Thoughts I Have

Education

Rebecca Drysdale “It Gets Better” Video


This is the best “It Gets Better” video I’ve seen yet!

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London Tuition Fee Protest


Taken From Boston.com (The Boston Globe)
December 10, 2010
London tuition fee protest
Yesterday, in central London, thousands of students and others gathered to protest as Britain’s Parliament met to vote on a proposal to raise university tuition fees significantly – nearly tripling them – as part of a continuing set of austerity programs. During the protest, several clashes took place between police and protesters, resulting in numerous injuries and 43 arrests. Late in the demonstration, a group of protesters attacked the car of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as the couple were inside, being driven to the London Palladium. The car was slightly damaged, the royal couple unharmed, though a bit shaken by the incident. Parliament did end up narrowly approving the measure, and the fee increases are set to take effect in 2012. Collected here are images from London last night. (39 photos total)

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A student protester stands on a barrier in Parliament Square on December 9, 2010 in London, England. Parliament was voting on whether to implement the coalition Government’s proposals to increase university tuition fees in England from 3,290 GBP to 9,000 GBP. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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Placards are pictured outside the University of London, on 9 December 2010, as thousands of students prepare to take part in protests against government proposals to let universities triple tuition fees. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A police officer puts on his body armor before a large student protest outside Parliament on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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British students protest in central London against government plans to triple tuition fees, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #

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A protester stands beside a statue of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Parliament Square in London, on December 9, 2010. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A student protester looks over Parliament Square on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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Mounted police drive their horses into protesters during student demonstrations in London, on December 9, 2010. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Police restrain a protester in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) #

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A mounted police officer pushes protesters back during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #

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A protester tries to take a police officer’s truncheon during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Andrew Winning) #

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A police officer detains a youth during a protest against an increase in tuition fees on the edge of Parliament Square in London on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo) #

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Police officers and student protesters clash during protests on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

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A police officer is helped by a medic during a protest in Westminster in central London December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth) #

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Police officers clash with student protesters in Parliament Square on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #

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An injured protester is led away by a police officer during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London on December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Andrew Winning) #

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A police officer is covered in paint on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

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Police stand in a line near Parliament Square during clashes with student protesters on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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A demonstrator is carried away by medics during a protest in Westminster in central London December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth) #

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Mounted police ride during a protest in Westminster in central London December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth) #

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A police rider falls to the ground from his horse in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant) #

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Demonstrators jump off burning park benches during a protest outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London December 9, 2010. (REUTERS/Andrew Winning) #

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A protester wears a gas mask as a vandalized portakabin is set on fire during student demonstrations in Parliament Square, in London, on December 9, 2010. (LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A fire burns in Parliament Square, Westminster, London, as students demonstrate against planned tuition fee increases on Thursday Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gareth Fuller/PA) #

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Police officers in riot wear contain student protesters on Westminster Bridge on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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Police videotape proceedings and stand ready to meet a students demonstration in Parliament Square near the Palace of Westminster about the increase in University fees in London, Thursday, Dec., 9, 2010. (AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis) #

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Mounted riot police clash with protesters during student demonstrations in Parliament Square, in London, on December 9, 2010. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A student protester stands in front of a fire in Parliament Square on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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Student protesters try to smash the windows to the Treasury building in Parliament Square on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images) #

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Police officers clash with students during protests against an increase in fees in central London, on December 9, 2010. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Police horses charge into a crowd of students demonstrating in Parliament Square near the Palace of Westminster about the increase in University fees in London, Thursday, Dec., 9, 2010. (AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis) #

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Protesters attempt to set fire to the Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, London, during a protest against the increase in university tuition fees, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #

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British police arrest a youth during scuffles during a protest by students against government plans to triple tuition fees, in central London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) #

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Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall react as their car is attacked, in London, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. Angry protesters in London attacked the car containing Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. An Associated Press photographer saw demonstrators kick the car in Regent Street, in the heart of London’s shopping district. The car then sped off. Charles’ office, Clarence House, confirmed that “their royal highnesses’ car was attacked by protesters on the way to their engagement at the London Palladium this evening, but their royal highnesses are unharmed.” (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #

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A broken window and splattered paint are pictured on a car used to transport Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall to the London Palladium in London, on December 9, 2010, after it was attacked by protesters during a student demonstration. (TERRY STEPHENS/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Riot police hold their shields up to protect windows inside the Treasury in Parliament Square during clashes with student protesters on December 9, 2010 in London, England. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #

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British riot police come under attack from flares as they clash with protesters during student demonstrations in Parliament Square, in London, on December 9, 2010. (CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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The Big Ben clock tower is seen through the broken window of a damaged telephone box the morning after a protest in Westminster, in central London December 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth) #

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Forensic police carry out investigations in Parliament Square in London, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. A student protest Thursday over a tuition fee increase caused damage around Parliament. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) #

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Barriers are stacked in a pile in front of the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square after a protest, in Westminster in central London December 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth) #


Teacher Not Indicted In Student ‘Hit’ Case


Teacher Not Indicted In Student ‘Hit’ Case
By Curt Yeomans
cyeomans@news-dailycom
Posted: 11:55 PM May 27, 2010
Taken from The Henry Daily Herald (our local newspaper)

A former Mundy’s Mill High School special education teacher, who allegedly sought a “hit” on a 16-year-old student, whom the educator believed to be gay, will not face criminal charges in Clayton County Superior Court, the county’s district attorney said on Thursday.

The teacher, Randolph Forde, had been facing a charge of making terroristic threats against the student, for allegedly offering a 17-year-old classmate of the student $50 to kill the 16-year-old, on Oct. 9, 2009.

The case had been bound over from Clayton County Magistrate Court on Oct. 14, but it sat for several months, waiting to be handled by the grand jury. In January, the Clayton County Board of Education terminated Forde’s employment, upon the recommendation of a tribunal panel, which heard two days of testimony from witnesses.

District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said she brought in “nine to 10” witnesses, including the intended victim of the alleged “hit,” to testify before the grand jury on Wednesday. In the end, however, the evidence did not prove to be enough to sway jurors toward handing down an indictment, she said.

“They returned a ‘No Bill,’ which means they did not find probable cause to hand down an indictment,” Lawson said.

Forde’s attorney, Borquaye Thomas, said the next step for his client is fighting to get the educator’s job re-instated with Clayton County Public Schools. Thomas said he plans to file an appeal of the school board’s decision to fire Forde, in Clayton County Superior Court today. “We’re working on getting his job back,” Thomas said. “I’ll be happy to just get that.”

The teacher’s attorney said the State Board of Education has already upheld the Clayton County school board’s decision, although no decision regarding Forde has yet been posted on the Georgia Department of Education’s web site.

Even though the grand jury has decided not to indict Forde, Clayton County Public Schools officials, in a written statement, said the district will not reverse the previous decision to fire the teacher.

“The matter regarding Randolph Forde’s employment with Clayton County Public Schools is closed,” according to the district’s written statement. “Mr. Forde, like any other person, can apply for any position posted by the district.”

Terance Madden, an Atlanta-based attorney for the family of the 16-year-old student, contends the alleged request for a “hit” was tied to an incident which occurred a week and a half earlier, in which Forde allegedly took the youth out of a math class, and asked him if he was gay. A day after that incident, there was allegedly a verbal argument between Forde and the youngster, in the same math class.

On Oct. 9, Forde is alleged to have approached the 17-year-old at his school bus, and offered him money to perform the “hit.” The teacher allegedly identified the 16-year-old victim as the intended target, by writing the youngster’s name on a piece of paper for the 17-year-old.

Thomas said the grand jury’s decision to not indict in the case was not a surprise to him, or his client, because it was “what we expected, based on what we knew about the facts of the case.”

With the grand jury’s decision, the criminal portion of Forde’s case is likely over, according to Lawson. But, the family of the intended victim of the “hit” will continue to push the DA’s office for some sort of legal punishment for Forde, according to attorney Terance Madden. “We want the district attorney to use every, and any means to prosecute this case,” he said.

The family’s attorney said the 16-year-old student is “devastated” over the lack of an indictment, and blamed Lawson for it.

Lawson said, however, that she gave the grand jury all of the evidence she had, and it is ultimately up to the jurors to decide if there is enough evidence to hand down an indictment. “It is the ethical duty of a prosecutor to seek the truth, and that is why I presented all of the evidence that I had, and the grand jury made it’s decision,” she said.