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Teachers on leave after mocking students skipping for 'Day Without Immigrants'

When students decided to skip school to join the nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” protest against President Donald Trump's immigration policies, six Southern California teachers apparently joked on social media about how pleasant their days were without the missing pupils.

Those teachers, who work at Rubidoux High School in California’s Inland Empire School District, are on paid leave.

>> Read more trending news

It all started with a Facebook post by teacher Geoffrey Greer, who reportedly wrote:

"As for the school system, having my class size reduced by 50% all day long only served to SUPPORT Trump’s initiatives and prove how much better things might be without all this overcrowding.

"That’s what you get when you jump on some sort of bandwagon cause as an excuse to be lazy and/or get drunk. Best school day ever."

Greer quickly was blasted for his comments, and he deleted the post. However, a student was able to preserve it with a screenshot.

>> See the post here

It may be gone now but ladies and gentlemen l I present  to you our beloved teachers from Rubidoux high school     .My...Posted by Guadalupe Lopez on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Other teachers at the school replied to Greer’s post, according to the Riverside Press Enterprise. The teachers agreed on what a nice day it was.

Eighty percent of the school district’s students are Latino or Hispanic.

One teacher, Robin Riggle, noted that she had 50 absences. Greer offered this reply: “Yup. And I bet your class went a whole lot more smoothly as well.”

Riggle answered back: “Yes, it was a very pleasant day.”

>> See the post here

Posted by Guadalupe Lopez on Thursday, February 16, 2017

The school district’s superintendent, Robert Garcia, said he was disappointed by the teachers’ remarks, according to the Washington Post.

“I am aware of and deeply understand the fears and concerns of our students,” Garcia said in a statement. “I am calling on members of our community to come together to assure that our schools remain safe and our student’s voices are heard.”

Rubidoux High School’s principal, Jose Luis Araux, posted a video to YouTube addressing the situation, in which he made clear that the views of the suspended teachers did not reflect those of the rest of the staff. He promised an investigation into the incident and said he had faith in the intelligence and capabilities of the students.

>> Click here to watch the video

Some students skipped another day of school to protest the teachers' comments.

>> Check it out here

Students march at Mission & Camino Real in Jurupa Valley as it starts to rain pic.twitter.com/KpP3cl78wP— Alicia Robinson (@arobinson_pe) February 17, 2017

The story even got the attention of Univision:

Rubidoux High School being spoken about on @UniNoticias. Gracias @Galoecuador para compartir estes noticias. pic.twitter.com/hOAvICQbpy— Marina (@oxminaox) February 17, 2017

According to the Press Enterprise, Greer issued an apology on Facebook: “While I stand by my assertion that skipping school is no way to demonstrate one’s value to society, I do apologize for the harsh tone and hurtful structure of the previous message. I hadn’t meant for it to come across as quite so scathing.”

Police department helps girl solve math problem during homework emergency

A girl got the homework help she needed when facing a math emergency thanks to her local police department.

A series of photos shared by the Marion, Ohio, Police Department Facebook page shows a message a fifth-grade student sent the department, asking for help solving a math problem. The girl’s mother, Molly Draper, originally shared the images online.

>> See the post here

My daughter. Cause...  She's my daughter.Posted by Molly Draper on Friday, February 17, 2017

Here’s a transcript of the conversation:

Student: I’m having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?

Police department: What’s up?

Student: Well I don’t understand (8+29) x 15

Police department: Do the numbers in the parentheses first so in essence it would be 37 x 15

Student: OK, now if I had this (90+27) + (29+15) x 2

Police department: Take the answer from the first parentheses plus the answer from the second parentheses and multiply that answer times two. Work left to right doing the work inside the parentheses first.

While the police department wasn’t entirely right on the second question (remember the order of operations!), people on social media were touched by officers' willingness to help.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

“That y’all took the time to help is wonderful. I love positive stories about police. Thank you!!” wrote Facebook user Lili Michaela Schaumburg.

“Love, love, love this a thousand times over. So proud that our MPD is doing amazing things for our community. This is what it’s all about! Thank you Marion Police Department!” wrote Sarah Mae.

>> Read more trending news

Draper said she was touched by the department’s act of service toward her daughter.

“Thank you, Marion, Ohio, Police Department, for truly building relationships with the community,” Draper wrote.

Police department halts high five program with students after parent concerns

Students in Northampton, Massachusetts, used to begin Friday mornings with high fives and fist bumps from local police officers, but because of concerns from parents that program has been halted.

>> Read more trending stories  

The “High Five Friday” program aimed to bring uniformed police officers to the city’s elementary schools on Fridays to welcome students to school. The idea for the program began after a law enforcement conference in San Diego, in which High Five Fridays were promoted as a way for officers to engage with young people, the Northampton Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.  

Today we started "High-5 Friday". Leeds School hosted week 1. Officers and kids had a great time! #northamptonma #high-5 pic.twitter.com/u3P7MfeZwM— Northampton Police (@NorthamptonPD) December 2, 2016

Northampton police said they received a lot of support for the program from the public, but there were also concerns.

During a school committee meeting, concerns were raised that not all children would feel comfortable with a police presence at the beginning of the school day.

"Others questioned the long-term impacts of the program and wondered if it was truly valuable," the department wrote in a post.

After the meeting, police were asked to pause the program, and they did.

Police attended a follow-up meeting with members of the public to discuss High Five Friday again. Concerns were shared that some students "might respond negatively to a group of uniformed officers at their school."

"People were specifically concerned about kids of color, undocumented children or any children who may have had negative experiences with the police," the post said.

Northampton police made the decision to end the program after that meeting.

In the Facebook post, Northampton police said it will continue to explore ways to connect more with young people and will still accept high fives and fist bumps from anyone who asks an officer on the street.

We are aware that there is an article circulating through social media related to NPD’s High Five Friday program.  There...Posted by Northampton Police Department on Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mother outraged after teacher gives son 'crystal meth assignment'

A drama teacher's controversial class assignment has stirred up anger among parents in Canada.Delight Greenidge told the CBC that she was shocked when she saw the drama class assignment given to her 13-year-old son. In order to portray a drug addict, Erin Mills Middle School students were given a handout on how to make and inject crystal meth. 

>> Read more trending stories 

The teacher instructed students to "act scared" when pretending to make the drug, but "act happy" when pretending to inject the drug, according to Greenidge's son.After Greenidge reported the incident to school officials, the teacher was suspended with pay. An investigation is ongoing. 

Florida teacher's license suspended after allegedly pulling chairs from under students

A Florida teacher won’t be in the classroom any time soon after the state suspended her license.

>> Read more trending stories  

The Florida Education Commission suspended the teaching license of Robin Welch Kennedy for one year.

Immediately after the suspension, she was terminated by Duval County Public Schools.

Kennedy is accused of pulling the chairs out from underneath her third-grade students when she taught at Neptune Beach Elementary School in 2013.

A final report from the state says that another teacher saw Kennedy tip a student out of his chair.

The teacher asked her if the student had fallen, and Kennedy replied: “With a little help.”

The report also says the teacher saw it happen again to another student on the same day.

Students were transferred to other third-grade classes because of what happened, the report said.

In 2014, WJAX reported that Kennedy was suspended by Duval County Public Schools for 15 days without pay but then returned to the classroom.

Even then, parents were upset because of her conduct inside and outside the classroom. Kennedy had been arrested for DUI and battery.

The district told WJAX that she had been an employee since 2006.

Kennedy was not working at Neptune Beach Elementary School when she was suspended, but at another school.

“I’m displeased that it took that long for her to actually get her license suspended,” said parent Roger Hurley.

During the state’s final hearing, the report says Kennedy denied ever doing anything intentionally that could injure a student.

Mother says substitute teacher shamed daughter battling cancer

The mother of a 5-year-old girl said her daughter was shamed by a substitute teacher at a Canonsburg-McMillian School District elementary school.

MaKayla Welsh was diagnosed with leukemia nearly two years ago and is in remission now, though her hair has started falling out from chemotherapy.

“It did bother her that she was losing her hair again. It bothered her to the point she didn't want to go to school when it was all gone,” MaKayla’s mother, Nicole Welsh, said.

>> Read more trending news  

Welsh said her daughter was sitting in class at Wylandville Elementary School Friday when substitute teacher shamed her in front of everyone.

“The teacher thought she was pulling her hair out… The teacher told her if she was bald, she wouldn't be pretty,” Welsh said.

She called the school’s principal and superintendent, who told her that was unacceptable.

“They just told me it'd be handled and promised she'd never go through anything like that again,” Welsh said.

MaKayla’s mother said the district handled the situation quickly. A video was shown to other students to help them understand what MaKayla was going through.

“When the video was done, the whole class rallied around and hugged her. She was excited and couldn't wait to go to school,” said Welsh.

Nicole Welsh had a message for the substitute teacher and others working with children.

“Be careful on how you word things to children… Words can hurt a lot more than anything else. They can stick with you forever,” she said. 

Parents upset about pro-Trump chants from student section during basketball game

Some parents attending a basketball game at a Pennsylvania high school were upset about words chanted by the student section.

Uniontown High School parents told WPXI the chanting happened during Wednesday night's game with Connellsville High School. Parents said the Connellsville students shouted pro-Trump remarks as they held up a Donald Trump sign while the Uniontown players were at the foul line during the first half of the game.

"They are chanting it over and over again, and I don't understand. What does Trump and 'build the wall' and 'send them back' have to do with a basketball game? That's horrible," parent Tasha Walton said.

>> Read more trending stories  

One parent said the chanting only happened during the first half of the game.

"If you know something is that divisive, why would you do something like that? What other thing are we supposed to think other than you were trying to be racially intimidating? It doesn't matter what your intent was, it's how they took it. So just say, ‘I'm sorry,'" Tiffany Blaho of Uniontown said.

WPXI’s Melanie Gillespie reached out to both school districts and was told in a statement that the Connellsville athletic director stopped the chanting within seconds of it starting.

"…and addressed the student section... regarding how the chant could be offensive and is not appropriate.  The students involved then met with the high school principal and athletic director to reinforce that this type of behavior is not representative of the Connellsville School District." 

Connellsville’s administrators also apologized to those offended.

Uniontown’s superintendent released the following statement:

"These types of actions have no place anywhere in our schools. It's a sad reflection of what is occurring throughout the country and reactions such as this along with violent protests nationwide reflect a deep division in our society."

 

 

Officials: Student with nosebleed leaves bloody bathroom wall message

School officials in Iowa are trying to ease parents’ concerns after a student was sent home Thursday after leaving a cryptic message on a bathroom wall.

Urbandale High School officials told KCCI that a student with a bloody nose used the blood to write a message on the bathroom wall.

>> Read more trending stories 

The message read: “He comes 2:11 2/17/17.”

School officials determined that the message was not threatening, according to KCCI.

Bullying incident leaves 9-year-old with concussion, black eyes

A 9-year-old Alabama girl is recovering from injuries she sustained earlier this week when another child at her school got angry with her because of her friendship with a classmate, the girl’s mother said.

Kelly Turpin told AL.com that her daughter, Lanny, suffered a concussion, two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to her face in the incident at L.E. Willson Elementary School. The school is located in Sheffield, a city of just under 10,000 people in northwest Alabama.

Turpin said she was called Friday morning to the school, where she found her daughter covered in blood. School officials initially told her that Lanny had been injured accidentally, she said to both AL.com and WHNT News 19 in Huntsville.

“My child started talking right then and said, 'No, Momma, I told them she grabbed me and pulled me and jumped on top of me,’” Turpin told WHNT.

>> Read more trending stories

Lanny told her mother that she and other classmates were walking through an outdoor breezeway on their way back from art class when the other girl jumped on her. AL.com reported that Lanny’s head hit a metal pole before she fell to the concrete.

The other girl was angry because Lanny was friends with another student at the school, Turpin said. She told AL.com that the girl told Lanny after she was injured, “I’m so sorry. Don’t tell anybody I did it.”

Turpin had to take her daughter to the doctor, as well as to the hospital for a CT scan. Though in a lot of pain, Lanny is expected to be fine.

In photos she posted to Facebook the day of the incident, Lanny could be seen holding a wet paper towel to her bruises and bloody scrapes. In the post, Turpin angrily described the incident as "assault, not just bullying," and asked for prayers for her daughter, as well as for herself. 

"Pray for me to calm down (because) this mama is livid!" Turpin wrote.

Please pray for my baby lanny who was bullied by a little girl at school today and pushed into the concrete steps! Pray...Posted by Kelly South Turpin on Friday, February 3, 2017

Another picture Turpin posted a few days later showed Lanny's injuries as they began to heal. She said Wednesday that Lanny was feeling a bit better. 

Turpin and her husband are seeking the advice of an attorney and are considering homeschooling.

The distraught mother said her concern is the safety of her children in their schools, where her older daughter also went through bullying. She said the girl who hurt Lanny had been picking on her since before Friday’s incident.

“Nothing has changed when we've gone to the school about the bullying,” Turpin told AL.com. “I just want them safe at school.”

Turpin said that, although she was initially told that her daughter’s attacker would be suspended for two days, she later heard that nothing had been done to discipline the child.

Tony Willis, principal of Willson Elementary, told AL.com that he couldn’t comment on the incident because Turpin had spoken to an attorney, but offered a general statement about how the school handles bullying.

“With any incident, we're going to look into it and follow our code of conduct to the letter,” Willis said. “We try to be proactive rather than reactive and make sure students are comfortable enough to talk with us when they encounter problems.”

Keith Lankford, superintendent of Sheffield City Schools, told WHNT that school officials were not informed of the bullying situation Turpin’s daughter was in until after the incident. He told the news station that the incident was under investigation and that the district would enforce the school’s code of conduct. 

Merriam-Webster adds 1,000 words to dictionary

Reference book publisher Merriam-Webster just added more than 1,000 words to its most recent edition of the online dictionary, including "terms from recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and words from tech, medicine, pop culture, sports, and everything in between," the company said Tuesday.

>> Read more trending stories  

Before this week's additions, Merriam-Webster hadn't updated its website listings since 2014, according to the Associated Press.

"Some of these we've been watching for many years, and some of these are very new words," said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large.

>> Merriam-Webster says Kellyanne Conway described false statements as 'alternative facts'

>> 'Surreal' dubbed Merriam-Webster's 2016 word of the year

Aranciniconlangmicroaggression, ghost, prospagnosiaSeussianface-palmnet neutralityabandonwarebotnetphotobombtown halltrutherSCOTUS and FLOTUS are among the new additions.

Here are some of the new listings and their definitions: 

BINGE-WATCH (verb): "to watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession"

BOKEH (noun): "the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field" 

FAST FASHION (noun): "an approach to the design, creation and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers"

FOOD INSECURE (adjective): "unable to consistently access or afford adequate food"

HUMBLEBRAG (verb): "to make a seemingly modest, self-critical or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one's admirable or impressive qualities or achievements"

MUMBLECORE: (noun): "a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action"

SANTOKU (noun): "a medium-sized, multipurpose kitchen knife of Japanese origin that has a lightweight blade with a straight or slightly curved cutting edge and a spine that curves downward to the tip" 

WAYBACK (noun): "the area in the back of a van, station wagon or SUV"

WEAK SAUCE (noun): "something inferior, ineffective or unimpressive"

WOO-WOO (adjective): "dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural or unscientific"

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