The video, shot on a bus in Greece, New York, records middle school students peppering the grandmother with insults, calling her fat, taunting her for sweating and asking her if she has a sexually transmitted disease.
“I really felt almost heartbroken to see that people would do such a thing to a nice lady,” Mr. Sidorov, 25, said in an interview with the National Post. “So, I just thought I had to do something about it.”
Sid Ryan: The case for zero tuition In Ireland, where I’m from, education is free from kindergarten through university. It seems absurd to me that we charge our young people any college or university fees at all, given that their skills and knowledge will propel our economy.
There are 20 developed countries in the OECD that currently charge zero or nominal fees for higher learning. However, here in Canada, free tuition continues to be treated like a radical idea, while the more than 150,000 students who have been striking in Québec for the past 15 weeks to stop fee increases have been chided by politicians and pundits alike for harboring a sense of “entitlement.”
Isn’t it time to consider free and universal access to college and university in the same way it universalized high school education at the beginning of the last century? Isn’t it time that profitable corporations were obliged by law to invest in workplace-based training such as apprenticeship and basic skills?
Emergency legislation introduced overnight provides for fines of between $1,000 and $5,000 for any individual who prevents someone from entering an educational institution.
The penalties climb to between $7,000 and $35,000 for a student leader and to between $25,000 and $125,000 for unions or student federations.
In all cases, the fines will double for repeat offenders.
“It’s a declaration of war, not only against students but also against anyone who clings in any way to democracy, against anyone who clings to what Quebec was before this legislation was tabled,” said student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois. (Allen McInnis/The Gazette)
Anger over a short lived effort to put an end to the tuition crisis through negotiations bubbled over Wednesday night when a hastily-organized demonstration turned ugly and police used batons, pepper spray and percussion bombs to disperse the crowd.
After two hours of peaceful protest, police declared the march illegal and the situation unravelled quickly. A car was set on fire at a major downtown intersection and chaos ensued as the police started to push the crowd back using whatever tools they had in their arsenal. (Photos: Dario Ayala, Allen McInnis/Postmedia News)
Graeme Hamilton: Striking Quebec students fail the test of democracy As the strike by Quebec university students, now into the 10th week of protests against government plans to raise tuition fees drags on, the likelihood that some students will lose their entire semester grows. If they’re going to learn anything from the experience, let’s hope it’s that intimidation tactics and disregard for the rights of others have no place in a true democracy. (Photos: Dave Sidaway, John Kenney/Montreal Gazette; Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)
“Last night, London experienced the worst case of civil disobedience that our community has ever been subjected to,” said London Police Chief Brad Duncan at a Sunday news conference.
In five chaotic hours centered around a student district at Fanshawe College, violent crowds of as many as 1000 people tore apart fences, showered police and firefighters with bricks and bottles and set fire to a CTV news vehicle, which later exploded.
“Never, in my 32 years as a police officer, have I observed behaviours that escalated to the point that there was risk that individuals could seriously be hurt, or quite frankly, killed,” said Chief Duncan.
The new policy has infuriated parents and students, and exposes what child-health researchers say is a growing focus on child safety that is keeping kids from being physically active.
On Monday, Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School principal Alicia Fernandez sent home a note warning parents their students are no longer allowed to bring soccer balls, basketballs, baseballs, footballs and volleyballs to school. All balls that weren’t made of sponge, or nerf, material would be confiscated.
No tanks, guns or Remembrance Day Symposium for Ottawa school For the past 19 years, students at an Ottawa high school have hoisted 10-pound military rifles to feel what it may be like to lug one around in the muddy trenches. They’ve met veterans and heard their stories, learning how their families were affected and what it was like to fight so far from home.
But this year — the year that was supposed to mark the 20th Remembrance Day Symposium at Notre Dame High School — they will get no such chance.
The traditional school event, scheduled for Nov. 10, has been cancelled because of a school committee decision to ensure there were “no tanks or guns” at the event, its co-ordinator told participants in an email last Friday.
History teacher Gene Michaud said he resigned when the committee of school staff decided there cannot be any kind of weaponry at the school — including military replica guns, disabled firearms or military vehicles. (Rod Macivor/Postmedia News)
What should kids be learning about sex in school? One day last spring, a four-year-old junior kindergarten student named Avea came home from school with a storybook called Mom and Mum Are Getting Married. Her grandfather is under the impression her schoolteacher put the book in the young girl’s backpack; the chairman of the Ontario school board in question said he was under the impression Avea chose the book herself.
Either way, the book ended up in Avea’s backpack. Either way, Avea’s mother did not choose it for her daughter. That day, Avea’s mother learned that parents lose control over what their children are taught about sexuality the minute they enroll them in school.
“Avea’s mother is very tolerant — she has gay friends — but she didn’t think it was appropriate for a four-year-old,” said Avea’s grandfather, Chris Topple, adding his daughter chose not to read Avea the story. “She even asked her gay friends what they thought about it, and they agreed.”
Tell this story to those on the socially conservative or religious side of the debate, and they might accuse the school of corrupting children. Tell this story to those in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning) camp, and they are likely to champion it as an example of a school stepping into the 21st century. (Illustrations by Mike Faille & Andrew Barr)
She was 15 and, like me, had just finished Grade 10 at North Toronto Collegiate Institute, a school where mostly white, mostly middle- and upper-middle-class teenagers went about their days without a care in the world.
Bina was different. She was the kid from India with the big glasses and the long black hair. Bina had a bindi. She was quiet, and shy and smart.
And I barely knew her.
It was June, 1985. Summer was all around. Friends were signing friends’ yearbooks, saying goodbye, and saying see you in September.
But we never saw Bina again.
On June 23, the shy girl with the big glasses fell from the sky off the coast of Ireland, a victim, along with 328 others, of the bombing of Air India Flight 182.
Photo: Bhatt family names on the Air India Flight 182 Memorial at Toronto’s Humber Bay Park East. (Peter J. Thompson/National Post)
Macho culture turns boys off gym, study finds The macho culture inside high school locker rooms is turning a growing number of boys off physical education, according to international researchers who are gathering in Ottawa this week to explore issues around body image and challenge popular notions of what it means to be a man.
“There’s no common public discourse in which schools in particular are actually acknowledging that boys struggle with what their body looks like,” said Michael Kehler, who teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario in London, and is one of the organizers of the three-day symposium, billed as the first ever to tackle the issue.
Mr. Kehler said boys who are deemed by others as too fat, too thin, not as physically capable and who don’t compensate by engaging in other masculine activities - namely booze, bikes and fast cars -are labelled as feminine or their sexuality is questioned. (Photo: Marie-France Coallier/Postmedia News Service)
Is the Internet killing the shared cultural experience? When Theresa Moritz, a senior lecturer in English at the University of Toronto, asked a class of 22 first-year undergraduate students to watch for references to Jane Austen in their day-to-day diet of culture and entertainment, she expected the references would come flooding in.
Being herself immersed in a world of books, newspapers and television shows that made frequent mention of the 19th-century English novelist, Dr. Moritz thought her students in a class about Austen’s Pride and Prejudice would experience the same. But in a presentation to the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences this week, she said that instead of making the students aware of the ubiquity of Jane Austen, the exercise showed that living with the Internet as the centre of one’s cultural life puts one in a different universe from those who focus on more traditional media.
“I would have expected that they would have frequently reported to me references to [Austen]. I was expecting, moreover, that that experience would connect us, professor and students, in a shared awareness of interest in Jane Austen,” Dr. Moritz said in an interview Friday.
Instead, the 62-year-old instructor discovered that her world of print is a world apart from the digital lives of her students, prompting questions about the general knowledge and shared cultural experiences of young people raised in the age of Wikipedia.
“I was finding things regularly, at least once a week,” Dr. Moritz said. “And I found that rarely was there even one reference reported by a student.” The lack of print newspapers in their lives was an important factor in the contrast, she said.
But as city after city kicks off single-sex programs, many administrators are ignoring the historical examples of these same educational experiments that tried to improve academic performance in boys but failed, suggests a new study.
“School administrators and teachers weren’t concerned about boys generally. What they were really concerned about was working poor and working class children,” Christopher Greig, an assistant professor in the University of Windsor’s faculty of education said. “But the problem is, they didn’t focus on class. What they reduced everything down to — which is the problem today — was gender when this is a far more complex problem. Social class plays a far more significant role in determining achievement than gender.”
The single-sex classroom also doesn’t address the differences in students regardless of gender, he said. Instead, one should ask “which boys aren’t doing well and which girls aren’t doing well?” (Photo: Fotolia)