‘Attitude’ gets sixth-grader handcuffed
A Colorado sixth-grader was handcuffed and taken to a juvenile holding facility for disobeying an assistant principal and being “argumentative and extremely rude,” according to an incident report.
“She told me that I need to quit giving her my attitude,” Yajira Quezada was quoted by NBC affiliate KUSA TV as saying of the administrator at Shaw Heights Middle School in Westminster, a suburb of Denver. Read more from msnbc.com.
Jeffco teacher accused of sexual assaults passed state background check
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A Jefferson County substitute teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 6th grade girl, had a long history of sexual assault accusations FOX 31 Denver has learned.
But 47-year-old Vincente Vitela passed a Colorado Department of Education background check, despite several complaints filed with the state by Denver Public Schools. Read more from the CW at KWGN.com.
Bullying prevention on educators’ minds
THORNTON, Colo. — To date, more than 9,000 educators, school mental health professionals and safety teams have been given training in how to identify bullies and their victims.
“We want to give these folks the educational tools they need to help carry out the new laws relating to bullying,” said Christine Harms, of the School Safety Resource Center. “House Bill 1254 strengthened Colorado’s bullying prevention efforts by protecting students from attacks based on disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, ancestry or the need for special education services.” Read more from Fox 31 Denver at KDVR.com.
My View: It’s time to change schools’ culture of misery
Misery has become the norm for young people in school – the Ohio school shooting last week and the case of the Rutgers University cyber-bullying suicide are only the most high-profile of recent related fatalities.
Such despairing actions like suicides and shootings aren’t aberrations. Kids across America are distressed and crying out for help in different ways. When they abuse substances, cut themselves, sink into debilitating depression and paralyzing anxiety, become truant, drop out of school or commit suicide or school shootings, they are saying the same thing: It is too much to bear. Read more from CNN.com.
Justice Department hails Minn. school settlement
MINNEAPOLIS—A settlement with Minnesota’s largest school district over the harassment and bullying of students who are gay, or perceived to be gay, should serve as a model for other schools in the U.S., federal officials said Tuesday.
The Anoka-Hennepin School Board agreed Monday night to strengthen the district’s efforts to prevent sex-based harassment. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker told reported during a conference call Tuesday that several provisions that are part of the settlement shouldn’t cost much for other school districts to adapt, such as conducting anti-bullying surveys; creating a committee of students, parents and teachers to discuss what’s working and what’s not; identifying “hot spots” on school grounds and on buses that need better supervision; and peer leadership training. Read more from the Boston Globe.
Black students face more discipline, data suggests
Black students, especially boys, face much harsher discipline in public schools than other students, according to new data from the Department of Education.
Although black students made up only 18 percent of those enrolled in the schools sampled, they accounted for 35 percent of those suspended once, 46 percent of those suspended more than once and 39 percent of all expulsions, according to the Civil Rights Data Collection’s 2009-10 statistics from 72,000 schools in 7,000 districts, serving about 85 percent of the nation’s students. The data covered students from kindergarten age through high school. Read more from the New York Times.
About our First Person series:
First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.