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Today in History

Today is Saturday, May 14, the 134th day of 2022. There are 231 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 14, 1940, the Netherlands surrendered to invading German forces during World War II.

On this date:

In 1643, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner inoculated 8-year-old James Phipps against smallpox by using cowpox matter.

In 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the Louisiana Territory as well as the Pacific Northwest left camp near present-day Hartford, Illinois.

In 1948, according to the current-era calendar, the independent state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv by David Ben-Gurion, who became its first prime minister; U.S. President Harry S. Truman immediately recognized the new nation.

In 1955, representatives from eight Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. (The Pact was dissolved in 1991.)

In 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked by violent mobs in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama.

In 1988, 27 people, mostly teens, were killed when their church bus collided with a pickup truck going the wrong direction on a highway near Carrollton, Kentucky. (Truck driver Larry Mahoney served 9 1/2 years in prison for manslaughter.)

In 1998, singer-actor Frank Sinatra died at a Los Angeles hospital at age 82. The hit sitcom “Seinfeld” aired its final episode after nine years on NBC.

In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that there is no exception in federal law for people to use marijuana for medical purposes.

In 2003, more than 100 immigrants were abandoned in a locked trailer at a Texas truck stop; 19 of them died. (Truck driver Tyrone Williams was later sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison for his role in the deaths.)

In 2008, the Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice.

In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned doctors about a serious rare inflammatory condition in children linked with the coronavirus.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama sought to tarnish Republican Mitt Romney as a corporate titan who got rich by cutting rather than creating jobs; Romney’s campaign responded that the former Massachusetts governor alone helped spur more public and private jobs than Obama had.

Five years ago: Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’) swept into office as France’s new president, pledging to fortify the European Union, redesign French politics and glue together his divided nation. Five days after South Korea elected a president who expressed a desire to reach out to North Korea, Pyongyang sent a challenge to its rival’s new leader by test-firing a ballistic missile.

One year ago: Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years; hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 people, including one who had tried to stab an Israeli soldier. Israel barraged the northern Gaza Strip with tank fire and airstrikes; a Gaza family of six was killed when an airstrike crushed their home in what Israel said was an effort to clear militant tunnels. Demonstrating allegiance to Donald Trump, Republicans elected Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, a Trump stalwart, to a House leadership post that had been held by Trump critic Liz Cheney until she was tossed from that post days earlier.

Today’s Birthdays: Photo-realist artist Richard Estes is 90. Actor Dame Sian Phillips is 89. Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is 80. Movie producer George Lucas is 78. Guitarist Gene Cornish is 78. Actor Meg Foster is 74. Movie director Robert Zemeckis is 71. Rock singer David Byrne is 70. Actor Tim Roth is 61. Rock singer Ian Astbury (The Cult) is 60. Rock musician C.C. (aka Cecil) DeVille is 60. Actor Danny Huston is 60. Rock musician Mike Inez (Alice In Chains) is 56. Fabrice Morvan (ex-Milli Vanilli) is 56. R&B singer Raphael Saadiq is 56. Actor Cate Blanchett is 53. Singer Danny Wood (New Kids on the Block) is 53. Movie writer-director Sofia Coppola (KOH’-pah-lah) is 51. Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is 50. Actor Gabriel Mann is 50. Singer Natalie Appleton (All Saints) is 49. Singer Shanice is 49. Actor Carla Jimenez is 48. Rock musician Henry Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 44. Alt-country musician-singer Ketch Secor is 44. Rock singer-musician Dan Auerbach is 43. Rock musician Mike Retondo (Plain White T’s) is 41. Actor Amber Tamblyn is 39. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is 38. Actor Lina Esco is 37. NFL player Rob Gronkowski is 33. Actor Miranda Cosgrove is 29.

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Teacher Details How She Was Reported to Board of Education for Reading Poetry Book To Second Graders: ‘It Was Just a Poem About Freedom’

Podcast host and teacher Lauran Woolley says she got reported to the Board of Education for reading to her former second-grade class a poem about freedom.

Speaking on this week’s episode of Teachers Off Duty, Woolley and co-host Briana Richardson spoke candidly about dealing with parents and students.

“Kids do come home and tell you stuff that you’re like, ‘Oh, I know they didn’t.’ You know? And so you gotta, you gotta check it out. But some of the stuff they be telling y’all — come on, it’s outrageous,” Richardson said.

“Call the teacher. Just ask,” Woolley added.

“Communicate with us,” Richardson said. “I had a kid like straight-up lie to his mama, like to her face and the mom did not call me. She didn’t try to reach out to me. She didn’t communicate. She was talking to the teacher next door about me. — So I reached out to the parent and I was like, ‘Hey, like, you know, this is what’s going on.’ The parent was cool but like at first, like you believed your son for something that I literally did not do.”

Woolley followed this with her own story of teaching a second-grade class, saying, “That happened to me, my very first year of teaching, I had a student, who went home and told their parents that — they were having nightmares because of the book I read to them in class.”

She added, “They didn’t even call me or contact me. They went straight to the Board of Education And they were like, ‘She’s giving my student nightmares because she’s reading inappropriate books in school.'”

Woolley explained that she read the book as a part of Black History Month. The poem was regarding a slave longing for freedom.

“It had nothing like violent or inappropriate. Like it was, it was just a poem about dreaming about freedom,” Woolley added.

She then recalled discussing the situation with her principal who wanted to know where Woolley got the book. “She goes, ‘Where did you get it?’ And I’m like ‘The children’s public library.'”

Woolley then called the parent to discuss the issue. “So I called the parent and she was like, ‘Oh, I’m so sorry. I must have overreacted. I called the board because I have a friend who’s on the board.'”

Richardson clarified the type of relationship parents and teachers should have when it comes to issues in the classroom. “Here’s the deal. I have a three-year-old who’s going to pre-K next year. — If there’s a problem with her at school, I’m gonna call her teacher and we gonna communicate, I ain’t fixin’ to just run up on the teacher,” Richardson clarified.

“So we want your feelings to be validated as parents, but also let’s communicate with each other instead of y’all just running up on us crazy,” she concluded.

Listen above via Teachers Off Duty.

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