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Daily Archives: April 3, 2011

2 arrests in beating of 73-year-old crossing guard

I saw this incident on the news the other night and was shocked. My immediate thoughts called to mind a wonderful elderly man who is a school crossing guard in my neighborhood. In the winter, he sits in his car until students approach the cross walk. We wave to each other when I take my morning walk. I’m not the only one who share’s a warm greeting, a smile, a wave; neighbors driving by do likewise.

As I watched on television — someone caught the incident on video on their phone — my heart went out to the elder crossing guard in the video and I couldn’t ever imagine anyone doing something like that to our neighborhood crossing guard.

This highlights the problems we face with bullying starting at home:

Police have arrested two Michigan parents they say beat a 73-year-old school crossing guard after he tried to break up a fight between their son and another 7-year-old boy. … the boys were involved in an altercation at Lyons Elementary School on Wednesday … the next morning the parents drove to the area, let out their son and told him to beat the other boy. … Garcia says the couple’s 7-year-old punched the other child, knocking him to the ground. When the crossing guard intervened, Garcia says the couple attacked him.  More @ 2 arrests in beating of 73-year-old crossing guard – Connecticut Post.

Teacher posts and mocks photo of student on Facebook

Teachers and poor social media judgment, again. In a clear lapse of sound judgment, a teacher posts and mocks a seven-year-old girl’s photo on Facebook because of the young girl’s hairstyle. The young girl asked her mom to braid her hair with Jolly Rancher candy at the end. (There were many times my children asserted themselves as to the colors they chose, the shoes and more. One of my sons when he was around the same age — was adamantly opposed to replacing both of his favorite sneakers. His reasoning, only one sneaker was “broken.” I bribed him with pizza and a Disney movie.)

Facebook is a great social networking tool. Many schools have either a  group or fan page on Facebook, engaging their school’s community in a healthy social media environment. This incident reminds me of some old-fashioned words of  wisdom like, “think before you speak” and “if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything.” This is hurtful and mean in my opinion.

According to the girl’s mother, a computer teacher found the hairstyle amusing so that she took steps to document it while proclaiming that her “boyfriend can’t believe this”:

“She told me her teacher told her to put her hair in her face and she took out her cell phone and she took a picture, not knowing she was putting my baby on Facebook and criticize her,” said Lucinda Williams, mother.

Williams says she copied some of the comments from the teacher’s Facebook page. The teacher allegedly wrote, “right, this is for picture day.” Then someone commented,”if you are going to make your child look ridiculous, the least you can do is have them matching.” Another wrote,”yeah, this is foolishness.” And one added, “I laughed so hard that my contact popped out.”

After the mother complained to both the school’s principal and the computer teacher, she received an apology.

Digital Life – Teacher posts and mocks photo of student on Facebook.

California teacher pension shortfall grows to $56B

Teachers continue to be hit hard on all ends. At times, GOP governors seem to be in a race within themselves to see whose bill will is more egregious. In California, the current problem is the $56 billion pension shortfall.

The GreenwichTime reported:

The pension system for California’s teachers has $56 billion less than it needs to cover the benefits promised to its 852,000 members and their families, the fund reported Thursday, as big investment losses in 2008 continue to reverberate.

The drop in value was enough to trigger an automatic increase in the amount the state must pay into the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which is the nation’s second largest public pension fund. That will boost the payment from California’s already strained general fund by 20 percent — from $573 million to $688 million — in the fiscal year starting July 1.

The pension shortfall as of June 30, 2010, was $15.5 billion greater than it had been a year earlier, CalSTRS officials said. The fund had expected the shortfall to be even greater, but educators received smaller raises than projected, reducing the ultimate amount of their retirement benefits, and the fund’s investments performed better than expected in the 2009-10 fiscal year.  More @ California teacher pension shortfall grows to $56B – GreenwichTime.

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