high school, Arvada West High. That is about a third of the students at the school.

In addition to the mass student protests, teachers have been leading actions as well. Last week, as many as 50 teachers at Standley Lake and Conifer high schools staged a sickout to protest the new standards, forcing classes to be canceled.

As both teachers and students continue to speak out, it appears that by attempting to suppress history curriculum that includes information about social strife and protest, Witt is ironically creating it, and teaching an entire nation of its value.

Original Article

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Compton to District Security Guards – Go Ahead, Bring Your AR-15s to School


 By Alex Park Fri Aug. 22, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

When students in the Compton Unified School District return to classrooms on Monday, some of them will have new pencils or notebooks. Their teachers will have new textbooks. But this year, the district’s campus police will be getting an upgrade, too: AR-15 rifles.

The board of the Los Angeles-area school district approved a measure to allow the campus cops to carry the new guns in July. The district’s police chief, William Wu, told the board that equipping school police with semi-automatic AR-15s is intended to ensure student safety.

“This is our objective—save lives, bottom line,” Wu told the board.

Crime is a serious problem in Compton, an independent jurisdiction south of downtown Los Angeles. In the 12 months preceding July, the city of nearly 100,000 experienced 28 murders, making it the 11th-deadliest neighborhood in the county, according to a data analysis by the Los Angeles Times.

But the choice to make Compton school police the latest local law enforcement agency to adopt military-style weapons was less about dealing with street crime than it was about preventing more exotic incidents like mass shootings. At the board meeting, Wu cited an FBI report released in January that found that 5 percent of “active shooters”— or shooters which are conducting an ongoing assault on a group of people—wore body armor, which can stop most bullets fired from handguns. To make his case, Wu cited a range of examples, including the Mumbai terrorist attacks and the University of Texas shooting in 1966, in which a student killed 16 people from the campus clock tower, out of range of police sidearms. (The student was eventually killed when a group of police climbed the tower and shot him at close range.)

“They will continue until they are stopped,” Wu said, at which point a board member interjected.

“No, they will continue until we stop them,” he said. “Compton Unified School Police…holding it down.”

“These rifles give us greater flexibility in dealing with a person with bad intent who comes onto any of our campuses,” Wu said in a statement. “The officers will keep the rifles in the trunks of their cars, unless they are needed.”

Compton is not the first district in the Southern California to allow AR-15s on its campuses. At the meeting, Wu said that Los Angeles, Baldwin Park, Santa Ana, Fontana, and San Bernardino all allow their officers to use the same weapons.


Compton school police last made news in May 2013, when a group of parents and students filed a suit against the department, alleging a pattern of racial profiling and abuse targeting Latino students. The complaint said that officers beat, pepper-sprayed, and put a chokehold on a bystander who was recording an arrest with his iPod. The group also claimed that Compton school police used excessive force against students and parents who complained that English-as-a-second-language programs were underfunded. (The case is ongoing.)

Wu said at the board meeting that seven officers have already been trained to use the new weapons. He said all officers would be purchasing their own weapons. The guns will be the officers’ personal property, but they could be bringing them to work as early as September.

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