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Smut or Shakespeare: Kansas Senate Defines What’s Appropriate for the Classroom

If you’re a student (or know a student) in Kansas, major changes may be coming to your curriculum. The state’s Senate has recently passed a bill (SB56) removing legal protections for educators in schools for using curriculum methods that may be viewed as harmful to minors. However, the legislation did not remove the same protections for educators at colleges and universities.

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Seen by supporters as a way to protect minors from “offensive content,” the measure gained traction after a poster in a Johnson County middle school spurred some parents’ ire. The poster, displayed as part of sex-education curriculum, asked the question “How do people express their sexual feelings?” Answers to that question included intercourse and anal sex. None of the answers to the question were depicted in any way on the poster other than with words. Some parents were offended by the posters’ content, and it was removed by the school.

The tide then turned to other materials which some could consider inappropriate, culminating in the bill passing in the Kansas Senate. It will now go to the state’s House of Representatives. The bill would allow for teachers, principals and other educators to be charged with misdemeanors for disseminating and/or displaying materials determined to be harmful to minors.

Nathan Whitman, educator from Burrton High School in Kansas, helped clear up exactly what the “offensive content” would be. He said, “inappropriate content called ‘harmful to minors’ as defined by SB56 is ‘any description, exhibition, presentation or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse when the material or performance, taken as a whole or, with respect to prosecution for an act described by subsection (a)(1), that…the average adult person…find[s]…[appeals to a] prurient interest in sex to minors[;]…depicts or describes nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse in a manner that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community[;]…lacks serious literary, scientific, educational, artistic or political value.'”

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Does Texting Affect High School Students’ Grammar?

High school students use the least amount of words to send text messages. BTW (by the way,) IDK ( I don’t know,) or TTYL (talk to you later) are just a few abbreviated phrases text speakers use to get their text message across.

Finding out ways to communicate by using as little words as possible is an efficient way to communicate with buds. However, teachers are finding out that this chat-room lingo is making its way into the classroom.

“I think that students don’t even realize that they’re doing it,” said Allie Sakowicz, a senior at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill. “When we’re using all this social media we’re not thinking about spelling words right, so naturally that’s going to translate into the classroom.”

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Dean Koontz Education Background

dean koontzBest-selling author Dean Koontz was born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania. He was the only child born to Ray and Florence Koontz, and grew up in abject poverty in the rural town of Bedford, Pennsylvania in the south central part of the state.

After graduation from high school, Dean left home and attended Shippensburg State College, which is now Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. While at Shippensburg, Dean majored in English and had a minor in communications. He also won a coveted award from Atlantic Monthly for Creative Writing while a student; no other student from Shippensburg had ever earned that honor. Also during his college years, he kept up his relationship with his high school sweetheart, Gerda Ann Cerra, and they married upon his college graduation in 1967. Read the rest of this entry »



College Offers Zombie Apocalypse Class

zombieCan you imagine walking into class the first day of school and listening to your professor teaching you how to survive a zombie apocalypse?  Well, if you had enrolled in English 333 at the University of Baltimore, also known as “Zombie 101,” then this is exactly what you would be taking notes on.

Obviously, (hopefully) there is not going to be a real zombie apocalypse, and you don’t need to know the proper technique to kill one, but the class isn’t a complete joke, either.

“It serves as a back door into a lot of subjects,” explains Jonathan Shorr, chairman of the University’s School of communications design. “[Students] think they’re taking this wacko zombie course, and they are. But on the way, they learn how literature and mass media work, and how they come to reflect our times.” Read the rest of this entry »



Where Will Justin Bieber Go to College?

justin bieberSure, he can’t drive because he does not have his driver’s license yet, but Justin Bieber is a cutie pie!

What girl does smile a little – even if it’s only on the inside – when she hears Bieber croon that he wants to tell her he loves her? His music sickeningly sweet, but man, it’s one of my biggest guilty pleasures.

Sure, most 15-year-old boys are not really going to say things like Bieber sings. Neither are they really thinking about pursuing a college education, but once again, Bieber is an exception.

Instead of playing video games while he is on tour, Bieber studies, according to People.com.

“I want to go to college,” Bieber said. “As Asher Roth says, I think college would be a blast.”

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Tony Danza Heads Back to School in “Teach”

tony danza teachWhether you know him as Sam’s dad on “Who’s the Boss” or as an unsuccessful talk show host, actor Tony Danza is headed back to school this fall for A&E’s new reality series “Teach.”

In this new show, Danza will co-teach a 10th grade English class in one of Philadelphia’s low-income school districts. The setting, Northeast High School, is preparing for the onslaught of attention that it will undeniably receive and the actor is also hard at work preparing for his teaching debut. Danza has been spending a good portion of his summer re-reading some of the classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Julius Caesar,” in addition to attending a new-teacher orientation hosted by the school. Read the rest of this entry »





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