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Hardwire

A beloved 79-year-old New Hampshire teacher has been fired because she refused to “de-friend” her students on Facebook.

According to CBS News, Carol Thebarge, a long-time substitute teacher in Claremont, NH, is no longer employed by the local school district.

It is a violation of school policy for teachers to be “friends” with students on the social networking service. Thebarge is friends with about 250 current students.

“They gave me an ultimatum–either take them all off or you are terminated,” Thebarge told CBS News. “And I decided that I would not comply and so I was terminated. And it’s caused a firestorm across the entire area.”

At first glance, it sounds like an overreaction. Can it really be such a bad thing for a popular 79-year-old teacher to be connected to her students via social media?

On the other hand, I have to say I’m with the school on this one. In this era of seemingly endless teacher-student sex scandals, keeping appropriate boundaries between teachers and students when it comes to their private lives is prudent.

In all likelihood, Ms. Thebarge is a positive influence on her students–her online connections to them harmless, perhaps even beneficial. But it would be hard to make an exception to a policy like this merely on the basis of the teacher’s advanced age or grandmotherly rapport with students.

Plus, it’s not like the school fired her without warning. They gave the teacher an opportunity to correct the situation. And she could have explained the situation to her students before de-friending them. Or she could have simply deactivated her account.

What do you think? Was the school right to make good on its threat to fire this 79-year-old teacher?

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(via Drudge)

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Police thought she was an underage girl buying booze. But it was only bottled water. After three felony charges and a long night in jail, one student was left traumatized. The College Fix first reported this story last July:

A University of Virginia student was arrested after she fled from state alcoholic beverage control officers–with a bottle of water in her hands.

The raid was intended to crack down on suspected alcohol possession by underage youth. But the “raid” ended up looking like a case of embarrassing overreaction by authorities.

According to a news report of the incident, Elizabeth Daly, 20, bought “a carton of water, cookie dough and ice cream,” and then attempted to exit the Charlottesville store.

That’s when things started to get crazy.

A state beverage control officer–dressed in plain clothes, mind you, not in a uniform that would allow the young lady to easily identify him–approached Daly because the officer thought she was carrying a case of beer.

Apparently, being confronted by this unknown stranger, who was not in uniform and who was demanding to see what she had purchased, spooked the young lady. She told a reporter she and her friends were “terrified” by the sudden confrontation. Well, that’s understandable. Unfortunately, she fled in her car and in the process “struck” two government agents.

Quicker than you can say the words “bottled water,” she was booked on felony charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer and eluding police…

Now Ms. Daly is suing for big bucks, according to The New York Daily News:

Daly said she had been terrified when strangers surrounded her car and began pounding on the windows. She couldn’t roll down a window without starting the car, and when she did, one agent jumped on the hood and another pulled a gun, she has said repeatedly since the incident…

Daly called 911 in a panic and eventually surrendered after the dispatcher confirmed that them men swarming her car and attempting to break the windshield were, indeed, officers of the law. They booked her on multiple felony counts and made her spend the night in jail.

“The agents acted with actual malice, out of embarrassment and disgrace … and charged (Daly) with three felonies and did so out of anger and personal spite,” the suit claims.

Sounds like a bunch of vengeful police taking out their frustration on a understandably frightened young co-ed. Still, $40 million sounds a bit excessive.

I guess Ms. Daly is lucky that the officers didn’t shoot her.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

(Image: DonkeyHotey.Flickr)

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Yesterday, we reported here on The College Fix about how officials at Thomas Nelson Community College attempted to enforce a virtual “Jesus-free zone” on campus, asking a student not to talk about Jesus on campus property because he “might offend someone.”

Today, we discovered that the creation of the “Jesus-free zone” in schools is becoming a national trend, not limited to college students, but extending all the way to grade school.

Free speech is under attack everywhere you look.

CBS News reports that a North Carolina 2nd grader was asked to re-write an essay because her teacher didn’t like the topic she chose:

A parent is upset after she said her daughter’s teacher did not accept her rough draft of her paper.

The students had to write about their hero and Heather Watts’ daughter said Jesus was her hero.

Watts’ daughter, Ryleigh, is a second-grader at Cerro Gordo Elementary School.

According to WECT-TV, Watts said her daughter’s teacher asked Ryleigh, “Can’t you write about something different?”

Read the full story here.

Now the Cerro Gordo school is backtracking, insisting that students are, in fact, allowed to write on any topic of their choosing. Hopefully that’s a reflection of officials’ true dedication to the 1st Amendment, not merely a reflection of their desire to avoid negative publicity.

It’s remarkable how quickly the right to free speech is cast aside these days in the name of tolerance, and with the supposed aim of not offending anyone. So many school officials fail to realize that making sure no one is ever offended is incompatible with the right to free speech.

(Image: PhotoDean.Flickr1)

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The College Fix previously reported the attack on a pro-life student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A feminist professor attacked a teenage demonstrator, and the episode was caught on video.

Now, a statement released by UCSB vice-chancellor, Michael D. Young, shortly after the incident, has come to our attention. In the statement, which was released to students on March 19, Young ridicules pro-life demonstrators, calling them “evangelical types,” “self-proclaimed prophets,” and “anti-abortion crusaders.”

The peaceful pro-life demonstrators were subjected to an unprovoked attack by feminist studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young. But the vice chancellor insults the demonstrators as “proselytizers hawking intolerance” and peddlers of “fear,” “hate,” “intolerance,” and “discord” at UCSB.

Nowhere in the memo does vice-chancellor Young condemn the violent actions of his faculty member, Professor Miller-Young, which left the arms of a 16-year old girl covered with scars and abrasions.

Instead, the vice-chancellor praises himself as one known for fighting on behalf of “tolerance.” He touts his long record of speaking at “anti-hate events” and officiating at a “Queer wedding.” Contrast that to the pro-life demonstrators who, the vice-chancellor says, come “wrapped in intolerance and extremism.”

With no apparent sense of irony, vice-chancellor Young reiterates his strong commitment to free speech. He directs all his criticism toward the pro-life demonstrators, and none toward the intolerant, hateful and violent liberals who attacked them.

Apparently, “intolerance” at UCSB has a special meaning–and it covers any point of view that falls outside the extreme liberal groupthink of academia. If you are pro-life, you are considered intolerant. If you hold traditional religious views you are intolerant. On the other hand, if you physically attack a pro-life student, you are probably considered a noble and excellent person who simply took the struggle for good a little too far.

Is that about right, vice-chancellor?

Does the 16-year-old girl, Thorin Short, whom your professor injured and attacked, fall into the category of the the “peddlers of hate,” simply because she believes abortion ends and innocent life? And does your own feminist hit squad remain safely within your designation of the tolerant and good no matter whom they attack?

It sure looks that way.

Read vice-chancellor Young’s full statement and decide for yourself.

In contrast to the opinions of Mr. Young, we’d like to draw reader’s attention to the words of Catherine Short, mother of the girl who was attacked, and Legal Director of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. She had this to say about the attack on her daughter and the university’s response:

“In early March 2014, my daughters Joan and Thrin, along with several friends, went to the University of California at Santa Barbara to conduct a pro-life outreach. While there, they were accosted by UCSB professor Mireille Miller-Young.

We are confident that the legal process will establish, without room for doubt or equivocation, that Miller-Young was the aggressor throughout her encounter with the pro-lifers. The pro-life speakers did not taunt, provoke, or incite either Miller-Young or anyone else, as some have suggested. On the contrary, they made every effort to meet her provocations, taunts, mockery, and profanity with calm and reason, trying to move her into a more productive channel of discourse…

We encourage UCSB Vice-Chancellor Michael Young to observe a pro-life outreach, whether conducted by my daughters and their friends, a Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust campus team, Justice for All, Project Truth, or UCSB’s own pro-life organization. If he does, he will not see any pro-life person ‘provoking’, ‘taunting’, or ‘peddling hate and intolerance’, as he described in an e-mail to UCSB students following the incident. What he will see is individuals trying to reach the minds and win the hearts of others by employing facts, reason, discussion, and persuasion – exactly the type of ‘exchange of ideas’ that he said ‘is fundamental to the mission of [the] university.’”

Read Catherine Short’s complete statement here.

In view of all the events of the past few weeks, one can reasonably come away with no other conclusion but that the strongholds of intolerance at UCSB have little to do with so-called “evangelical types,” upon whom UCSB’s Michael D. Young seeks to place blame. Instead, at UCSB, intolerance thrives among feminist professors and senior administrators who believe that, ultimately, a liberal-progressive point of view and intent justifies any action, even, as in this case, a physical attack. Or, at least, it shields the liberal who carries out that attack from any criticism.

All the criticism, as usual, is reserved for those who dare to hold pro-life views, and who dare to utter those views aloud.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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Some news this week in a disturbing case out of UCLA.

According to TMZ Sports, UCLA’s former associate athletic director, Michael Sondheimer, has been charged for possession of child pornography:

The L.A. Couny D.A.’s Office says he’s been charged with one felony county of possession — and the porn was on his work-issued laptop.

58-year old Sondheimer resigned from his post at UCLA last year amid allegations he was having online sex chats with minors.

According to the D.A. the alleged offense occurred in April of last year. If convicted, Sondheimer faces up to 3 years in state prison…

Despite whatever public relations worries administrators might have, in the wake of Penn State’s unconcionable mushandling of the Jerry Sandusky crimes, UCLA will surely do all it can to cooperate with this ongoing investigation and the eventual trial.

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The African-American studies department at the University of North Carolina has been exposed in recent years over its long record of academic fraud, allowing athletes to take classes that involved little to no real work.

Thanks to a recent report by ESPN, we now have a specific example of just how ludicrous some of these classes were.

Ludicrous is perhaps to gentle a word.

Below is the complete text of a final semester paper for AFAM 41–one of the allegedly bogus classes offered by the African-American studies department at UNC:

On the evening of December Rosa Parks decided that she was going to sit in the white people section on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. During this time blacks had to give up there seats to whites when more whites got on the bus. Rosa parks refused to give up her seat. Her and the bus driver began to talk and the conversation went like this. “Let me have those front seats” said the driver. She didn’t get up and told the driver that she was tired of giving her seat to white people. “I’m going to have you arrested,” said the driver. “You may do that,” Rosa Parks responded. Two white policemen came in and Rosa Parks asked them “why do you all push us around?” The police officer replied and said “I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.”

Yep. That’s the entire essay. Just one paragraph.

That’s the final paper that normally serves as the capstone of a semester’s work.

According to a report by Business Insider, the above essay, entitled “Rosa Parks: My Story” got an A-minus. Just a step below a perfect “A” grade for a single, poorly-written paragraph.

This sort of academic fraud went on for many years at UNC. And the faculty member most directly responsible has been outed. We’ve previously reported the details here at The College Fix.

But taking a look at an actual “A- essay,” written by one of UNC’s “scholar-athletes,” the magnitude of corruption really hits home.

Wasn’t it president Bush who once said something about “the soft prejudice of low expectations?” That seems to be a fitting description of the African-American studies department toward its students.

From senior administrators on down, the University of North Carolina failed its students. In the process, UNC seriously damaged its academic credibility.

It’s no surprise to hear that 10% of UNC athletes can read only at the 3rd grade level.

It appears that, for many years, the university was happy to turn a blind eye to the nearly non-existent academic standards in classes existed for no other purpose than to make it possible for poorly-prepared student athletes to pass through the system and stay on the playing field, all while doing the least amount of academic work possible.

Nathan Harden is editor of The College Fix and author of the book SEX & GOD AT YALE: Porn, Political Correctness, and a Good Education Gone Bad.

Follow Nathan on Twitter @NathanHarden

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