The Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)

By Evie Blad — June 20, 2014 1 min read
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Happy Friday, Rules readers! Let’s end our weeks with some good reads on student well-being. This week, we read about why kids these days don’t play outside, why teachers play a crucial role in identifying psychological problems, the struggle for girls of color, and more.

But first, here’s a clip of Stephen Colbert explaining what Domino’s did to make its pizza, a popular a la carte offering, compliant with new Smart Snacks in Schools standards.

The Colbert Report
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Why do some cities see fewer youth arrests in the summer?

They aren't better behaved during the summer than the winter. They're just less surveilled." —WNYC explains the push for new policies to combat the school-to-prison pipeline in New York City.

Who will be My Sister’s Keeper?

Our daughters are ignored and under-researched. Although the exclusion of girls has been justified as data-driven, the fact is that little data is gathered on them. This situation creates a vicious cycle in which the assumptions that girls are not in crisis leads to research and policy interventions that overlook them, thus reinforcing their exclusion from efforts like [My Brother's Keeper] to bring successful programs to scale. [My Brother's Keeper] is not only built on this foundation, but extends it further by failing to require the inter-agency task force to report data that address the wellbeing of girls of color as well as boys. This erasure simply adds to the crisis that girls of color face, forcing them to suffer in relative silence." — A group of 1,000 girls and women of color write a letter to President Obama, asking why his My Brother's Keeper initiative is only targetted at boys.

iPhones or pine cones?

Teens are overscheduled with piano lessons and coming home for homework. Somewhere along the line, getting outside is getting lost in the equation." —Colorado Public Radio explains a new student project that aims to help kids spend more time outside.

What happens when you take away recess?

Play is important. There is so much to be learned at play." —The Springfield News-Leader writes about schools' efforts to ban taking away recess as a punishment.

Should teachers play a role in monitoring mental health?

It seems essential that teachers possess an understanding of normal and abnormal psychological development. They need not become experts in diagnosis or treatment; no one is suggesting they assume the role of therapist or counselor. But if we insist that regular classroom teachers receive training in special education, then why not instruction in mental health or, at the very least, the signs of potential danger?" —Thomas J. Cottle, a professor of education at Boston University, and Jennifer Greif Green, an assistant professor of education at Boston University write about student mental health in an Education Week commentary piece.

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