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MN school district policy bans teaching "divisive concepts"

A Minnesota school district is clashing with the teachers union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion. The proposal by three Becker school board members prohibits “political indoctrination or the teaching of inherently divisive concepts,” in the district’s schools. Those against such a policy say the district is trying to stifle free speech, suppress LGBTQ students and advocates and prohibit the accurate teaching of history and other subjects. It’s the latest instance of polarizing issues that have surfaced in school districts elsewhere; including classroom pride flags, teaching critical race theory and supporting marginalized students.

North Carolina sheriff stocking schools with AR-15 rifles

When schools in one North Carolina county reopen later this month, new security measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles for school resource officers to use in the event of an active shooter. School officials and Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood have placed one semiautomatic rifle in each of the county's six schools. Each of the guns will be locked inside a safe. The action was spurred by the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead in May. The idea of having AR-15s in schools does not sit well with Dorothy Espelage, a UNC Chapel Hill professor who's conducted decades of research on school safety. Espelage predicted there will be accidents with the AR-15s and said placing them in schools “doesn't make any sense.”

Inflation weighs on back-to-school buying for many families

This back-to-school shopping season, parents are focusing on the basics while also trading down to cheaper stores as surging inflation takes a toll on their household budgets. That is particularly true for parents in the low to middle income bracket. Last week, Walmart noted higher prices on gas and food are forcing shoppers to make fewer purchases of discretionary items, particularly clothing. Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics chain, cited that inflation has dampened consumer spending on gadgets. Such financial struggles amid the industry’s second-most important shopping season behind the winter holidays mark a big difference from a year ago when many low-income shoppers, flush with government stimulus and buoyed by wage increases, spent freely.