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Viral photo looks like principal is choking student

Twelve students were suspended this week after a photo of a principal appearing to choke a female student went viral.

Pittsburg High School Principal Todd Whitmire said the photo was taken last Friday as he restrained the girl who refused to stop fighting with a classmate.

The photo went viral immediately.

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News Flash

Students can’t graduate unless they get accepted into college

A high school in Oregon wants to add an additional requirement to its graduation policy.

Corbett High School’s principal wants to mandate that each student apply for and get accepted into a college or trade school before walking across the stage.

The principal of Corbett High School says the students wouldn’t have to follow through and attend the school - he simply wants this to be a lesson in the application process. If a student can’t afford any application fees, the school has grants that will cover the cost. 

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[photo of Sophia Nahli Allison]
All posts by Sophia Nahli Allison »

Graduation: Voices and Images of Chicago Youth Violence

This is an introduction to a series of ongoing posts featuring youth voices and images from Graduation, a multimedia project about Chicago youth violence. I hope to create a collection of youth voices working to create positive change, break negative stereotypes and provide insight into Chicago violence while challenging current social issues.

In 2010 I began collecting newspaper clippings about Chicago youth violence, and the growing number of youth killings haunted me. I knew I wanted to do something but I wasn’t sure what kind of impact I could make.  In 2011 reality struck closer to home when my cousin Cam was killed to gun violence.  Although Cam wasn’t a youth, seeing the grief and irreversible devastation my family experienced made my urge to make a difference stronger.

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News Flash

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Kilpatrick, 43, was convicted of 24 counts including racketeering and extortion in March.

At least 18 officials have been convicted during his tenure as mayor.

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News Flash

Blacks hit hardest by shutdown

All Americans are feeling the affects of the government shutdown, but according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, African Americans are getting hit particularly hard during the hiatus.

Government jobs have been more available to Blacks than private sector employment over the years thanks to de jure segregation.

People of color represent 34 percent of the federal workforce, and make up 37 percent of the U.S. population overall. 

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News Flash

Jobs report: Unemployment highest in six months amid shutdown

According to The U.S. Labor Department, new weekly claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 66,000 to 374,000 last week, the highest in six months.

One-fourth of the new claims were due to private-sector workers filing for unemployment in result of the government shutdown.

Thursdays claims report did not include any federal workers on furlough. Those are reported with a one week delay, so the numbers may be even higher.

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News Flash

Man who served 20 years due to wrongful conviction awarded $25 million


Thaddeus Jimenez was just 13-years-old when he was convicted of Eric Morro’s murder in 1993 in Chicago.

He served nearly 20 years in prison for the crime that he says he didn’t commit.

Now a 7th Circuit judge has awarded Jimenez $25 million for the wrongful conviction.

From Courthouse News:

In 2009, the State’s Attorney and his own lawyers filed a motion to vacate the sentence based on what they claimed were the coercive tactics former Chicago police detective Jerome Bogucki employed upon potential witnesses during his investigation. The attorneys prevailed and Jimenez was eventually awarded a certificate of innocence. He then filed a complaint against the city and Bogucki on claims of malicious prosecution, deprivation of due process and conspiracy.

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News Flash

Bill that will change Stand Your Ground law advances

Florida legislators advanced changes to the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law amid series of protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

The current law allows citizens to use “deadly force” without trying to retreat if they feel their lives are being threatened.

In July, a jury found Zimmerman not guilty for the murder of Trayvon Martin. While Zimmerman did not rely on “Stand Your Ground” for his defense, his trial has brought to light the law.

From The Orlando Sentinel:

The bill would require sheriffs and city police departments to set guidelines for “neighborhood watch” programs like Zimmerman’s and to restrict members to observing and reporting suspected crimes.[...] the bill would also prohibit people who are the “aggressors” in confrontations from then claiming “stand your ground” immunity.

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News Flash

Marissa Alexander supporters demand her release

Marissa Alexander will be granted a new trial and while this is great news for the woman sentenced to 20 years in prison, her supporters are demanding more.

Some in favor of Alexander’s freedom aren’t quite convinced that another trial will yield fair results.

Alexander was denied immunity under Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense when she fired a warning shot over her abusive husband’s head in 2010 during an altercation.

From Colorlines:

Alexander’s sentence was overturned because of flawed jury instructions, but she still hasn’t had a bail hearing. Now, a group of supporters are organizing to stop prosecutor Corey from moving forward on the case, and they are asking the state drop the charges against Alexander.

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News Flash

Latest episode of “South Park” spoofs Trayvon Martin shooting


The cartoon comedy “South Park” has a long-standing reputation for its controversial humor.

The latest episode tackles a still touchy subject: the Trayvon Martin shooting.

In the second episode of the season, character Eric Cartman attempts to blame Token, who portrays an African American role on the show, for black rage over the Zimmerman verdict.

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