News from the Handbasket

hb.jpg2006 May 26. Lower Burrell, PA. A middle school student was suspended for three days for sharing Jolt, a caffeinated chewing gum, with another student. The gum is “a stimulant that has no other redeeming quality,” said Amy Palermo, schools superintendent. Products acting as a stimulant (such as caffeine and – thank god! – crack) are prohibited. “What if the gum had been given to a student with a heart condition?” Palermo said Thursday (apparently believing to be in possession of the answer to the question). (The story appeared one many news sites, such as this one. Posted on 2006 May 27)

hb.jpg2006 March 03. Brailes, UK: Man is afraid to pick up and carry wandering toddler away from a lake, so as to avoid being accused with kidnapping and child molestation. The child is later found drowned in the lake. (The story originally appeared in the UK Telegraph here, and also contains a nice discussion of the pedophilia hysteria gripping the UK, only a little bit worse than here in the USA. Posted on 2006.05.16)

hb.jpg 2006 March 27. Lorain, OH, school officials (read: teachers) “executed an ’emergency removal” of an 8-year-old boy who they say sexually harassed a girl in gym class. What did the boy do? He “may have” grabbed the little tooshie of a girl and he sent her a note saying “I love you” – the former verified, and admitted by the boy. The second-grader then was asked to sign a “notice of emergency removal form” for sexual harassment. The boy printed his first name on the portion of the form asking for his signature. (The story originally appeared here. Posted on 2006.03.27)

hb.jpg2006 March 21 – A Nova Scotia woman who suffered from multiple sclerosis was receiving care from Northwood Home Care. One morning, a Northwood employee saw an unloaded hunting rifle in the woman’s home, with the safety on, and a trigger lock. The home health worker fled the home in fear, because the locked, unloaded rifle was not in a gun cabinet. Northwood refuses to send employees back to the home. The agency said its workers fear for their safety because of the hunting rifles.” (Story posted on Overlawyered, quoting Halifax Chronicle Herald, March 21, 2006, Google has references only. Posted on 2006.03.27)

hb.jpg2006 Feb. 7 — A boy in first grade was suspended from Downey Elementary School in Brockton, MA, after teachers said he “sexually harassed a female schoolmate”. What did he do? He touched a girl’s skin underneath the rear waistband of her pants. The investigation of allegations of sexual harassment was done by the princpipal, with involvement of the district’s sexual harassment officer. The school reported the incident to both the police and the district attorney’s office. (Story originally appeared here. Posted on 2006.03.27)

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