The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week): ‘Turnip for What?’ Edition

By Evie Blad — October 17, 2014 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers.

In addition to being National Bullying Prevention Month, it’s also National School Lunch Week. This means my inbox has been quite full of press releases from organizations eager to share their ideas with you. It also provided an opportunity for first lady and school nutrition advocate Michelle Obama to make a viral Vine video with a turnip. As of this posting, people have watched this video loop about 22 million times. I’m not sure what to say about that.

But let’s take a break from viral videos and talk of the Ebola virus to read some great links on school climate and child well-being. This week, we read about the effects of poverty, cybercivility, school cell phone rules, and more.

On the youngest homeless students...

Any teacher will tell you that a child's home-life impacts her ability to learn new material and perform well socially in school. When a child has no stable home though, the impact is even more acute." —The Early Years covers a study that found that the youngest homelessness students are more likely to suffer from toxic stress.

Why did you put that online?

He explained that 10 years down the road they might be looking for a job or trying to join the military, or sitting with their families at church, and the pictures could wash back up; someone who had the pictures might even try to blackmail them. And yet the kids seemed strikingly blasé." —The Atlantic takes an in-depth look at sexting in schools with a special focus on one large case.

What is the role of parents in cybercivility?

They did not tell Dustin to delete the page," the court added. "Furthermore, they made no attempt to determine whether the false and offensive information Dustin was charged with distributing could be corrected, deleted, or retracted." —The School Law Blog covers an unusual court ruling about parents' responsibility to respond to their children's online behavior.

On freedom of the (student) press...

This is a defining moment at which all of us are called upon to demonstrate that our publicly stated commitment to the well-being of young people is more than just words on a page." —Following a controversy over a high school newspaper's decision not to print the name of its school's Native American mascot, professional journalists wrote to several educator groups to encourage them to take a stand on student press freedom issues.

More on mascot issues...

Thus, if a child behaved the way Washington team owner, Dan Snyder, did—he responded to calls from Native American groups to stop using the racial slur: 'We will never change the name of the team...It's that simple. NEVER- you can use caps'—that would be considered bullying in a school environment." —In Psychology Today, psychologist Michael Friedman says the owner of Washington's NFL team is teaching kids how to bully their peers.

On the summer slump...

What we found was appalling, and for us to not do anything about it—not to do anything drastically different—would have been negligence on our part." —In an article by Education Week's Madeline Will, a superintendent explains why his district switched to year-round schooling to combat the effects of poverty.

Don’t hang up the phone!

Unless students drastically change their routines outside of school, their tendency to multitask is unlikely to go away in the near future. That means that schools and teachers may need to find ways to work with teens' new habits." —Teaching Now takes on new research about digital multi-tasking and suggests that some schools might want to rethink policies about cell phones in the classroom.

Somebody to lean on...

In the day to day course of life, as challenges come up, these young people have access to people who will listen to their concerns and help find solutions to the challenges they face." —Reuters covers new research about how mentoring helps offset the effects of poverty for black boys.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.