Posts Tagged ‘Department of Education’

New App Encourages Kids to Flush their Teacher Down the Toilet

March 31, 2014


flush the teacher

Whilst I think that an app allowing users to flush teachers down the toilet is in poor taste, I don’t have a major issue with it. As important as it is to advocate the respect of teachers, let’s not pretend that we didn’t all have teachers we absolutely detested.

As much as teacher respect is vital and teacher harassment is repulsive, we must be able to see the humor of such games and learn not to take ourselves too seriously. What I take exception to is the violent options featured in the game such as the use of a slingshot. A bit of adolescent humor is fine, but violence crosses the line.

A TEACHER who developed a controversial phone app in which students can flush a teacher down the toilet or shoot them with a slingshot is being investigated by the Department of Education.

Ross McGuigan has taught in private and public schools for almost 40 years and currently teaches at Kincumber High School on the Central Coast.

He claims his app helps children vent their frustration at disliked teachers without taking action in the “real” world.

His “Flush the Teacher” iPhone and Android game encourages users to upload a photo of their teacher, which is then superimposed on an animated character and flushed down the toilet or harassed with slingshots. The department has taken the matter seriously enough to investigate Mr McGuigan’s role in developing it.

“The department does not support any activity that might encourage disrespect to staff or other students,” a spokesman said.

Mr McGuigan said he had been cleared of any “inappropriate actions”.



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The Cost of Living in a ‘Dropout Nation’

September 26, 2012

US network PBS filmed a story for their Frontline series entitled ‘Dropout Nation‘. It looked at the impact of rising school dropouts. They revealed the following findings:


The average dropout can expect to earn an annual income of $20,241, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (PDF). That’s a full $10,386 less than the typical high school graduate, and $36,424 less than someone with a bachelor’s degree.


Of course, simply finding a job is also much more of a challenge for dropouts. While the national unemployment rate stood at 8.1 percent in August, joblessness among those without a high school degree measured 12 percent. Among college graduates, it was 4.1 percent.


The challenges hardly end there, particularly among young dropouts. Among those between the ages of 18 and 24, dropouts were more than twice as likely as college graduates to live in poverty according to the Department of Education. Dropouts experienced a poverty rate of 30.8 percent, while those with at least a bachelor’s degree had a poverty rate of 13.5 percent.


Among dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24, incarceration rates were a whopping 63 times higher than among college graduates, according to a study (PDF) by researchers at Northeastern University. To be sure, there is no direct link between prison and the decision to leave high school early. Rather, the data is further evidence that dropouts are exposed to many of the same socioeconomic forces that are often gateways to crime.


The same study (PDF) found that as a result — when compared to the typical high school graduate — a dropout will end up costing taxpayers an average of $292,000 over a lifetime due to the price tag associated with incarceration and other factors such as how much less they pay in taxes.

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The School Kids Evicted From 9/11 Memorial are Symptomatic of a Broader Problem

June 25, 2012

I hope we don’t get child psychologists and new age self-help authors spring to the defense of these kids. When a group of school kids turns the 9/11 memorial into their own personal dumping ground, it is not a case of ‘kids being kids’. These kids knew what they were doing, realised how insensitive it was and yet, decided to do it anyway.

But like the bullying of a bus monitor (as I have covered in a number of posts), this isn’t about kids on a bus or kids at the 9/11 memorial site, this is about kids in general.

There is a lack of self-respect and respect for others in this generation of kids that is quite frightening. The kamikaze approach that is apparent in both recent stories is a problem that is faced in households and classrooms all over the world.

In this case, the target for their angst is going to make a lot of people extremely upset:

A group of Brooklyn students on a school trip to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum were booted from the hallowed site after they callously hurled trash into its fountains.

The vile vandals from Junior High School 292 in East New York treated the solemn memorial — its reflecting pools honoring the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks — like a garbage dump.

“They kicked us out because of littering in the water. Kids were throwing baseballs in the pond thing,” said eighth-grader Anthony Price, 14, of East New York, who insisted he wasn’t one of the troublemakers.

In addition to the baseballs, witnesses reported seeing empty plastic soda bottles and other refuse in the water on Thursday.

“They were making jokes and throwing stuff in the fountain. It didn’t seem like a big deal,” added another student on the trip who refused to give his name.

Department of Education officials have launched an investigation into the students’ shenanigans.

Tourists visiting the site Saturday said they were disgusted by the students’ filthy acts.

“That is an absolute disgrace,” said Sharon Hooks, 55, a school teacher from Hartford, Conn. “I don’t care if these children were too young to remember the events of that day. They need to be taught to be respectful.”

95% of Educators Claimed to Have Been Bullied

May 8, 2012

The plight to stop children from bullying others is a hard enough task, What makes it even more difficult, is the fact that the very same people entrusted with controlling the issue are bullied themselves:

BULLYING of staff is rife within Australian schools, with parents and students among the top perpetrators, research reveals.

A staggering 95 per cent of educators claimed they had experienced at least one of 42 bullying behaviours identified by the researchers.

The most common was personal confrontation or professional destabilisation, often resulting in a deterioration of mental and physical health.

The new book Bullying of Staff in Schools – to be launched by former defence force chief Peter Cosgrove tomorrow – examines bullying where an adult is either the perpetrator or the target.

Researchers Dan Riley, Deirdre Duncan and John Edwards surveyed 2529 employees at schools across all sectors. Respondents reflected the national profile of 83 per cent female and 27 per cent male educators.

SCHOOL bullying victims have received almost $1 million in compensation from the Department of Education since January last year.
MORE parents are becoming involved in cyber-bullying, taking up disputes involving their children, a federal parliamentary committee has been told.

Two-thirds were teachers – more than 50 per cent had 21 years or more teaching experience – one in five executives and one in 15 principals.

According to the research, 81 per cent experienced bullying from parents, and 79 per cent named colleagues, closely followed by executives.

Students were named as bullies by 75 per cent of respondents, about seven percentage points higher than principals.

The principal was identified as the most persistent bully, followed by members of the executive and colleagues.

Educators said the most common form of bullying behaviour was questioning decisions, judgment and procedures, followed by tasks set with unreasonable or impossible targets or deadlines, and then being exposed to an unmanageable workload.

This highlights the uselessness of bullying policies and programs. For us to get on top of this problem, we must address bullying of all natures to all parties. Until the culture of bullying is remedied from the Principal down, our children have no chance!

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