School Controversies

The most controversial issues impacting public school students today. From bullying to book bans, this is a comprehensive look at some of the most oft-debated issues. This section features articles on school segregation, religion, over-crowding, civil rights, and green technology.
View the most popular articles in School Controversies:
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Should Schools Screen for Childhood Trauma?
Childhood experiences shape who we become as adults, for good and bad. The new Surgeon General of California is pushing for childhood trauma screening in students in the hopes of resolving some of the issues that might later lead to the development of physical and mental health problems.

Childhood experiences shape who we become as adults, for good and bad. The new Surgeon General of California is pushing for childhood trauma screening in students in the hopes of resolving some of the issues that might later lead to the development of physical and mental health problems.

The new Surgeon General of California is working to implement an unprecedented plan to implement universal screenings for childhood trauma in children benefiting from the state’s Medicaid program.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, the first person to hold the newly developed role of Surgeon General of California, is a pediatrician known for studying the harmful effects of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress. The goal of the program is to identify children living with untreated childhood trauma so they can get the help they need and prevent harmful health effects from developing later in life.

Though Harris has already taken several steps toward implementing this plan, there are those who question its cost. Read on to learn more about the program and to explore the subject of childhood trauma in greater depth.

What Constitutes Childhood Trauma?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a traumatic event is one that threatens injury, death, or the physical integrity of self or others and also causes horror, terror, or helplessness at the time it occurs. Examples may include sexual abuse, physical abuse, school or community violence, domestic violence, accidents, medical trauma, national or manmade disasters, and traumatic loss.

The results of a national survey on childhood experiences conducted

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What Parents Need to Know About Lunch Shaming
Students all over the nation go hungry every day not because their schools don’t offer lunch, but because they refuse them to children with outstanding debts. Read on to learn about the horror that is lunch shaming and what can be done about it.

As an adult, you’ve well learned that while societal pressures still exist, it is, in fact, possible to say no to peer pressure. As a child in school, however, it feels like being liked and accepted is the most important thing in the world. No child wants to stand out too much, especially for the wrong reasons.

Unfortunately, underprivileged students are forced to fight this battle in a number of ways. From wearing hand-me-down clothing and sharing schoolbooks to enrolling on free lunch programs, it’s difficult not to stand out when you don’t come from the same economic background as more privileged students. In some schools, the differences are minimal and barely noticeable but children in many schools are experiencing something called lunch shaming and it may affect their education.

In this article, we’ll explore the subject of lunch shaming to discover what it is and how it affects public school students. We’ll also take a closer look at the incentives behind lunch shaming and what some people are doing to prevent it.

What is Lunch Shaming, Anyway?

According to Feeding America, 16 million American children struggle with hunger each year. It may not be a daily battle, but at some point throughout the course of the year, these children lack the means to obtain nutritious food on a regular basis. Outside of this poll, American teachers notice that many of their students aren’t able to access adequate amounts of food and it affects their ability to learn.

There are programs out

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Are Service Dogs Too Distracting in a School Environment?
Students with disabilities may require the assistance of a service dog, but how might the presence of a dog in the classroom affect other students? Could it be too distracting?

There is a special bond between children and their dogs but, for some children, a dog is more than just a best friend – he is an assistant for everyday tasks. Children with certain diseases and disabilities sometimes need the help of a service dog just to get through their day. The service dog accompanies them everywhere they go – even to school. While a service dog may be a necessity for the student he serves, it is possible the he could become a distraction for other students. But where do you draw the line?

In today’s modern society, distractions are everywhere. Cell phones and tablets are being given to younger and younger children as society as a whole becomes progressively more reliant on technology. But what determines whether something is too distracting? When it comes to service dogs, there are some legitimate concerns regarding allergies and fears that some students may have, but are these concerns more legitimate than the student’s need for the service dog? Keep reading to learn more about this issue.

What Exactly Do Service Dogs Do?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the definition of service animal is, “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability”. Some of the tasks a service dog can perform might include pulling a wheelchair, picking up dropped items, reminding someone to take their medications, providing emotional

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School-to-Prison Pipeline Persists Despite Local, State and National Efforts
Inadequate funding and resources for schools, harsh zero-tolerance discipline policies, police presence in public schools, and de facto segregation continue to create school environments in which poor and minority students have little chance of succeeding. The result is a continuation of the school-to-prison pipeline that has been commonplace in the American education system for decades, despite federal, state and local efforts to curb the problem.
What is the School-to-Prison Pipeline?
 
In an era in which negative or violent behaviors at school – from bullying and harassment, racism and sexism, and school shootings – is commonplace, public schools have taken measures to beef up security in the name of protecting students and staff. Schools in urban areas have long been home to security guards and metal detectors, however, security measures in recent years at urban and rural schools alike have grown to include armed school resource officers (SRO), complex networks of surveillance cameras, and zero-tolerance discipline policies that have resulted in a substantial increase in the number of student suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests. In fact, the number of disciplinary actions taken in schools is at an all-time high.
 
This video from the ACLU shows their belief that children should be educated, not incarcerated. We are working to challenge policies and practices that contribute to the school to prison pipeline.
 
 
 
However, this is just one component of the modern-day school-to-prison pipeline, in which students are forced out of school by Draconian policies that land them in the criminal justice system.
 
This begs the question, “How did we get to this point?” The American Civil Liberties Union has identified five primary factors in the development of today’s police-state schools that funnel children into courts and jails:

1.  Lack of funding and resources: Many discipline problems arise when students are disengaged and do not have support services to help them persist

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Nation’s Public School Personnel Embroiled in Cheating Scandals
In today’s climate of high-stakes testing, some teachers and administrators are cheating the system by providing test answers to students, changing student answers, and reviewing test questions before state tests are administered in order to feign the appearance of student success.
As the pressure to demonstrate student achievement has increased over the last decade, some educators have begun bending the rules. While cheating scandals involving teachers are nothing new, with the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, the stakes for teachers and students alike rose dramatically.
 
NCLB’s strict testing and performance requirements have gotten the most attention over the years. Students in elementary and middle grades are required to be tested annually in math and reading. High school students must be tested at least once between tenth and twelfth grade. Schools must also demonstrate “adequate yearly progress,” in which students show year-to-year improvement towards the eventual goal that 100 percent of students are proficient on tests in both subject areas.
 
Originally, districts had until 2014 to meet 100 percent proficiency. But by 2011 it became clear that thousands of schools across the country would not meet this goal. As a result, the Obama Administration agreed to award waivers to districts that could not reach the goal, however, districts had to agree to implement teacher evaluation systems that were directly tied to student test scores if waivers were to be granted. Thus, cheating scandals involving educators have since become much more commonplace.
 
Cheating Cases Reported Across the Nation
 
Educators in Philadelphia have been charged with “fostering a culture of cheating” after the state’s attorney general discovered in 2008 that teachers had provided test answers to students, improperly reviewed state assessments, and in some cases changed student answers.
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School Controversies