All posts by Bruce Becker

Four Notre Dame players part of academic fraud investigation by school

Four Notre Dame football players will be held out of practice and games while university officials investigate whether they were involved in suspected academic fraud, the school announced Friday evening.

If improprieties were found to have occurred that kept players eligible, the school said it will "voluntarily" vacate any victories in which the players participated.

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Man gets life for killing, raping college student in New Hampshire case

DOVER, N.H. — The photograph of a beaming Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott was taken on Mother's Day 2011, a frog she rescued from the family's pool cupped in her hand. A year and a half later, Seth Mazzaglia raped her, killed her and threw her body in a river after she rebuffed his sexual advances.

Mazzaglia was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without chance of parole after more than a dozen of Marriott's family members and friends tearfully and angrily lamented what he took from them.

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When The Teacher Is The School Bully

Anti-bullying laws may now have a significant impact on what is considered to be “emotional abuse” in schools.  Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court concluded that a teacher’s bullying behavior toward a student met the legal definition of emotional abuse. Nicholas Frank v. Department of Children and Families, SC 18980, July 8, 2014.   In this case, a sixth grade teacher, Nicholas Frank, had been placed on the central registry of abuse and neglect after the Department of Children and Families [“DCF”] found that he had emotionally abused one of his students.  The abuse came in the form of targeting an overweight boy in his class by repeatedly calling him demeaning and embarrassing names — such as “pregnant,” “birthing mother,” “cheeks,” “fish out of water,” — painfully pinching the student’s cheeks, and effectively encouraging other students in the class to join in.  As a result, the student began to suffer from anxiety, bedwetting, fear of school and reduced academic performance. The teacher’s primary defense was that his comments were jokes, said in an effort to keep a light atmosphere in the classroom and could not be considered to be abuse as that term was too vague to apply to his situation.

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Fear for Child’s Safety Nearly Back to Pre-Sandy Hook Levels

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The percentage of U.S. parents who say they fear for their oldest child's safety at school has fallen to 27% after being elevated for more than a year following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Parents' concern jumped eight percentage points from 25% in August 2012 to 33% after the December massacre, and remained there in a poll conducted nearly a year after the shootings.

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