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New York Times Gives Out Free Subscriptions For Students — Specifically Excludes Homeschool Kids

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The New York Times is giving out free subscriptions to High School students — as long as you aren’t homeschooled.

Homeschool students appear to be the only group who are deliberately and purposefully excluded from the program which is providing free access to all of their journalism from April 6 to July 6, 2020.

The newspaper says that all high school students, teachers and administrators are eligible for three months of free access to their online edition as long as they are over 13-years-old and school administrators consent in states that require it — as long as they aren’t homeschooled.

Corey DeAngelis, the Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation, was first to notice the exclusion.

Speaking to the District Herald, DeAngelis said they are explicitly discriminating against homeschoolers when nearly the entire nation is currently being home educated.

“It’s great to see New York Times providing free access to some students during the crisis. But it’s baffling to see them explicitly discriminate against homeschoolers at a time when essentially all children are receiving an education at home. New York Times should reconsider this inequitable policy,” DeAngelis said.

The Home School Legal Defense Association’s Senior Counsel and Director of Global Outreach Michael P. Donnelly, Esq. told the District Herald that it is hard to understand why the newspaper would target homeschool students for exclusion given that it is a legal form of education in New York.

“The New York Times is a national newspaper and there are many families who would find this resource useful – so it’s hard to understand why the Times would target homeschoolers for exclusion – just because they are homeschooled,” Donnelly said. “At a time when all American families are suddenly schooling at home, we should be looking for ways to unite rather than divide.”

Donnelly added that “because Homeschooling is a legal form of education in the State of New York it doesn’t make sense to exclude them for a program offered to other public and private school students.”

The District Herald has reached out to the New York Times for comment about their decision to discriminate against some students and not others. We will update this story if one is provided.

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Education

Poll Finds 40% of Families More Likely to Homeschool or Virtual School After Lockdowns

“Homeschooling is the new status quo.”

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A new national poll has revealed that 40 percent of families are more likely to continue home or virtual schooling after the lock downs end.

The RealClear Opinion Research survey also found that 64 percent of registered voters support school choice.

Homeschool has been under attack in a big way since the lock downs began, but mainstream media’s efforts to dismiss it is clearly not resonating with voters.

“Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns. With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling. Policymakers should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other educational options available to families, with both strong support for the general concept of school choice and even stronger support for a specific federal proposal, Education Freedom Scholarships,” John Schilling, President of the American Federation of Children, said in response to the poll results.

Schilling added that this is the time for leadership and for desperately needed bold reforms to be implemented across our K-12 education system.

“Millions of families are seeing the inadequacies of school districts that are too inflexible,” Schilling said. “We owe it to our nation’s families and students to give them more flexibility and additional educational options. Moreover, policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800 billion K-12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”

More black and Asian parents said that they are more likely to consider homeschooling now, with 50.4 percent of black voters saying so, and 53.8 percent of Asian parents. Just 36.3 percent of white parents said the same, and 38.2 percent of Hispanic.

The issue did not seem to be partisan, however, as 45.7 percent of Democrats said they are more likely to consider homeschool, as well as 42.3 percent of Republicans.

Corey A. DeAngelis, the director of school choice at the Reason Foundation told the District Herald that these shutdowns have helped parents to realize that homeschool works better than government schooling.

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Education

Arkansas Middle School Teacher Arrested for Rape, Sexually Grooming Child

He is currently being held at Mississippi County Jail without bond.

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An Arkansas public school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of rape, sexually grooming a child, and internet stalking a child.

Blytheville Middle School teacher Gregory Briggs, 29, was arrested on Thursday according to a statement from the town’s Police Chief Ross Thompson.

The investigation into Briggs began when the parents of a 13-year-old student contacted police about inappropriate sexual conduct from the teacher.

“They reported that they had been contacted by the parent of a 13-year-old student who had evidence of inappropriate contact of a sexual nature between their child and 29-year-old Gregory Briggs, a teacher with the Blytheville Public Schools,” Thompson said in a press release.

As law enforcement investigated the case, they uncovered evidence of additional crimes against other students.

The Blytheville Police received assistance from the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children division and school officials during the investigation.

Briggs is currently being held at Mississippi County Jail without bond.

A Missouri public school teacher was also arrested this week and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to investigators, Cassville School District teacher Brandon McCullough used the messaging app Kik to contact a minor in New Jersey under a fake name. The investigation found that in May of last year he engaged with a sexually explicit chat with the child, including sending pornographic images. The victim told law enforcement that she felt trapped as the teacher kept requesting more explicit photographs and threatening to post the ones she had sent if she did not comply.

A Florida school teacher was also arrested and charged this week for filming students changing on multiple occasions.

Thomas John Kovack, 41, admitted to detectives that he filmed multiple students changing in the bathroom during the pool party while he was a teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School. He also supplied them with alcohol.

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Education

Florida Public School Teacher Charged With Filming Students Changing on Two Occasions

He also supplied them with alcohol.

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A Florida public school teacher has been arrested for filming students changing at a pool party at his house in 2011 and again at the school in 2018.

Thomas John Kovack, 41, admitted to detectives that he filmed multiple students changing in the bathroom during the pool party while he was a teacher at J.W. Mitchell High School. He also supplied them with alcohol.

“Kovack provided the students with alcohol and offered for them to spend the night,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “While no students stayed the night, several were captured on the hidden camera without their knowledge or consent.”

Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested Kovack on Tuesday. In addition to confessing to filming students without their knowledge, he also told detectives where he was storing a hard drive with the videos.

Kovack went on to teach at Fivay High School, where a student caught him filming her while she changed.

NBC News reports that in 2018, “a student said she was changing for yearbook photos in a classroom closet when she found an iPhone filming her. She told authorities she saw Kovack setting up the phone to record after watching the video from the beginning, according to a complaint affidavit.”

The teacher claimed that he “regretted his actions” and deleted that footage.

Kovack has now been charged with video voyeurism in two counties.

“Kovack was in custody at the Pinellas County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon, according to inmate records. He had an initial appearance in court for the 10 charges stemming from the 2011 pool party on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing at 10 a.m. May 19,” the report states.

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