Education

PA Teachers Union Sues to Ensure Educators Cannot Be Armed for Self-Defense

Pennsylvania’s Tamaqua Area Education Association is suing to prevent teachers from being armed to defend themselves and their students. The Morning Call reports that the suit comes after Tamaqua Area School District became “the first district in the state to allow armed school staff as a way to defend schools against shooters.” Tamaqua Area Education Association president President Frank Wenzel issued statement in which he defended the union’s fight to keep teachers unarmed: “As teachers, counselors and other education professionals, we are trained to provide a high-quality education to our students, not to carry or use firearms in dangerous situations. This is a bad policy for a lot of reasons, but we are challenging it in court because we believe it is illegal.” But Tamaqua Area School District board member Nicholas Boyle disagrees with Wenzel. Boyle pushed the measure to allow teachers to be armed and The Inquirer quotes him saying, “There’s no law that says you can do it, and there’s no law that says you can’t do it, so I think we’re good.” A group of Tamaqua residents launched the “Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools” in response to the board’s decision to arm teachers. And on November 23 Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools urged people to sign a Sandy Hook Promise petition to prevent teachers from being armed nationwide: Teachers were not armed when Sandy Hook Elementary School was attacked December 14, 2012, and attacker spent over nine minutes harming defenseless people without any armed response.

Gutfeld on campus absurdity

Clapping has been banned at Britain’s University of Manchester Student Union because it triggers anxiety and discourages people from attending events. It will be replaced with a silent version of “jazz hands” – which is said to encourage an “environment of respect.” Meanwhile, a Massachusetts professor says that the label “veteran” should be expanded to include peace activists. I say the label “professor” should be expanded to include messy droolers. The one thing these things have in common, besides lunacy, is that they’ve both broken out of the asylum gates of the local university. The seed pods from that garden of stupid, are now blooming in the real world. Why is that? Because no one wants to say, “that’s really dumb.” We are all bullied to silence by the tyranny of grievance. Nobody wants to share the risk in calling out absurdity because that makes you a big meanie. Example: you’re on a subway and a maniac gets on board. He’s a babbling idiot. So everyone looks down at their phones. Why? Because no one wants to assume a piece of the risk. So they hide from the maniac. Then you realize the maniac is Bill de Blasio. Again. He’s screaming inanities. Your head aches. He won’t shut up. So now the joke’s on you. You should have complained the moment de Blasio got on. You should have said, ‘shut up and get out of here. You’re too loud and stupid for mass transit.’ Ideological excess spreads when everyone looks the other way. Whether it’s on campus, in congress, and in media. But maybe for once, let’s share the risk. It might be the only defense we have left.

Adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five,” Oct. 3, 2018.  Greg Gutfeld currently serves as host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) The Greg Gutfeld Show (Saturdays 10-11PM/ET) and co-host of The Five (weekdays 5-6PM/ET).  To see the video of Greg going through this monologue, and then the discussion afterwards, click on the text above.  Excellent!!     🙂

1-in-3 pass ‘US Citizenship test,’ just 19% for Americans 45 and younger

Just a third of Americans can pass a multiple choice “U.S. Citizenship Test,” fumbling over such simple questions as the cause of the Cold War or naming just one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for. And of Americans 45 and younger, the passing rate is a tiny 19 percent, according to a survey done for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Worse: The actual test only requires that 60 percent of the answers be correct. In the survey, just 36 percent passed. Among the embarrassing errors uncovered in the survey of questions taken from the U.S. Citizenship Test and conducted by Lincoln Park Stragtegies: 72 percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure of which states were part of the 13 original states. 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb. 12 percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War. 2 percent said the Cold War was caused by climate change. The foundation did the survey to make the point that Americans need to brush up on history and current events if they want to make a reasoned pick in the upcoming midterm congressional elections. “With voters heading to the polls next month, an informed and engaged citizenry is essential,” Woodrow Wilson Foundation President Arthur Levine said. “Unfortunately this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America’s history and incapable of passing the U.S. Citizenship Test. It would be an error to view these findings as merely an embarrassment. Knowledge of the history of our country is fundamental to maintaining a democratic society, which is imperiled today,” he added. Only 13 percent of those surveyed knew when the U.S. Constitution was ratified, even on a multiple-choice exam similar to the citizenship exam, with most incorrectly thinking it occurred in 1776. More than half of respondents (60 percent) didn’t know which countries the United States fought in World War II. And despite the recent media spotlight on the U.S. Supreme Court, 57 percent of those surveyed did not know how many Justices actually serve on the nation’s highest court.

Be afraid..   To counter this spectacular deficiency, we recommend adding “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History” by Thomas Woods to your library…and making it mandatory reading for your kids.  Clearly our schools are teaching American Civics.  So, it’s up to us to look to alternative sources.  That book is a good start.  Hillsdale College in Michigan also offers free online courses on the Constitution and other basics.  You can also sign up for a free subscription to their “Imprimis” newsletter.  Lots of goodies there as well.

Campus Free Speech Hearing: ‘The Most American of Values Are in the First Amendment’

A congressional hearing that took place on Wednesday featured eloquent arguments about the importance of fighting for expression rights on campus. Ken Paulson, the President of the First Amendment Center, aggressively defended free expression principles during a congressional hearing on the relationship between free speech and the American campus. Paulson argued that certain university officials are willing to bend First Amendment principles in order to protect the feelings of students. “As part of my First Amendment work, I’ve traveled to a dozen campuses a year for the past 20 years and I honestly don’t believe there is an epidemic of suppression or intolerance in the nation’s universities,” Paulson began. “I do see some high profile instances where college administrators and students are willing to bend free speech principles to prevent hurt feelings or ideological conflict. Somewhere over the past two decades, the land of the free has become the home of the easily offended.” Paulson contends that the rise in attempts to shut down guest speakers is a consequence of the lack of education on the topic of democracy. “You can’t shout down a speaker if you truly understand how diversity of opinions has bolstered our democracy. You can’t censor students or their media if you understand what Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the first generation of Americans meant by freedom of the press,” Paulson continued. “You can’t try to zone protests off campus if you truly appreciate the value of petition and assembly. Too many of our students and sadly, their parents and grandparents, don’t truly understand these core American principles. A First Amendment survey found that only a third of Americans can name a single freedom in the First Amendment. Only two percent can name all five.” Click here to watch the entirety of Paulson’s remarks, along with the rest of the hearing..

College of the Ozarks, private Christian school, drops Nike over Kaepernick ad

A private Christian college in Missouri announced Wednesday that its athletic teams would no longer wear apparel manufactured by Nike after the sportswear giant tapped Colin Kaepernick as one of the faces of its 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis said in a statement that Nike’s choice of Kaepernick was “promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America.” “If Nike is ashamed of America, we are ashamed of them,” Davis went on. “We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform.” College of the Ozarks, which has approximately 1,400 undergraduates, competes in six sports — baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, track and volleyball — as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Last year, the college added a stipulation to competition contracts, saying it would walk away from any game where the opposing team took a knee, sat or turned its back on the flag or anthem.

Absolutely AWESOME!!  Major kudos to Mr. Davis and the folks at College of the Ozarks for standing up for principle, and walking the walk; not just talking the talk.  Of course, this is a little college in Missouri.  So, the impact to Nike won’t be very significant.  BUT, just imagine some major NCAA college following this fine lead.  Anyway, great job College of the Ozarks!  Outstanding!!    🙂

Starnes: Texas cheerleaders win a victory for freedom of religious expression

There are two hard and fast rules in life: don’t mess with Texas and don’t mess with Texas cheerleaders. The Kountze Independent School District in southeast Texas has learned that lesson the hard way. The Texas Supreme Court on Friday refused to hear the school district’s appeal of a case involving Bible verses written by cheerleaders on run-through banners displayed at Kountze High School football games. The action by the state’s highest court all but ends a more than five-year legal battle that garnered support from Texas’ two Republican U.S. senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. “Our clients are relieved that the Texas Supreme Court has brought an end to the school district’s scorched earth litigation tactics,” First Liberty Institute’s Hiram Sasser told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show.” First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms, took on the case back in 2012 along with co-counsel David Starnes (no relation) and the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher. “As the football season kicks off across Texas, it’s good to be reminded that these cheerleaders have a right to religious speech on their run-through banners – banners on which the cheerleaders painted messages they chose, with paint they paid for, on paper they purchased,” Sasser told me. Sasser said school districts across the nation should pay close attention to the Texas Supreme Court’s decision. “Stop harassing cheerleaders and accept that they are free to have religious speech on their run-through banners,” Sasser warned. In 2012 seven cheerleaders sued the school district after they were banned from using Bible verses on banners that players would run through at high school football games. The verses, like “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” were meant to be inspirational and encouraging. The state’s Ninth Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the cheerleaders in January – declaring the signs are “pure private speech.” “We find the cheerleaders’ speech on the pregame banners cannot be characterized as government speech,” the court wrote. However, the school district argued that a cheerleader who cheers at a game engages in government speech, and therefore cannot write religious messages on banners. The “banners were held by public school cheerleaders while they were cheering for the school’s football team, while they were in uniform at a school-sponsored event, and while they were on the school’s football field to which access was limited by the school,” school district attorney Thomas Brandt wrote in the Beaumont Enterprise. The school district had no immediate comment on the Supreme Court ruling. “This is a total victory that protects the religious liberty of students everywhere,” attorney Allyson Ho, the lead appellate counsel, said. “This decision by the Supreme Court of Texas should be the final word on this issue for students and schools across Texas.” One question remains unanswered. Why did the school district spend thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to try and stop the cheerleaders from exercising their constitutional rights? Perhaps the citizens of Kountze might get an answer when school board members face re-election. I reckon the Kountze cheerleaders have learned a very important lesson about perseverance over the past five years. You really can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Indeed..  Thanks to veteran culture warrior Todd Starnes for bringing us this great story out of southeast Texas.     🙂

Atlanta Parents fight back after school drops Pledge of Allegiance for student-authored oath to ‘global society’

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School Principal Lara Zelski decided students will no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the school’s morning meeting agenda, which she described to parents as “an effort to begin our day as a fully inclusive and connected community.” “Over the past couple of years it has become increasingly obvious that more and more of our community were choosing to not stand and/or recite the pledge,” she wrote, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The statement, posted to the school website, promised parents students could recite the Pledge of Allegiance later in the day, if they felt like it, and vowed to create better pledge specifically for the school. “Teachers and the K-5 leadership team will be working with students to create a school pledge that we can say together at morning meeting,” Zelski wrote, adding that it “will focus on students’ civic responsibility to their school family, community, country and our global society.” “I’m really looking forward to what our students create,” she wrote, according to TheBlaze. The move infuriated parents and quickly gained the attention of Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, and others who denounced the decision. “I’m sure our House Education Committee will examine whether taxpayer funds should be used to instill such a divisive ideology in our students,” Ralston posted online, the AJC reports. In less than a day, school officials reversed course. Zelski’s announcement was wiped from the school’s website and replaced with a statement from Lia Santos, chairwoman of the school’s governing board. “In the past, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited during our all-school morning meeting, but at the start of the school year, the daily practice was moved to classrooms. This change was done in compliance with state law … and aligned Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School with most other schools in the state who also say the Pledge of Allegiance in individual classrooms. “However, it appears there was some miscommunication and inconsistency in the rollout. Starting next week, we will return to our original format and provide our students with the opportunity to recite the Pledge during the all-school morning meeting,” Santos wrote.

Wow..  Kudos to the pissed off parents who pushed back on this idiot principal, and to the chair of the board for fixing the messed caused by Ms. Zelski.