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    Here at Daily Kos, we have long covered the heinous efforts from conservatives to bar hungry students from eating. When it comes to school lunch in the United States, there’s a lot to criticize: the provided breakfast, lunch, and snacks are not always healthy, and they’re not even always available to all those in need. We’ve covered stories of schools threatening to bar students with school lunch debt from attending field trips and proms, as well as instances where children say they felt ashamed or embarrassed after being told their meal of choice wasn’t available to them because of their lunch debt. We’ve seen a school district threaten parents of students with lunch debt with the foster care system (yes, really). It’s grim. Somehow, Republicans have managed to make it even more dire. In this case, as reported by Politico, Republican Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas is considering whether or not to block funds for school lunch programs because he doesn’t like that the Biden administration is trying to protect trans youth from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual...
    Share this: The Supreme Court has consistently banned school-sponsored prayer in public K-12 schools, whether at the start of the school day, during graduation ceremonies or before football games. Under the Equal Access Act, the Supreme Court has affirmed that students may organize prayer and Bible study clubs during non-instructional hours. Even so, school staff and outside adults may not actively participate. Lower courts have mostly forbidden public school teachers from openly praying in the workplace, even if students are not involved. Yet the Supreme Court has not directly addressed such a case – until now. Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, a case from Washington state, scheduled for oral arguments on April 25, 2022, could usher in more religious activities by teachers and other staff in public schools.
    Teachers and students on Wednesday will be able to see an unaccustomed sight inside Los Angeles school district classrooms: smiles. For the first time since the pandemic shut down campuses in March 2020, students and staff could go about a normal day inside a classroom without a face covering. Many will likely choose to continue masking, however, a strategy health officials “strongly recommend.” The path to a mask-free day was cleared when members of the teachers union approved the new policy by a margin of 84% to 16% in results announced Monday night. Masking decisions are now up to the families of some 450,000 students and 60,000-plus employees. Los Angeles Unified Supt. Alberto Carvalho said it’s important to bring schooling back to normal during a Tuesday school board meeting. “Schools are open for business within the parameters of protection that we have laid out,” Carvalho said, adding that schools are “welcoming parents and volunteers back on campus” and resuming extracurricular activities that had been suspended during the pandemic. Parents have strong and varied feelings about masking. “My 6-year-old daughter...
    When U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy issued a public health advisory this month on protecting youth mental health, he brought attention to the widespread challenges facing today’s young people. But he also emphasized that these challenges are surmountable — and often preventable. One of his recommendations, as part of what he calls a “whole-of-society” effort to mitigate the pandemic’s corrosive effects on mental health, is to support students’ mental health in schools. What kind of support systems do students have there? What can parents rely on school counselors to handle, and when does an issue become something that requires extra assistance? Debra Duardo, the superintendent of schools for Los Angeles County; Loretta Whitson, executive director of the California Assn. of School Counselors; and staff from the Santa Ana Unified School District explain. How does it all work? Schools have a combination of counselors, social workers, psychologists and nurses who work together as a mental health team on campus, Duardo said. The team’s No. 1 priority is making sure students can learn. This includes identifying and removing (or at...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City is imposing a new COVID vaccine mandate on all staff at private schools, including religious and non-government school workers. The order applies to about 56,000 employees at 938 schools across the city, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Friday. But is it enforceable? READ MORE: Suffolk County Police Officer Timothy Thrane Released From Hospital 1 Month After Being Hit By Alleged Drunk DriverMayor Bill de Blasio and the Department of Health announced all non-public school employees must get their first shot by Dec. 20. According to the city, the order aligns with what the CDC recommends — that teachers and staff be vaccinated as soon as possible. Officials said the city will offer vaccines to any schools that requests them for staff and students. The Archdiocese of New York released a statements that said, in part, “An increasing majority of our teachers and school staffs have already been vaccinated, and we continue to urge others to do so; those that are not vaccinated are tested weekly.” “We will review the mandate to determine this order’s...
    MCDONALD'S is giving away free breakfast to teachers and school staff every weekday this week to say thanks. The freebies will be available during McDonald's breakfast hours Monday to Friday, October 11 to October 15. 1McDonald's is giving away free breakfast to teachers and school staff next weekCredit: McDonald's These are typically every day from 5am to 11am, except on Fridays when breakfast is served from 5am to 11:30am. The thank you meals are served in a classic McDonald's Happy Meal box filled with a breakfast sandwich, hash browns and a drink. You can choose from an egg McMuffin, a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit or a sausage biscuit. While beverage options include a medium McCafé hot or iced coffee or a medium soft drink. The prices usually go up to $2.79 for a McMuffin or biscuit, $1.79 for a coffee and $1.09 for hash browns, according to Realmenuprices. However, keep in mind the prices can vary depending on where you live. Most read in MoneyCRACK DOWN Biden crypto executive order set to tighten rules on Bitcoin and othersCASH BOOST...
    Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed the FBI to work with law enforcement officials to address rising threats against school officials. In a memorandum sent by Garland on Monday, the attorney general notes that he is directing the FBI to work with "federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders" in order to address what he describes as a "disturbing" amount of threats of violence and harassment being made toward teachers, administrators and school board officials. "Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation's core values," Garland said. "Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety." TERRY MCAULIFFE WANTS THE STATE TO CONTROL YOUR CHILD'S EDUCATION Garland's announcement comes after the National School Boards Association published a Sept. 29 letter to President Joe Biden in which they lamented "persevering against other challenges that could impede" their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Coupled with attacks against...
    BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts is extending the school mask requirement through at least November 1, the state’s education commissioner announced Monday afternoon. All Massachusetts public schools students and staff have been required to wear masks inside school buildings since the start of the school year earlier this month. READ MORE: Bob Dylan Coming To Boston For One Show In November Under the original mandate, on Friday, October 1, schools that have 80 percent or more of their students and staff fully vaccinated were going to be allowed to drop the mandate for vaccinated people only. That has been changed. READ MORE: Dozens Of Massachusetts State Police Troopers Resigning Over COVID Vaccine Mandate, Union Says The state now says middle and high schools with 80 percent of their students and staff vaccinated will have the option to lift the mandate “by submitting an attestation form to the department on October 15.” Once a school completes the verification process, vaccinated students and staff will no longer be required to wear masks. The rate will be calculated on a school-by-school basis, not at...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Unvaccinated students in Los Angeles County who are exposed to COVID-19 will not necessarily have to stay off school campuses, under new guidelines announced Thursday. The L.A. County Department of Health reported that K-12 students, under certain circumstances, will be allowed to continue to attend in-person instruction at school even if they have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. READ MORE: Woman Stabbed To Death At Senior Living Community In Baldwin Hills The health department terms it a “modified quarantine.” Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sept. 10, 2021. (Getty Images) “Modified quarantine allows, under certain conditions, an unvaccinated student with an exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case to continue in-person instruction at school during their quarantine, while restricting their activities outside of the classroom,” the department said in a news release. The new protocol is in response to analysis of a four-week sample of data that shows that there has been “relatively low transmission” of COVID-19 in schools, the health department said. According to the...
    SAN FRANCISCO – At high schools across San Francisco, freshmen and sophomores will both be stepping into new territory. After a year and a half of Zoom school, Wednesday was sophomore orientation day at Galileo High School. “It’s like school again. I haven’t been to school since 8th grade in real life,” said Galileo sophomore Cole Centino. READ MORE: Oakland McDonalds Franchise Settles Employee Suit Over COVID-19 Masks Made From Diapers, Coffee Filters Students in the San Francisco Unified School District are returning to full-time, in-person learning, five days a week. Campuses like Galileo that sat silent for more than a year, will once again spring back to life with the blessing from the Department of Public Health. “We absolutely support the re-opening of schools to their full capacity,” said Dr. Naveena Bobba, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She says of the private and public schools that did return to the classroom last year, there were only 7 cases of COVID-19. READ MORE: COVID: Chinese Hospital, Community Leaders Urge Chinatown Residents...
    A VIRGINIA physical education teacher was placed on leave after telling the school board that he will not acknowledge that a “biological boy can be a girl and vice versa.” Elementary school teacher Byron Tanner Cross expressed his opposition to gender policies during a Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday. 3Cross said that he was “speaking out of love” for those who are suffering from gender dysphoriaCredit: Loudon County Public Schools "I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences,” Cross told the school board.  “I'm a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it's against my religion,” he said. “ It's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God," he added. Cross said that he was “speaking out of love” for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria, Fox News reported. His leave from Leesburg Elementary was announced in an email that Fox News obtained from the...
    An elementary school physical education teacher in Virginia was placed on leave after an explosive speech in which he told his school board he wouldn't "affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa," Fox News has learned. During a Loudoun County school board meeting Tuesday, teacher Byron "Tanner" Cross voiced his opposition to policies surrounding gender. "My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria," Cross told the board. He went on to discuss a "60 Minutes" special about the issue. "'60 Minutes' this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies… They are now detransitioning," he said. VIRGINIA TEACHER SAYS CRITICAL RACE THEORY HAS DAMAGED COMMUNITY AS FRUSTRATED PARENTS DEMAND CHANGE "It's not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — A longtime University of Chicago employee said the school is forcing him to move out of his on-campus apartment, even with an eviction moratorium in place – and even though he has never been late on rent. So what’s the issue? CBS 2’s Lauren Victory explained Friday morning. READ MORE: Blood Banks In Need Of Blood Donors Amid Pandemic; No Longer In Need Of Plasma From COVID Survivors Sid Colton has decades of service at the University of Chicago behind him, and he has made a lot of memories. He is a graduate, a superfan, and a longtime employee. His first job was at a campus library, starting back in 1975. Wearing maroon shoes, a maroon jacket, and a UChicago hat, the 70-year-old kept and shared an old business card with CBS 2. He has lived, breathed and worked for the school, full- or part-time, for 45 years – so long, that Colton has a U of C pension and an apartment in staff housing. “I love the campus,” Colton said. “I have my dog. We walk....
    BERKELEY — The Berkeley Unified School District announced it expects to return to the classroom five days a week, but some teachers are saying they are being “forced” to return to dangerous school settings. Some teachers and members of the civil rights organization By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) held a press conference Tuesday calling on the district to “stop the harassment of teachers and staff with underlying medical conditions.” Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School teacher Yvette Felarca said that the district has stated its intention to revoke previously approved accommodations for teachers or staff who had underlying health conditions, or situations at home that prevent them from returning to in-person learning. The district, she said, is now requiring a doctor’s note stating what impact the COVID-19 vaccination would have on her current medical condition. “This is blatant harassment,” she said. Other teachers spoke about concerns of taking care of an at-risk loved one, and bringing the coronavirus home to them. Special education teacher Linda Clark stated she has had COVID-19 already twice, had now has reduced lung capacity. She is...
    A Fairfield County school district is temporarily going remote to allow for teachers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine specifically earmarked for educators in Connecticut. On Friday, March 5, a mass vaccination clinic is being held in Trumbull, where 800 doses of the newly approved and authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine are set to be distributed, specifically for teachers and school staffers. Related story - COVID-19: Here's How Many One-Dose Johnson & Johnson Vaccines Are Coming To Connecticut Initially, the health department said that they would be receiving approximately 200 doses of the vaccine, Trumbull Schools Superintendent Martin Semmel said, though once the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved by the FDA for emergency use over the weekend, the allocation was upped to 800. In response, the entire district will be going remote on Friday to allow staff members to get vaccinated, though the online schedule has not yet been finalized as teachers will be out throughout the day to go to the high school to receive the vaccine.
    Close to a year ago, life as we previously knew it changed overnight as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. As cases arrived and spread across Minnesota, many of our daily routines came to a screeching halt as difficult choices were made in our communities over whether to continue functioning as “normal.” As a private Catholic high school based in Victoria, determining what our “normal” should look like was the immediate question. We understood the seriousness of COVID-19, and saw the pain and risk experienced by many as a result. We also knew that to continue in-person learning as safely and effectively as before, we would need to do so with the full support of our teachers, staff, students and their families. Michael BrennanHigh school is possibly the most formative time in a person’s life. They are extremely valuable years that you can never get back. As an academic community that places a high value on in-person learning and experiences, our question when navigating what our new normal should look like was this: Can we accomplish both? Is it...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn Monday said the county had “officially reached the state’s threshold for reopening elementary schools,” but Los Angeles Unified said its campuses would not reopen until all staff was vaccinated. This is what we have been working towards. RELATED: Residents Moving Out Of LA To Inland Empire, Causing Rents To Skyrocket Thank you to everyone who has worn your masks and kept your distance. Case rates in LA County are dropping. Now we can continue the work getting our kids and teachers safely back in classrooms where they belong. — Janice Hahn (@SupJaniceHahn) February 16, 2021 According to Hahn, schools that have a waiver or have submitted their COVID-19 Safety Plans can reopen Tuesday for on-campus instruction for children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade. However, LAUSD said it would not be reopening it’s campuses for in-person instruction just yet, referring to statements made by Superintendent Austin Beutner earlier this month. RELATED: Garbage Truck Driver Arrested In Connection With Deadly 2019 Sandalwood Fire On Feb. 8, Beutner laid...
    CDC Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed that her agency's newly-released guidance states that it is possible for schools "even in areas of the highest community spread" to reopen safely--at least in a hybrid fashion--without teachers getting vaccinated first. The CDC released new guidance last week, highlighting "layered mitigation strategies" to reduce COVID transmission. "We are advocating with the strict mitigation measures … including universal and mandatory masking as well as six-foot of distancing, that at least our K-5 children should be able to get back to school at least in a hybrid mode," Walensky told "Fox News Sunday," referring to a model that would combine in-person and remote learning. GAETZ REACTS TO NY NURSING HOME SCANDAL: MEDIA 'ABSOLUTELY CULPABLE' IN CUOMO 'MYTHOLOGY' Walensky acknowledged that some measures, such as reducing classroom density, will be more difficult to achieve but it is just one step of several suggested by the new guidance. "It’s a layered mitigation approach," Walensky added. "And what we’ve put forward in this guidance is the roadmap to get us there." Some teachers unions have argued that schools will not be prepared to reopen...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Teachers and school staff who work in Sacramento County can soon start getting their COVID-19 vaccination, officials say. Vaccination efforts for educators will start on Tuesday, Feb. 16, county officials say. Public health officials noted that the distribution of the vaccine is still dependent on the availability of doses – a point of frustration as the California vaccination rollout has progressed slower than other states. “While the effort will be slow, every person that gets vaccinated is a step in the right direction,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye in a statement. Sacramento County’s teacher vaccination push comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance on Friday about how schools can safely reopen for in-person learning. Still, teachers unions have already started pushing back against plans to rush into reopening schools. The Sacramento City Teachers Association released a framework on Thursday of efforts they want to see happen before students are brought back into the classroom. At the top of the list was all staff having the opportunity to be...
    Reopening Los Angeles campuses for students in kindergarten through 12th grade will require the vaccination of teachers and other staff, says L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner. The teachers union is going a step further, saying vaccinations alone would not be enough to operate schools safely until the community spread of COVID-19 is brought down. “Vaccinations are a critical piece of the puzzle, and we’re all frustrated at the pace of the rollout despite everyone’s best efforts,” Beutner said in remarks broadcast Monday. The L.A. schools chief called vaccines “the last piece to help reopen classrooms,” in addition to such measures as providing funding to operate campuses safely and consistent rules on when campuses should be reopening. “There’s a unique and important benefit to vaccinating all who work in schools — doing so will help reopen schools sooner,” Beutner said. “This will not only protect the health and safety of staff but will provide enormous benefit to children and their families with a faster reopening of schools and of the economy more broadly by enabling the working families we...
    CHINO HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- At campuses across the Chino Valley Unified School District, the plexiglass is in place and the bottles of hand sanitizer are full in anticipation of students returning to school buildings, whenever it gets the official go-ahead. The district has made several changes in the hopes of keeping students and staff safe after their eventual return, including at Litel Elementary."It's been a collaborative effort, we're just lucky to be at this school and work in this district because everyone at this district has really thought things out very thoroughly and I'm proud to be here," said Principal Joe Durkin. The district doesn't have permission from the state to bring kids back yet as the county remains in the purple tier of the COVID-19 reopening framework, which does not allow in-person learning. "Our superintendent has made a recommendation that he would like to see all of the cities that we serve be in the red tier for at least two weeks before we consider bringing students back," said Imee Perius, communications director for the district. The district...
    Mayor de Blasio plainly thought he was going to show bold, forward-looking leadership last Thursday — but all he ended up demonstrating is that he no longer has any advisers able (or willing) to stop him from making a fool of himself. He used the launch of a city COVID-19 testing lab as the pretext for a rare in-person press conference, where he made a big deal of presenting his “vision” for the city’s recovery from the pandemic and lockdowns. Yet he didn’t offer more than a few vague principles — even though he announced the start of recovery planning months ago, making a big deal of setting up various advisory panels to start thinking things through then. Reporters across the spectrum quickly pointed this out — whereupon Hizzoner fled the podium, leaving journalists lined up with more questions poised. His la-de-da “four core principles” are trivial boilerplate: continue to fight back against the virus, invest in “innovation to make us a stronger hub for public health research,” create “high-quality jobs” and focus on underserved communities. How about saving the...
    Still, she said, "I am committed to take care of my family, my students, and all my staff at my school. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that we are all ready to go back to school safe and healthy." She was proceeded by a business owner, a farmer, and a racial justice activist who spoke about how Trump had negatively impacted their lives. From Night 1 of the 2020 Democratic National Convention: We've already started school, but it is a little challenging because every day something seems to change.   We start one way one day, and have to change it the next day. And I know that right now it's kind of sad not to see the kiddos when we are back. But I know that will change. We will have to adapt and persevere.   But honestly right now all I can think about is keeping my kiddos safe. I know back in March, you know we had them at home and we were doing okay, but now they're wanting us to take them back...
    Still, she said, "I am committed to take care of my family, my students, and all my staff at my school. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that we are all ready to go back to school safe and healthy." She was proceeded by a business owner, a farmer, and a racial justice activist who spoke about how Trump had negatively impacted their lives. From Night 1 of the 2020 Democratic National Convention: We've already started school, but it is a little challenging because every day something seems to change.   We start one way one day, and have to change it the next day. And I know that right now it's kind of sad not to see the kiddos when we are back. But I know that will change. We will have to adapt and persevere.   But honestly right now all I can think about is keeping my kiddos safe. I know back in March, you know we had them at home and we were doing okay, but now they're wanting us to take them back...
    By CASEY SMITH, Associated Press/Report for America INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s second-largest teacher organization announced Tuesday that its members may resort to striking to ensure a safe return to school as the state continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. The Indiana chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, which represents around 4,500 teachers and education staff statewide, said schools should reopen for in-person instruction only if teachers and school staff are provided with adequate personal protective equipment, funding is provided for necessary safety resources such as masks and cleaning products, and cases in the community are under control. The union did not explain what an acceptable level of infection might be. If those safeguards aren't met, AFT Indiana President GlenEva Dunham said union members would consider a strike. A resolution passed by AFT’s national executive council indicates the union will back local or state-led teachers strikes relating to educator health and safety during the pandemic. “The members of AFT Indiana will not be threatened or bullied into returning to situations that are not safe,” Dunham said. “Our lives and...
    A California school district that has elected to operate in a 100% virtual capacity because of COVID-19 concerns has adopted a seemingly counterintuitive approach to schooling this fall by also announcing a day care program where students can attend online classes and complete schoolwork in a physical classroom. What are the details?The South Pasadena Unified School District in Los Angeles County announced earlier this month that, in accordance with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's orders, it would implement a distance-learning model to begin the year and continue that model indefinitely. In subsequent communication on its website, the school district reiterated that "schools will be physically closed at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, and all students will participate in 100% distance learning." Yet soon after, in an effort to assist working families in need of child care, the school district also announced the implementation of an extended day care program for students up to eighth grade. According to a document detailing the program, the district said that families will be able to drop their children off at...
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