Saturday, February 24, 2018

The #NeverAgain Movement Gains Momentum | The New Yorker #NeverAgain #Parkland

The Never Again Movement Gains Momentum | The New Yorker:

Urgency and Frustration: The Never Again Movement Gathers Momentum
The torpor of Tallahassee notwithstanding, the Parkland students have managed to force their agenda.



Six days after the Parkland school shooting, the student activists travelled to the state capitol to meet with one of the most pro-gun state legislatures in the country.Photograph by Audra Melton / NYT / Redux

On Tuesday morning, the body of the sixteen-year-old Carmen Schentrup was laid to rest in an Episcopalian ceremony at the St. Andrew Church in Coral Springs, Florida. In his sermon, the Reverend Canon Mark H. Sims remembered Schentrup, who liked teal handbags and red lipstick, and who wrote notes on her piano sheet music to remind her where she had left off. At a nearby funeral home, a wake was being prepared for the fifteen-year-old Peter Wang, who was also killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14th. The child of Chinese immigrants who owned a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Wang had wanted to join the military. His fellow J.R.O.T.C. members served as his pallbearers, and West Point posthumously granted him acceptance into the class of 2025.

On Tuesday afternoon, in a parking lot outside a Publix supermarket on Coral Ridge Drive, three white charter buses awaited the arrival of a hundred Stoneman Douglas students and their fifteen adult chaperones, who were travelling to the state capitol in Tallahassee to advocate for stricter gun-control laws. The students arrived carrying sleeping bags, pillows, and permission slips signed by their parents. The media besieged them with questions. A helicopter hovered overhead. Two women wearing the uniform of the nearby gas station stood next to one of the buses. I asked if they were parents. No, they said, but the students were their customers. “We know all of them,” one said, and they wanted to support them.

I approached a student in braids holding an overnight bag and sign that said “enough.” Her name was Tyra Hemans, and I watched her argue with a reporter about the likelihood that anybody in Tallahassee would change gun laws. “This law does not deserve to take lives anymore,” she insisted, without specifying a law. “It is a law that takes lives, it is a murderous law. It is a dirty law. I’m getting rid of the law.” After the reporter moved on, I asked why she was there. She told me about her friend Meadow Pollack, with whom she shared a birthday and a love of rap music.

Another student, a Never Again organizer named Chris Grady, stood to the side, observing the scene. A slim figure with curly hair, Grady, I had been told by other organizers, would be joining the Army after graduation. I asked if there was a contradiction between advocating for gun control and becoming a soldier. “Not at all,” he said. “These AR-15s, they’re weapons of war. Going to school, you’re not going to war, you’re trying to get an Continue Reading: The Never Again Movement Gains Momentum | The New Yorker:

Who Is Emma Gonzalez?

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Everything to Know About Emma Gonzalez, the Florida School Shooting Survivor Fighting to End Gun Violence

Two weeks ago, Emma Gonzalez led the life of a typical high school senior. But after speaking out in an 11-minute speech at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale just two days after a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student fatally shot 17 of her peers, she’s quickly become one of the country’s most visible gun violence prevention activists at just 18 years old.
During her speech, Gonzalez vowed that she, her classmates, their parents and teachers and her community wouldn’t stop fighting — they want to be the last mass shooting in America.
“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks,” she said. “Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because … we are going to be the last mass shooting.”
She added, “That’s going to be Marjory Stoneman Douglas in that textbook and it’s going to be due to the tireless effort of the school board, the faculty members, the Continue Reading: Who Is Emma Gonzalez? The Parkland Student Wants Gun Violence Prevention | PEOPLE.com
Who Is David Hogg
Image result for who is david hogg never again movement
The 17-year-old aspiring journalist took refuge in a closet during the school massacre. Despite the terrifying circumstances, his instinct led him to film interviews with his fellow students while in hiding. The video went viral.
Hogg was recruited by Kasky to help lead the #NeverAgain movement.
But his experience in recent days lays bare the politicization of the issue. Hogg's father is a retired FBI agent and right-wing conspiracy theorists believe the agency is behind a shadowy campaign to bring down Trump. 
The teen has been attacked and harassed online, and even accused of being a "crisis actor" paid to travel to tragedies to propagate liberal viewpoints.
"I am not a crisis actor," Hogg said. "I'm someone who had to witness this and live through this and I continue to be having to do that. I'm not acting on anybody's behalf."
Daily Message #1 Feel free to ask me questions in the comments and I'll try answering some in my next video. Love you guys - YouTube -






Who are the #NeverAgain teenagers pushing for US gun control?
Image result for Who are the #NeverAgain teenagers pushing for US gun control?

Young survivors of the Parkland, Florida school shooting have impressed the world with their eloquence as they grab the banner of the fight to end gun violence in America. 
Cameron Kasky started the slogan #NeverAgain, David Hogg is now a target of an online smear campaign and Emma Gonzalez moved many in the country with her cry: "Shame on you!"
Who are the fresh-faced leaders of the #NeverAgain campaign to demand stricter gun laws, an issue that sharply divides American society?
Their leaders include 'Never Again' hashtag creator Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez who gave a fiery speech hitting out at politicians receiving money from the National Rifle Association, David Hogg who filmed interviews with schoolmates during the shooting and their classmate, Chris Grady. Continue Reading:  Who are the #NeverAgain teenagers pushing for US gun control?

MARCH FOR OUR LIVES.
On March 24, the kids and families of March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington DC to demand that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.
March with us in Washington DC or march in your own community. On March 24, the collective voices of the March For Our Lives movement will be heard. 
MARCH FOR OUR LIVES - https://www.marchforourlives.com/

Schiff memo full text: Read the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Nunes FISA memo - Vox

Schiff memo full text: Read the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Nunes FISA memo - Vox:

Read: Democrats’ response to the Nunes memo was just released
Here’s the full text of the Schiff memo, with some redactions.

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 Earlier this month, Republicans released the Nunes memo, which alleged improprieties in the Department of Justice and the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. But Democrats on the committee led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) accused the memo of being misleading, and put together their own memo in response.

Now, after a back and forth with the Trump administration, Democrats finally got permission to release their own memo in response, with some redactions. You can read the memo below, or at this link.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Parents: You Can Become the Agent of Change for Title IX Policies in Your Schools - #MeTooK12 #MeToo #TimesUp

#MeTooK12 Campaign | Stop Sexual Assault in Schools:

Parents: You Can Become the Agent of Change for Title IX Policies in Your Schools

Image result for Title IX Policies in Your Schools

by Susan Moen, Executive Director, Jackson County (OR) SART
Most parents are not aware of deficiencies in their schools’ response protocols for sexual harassment and assault–until their own child (or a friend’s) experiences the life-altering harm that can result.  Parents are forced to become activists when their own family is impacted, or they are driven to action by heartbreaking stories and pleas of “don’t let this happen to another student.”  Spurring a community to action too often means having to share details of an incident of harassment or violence after it has occurred.
While personal stories are powerful tools for bringing change, wouldn’t it be wonderful for our parent communities to be able to bring the needed change to their schools before that next story unfolds?  We would like to encourage parents to proactively learn what their schools are doing with regard to Title IX protections; and if improvements need to be made, do so before having to react to a problem that comes to light. Here are some places to start:
  • Every school should have a sexual harassment and a teen dating violence policy that defines what this behavior is and how to report–finding this is the place to start. These policies are usually the responsibility of the School Board and based on state policies. They should be easy to find on a school’s website.
  • A school’s Title IX plan should also be easily accessible on its website. This plan should provide clear descriptions of student rights and the school’s responsibilities to ensure that all students have access to an education free from fear of, or actual, violence and harassment. Title IX addresses both individual incidents and “hostile environments” that impact a student’s ability to learn. The plan should clearly explain how and when Title IX reports are made, how they are investigated, how violations are addressed, and what rights and resources are available to the parties involved in a Title IX investigation.
  • After identifying the school’s policies and Title IX plan (or lack thereof), parents can educate themselves on what is required by Title IX, to see if the existing plan adequately addresses everything required by the law and recommended by Title IX experts. Sites such as Know Your IXSSAIS.org , and the National Women’s Law Center offer helpful information,  and you can access the Title IX guidance documents directly on the U.S Department of Education website where documents explain in detail a school’s responsibility to respond to sexual harassment and assault.
  • Find a local expert on Title IX who can help with your research. For example, if you have a college nearby, their Title IX office may have staff willing to help you; a local rape crisis center may also have advocate Parents continue reading at  #MeTooK12 Campaign | Stop Sexual Assault in Schools:
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Monday, February 19, 2018

The NRA, a Tax-Exempt Loaded with Private Interest - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

The NRA, a Tax-Exempt Loaded with Private Interest - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:

The NRA, a Tax-Exempt Loaded with Private Interest

National Rifle Assn: Summary | OpenSecrets - https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=d000000082
Independent Expenditures: $52,582,309
     For Democrats: $265
     Against Democrats: $37,010,516
     For Republicans: $17,385,437
     Against Republicans: $2,281
Electioneering Communications: $0About Electioneering Communications
Communication Costs: $1,816,249

[The following is a guest blog post by Alexandra F. O’Neill, Esq. and Daniel P. O’Neill, CFA]
Introduction[1]
Many have written about the NRA’s (National Rifle Association of America) close ties with the firearms and ammunition industry.[2]  People have not sufficiently examined whether these ties should impact the tax-exempt status of the organization, however.[3]  The NRA, a tax-exempt social welfare organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), does not pay taxes on any of its net income.  In addition, under the rules governing section 501(c)(4) organizations, it need not disclose its significant contributors to the public.  This article examines the NRA’s activities and its finances in the context of the law governing tax-exempt social welfare organizations.  The authors conclude that the majority of the NRA’s lobbying, education, training and publication activities operate to benefit a private interest: the firearms and ammunition industry.  As a result, under the cases and rulings interpreting section 501(c)(4), the NRA does not primarily serve the community interest and should not qualify as a tax-exempt social welfare organization.  Instead, the NRA should operate as a political lobbying organization to be accountable for its key interests: the firearms and ammunition industry.
NRA Activities
Chartered in 1871, according to the NRA’s website, the organization’s primary goal was to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis.” [4]  The NRA today describes its mission as “to protect and defend the US Constitution; to promote public safety, law and order, and the national defense; to train law enforcement agencies; to train civilians in marksmanship; to promote shooting sports and hunting.”[5]  According to its 2014 IRS Form 990, the NRA spent the majority of its resources on three main program services that serve the organization’s tax-exempt purpose: (1) $54.5 million on firearms education, safety, and marksmanship training; (2) $47.1 million on NRA-ILA legislative program services; and (3) $39.5 million on NRA membership communications. [6]
The NRA describes its firearms education, safety, and marksmanship training as “NRA training courses develop safe and responsible shooters through a network of certified instructors, training more people annually than any other organization.”[7]  In the same paragraph, the NRA notes that it “is the world’s leader in firearms education, safety, and marksmanship training” and that “The NRA also engages gun owners in programs that promote all aspects of the outdoor lifestyle including hunting programs, shooting range programs, women’s programs, youth programs, competitive shooting programs, law enforcement training programs, gunsmithing programs, trainings and opportunities to shoot, hunt, and enjoy the outdoor traditions.”[8]  On its website, the NRA provides some examples of its educational, training and competitive programs.  The organization notes it has one million youth participating in NRA shooting sports events and affiliated programs with groups, such as 4-H, the Boy Scouts of America and the American Legion.[9]  It hosts the National Matches at its shooting range in Ohio, where individuals participate in various shooting competitions.[10]  The NRA offers hunter education programs and a NRA Police Firearms Instructor certification program.  In addition, the organization certifies instructors to train gun owners in different firearms courses.  Further, it has established the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program to educate children on what to do if they see a firearm in an unsupervised situation.  Finally, the NRA also offers “Refuse To Be A Victim®” seminars to men and women.[11]
The NRA’s audited financial statements show that the organization spends little on the competitive, recreational and training programs described on the NRA’s website and highlighted in its tax filings.  According to its 2014 audited financials,[12] the The NRA, a Tax-Exempt Loaded with Private Interest - The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:




A national teachers’ strike? | Michigan Radio - http://michiganradio.org/node/34720

Join us in a Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in our Schools - Network For Public Education

Join us in a Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in our Schools - Network For Public Education:

Join us in a Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in our Schools



After the slaughter of students and staff in Parkland, Florida, the time for action has never been more urgent. The politicians sit on their hands as our children and their teachers are murdered in their schools. We will be silent no more! The failure to enact rational laws that bar access to guns designed for mass shootings is inexcusable. It is past time to speak out and act.
Pledge your support to stop gun violence here.
We call for mass action on April 20, the anniversary of the horrific shootings at Columbine High School. We urge teachers, families, students, administrators and every member of the community to engage in acts of protest in and around their schools. Create actions that work best in your community.  Organize sit-ins, teach-ins, walkouts, marches–whatever you decide will show your school and community’s determination to keep our students safe. One elementary teacher suggested that teachers and parents link arms around the school to show their determination to protect children.
It is time to let our legislators know that they must stand up to the gun lobby and enact meaningful reform to protect students and staff.
Advocacy groups including the AFT, NEA and the BATS have already pledged their support.
We are asking you to take the pledge now and join us on April 20. Be a leader in your own community and develop meaningful activities that show that you stand for safe and peaceful schools. Share your ideas with us.
Sign up here, and then post this link: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/national-day-of-action-against-gun-violence-in-schools.
Sign up your families. Sign up your friends. There can be no excuse for inaction.
Thank you for all that you do.
Diane Ravitch,President of the Network for Public Education

Carol Burris Executive Director


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Next steps for the Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in our Schools - Network For Public Education

Join us in a Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in our Schools - Network For Public Education:
Next steps for the April 20th Day of Action



Thank you so much for pledging to take action against gun violence in schools on April 20.
This is what we need you to do.
Click here to tell us what your action will be on that day. By sharing, you will inspire others to act.
The Network for Public Education is now part of a larger coalition of organizations that includes teacher, superintendent and advocacy groups who are planning actions on April 20. You can find that coalition at Protectourschools.com.
What kinds of actions might you pledge? Promise that everyone in your family will wear orange that day, or that your local teachers’ association will organize a candlelight vigil. A middle school teacher might teach students what to do if they hear someone talking about violence, or see someone making threats on social media. A principal might organize an assembly with their student council, bringing in local policymakers to express their concerns. Parent groups might encircle the school, linking arms to symbolize protection. Your business or office might commit to wearing orange.
We have other ideas listed on the NPE website which you can find here.
Thank you for your commitment to this important issue. We will continue to communicate with you and update our website with additional information as the day approaches.
If you have not taken our poll yet on solutions to gun violence, you can do so here.
We will soon have a link where you can buy an orange t shirt to wear. We will be back in touch soon.
Thank you for all that you do.
Please share this email on social media. Here is a link: https://wp.me/p3bR9v-2FT
Diane Ravitch President of the Network for Public Education
Carol Burris Executive Director

Join us in a Day of Action to Stop Gun Violence in our Schools



After the slaughter of students and staff in Parkland, Florida, the time for action has never been more urgent. The politicians sit on their hands as our children and their teachers are murdered in their schools. We will be silent no more! The failure to enact rational laws that bar access to guns designed for mass shootings is inexcusable. It is past time to speak out and act.
Pledge your support to stop gun violence here.
We call for mass action on April 20, the anniversary of the horrific shootings at Columbine High School. We urge teachers, families, students, administrators and every member of the community to engage in acts of protest in and around their schools. Create actions that work best in your community.  Organize sit-ins, teach-ins, walkouts, marches–whatever you decide will show your school and community’s determination to keep our students safe. One elementary teacher suggested that teachers and parents link arms around the school to show their determination to protect children.
It is time to let our legislators know that they must stand up to the gun lobby and enact meaningful reform to protect students and staff.
Advocacy groups including the AFT, NEA and the BATS have already pledged their support.
We are asking you to take the pledge now and join us on April 20. Be a leader in your own community and develop meaningful activities that show that you stand for safe and peaceful schools. Share your ideas with us.
Sign up here, and then post this link: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/national-day-of-action-against-gun-violence-in-schools.
Sign up your families. Sign up your friends. There can be no excuse for inaction.
Thank you for all that you do.
Diane Ravitch,President of the Network for Public Education

Carol Burris Executive Director





The Education of Bill Gates | The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch

The Education of Bill Gates | The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch:

The Education of Bill Gates



Bill Gates made billions and billions of dollars in the field of computer technology, helping to transform the world in the process. He's an innovator. He's a disrupter. He's the savviest of savvy businessmen. He's been successful beyond anyone's wildest dreams of success or avarice.

So Gates thought, why not put his entrepreneurial genius and hundreds of millions of dollars a year to work innovating and disrupting and transforming the field of education? How hard can it be?

Pretty hard, he discovered.

Gates has been pouring money into his educational experiments in this country since 2000. Overall, I'd give his efforts a grade of C. Not much help, no grave harm. I'd give what he's learned about education a B. He now understands he doesn't know as much about education as he thought he did.

Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter answering The 10 Toughest Questions We Get. Question #2 is, "What do you have to show for the billions you’ve spent on U.S. education?" Their answer employs the couple's usual upbeat tone, but the efforts they describe are less than encouraging, especially given that, "Our foundation spends about $500 million a year in the United States, most of it on education."

A few telling excerpts from their answer:

"One thing we learned is that it’s extremely hard to transform low-performing schools."

"We have also worked with districts across the country to help them improve the quality of teaching. . . . But we haven’t seen the large impact we had hoped for."

"How did our teacher effectiveness work do on these three tests? Its effect on students’ learning was mixed."



Some progressive educators question Gates' motives. I don't, or not as much as others do, anyway. I don't think Gates has a political agenda along the line of, say, the Walton family or the Koch brothers or the DeVoses. I believe Gates honestly wants to improve the country's education system, without a whole lot of preconceived, ideological notions about what that means. That's The Education of Bill Gates | The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch:




The Education of Bill Gates | The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch:

We Fought for our Education #MeTooK12 #MeToo #TimesUp

Not in Our School! 
We Fought for our Education

My name is Charlotte Smalls and I am a Clinical Director in the juvenile justice field. My sister was harassed for almost two years by a star athlete at our Oregon high school before he raped her during a girl’s basketball game the week before Christmas vacation. My sister was terrified after her rapist threatened her life, so she reported the assault to the school. Nevertheless, the school sent her to the same lunch period with the assailant and then failed to protect her. That same day she was beaten up at school by a female friend of the rapist. Both my sister and I endured threats. We stayed out of school the rest of that week, and when we tried to return after vacation it was too dangerous to continue going to school. My sister struggled a great deal as a result of the assault. When we tried to get an education, the school’s response created a living hell. The school even retaliated against staff who tried to support our family.


No one ever mentioned our Title IX rights that were violated when the school protected the rapist, but not my sister or me. We had no alternative but to study at home. The star basketball assailant was only suspended for 2 days, even though there was forensic evidence that he raped my sister. In addition to the forensic evidence, the rapist admitted what he had done. The girl who beat up my sister was expelled. The rapist is the one who should have been expelled, and theWe Fought for our Education

 Not in Our School! bit.ly/2gelE2S


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shnios-buxton is an innovative video for K-12 parents, middle and high school students, schools, and community organizations. It’s about gender equality in education, students’ protections under Title IX, and much more. Video Contents  Media Reports  Excerpts on our YouTube channel.
As high school students plan for their new gender equality group, we watch them interview nationally recognized education, legal, and LGBTQ experts and learn from counselors, advocates, parents, and students. The video offers simple steps and engaging activities to make schools safer with equal learning spaces for all students.
In Part 2, a teenage victim learns about her right to privacy and mandated reporting when she speaks with a victim’s advocate.
 was created by parents who know—first hand—how important this information is for K-12 families. Share the video and Action Guide widely. Use the Presentation Guide to invite others to start the conversation!
shnios-buxton is free of charge. Your tax-deductible donation helps to defray production costs and enables us to produce a Spanish language version.  To make your donation, please use PayPal. Thank you!

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