Mari Oliver from Texas is Suing Her School

Mari Oliver is 17 years old and is suing her school for reprimanding her when she chooses not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance (to the USA).

texas Sue

It sounds like Mari Oliver is annoyed that certain human rights from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr_booklet_en_web) are being denied to African Americans in the USA:

Article 7 – All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 10 – Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 18 –  Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance

Can you think of any more human rights which are being denied?


21 year old gets final birthday flowers from her dad who died of cancer when she was 16

The BBC reports on an emotional story of how a 21 year old called Bailey Seller has received her last bouquet flowers from her dad who died five years ago from cancer and had pre-paid for her to received flowers until she hit 21 years old. With the flowers she’s also been receiving a handwritten note which this year said: “I will still be with you with every milestone, just look around and there I will be.”


Bereavement is the time we spend adjusting to loss. There is no standard time limit and there is no right or wrong way to feel during the bereavement period – everyone must learn to cope in their own way. We thought about this recently in our PSHCE lessons. It is a difficult but important topic to think about. The NHS provides lots of useful information on bereavement, and the Child Bereavement UK charity offers advice on how to speak to people who are bereaved.



18.4% the pay gap between men and women in the UK

10th November is ‘Equal Pay Day’ because from this day onwards until the end of the year  women work for free because of that difference in average pay between men and women of 18.4%. Some women to try and raise awareness of this pay difference have even set their email response to be ‘out of office’ until December 31st!

out of office

In North Thanet the pay gap is a bigger 20.9% so Natasha Ransom a self-employed gardener has set up an ‘out of office’ voicemail on her phone, explaining; “I’m doing it to support those on lower wages – I work for a lot of elderly people whose [female] carers are on such poor wages.”

pay gap around the country

There is even evidence that the pay gap in the UK is growing not getting smaller. This is especially true for young women where the pay gap for those in their 20s has grown from 1.1% in 2011 to 5.5% this year.

Closing the gender pay gap is about equality. It should matter to everyone. It could be you, your sister, best friend, cousin or mum. It’s just not fair and at least the 10th November puts a spotlight on this inequality.

Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football and Me

In a recent Year 8 PSHCE lesson as part of our healthy lifestyles unit, we learnt about dementia. It was poignant to see students talking about their experiences of family members with dementia, and the rest of the class listening, learning and empathising.


In class we started by checking that we understood what dementia was.


Then we discussed how having dementia would be tough for those who have it and their families. One student told us about his mum working in a centre where lots of people have dementia and how it can get quite violent.

On Sunday evening the well-know former Blackburn, Newcastle and England football player Alan Shearer, who also presents on BBC Match of the Day, will appear in a BBC documentary exploring the links between dementia and football. Alan Shearer writes in a BBC article about the documentary:

“I went into football knowing that at the end of my career I could probably expect to have some physical issues, which I do – I have dodgy knees, a dodgy back and dodgy ankles. But what I never contemplated for a second back then was that there is a chance that heading the ball could affect my brain.”


The documentary airs on BBC One on Sunday 12th November at 10:30-11:30pm, though you will be able to catch it again on BBC iPlayer.

The Boy with the Topknot

There’s a new 90 minute BBC drama about Sathnam Sanghera, a boy born to Punjabi immigrants living in Wolverhampton, covering topics like secrecy, mental health and the life of a second-generation immigrant. It’s based on a best-selling book where the protagonist moves to London and embarks on a career as a journalist, while gradually building up the courage to tell his traditional Sikh parents about his English girlfriend.




You’ll be able to catch it on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday 13th November, or after that on BBC iPlayer.

Sacha Dawan who stars as the older Sathnam says that he nearly turned down the role as it felt too close to home, and made him think about his own upbringing too much. As a young man he also felt like he “was running away, not just from my culture, but from stuff that was going on at home.”

I’m hoping the drama not only gets the audience thinking about how it feels to be an immigrant and the struggles of growing up in a new culture, but also some facts about Sikhism. Fingers-crossed!