Why School Shooter Drills Are Terrifying Nonsense

cry when I listen to the news. When I heard on the radio that 58 concertgoers were murdered in Las Vegas by a shooter in a hotel room last month, tears dripped into my kids’ lunch boxes as I packed them. With that many people killed, I imagined families grieving in all 50 states.

Keep reading... Show less

Had My Stepfather Picked Up a Gun and Killed Us All, Nobody Would Have Been Surprised

It starts somewhere. It starts in the home. I know what a mass shooter can look like.

Keep reading... Show less

When the Racist Is Someone You Know and Love

“Don’t worry, pretty lady. I’ll make sure to use a good, strong lock to keep the niggers out.”

Keep reading... Show less

Why Teachers Shouldn’t Sell Their Souls Or Their Students to an Education Technology Brand

Editor’s note: a recent New York Times story on the growing trend of Education Technology companies recruiting teachers to serve as “ambassadors” has triggered a fierce debate. Here, educator Rafranz Davis weighs in on why teachers should be wary of branding themselves and their students.

Keep reading... Show less

When You Believe in Public Education - But It's Failing Your Own Child

I am told she is a nice kid. She does her homework. No behavior problems. She earned a 92% overall average for the 2016-2017 school year — making honor roll and missing high honor roll by tenths of points. I should be pleased, but my kid might as well be invisible. She does not have special needs, nor is she gifted. She doesn’t qualify for the advanced track, nor does she need anything exceptional besides quality instruction. She is the vanilla comment that teachers give: is a pleasure to have in class. She is obedient, compliant, hardworking, and on the cusp of reaching her full potential. What would it take for her to reach excellence? Will it be hard work, or simply time? Or is this it? Has she peaked, at 12? Is she just a pleasure to teach? Do I need to accept her where she is, or do I explore this nagging feeling that she has more to show?

Keep reading... Show less

I'll Never Take My Phone on an International Flight Again - Neither Should You

A few months ago I wrote about how you can encrypt your entire life in less than an hour. Well, all the security in the world can’t save you if someone has physical possession of your phone or laptop, and can intimidate you into giving up your password.

Keep reading... Show less

The Immigration Ban Is a Headfake, and We’re Falling for It

When I read about the incredibly active first week of the Trump administration, I struggle with two competing narratives about what’s really going on. The first story is simple: the administration is just doing what it said it would do, literally keeping its campaign promises. Lots of people won’t agree, but it’s playing to its base. They’re also not really good at this whole government thing yet, so implementation is shaky. The second is more sinister: the administration is deliberately testing the limits of governmental checks and balances to set up a self-serving, dangerous consolidation of power.

Keep reading... Show less

Ditch the Magical Thinking About How to Stand Up to Trump

Last week I walked into a Taco Bell in San Francisco’s Financial District where the cashier greeted me with an ebullient, “Welcome to Taco Bell, where anything is possible!” I giggled nervously, ordered, and stood there wondering if I hadn’t failed a test. Maybe he’s, like, a genie, or an alien, or just someone with special powers. Maybe anything really is possible and I wasted my wish on two crunchy tacos… that I had to pay for. I should have asked for two crunchy tacos, $21 billion, to have the last 18 months wiped out, and what the hell, throw in that coffee table I’ve been admiring at EQ3.

Keep reading... Show less

'Welcome to the Era of BS': A Message to My Doomed Colleagues in the American Media from a Russian Journalist

Congratulations, US media! You’ve just covered your first press conference of an authoritarian leader with a massive ego and a deep disdain for your trade and everything you hold dear. We in Russia have been doing it for 12 years now — with a short hiatus when our leader wasn’t technically our leader — so quite a few things during Donald Trump’s press conference rang my bells. Not just mine, in fact — read this excellent round-up in The Moscow Times.

Keep reading... Show less

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.