This Week's News

  • Since 9/11, What Do Your Students Know about How the U.S. Has Changed? | PBS NewsHour

    Today’s Daily News Story comes from the PBS NewsHour article 9/11 to Now: Ways We Have Changed. You may wish to assign different sections of the article to different groups of students and have the groups report back as a class.

    Many changes have occurred in U.S. domestic and foreign policy since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which occurred 16 years ago today. Air travel regulations tightened when Congress federalized airport security with the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, creating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Before 9/11, security had been handled by airports, which outsourced the work to private security companies. More than 260 government agencies were created or reorganized after 9/11. The Patriot Act and 48 bills were signed into law, many of them related to counterterorrism work. The U.S. entered the longest war in our country’s history in Afghanistan after the attacks on 9/11, which continues to this day. The terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden planned the attacks from Afghanistan with the support of that country’s totalitarian regime. Anti-Islam hate crimes in the U.S. spiked after the attacks, and many Muslims were subject to verbal harassment and increased airport security checks.

    September 11, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6,8-12
  • How Media Literacy Helps You Talk About Hurricane Harvey with Your Students | PBS NewsHour

    For guidance on how to talk with students about Hurricane Harvey, 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.”  

    Rescue operations are in full gear as the devastation from Hurricane Harvey continues. The storm has affected some 6.8 million people — about a quarter of the population of Texas, according to the Associated Press. At least 21 people have been killed by Harvey since its initial landfall on August 25, 2017 — this is an update to the broadcast piece from the Associated Press. “We are striving for a new normal here,” said Brock Long, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator heading up the response to the category 4 storm. He said it will take years for Texas to fully recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

    August 30, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • How to Discuss the History of White Nationalism with Your Students | PBS NewsHour

    Three people died and multiple people were injured in the chaos of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017. A judge ordered 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. be held without bond on second-degree murder charges. Fields was accused of ramming his car into a crowd of demonstrators who came out against the white nationalist rally to denounce a Charlottesville city decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. President Donald Trump faced criticism from the left and right alike when he didn’t name neo-Nazi or white supremacist groups for inciting the attacks until two days after the events took place. He instead denounced violence — quote — “on many sides.” 

    August 15, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • All-Girls Robotics Team from Afghanistan Competes after Initial Visa Denial | PBS NewsHour

    An all-girls team from Afghanistan reached the United States for a robotics competition after having their visas denied twice by American officials. The girls joined students from over 150 countries around the world, including a team representing refugees. The competition was an effort to get more young people, particularly those from underrepresented countries, interested in STEM fields.

    July 27, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • North Korea Test-Fires Missile | PBS NewsHour

    North Korea appears to be making progress in developing a nuclear arsenal. On July 4, 2017, the state performed what appears to be its most advanced test in pursuit of a nuclear weapon to date, test-firing a missile that might be capable of reaching Alaska. It is unknown whether or not North Korea is capable of building a nuclear warhead that could survive a journey on a long-range missile and detonate successfully, but President Donald Trump is urging China to put more pressure on North Korea to end their nuclear threats.

    July 5, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Few Trials of Police Shootings End in Convictions | PBS NewsHour

    In July 2016, a young black male named Philando Castile was fatally shot by police officer Jeronimo Yanez outside of St. Paul, Minnesota during a traffic stop due to a broken tail light. After jurors watched disturbing dash-cam footage of the shooting, they acquitted Yanez. Last week, the dash-cam footage went public. 1,155 people were killed by police in 2016 and, only 13 officers were brought charges. Black Americans are killed at three times the rate of others in these cases. Since 2005, 82 United States law enforcement officials have been charged with murder or manslaughter for on-duty shootings. However, only 29 have been convicted, and just 5 for murder. Brittany Packnett, the co-founder of Campaign Zero, an organization calling for police reform, says that the reason so few police trials end in convictions is representative of a systemic problem in the police force. 

    June 23, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12