Becoming a man, the politics of “DeShawn,” and bad reasons to ban books—here’s what you might have missed this week in news and thoughts related to student engagement, school climate, and the world that affects them.
1. “Most of the information boys have about girls is WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! It’s based on stereotypes, rumors, bad songs, shallow teen movies, and immature celebrities in personal tailspins.”
—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in a list of advice for how a boy can become a man
2. “What’s hurting our kids is the savagery on their phones, and Facebook pages and in their classrooms. That, and the reluctance of those around them to step up and do the tough work of pulling the issue out into the open and talking about what bullying really looks and sounds like and about its radioactive impact that lasts for years into the future.”
—Author Meg Medina, explaining her response to a school that withdrew her speaking invitation over the title of her new book, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
3. “We may not yet be at a place where advertisers or the [National Security Agency] are mining my daughter’s information and using it unscrupulously. But people who I may or may not know personally are doing it instead, simply because they disagree with me.”
—Amy Webb, for Slate, on how she tries to protect her daughter on social media
4. “If names like ‘DeShawn’ and ‘Shanice’ are fair targets for ridicule, then the same should be true for ‘Saxby’ and ‘Tagg.’”
—Jamelle Bouie, in The Daily Beast, on whether black names are “weird” or whether some people are just racist
5. “For every story a parent could tell about a teacher diagnosing typical behavior as a problem, a teacher could tell a story about a child who really could do with some therapeutic help, and whose parents were oblivious to that fact.”
—University of Virginia professor of psychology Daniel Willingham, reacting to a New Republic article about social-emotional behavior. Last week’s round-up included a similar post from our own Sarah D. Sparks, but hey, it keeps being interesting.
6. “I am hoping you get enough complaints that a change is made in how far someone can go on shows that are aired on TV open to kids and families.”
—One of the many, many complaints filed to the Federal Communications Commission, and obtained by The Smoking Gun, regarding Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August
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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.