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This open letter was initiated in Wakefield, Yorkshire.
It has already got the support of the following people:
Julie Craig, Head teacher The King’s High School, Wakefield
Kai Sheldrake, Head of English Carleton Community High School, Pontefract
Sally Kincaid, NUT Secretary Wakefield NUT
Fiona Millar, education journalist
Michael Rosen, Children’s author
Prof. Gus John, Education Consultant and Associate Professor, Institute of Education.
Dr. Lee Jerome Head of Initial Teacher Education, London Metropolitan University
Prof. Ken Jones Professor of Education, Goldsmiths University of London
Christine Blower, General Secretary NUT
Mary Bousted, General Secretary ATL
Sally Hunt, General Secretary UCU
Please add your name and circulate far and wide.
For further information please contact 07904296701
The consequences of school violence that subvert the academic purposes of schooling include school avoidance, diminished ability to focus on academic pursuits, internalizing psychological problems such as depression and social anxiety, fearfulness among teachers and other school personnel, increased aggression and weapon carrying in the guise of self-defense, and the acceptance of violence as a reasonable form of conflict resolution (Elliott, Hamburg, &Williams, 1998; Hawker & Boulton, 2000).
Nevertheless, administrators and teachers devote the bulk of their time overseeing efforts designed to raise test scores, meeting an increasing array of mandates and regulations, and balancing their budgets (Ableser, 2003; G. D. Gottfredson et al., 2000).
Consequently, a vast number of school administrators are adopting inadequate “quick-fix” solutions to stem violence in their schools: suspension or expelling of large numbers of disruptive students, electronic security measures, and/or a single circumscribed psychosocial program (U.S. Department of Education [USDE], 2000).
THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE
Interpersonal violence or direct violence is defined as “behavior by persons against persons that intentionally threatens, attempts, or actually inflicts physical harm” (Reiss & Roth, 1993, p. 35).
Less serious forms of violence are generally classified as aggressive behavior, which include targeted verbal, physical, or gestural behavior that is intended to cause minor physical harm, psychological distress, intimidation, or to induce fear (Loeber & Stouthamer-Loeber, 1998).
Aggression can also be manifested through indirect forms of hostility such as spreading nasty rumors and social ostracizing (Crick & Bigbee, 1998). Generally, less serious forms of violence invariably precede more serious forms of violence. This dynamic is manifested in event sequences (e.g., inadvertent bumps or verbal slights can escalate into more serious forms of violence) as well as ontogenetically from childhood to adolescence (the pushes and shoves of elementary school children turn into vicious fights during adolescence).
A central goal of U.S. social welfare policy is to ensure that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential as productive adults. Yet it is increasingly clear that where children live plays a central role in determining their life chances. Children growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods, with extreme levels of racial and economic segregation and inadequate public services—police, schools, sanitation, grocery stores—are at risk for a range of negative outcomes, including poor physical and mental health, cognitive delays, risky sexual behavior, and delinquency (Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn 2000; Leventhal, Dupéré and Brooks-Gunn 2009; Sampson, Morenoff, and Gannon-Rowley 2002; Sampson et al. 2007).
The consequences for these children’s life chances—and for society—are severe: they are more likely than those who grow up in less distressed communities to drop out of high school, get involved in gangs, become teen parents, and less likely to be employed when they reach adulthood (Johnson 2009).
Despite the importance of place, there has been comparatively little research on the ways that the neighborhoods where children live affect their transitions to adulthood or on the characteristics other than poverty that might influence their development. Even fewer programs or policies have tried to address the community mechanisms that might be causing such bad outcomes. Rather, the majority of research and policy attention concentrates on the individual child, the child’s family, and school settings, touching on many points along the path to adulthood, beginning with pregnancy planning, and continuing through pre- and postnatal care, early childhood development, schooling, and the myriad challenges confronting adolescents as they transition into adulthood.
As a result, policies aimed at helping disadvantaged children and youth tend to focus on individual families and children and on school-based reforms. Even the highly regarded Harlem Children’s Zone, which does aim to address multiple dimensions of the broader community, has as its core a state-of-the-art charter school program (Tough 2008). The Urban Institute’s Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development is dedicated to filling this gap in research and policy knowledge, focusing on understanding the relationships between neighborhood-level factors and the well-being and development of children and youth and identifying and evaluating place-based, community-wide strategies to help children grow up to reach their full potential as adults (Page 2; The Urban Institute’s Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development: Understanding How Place Matters for Kids; Susan J. Popkin, Director; Gregory Acs; Robin Smith).
What Can Be Done On A Greater Scale:
During the past 10 years, a large and growing body of evaluation research has documented and described a wide range of effective violence and school violence prevention programs, and a growing number of federal agencies, including the Department of Education, have restricted funding to promising or evidence-based programs.
In some elementary/middle schools not many within the NYC Board of Education there are Substance Abuse Prevention Intervention Specialist (SAPIS) and in some Secondary/High Schools there is the SPARK program. Both programs provide age appropriate, services for student and families with prevention and interventsion services to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors. The services are not limited to: Individual, groups, family and crisis counseling; classroom presentation on various topics, social skills groups and/or when necessary, referrals for professional services.
Australia is a Commonwealth Realm under the sovereignty of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title as Queen of Australia. As Australian Subjects to Her Majesty, it is our duty, and responsability to honor and serve Her Majesty.
One of the ways in which Her Majesty may be honoured is through the Education system. Schools may have the swearing of the oath of allegiance at assemblies, and/or hand a portrait of Her Majesty in one, or more significant areas in the school grounds. The singing of God save the Queen once a week as a school could also be introduced.
The Australian state of New South Wales has wisely begun to re-introduce these traditions, and it can be expected that as the spirit of the monarchy flows through the hearts of many in this year of Jubilee, that others will feel the need for their state/territory to follow in NSW's footsteps.
My daughter has just finished her 5th grade year at Lincoln School of Excellence with the Forrest City School District in Forrest City, AR.
Since September 2011 my daughter has been the subject of several and continued bullying, physical intimidation, physical assault, threats, harassment as well as her personal property stolen and destroyed.
We have gone back in forth with the School Building Administrators as well as the District Superintendent to no avail. My daughter had even reported that while being chased to the school bus she stopped and begged Mr. Brown the School Resource Officer to help her and his only response to her was to go tell someone who was still on the clock.
Ms. Taylor the school Principal made excuses for this behavior and the Mr. Woods, the Superintendent did nothing. A group of three little girls lured my daughter out of her classroom by another student and was standing down the hall waiting to physically attack her. The school did nothing regarding this. These same students stole her backpack, emptied its contents in the toilet and stomped on her brand new glasses. Again the school told us there was nothing they could do or enforce in this matter.
My daughter has been petrified to attend school; Ms. White the Vice Principal told my mother that the school could not protect my daughter. We went and filed charges and had these girls and their parents served with bullying, harassment and destruction of property, however Fletcher Long (St. Francis County Prosecutor) and his Deputy, Christopher Morledge refused to prosecute stating repeatedly that is was a school matter and it was not their job to govern the schools.
Christopher Morledge even told me that bullying was not against the law and proceeded to tell me once I get my law degree I can quote the law to him. Once I found the statue for the Bullying law he then told me it was not a criminal offense and that students can do it all day long and its not enforced. I asked Mr. Morledge does he have the choice to prosecute to which he said yes, but quickly stated he declines to do so.
Our schools are getting budget cuts. Which means classes will be getting cut to save money. We could have two teachers teaching per class and classes with more then 40 people. We will be getting rid of a bunch of teachers also.
We need you guys to sign this help us keep our classes the same.
By signing this petition you would be helping the city of St.Louis save thousands of plastic bottles per month per school from being used.
Here's why thats important:
-Plastic bottles hurt the environment
-Up to 70% of plastic bottles go to the landfill and do not get recycled
-Alot of plastic bottles end up in our streams and oceans
-Several studies have been done where plastics have been found in the digestive tracts of sea creatures
-Americans consume enough plastic bottles in one year to circle the globe 5 times
-Schools that have inserted hydration stations have saved up to 7 thousand bottles from being purchased in one month
St.Louis has been named one of the top cities in the United States with clean, good tasting tap water. By stop the selling of plastic bottles in schools and inserting hydration stations you will be benefiting the schools, the children and the community from excess waste.
I believe that if the schools supplied bottles for sale for the hydration stations that the station will eventually pay for itself.
Even in 2012, physically disabled, learning disabled, emotionally troubled and chronically ill children are still educated in separate schools, with just 13% of those pupils attending mainstream public schools, compared to Western Europe's 79%.
Local Sonoma County events have been reduce greatly in the recent years and we would like to help establish a yearly festival that will give to the community and everyone whom participates in the event.
Our thoughts/desire concerning this event include showcasing local talent in order to inspire collaboration and teamwork of up and coming production teams to give back to the music community and the people involved. In additional to help all those involved we would like to take a percentage of all proceeds obtained from the event and distribute it into the local economy such as the schools and social assistance programs.
We want to better our community and combining the local talent will help to bring about additional opportunities for everyone involved in the event. Whether it be new connections, new associates, additional tourism and external revenue can be brought into our local economy. This will help to assist each member involved as well as every in the local area.
Addressing an audience of diplomats in Geneva, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton called for the rights of gay people to be respected.
"Gay people are born into and belong to every society in the world," Mrs Clinton said.
"Being gay is not a Western invention. It is a human reality."Reacting angrily to Mrs Clinton's speech, Ugandan presidential adviser John Nagenda told the BBC: "That fellow [Mr Cameron] said the same thing. Now this woman [Clinton] is interfering.
"If the Americans think they can tell us what to do, they can go to hell."
Uganda is a staunch ally of the US, receiving military assistance to fight a local rebel group - the Lord's Resistance Army - and has sent troops to Somalia to fight the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group.
Mr Nagenda said Uganda would continue to co-operate with the US on security and other issues, but added: "If they are childish enough to take away aid, we'll see what we do [in response]."
On 6th September 2011, the executive of Lincolnshire County Council will meet to sign off a policy that will encourage ALL schools in the county to become academies with a private organisation, CFBT, as sponsor. Save Lincolnshire Schools strongly opposes this move for the following reasons,
a) it removes schools from the ownership and accountability of local communities. Locally elected politicians will no longer have responsibility for schools. Any difficulties parents have with their child's education will be dealt with by Whitehall, not the local authority.
b) CfBT already run the Schools Improvement Service on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council. The head of CfBT in Lincolnshire, Andy Breckon, is also a council officer. Save Lincolnshire Schools consider this to be a direct conflict of interest.
c) Lincolnshire County Council have no plans for a county wide consultation with schools or parents. This policy, if implemented, will privatise the entire education system in Lincolnshire with no regard to the wishes and views of parents, children, or teachers.
We call on Lincolnshire County Council to implement a full and proper consultation within the county about the academies programme and the future of education in Lincolnshire. We believe that only through an informed, open and public debate can a way forward be found that meets the educational needs of children in the county.
Clay County Board of Education to sell old school buildings to the highest bidder. In some cases these buildings are in great danger of being knocked down and sold for scrap.
These buildings are important to our communities. We believe that without honoring the past, we lose something important as a people.
We want to make room for economic growth while maintaining our cultural heritage.
The Tasmanian Government announced in the 2011 - 2012 State budget that it intends to directly cut funding to Tasmanian Catholic schools by 5%.
Further to this, because the Tasmanian Department of Education is facing significant budget cuts as a whole, the flow on effect to Tasmanian Catholic schools will potentially be ANOTHER 5%.
This means parents, grandparents and carers may face significant school fee increases.
This could amount to 10 - 14% school fee INCREASES in real terms.
Please support the Tasmanian Catholic Parents and Friends Federation by sending a clear message to the Tasmanian Minister for Education and Skills, Hon. Nick McKim that breaking the funding agreement (1998) on state support to the Tasmanian Catholic education sector is not only UNFAIR it will be political suicide for both Labor and the Greens.
Parents that send their children to a Catholic school actually save the Tasmanian government $5512 based on recurrent expenditure per student (Report on Government Services 2007 - 08).
Fee increases this significant could result in potentially Catholic school families moving their children to the State school system, creating even great financial strain on the Department of Education.
Damian von Samorzewski
Tasmanian Catholic School Parents & Friends Federation
Mercer County Schools have become a haven for those who choose to bully and show aggression, be it physical, verbal or otherwise. Many children have been affected by this problem.
It is no coincidence that the graduation rates of children in Special education and lower socio-economic status are lower across the board in Mercer County. These groups are known targets for bullies since they are not totally mainstream and have issues before they even get through the school doors.
The fact is there is no program to prevent or stop bullying. Most schools do not even have a guidance program for elementary children. Steps must be taken to stop bullying in Mercer County Schools.
Please support this as it can help everyone and hurt no one. The cuts are due to the debts caused by the banks failing and they are hurting society in a very serious manner.
The banks failed in their own eyes and by their own standards. Yet we are bailing them out at great expense and harm to ourselves. Our social infrastructure and societys across the world are being harmed. It is not necessary. If we Drop The Debt no lives will be lost no one will die and no buildings will disappear.
These debts are just marks on a piece of paper, cyphers in a computer. The Banks dont have and never did have the money we are paying them, they cant loose what they never had. As we pay the debt we harm every school and hospital every social structure and every family and every job. No one is free of the harm. They did not have the money they are asking us to repay. So if they didn't have it, why are we paying it back?
No matter what wealth is, its in the people and their work, not the banks, but when these said banks bankrupt themselves, one way or another, we get to pay. Their wealth is our work. Now their "fictional" debts are paid with our real work and lives. Economics is not like physics or chemistry, it is not a science. It is invented and shaped only by humans. We can shape it any way we want. If the nature of our economics is hurting us then we can simply change the nature of those economics. We have that power.
Banks wont be damaged by Dropping The Debt because to the banks the wealth is virtual, it is flickers on a screen, not like a house or food or cars or anything real, produced by work. They will not loose anything they actually had. No houses will disappear, no schools will close, no roads will go un-fixed, Nothing real would be lost. So when the banks change society for the worse because they messed up we could simply Drop The Debt. Remember wealth is not created by the banks but by people, by our work. The banks only create debt.
Banks are a private business. They exist to, and do, make vast profits for themselves at our expense. If they mess up its nothing to do with us. We owe them no loyalty. We should not be hurting society to give them "back" money that they never actually had. We can change that. So I urge you to Drop The Debt.
We did it before with third world countries and it worked very well, no one died, and lives were improved across the globe. Lets do it again.
Please support this as it can help everyone and hurt no one.
Hello, my name is Rob Tinkler and I have set up Facebook page ‘Local schools for local kids’ as a support group for parents unhappy with the places and schools that they have been offered in the local school admissions allocations.
On Friday 6th May 2011 we held a public meeting to discuss the matter and push for a solution by September’s entrance date.
In attendance were local councillors Jon Rogers, Gus Hoyt, Clare Campion- Smith and the council officer responsible for school admissions Mick Brannigan ( Service Manager; Capital, Assets and Access) as well as approximately 25 parents.
A lot of issues and possible solutions were discussed (I enclose a copy of the minutes from the meeting) the general consensus was that St. Werburghs and the local area needed another school in order to provide local schooling for local children.
The Windsor-Essex District Catholic School Board made a decision April 12 to close the school libraries without consulting the parents or students or any debate.
This decision was made in-camera by four trustees and administration.
According to the Director Picard "the students do not use the materials in the library." He is unaware of that the Librarians expertise in electronic information and information skills have become more critical than ever before. The librarians also help students learn to critically evaluate materials and to use information ethically not just hand out books.
Schools with libraries average 10-20% higher grades.
Read more: http://www.windsorstar.com/Secret+vote+libraries+draws+fire/4768744/story.html#ixzz1MFKt40kY
- Rancho is a successful school of choice with some of the highest test scores in the county and state and has a track record for preparing its students with a solid foundation for middle and high school.
- Rancho is the most cost effective school in the district and keeps students enrolled in the district, protecting funding for NUSD.
- Rancho has attracted more students than it's capacity allows. For the past 20 years there have been 300 to 400 students on the wait list.
- Rancho’s lottery process is transparent and equitable. Making any changes to the process will not only be an expensive prospect but will create confusion and bureaucracy that will disenfranchise the very people we hope to protect.
- Achievement and intention create success, not averaging and boundaries.
Some parents don’t feel safe with their kids carrying around a lot of money, and they would rather their kids carry debit cards around. In many situations students have to pay fees, sometimes using checks and in return sometimes bounces.
An atm machine can limit the usage of checks,so our school wouldn’t have to worry about losing money. The transaction fee will be approx. $ 1.50. $1.25 going towards the school and the .25 going towards maintenance. After its paid off the money would go towards student activities. Which would definitely save a lot of people a lot of money.
An atm machine will also teach students how to manage money and familiarize them with the machine before going into the real world.
On average, producers are able to sell only 20% of their output through Fairtrade channels; the rest of it still goes to the ordinary market...thus proving the need for us to buy more products of this nature.
Our petition demands for more Fairtrade products to be sold on our supermarket shelves, regardless of cost, and for more of these products to be available in local schools in order to encourage their sale and set an example for future generations.
Schools are constantly having problems with headlice. Over the past 3 years i have had nothing but problems with trying to treat my kids hair, since they have taken the nit nurse out of schools the problem has got worse.
There are parents who don't check their kids hair and because of it the problem has got worse for 2 years I was spending £30 a week on the lotion for both of my children they were going back to school clear then coming home the same day with lice again bring back the nit nurse to find the culprits who are not checking their children's hair.
The leaderships of the secondary schools in the London Borough of Sutton are moving towards a mass conversion to academy status in the near future. The government is enticing schools to convert with ideas such as freedom over budgets, policies, extra funding.
These are assurances with caveats, offers with small print, and there is a real and severe risk that the quality of education for children in the Borough will suffer now and in the future if these conversions go ahead. Conversion does not assure a school's future, it places overall control in the hands of central government and removes all local accountability.
Being restricted from showing the ones you care about affection is wrong. Human beings thrive on one another to survive, we need affection to live.
Having that taken away and not being given a legitimate excuse as to why it is being taken away, is a violation of our rights.
"Stand ready to challenge any schools or councils that say 'bah, humbug' to a bit of festive fun."
I didn't write the above headline, it was said by the UK government's Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.The full quote is: ""Armed with our guidance, parents should feel free to snap away this Christmas and stand ready to challenge any schools or councils that say 'bah, humbug' to a bit of festive fun."
It remains to be seen whether or not this official response will finally end the annual spate of incidents where frustrated parents are bullied into not recording their children performing in school plays by condescending school staff.
Data Protection Act. The reasons given by a very small number of schools for banning photography and video recording by parents at school performances have varied, but Commissioner Graham was responding specifically to the excuse that schools were taking action to avoid breaching the Data Protection Act, for which Graham is the official watchdog.
A number of schools had argued that as adopted and fostered children were in their care during school time, that they risked breaching the Data Protection Act by permitting parents from photographing their own children at school. Commissioner Graham has unequivocally stated that schools do not risk breaching the Data Protection Act in this way. He said: "Having a child perform at a school play or a festive concert is a very proud moment for parents and is understandably a memory that many want to capture on camera. It is disappointing to hear that the myth that such photos are forbidden by the Data Protection Act still prevails in some schools."
He added: "A common sense approach is needed. Clearly, photographs simply taken for a family album are exempt from data protection laws."
Threat of arrest. Most of us may wonder what all the fuss is about as we have not experienced such narrow-minded impositions at the schools of our own children. But only recently news emerged of a parent who, in 2007, was threatened with arrest by police as he arrived at his daughter's school if he proceeded to break the school's ban on photography at a nativity play. The same school in Leicestershire still has the ban in place, although photographs can be taken after the performance is completed.
The school's head defended the ban, which was brought in at the request of some parents who didn't want their children photographed, and claimed that it accommodated both these parents and those who did want to take photos. The question has to be asked, if you don't want your children photographed at events like this, why? Indeed, why allow your children to be seen be other parents full stop?
Copyright. A few years ago there was a suggestion that video recording and still photography would be banned during a play being performed at the primary school our children attended. It was only a concern about copyright because the school had licensed a commercially supplied play. But by seeking clarification from the publishers of the play it was clear that photographs or recording made for personal, non-commercial, viewing, did not constitute a breach of copyright.
Official school guidance is that photography during school plays should be permitted. If there are genuine concerns from parents about the security of their children in the face of an audience of parents snapping their own kids during the Christmas nativity play, then it's that problem that needs to be addressed. Banning cameras is certainly not the answer, and it looks like that's now official.
Scoliosis is a severe curve to the spine. Little of the population know about scoliosis so aswell as raising awareness I am trying to make the number of severe cases in scoliosis drop by spotting the condition early by having checks in UK schools.
Usually scoliosis leads to a serious operation when the curve becomes to big injuring your heart and lungs, However the number of cases of people having the operation could drop if the new scheme was to take place
Classroom Assistants and Clerical Staff were called to a meeting today with their Head teachers today (9th February 2011) and we were advised that we should be aware of the next set of job cuts to come from Fife Council. We were told to expect cuts in our hours, and a possibility of redundancies.
So once again education is being hit hard. First the playground supervisors, now lollipop men/women, classroom assistants and clerical staff but, who is it that is going to suffer? Not the powers that be at Fife Council who are making all these decisions but the children. Do the people who make these decisions have any idea how a school is run and just how much support staff are required to run the school effectively? Have they come in and shadowed a classroom assistant to see what their role entails?
Gone are the days of cleaning out paint pots. I personally feel we make a huge difference in schools. Why not ask the Head teachers and the teachers to see how they would feel if they lost the support of their classroom assistant. I also urge parents to question this decision because it's their children who will not be getting the extra support that some of them may require to keep them on task. We don't want to go back years ago when children just slipped through the net because there was not enough staff to support the needs of the school.
We work with children of all abilities including the same children that a Pupil Support 2 works with (who are on a higher grade) but I do it because that is what the needs of my school are and at the end of the day we are there to support the teacher and the pupils.
Poway High School and many other schools have a serious drug problem with our students. One way to help control it is too establish boundaries. Playing sports at any high school should be a privilege.
We have set rules on maintaining good grades to be able to remain on a team and with that comes report cards to keep that rule in place. We also ask our students to sign a sports contract to comply with being drug free but we have no system in place making sure that contract is upheld.
Mandatory drug testing through out the season in each sport is necessary to insure our athletes are remaining drug free and with that comes severe consequences for athletes who are not upholding that contract.
Lately, schools across the country do not allow you to wear a religious piece of jewelry or have and right to speak your religion in school.
Any student should be allowed to express their religious right.
The new Maiden Erlegh catchment for Lower Earley seems great in principle. However the school will be at least 30 places short each year - those children will need to walk upto 3 miles to Bulmershe school.
We propose that The Forest school - less than 1 mile from Lower Earley, shares the catchment with Maiden Erlegh. Although boys only, its results and approach would attract enough boys from Lower Earley to create spaces for our girls at Maiden Erlegh.
Currently Forest and Holt are treated as a shared catchment, which makes little sense as they are miles apart. When oversubscribed 'radial distance' is used to decide who is successful in gaining a place at each school. This radial distance is not taken from a mid point - but the exact location of each school (highlighing that they do not service their current catchments equally).
Argyll and Bute Council is proposing to close Kilmodan School in the Clachan of Glendaruel. This proposal will deleterious affect our children's future and the future of the glen. If the school goes, we will lose services and amenities.
Within state schools in Scotland there is a promotion of specific religions (dependent on the school) above others or irreligion. My belief is that there should be laws in place to prevent an unbalanced religious education for the children of Scotland as it goes against a diverse religious society in Scotland. Those who wish to follow their religion should do it in their own time and if they must during school day, they should make the choice to remove themselves from the class to do so.
To force those who don't wish to be part of a religious observance to leave the educational environment is discriminatory and ostracising against someone who has not made a religious choice at all.
Despite the majority of the country coming from Christian families, this does not mean we are a purely Christian country, 40% of the country follow no religion at all. Even if we are a 'Christian country' there is no reason for our faith to permeate into the educational system unless it is in a fair and balanced learning environment.