Woman found guilty of hitting CPS student with belt in school bathroom

A woman was found guilty last week of hitting a 9-year-old Chicago Public Schools student with a belt at his West Garfield Park elementary school.

The family of Jo’maury Champ said Juanita Tyler came to his school in September 2018 and struck him repeated with a belt in a bathroom at Tilton Elementary School, at the behest of the boy’s teacher, Kristen Haynes.

Tyler and Haynes were charged later that month in connection with the incident at the school, at 223 N. Keeler Ave.

Tyler, 58, was found guilty Friday of a misdemeanor count of domestic battery causing bodily harm during a bench trial at the Harrison District Courthouse, court records show.

Haynes, 52, was acquitted of misdemeanor counts of battery and child endangerment, records show.

Cook County Judge Laura Bertucci-Smith sentenced Tyler to a year of conditional discharge and ordered her to take parenting classes, state’s attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said. Tyler will also be required to register as a violent offender against youth.

Al Hofeld, an attorney for the family in their ongoing federal lawsuit against CPS, Tyler and Haynes, said his clients were “disappointed” in the verdict against Haynes, but said they plan to “vigorously pursue” the lawsuit now that the criminal case has ended.

Jo’maury, now 11, currently attends a different CPS, Hofeld said.

CPS removed Haynes from the classroom and moved to fire her in March 2019, CPS spokeswoman Emily Bolton said Tuesday. Haynes is currently suspended without pay during ongoing termination proceedings.

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Watch: In this Sharjah school, you don’t have to go only to the bathroom to wash your hands amid COVID-19

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Keith Sykes, headteacher of Victoria English School in Sharjah with artist and curator Yoshita Ahmed showcasing the school’s innovative sinks
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Sharjah: The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many schools around the world to search for innovative ways to protect themselves.

Handwashing with soap and water, when done correctly, is critical in the fight against COVID-19, as per World Health Organisation.

Now Victoria English School (VES) in Sharjah, which has 800 students, has taken a novel initiative to encourage hand washing by turning dozens of barrels into colourful sinks and installing themacross the hallways and at the school’s yard. “One of the things we are trying to do is get students not to associate hand washing as something they should do when they visit the bathroom. We want to educate them that hand washing is part of hygiene and good COVID-19 preparedness,” Keith Sykes, head teacher at VES, told Gulf News.

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A student washing his hands at the barrel sink
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

He said that ten barrels were set inside the school and in the yard to prevent crowds of students around sinks in the bathrooms to prevent the spread of coronavirus. “We brought some barrels and designed them with sinks and water tanks. The handwashing stations will be placed in the yard so students can wash their hands during break time. We want to build a culture to encourage students to wash their hands as a regular practice, not only because of COVID-19.”

Ameen Al Nezami, chairman of the school, said they worked hard through the summer break to prepare the school for an on-site study during COVID-19. He said that a team of inspectors from Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) visited the school and asked to get more sinks for students

Kitchen staff member tests positive for coronavirus at St George’s Primary School on Sheppey

A primary school’s kitchen has had to shut after a member of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

The head teacher of St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey , has sent a letter to parents and carers informing them of the diagnosis and asking them to provide their children with packed lunches from today.

St George's Primary School in Minster, Sheppey
St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey

Howard Fisher wrote: “Due to a positive diagnosis for Covid with one of our kitchen staff we have followed advice from the DFE and will be closing our kitchen and sending the staff home for the isolation period.

“This means that from October 5 you will need to provide a packed lunch for your child.

“If your child is in receipt of free school meals, as from tomorrow we will provide a standard lunch which may be hot or cold.

“We will have one stand in member of staff capable of catering who can manage this.

“If you could provide a lunch yourself this would help with the overall challenge.”

Head teacher Howard Fisher outside St George's Primary School in Minster, Sheppey
Head teacher Howard Fisher outside St George’s Primary School in Minster, Sheppey

On Friday, pupils at the Island’s Oasis Academy were told to isolate after a confirmed case of coronavirus .

The day before, 133 pupils and eight members of staff from Rose Street Primary School in Sheerness were made to self isolate after two members of staff also tested positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, an entire bus-load of pupils who travelled to The Sittingbourne School from Sheppey have been told to self isolate after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey

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White House reportedly pushed CDC hard to fall in line on sending kids to school, sought alternate safety data

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began working in early summer on guidance for sending children back to school, and the White House then “spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President Trump’s election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible,” The New York Times reported Monday night, citing documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

This “strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic” included searching for “alternate data” that suggested children were at little or no risk from the coronavirus, the Times reports, and trying to swap in guidance from a little-known Health and Human Services Department agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

SAMHSA was focused on the emotional and mental health toll remote school could have on children, but CDC scientists found multiple problems with the agency’s assertion that COVID-19 posed a low health and transmission risk for children. That’s the language the White House was most interested in, though, and throughout the summer the CDC won some battles and lost others trying to keep it out of public guidance, the Times documents.

Olivia Troye, one of Vice President Mike Pence’s envoys on the White House coronavirus task force until leaving the administration in July, told the Times she regrets being “complicit” in the effort to pressure the CDC to make children look safer than the data supported. She said when she tried to shield the CDC, Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, charged “more junior staff” to “develop charts” for White House briefings.

In early July, several prominent medical groups, including the American Association of Pediatrics, advised sending kids back to school with stringent safety measures, in part because the

Behind the White House Effort to Pressure the C.D.C. on School Openings

WASHINGTON — Top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer to play down the risk of sending children back to school, a strikingly political intervention in one of the most sensitive public health debates of the pandemic, according to documents and interviews with current and former government officials.

As part of their behind-the-scenes effort, White House officials also tried to circumvent the C.D.C. in a search for alternate data showing that the pandemic was weakening and posed little danger to children.

The documents and interviews show how the White House spent weeks trying to press public health professionals to fall in line with President Trump’s election-year agenda of pushing to reopen schools and the economy as quickly as possible. The president and his team have remained defiant in their demand for schools to get back to normal, even as coronavirus cases have once again ticked up, in some cases linked to school and college reopenings.

The effort included Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, and officials working for Vice President Mike Pence, who led the task force. It left officials at the C.D.C., long considered the world’s premier public health agency, alarmed at the degree of pressure from the White House.

One member of Mr. Pence’s staff said she was repeatedly asked by Marc Short, the vice president’s chief of staff, to get the C.D.C. to produce more reports and charts showing a decline in coronavirus cases among young people.

The staff member, Olivia Troye, one of Mr. Pence’s top aides on the task force, said she regretted being “complicit” in the effort. But she said she tried as much as possible to shield the C.D.C. from the White House pressure, which she saw as driven by the president’s determination