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Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:11 AM
DULUTH, Minn. — Students taking English classes in a Minnesota city will no longer have to read two American classics or write reports about them, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which contain racial slurs, will no longer be required reading for students in the Duluth Public School district’s English classes next fall. However, the books are not banned: They will be available in the school as optional reading for students, the News Tribune reported.
The decision comes two months after a Virginia school temporarily banned the two novels after a parent complained that her high school-age son was negatively impacted by the books’ racial slurs. In October, the school board in Biloxi, Mississippi, removed “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which won a Pulitzer Prize for author Harper Lee, from the curriculum of an eighth-grade class, the Sun Herald reported. The school, however, reversed is decision in late October, but required students to get a permission slip from their parents in order to participate in the class, the Sun Herald reported.
In Minnesota, school officials said the decision to remove the two novels was in response to concerns from students and parents.
“The feedback that we’ve received is that it makes many students feel uncomfortable,” Michael Cary, director of curriculum and instruction for the Duluth Public School district, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Conversations about race are an important topic, and we want to make sure we address those conversations in a way that works well for all of our students.”
Cary told the News Tribune that district leaders believed other literary options could impart the same lessons as the two novels.
"We felt that we could still teach the same standards and expectations through other novels that didn't require students to feel humiliated or marginalized by the use of racial slurs," he said.
Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, called the move “long overdue, like 20 years overdue,” he told the News Tribune.
The literature has “oppressive language for our kids” Witherspoon told the Star Tribune. “Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school. They deal with that every day out in the community and in their life. Racism still exists in a very big way.”
Witherspoon told the News Tribune that it was wrong to include the books in Duluth’s curriculum.
“There are a lot more authors out there with better literature that can do the same thing that does not degrade our people,” Witherspoon said.
Cary said Duluth’s teachers will play a key role in selecting new texts for students to read.
Published: Saturday, May 12, 2018 @ 2:41 PM
STOCKBRIDGE, Mich. — After enduring the loss of a loved one, a mother and daughter from Michigan are marking a happy milestone together.
Linda and Becky Dancer graduated together this month from Cleary University, WXYZ reported.
For mother Linda, the degree was completed 42 years after she began her higher education. She was prompted to join her daughter in college after her husband, Dan, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2014.
Linda told WXYZ that she worked much harder to earn the degree now than she had when she first started four decades ago.
Published: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 @ 1:10 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Some Ohio lawmakers want elementary school students to be able to print letters by the third grade and write documents in “legible cursive handwriting” by the time they finish fifth grade. The Ohio House could vote Dec. 5 on a bill to require a return of teaching cursive writing
In February, Ohio House Education Committee Chairman Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, introduced a bill to mandate that kindergarteners through fifth-graders be instructed in handwriting.
Schools have dialed back handwriting instruction to make more time for core academic requirements, such as helping struggling readers in first through third grades.
Cursive instruction is included in the state’s “model curriculum” for grades 3 and 4 and the State Board of Education passed a resolution in early 2014 in support of teaching cursive. But it isn’t a hard-and-fast requirement.
Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
ARLINGTON, Texas — Looking to brighten their kids’ days, a group of parents at Mary Moore Elementary School in Arlington got together and painted uplifting messages in the school’s bathrooms, KENS5 reports.
Colorful flowers and motivational sayings now decorate the bathroom stalls, saying things like “Your mistakes don’t define you” and “Every day is a chance to be better.”
The school posted pictures of the parents’ work to Facebook.
Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 8:03 AM
PARKLAND, Fla. — Law enforcement officials are scheduled to give an update of their investigation into a deadly school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.
The update is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday near the school in Parkland, Florida, an affluent town in northwest Broward County, about 15 miles from Boca Raton.
The suspected gunman, Nikolas Jacob Cruz, 19, had been a student there recently “but was expelled from the school the previous year,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.
Cruz was booked into the Broward County jail and is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.
At 5-foot-7 and 131 pounds, he was expected to make his first appearance before a judge later Thursday morning in Broward County court.
Police said Cruz concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running out of the school after the shooting. He was captured about 2 miles away near a swimming pool in the Wyndham Lakes community across the Sawgrass Expressway from the school.
A day after 17 people lost their lives in a storm of bullets at a South Florida high school, police are still trying to piece together what happened.
The investigation of the high school massacre on Valentine’s Day stretches throughout the state, including one city in Palm Beach County.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office; the Broward County Sheriff’s Office; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and FBI are investigating a mobile home south of Lantana Road and off Congress Avenue.
Irving Beck, who lives in Lantana Cascade Mobile Home Park, said he got home around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday and law enforcement was already at the scene.
He said authorities told him it was some kind of explosive at one of the residences.