Archive | April 21, 2016

A School Run by Students has Near Perfect Graduation Rate*

A School Run by Students has Near Perfect Graduation Rate*

In 1967 St. Benedict’s Preparatory School faced closure amongst the racial, and economic turmoil surrounding it. The inner city school, where most students come from low-economic backgrounds, is now flourishing, the near closure only but a memory. In 1972, there was solid talk of closing the school down. It was closed for one year, before former student Leahy, then aged 26, decided to make one last attempt for success.

At the time, Benedictine monk Edwin Leahy decided to put the students in charge. He used the Boy Scouts Guide as the guide book.

Now, at this school, the students run the majority of the programs. The student groups set schedules and coordinate events. If one student is missing, and the parents are unaware of their location, it isn’t unusual for a group of students to go out searching, “because they have to be in school.”

It’s a success story that revolves around the affirmation

“You can be… go and conquer.”

The school revolves around the students leading themselves to success; they refer to each other as brothers, their support for each other goes beyond school, but into daily life. Bad decisions, in the process are accepted. Leahy states “That’s a better learning experience.”

The other school motto: “Whatever hurts my brother, hurts me.”

The $12,000 per annum school fee is steep, but 80% pay only half. The school year is also 11 months, running on the premise of gang mentality – but in a positive light.

Leahy believes it is education that saves lives, and this education forces the students to closely examine the type of person they want to be.

The private all-boys school has a 98% graduation rate and more than 90% of them end up going to college. Those who have nowhere else to go, who still want an education, have a place on the monastery grounds until they graduate. If that isn’t a success story for the underprivileged, what is?


Related Topics:

Children of Sydney’s Elite Attend School That Bans Screens in Classrooms*

Obama and GOP Unleash “Community Schools” to Replace Parents*

U.K. Secretively Scraps Free Meal Grants for Poorest Primary School Children*

Parents Now Being Thrown in Jail in America for Homeschooling Their Children*

Muslim Schools Continue to Surpass National GCSE Average*

Outrage as U.K.School Calls Police after Pupil Looks at Ukip Website in Class*

Public School Students Taught To ‘Pledge Allegiance To International Flag’…*

Thousands of Boston Students Walked Out Of Class to Save Schools*

U.K. to Privatise ALL State Schools in England*

Farming Pre-School Teaches Kids How to Grow Their Own Crops*

U.S. Patent’s Pot*

U.S. Patent’s Pot*

Well they’re not exporting anything else…

By Sean Adl-Tabatabai

U.S. officials approved the first-ever marijuana patent on August 4, 2015 for a plant containing large amounts of THC – the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Patent No. 9095554, “relates to specialty cannabis plants, compositions and methods for making and using said cannabis plants and compositions derived thereof,” according to the document.

Vice News reports:

“There is a real need for cannabis varieties for potential medical use that produce modulated THC concentrations and varying concentrations of other pharmacologically active substances,” the patent says.

 “There is also a need for healthier cannabis for recreational use with reduced negative side effects from THC. The inventions described herein meet that long-felt need.”

But while the patent may inaugurate a new era of acceptance for marijuana in the U.S., it also opens up a new source of turmoil for the fast-growing industry: disputes over the intellectual property rights to America’s most potent and innovative marijuana strains.

“It’s going to be a mess,” said Tim Blake, a long-time grower and activist who founded California’s annual Emerald Cup cannabis competition. Marijuana growers developing new varieties, he added, “are going to have to spend a lot of money on attorneys.”

When big corporations eventually decide to enter the market and compete with smaller growers, the stakes will be even higher — and the competition even fiercer.

Yes, You Can Patent Pot

A spokesperson for the U.S. Patent and Trade Office confirmed that officials are now accepting and processing patent applications for individual varieties of cannabis, along with innovative medical uses for the plant and other associated inventions.

“In general, the [patent] office issues both utility and plant patents to all types of plants, including cannabis and poppy, provided the applications meet and comply with the applicable patent statutes,” said the spokesperson, who asked not to be named.

“There are no special statutory requirements or restrictions applied to marijuana plants.”

Though American cannabis cultivators have long had bigger legal problems to worry about than the question of who owned the rights to potent strains like Green Crack, Strawberry Cough, Trainwreck, Girl Scout Cookies, or Alaskan Thunderfuck, Patent No. 9095554 may be the opening salvo in a new series of legal battles over innovations in marijuana breeding.

The prize could be nothing less than the commanding heights of an industry that’s projected to soon top $40 billion, with the exclusive rights to produce, sell, or license designer varieties of pot. Over the next few years, the contest could take the form of a gold rush for patents.

“A well-written patent is like a declaration of war — you write a patent in a way that covers those who can sue you, and those you can sue,” said Reggie Gaudino, a Ph.D. in molecular genetics who works as director of intellectual property for Steep Hill Labs, a U.S. firm that analyzes medical and recreational marijuana for compliance with public safety standards.

Concern is rising among legal-pot pioneers about the need to lawyer up to defend their creations from imitators and patent trolls, as well as from multinational corporations in the agriculture, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries that are thought to be watching the fast-growing industry from the sidelines, despite overt denials.

“If the laws change and the big companies move in, I think we’ll have a period of turmoil around ownership, patenting, the whole business,” said Erich Veitenheimer, a patent lawyer and partner at Cooley LLP in Washington, DC, who represented the patent holders of No. 9095554.

Some worry that confusion surrounding intellectual property rights for different marijuana strains could create an opportunity for companies like American agricultural behemoth Monsanto to stomp the industry by taking advantage of patenting techniques that the firm has already used to dominate the seed trade in other crops, such as soybeans and corn.

Many small pot farmers are more scared of corporate competition than they are of criminal prosecution, according to Hilary Bricken, a Seattle lawyer who chairs the Canna Law Group of the firm Harris Moure, which supports marijuana businesses.

“These people aren’t worried about the Department of Justice anymore,” said Bricken, who has represented cannabis enterprises in commercial litigation and has consulted on intellectual property issues.

“Now they’re worried about Monsanto.”

A number of patents for the medical use of cannabis already exist, but Patent No. 9095554 is the first to be issued for a plant that contains significant amounts of THC, according to Veitenheimer, Gaudino, and Jonathan Page, a founder of Anandia Labs and scientist who co-led the team that sequenced the first cannabis genome.

“Our patent lawyers were really, really surprised that there weren’t more applications” for individual strains or classes of cannabis, said Michael Backes, one of the patent’s three listed inventors and the author of Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana.

His lawyers, he noted, “expected a ton of them, and there weren’t any. Ours was the first.”

In America, new varieties of plants, produced either through traditional breeding or as genetically modified organisms (GMO), can be considered intellectual property just like music, art, books, software, and architectural design — a fact that has allowed Monsanto to sue farmers for planting patented seeds that weren’t purchased from licensed vendors.

So far, marijuana breeders are working in the traditional way, and nobody is known to be attempting to produce GMO marijuana.

Rumors that Monsanto had started doing so forced the company to post a standing denial on its website.

 “Monsanto has not and is not working on GMO marijuana,” the company says.

“This allegation is an Internet rumour.”

The firm “has no plans for working on cultivating cannabis,” said Charla Lord, a spokesperson for Monsanto.

Representatives of big tobacco companies also said that their businesses aren’t interested in pot. Brian May, spokesperson for Altria, which controls the Marlboro and Parliament brands through its subsidiary Philip Morris USA, said,

 “Our position is marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and Altria’s companies have no plans to sell marijuana-based products.”

Those denials haven’t been enough to quiet concern in the American marijuana industry about what may happen on the intellectual property frontier if and when legalization spreads across the country.

“There are all sorts of problems on the horizon if something doesn’t happen,” said Steep Hill’s Gaudino.

“This kind of confusion is exactly what Monsanto wants. They want their access unfettered so they can take over without having to pay anybody.”

Recent decades have seen an explosion of powerful strains of pot bred by small-time growers with names like Blue Dream, Northern Lights, Death Star, God’s Gift, Purple Urkle, Skywalker, White Rhino, Chemdawg, and Blue Cheese.

Breeders who long toiled in the shadows are now beginning to seek patents for their innovative strains the way any other horticulturalist might seek a patent for a new type of rose, green bean, or sugar beet.

“We’re being approached by quite a few of these so-called underground breeders who have come to the surface and are now interested in patenting,” Veitenheimer said.

“But they understand it’s only for their new varieties, which are different from anything else out there.”

This “novelty” requirement means marijuana varieties that already exist in the public domain should, in theory, be safe from patent trolls, lawyers said — although it may also mean that the true inventors of celebrated pot strains may not be able to stake claims through the patent office for their inventions.

But just because you can’t patent something that’s already in the public sphere doesn’t mean people won’t try.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if someone, knowingly or unknowingly, tried to gain a patent on something that’s already in the public domain,” said Veitenheimer.


Related Topics:

From 700 Painful Seizures Daily to 90 Days of CBD 70-90% Reduction in Seizures*

Western Medicine Is Rockefeller Medicine*

5,500 Sexual Offences, 600 Rape Reports in U.K. Schools*

600 Rape Reports in U.K. Schools*

A major investigation into the prevalence of sexual harassment and violence in schools is underway in Britain after more than 600 alleged rapes were recorded over the last three years.

A revelation of little surprise to a mother from south east London who revealed to Sputnik that her 13-year-old daughter was missing out on her education because she felt pressured to have sex at school every day.

“”My daughter came to me emotionally distraught saying that the pressure she’s getting for sex at school means that she doesn’t want to go to school,” the mother told Sputnik.

“I took it up with the teachers and said my daughter would not be returning to school until someone deals with this.

“The school did take steps to improve the situation and my daughter goes to school every day but she tells me, ‘Mum, everybody in every year has asked me for sex.’ “

The Commons Women and Equalities Committee is behind the investigation into U.K. schools after data last year showed 5,500 alleged sexual offences, more than 600 alleged rapes and 4,000 alleged physical assaults were recorded in U.K schools over three years.

Our new inquiry on #sexinschools launches today. You can submit evidence via our website:

— Women&EqualitiesCtte (@Commonswomequ) April 19, 2016

The mother of the 13-year-old girl, who stopped going to school due to the pressure she felt to have sex, told Sputnik she blames the Department for Education for losing control of the situation.

“I’m worried about the effect that society is having on my daughter and the lack of control the education system seems to have on the situation. As a mother you just want to protect them, I’d rather home school her so she doesn’t have to be part of that.”

Ahead of the inquiry by the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, 300 young people reported to the committee that schools were failing to play their part in recognizing the pressures young people are under relating to sexual harassment and sexual bullying — and teachers are all too often brushing off incidents because the students are young.

“Lad culture is a big issue; it is really common. In my school lads would come up to girls and grab their ass, try and push them into the changing rooms and stuff and they say don’t get upset it’s just banter,” a 22-year-old woman and former student told the committee.

A poll carried out in 2010 of 16 to 18 year olds found that 29% of school girls had been on the receiving end of unwanted sexual attention and touching at school. The YouGov poll also revealed that 71% witnessed girls being called sexually derogatory names every week.

Five years later in 2015, another survey carried out by GirlGuiding UK found that three quarters of young girls and women suffered with anxiety about being sexually harassed at school.

Yet despite data and reports carried out six years ago in which campaign group End Violence Against Women called for the government to urgently address the alarming levels of sexual bulling and harassment in schools, this inquiry is the first time MPs will investigate the increasing prevalence of rape and sexual violence in schools.

“It’s clear from the young people we’ve heard from that sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools is having a profound impact on their day to day lives”, Maria Miller, chair of the committee said.

“We need to address this issue now, and stop it from blighting the lives of another generation of young people — both male and female”.


Related Topics:

300 Rapes Reported in UK Schools in Three Years*

British Private Schools Facing Child Sex Abuse Claims*

Sex attacks on under-11s rise by 14 per cent in one year

Religious Schools Face Closure if they don’t Promote Homosexuality*

Sexual Liberation a Tool of Mass Control*

Sexual Assaults on Children Rise to 85 a Day in the U.K.*

The West Exports Porn, Casual Sex, and the Blood of the pre-born not Freedom*

Normalizing Paedophilia through Sex for Children*

Child Trafficking in the U.K. and the Child Protection System*

Adviser to Queen and Founder of Paedophile Support Group*

Forced to Go into Hiding a Victim of U.K. Paedophile Politicians Speaks Out*

Fears of a British Policed State Rising Midst the Elite Paedophile Scourge*

U.K. Police Target Schoolchildren as Young as 4 with Tax Payer Funded, Transgender Propaganda*

The Jewish Lobby and Lord Janner’s Catalogue of Child Sex Abuse*

****Up Nature: Sex change for Nine-year-olds*

Sexual Abuse Allegations Leads to British Cardinal Resignation*

Another Paedophile Elite Charged!*

BBC’s Stuart Hall Sentenced for Paedophilia

Conscientious Police Officer Warned off British Elite Paedophile Ring*

Head of Children’s Homes Accused of 49 Counts of Paedophilia*

British Paedophilia Victim Speaks Out!*