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Over 75% of College Students Want ‘Threatening Actions, Ideas, or Conversations’ Banned on Campuses

Yet, they contradictorily also support President Trump’s idea of withholding taxpayer dollars from universities that restrict speech.

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A shocking new poll has found that 78 percent of college students want to limit free speech on their campuses.

Yet, they contradictorily also support President Trump’s idea of withholding taxpayer dollars from universities that restrict free speech.

According to a newly released poll conducted by Gallup and the Knight Foundation, 78 percent of students want “threatening actions, ideas, or conversations” banned at colleges. Yet, 97 percent of students also claim that they believe free speech to be an essential pillar of American democracy.

The more than 80 percent of the clearly-confused students also favor the idea of “safe spaces” and “free-speech zones” on campuses. A growing majority also wants to ban “offensive” Halloween costumes.

The “First Amendment on Campus 2020 Report: College Students’ Views of Free Expression,” study found that “81% of students say they want a campus environment where students are exposed to all types of speech, even if they may find it offensive or biased, rather than being protected from it. At the same time, 78% are in favor of designated ‘safe spaces’ on campus designed to be free of threatening actions, ideas or conversations. Growing majorities of college students believe colleges should be able to restrict the use of racial slurs (78%, up from 69% in 2016) and costumes that stereotype certain racial or ethnic groups (71%, up from 63% in 2016).”

Evette Alexander, director of learning and impact at the Knight Foundation, noted that students feel more pressure from their peers than their professors about sharing dissenting views.

“We understand that [pressure] mostly comes from peers,” Alexander said. “The professors would be open to hearing different thoughts, but the people who feel uncomfortable usually have a point of view that doesn’t align with the most vocal students in the room. And so they feel like by speaking up, they would expose themselves to retaliation.”

There were also strong racial and gender divides on whether or not “students feel that the First Amendment protects them.”

“Nearly nine in 10 college students agree that the First Amendment protects people like themselves, including 44% who strongly agree. White students were more than twice as likely as black students to strongly agree, at 53% versus 25%, respectively. A majority of men (55%) strongly agreed, versus 39% of women,” the pollsters report.

Students, the majority of whom ironically voiced their support for squelching free speech during this survey, also said that they see free speech as increasingly less secure since 2016, and rank it as the least secure of all First Amendment freedoms in 2019.

“Fifty-nine percent of college students believe free speech rights are secure, down from 73% in 2016 and 64% in 2017. While 81% said free press rights were secure in 2016, that number has dropped significantly since,” the report says.

The pollsters concluded that “there are clear racial and gender differences when it comes to an appetite for speech protection, underpinned by differences in these groups’ experiences of speech on campus and in underlying perceptions that the First Amendment ultimately serves to protect people like them.”

The poll was conducted through online surveys with a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 U.S. full-time undergraduate college students, including an oversample of students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Education

Poll Finds 40% of Families More Likely to Homeschool or Virtual School After Lockdowns

“Homeschooling is the new status quo.”

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A new national poll has revealed that 40 percent of families are more likely to continue home or virtual schooling after the lock downs end.

The RealClear Opinion Research survey also found that 64 percent of registered voters support school choice.

Homeschool has been under attack in a big way since the lock downs began, but mainstream media’s efforts to dismiss it is clearly not resonating with voters.

“Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns. With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling. Policymakers should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other educational options available to families, with both strong support for the general concept of school choice and even stronger support for a specific federal proposal, Education Freedom Scholarships,” John Schilling, President of the American Federation of Children, said in response to the poll results.

Schilling added that this is the time for leadership and for desperately needed bold reforms to be implemented across our K-12 education system.

“Millions of families are seeing the inadequacies of school districts that are too inflexible,” Schilling said. “We owe it to our nation’s families and students to give them more flexibility and additional educational options. Moreover, policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800 billion K-12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”

More black and Asian parents said that they are more likely to consider homeschooling now, with 50.4 percent of black voters saying so, and 53.8 percent of Asian parents. Just 36.3 percent of white parents said the same, and 38.2 percent of Hispanic.

The issue did not seem to be partisan, however, as 45.7 percent of Democrats said they are more likely to consider homeschool, as well as 42.3 percent of Republicans.

Corey A. DeAngelis, the director of school choice at the Reason Foundation told the District Herald that these shutdowns have helped parents to realize that homeschool works better than government schooling.

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Education

Arkansas Middle School Teacher Arrested for Rape, Sexually Grooming Child

He is currently being held at Mississippi County Jail without bond.

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An Arkansas public school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of rape, sexually grooming a child, and internet stalking a child.

Blytheville Middle School teacher Gregory Briggs, 29, was arrested on Thursday according to a statement from the town’s Police Chief Ross Thompson.

The investigation into Briggs began when the parents of a 13-year-old student contacted police about inappropriate sexual conduct from the teacher.

“They reported that they had been contacted by the parent of a 13-year-old student who had evidence of inappropriate contact of a sexual nature between their child and 29-year-old Gregory Briggs, a teacher with the Blytheville Public Schools,” Thompson said in a press release.

As law enforcement investigated the case, they uncovered evidence of additional crimes against other students.

The Blytheville Police received assistance from the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children division and school officials during the investigation.

Briggs is currently being held at Mississippi County Jail without bond.

A Missouri public school teacher was also arrested this week and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to investigators, Cassville School District teacher Brandon McCullough used the messaging app Kik to contact a minor in New Jersey under a fake name. The investigation found that in May of last year he engaged with a sexually explicit chat with the child, including sending pornographic images. The victim told law enforcement that she felt trapped as the teacher kept requesting more explicit photographs and threatening to post the ones she had sent if she did not comply.

A Florida school teacher was also arrested and charged this week for filming students changing on multiple occasions.

Thomas John Kovack, 41, admitted to detectives that he filmed multiple students changing in the bathroom during the pool party while he was a teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School. He also supplied them with alcohol.

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Education

Florida Public School Teacher Charged With Filming Students Changing on Two Occasions

He also supplied them with alcohol.

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A Florida public school teacher has been arrested for filming students changing at a pool party at his house in 2011 and again at the school in 2018.

Thomas John Kovack, 41, admitted to detectives that he filmed multiple students changing in the bathroom during the pool party while he was a teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School. He also supplied them with alcohol.

“Kovack provided the students with alcohol and offered for them to spend the night,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “While no students stayed the night, several were captured on the hidden camera without their knowledge or consent.”

Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kovack on Tuesday. In addition to confessing to filming students without their knowledge, he also told detectives where he was storing a hard drive with the videos.

Kovack went on to teach at Fivay High School, where a student caught him filming her while she changed.

NBC News reports that in 2018, “a student said she was changing for yearbook photos in a classroom closet when she found an iPhone filming her. She told authorities she saw Kovack setting up the phone to record after watching the video from the beginning, according to a complaint affidavit.”

The teacher claimed that he “regretted his actions” and deleted that footage.

Kovack has now been charged with video voyeurism in two counties.

“Kovack was in custody at the Pinellas County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon, according to inmate records. He had an initial appearance in court for the 10 charges stemming from the 2011 pool party on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing at 10 a.m. May 19,” the report states.

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