Weekly News Round-Up for June 8th
posted by: Melissa | June 08, 2018, 06:56 PM   

Each week, ASTA brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week, the school safety commission avoids talking about guns, a teacher resigns, unions prepare for the Janus ruling, and more!

School Safety Panel Avoids Guns, Receives Criticism: The newly formed Federal Commission on School Safety met on Wednesday at the Education Department headquarters with parents, students, and other education advocates. Even before it began, the meeting was a target for protests by those who thought the commission was not doing enough to protect students from gun violence. The day before, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had announced to Congress that the commission was not going to look at gun laws. Democratic lawmakers have since urged the commission “to study and develop 'meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school,'” even though they know that the commission is unable to change gun laws. DeVos was not in attendance at this week’s meeting.

Teacher Forced to Resign after Clashing with School’s Transgender Name Policy: An orchestra teacher from Indiana says he was forced to resign after clashing with his school’s policies concerning transgender students. The school’s policy is to refer to transgender students by their preferred name. To be eligible, the student must have written consent from both their parent and a physician. The teacher says he believes transgender lifestyles are harmful and he was being forced to encourage his students in that lifestyle, which violated his first amendment rights. LGBTQ advocates claim that using a name is not a first amendment issue. They say that calling any student by the name they prefer is a matter of respect and does not violate religious beliefs.

Unions Prepare for Janus Ruling: Each week that passes brings the Supreme Court’s ruling in the landmark Janus v. AFSCME case closer. The case will have a huge impact on unions across the country and they are scrambling to prepare. Large unions, such as the AFL-CIO are trying to stave off potential membership losses with a pro-union ad campaign. While teacher unions in California are focusing on passing bills that will help unions maintain political power and will block non-union activists from providing information to public employees.

Happening Elsewhere:

‘Absurdity and horror’: School uses nursery rhyme to teach kindergarten about lockdowns

Divided Senate confirms controversial figure to head Education Department's Office for Civil Rights

Study: Catholic schools forge greater self-discipline in students

The Numbers That Explain Why Teachers Are in Revolt

Court: Compliance reached in WA education funding case

Colorado sheriffs want to store guns in schools to stop mass shootings

Colorado governor signs law to let school nurses treat students with medical marijuana

Utah education board ends SAGE testing

15 new Louisiana education laws parents should know about

Texas Education Agency sets rules on how to exempt Hurricane Harvey-affected districts from state ratings

Top RI Dept. of Education lawyer not licensed in RI; will leave job

NC lawmakers back 'In God We Trust' signs in schools. They say it's not promoting religion.

Arizona teachers push proposal to tax rich for education

Teachers pack courtroom as governor's office, attorney general square off in pension law hearing

Teachers in New York could gain right to ask courts to strip guns from troubled students

Pennsylvania governor to sign law requiring students take civics test

Calif. football coach used 'noose gesture' in front of black student

Interim education commissioner defends recommended state takeover of JCPS

A middle school gave graduates a gift it hopes they never have to use -- ballistic shields

13-year-old who allegedly opened fire at Indiana school won't be tried as adult

In visit to Providence, national teachers' union leader criticizes Mayor Elorza

Teacher carries student with cerebral palsy on school hiking trip

How this New Jersey teacher quietly amassed $1 million fortune—then left it to special education students

Teacher Accused of Taking Bribes in Exchange for Good Grades

What’s going on where you are?

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