Temperatures are below freezing in Minneapolis with rain and snow falling as teachers enter their third week on strike. Negotiations are occurring at the Davis Center, where Minneapolis Public School District has refused to provide a living wage to Educational Support Staff or accept other demands. Outside, hundreds of teachers are dancing, chanting and picketing. “We have decided to organize an occupation of the Davis Center. We are going to have students here 24-7. We are going to be here all the time. And this is to increase awareness of the strike,” said one of the students. Inside, dozens of students announced that they are occupying the building. “As much media as we are getting, we haven’t been making big enough waves, or not enough waves to change MPS’ [Minneapolis Public Schools] mind.”
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During the 1700’s, American colonists- including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Morris, and others- were being treated horribly under debt- typically to British banks, trading companies, and other investors. In fact, the issue of debt was so concerning to the nation’s Founders, that that in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, they call for uniform bankruptcy laws ahead of the power to raise an army, declare war, and coin currency. Congress, however, began chipping this protection away, uniquely, from student loans beginning in 1976 and continuing through 2005. Today, both federal and private student loans are essentially impossible to discharge in bankruptcy.
Dozens of Minneapolis public school students organized a march and a sit-in to stand in solidarity with public school educators who entered their second week on strike. The students gathered at North High School and many held homemade signs, as well as some of the union signs speaking about the need for smaller class sizes, hiring more BIPOC teachers, and more. The action had been called the night before — a rally called at 5 p.m. for an action at 11:30 a.m. A student walkout in solidarity with teachers had been called and then canceled before the strike began. “We just had to do something for our teachers,” one student explained. After a crowd of a few dozen gathered, they took to the streets, walking on the road, crossing puddles of melted snow, and chanting into megaphones as a sound car followed.
The recent occupation of Canada’s capital by the “Freedom Convoy” has highlighted a growing trend of vitriol, harassment and violence facing reporters both off-screen and online. Now, as newsrooms across the country grapple with the need for increased security and safety for journalists, two high school students are working to protect the rights of student journalists. The Student Press Freedom Act was created by Vancouver-based high school student journalists, Spencer Izen and Jessica Kim, after experiencing backlash on their coverage from an unexpected source: their school’s administration. Their school’s newspaper, The Griffin’s Nest, launched in 2012. Kim, who has served as managing editor of the publication since September 2020, joined the team in grade 10.
In March 2020, nearly all U.S. K-12 school buildings closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the federal government’s National School Lunch Program, quickly granted waivers to increase program flexibility and accommodate the challenges of the pandemic. These waivers, which have been renewed several times, were critically important for school food service programs as the programs abruptly shifted away from serving meals in cafeterias and designed new distribution models to continue to feed students. Many school meal staff across the country created grab-and-go meals that families could pick up, which was particularly important in the spring of 2020 and the following school year.