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Ottawa educators offered padded shirts, arm and shin guards to protect themselves from violent students

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Educators at Ottawa’s English school boards can wear shin and forearm guards, foam-padded jackets and reinforced gloves to protect themselves from students who bite, kick, scratch and punch.

The “personal protective equipment” is employed as a last resort, say spokespeople for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Currently, about 45 educators in the English public board use the equipment, mainly educational assistants, says spokesperson Sharlene Hunter. Educational assistants help children with special needs and behaviour problems.

The Catholic board maintains a “wide inventory” of protective equipment, says spokesperson Mardi de Kemp. It’s usually employed on a temporary basis or for a specific period of time, she says. Board officials did not have information on how many staff are currently using protective equipment.

The use of personal protective equipment at schools has been steadily increasing across Ontario, says Laura Walton, president of a union that represents 55,000 educational assistants and other educators in the province’s four school systems. “We’ve had it for a long time, but It’s just becoming more and more prevalent.”

Violence among school children appears to be on the rise, says Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions. Her assessment, based on anecdotal evidence, is shared by Martha Hradowy, an executive with another major union that represents educational assistants and early childhood educators as well as high school teachers.

An educator at a school in southwestern Ontario who wears a padded vest and face protection to protect her from violent students. photo supplied by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation / jpg

School boards are also reacting to changes in Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, made to ensure employers protect staff from violence in the workplace, Hradowy says.

The union representing elementary teachers has also raised the alarm about aggressive children, saying it has become a key issue for their members.

At the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, the number of violent incidents educators reported experiencing personally has increased dramatically over the past three years, from 1,909 incidents in 2015-16 to 3,746 incidents in 2017-18.

In the first seven months of this school year, 4,223 incidents were reported. That may be due partly to more reporting after the board switched to an electronic system this school year.

StealthWear Protective Clothing, a Toronto company specializing in equipment for educators, now sells its products to most school boards in the province, says president Aaron Wood.

The black jacket has sewn-in foam inserts in the arms and chest, as well as pockets for inserting extra foam pieces into the abdomen and back. Stealthwear Clothing / jpg

His company supplies the Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

StealthWear looks more like sports garb than riot gear.

That’s deliberate. It’s designed to look as much like ordinary clothing as possible, says Wood.

He started the company in 2011 because there were virtually no protective products designed for educators, he said.

The equipment is not made with Kevlar, the super-strong fibre often used in bullet-proof vests and combat helmets.

StealthWear uses breathable, high-impact foam encased in plastic, which “provides excellent resistance to pinches, bites, scratches and hits,” says the website.

The $174.95 StealthWear black jacket has foam inserts sewn into the places educators said they are most likely to be attacked: the upper arms and chest. Pockets in the jacket allow inserts to be added in the abdomen, back and underarms.

The company also sells shin guards, forearm protectors and two types of gloves: a thermo-plastic rubber model that resists blunt force and an abrasion-resistant glove for protection from scratches and nail gouging.

Wood says the garments use technology common in sportswear brands, such as moisture-wicking CoolMax fabric.

These StealthWear reinforced gloves are touch-screen sensitive. Rick Katigbak rick@rkphoto.ca +1 514 889-7132 / jpg

StealthWear equipment is an improvement, says Walton, who remembers in the past educators improvising with soccer shin guards and protective gear for BMX bikers.

Everyone wants protective clothing that doesn’t stand out, so children don’t feel threatened or intimidated. “I don’t think schools want us to walk around looking like a linebacker,” says Walton.

However, protective gear can be hot, especially in the summer, she says. Some schools have installed portable air conditioners or provided extra breaks to educators who must wear it. “In May and June when the schools are hot, there aren’t a lot of people wanting to put on a black jacket.”

And while protective jackets “are good if you have a biter, when it comes to strikes or blows or punches, the padding doesn’t always absorb the shock,” says Walton.

The gear can also make educators a target, since some students with sensory issues like the feeling of punching or pinching the foam, she says.

The armguards by StealthWear are padded with foam encased in plastic. Credit: StealthWear Protective Clothing. Rick Katigbak rick@rkphoto.ca +1 514 889-7132 / jpg

An educational assistant at the Ottawa Catholic School Board says she was offered forearm protectors after being attacked by a high school student.

This newspaper is not revealing the woman’s name because she does not want the student to be identified.

The woman says she declined the protection, partly because she feared that if she started wearing the equipment it would be required permanently.

In addition, a behaviour specialist called in after the attack told her the student would probably just aim his punch higher on her arm if she wore a forearm protector, she says.

The student is high-needs and can be violent. He is integrated into a regular classroom, but has two educational assistants with him at all times, she says.

“He’s a very challenging student. Throwing chairs, flipping desks, hitting, kicking … ”

Sometimes when he becomes aggressive the classroom is evacuated, with the other students leaving for their own safety, she says.

There is also a “quiet room,” where he can stay on his own, sometimes while staff hold the door shut. The student will often walk there himself, but if he becomes violent staff have locked down the school, preventing other students from entering the hallways as he is escorted to the quiet room, she says.

She says he attacked her one day after she opened the door to the quiet room. The student jumped on her, grabbing her arm so tightly she was left with multiple bruises and swelling. “I had to pry him off … it was almost like a wrestling match.” She was able to fend him off long enough to radio for help.

The woman said when she began her job as an educational assistant more than a decade ago, she would often help students with academics as well as their medical needs and behaviour.

Now her job is primarily dealing with behaviour problems. “There is more hitting, kicking, punching — and I don’t know the reason why.”

“I still love it,” she says. “I still see successes and I’m excited for some of the kids … But it’s draining, every day.”

Protective equipment is a last resort, say local school board officials.

The Catholic board develops a behaviour plan for aggressive students, and intervention without specialized equipment is “preferred and often has the best result,” De Kemp said in a statement.

At the public board, protective equipment is used in “limited circumstances where it is required after other reasonable measures have been considered and implemented,” Hunter said in a statement.

That would usually include developing a “safety plan” for a student that identifies triggers for aggressive behaviour and develops strategies for staff to both prevent and respond to incidents; training staff in behaviour management and non-violent crisis intervention; and making sure staff have communications devices to call for help, says the statement.

A spokesperson for the French-language Catholic schools in Ottawa says the board does not use protective equipment. At the French-language public school board, a spokesperson said officials are “doing a pilot project with various types of equipment.”

Across the province, Walton says educators are facing increasingly diverse classrooms that incorporate children with special needs.

More support is required, but it’s not always available, she says.

Some school boards offer protective equipment as a “quick fix” after an educator is injured rather than spending the time and resources required to figure out the problem and provide more support to the child, she says.

“If you come and say that a student bit you, and you have to go to the hospital and get a tetanus shot, that’s a WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) claim against the board.

“It’s so much easier for (the board) to assign you an armguard than it is to really do a deep dive and understand … Are you providing sufficient programming? Are you meeting the needs of the student? In the majority of cases, the violence has been an outcome of an unaddressed need.”

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Why China is vulnerable to its own economic crash… and why it’s so desperate to keep screwing America with unfair trade deals

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(Natural News) The administration of President Richard Nixon sought to ‘normalize’ relations with China in the early 1970s in large part to use the Asian giant as a bulwark against our superpower rival, the Soviet Union.

It made sense since China and the USSR had recently fought a vicious border war (1969) and though both were communist nations, they did not trust or like each other. 

Over the next few decades, the U.S. sought to integrate China into the West as a means of cracking open its vast market; a billion people is a tempting economic magnet. But also, it was hoped that by strengthening China economically, that would mitigate the authoritarian leadership of the Communist Party and even lead to its demise as the Chinese people embraced capitalism and the freedom it embodies.

By all accounts, U.S. policy objectives did not bear fruit. 

“The United States made a gamble that as China became more and more involved on the global stage, it would open up domestically and become a constructive stakeholder in the … international system. It’s pretty clear that gamble hasn’t paid off in the way we hoped it would,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on China’s rise May 8.

For years, subsequent U.S. administrations ignored not just China’s rise but the manner in which it was rising: Grossly unfair trading arrangements with the U.S., China’s largest (by far) export market. 

Donald Trump promised to fix this massive trade imbalance during his 2016 campaign and he’s certainly giving it his best effort, having implemented a tariff regime aimed at forcing Beijing’s ruling Communist Party to accept better trade terms with Washington.

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However, according to a report this week from SinoInsider, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may be about to unveil an economic “Pearl Harbor” attack on the U.S. in order to not simply save their own economy but also to remain in power.

China’s leaders may be getting desperate

According to the analysis website, it’s possible due to a confluence of events allegedly occurring inside China now, the CCP may decide that “unrestricted warfare” strategies to include potential military action as well may be ‘necessary’ in order to perpetuate party leadership:

— China is currently being pressured by a deteriorating economy and rising social unrest around the country;

— As the Trump administration’s tariff regime continues and, perhaps, grows (POTUS threatened to expand tariffs to even more Chinese goods after the upcoming G-20 meeting), the CCP could begin to get more desperate.

That means:

— The Chinese may seek to disrupt American financial markets (even as POTUS Trump’s policies and the GOP tax cut have led to record growth). This could come as soon as this month as new 25-percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods take effect.

— “The CCP could seek to influence and interfere in U.S. politics and society,” the report noted. No doubt this would take the form of Russian interference in the 2016 election (few people doubt that Moscow attempted to interfere; it’s just that the Trump campaign wasn’t in on it).

— The CCP may “find ways to influence politicians in both major parties to disrupt governance or Trump’s policies.” For example, the party could seek to have the president’s tariff authority restricted, though there doesn’t seem to be a congressional majority in both chambers of Congress for that to happen over a presidential veto.

There are other potential disruptions as well, SinoInsider reports, including increased Chinese influence in Europe and Asia to fracture American alliances and weaken Washington’s position around the world — though China’s money only goes so far because it comes with CCP authoritarianism. (Related: Gingrich: China’s economy ‘can’t take the battering’ POTUS Trump is set to deliver.)

The Chinese economy could be in a similar position as the U.S. economy in 2007-08: Dangerously overextended and on the verge of collapse. That would have negative global economic implications, just like our collapse did.

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Abortion advocates claim “medical” reasons for abortion include the mother changing her mind about pregnancy

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(Natural News) One of the oft-repeated arguments by pro-deathers in favor of legalized abortion contends that women sometimes need to murder their unborn children for “medical” reasons, and that we shouldn’t deprive them of this “right.” But as admitted by Death Cult Disciple Leah Torres, the word “medical” can mean pretty much anything in the context of abortion, including a woman’s desire to simply no longer be pregnant.

During a recent interview with Dank Pro-Life Memes, Torres openly admitted that not wanting to be pregnant anymore is a valid “medical” reason for wanting an abortion, as is simply changing one’s mind about having a baby. Torres also contends that abortion is just another medical procedure whereby the “products of conception are removed from the uterine cavity” – hence why she also believes that everyone, including people who support abortion, are somehow “pro-life.”

Though she previously stated on Twitter that unborn babies are, in fact, “human beings,” Torres apparently doesn’t believe that unborn human life has any value whatsoever, let alone human rights. In her view, unborn babies are a “medical indication” for women by their very existence, which means that women should have the right to deal with unborn human life however they see fit until it “no longer alters maternal physiology and no longer poses health and life risks to pregnant people.”

In other words, unborn babies are a burden on pregnant women, according to Torres, which means these women have a right to unburden themselves through abortion if they so choose. It’s the epitome of selfish disregard for society’s most vulnerable, and yet this is considered to be “progress” in the eyes of death-loving Leftists who refuse to take personal responsibility for their own reproductive organs by not getting pregnant in the first place.

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For related news, be sure to check out Abortions.news.

Abortion is NEVER medically necessary, nor does it EVER save women’s lives

Though it might seem to be factual considering how often it’s repeated by pro-deathers, the truth is that abortion is never medically necessary. It’s also a fact that getting an abortion has never saved a single woman’s life – this, according to former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino.

“Dr. Levatino has saved hundreds of pregnant women’s lives, working against the clock in the face of devastating health situations, and not once did he find that it was medically necessary to deliberately kill the unborn baby,” write Lila Rose and Donna Harrison for the Washington Examiner.

“Abortion is not a procedure done in true emergency situations. The purpose of an abortion is to produce a dead baby, not to separate the mother and the baby.”

But if you try to explain any of this to members of the Death Cult, you likely won’t get very far. That’s because those obsessed with abortion have been programmed to trigger immediately upon being challenged, demonstrating that they’re unable to receive and digest actual facts that contradict their deranged world view, which perceives violent murder as some kind of “virtue.”

And they have Roe v. Wade as backing, of course, seeing as how the vaguely-written court ruling defines “medical” reasons for abortion as “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient.”

“This vague language means women can have an abortion for any reason whatsoever, and it can be marked up to an issue of emotional health,” writes Cassy Fiano-Chesser for LifeSiteNews.com.

“And while Torres breezily waves off ‘not being pregnant anymore’ as a medical reason for an abortion, the reality is that most Americans strongly oppose this kind of pro-abortion extremism.”

“And while Torres breezily waves off ‘not being pregnant anymore’ as a medical reason for an abortion, the reality is that most Americans strongly oppose this kind of pro-abortion extremism.”


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GOP Sen. Hawley introduces bill to force YouTube to end its “catering to pedophiles” even as the platform bans conservatives and indy media

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(Natural News) As Missouri’s attorney general, Josh Hawley went after the big tech platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for allegedly violating the privacy rights of the citizens of his state, as well as other practices that were inconsistent and unfair.

As a U.S. senator, Hawley has continued his quest to hold these behemoths accountable as they selectively enforce “community standards” that allow them to discriminate against conservatives and independent media while coddling those engaged in disgusting and potentially illegal behavior.

As reported by Fox News on Thursday, GOP Sen. Hawley introduced legislation “that would force video-sharing websites such as YouTube to turn off their recommendation systems for videos featuring children.”

Specifically, Hawley’s legislation comes after a New York Times report noting that the video platform’s algorithm system has curated and recommended scores of videos featuring children, which is helping to spread such content to predators and their associates.

The Times noted that a Brazilian woman named “Christiane C.” was initially unconcerned when her 10-year-old daughter and a friend uploaded a video of themselves as they splashed and played in a backyard pool.

“The video is innocent, it’s not a big deal,” the woman, who lives in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, told the paper.

But soon her daughter excitedly informed her that the video received thousands of views. Within a short time, it garnered more than 400,000 views, “a staggering number for a video of a child in a two-piece bathing suit with her friend,” the Times noted.

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Then Christiane became very “scared,” and for good reason. The Times added: 

YouTube’s automated recommendation system — which drives most of the platform’s billions of views by suggesting what users should watch next — had begun showing the video to users who watched other videos of prepubescent, partially clothed children, a team of researchers has found.

This is a much needed first step

In February, YouTube disabled comments on many videos featuring children. But the recommendation system remained intact and continues to push them out to pedophiles and other predators. (Related: Google, Facebook, YouTube censorship of conservative sites, voices just like Communist CHINA.)

Now, YouTube has been reducing such recommendations, but Hawley says that’s not good enough.

“Every parent in America should be appalled that YouTube is pushing videos of their children to pedophiles,” he said, in a statement obtained by Fox News. “It’s equally outrageous that YouTube refuses to take the most effective step necessary to fix the issue. I’m proud to announce this legislation to force YouTube to do the right thing and place children’s safety over profits and pedophiles.”

If passed, the legislation will impose stiff fines and criminal penalties for violations, but it would only apply to videos that primarily feature minors — not all videos that happen to have minors in the background, for instance. Also, professionally-produced videos such as those for talent shows and whatnot would also be exempted.

In response, YouTube has also begun updating enforcement of the company’s live-streaming policy in order to prevent minors, especially younger children, from uploading videos unless an adult is clearly accompanying them.

But what about other actions taken by YouTube that involve outright bans, especially of conservatives and independent publishers like Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, founder/editor of Natural News? Or the defunding of other popular conservatives such as Steven Crowder of TheBlazeTV, which just occurred this week?

Is Congress prepared to begin treating these social media Nazis like public utilities, meaning they can be regulated? While raking in billions of dollars off of video content uploaded to giants like YouTube and Facebook, the companies then claim they’re not responsible because they’re a private-sector distribution platform.

These companies can’t — or shouldn’t — have it both ways. Hawley’s legislation, if it passes, is a much-needed first step at reigning in discriminatory practices by the social media behemoths.

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