The Brennan Center is an impressive public interest organization with an equally impressive staff of lawyers who advocate for legal reforms. While widely viewed as a liberal and pro-Obama organization, it often offers well-reasoned and compelling legal analysis. It is out of this respect for its work that I have to take a moment to criticize an aspect of its recent publication of “15 Executive Actions” for President Obama to take to counter opponents in Congress. Authors Michael Waldman and Inimai M. Chettiar are both highly credible and respected individuals in this field. I clearly do not agree with them on their view of Obama’s unilateral actions. I recently testified (here and here and here) and wrote a column on President Obama’s increasing circumvention of Congress in negating or suspending U.S. laws. However, one argument appears to have become a “talking point” with the White House and, in my view, should not appear in any serious academic or legal analysis: the simple comparison of the number of executive orders by presidents as a measure of their relative circumvention of Congress.
Archive for the ‘Academics’ Category
Two high school students at St. Anthony’s High School in Long Island have been suspended indefinitely after they walked into an after-hours sporting event wearing a Confederate flag draped over their shoulders. We recently discussed another suspension of a student involving a Confederate flag. I have the same free speech concerns in this case. The question is whether other flags would also be confiscated and the student suspended in my view. While I can certainly understand how this flag represents racism for many, others view the flag as a symbol of Southern heritage and heroism. I often see them in Virginia and recoil a bit due to the association with slavery. However, my concern is where the school is drawing the line on speech.
Various countries, including the United States, have been choking under China’s air pollution which is circling the globe. While China has steadily diminished the health of its own people with a disastrous priority on production at any cost, it is now affecting not just the pollution levels of other countries but, according to a new report, weather in the United States. New data released on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that Chinese pollution is altering weather patterns in North America and causing the recently intense weather patterns from cyclones, heavy rains, and other erratic weather events.
Lawrence Pintak, dean of the Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, has written a controversial guide for journalists on how to cover stories without insulting Muslims. “Islam for Journalists” is an effort to educate reporters on the sensitivities of Muslims to avoid triggering protests or violence. Pintak writes that “Across the Muslim world extremists are wielding their swords with grisly effect, but the pen . . . can be just as lethal.” That line captures the controversy because it seems to suggest that reporters are a cause of violence when they fail to adhere to the demand of religious values or orthodoxy in their publications.
If you recall, there was a bit of a dust up 18 months ago when Harvard Professor Karen L. King released the “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” that detailed the contents of the text of an ancient Egyptian papyrus referring to Jesus being married. A Vatican newspaper and other experts denounced it as a forgery but a new article in the respected Harvard Theological Review says that there is no evidence of a forgery after the application of various tests. King believes it was part of a debate over the role of women among early Christians.
We soon will witness an event that has long been associated with the end of the Earth (fortunate timing before finals for my students): the blood moon. Mars, Earth, and the Sun will all align tonight which happens once every 778 days. However, the red moon is less common (as in only occasionally over 2000 years) and has long been viewed as foretelling the “end of times.”
Charlotte School of Law professor Brian Clarke has written a series of articles that I hope all of my students and colleagues and blog mates will consider reading (here and here and here). Professor Clarke has written about his own struggle with depression and supplied statistics on the high number of students and lawyers who grapple with this illness. He is the latest in the line of attorneys to come out to discuss depression and has made a particularly insightful and personal case for those who are struggling with the condition. (I am emailing the links to Professor Clarke’s writings to all of my students this term)
A delicious prank on a professor has gone viral after students at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan decided to celebrate April Fool’s with their macroeconomics professor, Stephan Barrows. The video is below and begins with student Taylor Nefcy getting a cellphone call. Barrows makes anyone who gets such a call in class answer it on speaker mode. On this occasion, there was a prankster on the other end.
In New Jersey, Glen Meadow Middle School has added its own bizarre entry in the ever-lengthening list of zero tolerance insanity. According to Ethan Chaplin, he was suspended for twirling a pencil in math class. He says that a student (who had been allegedly bullying him) yelled to the teacher that “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.” The school responded by suspending Chaplin and the Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano insists that it is the only appropriate response because he must investigate any time that a student claims to be uncomfortable or threatened by another student.
Alberto Gonzales, former U.S. attorney general in President George W. Bush’s administration, remains as largely vilified figure — often cited in law school’s in discussion of how lawyers can be corrupted by power to jettison basic ethical and professional values. Gonzales is widely blamed for politicizing the Justice Department, destroying its credibility, appointing substandard officials, and turning a blind eye to egregious violations like the torture and surveillance programs. That record has made it difficult for Gonzales to find a job. He recently took a political science position at Texas Tech, viewed by many as a telling choice since he acted with more attention to politics than the law in his career. Now Gonzales has been named dean of Belmont University’s nearly 3-year-old law school. He had previously accepted a teaching position at the school.
It is not unknown for medical researchers in history to make themselves a test subject to avoid endangering others in their experimental treatments or medicines. Russian history professor Andrei Zubov took the same approach recently with his own field. As with many intellectuals in Russia, Zubov was convinced that Vladimir Putin has long worked to reestablish a dictatorship in Russia. He decided to put this theory to the test by writing an article comparing Putin to Hitler. The experiment was successful in a curious way. Zubov was immediately fired for the “immoral act” to criticizing the supreme leader.
I recently wrote about the declining free speech rights of students in the United States. There is another such case out of New Jersey this week where Gregory Vied, 17, has been suspended for refusing to remove a Confederate flag on his truck. In my view, it is a clear violation of free speech and an abuse of the rights of this student to express his views and associations by the administrators of Steinert High School in Hamilton Township.
We recently discussed the controversy surrounding a confrontation between Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, and Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young. Miller-Young has now been charged with criminal conduct including Theft of Person; Battery; and Vandalism. However, even that charge does not appear to have prompted an express and clear statement from the University denouncing Miller-Young or calling for the review of her academic position. To the contrary, in the first statement from the university, Michael D. Young, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, appears to spend more time alluding to the victims as the problem than addressing the allegedly criminal abuse by a member of the faculty. The letter below contains a series of backhanded references to those engaging in free speech demonstrations on campus. The problem it would seem is not Miller-Young as much as these troublesome “outsiders” and “evangelical types” who come to “create discord” and “promote personal causes and agendas.” In the end, you are not sure if Miller-Young was the culprit or a victim in these alleged criminal acts. While there are good sentiments expressed in this letter, I can understand why the pro-life community would view this letter as basically saying “please don’t beat the protests no matter how much they may deserve it.”
George Mason University Professor Tyler Cowen‘s lecture on vigilantes got a bit too real this week when a man ran into his Law and Literature class and pepper sprayed him. Cowen reportedly ran into the hall with the intruder in pursuit but an off-duty officer (who happened to be in a class) caught the culprit.
In what has become the new normal for teachers and administrators, we have yet another case of a suspension based on a thoughtless and heartless application of a school rule. The latest outrage comes from Caprock Academy in Grand Junction where Kamryn Campbell was suspended when she showed up at school with a shaved head. The teachers and administrator said that a shaved head violated the hair code of the school but she explained that she shaved off her hair to support a friend battling cancer. The school basically said “that’s nice” and suspended her.
We have yet another example of how we have criminalized our schools and society with the arrest of a mother at the Walnut Groves Elementary School in Missouri. Niakea Williams was responding to an emergency call that her boy with Asperger’s syndrome was having a panic attack. She ran straight to his room to comfort and calm him . . . she was then promptly arrested for failing to check in at the front office.
by Charlton “Chuck” Stanley, weekend contributor
For those not familiar with the TED Talks, they were the brainchild of Richard Saul Wurman, an architect and graphic designer. TED was intended as a single presentation in Silicon Valley back in 1984. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The talks have grown from a handful of views and participants into millions of views. Presenters have come from every walk of life and culture, including entertainers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and educators.
TED has recently redesigned their website, hosting their own original content videos. What does that mean? They are immune from copyright takedown demands. Many people livestream and record the videos. That means it is virtually impossible for anyone to censor or take down a TED Talk. Copies are out there in the wild. At least, they are out there until the Internet is destroyed, but even then, they will be circulated on film and digital media much like the pamphleteers of long ago. I am sure everyone recalls those troublemakers Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin. I posted a story on February 1, entitled Edward Snowden Speaks. In that story, we discussed the mysterious takedowns of the German TV interview with Mr. Snowden on YouTube almost as fast as they appeared.
A few days ago, Edward Snowden was a guest speaker at the TED2014 annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 2014 conference celebrated the 30th anniversary of TED.
Last week, I wrote a post titled “Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma. Tyson—an astrophysicist, director of the Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and the host of Fox Networks’ new science series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey—appeared on a multi-part series on Moyers and Company in January. Tyson and Bill Moyers explored a variety of topics—including the nature of an expanding, accelerating universe (and how it might end), the difference between “dark energy” and “dark matter,” the concept of God in cosmology and why science matters.
In the final episode of the series—which I’ve posted below the fold—the two men discuss science literacy and why it’s so critical to the future of our democracy, our economy, and our country’s standing in the world. Their discussion lasts about twenty minutes.
We recently discussed the controversy surrounding a confrontation between Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, and Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young. Miller-Young has now been charged with criminal conduct including Theft of Person; Battery; and Vandalism. All are misdemeanors.
Yesterday a North Carolina jury handed down a major victory for free speech and academic freedom. It found that the University of North Carolina–Wilmington retaliated against criminology professor Dr. Mike Adams for his writing of conservative columns for the website Townhall.com and other forums. The decision culminates years of litigation, including a prior decision before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The treatment of Adams reaffirms for many conservatives that academia is hostile to their views and that conservative academics face a bias on promotion. The implications of the decision however could go beyond the issue of bias and raise countervailing issues of academic judgment and decision making.
It sometimes seems like school administrators are competing to show the most unhinged and ridiculous applications of a “zero tolerance” rule. The school officials at Bayside Middle School may have finally won this dubious competition with the charges against sixth grader Adrionna Harris. Harris did what most people would consider a commendable if not heroic act. She stopped a fellow student who was cutting himself with a razor and then threw the razor away. She told administrators what happened and those administrators proceeded to suspend her and recommend expulsion.
We previously discussed the bizarre case of Nathan Entingh, 10, who was suspended for merely pointing his finger at another student and saying “pow.” It was discussed nationally as an insane example of abuses under the zero tolerance policies of teachers and administrators. Just to show that neither logic nor judgment will be allowed to influence their use of authority, the school district has upheld that punishment and affirmed this type of institutionalized lunacy.
We recently discussed a controversy involving the censorship of an article on rape by a high school student in Wisconsin. The article, entitled “The Rape Joke: Surviving Rape In A Culture That Won’t Let You” was written by Fond du Lac High School senior Tanvi Kumar described a “rape culture” at the school. The school officials immediately moved to censor and block the publication. Fond du Lac High School Principal Jon Wiltzius objected to both the text and a picture in the article. In criticizing the actions of the school, I offered this blog as a forum for publishing the uncensored article. I was contacted by Kumar who said that she would like to avail herself of that opportunity. Photographer Gabi Padovano also agreed to have her remarkable photographs shown on the blog. I am also particularly proud to announce that Kumar will be attending George Washington University in the fall as one of our undergraduate. I wish I could take credit for that last fact but Kumar did that all on her own. So, without further ado, here is the uncensored “The Rape Joke.”
We previously discussed cases of tourists demanding art in efforts to get memorable photographs, including a recent incident involving an American tourist. We now have an even more egregious incident where a tourist actually climbed on the leg of an early 19th Century statue entitled “The Drunken Satyr” to take a selfie and caused the entire leg to snap off.
There is an interesting controversy at Northwestern concerning an allegation of sexual assault brought against philosophy Prof. Peter Ludlow. While the school investigated the allegation and disciplined Ludlow, it did not find sufficient evidence to terminate him. That decision is the basis of a Title IX lawsuit which prohibits sex discrimination by higher education institutions receiving federal funding. The case will raise the question of how far a court will go in countering the conclusions of a university investigation. In this case, the university responded but the student disagrees with its conclusions. The question is whether such a disagreement amounts to a form of discrimination.
Jordan Wiser, a student at Ashtabula County Technical School in Jefferson, Ohio is rightfully confused after being being arrested for bringing a weapon into school. The “weapon” was a pocket knife that he had in his EMT medical vest . . . that was locked into the truck of his car. That’s right, in the latest example of the insane application of zero tolerance rules, the school officials called police after searching the trunk of a locked car to find a pocket knife used by a senior in his work as a EMT. He was then fed into a legal system that refused to show discretion in his prosecution. Notably, prosecutor Harold Specht ran for office based on a pledge that he would maintain a “hardline, zero tolerance policy” as a prosecutor. It was the perfect storm for Wiser: zero tolerance administrators handing a student over to a zero tolerance prosecutor. But it gets worse . . .
We have recently discussed a number of incidents of professors acting badly in shouting down student protesters or journalists on campus. (here and here and here). This has include prior attacks on pro-life demonstrators. Now a teenage pro-life demonstrators has accused a University of California (Santa Barbar) professor of taking her sign and assaulting her on campus. Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, have posted a videotape of Feminist Studies Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young walking away with their sign and getting into a confrontation with the teenagers.
We previously discussed the free speech implications of the arrest of a student for wearing a NRA tee shirt to school. Now we have another case of a student, Shane Kinney, 16, who has been disciplined for wearing his NRA tee-shirt to the Grand Island High School. Once again, it is not clear why this tee shirt falls under the school’s written prohibition and appears to be content-based censorship by the school.
The annual U.S. News and World Report survey is out on law schools and George Washington is ranked 20th. The ranking has become a dominant element in the field with a heavy influence on applications and even alumni giving. In the current downturn in the legal field (with decreases in applications), that influence has only grown.
Posted in Academics, Constitutional Law, Courts, Justice, Society, Torts, tagged Catholic Church, Catholic Schools, Employee Discrimation, Gay Marriage, Religious Freedom on 1, March 8, 2014 | 37 Comments »
Mark Zmuda announced he is suing Eastside Catholic school and the Seattle Archdioceses for wrongful termination after he legally married his male partner. The case stems from his employment as vice-principal to the school was satisfactory for years and that after he announced he had married his male partner, he was given an ultimatum to divorce his spouse or his employment with the school would be terminated. Mark refused to divorce and was fired.
Employment Attorney, Jeffrey Needle, stated the case is likely to go to the appellate courts and potential the state supreme court for its precedent setting nature. The church counters Mark’s claim, proffering its status as a religious organization which holds tenets that bar gay marriage. However, a recent state supreme court decision might prove difficult for the church to support that position.
Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Prompted by public outcry into Los Angeles area Centinela Valley School District’s extreme 2013 Superintendent compensation of $633,000.00 that included a $910,000.00 mortgage at half market rate and a million dollar fully funded whole life insurance policy California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on education Finance, said Assembly Bill 2710 would ensure greater transparency and accountability, in part by requiring all local school districts to post the employment contracts of their superintendents online.
Dean Lawrence Mitchell of Case Western Reserve University School of Law has resigned from his post after taking a leave of absence on November 6th amid charges of sexual harassment. Mitchell had previously said he would not resign and cited the support of the University. He also attracted the initial support of individuals like David Lat at Above the Law. However, the university reportedly may now be investigating the matter and a court has rejected Mitchell’s effort to strike large portions of the amended complaint.
We have another towering success of the “zero tolerance” rules applied blindly in our schools. Ohio school officials have finally captured and suspended Nathan Entingh, 10, after he pulled a finger gun out at school. That’s right, another finger gun suspension. While these cases have been widely denounced as insane, school officials remain undeterred and continue to hammer children with nonsensical actions. To complete this utter insanity, the family then received a letter informing them that Nathan had been found with a “level 2 look alike firearm.”
Many parents spend countless hours trying to keep their children off social media sites. Patrick Snay, 69, can claim that his daughter’s busy fingers cost him $80,000. The former head of Guillver Preparatory School in Miami lost a settlement from a discrimination lawsuit against his former school. The agreement came with a confidentiality provision so the school’s lawyers were a bit put out to read a taunting Facebook posting from the daughter that bragged about the settlement and told them to “Suck it.” It did not quite work out that way. The case is Gulliver Sch., Inc. v. Snay, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 2595.
We have repeatedly discussed local planning boards that trash their own (and our) heritage by approving development of battlefields and other historic sites (here and here). Real estate and development interests often stack these boards to guarantee such results. The latest controversy is centered in Lake George, New York where historians and tourists often come to see the site of the battle in the French and Indian War. Farmers rallied at this stop to fight for their homes and many fell and were buried in and around a critical ravine. Despite objections from historians and experts, the town of Lake George (and specifically its planning board) gave permission to businessman Anthony Tomasovic to dump tons of fill and cut down trees to allow him to develop the land. Notably, he has not even stated how he would develop it. The town just opened up the historic site to be filled in and cut down . . . just in case Tomasovic could use some flat land.
Controversial Centinela Valley School Board Members’ Elections Financed By Construction Firm That Later Received Hundreds Of Millions In Contracts
Posted in Academics, Bizarre, Media, Politics, Society, tagged Bond Issues, California, Centinela Valley School District, Elections, Jose Fernandez, Piper Jaffray, Political Action Committees, School Boards, Taxes, TELECU on 1, March 1, 2014 | 13 Comments »
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In the two past contested elections for what now has become the controversy magnet of the Centinela Valley School Board, (as reported in a previous article regarding Superintendent Jose Fernandez’ generous $663,000 compensation package seen HERE) it was revealed that a major California construction firm TELACU poured large amounts of money into campaigns to elect their favored candidates. In return for the favor, the friendly school board awarded TELACU two construction bond measures on the ballot totaling nearly $200 million. Voters approved both, and TELACU was awarded contracts to manage the construction projects.
The Daily Breeze reports Centinela Valley officials have pointed out that as a result of the two successful bond measures — one in 2008, another in 2010 — major face-lifts have occurred or are in the pipeline for all three campuses. The projects have replaced old, sometimes crumbling facilities with state-of-the-art classroom wings, media centers, offices and commons areas.
Critics, on the other hand, say the whole thing smacks of a money grab for the interested parties at the expense of the taxpayers.
Posted in Academics, Bizarre, Politics, Society, tagged California, Centinela Valley School District, Executive Compensation, Jose Fernandez, Public Employee Compensation, School Boards, Taxes on 1, March 1, 2014 | 13 Comments »
Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In the Los Angeles area a quickly drawn school board meeting demanded by members of the public, a hearing was held on the total compensation package of Centinela Valley Union High School District Superintendent Jose Fernandez. The package with salary, benefits, and perks for the calendar year 2013 amounted to $663,365.00. The school district has 6,600 students enrolled. This compares, or rather contrasts, with that of John Deasey, Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District who received a total compensation package of $309,997.00 and enrollment of 650,000 students. President Obama receives a compensation package of $569,000.00
In addition to Jose’s base salary the compensation package included a loan of $910,000.00 to purchase a residence in the affluent Ladera Heights neighborhood with a term of 40 years and an annually compounded interest rate of 2%, half the prevailing market rate at the time.
Is this a compensation package commensurate with the talent brought to the school district or another example of news reports of questionable public employee compensation endemic in California as of late? Much more intrigue follows.
Yesterday’s hearing on legislative and executive powers before the Judiciary Committee has generally a great deal of media and blog discussion. However, one of the more curious takes was written by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. Entitled “Activism on the Court? GOP Wants To Be The Judge,” the article portrays the hearing as a hypocritical and “newfound love of activist judges.” Having testified at the hearing, I was mystified by the spin on the hearing. Ironically, Milbank was criticized in the hearing by a member for allegedly distorting a prior hearing’s content and focus — an issue that we discussed in December. In a tense moment, Milbank (who was sitting a few feet from the members at the press table) was criticized for his prior column where he portrayed a Judiciary hearing as largely about impeaching President Obama. He was challenged as misrepresenting that hearing which contained only passing reference to impeachment as one of the various options left to Congress by the framers in serious conflicts with presidents. This now appears a continuing battle between the columnist and the Committee that will only grow more intense with this latest column. Here is the video link to the testimony so you can reach your own conclusions.
Chaz Seale, 17, would normally be considered a model student. In running out of his home one morning, he grabbed what he thought was a can of soda but realized at lunch that he had grabbed a can of beer. He turned it over to his teacher who reported it to the principal of Livingston High School. According to news reports, the principal then suspended Seale under another blind and senseless application of zero tolerance rules.
For the last two years, I have been telling friends that there is no better time for their children to go to law school. It is a buyer’s market for applicants with enrollments down an average of ten percent. George Washington is faring comparatively well due to its ranking and location. This downturn is hitting lower tiered law schools the worst. As I have said before, the legal field could do with a hair cut at the lowest end of schools. There are a growing number of for-profit schools with highly questionable curriculums and even more questionable bar passage and employment rates. Some are listed among the schools with the highest debts for students. National Jurist has now published the 18 schools hit the hardest with this downturn in enrollments.
William Mitchell College of Law Professor Peter Erlinder has filed suit against his own law school after being banned from campus for allegedly inappropriate and possibly threatening conduct. Erlinder claims that his conduct is due to post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his jailing in Rwanda. This lawsuit follows another lawsuit by a John Marshall Law Professor who says that a disability has caused him to act oddly and experience outbursts toward colleagues and students. [For full disclosure, years ago, I had brief interaction with Professor Erlinder in a case after I came on as lead counsel. Professor Erlinder's role in the case ended soon after I became lead counsel]. In one prior communication, an administrator said that a doctor had expressed a concern that “Prof. Erlinder might go postal …. ” (Erlinder challenges that veracity of that statements and alleges that the doctor has denied that he ever made such a statement). He is seeking both compensatory damages ($50,000) as well as punitive and treble damages (in addition to injunctive relief such as reinstatement).
We are snowed in today in McLean, Va. (I had to dig a path out into the backyard for Luna who then proceeded to leap through the foot of snow like a reindeer). While I often make fun of the snowphobics in Northern Virginia, this was a walloping. However, Durham Academy Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner and Assistant Head of School/Upper School Director Lee Hark get the prize for the coolest weather announcement below.
In 2012, we discussed the embarrassingly transparent decision of the Democratic Party leadership to simply ignore the vote of the 22,000 delegates to refuse controversial changes to refer to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and add a reference to God. The move was viewed as necessary to secure Jewish votes and appeal to religious voters. The delegates however opposed on repeated voice votes — well short of the needed to two-thirds of the delegates. As shown in the video, in calling for a voice vote, the leadership was shocked and called for a new vote that came out the same way. The leadership just declared the vote as having passed by two-thirds acclamation. It was an embarrassing but telling moment for those who view the two parties as controlled by a small elite group of self-serving power brokers. Now, researchers at the University of Iowa in Iowa City have concluded that voice votes may not only politically but practically useless despite Robert’s Rules of Order.
First there was Bill Nye the Science Guy. Then those pesky fossilized apes. Now we have the faithless, blaspheming camels. Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University have used radiocarbon dating to conclude that the Bible’s description of conditions in 2000 to 1500 BC could not possibly be true — at least when it comes to the genus Camelus. Scientists say that the only problem with descriptions of camels in the Old Testament is that they could not possibly have been present as domesticated animals — something that did not occur until 900 BC.
Columbia University and Barnard College created a stir this month by filming what has been described as “a feminist pornographic film” in Columbia’s Butler Library to fight what they see as “gender tension” at the school. The film called “Initiatiøn,” was billed as a feminist statement exploring “the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, to the point of hysteria, highlighting our culture’s perception of female desire.” It somehow made this ambiguous point by showing the women engaging in fondling, tweaking, and rubbing eggs on their bodies in the Butler library.
By Darren Smith, Guest Contributor
A recent two-year University research project, finalized in a practical study at an elementary school in New Zealand, tested to see if regimented playground rules, which were designed to prevent injury, bullying and misbehavior, would change behavior if they were eliminated. Some expected chaos to result afterward. Instead, the school is seeing a reduction in injuries, vandalism, and bullying while classroom concentration is rising. (more…)
By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
University of North Carolina clinical instructor and academic advisor Mary Willingham got a reprieve of sorts last week. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt admitted for the first time to the school’s board of trustees that the university had “failed students for years” by offering bogus classes, forging professors’ names and changing grades to keep athletes eligible. Jettisoning the party line that 2012′s scandal in the African and Afro-American Studies Department which resulted in an indictment against a UNC professor for fraud was merely an isolated instance, Folt said “We also accept the fact that there was a failure in academic oversight for years that permitted this to continue.This, too, was wrong. And it has undermined our integrity and our reputation.”
For many people, the appearance of the mysterious rock in a picture from Mars was a great subject for breakfast discourse on whether it was kicked up by the Rover Opportunity or an alien creature with the world’s most unimpressive evolutionary progression. Rhawn Joseph, however, believes that he can force NASA to do more than speculate. Joseph is miffed that NASA will not take a closer look at the rock and has gone to court in Northern California to force the agency to investigate further. The rock is commonly called the “Jelly donut” due to its shape but scientists at NASA have named it “Pinnacle Island.”