Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 53

Teachers' grades to replace A-levels and GCSEs in England


PA Media

By Sean Coughlan


Teachers' estimated grades will be used to replace cancelled GCSEs and A-levels in England this summer, says Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He told MPs he would "trust in teachers rather than algorithms", a reference to the U-turn over last year's exams.

For primaries, he confirmed there would be no Year 6 Sats tests this year.

Mr Williamson promised parents it would be "mandatory" for schools to provide "high-quality remote education" of three to five hours per day.

He said this would be "enforced" by Ofsted, with inspections where there were "serious concerns" about what was provided for children now studying at home.

'Confusion'

Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green, accused Mr Williamson of "chaos and confusion" - and said he had failed to listen to the "expertise of professionals on the front line".

She said he had given a "cast-iron commitment" that exams would go ahead - and Ms Green said: "At that moment, we should have known they were doomed to be cancelled."

Full story at BBC News (January 2021)



Manav Bharti University scam: 36,000 fake degrees detected… just the tip of iceberg


Manav Bharti University, Solan.


The fake degree racket of Manav Bharti University (MBU) in Solan is turning into one of the biggest scams of its kind following the detection of 36,000 fake degrees from 14 of the 55 hard disks scanned so far by a special investigation team of the CID.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as the number of fake degrees is set to multiply manifold with the scanning of the remaining 41 hard disks. The scam is likely to run into crores of rupees, said the investigation team.

The passport of main accused Raj Kumar Rana, the chairman of Manav Bharti Charitable Trust who is running the MBU, has been revoked and extradition proceedings to bring back his wife, son and daughter from Australia are in progress, Director General of Police Sanjay Kundu told mediapersons here today.

Full story at The Tribune (January 2021)



French schoolgirl, 13, admits MAKING UP story that sparked hate campaign resulting in teenage Jihadi beheading teacher Samuel Paty


• High school teacher Samuel Paty was killed on October 16 in the town of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

• The murder followed an online hate campaign against Paty, started by a student's father after claims his daughter made about a lesson on free speech

• In the lesson, Paty showed controversial depictions of the Prophet Mohammed

• The unnamed girl has now admitted that she did not attend the lesson and was actually off school that day

• Her lawyer claims she lied because she 'felt trapped' after her classmates asked her to be a spokesperson for their concerns

• Paty's death reignited tensions over the strict separation of church and state in France


By Charlotte Mitchell


A French schoolgirl has admitted to telling lies about a teacher who was beheaded after an online hate campaign kickstarted by her comments.

The unidentified girl had claimed that high school teacher Samuel Paty showed an image depicting the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on free speech.

She said that Paty had asked Muslim pupils to leave the class before he showed the image, which had appeared in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

On Monday, the girl's lawyer revealed that his client, 13, had confirmed that she did not actually attend the class and was off sick at the time.

'She lied because she felt trapped in a spiral because her classmates had asked her to be a spokesperson,' lawyer Mbeko Tabula said.

After the girl, who reportedly had a history of behavioural problems, made her initial claims about the class, her father filed a legal complaint and posted a video online in early October.

The video, which detailed the allegations against Paty, provoked outrage on social media, including death threats against the teacher.


A French schoolgirl has admitted to telling lies about a teacher who was beheaded after an online hate campaign kickstarted by her comments. The unidentified girl had claimed that high school teacher Samuel Paty showed an image depicting the Prophet Mohammed during a lesson on free speech and that Paty had asked Muslim pupils to leave the class before he showed the image, which had appeared in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Pictured: A memorial to Paty at the city hall in Conflans-Saint-Honorine [File photo]


On Monday, the girl's lawyer revealed that his client, 13, had confirmed that she did not actually attend the class and was off sick at the time. Pictured: People gather in Paris to pay tribute to Paty on October 18 [File photo]


French schoolteacher Samuel Paty, left, was beheaded in the Paris suburbs last October by Chechen terrorist Aboulakh Anzorov, right


Paty was beheaded in the street by an 18-year-old man of Chechen descent on October 16. The man was shot dead by police shortly after the attack.

The girl has been charged with slander, while her father and an Islamist preacher have been charged with complicity in the killing.

The lawyer for Paty's family expressed her anger on Tuesday over the lies spread on social media which led to the murder and the girl's claim she was a spokesperson for others.

'Everything in the investigation showed very early that she lied,' Virginie Le Roy told RTL radio on Tuesday.

Full story at Mail Online (March 2021)



Mississippi governor signs bill banning trans athletes from school sports


Proponents say they are protecting women's sports, but LGBTQ advocates say the law could open up trans youth to more harassment and violence.


By Dan Avery


On Thursday, Gov. Tate Reeves signed “the Mississippi Fairness Act” into law, requiring the state’s schools to designate teams by sex assigned at birth and prohibiting transgender student athletes from participating in school sports in accordance with their gender identity.

In a March 4 tweet, Reeves said the law would “protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities.”

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Angela Hill, told The Associated Press that she had been approached by “numerous coaches” who felt there was a need for a policy “because they are beginning to have some concerns of having to deal with this.”

Neither Hill nor other supporters of the bill presented evidence of transgender athletes competing in Mississippi schools or universities. Reeves and Hill are Republicans.

One state resident, Katy Binstead, said in a news conference last week, however, that the law will make things even harder for her transgender daughter, who “faces bullying on a daily basis” at her middle school.

Binstead said her daughter asked to join the girls basketball team, but the principal told her in a message that used her daughter’s deadname that “the district requires her to play on the boys team because of the gender on her birth certificate,” she said. “My daughter isn't comfortable playing with the boys, because she's not a boy, and she never has been a boy.”

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said Reeves’ has “done Mississippi students real harm.”

Full story at NBC News (March 2021)

University of Manchester advises against using 'mother' and 'father'


The University of Manchester has denied banning or scrapping certain words


A university has advised staff against using the terms "mother" and "father" to avoid bias and assumption.

The University of Manchester's guidance on inclusive language encourages the use of gender-neutral terms such as "partner" or "guardian" instead.

Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, Kidsgrove and Talke, described the guidance as "wokery gone mad".

The university has denied scrapping or banning any words.

The guidance, which was circulated to staff earlier this week, was created by the university's equality, diversity and inclusion team.

It follows feedback from colleagues who suggested they would like more advice on which terms and language to use, the university said.

The guidance recommends using gender-neutral terms, rather than those that make sex distinction such as:

• You or they/their/them, not he/she or him/her

• People/person or individual(s), rather than man/men or woman/women

• Everyone/colleagues, rather than ladies and gentlemen/guys

• Parent or guardian, rather than mother or father

• Partner, rather than husband or wife

• Sibling, rather than brother or sister

• Artificial or synthetic, rather than man-made

• Humankind, not mankind

• Workforce, not manpower

• We provide cover or staff, rather than to 'man'

The guidance has been criticised on social media with some labelling the advice as "language policing" while others defended the move, stating that schools and universities have used terms like "parent or guardian" instead of "mother and father" for decades.

Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union, said: "If I was a student at Manchester University I'm not sure I would regard this as a good use of my £9,250 a year.

Full story at BBC News (March 2021)



Georgetown law professor fired after complaining about Black students' grades on Zoom call


© Phil Roeder Photo Georgetown University Law Center campus, shown in August 2015.

By Dustin Barnes


Georgetown University Law Center fired a professor over "reprehensible statements" made concerning Black students during a Zoom call, the law school's dean confirmed Thursday.

Another professor who was seen nodding in agreement during the conservation has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The university immediately terminated its relationship with Sandra Sellers after a recording of the video chat was shared online and drew national attention, according to a statement from Bill Treanor, dean of the law center.

"I hate to say this," Sellers said on the call when discussing the evaluation of students. "I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks — happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You know? You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."



Sellers was speaking to fellow professor David Batson, who can be seen nodding in agreement to her statements on the video clip shared online.

Treanor said Batson will remain on administrative leave pending an investigation by Georgetown's Office of Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action. "Until the completion of the investigation, Professor Batson will have no further involvement with the course in which the incident arose."

Full story at USA Today (March 2021)