Better Believe It......Because They Actually Happen(ed) Collection 59

'The Taliban took our last hope': College education is banned for women in Afghanistan

On Tuesday, the Taliban banned women in Afghanistan from attending university. The ban came as students were taking final exams. This photo from 2013 shows a sophomore at Kardan University in Kabul. Ahmad Jamshid/AP

By Diaa Hadid

On Tuesday morning, a woman called Zahra was preparing to take final exams to complete her arts degree at a university in the Afghan capital, Kabul. By evening, she was effectively expelled because of her gender, like every other female university student in Afghanistan.

The Taliban government issued a statement suspending all women from attending university, the highest level of education most Afghan girls will be able to attain is grade 6 — the final year of primary school.

A spokesman for the ministry of higher education, Ziaullah Hashmi confirmed the news to NPR and tweeted out the announcement himself with the words "important news." "What news could be worse than this?" said Zahra in a voice message to NPR, left in response to a question about how she felt. She requested her family name not be used, fearing she'd be identified by Taliban officials. "I've been shaking with anger. I can't even cry."

"The Taliban took our last hope from us. The female students had their last exam tomorrow," she said. "But the Taliban closed the gates of university today.".

Full story at NPR (December 2022)

Sombre affair at SJKC Mun Choong in memory of Batang Kali landslide victims

By Khoo Gek San

KUALA LUMPUR: A sombre atmosphere filled the air at SJKC Mun Choong as families, friends, teachers and pupils gathered for a memorial service to honour the victims of the Batang Kali landslide.

Some parents were seen arriving at the school hall with their children an hour early for the memorial which was scheduled at 9am Friday (Dec 30), with teachers present to greet them.

Messages of condolences and well wishes on cards were hung on a wishing tree placed at a school hall.

Before the memorial began, a minute of silence was observed in remembrance of the 11 victims associated with the school.

Among those who perished were six teachers, three students, a canteen operator and his employee.

Headmaster Cheong Kam Yin said she hoped all the family members will come out from this sadness.

Full story at The Star (December 2022)

University: Student stabbed on bus because she is Asian

This photo provided by Bloomington Police Department shows Billie Davis. Davis has been charged after an 18-year-old Indiana University student repeatedly was stabbed in the head on a public bus in an attack the school says was because the victim is Asian. The victim told investigators she was standing and waiting for the exit doors to open on a Bloomington Transit bus Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023 when another passenger began striking her in the head, Bloomington police said in a release. (Bloomington Police Department via AP)

BLOOMINGTON, Indiana (AP) — A 56-year-old woman has been charged after an 18-year-old Indiana University student repeatedly was stabbed in the head on a public bus in an attack the school says was because the victim is Asian.

The victim told investigators she was standing and waiting for the exit doors to open on a Bloomington Transit bus Wednesday afternoon when another passenger began striking her in the head, Bloomington police said in a release.

Bus surveillance footage showed no interaction between the two women prior to the attack.

A witness who also was riding the bus followed the woman's attacker and contacted police, who later arrested Billie R. Davis of Bloomington. Davis has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery, according to court records.

The victim was treated at a hospital for multiple stab wounds. Her name was not released.

Court documents show Davis said the victim was targeted because of her race, according to WNDU-TV.

Citing court records, WRTV-TV reports that Davis told police she stabbed the woman multiple times in the head with a folding knife, because it “would be one less person to blow up our country.”

Records did not list an attorney representing Davis.

Full story at The Associated Press (January 2023)

The gunman who killed 3 Michigan State students and wounded 5 may have planned to attack New Jersey schools, police say, as heroes helped classmates flee

By Holly Yan, Caroll Alvarado, Amanda Watts, Michelle Watson And Nouran Salahieh

(CNN) — The gunman who killed three Michigan State University students and left five others in critical condition may have had plans to target two schools in New Jersey, police there said.

Anthony Dwayne McRae, 43 – who had no known ties to the university – opened fire Monday evening on two parts of campus, MSU police said. He was later found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

When McRae was found by police in Michigan, “he had a note in his pocket that indicated a threat to two Ewing Public Schools,” the police department in New Jersey said Tuesday. MSU police confirmed McRae had a note, and Ewing police said local schools no longer faced a threat.

Anthony McRae was arrested in 2019 after allegedly carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Like many scenes of carnage at US schools, the deadly rampage at Michigan State forced students to jump out windows and run for their lives. Claire Papoulias was in history class when “all of sudden I heard gunshots directly behind me,” the sophomore told CNN on Tuesday.

“The shooter opened the back classroom door and started firing at my classmates in the back, wounding them. I smelled and saw the gunpowder,” Papoulias said. “I thought I was going to die.”

When the gunman stepped out of the classroom – leaving the door wide open – some students bravely smashed a window and helped others jump out of the first-floor classroom, Papoulias said.

“There was a boy on the other side of the window catching people who were jumping out the window. He stood there and risked his life to catch people,” Papoulias said.

“My feet hit the ground running. I forgot everything I owned because that didn’t matter. I was focused on making it out alive. I jumped out the window and I ran as fast as I could.”

Full story at CNN (February 2023)

Little boy is suspended from school after 'concerned' parents found out about his mum's $480k-a-year job: 'It's unjust and humiliating'

• OnlyFans model's son was 'suspended from school because of her job'
• Sara Blake Cheek said she was 'humiliated' by the school's decision
• She said she'd previously been banned from her kids' football games

By Louise Allingham

An American mum is furious after her seven-year-old son was 'suspended' from school after staff and parents found out about her risque job.

Sara Blake Cheek, from Florida, said she was forced to briefly home-school her son because he received a suspension after gossiping parents outed her for making money on OnlyFans.

The 31-year-old mum-of-four, who makes $480,000 annually via the platform, told The Star she was 'humiliated by the school's treatment of her'.

OnlyFans model Sara Blake Cheek (pictured) claims her seven-year-old son was suspended from school after parents complained to the principal about her raunchy side hustle

'My son was even suspended from school and in trying to communicate with the principal, she refused to talk to me or give a reason as to why he was being treated badly simply because I did OnlyFans,' Sara said.

'Having your rights as a mother, a good one at that, taken by someone else for providing, is unimaginably the worst feeling in the world.'

Sara said her job is 'no different' from celebrities who film sex scenes or appear in movies topless and the school's reaction to her private life is 'unjust and awful'.

Full story at Daily Mail (February 2023)

University of Hong Kong temporarily bans students from using ChatGPT, other AI-based tools for coursework

• HKU vice-president says any suspected violations of ban on using AI-based tools for coursework will be treated as cases of plagiarism
• Universities across city warn students against using conversational bot for assessments and papers, but have yet to introduce policies against such tools

By Cannix Yau And Kahon Chan

The University of Hong Kong has banned students from using the AI-based chatbot to complete their coursework. Photo: Reuters

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has temporarily banned students from using ChatGPT or any other artificial intelligence (AI)-based tool for coursework, assessments or class, with any suspected violations to be treated as plagiarism.

The tertiary education institution became the first in the city to prohibit the use of AI-based tools on campus, while Chinese University said it had set up a new committee to discuss a policy next week.

Professor Ian Holliday, HKU’s vice-president for teaching and learning, issued a campuswide email on Friday announcing the decision. Students seeking exemptions would need to obtain written permission from course instructors, he said.

With ChatGPT sweeping the internet and shaking up global education, the university planned to launch a broad-based campus debate on the implications of AI-based tools for teaching and learning at the institution, he explained.

“Since the implications are certain to be significant, however, it will take a while for us to settle on a long-term policy,” he said.

“We, therefore, need to adopt a short-term policy. This is it: as an interim measure, we prohibit the use of ChatGPT or any other AI-based tool for all classroom, coursework and assessment tasks at HKU.”

Holliday warned that suspected violations of the interim policy would be treated as plagiarism cases, saying teachers could use various methods to verify if students had used any AI-based tools to complete their work.

Full story at South China Morning Post (February 2023)

Norfolk, Virginia, mother charged after child, 6, brings a gun to school

Letty M. Lopez was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and allowing a child to have access to a loaded firearm, Norfolk police said.

By Minyvonne Burke

Little Creek Elementary School in Norfolk, Va.Google Maps

A mother was charged after staff at a Norfolk, Virginia, school caught her 6-year-old child with a gun in the latest incident involving minor children bringing firearms to schools.

Letty M. Lopez's child brought the weapon to Little Creek Elementary School on Thursday, Norfolk police said in a news release.

Officers were called to the school where a staff member turned over the firearm. No one was injured.

Lopez, 35, was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and allowing a child to have access to a loaded firearm. She was released on a criminal summons. It's not clear if she has obtained an attorney.

In recent weeks, a woman in Pennsylvania and a man in North Carolina were charged in separate incidents involving children being found with guns on school property. In Pennsylvania, Norristown police were called to Joseph K. Gotwals Elementary School after students reported to staff that a 6-year-old boy was showing off a firearm on the bus, according to NBC Philadelphia.

Full story at NBC News (February 2023)