The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — January 31, 2014 2 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers! Let’s dig into some links from this week for people who care about kids. This week, we’ll hear a song for students who need encouragement, hear from some kids who are saying the darndest things, and read about what the characters in our commercials say about America.

If you’re interested in school safety:

“All of us have a purpose in our life. And so God prepares us all for one. That day was very important for me—that every word that proceeded out of my mouth at that point in time could be life or death, not only for me and Michael Hill [the gunman], but for everyone in that building.”
—Hero bookkeeper and State of the Union guest Antoinette Tuff talks with NPR about the day she convinces a school shooter to lay down his weapon.

If you’re interested in childhood perseverance:

“I kind of felt excited. I kind of felt like ‘oh man this is kind of comfortable’ and it kind of felt like this might be the one for me.”
—Ten-year-old Jahmir Wallace, who was born without hands, tells WPTV about learning to play the trumpet with his feet.

If you’re interested in healthy eating:

“When I ate my slider it made my taste buds go Boom Shocka Locka! Boom Shocka Locka!”
—Food Corps members compiled this list of crazy things kids have said after eating healthy foods.

If you’re interested in bullying:

“Hear me out: There’s so much more to this life
Than what you’re feeling now
Someday you’ll look back on all these days
And all this pain is gonna be... Invisible”
—Singer Hunter Hayes in an anthem for left-out and bullied kids that he debuted at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

If you’re interested in diversity:

“The Super Bowl’s TV commercials have long been its grand cultural sideshow, usually hinting at something or other about America. Selling cereal remains the priority in the Cheerios ad, but Gracie and her growing family heighten the message.”
The New York Times editorial page blog on Cheerios using a multiracial family to pitch its cereal during the Super Bowl.

If you’re interested in cyberbullying:

“The penalties for threatening comments on social media, even in jest, are well documented. But threats delivered via emoticons are unexplored territory in cyber law. According to legal experts, however, there may be some circumstances under which a sinister assemblage of emojis would constitute harassment, even assault.”
—Rebecca Hiscott of Mashable interviews legal experts about whether emoji death threats are admissible in court. (This isn’t from this week, but it’s still good material for social media lessons.)

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