April 27, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Workplace bullying

Bullying is a serious workplace issue.

According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, workplace bullying generally involves repeated incidents intended to “intimidate, offend, degrade or humiliate a particular person or group of people.” CCOHS notes that although a fine line exists between strong management and constructive criticism and bullying, workplace bullying exists and can lead to a number of issues.

The agency provides a number of examples of workplace bullying. Those include:

  • Spreading malicious, untrue rumors
  • Socially isolating someone
  • Purposefully hindering someone’s work
  • Physically injuring someone or threatening abuse
  • Taking away a worker’s responsibility without justification
  • Yelling or swearing
  • Not assigning enough work or assigning an unreasonable amount of work
  • Setting impossible-to-meet deadlines in an effort to make the worker fail
  • Blocking a worker’s request for leave, training or a promotion

Bullying can have serious repercussions. Victims of bullying may feel angry or helpless and experience a loss of confidence. Additionally, bullying can cause physical side effects, including an inability to sleep, loss of appetite, headaches, or panic attacks. According to CCOHS, organizations with a culture of bullying may experience many unfavorable side effects, including increased turnover and absenteeism, increased stress among workers, and decreased morale.

CCOHS states that the most important thing management can do to express a commitment to preventing workplace bullying is to have a comprehensive written policy. The agency provides the following advice for creating a policy:

  • Involve both management and employees in the creation of the policy.
  • Be very clear in your definition of workplace bullying. Provide examples of what is and is not acceptable behavior.
  • Clearly state the consequences of bullying.
  • Encourage workers to report bullying behavior by making the reporting process completely confidential. Let workers know they will not be punished in any way for reporting bullying.
  • If your workplace has an Employee Assistance Program, encourage workers experiencing problems to use it.
  • Regularly review the policy and update it as needed.

http://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/12167-workplace-bullying

at 3:38 pm

Celebrities refusing to bow to bullying

How often are celebrities slammed for their weight?

So often that few people were surprised when Fox News host Chris Wallace commented that singer
Kelly Clarkson “could stay off the deep-dish pizza.” (He later apologized.)

Or when TMZ posted a picture of a bikini-clad Selena Gomez on a Mexican beach and wrote, “Things
are getting thick down in Mexico.”

Or when Twitter trolls told singer Pink, gussied up for a gala in honor of cancer survivors,
that she looked fat in her dress.

What was unusual about such nasty critiques?

The stars immediately fought back.

Despite the commonly accepted idea that haters who are ignored will go away, stars — more than
anyone else — stand to benefit by speaking up, according to experts, because everyday people are
psychologically harmed when celebrities are publicly shamed over their weight.

Obviously, experts say, everyone recognizes that eating healthful food is important. But when
regular folks see celebrities they admire being criticized as “fat,” despite actually being
healthy, it can influence how people see themselves.

Particularly troubling is the potential effect on younger women: They are not only the ones more
likely to look at celebrity headlines and follow Hollywood news but also a demographic more prone
to eating disorders.

“We need celebrities to change the culture,” said Marjorie Nolan Cohn, the national spokesperson
of the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics. “It’s sad but true: This is who we look up to as a
society.

“If they’re not saying anything, sending a positive message is going to be a much harder and
longer road.”

Another psychological issue: Readers who see stars being criticized will feel even worse about
their own bodies.

On
The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Clarkson discussed how comments about her also upset her
fans.

“I think what hurts my feelings for people is that I’ll have a meet-and-greet after the show and
a girl who’s, like, bigger than me will be in the meet-and-greet and be like ‘Wow, if they think
you’re big, I must be so fat to them,’  ” the singer said.

To answer critics, Pink posted a note to Twitter: “I am perfectly fine, perfectly happy, and my
healthy, voluptuous and crazy-strong body is having some much deserved time off,” she wrote,
adding, “My hubby says ‘It’s just more to love, baby.’  ”

The clip of Clarkson went viral as she told DeGeneres she brushes off the comments, saying, “
Sometimes I’m more fit and I get into kickboxing hard-core. And then sometimes I don’t, and I’m
like . . . I’d rather have wine.”

Gomez, meanwhile, posted a bathing-suit picture to Instagram with the caption “I love being
happy with me yall” and “#theres moretolove.”

Psychologists agree that celebrities defending themselves can influence consumers.

Psychologist Nancy Mramor agrees that celebrities should speak out about their experiences.

“We have some powerful role models saying they’re not physically perfect, don’t want to be, don’t
aspire to be and don’t judge themselves because they’re not.”

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/life_and_entertainment/2015/04/27/celebrities-refusing-to-bow-to-bullying.html

at 3:38 pm

Bullying leads to depression and suicidal thoughts in teens

“Teens can be the victim of face-to-face bullying in school, electronic bullying outside of the classroom and dating violence,” said Andrew Adesman, MD, senior investigator of all three studies. “Each of these experiences are associated with a range of serious adverse consequences.”

All three studies were based on data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) as part of its 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System — a biannual questionnaire of teens in grades 9-12 in all 50 states that is constructed to provide a representative sample of high school students in the United States.

A Look at Depression and Suicide

In a study on bullying based on the CDC’s survey of high school students in the United States, Dr. Adesman’s team reports that depression and suicide are much more common in teens who have been the victim of bullying in school and/or electronically. Moreover, these risks were additive among teens who were the victim of both forms of bullying. Their study, “Relative Risks of Depression and Suicidal Tendency among Victims of School- and Electronic-Bullying with Co-Risk Factors,” presents results from the first national analysis comparing risks associated with the different forms of bullying.

“Although cyber bullying may not pose the same physical threat that face-to-face bullying does, it can be far more hurtful since it can spread like wildfire throughout a student body and take on a life of its own,” Dr. Adesman said.

Tammy Pham, the principal investigator, said it was very important to create more effective strategies to prevent bullying in all forms.” “Students need to feel safe both in and outside of school,” she said. “More needs to be done to reduce bullying and the huge toll it takes on youth.”

Ms. Pham will present “Relative Risks of Depression and Suicidal Tendency among Victims of School- and Electronic-Bullying With Co-Risk Factors” as a platform presentation on Monday, April 27.

Bullying Impacts School Attendance, Weapon Carrying

In a second study of bullying, “Victimization of High School Students: Impact on School Attendance and Weapon Carrying Behaviors,” the investigators found that bullying, physical dating violence and/or sexual dating violence were each associated with teens not attending school or carrying weapons to school.

“Tragically, teens who were victimized in more than one way were especially likely to carry a weapon to school or skip school altogether,” said Dr. Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY.

Alexis Tchaconas, the principal investigator of this study, said that bullying and dating violence were more common than many might expect.”The CDC reports that 11 percent of high school students experience dating violence, and 20 percent report being bullied,” she said. “Greater prevention efforts are needed to protect the mental health and physical well-being of our teens.”

“Victimization of High School Students: Impact on School Attendance and Weapon Carrying Behaviors” will be a poster presentation on Monday, April 27th.

Who’s Carrying Weapons to School?

The third study focused on teens who were victims of bullying in the past 12 months and investigated whether there are gender differences in the association of carrying a weapon to school.

On the one hand, boys were overall more likely to carry a weapon to school than girls, regardless of victim status. On the other hand, girls who were the victims of bullying were more than three times as likely to carry a weapon as girls who were not victimized; by contrast, male victims were less than twice as likely to carry a weapon compared to male non-victims.

“The prevalence of school bullying has serious implications for the safety of all students — both the victims of bullying and the non-victims,” said Ms. Pham, the principal investigator of this study.

“Girls who have been victimized are much more likely to carry a weapon; unfortunately, the CDC data does not tell us if this is for their own protection or to seek revenge,” said Dr. Adesman, the senior investigator. “Effective strategies need to be developed to eliminate bullying if we want our teens to be safe and enjoy their adolescence.”

“Bullying and dating violence are too important to ignore as risk factors for suicide — the third leading cause of death in teens,” Dr. Adesman said when asked about the important lesson from these studies.

“Gender Differences in Risk of Weapon-Carrying By Adolescents Who Are Victims of Bullying” will be a poster presentation on Monday, April 27th.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150427082803.htm

at 9:38 am

Girl battles back from bullying to master the mat

A 12-year-old Prairie Village girl who was pushed to the brink by bullies has found a way to battle back in the world of mixed-martial arts.

Claire Teitgan works hard at Brass Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu to train for her next grappling match.

“I don’t mind getting dirty – in the mud,” she said. “I just have fun. (I’m) a normal 12-year-old kid.”

Claire had been bullied since first grade and it came to a tipping point last year.

“I didn’t want to get up in the morning. I didn’t care how I looked, how my grades were. I didn’t care about anything,” she said.

“All of a sudden, we’re cleaning her room and we find these suicidal notes throughout, in her closet, under her bed. We found her diary,” said Charlie Tietgen, Claire’s father.

A note scribbled on her walls said she wanted to die.

“I was thinking, ‘I’m going to lose my daughter,’” he said.

In the year that followed, Claire underwent a transformation. The girl Charlie Tietgen knew is gone.

“The light is brighter. At first, when she came in, you could see it flicker,” said Austen Ford, Claire’s trainer.

Ford, who now acts more like a big brother to Claire, said he saw potential in her immediately.

“We were talking about the Olympics the first day,” said Ford.

Claire’s parents said that’s when they knew that the sport of grappling could save their daughter.

“I have more self-esteem than I’ve ever had in my 12 years of living,” Claire said. “Now people are still being mean, of course. It’s life, and I’m, like, ‘Whatever. I don’t care.’ So I walk away. I erase it from my memory.”

She is also erasing the experience of being bullied and replacing it with impressive moments on the mat. Claire is undefeated and has beaten every boy she’s competed against.

She’s also received star treatment since the UFC picked up on her story, meeting MMA stars like Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz, UFC President Dana White and Claire’s idol, Ronda Rousey.

She said her plan is to keep winning on the mat and find ways to help others.

“I’m so thankful I overcame this because if I didn’t have wrestling, if I didn’t have any of this, I would not be here today,” Claire said.

She said she hopes to serve as an inspiration to the countless kids who still battle bullies every day.

Claire has won nine gold medals at tournaments since starting her training last year, beating several boys in the process. She’s also starting a charity to help other bullied children find outlets to help boost their self-esteem.

Visit Claire’s website here

http://www.kmbc.com/news/girl-battles-back-from-bullying-to-master-the-mat/32581072

at 9:38 am

Public Release: 27-Apr-2015 Bullying leads to depression and suicidal thoughts …

High school students subjected to bullying and other forms of harassment are more likely to report being seriously depressed, consider suicide and carry weapons to school, according to findings from a trio of studies reported at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in San Diego.

“Teens can be the victim of face-to-face bullying in school, electronic bullying outside of the classroom and dating violence,” said Andrew Adesman, MD, senior investigator of all three studies. “Each of these experiences are associated with a range of serious adverse consequences.”

All three studies were based on data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) as part of its 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System – a biannual questionnaire of teens in grades 9-12 in all 50 states that is constructed to provide a representative sample of high school students in the United States.

A Look at Depression and Suicide

In a study on bullying based on the CDC’s survey of high school students in the United States, Dr. Adesman’s team reports that depression and suicide are much more common in teens who have been the victim of bullying in school and/or electronically. Moreover, these risks were additive among teens who were the victim of both forms of bullying. Their study, “Relative Risks of Depression and Suicidal Tendency among Victims of School- and Electronic-Bullying with Co-Risk Factors”, presents results from the first national analysis comparing risks associated with the different forms of bullying.

“Although cyber bullying may not pose the same physical threat that face-to-face bullying does, it can be far more hurtful since it can spread like wildfire throughout a student body and take on a life of its own,” Dr. Adesman said.

Tammy Pham, the principal investigator, said it was very important to create more effective strategies to prevent bullying in all forms.” “Students need to feel safe both in and outside of school,” she said. “More needs to be done to reduce bullying and the huge toll it takes on youth.”

Ms. Pham will present “Relative Risks of Depression and Suicidal Tendency among Victims of School- and Electronic-Bullying With Co-Risk Factors” as a platform presentation on Monday, April 27, at 12pm in Room 28D at the Convention Center.

Bullying Impacts School Attendance, Weapon Carrying

In a second study of bullying, “Victimization of High School Students: Impact on School Attendance and Weapon Carrying Behaviors”, the investigators found that bullying, physical dating violence and/or sexual dating violence were each associated with teens not attending school or carrying weapons to school.

“Tragically, teens who were victimized in more than one way were especially likely to carry a weapon to school or skip school altogether,” said Dr. Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY.

Alexis Tchaconas, the principal investigator of this study, said that bullying and dating violence were more common than many might expect.”The CDC reports that 11 percent of high school students experience dating violence, and 20 percent report being bullied,” she said. “Greater prevention efforts are needed to protect the mental health and physical well-being of our teens”.

“Victimization of High School Students: Impact on School Attendance and Weapon Carrying Behaviors” will be a poster presentation on Monday, April 27th from 4:15 -7:30 PM. It is in poster session No. 3906 in Exhibit Hall EFG at the Convention Center.

Who’s Carrying Weapons to School?

The third study focused on teens who were victims of bullying in the past 12 months and investigated whether there are gender differences in the association of carrying a weapon to school.

On the one hand, boys were overall more likely to carry a weapon to school than girls, regardless of victim status. On the other hand, girls who were the victims of bullying were more than three times as likely to carry a weapon as girls who were not victimized; by contrast, male victims were less than twice as likely to carry a weapon compared to male non-victims.

“The prevalence of school bullying has serious implications for the safety of all students — both the victims of bullying and the non-victims,” said Ms. Pham, the principal investigator of this study.

“Girls who have been victimized are much more likely to carry a weapon; unfortunately, the CDC data does not tell us if this is for their own protection or to seek revenge,” said Dr. Adesman, the senior investigator. “Effective strategies need to be developed to eliminate bullying if we want our teens to be safe and enjoy their adolescence.”

###

“Gender Differences in Risk of Weapon-Carrying By Adolescents Who Are Victims of Bullying” will be a poster presentation on Monday, April 27th from 4:15 -7:30 PM. It is in poster session #3906 in Exhibit Hall EFG at the Convention Center.

“Bullying and dating violence are too important to ignore as risk factors for suicide – the third leading cause of death in teens,” Dr. Adesman said when asked about the important lesson from these studies.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Adesman before or during the PAS meeting, call 516-232-5229 or email Adesman@lij.edu.

No outside funding was received for this research.

About the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York

Opened in 1983, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is home to about 675 pediatricians, including 200 full-time physicians, and a total workforce of more than 1,200, including more than 500 nurses. For the eighth consecutive year in 2014, CCMC was ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in U.S. News World Report’s 2014-15 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” survey.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-04/nsij-blt042215.php

at 9:38 am

Bullying proves a vexing problem for schools

McKINNEY — The words on the cellphone screen called the 12-year-old girl ugly. Told her to rot in hell. Urged her to kill herself.

Jennifer Smith’s anger at the online messages tormenting her daughter turned to disbelief when the attacks moved to the McKinney mother’s Instagram account. Smith said police don’t know who wrote the barbs. Neither does the Frisco ISD school that called to alert her about the first messages.

“They honestly told me that because this didn’t happen — as far as they know — on school grounds or during school hours, it was kind of out of their hands,” Smith said of school staff.

Four years ago, Texas legislators passed a law to help root out bullying and cyberbullying in schools. But educators and experts on the law said schools find themselves in a tough spot when trying to police student cruelty that unfolds online and beyond their walls.

“How far does the school district’s arm really reach? It just depends on the situation,” said Cristina Ruiz Blanton, a senior attorney for the Texas Association of School Boards. “It’s very case-by-case.”

The recent suicide of McKinney teen Raymond Howell has raised questions about how schools deal with bullying, after his family said other students beat up the high school freshman and scorned him on social media. Police and school officials said the boy willingly joined the fights, but his death has rattled many parents in Collin County who have started rallies and Facebook groups to voice concern.

While bullying is nothing new, school leaders and their advocates say social media has magnified the problem by emboldening more kids to be mean, multiplying the spaces where they can prey on others and offering anonymity. Devin Padavil, first vice president of the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, called social media “the largest unsupervised playground in the world.”

State law

The 2011 Texas law required that school districts adopt their own policies against bullying. Some school districts, including McKinney ISD, already had rules in place, but the law defined in more detail what the behavior looks like and what steps schools should take.

For instance, lawmakers clarified that “expression through electronic means” can be bullying if it occurs at school, in a district-operated vehicle or at a school-related activity. Yet the law doesn’t address expressions made off campus — such as videos or social media posts — that seep into school life.

Bullying, lawmakers wrote, results in physical harm to a student, damage to the student’s property or the creation of an intimidating, threatening or abusive environment for the student when the behavior is “sufficiently severe, persistent and pervasive.”

But what does that last part mean? In many cases, schools often must make judgment calls about when to act.

One Carrollton family has sued Lewisville ISD because Hebron High School suspended their son after a school fight in March. Karen and Scott Pittman said their son had endured taunts at school and online for a year and was defending himself from four students who cornered him in a shower. But according to the Pittmans, the high school ruled that the behavior was “seasonal bullying” and not persistent enough.

In a statement, the district declined to elaborate, citing student privacy laws, but noted that it investigates all bullying concerns brought to a principal or district official.

Also, the law clarifies that to be considered bullying, the behavior must exploit an imbalance of power. It must interfere with a student’s education or substantially disrupt school operations.

Those two aspects are key to determine whether a student’s actions constitute bullying, said Curtis Clay, an associate director of the state-funded Texas School Safety Center.

“If you got two kids calling each other names and this and that and they’re both going at it, to me, that’s not really bullying,” Clay said. “Because when you talk about bullying … you got [kids] who for whatever reason don’t feel like they can stand up for themselves.”

If a school investigation finds that a student was bullied and used reasonable self-defense, state law forbids the school from punishing the student. It also gives school boards the choice to transfer the bully to another classroom or another campus.

‘Pretty high bar’

McKinney ISD provides administrators with step-by-step instructions on how to proceed when a student, parent or staff member reports bullying or harassment. School officials must take measures during the investigation to protect students, such as making the alleged offender sign an agreement — with the consent of his or her parents — to stay away from another student.

Even if the behavior doesn’t meet the bullying criteria, the district will intervene when students violate the student code of conduct, said PJ Holland, director of student support at McKinney ISD.

But when it comes to punishing students for off-campus speech, schools have to meet “a pretty high bar” because of students’ First Amendment rights, said Blanton, the Texas Association of School Boards attorney.

Case law shows that a district may be able to act if it can prove that the speech “materially and substantially” disrupted the educational process, such as causing a teacher to lose control of her classroom, Blanton said.

If the district perceives the speech to be a threat, it should take measures to protect students and let law enforcement determine whether it’s criminal activity, Blanton said.

Building trust

Sometimes the problem is that no one speaks out, according to school officials.

The best way to change that is for school staffers to build relationships with students, said Sgt. Sherwood Holmes, a supervisor of school resource officers in McKinney. He recalled an instance when a boy who was bullied on campus told Holmes that his tormentor was now seeking him out at home. Holmes said the student opened up because he had gained the boy’s trust.

“They will tell you everything — the good, the bad and the ugly,” Holmes said.

Smith, the McKinney mother, doesn’t fault the school for its response to the online taunts against her younger daughter. Even the police officer who came to her house told her there wasn’t much the department could do unless more attacks followed, she said.

So Smith is determined to do what she can to protect her 12-year-old and her other daughter, who is 14. She deleted apps from the girls’ phones. She checks their devices regularly and without notice.

Her vigilance is matched by the belief that navigating adolescence is harder today than it was when she was growing up.

“This is a 24/7 situation for our children,” Smith said. “I mean, they can go to bed at night and wake up in the morning with 50 foul comments on one of their pictures. It’s never-ending for them.”

TIPS FOR PARENTS

Recognize the warning signs that your child is involved in bullying. Be aware of what your kids are doing online.

If you know or suspect bullying has occurred, find out what happened by getting the facts from several sources — adults and children. Listen without blaming.

If you determine bullying has occurred, learn how you and school officials can work together to support your child. Texas law requires that school districts post their anti-bullying policies and reporting procedures on their websites.

Know your options. State law allows parents of the victim to request that their child be transferred to another classroom or campus. If you’re dissatisfied with the outcome of a school investigation, you may be able to file a grievance by following the district’s complaint process.

SOURCES: Stopbullying.gov; Dallas Morning News research

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/metro/20150426-bullying-proves-a-vexing-problem-for-schools.ece

at 9:38 am

What parents are demanding following big brawl at Varina High School

Posted by in School

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – A couple of hundred parents met with Henrico school and community leaders Sunday to address the massive brawl that broke out at Varina High School prompting a lockdown last week.

While officials did not make any hard promises, they did listen to suggestions from parents after video of a massive fight was widely circulated online.

School board members, the superintendent, board of supervisors and even the commonwealth’s attorney were on hand to discuss what can be done to prevent fights. But the focus of the meeting quickly turned to parents needing to have one-on-one conversations with their kids about the violence.

However, there was consensus among parents that the school board should reconsider the district’s cellphone policy. Several parents at the meeting said that students’ ability to easily capture video of the altercations on their cellphones not only leads to fights, but helps the videos go viral.

“I want the phones gone I think they shouldn’t be allowed to new their phones,” said Cherri Somerville. “What happened to lockers? Lock their phones up and you cannot get them till the end of school.”

Currently, Henrico students can use their cellphones outside classrooms.

Parents admitted that they have a role to play in encouraging the recording of fights since they shared videos of the brawl as well as news stories online.

Officials also jotted down ideas about how to improve Varina High’s image.

It remains unclear if any of the feedback from the meeting will result in any immediate changes, but parents told school leaders that they are fed up with fights at the school.

http://wtvr.com/2015/04/26/parents-want-cell-phone-banned-after-big-brawl-at-varina-high-school/

at 9:38 am

Protest planned Monday at Plum Borough High School – Tribune

Posted by in School

Protesters plan to defy warnings from police and school officials against posting on social media about the sex abuse investigation involving teachers at Plum Senior High School, and the school board has scheduled an executive session for Monday night.

Fliers posted across the borough Sunday, particularly in the Regency Park area, urge students and families to gather outside the high school at 7 a.m. Monday, to bring their phones and “tweet, Facebook, and Snapchat all of this to friends and family.�

In an assembly Friday, Plum police Chief Jeffrey Armstrong, high school principal Ryan Kociela and school resource officer Joe Little told students that they should tell police if they had information about two teachers arrested for allegedly having sex with students. But they cautioned students against discussing the investigation publicly, telling them they could be arrested for “irresponsible� and “immature� talk, tweets, texts, emails, or posts to Facebook.

Students considered the message a threat. First Amendment experts called it unconstitutional, and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office questioned the Plum police chief’s rationale.

Plum School Board President Sal Colella said the board will hold an executive session later Monday to discuss the scandal, and may take action if district staff did not do the right thing.

“The appropriate actions will be taken,â€� Colella said. “That’s what (school) boards are for.â€�

Colella said he has not decided if he will invite members of the administration to attend the meeting. Executive sessions are closed to the public, and are allowable if board members discuss certain topics, such as personnel decisions and litigation.

Board Vice President Richard Zucco said he expects a “variety of things� to be discussed, including the arrest Wednesday of teacher Drew Zoldak, 40, who is charged with two counts of witness intimidation.

District Solicitor Lee Price did not return a message for comment concerning the nature of the closed session.

Police accuse Zoldak of singling out a student in front of a class as a girl who had sex with suspended teacher Joseph Ruggieri. Zoldak is suspended with pay, Superintendent Timothy Glasspool has said.

“I am not happy about that (the Zoldak situation),� Zucco said. “After all the anti-bullying policies and new legislation from the state, you would have thought every person would be aware of what all they can do and not do.�

Colella said he will have a “clear message� for parents when the board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Oblock Junior High School.

Three teachers have been arrested in the past two months. Jason Cooper, 38, and Ruggieri, 40, are charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and witness intimidation. Cooper also is charged with furnishing alcohol to minors.

County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said Thursday that school directors should consider firing administrators if it was common knowledge that some teachers had sex with students. If that is the case, he said, some school officials could be charged criminally.

“I think we have to discuss the whole issue,� Colella said. “We have to make sure we ensure the safety of students.�

Colella understands parents’ frustration at the lack of information they have received.

“They should be upset,� he said. “I am upset. But we have been advised to cooperate with the police and not make comments.�

Parent Ed Helbling said some teachers and school officials need to go.

“If you tell me we have cleaned house and this won’t happen again, then maybe I will have confidence in my school district,â€� Helbling said. “We need new, fresh faces.â€�

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or kzapf@tribweb.com.


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http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8240317-74/colella-students-board

at 9:37 am

Burdened With Debt, Law School Graduates Struggle in Job Market

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/business/dealbook/burdened-with-debt-law-school-graduates-struggle-in-job-market.html

at 3:38 am

Monica Lewinsky Calls Herself ‘Patient Zero’ For The Epidemic Of Online …

Monica Lewinsky recently gave a TED Talk in which she called herself “Patient Zero” for online bullying and shaming. Lewinsky says before her affair with former President Bill Clinton, the media landscape was quite different. She claims that she was the first person to truly experience online global public shaming, which has now become the norm. Lewinsky notes that she is now working as a social advocate to create a safer and more compassionate social media environment. In the TED Talk, Lewinsky notes that she made a big mistake. However, she questions, “Who didn’t make a mistake at 22?” Lewinsky says that she is constantly reminded of her indiscretion and that she regrets her actions deeply. However, she says that what the media did to her was unprecedented at the time and ultimately set the stage for what was to come in the world in regards to online bullying and public shaming.

“Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of my mistake, and I regret that mistake deeply… In 1998, after having been swept up in an improbable romance, I was then swept up into the eye of a political, legal and media maelstrom like we had never seen before. It was the first time traditional news was usurped by the Internet, a click that reverberated around the whole world.”

Lewinsky says she was “Patient Zero” for the new phenomena of losing a reputation almost instantly via lighting-fast internet news and communications.

“I was Patient Zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously.”

Lewinsky is hoping to now use her unique story to push for a more compassionate social media environment and to help victims of online shaming overcome the obstacles in front of them. What do you think of Monica Lewinsky’s new position as an advocate to end cyber bullying? Is she a good role model for victims of shaming, or is she stepping out into the spotlight now due to Clinton’s name being thrust back into the spotlight?

http://www.inquisitr.com/2045526/monica-lewinsky-calls-herself-patient-zero-for-the-epidemic-of-online-bullying-shaming-video/

at 3:37 am

Belton School District investigating bullying and hurtful emails

Earlier this month, an email received on her school-issued iPad shocked Belton seventh-grader Kersten Laughlin.

“You’re a f—— b—- nobody likes!” it said. The writer also implied that Kersten was so overweight that if she tripped and fell, she was in danger of falling through the floor.

The message appeared to have come from the school district email address of a friend, but that friend denied sending it.

“I called my mom and I was crying so hard, I couldn’t believe it,” said Kersten, who attends Belton Middle School/Freshman Center.

Belton School District officials have launched an investigation into hurtful and bullying emails that several district students have reported receiving through their school email addresses. In each case, the apparent sender denied sending the message.

Administrators think somebody has found a way to send the emails and make them appear as if they are coming from student email accounts.

It’s upsetting to district officials, who have made fighting bullying a priority for several years with measure such as setting up an online system that allows students to report bullying instances discreetly.

And it’s equally troubling that the attacks are coming through district-issued iPads meant to help students work more efficiently and creatively, administrators said.

District technology employees think some of the messages are coming from the same phone.

“The person using that phone can access somebody’s email account if they have an email address and password,” said Superintendent Andrew Underwood.

Underwood added that a student was recently suspended for attempting to disable the school district’s online system.

“We caught him as he was trying to do it,” Underwood said.

In an effort to thwart the middle school bully, administrators have told students to change their iPad passwords, Underwood said.

“We are proactive against bullying in Belton,” he said.

Although young people long have bullied one another, the digital revolution has made new methods available.

About 95 percent of American teenagers are online, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center at Florida Atlantic University. Of those, three-fourths can access the Internet on a mobile device.

Using smartphones or tablets, adolescents not only can send bullying messages but also take photos or videos and upload them for others to see, rate or forward. That allows an ever-larger number of individuals to be involved in the victimization.

In Belton, poor student password security could be contributing to the issue, Underwood said.

Belton students in grades seven through 12 began receiving school district iPads more than two years ago. Students use them to receive assignments from teachers through their school district email addresses.

When students received their iPads last fall, they also received generic passwords for them.

“But some students are still using those generic passwords,” Underwood said. “Our middle school principal has directed that all students be sure to have their passwords changed.”

Some of the cyberbulling in Belton sounds familiar, said one national expert, who thinks poor password security among students has led to the same problems elsewhere.

“Every time I have spoken to a youth audience, one of the questions I have asked is, ‘How many of you know somebody’s password,’ and a majority of hands will go up,” said Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

“I then tell them that whether they do this out of convenience or as an act of bonding between friends, it is a bad idea.”

Middle and high school is a fluid time for friendships, Hinduja said.

“What kids don’t realize is that child and adolescent friendships can turn on a dime, and the next day that friend may be your worst enemy, and then what do you think your worst enemy is going to do with your password?”

It’s also easy for a student to learn four-digit pass codes by watching classmates type them into their digital devices, which may have email or social media applications already up and active, Hinduja said. Then that person can “borrow” the device and send emails under that student’s name.

“Kids are very trusting and can leave their devices on their desk, a lunch table or in the side pocket of a backpack,” he said. “If those kids are already logged on, somebody else can quickly type out a message.”

The Cyberbullying Research Center estimates that about 25 percent of 10,000 young people age 11 through 18 surveyed in recent years reported they had been cyberbullied at least once. About 17 percent admitted to cyberbullying others.

Victims can experience feelings of low self-esteem and academic difficulties.

Kersten first noticed the nasty emails at the first of the month. Her mother, Amy Laughlin, wondered at first if they were an April Fools’ joke.

Since then, her daughter’s friends have received similar emails, Laughlin said. She contacted school district officials.

Another parent told The Star that her son also received an inappropriate email.

In some cases, the person sending the email writes about what students were eating for lunch, who they sat with and what they wore, Laughlin said.

“I feel like I’m a bad parent, sending her to school when she gets these emails in class,” she said. “I almost want to say, ‘Let’s get rid of the iPads,’ but students use them for all of their schoolwork.”

http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article19691835.html

at 3:37 am

Walkers in Taylor battle bullying

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http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2015/04/26/walkers-taylor-battle-bullying/26429353/

April 26, 2015 at 9:37 pm

Holbrook: Who’s the real bully on gay rights?


(CNN) –

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on April 28 in cases that could legalize same-sex marriage across the country.

Conspicuously, traditional powerhouse law firms have declined to argue in favor of same-sex marriage bans but have argued in favor of marriage equality. This dynamic is somewhat surprising, particularly given the high profile of these cases. Lawyers often take on unpopular causes, even those with which they may disagree, because they support the rule of law and believe justice is not a popularity contest. Attorneys do not have to take every client that comes through their door, but there is a strong tradition of lawyers taking on controversial issues, reaching as far back as John Adams representing the British after the Boston Massacre.

Some commentators have suggested the absence of such firms is because those opposed to same-sex marriage have been “bullied into silence” in fear of “retribution.”

Bullying is a powerful term that bears further exploration. Who really has been bullied? Indeed, it is a curious accusation.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community has long had various epithets hurled against its members. There are the well-known “f” and “d” words thrown at those perceived as gay or lesbian, respectively. And, of course, the line “that’s so gay,” which is meant to denigrate something or someone.

But language is just the tip of the iceberg.

Last summer, the Texas Republican Party’s platform endorsed “gay conversion therapy,” a procedure viewed as harmful and useless by psychology experts. In the last six months, a pastor in Arizona published videos suggesting the way to deal with AIDS/HIV under the Bible is to kill gays and lesbians. A lawyer in California even offered a proposal that would legalize the killing of LGBT people. Specifically, it notes that because same-sex relationships are “a monstrous evil that Almighty God … commands us to suppress,” then anyone engaging in same-sex conduct shall “be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

Let’s not pretend that this rhetoric is harmless. Statistics show that LGBT people commit suicide at high rates. Transgender people are frequently victims of violence.

Fortunately, for the most part, public reaction has been to swiftly condemn these comments. Nevertheless, rhetoric like this shows that LGBT opposition has not been silenced. This rhetoric itself is meant to silence. It is bullying.

I am a Christian and have yet to encounter hostility when I publicly declare my faith. That contrasts with a 30-minute tirade I received on an airport shuttle, where my marriage to my husband was compared to animals and otherwise attacked.

Did I acquiesce in silence? Has this bullying silenced the LGBT community? Of course not. The response to bullying is to speak up, not to go quiet.

If those opposed to same-sex marriage feel silenced, then that’s on them. They should ask themselves why they feel silenced. If the silence is because of threats, then that is wrong. But, even then, the reaction is to speak up, as the LGBT community has done.

If, however, the silence is because the arguments against same-sex marriage have been vetted, but rejected, in the public square, then that’s not bullying. Instead it reflects the fact that the nonreligious arguments against marriage equality have failed.

The leading medical associations recognize that LGBT people are as healthy as straight people. Children of same-sex couples develop as well as those in straight families, except for the marginalization they feel because their families are currently treated unequally under the laws of many states.

Federal Judge Richard Posner summarized the arguments against marriage equality as follows: “Heterosexuals get drunk and pregnant, producing unwanted children; their reward is to be allowed to marry. Homosexual couples do not produce unwanted children; their reward is to be denied the right to marry. Go figure.”

The arguments against same-sex marriage ultimately reduce to moral and religiously based objections to homosexuality. The vocal support for LGBT rights is not an effort to silence opposition through bullying. Instead it is a recognition that such morality-based critiques should not be the basis for public policy. Indeed, such advocacy on behalf of certain Christian traditions risks impeding the religious freedoms of other Christian denominations and religions that are inclusive of LGBT people and same-sex marriage.

The suggestion that opposition to same-sex marriage has been silenced due to bullying rings untrue. Instead, the opposition wants to speak without having to encounter a response. That isn’t free speech. Free speech is not speech without consequence or response. Free speech does not provide a platform from which others must only listen.

The arguments against LGBT inclusion have been heard. Increasingly, they are being rejected through considered debate. That is not silencing, and it certainly is not bullying.

Read CNNOpinion’s new Flipboard magazine.

http://www.kesq.com/news/holbrook-whos-the-real-bully-on-gay-rights/32581316

at 3:37 pm

Life of a bully victim: Brittany Arnold (Opinion)

When bullying occurs, schools tell students that they should tell an adult. “We will help you,” they say. But there is a problem with that: Not every student does this. Because of this, schools and parents need to be more involved with their kids and students so that suicides relating to bullying decrease.

I am 17-year-old high school senior. I am on my way to college. I love to smile, laugh and hang out with my friends. On the outside, I seem like a happy, carefree teenager. But on the inside, I am sad and insecure. Everyone has a life that they don’t want people to know.

I have been bullied.

It started in elementary school. Others would tease me about my right eye. They would call me cross-eyed. I wouldn’t react; I would just keep pretending as if their words didn’t hurt me. But in reality, they did.

I always wondered why people didn’t like me. I was just like them.

Sometimes I would be talking to them and they would say, “Who are you looking at?” I would respond, “I’m looking at you.”

It would really hurt my feelings when they said that — however, I never showed the pain or told my mom what was happening to me.

My mom eventually found out, but I don’t know how. Mother’s intuition, I guess.

She took me out of the school. My mom has taken me out of so many schools that I can’t even count or remember the names. I got my first surgery on my eye when I was 9, but the bullying continued. I thought it would be over, but I guess not.

They still called me names. I was hoping middle school would be different, but I was wrong. There were a few times where I thought about suicide.

As a result of the bullying, I always cover my eye with my hair. It is like a security blanket. I know I will have to overcome it, but that’s hard to do.

I know I am far from the only one who experiences bullying. In fact, according to dosomething.org, more than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.

In addition, the article, “A Review of Current Bully Etiology and Why School Bully Interventions Don’t Work,” by Peter Ross, says that programs don’t work because they are a one-time treatment. They talk only about what the student should do when he or she is bullied. The treatments have no longevity.

Schools need to find a better and longer-lasting solutions to bullying.

I acknowledge that there will still be bullying, no matter how hard you try to stop it. Bullying comes in different forms — verbal, mental, physical, emotional — and now it is on the Internet.

According to the article, “An Observational Study of Bullying as a Contributing Factor in Youth Suicide in Toronto,” by Mark Sinyor, Ayal Schaffer, and Amy H. Cheung, bullying is not a cause of suicide, but it is a contributing factor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,600 deaths per year.

Schools should get more involved, and so should the parents. According to the article “The Relationship Between Bullying, Family Functions and Perceived Social Support Among High School Students,” by Mustafa Eşkisu, students who are bullies and who are bullied face a higher risk of family dysfunction and less social support. That means neither bullies nor victims have family or friends to help them feel safe.

Schools should talk more to students and make them feel at home so that students believe they are in a safe place. Parents should talk more with their kids.

Parents may think everything is OK when it is not. I think that if we talk more to our students and kids, it will decrease the number of suicides and improve the general well-being of young people.

So today, parents, ask your kids — and teachers, ask your students — to stop bullying. If it hurts one person, we all hurt.

Brittany Arnold is a senior at St. Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland. She prepared this essay as part of a yearlong social-research project at the school.

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/04/life_of_a_bully_victim_brittan.html

at 3:37 pm

Arc film festival, art display shed light on bullying


ALLENTOWN, Pa. –

A film festival and art display is shedding light on bullying.

The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton counties hosted the festival “This is What Bullying Feels Like” at Muhlenberg College this weekend.

The Arc goes into local schools to help educate students on the dangers of bullying.

Some of the short films they used were part of today’s film festival.

There was also artwork on display by students from preschool to high school that showed their feelings on bullying.

“This program really allows kids to put into their own creative spirit on how bullying has impacted their lives, how inclusion has impacted their lives.,” said Bruce Seidel of The Arc of Lehigh and Northampton counties.

The Arc says it’s working to help change students’ perceptions and attitudes toward students who may have some type of disability.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/arc-film-festival-art-display-shed-light-on-bullying/32578090

at 9:37 am

Some parents say they’re being "bullied" after STAAR opt-out

HOUSTON – Some parents say they’re being “bullied” by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) The reason? Because they decided to opt their children out from taking the state-mandated STAAR test.

Friday was make-up day for kids who missed the STAAR earlier this week, and on Thursday, HISD sent letters home, as a last minute push urging parents to send their kids in to test. But some parents in the ‘opt-out’ movement say the letter pushes too hard.

“Pretty much a quarter of this paper has factual errors,” said HISD parent Ruth Kravetz, looking over the letter with a group of opt-out parents gathered in her living room in the Heights.

The group is protesting. They didn’t send their kids to school this week while STAAR testing was going on. They don’t like how the test factors into teacher evaluations and whether kids move on to the next grade, and say it’s changing the school environment.

“He started having anxiety and he didn’t want to go to school,” said HISD parent Jennifer Ignat, of her son.

But when their kids didn’t go to school this week, letters went home in which HISD says any kid who skips the STAAR will have to go to summer school.

“This is definitely tantamount to bullying. They shouldn’t have done this,” said Kravetz.

Like many parents, Kravetz only opted her kid out of the math portion of the test, which doesn’t factor into grade promotion this year. Standards are rising and the state is giving schools a year to catch up.

“It’s just misinformation,” said Ignat.

Plus, parents have an option to appeal to a ‘Grade Placement Committee’ to have their child’s record reviewed to advance to the next grade.

Claudia De Leon’s son skipped the whole test this year and last. Last year he did a project over the summer and advanced to the next grade. De Leon is upset the letter also threatens to give him a zero, rather than just mark him ‘absent,’ like last year.

“It is intended to intimidate opt-out parents to take the test,” said De Leon.

Kravetz added, “How can you score a test that a child didn’t take, didn’t touch and didn’t see?”

The zero scores could have a negative impact on teacher and school ratings, and that’s one more reason opt-out parents are taking a stand.

“We can make a difference and we can change this,” said Ignat.

An HISD spokesperson told KHOU11 News: “The State of Texas requires students take STAAR; there is no ‘opt-out’ provision. The letter was not intended to be heavy-handed, but we did want to make the process and potential ramifications clear. We want parents to be informed about district and state requirements and aware of the potential negative consequences that may result if students don’t take the test.”

http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2015/04/25/some-parents-say-theyre-being-bullied-after-staar-opt-out/26350383/

at 3:37 am

Cavaliers ignoring Boston’s bullying tactics

  • BOSTON — After LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and even the 7-foot-1, 250-pound Timofey Mozgov were all brought to the floor from fouls by the Boston Celtics during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 103-95 win in Game 3 on Thursday, there was no hiding the Celtics’ game plan.

    The Cavs weren’t going to win without picking up some welts. The Celtics weren’t going to be beaten before giving out some bumps and bruises.

    “I mean, it was physical, it’s the playoffs,” Boston forward Jae Crowder admitted after the game. “Those guys are trying to give us their best punch, and we’re just fighting. So, it’s going to be like that. I felt like the game was physical, but that’s what I expected it to be. That’s what I expect it to be Sunday [in Game 4], as well.”

    Despite Crowder’s copping to the Celtics’ plan — he later used the word “physical” seven times during a 14-second answer about his defense on James in particular — Cleveland is refusing to even acknowledge Boston’s aggressive attack.

    Irving was asked following Game 3 if any of the fouls were over the top and responded, bluntly, “What fouls?”

    Prior to practice Saturday, Cavs coach David Blatt was asked if he expected there to be as much chippiness in Game 4 as there was in Game 3, and he had a very similar response as his point guard did. “Was that chippy, last game?” Blatt said, responding to the question with a question. “It’s playoff basketball. We’re not feeling anything unusual or different.”

    The reporter followed up, challenging Blatt by mentioning the referees had to review three fouls in the second quarter alone to determine whether they were flagrant or not, and the coach remained steadfast.

    “I’ve seen it before,” Blatt said. “We’ve seen it before.”

    Crowder said that being physical with James is “the best way to go at him,” which might be true, but it’s a difficult line to toe. The Celtics have been whistled for 11 more fouls than the Cavs have through the first three games. None were more costly than the offensive foul that Crowder picked up from bowling over James in the lane while jostling for position away from the ball with 1:52 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 3.

    Boston trailed by six at the time, and the offensive foul wasted the possession before the Celtics could even get a shot off.

    “We want to play physical, as well, but we want to play basketball,” James said after Game 3. “The only thing that matters for us is trying to get a win.”

    James said the Cavs are prepping their brains just as much as their bodies as they go for the potential sweep on Sunday.

    “It’s just how your mind is,” James said before practice Saturday. “If your mind is strong, it doesn’t matter how physical the game is. You just mentally be in tune with the game plan, understand what you need to do mentally to help your team win and you’ll be all right.”

    Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that a Blatt-coached team wouldn’t want to dignify Boston’s bullying tactics with a response. After all, the NBA playoffs are like a trip to Club Med compared to what he went through overseas when titles were at stake.

    “I’ve been hit in the head by a few thrown objects in my day when you’re in the middle, in the midst of coaching,” Blatt said Saturday. “You don’t see a whole lot of that here. It’s different [overseas]. It’s much more aggressive and personal. But fun.”

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/cleveland-cavaliers/post/_/id/773/cavaliers-ignoring-bostons-bullying-tactics

    April 25, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Questions raised after stage collapses at Indiana high school

    Posted by in School

    A superintendent of an Indiana school district, where a stage collapse injured 16 high school students, said Friday the section that gave way was only a few years old, but it was not clear whether it was ever subject to inspection.

    The concerns surrounding the regulation of the orchestra pit cover that collapsed during Thursday night’s musical at Westfield High School is reminiscent of questions that arose in 2011 when winds toppled a state rigging onto fans awaiting a performance by Sugarland at the Indiana State Fair.

    Seven people were killed and dozens were injured in the collapse, which sparked new state rules on temporary, outdoor state rigging equipment. Thursday’s collapse was not deadly and all of the students who were injured were out of the hospital by Friday afternoon.

    John Erickson, a spokesman for the state’s Department of Homeland Security, said the state rules adopted after the fair rigging collapse do not apply to the type of indoor stages found in schools. He said it was unclear whether inspections of public school stages are required under any state rules.

    “It does not look like plans were required to be filed” for the stage at the school, Erickson said.

    Westfield Washington Schools Superintendent Mark Keen said he wasn’t sure who, if anyone, handles inspections of the district’s school stages. He said school officials are delving into records and will provide information to investigators.

    The stage collapsed Thursday night as clapping and singing students performed Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” in the finale of a concert called “American Pie.” Video shows students plummeting out of sight before the music cuts off and screams are heard.

    Westfield police Capt. Charles Hollowell said Friday that the injured students only suffered minor injuries and were “doing really well.” One student who was thought to have suffered a serious injury was fine and was the last student released from the hospital.

    The auditorium remained closed Friday except to investigators.

     The State Fire Marshal’s office, Indiana State Police and Indiana’s workplace-safety agency were investigating. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement that they would “make every effort to prevent this or worse from happening in the future.”

    Keen said the school often rents its auditorium to outside groups and the facility gets heavy use. He said the orchestra pit cover, which is used during some productions to get the performers closer to the audience, was replaced a few years ago after the original 1997 cover was damaged.

    He said officials were checking records to determine whether it had ever been inspected.

    “I know we have records when they come in and inspect our football bleachers and when they inspect the gymnasium bleachers and so we’re trying to find if there are inspection reports on (the pit cover) as well,” Keen said.

    J.T. Coopman, executive director of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents, said he expected the accident to “jolt people into action” at schools statewide to review the safety of stages.

    “That would be the direction that I would be giving my maintenance staff: ‘Do we have a structure like this? How often do we inspect it? Are we sure that it’s absolutely safe before we use it?'” he said.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/04/25/questions-raised-after-stage-collapses-at-indiana-high-school/

    at 9:38 pm

    Michigan girl, 12, kicked out of school after missing too many days of class …

    Posted by in School

    A 12-year-old girl who fought off cancer has been kicked out of school because she did not attend enough classes while she was having treatment.

    Rose McGrath from Battle Creek, Michigan, who has been receiving lengthy treatment since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, was recently told she could no longer attend St. Joseph’s Middle School, reports WWMT.

    The private Catholic school cited her low attendance record and poor academic performance.

    “I didn’t do anything wrong, but they still got rid of me,” a tearful Rose said.

    The letter said that the school had tried to reduce Rose’s workload.

    “They were extraordinary circumstances, but so many accommodations were made we felt eventually it became a point where we really had to help Rose, by being able to make sure that she was getting the assistance that she needed and to learn,” said Battle Creek’s Father John Fleckenstein.

    Rose McGrath from Battle Creek, Mich., who was receiving treatment since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, was recently told she could no longer attend St. Joseph's Middle School.WWMT

    Rose McGrath from Battle Creek, Mich., who was receiving treatment since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, was recently told she could no longer attend St. Joseph’s Middle School.

    The Catholic school said that Rose's low attendance record and poor acedemic performance were reasons why she was being dismissed from the school.WWMT

    The Catholic school said that Rose’s low attendance record and poor acedemic performance were reasons why she was being dismissed from the school.

    • Rose McGrath from Battle Creek, Mich., who has been receiving lengthy treatment since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2012, was recently told she could no longer attend St. Joseph's Middle School.
    • Rose McGrath from Battle Creek, Michigan, who has been receiving lengthy treatment since being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012, was recently told she could no longer attend St Joseph's Middle School, reports WWMT.

    Enlarge

    But Rose’s family say the school have not done nearly enough.

    Her father Tom said the provisions made for Rose were “woefully inadequate.”

    Mom Barbara said: “It’s not like she’s out at the mall having fun, she’s in her bed, sick with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain. She’s not having fun, she’s sick. She’d be at school if she could.”

    The McGraths have filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.

    Rose is no longer receiving cancer treatment.

    Related Stories Single Marijuana leafVa. boy, 11, suspended for leaf that resembles pot but isn’t

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mich-girl-missed-school-cancer-treatment-kicked-article-1.2198576

    at 9:37 pm

    Female soldiers cut off hair to meet Ranger School rule

    Posted by in School

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    Just like their male counterparts, female soldiers attending Ranger School are sporting short haircuts.

    Nineteen women on Monday started the one-time, integrated assessment at the Army’s two-month Ranger School.

    The assessment is part of a wider effort to determine whether and how to open combat arms jobs to women, and it is a first for the storied Ranger School, which until now has been open only to men.

    “The standard for the Ranger course is for students to have the shortest haircut authorized by AR 670-1,” said Col. William Butler, deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Infantry School.

    The short hair is “for hygiene,” making it easier to find ticks, and for uniformity, Butler said.

    For men, the standard is a buzzed haircut using clippers with no guard.

    The standard for women is defined as “hair length that extends no more than one inch from the scalp (excluding bangs), according to Butler, citing Army Regulation 670-1, which is the Army’s appearance regulation.

    The women’s hair may be no shorter than one-quarter inch from the scalp, but may be evenly tapered to the scalp within two inches of the hair line edges, according to AR 670-1.

    Bangs, if any, may not fall below the eyebrows and may extend to the hairline at the temple, Butler said.

    By Thursday, the end of RAP week, eight women and 184 men remained in the Ranger course, officials at Fort Benning said.

    RAP, which stands for Ranger Assessment Phase, spans the first four days of Ranger School. During this time, soldiers are evaluated on a series of punishing physical events, including a physical fitness test, a swim test and a land navigation test. Students also must complete a 12-mile foot march wearing a 35-pound rucksack in under three hours.

    A total of 19 female and 381 male soldiers started the two-month Ranger School Monday.

    This is the first time women have been allowed to attend Ranger School.

    To prepare, officials had to look at everything from accommodations to personal hygiene.

    The Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, which runs Ranger School, even updated its packing list for students to include several items specific for female students. They include feminine wipes, sports bras, cotton underwear, pads or tampons, and a female urinary diversion device, or FUDD.

    With use of a FUDD, a female soldier in the field can urinate more discreetly while standing and with minimal undressing.

    The Army, through a careful selection process, also tapped more than two dozen female noncommissioned officers and officers to serve as observer/advisers. These soldiers were selected to work alongside the Ranger instructors and serve as extra eyes and ears and as a sounding board for the all-male cadre. The women will not evaluate or grade Ranger School students.

    http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/careers/army/2015/04/24/women-ranger-school-haircuts/26265435/