Supreme Court won’t take up case challenging school’s policy allowing a transgender student to use bathroom corresponding with their identity

The petition was considered a long shot because of several complicated threshold issues, including the fact that the policy had been put in place five years ago for one student — referred to as “student A” — who has since graduated from the high school located in Dallas, Oregon. At issue was an individualized plan drawn up specifically for “student A.”

In declining to take up the petition, the justices left in place an appeals court decision earlier this year that held that the school’s policy intended to “avoid discrimination and ensure the safety and well-being of transgender students.”

“A policy that allows transgender students to use school bathroom and locker facilities that match their self-identified gender in the same manner that cisgender students utilize those facilities does not infringe Fourteenth Amendment privacy or parental rights or First Amendment free exercise rights, nor does it create actionable sex harassment under Title IX,” Judge Atsushi Wallace Tashima wrote for the appeals court.

The Supreme Court’s action Monday was taken without comment or noted dissent.

The American Civil Liberties Union cheered the court’s move on Monday, saying the justices’ message was that “transgender youth are not a threat to other students.”

“The decision not to take this case is an important and powerful message to trans and non-binary youth that they deserve to share space with and enjoy the benefits of school alongside their non-transgender peers,” Chase Strangio, the deputy director for trans justice with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, said in a statement.
Federal appeals court sides with student in Virginia transgender bathroom case

Despite Monday’s order, the issue isn’t likely to go away soon. Other lower courts have addressed a related question brought by lawyers for transgender students concerning whether Title IX or the Constitution requires schools to allow transgender students to have equal access to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. A case on that issue is expected to reach the court early next year.

The transgender bathroom debate has long been a flashpoint for the court. Supporters of LGBTQ rights fear that the Supreme Court’s newly solidified 6-3 conservative majority could prove to be hostile toward policies in favor of transgender students.

In late August, a federal appeals court handed a win to a transgender former student in a years-long fight over restroom policies, ruling that policies segregating transgender students from their peers are unconstitutional and violate federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education. That decision relied in part on the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in favor of LGBT workers.

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White House pressured CDC on reopening schools, officials say

Washington — Top White House officials over the summer pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to downplay the risk of the coronavirus among young people and encourage the reopening of schools, according to two former CDC officials who were at the agency at the time.

The New York Times first reported that White House officials, including aides in Vice President Mike Pence’s office and Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, were involved in trying to circumvent the CDC to promote data that showed the spread of the virus was slowing. The former CDC officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CBS News that the information in the Times report was accurate.

Olivia Troye, a former adviser to Pence who worked on the White House coronavirus task force, told the Times that she was repeatedly asked by Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, to produce more data showing a decline in cases in young people. Troye left the White House in August and has since become a vocal critic of the president and the administration’s coronavirus response.

The Times also reported that Birx pushed the CDC to include data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency inside the Department of Health and Human Services, which said that extended school closures could affect children’s mental health and argued that transmission of the virus among family members was low. The Times obtained an email from Birx to CDC Director Robert Redfield asking him to incorporate the document as “background” in CDC guidance for reopening schools.

President Trump over the summer repeatedly argued that schools should be reopened for in-person learning. At an event in July, he said “we want to get them open quickly, beautifully, in the fall.”


NYC students return to class as COVID cases s…

02:13

A second former CDC official involved in writing the guidelines told CBS News that Birx was influential in shaping the message surrounding schools reopening, and pushed to focus on the risk factors involved for kids if they stayed home instead of the risks linked to going back to class. This official said that the White House was “slicing and dicing our data to fit its narrative.”

This person said that CDC scientists were most alarmed by the “preamble” to guidance posted on the website, which stressed the potential negative impact on children if schools did not reopen quickly. While the CDC had incorporated some of the data about that into their own guidelines, they were against making it the top focus.

Brian Morgenstern, the White House deputy press secretary, said in a statement to CBS News that the president “relies on the advice of all of his top health officials who agree that it is in the public health interest to safely reopen schools, and that the relative risks posed by the virus to young people are outweighed by the risks of keeping children out of school indefinitely.”

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White House Officials Pushed CDC to Downplay Risks of Reopening Schools

Top White House officials pushed the CDC to minimize the dangers of COVID-19 for young people and pressured schools to reopen this summer.

Two former CDC officials tell The New York Times that White House officials, like aides in Mike Pence’s office and Dr. Deborah Birx—the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force—were attempting to bypass the CDC to boost data that showed the virus’ spread was slowing down. While the identities of the former CDC officials remained anonymous, they confirmed to CBS News that The Times report was true.

Former Pence adviser Olivia Troye, who worked on the White House coronavirus task force, told The Times that Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, frequently asked her to create more data that showed a drop in cases among young people. Troye ultimately left her post in August and has now become a Trump detractor and outwardly critical of how the administration handled the pandemic.

According to The Times, Birx urged the CDC to promote data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—part of the Department of Health and Human Services—which said that prolonged school closings could impact children’s mental health and asserted that the virus’ spread in families was low. In an email from Birx to CDC Director Robert Redfield, Birx asks him to include the document as “background” in CDC guidance for school reopenings.

A second former CDC official said that Birx spearheaded the message for school reopenings, which centered on the dangers of kids staying at home rather than reentering the classroom. This official said that the White House was “slicing and dicing our data to fit its narrative.”

This official also said that CDC scientists were frightened by the “preamble” to guidance shared on the website, which emphasized the possible negative impact that delayed school openings could have. The CDC had used some of that data for its own guidelines, but it wasn’t the focal point.

Brian Morgenstern, the White House deputy press secretary, told CBS that the president “relies on the advice of all of his top health officials who agree that it is in the public health interest to safely reopen schools, and that the relative risks posed by the virus to young people are outweighed by the risks of keeping children out of school indefinitely.”

A White House official boasted about Birx’s close relationship with Redfield, telling CBS that “the notion that Dr. Birx was ‘pressuring’ Dr. Redfield to do something he didn’t agree with seems preposterous on its face.”

“A conversation or comments exchanged between friends and colleagues is hardly some sort of politically-charged demand,” the official added.

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White House pressured CDC on reopening schools, report says

Washington — Top White House officials over the summer pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to downplay the risk of the coronavirus among young people and encourage the reopening of schools, according to a former CDC official who was at the agency at the time.

The New York Times first reported that White House officials, including officials in Vice President Mike Pence’s office and Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, were involved in trying to circumvent the CDC to promote data that showed the spread of the virus was slowing. The former CDC official told CBS News that the information in the Times report was accurate.

Olivia Troye, a former member of Pence’s staff, told the Times that she was repeatedly asked by Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, to produce more data showing a decline in cases in young people.

The Times also reported that Birx pushed the CDC to include data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency inside the Department of Health and Human Services, which said that extended school closures could affect children’s mental health and argued that transmission of the virus among family members was low. The Times obtained an email from Birx to CDC Director Robert Redfield asking him to incorporate the document as “background” in CDC guidance for reopening schools.

President Trump over the summer repeatedly argued that schools should be reopened for in-person learning. At an event in July, he said “we want to get them open quickly, beautifully, in the fall.”

Another former CDC official involved in writing the guidelines told CBS News that Birx was influential in shaping the message surrounding schools reopening, and pushed to focus on the risk factors involved for kids if they stayed home instead of the risks linked to going back to class. This official said that the White House was “slicing and dicing our data to fit its narrative.”

This official said that CDC scientists were most alarmed by the “preamble” to the guidance that was posted on the website, the document that stressed the potential negative impact on children if schools did not reopen quickly. While the CDC had incorporated some of the data about that into their own guidelines, they were against making it the top focus.

Brian Morgenstern, the White House deputy press secretary, said in a statement to CBS News that the president “relies on the advice of all of his top health officials who agree that it is in the public health interest to safely reopen schools, and that the relative risks posed by the virus to young people are outweighed by the risks of keeping children out of school indefinitely.”

A White House official touted Birx’s close relationship with Redfield, telling CBS News that “the notion that Dr. Birx was ‘pressuring’ Dr. Redfield to do something he didn’t agree with seems preposterous on its face.”

“A conversation or comments exchanged between friends and colleagues is

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Former Pence Adviser ‘Appalled’ At Pressure White House Placed On CDC To Open Schools

KEY POINTS

  • New reports said the CDC faced pressure from the White House to downplay the coronavirus’ threat toward younger people
  • Former Pence adviser Olivia Troye said this was to help President Trump’s chances of reelection
  • She said some White House staff were told to go around the CDC to find information supporting Trump’s narrative about the pandemic

A former adviser for Vice President Mike Pence said reports were accurate that the White House pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to encourage schools to reopen and downplay the threat coronavirus posed to children.

Olivia Troye said these efforts were meant to improve President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection in the November general elections.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. has 7.16 million confirmed cases and over 205,000 reported deaths from coronavirus.

“Unfortunately, this was an effort, you know, at times where I would get blindsided, where there would be junior staffers being tasked to find different data for charts to show that the virus wasn’t as bad for certain populations, ages or demographics,” Troye told CNN on Tuesday.

“I think you’ve seen from the beginning the President’s narrative has been ‘everything’s fine. Everything’s OK. Time to get back to normal. Let’s get the economy going again.’”

Troye’s comments come nearly two weeks after she endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and said she planned to vote for him in November.

The New York Times released its report on the mounting pressure on Monday as well, describing the efforts White House staff to encourage reopening.

The Times said several members of the coronavirus task force, including Dr. Deborah Birx, and Pence’s staff routinely asked CDC officials to produce reports showing coronavirus was declining among younger populations. In some cases, Pence had his chief of staff, Marc Short, and junior staff members try to circumvent the CDC and to find data supporting their narrative.

The hope was having schools and the general economy reopened by the fall to help President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection. Troye said it was these actions that led her to leave the White House.

“You’re impacting people’s lives for whatever political agenda,” Troye said. “You’re exchanging votes for lives, and I have a serious problem with that.

“I was appalled when I found out that Marc Short was tasking more junior staff in the office of the vice president to develop charts for briefings.”

Troye added that she feels for CDC Director Robert Redfield because of the position the Trump administration put him in amid the pandemic.

That’s been evident in Redfield’s comments,  which regularly contradict the White House’s efforts to downplay coronavirus. A recent example came during a Senate hearing on Sept. 16, when Redfield said masks were still the best tool to help combat coronavirus and the earliest the U.S. could “get back to regular life” would likely be between June and September 2021 if a vaccine was ready by December.

“I’ve seen Dr. Redfield trying to figure out how he’s going to navigate

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Garden Grove Unified reverses plan to reopen schools for in-person instruction

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) — Garden Grove Unified School District has reversed its plan for reopening schools.

According to the Orange County Register, the county’s third-largest school district announced Wednesday that it’s no longer planning to return to in-class learning in October.

The district says more parents than expected want to continue with distance learning, and school officials needs more time for planning and to obtain additional technology for students.

RELATED: Huntington Park business gets creative, builds space-saving desks for students doing distance learning in tight quarters

The district, which includes about 41,000 students, initially planned to reopen elementary schools on Oct. 5 and middle and high schools on Oct. 12. Most campuses planned a hybrid with some in-person learning and some online instruction due to physical distancing requirements.

It is unclear when the district will reopen campuses.

In the meantime, the district says it’s working to expand its on-site supervision programs to help parents.

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Garden City Schools Welcome New Teachers

GARDEN CITY, NY — The Garden City School District welcomed the newest members of its instructional team for a three-day orientation prior to the start of the school year. From Aug. 25 through 27, the new staff members participated in training sessions as they got to know the district and became familiar with procedures.

The first day was held in-person in the Garden City High School Auditorium. Seated six feet apart and wearing masks, the attendees were welcomed by members of the Board of Education, administration, PTA and SEPTA. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kusum Sinha shared the district’s mission, vision and goals, Director of Technology Dr. Rita Melikian reviewed technology practices and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Leadership Development Nanine McLaughlin outlined important policies, supervision and evaluation. The new staff members then spent the afternoon at their respective schools, where they met with principals and coordinators.

The remainder of the program was conducted remotely and focused on active learning and lesson planning, special education, business office procedures, athletics and Google Classroom basics, among other workshop topics. Teachers were introduced to their mentors and established strong connections with colleagues in preparation for the school year ahead.

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Elementary schools students return to class in B.C.’s Southern Interior



a little girl riding on the back of a bicycle: Elementary schools in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now opened.


© Global News
Elementary schools in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now opened.

Elementary schools in B.C.’s Southern Interior have opened and with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, it’s an unprecedented first day back at school.

Global News talked to some elementary school parents to see how they are feeling about schools being reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m glad they’re reopened, I think it’s good to get back to a sense of normal,” said Angela Walsh, a Kelowna parent.

“My son has been really excited to get the opportunity to go to kindergarten. Of course, I’m a little bit nervous not knowing how things will play out with COVID-19″.

The same sentiment was echoed by another parent.

“He was actually quite happy to go this morning and was first in line to get into his classroom. I’m feeling pretty positive,” said Amy Martens, a Kelowna parent.

“Definitely a wait and see what happens.”

Read more: Back to school: If someone in a B.C. school gets sick, what happens next?

Martins, whose son is going into Grade 5, says school resuming is like a weight being lifted off her shoulders.

“A relief, for sure. Socially, it’s nice to have him back with his peers. Get him out of the house, and having a purpose to the day. It’s hard to keep a 10-year-old busy,” said Martens.

One parent said its been a long summer for him and his wife.

“I’m excited to have them going back,” said Matthew Cleary, a Kelowna parent.

“It’s been a long spring and summer taking care of the kids at home, and working from home. So, it’s nice to get them back into school and into a regular routine.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Anxiety high for B.C. teachers as they prepare to return to school on Tuesday

Central Okanagan Public Schools says it hears some of the concerns that some parents are having, but say staff are doing everything they can within the provincial guidelines to keep everyone safe.

“We are really excited to see about 99 per cent of our kids come back to in-class instruction. We’ve got lots of safety protocols in place to make sure that the risk is low for students to attend school,” said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools’ superintendent.

The situation will be an ongoing one, and parents say they will be monitoring how the transition of opening schools during a pandemic goes.

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Garden City Schools Welcome Back Students

GARDEN CITY, NY — The morning of Sept. 8 was full of excitement in Garden City as school doors opened for students. With buildings equipped to meet social distancing guidelines and other health and safety regulations, the district began the 2020-21 school year with enthusiasm.

Signs and banners provided by PTA groups added to the welcoming atmosphere at each school. Bright decorations and uplifting messages framed the buildings as students were greeted by their principals and teachers and directed toward their classrooms.

Administrators and faculty members worked hard these last several weeks to get facilities ready for this day. They put time, effort and passion into the creation of warm, inspiring and comfortable instructional environments. Throughout the district, seating has been appropriately spaced, hallways are marked to prevent traffic and thorough cleaning measures are in place. Distribution of technology has begun and will continue for the next few weeks.

The long-awaited reunion between students and teachers was evident as they waved to one another and exchanged hellos. Learning commenced quickly within the buildings, indicating an excellent year ahead.

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Garden City Schools Name New Math, STEAM Leader

GARDEN CITY, NY — The Garden City School District announced that Christina Cardella will be the new coordinator of mathematics and STEAM. Cardella, appointed on Aug. 18, takes on the responsibilities previously held by Stu Dods, who retired earlier this summer. The position has been expanded to include the aspects of science, technology, engineering and the arts.

Cardella comes to Garden City from Massachusetts, where she served as a STEM coordinator in the Chelsea Public Schools. Prior to that, she was director of math and business in the Melrose Public Schools and has many years of experience as a high school mathematics teacher in the Belmont and Medford school districts. She has received the Partners in Excellence Teacher Award from Mass Insight based on her success teaching AP Statistics, the Staff and Teacher Appreciation and Recognition Award from Belmont High School parents and several other honors from students.

In her recent roles, Cardella was instrumental in establishing a vision for math, science and technology education. She helped her districts plan and implement new programs and curricula as well as course offerings, professional development opportunities and pathways for students to maximize their achievement. She also supported the creation and analysis of district benchmark assessments. She has led and overseen various staff members and teams, and has presented at national and regional conferences.

Cardella holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in math from Salem State College and obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Education from Bucknell University. She minored in Spanish and completed part of her studies at the University of Sevilla, Spain.

“The district is excited to welcome Ms. Cardella and expand this position to add the STEAM components,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kusum Sinha. “We look forward to the contributions that she will make to our students and programs.”

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