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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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"

<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/m-w-adds-1000-words/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/m-w-adds-1000-words.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script> [View the story "M-W adds 1000+ words" on Storify]

Teacher suspended after showing students graphic anti-bullying video

A Lincoln County teacher has been suspended after showing a powerful video of the deadly consequences of bullying.

The 20-minute video called "Love is All You Need" follows a young girl named Ashley, growing up in a world where homosexuality is the norm, but she's attracted to the opposite sex.

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Ashley is bullied relentlessly by her peers, and as time goes on she becomes so distraught that in an emotional and graphic scene, she is shown slitting her wrists, taking her own life.

The video was shown in North Lincoln High School teacher Kimberly Fernetti's class, according to officials at Lincoln County Schools.

Some parents weren't happy about the content, alerting the superintendent's office, which led to Fernetti's suspension while school officials investigate.

But one student said told WSOC that not everyone is upset by the video.

"I think it's a great message to get out in the school," he said. "I personally have dealt with bullying, so I think it’s good to get the point across that 'Hey, it's not OK to pick on somebody.'"

That sentiment was echoed by a family member of another student outside the school.

"I don’t think it was vulgar or anything. I think it's better to be aware and to know the possibility of what kids' actions could do," that person said.

Senate schedules early-morning vote on Betsy DeVos, clears hurdle

The Senate had an early-morning schedule addition on Friday to help push through the nomination of one of President Donald Trump's most divisive cabinet nominees.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a procedural vote to end debate over the nomination of Betsy DeVos for secretary of education, The Hill reported.

A roll call vote was held early Friday morning to approve a motion to invoke cloture on her nomination.

McConnell needed a simple majority, or 51 votes, to end the debate and push her nomination to a full Senate vote early next week.

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Votes that early are rare. One was held before 7 a.m. Dec. 24, 2009, to push through the Affordable Care Act. It passed on a party-line vote of 60-39, The Hill reported.

The reason for the early votes is Senate rules that require 30 hours between a vote to end debate and a vote on final passage of a bill. 

By holding the vote early Friday morning, Republicans can confirm DeVos late Monday. 

Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), have said that they will vote against DeVos.

The motion to invoke cloture passed 52-48.

Many Americans have been vocal against DeVos' nomination. DeVos is a backer of school choice and charter school programs, The Associated Press reported.

Collins and Murkowski broke Republican ranks and said DeVos does not have the experience to lead the department. 

DeVos has been described as a billionaire Republican donor who has pushed for charter schools, The AP reported.

"She appears to view education through the lens of her experience promoting alternatives to public education in Detroit and other schools," Collins said.

"I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of education who has been so involved on one side of the equation, so immersed in the push for vouchers that she may be unaware of what actually is successful within the public schools and also what is broken and how to fix them," Murkowski said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he believes that DeVos will be approved as education secretary. "She is an unbelievably qualified educator and advocate for students, teachers (and) parents," Spicer said after Collins and Murkowski said they would oppose DeVos' nomination.

Trump threatens to revoke federal funds from UC Berkeley after protests

After a night of violent protests on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley against a planned speech from Milo Yiannopoulos, President Donald Trump came down hard on the university.

Via Twitter early Thursday, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding if “UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view.”

“If UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view -- NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” he wrote.

If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017

The riots Wednesday forced university officials to cancel the speech by Yiannopoulos, who was set to appear as part of a book tour. A self-proclaimed internet troll, Yiannopoulos is also an editor at Breitbart News, the far-right website previously under the leadership of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, who has played a key role in many of the executive orders issued during Trump’s first two weeks in office.

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Berkeley is the flagship campus of the public University of California system. It received $370 million in federal research funding for the 2015-16 school year, according to the university’s website. It has been known as the home of the Free Speech Movement since the turbulent 1960s.

Yiannopoulos said the protests against his speech at the school were “ironic and sad” and called university students and personnel “no friends to free speech any more.”

School officials canceled the speech after demonstrators threw smoke bombs and flares at buildings. The protests grew violent, with some using baseball bats to smash ATMs. At a nearby Walgreens, demonstrators spray-painted the building with messages including “Kill Fascists” and “Kill Trump.”

Fresh paint at Walgreen's pic.twitter.com/7d2L5XYdLv— Michael Bodley (@michael_bodley) February 2, 2017

The Daily Californian put together our reporters' tweets from the events on campus and throughout the city. https://t.co/Lu2sOcZ1Yc pic.twitter.com/oR9Yd3KeoZ— Daily Californian (@dailycal) February 2, 2017

UC Berkeley released the following statement:

“Amid violence, destruction of property and out of concern for public safety, the University of California Police Department determined that it was necessary to remove Milo Yiannopoulos from the campus and to cancel tonight’s scheduled 8 p.m. performance. “The decision was made at about 6 p.m., two hours before the event, and officers read several dispersal announcements to the crowd of more than 1,500 protesters that had gathered outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. ASUC venue. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display and deeply regret that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence and perspectives.”

Protests against Trump’s policies, including last Saturday’s massive turnout at airports in multiple major U.S. cities to decry the administration’s immigration ban, have mostly been peaceful. Yiannopoulos said on Facebook of Wednesday’s violence that “the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”

“It turns out that the progressive left, the social justice left, the feminist, Black Lives Matter ... the hard left, which has become so utterly anti free speech in the last few years, has taken a turn post Trump's election, where they simply will not allow any speaker on campus ... to have their voice heard,” Yiannopoulos said. “They won't allow students to listen to different points of view ... The fact that on an American college campus -- a place of higher education, a place of learning in America, which I've come to as a visitor from the United Kingdom, where we don't have a First Amendment, hoping that this would be somewhere where you could be, do say anything, where you could express your views, express your opinions ... free from violent responses to political ideas, I thought America was the one place where that could be possible.” 

I was just evacuated from UC Berkeley.Posted by Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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