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for Grades 9-12

July 08, 2024
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For Grades 9-12 , week of July 08, 2024

1. SHAKY DEBATE

Top Democratic leaders are upset with President Biden not just for his poor debate performance but for how he's handling criticism afterward. Some lawmakers are so concerned that they want Senate leader Chuck Schumer and House leader Hakeem Jeffries to privately encourage Biden to step down. They worry that Biden's struggle could hurt their chances in the November elections. Lawmakers are frustrated because Biden hasn't been talking enough with Democratic leaders or with members in tough races. They think the White House is shielding Biden from hearing reasons why he might need to quit. Privately, some lawmakers are sharing worries about Biden's mental and physical health and how it could affect the whole Democratic Party. Watch or read transcripts of the debate if you haven’t already. Then, write an opinion article about whether or not you think Biden’s performance hurts his credibility as a leader of the country going into the next election.

2. TEACHERS TARGETED ON TIKTOK

In Malvern, Pennsylvania, middle school students created fake TikTok accounts pretending to be their teachers. They posted offensive videos and memes, targeting over 20 educators with hurtful and inappropriate content, including jokes about pedophilia, racism, and homophobia. The school district took some actions, like briefly suspending students, but faced limits due to legal protections for students' off-campus speech. Teachers affected expressed shock and distress, with concerns that social media is impacting students' empathy. The incident highlighted broader issues of cyberbullying in schools and sparked calls for better digital education and policies to protect teachers. Write an article that details the events of this story, using research from your newspaper or online, and shares the limitations of students being disciplined by the school for their actions.

3. HOLOGRAMS IN HOSPITALS

Crescent Regional Hospital in Texas has introduced a new technology called the Holobox, making it possibly the first in the U.S. to use holograms for doctor-patient visits. This system projects a life-sized hologram of a doctor, allowing them to consult with patients in real-time at a clinic 30 miles away. Developed by a Dutch company, the Holobox uses electricity and the internet to connect and features anti-glare glass, a transparent LCD screen, hi-fi speakers, and a multi-touch operating system. Hospital officials believe this technology could revolutionize patient care by reducing doctors' travel time between locations. They plan to expand the use of holographic visits to more areas within the hospital and possibly to rural hospitals lacking specialists. The goal is to improve access to healthcare while saving time for both patients and doctors. If you were to write an article about this story, detail who you would interview, what questions you would ask, and what sources you would use to compile information.

4. KEEPING DRINKS SAFE

California has a new law to protect people from having their drinks spiked with drugs like Rohypnol, ketamine, and GHB, often used in sexual assaults. Bars and clubs now must offer free or affordable drug-testing devices to detect these substances. They also need signs saying they provide these kits. The law aims to help prevent incidents by making it easier for people to check their drinks for harmful drugs before they consume them. Create a public information campaign, such as a flyer or plan out a commercial, that would educate the public about the risks of spiked drinks and how people can stay safe while drinking, especially in the context of this new law in California.

5. PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY RULING

Former President Donald Trump's sentencing for a crime involving hush money has been postponed to September 18. This delay comes after a Supreme Court ruling raised questions about whether he can be prosecuted while claiming immunity as a former president. Trump was convicted of hiding payments to his lawyer, who then paid off a porn star before the 2016 election. His lawyers argue that evidence from the trial, including testimony and social media posts from his time in office, should not have been allowed. Prosecutors disagree and believe the case should proceed. The judge will now consider whether to dismiss Trump's conviction or proceed with sentencing, which could include jail time. Read more about the presidential immunity ruling from at least 3 different sources. Using further research, write an article that summarizes what you learned, how different groups are reacting to the ruling, and how this might affect the future of American politics.

Step onto any school campus and you'll feel its energy. Each school is turbocharged with the power of young minds, bodies, hearts and spirits.

Here on the Western Slope, young citizens are honing and testing their skills to take on a rapidly changing world. Largely thanks to technology, they are in the midst of the most profound seismic shift the world has ever seen.

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