United Kingdom: Teacher Fired After Lies Exposed, Faked Brother’s Funeral

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A teacher in East London forged medical documents and said she had to attend her brother’s funeral in order to justify her absence.

Dionne Bryan was a teacher for the incoming kindergarten class at Newham’s Portway Primary School, although she was often absent for extended periods of time in 2017 and 2018. Some of her explanations for being absent were found to be false, and the school launched an inquiry as a result. For example, her phone’s area code indicated that she was really in Kingston, Jamaica while she said she was in Florida or the United Kingdom, prompting the school to conclude that her assertions were false.

During the course of the investigation, the school discovered that she was not a qualified teacher.  She also made up papers from Dysart Surgery in Bromley that said she needed time off work because of a procedure. Soon, though, more lies began to unravel. The ‘order of service’ she provided for the burial was for someone who had not died, disproving her claim that she was travelling to Florida for her brother’s funeral, which was the reason she had taken another spell off work. Another fabrication of Ms. Bryan’s was that she had escaped marital abuse and was hiding out in Birmingham with the help of the police.

The school fired Ms. Bryan in October 2018, and in November 2019, the TRA panel concluded that the only appropriate punishment was a lifetime ban from teaching.

The following article is paraphrased from the following: Teacher fakes brother’s death to skive work before probe finds she not even qualified, Charlie Duffield, 12 Aug 2022, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/teacher-fakes-brothers-death-skive-27728828

Taiwan: American English Teacher Among Group Jailed For Operating Narcotic Factory

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MJIB has received a tip concerning two Taiwanese males, Lo and Chen, who were previously detained last year for manufacturing narcotics in Pingtung County, according to the ministry of justice investigation bureau (MJIB). After their release, the guys are said to have set up a new organization in Taitung City and hired an American English teacher by the surname of Lin.

Amphetamine production was purportedly carried out at Lin’s bar, which was used to hide the scents and prevent detection owing to its urban setting. It was also felt by Lo and Chen that Lin’s work as a teacher would not draw unwanted attention to himself.

This caused the MJIB to form a special task force to investigate Lin’s movements between the bar and the drug-making equipment warehouse. Lin is also suspected of participating in the transportation of narcotics and equipment.

Authorities searched the bar and a container warehouse where semi-finished goods were stored on March 11. The search warrants were executed. After breaking through a second-floor window, the task team located the group of guys on the couch in the pub.

A total of four suspects were taken into custody, and law enforcement officials recovered 1,159 grams (about 2.5 pounds) of amphetamines, 9,603 grams (21 pounds) of semi-finished goods, and a substantial haul of drug production equipment in addition to raw materials. Investigators suspect that Lo was in charge of the scheme. They have all been charged with violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act by prosecutors in Pingtung, Taiwan. They are now being held incommunicado.

School Administrator Has Been Convicted For Their Part In A Fraud Scheme

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William Richard “Rick” Carter, a former school administrator in the City of Athens, was given a sentence of 66 months in a federal prison on Wednesday. On October 5, 2022, he will be required to begin serving his sentence.

In addition to the sentence of five and a half years in prison, Carter will serve an additional three years of supervised release once he has served his time in prison. In addition, the court has mandated that Carter pay reparations in the amount of $1,303,514.28.

After a four-week trial in March of this year, Carter was found guilty of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud and aggravated identity theft for his role in a plan to fraudulently enroll students in public virtual schools and then falsely report those students to the Alabama State Department of Education.

Hawaii: An Organization Had Its Back-To-School Materials Stolen

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As the new school year begins on Hawaii Island, there will be less materials available for some of the children. According to the Salvation Army Kona Corps, a number of contributions worth thousands of dollars had been taken.

Prior to the beginning of the new school year, it is important to provide assistance to students who are struggling financially. The Salvation Army Kona Corps was supposed to be going through donated products this weekend – just as they did in 2021 – but after robbers stormed into the non-profit organization, there is nothing left to sort through. It is estimated that the entire loss was somewhere about $4,500, and the fact that the items were intended for students makes it even worse.

In the meanwhile, contributions in Kona are desperately needed, and they may be made in person or via the website of The Salvation Army.

China: The Head Of University Was Removed For Rehiring Teachers Who Had Received “Instant PhDs” From Adamson

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The head of a university in central China was removed from his position after education officials discovered that he had spent more than 180 million yuan (about US $27 million) on one-time payments for teachers who were transferred to a university in the Philippines to get an “instant PhD” and were then rehired to enhance the ranking of the institution.

Twenty-two teachers from Shaoyang University in Hunan province were rehired after getting their PhDs at Adamson University in Manila. Most PhDs take at least four years to finish, but these teachers got theirs in only 28 months.

Peng was sacked from Shaoyang University on Sunday because of “illegal actions” in its talent strategy, according to the Hunan Provincial Education Department.

Shaoyang University became the center of a public debate last week after announcing that it had rehired the teachers. This raised questions about the validity of the degrees.

The curriculum that Peng offered was criticized for having a relatively short study term to acquire a PhD, in addition to the general impression that the institution was “obscure.” However, Adamson University is widely regarded as one of the best educational institutions in the Philippines.

It was also pointed out that the 850,000 yuan (US $126,000) compensation package given to each newly employed teacher appeared to conflict with the “real value” of the degrees they had earned.

Their PhDs in education served as a springboard for their re-employment in a variety of fields such as energy and sport, as well as business.

A week ago, the Hunan provincial administration said that it would examine the situation in light of mounting public pressure.

The Chinese education ministry said in November that it would “give a more careful assessment” of the degrees awarded by a number of international colleges, including the private university Adamson, which is situated in the Philippine capital of Manila.

When it comes to cultivating “instant PhDs” to boost their academic credentials, Chinese universities often work with foreign institutions to produce “instant PhDs,” according to Xiong Bingqi, head of Beijing’s 21st Century Education Research Institute.

He pointed out that for institutions like Shaoyang University, which are considered mid-tier in China, it is practical to encourage existing teachers to get a doctorate since it is difficult to attract newcomers who already have top degrees. “Gaining a PhD is normally time-consuming, taking four or five years regardless of if it is at a domestic or overseas university. Besides, some teachers would leave for better jobs elsewhere after getting the degree,” said Xiong. “Taking these factors into consideration, it can be a good idea for some universities to send their teaching staff to a low-ranking university overseas to gain a doctoral degree. The degree could be criticised as being of low quality, but that does not change the fact that it is a doctoral degree. Plus, most of the teachers would not jump ship after gaining the degree this way,” he explained.

According to Xiong, this would not only increase the university’s PhD ratio, but it would also make the institution more “international,” which might help it raise its rating. “But all these are for the purpose of gaining instant benefit instead of really improving the quality of faculty. So this is a ‘face project’ to seek quick success,” he said.

Featured image: A view of Shaoyang University, Hunan province, From Weibo

Elders Of Native Tribes Recount Their Painful Past At Government-Backed Boarding Schools

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Elderly Native Americans who attended government-sponsored Indian boarding schools spoke about the abuse they suffered as children. They described being beaten and whipped and being sexually assaulted.

They hailed from various parts of the country and belonged to different tribes, but they all had the same experience of having gone to schools that were established with the intention of erasing Indigenous people’s traditional identity.

“I still feel that pain,” said 84-year-old Donald Neconie, a former U.S. Marine and Kiowa Tribe member who formerly attended the Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, approximately 80 miles (129 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City. “I will never forgive this school for what they did to me.  “It may be good now. But it wasn’t back then.”

Deb Haaland, the first Native American cabinet secretary in US history and a Laguna Pueblo from New Mexico, listened attentively as the elders talked. It was the first stop on a year-long national tour to hear from Native Americans who were sent to the government-backed boarding schools about their awful experiences at the Riverside Indian School, which is still in operation today, but with a significantly different purpose.

“Federal Indian boarding school policies have touched every Indigenous person I know,” Haaland said at the start of the event, which attracted Native Americans from throughout the region. “Some are survivors. Some are descendants. But we all carry the trauma in our hearts. “My ancestors endured the horrors of the Indian boarding school assimilation policies carried out by the same department that I now lead. This is the first time in history that a cabinet secretary comes to the table with this shared trauma.”

There were more than 400 of these institutions, which aimed to integrate Native students into white society between the late 18th century and the late 1960s, discovered by Haaland’s organization in recent years.

While most of these schools have long since closed their doors and no longer serve the purpose of erasing students’ ethnic identities, a few do continue to serve as educational institutions, but with radically different goals that honor the cultural heritage of their Native students. One of these is Riverside, which dates back to the earliest days of the city.

Originally founded in 1871, Riverside now educates children in grades four through twelve, providing a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities, including classes in beadwork, shawl-making, and an introduction to the art, cuisine, and activities of the indigenous people of the area. One of the nation’s oldest and largest Native American-owned and -operated schools, it serves roughly 800 students from more than 75 different tribes.

In accordance with the Bureau of Indian Education’s website, it is one of 183 elementary and secondary schools around the nation that aims to deliver education that is linked with a tribe’s objectives for cultural and economic well-being.

A more sordid chapter of Riverside’s history is the mistreatment of hundreds of Native American pupils who were compelled to attend the school.

Neconie, who is still in Anadarko, recalls being beaten for crying or speaking his native Kiowa language when he was a student at Riverside in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Neconie still resides in Anadarko.  “Every time I tried to talk Kiowa, they put lye in my mouth,” he said. “It was 12 years of hell.”

There was a time when Brought Plenty, a Standing Rock Sioux who now resides in Dallas, was forced to cut her hair and was ordered not to speak her own language at Indian boarding schools in South Dakota. She described being made to beat other girls with wet towels and being punished if she refused.  “What they did to us makes you feel so inferior,” she said. “You never get past this. You never forget it.”

When it comes to Native American boarding schools, the federal government has hitherto been reluctant to look at its own involvement. As a result, government officials who have firsthand knowledge of the pain caused have taken significant roles.

It’s estimated that at least 500 students have perished at these institutions, but the true figure might be in the hundreds or perhaps tens of thousands.

The Interior Department’s study contains a list of boarding schools in what were states or territories between 1819 and 1969 that included a housing component and received federal financing.

First, Oklahoma had 76, followed by Arizona (47), and New Mexico (43) Native American communities are still present in all three states.

It may be difficult for former pupils to trust a government that has a history of killing and assimilating people under the cover of education. Some, on the other hand, like the chance to tell their story in public for the first time.

Japan: Staffer Arrested for Adding Human Excrement to School Lunches

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On June 13, a 20-year-old staffer at a public school was accused of adding human excrement to the school meals. Lunch’s okazu, which means “side dish” in Japanese and refers to the non-rice component of a meal, includes the fungus. Fried chicken, tofu, and even sushi are all examples of what this word is used for.

A strange smell and discoloration were discovered in the school’s okazu on Oct. 8, 2021, when the principal tasted it in the staff room ahead of time for the day’s breakfast. He promptly cancelled the lunch for everyone and took the food to the local health department for testing. The tests showed that it did, in fact, contain E. coli bacteria, and despite the fact that the okazu had been manufactured at a different central facility, none of the other schools’ meals exhibited any sign of fecal matter whatsoever.

All pupils and staff were protected from the tainted food thanks to the fast thinking and prompt action of their school administrator. In the end, the inquiry went back to a staff member, although it’s not apparent what her objective was or how she managed to get feces into the meal. She’s charged with fraudulent obstruction of commerce. She is now disputing the charges against her.

The Horrible Murder Of A Young Female Student Has Shocked People All Around The Arab World

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A student in Egypt carried out a heinous act of murder against a young lady after she rejected his proposal of marriage. They were both students at the same institution. The CCTV cameras and several spectators saw the stabbing of 21-year-old Naira Ashraf Abdel Qader on Monday morning as she entered the gate of Mansoura University.

According to sources, the suspect, identified as Mohamed Adel, was a third-year student in the university’s Arts department. A criminal court has taken him into custody and he will be tried for first-degree murder in a hearing scheduled for Sunday, according to the Middle East Monitor.

Prosecutors in Egypt said that Adel had been chasing Ashraf for over a year and a half. She had even blocked him on social media. Following his arrest at the site, he was brought into jail, where he stated that as Ashraf “became famous” on social media and accumulated a following, he felt angered, and as a result, he proceeded to murder her. He was taken into custody following his arrest at the scene.

Eyewitnesses have said that Adel first assaulted Ashraf until she fell and banged her head on the concrete. After she was down, Adel then allegedly stabbed her many times in the neck and body. He made an attempt to get away, but the other individuals who were there instantly seized him and held him there until the police arrived.

It was disclosed by Egyptian media person Najum Masria that Ashraf Abdelkader’s daughter was being harassed and threatened by the murderer. Adel had set up a slew of phony social media identities in order to track her down.

A police report was filed after a relative reported receiving repeated death threats, but nothing was done. CNN stated that Abdelkader had to petition for a restraining order in April. “She did not want to get married, she wanted to follow her career… and wanted to be a flight attendant,” the grieving father added.

The horrific video showing the whole stabbing has also gone viral on social media, with hundreds of thousands of people re-sharing and re-tweeting the event with the hashtag #Justice for Naira Ashraf.

The Egyptian government’s large-scale initiatives for the preservation of the rights to privacy, freedom of speech, and non-discrimination of female social media influencers have been criticized by human rights experts.

“Ashraf’s murder is not an isolated incident,” says Lobna Darwish, a gender and human rights officer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). Darwish says there are numerous incidents like Ashraf’s reported on the news each month, but the state does not adequately record them.

Bringing AI To Schools, Facial Recognition Looks To Lessen Crime: Clearview AI Case Study

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Schools and other private enterprises may soon be able to use Clearview AI, the surveillance startup infamous for capturing 20 billion face scans from public social media searches.

A U.S. corporation that sells visitor control systems to schools acknowledged its involvement in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday. At the time of this announcement, 19 students and two teachers were killed in a school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Other face recognition rivals have spent years attempting to introduce the technology to schools with varied degrees of success and resistance. Two years ago, the state of New York even attempted to outlaw the use of face recognition technology in public schools.

Using its new “Clearview Consent” product, the company announced plans for an apparent one-to-one facial match verification system that could be utilized by educational institutions, financial institutions and other private businesses. With its facial recognition solution, Clearview argues that corporate firms may use it without having a big database of faces. A commercial company could theoretically utilize Clearview’s method to verify an individual’s identification before they create an internet account, check in at an airport, or prevent financial crime.

Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That stated in a statement: “Today, FRT is used to unlock your phone, verify your identity, board a flight, enter a building, and even for payment.” With the introduction of our improved, industry-leading FRT algorithm from Clearview AI, we are now able to provide enterprises who utilize facial recognition as a consent-based process access to Clearview AI’s enhanced security and protection. Clearview declined to say how many businesses had shown an interest in the program in the past.

Clearview’s famed one-to-many facial recognition standard, which aims to authenticate the identification of people against its massive database of faces, has been condemned by privacy organizations and legislators alike. Clearview’s desire for change is likely to have been bolstered by recent restrictions that specifically target that part of the company’s operation.

Vaale, a Colombian app-based loan firm, is apparently employing Clearview’s modified verification technique to match user selfies to their IDs. Users seeking to get access to government websites using the ID.me service seem to utilize a similar method to authenticate their identity. In general, privacy advocates favor the more content-driven and restricted nature of 1:1 face matching to the more wild west, surveillance states element of one-to-many face recognition. 1:1 face matching. However, organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation caution that face matching still offers a wide range of risks.

Bennett Cyphers, Adam Schwartz, and Nathan Sheard of the EFF warn that “all types of face matching present severe digital rights issues, including face identification, verification, tracking, and clustering.” “The algorithm provides a possible match if the unknown faceprint is similar enough to any of the known faceprints. “Face identification” is a common name for this process.

To quote Ton-That, “Preventative use of face recognition equals fewer crimes and fewer victims.” For Clearview Consent, helping customers feel more safe in a world riddled with crime and fraud is its ultimate goal.”

Clearview’s decision to shift to a database-free version of their technology is partially due to the fact that it is more practical. Recently, new limitations and political resistance have threatened to upend their fundamental product offers in the United States. Clearview was fined £7.5 million by the UK government last week for breaking the country’s privacy laws by keeping facial scans of all U.K. citizens. Clearview was asked to suspend operations by a fourth nation, the United Kingdom, in the last several years.

Prior to that, Clearview and the American Civil Liberties Union had reached an agreement that essentially prohibited Clearview from selling U.S. access to its database. Clearview’s plans to grow outside public-private partnerships were jeopardized by this settlement. At the time, privacy activists such Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Executive Director Albert Fox Cahn said the deal was a “milestone for civil rights.”

This article is paraphrased from the following: Clearview AI Says It’s Bringing Facial Recognition to Schools, Mack DeGeurin, Wednesday 12:15PM, https://gizmodo.com/clearview-ai-facial-recognition-privacy-1848975528

School Bus Driver Convicted Of Molesting A Special Needs Student For Months

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Special needs student, 9, was sexually abused by a bus driver employed by San Luis Obispo County school district despite being convicted of “peeping Tom” charges. The county has agreed to pay her $10 million to settle the case.

In 2017, while employed by the Lucia Mar Unified School District as a bus driver, David Lamb is accused of abusing a 15-year-old girl every day on his bus for six months in a row. A detective stated that the driver exposed himself to the girl, showed her pornography, and touched her inappropriately. In 2019, Lamb was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to two charges of sexual assault. Because he wanted to escape a life sentence on several sex-crime counts, he agreed to the plea offer.

According to lawyers David Ring and Robert May, who fought for the child, the payment is the biggest of its type in an individual instance.

Convicted of “peeping Tom” charges, Lamb neglected to mention that conviction on his first job application to the school district serving Arroyo Grande, according to court records.

When district administrators heard of Lamb’s conviction, the girl’s lawyers said in their complaint, they notified him that he was immediately banned from ever working at the district. Lamb was recruited as a school bus driver only three months after the girl’s attorney filed court papers claiming that the district’s transportation supervisor helped him get the job.  When Lamb was hired, the District went against its own regulations, Ring said. There was a severe shortage of bus drivers, and the company didn’t seem to mind that the candidate they hired had committed many sex offenses.

Court records reveal that Lamb would often drive off to a remote spot, where he would then sexually assault the young lady. That bus security footage purportedly showed Lamb sexually assaulting the little girl only days before, according to the lawsuit. It turns out the supervisor never even watched the whole video since she claimed to have seen nothing peculiar.