More than a quarter of a million children have been exposed to gun violence during school hours since the massacre 22 years ago at Columbine High School near Denver. It has left teachers, parents and students dreading what’s to come this fall when nearly all children are expected to go back to their classrooms. Read on for more.

Months had passed since the sixth-grader decided he wanted to die, and now the day that he hoped would be his last had come. The boy snuck into his father’s bedroom, reaching into a dresser drawer for the loaded magazine and 9mm handgun he’d been told never to touch. He hid them both inside his backpack, then left for school.

“I hope my death makes more senses then my life,” the 12-year-old had already jotted in a spiral-bound notebook of his plan to commit suicide-by-cop. He would have shot himself if he hadn’t feared offending God, he later said in an interview he and his father gave to The Washington Post. Forcing a police officer to kill him didn’t seem as bad. “That way it wasn’t a sin,” he explained.

Read this full article in the Washington Post: ‘As school shootings surge, a sixth-grader tucks his dad’s gun in his backpack’

Before the pandemic, about 3.3 million students attended mandatory or optional summer school programs in 2019. This year is expected to far exceed that number, with reopenings underway, school districts drawing on federal aid, and families looking to make up for lost learning. Read on for more.

With her three teenagers vaccinated against COVID-19, Aja Purnell-Mitchell left it up to them to decide whether to go back to school during summer break.

The decision was unanimous: summer school.

“Getting them back into it, helping them socialize back with their friends, maybe meet some new people, and, of course, pick up the things that they lacked on Zoom,” the Durham County, North Carolina, mother said, ticking off her hopes for the session ahead, which will be the first time her children have been in the classroom since the outbreak took hold in the spring of 2020.

Across the U.S., more children than ever before could be in classrooms for summer school this year to make up for lost learning during the outbreak, which caused monumental disruptions in education. School districts nationwide are expanding their summer programs and offering bonuses to get teachers to take part.

Read this full article in the Chicago Tribune: ‘More children than ever could be in classrooms for summer school, making up for lost time during pandemic’

Since George Floyd’s death in May 2020, some school districts have eliminated or reduced their school police presence – a change that would affect about 1.65 million students across the country. As some schools evaluate and take action on school resource officers, teacher diversity, anti-racist training, and other related issues, the pandemic school year provides little data on the actual effectiveness and safety of the current approaches. Many districts are still wrestling with what exactly to replace school resource officer programs with that both keeps classrooms safe and doesn’t result in profiling aimed at Black students. Read on for more about how schools are attempting to strike a balance between racial justice and the reality of safety threats.

“Just over a year ago, the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer was captured in a nine-and-a-half minute video that has irrevocably changed the contours of K-12 schooling.

Education Week reporters reached out to dozens of districts that overhauled their school safety programs in the wake of last summer’s protests for racial justice. Even in those districts that pulled police officers from schools, complex questions about safety remain.”

Read this full article in EdWeek: ‘Defunded, Removed, and Put in Check: School Police a Year After George Floyd’

Cases of coronavirus in the US are going down, signs of pre-pandemic life are emerging, and students are returning to school across the country. However, as the hidden pandemic- the mental health crisis- continues to impact children, adolescents, and teens more than any other age group, school resources are in short supply. Read on for more.

Caden McKnight was elected student body president of his Las Vegas high school in February 2020.
A year later he was in his room, attending a Zoom meeting of the Clark County School District Board of Trustees, pleading with board members to reopen the district’s schools.

Just being together in person and having a normal routine, McKnight said, would help kids cope with mental health struggles. He told the board members about his own grief over the death of his friend, Mia, who died just after Valentine’s Day this year from an accidental drug overdose.

“I knew her since I was 11,” he said of Mia, who had been his date to a homecoming dance. “I grew up with her and she got to see me grow up. It’s tough as a 17-year-old kid when these people around me are dying. I love my family, but I have no outlet to express how I’m feeling the way I used to when I was at school with teachers and friends.”

Read this full article in USA Today: ‘Students returning to school after COVID-19 facing scarce mental health resources’