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Movers & Shakers

Illinois schools to teach students how to speak to police

Tucson mayor goes door-to-door to urge dropouts to re-enroll
A law sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Julie Morrison should help students respond properly when pulled over by police.
A law sponsored by Illinois state Sen. Julie Morrison should help students respond properly when pulled over by police.

State Sen. Julie Morrison of Illinois sponsored a law requiring students in all driver’s ed classes to receive instruction on how to interact with a police officer during a traffic stop. The goal is to teach them how to respond properly when pulled over, and help them avoid panicking or doing anything that might escalate a situation.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild led other community leaders and volunteers in a door-to-door initiative urging high school dropouts to re-enroll and complete school. The Steps to Success program is a collaboration between the mayor and Tucson USD superintendent. Since 2014, nearly 400 students returned to school. 

State Sen. Kevin de León of California introduced first-in-the-nation legislation requiring high school students be taught affirmative consent and sexual assault prevention as part of health classes. The new law incorporates the affirmative consent definition, known as “yes means yes,” into the statewide health curriculum. The goal is to reduce future college campus sexual assaults.

Second-grade teacher Brandy Young in the Godley School District in Texas made national headlines when she instituted a no-homework policy for students, instead suggesting parents and students spend time doing family activities. Although other schools have experimented with similar policies, second-grade students should have 20 minutes of homework per night, says the National PTA and NEA.

Martin Pleyer, chief operating officer for Grenzebach Corporation, a high-tech manufacturing firm, spearheaded a new school program in Georgia based on the rigorous German-style apprenticeship model, the first of its kind in the U.S.

The Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training includes 10 high school sophomores from the Coweta County School System who will work with seven local companies as industrial mechanics apprentices while taking traditional high school classes and college-level manufacturing courses.