This Week's News
On March 11, 2018, President Donald Trump shared his school safety plan, which includes arming teachers, expanding mental health, and improving the National Instant Criminal Background System. The plan does not endorse expanding background checks. Trump backpedaled on his support for raising the minimum age to buy assault weapons, and the proposed program is being criticized for not going far enough to address the problem of gun violence. Arming teachers could make schools less safe, given accuracy problems and the potential to draw more shooters to schools.
March 14, 2018 videos and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.
On March 14, 2018, thousands of students across the U.S. walked out of class in protest of gun violence and to demand stricter gun laws. This showing — the first large-scale coordinated effort of the student-driven fight for gun control — lasted for 17 minutes to acknowledge the 17 people killed at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
Read NewsHour Extra's Student Voice blog How Teens Want to Solve America's School Shooting Problem. Then share your class’ own solutions to gun violence in schools @NewsHourExtra via Twitter using #StudentGunReformIdeas.
March 14, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.
For guidance on how to talk with students about mass shootings, you may want to read SAMHSA’s “Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers.”
A shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a northern Miami suburb, killed 17 people on February 14 in the fifth school shooting of 2018 resulting in casualties. Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student who had been expelled from Stoneman, was arrested soon after the shooting. He had legally purchased the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the assault. In a national address from the White House, President Donald Trump said he wanted America’s youth to know, “You are never alone, and you never will be.” He said he plans to explore how to better secure schools and to “tackle the difficult issue of mental health.”
February 15, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.
California is home to more than 270,000 undocumented students enrolled in public school, the largest number in the country. Anxiety levels of undocumented young people are growing due to the Trump administration’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration. In September, Trump announced that he would end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) protections this March unless Congress could come up with legislation he could stand behind.
A growing number of California educators are receiving training to become advocates for undocumented students. The aim is to provide resources, including the steps necessary to graduate high school, financial aid information and counseling.
February 5, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.
International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held each year as a way to remember the killing of 6 million Jews and millions of others during World War II. Holocaust survivor Reva Kibort tells the story of when German soldiers came to Warsaw, Poland. She was taken to a concentration camp at age 12, where her family was eventually killed. At a time when extreme right-wing groups, including anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim groups are on the rise, Kibort says, “We have to speak up. Wherever you see injustices at all, you have to speak up.”
January 29, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.