From Danwei.com: What life is like for Chinese high school students

One of the staff writers at Danwei.com has written a poignant and illuminating essay about his experience as a high school (senior middle, in local parlance) school student. Here’s an excerpt describing the typical day in a Chinese high school. Contrast his description with life in your own high school. I have to say that high school is a monastery and an army boot camp combined. Eleven classes every day. We had to rise before dawn and went to bed after 11. After the last class, we were encouraged to use any bit of extra time for study. There was one student who would go to read his lessons every night in the toilet, because that was the only place where the light would be kept on 24 hours. Everyone hated him, because his breach of a delicate equilibrium that is vital for us to live in peace with each other — he studied just a little too hard. The school encouraged us to be frugal with our time. It had a slogan hanging from the main building: “Time is like water in sponge; if you squeeze harder, there is always more.” And contemplate this paragraph about the possible consequences ...

Stupid (Mississippi) high schools, part XXXV

JISHOU, HUNAN — Remember Constance McMillen, the Mississippi girl who got cheated out of her prom because she was — gasp! — a lesbian? To add insult to injury, the nutjobs from Westboro Baptist Church intend to picket her graduation May 22. Elsewhere in the great state of Mississippi, another high school, fearful that the power of Teh Gay would strike its students blind, expunged a tuxedo-clad lesbian from her yearbook. No photo and no name. Mississippi makes Kentucky look progressive by comparison. Westboro, which I prefer to call Fred Phelps’ Family’s Home Hater Cult, hates gays and lesbians, Catholics, Jews, and probably a lot of other people. Moreover, church members believe that God Himself hates gays and lesbians, Catholics, Jews (who knew?), and probably a lot of other people. Westboro has picketed high schools with gay-lesbian associations, funerals of gay or lesbian soldiers killed in combat, shuls, Catholic churches, and tornado victims, to name just a few of their abominable activities. Here’s what they say about McMillen (left). I am quoting from their website, OK? Don’t dump on me. WBC will picket the graduation of Itawamba Agricultural High School to remind the parents, teachers and students of this nation ...

Stupid high schools, chapter XXXIV 4

JISHOU, HUNAN — It’s time to blog about stupid high schools again. The fruit is hanging low this season, so let’s take a look at Itawamba Agricultural High School (IAHS) in the fine “Christian” community of Fulton, Mississippi. This tiny high school in a tiny town (populated by people with tiny minds) has made international news because it told a lesbian student, Constance McMillen, that she (a) could not bring her female date and (b) could not wear a tux to the senior prom on April 2. After she asked to bring her girlfriend, IAHS school officials told McMillen there were Rules for Senior Prom, which specifically forbid same-sex couples and stipulate that only boys can wear tuxedos. (For girls to wear tuxes apparently would bring on a plague of frogs, or some other Biblical catastrophe.) McMillen and her parents approached the American Civil Liberties Union, which sent a letter of demand in February to the principal of IAHS informing her that the rules violated McMillen’s constitutional rights. So, the school did the honorable chickenshit thing — it withdrew its sponsorship and canceled the prom. Of course, who became the scapegoat? Not the school, which had reneged on its traditional ...

Federal courts rule Washington school cannot have Christians-only club 3

JISHOU, HUNAN — Kentridge High School in Washington state cannot have a Christians-only Bible club. Organizers of the club lost their legal battle when the US Supreme Court declined to hear their case yesterday. The Court’s action puts greater restrictions on religious clubs in public schools. As long as clubs do not limit membership based on religious faith, high schools can permit such clubs. If clubs shut out anyone from full membership based on a person’s faith, the schools have the right to ban the club. It’s a sensible state of affairs, but I predict the religious right will squeal like stuck pigs, saying, “War on Christianity! War on Christianity!” The losers in this court battle were two, now-former students of Kentridge High School, who in 2001 applied for a school charter for Truth, a Bible club. Truth members, who could be of any faith, would read Bible verses on the school intercom and decorate the school once a month. Then a federal court ruled that religion-based clubs in public school did not automatically violate the Constitutional separation of church and state. Truth’s founders, Sarice Undis and Julianne Stewart, upped the ante. They changed the rules of their club and ...

Ohio teen has fun, Xian school suspends him

JISHOU, HUNAN — Findlay, Ohio, teen Tyler Frost stuck to his guns this weekend and flouted his church school’s rules against dancing and listening to rock music. He went to his girlfriend’s prom, and got suspended. Go, Tyler! His local paper, The Courier, printed this photo of Tyler and his sweetheart having some additional non-fundie fun in the parking lot of her school. (Caution: This photo may lead to thoughts of lust and … dancing. I am not responsible for any consequences that may ensue.) To recap this little story of life in Jesusland, Frost is a senior at Heritage Christian School, a conservative Baptist school that forbids dancing, listening to rock music, and other such sinful behavior. Tyler’s girlfriend, Rebecca Smoody, attends Findlay High School, which in addition to having a traditional senior prom also condones dancing and listening to rock music. The couple wanted to attend the prom together. FHS requires guests of its students to get permission from their own schools’ principals to attend the FHS prom. Frost did, but his principal said if he went, Frost would violate HCS behavioral regulations and face suspension. Frost and his family feel the HCS regs should only pertain to ...

What is up with Ohio?

JISHOU, HUNAN — It’s either her prom or your graduation, a Christian high school in Findlay, Ohio, has told Tyler Frost, 17. If Frost goes to his girlfriend’s prom at the worldly Findlay High School, Heritage Christian School will suspend him, thereby depriving Frost of the chance to participate in his graduation ceremony. The boy, bless his little romantic heart, plans to attend his girlfriend’s prom anyway. He’s never been to a dance before. Attaboy, Tyler! Heritage Christian School, a Baptist torture chamber prison camp gulag school, forbids dancing, rock music, hand-holding and kissing, I guess because Jesus didn’t do that kind of worldly stuff. I have my doubts about that. There’s that whole thing about water into wine… Anyway, Frost followed the rules for Findlay High and got his principal’s permission to attend the bacchanalia orgy Animal House party prom. “I expected a short lecture about making the right decisions and not doing something stupid,” Frost said. “I thought I would get his signature and that would be the end.” [Heritage Principal Tim] England acknowledged signing the form but warned Frost there would be consequences if he attended the dance. England then took the issue to a school committee ...

Memphis schools defend anti-gay principal

She did nothing wrong when she outed a gay couple to the school community and their parents, according to the Memphis City schools. It was all necessary to maintain school order. Ja, mein commandant! The details are in the local newspaper story here. The district says it is preparing a more formal legal response to a letter the American Civil Liberties Union sent them last week. Meanwhile, some parents want the board to take some disciplinary action against the principal, Daphne Beasley. A small but vocal contingent of parents confronted the board at its meeting Monday evening. “I’m disgusted,” Memphis parent Natasha Burnett told Eyewitness News Everywhere. “I’m disgusted by it.” … “Firing her may be too harsh,” says Burnett, “but something needs to be done about that. No faculty member should be able to out a student like that.” The students in question had just started a relationship that they were trying to keep quiet. The parents of the boys were not aware they were gay, until Beasley called the parents, outraged that they had gay children at her school. Her actions were supposedly to quell “public displays of affection” on campus, but according to one school official students ...
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