Dear North Carolina: Arming teachers with guns is a spectacularly bad idea.

North Carolina is proposing a law to allow teachers to carry guns in school. Here’s why that’s a horrible idea. Two bills have been filed in the North Carolina state legislature that would loosen gun restrictions in schools, allow teachers to carry guns, and even pay some teachers more for doing so. Both of the proposed laws would require training for those who want to carry guns. In the house bill, participating teachers and staff would have to complete 16 hours of active shooter training. The senate bill proposes having select teachers serve as secret “teacher resource officers” who carry firearms. The position would require Basic Law Enforcement Training, after which the teachers would be sworn in as law enforcement …

The elite college admissions scandal exposes the inequities in our supposed ‘meritocracy.’

The FBI has uncovered the biggest college admissions cheating scandal in history—and it’s a doozy. Fifty people, including high-profile celebrities and CEOs, NCAA coaches, and college exam administrators, have been indicted in a multi-million dollar cheating scheme to get wealthy kids admitted into elite colleges. Among those charged in the case are actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, and coaches at Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and USC. The parents in the case apparently paid a college admissions consultant named William Singer to help their kids get into certain schools. In their arrangements with Singer, parents, coaches, testers, and others knowingly cheated in order to make that happen. In some cases, stand-ins took students’ SAT or ACT tests for them. In others, …

Kentucky just passed a major abortion ban. Here’s how that could affect you.

Kentucky Legislature just became one more in a growing line of states to pass a strict abortion ban. Last night, the Kentucky state House passed a bill that would ban abortions after six weeks, otherwise known as a “heartbeat bill.” What that means is any medical practitioner offering abortions would first have to check for a heartbeat, and if one is detected, they would not be legally allowed to perform an abortion. As of now, there are only a few exceptions to the ban, for example, if the mother’s life is in danger, but if someone is seeking an abortion because of a fetal diagnosis, the ban would stand. The bill has now been sent to the Republican Governor Matt …

Stephanie Flowers’ ‘stand your ground’ speech is fierce, raw, and sadly necessary.

Arkansas state senator Stephanie Flowers lit up the state legislature in a debate over “stand your ground” laws. Debates that involve guns tend to bring out people’s passions. But when you’re a mother of a black son debating a law that statistically makes it less likely for him to see justice if he’s killed, your passion may be stronger than most. State senator Stephanie Flowers shared her feelings in a legislative debate over Arkansas’ “stand your ground” laws, taking issue with the bill being rushed through without proper debate. “I’m the only person here of color,” she said. “I am a mother, too. And I care for my son as much as y’all care for y’all’s. But my son doesn’t …

This hockey player left a game in tears after racist fans taunted him and his family.

It’s 2019, and horrible, blatant racism is still alive and well—even in Canada. Anti-racism activists have gone to great lengths to address systemic, institutional racism and unconscious, implicit racial bias in our society. But those subtler forms of racism are not all that’s left to tackle. Far too often, racism still presents itself with no veils, no pretense, and no shame. Take the story of Jonathan Diaby, a 24-year-old Canadian hockey player who left a game early in tears because racists in the crowd kept taunting him and his family. It’s a story one might expect to hear from the American south in the 1950s, not from seemingly progressive Canada in 2019. And yet, here we are. Diaby said he’d …

The Supreme Court just unanimously voted to stop the police from stealing your stuff for no reason.

via Wikimedia Commons In a landmark unanimous decision issued Wednesday, February 20, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled civil asset forfeiture unconstitutional because it violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive fines and fees. Civil asset forfeiture allows local law enforcement agencies to seize people’s cars, cash, homes, and pretty much anything else that is suspected of being used to commit a crime. To get their property back, citizens have to prove it wasn’t obtained illegally, even in situations where no indictment was filed. A few examples of ridiculous government overreach provided by Harvard Law Review: Mary and Leon Adams resided in their West Philadelphia house for forty-six years when the police told them to vacate and initiated a civil …

This family is the face of Venezuela’s historic humanitarian crisis.

Luis and Jude Vivas, with their son, Luis Jr. Editor’s note: If you want to help the Vivas family, you can contribute directly to their GoFundMe campaign here. The campaign has been verified by the GoFundMe team, with 100% of the proceeds going toward immediate food, medical and housing needs for the family. When I connect with Jude and Luis Vivas, the couple is resting inside a tiny motel room in  Cúcuta, Colombia. The width of the room barely holds a small, twin sized bed that is covered in the six backpacks they carried across the Venezuelan border with their young son, Luis Jr. “We are very tired,” Jude says, translating the words of her husband into English. “Tired of …

A pregnant waitress was reduced to tears by an anonymous police officer’s stunning bill.

Courtney English via CBS Philly You rarely hear about a police officer making the news for doing his or her job. In the news, “if it bleeds it leads,” so most of the time we hear about officers there has been a terrible tragedy. That’s why this story out of New Jersey is so important. Courtney English, 23, is nearly eight months pregnant and works on her feet as a waitress at the Lamp Post Diner in Clementon, New Jersey. Although she is unmarried, her father says her boyfriend is supportive, and will play a part in the child’s life. However, making ends meet is a challenge for English and she intends to take six to eight weeks off work …

Howand whyan ailing U.S. veteran is helping these Venezuelan refugees start a new life.

Luis and Jude Vivas, with their son, Luis Jr. Editor’s note: If you want to help the Vivas family, you can contribute directly to their GoFundMe campaign here. The campaign has been verified by the GoFundMe team, with 100% of the proceeds going toward immediate food, medical and housing needs for the family. When I connect with Jude and Luis Vivas, the couple is resting inside a tiny motel room in  Cúcuta, Colombia. The width of the room barely holds a small, twin sized bed that is covered in the six backpacks they carried across the Venezuelan border with their young son, Luis Jr. “We are very tired,” Jude says, translating the words of her husband into English. “Tired of …

KFC demoted an employee for wanting to pump at work. She just won a $1.5 million lawsuit against them.

Women have been re-entering the workforce after giving birth for decades now. You would think that employers would know how to treat new moms back on the job, but apparently some people still have a lot of learning to do. When Autumn Lampkins was hired to be an assistant manager at a Delaware Kentucky Fried Chicken just months after giving birth, she was told her new job wouldn’t interfere with her need to pump breastmilk. Instead, it did nothing but interfere. Lampkins claimed the KFC outlet gave her a hard time for wanting (and let’s face it, needing) to pump breast milk during her working hours. Lampkins filed a lawsuit against her former employer, stating she was demoted over it. …

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just delivered a very personal and positive message to sex workers.

Photo by Toby Melville/Getty Images Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stopped by the charity One25 unannounced in Bristol where Markle and Prince Harry got to work helping pack lunches meant to be distributed to sex workers. As part of its larger set of initiatives, One25 provides 150 sex workers with food bags on a nightly basis. Markle Spontaneously asked for a magic marker and began to scrawl inspirational messages on the bananas. “Do you have a sharpie?” Markle says in a video of the day. “I have an idea.” “I’m in charge of the banana messaging,” Markle can be heard saying in a videoTweeted out by Kensington Palace, as she wrote supportive words such as “You are strong,””You are brave,” …

ER doctor shares why social media is a powerful tool in helping him cope with death.

via Texas Military Department / Flickr Telling someone their child has just died has to be one of the most difficult things a human can do. For an emergency room physician, it’s part of their day-to-day lives. Every day there’s a chance they’ll deliver horrifying news that will forever change someone’s life. It’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly. But it’s understandable that an emergency room physician would become calloused after years of delivering tragic news. The physician may also be enraged after seeing another lifeless body of a young person who died due to drugs or carelessness. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Capio S:t Görans Sjukhus (@capiostgoranssjukhus) on Jan 1, 2019 at 6:53am PST …

Nevada just made history by putting women in charge of its government.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images Nevada and Colorado have made U.S. history, opening their state legislative sessions with female majorities. Women make up 50.8% of the American population, so it only seems logical that women would make up approximately half of our elected representatives. However, only 25.3% of state legislative seats in 2018 were held by women. With the November midterm elections, that percentage increased to 28.5%—still abysmally shy of half. Enter Nevada and Colorado, two shining beacons of hope for women in government. As of Monday, Nevada became the first state legislature with a female majority, with approximately 51% of state representatives and senators combined being women. And Colorado became only the second state ever to have at least …

This man’s encounter with border patrol should have us all brushing up on our legal rights.

A comedian traveling by bus in Washington state shared his not-so-funny, Gestapo-esque encounter with U.S. border patrol agents. Mohanad Elshieky is a stand-up comedian originally from Benghazi, Libya (yes, that Benghazi) but is living in Portland Oregon. Elshieky told  Willamette Week that he was officially granted political asylum in the U.S. in October 2018, which makes him a legal resident of the United States. However, that status appeared to not matter to the immigration officials who allegedly boarded the bus Elshieky was on this weekend. “This morning,” Elshieky wrote on Twitter, “ICE agents got on my Greyhound bus that was headed from Spokane to Portland. They walked around before they asked me and few others to step outside and took …

This husband spent $800 saved for vacation without asking his wife. Her reaction is great.

via D Coetzee / Flickr When you’re working a full time job, attempting to wade through the news cycle, and keeping up a long-term romantic relationship, an annual vacation can be the difference between complete burnout and survival. In the scheme of everyday life, it’s no small thing to forgo that privilege for the greater good, and yet, that is precisely what a teacher on Imgur did when he saw a student in need. Since he was concerned about his student’s safety in the cold — wearing just a hoodie and sneakers, the teacher asked his student to stay after class for a chat. He soon found out his student lives with his grandpa and juggles a job at Chick-Fil-A …

After 246 days of separation, this woman and her daughter are finally reunited.

Vilma and Yeisvi Carrillo’s story captured the hearts of Americans who yearn for a more compassionate immigration system. Vilma Carrillo came to the Mexico-United States border seeking asylum in the spring of 2018. Carrillo is an indigenous Guatemalan woman whose daughter Yeisvi is an American citizen. A victim of extreme domestic violence in a country that provided no legal protections for women like her, Carrillo felt that her best chance for safety for herself and Yeisvi was to return to the United States, where Carrillo lived and worked the year Yeisvi, now 12, was born. However, the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy resulted in mother and daughter being forcibly separated when they reached the border and claimed asylum. Carrillo was …