Shelby: Hey, everyone! It is Wednesday, August 21st. Today, some college students are sounding off about a smoking ban on campus. And when it comes to student suspensions, we will tell you why some states are actually loosening school rules.
I am Shelby Holliday and Channel One News starts right now!
Time to wrap up some of the top headlines out there. First, over to Japan where the country is still recovering from the effects of an earthquake and tsunami that hit two years ago.
Maggie: Right. The events severely damaged some of the country’s nuclear power plants and, yesterday, Japanese officials said there is a dangerous major leak from one of those plants. Three hundred tons of highly contaminated water have leaked from a storage tank at a damaged nuclear power plant on Japan’s coast. It is the worst leak since disaster struck there two years ago.
In March 2011, the largest recorded earthquake ever to hit Japan also triggered a tsunami that wiped towns off the map. More than 15,000 people were killed. Nuclear power plants were damaged, and that caused an international scare because the materials inside them can be dangerous.
This leak has many worried again. Exposure to chemicals in the contaminated water is known to increase the risk of cancer. Officials said they are doing everything they can to try to keep the contaminated water from getting into the ocean, which is just 330 feet away.
Shelby: Thanks, Maggie.
Next up, over to the country of Pakistan where a former leader is being blamed for his rival’s death.
Jason: That is right, Shelby. And it is the first time the country is dealing with a case like this.
A court has charged former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf with murder. Musharraf was Head of State when this gun and bomb blast in 2007 killed his political rival, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The indictment alleges he is responsible for her death. She was Pakistan’s first and only female prime minister. Musharraf denies all charges and his lawyer said ‘all of the allegations against him are fabricated.’
A United Nations investigation into the blast said Pakistan failed to properly protect Bhutto or investigate how she died. At that time, Musharraf said he warned Bhutto of the threats against her.
It is the first time the country of Pakistan, still largely under army control, has indicted a former military leader.
Many experts say the case is largely symbolic and that it would be hard to prove any direct involvement.
Shelby: Thanks, Jason.
Now for some news about a new study on tanning. Demetrius?
Demetrius: That is right, Shelby. Any type of sun tanning can cause skin damage, but indoor tanning is especially dangerous for people under the age of twenty-five. And a new study shows that a large number of teenage girls just don’t seem to care.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 13% of all high school students will have tried indoor tanning by the time they finish high school. And one in every three white girls in high school is an indoor tanner. Also, more than 17% of those who tried indoor tanning did it at least ten times in the last year.
Researchers warn that using sunbeds and sunlamps before the age of thirty-five increases your risk of getting the skin cancer melanoma by 75%. And if you start indoor tanning under the age of twenty-five, it can double the risk of other types of cancers.
It appears Midwesterners and Southerners are the biggest culprits. Up to 34% of high school girls in those areas are using sunlamps or tanning beds. States like California, Illinois and Nevada have banned the use of tanning beds for minors.
Shelby: Thanks, Demetrius.
So, should schools stop suspending students for certain offenses? We have got that story coming up next.
You all know that getting suspended can have serious consequences. But are school rules too strict? Scott Evans tells us why one state wants to cut back on suspensions.
Teen: One person I know who got suspended for talking too much in class, being a distraction.
Teen: Usually the teachers just take away their phone or take off their hat.
Scott: Few would argue that it is up to teachers to do their best to keep order and discipline in the classroom to help all students learn. But sometimes teachers have to deal with what is called ‘willfully defiant behavior,’ or when a student isn’t behaving violently but is disrupting the classroom.
Jennifer Thomas: Refusal to follow the dress code; a refusal to put away activities not related to class; a refusal to stop texting or to stop using the phone.
Scott: Now California teachers could suspend a student for things like that, but maybe not for long. Under a proposed new law called AB 420, elementary school students could no longer be suspended for willful defiance. And students in middle and high school could only be suspended after the third offense and after other disciplinary action had been taken.
Reverend Jeff Moore: Teachers have bad days. Students have bad days.
Scott: Reverend Jeff Moore of the San Jose NAACP, a civil rights group, says school data shows African-American and Latino students are suspended for willful defiance more often than students of other races. He supports the bill, which could potentially cut suspensions in California in half. Willful defiance accounted for nearly half of the 710,000 suspensions issued in California during the 2011-2012 school year.
Reverend Moore: Suspending them does not help them; it keeps them home. They get further behind in school and, normally, they take friends with them.
Scott: Some parents say there needs to be more of a compromise.
Brad Kraten: I mean, I think that kids should be disciplined, but I think something…getting kicked out of class for something like not taking a hat off is a little bit harsh.
Scott: As for the California Teachers Association? So far, they are neutral on the bill. Many say it is about finding a balance and figuring out what teachers will be able to do when dealing with disruptive students.
Thomas: Teachers really do need to understand how to help children who we see are increasingly becoming more defiant.
Teen: The teacher should probably just have a talk with him and explain to him why it’s not right, and make sure he really gets the message.
Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News.
Shelby: The bill still needs to pass the state senate, and it is one that many other states are watching closely because they are thinking about passing similar measures.
After the break, smoking bans are in the spotlight.
Teen smoking has decreased dramatically in the past few years, but the debate over school smoking laws is still hot. Maggie Rulli has the story.
Maggie: Students at Auburn University in Alabama are talking about the new smoking ban on their campus.
Student: I think it makes it safer for the environment and it, you know, helps the air stay fresher.
Student: I don’t smoke, personally myself, but other people smoking doesn’t really bother me.
Maggie: Starting today, the first day of the fall semester, smoking will be completely banned on any Auburn-owned property. But there are some exceptions.
Eric Smith: In your own personal vehicles, even if they’re parked on campus – be it in a parking lot or parking garage, as long as the windows are rolled up.
Maggie: Eric Smith is the director of Health Promotion and Wellness at the university and he says the policy will even apply on game days.
Smith: The inside of the stadium is where things are really controlled, and it’s my understanding that athletics will be phasing the policy in over time.
Maggie: And the number of campuses with bans like this continues to grow. According to the advocacy group Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, there are more than 1,000 campuses with 100% smoking bans. And over 800 of those schools have bans on all forms of tobacco products.
And for young people, a new study says that cigarette smoking has hit the lowest point ever recorded among American eighth graders, high school sophomores and high school seniors. Over the past twenty years, teen smoking has dropped by half, from almost 40% in the mid-‘90s to about 20%, or one in five teens, today.
Reasons for the drop? Some experts say it could be the smoke-free policies many states and cities are adopting, the rise in cigarette taxes, and they also credit changes in cigarette advertising.
But some people that live or work on campus at Auburn worry that the new smoking ban could actually end up hurting the university.
Student: If you do smoke and you pay for where you live, then I don’t see how you can be told that you couldn’t smoke, you know, where you live. Where, you know, it’s supposed to be your home.
Maggie: There won’t be fines or tickets given out to those smoking on campus. Instead, university officials are relying on people to voluntarily follow the rules, and they expect a major change like this to take time.
Smith: My real hope is no one rushes to judge the policy a success or a failure based on the first couple weeks.
Maggie: Maggie Rulli, Channel One News.
Shelby: Thanks, Maggie.
Well, that is almost it for today’s show. But before you go, check out this One More Thing.
It looks like man’s best friend is making a power play in Washington after an announcement that there is a second dog moving into the White House. Fourteen-month-old Sunny is the newest member of the Obama household.
Like the Obamas’ first dog, Bo, Sunny is also a Portuguese Water Dog. And her addition to the family isn’t much of a surprise given that almost a year ago, first lady Michelle Obama told reporters that Bo didn’t get enough ‘doggie interaction.’
Channel One Teacher Notes
Story: Smoking Ban
Activity: Your opinion
Subjects: English, Social Studies
Recommended Grade Bands: 6-12
Students will understand that policies are not always unanimously supported and aim to address broad community concerns.
- Do you think the university has the right to ban smoking on its campus?
- Why would people be bothered by the ban?
- Why do people disagree about the ban?
- If you were the head of a college, would you ban smoking? Why or why not?
Debate: Split your class into two teams. Assign one of the teams to be in favor of the smoking ban and the other team to be against it. Have them write out their three main reasons and debate the issue. Discuss with the class. Did any of them have to argue in favor of a side they did not agree with? What was that like for them?
Analyze the role of institutions in furthering both continuity and change. (5.2.6.)
Evaluate how groups and institutions work to meet individual needs and promote or fail to promote the common good. (5.2.7.)
Key Idea & Details: Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents propel action. (RL.7-10.3.)
This fall, University of Auburn is banning smoking everywhere on campus.
Some people believe it is a good idea for the university. Others believe it is too strict.
Ultimately, University of Auburn wants to create a healthier environment. What do you think about the ban?
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Question 1 of 1
Auburn University believes that their smoking ban will be successful because:Correct
Auburn is hoping the smoking ban at their university will be as successful as the bans at other colleges.Incorrect
Auburn is hoping the smoking ban at their university will be as successful as the bans at other colleges.
Some students believe that the smoking ban is a good idea; others believe it is a bad idea.