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School sues parents over damage caused by child

A Salem, Oregon school district is taking parents of a student to court to have them pay for the thousands of dollars worth of damage he caused to a classroom.

Oregon Live reported that a student, who was 12 years old at the time, broke into a science classroom after school and poured hydrochloric acid in the room. He also poured sulfuric acid, iodine and food coloring in room 106, damaging floors, desks and computers, The Statesman Journal reported.  He allegedly caused about $19,000 worth of damage. School officials said it happened in June 2016.

>> Read more trending news 

Salem-Keizer Public Schools is suing not only the student’s parents, but also the student himself, to recoup some of the money to repair the damages.

The district said in the suit that the mother and the boy’s stepfather failed to “exercise reasonable control” over the boy. The school said the boy had a dozen disciplinary cases over eight months while he was a student at Crossler Middle School. He had two issues that were described as behavioral episodes that needed calls home, Oregon Live reported.

There is a law on the books in Oregon that says that parents are liable for property damage done by their children, but the law limits the amount parents are held liable for to $7,500 or less than half than the total cost of the damage.  But there is no cap for students, so he could be forced to pay more than $11,000, The Statesman Journal reported.

Professor’s witty T-shirt confuses students

Everybody has a story about that one witty teacher or professor who totally pulled one over on the class, and one economics professor just went viral with his own little inside joke.

>> Read more trending news 

The unnamed doctor wore a shirt joking, There are two types of people in this world: 1.) those who can extrapolate from incomplete data. And, if you can’t guess the second type, then you might just be one of them.

Twitter user Kimberly Boswell posted a photo of the shirt and wrote that two of her classmates (who apparently can’t extrapolate from incomplete data) asked if the shirt was missing a second part. As a helpful bit of background, “extrapolate” is defined as “to infer from data already known.”

Of course, the internet had a field day poking fun at the students who didn’t get the joke; especially when Kimberly explained that it was a post-graduate economics class.

Toilet paper returned to Florida elementary school bathrooms after parents complained

A Florida elementary school has returned toilet paper to its bathrooms after parents told ActionNewsJax story about the school’s actions.

Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Jacksonville had been refusing to put toilet paper in the stalls there.

Instead, parents told Action News Jax, teachers at the Magnolia Gardens neighborhood school were handing wads of toilet paper to individual students, as needed.

>> Read more trending news 

Half an hour after Action News Jax’s story aired, Duval County Public Schools spokesperson Laureen Ricks called the newsroom to say toilet paper has now been returned to the stalls.

Related: Carter G. Woodson teacher accused of calling black students 'rats' resigns

Mother Shantia Peterson said it was not only embarrassing, but also worried about whether it was sanitary.

“You can’t just have it going from hand to hand,” said Peterson.

Peterson said she was sending her 4th-grade daughter to school with a toilet paper roll in a Ziploc bag.

“I did speak with the teacher about it as well. And I asked, I said, ‘What about if they run out?’ She said, ‘Well, we have a student in the bathroom that can give them extra.’ A student? A student!” said Peterson.

Ricks said Carter G. Woodson Elementary was advised against withholding toilet paper from the stalls.

“The practice of not keeping toilet paper in school restrooms – as a result of misuse or waste – is not encouraged by the district. We will continue to communicate this to our schools to ensure consistency district-wide. We invite parents to contact their school or the district if they have any concerns about this practice taking place in their child’s classroom or school so that we can immediately address. We also ask parents to partner with us in talking to students about appropriate bathroom etiquette and the importance of respecting school supplies and resources,” Ricks said in a statement.

Peterson recently moved her daughter to a different school.

“I told her, I said, ‘Your new school, they’re going to have toilet paper in the bathrooms.’ My daughter got excited. She said, ‘What, are you serious? They’re going to have toilet paper in the bathroom?’” said Peterson.

Peterson said she wants school leadership to care more about students’ hygiene than the toilet paper budget.

Principal threatens to give students detention over parents' no-show at open house

An elementary school principal in Washington wanted to give his students detention because their parents did not show up to an open house.

The Bethel School District apologized on behalf of the principal, who has since retracted his statements in an email sent to parents.

Thompson Elementary School Principal Ralph Wisner wrote an email to third-grade parents this week about low turnout at an open house.

>> Read more trending news

Wisner wrote that it was “unacceptable” only 18 families showed up to the event. He wrote it was “inexcusable” and that they represent only 19 percent of parents of the grade, who attended to listen about homework and requirements for students to be ready for higher education.

The principal said that there would be a re-do of the parents’ night, and if families couldn’t attend, there would be consequences for students.

“To best communicate with me, I want you to write a note and send it to school with your child,” he wrote. “In the note, please explain why you were not here and let me know that you will be at the Parent Night on Monday. If your child comes to school tomorrow with no note, they will serve a double detention (recess and lunch). If they do not come on Monday with the note, they will again have a double detention (recess and lunch). If there is no note and you do not come on Monday at 6 p.m., your child will have double detention all week next week,” the email said.

After hearing from parents who were offended, Wisner wrote in a follow-up email that his message was flawed. Wisner said he retracted his order on detention, which he claimed was an “initial error” on his part.

KIRO 7 News reached out to the Bethel School District about the email. They sent this statement: 

“In writing his email, the principal’s passion for parent involvement got the better of him, and the email should not have been sent,” wrote Bethel School District Director of Communications Doug Boyles.

“As soon as the district became aware of the situation, we were in contact with the principal. He drafted a second email, apologizing to parents, that was also sent last night. The new email states that no students are receiving detention because of parents’ absence at the open house. The new email also invites every parent who wants to further discuss their concerns, to contact the principal today.”

Wisner spent Friday reaching out to parents and talking about the emails.

Indiana University mural depicting KKK rally will no longer be in a classroom

A mural at Indiana University that depicts hooded Ku Klux Klansmen at a rally that included a burning cross will not be removed, school officials said Friday. 

>> Read more trending news

But a classroom that uses the room that houses the mural will be moved, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The artwork, created by Thomas Hart Benson in the 1930s, is more controversial now in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and in nationwide efforts to remove monuments honoring Confederate leaders.

An online petition was circulated around campus and had more than 1,000 signatures requesting that mural be taken down from Woodburn Hall. In part, the petition urged the university to “take a stand and denounce hate and intolerance in Indiana and on IU’s campus.”

Campus officials said beginning in the spring of 2018, Room 100 at Woodburn Hall, where the mural hangs, will no longer be a classroom.

"While I believe that we can and should educate the public and our community about the murals, that intellectual work can and should take place in a context that does not involve the captive audience of classes devoted to other subjects," Lauren Robel, executive vice president and provost, said Friday in a statement. "Therefore, Woodburn 100 will convert to other uses beginning in the spring semester 2018."

Jacquline Barrie, a former IU student who started the petition calling for the panel's removal, told the Star on Friday that she considers the university's decision a "small victory."

She said that while the university has "a long way to go" in terms of overall diversity, the decision to repurpose the room sends a message to students that the university is hearing their voices.

"This is a step in the right direction," she told the Star. "This is progress, and any progress, no matter how big or small, is important."

Commissioned in 1933 for the Chicago World’s Fair, Benton faced criticism at the time from those who thought the mural painted Indiana in a bad light, but Hart prevailed in keeping it in his work because he wanted it to be an honest portrayal of Indiana's history, the Star reported.

Substitute teacher kneels for pledge, sparks debate

A school in Littleton, Massachusetts, is addressing parents and students after a substitute teacher knelt Thursday during the pledge of allegiance.

>> Read more trending news

According to a letter sent out from the Russell Street School’s Principal, Scott Bazydlo, a substitute teacher knelt during the pledge of allegiance. 

"While this topic is timely and does have educational merit, it should be addressed sensitively and age-appropriately by permanent faculty and (should be) inclusive of the beliefs of all children and families,” Bayzdlo’s letter reads. 

>> Related: Donald Trump says NFL anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

The principal said students and parents brought the incident to the school’s attention, and the substitute teacher proceeded to talk to students about her political views. 

“The Littleton Public Schools respects the rights of all individuals to participate or respectfully abstain from participating in the Pledge of Allegiance,” the principal wrote. “However, in our roles as educators, it is imperative we provide students all sides of an issue like this and allow them to form opinions with guidance from parents.”

Bazydlo says the move was inappropriate, as the teacher is not a permanent member of the faculty and it was outside the plans of the classroom’s teacher.

Children dismissed from private school because parents have open marriage

Akia Brown released her self-published memoir in February. A few months later, she learned her decision to reveal her life in print would get her children dismissed from their school.

>> Read more trending news 

The book, “Beyond Love,” details Brown’s journey from a single parent in Detroit to her current life as a mother of six in Atlanta who said she is happy in an open marriage with her husband.

It took a few months for news of her book to travel to administrators at Mount Paran Christian School in Kennesaw, Georgia, where her daughter had been a student for two years and her son was set to begin pre-kindergarten this fall.

In late July, Brown received a call from two administrators at the school. Via speaker phone, they told her that her daughter would not be allowed to return and her son was being denied admission.

Mount Paran is a private Christian, nondenominational, college preparatory day school that serves students ages 3-12. Parents are required to sign a covenant agreement upon enrollment, school officials said. The admission policy states:

The applicant and his/her parents must express a belief of biblical teachings, and a willingness to follow them, as well as student and parent’s affirmation of faith. Parents and students must read and agree to support the Statement of Faith (p. 4-5 in parent/student handbook on MPCS website), commit to uphold Christian principles in their daily lives, and actively participate in a local church body. As a covenant Christian school, MPCS reserves the right to determine whether Mount Paran Christian School is an appropriate placement for the applicant and/or the family. MPCS reserves the right to deny acceptance, terminate, or suspend enrollment of students at the school’s discretion with non-disclosure of reasons.

In this case, the school did give a reason -- Brown and her husband’s open marriage -- but Brown wanted the opportunity to plead her case.

“They haven’t even read the book. I don’t know how they even found out about the book,” Brown said.

She said her daughter, a shy first-grader, was flourishing at Mount Paran and misses her friends. She and her husband had made sure their children were supported academically and socially, she said.

In the book, Brown describes her nontraditional life. Her husband, Brian Maurice Brown, was incarcerated for almost 10 years on drug charges. In 2012, he started BMB Records, which has hosted a roster of hip-hop artists including Charli Baltimore and Ray J.

According to a recent story in the Detroit News, the company has been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration since 2013. Brian Maurice Brown has not been charged with a drug-related crime.

Over the years, their relationship evolved from husband and wife to one between her, her husband and at least two other women, which they refer to as “wife-in-laws.” In the vein of urban nonfiction, Brown offers salacious details, but she contends the book is about unconditional love.

Brown said she was able to enroll her children in a new Christian school. She told the school administrators right upfront what happened and explained her views, an opportunity she said she never had at Mount Paran.

“Yes, (the book) discusses open marriage – or what others may consider an open marriage – but the real meaning and everything I have ever talked about is unconditional love and having a forgiving heart,” Brown said.

Substitute to student: 'Go back to where you speak Spanish'

A substitute teacher in Charlotte was caught on video Monday telling a student to “go back where you speak Spanish.”

>> Read more trending news

In the nine-second video, students can be heard gasping, shocked at what the substitute teacher at South Mecklenburg High School said Monday morning to a Spanish-speaking student.

“I was like, ‘It's not right. This is racism,’" said a female student who recorded the video and sent it to WSOCTV. The student, who did not want to be identified, said the student was speaking Spanish with another classmate when the substitute teacher told him to stop.

“Go back where you speak Spanish if you don't want to speak English,” the substitute teacher said.

When the student he was speaking to asked if the substitute was being racist, the substitute replied, “I'm racist, right."

Before school dismissed for the day, videos of the exchange had spread through social media to students outside the class.

"For a teacher to just put a student down like that in school where you're supposed to feel safe, it's just not correct," senior Edwin Alarcon told WSOCTV.

In a statement to WSOCTV, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said the district was looking into the incident and that "CMS is committed to providing a safe, social and emotional environment for learning at all schools for all students and staff."

South Mecklenburg Principal Maureen Furr notified parents of what she called a substitute's verbal exchange with a student. She assured parents that the substitute teacher will no longer be working at the school.

One mother, who didn't want to be identified, said it makes her worry about sending her child back to the school.

"It's intimidating the students," she said. 

WSOCTV is not identifying the substitute teacher, because he is not accused of breaking any laws. Students said he had been a sub for years and had never said anything like that before.

South Mecklenburg High School's principal sent this message home to parents Monday afternoon:

Good afternoon. This is Dr. Furr from South Mecklenburg High School with an important message. An incident occurred this morning in one of our classes, in which a substitute teacher engaged in a verbal exchange with a student over language. The incident was reported to me, CMS has been made aware, and the entire situation is under review.  At South we seek to create a safe and respectful environment for students and staff, and promote respectful interaction for all. We take accusations of bias seriously, and this individual will no longer be working at our school. You may see some news coverage about this situation shared through social media by students today. I wanted to be sure you knew that it is being handled. 

Too sexy? High school dance team's costumes spark controversy

A South Florida high school team is going viral, and it’s not because of their dance moves

>> Watch the news report here

The Miami Northwestern Senior High School’s dance team’s costumes have been stirring up some controversy because some believe they’re too sexy for the young students.

>> Read more trending news

Several videos of the teens dancing have been posted online, which sparked the debate. 

Some social media users don’t see a problem with the costumes and say people should be focusing on their dancing, not what they’re wearing.

Others thought the outfits looked more like lingerie and were not appropriate for girls 18 and younger. 

However, parents and guardians of the students approved of the costumes and don’t see an issue. 

“If they're dancers, they're entertainers,” one grandparent, Debbie Frasier, told WPLG. “So if you have the same problem, you have the problem with Beyonce or young child stars who dress that way on national television.”

Student finds loophole in professor’s exam instructions, becomes internet hero

A Maryland college student has become an unwitting internet hero after he found a loophole in his professor’s exam instructions that allowed him to bring a note card the size of a human being to class.

Reb Beatty, an assistant professor at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, wrote on Facebook last week that, each year, he allows his accounting students to bring a 3x5 note card filled with notes to class for their first exam. Unfortunately, Beatty was not specific enough about those dimensions.

One student, Elijah Bowen, showed up for the test with a note card measuring 3x5 feet. A photo taken by Beatty shows Bowen’s note card, filled with pages’ worth of both typed and neatly handwritten notes. 

“As precise as I am, apparently I never specified inches, and therefore, yes, it was allowed,” Beatty wrote. “Well played, and lesson learned for me.”

Beatty’s post received more than 33,000 reactions and, as of Tuesday morning, had been shared close to 30,000 times. 

A few days after he initially posted the photo, the professor clarified some issues, particularly whether his method should be considered cheating. 

“Using a 3x5 inch (or foot) card/poster in an accounting course is just as much -- if not more -- a preparatory tool than a test aid,” Beatty wrote on Facebook. “The approach is that the process itself will force the student to organize his/her thoughts, put material into terminology that he/she understands, et cetera. It is NOT cheating, or going easy on students, or however you want to reference it. An accounting exam, designed effectively, requires application of concepts and proficiency in the material, not just regurgitating facts.”

Many of Beatty’s Facebook commenters praised Bowen’s initiative, with at least one person saying that he was “going places” in life. 

“Love this! And the explanations from the teacher,” another woman wrote. “As an educator, and the wife of an accounting student, I agree that organization & meticulous review of concepts prepares students for application. THAT is real life.” 

>> Read more trending news

Bowen also reiterated some of Beatty’s points in an interview with the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, saying that he “figured it would be a win-win either way” because preparing the giant note card would be a good way to study for the exam.   

“I had to refer to the card only a couple of times,” Bowen said. “It was very big. It was more comical than anything.”

The freshman told the Gazette that he wasn’t sure if Beatty would allow the giant note card, so he had a backup 3x5 inch index card, just in case. What he did know, he said, is that he was right about the professor not specifying the exact dimensions of what was allowed. 

He credited Beatty with teaching him to notice tiny details such as that one. 

“The professor is always telling us not to miss details or specifics, since that will throw off entire calculations,” Bowen told the newspaper

He said he just applied that principle to Beatty’s syllabus and notes. 

Beatty allowed the giant note card, but made Bowen sit in the back row so other students could not see his notes, the Gazette reported. Bowen told the newspaper that he passed the test with either a low A or a high B. 

The professor told Buzzfeed News that he’s since updated his syllabus and course instructions with the correct size of the note card allowed during the exam. 

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