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Charter School Mogul Dorothy Brown is Charged with Misusing Funds

Residents in Philadelphia must certainly be looking at charter schools a little differently today after Dorothy June Hairston Brown – a charter school mogul in the city – was charged with defrauding more than $6.5 million in taxes from three of her charter schools. Brown and four of her colleagues were charged on July 24, 2012 and have been indicted with more than 60 counts of wire fraud, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.

In the past, Brown had earned a reputation for improving students’ test scores. However, she was also known for suing parents who questioned her practices and claiming large salaries.

“The indictment in this cases alleges that June Brown and her four co-conspirators used the charter school system to engage in rampant fraud and obstruction,” said U.S. Attorney Zane David Merneger. “My office will continue to vigorously investigate and pursue those charter school operators who defraud the taxpayers and deprive our children of funds for their education.” Read the rest of this entry »



Penn State Slammed with $60 Million Fine and 4-Year Bowl Ban after Sandusky Cover Up

By Dana Shultz

Pennsylvania State was dealt a heavy blow on Monday for its involvement in the child sexual abuse scandal that was centered around former football coach Jerry Sandusky. The NCAA handed Penn State a $60 million fine, banned the football team from competing in bowl games for four years, and vacated all of the team’s wins from 1998 to 2011. As well, legendary former coach Joe Paterno’s statue on campus will soon be removed.

After news of the scandal broke late last year, a grand jury investigation led to Sandusky being indicted on 52 counts of child molestation. Sandusky had founded the charity Second Mile in 1977, which aimed to help young boys in State College, Pennsylvania. The first investigation of sexual abuse took place in 1998, but no formal charges were filed. It wasn’t until 2008 that the mother of the first victim came forward and accused Sandusky of inappropriately touching her son when he was 11 or 12 years old.

The instances of abuse took place between 1994 and 2009, and some suspect even as early as the 1970s. Perhaps even more concerning was that Sandusky performed these acts either on or near Penn State campus. Read the rest of this entry »



California College in Court Over Admission of Female Students

Deep Springs College is a small, prestigious school that is situated on a 120-square mile ranch near Death Valley, California. Students at the school spend their time earning a liberal arts education and also learning important life lessons, such as how to milk a cow or bale hay. The school was founded 95 years ago as a males-only school, and that tradition has remained unchanged…until now. In 2013, the school plans on allowing women to attend.

However, this decision is being challenged by two school trustees who want the school to remain true to its founding mission, educating “promising young men.” Kinch Hoekstra and Edward Keonjian, the college trustees who filed paperwork at the Inyo County Superior Court, are asking the judge to not allow the school to become an institute of co-education. The school was originally founded by Lucien Lucius Nunn who wanted to create a place where men could escape the distractions of women and alcohol, and instead solely focus on their studies. Hoekstra and Keonjian say that by allowing women to attend the school, the school would be faltering on its original mission.

“If the trustees wish to have a coeducational college similar to Deep Springs, they are free to donate or raise the funds to create one according to their own vision,” the two men said in their court filing. Read the rest of this entry »



Wear Your Hoodie to Join the Million Hoodies in Support of Trayvon Martin

In case you haven’t heard about it or seen the many posts on Facebook and Twitter about him, Trayvon Martin was a 17-year old African American teen who lived in Sanford, Florida. Sadly, on February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon because he felt that his life was in danger. As the facts have been pouring in, it seems more and more likely that Zimmerman, a white man, was not actually threatened at all, and instead, this was a racial hate crime.

According to the police call, Zimmerman saw Trayvon walking through his neighborhood and called the police. He claimed Trayvon was threatening because he was wearing a hoodie and had something in his hand.

“There’s a real suspicious guy,” Zimmerman said about Trayvon. “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around looking about…. These a**holes always get away.”

Zimmerman followed Trayvon through the neighborhood, despite the police dispatcher’s urges for him not to do so. He then shot and killed Trayvon with a nine-millimeter handgun. Zimmerman claimed Trayvon had been carrying something:  As it turns out, it was only a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. Read the rest of this entry »



Daughter Sues Dad to Pay for College

graduateDana Soderberg has been award $47,000 from her father by Connecticut to cover her college tuition and other expenses incurred during her final year at Southern Connecticut State University. According to the Connecticut Law Tribune, Ms. Soderberg sued her father to uphold a written contract he signed after her parents divorced in 2004. The contract stated that her father, Howard Soderberg, would pay for her tuition until she turned 25, in addition to related expenses like books and car insurance. When he refused to pay for her final year, Ms. Soderberg was forced to take out a $20,000 loan to continue her studies, with her mother co-signing. Read the rest of this entry »



Supreme Court Settles Christian Law Student Group Case

It does not sound too far-fetched: some college students form a group and set restrictions concerning who they want in their group. Fraternities and sororities do it every day, concerning gender restrictions. Academic groups set restrictions concerning GPA standards.supreme-court

However, when a Christian campus group applied for official recognition at University of California‘s Hastings College of the Law, it was rejected because it required members to share its religious views and views on marriage. The student group sued the school, and the case went to the Supreme Court. Today, the Supreme Court ruled against the student group. The main conflict was the school’s anti-discrimination policies versus the student group’s First Amendment Rights, mainly those of religion and association.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the school was “caught in the crossfire between a group’s desire to exclude and students’ demand for equal access, may reasonably draw a line in the sand permitting all organizations to express what they wish but no group to discriminate in membership.” Read the rest of this entry »



Kindle Lawsuit Awards Wronged Student

kindle lawsuitIn July 2009, Amazon decided to remove some content from thousands of Kindles. They removed every copy of George Orwell’s 1984, including the notes high school student Justin Gawronski’s had taken for his summer assignment.

Amazon deleted two books by Orwell, 1984 and Animal Farm, from their inventory when the publishing company decided they did not want their books to be electronically available. In addition to just removing the books from being able to be purchased, Amazon deleted those books from the Kindles of users who had already purchased the books. In this process, they also deleted any notes or comments that users had made in their personal Kindles about the book that they had purchased.

Some have called Amazon the homework-eating-dog of the 21st century. Gawronski decided to sue Amazon for destroying his homework. And on October 1, 2009, he won. He won big, earning $150,000 in the lawsuit. Read the rest of this entry »



Manny Being Manny

manny ramirez

Manny Ramirez of the LA Dodgers. (via Fannation.com)

Throughout his career, Manny Ramirez has been the guy that does what he wants. This has not been a secret, and Manny likes it that way.

Let it be known that in the second week of May, Manny Ramirez was suspended from baseball for 50 games for taking a banned substance. The substance Manny was found to have taken is used in two situations; women need help to become pregnant and by steroid users needing to increase the natural production of testosterone after finishing a cycle of steroids.  Read the rest of this entry »



College Denies Student’s Right to Free Speech

Can a college suspend a student for exercising rights guaranteed in the US Constitution?

Can a college suspend a student for exercising rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution?

So, I know that high school students have been denied some of their basic rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. In recent court cases, it was decided that high school journalists who write for their school newspaper can be censored by a teacher or principal in order to make sure that their views are in agreement with the views of the school and are appropriate. This decision was based on the fact that these journalists are under the age of 18 and therefore do not have the absolute rights guaranteed to American citizens by the U.S. Constitution. But now, it’s a college student who is being prosecuted by his college for exercising his right to free speech.

John Gechter, a 22-year-old student from Philadelphia, was suspended from Grove City College because another student saw an adult film he acted in. Gechter is arguing the suspension; he claims it is unfair because it is not the school’s business what he does with his spare time. He even used a fake name in the film so as not to embarrass anyone who knows him.  Read the rest of this entry »



Linux Use Illegal at Boston College

A student was targeted by police at Boston College… for using Linux? A warrant for search was issued after student Mr. Calixte sent an email stating that another student was gay. Reports say he was targeted because he uses Linux. The computer science major is employed by the Boston College IT department (has since been suspended), and the warrant application states that he is called a “master of his trade among his peers.” From Calixte police seized his computers, flash drives, digital camera, iPod, cell phone, and an Ubunto Linux CD among other things.

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the warrant application:

boston-college-linux-arrest-warrant

Mr. Calixte's arrest warrant. (via Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Read the rest of this entry »





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