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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘students’

Hadasim School in Sharon Region Evacuated

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

The Hadasim school in the Sharon region was evacuated late this morning after a suspicious item was spotted in the building.

Security and police forces were alerted and arrived immediately to check whether or not the object is a bomb.

Staff and students were quickly and quietly removed from the building and currently are waiting for further instructions. No further details were made available.

BDS Agitators Fail in ‘Rachel Corrie Country’

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

It’s been a rough day for Palestinian supporters: Yet another unversity-based divestment attempt failed dismally at the University of Washington at the same time as an Israeli court was set to rule on the latest appeal in the decade-long legal saga of local girl Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old activist who was crushed by an IDF bulldozer in 2003 when she made the mistake of standing in front of it.

Corrie, a member of the radical, terror-supporting International Solidarity Movement (ISM) was killed while serving as a human shield in a closed military area in the Gaza Strip, near the border with Egypt.  She refused to comply with IDF instructions to vacate the area, and was then crushed to death by a military bulldozer in Gaza  because the soldier driving the bulldozer could not see her from where he was seated, high up in the cab.

For the past eleven years, her parents have pursued a lawsuit in Israel’s courts to have her death declared a murder, something Israeli courts have repeatedly refused to do. Today (Wednesday) the Supreme Court will rule on the family’s  appeal of a lower court ruling absolving the IDF of culpability for the incident.

IN 2011 a lower court ruled the IDF was not negligent, nor was it responsible for Corrie’s death. Moreover, the court ruled the IDF had fully and credibly investigated the circumstances surrounding the incident. By entering a closed military zone, and attempting to block the work of military bulldozers, Corrie was responsible for her own death, the court ruled.

BDS keeps on kicking, despite rejections

Sources on campus described the UW boycott issue as one of the most heated campus debates in recent memory, with furious comments both for and against the resolution in the university’s Slog news website. “Intentional or not, BDS [movement] singles out Jews for treatment that no one else gets, even countries that behave far worse. You don’t think it would be practical to aim against Syria (hmm, when was the last time Israel gassed its own citizens?)?” responded one writer.

Ironically, the University of Washington is located not far from Rachel Corrie’s hometown of Olympia, Wash.

Following the UW campaign, The Jewish Press has learned that students at the University of South Florida are also pressuring the school’s foundation to divest from companies linked to Israeli companies based in Judea and Samaria. Students this month presented a petition with 10,000 signatures to the school’s foundation urging the school to divest from corporations such as Motorola, HP and Caterpillar.

Boycott supporters have not indicated whether-or-not they will stop using cellphone, computer and internet technologies, all of which were developed in Israel, to protest the “brutal oppression” of the world’s only “apartheid” victims with the right to vote, run for office and full access to Israel’s Supreme Court.

California School District Cancels Lesson on Holocaust Denial

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Students at a school in California who were given an assignment to compare propaganda with actual evidence on the Holocaust have instead been told to abandon the project.

The order came following a firestorm of criticism and at least one death threat aimed at Southern California’s Rialto Unified School District, which assigned the homework.

According to a report published in The Daily Bulletin newspaper, the project was assigned in April to 2,000 13-and-14 year old eighth grade students, as follows:

Shen tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.  Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”

It had first been reviewed by a committee of eighth grade teachers, and sent to middle school sites in February for comment prior to distribution to the students. No objections were raised at the time, according to the spokesperson.

But the district found itself under siege on Monday, with the switchboard lines ringing off the hook.

At least one person called police repeatedly threatening death to a district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri and the interim school superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam. The incident is under investigation.

But also among the critics was Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, who slammed the assignment as inappropriate.

Rabbi Cooper told FoxNews.com on Monday, “Whatever the motivation, it ends up elevating hate and history to the same level… We should train our kids to have critical thinking, but the problem here is the teacher confused teaching critical thinking with common sense, because common sense dictates you don’t comingle propaganda with common truth.”

The rabbi advised the district to instead assign students to research the issue of Holocaust denial and meet with local survivors of the Nazis.

The school district responded in a statement saying the interim superintendent will speak with its educational services department to “assure that any reference to the Holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken from any current or future argumentative research assignments. The Holocaust is and should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” the statement continues. “We believe in the words of George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot learn from history are bound to repeat it.”

The Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League said it was satisfied with the district’s actions by Monday. “It is ADL’s general position that an exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial,” Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman was quoted as saying, after having spoken with the interim superintendent on Friday.

“ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda,” a blog post quoting Friedman continues. “Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills.”

In a number of European countries today — including Germany — Holocaust denial is a criminal offense for which one can be sentenced to prison. The Nazis exterminated six million Jews out of a total of some 11 million victims murdered between 1933 and 1945, in the Holocaust that took place prior to and during World War II. Some two-thirds of European Jewry was wiped out in the slaughter, which ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany by the U.S., UK and their Allies.

Mass Stabbing in Pennsylvania High School

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

A 16-year-old student went on a mass stabbing spree in Franklin Regional High School on Wednesday. The school is located in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of about 20,000 people located about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.

A security officer and 21 students were wounded before the stabber was stopped by assistant principal Sam King, who tackled him. It took two to handcuff him, finally.

Several of the victims were listed in critical condition; they and a number of others were airlifted by four medical helicopters to nearby hospitals. Most of the wounded were ages 14 to 17 years old.

The attacker was armed with two “straight knives” about 8 to 10 inches long, according to police. He was described by a classmate as a “quiet person who kept to himself,” according to media reports. Neighbors and acquaintances all described the attacker’s family as “nice, just nice.”

Police and FBI searched his home for clues to a motive for the Pittsburgh-area attack. The teenage stabber’s parents both work, and his brother also attends the high school where he carried out his rampage.

Witnesses called student Nate Scimio a “hero,” saying he kept his head during the attack, activating the school’s fire alarm and helping to shield his classmates.

The school is closed for the next several days while security officials investigate the incident.

 

 

France: “Secularism Charter” in Every School

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

“Nothing could be worse than posting a secularism charter on the wall and then the students see around them that what actually happens in school life is the exact opposite of what we tell them.” — Philippe Tournier, Secretary General, French Teachers Union.

The French government has announced a plan to post a “secularism charter” in all public schools in France by the end of September.

The document — which is to appear in a prominent location in all of the 55,000 public schools in France — would serve to remind students and teachers of a list of secular principles underpinning the separation of mosque and state.

Although the initiative has enjoyed a generally positive reception, many observers are saying they doubt the Socialist government of French President François Hollande will have the political willpower actually to enforce secular principles in French schools — with or without a charter.

This skepticism stems from the fact that Muslim children constitute an increasingly large proportion of the 10 million students in the French public school system — and because Muslim parents make up an increasingly important voting bloc in French politics. Muslims, in fact, cast the deciding vote that thrust Hollande into the Elysée Palace in May 2012.

French Education Minister Vincent Peillon, who announced the plan in an interview with the French daily newspaper L’Est Républicain on August 26, said, “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but not to dispute lessons or to skip classes [for religious reasons]. The charter will be a reminder of [secular] principles. It will be posted in all schools in late September. The law provides for a moral and civic education that promotes freedom from judgment, the capacity to emancipate, and rights and duties. I want to see the return of those values of the [French] Republic in schools in 2013.”

Although the final content of the charter will not be made public until the middle of September, a draft of the list which contains a total of 17 paragraphs has been circulating since July 11.

The first section of the draft list is entitled “The Republic is Secular,” and consists of six rather straightforward paragraphs that mostly echo the French Constitution. Paragraph 2 of the draft, for example, states that, “France is a republic that is indivisible, secular, democratic and social. It ensures equality before the law, on the whole of its territory, for all citizens. It respects all creeds.”

According to Paragraph 3, “The secular Republic is based upon the separation of religion and state. The state is neutral with regard to religious or spiritual beliefs. There is no state religion.” Paragraph 4 states that “Secularism guarantees freedom of conscience for all. Everyone is free to believe or not to believe. It allows the free expression of his beliefs, respecting those of others within the limits of public order.” And so on.

The second section of the list, entitled “The School is Secular,” changes tack by directly confronting Muslim students who take to disrupting classes whenever they do not agree with their teachers on certain subjects.

Paragraph 14 states: “Lessons are secular. To ensure that students are as objectively open as possible to the diversity of worldviews as well as to the extent and accuracy of knowledge, no subject is a priori excluded from scientific and educational inquiry.”

According to Paragraph 15, “No student may invoke religious or political convictions to challenge and/or to prevent a teacher from teaching certain parts of the curriculum.” Paragraph 16 states that “the wearing of conspicuous symbols or dress by pupils as relates to their religious affiliation is prohibited in public schools.”

The draft charter also states that “the secular school offers students the conditions to forge their own personality, exercise their free will and learn about citizenship. It protects them from proselytizing and from any pressure that prevents them from making their own choices.”

Reactions to the announcement have been mixed, with some questioning if or how the measure will be enforced.

The Secretary General of the French Teachers Union, Philippe Tournier, told Radio Europe 1 that while he welcomed the secularism charter in principle, he worried about its implementation. “The intentions are quite positive, but the essential thing still remains: putting into force what [the charter] affirms,” he said. “Nothing could be worse than posting a secularism charter on the wall, and then the students see around them that what actually happens in school life is the exact opposite of what we tell them.”

YU Sex Abuse Extended beyond Boys High School

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Incidents of physical and sexual abuse at Yeshiva University were not limited to its high school for boys, an investigation has found.

The investigation commissioned by the university and carried out by the New York-based law firm Sullivan & Cromwell followed reports of sexual abuse by two faculty members at Y.U.’s high school for boys in the 1970s and ‘80s.

The report produced by investigators and released Monday confirmed that “multiple incidents of varying types of sexual and physical abuse took place” at the high school, perpetrated by individuals in positions of authority and continuing even after administration members had been made aware of the problem. The probe also found sexual abuse at other divisions of the university but, citing pending litigation, did not describe them in any detail or specify where they took place.

“Up until 2001, there were multiple instances in which the University either failed to appropriately act to protect the safety of its students or did not respond to the allegations at all,” the report said. “This lack of an appropriate response by the University caused victims to believe that their complaints fell on deaf ears or were simply not believed by the University’s administration.”

While the report noted that Y.U.’s responses to allegations of abuse after 2001 improved significantly, it issued detailed recommendations for new policies at the school to prevent and report sexual or physical abuse or harassment. The report did not go into detail on the past instances of sexual abuse.

“There are findings set forth in this report that serve as a source of profound shame and sadness for our institution,” Y.U. President Richard Joel said in a statement released Monday. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire University community, I express my deepest and most heartfelt remorse, and truly hope that our recognition of these issues provides some level of comfort and closure to the victims.

“Although we cannot change the past, we remain committed to making confidential counseling services available to those individual victims in the hope they can achieve a more peaceful future.”

The investigation was prompted by a Dec. 13, 2012 article in the Forward newspaper titled “Student Claims of Abuse not Reported by Yeshiva U.” that focused on abuse allegations against two Y.U. faculty members: Rabbi George Finkelstein, an administrator and faculty member from 1963 to 1995, and Rabbi Macy Gordon, a teacher from 1956 to 1983.

Finkelstein was accused of groping students and rubbing up against them, often under the guise of wrestling, at school and in his home. Gordon was accused of sodomizing boys, including in at least one instance with a toothbrush. Both men have denied the allegations.

A group of former students filed a $380 million lawsuit against Yeshiva University in early July, just days after Y.U.’s longtime chancellor, Rabbi Norman Lamm, acknowledged mishandling the abuse allegations decades earlier. The lawsuit has since added plaintiffs and grown to $680 million.

After Y.U. hired Sullivan & Cromwell to conduct an investigation, the school’s board of trustees appointed a special committee to manage the relationship and receive periodic reports. The investigation was led by Karen Patton Seymour, a former criminal prosecutor, and carried out with the help of T&M Protection Services, a firm specializing in preventing sex abuse.

Some 6,300 hours were spent on the investigation, including interviews with 145 people, according to the report. Investigators sought to interview the former students named in the lawsuit, but their lawyers declined to make them available, the report said. According to the report, 70 people who were contacted either declined to be interviewed or did not respond to requests for interviews.

Most of the report was taken up with a new set of anti-harassment guidelines recommended by T&M Protection Services, which Joel said YU will implement fully.

The recommendations include setting clear boundaries for appropriate contact between faculty and students, educating them about the rules, screening new hires, establishing clear avenues for reporting allegations and putting in place policies for investigating allegations.

Government to Pay Students for Pro-Israel Social Media Messages

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

The Israeli government has come up with a scheme to increase pro-Israel messages on social media by offering students scholarships for taking on the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel movement.

The project will allow the students to post message through a government link so that they will not have to identify themselves, according to the office of the Prime Minister.

Israel launched a “hasbara” explanation campaign more than two years ago to try to offset rampant anti-Israel media and the Boycott Israel movement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/government-to-pay-students-for-pro-israel-social-media-messages/2013/08/14/

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