Some teachers are pricks, and then some

12 09 2010

A simple investigation experiment looking at the pH of blood at a Tasmanian high school has turned into a biohazard scare after teacher somehow thought sharing needles would be totally fine for adolescent boys. In some muddled form of defence the teacher did “attempt to sterilise the needle with methylated spirits between tests.” (Methylated spirits its not really suitable for sterilizing).

Pretty much any official is saying that this was a major balls up by the teacher, and I’m finding hard to believe that with all the red tape (in the for of occupational health and safety) present in Australian workplaces these days, that this investigation was ever approved. I have no problem with hands on experiments. In fact, I think these should be encouraged. On top of that, if we expect to have smart and scientifically literate graduates from high school, experiments involving potential biohazards should be allowed. However (or even because of that) it still very important to recognise that risks are involved and the appropriate precautions be taken.

Do read the comments on The Mercury article too.

There seems to be some sections of the world who are somehow thinking that the teacher has not done anything wrong, because there are no schoolboys in Tasmania with bloodborne infectious disease. Perhaps they could do well to investigate the Health and Ageing website which show that historically (prior to vaccinations) they have been one of the highest risk groups for Hepatitis (which is probably the largest worry in this instance, rather than HIV). Blood-borne transmission is probably the number one risk that health organisations try to minimize to prevent the spread of disease.





Reality Boats

20 08 2010

I sort of wish Get up would spend their funds putting non-partisan and worthy public education advertisements like this one on TV rather than random Abbott quotes.

(That said, this one was pretty good too)





No, not Latin and Owls!

16 04 2010

Friday night at the movies:

How do I know this is bullshit? She says Harry Potter was “beautiful written and extremely provocative”. Excuse me? One word. “Muggle,” just, “Muggle.” Whenever anyone tells HP is the bomb, I say this, “Muggle?”

I also think it is a wonder of self-contradiction that such adamant True Believers in the One and Only God, still think that their is power in the symbols and practices of Thor and Wicca.





I am not your friend

13 11 2009

One of the best farewells that was written on my end-of-prac card was “you r now mi friend”. I had told this student earlier that day when he was not cooperating that today was the last day he had to make me his friend.

But is it okay to be friends with students? Particularly where everyone’s friends are now, Facebook.

During my last week, Education Queensland updated their code of conduct for employees to clearly stipulate that teachers “must not use internet social networks such as Face Book, My Space or YouTube to contact or access present students enrolled in any school or institute” and “If you use internet social networks in your personal time you must ensure that the content is appropriate and private, and that you restrict access to specific people who are not students” (Section 2.2.2 (b) Interactions with Students).

Teachers (along with probably everybody else) have been needing to be increasingly careful about what sort of material they make available online (for example). Thankfully a lot of social media websites have been updating features to make it easier to control how you are viewed online. At the start of previous school year Facebook blogged specifically to teachers about the benefits of making friends lists to control what is viewable by “students” (or non-teachers may like to create a similar group for “Uncles, Aunts and Grandparents”).

The private education sector in Queensland has yet to install a blanket ban on social media interactions with students (and last I heard they were not intending to go that far, but were considering available options). While I understand where EQ is coming from on this, it is a bit disappointing that there appears no room for leeway or principal-appointed exemptions (which are included on clauses regarding camera usage and other points). This means a whole range of Web 2.0 based activities and learning environments (Second Life, class blogging) are excluded from Queensland state school classrooms at all age levels (and I think it may also apply to TAFE classes too).

The Queensland Curriculum embraces technology on most levels, to me it just seems disappointing that it is not being flexible on this one. Perhaps their strategy is to ban it while they work out a more appropriate strategy to monitor student-teacher interactions on the world-wide-web.





What, there’s a reputation to uphold?

5 11 2009

This week’s storm in teacup is brought to you by comedy-news-quiz show (we can’t afford individual shows in Australia) Good News Week and Akmal Saleh.

Akmal took the opportunity of national television to go on an expletive filled rant about the people of Rockhampton. This has upset Rockhampton, and the little git has apologised. Too be fair apparently he was punched in the by some woman in an alley who accused him of being a paedophile wog, but hey, who hasn’t?

The ever reliable Morning Bulletin reports Akmal’s version of events at the Rocky Show earlier this year:

The funny man had three days off in Rockhampton and decided to take a camera to the show with his two mates.

The friends dressed in traditional Arabian outfits and did a Borat-esque skit.

The trio was lining up for a ride in sideshow alley when an angry mum confronted them.

“Listen here mate, you’ve got to have permission before you video people’s children,” the woman said.

Akmal said he tried to tell the woman she had it wrong and offered to show her the tape.

“Bulls—, you’re f—ing taping people’s children and you’re a pedophile, you dirty wog (expletive),” she said.

“Go away you idiot,” Akmal said before she punched him in the nose.

She whacked him again, “full-on punches” to his face.

“We just bolted,” Akmal said.

“I thought if we stayed we’d be lynched.”

 





Dapper dolphins dealing crack to children

18 08 2009

And they think it’s just one big joke.

Crackie the dolphin Read the rest of this entry »





Abortion in Queensland – is it what you think?

12 08 2009

If you criminalise abortion, what do you expect will happen?

(The Australian) TEGAN Simone Leach was 19, pregnant and “scared” when her boyfriend’s sister arrived in Cairns last Christmas Day with a consignment of contraband tablets and doctor’s instructions written in Ukrainian.

What transpired after Ms Leach allegedly terminated her pregnancy with the abortion pill RU486 and the Queensland police got involved, has unleashed a legal and political storm of the like not seen before in this country.

Ms Leach will face court next month charged with the crime of procuring her own miscarriage, in what is believed to be the first case of its kind to be brought under Queensland’s century-old abortion laws.

If convicted, she faces up to seven years’ jail.

The young man in her life, Sergie Brennan, 21, faces up to 14 years’ imprisonment for attempting to procure an abortion and three years’ jail on a further charge of supplying the means to procure an abortion. [more]

As expected there is quite a lot of anger coming from liberal left sector – with the launch of the Pro-choice Action Collective in Queensland. They have a facebook group and a website. But is this the right case to be defending? Read the rest of this entry »








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