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Trauma Inflicted on Children in the War on Terror Is Clouding Global Society’s Future

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A mother carries her infant son across the border from Syria in 2013. (S. Rich / UNHCR

  • The loss of childhood, the crippling effects of trauma, the narrative of grief, and the cruel removal of any sense of hope or of a secure future have been seeping into global discourse about children for many years now. Isn’t it time to begin to see their global crisis for what it is: one of the major threats to a stable future for the planet?
  • Related: From the Archives | Chris Hedges: Pity the Children

Karen J. Greenberg, TomDispatch / Truthdig 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Child_w%3APeace_Banner%20_%26_Dove.jpgJun 17, 2017 | “This is a war against normal life.” So said CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward, describing the situation at this moment in Syria, as well as in other parts of the Middle East. It was one of those remarks that should wake you up to the fact that the regions the United States has, since September 2001, played such a role in destabilizing are indeed in crisis, and that this process isn’t just taking place at the level of failing states and bombed-out cities, but in the most personal way imaginable. It’s devastating for countless individuals—mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, friends, lovers—and above all for children.

Ward’s words caught a reality that grows harsher by the week, and not just in Syria, but in parts of Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, among other places in the Greater Middle East and Africa. Death and destruction stalk whole populations in Syria and other crumbling countries and failed or failing states across the region.  In one of those statistics that should stagger the imagination, devastated Syria alone accounts for more than five million of the estimated 21 million refugees worldwide. And sadly, these numbers do not reflect an even harsher reality: you only become a “refugee” by crossing a border.  According to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2015 there were another 44 million people uprooted from their homes who were, in essence, exiles in their own lands.  Add those numbers together and you have one out of every 113 people on the planet—and those figures, the worst since World War II, may only be growing.

Karen J. Greenberg, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School. Her latest book is Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State, out in paperback this May. She is also author of The Least Worst Place: Guantánamo’s First 100 Days.  

Rose Sheela and CNS interns Anastasia Bez, Rohini Kurup, and Andrew Reisman contributed research for this article.

Full story … 

Related: 

From the Archives | Chris Hedges: Pity the Children, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

  • War brings with it a host of horrors, but the worst is what it does to children. The suffering of the young, perpetrated by those who carry weapons, exposes war’s demented pathology. 
  • The Great Human Delusion: All Parents Love their Children

 

 

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From the Archives | America's Child Soldiers: JROTC and the Militarizing of America

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Junior ROTC drill competition in Mongovermy, AL, 2008. (Photo: Scott*)

  • What goes on in schools in your town?  Isn’t it time you found out?
  • Related: Chicago Veterans for Peace launches billboard campaign to end the militarization of Chicago's schools

Ann Jones, TomDispatch / Truth-out 

Monday, December 16, 2013 | Congress surely meant to do the right thing when, in the fall of 2008, it passed the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA). The law was designed to protect kids worldwide from being forced to fight the wars of Big Men. From then on, any country that coerced children into becoming soldiers was supposed to lose all U.S. military aid.

It turned out, however, that Congress -- in its rare moment of concern for the next generation -- had it all wrong. In its greater wisdom, the White House found countries like Chad and Yemen so vital to the national interest of the United States that it preferred to overlook what happened to the children in their midst.

Ann Jones is an independent writer and photographer. She is the author of Kabul in Winter, War Is Not Over When It's Over, and the feminist classic Women Who Kill, among other books. Her journalism appears most often in The Nation and online at TomDispatch.com.

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Chicago Veterans for Peace launches billboard campaign to end the militarization of Chicago's schools, George N. Schmidt, Substance News 

  • 'We, the Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace, are pursuing a many-pronged campaign to bring Peace at Home and Peace Abroad by focusing on youth and the demilitarization of public education'
  • The West’s War on Children

 

 

Sen. Ben Sasse's 'The Vanishing American Adult' is oddly timed but quite good.

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  • What Sasse mostly offers is encouragement and ideas for expanding our kids' minds and worlds beyond what they know and draw comfort from. His advice is rooted in his experience as both a father of three and a former president of Midland University, where he was taken aback by a culture of passivity.
  • Related: How America Outlawed Adolescence

Heidi Stevens, Chicago (IL) Tribune

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http://www.trbimg.com/img-591f34c2/turbine/ct-friday-balancing-ben-sasse-book-20170519-001/400/16x9May 19, 2017 | I'm of two minds about U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse's new book, "The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-Of-Age Crisis — And How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance" (St. Martin's Press).

One part of me sees the rise of young adult YouTube stars whose sole talent appears to be enticing kids (including my own) to watch them play video games and thinks: Seriously. A lecture on vanishing adults, please.

The other part of me watches the 70-year-old president of the United States tweeting maniacally, whining at graduation speeches and dodging multiple investigations while his party's congressional leaders speculate in secret about who's in Russia's pocket and thinks: Seriously? A lecture on vanishing adults? From a Republican senator? Please.

Heidi Stevens writes the Balancing Act column for the Chicago (IL) Tribune, where she has worked since 1998.

Full story … 

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/10/03/WEL_Ripley_Adolescence_opener_ALT3/1920.jpg?1475522587 André Chung

Related: 

How America Outlawed Adolescence, Amanda Ripley, the Atlantic

  • At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?
  • Related: From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools?

Special Report | Disability : Hundreds of Thousands of People with Disabilities Blocked from College Aid

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  • When offices set up to assist people with disabilities become obstacles.
  • Eligible but Got Nothing
  • Related: US Education System Fails Students with Disabilities

Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report / AlterNet

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September 27, 2016 | Wendy Thompson always knew she wanted her son to go to college, but she didn’t realize so many people would disagree.

Her son was born with cerebral palsy, a disease that has him using a wheelchair, but has little impact on his academic abilities. He graduated from high school with a Regents diploma in 2013 — a feat accomplished by only 18 percent of students with disabilities in New York City that year, compared to 70 percent of students without disabilities.

Meredith Kolodner was an education reporter at the N.Y. Daily News for three years. Before that she covered the United Federation of Teachers and several other city unions for The Chief-Leader newspaper.

Full story … 

 

Related:

US Education System Fails Students with Disabilities, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday focuses his quest to improve classroom performance on the 6.5 million students with disabilities, including many who perform poorly on standardized tests.
  • Part 1: These States Are Failing To Follow Disability Law, U.S. Says
  • Part 2: Why Are Huge Numbers of Disabled Students Dropping Out of College?
  • Colleges are full of it!

Special Report | Disability: Republican health plan undermines special education, too

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School Classroom. Photo by David Spero/Gallery Stock

  • At a certain point, congressional Republicans stop looking like American policymakers and start looking like villains from a Dickens novel.
  • Related: Epic Plea to GOP: "You are the single greatest threat to my family."

Steve Benen, MSNBC

http://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/singlepayernow.jpg?itok=VXxef7oO "In the United States, the right to medical care remains a dream deferred." (Photo: Juhan Sonin/flickr/cc) 

05/04/17 | At first blush, it may seem counter-intuitive to think the Republicans’ regressive health care plan would affect education policy. It’s bad enough to realize GOP lawmakers are prepared to take away health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans, but if they’re going to target schools, they’ll have to do so in a different bill, right?

Wrong. The New York Times reports:

"With all the sweeping changes the Republican bill would impose, little attention has been paid to its potential impact on education. School districts rely on Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor, to provide costly services to millions of students with disabilities across the country."

Steve Benen: Producer, The Rachel Maddow Show

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Epic Plea to GOP: "You are the single greatest threat to my family."  Trump Resistance Movement (TRM), act.tv

GOP Representative Tom MacArthur was not ready for this. This man brought the house down speaking his mind.

How America Outlawed Adolescence

https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/2016/10/03/WEL_Ripley_Adolescence_opener_ALT3/1920.jpg?1475522587

André Chung

  • At least 22 states make it a crime to disturb school in ways that teenagers are wired to do. Why did this happen?
  • Related: From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools?

Amanda Ripley, the Atlantic

November, 2016 | One monday morning last fall, at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, a 16-year-old girl refused to hand over her cellphone to her algebra teacher. After multiple requests, the teacher called an administrator, who eventually summoned a sheriff’s deputy who was stationed at the school. The deputy walked over to the girl’s desk. “Are you going to come with me,” he said, “or am I going to make you?”

Niya Kenny, a student sitting nearby, did not know the name of the girl who was in trouble. That girl was new to class and rarely spoke. But Kenny had heard stories about the deputy, Ben Fields, who also coached football at the school, and she had a feeling he might do something extreme. “Take out your phones,” she whispered to the boys sitting next to her, and she did the same. The girl still hadn’t moved. While Kenny watched, recording with her iPhone, Fields wrenched the girl’s right arm behind her and grabbed her left leg. The girl flailed a fist in his direction. As he tried to wrestle her out of her chair, the desk it was attached to flipped over, slamming the girl backwards. Then he reached for her again, extracting her this time, and hurled her across the classroom floor.

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From the Archives | Where Do We Draw the Line When It Comes to Zero Tolerance in Schools? T.C. Kelly, Free Advice Legal

  • It is with good reason that the Justice Department has urged schools to abandon their zealous enforcement of zero tolerance policies. Some administrators are reluctant to do so because zero tolerance policies allow administrators to deflect blame for their actions by saying “I’m just enforcing the policy.” But the Due Process Clause requires schools to treat students fairly. That means exercising judgment to distinguish behaviors that merit punishment from those that don’t. The wise exercise of discretion might be more difficult than the blind enforcement of a zero tolerance policy, but it is also more just.
  • Related: The West’s War on Children

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Nothin’ but Debt: Which NCAA Tournament Schools Give Low-Income Students the Best Shot?

 

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(Credit: Getty/Al Bello) 

So who fares well in this tournament?

Mike Tigas and Olga Pierce, ProPublica  

March 16, 2017 | We used federal data to create an NCAA Tournament bracket based on five factors that measure each school’s ability to graduate low-income students with little debt: the percentage of undergraduates from low-income households, the average financial support given to those students, the tuition discount that those students receive, their post-graduation debt, and the percentage of those students who are unable to pay back their loans after graduation.

Click any game in the bracket below to view more information on how both schools fare in each Debt by Degrees head-to-head matchup. You can also compare any two schools by clicking here.

 

Mike Tigas is a News Applications Developer at ProPublica. He also works on tools for online privacy and the liberation of public data.

Olga Pierce is the Deputy Data Editor. Previously, she was a reporter at ProPublica, specializing in data-driven stories.

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March Madness and money: Should American universities spend so much serious cash on sports? David MasciotraSalon

  • Most college athletic programs are a financial burden to their schools. As higher ed costs increase, why keep them?
  • Related: From the Archives | The Problem with Subsidizing Huge Stadiums for Billionaire Team Owners

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