High School Chant Gets Blown Out of Proportion

Since when does a group of high school students chanting “USA! USA!” during a school sporting event earn national media coverage? The answer seems to be “since now.”

During a recent high school basketball state playoff game in San Antonio, TX, a group of high school students who attend Alamo Heights High School began chanting the symbolic letters after their school’s team beat their rival, Edison High.

The seemingly-innocent chant has gained a lot of attention from news sources such as MSNBC, USA Today, and The Huffington Post, because it supposedly intersects race, sports, and politics. You see, the students at Alamo Heights are mostly white, but the students who attend Edison High are mostly Hispanic. Does it make a little more sense now?

When the students started chanting, Andrew Brewer, the head coach of the basketball team, quickly silenced them; the chanting only lasted about five seconds. The school superintendent, Kevin Brown, apologized for the students’ behavior and said that they would not be allowed to attend the state semifinal games as a punishment. However, these actions were not enough to please Gil Garza. Garza made a complaint to the governing body of Texas public schools three days after the event.

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Texas High School Removes Restroom Doors, Invades Students’ Privacy?

urnial It’s a somewhat common form of punishment for high school students: taking their door off it’s hinges. However, you usually think of this happening in the student’s bedroom at home, not on their high school’s restrooms. Yet, this is exactly what has happened at McKinney North High School in Texas. The school says it removed the doors to “keep kids safe,” but many think the real motivation for removing the doors was to prevent students from having sex in the restrooms.

“We’ve had a dialog about removing the doors from the restrooms for a couple of years,” said Cody Cunningham, a spokesman for the McKinney Independent School District. “The students felt like the reason we were removing them was because of some inappropriate sexual behavior in the restrooms, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

The fact that the removal of the doors coincided with a time when officials were reprimanding students for inappropriate displays of affection in the hallways gives the students’ argument more strength. The school district claims that these two events are not related, but it still seems suspicious to me.

“We have schools in the rest of our district that don’t have doors on the restrooms so this isn’t the first one,” said Cunningham.

Even if McKinney North High School isn’t the first high school to remove the restroom doors, parents and students are still upset. Many are saying that this is an invasion of the students’ privacy. The school says that because there is not a direct line of sight from the hallways into the restrooms, it is not an offense.

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Texas Teacher Faces Jail Time for Sleeping with 5 Students

Brittni Nicole Colleps was a teacher at Kennedale High School in Texas. Colleps is a mother of three and her husband is in the military. She seemed like your normal high school English teacher until reports that she had sex with five of her students.

It all began on April 20 when Colleps and her 18-year old student began sending explicit text messages. Six days later, the student came over to Colleps’ home and the two had sex. This set of a series of events that led to Colleps becoming sexually involved with four other students and even videotaping one of the encounters. All of the students were over 18-years of age, but it is still a second-degree felony offense for a teacher to have any type of sexual relationship with his/her students. Colleps was arrested on May 16, 2011; she was released later after posting the $125,000 bail.

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Texas Professor Gives Final Lecture From Hospital Bed

William Kielhorn giving his hospital bed lecture

It’s unusual to lecture a class from a hospital bed, but one Texas professor has good reason.

“I very strongly felt that I’d like to complete this 45 years without a miss,” said William Kielhorn, an engineering professor at LeTourneau University suffering from stage four colon cancer.

In that 45 years he has never missed a beat, and Kielhorn was determined not to miss the final class.

“The first thing he asked the doctor was would he be out by 3:00 for class,” said  Amanda Streed, Kielhorn’s granddaughter. “He was laying in ICU, you know, they’re hooking him up to everything.”

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Teachers Allowed to Hit Students in 20 U.S. States

the 20 states allowing student hitting

The 20 States in red currently allow teachers to legally hit their misbehaving children

Most parents recognize that even in the most well-respected and established education institutions, their children will inevitably misbehave, which will subject them to punishment in accordance to the school’s disciplinary guidelines.

In fact, in most instances, parents, teachers and administrative professionals understand and agree that negative reinforcement is sometimes deemed necessary when disciplining a disruptive pupil. Most, however, envision a trip to the principal’s office or a missed after school activity an appropriate punishment.

One thing they probably don’t envision is a child being hit with a belt or wooden paddle as an appropriate punishment for misbehavior. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama Delivers Speech on Education on Texas

obama-education-speech-texasPresident Obama was in Texas yesterday, fund-raising for his party at the University of Texas at Austin. He again addressed the point that education is a prerequisite for economic growth, a subject he also addressed in a speech at the National Urban League two weeks ago. “The single most important thing we can do is to make sure we’ve got a world class education system for everybody,” the president said.

He also cited the statistic that the U.S. fell from first place in college graduates to 12th place in the world over a single generation. Obama wants the nation to reclaim is position as the nation with the most college graduates, requiring an increase of the college completion rate from 40 percent to 60 percent. “I want us to produce 8 million more college graduates by 2020, because America has to have the highest share of graduates compared to every other nation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Has Few College Graduates

texasTexas is falling short in higher education. Though it’s the second largest state in the union, only 27
percent of its population has degrees.

The College Board, which conducts the SAT and AP tests, reported that Texas ranks 40th in
prevalence among adults ranging from ages 25 to 34 with college degrees.

Richard Reddick, from the University of Texas, said several of Texas’ students are first-generation or
low-income students who either can’t afford to pay for tuition or are unprepared for college courses. Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Makes Conservative Changes to History Classes

Texas debates textbooks. Image Via the Associated Press

Texas debates textbooks. Image Via the Associated Press

For me, history classes seemed to be unbiased and without a political agenda. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Kansas, but when my teachers taught me about the civil rights movement, I never thought that they were pressing political views on me. But I guess they think differently in Texas.

The Texas School Board plans to make history more conservative. Last Friday, the school board decided to amend the previous history and social studies curriculum and mandated a new one. The new Texas school curriculum will modify or water down the teaching of slavery, the Civil Rights movement and America’s relationship with the U.N., in addition to several other items.

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Dallas High School Uses Cage Fighting to Settle Brawls

If detention, suspension or even corporal punishment won’t work, lock the students in a cage and let them fight it out. Seriously? A report about Dallas-area South Oak Cliff High School alleges that’s what the principal allowed to take place between teen boys who had disagreements to settle.

Texas Re-Ignites Creationism vs. Evolution Battle with New Science Curriculum

creationism vs evolutionState education leaders forged a compromise Friday on the teaching of evolution in Texas, adopting a new science curriculum that no longer requires educators to teach the weaknesses of all scientific theories.

The State Board of Education voted 13-2 to put in place a plan that would instead require teachers to encourage students to scrutinize “all sides” of scientific theories, a move criticized by evolution proponents.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which will be in place for the next decade, governs what teachers are required to cover in the classroom, the topics students are tested on and the material published in textbooks. Read the rest of this entry »


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