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School district cuts one day off school week; students will only go for four days a week

A three-day weekend every week! That’s what students in a Denver-area school district will get starting next year.

It was a plan that has been discussed over the past few months, but this week became a reality. The 27J school district officials have adopted a Tuesday-through-Friday week, with students in class longer each day, WTMJ reported

Elementary students will go to school from 7:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Middle and high school students will be in class from 8:30 a.m. to 4:32 p.m. 

But why the change?

District officials say they hope to recruit and retain teachers. Educators leave the 27J district for better pay. The district hopes that the shorter work week will keep their teachers in their district.

It will also help save $1 million a year on transportation, utilities and substitute teachers, the Denver Post reported.

The 27J district isn’t the only one in the country to adopt a shorter learning week. There are about 100 other districts in the U.S. that have longer weekends, WTMJ reported.

The district will offer child care on Mondays, from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. that will cost parents $30 per child a day, the Post reported.

For more, click here.

Parents of bullies could face $500 fine if Pennsylvania bill becomes law

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that could have parents footing the bill if their child bullies another kid at school.

>> Watch the news report here

It started out as a rule in Sharpsburg.

>> On Parents face fines in new anti-bullying ordinance

WPXI checked with the police officer who enforces the law and he said it is working as a deterrent.

He also said it's raised awareness of how serious bullying is, and the potential consequences.

After Brentwood and Sharpsburg passed local anti-bullying ordinances that fine parents of bullies, a state lawmaker is proposing more encompassing legislation.

State Rep. Frank Burns' bill gives parents three strikes. He's from Cambria County.

>> Read more trending news 

The first time a child bullies someone, the school is required to inform his or her parents how it handled the situation. If it happens a second time, parents would have to take a class on bullying and attend a bullying resolution conference.

The third time, parents would receive a court citation and pay up to a $500 fine.

In a statement issued last week, the Democrat said bullying can lead to physical assaults and suicide.

He said holding students, parents and officials accountable "is the only way to put an end to this scourge."

The proposal also includes an anonymous bullying reporting system requiring the state education department to track bullying incidents and file monthly reports.

Sharpsburg police have yet to file any citations against parents.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alabama lawmaker says don't arm teachers since most are women 

An Alabama lawmaker is opposed to arming teachers because most of them are women and “are scared of guns,” reported.

>> Read more trending news

State Rep. Harry Shiver, R-Stockton, opposes a bill that would allow school districts to designate trained teachers and administrators to carry guns on school grounds.

“I'm not saying all (women), but in most schools, women are (the majority) of the teachers,” Shiver told on Thursday. “Some of them just don't want to (be trained to possess firearms). If they want to, then that's good. But most of them don't want to learn how to shoot like that and carry a gun.”

Shiver is a retired physical education teacher and coach. The bill is headed to the full House after getting a favorable report in committee, reported. Shiver said he likely will abstain when the bill comes to a vote.

“We don’t need to have a lady teacher in a school that’s got a firearm,” Shiver told WSFA. “I taught for 32 years, and it’s mostly ladies that’s teaching.”

Utah student writes thank you notes instead of walking out of class

When her classmates participated in the national school walkout, a Utah middle school student decided to stay in class and write thank you notes.

>> Read more trending news

Elizabeth Busdicker, a ninth-grader at South Davis Jr. High School in Bountiful, told KSTU that it was not an easy decision, but she believed she made the right choice.

“Some people walked past our classroom in the halls, kind of gave me these looks, but I just felt like I was doing the right thing standing up for what I believe in,” Busdicker said. 

Busdicker said she does not agree with everything the school walkout stands for. “It's not just about stricter gun policies; it's about being kinder in our daily lives,” she told KSTU.

Busdicker said she wanted to convey some kindness in the thank you notes she wrote, believing that bullying is the core of the issue of guns.

“We wrote 17 thank you notes to 17 different people in our lives to honor their lives,”she told KSTU said.

Busdicker sent a picture to her parents showing her decision.

“Twenty six years in the United States Air Force,” said her father, Mike Busdicker. “I did that so I could protect the freedom and rights everyone in this country enjoys. That’s why I’m proud of my daughter, because she made her decision to stand up for what she believed in even though others were doing something different.”

Philly mom upset when 6-year-old daughter allegedly put on wrong bus

The mother of a 6-year-old Philadelphia student is furious after the child was put on the wrong school bus and allegedly stranded Tuesday afternoon, WPVI reported. 

>> Read more trending news

Laianna Correa, who attends the West Oak Lane Charter School, said she was told to exit the bus when it completed its route.

“I said, ‘This is not my stop,’ and she said she ‘didn't care,’" Laianna said.

Danielle Correa said she was “livid.” 

“I'm outraged because you pick a school thinking that your child is going to be taken care of during the day,” she told WPVI.

Laianna was dropped off more than two miles from her regular bus stop, Correa said. She was able to find her way home because she knew a classmate on the bus, and that child’s parents contacted Correa.

A spokesman for Durham School Services, the company that operates the buses, originally apologized and said it was launching an investigation, WPVI reported. Later, Durham Services said its investigation showed that Laianna was not forced off the bus. The company said the child told the driver she was going to a sleepover with a friend, WPVI reported.

Correa said she never gave permission for her child to go on another bus.

“She could've wound up anywhere,” Correa told WPVI said. “Unacceptable. It will not happen again.”

The principal of West Oak Lane Charter School said the school is now making changes to its afternoon dismissal policies, WPVI reported.

Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof's sister charged with bringing weapons, drugs to school

The sister of Dylann Roof, the man who shot and killed nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015, was arrested Wednesday after authorities said she brought weapons and drugs to school.

>> School walkouts: What are student’s rights?

According to WIS-TV, Morgan Roof, 18, is accused of bringing a knife, pepper spray and marijuana to A.C. Flora High School in Forest Acres. She was arrested on charges of carrying weapons on school property and simple possession of marijuana, the station reported.

Authorities also said one of Morgan Roof's social media posts about the National School Walkout, a protest against gun violence in schools, worried other students.

>> Read more trending news 

"Your [sic] walking out for the allowed time of 17min, they are letting you do this, nothing is gonna change what tf you think it's gonna do?" she posted on Snapchat, according to WACH. "I hope it's a trap and y'all get shot we know it's fixing to be nothing but black people walkin [sic] out anyway."

>> See the post here

Morgan Roof's bond reportedly was set at $5,000.

Teacher accidentally fires gun in class, injures students, police say

A California high school teacher unintentionally fired his gun Tuesday while leading a lesson on firearm safety, injuring three students, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

According to KSBW and CNN, Seaside High School teacher Dennis Alexander, a Sand City Police Department reserve officer and the mayor pro tempore of Seaside, accidentally fired at the ceiling during his Administration of Justice class. Three students were hurt – including a 17-year-old boy with bullet fragments "lodged into his neck" – as debris fell from the ceiling, KSBW reported. Seaside police said the students' injuries were not serious.

>> School walkouts: What are student’s rights?

The 17-year-old victim's father, Fermin Gonzales, said Alexander was preparing to show the students how to disarm a suspect and was checking whether his gun was loaded when the incident occurred.

Alexander, who "was not authorized to have a gun on campus," is now on administrative leave from the school and police department, KSBW reported.

Read more here.

12-year-old makes out will ‘just in case’ he dies in school shooting

Javon Davies took stock of his most important belongings -- his cat, his PlayStation 4 and Xbox, the games that go with them, his TV -- and wrote out his will, bequeathing them all to his best friend, Cameron. 

Javon is 12 years old and, according to his mother, Mariama Davies, of Birmingham, Alabama, he wrote that will out of fear that his middle school might be the next site of a mass shooting. Davies told CBS 42 that reading her son’s will broke her heart.

“I could not believe it, you know?” Davies told the Birmingham news station. “I mean, my child in in the sixth grade. This is something he should not be thinking about.”

See Mariama and Javon Davies’ interview with CBS 42 below. 

Davies told on Thursday that she was keeping Javon home on Friday and taking him on a weekend getaway to get his mind off of tragedy. The family also celebrated the first birthday of Javon’s baby brother, William, according to posts on Davies’ Facebook page

School violence was all around Javon when he and his friend sat down and wrote out their wills last week. 

Courtlin La’Shawn Arrington, a 17-year-old high school senior, was shot and killed Wednesday in a classroom at Huffman High School, located about 20 miles from Javon’s school on the other side of Birmingham. A fellow student, Michael Jerome Barber, has been charged with manslaughter in her death.

The following day, an unloaded gun was found in a locker at Birmingham’s Bush Hills Academy, reported. The weapon was found during an unannounced locker search at the K-8 school and resulted in the suspension of two eighth-graders.  

The week before, a gun was found outside Huffman Middle School, also in Birmingham, after administrators conducted a search based on a threat reported over the weekend, reported. A student was detained in that incident, as well. 

What shook Javon more than anything was word Thursday of an alleged Facebook threat against his own school, Jones Valley Middle School. Javon told that the school was briefly put on lockdown so it could be searched for weapons.

The scare prompted the will, which included a touching message to his family. 

“Dear family, I love you all,” Javon said he wrote. “You gave me the clothes on my back and you stuck with me all the time. Love, Javon.”

>> Read more trending news

The letter brought Davies to tears during her interview with CBS 42.

“It’s really hard because he’s so young,” Davies said, wiping her eyes. “He just shouldn’t have to go through that, period, because for what? He’s in sixth grade. You have a lot ahead of you, and these things going on you shouldn’t have to worry about, go through or even think about.”

Javon said even though there is fear, he knows everything will be all right.

“I know it’s going to be OK because God got me in his hands,” the boy said

Teacher probed for derogatory message to ‘ethnic’ student over stolen mouse

A Louisiana high school teacher is under investigation over allegations that he posted a disturbing in-class message aimed at minority students over a stolen computer mouse.

The message popped up on the whiteboard of a math classroom Thursday at Pickering High School in Leesville. The message began by welcoming students to Room 312.

“To the moronic, self-obsessed ethnic who stole the mouse from the back computer: The fact that you do not know both your parents, and that the so-called adults that are caring for you cannot afford a five-dollar part because they are too busy buying drugs and coring cigars at the Shop-Rite does not change the fact that you are nothing more than a two-bit thief and a waste of carbon and oxygen,” the angry message stated.

The message went viral after a student in the class snapped a photo of the whiteboard and posted it to social media. 

“Only Mr. Perez,” the student, Brittny Taylor, wrote in her Facebook post. 

Pickering High School’s website identifies Perez as math teacher Randy Perez. 

Mike Kay, assistant superintendent for the Vernon Parish School Board, told the Leesville Daily Leader that he was notified of the issue Thursday night.

“I planned to speak to the teacher this morning, but he was out of town,” Kay told the newspaper Friday

Kay, who said that he would reach out to the teacher again Monday morning, told the Daily Leader that the sentiments expressed in the derogatory message do not reflect those of school district officials. 

“This is not in line with our stance, and we will deal with it quickly,” Kay said. 

Superintendent James Williams reiterated Kay’s comments in a statement of his own. 

“The Vernon Parish school system does not condone or support this kind of rhetoric,” Williams told the newspaper. “This in no way shall reflect our sociological and cultural attitude. It is unacceptable and will not be tolerated!”

It was not known Monday afternoon if the district’s investigation had been completed. 

Taylor, a senior at the school, told Buzzfeed News that the message was on Perez’s whiteboard when she walked into class Thursday morning. The teen said Perez did not know who stole the computer mouse, but thought his message was funny.

“When I first walked in, he was walking around the class saying whoever took it is probably on food stamps and welfare,” Taylor said

Some former students and parents alleged that Perez has made similar statements toward students in the past. 

Area residents were divided on the issue. 

“So, this happened at Pickering High School,” a man named John Putnam wrote. “Doesn’t seem very professional. But does sound like Pickering.”

Several former students stood up for Perez, who they said was bullied and made fun of by their classmates. 

“When I went to Pickering High during my senior year, Mr. Perez was a really nice guy,” Aaron Kristopher Nicholas wrote on Facebook. “He always got bullied and people constantly made fun of him. But he did his best and he was nice to me and to many other students.”

Nicholas said he does not justify the message on the whiteboard, but said students should not have stolen from the teacher. 

“If this upsets somebody, then they need to get over it,” the former student wrote.

Another former Pickering student, Jordan McKenzie Wells, wrote that Perez is one of the best teachers at the school. 

“Since everyone wants to talk about the negative, as always, here is some positive,” Wells wrote. “When the guys didn’t shave their facial hair, he has extra razors and shaving cream so they wouldn’t be sent home. On occasions, he let us take our math tests home and finish it.”

Wells wrote that Perez also cooked for his students almost every Friday and tossed them candy and fruit as rewards for participation in class. She said he would get angry at students acting up in class, but said it was because “(they) started it.”

“We didn’t cry to Facebook or our parents that our math teacher yelled at us and called us kindergartners,” Wells wrote. “Because we knew that’s how we were acting.”

Perez did not respond to a request for comment from Buzzfeed News. 

Allergic reaction to granola bar kills 12-year-old girl, family says

A Georgia family is in mourning after an allergic reaction to peanuts led to the death of a 12-year-old girl.

>> Watch the news report here

Amanda Huynh had been hospitalized before for allergic reactions to peanuts, but it's still surreal for her brother that she's gone.

"She meant a lot, to me, and i feel like she means a lot to the community," said her brother, Dillon Huynh.

The honor roll student at Lee Middle School in Coweta County was on her way home Tuesday on a school bus when she took a bite of a granola bar.

It was a snack that her family says she had eaten before.

"She would always check everything and make sure it was right," Dillon said.

>> Read more trending news 

But she started to feel sick and school officials were able to call 911 for an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Her brother shared pictures from her hospital bed where doctors told the family even if she woke up she would have permanent brain damage.

Amanda died Thursday, and her family held her funeral on Sunday.

The principal at Lee Middle School sent a letter to parents about how grief counselors will be at the school in the coming days.

Amanda's brother said he hopes her story will educate others about food allergies.

"(I want people to) live with her in their hearts and really know how serious this is," he said.

>> See a GoFundMe page for the family here

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