This Week's News

  • DACA Debate Upended by President’s Explicit Language | PBS NewsHour

    Warning: Today’s Daily News Story contains explicit language that lawmakers say President Donald Trump used at a meeting while discussing immigration. The text below reflects the latest updates in the story.

    Senators from both parties announced that they have agreed on an immigration deal that would protect DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and strengthen border security between the U.S. and Mexico. President Donald Trump rejected the compromise, saying the proposal needed more work. The policy debate was overshadowed by vulgar remarks made by the President. Lawmakers attending the meeting said that President Trump asked why the U.S. should accept “all these people from sh*thole countries” in Africa, adding that the U.S should admit more people from places like Norway.

    Trump’s statements were made regarding proposals for ending the current visa lottery program, which stands at 50,000 visas right now. Visas allow people to enter, leave, or stay for a specified period of time in a country. Currently, 25,000 visas are reserved for people with temporary protected status, which means they escaped natural disasters or extreme violence in their home countries.

    January 12, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Community Service: Teaching Kindness for Kindness’ Sake | PBS NewsHour

    Ask students to reflect on the meaning of empathy and kindness. In this daily news story, PBS NewsHour Extra looks at the impact and meaning of community service and why the winter break may be a more challenging time for students than many people may realize. We recommend reading this Teachers’s Lounge piece, ‘Opinion: Don’t assume that every student had a fun or warm holiday break,’ out loud first. See our Support Materials below for classroom activity tips.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Who Protects Public Lands? | PBS NewsHour

    President Donald Trump dramatically cut back the size of two national monuments in Utah on December 4, 2017, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, in order to rectify what he says was overreach by past administrations. In response to the announcement, several lawsuits have been filed against the Trump Administration. They state the decision violates the Antiquities Act of 1906, which gives the president broad legal authority to protect historic landmarks that sit on public lands. 

    Members of the Navajo Nation say the land has long held religious and cultural significance to indigenous peoples, going back thousands of years. One of the businesses suing the Administration is outdoor retailer Patagonia, who replaced its regular home page with a black screen and stark message: “The President Stole Your Land.”

    December 12, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Trump’s “First 365 Days”: Taxes, Judges, Net Neutrality, Environment | PBS NewsHour

    President Donald Trump continues to pursue his agenda with his base sticking close by his side. Trump's approval rating is one of the lowest of any other modern president at this point in his term.

    On December 2, 2017, Trump became closer to his first big legislative victory after Congress passed the GOP tax plan, the largest tax change in a generation. Trump’s other accomplishments include the Senate’s confirmation of nine Court of Appeals nominations (federal appointments right below the U.S. Supreme Court), reversal of net neutrality and steps to loosen environmental and financial rules. The FBI investigation of whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race remains underway. It is against the law for members of a presidential campaign to collude with foreign entities to influence elections.

    December 4, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Harvey Weinstein, Sexual Harassment, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 | PBS NewsHour

    Note: This Daily News Story discusses sexual harassment and assault as they pertain to allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein. You may want to consider inviting your administrator or a representative from human resources to your class during this lesson. 

    Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, was fired on October 8th from the film company he founded after The New York Times detailed three decades of sexual harassment allegations against him from many women who worked for him. Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements, according to the Times’ report. Since then, dozens of more women have come forward to share incidents of times when Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them. While sexual assault or sexual harassment may take many forms, it is important to always keep in mind that it is never the victim’s fault.

    To help define harassment and to learn more about the civil rights legislations that made workplace sexual harassment illegal in 1964, see the support materials below.

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

    Grades: 6-12
  • How Gold Star Families Became a Political Issue | PBS NewsHour

    For the sake of time, we recommend stopping the video at 3m:23s.

    President Donald Trump continues to face criticism for a condolence call to the Gold Star family of Sgt. La David Johnson, a Special Forces soldier recently killed in Niger. Gold Star Families are the relatives of US military members who died in battle. There was a time when a political leader would never politicize the death of a service member or question a grieving family, said Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report. “It’s a little bit like the customer’s always right. Right? The grieving family is always right in this case,” she said. Walter added this was no longer the case after Trump criticized the Khan family, a Gold Star family, after they spoke out against him at the Democratic National Convention.

    October 25, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Trombone Shorty Inspires a New Generation of Musicians | PBS NewsHour

    Musician Troy Andrews, known as “Trombone Shorty,” started playing the trombone on the streets of New Orleans when he was four. Now 31, Trombone Shorty plays his music for audiences around the world, and was the closing act in the 2017 New Orleans’ Jazz Fest. Trombone Shorty grew up in Treme, one of the oldest black neighborhoods in America, which remains an important center of the city’s African-American and Creole culture. He comes from a famous musical family, and was mentored by music legends like Wynton Marsalis and the Neville Brothers. Trombone Shorty describes his music as “Supafunkrock,” a blend of rock, pop, jazz, funk, and hip hop and says its important for young people to learn different kinds of music.

    October 20, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12
  • What Are the Effects of Opioid Addiction on Young People? | PBS NewsHour

    Teachers and students: Watch this PBS NewsHour Facebook Live recorded on Wed., October 11th on how schools are teaching students about opioid addiction.

    Starting in the 1990s, chronic pain patients were given high levels of synthetic opiates to relieve pain. Some patients misused the painkillers, while others became addicted. In the 2010s, individuals who became addicted to painkillers turned to heroin after state governments started to clamp down on the number of prescriptions physicians could write. Currently, about 33,000 people die each year from opiate-based prescription drugs and heroin overdose in the U.S. Young people are at high risk of addiction and overdose. Recovery high schools are growing in popularity because many addiction treatment programs do not accept teenagers. There are currently about 40 recovery high schools across the U.S.

    October 10, 2017 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

    Grades: 6-12