Walkout fallout: School districts hit with backlash over political activism

The gun control movement notched a public relations coup with last week’s massive school walkouts, but now school districts that pitched in to ensure the protest’s success are stuck with the rising political and legal fallout. A week after the March 14 walkout, school officials are grappling with complaints from parents outraged by the specter of their kids engaged in political protesting on school time, as well as reports of criminal mischief committed by teens who treated the event as a get-out-of-class-free card. What’s more, the students get to do it all again next month. A substantially identical event, also called the National School Walkout, is scheduled for April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, said he worried that the walkouts, aimed at pushing for tougher gun restrictions in the wake of the deadly Parkland shooting, have provided the template for advocacy groups eager to co-opt the public schools for progressive activism. “If they get away with this, they’ll be free to engage in any kind of political activity in the schools that they wish,” said Mr. Cleveland, who has a third-grader in the Chicago Public Schools. The party is moving to avert that scenario by preparing a lawsuit against the school system, arguing that the district violated state and federal law as well as its own policies by organizing a political demonstration — and pressuring students to attend — on the taxpayers’ dime. The district has yet to comment, but it has other problems. About 60 students from Simeon Career Academy trashed a Walmart “while they were supposed to be protesting guns,” an incident under investigation by police, according to Fox32 in Chicago. The school system issued a statement saying it was reviewing the incident, but Mr. Cleveland said he has yet to receive a response to a letter from the party’s attorney demanding “that they comply with the law.” “There will always be a few kids who don’t behave,” said Mr. Cleveland. “I’m a lot more concerned about the behavior of the adults.” He is not alone. Connecticut lawyer Deborah G. Stevenson said she has fielded calls from parents and others across the nation, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, after reports about her clash with the New Milford Public Schools. She urged the district last week on behalf of several parents to cancel the high school walkout, arguing that the schools had “condoned, facilitated, and supported an event that clearly advocates for students to be part of a partisan political ‘movement,’” but the district refused. Ms. Stevenson said her clients plan to pursue further action before the April 20 walkout. “Parents are very, very upset about this entire situation,” said Ms. Stevenson. “The ones that have contacted us are trying to determine what the proper legal steps would be here. Everybody’s trying to make that determination of how and when and where to take the next step.”

We don’t blame these parents one bit!  For more, click on the text above.

St. Catherine’s University Cancels Conference Because Too Many Speakers Were White

St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota, canceled a leadership conference last fall because too many of the scheduled speakers were white. According to a report from the Star Tribune, details are emerging on why St. Catherine’s University canceled a leadership conference that was scheduled to take place last fall. The university published a statement last week acknowledging that the conference was canceled because the speaker list was not sufficiently diverse. “We did not feel the list [of speakers] adequately represented the St. Kate’s community or fulfilled the objective of lifting up the voices of all women,” the statement read. “While this was a tough decision, we believe it was an important one.” St. Catherine’s President, Becky Roloff, acknowledged that the decision was made due to the lack of diversity in an email that was sent to the campus community back in December. “We did not set a goal to secure a diverse panel of presenters,” Roloff wrote. “Because of this, the racial and ethnic diversity of women in leadership positions was not reflected in the conference …” She did not state what the racial breakdown was, but she expressed her “sincere apology for injuries caused.” Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito, a Minnesota area author and publisher, said that she was disappointed that the event was canceled for diversity reasons. “I was disappointed that it was canceled because I was excited to be a part of it,” she said. “When I submit something to a conference as a speaker, I have the understanding that they’re going to choose me on what I’m going to present and the value of that to their audience. I’m not expecting that they’re going to choose me on the basis of the color of my skin.” Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) attorney Ari Cohn said that the solution to the event’s diversity issues should have been to add speakers. “Event organizers are free to shape their events in the way they deem fit,” Cohn said. “However, if diversity is the issue, the more proper solution would seem to be to add to the event rather than cancel it entirely, which prevents any voice from being heard.” John Hinderaker, president of the Minneapolis-based Center of the American Experiment, blasted St. Catherine’s for the decision, specifically pointing out that canceling the event hurts the students that the event was designed to help. “It’s really almost comical that they’re forced to admit that they did this strictly on the basis of merit and they characterize this as a mistake,” Hinderaker said. The losers, he notes, are the very people they set out to help. “Instead of providing the benefit to the [participants] that they intended to provide, they’d rather do nothing apparently,” he added. “It’s really kind of a classic story of how everything gets sacrificed in the name of diversity.”

…and political correctness.  This is just another example of how bending over and grabbing our collective ankles in the name of diversity and political correctness is crushing our country.  Unreal..

Betsy DeVos: States should consider letting teachers carry guns in classroom

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says that states and localities seeking to protect schools against shooters should consider allowing teachers to carry firearms in the classroom. Arming teachers “should be an option for states and communities to consider,” Ms. DeVos told CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes” in an interview airing Sunday night. She acknowledged that some educators have neither the interest nor the training to carry firearms, “but for those who are capable, this is one solution that can and should be considered … every state and every community is going to address this issue in a different way,” she said. Her comments came after President Trump suggested states consider allowing highly trained school personnel to carry guns in the classroom in response to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead. The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House would release a plan Sunday recommending states allow concealed carry for school staffers and raise the gun-buying age for certain firearms. Nineteen states already allow firearms in K-12 schools as long as the owner has permission from school authorities, while another five states permit any concealed-carry holder to bring weapons to schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. “There are a lot of states that are addressing these issues in very cohesive and coherent ways,” said Ms. DeVos. The education secretary’s stance pits her once again against teachers’ union officials, who have argued that increasing the number of firearms makes schools less safe and advocated for tougher gun laws. Ms. DeVos also stressed the importance of taking action on school safety. “There is a sense of urgency indeed,” she said.


Coulter: Racial Quotas Kill Kids

President Obama did a lot of bad things, but pound for pound, one of the worst was the January 2014 “Dear Colleague” letter sent jointly by his Education and Justice Departments to all public schools threatening lawsuits over racial discrimination in student discipline. The letter came after years of his administration browbeating schools for their failure to discipline every race of student at the same rate. As the Huffington Post put it: “American Schools Are STILL Racist, Government Report Finds.” The evidence? “Five percent of white students were suspended annually, compared with 16 percent of black students, according to the report.” Q.E.D. According to theory, there’s NO WAY blacks and Hispanics are doing things that require more school discipline than whites or Asians. So if more black students are expelled than Asians, well, gentlemen, we have our proof of racism. To comply, schools would have to stop suspending black kids for breaking a teacher’s jaw, but suspend Asians for dropping an eraser. Using the same logic, I could close the achievement gap between blacks and Asians in a single day by going to every principal’s office in the country and burning the transcripts. (Liberals are saying, “You know, that’s not a bad idea.”) The “school-to-prison pipeline” argument for racial quotas in discipline was hatched in education schools and black studies departments. What I want to know is: How did they test the idea? To validate the theory that recording students’ criminal behavior produces students with criminal records, we divided students into two groups. Group A we continued to suspend when they acted up; Group B we would not suspend no matter what — even when they engaged in their little mischief, like cracking heads with crowbars, dropping teachers off buildings, using a switchblade to cut other students’ eyes out. RESULT: At the end of the year, Group B had better records. Were the researchers really in suspense about how the experiment was going to turn out? I could have told them at the beginning that their odds of success were tremendous — unless they forgot halfway through and began accidentally suspending students in Group B. But the Obama administration said: Wow! That’s amazing. Do you think other schools could replicate those results? One of the administration’s models was Broward County, Florida. Which is kind of important, now that we know that it was Broward’s official policy to make it impossible to arrest students like Nikolas Cruz, thus allowing him to amass a cache of firearms, walk into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and murder 17 people. The “school-to-prison pipeline” nonsense may not be the explanation for every school shooting, but it is absolutely the explanation for THIS school shooting. No matter what Cruz did, no matter how many times his crimes were reported to the sheriff or school officials, there was no way a lad with a name like “Nikolas Cruz” was ever going to leave school with a record. Broward County’s innovative idea of eliminating school discipline captivated Obama’s Department of Education. It was expressly cited by the department’s Civil Rights Division with the notation: “New model for other jurisdictions?” Last October — nearly a year into the Trump administration — Broward Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie humbly noted that the district was receiving “invitations from around the country, including from The White House and Federal Office of Civil Rights, to share details about the historic reforms” on school discipline. Either: Liberals truly believe that all races commit crimes at exactly the same level, frequency and intensity; OR they are willing to have people die for their political agenda. Conservatives didn’t pick this school shooting as the test case for gun control. It was liberals who were going to ride the Parkland shooting all the way to the midterms. They thought they had a beautiful story about the evil NRA. Not the mass shooting in Orlando — because of the obvious immigration angle. Not San Bernardino — for the same reason. Not Las Vegas — probably for the same reason, but we’ll never know because law enforcement has issued only lies and nonsense about that shooting. The media did all the hard work of making sure Parkland was the only topic on anyone’s mind, with everyone demanding that we “do something!” And then we got the facts. Cruz’s criminal acts were intentionally ignored by law enforcement on account of Broward’s much-celebrated “school-to-prison pipeline” reforms. Thank God for the internet, or we’d never have known the truth. Admittedly, most of the harm done by the policy that enabled Cruz is not usually a mass shooting. The main damage done by the “school-to-prison pipeline” idiocy is: broken bones, smashed teeth, traumatized students, making it impossible for other students to learn, having a bad influence on marginal students and teachers sinking into depression. Check at your local school for the full results. Thanks to the Obama administration, this crackpot theory is sweeping school districts across the nation! The next time Democrats control Congress and the presidency, we will have racial quotas for prisons, too. When that happens, you better hope the government hasn’t taken your guns.

No kidding!!  As usual, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter nails it.  Excellent!   🙂

Schools safer today than in 1990s, study on shootings says

As President Trump and lawmakers consider ways to make schools safer in the wake of the Florida high school massacre, an academic study is reporting that U.S. schools overall are safer today than they were in the early 1990s, and there is not an epidemic of such shootings. Researchers at Northeastern University say mass school shootings are extremely rare, that shootings involving students have been declining since the 1990s, and four times as many children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today. “There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” said James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern. He said more children die each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents. There are around 55 million schoolchildren in the U.S., the study said, and over the past 25 years, about 10 students on average per year were killed by gunfire at school. The researchers used data collected by USA Today, the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, Congressional Research Service, Gun Violence Archive, Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries, Mother Jones, Everytown for Gun Safety, and a New York City Police Department report on active shooters. The Everytown group said this month that its own research shows there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America since 2013 — defining a shooting as anytime a firearm discharges a live round inside or into a school building or on a school campus. Since the shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and wounded 15 others, policymakers including Mr. Trump have been exploring ways to prevent more school shootings, including proposals to arm more teachers and to raise the age limit for purchasing firearms. Mr. Fox said some policy changes could lead to an overall decrease in gun violence, such as banning “bump stocks” and raising the age of purchase for assault rifles from 18 to 21. But he doesn’t believe such measures will prevent all school shootings. “The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround,” Mr. Fox said in a report on the university’s website.

Exactly!!  Some good info here that the White House and members of Congress need to read.  So, please forward it on to your member of Congress and both of your U.S. Senators, regardless of party.  Oftentimes it is they who pass laws which restrict our freedoms based on emotion; NOT facts.  To read the rest of the article, click on the text above.

Schools That Already Have Armed Teachers Show the Way for Schools That Don’t

School districts that already have armed teachers stand out as an example for what schools with “gun-free” designations can do to ensure student safety. For example, Fox 5 reports that Texas has 1,000 school districts, and approximately 170 of those districts allow teachers and school staff to be armed on campus for self-defense. These armed districts do not make news with reports of accidental shootings, students getting their teachers’ guns, or armed faculty committing crimes on campus. Rather, they enjoy not making news, as the deterrent of having certain teachers armed appears to make attackers think twice before striking. The Callisburg Independent School District, which is “about 85 miles North of Dallas,” has had armed teachers for about four years, and school superintendent Steve Clugston simply views it as part of what must be done to protect students. He said, “We’ll do whatever’s necessary to protect our kids and staff. We don’t want to be at the mercy of somebody that’s intent on doing harm.” He added, “We’re trying to put our teachers in a position to be better equipped to protect their kids. And I have complete faith in our team, that they’re willing to stand up and protect our people.” Fox 6 reports that Arkansas’ Clarksville School District took a similar approach following the December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. In 2013 KARK reported that the district could not afford to hire full-time security guards, so they “trained and armed a number of teachers and staff to become commissioned school security officers.” Teachers in South Dakota are being trained and carrying guns under that state’s “School Sentinel” program, and teachers in Utah have been carrying guns on campus for self-defense for over 15 years. On June 26, 2017, Breitbart News reported that a number of Colorado school teachers were enrolled in FASTER–Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response–so they can carry guns on campus for defense of themselves and their students. And there are numerous school districts with armed teachers in Ohio and other states around the country as well. So when President Trump pushes to arm “20 percent” of teachers for school safety, he is not pushing something unproven or untested. Rather, he is pushing something that has enjoyed demonstrable success in the states wherein it has been implemented.

Colorado state rep, Columbine survivor, pushes to end gun-free zones in schools

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, who was a Columbine High School sophomore at the time of the 1999 mass shooting, is pushing legislation that he says would protect students — by getting rid of gun restrictions in schools. He has introduced the bill annually since he was elected in 2014, The Washington Times reported. Previous attempts have been turned down. Neville, a Republican, told The Times the current law “creates a so-called gun free zone in every K-12 public school.” Under Colorado law, concealed-carry permit holders may bring firearms onto school property, according to The Times, but must keep them locked inside their vehicles. “Time and time again we point to the one common theme with mass shootings, they occur in gun-free zones,” Neville told The Times. He added law-abiding citizens should be able “to defend themselves and most importantly our children from the worst-case scenarios.” The massacre on Valentine’s Day of last week in Florida has renewed a nationwide debate about gun violence and how to prevent mass shootings. Nikolas Cruz, 19, was suspected of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he was a former student, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others. Neville has contended, according to The Times, that more of his classmates would have survived the attack if faculty had been armed. In April 1999, two teens killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before killing themselves inside Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado.

And those of us who where here then, remember it as if it were yesterday…  The good Colorado state rep is exactly right.  So-called “Gun Free Zones” are a disaster.  The laws creating them were probably done so with good intentions, but based on emotional reaction; NOT thinking the issue through.  The only thing a Gun Free Zone sign does is tell a criminal that it’s a place where they can open fire, and nobody will shoot back.  That’s all!  It’s a stunningly stupid idea.  And, it’s time we abolished them and give teachers and administrators the right to conceal carry so they can protect their charges; their students.  Kudos to CO State Rep Neville for continuing to push the issue in Colorado.