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Monday, March 19, 2018


This 16-year-old’s suicide letters are a cry for help and a national call for change
Unlike with most suicides, Patrick Turner, who was a student at Corona del Mar High School, left several thoughtful notes detailing exactly what caused him to take his life and offered them to “whoever reads them.” Significantly, the boy’s notes shed light on what experts call a new national crisis in teens killing themselves.

The Juul’s so cool, kids smoke it in school
The students wait eagerly for their teachers to turn their backs. That’s their cue to reach quietly for a small, sleek device they can easily conceal in their palms. It resembles a flash drive, but instead of computer files, this device stores nicotine. They take a hit, sucking on the device as they would a cigarette. Then, “they blow into their backpacks … or into their sweater when the teacher isn’t looking,” said Elijah Luna, 16, a sophomore at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom.


Training for the unthinkable: Teachers drill for school shootings
While students across the Bay Area walked out of classes Wednesday in a call for stricter gun control laws, some 50 Oakland teachers and after-school workers were gathered in the auditorium of Cole Elementary School for a class on what to do in the event of a school shooting. The voluntary class was the first in a series that will run through April. The school district is considering making them mandatory for teachers and staff.


‘This Is Not a Drill’: 11 Students on the Terror of Lockdowns
Acts of violence aren’t the only source of school terror. For each heinous attack successfully carried out, there have been many more scores of threats in schools across the country. And while thankfully no one dies because of a threat, fake or foiled attacks can be terrifying, too.


Students at Corona’s Santiago High creating app to halt wildfire from your phone
Imagine being away from your home when you learn a wildfire is threatening your neighborhood. A notification on your phone tells you flames are closing in. You begin to wonder what you can do to increase the chances that your home — and the belongings inside it — survive. If a group of students from Corona’s Santiago High School succeed with their plans, such homeowners might be able to use their cell phone for some peace of mind.


Finally, enough beakers for everyone: Oakland teacher wins grant for state-of-the-art science lab
Last fall, Oakland science teacher Lauren Brown tried to teach a lesson on exothermic chemical reactions by having her 7th-graders mix hydrogen peroxide, yeast and warm water. The results? Not quite the multi-colored explosion that was promised in the textbook. It was more like a dull fizzle.


Assembly coalition builds around CTE funding plan
In a counter to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to shift some funding of the career technical training to community colleges, legislation pending in the Assembly would reinstate the existing matching fund program indefinitely. AB 1743, which has seven primary authors including a majority of the Assembly’s education committee, would extend the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant with an annual appropriation of $500 million.


Kids miss college because their parents won’t apply for financial aid
At Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles, college counselor Lynda McGee talked about a "heartbreaking" case. A senior at the school, a U.S. citizen with grades strong enough to get into college, couldn't get her parents to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, before the March 2 deadline, said McGee. The FAFSA is the gateway to nearly all financial aid.


‘Live Like Jack’: That’s what Whittier’s Murphy Ranch kids are doing in memory of fellow student from La Habra
The community is rallying around a family dealing with the tragic death of a 10-year-old who attended Murphy Ranch Elementary School in Whittier by vowing to to live better lives under the slogan, “Live Like Jack.” Jack Salas of La Habra died Feb. 3 of cardiac arrest after an asthma attack two days earlier. Now “Live Like Jack” signs are up at his school, including the marquee, and other area schools.


OC’s Academic Decathlon champions set high goals for state tournament
Each member of this year’s Woodbridge High Academic Decathlon team believes there’s plenty of room for improvement, even after winning the Orange County championship last month. “We may have won, but I know we can do better,” said team captain Hanna Hui.


Transgender Teachers: In Their Own Voices
NPR Ed has been reporting this month on the lives of transgender educators around the country. We surveyed 79 educators from the U.S. and Canada, and they had a lot to say – about their teaching, their identities and their roles in the lives of young people. We asked our survey respondents to send in a selfie and tell us what they wish others knew about them as a trans- or gender nonconforming (T/GNC) educator. Here are some of their responses.

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