Maryland Police Officer Named National School Resource Officer of the Year
The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) presented its Floyd Ledbetter National School Resource Officer of the Year Award to Officer Danielle Moore of the Baltimore County Police Department. The annual award recognizes school resource officers who have made specific and significant contributions to their local communities and/or school districts. NASRO also bestowed its National Award of Valor upon Officer Michael Wissink of the Oshkosh Police Department in Wisconsin. On December 3, 2019, while Wissink attempted to assist a student who entered his office with a request, the student stabbed Wissink in the neck. Wissink countered the attack, fought to detain the student from fleeing, and restrained him to prevent violent action that likely would have caused serious injury or loss of life to students and school staff.
Virginia School Board’s Transgender Bathroom Policy Is Unconstitutional
A federal appeals court ruled in August that a Virginia school board’s transgender bathroom ban is unconstitutional and discriminated against a transgender male student who was barred from using the boys’ bathrooms in his high school. The ruling is a victory for transgender rights advocates and Gavin Grimm, a former student at Gloucester High School who was required to use restrooms or private bathrooms that corresponded with his assigned gender at birth. The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Gloucester County School Board violated Grimm’s constitutional rights when it banned him from using the boys’ bathrooms.
World’s First Zoom Children’s Musical Raises Funds for 11 Million Kids
In September 2020, national youth empowerment speaker, author, and songwriter Jenn August adapted her growth mindset musical—“Jean & the Wonderful Idea Machine”—for Zoom. August, who premiered the musical in 2019 with the Portland Musical Theater Company, shot the digital version—the first of its kind—via Zoom and donated 80 percent of the ticket sales to DonorsChoose, which helped classrooms in need of computers. August chose the charity for its impeccable reputation and involvement of trusted luminaries such as Stephen Colbert and Yvette Nicole Brown of CBS and Jonathan Alter of MSNBC.
Sending Books to Rural Kenyan Schools
When Roy Austin went on his first wildlife safari, he was most captivated by the people, not the wildlife, he met in rural Kenya—particularly at the Amboseli Primary and Amboseli Lewis Secondary School in Amboseli National Park. “In rural Kenya, the government does not build school buildings. You either build it yourself or raise the money to have it built,” Austin says. When asked if they had a library, a teacher replied, “No, but we would love to.” That stuck in Austin’s mind. When he returned home to Bluffton, SC, he launched “Libraries for Kids International” with the goal of sending books to the Kenyan schoolchildren. Since its inception, Austin has managed to ship more than 1,000 books to 11 schools across Kenya and Tanzania. He keeps costs down by shipping the books through the post office rather than FedEx. In the future, the philanthropist hopes to start sending donations to South America as well.
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