Minnesota high school threw away hot lunches for students with over $15 of lunch debt

Instead of feeding high school kids who were too poor to pay their lunch bill, a high school in Minnesota humiliated the students in front of the other students by throwing their hot meals in the garbage and giving them cold food instead, reports NBC News. After the school was exposed, they decided an apology was in order.

"We deeply regret our actions today and the embarrassment that it caused several of our students," the district wrote in a statement Monday. "We have met with some of the students involved and apologized to them."

Richfield Superintendent Steven Unowsky told KARE the actions of cafeteria staff were "inappropriate."

“There are multiple failures we had in this situation and our job is to fix it. First and foremost [in] the way we treated our kids. We should never leave kids with the feeling they had from the experience,” Unowsky said.

It seems like a decent apology. You can donate to the school district's meal account here. It's kind of difficult to do, so follow the directions closely.

Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture - Fruit-bar-pic---Web, Public Domain, Link Read the rest

High school will require mandatory drug tests for students

Badin High School, a private Catholic school in Cincinnati, Ohio, announced that starting next year, all students will undergo mandatory drug tests at least annually. According to the school's new policy, "If a student refuses to test when required to do so, the test will be treated as a positive test." The policy does not list what drugs will be screened for by the test and whether faculty and staff will also be tested. From WLWT:

Positive drug tests will result in confidential counseling.

"This is in the best interests of the students," Pendergest said. "The impact of drug use on young students and their families is staggering, and our community is not immune to this issue. Being proactive on drug testing is the appropriate action on our part..."

"We're talking about a health and wellness issue, not a punitive issue," (principal Brian) Pendergest added. "For their own wellbeing, students should not be doing drugs. We want to help them to make the right choices."

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High school student claims principal plagiarized Ashton Kutcher for graduation speech

(UPDATED BELOW)

Abby Smith, a graduating senior at West Virginia's Parkersburg High School, claims that her principal, Kenneth DeMoss, plagiarized his commencement speech from Ashton Kutcher's monologue at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards. She originally posted the video above on her Facebook page.

According to Yahoo Lifestyle, "the principal directed Yahoo Lifestyle to the district's superintendent, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment, A Google search for "best motivational speech for teens" yields Kutcher's 2013 speech as the second video result."

From Yahoo:

"So first, the opportunity," principal DeMoss said in the graduation ceremony video. "I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was a kid growing up, I didn't get paid to do chores. I had to do 'em. I had to run the vacuum cleaner, dust the house, clean my room, cut the grass. When I became 15, I had to get my first paid job working as a busboy, so I could pay for my own insurance to help drive my family car. I didn't have my own car, nor was I given one; the family had to share it. Then I got a job working as a waiter; then I got a job selling shoes at the mall, then I got a job being a laborer for a construction company carrying shingles up and down a ladder to a roof and cleaning up job sites. Sometimes I even did two jobs at once. At one point, I was juggling four part-time jobs, like going to college."

"And the greatest thing about that is that I never had a job, in my life that I was better than, that I was too good for," the principal continued in the speech delivered to graduates.

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High school stages "Alien: The Play"

The drama club at New Jersey's North Bergen High School brought the classic sci-fi/horror story Alien to the stage for Alien: The Play. From Quartz:

A student playing a xenomorph expertly creeped about on stage and in the audience in the style of the titular alien. The student wore a costume made from donated foam, a plastic skeleton from the clearance aisle, and other materials, Entertainment Weekly reported. Other characters were photographed wearing spacesuits. And the sets were reportedly crafted from donated and recycled items, including old egg-carton boxes to create a computer lab.

A Reddit thread started by North Bergen High School student Justin Pierson, 17, who was part of the sound crew, said the play flows almost exactly like the film. But these students put together their production on a relatively shoestring budget.

"A US High School’s Crafty Production of “Alien” Is Going Viral" (Thanks, Mark Dery!)

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High school dance team performs highly choreographed 'Harry Potter' for their pep rally

This is what the kids are up to these days, at least the kids in the dance program at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona.

You may remember last year when they performed a dance version of The Wizard of Oz for their homecoming pep rally. This year, they've performed a dance based on Harry Potter. Good stuff!

(Geekologie) Read the rest

Jimmy Fallon surprised Parkland high school grads by speaking at their commencement ceremony

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's class of 2018 got a surprise visit from late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon on Sunday. He took the stage at their graduation ceremony to deliver a humorous and heartfelt commencement speech.

When you think of commencement speakers, you think of people who are inspirational, people who are eloquent, people who've changed the world. When you think of high school students, you think of people who are immature, slightly awkward, still learning to be an adult.

Welcome to "Opposite Day."

The Parkland, Florida students were the survivors of the shooting that happened nearly four months ago on their campus. Seventeen of their classmates and school staff died in the tragedy on February 14, 2018.

Fallon said he and his wife and two young girls to the ceremony because "we wanted them to see what hope and light looks like."

Watch his full speech in the video above.

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Listen to some amazing high school kids perform excerpts from the Guild Wars 2 soundtrack

It's no secret for anyone who knows me that I happen to be a long-time MMORPG player, but no game has grabbed my attention as completely as Guild Wars 2 has, due in no small part to the beautiful visuals and the incredible soundtrack. I'm a huge fan of video game music, having been to my share of Zelda and Final Fantasy concerts when they've been in the area.

Today, the ArenaNet folks have shared this amazing performance of excerpts from their Heart of Thorns expansion, performed by the Evergreen Philharmonic, in Issaquah, WA.

What makes this performance extra special is the composition of the orchestra itself: It's composed primarily of high-school students from the Issaquah area.

The Evergreen Philharmonic has been active since 1988 and has been an audition-only orchestra since 1991. Evergreen Philharmonic functions as an honors youth orchestra within the Issaquah School District, and has students from all three Issaquah High Schools.

Evergreen has performed in a variety of venues, such as the Washington State Ferries, the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia, Disneyland, and the University of Southern California. The orchestra has also travelled to perform in Paris, London, Quebec and Boston. In May of 2011 Evergreen Philharmonic played at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Read more about the Orchestra, this performance, or Heart of Thorns. Long live high school music programs!

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Photo of the raddest high school math teacher in 1970s SoCal

Math teacher at Dana Hills High School in southern California, late 1970s. Pitted. So pitted.

Posted by the engaged educator's son on r/OldSchoolCool and making the rounds again. Read the rest

How to win the Soap Box Derby - a high schooler's essay from 1957

My late father-in-law, Joe, was born and raised in Los Angeles, growing up during the heyday of hot rod culture. When I knew him he drove Corvettes and Camaros. In high school, Joe and his brother built Soap Box Derby racers. I recently came across an essay about Soap Box Derby racing that Joe wrote in 1957 when he was a student at Los Angeles High School. His teacher wrote, "This is one of the most *interesting* reports I've ever read!" He received a C+, though, because his spelling was atrocious (It was bad when I knew him, too - I think he had undiagnosed dyslexia) and he neglected to add footnotes or a bibliography. Here's a PDF scan of the essay.

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David Byrne and St Vincent celebrate Color Guard with astounding Contemporary Color show

David Byrne and St Vincent are touring Contemporary Color, a concert accompanied by a huge, choreographed color guard show. Read the rest

Yearbook photos selectively altered for modesty

Students from Utah's Wasatch County are pissed that some of their yearbook photos were digitally edited to reveal less skin while other photos of students wearing similar clothes went untouched.

From Fox13:

Educators said the students know the dress code and there was a sign warning them that their pictures may be edited. However, the Wasatch County Superintendent admits the school erred in not applying the same rules to each student.

“We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what we`re trying to do in that sense we can help kids better prepare for their future by knowing how to dress appropriately for things,” said Terry E. Shoemaker, who is the superintendent of schools for the Wasatch County School District.

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A day of Yik Yak hell in high school

Yik Yak is a social app that's basically an anonymous, hyperlocal bulletin board. Over at New York Magazine, Will Haskel, a senior at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut, wrote about the day this social media product fueled incredibly antisocial and brutally nasty behavior among his classmates. To illustrate, just a few of the endless stream of posts from the day:

“L. M. is affiliated with Al Qaeda.”

“The cheer team couldn’t get uglier.”

“K. is a slut.”

“J. N. is a fag.”

“The fact that O. P. has diabetes makes me happy.”

“S. D. + 10 years = trailer park.”

“Nobody is taking H. to prom because nobody has a forklift.”

“J. T.’s gonna get lynched at SMU.”

"A Gossip App Brought My High School to a Halt" (Thanks, DMD!) Read the rest