Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 52

'Our first dictatorship is school': Thai kids revolt

By Juarawee Kittisilpa

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Wearing white ribbons, publicly hacking off their hair and making “Hunger Games” salutes - Thailand’s high school students are doing their best to shake up the country’s rigid education system.

As university students stage weeks of high-profile campus protests for democracy, their younger brethren are advancing their own rebellion to Thailand’s establishment.

“There’s a viral saying that ‘our first dictatorship is school’,” 17-year old Peka Loetparisanyu told Reuters at her apartment.

“They are trying instill in us that we are only the little people in an authoritarian society,” Loetparisanyu said. “This means that a lot of our rights have been violated.”

The movement sweeping through Thai high schools has been dubbed “Bad Student” by its leaders. Its namesake is a book written by university student activist Netiwit Chotiphatphaisal about his experiences in high school titled “A Bad Student in an Excellent Education System.”.

Full story at Reuters (September 2020)

Teacher decapitated in Paris named as Samuel Paty, 47

Samuel Paty: France in shock after teacher is decapitated in Paris

By Kim Willsher

A history teacher decapitated outside his secondary school in a Paris suburb on Friday after he showed a caricature of the prophet Muhammad to his pupils has been named.

Samuel Paty, 47, who taught history and geography at the school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine , north-west of the French capital, was attacked on Friday evening by an 18-year-old man who was shot dead by police shortly afterwards.

The anti-terror prosecutor has opened an investigation into “assassination linked to a terrorist organisation and association with terrorist criminals”.

Nine people were being questioned by police on Saturday, among them members of the attacker’s family, including his grandfather and 17-year-old brother."

Earlier this month, Paty had shown a class of teenage pupils a caricature from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo during a moral and civic education class discussion about freedom of speech, sparking a furious response from a number of parents who had demanded his resignation. Before presenting the caricature, the teacher reportedly invited Muslim students to leave the classroom if they wished.

Afterwards, the father of a 13-year-old girl who did not leave the class posted a video on YouTube claiming the teacher had shown a “photo of a naked man” claiming he was the “Muslim prophet”. The father called on other parents to join him in a collective action against the teacher, whom he described as a “voyou” (thug).

Full story at The Guardian (October 2020)

Hindu girl, who was suspended from Bangladesh university for ‘insulting’ Prophet Muhammad, has been missing for 6 days: Here is what happened

Trithy Sarker (Photo Credits: Twitter/Shammi Haque)

On Sunday, a third-year Zoology student, Tithy Sarker, of the Jagannath University (JnU) in Dhaka in Bangladesh, went missing after she allegedly made derogatory remarks against Islam and Prophet Muhammad. She was earlier suspended from her university on October 23 for hurting religious sentiments.

Tithi Sarkar is a student of Zoology department of the University, is also the convenor of World Hindu Struggle Council, JnU unit and office secretary of Students Protection Council, JnU unit.

According to reports, she was on her way to the police station and then, was going to go visit a Durga Puja Mandap. Ever since then, she has been missing, Dhaka Tribune quoted her parents as saying. They have also claimed that since she went missing, her phone has also been switched off and she is completely untraceable.

Full story at OpIndia (October 2020)

French police question 10-year-olds who voiced support of teacher’s beheading

• They ‘justified the teacher’s assassination by arguing that it was forbidden to offend the prophet’

• Judicial authorities ordered educative training for the children and police also searched their homes

A poster depicting French teacher Samuel Paty placed on the facade of the city hall in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, near Paris. Photo: AFP

Police in France questioned four 10-year-olds who voiced support for the beheading of a schoolteacher and who said they would kill their own teacher if he lampooned Islam’s prophet, the government reported as the prime minister warned on Saturday that Islamic extremists are recruiting in France with “ignorance and hate.”

The children and their parents were detained and questioned for several hours on Thursday by police in the Alpine town of Albertville, Interior Ministry spokeswoman Camille Chaize said.

On Monday, when French schools held a nationwide minute of silence to honour the murdered teacher, Samuel Paty, the children voiced support for his killing last month near Paris, Chaize said in a video statement on Friday night.

Full story at South China Morning Post (November 2020)

France: 14-year-old Muslim boy tells his teacher ‘I’m going cut you like Samuel Paty’

La Grange du Bois school

By Robert Spencer

A student from La Grange du Bois school in Savigny-le-Temple was arrested Thursday around 12:15 p.m. by the police, following threats made to his history-geography teacher during a civic education course which had taken place the same morning.

While the teacher spoke about freedom of expression in front of a third-level class and showed photos of demonstrations relating to the attack on the weekly Charlie Hebdo, the 14-year-old schoolboy allegedly told him: “I’m going cut you like Samuel Paty”. This was a macabre allusion to the professor assassinated by beheading on October 16 on leaving his school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (Yvelines) for showing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a moral and civic education class a few days before.

The teenager was carrying an electric gun

Alerted, the principal of the school immediately warned the police, who came to arrest the student. He was found carrying a black electric pulse pistol. Placed in custody, the teenager acknowledged his words by specifying that he “sang a rap song about Samuel Paty”. According to our information, it is a song by a rapper named Maka. When questioned, his father told investigators that his son, a Muslim, was “not radicalized”.

The 33 year old teacher filed a complaint, accompanied by the school principal. Apart from the latest incident, the latter specified that he had previously dismissed this student on two occasions “for behavioral problems”.

Full story at Jihad Watch (November 2020)

Malaysian boy, 9, wins Nasa competition with toilet invention for astronauts on the moon

• Zyson Kang’s ‘Spacesuit Lunar Toilet’ design won the top prize in the Junior category, which saw some 900 entries by children worldwide

• ‘It works by applying a manual mechanical kinetic concept to produce a vacuum suction power to crystallise the urine and faecal matter for safe disposal,’ he says

An illustration depicting Artemis astronauts on the moon. Photo: Nasa via AP

A nine-year-old inventor in Malaysia has beat almost 900 rivals worldwide to come in first place in a Nasa competition to design a space toilet.

The Lunar Loo Challenge asked participants to design a toilet for astronauts that can operate on the moon, ahead of its next lunar mission in 2024.

Zyson Kang was among 897 children who took part in the Junior category of Nasa’s Lunar Loo Challenge. Photo: Facebook

“Although space toilets already exist and are in use (at the International Space Station, for example), they are designed for microgravity only,” the organisation said on its website.

“Nasa’s Human Landing System Program is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity.”

Zyson Kang Zy Shun’s “Spacesuit Lunar Toilet” invention impressed judges, who awarded him the top prize in the Junior category, which saw 897 entries from children of 85 countries.

Zyson’s design, which can fit snugly into an astronaut’s spacesuit, does not need electricity or batteries, only requiring mechanical kinetic power. It was made with convenience in mind, he said.

Full story at South China Morning Post (November 2020)

Coronavirus: School attendance plummeted after half-term in England

By Hannah Richardson

School attendance plummeted after half-term in England, with rates as low as 77% in one region, official data reveals.

The Department for Education statistics show how the spread of the coronavirus pandemic around the country has hit education in every region this term.

The West Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East took the biggest hit, before starting to recover in late November.

Now, schools in London and the South East are on a downward trajectory.

Attendance in all state secondaries and primaries started off well at the beginning of term, with a rate of about 88%.

It rose slightly over the next month, then dipped to about 83% in mid-November, before beginning to climb again.

But secondary schools have fared much worse, with average attendance rates of 80% across England last week.

From mid-September until half-term, overall attendance was lowest in the North West, hovering around 85%.

After half-term, it was lowest in the North East, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber, approaching or falling below 80% in mid-November.

Full story at BBC News (December 2020)