According to his plea agreement, Fernandes possessed explosive parts and devices that weren’t registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. The government alleged that Fernandes also transported explosive materials in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, and detonated devices in the Arizona desert.
Bogden said FBI agents seized firearms, explosive devices and noxious substances including napalm, ammonium and sodium sulfate and sulfur at Fernandes’ home. Agents also confiscated two inert hand grenades, five rifles, four handguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition and instructive materials for making explosive devices, the prosecutor said.
Eller said only two guns belonged to Fernandes, and the napalm was used as a fire-starter during camping trips. She said other guns belonged to family members.
Federal officials and his lawyer said Fernandes described himself as commander of a Nevada militia that was an urban survivalist unit with six or seven members.
Eller described the group as a bunch of friends “playing Army” and posting “exaggerations and empty boasts” on the Internet.
The defense attorney earlier acknowledged that Fernandes was friends with Jake Benton Howell, a Utah college student who was arrested Dec. 21 with an unloaded assault rifle, ammunition, a 16-inch bayonet and three large survival-style knives in his car as he arrived at a Las Vegas high school that both he and Fernandes had attended.
The video is disturbing, but prosecuting the bus driver is foolish. We can’t prosecute people for not intervening. He stopped the bus and called authorities. If he had tried to intervene, he may have become severely injured or killed, and/or the three young men may have been able to commandeer the bus.
Saying students are getting only one side of the debate, a state senator wants to free teachers to tell students why some believe there is no such thing as human-caused “global warming.”
More specifically, SB 1213 says school boards and officials cannot prohibit a teacher from helping students analyze and review the “strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories,” which means teachers would be free to tell students not only that they believe global warming is a myth, but would open the door for teachers to argue for the scientific validity of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution.
The proposal by Sen. Judy Burges, R-Skull Valley, says school boards must create an environment “that encourages pupils to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.”
The bill has all the markings of model legislation written by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative business-backed organization, to suppress certain issues like global warming, he said.
Burges said she did not get the language from the Legislative Exchange Council, saying it came from Tennessee. But she made it clear she believes only the environmentalists’ viewpoint is being presented.
“I just feel that our students are being inundated with things in classrooms,” she said. “Students should be given all sides of the story,” Burges said, something they may not be getting now.
“It actually says in the textbooks that if you don’t believe in global change that you’re very misinformed,” Burges said.
‘Skull Valley’, heh.
David Barton says that in the 1850s, there were no school shootings because all the kids brought their guns to school.
… and afterwards the schoolkids saddled up their dinosaurs and headed home for their chores and homework…
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 7-year-old boy is under investigation after bringing a gun to a school in Queens, police said.
It happened Thursday at the P.S. 215Q campus at Wave Preparatory Academy in Far Rockaway, the Department of Education said. Police said the child brought a loaded .22 caliber gun to school, 1010 WINS reports.
The DOE said the gun was found in the student’s backpack. The school was placed on lockdown and the gun was confiscated, officials said.
No other details are known at this time.
MOAR GUNZ!1! becuase HITLER!1!ty
A proposal to name a school after a teacher killed in the Newtown, Conn., school shootings is set to go before a town council.
Stratford Mayor John Harkins is recommending naming a new elementary school named after Victoria Soto, a 27-year-old Stratford resident who died trying to shield her students from the gunman inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. The shooter killed 20 children and six women at the school on Dec. 14 before committing suicide.
In Massachusetts farm country, not far from Boston, a group of about 200 students of all ages are part of a radical experiment. These students don’t take any classes they don’t specifically ask to have taught. They can spend their time doing whatever they want, as long as it’s not destructive or criminal — reading, playing video games, cooking, making art. There are 11 adults, called “staff members”; no one technically holds the title of “teacher.” The kids establish rules and mete out punishments by a democratic process whereby each member of the community has one vote — which means the adults are “outnumbered” by the kids almost 20 to one. Unlike at most private schools, students are admitted without regard to their academic records.
Sudbury Valley School will this spring find itself one focus of a book by the psychologist and Boston College professor Peter Gray, whose own son attended Sudbury Valley in the 1980s. At the time, Gray was a professor and neurobiology researcher whose work focused on the basic drives of mammals. At his lab, he worked with rats and mice. The experience of his young son, who was struggling in school, convinced him to entirely shift the focus of his career.
“He clearly was unhappy in school, and very rebellious,” Gray said of his son in a phone interview. In fourth grade, the son convinced his parents to send him to Sudbury. It was obvious early on that he was “thriving” there, but his father “had questions whether someone could graduate from such a radical school and go on to higher education.”
Gray wound up becoming a developmental and learning psychologist in order to do a study of Sudbury outcomes. The results impressed him. Gray described his son as “precocious and articulate”; his problem was not with mastering the material, but with the “waste of time” that normal schooling, with its average pace and rigid structures, entailed.
But not all of Sudbury’s students and alumni were precocious learners: “Some had been diagnosed with learning disorders.” And while some came from privileged backgrounds with supportive parents who had deliberately sought out alternative education, other parents had been desperate. (Gray notes that most students when he did his study came from public school, not from another private school.) But most seemed to do well at the school, and alumni reported high satisfaction later in life. How was it that students who followed such an out-there program appeared to become relatively well adjusted adults? Gray began to inquire into why.
To those who don’t keep up with education trends, certain recent events might appear to be unrelated. In May, a Grade 3 class in Toronto took to the streets with signs and an oversized papier mâché oil pipeline to protest the laying of an actual pipeline in western Canada. Last year, in Toronto, first-graders brought home student planners marked with the international days of zero tolerance on female genital mutilation and ending violence against sex workers, a means to spark conversation on the issues. In Laval, Que., a six-year-old boy was disqualified from a teddy-bear contest because a Ziploc was found in his lunch instead of a reusable container. In Ste-Marie-de-Kent, N.B., in 2009, Grade 4 students were given 10 minutes to decide which three people from this group should be saved from an imminent planetary explosion: a black African, a Chinese person, an Aboriginal, an Acadian francophone and an anglophone.
These are just a handful of examples of the more peculiar by-products of a vision gaining ground among many education architects: an elementary school education rooted in social-justice principles. Increasingly, faculties of education in Canada and much of the Western world are preparing their student teachers to weave social justice throughout the primary school curriculum—in math and science, language arts and social studies, drama and even gym—as well as into a range of cross-curricular activities, events and projects. The idea is to encourage kids to become critical analysts of contemporary issues, empathetic defenders of human rights and gatekeepers of the beleaguered Earth.
But social justice—which encompasses diversity, sustainability, global affairs and issues of race and class—is a broad term with varying interpretations. It can manifest in wildly different ways. In the hands of one teacher, social justice might entail teaching kids to care for the Earth by having them plant trees in the schoolyard. Another might have the same children write letters to the government about the environmental effects of mining, urging it to reform how mining claims are processed—part of an actual Grade 4 lesson plan created at the University of Ottawa.
When it comes to the question of what’s appropriate to broach with young children, conflicts abound. Last month, Toronto parents were incensed to learn that the Toronto District School Board web page promoting health education included a link to an organization that suggested kids explore their sexuality by experimenting with sex toys and vegetables. The board has since removed the link. Sometimes the social-justice push can just come off as old-fashioned political correctness: the Durham Board of Education in Ontario came under fire for discouraging the terms “wife” and “husband” in class in favour of the gender-neutral “spouse,” and the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” in favour of “partner.” And in the name of inclusiveness, some school boards include Wiccan holidays in their school calendars. But because there are no clear guidelines, things can also really go awry. In March, a U.K. school banned “best friends” because that made other kids feel left out. In May, a six-year-old boy in Denver was suspended for singing the pop anthem I’m Sexy and I Know It to a female classmate, violating the school’s sexual-harassment policy.
Ever since her 12-year-old twin sons went back to school in August, Catherine Durkin Robinson has been telling herself, “Steer clear. Think first, and keep away,” she says.
The hazard she’s avoiding? Logging on to her school’s online grade-reporting system to see how her boys are doing. When she checked their grades online late last year, “I saw Cs and I almost lost my mind,” she says. Her sons’ teachers later explained that the grades weren’t up-to-date and that Zachary and Jacob were actually doing very well. But it was a shock she’d rather not repeat, says the Tampa, Fla.-based manager for a nonprofit education organization.
It’s a parent’s dream—or nightmare: More schools offer online systems that let families track grades, attendance and other student-related information. In the past five years, the number of schools using such systems has more than tripled, to an estimated 25% to 35% of U.S. public schools, says Rich Bagin, executive director of the National School Public Relations Association in Rockville, Md. Parent use is likely to expand faster in coming years, as more take advantage of the systems’ mobile apps, Mr. Bagin says.
Some parents place the systems squarely in the too-much-information category. Crystal Patriarche took one look at her kids’ online system and said, “Omigosh, I don’t have time for this,” says the Chandler, Ariz., website editor and mother of three. “There’s so much coming home in their backpacks every night,” she says. “It’s too much work, too much information, one more thing to add to my already full plate.”