Education

NFL’s Chris Long Will be Donating All of His 2017 Football Salary to Education Charity

by Walter Einenkel – While presidents and their enablers shake their impotent fists at the peaceful protests of Americans NFL linebacker Chris Long has been doing some real patriotic work. About a month ago, Long and his wife announced that they would be donating almost half a season’s worth of Long’s sizeable football salary towards education scholarships in Charlottesville. Now, as ESPN reports, the Long’s have announced that Chris will donate the remaining 10 games worth of paychecks to a campaign for his foundation—Pledge 10 for Tomorrow. “My wife and I have been passionate about education being a gateway for upward mobility and equality,” Long told the Associated Press. “I think we can all agree that equity in education can help effect change that we all want to see in this country.” Long’s foundation has selected four organizations whose missions focus on making education easily accessible to underserved youth while also providing students the support...

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Sheriff Who Ordered Aggressive Pat Downs of Students in Drug Raid Indicted for Sexual Battery

by Robby Soave – 900 searched, no drugs found. The Georgia sheriff who authorized intrusive pat downs for hundreds of students at Worth County High School earlier this year was indicted for sexual battery, false imprisonment, and violating his oath of office. Authorities will issue a warrant for Jeff Hobby’s arrest later this week, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Two deputies were also indicted. It is alleged that they groped male and female students, touching them inappropriately during the completely pointless search. No drugs were found on any of the 900 boys and girls subjected to the pat downs. Reason‘s Brian Doherty wrote up the details of the students’ lawsuit: According to the suit’s account of events, all the students “were confined either to their first-period classrooms, to the hallways immediately outside their classrooms, or to the gym” and their “cell phones were seized so that they could not reach their parents….During the lockdown and...

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Milo Yiannopoulos’ Security Cost UC Berkeley $800,000

by Patrick Strickland – US university grappling with budget cuts and layoffs spends sum on security for far-right speaker’s 15-minute rally. After student organizers of the Berkeley “Free Speech Week” cancelled their events, far-right media personality Milo Yiannopoulos vowed to hold a rally of his own. WATCH: Violence breaks out at opposing rallies in Berkeley campus (02:10) Yiannopoulos’ appearance at the steps of the University of California’s Sproul Plaza on Sunday was brief. After 15 minutes, Yiannopoulos’ security guards drove him off, local media reported. The university said security precautions for the event, which involved officers from eight different law enforcement agencies, cost $800,000. Along with far-right author Mike Cernovich and anti-Muslim figure Pamela Geller, Yiannopoulos addressed around 150 supporters who had gathered to hear him speak. “It feels like probably the most expensive photo op in the university’s history,” said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof, according to The Mercury News. The sum spent...

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Georgetown Students, Faculty Take a Knee to Protest Sessions’ Hypocrisy on Free Speech

by KIRA LERNER & JOSHUA EATON – “We have questions for Jeff Sessions.” Georgetown Law students and faculty gathered on the campus Tuesday to protest a speech by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in which he blasted college campuses that he said have allowed political correctness to erode free speech. The school did not allow many of the students and faculty at Tuesday’s protest to attend the invite-only speech. “The concept of free speech is to invite both people who dissent and people who disagree,” Imani Waweru, a third-year law student and attorney general of Georgetown’s Black Law Students Association, told ThinkProgress. “The obvious message here is that those who dissent are not invited.” Georgetown’s Center for the Constitution, led by conservative professor Randy Barnett, organized Sessions’ speech. Students and faculty said they took issue with the fact that they had just one day’s notice that the controversial attorney general would speak. The issue of...

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New Survey Shows a Disturbing Trend: Most Americans Have No Clue What is in the Constitution

by Jen Hayden – The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania have released the downright disturbing results of a recent survey that shows a majority of Americans don’t know anything about their rights or the rights of others according to our own Constitution. Read it and weep: More than half of Americans (53 percent) incorrectly think it is accurate to say that immigrants who are here illegally do not have any rights under the U.S. Constitution; More than a third of those surveyed (37 percent) can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment; Only a quarter of Americans (26 percent) can name all three branches of government. The responses to the First Amendment are downright depressing: Nearly half of those surveyed (48 percent) say that freedom of speech is a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. But, unprompted, 37 percent could not name any First Amendment rights....

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Delaware AG Pushes for Recovery High Schools to Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

by Teresa Wiltz – In the wake of a new federal report that found Delaware has the fastest-growing rate of drug overdose rates in the country, Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn is calling for the development of a recovery high school in the state. Meanwhile, a report commissioned by the state Department of Justice found that Delaware was treating just over half the people in need of treatment for opioid addiction. As the nation struggles with an opioid epidemic, a growing number of states are experimenting with recovery high schools, which enroll kids with drug addiction and alcoholism. In addition to academics, the schools provide treatment and support, and proponents say they reduce the chances of a relapse and help divert teens from the criminal justice system. Nationwide, an estimated 1.3 million 12- to 17-year-olds have a substance abuse disorder. People who are 12 to 19 years old account for nearly 12 percent of all admissions to publicly funded rehab...

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What Trump and His Team Have Wrecked So Far

by BILLMOYERS.COM STAFF – Here’s a round up from our “While He Was Tweeting” series. Donald Trump and his administration are rolling back a number of regulations and initiatives — as well as cutting offices, budgets and staff — and we’re following it in our “While He Was Tweeting” series. As coverage of Trump’s Twitter feed crowds out these stories, here’s a look at some of what the Trump administration has been up to so far. Our team has not been able to cover everything, but we’re doing our best, and we appreciate your input. Be sure to let us know what you think on the BillMoyers.com Facebook page. Dismantling post-Great Recession Financial Crisis Protections The Trump administration is looking to dismantle many of the protections put into place after the 2008 financial crisis, including the Dodd-Frank reforms and the Elizabeth Warren-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement In June, Trump pulled...

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DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow

by Tom K. Wong, Greisa Martinez Rosas, Adam Luna, Henry Manning, Adrian Reyna, Patrick O’Shea, Tom Jawetz, and Philip E. Wolgin – Since it was first announced on June 15, 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals(DACA) policy has provided temporary relief from deportation as well as work authorization to approximately 800,000 undocumented young people across the country. As research has consistently shown, DACA has not only improved the lives of undocumented young people and their families but has also positively affected the economy more generally, which benefits all Americans. From August 1, 2017 to August 20, 2017, Tom K. Wong of the University of California, San Diego; United We Dream (UWD); the National Immigration Law Center (NILC); and the Center for American Progress fielded a national survey to further analyze the economic, employment, educational, and societal experiences of DACA recipients. This is the largest study to date of DACA recipients with a sample size of 3,063 respondents in 46 states...

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Read a Dreamer’s Open Letter to Donald Trump Explaining Why DACA Must Stay

by Gabe Ortiz – Since its implementation five years ago, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has helped 800,000 undocumented youth achieve their dreams. Because of DACA, immigrant youth may work legally, apply for driver’s licenses, and live free from the fear of deportation. In other words: they can live normal lives. They are parents, neighbors, friends, leaders, professionals, and spouses. They are American in every single way but for a piece of paper. So when the Trump administration threatens to kill the program, the government is threatening to cast away young people deeply intertwined into the fabric of America. In an open letter to Donald Trump, DACA recipient Juan Escalante, a Florida State University graduate and immigrant rights leader with America’s Voice, explains why DACA must stay: That freedom that young undocumented immigrants have enjoyed for the past five years has yielded significant gains for the United States. Thanks to DACA young immigrants have been able to pursue higher education,...

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University Officials Say White Supremacists are Recruiting Their Students

by Melanie Schmitz – The University of Missouri has faced similar troubles in the past. University of Missouri officials on Wednesday warned students that white supremacists were attempting to recruit on campuses across the country. “One of the core values of the University of Missouri is respect. As such, we are committed to fostering a community of inclusion,” officials wrote in a letter. “We are aware that white supremacist groups are recruiting on college campuses across the U.S. If you become aware of any activity that might violate university policies, please contact the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX .” University spokesman Christian Basi told ThinkProgress that officials had “become aware” of incidents at other schools and decided to issue the statement after finding a flyer on the MU campus. Basi noted that officials were not aware of any other attempts at recruitment, but felt the need to alert students regardless. One...

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Charlottesville May Put the Brakes on Campus Free Speech Laws

by Sophie Quinton – The sight of white supremacists marching through the heart of the University of Virginia, carrying flaming Tiki torches and shouting “Jews will not replace us!” — followed by the killing of a counterprotester at a rally in downtown Charlottesville the next day — may put the brakes on state efforts to strengthen campus free speech protections. At least seven states (Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia) have enacted such laws since 2014, and many other states considered them this year. But the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer in Charlottesville this month showed how hateful speech can lead to violence. That might prompt lawmakers to rethink how such bills are written or whether to support them at all. “It has been really distressing and upsetting to watch violence used against protesters, and I expect that to have a profound effect on how lawmakers view these...

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No, Affirmative Action Isn’t Keeping White Students Down

by Jessicah Pierre – Enrollment rates are still higher for whites than blacks or Latinos. Now is the worst time to roll back affirmative action. There’s a saying: “When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” I thought of that when I heard about the Trump administration’s recent moves against affirmative action. According to The New York Times, the Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Session, is looking for lawyers to work on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” Well, that’s the point of affirmative action, right? When President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order on affirmative action in 1961, the intent was to counteract discrimination that minorities faced in the job hiring process. Since then, many colleges and universities have instituted similar standards to make sure women and students of color are given a fair shot at receiving a...

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How to Fight White Supremacy: Charlottesville, SPLC Offer Blueprints

by Sher Watts Spooner – The rise of white supremacy in the United States, with Donald Trump as its head cheerleader, has heightened tensions across the country. The “Unite the Right” march in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the killing of Heather Heyer when a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, has spurred marches, vigils, and actions nationwide to counter the hate speech of the white supremacist crowd. But many feel lost, wondering about the most effective methods of fighting racial hatred. Racial bias and hatred are nothing new in this country, but since the rise and election of Donald Trump, white supremacist groups have become emboldened to spew their specific brands of hate both online and in person. They are using any excuse to target minorities of any kind. The removal of statues honoring Confederate Civil War leaders is just the latest spark igniting publicity-seeking actions, often by heavily armed participants. What...

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University of Texas at Austin Removes its Confederate Statues Overnight

by Kelly Macias – If America is the land of opportunity, then it could surely be said that it’s a country filled with people who are opportunists. While opportunists are generally known for taking advantage of a situation to gain some benefit without regard to ethics or morals, every once in a while even the most calculating ones can do the right thing. Politicians, who are the most notorious opportunists out there, have used the violence in Charlottesville to seize the moment when it comes to removing Confederate monuments. Last week, Baltimore removed its monuments in the middle of the night and other cities are planning to follow suit. And the University of Texas at Austin also joined the club, removing several of its Confederate statues from campus on Sunday night. Workers began removing the statues of Robert. E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnston and John Reagan from the university’s main plaza late Sunday night. The news was delivered to the campus community via...

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Clooney Foundation To Open 7 Schools For 3,000 Syrian Refugee Kids

By Amanda Froelich – The Clooney Foundation for Justice agreed to donate $2.25 million to build 7 public schools, which will educate approximately 3,000 refugee children in Lebanon. Thanks to actor George Clooney and his wife Amal, Syrian refugee children who have faced unimaginable hardship will soon receive an education. This is because the Clooney Foundation for Justice agreed to donate $2.25 million to build 7 public schools, which will educate approximately 3,000 refugee children in Lebanon. The donation was made as part of an educational campaign in partnership with Google and Unicef. The ultimate goal is to provide relief to children and their families during one of the most arduous humanitarian crises since WWII. The couple said in a statement to AP: “They have been victims of geography and circumstance, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Our goal with this initiative is to help provide Syrian refugee children with an education and put them on a...

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Hundreds of German Choir Boys Abused

Victims describe time at prison-like school as marked by helplessness and fear, says lawyer probing cases. Priests and teachers physically or sexually abused more than 500 boys at a Catholic choir school in Germany between 1945 and 1992, according to a report. Allegations in Tuesday’s report involving the Domspatzen choir at the Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows school were among a spate of revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany that emerged in 2010. Many of the 547 victims remembered their time at the school as “the worst time of their lives, marked by fear, violence and helplessness”, said lawyer Ulrich Weber, who was commissioned two years ago by the diocese to probe the cases. The victims said the school was “prison, hell and a concentration camp”, he added. The report counted 500 cases of physical violence and 67 of sexual violence, committed by a total of 49 perpetrators. The lead investigator criticised...

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‘We Will Be Fearless’: Teachers Vow to Defend Students From Trump and Devos

by Jake Johnson – “I do not trust their motives. I do not believe their alternative facts. I see no reason to assume they will do what is best for our students and their families.” In a speech during the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual meeting in Boston 0ver the weekend, Lily Eskelsen García—the organization’s president—delivered a searing rebuke to President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who she accused of pushing a “profoundly disturbing” agenda that could have devastating effects on children. Addressing 7,500 educators, Garcia declared that the NEA, the nation’s largest labor union, will not cooperate with the White House. She also implicitly criticized union leaders who have been persuaded by Trump’s seemingly pro-worker, pro-union rhetoric. “I will not allow the National Education Association to be used by Donald Trump or Betsy DeVos,” García said. She continued: I do not trust their motives. I do not believe their alternative facts. I see...

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Zero Tolerance Policies don’t Prevent Violence at Schools

by Casey Quinlan – There is no reason for schools to abandon behavioral interventions and rely on suspension as a deterrent. In Upstate New York’s Syracuse School District, the stabbing of a teacher has sparked debate over the district’s approach toward student discipline. The district changed its policy shortly before the incident in an effort to keep students engaged at school and reduce racial disparities in student discipline, after an investigation from the New York attorney general’s office. But the stabbing of a teacher by a student in May has reinvigorated opposition to the school’s discipline approach — even though there isn’t any evidence to suggest that the school’s former policy would have prevented a serious incident such as this one. There were already many critics of Syracuse’s plan, part of a four-year agreement with the attorney general, to change its approach to focus on using restorative practices to resolve conflicts, teaching staff about cultural competency and implicit...

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Yet Another Study Shows that—Surprise!—’abstinence-only’ Sex Education Just Doesn’t Work

by Meteor Blades – High teen pregnancy rates are usually associated with lower levels of education and poverty. But new research conducted by Dr. Julie DeCesare of the University of Florida’s OB-GYN residency program in Pensacola has shown that’s not all that’s going on. While national rates of teen pregnancy have fallen, they’ve fallen much less in Texas. DeCesare and her co-authors found that in the Dallas and San Antonio areas, teen pregnancy rates are 50 percent and 40 percent respectively above the national average. Federal funding for abstinence-only programs began in 1982 with a small amount of money for the Adolescent Family Life Act. But with passage of welfare reform in 1996, abstinence-only education programs exploded despite a steady stream of evidence from studies showing they are ineffective and leave out information crucial to young people’s health. The feds have poured $1.5 billion into these failed programs over the past two decades. Under an amendment to Title...

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Notre Dame Students are Protesting the Vice President’s Commencement Speech

by Casey Quinlan – Students say they deserve a commencement that respects LGBTQ and undocumented graduates. Notre Dame seniors will stage a walkout to protest Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech at the Indiana university on Sunday. Students say they are expressing solidarity with LGBTQ, undocumented, low-income, and female students affected by Pence’s policies. Students plan to stand up when Pence begins speaking and quietly leave the ceremony. Fifty to 100 people could walk out on Sunday, student organizers say. Protesters are using the hashtag #WalkOutND to bring attention to the protest on social media. “During his time as governor of the state of Indiana and now as a Vice-President, Pence has targeted the civil rights protections of members of LBGT+ community, rejected the Syrian refugee resettlement program, supported an unconstitutional ban of religious minorities, and fought against sanctuary cities,” said the student activist group organizing the protest, We StaND For,...

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