Posts Tagged ‘ high school ’

Gay Teen Says High School Discriminated in Pulling His Profile

Friday, March 21st, 2014

An Arkansas high school senior who was one of seven students profiled in the school yearbook is alleging that the school’s decision to pull all seven profiles from the finished book stems from its reticence to publish an account of a gay student coming out of the closet.  CNN has more:

Taylor Ellis, 17, told CNN affiliate KATV that Sheridan High School pulled seven student profiles from the Yellowjacket yearbook rather than publish an account based on his coming out.

“It’s a big thing in Sheridan to be gay,” the yearbook’s assistant editor, Hannah Bruner, told KATV of why she profiled Ellis. “That something that doesn’t get told a lot.”

In a statement, Sheridan Superintendent Brenda Haynes said, “We must make decisions that lead in the proper direction for all of our students and for our community. We must not make decisions based on demands by any special interest group. The seven profiles will not be published in the yearbook.”

She added, “We have reviewed state law, court cases, and our own policies. It is clear that the adults who have the responsibility for the operation of the District have the obligation to make decisions which are consistent with the mission of our school. We have done so.”

The district decided to scrap the seven profiles rather than publish Ellis’ story, Bruner said. To Ellis, the reason for taking out all the profiles was clear.

“We have a good idea why they’re not going into the yearbook,” he said. “They don’t want to just throw out the gay kid’s interview.”

Ellis, who came out a year ago, said he didn’t understand the decision.

“I’m already openly gay,” he told KATV, “so there’s no reason that it should affect how people see me.”

Bruner’s profile of Ellis said, in part, “Although the thought of coming out and the repercussions of doing so, frightened Ellis at first, he found that most of the student body, as well as the teachers, were very accepting of him.”

Ellis’ mother said the principal, Rodney Williams, contacted her.

“I didn’t understand, because there had been no problems, so I ask him, ‘have you had threats?’ ” Lynn Tiley told KATV. “He said, ‘no, ma’am, just his well-being.’ “

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More Than Half of Teens Think Smoking Pot Is OK

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Sixty percent of U.S. high school seniors believe that smoking marijuana poses no health risks, according to newly released survey data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  CNN.com has more:

More than a third of the seniors surveyed reported smoking marijuana in the past 12 months.

Each year, the Monitoring the Future survey asks eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders about their drug and alcohol use and their attitudes toward illegal substances. For 2013, more than 41,000 students from 389 U.S. public and private schools participated.

Only 2.4% of high school seniors reported using marijuana daily in 1993; this year that percentage nearly tripled to 6.5 %. And it’s not just the older students more than 12% of the eighth-graders surveyed said they had used marijuana.

“It is important to remember that over the past two decades, levels of THC the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana have gone up a great deal,” said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in a statement. “Daily use today can have stronger effects on a developing teen brain than it did 10 or 20 years ago. … The children whose experimentation leads to regular use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life.”

Teens also continue to abuse prescription medications such as Adderall, which is commonly used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Vicodin. But while alcohol use is still high close to 40% of seniors reported drinking in the past month it’s been on a steady decline since its peak in 1997.

Image: Marijuana, via Shutterstock

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Attractive High School Kids May Be Headed for Higher Pay

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Young adults who are thought to be more attractive than their peers are, starting in high school, more likely to be given advantages that eventually lead to higher pay in their early jobs, according to new research conducted by sociologists at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  More from Today.com:

A new research paper finds that attractive young adults enjoy a pay advantage over their less attractive peers, and that advantage starts building as early as high school.

“There may be this kind of snowballing effect across time,” said Rachel Gordon, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and one of the study’s co-authors.

The researchers found that, starting as early as high school, more attractive people were rated as more intelligent and more promising. They also got higher grades and were more likely to graduate from college than their peers.

Gordon said those early successes and confidence boosters may create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which the attractive high school students end up being more successful in adulthood.

That boost can have long-term consequences on how much money you earn. Past research has shown that that both women and men enjoy a wage bonus for having above-average looks, and can suffer a wage penalty if they have below-average looks. That’s along with other economic advantages prettier people enjoy.

Gordon said the new research shows that the origins of that advantage may start well before adulthood. That could raise awareness about what high school teachers and administrators can do to mitigate the effects of what they dub “lookism,” and help less attractive students feel more included and confident.

Image: Attractive girl, via Shutterstock

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School’s Football Season Cancelled After Racist Slurs

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Officials at the high school in Lunenburg, Massachusetts have cancelled the remainder of its football season in the wake of an incident in which racially charged graffiti was sprayed onto the home of the team’s only black player.  More from NBC News:

Lunenburg, Mass., School Superintendent Loxi Jo Calmes announced Monday that the “remaining football games of the season have been forfeited” — including the traditional Thanksgiving Day game — because of “racial harassment investigations.”

Racial slurs, including the N-word, were found Friday spray-painted on the foundation of the home of freshman and junior varsity athlete Isaac Phillips, 13 — the only black player on the Lunenburg Blue Knights football team, according to NBC affiliate WHDH. Isaac’s father is black and his mother is white, according to the Associated Press.

Anthony J. Phillips, Isaac’s father, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette he is angry at Lunenburg officials who allegedly concealed racist remarks made by numerous Lunenburg football players during games.

“This is a few bad kids and the coaches are letting them do anything they want to do,” the father told the newspaper.

At a news conference Monday, Calmes thanked locals for gathering at a vigil Sunday night and standing behind Phillips and his family, who she said were victims of an “act of hate.”

Image: Football, via Shutterstock

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School Lunch Policy Called ‘Segregation’ by Some Parents

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Some parents who are unhappy with a Tennessee high school’s lunchtime program that separates students who are under-performing academically so they can receive additional instruction while they eat, calling the program “segregation” that is unfairly punishing kids who struggle academically.  School officials, however, insist that the program has nothing to do with civil rights, and everything to do with education.  More from The Huffington Post:

According to local outlet WSMV-TV, La Vergne High School in Rutherford County has been requiring some of its students to attend academic intervention classes during lunchtime, in an effort to raise the grades of struggling students. The outlet reported that some parents are not pleased with the school for forcing certain students eat in a separate location.

“I call it a civil rights violation and segregation, no doubt,” local parent Paul Morecraft told WSMV.

However, Rutherford County School District spokesperson James Evans told The Huffington Post over the phone that La Vergne administrators decided to hold academic interventions during lunch so that the program would not cut into class time. He also disputes WSMV-TV’s assertion that the program forces some La Vergne students to eat separately from others in the cafeteria.

According to Evans, every student in the school is given 25 minutes for lunch. After that time, students who need extra help take another 25 minutes to study in a “learning lab.” Students who are in good academic standing have the option of staying in the cafeteria or participating in other enrichment activities for the extra 25 minutes.

“One misconception is that students are losing their lunchtime or being made to eat in some separate location,” Evans told HuffPost. “They’re still eating in the cafeteria for 25 minutes.”

Students who are scoring below an 80 percent in any subject are required to attend academic intervention.

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Image: School double doors, via Shutterstock

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