Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 57

US reels after massacre in fourth-grade classroom leaves 21 dead

America tries to absorb attack on elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, the worst school shooting since Sandy Hook a decade ago

A police officer takes flowers from a resident to be placed at a makeshift memorial outside Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Photograph: Allison Dinner/AFP/Getty Images

By Ed Pilkington

America is absorbing the shock of another bloody mass shooting, a day after an 18-year-old man wearing body armour and carrying assault rifles entered an elementary school in Texas and gunned to death at least 19 children and two adults.

The attack on Robb elementary school in Uvalde, 85 miles west of San Antonio, was the deadliest gun rampage in an American school in almost a decade. It prompted passionate calls for tougher gun controls led by Joe Biden but matched by equally stringent demands for more armed guards in schools from the gun lobby and Republicans.

The shooting began to unfold at 11.32am on Tuesday when the shooter, who is believed to have posted photographs of what he called “my guns” on Instagram four days previously, opened fire in a classroom of nine- and 10-year-olds. He carried an assault-style weapon and wore a tactical vest in which he is believed to have held large quantities of ammunition.

Guardian graphic. Source: Google Earth

Earlier, the shooter shot his grandmother at her home in Uvalde. She was in critical condition. The Texas governor, Greg Abbott, said at a press conference on Wednesday that she had called the police before being shot.

He then crashed his car near the elementary school, and headed for a door carrying an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, according to officials. Investigators are still working to track what exactly happened next. Before entering the building, the shooter opened fire on a school security officer.

Full story at The Guardian (May 2022)

Companies that make bulletproof backpacks for kids are seeing a spike in sales after the Texas school shooting that left at least 19 children dead

Law enforcement officers speak together outside of Robb Elementary School following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. According to reports, 19 students and 2 adults were killed, with the gunman fatally shot by law enforcement. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

• Companies that make bulletproof products are seeing sales spike following the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.

• National retailers are purchasing bulletproof backpacks from Guard Dog Security.

• And customers from all over the US are buying up MC Armor Company's bulletproof backpack inserts.

By Yelena Dzhanova

Demand for bulletproof kids' gear is spiking following the devastating school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, manufacturers told Insider.

Four companies that manufacture bulletproof gear said they've already seen more customers searching for and purchasing bulletproof backpacks since a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School. Police have confirmed that at least 19 children and two adults are dead.

Yasir Sheikh with Guard Dog Security, a company that manufactures and distributes various self-defense products like stun guns, alarms, and pepper sprays, said they're "seeing an increase" in customers interested in bulletproof backpacks, which the company says can act as a shield in the event of a shooting.

Sheikh, Guard Dog's president, said there's also been "an increase from our national retailers who carry our bags." Guard Dog sells backpacks to national retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods, Home Depot, and Lowe's, he said.

A person standing in the line of fire can hold the backpack up to their head or chest to deflect the bullets, product illustrations on the website show. The backpacks come in different colors and patterns, and weigh less than four pounds, according to product descriptions.

Full story at Insider (May 2022)

3 Japanese schools to introduce genderless swimsuits with unisex two-piece design

Photo: PR Times

Three Japanese schools plan to introduce new genderless swimsuits with unisex two-piece designs during the current academic year (April 2022 to March 2023), with 10 schools currently considering implementing them in the subsequent year.

The swimsuits are made by Footmark, Co Ltd, a leading provider of swimming caps and school swimwear for school children in Japan.

The long-sleeved top reduces exposure to ultraviolet rays when swimming outside. The bottoms are half-pants that minimize the contours of the body. According to the company's press release, this unisex design is intended to allow students to participate in their swimming lessons without them (or others) paying attention to gender.


Amidst a growing understanding of and interest in LGBTQ issues in Japan, some schools have been adopting new initiatives such as allowing students to freely choose their school uniforms.

However, although there have been changes in the shapes of swimsuits for men and women in the past fifty years, Footmark explains, "gender-specific designs have persisted, and many of these swimsuits highlight the differences between genders." Other companies have also sold swimsuits that hide the contours of the body, but there have been no unisex two-piece swimsuits specifically designed for schools.

Full story at Japan Today (June 2022)

NEET 2022 Aspirants Allegedly Asked to Remove Bras to Take Medical Entrance Exam, Complaint Filed

NEET 2022 aspirants asked to remove bra before taking exam (Image by PTI/Representational)

Nearly 100 female students were humiliated on Sunday when they were asked to remove their bras before taking the medical entrance exam - NEET 2022. They were asked to remove innerwear at the metal detection stage during the frisking process before entering the exam center. As per the dress code, students are not allowed to wear any metallic object or accessories while entering the exam hall. This is said to be an anti-cheating measure. While the advisory talks about belts, it does not talk about undergarments such as bras which can include underwiring. The incident took place in the exam center at Kollam.

Students complained that they had to face mental trauma right before attempting the high-stake exam. Parents have filed a complaint with the police. According to primary information, nearly 100 girls had to face this situation. A complaint has been filed with the Kottarakka Deputy Superintendent of Police.

The undergarments were found dumped together in cartons after the examination on Sunday, according to the students.

The center in Kerala’s Marthoma Institute of Information Technology, Ayur Chadayamngalam has denied responsibility stating that frisking and biometric checking were done by external agencies.

Another female student has alleged that she was not allowed to wear hijab during the exam. According to rules, students are allowed to wear religious dresses if they report to the exam center about two years ahead of the exam. The student alleged even though she did remove her hjab (scarf) she was ill-treated by the invigilator during the exam.

NEET 2022 Dress Code Controversies

This is not the first time that women students had to face harassment at the NEET exam centres, over the past years too similar instances have surfaced.

In 2017, a female student attempting the medical entrance exam in Kannur was also asked to remove her inner-wear. At that time CBSE used to conduct the exam. The incident had started a debate about being over-cautious during exams, and then Education Minister C Raveendranath said that the government would investigate the matter. Now, the exam is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). The exam conducting body is yet to issue any statement in this regard.

Full story at News18 (July 2022)

12th grade Turkish public school textbook promotes armed jihad

TheTurkish president is seen with students in an imam-hatip (religious public school)

By Abdullah Bozkurt

The 12th grade religious course book used in public schools in Turkey promotes armed jihad, ignoring the abuse of the jihad concept by violent terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The textbook reflects the prevailing ideology of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has been governing the NATO member country for the last 20 years.

The 2019 edition, authored by Abdullah Açık, Veli Karataş and Mustafa Yılmaz, was produced by the government printing office in two volumes and distributed under the title “Fundamentals of Islam’s Religious Beliefs.”

The book emphasizes that armed jihad is obligatory for all Muslims and notes that “Today, the concept of jihad is associated with bad examples, especially by the opponents of Islam.” It claims jihad is brought up by opponents of Islam as something bad and something to be avoided, adding that Muslims were deliberately defamed by these opponents over jihad.

The book completely ignores the use of jihad by terrorist organizations and does not make a single reference to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other violent jihadist groups that abuse the concept for murder, plunder, rape and other crimes. Not only were such groups overlooked in the sub-chapter that deals with jihad, but they were also not cited in another sub-chapter that specifically focuses on terrorism.

Full story at Nordic Monitor (July 2022)

China kindergarten stabbing: Three killed and six wounded in attack on Jiangxi school

Suspect is still at large after escaping following the attack

Representational image: Police are trying to hunt for the suspected attacker (AP)

By Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Three people have been killed and another six were injured in a knife attack on a kindergarten in China’s southeastern Jianxi province on Wednesday, police have said.

A 48-year-old “gangster” wearing a cap and a mask stormed the private nursery school in Anfu county, officials posted on China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo.

After barging in, the suspect, who has been identified by police as Liu Mouhui, stabbed and killed at least three people. The ages of the victim have not yet been confirmed.

The suspect is at large after escaping from the scene.

“Public security organs are making every effort to hunt down the suspect,” the police statement said.

An unconfirmed video shared by the state-run Beijing Daily showed a police officer carrying a child in his arms from a patrol car to an ambulance, according to AFP.

Full story at The Indepdendent (August 2022)