Playtime is over for some Australian schoolchildren daring to do cartwheels and handstands during their lunch hour.

Drummoyne Public School in Sydney has banned handstands, cartwheels and somersaults in the playground during lunch and recess unless “under the supervision of a trained gymnastics teacher and with correct equipment.”

The move has confounded parents such as Rebecca Chown, who has called for the rule to be overturned.

“It’s ridiculous, what’s the world coming to when kids can’t do handstands and cartwheels at lunch time,” she said.

Ms Chown said she understood school principal Gail Charlier felt she was “doing the right thing”.

“So many principals are wary … about children injuring themselves, due to the growing litigative culture we live in,” she said.

Ms Chown first heard about the ban when her daughter Estelle, 10, came home on August 17 and said children had been told they couldn’t do anything that had them “upside-down”.

Ms Chown said she understood the risks involved, but the children were playing, not training to be gymnasts.

What frustrated Ms Chown was the school’s P&C, which her husband has been active in, had spent four years raising about $200,000 for playground upgrades, which included soft fall surfaces so children could play in a safer environment.

“It just feels like a slap in the face,” she said.


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A Lake Charles, Louisiana elementary school is trying to implement a new programme in their cafeteria. But a palm vein scanner is being met with much opposition from Moss Bluff Elementary parents.

“I was very, very mad,” said parent Mamie Sonnier. “Disappointed.”

Many parents felt that way on Monday after reading a letter sent home with their children from the school.

The letter introduced a new programme, the palm vein scanner, to move students through the lunch line at a faster rate.

With almost 1,000 students, Principal Charles Caldarera says the system will reduce errors.

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Sonnier says she’s against the palm vein scanner because of her beliefs.

“As a Christian, I’ve read the Bible, you know go to church and stuff,” said Sonnier. “I know where it’s going to end up coming to, the mark of the beast. I’m not going to let my kids have that.”

Caldarera says a lot of parents agree with her, but he says it’s just technology.

“I think a lot of this has to do with religious beliefs,” said Caldarera.

“I think some people feel it’s something with the Bible, mark of the beast. It’s technology that is used throughout our lives. Everywhere.”

He says the system isn’t on campus yet, so students’ palms won’t be scanned any time soon. But Sonnier says if the programme comes to campus, her children aren’t participating and won’t be around it either.

“I’d probably pull them out of the school, and transfer them to another school,” said Sonnier.

News video HERE

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A New Zealand school which held a best dressed dead possum competition is defending the event which has been labelled “sick”.

Photos from the Uruti School competition held on Tuesday in Taranaki, show a skinned possum dressed as a boxer, some in baby clothes and two relaxing on mini beach towels.

Another photo shows a young girl holding a dead possum dressed up as a bride.

Pauline Sutton, principal of Uruti School which is about 40km north of New Plymouth, has defended the event and says feedback has all been positive.

“When people die, don’t we dress them up?” she said. It is the first time the school has held a dress-up possum competition and Ms Sutton says it may not be the last.

However, SPCA spokeswoman Jackie Poles-Smith says the competition is disappointing.

“The SPCA’s focus is on teaching children respect and empathy for animals and they didn’t do that,” she said. “Animals deserve respect even after death.”

See more photo’s HERE

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A high school girl in Taizhong, Taiwan did not attend her physical education class and instead hid in a classroom cutting her wrist.

When the P.E. teacher learned of this, she ridiculed her, stating “Is it fun to cut yourself? Shouldn’t cutting your wrist make you bleed? If you have any guts then cut it deeper!”

The student was so angry she almost cut herself again.

The school explained that the teacher was using ‘extreme words’ [reverse psychology] to teach the students a lesson, but admitted she had gone too far and had since apologized to the student.

The head of the Humanistic Education Foundation Feng Qiaolan says: “The reverse psychology rationalization is simply an excuse for the abusing of students, she’s not qualified to be a teacher.”

See English transcript of video HERE

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An Indian “laughter therapist” said he wants to set a world record by having 25,000 school kids to laugh in unison in the same place.

Kamlesh Masalawala, who described himself as a full-time “laughter therapist,” said he has taught the merits of laughing to more than 700,000 people and he now wants to use his skills to break the record of 10,000 people laughing together in the Netherlands.

Masalawala said he wants to gather 25,000 of his students in Surat to laugh together and break the Guinness World Record.

The laughter teacher said several local schools have agreed to participate in his attempt, which he is hoping to schedule before the Diwali festival begins in mid-October.

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Thousands of American school pupils are to be taught that the Loch Ness monster is real – in an attempt by religious teachers to disprove Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Pupils attending privately-run Christian schools in the southern state of Louisiana will learn from textbooks next year, which claim Scotland’s most famous mythological beast is a living creature.

Thousands of children are to receive publicly-funded vouchers enabling them to attend the schools – which follow a strict fundamentalist curriculum.

The Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme teaches controversial religious beliefs, aimed at disproving evolution and proving creationism.

Youngsters will be told that if it can be proved that dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time as man, then Darwinism is fatally flawed.

Critics have slammed the content of the religious course books, labelling them “bizarre” and accusing them of promoting radical religious and political ideas.

One ACE textbook called Biology 1099, Accelerated Christian Education Inc reads: “Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland? ‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”

Another claim taught is that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.

One former pupil, Jonny Scaramanga, 27, who went through the ACE programme as a child, but now campaigns against Christian fundamentalism, said the Nessie claim was presented as “evidence” that evolution could not have happened.

He added: “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived. If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”

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