Gruesome assignment spells termination for D.C. teacher

A math assignment that required students to figure out how many Africans, Americans, and Indians to bake in ovens for Thanksgiving was a recipe for termination for a third-grade teacher in Washington, D.C, ABC News reports. The unnamed teacher was fired from the Trinidad Center City School in Northeast Washington last Thursday, just one day after she was outed by outraged parents for assigning a set of violence-laced math problems to her students. Local TV news station WUSA-9 was the first to report on the problems which featured situations involving kidnapping, deaths, and killings, including one that was said by a parent to invoke the Holocaust. That question asked students to figure out “How many desperate people were in each oven?” referring to Africans, Americans and Indians. The mandatory 20 homework problems included instances such as, “I was sleeping one night when a hungry vampire sucked 3652 liters of blood from me and 1865 liters of blood from my little brother. How much blood did the hungry vampire drink that night?”

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Homophobia starts in elementary school; teachers do little

Clare Davidson-Sherman, the adopted daughter of Karen Davidson-Fisher, has “several mommies”–her biological one, her adoptive mother’s former partner who has joint custody, and now Davidson-Fisher’s legal wife, ABC News reports. The 8-year-old has come face-to-face with bullying in her Omaha, Neb., public school. One of her third-grade classmates used a derogatory and “sing-songy” tone as she taunted, “Clare has lesbian moms!”

“She was upset,” said Davidson-Fisher, a 39-year-old former mental health therapist. “But the teacher talked to the kid. There are at least three kids in my daughter’s class who have same-sex parents. It’s something that needs to be taken care of.”

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Hispanic students have highest high school dropout rates

Utah’s State Office of Education is concerned about the growing number of dropouts in the state’s high schools, the largest percentage of which are Hispanic students, according to the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City.

“Ten percent of students overall dropped out of school. Among Latino students – Utah’s largest minority group – 26 percent dropped out in 2010,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported. But Utah is not alone. The spike in the number of Hispanic high school dropouts is part of a national trend.

“The size of the Latino student population, whose graduation rate currently lags 21 percentage points behind that of non-Hispanic whites, has grown by 50 percent in the past decade alone,” according to Education Week.…Read More

Teachers fired for reporting abuse, lawsuit claims

Two teachers, including a former teacher of the year, are suing the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami claiming they were fired for reporting suspected sex abuse involving the principal and a seventh grade girl, ABC News reports. Chanell Morello and Lynn Hoffman immediately contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Miami Archdiocese after the student made Morello aware of an incident allegedly involving St. Anthony Catholic School principal Norma Kramer. The principal lifted the student’s skirt, “exposing her bare buttocks and genital area to a school employee and another student,” according to the complaint. The suit is in contrast with the turmoil at Penn State University where two officials face criminal charges and football coach Joe Paterno has resigned for not reporting suspected acts of sex abuse against boys. The university president will also be ousted, sources told ABC News…

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College students sound off on social networking likes and dislikes

Google is talking to several top online game developers about creating a broader social networking site that would offer social games and could compete with Facebook—and in interviews with ABC News, several college students offered their suggestions for what Google could do to make them abandon Facebook. When Ryan Khuri, 21, a junior majoring in English/philosophy at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, joined Facebook, he saw it as “the simple alternative to MySpace.” But now, Khuri said, Facebook “seems to be building more and more clutter.” Northwestern medical student Jack Dougherty, 22, agreed. Although he deleted his Facebook account a few years ago to help prevent his spending too much time on his computer, he said, one thing that would make the site more appealing to him is to simplify it. Many college students cite third-party applications as the main cause of Facebook clutter. “The constant invites to join them are annoying,” said Lauren Walters, 21, a graduate student at Clemson University in South Carolina, who said she uses Facebook for “social networking, and not for playing games.” While Facebook users can send video messages to each other and post videos to each other’s “walls,” many students point to the absence of a Skype-like video chat feature. Walters said she would be open to trying Google’s new social networking site but isn’t sure she’d leave Facebook for it, although the ability to chat with other users on the site via webcam could possibly win her over…

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