After using a racial slur repeatedly in front of students, a teacher at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri, has resigned. That’s appropriate. What’s not appropriate is the school’s suspension of the student who recorded it on her cellphone. Sophomore Mary Walton, 15, began recording after the teacher, who has not been publicly identified, began using the N-word in class during a conversation with other students.
“Two of my classmates were talking and he just kind of got in their conversation,” Walton told the Springfield News-Leader. “He said something like ‘Why are you allowed to say it and I am not?’” (Which, of course, isn’t the airtight argument that white people who make it always seem to think it is.)
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The teacher’s suspension and subsequent resignation appeared to be the end of the story — until the school told Walton she, too, was suspended for three days, the strongest punishment available under the school’s disciplinary code for improper use of electronic devices in class. In a statement, the school said it has “zero tolerance” for the teacher’s conduct. That apparently goes for the student who exposed it as well.
Those snippy foreigners from Puerto Rico
Humberto Marchand did what a lot of his fellow Americans do when they want to rent a car. He went online, chose his car and prepaid to secure the rental. When Marchand reached his destination, the New Orleans international airport, he presented his driver’s license and asked for his car. But the desk attendant demanded to see his passport because his license said he is from Puerto Rico. No matter how much Marchand tried to educate her about Puerto Ricans’ status as a U.S. citizens, she wouldn’t budge.
Nor would Marchand. She threatened to call the cops. Marchand welcomed it, thinking that an officer steeped in the law would set her straight. No such luck. The cop was just as ignorant as the attendant. The officer even threatened to call “the border authorities” on Marchand.
Hertz initially backed its employee until some smart person somewhere did some reasearch. The company then came back with a statement saying that it “accepts Puerto Rican driver’s licenses from our customers renting in the U.S. without requiring a valid passport.” Hertz said it apologized and refunded Marchand’s money.
As if Diana’s death wasn’t enough
Will those nut-case photographers not be satisfied until they achieve the same result with Harry and Meghan as they did with Harry’s mother, Princess Diana? Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has long had a problem with paparazzi tracking his every movement. They did the same thing to Diana in 1997 after her divorce from then-Prince Charles. A crazed car/motorcycle chase through the streets of Paris ended with a crash that killed Diana and her companion at the time, wealthy businessman Dodi Fayed.
This week, Harry and his wife, Meghan, were leaving an awards ceremony in New York when paparazzi began tailing their car. The couple’s driver tried to give them the slip, but it didn’t work. Even the New York City police got involved. According to the couple’s spokesperson, there were “multiple near collisions” that put the couple in danger as well as pedestrians.
Even if their account was slightly exaggerated, the lesson should’ve been learned a long time ago. Risking lives for a blurry photo simply isn’t worth it. Let Harry and Meghan live in peace.
A ‘Strange World’ called Florida
How ridiculous is Florida’s new “don’t say gay” law? This ridiculous: A Florida teacher who showed a Disney movie to some of her fifth-graders while their classmates were finishing standardized testing was put under state investigation because one of the characters in the animated film is gay.
The law prohibiting classroom discussion of LGBTQ issues — one of a series of transparently demagogic initiatives that Gov. Ron DeSantis has championed to promote his presidential aspirations — initially applied only up until the third grade but was recently expanded to include all students up to seniors in high school. Teacher Jenna Barbee says she didn’t realize that when she showed Disney’s “Strange World” to her fifth-graders.
The fact that one of the characters in the 2022 animated sci-fi flick is a gay character is a minor aside to the plot. But a parent who happens to be a local school board member complained. In theory, Barbee could have lost her job — though she had previously submitted her resignation anyway, due to the “politics and the fear” being spread in Florida schools by DeSantis’ policies, she told The Washington Post.
Tops in killing their own citizens
Executions around the world have reached a five-year high as some of the most oppressive and authoritarian governments double down on killing citizens as a way of instilling fear and ensuring no one steps out of line. Also joining that list is the world’s leading democracy, the United States of America, which did its part to help bump up the global toll to 883 known executions in 2022, according to a Amnesty International.
The top three countries were Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which accounted for 90% of all executions. China might have beaten them all, but it’s hard to tell because Beijing treats execution information as a state secret.
Iran, quelling dissent after authorities beat to death a woman for refusing to wear a hijab, showed an 86% increase in executions. Saudi Arabia doesn’t just kill but actually dismembers recalcitrant people who dare to bruise the fragile egos of its royal family leadership.