Small Class Size – Reform We’re Too Cheap To Try

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By Steven Singer for Gadfly on the Wall. We’re one of the richest countries in the world, yet we treat our own children – especially if they’re poor and brown – as if they were refugees from the third world. Well, perhaps marginally better. To my knowledge no one is suggesting we send the unwashed masses back to Africa, Europe or wherever else they originally came from – at least those who can prove they were born here. But we certainly aren’t bothering ourselves too much about taking care of them. What would that look like? Nothing all that radical. Imagine a classroom where students have the space to be individuals and not nameless cogs in the system.

Teachers Should Not Do These When Educating Native Youth

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By Sarah Sunshine Manning for Indian Country Today – American Indian and Alaska Native students remain a very special and uniquely vulnerable population, often suffering from educational experiences that either fail to serve them adequately or that cause them to feel alienated, invisible, or unsupported. Teachers who serve Native youth must be cognizant of the unique needs of indigenous students, and their communities. Teachers who serve Native youth must also be willing to examine their preconceived notions of Native Americans, and then make the necessary adjustments in order to give Native youth a meaningful education that they deserve and need. To best serve Native youth, here are some more important dos and don’ts for educators: 1. DON’T ever overlook students’ indigenous identity, or attempt to see them through a “colorblind” lens Native Americans have suffered centuries of forced assimilation and marginalization. Do not maintain the erasure of Indigenous Peoples by failing to acknowledge the unique identity of your indigenous students. Attempting to see them through a colorblind lens actually causes harm, as important parts of their identity are being ignored.

Immigration Crackdown Traumatizing A Generation Of Children

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By Mark Keierleber for The Guardian. Gathered around a camera in their family’s kitchen, the four Duarte children pleaded for help. When their undocumented parents were picked up by border patrol agents outside their home in National City, California, the full-time students, aged 12 to 19, were unable to pay for food, let alone rent. Yarely and Aracely, 12-year-old twin sisters had watched it happen. The girls were eating breakfast last May when their father, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, went outside to grab a newspaper and was swarmed by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) agents. When their mother went outside their home in National City, California, to investigate all the commotion, she, too, was arrested.

Incredible Quinceañera Protest At Texas Capitol Against Vile Anti-Immigrant Law

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By Rafi Schwartz for Fusion – On Wednesday, a group of 15 teenage girls, dressed in brightly colored gowns, stood in front of the Texas State Capitol to participate in one of Latin American culture’s most cherished traditions: the quinceañera. But this quinceañera was more than simply a coming-of-age celebration. Instead, it was a public protest against one of the most viciously anti-immigrant pieces of legislation in Texas’ recent history: SB4, the so-called “sanctuary cities bill.” SB4—which essentially forces Texas cities to comply with federal immigration law enforcement actions—has been one of the state’s most hotly contested pieces of legislation all year, drawing comparisons to Arizona’s infamous “papers please” law, and prompting massive protests. Dubbed “Quinceañera at the Capitol,” the protest was organized by Latino advocacy group Jolt, which describes itself on Facebook as a “Texas-based multi-issue organization that builds the political power and influence of Latinos in our democracy.”

Meeting Needs Of Homeless Youth: Public Schools Are Doing What Government Won't Do Directly

Food is served to students at Public School 397 in New York, November 21, 2013. (Photo: Joshua Bright / The New York Times)

By Eleanor J. Bader for Truthout – Dr. Art McCoy, superintendent of schools in Jennings, Missouri, is a humble man. But when he speaks of his school district as “a lighthouse for informed practices that respond to the needs of homeless and low-income kids,” his pride is obvious. As a leader of the movement pushing public schools to address the overlapping emotional and material needs of impoverished students, Jennings is a model — stepping in to provide food, shelter, health care and consolation to students who need it. Not surprisingly, school districts throughout the US are looking to Jennings for inspiration, especially since federal and state governments have done very little to assist this population. Jennings is adjacent to Ferguson, the small city that was catapulted to prominence in August 2014 after police murdered 18-year-old Michael Brown. Each of Jennings’ eight public schools — with an enrollment of 2,600 students, most of them poor and 160 of them homeless — have “comfort rooms”: private spaces where students can meet with counselors and address the obstacles they’re facing. “The biggest issues for our students are domestic violence and the death of a loved one,” McCoy states. “About 2,000 of our 2,600 enrolled students see school-based therapists each academic year to address the multiple traumas in their lives.”

Fighting Climate Change Can Be A Lonely In Oil Country, Especially For A Kid

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By Neela Banerjee and Zahra Hirji for Inside Climate News – RAYNE, Louisiana—As far back as Jayden Foytlin can remember, her cousin Madison came over to celebrate her birthday. The girls had been best friends since they were toddlers and spent nearly every weekend together, playing video games and basketball in their driveways. This year, things were different. In the weeks before Jayden’s 14th birthday, Madison’s mother stopped arranging get-togethers. She didn’t answer texts inviting Madison to Jayden’s birthday party. “We thought that maybe she was out of town with her family,” Jayden said. “Or I thought that maybe Madison had a sleepover the same day as my birthday.” The text that cleared matters up came on the afternoon of Jayden’s birthday, as she and her family piled into their hybrid SUV to go roller skating. Madison’s mother wrote that her daughter wasn’t allowed to see Jayden anymore. She was keeping Madison away because Jayden is one of 21 young plaintiffs suing the federal government over its alleged failure to curtail fossil fuel development and address climate change.

How The Young Can Save Us

Oakland, 1971. Black Panther children in a classroom at the Intercommunal Youth Institute, the Black Panther school. Stephen Shames from the book Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers (Abrams). Courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery.

By Sam Smith for Sam Smith Archives – Although Trump has caused a huge amount of trouble in just the few months he has been president, this doesn’t necessarily define the future. As the Review has noted from time to time, failing cultures often raise a lot of hell in their declining years, witness the Indian ghost dance cult or the segregationists fighting civil rights in the South. But history is not defined by noise but by change and the latter can often be inevitable despite the former. Thus, while there are reasons to believe that the Trump regime represents a move toward fascism, an alternative argument is that Trump, in his extraordinary combination of mental instability and incompetence, signifies the collapse of the powerful corporatist model of recent decades. What will determine how this comes out will be not just how well the Trump madness is handled by the rest of the country, but whether the young seize this time to redefine American politics as was done by the Populists in Reconstruction, the Progressives of the early 20th century, the New Deal/Great Society Democrats and the 1960s rebels. There is no doubt but that America’s initial acceptance of Trump was due in no small part to age.

Resistance Is A Way Of Life For Kashmiri Youth

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By Ather Zia for Aljazeera – The year 2017 is not even halve way through, but in the Indian-controlled Kashmir it has already been named “the year of the student uprising”. Earlier this month, students from several educational institutions across Kashmir started to demonstrate against the Indian forces. It is an unprecedented and historic turn of events, because never before have the Kashmiri students participated in such demonstrations in a collective manner. But here they are: quintessential students in their uniforms, with bags slung over their backs. They are unimaginably furious, impassioned, and mostly peaceful, but sometimes they also sling stones at the Indian forces. Protesting students have already become an iconic sight in Kashmir, signalling that the region’s millennials had inherited the burdens of a long struggle. Raised amid extremely brutal militarisation, these Kashmiri youngsters face the Indian troops as fearlessly as if taking notes in a history class. For them, resistance has become a way of life.

Indigenous Youth Took Center Stage At People's Climate March

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By Cherri Foytlin for AlterNet – The ceremony, which welcomed the spirits from the four directions, officially opened the People’s Climate March, a massive show of resistance on a day that also marked Trump’s 100th day in office. Within a few hours, the youth would be braving record heat, to take the lead of the 1.5 mile march, which covered eight city blocks and ended near the Washington monument. As participants made their way along the route, gigantic banners, puppets and signs could be seen above the crowd. “Water is Life,” “Native Nations Rise,” “Defend the Sacred,” and “Respect the Rights of Mother Earth,” were some of the messages. As the convoy reached the White House, the crowd sang and native drum lines took to the front. Merlejohn Lone Eagle, from Bridger, South Dakota, was among them. Although he is only 13, Merlejohn is already an experienced pipeline fighter. He said he worked with youth in his community to send videos to President Obama showing their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. He was overjoyed in the fall of 2015 when Obama rejected the pipeline.

Young People Want Radical Change—Survey Blows Lid Off Right-Wing And Corporate Economic Propaganda

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By Les Leopold for AlterNet – Most politicians and pundits throw their hands up in despair. They argue there is really nothing we can do about rising inequality because of the powerful impacts of global competition and automation. Those who are falling behind just don’t have the skills needed to prosper in the modern world. Life is unfair. Get used to it. But, these fatalists are dead wrong. There is ample evidence to show that many other nations have far less inequality but are also using the most advanced technologies, and are more open to foreign competition. Furthermore, the mainstream Democrats have convinced themselves, that despite the Sanders surge, most Americans do not support bold policies to reverse runaway inequality. These officials believe that most Americans reject “socialistic” programs. Does a social democratic program appeal to most Americans? We decided to test the mainstream Democratic Party phobias by asking 200 randomly selected 18 to 40 year-olds to evaluate a strong platform aimed at reversing runaway inequality.

Lessons From The Youth Movement Of The 1960s

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By Staff of Okland Socialist – In 1964, UC Berkeley exploded around what became known as the “Free Speech Movement.” In a speech at that campus in December of that year, Mario Savio, the best know leader of that movement said, “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”

Youth In Climate Lawsuit Seek Rex Tillerson Pseudonym Emails

Exxon chief executive Rex Tillerson is leading a fight against a subpoena in the Virgin Islands' climate fraud investigation. Credit: Getty Images

By Julia Olson and Phillip Gregory for Our Children’s Trust – While risk-management issues related to climate change are important to the New York Attorney General’s investigation, attorneys representing youth plaintiffs suspect the emails will also reveal the deep influence of the fossil fuel defendants over U.S. energy and climate policies, and the defendants’ private acknowledgement that climate change was caused by their product, both of which are important to the youth’s case. To the latter point, the fossil fuel defendants have refused to take a position on whether climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels, even when pressed by federal judges to answer that question.

Millenials Are Sick Of Capitalism

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By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. During a CNN Town Hall, Democratic House Rep Nancy Pelosi was caught off guard when a young man told her that more than half of Millennials aren’t exactly fans of capitalism. He had the stats to back it up: A Spring 2016 Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 3,000 Millennials found that 51 percent of them held this view. It’s no surprise this many Millennials shun capitalism given their massive student loan debts and difficulty in finding high paying jobs and affordable housing, among other struggles. But when he asked her if Dems could go farther left of right-wing views on capitalism, Pelosi’s reply only proves that her party needs to acknowledge how capitalism is destroying the world and its future if they want any hope of appealing to what could become one of the largest voting blocs in America. Lee Camp digs into Pelosi’s faux pas and more on the latest episode of Redacted Tonight.

Countering The Militarization Of Youth

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By Semih for CMOY WRI – Young peoples’ experiences of the military, and exposure to militarist values, differ around the world. In this webinar, we will gather examples from two countries, Israel and Germany, and discuss with activists about their campaigns and strategies to counter youth militarisation in their own contexts. Join us in this webinar to hear from Michael Schulze von Glaßer from DFG-VK (Germany), and Elisheva Gavra and Gilad Ben David from New Profile (Israel) on their ongoing projects and campaigns.

‘Officer Slam’ Will Not Be Charged For Brutalizing Teenage Girl

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott speaks during a news conference regarding Deputy Ben Fields in Columbia, S.C., Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. CREDIT:AP PHOTO/ALEX SANZ

By Aviva Shen for Think Progress. A video of Security Resource Officer Ben Fields yanking a teenage girl from her desk and throwing her across the room shocked the internet and inspired investigations into South Carolina’s use of police in schools. But on Friday, after 11 months of investigating, prosecutors announced they would not be pursuing criminal charges against the officer. Fields was fired in October for his conduct, which the sheriff said at the time made him “want to throw up.” About 100 students at Spring Valley High protested his firing. Other students had reportedly nicknamed him “Officer Slam,” because he had a reputation for violence.