Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 35

Student’s phone stolen as he lay dying after being hit by van

The student lying in a pool of blood after he was hit by a van in Johor Baru.

— Picture via Facebook/ Harry Cyclone

By Kenneth Tee

PETALING JAYA, Jan 2 — A Form Four student was killed in a traffic accident in Johor Baru today, and had his phone stolen by an unknown individual as passers-by were helping him.

An eyewitness known as Harry Cyclone, who posted the incident on Facebook claimed a van had struck the 16-year-old while he was riding his motorcycle after beating a red light near Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.

“All of us were helping this boy and there come this guy in all of a sudden like checking the boy’s phone to call the parents but he took the phone and ran away.

Full story at Malay Mail Online (January 2018)

Teacher shares a young pupil’s VERY philosophical answer to his puzzle of the week… but can YOU work out the correct solution?

• Teacher Bret Turner, from Albany, California, shared riddle he gave to class

• It reads: 'I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I'm the beginning of eternity, the end of time & space. What am I?'

• First guess from pupil was 'death', while other answers given included 'all stuff'

By Emily Chan

Despite their young age, children can have very profound thoughts - as one pupil has proved.

Teacher Bret Turner, from Albany, California, explained how one of his first-graders had given the philosophical answer 'death' to his tricky puzzle of the week - leading to an 'awed, somber [and] reflective hush' to fall across the room.

The riddle read: 'I am the beginning of everything, the end of everywhere. I'm the beginning of eternity, the end of time & space. What am I?'

Bret explained how the first guess from one of his pupils was 'death', while others included 'all stuff', 'the end' and 'nothingthing'.

Bret Turner, from Albany, California, shared his tricky puzzle of the week, after a pupil gave him a very profound answer to the question

He said that when he finally revealed the correct answer - which is the letter e - the class of pupils aged five to seven were 'largely unimpressed'.

Sharing the puzzle on Twitter, the teacher explained: 'The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the class that I didn’t want to tell them that actually the answer is the letter e, which just seemed so banal in the moment.'

He added: 'Before I finally revealed the "correct" answer to the riddle, to a largely unimpressed audience, I fielded other guesses that continued along a similarly existential vein.

Full story at Mail Online (January 2018)

Deradicalisation Schools: The Answer to Terrorism?

Ghazali started the school after hearing the stories of other convicted terrorists when he was in prison.

By Aisyah Llewellyn

Khairul Ghazali explains how he was deradicalised: it happened when he was arrested for his roles in a 2010 bank robbery in Medan, North Sumatra, and a terrorist attack on a police station. He hadn’t been directly involved in either incidents but was one of the masterminds behind the plots (including harbouring those who carried out the attacks). He was sentenced to six years in prison.

“I was interrogated every day for hours on end,” he says. “When I was asked to go through the details of what I had done and the reasons behind it all, I started to realise how flawed my radical thinking had been.”

Ghazali now runs Al-Hidayah Islamic Boarding School on the outskirts of Medan in Deli Serdang. It’s a small establishment with just 20 pupils, but what makes it different from the thousands of other schools across the archipelago is that all its students are the children of convicted terrorists. Ghazali opened the school upon his release from prison after seeing the effects his incarceration had on his own family, and the families of other inmates convicted on terror-related charges.

The school grounds include classrooms as well as a mosque built by the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) to support the deradicalisation programme. Aidli Rizki Nasution

“The inmates always talked to me about their families,” he says. “Most of their children had dropped out of school because of the stigma of having a parent who is a terrorist. They were no longer accepted as part of the local community.”

This stigma alone is highly damaging, but Ghazali explains that it goes deeper than just being bullied at school: “The children usually drop out of school at an early age. They then lack education, particularly religious education. This means that they have no good role models and don’t have the intellectual ability or historical context to understand that terrorism is wrong.”

This leaves these young, impressionable children more vulnerable to following in the footsteps of the only role models they have—parents or other relatives who have been radicalised. Thus begins a cycle of generational terrorism.

Full story at New Naratif (January 2018)

Teacher questioned the superintendent's raise at a meeting. She left in handcuffs, video shows

Deyshia Hargrave is seen talking to the Vermilion Parish School District’s board meeting on Monday night. Screenshot from KATC Youtube Video

By Josh Magness

Deyshia Hargrave didn’t think the superintendent of her school district should receive a raise.

So the middle school teacher from the Rene Rost Middle School in Kaplan, Louisiana, attended the Vermilion Parish School District’s board meeting Monday night to voice her opinion.

“I have a serious issue with a superintendent or any person in leadership getting any type of raise,” she said in a video of the meeting posted to Youtube. “I feel like it's a slap in the face for the teachers, the cafeteria workers or any other support staff we have.”

Minutes later, a city marshal would take the English teacher to the ground and escort her out of the building with handcuffs on, KATC reported. It came after she asked questions to the board members assembled before her. It was supposed to be a public comment section with no questions allowed.

As seen in video from the meeting, Hargrave asked the superintendent “how are you going to take that money, because it’s basically taking out of the pockets of teachers?”

The superintendent began to speak to Hargrave, who the board asked to leave and ruled out of order, KADN reported.

But then, as seen in the video, the teacher was confronted by a city marshal who said, “you are going to leave, or I am going to remove you.”

“Is it against policy to stand?” she asked the board.

The marshal then reached out for her arm.

“Sir, do not,” Hargrave responded as she pulled her arm away.

Full story at Miami Herald (January 2018)

Police presence planned for start of Florida white racism course

A "White Racism" class has caused controversy at Florida Gulf Coast University. Wochit

By Thyrie Bland

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When a course called "White Racism" meets Tuesday at a Florida university, at least two campus police officers will be guarding it as a precaution.

The spring semester began Monday at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Tuesday will be the first time the class meets. The course caused controversy because of its name.

"We have prepared for any possible distractions related to Tuesday's first class of the White Racism course, but we are expecting normal campus civility as our students engage in this and other courses at the spring semester's start," Susan Evans, the university's spokeswoman and chief of staff, said in an email.

Ted Thornhill, the assistant professor of sociology who will teach the class, said he received some disturbing emails and voicemails after news of the class spread. He also said a couple of students enrolled in the class talked to him about safety concerns.

"I think most of us don't anticipate there being any unrest or protest or anything like that," said Thornhill. "But it's more of a prudent measure to have law enforcement present just in case."

Full story at USA Today (January 2018)

Poor Chinese boy’s freezing trek to school touches hearts

Photograph of ‘left-behind’ child from western China with his hair covered in ice after hour-long walk to classes in sub-zero temperatures widely shared on social media

By Charmmy Zhang

A photograph of a boy from a poor family with his hair and eyebrows covered in ice after walking to school for over an hour in freezing temperatures has touched the hearts of people in China.

The picture of the child, Wang Fuman – clad in thin clothing and with ruddy cheeks from the cold – was taken at Zhuanshanbao primary school in a rural area of Zhaotong in Yunnan province.

The boy had just walked 4.5km (2.8 miles) from his home to school when a teacher took his photograph, the news website reported.

The picture shows Wang standing in class with classmates behind him laughing. The image was later widely shared on social media in China.

The headmaster of the school was quoted as saying it took the boy over an hour to walk to school each day. “The temperature in the morning was minus nine degrees Celsius,” the headmaster said.

Full story at South China Morning Post (January 2018)

A ban on smacking children in Wales will move a step closer today

A 12-week Welsh Government consultation seeks views on how it should change the defence of 'reasonable punishment'

By Abbie Wightwick

A smacking ban in Wales moves a step closer today as plans to end physical punishment of children are formally set out.

The Welsh Government is seeking views on how it should remove the defence of reasonable punishment.

Minister for children and social care, Huw Irranca-Davies, will today launch a 12-week consultation on the Welsh Government’s proposal as part of what is described as a wider package of measures aimed at helping parents and giving children the best start in life.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has previously told AMs that ministers intend to legislate on the move from 2018. If passed by the National Assembly, it will mean that smacking and all forms of physical punishment against children in Wales will become illegal.

Father-of-three Mr Irranca-Davies said he knew there were differing views on the proposal and the consultation would provide a way to address this. He wants to support parents to feel confident using more effective methods of discipline than physical punishment.

Announcing the consultation the Welsh Government said it has a long standing record of working to ensure children have the best start in life and of promoting children’s rights.

“This is why the Welsh Government is now intending to bring forward legislation to make it clear that physically punishing a child is no longer acceptable in Wales.

“The proposed legislation would not involve the creation of a new offence. It would instead remove a defence to the existing offences of assault and battery. It would mean any adult looking after a child would no longer be able to use physical or corporal punishment against them.”

Full story at Wales Online (January 2018)