Posts Tagged ‘schools’

School Book Bans Are Rising

September 28, 2022

School Book Bans Are Rising

“From July 2021 to June 2022, PEN America’s Index of School Book Bans lists 2,532 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,648 unique book titles.

The 1,648 titles are by 1,261 different authors, 290 illustrators, and 18 translators, impacting the literary, scholarly, and creative work of 1,553 people altogether.”

— “Banned in the USA: The Growing Movement to Censor Books in Schools,” Jonathan Friedman and Nadine Farid Johnson, PEN America

“While book bans have long been a part of America’s education fabric, the Pen report suggests they are now driven less by the complaints of individual parents and more by organized, ideological groups and overt pressure from politicians.

About 40% of the book bans in the past year have been connected to political pressure or legislation designed to restrict and reshape teaching, the report estimates.”

— “‘Rapid acceleration’ in US school book censorship leads to 2,500 bans in a year.” Oliver Milman, The Guardian

More:

“Who’s Behind the Escalating Push to Ban Books? A New Report Has Answers,” Eesha Pendharkar, Education Week

“Over 1,600 Books Were Banned During the Past School Year,” Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine

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Photo: Fairy Godmother-Childrens Books & Toys, 319 7th Street SE, Washington DC. Get a copy here. Credit; Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Back-to-School with the Delta Variant

September 9, 2021


It’s Back-to-School time in America, but this year that doesn’t just mean pencil cases, it aslo means cases of Pediatric COVID-19, 250,000 in the last week. Kids in low-vaccination states are getting infected at greater rates. Emergency Room visits and hospital admissions in the states with the lowest vaccination coverage were 3.4 and 3.7 times higher than in states with the highest vaccination rates. Children’s hospitals are at or near capacity and asking for federal assistance. For the most recent reporting period, infections among children account for 22.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases. That’s 204,000 infected kids in a week.

Even though most parents favor mask-wearing in schools, nine states prohibit school districts from setting mask requirements: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. Over 1,000 schools have closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks since late July.

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Back-to-School Special: COVID-19

November 4, 2020

Back-to-School Special: COVID-19

Strained by managing on-line schooling and providing their own daytime childcare during this pandemic, many parents favor in-person schooling for their offspring. After all, the president says it’s safe, right?

The facts say otherwise. Last week, more than 61,000 American children caught the novel coronavirus, the highest weekly increase since the start of the pandemic. So far, 853,000 children in the U.S. have contracted the disease since the outbreak began, and a third of them needed ICU hospitalization. From February though July, at least 121 children have died. Long-term effects of COVID-19 infection in children are suspected.

More:

“More than 61,000 children got Covid-19 last week, a record,” Erika Edwards, NBC News

“Cases of Covid-19 in children on rise, with highest 1-week spike yet,” Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Related:

“I’m Scared to Death’: How Teachers Feel About COVID-19 School Safety,” Healthline

“Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness Among Teachers and Adults Living With School-Aged Children,” Adam W. Gaffney, MD, MPH, David Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, Annals of Internal Medicine

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Trump Administration Back-to-School Special

October 6, 2020

Trump Administration Back-to-School Special
This summer, White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risk of sending children back to school. White House Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah L. Birx, and Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, and Paul Alexander, a senior adviser to HHS assistant secretary Michael Caputo, tried to get CDC scientists to downplay the danger of COVID-19 to children, teenagers, and young adults in a political effort to get schools to reopen.

More:

“Behind the White House Effort to Pressure the C.D.C. on School Openings,” Mark Mazzetti, Noah Weiland and Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times

“Trump official pressured CDC to change report on Covid and kids,” Dan Diamond, Politico

“We Can’t Allow the CDC to Be Tainted by Politics,” Richard E. Besser, Scientific American

Related:

“COVID-19 Cases Rising Among U.S. Children as Schools Reopen,” AP via Education Week

“‘Children have become acceptable carnage,’” Andrew Atterbury, Nicole Gaudiano, Mackenzie Mays, Juan Perez Jr., and Madina Touré, Politico

“Children’s role in spread of virus bigger than thought,” The Harvard Gazette

“10 facts about school reopenings in the Covid-19 pandemic,” Anna North, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Mommy’s Little Virus Vector

October 2, 2020

Mommy's Little Virus Vector

There are  56 million K-12 students in the United States, and school districts, politicians, some and parents are anxious for them to get back to schoolrooms and off the kitchen table virtual classroom. But information on COVID-19 in children is just coming to light, and attempts at safely re-opening schools have been spotty and uneven.

Though Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other Trump idolators prefer to operate in the absence of facts, a new study of 85,000 people with COVID-19 and their 575,000 contacts found that children contract and transmit the coronavirus as frequently as their elders. That means kids, especially the super-spreaders among them, can infect each other, their teachers, and their parents and caregivers. Teachers, understandably, are concerned. And while infected children are less likely to suffer fatalities, there appear to be long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection.

Until September, child sacrifice in the U.S. was a weird QAnon conspiracy theory. Opening schools in a pandemic without real planning makes it reality.

More:

“COVID-19 Cases Rising Among U.S. Children as Schools Reopen,” AP via Education Week

“‘Children have become acceptable carnage,’” Andrew Atterbury, Nicole Gaudiano, Mackenzie Mays, Juan Perez Jr., and Madina Touré, Politico

“Children’s role in spread of virus bigger than thought,” The Harvard Gazette

“10 facts about school reopenings in the Covid-19 pandemic,” Anna North, Vox

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More Than a Single March

March 24, 2018

Gun violence marches this weekend span the entire country, and over 800 places around the world.

What can be done? The Parkland students have some ideas.

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School Shootings

March 24, 2018

What students think about school shootings. A Vox video.

More:

“Parkland Students: Our manifesto to fix America’s gun laws,” The Guardian

Follow the March for Our Lives with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Eagle Eye

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187,000 students experienced school gun violence since Columbine

March 23, 2018

187,000 students experienced school gun violence since Columbine

More than 187,000 students at nearly 200 U.S. schools have experienced gun violence during school hours since the 1999 Columbine shooting. A Washington Post analysis found that there have been 10 school shootings a year since Columbine. There have already been 11 shootings in 2018.

Read the analysis:

“Scarred by school shootings,” John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich, Washington Post

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Guns for Teachers

February 26, 2018

“It’s no wonder the NRA likes this solution — it involves buying hundreds of thousands of guns, and that’s their solution to everything.” — John Oliver

More on this topic here.

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Trump School Safety Plan

February 23, 2018

Trump School Safety Plan
After last week’s tragic shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, President Trump determined how to stop  further school shootings: give teachers guns. The idea was met with horror and roundly condemned by the teachers’ union, law enforcement, military veterans, individual teachers, and students.

Mr. Trump claims that 20% of K-12 teachers are military veterans, but the number is closer to 1%. The president says that “gun-adept” teacher vets should get a “small bonus” for packing heat in the classroom, and claims he can find the money to do so, at a time when teachers have to pay for student supplies out of their own pockets.

More:

Want to know why arming instructors is a bad idea? Hear from a former teacher,”  Monica Rhor, Houston Chronicle 

“What happens to teaching and learning if educators holster 9mm Glocks on their waistbands?” Valerie Strauss, Washington Post

“’No way’: Three teachers explain why Trump’s proposal to arm teachers won’t work,” Heather Timmons and Caitlin Hu, Quartz

“Gov. Rick Scott opposed to arming teachers with firearms.” Jeffrey Solochek, Tampa Bay Times

“Former RNC chair: Trump suggestion to arm teachers is ‘delusional.’” Brandon Carter, The Hill

“Trump Blames Gun-Free Zones for School Shootings, Echoing Myth Spread by NRA,” Robert Mackey, The Intercept

“Trump’s push to arm teachers gives the NRA what it wants and highlights GOP radicalization,” James Hohmann, Washington Post

“Arming teachers isn’t just a ridiculous idea. It’s a deliberate distraction.” German Lopez, Vox

Update:

“Seaside High teacher accidentally fires gun in class, students injured,” Amy Larson, KBSW-TV

Related:

“5 Ways the Trump Budget Undermines Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Efforts,” Chelsea Parsons and Scott Sargrad, Center for American Progress

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Top image (“School Supplies”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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