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Australian Schools Force Fingerprint ID – To Students: Beat It With Gummi Bears

(Image is in the Public Domain)

So the first problem is that Australia is in a head-to-head race with the UK to see which country can lose their freedoms first. The newest chapter in this sad saga of Australia's descent into becoming a China clone is a high school that requires fingerprint identification for students to check in.

Though the privacy violating principal foolishly thought that by tracking fingerprints he could defeat students who used other students to "swipe in" for them previously. However, research which is available online shows how to defeat these with only gummi bears.

So if you're an Australian student at Gosford's Henry Kendall High School who thinks this privacy invasion is crap, check out this article that shows the research you can use to defeat the fingerprint scanners.

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Save on Textbooks

Save some money. Always a good thing.
(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

Funny that I was just talking about this with someone yesterday, but today there's an article on Lifehacker about saving money on textbooks. I have used their first suggestion, Bigwords.com many times myself though I've often found even better deals by simply looking for a previous edition book. For example, if your class is using the 5th edition, look for the 4th for big savings.

Anyway, if you or someone you know is looking for textbooks, perhaps you should give it a try.

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University of Maryland Leaks Social Security Numbers

University of Maryland
(Image used under: Creative Commons 3.0 [SRC])

They sent out mailings that had the SSNs on the outside envelope. But don't worry! They're offering a free year of credit monitoring!

Whee.

Instead, do something useful and take advantage of Maryland's Credit Freeze law to actually protect yourself rather than get ripped off by credit monitoring

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No Child Left Behind Harms High Performers

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Apparently all the focus and attention that schools are now providing to "low-achieving" students is resulting in less attention and care to the high-achievers.

“This is like sports, ? said Chester E. Finn Jr., the institute’s president, who served in the Education Department under President Ronald Reagan. “If the only goal of a sports program is to get people over a three-foot hurdle, why would anybody be coached to get over a four-foot hurdle? They wouldn’t. So those who can already sail over a three-foot hurdle have no incentive to do anything except to sleep late. ?

Every single person I knew related to the education field knew that the No Child Left Behind act was going to be trouble.

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School Then Versus School Now

Schools
(Image is used under the Pixabay license)

I just got this e-mail describing how different situations might be handled in 1967 versus 2007. I think it's supposed to be interpreted that the older way was better, but even if the '67 version wasn't obviously glorified, it's not necessarily something to envy.

School 1967 vs. School 2007

Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1967 – Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his own shotgun to show Jack.

2007 – School goes into lockdown, the FBI is called, Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun a gain. Counselors are called in to assist traumatized students and teachers.

Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

1967 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2007 – Police are called, SWAT team arrives and arrests Johnny and Mark. They are charged with assault and both are expelled even though Johnny started it.

Scenario: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.

1967 – Jeffrey is sent to the principal's office and given a good paddling. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2007 – Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra state funding because Jeffrey has a disability.

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1967 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2007 – Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has an affair with the psychologist.

Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some Aspirin to school.

1967 – Mark shares Aspirin with the school principal out on the smoking dock.

2007 – Police are called and Mark is expelled from School for drug violations. His car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Scenario: Pedro fails high-school English.

1967 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2007 – Pedro's cause is taken up by local human rights gr oup. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that making English a requirement for graduation is racist. US Civil Liberties Association files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English is banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given his diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover Independence Day firecrackers, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle and blows up an anthill.

1967 – Ants die.

2007 – Homeland Security and the FBI are call ed and Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism Teams investigate parents, siblings are removed from the home, computers are confiscated, and Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Scenario: Johnny falls during recess and scrapes his knee. His teacher, Mary, finds him crying, and gives him a hug to comfort him.

1967 – Johnny soon feels better and goes back to playing.

2007 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in federal prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy

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Tennessee School to Force “Financial Literacy” on Students

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Good. Avoiding credit, reading the fine print, and how not to fall for scams would be a good start.

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Schools Taking Kickbacks From Student Loan Companies

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Students who expected impartial advice from financial aid offices on campus were getting the shaft. Now that they've been caught, loan companies have promised to stop bribing schools.

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Supreme Court Catching Heat for Correct Decision?

There's a lot of angry news out there saying that the US Supreme Court's recent ruling against school diversity plans is a major set back to racial equality. The catalyst was a suit brought by parents who's kids had been the subject of discrimination:
One plaintiff in the case was a white woman in Louisville whose son was denied a transfer to attend kindergarten in a school that needed more black pupils to keep its minority population at the district-required minimum of 15 percent.
Excuse me, but isn't still discrimination even if the kid is white?
We only hope those schools will continue to value racial diversity and will make the effort to identify and use other methods to integrate classrooms.
How about accepting whoever lives in the area? If you're in a primarily white town, the students will reflect that. If you're in a highly hispanic or black neighborhoods, you'll probably end up with hispanic and black children. Discriminiation will never end if we have all these laws that focus only on skin color (no matter what the reason). Tags:

Brain-dead Teachers Freak Students Out With Fake Gun Attack

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Someone actually thought this was a good idea? How stupid do you have to be?

Staff members of an elementary school staged a fictitious gun attack on students during a class trip, telling them it was not a drill as the children cried and hid under tables. ... "The children were in that room in the dark, begging for their lives, because they thought there was someone with a gun after them," said Brandy Cole, whose son went on the trip.
Update: Here's a link to the school's press release on the topic. Their account of what happened is completely opposite of what was reported on CNN.
Most of the students stood up and said, "That was a good one." "Yeah, you got me." High fives were exchanged.

Either the school is totally downplaying this or CNN has got some serious problems with their accuracy. But something about this press release bothers me and apparently I'm not the only one:

"The children went to sleep and did not discuss it the following morning." The absurdity of that statement is staggering. They are trying to convince people that in a class of over 60 students, after teachers pulled a 'prank', that not one of these ~60 students said anything about it the next day? Not one of them teased another one about falling for the 'joke'? Really? Not one?

The person who posted this comment on the Slashdot forums is right on.

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Technobullies – The Tables Have Turned

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It now seems that the ones with the most tech smarts are the most effective bullies in schools these days.

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