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Education - Bensalem Township

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of PA Teen Cheerleader Who Cursed Online

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The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a former Pennsylvania High School cheerleader who was suspended from school for a profanity filled rant she posted to social media when she was off school grounds.

The case has been closely watched throughout the country due to its potential impacts on Free Speech rights for high school students.

The majority opinion penned by Justice Stephen Breyer with the Court voting 8-1 in favor of the plaintiff with Justice Clarence Thomas being the lone dissenter.

It might be tempting to dismiss (the student’s) words as unworthy of the robust First Amendment protections discussed herein. But sometimes it is necessary to protect the superfluous in order to preserve the necessary,” Breyer offered.

The court has made clear that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression even ‘at the school house gate,'” said the Justice in his majority opinion.

In a post to the social media app, Brandi Levy, then 14 wrote  in 2017 “F–k school f–k softball f–k cheer f–k everything.” The   Mahanoy Area High School student  in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania  was reacting to the fact that  she had failed to get a slot on the varsity cheerleading squad at the school.

Levy at the time was a member of the junior varsity team at the time and when school officials became aware of her profanity filled tirade, they suspended her for violating school rules.

Lawyers for the school district had argued that where the speech occurred was not the true issue, but the disruption it causes

Off campus speech can be disruptive, lawyers for the school district argued.

Off-campus speech, particularly on social media can be disruptive,” lawyers for the district said during oral arguments last , because of the internet’s “ubiquity, instantaneous and mass dissemination.”

Bryer said if the court were to allow the school to regulate off-campus speech, “… my goodness, every school in the country would be doing nothing but punishing.”

Levy had the support of Mary Beth and John Tinker who won a landmark school speech case in 1969 that allowed them to wear a black armband on campus to protest the Vietnam War.

The Court’s majority ruled that neither students nor teachers “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” The Court took the position that school officials could not prohibit only on the suspicion that the speech might disrupt the learning  environment.

You can find the entire SCOTUS decision here 

 

 

 

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Education - Bensalem Township

Scholarship for Foundation A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Application Deadline Extended

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The deadline for submitted applications to the A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Scholarship Foundation has been extended to July 6, 2024, said foundation officials.

The A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Scholarship Foundation announced it will grant several partial scholarships for studies at colleges, universities, technical schools, nursing schools, and other accredited post-secondary institutions during the 2024-2025 academic year.

To be eligible, said a foundation spokesperson in the release, an applicant needs to meet the following requirements:

  •  graduating high school seniors or other persons enrolling full time in post-secondary schools for the first time.
  • resident of Bucks County
  • academically well qualified for the school they plan to attend
  • have a record of involvement in school, community, religious and/or other activities (especially as a leader)
  • have been involved in giving service to others
  • have a financial need.  (Gainful employment may be considered as a substitute for extensive involvement in leadership and service activities.)

Application forms may be obtained by emailing a request to scholarship@ammoyerfoundation.com or mailing it to the A. Marlyn Moyer, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 511, Fairless Hills, PA 19030.

Questions can be directed to the email address scholarship@ammoyerfoundation.com.

Completed applications must be emailed or arrive by July 6, 2024.  From among the applications, the Foundation will select those best qualified for scholarships in July and winners will be notified shortly thereafter. Typically, six to eight scholarships are awarded averaging between $2,500 to $5,000 dollars.

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Education - Bensalem Township

UPDATED Spring/Summer 2024 Events at SLNC

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UPDATED Spring – Summer 2024 Events at Silver Lake Nature Center  

This Just In!! “Baby Shower for the SLNC Purple Martins!” Saturday, June 8th, 11am-12pm. Join us in celebrating AND learning about the soon-to-be hatched baby Purple Martin birds! **If you have binoculars, bring them!**

Learn more about the interesting structure that was recently installed for these beautiful birds at https://silverlakenaturecenter.org/purple-martins-at-slnc/ . This project was spearheaded by SLNC Volunteer & Birder Extraordinaire, Dawn Denner, and funded by donations from members of the Bucks County Birders and other generous individuals.

This event is FREE but donations to the nonprofit Friends of SLNC are greatly appreciated. Funds go toward projects/programs like this as well as other educational and conservation endeavors.

Your participation & support is appreciated! To make a donation, please visit: https://silverlakenaturecenter.org/donate/ AND reference this event in the comments section. Thank you.

To sign up for this event, please visit https://silverlakenaturecenter.org/event/purple-martins-baby-shower-6-8-24/ 

Event will take place at the SLNC Earthship, located at 1006 Bath Rd., Bristol, PA 19007. There is a gravel parking lot at this location, and an Accessible Trail to the SLNC Earthship.

Tookany Creek Bluegrass Band is returning to SLNC for another awesome Concert on Saturday, June 22nd at 7:30pm!!

Don’t miss out on this fun time!! Advance tickets are $15/person; at the door, $20/person (price is the same for all ages, no refunds/exchanges). Tickets/info at: https://silverlakenaturecenter.org/event/tookany-creek-bluegrass-band-concert-6-22-24/ 

Volunteer Work Days. Join us on the first Saturday of each month, from 9am to 12pm: 7/6; 8/3; 9/7, to help keep the beautiful SLNC Trails/Grounds so beautiful. Be prepared to get wet and dirty. Bring a refillable water bottle. Register at www.SilverLakeNatureCenter.org

Invasive Plant Removal Volunteer Project Day. Saturdays: 6/15; 7/20; 8/17; 9/21, 10am-12pm. The “Invasive Plants Removal (IPR) Team” meets once a month to help clear Invasive Plants from specific  areas on the SLNC Grounds/Trails. Each season brings new plants in various degrees of difficulty, and will also serve as a learning opportunity! These Project Days often also involve planting native plants and trees. Register at www.SilverLakeNatureCenter.org or call 215-785-1177.

 Earthship Tours. Stop by to visit and learn about these interesting, sustainable structures!  Tours are FREE, but donations to the nonprofit Friends of SLNC are greatly appreciated. The SLNC Earthship is scheduled to be open to the public for FREE Tours on the following Saturdays: 6/15; 7/20; 8/17; 9/21, from 1pm to 2:30pm. Register at www.SilverLakeNatureCenter.org

 Registration for SLNC’s Summer Camp is OPEN!! This Camp fills up quickly. Early registration is recommended. SLNC’s awesome Summer Nature Camp runs for 10 weeks, from June 17th through August 23rd! Sign up for as many weeks as you’d like (as availability allows). Visit https://silverlakenaturecenter.org/education/summer-camp/ for info/registration. 

Family-friendly Kindness Rock Garden Series. Saturdays: June 22nd; July 20th; August 17th, 10:30am-12pm. Families & Individuals are welcome to join SLNC & the Kiwanis of Levittown-Bristol to help us grow our Garden of Kindness!  We will be painting, so please feel free to wear a smock, apron, or old shirt. This special series is Sponsored by the Kiwanis of Levittown-Bristol and is FREE to participants. Space is limited, pre-registration required. Register at www.SilverLakeNatureCenter.org or call 215-785-1177.

Bird Seed Sales. Bird watching is more fun when you can attract them to your own yard, so fill your feeders with one of our special mixes. Friends of SLNC Members receive a 10% discount on all Orders. Bird Seed Sales are offered four times throughout the year. The next one is coming up on Saturday, 10/19 (for Orders placed by 10/10) BUT in the meantime, we still have some Bird Seed available for drop-ins! Visit www.SilverLakeNatureCenter.org for info and/or to place an Order. 

Trails are open daily, from Sunrise to Sunset. SLNC Visitors’ Center is open, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10am-5pm & Sundays, Noon-5pm. 

Credit: Laughs for Recovery

The Silver Lake Nature Center, where learning comes naturally, is a 264-acre Nature Preserve located in Bristol Township, Bucks County. It is a facility of the Bucks County Department of Parks & Recreation with additional funding and staffing provided by the Friends of Silver Lake Nature Center nonprofit organization. SLNC is home to over 40 plant and animal species listed as rare, threatened, or endangered in Pennsylvania. Participation in programs helps protect these species and their habitats. SLNC does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its programs, activities, or facilities. People with special needs are asked to give advance notice.

The Bucks County Department of Parks and Recreation was established in 1953. The Department is responsible for the acquisition, development, and preservation of open space and regional parks. The Department seeks in every endeavor to improve the quality of life and environment for all Bucks County residents, by working to enhance existing and projected recreational and cultural needs for our County.

 For information about these and the other programs offered at Silver Lake Nature Center, call 215-785-1177 or visit the website at www.SilverLakeNatureCenter.org.

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Education - Bensalem Township

School Safety and Security Grants Approved for Local Schools

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The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency announced it approved $47 million in competitive school safety and security grants to improve safety, security, and mental health supports for students and staff at schools across the Commonwealth.

The announced awards complete the $155 million school safety grants program package appropriated in the bipartisan 2023-24 budget and issued by the School Safety and Security Committee in January, said State Representative Jim Prokopiak.

In our area, rep. Prokopiak said, the grants awarded were:

  • Pennsbury School District, $271,909
  • Morrisville Borough School District, $141,796
  • Neshaminy School District, $264,659
  • Bucks County Montessori Charter School, $70,000
  • Bucks County Technical High School, $70,000
  • Center for Student Learning CS at Pennsbury, $70,000
  •  Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, $75,000
  • Holy Family Regional Catholic School, $75,000
  • Hope Lutheran School, $37,350
  • Credit: Laughs for Recovery

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