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On Monday, it was announced that plans to return some D.C. public elementary school students to classrooms on November 9 had been canceled. 

In a statement, Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee says that community feedback was taken into consideration, and all students will continue to learn virtually. The plan faced considerable criticism from many teachers and parents.

“We’re still taking steps to reopen our @dcpublicschools this school year, and remain committed to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of students, staff, and families,” Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted on Monday.

Some students were set to return to school next week in small groups with a teacher and others in Canvas Academics and Real Engagement (CARE) classrooms. The CARE groups would be taught by a teacher working remotely and administered by an adult who could be a high school or administrative faculty member. 

Due to the challenges of virtual learning, some students in the district started to fall behind. With students missing benchmarks, officials pushed for a return to in-person learning.

Priority for in-person learning options were given to students who are experiencing homelessness, have special education needs, are at risk, or are learning English. Additionally, families were given the opportunity for their children to continue virtual learning.

The plan was not popular with teachers over health and safety concerns. According to NBC Washington, The Washington Teachers’ Union issued a no-confidence vote on Thursday in the DCPS plan.




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British Teen Found Dead Hours After Disclosing Rape To Her Friends

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A British college student who disclosed that she was raped to her friends was found dead the next morning in her room.

The New York Post reports that Megan Younger-Watson, 17, was sexually assaulted after a night of drinking at the Grinning Rat Pub on February 15, 2019. Once the pub closed, the group of friends went to a flat party. It was there that Younger-Watson said she was raped. According to her friends, she told them on the way home about the attack and was “distraught.”

Younger-Watson was then carried upstairs twice by the night manager at the hostel and was ultimately left alone. Her friends called the police around 10 a.m. the next morning because she was not answering her door. Police found her dead inside.

Toxicology reports showed that Younger-Watson had cocaine, Ecstasy, and Xanax in her system when she died, but only low alcohol levels. Her cause of death was listed as compression of the neck, which is consistent with hanging.

Suffolk Police Det. Inspector Daniel Connick said that a male suspect was identified but that he was never brought to court. Connick acknowledged it was “apparent” that Younger-Watson had been “too intoxicated” to consent to sex, according to The Sun.

The teen suffered from anxiety, depression and also was diagnosed with PTSD from an abusive relationship early in her teens. She was studying performing arts at the Suffolk New College in Ipswich.

Her mother described her as “one of the most wonderful, bubbliest, happiest people you’d ever meet,” who put everyone else first. 




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Mr. Potato Head Is Now Gender Neutral

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Don’t call it “Mister” anymore!

Hasbro, the company that makes the iconic potato-shaped plastic toy, announced earlier today that it is giving the spud a gender-neutral new name: “Potato Head.”

Toymakers are updating their classic brands to reflect the changing world and appeal to today’s kids.

Hasbro contends that Mr. Potato Head, a toy staple for about 70 years, needed the makeover. The gender-neutral change will begin appearing on boxes this year.

Hasbro is following in the footsteps of other major toy makers like Mattel, whose iconic blonde, blue-eyed Barbie image has now transformed into a multi-skin toned and body-shaped doll for everyone. Even American Girl now offers a male doll.

Hasbro also announced the launch of a “Create Your Potato Head Family” kit with two potato parents and a potato baby. In the video, the company said the kit was for “modern families” and featured various family makeups, including those with same-sex potato parents.

On their website, the company said, “Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion.”




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Twitter Announces New Paid Subscription Service Called “Super Follow”

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The popular social media platform Twitter is planning on doubling its revenue by the year 2023. The company announced a new feature today called “Super Follow” that will give users the option of providing exclusive content to their followers for a price.

This new feature will very closely copy subscription platforms like Patreon and Onlyfans. Super Follow will allow subscriptions that run for $4.99 per month, offering users a “cancel anytime” option. Some of the highlights of the feature include giving users a supporter badge, access to subscriber-exclusive newsletters, and exclusive media content of varying forms.

Social media experts believe the new “Super Follow” feature will be a highly impactful tool for content creators like sex workers, independent journalists, writers, and other public figures who could use the feature as a paywall for their exclusive content.

 




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