Public schools should allow trandgender students to "use bathrooms matching their gender identity," reports CNN on guidance to be issued later today by the Obama administration.
The announcement comes amid heated debate over transgender rights in schools and public life, which includes a legal standoff between the administration and North Carolina over its controversial House Bill 2. The guidance goes beyond the bathroom issue, touching upon privacy rights, education records and sex-segregated athletics, all but guaranteeing transgender students the right to identify in school as they choose.
"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. "This guidance gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies."
It's getting nasty out there, faster than I think anyone expected. Yesterday, one school district decided to permit students to carry weapons onto campus, with a school board member plainly suggesting they pepper spray transgender people who "follow" them into bathrooms.
The future, assumedly, seems to non-gendered bathrooms. It's an interesting architectural, legal and space-efficiency problem: not every venue can just peel off and throw away the stickers.
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Douglas County, Colorado, is to arm its security guards with Bushmaster rifles, reports the Denver Post, at a cost of more than $12,000 to the 67,000-student district.
"We want to make sure they have the same tools as law enforcement," Payne said Monday of his eight armed officers. The first few rifles should be ready for use within a month's time once officers have gone through a 20-hour training course, the same one that commissioned police officers take. The rest of the guns will be deployed in August, he said.
Spray 'n pray.
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Randy Richardson was the only candidate in his district running for the Riceville, Iowa Board of Education but nobody voted for him, including Richardson himself.
"I didn't vote because I was too busy," Richardson told the Mason City Globe Gazette.
The entire population of the district is less than 1,000 people. Richardson has said he'd happily take the post if appointed. Read the rest
Standardized tests aren't tests of basic knowledge. They're branded products produced by textbook companies, and getting the right answers depends on whether you studied from the right books. Read the rest
Students at Nottingham's Djanogly City Academy, where the kids are 11 to 14 years old, were foiled in their attempt at a great escape by digging under fence using spoons and forks, according to BBC News. Read the rest
The Los Angeles Unified School District has decided not to award 300 students for cleverness after the students figured out how to access YouTube and Facebook on the locked-down iPads the district gave them. Instead, the district "put an end to home use of the devices
, and district sources say the misbehavior may delay the rollout of the full program." Read the rest
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) has introduced legislation that would cut off funding to schools whose zero tolerance policies lead them to punish children for brandishing pastries in the manner of a gun, for making gun-fingers and saying "bang" (or similar), for pointing pretend guns that are smaller than 2" in length, drawing a picture of a gun, making a gun out of legos or pencils or whatnot, or wearing a t-shirt "that supports Second Amendment rights."
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From a rural Louisiana middle school that has never had a microscope, to a school in California that lacks basic laboratory safety equipment (think, nitrile gloves) — many schools in the United States aren't getting kids the resources they need to learn science. You can help by donating to these causes through Donors Choose. (Via Jaquelyn Gill at the Contemplative Mammoth blog) Read the rest
Some NYC students not permitted to bring their phones or other gadgets to school shell out $1/day at "valet" trucks like the "Pure Loyalty Electronic Device Storage" vehicle and other similarly converted vans. From the AP:
Cellphones and other devices, such as iPods and iPads, are banned in all New York City public schools, but the rule is widely ignored except in the 88 buildings that have metal detectors. Administrators at schools without detectors tell students, “If we don’t see it, we don’t know about it...”
The trucks that collect the cellphones have their own safety issues — one was held up in the Bronx in June, and some 200 students lost their phones.
"A phone away from home: Some NYC students pay private ‘valets’ a dollar a day" (via Dave Pell's NextDraft) Read the rest
Palatre & Leclère did this spectacular remodel on the Ecole Maternelle Pajol in Paris's 18th arrondissement. As Tuija Seipell writes on The Cool Hunter: "The building has kept its 1940s brick-wall feel, yet it radiates exuberance and has an up-to-date energy. Most likely its current users feel it was built just for them."
Ecole Maternelle Pajol - Paris
(via Super Punch)
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