Children as young as 5 years old are being handcuffed and removed from New York’s schools by the police

police officer in school
A Portland police officer talks to students in the Portland High School hallway in November 2019.

  • The number of students removed from New York City schools has increased, a new report finds.
  • The report also uncovered that Black, Latinx, and disabled students are disproportionally affected.
  • Black and Latinx students accounted for 92% of all interventions between 2016 and 2020.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The number of police interventions in New York City public schools has risen with Black students and students with severe disabilities disproportionally removed from classrooms, a new report has uncovered.

The report, which was published this week by Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), an education nonprofit organization, analyzed 12,000 incidents described by the NYPD as “child in crisis interventions” where a student is removed from a classroom or school to be transported to a hospital for a psychological evaluation between 2016 and 2020.

According to the data, the number of interventions increased by 24% in the first three quarters of the 2019-2020 school year.

Around 10 percent of these students in crisis were handcuffed, including numerous instances where children under the age of 13, including five, six, and seven-year-olds, were handcuffed before they were forcibly removed from a classroom for evaluation.

“Five-, six-, seven-year-olds getting handcuffed in school. Very, very troubling,” Dawn Yuster, director of the School Justice Project at Advocates for Children, told Spectrum News NY1. “I, personally, professionally have represented clients as young as eight years old, who has been handcuffed in school – and I will never forget the day that I got a call from a parent when his child was transported to the hospital.”

She added: “It only exacerbates the problems that already exist. It does absolutely nothing to change the behavior, improve the behavior, and it further alienates the family from the school.”

The data also revealed that Black students – particularly young Black boys – and students with disabilities attending District 75 school, which provides specialized support for students with disabilities, are over-represented in the population of students who police officers removed.

Between July 2018 and March 2020, 26.7% of all interventions involved Black boys, who were just 13% of the public school population. Similarly, Black girls comprised 20% of all interventions despite accounting for only 12% of enrollment.

In total, Black and Latinx students – who make up two-thirds of the student population-accounted for 92% of all interventions. And all 33 children between the ages of five and seven who were handcuffed were students of color, according to the report.

Campaigners are now calling on the city to implement a new strategy that can reduce school interventions. The AFC recommends that schools no longer call the police or emergency medical services to take students to the hospital when it is not medically necessary. The organization also called for the introduction of a new bill that would significantly limit the NYPD’s ability to handcuff students.

“Students in emotional crisis need emotional support; they don’t need to be criminalized and handcuffed,” Kim Sweet, AFC’s Executive Director, said. “As a city, we need to start treating all students as we want our own children to be treated.”

In response, a Department of Education spokesperson said: “Creating schools that are safe and welcoming for all students is at the core of this Administration’s work, and we have made important changes to drive record decreases in police interventions, arrests, suspensions, and the system-wide adoption of restorative justice practices.

“All students must return to healing-centered schools this fall, and we are hiring over 500 new social workers and adding over 100 more community schools to ensure every student has a caring adult to go to when in crisis.”

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A former school nurse explains why the recommended single nurse per 750 students isn’t nearly enough to provide safe care

Temperature check on playground during COVID-19
School nurses are leaders who “address the physical, mental, and emotional health needs of students.”

  • Professor Beth Jameson believes COVID-19 has exposed the flaw in havingone school nurse for every 750 kids.
  • School nurses have a lot of responsibilities and the pandemic has raised them exponentially.
  • More manageable workloads for nurses will mean better student health and academic outcomes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When many people think of a school nurse, they imagine a person who hands out Band-Aids for boo-boos.

But school nurses do so much more. They are school leaders who address the physical, mental, and emotional health needs of students.

As the COVID-19 pandemic played out, many school nurses took on even greater responsibilities. These include monitoring and evaluating staff and students for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms, contact tracing, and educating students, staff and community partners on vaccine and prevention measures. School nurses are also developing initiatives to deal with the anticipated increase in mental health services that students, families and staff will need in the post-pandemic world.

And yet, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that public elementary, middle, and high schools aim to have one school nurse for every 750 students.

As a former school nurse and current nurse scientist and professor of nursing, I know that this one-size-fits-all model does not consider the full role and responsibilities of the school nurse.

What’s more, as far as I can tell, no published research or evidence supports this ratio. It’s been traced at least as far back as the early 1970s and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, now known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Safety net for vulnerable kids

School nursing is a specialized practice that operates in environments very different from an acute care hospital setting. School nurses work alone, practice independently and are typically the sole health care provider in the building.

As part of our public health system, they play a critical role in disease surveillance, disaster preparedness, wellness and chronic disease prevention interventions, immunizations, mental health screening and asthma education.

And they are a safety net for society’s most vulnerable children. For example, if a student is experiencing food insecurity, the school nurse might coordinate with a community partner or school social worker to help the student and their family not go hungry.

Most school nurses will tell you they are unable to carry out many of these functions, often due to huge workloads or poor staffing.

I know from personal experience. From 2009 to 2014, I was the sole school nurse responsible for the health and safety of over 900 public elementary school children. This included special education classrooms for preschoolers and students with nonverbal autism. I now research how school health policies and practices effect the work environment of school nurses, and the challenges and barriers they face.

Research shows how a positive work environment for school nurses increases job satisfaction, reduces turnover and improves academic outcomes for students. A study of school nurses in Massachusetts schools demonstrated that for every dollar invested in school nursing, society would gain US$2.20 as a result of kids’ better health and disease prevention.

No one-size-fits-all ratio

A school nurse’s workload depends on a number of significant variables. For example, how many students in the school have chronic illnesses and need medication administered? How many students attend the school? What ages are they? What is the average number of student visits to the health office each school day? Are students spread across multiple buildings? What level of experience and specialized skills does the school nurse have?

The number of students in a school who are dealing with poverty or other health equity issues – including access to quality education, safe housing and health care – also impacts and increases the workload for school nurses.

These evidence-based variables can be used to guide school administrators and school nurses on what constitutes safe staffing. Making sure school nurses have a safe, appropriate workload is critical to ensuring that students have their health needs met at school.

Parents who are concerned about their child’s health at school may want to find out how many students their child’s school nurse cares for. How many students does the school nurse see on a typical day? Is a school nurse in the building every day? Does the school nurse cover more than one building? What happens when there is an emergency, such as a child with a life-threatening allergic reaction? Where are the emergency care plans kept? Is there stock medication available such as epinephrine and albuterol for students with severe allergies or asthma?

I believe school nurses need more manageable workloads in order to provide the safe care needed for better student health and academic outcomes. This leads to better health not just in individuals but in communities that need it most.

Beth Jameson, assistant professor of Nursing, Seton Hall University

The Conversation
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Manhattan DA prosecutors subpoenaed an elite Manhattan private school as part of its investigation into Trump

Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump.

  • Manhattan prosecutors subpoenaed a private school for its Trump investigation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • It’s reportedly examining whether tuition payments for the Trump Organization’s CFO broke tax laws.
  • The school received more than $500,000 in tuition overall, according to Jennifer Weisselberg.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York prosecutors have subpoenaed an elite private school in Manhattan as part of an investigation into former President Donald Trump and his Trump Organization, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sources told the Journal that Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School was subpoenaed by prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg’s grandchildren are students at the school. Prosecutors are reportedly trying to “flip” Weisselberg, who also oversees the Trump family’s finances, into cooperating with the investigation into irregularities in Trump’s and the Trump Organization’s finances.

Jennifer Weisselberg – the childrens’ mother – previously told Insider that Trump would include school tuition in the compensation package for her former husband, Barry Weisselberg. She is a cooperating witness in investigations from both the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the New York Attorney General’s office.

Prosecutors may be examining whether the tuition arrangement allowed Barry or Allen Weisselberg to avoid paying taxes, according to the Journal.

Jennifer Weisselberg told the Journal that more than $500,000 in tuition was paid for with checks written either by Trump or Allen Weisselberg. But the records in her possession don’t show who made the payments, the Journal reported.

The subpoenas for the elite Upper West Side school will allow prosecutors to obtain copies of the transactions for tuition payments, which may tell them whether they came from Trump, Allen Weisselberg, Barry Weisselberg, the Trump Organization, or some other source.

Prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office have already gone to the Supreme Court to subpoena reams of financial documents from the Trump Organization, including tax filings. They have also subpoenaed Allen Weisselberg’s bank records.

The Trumps and Weisselbergs have ties to Columbia Grammar

Michael Cohen, a former executive at the Trump Organization and personal lawyer for Trump, was previously the chairman of Columbia Grammar’s board. He helped make sure the Weisselberg grandchildren would be considered for admission, Jennifer Weisselberg previously told Insider.

The children of Jack Weisselberg, Allen Weisselberg’s other son, have also attended Columbia Grammar, according to the Journal.

Barron Trump, the former president’s youngest son, attended the school when he lived in New York City.

And the Trump Foundation – Donald Trump’s now-dissolved charity organization – donated $150,000 to the school between 2014 and 2016, according to the Journal’s review of tax filings.

donald trump jr allen weisselberg
Allen Weisselberg in 2016.

A court ordered the dissolution of the Trump Foundation in 2019, after New York Attorney General Letitia James brought a lawsuit accusing it of misusing funds.

James’s office is conducting its own investigation into Trump’s and the Trump Organization’s finances. It has made fewer public moves than the investigation from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. Vance is set to retire in December, and is widely expected to make a decision about whether to bring charges against Trump or the Trump Organization before then.

Trump faces numerous other legal headaches, including investigations into his conduct as president, lawsuits over sexual misconduct allegations, and an investigation in Georgia into his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results there.

In an earlier interview with Insider, Jennifer Weisselberg said the Trump Organization would pay employees like her former husband with perks like tuition and housing instead of cash as a way to control their lives.

“They want you to do crimes and not talk about it and don’t leave,” she said.

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Girls targeted in bomb carnage at school that left 55 dead in Afghan capital, Kabul

injured school girl waits by hospital in Kabul Afghanistan
An injured school girl waits for a transport from one hospital to the other, after a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 8, 2021.

  • At least 55 people have been killed in a bomb attack on a school in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday.
  • The majority of the victims were female students aged between 11 and 15 years old.
  • No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At least 55 people have died and 150 more were injured after multiple bombs went off outside a high school in west Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday, according to officials.

Most of the casualties were female students aged between 11 and 15 years old, Reuters reported.

The attack unfolded when a car bomb was detonated in front of Sayed Ul-Shuhada high school at 4 pm on Saturday. As students rushed out, two more bombs were set off, the New York Times reported. The school is located in the Shia-majority neighborhood of Dasht-i-Barchi.

Najiba Arian, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education, told Reuters that girls and boys study in three shifts at the school, the second of which is for female students. The bomb is thought to have gone off during this shift.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Read more: An American hacker explains how accepting a random LinkedIn request led to the Iranian government hounding her with ‘dodgy’ job offers for years

Videos and images on social media show blood-stained backpacks and books on the street as a crowd of people gathered in front of the school.

Nearby hospitals were flooded with injured students and distressed relatives desperately searching for their children, an eyewitness told Reuters. Dozens of people also lined up to donate blood.

Journalists working for the Associated Press reported seeing at least 20 dead bodies in the hallways of one hospital.

“I do not know what country we are in … We want peace and security,” one grieving relative told Reuters.

People stand at site of car explosion in. Kabul, Afghanistan
People stand at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 8, 2021.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement blaming the Taliban for the attack although he offered no proof.

A spokesperson for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, condemned the incident and denied the group was involved, Reuters reported.

Mujahid said only the Islamic State could be behind the attack. ISIS previously claimed attacks in the same area last year.

Afghan officials have said the Taliban has stepped up its attacks across the country ever since President Joe Biden announced plans last month to pull out all US troops by September 11.

Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who advocates for female education, tweeted:” The escalation of terrorism is alarming for peace and democracy in Afghanistan. World leaders must unite to safeguard school-children.”

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Florida legislature passed a bill making it illegal for schools to require COVID-19 vaccines – but a long list of shots are already required to attend school in the state

GettyImages 1232548409
Requiring proof of a coronavirus vaccination is becoming increasingly common as states and countries move to loosen restrictions and open up travel.

  • The Florida legislature passed a bill banning schools from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • The state of Florida requires a long list of vaccines for public school students.
  • Gov. Ron DeSantis already passed an executive order banning businesses from requiring “vaccine passports.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Florida legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban schools from requiring students to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, despite the fact that the state already requires students to receive a long list of shots.

The bill, which now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office for signing, was aimed at updating protocols for emergency planning and management, including public health emergencies. A brief section towards the end of the bill outlaws schools, businesses, and government entities from requiring coronavirus vaccine documentation.

The bill also codifies in legislation an executive order DeSantis, a Republican, signed earlier this month banning businesses from requiring “vaccine passports” and the government from issuing them.

“So-called COVID-19 vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy,” the order said.

However, the state of Florida already requires students to submit proof of vaccinations and immunizations in order to attend public school, and has for decades.

“Florida requires certain vaccines to be administered before children may enroll and attend childcare and school,” the Florida Department of Health website says.

The list of required shots includes: the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine; a polio vaccine; the chickenpox vaccine; the Hepatitis B vaccine; and multiple others.

Speaking to the Miami Herald, state representative Tom Leek, a Republican, defended the new bill, saying coronavirus vaccines “don’t have the same proven history of the same vaccines we require our school children to get. We must recognize that vaccine hesitancy is real and understandable.”

Requiring proof of a coronavirus vaccination is becoming increasingly common as states and countries move to loosen restrictions and open up travel.

On Sunday, a European Union official said the EU would allow American tourists this summer, but only if they can prove they are vaccinated.

More than 100 universities across the US will require students to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus before attending school in the fall, The New York Times reported.

And experts previously told Insider that requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test could allow for large scale events, like sporting events or concerts, to resume with less risk. The San Francisco Giants, for instance, are requiring fans older than 12 years old to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter the stadium.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

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Trans kids in Alabama are officially banned from playing sports that don’t correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth

Trans protest
A protest to support trans people in 2017 in New York City.

  • A new bill passed Friday bans trans youth in Alabama from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.
  • The new ban applies to all sports teams across Alabama’s public schools.
  • The bill is the latest amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures this year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Friday signed a bill into law that effectively bans trans kids from participating in school sports that match their gender identity.

The bill mandates that trans youth attending public schools in Alabama only play on sports teams that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.

“A public K-12 school may not allow a biological female to participate on a male team if there is a female team in a sport,” the text of Alabama House Bill 391 reads. “A public K-12 school may never allow a biological male to participate on a female team.”

The bill says “biological males” have distinct advantages over “biological females” when it comes to sports and claims to be acting in a way that “promotes sex equality.” Cisgender girls would have difficulty competing “on a fair playing field for scholarships and other athletic accomplishments,” the bill says.

Human-rights groups have repeatedly debunked the idea that including trans athletes on sports teams hurts cisgender people.

The ACLU, for example, says the myth “reinforces stereotypes that women are weak and in need of protection.”

“HB 391 is nothing more than a politically motivated bill designed to discriminate against an already vulnerable population. By signing this legislation, Gov. Ivey is forcefully excluding transgender children,” Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement.

“They deserve the same opportunity to learn valuable skills of teamwork, sportsmanship, and healthy competition with their peers,” David’s statement continued. “Simply put, Alabamans deserve better than lawmakers who legislate against the health and safety of all kids for cheap political gain.”

The Alabama bill is the latest amid a surge of anti-trans bills being considered in state legislatures across the country this year. Insider previously reported that 28 states are voting on anti-trans legislation in 2021.

Have a news tip? Reach this reporter at ydzhanova@insider.com

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20 Utah schools reopened when COVID-19 rates were soaring, but only saw 5 new cases. Here’s how they protected students and teachers.

texas school reopening
Elementary school students walk to classes to begin their school day in Godley, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

  • Only 5 school-associated COVID-19 cases were detected among students and teachers exposed and tested across 20 schools in the district.
  • The rare school-associated infections were attributed to poor mask usage or close lunch seating.
  • Schools can reopen safely even when seating is 3 feet apart if other measures like masks are heeded, the CDC says.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rates of COVID-19 transmission were high in Salt Lake County, Utah, this past December and January, but in one school district, they remained very low thanks to mitigation measures like mask-wearing, a March 19 report out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

Specifically, only 0.7% of teachers and students who’d been in close contact with an infected peer or colleague contracted COVID-19 from them at school. None of the 20 schools analyzed experienced a coronavirus outbreak.

The authors say the report demonstrates how mitigation measures like mask wearing and restricting extra-curricular activities can make school reopenings safe – even, as was the case in the schools studied, kids can’t always sit a full six feet apart.

In accordance with this report and other studies, the CDC changed its physical distancing guidance for K-12 schools Friday, saying 3 feet of space is enough between students, in most circumstances.

The school-associated cases were traced to improper mask wearing or close seating at lunch

To conduct the study, CDC researchers looked at 20 K-6 schools in one Salt Lake County school district between December 3, 2020 and January 31, 2021.

They identified 1,041 students and teachers susceptible to COVID-19 who, while at school, were in close contact with 51 of their COVID-positive peers and colleagues. “Close contact” meant they’d been with the infected person, while contagious, for 15 minutes or more in a classroom, cafeteria, school bus, or at recess.

After testing 735 of the 1,041 contacts, the study authors found only 12 had contracted the disease, and only five had contracted it at school. In those school-associated cases, transmission seemed to occur because the infected person wasn’t wearing their mask properly or was sitting near someone at lunch.

Wearing masks and staggering breaks can prevent transmission even if some students and teachers are COVID-positive

The study authors credit the school’s mitigation strategies with preventing higher rates of spread and outbreaks in schools.

For example, students were put in cohorts where possible, and most schools staggered lunch, gym, and other activities like library use and art classes. They also limited, or made virtual, in-person extra-curriculars and events like sports, assemblies, performances, and field trips. 86% of teachers reported that their students always wore their masks, except when eating and drinking.

Such strategies proved successful, despite the fact that kids were spaced a median of 3 feet apart, and teachers often had closer than 6-feet interactions with their kids in small group settings without any plexiglass or other barrier.

Even when the school district loosened its quarantining guidance in mid-December – only requiring a close contact of an infected person to quarantine if one or both hadn’t been wearing masks – rates of school-associated COVID-19 cases didn’t change. That guidance shift led to over 1,200 student in-person learning days saved, the report says.

This could be a model for other schools

The study had some limitations. For one, the genome-sequencing technology to differentiate school-based transmission from community transmission wasn’t always available. Plus, some contacts of infectious people could have been missed, and some identified contacts may have already been unknowingly immune to COVID-19. The findings also can’t be applied to new COVID-19 variants that weren’t circulating in the Utah community at the time.

But the study authors say the Utah schools can serve as a model for others looking to resume in-person learning safely.

“When ≥6 ft distancing is not feasible,” they write, “schools in high-incidence communities can still limit in-school transmission by consistently using masks and implementing other important mitigation strategies.”

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Two 13-year-old brothers are participating in Moderna’s vaccine trial for kids. They’re ‘pretty chill’ about it.

preston boys
Gavin Preston (left) and Emmett Preston (right).

  • Emmett and Gavin Preston, 13-year-old brothers, are participants in Moderna’s vaccine trial.
  • Moderna is studying the effects of its coronavirus shot among 3,000 kids from 12 to 17.
  • The brothers said they didn’t want to spread the virus to their mom, who has an autoimmune condition.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At 13 years old, Emmett and Gavin Preston aren’t yet eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved the shots for kids under 16 due to a lack of data.

But the Preston brothers are participants in Moderna’s clinical trial: The company is currently studying the effects of the shot among 3,000 kids ages 12 to 17. A separate trial is testing it in 6,750 children under 12, including babies as young as six months.

Emmett and Gavin, both adopted, received their first shots on February 12 at their local doctor’s office in Charleston, South Carolina, then their second shots one month later. The brothers said they were a bit nervous about the needle but haven’t felt many side effects.

“When they showed me the shot, I was like, ‘What?’ And then when I took it, I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not that bad,'” Emmett told Insider.

For a week after each dose, they logged their symptoms into an app so researchers could track their side effects.

“I just felt like my normal self,” Emmett said. By the second time he got vaccinated, he added, he was “pretty chill” about it.

Kids may respond differently to the vaccine than adults

Moderna vaccine
A nurse prepares a coronavirus vaccine shot developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., July 2020.

Moderna’s trials are randomized, double-blind studies, meaning half of the participants get the vaccine while the other half get a placebo, and nobody knows which they’ve gotten.

For some adult participants, side effects were sometimes a clue that they’d gotten more than a saline solution – some felt headache, fever, or chills (indicators that their bodies were reacting and building antibodies). But scientists aren’t sure whether kids will feel side effects to the same degree.

“Children generally respond well to vaccines,” Donna Farber, a Columbia University immunologist, previously told Insider. “They should respond well or comparably to a young adult – and maybe even better.”

Emmett said he had a sore shoulder and “felt a bit run down” after the first shot. Gavin said he had some minor fatigue two days after the second one.

“It went perfectly after all that,” Gavin said. “Nothing has really happened.”

In general, kids aren’t very susceptible to severe illness due to COVID-19. Children represent around 13% of confirmed coronavirus infections in the US, but less than 0.2% of the nation’s coronavirus deaths. Some researchers suspect that’s because kids’ immune systems fight off the virus before it has a chance to replicate widely.

The Preston brothers were on board with the trial right away

Children can be difficult to include in trials, since ethical questions arise if they don’t fully understand what they’re signing up for, and scientists are cautious of any research that could stunt a child’s development. Many parents are not comfortable signing their kids up to participate for the same reasons.

But the Preston brothers are no strangers to clinical trials. For the past few years, they’ve participated in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study, the largest long-term study of brain development and child health in the US. The study recruits healthy children ages 9 to 10 and observes their brain growth through early adulthood.

So when the Preston boys’ mother, Katie, approached them about getting the Moderna vaccine, they didn’t think twice about it, they said.

“My mom brought it up and I was like, ‘Ooh, that sounds interesting,'” Emmett said.

preston boys
The Preston brothers wait to receive their shots.

Katie said she learned of the trial through a friend who posted about it on Facebook. She emailed her doctor’s office in Charleston to express interest, then heard back a few weeks later.

“We had to go through a little screening process and they said the boys were good, so we went for it,” Katie said.

Emmett and Gavin are less stressed about in-person school now

school closure empty classroom
An empty classroom.

The Preston brothers were motivated to get vaccinated as soon as possible because Katie has an autoimmune condition and both boys have returned to school in-person. They didn’t want bring the virus home.

Coronavirus transmission tends to be low in schools, as long as masks and social distancing are mandatory, but kids can still spread the virus, even if they have no symptoms.

“Just being able to protect myself and my family from coronavirus really makes me feel positive inside,” Gavin said.

He added that he was eager to assist with scientific research, since science is one of his favorite subjects.

When he grows up, he said, “I want to research dementia, Alzheimer’s, anything memory loss related, to try and help those people.”

Knowing that there’s a 50-50 chance they’re vaccinated, both brothers said, has made them less stressed about getting sick at school. Neither wants to return to virtual learning.

“It was really hard to learn online,” Gavin said. “Then when I got in school, my grades started to go up.”

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A man taking a college-entrance exam in Tokyo was disqualified for refusing to keep his mask over his nose

mask
A woman holds a face mask in her hands.

  • A 49-year-old man in Tokyo was disqualified from college-entrance exams for not wearing a mask.
  • The man was told six times to pull his mask up, but he didn’t.
  • When he was barred from the test, he hid in the bathroom and refused to leave until he was arrested.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A Japanese man was disqualified from taking the college-entrance exams after he repeatedly refused to keep his face mask up, the local news outlet Asahi Shimbum first reported.

The man, who was not named, was taking the exams at a test center in Tokyo on January 16. 

Proctors asked the student six times to pull his mask up to cover his nose, warning that if they didn’t it could result in disqualification, but he still left it down, Asahi reported.

The behavior was considered intentional disobedience. 

“We made our decision comprehensively because the test-taker, who was not even coughing, continued not to cover the nose intentionally,” an official at the National Center for University Entrance Examinations told Asahi. 

“It is not misconduct to occasionally uncover noses  when participants feel difficulty in breathing,” the official added. “The test-taker was disqualified for repeatedly refusing to follow the instructions.”

After being told he was disqualified, the test-taker went to the bathroom and refused to leave, Mainichi reported.

The 49-year-old man was eventually arrested, according to the outlet.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone who is taking the two-day university entrance exams is required to wear a face mask. 

Those who can’t because of special circumstances are allowed to be unmasked in another room if they apply for permission, but the test taker in this case hadn’t, Asahi reported.

The test-taker didn’t tell his proctor they weren’t wearing the mask or appeared to have “a special circumstance” justifying the behavior, the outlet reported.

The number of new positive COVID-19 cases in Japan has been on a steady rise for the last two weeks. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has had more than 335,000 cases and over 4,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Read the full story in Asahi »»

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