Tag Archives: public education

Texas Passes A Bill To Train Teachers As Armed Marshals

texas teachers marshals
Texas legislators have sent a bill to Governor Rick Perry that allows schools to train and maintain teachers as “armed marshals” on campuses.
The bill, which had already passed the Texas house, enjoyed a bipartisan passage of 28-3 in the Texas senate.

According to the Associated Press, the bill enjoyed the strong support of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who “pushed lawmakers to help school districts provide teachers or other employees with special weapons and tactical response training.” Dewhurst’s pleas were echoed by smaller school districts that could not afford to hire police and other security forces for their schools.

Under the bill, trained teachers would keep a firearm in a lockbox “within immediate reach.” It allows one armed marshal per 400 students and contains provisions to hide the name of that marshal from public record, to keep him or her from being purposefully targeted in an attack.

Teachers’ groups opposed the bill, arguing that protection ought to be left to security professionals. Yet because Texas already allows teachers to carry guns where school boards approve, the arguments against the bill did not prevail.

Senator Brian Birdwell (R) said the concern over law-abiding citizens possessing guns on campus is misdirected: “The Second Amendment is not about the gun, it’s about the right to self-preservation.”

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Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad (Updated!!! Cleared of Charges!!!)

Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school,

Kiera Wolmot attempted a science experiment that caused a plastic bottle to explode on school grounds. Apparently, although she was an excellent student, this was enough to get her arrested, expelled and tried as an adult.

A bright young lady with a bright future made one mistake that harmed no one and it will probably be used as an excuse to ruin her life. Although I believe that everyone should be accountable for their own actions, I also believe that people’s reactions to those actions should be reasonable and not influenced by pop culture and current events to the point of lunacy.

Yes, this teen girl would have been better off to avoid mixing cleaner and tin foil, especially if her teacher didn’t know about it. Everyone seems to agree that she was an excellent student with no behavior problems. It was apparently a case of bad judgement that did not cause any harm. Why, then, should she be arrested, expelled, charged with a felony as an adult and generally be made an example of for conducting an experiment that can be found in many science text books?

Not to mention the taxpayers money it costs to prosecute this young lady who, by all appearances, has never been and is not likely to be a threat to anyone… These are things that need to be addressed in our court systems. Should people be prosecuted at taxpayer expense when they aren’t likely to ever be a danger to anyone? Why in this country do we constantly turn repeat rapists and child molesters loose and spend money prosecuting people for simple accidents and mistakes or nonviolent offences?

No wonder we have the highest prison population per ca pita in the world. Recent statistics have shown that arrests for nonviolent crimes now exceeds arrests for violent crimes, and it’s easy to believe seeing the state of our justice system. When children who harm no one can be tried for a felony as an adult and women who request to be searched by a female or have a witness present after doing nothing wrong and being suspected of no crime get arrested in front of her crying two year old  (by the same man who allegedly sexually assaulted her) you know you have problems in your justice system.

 

Florida Teen Girl Charged With Felony After Science Experiment Goes Bad

Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn’t the kind of kid you’d expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school, but that’s exactly what happened after an attempt at a science project went horribly wrong.

On 7 a.m. on Monday, the 16 year-old mixed some common household chemicals in a small 8 oz water bottle on the grounds of Bartow High School in Bartow, Florida. The reaction caused a small explosion that caused the top to pop up and produced some smoke. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.

According to WTSP, Wilmot told police that she was merely conducting a science experiment. Though her teachers knew nothing of the specific project, her principal seems to agree.

“She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don’t think she meant to ever hurt anyone,” principal Ron Pritchard told the station. “She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked, too.”

After the explosion Wilmot was taken into custody by a school resources officer and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school grounds and discharging a destructive device. She will be tried as an adult.

She was then taken to a juvenile assessment center. She was also expelled from school and will be forced to complete her diploma through an expulsion program.

Polk County School released the following statement:

“Anytime a student makes a bad choice it is disappointing to us. Unfortunately, the incident that occurred at Bartow High School yesterday was a serious breach of conduct. In order to maintain a safe and orderly learning environment, we simply must uphold our code of conduct rules. We urge our parents to join us in conveying the message that there are consequences to actions. We will not compromise the safety and security of our students and staff.”

So, sorry kids. Don’t try any extracurricular science projects on school grounds, especially if they could result in anything resembling an explosion.

Kiera Wilmot got good grades and had a perfect behavior record. She wasn't the kind of kid you'd expect to find hauled away in handcuffs and expelled from school,Update: Riptide spoke to the Polk County School District about why they felt expulsion was a fair punishment for Wilmot. Their response: kids should learn that “there are consequences to their actions.”

We’ve also obtained the police report from the incident. It shows that Wilmot was mixing toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil. Read the full update and the police report here.

See Full Report:

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2013/04/florida_teen_girl_charged_with.php

See also:

– Florida School Responds To Criticism For Expelling Student Over Science Project: “There Are Consequences To Actions”

UPDATE (ON Kiera Wilmot Florida Teen Charged and Expelled)!!!

May. 22, 2013

Kiera Wilmot is going to space camp.

In late April, the 16-year-old central Florida honor student was accused of igniting a chemical explosion on school grounds, leading to her arrest and suspension from school, but authorities dropped criminal charges last week.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/cleared-charges-honor-student-space-camp/story?id=19236561#.UZ6P3LW1FGh

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7 Year old Suspended After Being Accused of Shaping His Breakfast Into A Gun Shape | Zero Tollerance Policy Discourages Rational Thought

pop tart gun

If you find a grade-schooler making a mountain out of food, but you think it looks like a gun, what should you do?

If you are anything like the administration of Park Elementary School in Brooklyn park, MD, you’ll freak out and suspend all logical thought for at least 2 days.

According to the Fox affiliate in Baltimore:

7-Year-Old Joshua was suspended this morning from Park Elementary School in Brooklyn Park. Joshua says he was eating a pastry during snack time and trying to shape it into a mountain, the teacher said it looked like a gun and took him to the principal’s office. Joshua’s parents were called, he has been suspended for two days. Joshua’s father says it’s ridiculous since no one was threatened or harmed by the pastry. A letter will be going home to all students of Park Elementary School this afternoon. School officials declined to comment due to privacy issues

Josh explains that he was trying to make a mountain but it turned out to be a gun. He was suspended for two days, but he’s glad because it’s like a vacation. What’s the lesson here?

You can see the full clip here.

The Ridiculousness of Reality is Overwhelming At Times

Look… I just don’t know what to say bout this story. I mean, we all know that pastry guns don’t kill people… except by obesity maybe and that’s a long term issue and has more to do with the schools policy of feeding children sugar and food coloring than Joshua accidentally making his pop tart look like a gun.

This case is almost as ludicrous as the incident in Mississippi where a 5 year old child wore the wrong color shoes to school and got sent  home in a police car.

If You Don’t Mean To Do Something Wrong And It Can’t Hurt Anyone You Will Be Punished By Avoiding Work for Two Days

pop tart gunAs a nation, we really need to stop and consider what messages we are sending to kids… or, rather, what messages we are allowing “authority figures” to send to our kids. Shouldn’t the highest priority be to raise a generation of young people who can function in the real world? Don’t we want to raise a generation of people who care about other people? What about a generation that has common sense? A strong work ethic? None of this is being accomplished when we send the message that if they unintentionally do something that others disapprove of, even though it didn’t hurt anyone and had no potential to hurt anyone, they will get out of doing their work for two days. What kind of a sick mixed message is that?

The administration of the school was so alarmed by the pastry gun incident that a note was sent home with students offering counseling. The relevant text follows:

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to let you know about an incident that occurred this morning in one of our classrooms and encourage you to discuss this matter with your child in a manner you deem most appropriate.

During breakfast this morning, one of our students used food to make inappropriate gestures that disrupted the class. While no physical threats were made and no one [was] harmed, the student had to be removed from the classroom.

As you are aware, the … Code of Student Conduct and appropriate consequences related to violations of the code are clearly spelled out in the Student Handbook, which was sent home during the first week of school and can be found on our website, www.aacps.org….

If your children express that they are troubled by today’s incident, please talk with them and help them share their feelings. Our school counselor is available to meet with any students who have the need to do so next week. In general, please remind them of the importance of making good choices.

Zero Tolerance Policies REQUIRE Common Sense To Be Effective At Influencing Behavior For the Benefit of All

Consider the case of a Kentuckiana, KY seventh grader who said no to drugs and got suspended for a week. She says a girl had a bag of pills and handed her one. She said, “I don’t want this” and gave it back. When the possessor and the takers got caught the girl who said no got brought into it as well. they have a “zero tolerance” policy, which in their interpretation means that if they “touch” something that equals “possession” of something. So she was suspended for possession of drugs.

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