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Yeo claims BP was victim of over-reaction

first_img TIM Yeo, chairman of the energy and climate change select committee, has said there was “a degree of over-reaction”over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill after outgoing BP chief executive Tony Hayward was quizzed by MPs yesterday. Yeo claims BP was victim of over-reaction Yeo said BP was the “unwitting victim” of US domestic politics after Hayward told the parliamentary committee that the failings which caused the spill were not particular to the company he heads.“It’s been easy for some parties to suggest that this is a problem with BP. I emphatically do not believe that that is the case,” the outgoing chief executive said.Hayward denied that there was any link between the accident and previous safety lapses at BP such as a 2005 refinery blast that killed 15 workers.“It’s very dangerous to join up dots that may not be appropriate to join up,” he said.Hayward said the decision of rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil to criticise it in the wake of the disaster reflected the political climate in the United States at the time, rather than because of BP operating outside industry norms, as the companies said.Hayward received a less confrontational treatment from the committee than he received from a US Congressional committee. His appearance came on the same day regulators criticised BP for its safety training regime in the North Sea.Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors found the company lacked a clear chain of command for dealing with a loss of well control on a North Sea oil rig – three months before a blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico caused America’s worst ever oil spill. In a letter HSE said to BP that there was “evidence of a culture among your contractors, Seawell (up to senior levels of management), of working outside of procedures, permit or permit conditions”. More From Our Partners Killer drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.org Show Comments ▼ KCS-content Share Wednesday 15 September 2010 8:39 pm by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableyMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBemoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comElite HeraldExperts Discover Girl Born From Two Different SpeciesElite Herald Tags: NULL whatsapp whatsapplast_img read more

Ireland set to double gambling taxes

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Bookmakers say rise will be ‘catastrophic’ for the industry 3rd October 2018 | By contenteditor Finance Tags: OTB and Betting Shops Ireland set to double gambling taxes Topics: Finance AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: UK & Ireland Ireland is set to next week double taxes on gambling despite the country’s gambling industry predicting widespread shop closures and financial losses.Reports suggest the government will increase the duty from 1% of turnover to 2% in next week’s Budget in a bid to secure around €50m for public spending. It has been suggested some of that money will fund problem gambling treatment.The tax rise is seen as a victory for the Independent Alliance in its Budget negotiations with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe (pictured).However, the Irish Bookmakers Association has slammed the suggestion of a tax rise, claiming it will put around 35% of the country’s 850 betting shops at risk of closure, and threatens 1,500 jobs. In its Budget submission of July it said the current 1% tax was the “maximum possible with regard to the viability of many smaller operators”.Following the reports that the Government will double gambling tax, Sharon Byrne, chair of the IBA, reiterated the organisation’s position to iGamingBusiness.com.“We estimate for a typical independent operator with a modest turnover of €2m per shop, that they are already paying six times more in tax than the profit made per year in that shop,” the IBA said. “A 1% increase would wipe out any profit made in that shop and cause them to be loss making if their gross margin was to drop below 12%, which is highly probable.“The business is characterised by very low margins and any change in our cost base could be catastrophic, particularly to the smaller operators.”The current tax rate, which was introduced in 2015, is on top of standard business charges. Irish gambling companies are unable to recover VAT on purchases, while turnover is impacted by the ban on FOBTs in betting shops.The IBA estimates that there have been around 500 betting shop cloures in the last 10 years with the loss of around 2,500 jobs. It said the market has “stabilised” of late, however “we remain extremely vulnerable to any changes in our cost base as overall staking levels remain under threat”.While the IBA believes the changes could be “catastrophic”, the proposed tax hike is less than the 2.5% rate sought by Horse Racing Ireland last year.In July, Irish President Michael Higgins suggested introducing a blanket ban on gambling adverts during live sport broadcasts in order to protect “integrity”.However, Paddy Power Betfair CEO Peter Jackson criticised the plans, saying that although the bookmaker is keen to see progress on controlling problem gambling, an outright ban is not “necessarily the right answer”. Email Addresslast_img read more

Dake Wells Architecture Design Studio / Dake | Wells Architecture

first_img Area:  3600 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project United States “COPY” Dake Wells Architecture Design Studio / Dake | Wells Architecture CopyAbout this officeDake | Wells ArchitectureOfficeFollowProductConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousingApartmentsRefurbishmentRenovationDabasSpringfieldInteriorsOffices3D ModelingUnited StatesPublished on April 07, 2011Cite: “Dake Wells Architecture Design Studio / Dake | Wells Architecture” 07 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 12 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Read commentsBrowse the CatalogPanels / Prefabricated AssembliesTechnowoodPanel Façade SystemCompositesMitrexPhotovoltaic Solar Cladding – BIPV CladdingMetal PanelsAurubisMill Finished Copper: Nordic StandardDoorsRaynorThermal Sectional Doors – FlexFamily™SinksBradley Corporation USASinks with WashBar Technology – Verge LVQ SeriesExterior DeckingLunawoodThermowood DeckingStonesCosentinoNon-slip Treatment – Dekton® Grip +Metal PanelsSherwin-Williams Coil CoatingsValflon® Coating in Edmonton Public LibraryWallcovering / CladdingLinvisibileLinvisibile Boiserie and Skirting Systems | OrizzonteMineral / Organic PaintsKEIMMineral Paint in Beethoven HausWall / Ceiling LightsEureka LightingCeiling Recessed Lights – OutlineFurnitureFrapontWood Furniture and EquipmentMore products »Read commentsSave想阅读文章的中文版本吗?Dake Wells建筑师设计工作室 / Dake | Wells Architecture是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream Dake Wells Architecture Design Studio / Dake | Wells ArchitectureSave this projectSaveDake Wells Architecture Design Studio / Dake | Wells Architecture Projects Apartments “COPY” 2007 ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/124335/dake-wells-architecture-design-studio-dake-wells-architecture Clipboard Year:  Photographs:  Architectural ImageworksText description provided by the architects. Dake |Wells Architecture used the concept of dualities to define the renovation of a downtown loft for their young architectural practice. The dualities they focused on include: enclosed and open, dark and light, raw and refined, box and line. With limited means, a partially enclosed box is positioned between existing columns and elevated above the existing floor. Its orientation greets visitors to the studio while blocking views of the workspaces. Frankenstein, a symbol of creativity for the firm, guards the entry gallery. Save this picture!© Architectural ImageworksRecommended ProductsPorcelain StonewareApariciPorcelain Tiles – BrickworkCoffee tablesBoConceptMadrid Coffee Table AD21Panels / Prefabricated AssembliesULMA Architectural SolutionsMIS Facade PanelA steel reception desk terminates the gallery and marks the endpoint of a single line formed by the workstations along the eastern perimeter of the loft. A patch of green below and white cloud above reinforce the diagram. Salvaged fluorescent lights are reorganized above the workstations and suspended with polycarbonate sheet to form a single lighting element.Save this picture!© Architectural ImageworksProject gallerySee allShow lessVolume # 26: Architecture of PeaceArticlesSendai Update from Architecture for Humanity: Moving from Relief to RecoveryArticlesProject locationAddress:Springfield, MO, USALocation to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Share Save this picture!© Architectural Imageworks+ 9 Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/124335/dake-wells-architecture-design-studio-dake-wells-architecture Clipboard ArchDaily Photographs Architects: Dake | Wells Architecture Area Area of this architecture project CopyApartments, Renovation•Springfield, United Stateslast_img read more

Novelist Chinua Achebe bared colonialism’s impact

first_imgChinua Achebe“Things Fall Apart” and “No Longer at Ease” are perhaps the best known novels to emerge from not only Africa but the entire world. Chinua Achebe, the author of these classic works, which embodied a clear anti-colonial theme, died on March 21 in Boston.Achebe had lived in the United States for many years and taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Statements and articles paying tribute to the iconic writer have been pouring out since the news of his death was reported widely throughout the world.Born on Nov. 16, 1930, in the West African state of Nigeria, which had been colonized by Britain in the late 19th century, Achebe came from the Igbo nationality, largely based in the eastern region of the country. His observations during his upbringing informed his literary style and themes.In 1948, he went to Ibadan University to study medicine. However, after one year he realized that literature was his calling. His first novel, “Things Fall Apart,” was published in 1958, just two years before Nigeria gained national independence from Britain.This book was the first in a trilogy that examined the devastating impact of colonialism on African culture and society. It was followed by “No Longer at Ease,” published in 1960, and “Arrow of God,” released in 1964.Okonkwo, the protagonist of “Things Fall Apart,” represents the challenges that Africans faced with the onset of imperialism on the continent. “No Longer at Ease” was set in the late 1950s just before independence, when the grandson of Okonkwo returns home after being educated in Britain.Taking a position within the colonial civil service, he finds that his salary is inadequate for taking care of himself and his extended family. He later takes bribes and is caught and prosecuted by the British.The third novel, “Arrow of God,” is based on a true account of a traditional priest who refuses to collaborate with colonialism. The novel illustrates the degree of resistance to colonialism that existed in Africa after the European invasion.Achebe and national consciousness in NigeriaAchebe grew into a nationally and internationally recognized literary figure. He was also well known as a broadcaster, editing and producing programs for the Nigerian Broadcasting Corp.During this period he met a young student from Ibadan University, Christie Chinwe Okoli, whom he later married. The couple had four children.By 1966, contradictions within the national independence movement in Nigeria were reaching a boiling point. His fourth novel, “A Man of the People,” dealt with a corrupt minister in the federal government and ends with a coup.The novel was prophetic. In 1966, a failed coup and a military seizure of power set the stage for the massacre of many Igbos. These developments gave birth to a secessionist effort known as Biafra, which attempted to create an independent state for the Igbo people in the east of Nigeria.The Biafra war began in the east of the country in 1967. Achebe supported this secessionist movement, but it was doomed to fail, and a long period of national reconciliation took place in Nigeria during the 1970s.The country, while formally independent, remained under the economic domination of Britain as a member of the Commonwealth. It did not achieve stability, and a series of military coups and assassinations followed.The country would not return to civilian rule until 1999, with the second ascendancy of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, this time as a politician.Achebe by this time had left Nigeria. His criticism of the postcolonial process and successive military rulers created a political situation that was not conducive for his work.He took a teaching position in the U.S. and continued to write. Unfortunately, in 1990, he was paralyzed in a car accident and remained in a wheelchair the rest of his life.Achebe will be remembered for his literary contributions and his fierce criticism of colonial and postcolonial African society. His books will remain a mainstay of libraries and classrooms for many generations to come.Nigeria today has still not overcome the legacy of imperialism. Despite its vast oil wealth, there is profound inequality in the country.Although the government receives billions of dollars annually from the extraction and export of oil, the wealth of the country has not been distributed equally. There are still regional conflicts with armed insurrections among the Boko Haram in the north and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta in the south.In order for real development to occur in Nigeria, there must be a break with the imperialist and neocolonialist economic and political models. There has to be a national program for the reconstruction of the country based upon the interests of the workers, farmers and youth. This effort must be linked with the broader struggle throughout Africa and the world.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Free Kao Saelee now!

first_img“What is the point of sending somebody back to a country where they don’t have no family?” asks Kao Saelee. “I would be frightened out of my mind.”Like many migrants kidnapped by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement since its creation in 2003, Kao Saelee is imprisoned at a concentration camp in Louisiana, 2,000 miles from his home. Despite the fact Kao that the 41-year-old has lived in California for over 33 years, he now faces deportation to Laos. His family fled the country after the devastating imperialist wars waged on the region by the U.S. from the 1950s to the present day. He has not been there since he was two years old.Kao SaeleeAug. 6 was the day Saelee was supposed to walk out a free man, after 22 years in a California prison. Instead he was shackled, turned over by California state prison guards to a private mercenary and delivered to ICE for deportation. Even as he was “transferred” between prisons, his family was waiting on the other side of the prison walls to bring him home.The practice of handing prisoners over to ICE for deportation is increasingly common in the “blue” state of California, where Democrat Gavin Newsom is governor. Like his California colleague Sen. Kamala Harris, Newsom’s persona has been crafted by PR experts to put a progressive face on reactionary carceral policies.Saelee was also one of thousands of imprisoned workers who have been dispatched to fight wildfires in California. But the capitalist state, indifferent to the heroic work he performed in 2017 and 2018, moved to deport him anyway.Kao Saelee is just one of hundreds of millions of workers who, by sentence or by happenstance, calls this prison nation his home. Workers World Party and the Prisoners Solidarity Committee call for the immediate release of Kao Saelee and for the release of all imprisoned workers in the United States. Sign the petition to demand Gov. Newsom stop ICE transfers at tinyurl.com/yyanpkoy FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Abuse of Press Freedoms

first_img April 16, 2020 Find out more News April 11, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Abuse of Press Freedoms Follow the news on Madagascar Organisation RSF urges Madagascar to let journalists cover Covid-19 freely The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Reports Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières – RSF) is requesting that the two protagonists in the present crisis—Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana—make every effort to ensure that journalists can carry on their work in the country in total freedom and safety. RSF specifically urges these two political leaders to call upon their militants and sympathizers to remain calm and not to interfere with freedom of expression. “The plurality of information sources is primordial in such a turbulent period and both leaders must do whatever is necessary to ensure that all voices can be heard without fear in the country,” stated Robert Ménard, the organization’s General Secretary. Ever since the state of national emergency was declared on 22 February 2002, a dozen radio stations have been plundered or set on fire, and several journalists have been threatened or assaulted. The recent announcement by a private radio station that its news programmes would be suspended proves that threats and pressures still persist in this country.RSF also reminds the authorities that State media must serve the public and not an individual or party. Public press journalists must be free to report the news as they see fit and to cover events occurring in both camps.Lastly, the organization appeals to the journalists present on the island to exert extreme care in gathering and verifying information. One local daily in March asserted that “the radios on each side are spreading false information and inciting hatred.” Rumours are easily spread in times of crisis and journalists must scrupulously abide by their professional ethics and rules of conduct.Recapitulation of the main facts:According to information gathered by the RSF, on 8 April 2002, the private Radio-Television Analamanga (RTA) network announced that it would drop its news flash because of “telephone threats” and “threats against journalists.” According to one press release, the radio station had taken the liberty of “merely providing information and had not slanted it in favour of, or against, any individual, entity or party.”In addition, on 16 March, some soldiers ransacked the offices of Radio Soleil, which is owned by a pro-Ravalomanana member of the Malagasy National Assembly. Two days later, the same servicemen returned to the premises to destroy the rest of the equipment.On 27 February, Radio Tsiokavao was set on fire by Ravalomanana sympathizers. The station’s offices were totally destroyed by the blaze. Radio Tsiokavao is a Didier Ratsiraka supporter. “We did that to avenge the fire at MBS radio station,” declared one of the perpetrators of the Agence France-Presse fire.During the night of 23 February, a dozen hooded men attacked Marc Ravalomanana’s Madagascar Broadcasting Service (MBS) radio station facilities in Fianarantsoa (300 km south of Antananarivo). The offices were set on fire and three night watchmen sustained serious injuries. “We have been hiding inside the station offices for three days because we feared for our lives,” one editor-in-chief of a Madagascan daily newspaper had stated at the time.On 20 February, some high school students cutting classes stoned the offices of the Amoron’i Mania Radio-Television (Art) station in Ambositra les Roses (south of Antsirabe). The students were protesting against what they considered overly partisan news coverage by the station, which is owned by Didier Ratsiraka’s Prime Minister.Finally, on 2 February, Lieutenant-Colonel Coutiti, the Information Minister’s Technical Advisor, confiscated equipment belonging to FM 91, a private radio station in Nosy Be (an island off northern Madagascar), and closed down the station. FM 91 is owned by a provincial councillor who supports Marc Ravalomanana. Madagascar : Sabotage silences TV channel that criticized coronavirus measures RSF has asked Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana to ensure thesafety of journalists present on the island. The organization hasprepared a status report of the principal attacks on press freedomssince last February, when the state of emergency was declared. RSF_en to go further Help by sharing this information MadagascarAfrica April 30, 2021 Find out more News November 27, 2020 Find out more MadagascarAfrica Receive email alerts Newslast_img read more

Local Link carried 250,000 passengers in Donegal last year

first_imgThe manager of the Local Link service in Donegal has said that since the service came under the auspices of the National Transport Authority, it has become more established in the community.Fiona O’Shea told a Municipal District meeting in Inishowen this week that last year, 250,000 passengers in Donegal were carried by 120 drivers, with a government investment of €6 million.As well as operating bus routes in rural areas, the company also provides services for the HSE .With services going back out to tender this year, Ms O’Shea says the community has high expectations, and the service is striving to grow to meet the need that’s there………. Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Harps come back to win in Waterford Derry draw with Pats: Higgins & Thomson Reaction Pinterest WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Facebook Twitter Important message for people attending LUH’s INR cliniccenter_img DL Debate – 24/05/21 FT Report: Derry City 2 St Pats 2 Previous articleGlengad go on the road in FAI Junior CupNext articleMotorist left shaken after van robbed while stopped in traffic News Highland By News Highland – January 16, 2019 Facebook Google+ Pinterest WhatsApp Local Link carried 250,000 passengers in Donegal last year AudioHomepage BannerNewslast_img read more

Can you re-imagine Letterkenny’s Market Square?

first_imgHomepage BannerNews News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ Community Enhancement Programme open for applications Twitter Facebook Facebook Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Donegal County Council presents a competition for the reimagining of the public space at Market Square, Letterkenny.The competition is inviting concept design proposals for Market Square, Letterkenny, that embrace architecture and design in creating great places that people want to experience and spend time in.The concept design proposals will imagine how Market Square can be a central public space that conveys and communicates the DNA of Letterkenny and its people and fully meets the needs for useable public and civic space in the heart of the town centre.The competition is open to professionals and students in architecture or other related fields and the deadline for submissions is 4pm on 4th September 2020. The prize in relation to the winning design is €8,000.An adjudication panel will evaluate the submissions and shortlist design proposals. Shortlisted design proposals will be displayed in order to further engage the community in the process and the community will be invited to indicate their preferred design proposal. This community participation will inform the final decision of the evaluation panel. The winning design concept may be advanced to Part VIII (planning stage) in full or in adapted form in due course.Further information in relation to the competition can be found at http://www.donegalcoco.ie/services/planning/A topographical survey of the area is also available by emailing [email protected] Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows center_img Can you re-imagine Letterkenny’s Market Square? WhatsApp Previous article‘Substantial’ number of Donegal families on social housing listNext articleTwo motorists clocked travelling at whopping speeds in Letterkenny News Highland By News Highland – July 27, 2020 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Pinterest Twitter Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Google+last_img read more

Storm Jorge: Orange weather alert issued for Donegal

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Previous articleCouncil warn over lorry blocking major route in south DonegalNext articleBreaking: Major incident on-going in Strabane News Highland By News Highland – February 27, 2020 A Status Orange weather warning has been issued for the west coast as Storm Jorge approaches Ireland this weekend.The wind warning will be in place for counties Donegal, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim from Saturday morning into the early hours of Sunday.The storm, which was named by the Spanish Met Office, will bring winds of up to 85 kilometres per hour, with gusts potentially reaching 130 kilometres per hour.A yellow wind warning will be in place for the rest of the country. Pinterest Pinterest Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Facebook Homepage BannerNews Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Facebook Community Enhancement Programme open for applications center_img Twitter WhatsApp Google+ Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme Google+ Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Storm Jorge: Orange weather alert issued for Donegal WhatsApp Publicans in Republic watching closely as North reopens furtherlast_img read more

Schools getting more police but at the expense of counselors, nurses: Report

first_imgSteve Debenport/iStock(NEW YORK) — About 14 million students attend schools across the U.S. where they walk the halls alongside police officers but don’t have access to counselors, nurses, psychologists or social workers, according to an ACLU report released Monday.And of the schools that do provide students access to mental health professionals, about 90 percent fail to meet minimum staff-to-student ratio, which the report found can mean one counselor is responsible for more than 400 students.But the increasingly popular decision to fund police officers in schools, combined with a lack of mental health experts available, has had a disproportionate effect on both students of color and students with disabilities, the report found. Nationwide, these marginalized students were subject to more discipline bias and overcriminalization than their peers, according to a review of 2015-2016 data from the Department of Education.While arrest rates were higher across the board for schools with police compared with schools without police, students with disabilities were arrested almost three times more than peers, and in certain states were 10 times as likely to be arrested. Black students were arrested at a rate three times higher than white students, and sometimes eight times higher, the report found.Black girls — about 13 percent of female students — accounted for nearly 40 percent of the girls arrested in schools and were arrested at least four times more often than white girls. Latino and Latina students were arrested in schools at a rate 1.3 times higher than white students. Native American and Pacific Islander students were more than twice as likely to be arrested as white students nationwide, the report found.Meanwhile, mental health professionals are often “the first to see children who are sick, stressed, or traumatized — especially in low-income districts,” the report found. Having mental health professionals at schools leads to better attendance rates, academic achievement and graduation rates, while bringing down the rates of suspensions, expulsions and other disciplinary incidents.Data show mental health professionals in schools “can also improve overall school safety,” the report found. Levels of depression and anxiety are at record highs for school children, the report said, which cited a 70 percent increase in suicide rates for children ages 10-17 over 10 years, from 2006 to 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.“By contrast, there is no evidence that increased police presence in schools improves school safety,” it stated.On the contrary, several viral videos in 2018 made national headlines after capturing altercations between officers and teenagers at schools. In a case in Louisiana, two police officers were indicted for assaulting a 14-year-old boy after surveillance footage surfaced of an officer lifting him over his shoulder and slamming him to the ground.The ACLU report comes during a shift in federal policy around school discipline.In 2014, the Obama administration attempted to address the fact students of color across the country were often disciplined more than their peers by warning schools that if they had high racial disparities in disciplinary reports they’d be subject to a civil rights investigation.But Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos has begun to roll back this policy, saying local schools should make decisions free of federal guidance. Asking schools to hit “racial quotas” with their disciplinary actions instead pressures schools to let students off the hook because of how the numbers will look, DeVos said in a statement about the policy updates last year.The ACLU report is the first of its kind because of the level of state-by-state detail provided by the Department of Education, which recently and for the first time required every public school to report the number of social workers, nurses and psychologists employed.Loretta Whitson, who worked with the ACLU on the report, began her career as a school counselor in Los Angeles County and is now the executive director of the California Association of School Counselors.One of the 49 states in the country that fails to meet student-to-counselor guidelines, California averages 682 students to every one counselor, the report found.Whitson remembers working to lower this ratio in her district, Monrovia Unified, when a school counselor asked her a question while they were out to dinner. At the time, Whitson’s goal was 500 students per counselor.“She asked me, ‘Do you know the names of 500 people?’ And I said, ‘I don’t,’” Whitson said. “And I will never forget that, because what we’re trying to do is not know a student’s name but know their story, so we can be of assistance to them. But how could you with that many people?”A lot of the time, counselors are “dealing with almost an urgent care situation” when students come to them in tough situations — often the first “band-aid to the injury,” Whitson said.Whitson has watched for 30 years as the police presence in schools has increased, especially after the Columbine shooting in Colorado that left 15 dead. She remembers being called to Sacramento that day as part of a panel of experts to inform California legislators on how to protect students.She called for counseling starting in kindergarten, she said, but what was eventually included in legislation was funding for schools that could go toward either counselors or police officers.“Some districts chose counselors, and some chose police officers — that was the beginning of that, at least in California,” Whitson said.It was around this time that federal dollars also increasingly went to police in schools, beginning with a Department of Justice program that has spent nearly $300 million on school policing infrastructure since 1995, according to a 2017 report from the ACLU. The trend continues today to combat a wave of deadly school shootings.According to the report, “six months after the Parkland school shooting, more than $1 billion was added to school security budgets by state legislatures, with funding for School Resource Officers (SROs) being one of the largest items.”Whitson, who oversaw a district where around half of the students were considered “socioeconomically disadvantaged” in 2016, recalled clear examples throughout her career where students would’ve been better off with access to counselors.In one case, she had to sign off on the expulsion of a girl who got in a fight at school and hit a security guard while the fight was being broken up — a situation Whitson saw as completely avoidable had counselors intervened before punches were thrown.“If we’d done an ounce of prevention, it would have shifted everything for this girl,” Whitson recalled. “I was very angry that it wasn’t handled before it got to that point.”Expulsion, however, is the tip of the iceberg. Students who attend schools with police officers instead of school resource officers or security guards also can face formal criminal charges — most of which “arise from criminalizing common adolescent behaviors,” the report found.“For example, students have been charged for ‘disorderly conduct’ for cursing, for ‘drug possession’ for carrying a maple leaf, and for ‘disrupting school’ by fake burping,” the report found.In Florida, one of the only states with detailed data on youth arrests, more than 60 percent of school arrests were for misdemeanors — the most common of which was for fighting, which was charged as “assault/battery.” The second-most-common was “disorderly conduct.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more