All posts by Bruce Becker

Student shot in attack by fellow student at Arkansas school

PRESCOTT, Ark. — A student was airlifted to a hospital Monday after being shot by a fellow student at an Arkansas school in a what appears to be a “premeditated attack,” according to authorities.

The gunfire was reported Monday morning at a school in Prescott, about 90 miles southwest of Little Rock.

The Prescott School District said in a statement that one student brought a concealed handgun onto campus and shot another student, who was injured and airlifted to a hospital. The shooter was taken into custody by law enforcement, and that no other injuries were reported, according to the school.

“It appears this was a premeditated attack specifically targeting the injured student,” the school said in the statement.

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Second Parkland student dies by apparent suicide

For the second time in less than a week, a student who survived last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has died by apparent suicide, police confirmed Sunday.

The male juvenile, who was still a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, died Saturday night, according to Coral Springs Police spokesman Tyler Reik. Detectives and the county medical examiner’s office are continuing to investigate the matter.

Reik said the student's name and personal information will not be released because he is still a juvenile.

The student's death comes just days after the family of 19-year-old Sydney Aiello confirmed Friday she had died by suicide after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt that stemmed from the February 2018 shooting, where 17 people were killed.

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National College Fraud Scheme Highlights Flaws in Admissions Process

Federal prosecutors charged 33 parents, along with two SAT/ACT administrators, an exam proctor, nine coaches and three organizers with involvement in a college admissions fraud scheme on Tuesday.

Documents released by the U.S. Department of Justice assert that William Singer, a well-connected college admissions adviser, sold two forms of fraud to wealthy Hollywood elites and corporate executives, in which students would cheat on their SAT/ACT exams, artificially inflating their scores, or bribe college coaches to fake athleticism. Some would utilize both options.

In the first, students would either have another student take the exam in their place, or have proctors change their answers after taking the test. In some cases, applicants were told to provide a fake reason, such as a family wedding, in order to take the exam in one of the two testing centers that Singer could bribe.

"In many instances, the students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for this cheating," according to the federal complaint, which was filed in Massachusetts.

In the second option, Singer would bribe coaches at elite universities. He would then provide a fake profile of the student, at times including falsified information of the students' sports experiences and photoshopped photos of the students playing the sport. Coaches would use the profile to internally convince administrators to accept the student.

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Gaggle Student Safety Report: 49 out of Every 10,000 Students Used Online School Accounts to Divulge Suicidal or Self-Harm Urges in Six-Month Period

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.March 6, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- K-12 leaders will be surprised to learn how many of their students, including those in elementary school, are acting in ways that pose an immediate threat to themselves or others. According to Gaggle's new national student safety report, "The State of Student Safety Through a Gaggle Lens," evidence of an alarming number of harmful behaviors is left in students' online activity. The report shows the frequency of these behaviors and highlights some of the key trends, so K-12 leaders can be aware of the threats and take steps to address them.

"Teachers and administrators might not see warning signs during physical interactions with students, but for every 10,000 students in a six-month period, a district can expect Gaggle to identify 49 students indicating suicide or self-harm and 29 students planning violence against others," said Gaggle CEO, Jeff Patterson.

During the first six months of the 2018–2019 academic year alone:

  • Five out of every 10,000 students threatened that they — or someone they knew — were planning a suicidal act or were engaging in self harm.
  • Four out of every 10,000 students shared child pornographic content on their school account involving themselves or peers.
  • One out of every 10,000 students planned a specific threat of violence toward others or their school.

These figures come from Gaggle's student safety management solution, which uses a combination of machine learning algorithms and human safety experts to review students' use of online tools. The solution analyzes and reviews the use of online tools within Google's G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, and the Canvas learning management system for nearly five million students across the United States. The solution alerts school officials when students show signs of self harm, depression, thoughts of suicide, substance abuse, cyberbullying, and credible threats of violence against other students.

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Former NJ Teacher Admits Student Sex Abuse

ELIZABETH — A former middle school teacher has admitted to repeatedly sexually assaulting two students over a decade.

Robert Goodlin, 76, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of second-degree sexual assault on the underage victims.

The plea deal comes five months after a jury in a Union County civil case was ordered to pay $1.15 million to one of the former students, now an adult, who sued him. In 2017, the school district settled a lawsuit with one of the Goodlin's victims for $600,000.

The first student was assaulted from 1993 to 1998 when Goodlin was an industrial technology teacher at Joseph Battin School 4 on South Broad Street. The assaults took place at the student's home, Goodlin's car and at Goodlin's cabin.

The second student was abused from 2002 to 2003 in various locations in the city.

Goodlin was arrested in 2017 and has been on house arrest ever since. He will be sentenced on April 5 in Superior Court in Elizabeth.


NM community remembers 11-year-old who died from suicide after being bullied

GRANTS, N.M.- People in Grants came together Wednesday night to remember an 11-year-old girl who took her own life.

Delia Watson complained of bullying at Mt. Taylor Elementary School and on social media before she died.

Her best friend, Malaya Martinez who planned Wednesday night's vigil, said Delia was tormented.

"Surprisingly my friend held her head up high and always carried a beautiful smile," Malaya said. "She had the biggest heart and always found the good in everybody, even the girls and boys who would bully her."

Delia's family and friends believe the suicide was preventable. Malaya said Delia reported the bullying to school officials.

"Me and Delia reached out to many staff members of our school many different times about the bullying but Delia's voice was never heard," Malaya said.

Delia's family is now calling on leadership at the school to do a better job of educating parents and students about bullying.

School officials would not answer specific questions about the case, referring KOB 4 to a statement sent to parents.

However, police are investigating social media messages that were sent to Delia.

In the meantime, Malaya said she will speak up for her best friend and will continue talking until someone listens.

"I'm Delia's voice and I'm reaching out to the community for help," Malaya said. "Big, small, tall, has no hair, has hair, has a lot of hair, doesn't matter, they are still human beings. It's not right!"

Delia's family is holding another community vigil Saturday at Fire and Ice (next to the post office in Grants). It will start at 6 p.m. The community is invited to attend.

The family has also set up a Gofundme account. Click here to donate. 

Statement from the Grants-Cibola County Schools:

February 4, 2019

The Grants-Cibola County Schools is sad to report that is has confirmed the unexpected death of one of its students. The student was an 11 year old student at Mt. Taylor Elementary who died unexpectedly on Friday, February 1, 2019. Out of respect to the family, the name and cause of death will not be released. We are heartbroken over the death of one of our students. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the family and friends as well as the entire community.

School counselors and community health representatives are available to any student or staff member who wishes to talk about the student’s death. The District will be offering grief counseling for students and staff as needed. The School Districts primary focus of resources is on the welfare of its’ school community and its students. Please note that no TV cameras or reporters will be allowed in the schools or on school grounds. We want our community to be aware of the supportive measures available and to encourage anyone having difficulty to seek support.


Former teacher gets 3 years for having sex with 14-year-old student

A former Florida middle school teacher was sentenced Wednesday to time in jail as well as community service for having sex with a 14-year-old student.

A Volusia County judge sentenced Stephanie Peterson to three years in prison and two years of community service.

Prior to learning her fate, Peterson read a statement to the court. She explained how she tried to use an earring to kill herself when she was arrested in February.

“Every day I wake up and ask, ‘What have I done?’ Every day I pray I will be forgiven,” Peterson said.

Peterson said she's battled with bipolar disorder and depression. She went on to apologize to the 14-year-old student and called it the worst mistake of her entire life.

According to deputies, the eighth-grade New Smyrna Beach Middle School student told detectives that Peterson would send him nude photos, and would go to his home at night, picking him up at about 11 p.m. and bringing him back hours later, the release said.

Detectives said the teen told them that Peterson asked him not to tell anyone about their relationship or they would get into trouble. The teen also said Peterson bought him marijuana and bowls for smoking it. He said that his grades suffered after the relationship started.

After the sentencing, the victim’s mother called Peterson a predator who took advantage of her son. The boy's mother said her son is teased by other students about what happened. He lost many of his friends and isolated himself from others.

She says the anger and fear he feels from being around the school kept him from going to his stepsister's dance recital there two weeks ago.

“Moments where he hated himself and what happened to him to the point where it gets overwhelming he turned to self-destruction,” said the mother, who is not being identified to protect the victim. “How is any 14-year-old supposed to emotionally handle that?”

Peterson will have to register as a sex offender. The judge is still allowing her to be around her niece and nephew.


Tipster thwarts school gunman, 14, who commits suicide after firefight with police

After a tipster reported a "potential violent act" that might occur at an Indiana middle school, officers confronted a 14-year-old gunman, who killed himself but didn't harm any others, according to police.

"That likely prevented a lot of lost lives," Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said of the tipster.

There's "no doubt in my mind... we'd be having a much different conversation" if that call wasn't made, Carter stressed at a news conference.

When the tipster called police around 8 a.m. Thursday to report potential violence at Dennis Intermediate School in Richmond, the school was locked down and officers were sent to the scene, the Indiana State Police said.

After officers confronted the teen outside the school, the gunman "reportedly shot out the glass of a locked entry door" and ran inside the building, police said.

The teen, who was not a student at the school but lived in the area, exchanged gunfire with the officers as they followed him, police said.

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Student slashing at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside caused 2 1/2 hour lockdown

The search continues for the suspect who slashed a student at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside on Tuesday morning — and caused a 2 1/2 hour lockdown of the campus that alarmed students, parents and staff alike.

On Dec. 11 at around 9 a.m., police sources reported, an unidentified 14-year-old student was sliced in the head with an “unknown sharp weapon” at the high school located at 57-00 223rd St.

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