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no-guns-allowedThis take ridiculous to a new level. A piece of legislation in Illinois requires easy kill zones places that don’t allow guns (like schools) to post stickers (an effective deterrent for deranged shooters, don’t you think?) to post stickers saying so. Some people are upset that the “no guns allowed” stickers have a picture of a gun on them. Not kidding. Read More

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And they make a pretty decent profit doing it. Inspired by a family member who’s kids had lice, these women developed a business from an icky, and pretty common (it happens 6 to 12 million times a year in kids) situation.

Next-door neighbors M.J. Eckert, 53, and Nancy Fields, 51, run the sprawling business — they have specialists from Connecticut to North Carolina — from their small condo in an office park near the Chesapeake.

Last year, the co-founders earned a $125,000 profit on nearly $700,000 in revenue. That’s a lot of bug removal. They pay themselves about $50,000 each, and roll the $125,000 in profit back into the business.

Not bad for picking bugs off children’s heads. And that’s just the beginning. Eckert and Fields have ambitions to go national. They have four franchises throughout the East Coast.

The barrier to entry?

“There is a huge ‘ick’ factor,” Eckert said. “You would not believe some of the stuff we find in kids’ heads.”

The business started over some champagne on New Year’s Eve in 2009, when Fields was telling Eckert, a school nurse at the time, about her sister’s two children, who had lice.

“Nancy was trying to help her sister, and she was picking the lice out with her fingernails and putting them in the sink and pouring hydrogen peroxide on them to kill them. She had no idea what she was doing. I said, ‘I know how to take care of this. I’m a school nurse.’ ”

Fields, a computer geek, suggested there was a business in lice removal.

At 10 a.m. the next day, New Year’s Day, the two were in Eckert’s living room, pounding on their laptops, researching lice removal, looking up products. They wrote a basic business plan. Eckert knew dozens of nurses, so she could find the children with lice.

They tracked down a chemist in Alabama who made lice combs. They threw around names for their company —Lice-a-Roni, Lice Maids and Nitpickers Are Us. They decided on Lice Happens.

via Value Added: It’s a bug’s life — until the lice nitpickers arrive – The Washington Post.

This has to rank up there with the dumbest school policies ever to be proposed. The people that made this decision should be brought to the public square of their town and mocked – and then touched.

A Langley elementary school has banned kindergarten students from touching each other at recess, a policy some parents think is both unnecessary and unworkable.

Mom Julie Chen said she was shocked when she received a letter sent home with Coghlan Fundamental Elementary students on Friday outlining the new hands-off rule.

“I can’t imagine little kids not being able to hug each other or help each other on the playground,” Chen told CTV News. “No tag, no hugging, no touching at all.”

The letter blames the ban on playground injuries that have resulted from games and other forms of hands-on play during recess.

It calls on parents to talk to their children about the ban and encourage them to play imaginary games that don’t involve fighting.

“We will have a zero-tolerance policy with regards to hands-on play, resulting in the missing of playtime and trips to the office for those who are unable to follow the rules,” it reads.

School district spokesman Ken Hoff said Coghlan Fundamental was simply responding to parents’ complaints about rough play during recess, and that students won’t be severally penalized for slipping up.

“It wasn’t meant to be an instantaneous situation where the hammer is just going to drop if a child touches another child,” Hoff said. “I think what it was meant to convey is we are taking the issue seriously.”

via B.C. school bans kindergarteners from touching each other | CTV British Columbia News.

Kids can learn a lot of different things in government public schools. The one thing, however, that they learn across the board is deference to authority – in this case, the authority of the government. Think about all the stories about the application of zero-tolerance policies for anything that looks, acts, speaks of, or tastes like (not really, but one kid was suspended for chewing his breakfast pastry into the shape of something that looked like a weapon) like a gun. The government’s message is guns are bad -in all cases- and you, little compliant future society worker bee, you will not have them, like them, see them, or talk about them.

There are other examples; guns is just one. Our government-run school system was built with the idea of turning out compliant -and uniform- factory workers, civil servants, and citizens. Our society has changed a lot since the public school model was introduced, but the schooling method has barely changed at all (except that it costs a lot more). Jacob Hornberger writes about it in the FFF blog.

Following up on my blog post of yesterday regarding public schooling, yesterday’s New York Times had a really interesting article about public schooling in Thailand that demonstrated perfectly the real purpose of this socialistic program—to produce good little citizens who loyally defer to the authority of the government. Through of a system of imposed regimentation and conformity over a period of many years, the state is able to produce malleable mindsets within people that mold themselves to whatever government officials say, mindsets that are unable and unwilling to engage in independent, critical thinking when it comes to major government policies.

Public schooling is actually army-lite. Here in the United States, at the age of six every child is effectively drafted into the government’s educational system. Every child is mandated to subject himself to a government-approved education. If he fails to do so, his parents go to jail or even have their children taken away from them.

Most American children respond to the state’s compulsory-attendance laws by dutifully reporting to the government institutions known as public schools. Of course, we call them public schools but they are really government schools. They are owned and operated by local and state governmental bureaucracies.

Wealthy Americans are able to send their children to private schools. There, state control is not as direct as it is in public schools, but the control is still there nonetheless. Private schools can operate only with a license issued by the state. If the state yanks the license, the school goes out of business. Thus, most private schools must ensure that their overall educational framework meets the demands and expectations of the state.

Homeschooled students have the best chance to develop an independent mindset. But even then, in many states the homeschooling curriculum and methods are subject to state supervision and control. If the state doesn’t approve of how the student is developing, it will order the child to report to a government-approved school.

via Public Schooling Teaches Deference to Authority The Future of Freedom Foundation.

O. M. G. You’re kidding, right? No, they’re not kidding. Lunacy continues to run roughshod over common sense.

One of the first lessons one learns in English class is that context is everything. The same holds true in Spanish.

Take the case of Petrona Smith. She says in a lawsuit that she was fired from teaching at Bronx PS 211 in March 2012 after a seventh-grader reported that she’d used the “N” word, according to The New York Post.

‘Negro.’

Smith doesn’t deny using the word. But she argues that everyone uses it, when speaking Spanish. She was teaching the Spanish words for different colors, and the color “black” in Spanish is “negro.” She also taught the junior high school students, in this bilingual school, that the Spanish term for black people is “moreno.” And by the way, Smith, who is from the West Indies, is black.

via Fired for word: ‘Negro’ in Spanish class – Yahoo! News.

That’s precisely what Plaquemines Parish resident Shane Kersey did after he was arrested by Jefferson Parish sheriff for making threats against four schools. Check out his awesome mugshot.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says they’ve arrested a man in connection with threats at four Westbank schools.

Sherriff’s spokesman Col. John Fortunato says phone threats to burn down the schools were received early this morning.  The calls led to lockdowns and the evacuation of one school.tin foil hat mug shot

“Upon reviewing the numerous recordings left on Fisher High and Marrero Academy’s phone answering systems, our investigators were able to determine a phone number from where the calls originated,” Fortunato said.

“Shortly thereafter, our investigators called the phone number and in turn were greeted by a subject who identified himself as Shane Kersey.  When questioned relative to the threatening phone calls at the schools, Kersey admitted making the phone calls to four schools this morning, two in Jefferson Parish and two in Plaquemines Parish.  When asked for a current location where Kersey was, he  told  investigators he was at friend’s home in Gretna.  Detectives proceeded to the Gretna address and located Shane Kersey.”
Kersey is a 35-year-old resident of Lafitte, according to police.

Fortuanto says Kersey told investigators, “The foil wrapped around his head secured by a baseball cap was there to prevent microwave signals from entering his head.”

Students were permitted to return late Wednesday morning to Marrero Academy for Advanced Studies in Marrero and Fisher Middle-High School in Lafitte.
Authorities say no threatening devices were found at the schools.

Fortunato went on to say, “After being transported to the JPSO CIB, Kersey, once again admitted making the phone calls to the schools…Kersey also stated he overheard a conversation at a bus stop in Lafitte that there was going to be some fights between students and that unknown persons were bringing combustible materials to school.  At no time, did Shane Kersey contact any law enforcement agency to report this information.”

(from WWL.com)

You’d think they’d have a better rate, considering they spend almost $30,000 per pupil each year. That money must be going for something beside classroom instruction. You think this will dampen the argument that we need to spend even more on education? Think again.

Washington, D.C., had the worst high school graduation rate in the country in 2011, according to state-by-state statisticsreleased Monday by the U.S. Department of Education.

Only 59 percent of high school students who started as freshmen in the 2006-2007 school year graduated four years later from District of Columbia schools, according to the data, which details state four-year high school graduation rates in the 2010-11 school year.

That compares with a 76 percent rate during 2009-2010.

There were 71,284 students in 191 schools in the District of Columbia, which is not a state but comprises the nation’s capital city. The district received $98.3 million dollars in federal funding during 2011.

Second from the bottom is Nevada, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), with a 62 percent graduation rate.

From CNS News