Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Calgary boy disciplined by school for protecting classmate from knife attack

The UK Daily Mail reports.

Excerpt:

A schoolboy who bravely tackled a knife-wielding pupil who was threatening a classmate was punished because such heroic actions are strictly banned.

Briar MacLean, 13, stepped in after he spotted an argument was quickly beginning to escalate between two boys at Sir John A. Macdonald school in Alberta, Canada.

Suddenly one of the boys pulled out a knife and began to threaten the other turning an scuffle into a potentially deadly situation.

The heroic teenager charged and tackled the knife-brandishing youngster into a wall sending both attacker and knife falling to the floor.

But for his bravery the pupil received not a commendation but a stern telling off from staff for ignoring school rules.

According to the Calgary Board of Education, Briar should have left the scene to find a teacher – abandoning the unarmed student.

Instead instincts kicked in and he chose to act – meaning there were no cuts, no stab wounds, and no need to call an ambulance.

Briar said: ‘He pulled out his flip knife so I came in and pushed him into the wall.

‘It was just to help the other kid so he wouldn’t get hurt.’

Briar’s reward for his bravery was a day in the school office, removed from the other students, and a stern lecture about not playing the hero.

Here in the United States, we had a similar event.

Excerpt:

A kindergartner who brought a cowboy-style cap gun onto his Calvert County school bus was suspended for 10 days after showing a friend the orange-tipped toy, which he had tucked inside his backpack on his way to school, according to his family and a lawyer.

The child was questioned for more than two hours before his mother was called, she said, adding that he uncharacteristically wet his pants during the episode. The boy is 5 — “all bugs and frogs and cowboys,” his mother said.

[...]If the punishment stands, it would become part of the boy’s permanent school record and keep him out of classes the rest of the school year, the family said. He would miss his end-of-year kindergarten program at Dowell Elementary School in Lusby.

[...]The case comes at a time of heightened sensitivity about guns in schools across the country. Locally, children in first and second grade have been disciplined for pointing their fingers like guns and for chewing a Pop-Tart-like pastry into the shape of a gun. In Pennsylvania, a 5-year-old was suspended for talking about shooting a Hello Kitty bubble gun that blows soap bubbles.

I definitely don’t recommend sending children to public schools – especially.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Florida high school student suspended after disarming gunman

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

A 16-year-old Florida high school student says he was suspended for three days for wrestling a loaded gun away from a teen threatening to shoot.

Fox4Now.com reports that the student, who attends Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, tackled the 15-year-old suspect on a school bus after he allegedly pointed the weapon at another student.

“I think he was really going to shoot him right then and there,” said the student, who declined to be identified.

According to the referral the student received the following day, he was suspended for his role in an “incident” where a weapon was present and given an “emergency suspension,” the station reported.

The boy’s mother told Fox4Now.com her son was suspended because he refused to cooperate with the investigation, adding that he was scared.

The suspected gunman was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm on school property and assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, the report states.

Sgt. David Valez of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office told the station an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

School officials declined to a request for comment from Fox4Now.com due to privacy issues.

If you have young boys, do not send them to public schools. Public schools are not male-friendly places, they do not understand or support men. They view masculinity as something to be suppressed or neutralized. We really need to have more men in the public school system in the classroom as well as in the administration.

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New study: feminism in education causes boys to underperform academically

From the Belfast Telegraph.

Excerpt:

A five-year study of hundreds of post-primary pupils in Northern Ireland has found flaws in our education system that could be hindering boys’ ability to learn.

The research — funded by the Departments of Education and Justice — was carried out following concerns about boys’ educational underachievement, health and well-being.

It has previously been noted as a particular problem among boys from working-class Protestant areas.

Key findings of the ‘Taking Boys Seriously’ report, by Dr Ken Harland and Sam McCready from the University of Ulster, include:

  • A lack of basic literacy and numeracy skills from primary school which is not being dealt with early post-primary.
  • Boys from lower academic class streams perceiving they are not given the same opportunities to learn as those from higher.
  • Boys being unprepared for key transitional stages (such as moving schools or moving from junior stream into senior) during adolescence.
  • Bullying.
  • The formal nature of the classroom leaving a significant number of boys feeling bored, frustrated and impacting negatively on their concentration.

The study of 378 male pupils from nine post-primary schools across Northern Ireland quizzed the boys annually between Years 8 and 12.

[...]Recommendations in the 114-page report include:

  • Encouraging more males into teaching.
  • Teacher training should support teachers to understand the changing needs of adolescent boys.

Life Site News adds:

The problem of boys’ underachievement in primary and secondary school follows them into their later lives. Research from 2006 has tracked the decline in male academic performance over the same period as the rise of feminist-dominated ideologies in academia and policymaking.

The ratio of males to females graduating from a four-year college stood at 1.60 in 1960, fell to parity by 1980, and continued its decline until by 2003, there were 135 females for every 100 males who graduated from a four-year college. Another study found that half of the current gender gap in college attendance can be linked to lower rates of high-school graduation among males, particularly for young black men.

The work of one American researcher may offer clues to the question of why and how. Professor Christopher Cornwell at the University of Georgia has found that a heavily feminist-driven education paradigm systematically favours girls and disadvantages boys from their first days in school.

Examining student test scores and grades of children in kindergarten through fifth grade, Cornwell found that boys in all racial categories are not being “commensurately graded by their teachers” in any subject “as their test scores would predict.”

The answer lies in the way teachers, who are statistically mostly women, evaluate students without reference to objective test scores. Boys are regularly graded well below their actual academic performance.

Boys are falling significantly behind in grades, “despite performing as least as well as girls on math tests, and significantly better on science tests.”

After fifth grade, he found, student assessment becomes a matter of “a teacher’s subjective assessment of the student’s performance,” and is further removed from the guidance of objective test results. Teachers, he says, tend to assess students on non-cognitive, “socio-emotional skills.” This has had a significant impact on boys’ later achievement because, while objective test scores are important, it is teacher-assigned grades that determine a child’s future with class placement, high school graduation and college admissibility.

Eliminating the factor of “non-cognitive skills…almost eliminates the estimated gender gap in reading grades,” Cornwell found. He said he found it “surprising” that although boys out-perform girls on math and science test scores, girls out-perform boys on teacher-assigned grades.

In science and general knowledge, as in math skills, the data showed that kindergarten and first grade white boys’ grades “are lower by 0.11 and 0.06 standard deviations, even though their test scores are higher.” This disparity continues and grows through to the fifth grade, with white boys and girls being graded similarly, “but the disparity between their test performance and teacher assessment grows.”

[...]The study, he said, shows that “teachers’ assessments are not aligned with test-score data, with greater gender disparities in appearing in grading than testing outcomes”. And the “gender disparity” always favours girls.

This is why I recommend homeschooling for boys especially up until grade 6 or later, when grading is more objective. And boys should focus on math, science, technology and engineering, where there is less room for discrimination by feminist teachers who are biased against boys. Unfortunately, even though you are homeschooling, you still have to pay taxes for the feminist-dominated public school system, which enjoys overwhelming support from women voters, especially single women voters.

The best book on this topic is by Christina Hoff Sommers, entitled “The War Against Boys“. If you click through to the Life Site News article, they have a section on it towards the end of the article. It is very important that pastors and other conservatives understand that the current problems with boys and young men are not going to be solved by ignorant male-blaming slogans like “Man Up!”. Christians and conservatives need to think more deeply about these problems, and they may find that they are actually espousing the very thing (feminism) that is the root cause of the decline in men, and their lack of interest in marriage. Let’s take a look at the studies and be bound by research instead of the desire to please women in our churches by telling them that men are to blame for their woes.

Check out my previous post about the Cornwell study, which compared teacher-assigned test scores with standardized test scores for girls and boys.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Study of elementary school children finds entrenched discrimination against boys

The study is here (PDF), and Susan Walsh writes about the study on her blog. (H/T Stuart Schneiderman)

Excerpt:

A new study of nearly 6,000 elementary school children has found that boys are discriminated against beginning in kindergarten. Christopher Cornwell, an economics professor at the University of Georgia, says that ”gender disparities in teacher grades start early and uniformly favor girls.”

Despite having higher scores on standardized tests, boys get lower grades than girls. Why? Because teachers are basing grades at least partly on classroom behavior, and the standards are very much geared to female norms.

[...]Here’s what the disparity looks like for kindergarten boys:

Std. Deviation Test Scores Grades
Reading -.017 -.27
Math +.02 -.15
Science +.035 -.14

(Note: Values are approx., gauged visually from study graphic.)

Another interesting finding was that boys who adhere to female norms on non-cognitive skills were not penalized. Effectively, the more female behavior was rewarded with a grade “bonus” for males.

The implications of this are obvious. Masculinity, even normal maleness, is being punished in schools from a very young age. Only the most female-acting boys are rewarded with a fair assessment.

I found this story on Stuart Schnederman’s blog, and this is what he had to say about it:

The results demonstrated that schoolteachers are prejudiced against boys. When teachers do not just grade on performance, but include a number of intangible qualities that girls are more likely to possess, they are acting as bigots.

I recommend that everyone pick up a copy of “The War Against Boys” by AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers to learn more about this anti-male discrimination problem.

I see a lot of people raving at men to “man up” these days. Many of those people are pastors who remain ignorant about the real, systemic causes of male underachievement. Even very obvious factors – like the dominance of female teachers and administrators in schools – are ignored by the blame-men crowd. Boys generally learn better when they learn from male teachers in all-male classrooms. But unfortunately for boys, there are people who don’t want to do what works for men, especially when it doesn’t fit with feminist ideology.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Atlantic Monthly features an article on the decline of males

I hate the Atlantic Monthly, but this article on the decline of men is quite scary.

Excerpt:

Once you open your eyes to this possibility, the evidence is all around you. It can be found, most immediately, in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by men. The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance. Some of these jobs will come back, but the overall pattern of dislocation is neither temporary nor random. The recession merely revealed—and accelerated—a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least 30 years, and in some respects even longer.

Earlier this year, for the first time in American history, the balance of the workforce tipped toward women, who now hold a majority of the nation’s jobs. The working class, which has long defined our notions of masculinity, is slowly turning into a matriarchy, with men increasingly absent from the home and women making all the decisions. Women dominate today’s colleges and professional schools—for every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same. Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.

And then this helpful anecdote:

The role reversal that’s under way between American men and women shows up most obviously and painfully in the working class. In recent years, male support groups have sprung up throughout the Rust Belt and in other places where the postindustrial economy has turned traditional family roles upside down. Some groups help men cope with unemployment, and others help them reconnect with their alienated families. Mustafaa El-Scari, a teacher and social worker, leads some of these groups in Kansas City. El-Scari has studied the sociology of men and boys set adrift, and he considers it his special gift to get them to open up and reflect on their new condition. The day I visited one of his classes, earlier this year, he was facing a particularly resistant crowd.

None of the 30 or so men sitting in a classroom at a downtown Kansas City school have come for voluntary adult enrichment. Having failed to pay their child support, they were given the choice by a judge to go to jail or attend a weekly class on fathering, which to them seemed the better deal.

[...]Like them, [El-Scari] explains, he grew up watching Bill Cosby living behind his metaphorical “white picket fence”—one man, one woman, and a bunch of happy kids. “Well, that check bounced a long time ago,” he says. “Let’s see,” he continues, reading from a worksheet. What are the four kinds of paternal authority? Moral, emotional, social, and physical. “But you ain’t none of those in that house. All you are is a paycheck, and now you ain’t even that. And if you try to exercise your authority, she’ll call 911. How does that make you feel? You’re supposed to be the authority, and she says, ‘Get out of the house, b*tch.’ She’s calling you ‘b*tch’!”

The men are black and white, their ages ranging from about 20 to 40. A couple look like they might have spent a night or two on the streets, but the rest look like they work, or used to. Now they have put down their sodas, and El-Scari has their attention, so he gets a little more philosophical. “Who’s doing what?” he asks them. “What is our role? Everyone’s telling us we’re supposed to be the head of a nuclear family, so you feel like you got robbed. It’s toxic, and poisonous, and it’s setting us up for failure.” He writes on the board: $85,000. “This is her salary.” Then: $12,000. “This is your salary. Who’s the damn man? Who’s the man now?” A murmur rises. “That’s right. She’s the man.”

The article has some errors, such as the discussion of the so-called wage gap, but it has many good points.

Stuart Schneiderman reflects on the article and hits upon what I think are the real problems with the decline of men.

Excerpt:

If boys do less well in school than girls, and if they are seriously under-represented in higher education, then perhaps the reason lies in the way schools have undertaken to boost the self-esteem of girls at the expense of boys. This unfortunate tendency was provoked by Carol Gilligan’s book In a Different Voice.

For a picture of how this plays itself in the schoolroom we turn to another article by Hanna Rosin. In this week’s New York Magazine Rosin shows how one form of what I and Mark Perry would call social engineering works: “For at least a decade, a subtle shift has been happening in the educational system that seems to be working against boys, who tend to be later verbal bloomers. New initiatives have emphasized more literacy skills in preschool, long before boys are ready. And early standardized testing– now the norm– sets up boys to see themselves as academic failures.” Link here.

If boys are being conditioned to see themselves as academic failures and if the curricula tend to overemphasize subjects at which they are less adept, it should not be surprising to see them underrepresented in colleges and universities. Not because of any natural progression but because policies have been established to diminish them.

Ask yourself this. Is this outbreak of anger toward women just a speed bump on the road to feminist utopia, or is it the natural consequence of poorly conceived social engineering? Is it payback for the educational system’s systematic bias against boys?

Are we really surprised that young men who are brought up without fathers in the new feminist dystopia are drawn to gangs and crime. We have seen exactly the same thing happen in the American inner cities over the past few decades. Single-parent families, headed by women, do not produce a cohort of healthy young males.

So the first problem is that the education which is devoid of male teachers and administrators. Boys also do much worse in co-educational classes, than in single-sex. And the second problem is that welfare payments for single mothers promote fatherlessness, which hurts boys more. Stuart might also have mentioned no-fault divorce laws and unfair family courts – feminist-supported policies which both increase fatherlessness.

How did this situation become law? I think that somehow, a large enough majority of women have been so influenced by feminism, (which is inherently anti-male), that they were willing to enact laws to discriminate against men in order to punish them. The feminists were more than happy to supply the fake statistics to help women to form the anti-male views required to justify the laws.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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