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How To Deal With Your Child Back-To-School Jitters

By Elev8 Staff

Going back to school can be a really exciting time for children – new teachers, different learning environment, and everything has a fresh feeling to it. However, for some children, it can be a time of stress and anxiety. Change doesn’t come easy to all children and sometimes they just need a little bit of encouragement in order to succeed in a new classroom. How can you help your child make the right transition to a new school year?

child walking to school

Try to understand their fears. Put yourself in their shoes and try to remember how you felt at their age. Starting a new grade in school can be scary, no matter what age you are, but it eventually feels normal with time. Even if you’ve never experienced their nervousness firsthand, it’s a natural feeling and they just need the encouragement to move forward. By giving them the reigns to “jump in” to this new experience, yet also providing them a safety net, children can feel protected yet in control of their own lives. Strength through family can be all they need to get through the anxiety. However, it’s their inner strength that makes this transition possible, so they need to feel like they’re doing it on their own in the long run.

Be there to support them. Depending on their age, they might not want to ask for help because they want their independence while growing up. However, if they need you, let them know that you’re there if they need to talk, even if it’s clear they’re keeping their nervousness about grades, friendships, etc. private. Every year in school can be stressful, yet familial support can be the rock that keeps children in school. Keep that in mind, parents – listen to your children in order to be their guide!

How To Deal With Your Child Back-To-School Jitters

Must Read: West Nile States: Which Has The Most Cases?

Special educational needs

 So, what exactly is the definition of Special educational needs?

A child is only considered to have special educational needs, (SEN) if they have a learning difficulty that requires a greater level of support than his or her peers. This would therefore require educational provision to be made for the child.

A child who has a disability that prevents them from fully accessing the same educational facilities as his or her peers, would also be considered to have SEN. This also counts for children who have social and emotional difficulties, or conditions that affect a child’s mental state, though this child would only be seen as having SEN providing such a condition hinders them from fully accessing educational facilities, therefore requiring provision that is eitherextra or different from what the school gives through its usual differentiated teaching.

Children that are younger than the compulsory school age, can also beconsidered as having SEN, if it is determined early on, that such child could not fully access the same educational facilities as his or her peers, or they have a learning diffculty that will certainly require special educational provision that is extra or different to the provision given to his or her peers, as and when the child was to start full-time education.

Section 312 of the education act 1996, stats, Special educational provision means:

“a) For children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different form, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area.

“b) For children under two, educational provision of any kind.”

Definitions in the 1998 Children Act (section 17 [11], Children Act 1989) defines a disability to be…

“A child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dump or suffers from a mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be described.”

 Autism and misconceptions

It is often the case that parents of children whom have been diagnosed as having an autism spectrum condition assume that their child’s educational setting will naturally make adjustments and accommodations for the child! Most assume that a child with autism is automatically considered to have special educational needs, therefore requiring additional provision to be made. Again isn’t actually the case at all. A formal diagnosis of autism is just that, “A diagnosis of autism” nothing more, nothing less! Such a diagnosis does not entitle a child to receive additional educational provision (through the school must make reasonable adjustment for any child with a disability, this is adifferent thing all together).

Although a child with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder is classified as having a, ‘disability’ this is not a ‘learning difficulty’. Whether the child has a learning difficulty is usually determined by the school or local authority (LEA) dependent of the child’s age.

 Common confusion

It should be noted that despite a child’s autism, they may well succeedacademically, requiring little if any extra provision at all. This is more commonly the case for children diagnosed with High functioning autism orAspergers syndrome. However it is extremely important to remember that regardless of a child with autism high academic progress, who may have even received the top grades in their class, can still be considered and seen as having special educational needs. As mentioned before, if such a condition as autism affects areas of the child’s social and emotional functioning while at school, hindering the way they access education could result in a child being placed on the special educational needs register. Behavioural difficulties, exclusions, misunderstandings, due to poor social interaction and communication, increased anxiety and school refusal are all factors that should be taken into account when considering if a child has SEN. Sadly it is often the case thatLEAs refusal to carry our a statutory assessment or even issue a statement as they claim the child does well academically therefore not requiring additional provision to be made. This is not true and certainly isn’t a good enough reason not to make educational provision for such a child.

 Lastly it is important to remember that just because a child doesn’t speak English as a first language doesn’t  mean they have SEN.

Coming up next time… Section one understanding special educational needs, part two, ‘The stages of SEN and is my child receiving the right type/amount of support?’

All information has been created to help others for their own personal use, this advice is independent and is given by myself a lone (No 3rd party participated was used throughout). Please do not use article for anything other than personal use, nor edit the information in any way. All published articles, throughout this site remain property of the author and this blog. Alway seek permission before using any post for anything other than described above.

Thank you



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Special educational needs

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

Using Twitter to Crack Down on Bullying

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin have developed a computer program that caught 15,000 bullying-related tweets in one day.


It’s hard to prevent bullying if you don’t know it’s happening. That’s why researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed a program that they say is capable of detecting evidence of bullying from among the hundreds of millions of tweets sent each day.

The program uses an algorithm to scour Twitter for words that “mark bullying events.” Out of the 250 million public tweets sent each day, the program usually identifies about 15,000 bullying-related messages.
Getty Images
A close-up view of the homepage of the microblogging website Twitter.

VIDEO: YouTube Bullying Confessions

The researchers found that while kids aren’t often open in real life about what they are going through, online, they are much more verbose. “What we found, very importantly, was that quite often the victim and the bully and even bystanders talk about a real-world bullying incident on social media,” Jerry Zhu, a professor of computer science at UW-Madison said in a release.  ”The computers are seeing the aftermath.”

SPECIAL: What You Need to Know About Bullying)

As GOOD notes, the program could be a way around one of the inherent problems with the reporting of bullying incidents, which is that the targets are often reluctant to report their tormentors, fearing an escalation in the aggression. Its developers hope that not only will their software help alert teachers and parents to bullying early on, but also show victims that they are not alone. “A way victims often make sense of their bullying is by internalizing it. They decide that there’s something bad about themselves — not that these other people are jerks,” Amy Bellmore, a professor of educational psychology at UW-Madison said in the release. “When they’re exposed to the idea that other people are bullied, actually it has some benefit. It doesn’t completely eliminate the depression or humiliation or embarrassment they might be feeling, but it can decrease it.”

Next up, the researchers hope to expand the program to include other social networks, such as Facebook and China’s microblogging site, Sina Weibo.

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Guns at school


“Guns have no place in schools,” Arizona State University President Michael Crow was quoted as saying by the Arizona Republic when Gov. Jan Brewer issued a surprise veto this year against legislation that would have allowed guns to be carried on college and university campuses.

The story is different in Colorado.

It is legal for students and everybody else at the University of Colorado to carry concealed weapons since the state Supreme Court earlier this year declared the school’s weapons ban illegal.

In fact, Colorado isn’t the only state where guns can be carried on campus. Utah not only allows the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses but does not permit public colleges or universities to ban them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The organization also reports that 22 states ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus. But in 25 other states, the decision to ban or allow concealed carry weapons on campuses is made by each institution. (The 25 states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.)

According the U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, researchers say that the presence of weapons at school “may interfere with teaching and learning by creating an intimidating and threatening atmosphere.”

“May” is something of an understatement.

Here’s what Brian Siebel wrote in the George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal in 2008:

One can only imagine the nightmarish scenarios that become possible if the gun lobby were successful in forcing guns onto college campuses. Will students bring their AK-47 assault rifles with them to show off while guzzling beer at college keggers? Given that ninety percent of attempted suicides with guns are successful, how much more frequently will temporarily-depressed youths commit suicide if guns are available? Will gun thieves decide that college dorm rooms provide easier marks than private homes?

The school-age years are among the most volatile times in every person’s life. College students face severe social and academic pressures. Why would anyone want to introduce guns into the mix?

Good question.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in a Youth Risk Behavior Survey, students were asked if they had carried a weapon such as a gun, knife or club in the past 30 days. In 2009, the latest year for which statistics are available, 17 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported that they had carried a weapon anywhere on at least one day during the past 30 days. And 6 percent of students reported carrying a weapon on school property during the previous 30 days.

And those are just the weapons kids admitted to having.

Guns rights advocates are saying that the story of the man who shot up the Colorado movie theater and killed a dozen people isn’t really about guns.

But it is.

Guns at school

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

ADHD in Children

ADHD: What Is It?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that robs children of their ability to focus and pay attention. Kids with ADHD are fidgety and easily distracted. This makes it difficult to stay “on task,” whether it’s listening to a teacher or finishing a chore. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates 3% to 5% of kids have ADHD, but some experts believe that figure could be as high as 10%.

Bored boy sitting at desk in classroom

ADHD Symptoms: Inattention

The main symptom of ADHD is the inability to pay attention. Kids may have trouble listening to a speaker, following directions, finishing tasks, or keeping track of personal items. They may daydream often and make careless mistakes. Children with ADHD tend to avoid activities that require sustained concentration or that might be boring.

Distracted schoolgirl in classroom

ADHD Symptoms: Hyperactivity

Another component of ADHD is the inability to sit still. Children may run and climb on things constantly, even when indoors. When they are seated, they tend to squirm, fidget, or bounce. Some kids with ADHD talk excessively and find it difficult to play quietly.

child jumping on bed, blurred motion

ADHD Symptoms: Impulsiveness

A third symptom is impulsiveness — cutting in line, interrupting others, or blurting out answers before the teacher finishes a question. This aspect of ADHD makes it difficult for children to wait their turn or think before they act.

boy throwing paper airplane in class

ADHD’s Impact on Daily Life

Without treatment, ADHD can affect a child’s development socially and academically. The inability to focus often leads to poor performance in school. Kids who interrupt or cut in line may have trouble making and keeping friends. These setbacks can lead to low self-esteem and risky behaviors. ADHD also increases the risk of childhood depression and anxiety disorders.

boy writing on blackboard as punishment

Causes of ADHD

Children with ADHD have less activity in areas of the brain that control attention. They may also have imbalances in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. It’s unclear what causes these irregularities, but ADHD runs in families, so many experts believe genetics play a role.

Brain scans showing ADHD in child

Types of ADHD

There are three forms of ADHD. Combined type is the most common and applies to children who display inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. In the hyperactive/impulsive type, children are fidgety and can’t control their impulses. Kids with the inattentive type, formerly called attention deficit disorder, have trouble focusing. But they are not overly active and usually don’t disrupt the classroom.

school boy pulling a girls hair in class

Medications for ADHD

Stimulant medications can help increase a child’s attention span while controlling hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Studies suggest these drugs work in 70% to 80% of patients, although they may have some troubling side effects. Non-stimulant medications are also options for some children.

Generic Medication for ADHD

Counseling for ADHD

Counseling can help a child with ADHD learn to handle frustrations and build self-esteem. It can also provide parents with supportive strategies. A specific type of therapy, called social skills training, can help kids improve at taking turns and sharing. Studies show that long-term treatment with a combination of drugs and behavioral therapy is more effective than medication alone.

Child in a psychotherapy consultation

Special Education for ADHD

Most children with ADHD are educated in standard classrooms, but some do better in a more structured environment. Special education is a type of schooling that is tailored to meet the specific needs of children with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Not all children with ADHD qualify for special education.

man helping his boy do his homework

The Role of Routine

Parents can give kids more structure at home by laying out clear routines. Posting a daily schedule will remind your child of what he or she is supposed to be doing at any given time. This can help a child with ADHD stay on task. The schedule should include specific times for waking up, eating, playing, homework, chores, activities, and bedtime.

father and daughter looking at chores chart

ADHD and Junk Food

While many kids bounce off the walls after eating junk food, there is no evidence that sugar is a cause of ADHD. The role of food additives is less certain. Some parents believe preservatives and food colorings worsen the symptoms of ADHD, and the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s reasonable to avoid these substances.

Boy eating hotdog with mustard on shore

ADHD and Television

The link between television and ADHD is unclear, but the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests limiting young children’s exposure. The group discourages TV viewing for kids under 2 and recommends no more than two hours a day for older kids. To help your child develop attention skills, encourage activities like games, blocks, puzzles, and reading.

girl watching anime cartoon on television

Preventing ADHD

There is no surefire way to prevent ADHD in children, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. You can increase your chance of your child not having ADHD by staying healthy during pregnancy. Start by avoiding alcohol, drugs, and tobacco during pregnancy. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are twice as likely to develop ADHD.

Pregnant woman pushing shopping cart

Outlook for Children With ADHD

With treatment, a large majority of children with ADHD improve. They should continue to undergo regular follow-up since many kids grow out of the disorder as they get older. But more than half of patients continue experiencing symptoms once they reach adulthood.

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Why Are Prisons More of a Priority than Schools?

By Kevin P. Chavous

Earlier this month, a DC teacher was talking with a fourth grade student who told the teacher he would be dead or in jail by the time he was 20.  Forget a job or career, the boy had no concept of growing old.  When the teacher started to show the boy the true life expectancy statistics, he was in shock.  Just 10 years old, a life past 20 was a reality he had never imagined.

For years, folks have been circulating a bad rumor that states and prison management companies look at fourth grade test scores to determine their prison growth needs in the future. Is it true? Not sure. But without question, there is a direct correlation between education and incarceration.

According  to the National Dropout Prevention Center, 82% of the inmates currently housed in our federal prisons are high school dropouts. The average cost to care for those inmates is $55,000.00 per inmate. In contrast, we spend on average approximately $10,500 per student in our K-12 education system. And, as our prisons are consistently overcrowded, far too many of our public school districts have schools that are barely half full.

While whether or not prison management companies use a jurisdiction’s fourth grade test scores to predict areas of future growth is important. Even more important is the fact that our schools are in such dire straits that it’s even feasible that prison management companies are in fact using student test scores to determine growth opportunities.

Isn’t it sad that this obvious connection between prisons and schools hasn’t jump started more of a sense of urgency among our leaders? Instead, policymakers are promoting modest reform proposals designed to ‘kick in’ some years later. Folks, our kids can’t afford to wait years for the school system to reform.

Tragically, children from our most challenged neighborhoods know they aren’t a priority and, as a result, like that 10 year-old boy, don’t expect much from themselves. There’s a lot to be said when these very kids have friends in prison who are receiving a far better education than they are outside of prison. What messages are we sending when we spend more money on educating kids in prison than on our kids struggling on the outside?

So how do we change this misplaced focus within our government, which now spends more to incarcerate its citizens than it does to educate them?

In my view, the first step is in making the education of our children the top priority of our nation and our leadership. Priority that goes beyond platitudes and soundbites. We need to develop a countrywide obsession with ensuring that all children reach their maximum educational potential.

Second, state and government leaders need to force better integration of social services with educational offerings. Many charter school community hubs do this well. The best example is Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone where all families and mothers-to-be receive an assortment of family social services in addition to quality education options.  Good schools work in challenged neighborhoods because they understand how to integrate all of these services together.

Finally, we need to be bold. Let’s enthusiastically embrace any and everything that will help a child learn, without equivocation. Let’s also aggressively fight to keep all those negative influences out of a child’s life — particularly in publicly funded institutions. And as it relates to schools, we should unapologetically reward our good teachers and ferret out the bad ones.

While I don’t purport to have all the answers, I do know that we must reassess our priorities so that our kids have access to a quality education that can dramatically improve their life trajectory.

It may take time, but the culture can change can occur quicker than we think. But we must start now. No 10 year-old in this nation should feel as though they are more likely to live a life in prison than a life filled with possibilities that only a high quality education can bring.

Why Are Prisons More of a Priority than Schools?

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

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Elementary school principal target of racist rants

Graphic hate mail sent to PS 90 administrator Greta Hawkins


 	Greta Hawkins

Police and education officials are investigating a series of racist hate mail sent to the controversial black principal of a Brooklyn elementary school, the Daily News has learned.

“You are a filthy, dirty, ugly subhuman gorilla,” reads one of the vicious letters sent to Greta Hawkins, the leader of PS 90 in Coney Island.

Hawkins has angered parents and teachers with a series of unpopular policies and for making racially insensitive remarks herself at a staff meeting in 2010.

In January, she generated negative press again, with a highly unpopular bathroom policy that awarded students extra credit for not using the toilet.

Then, this month she drew fire once more for refusing to let students sing the Lee Greenwood ballad “God Bless the USA” at graduation because she objected to the lyrics.

But even her harshest critics say that none of those actions are worthy of the sickening and racist hate mail Hawkins has received since November.

“Let’s hope that AIDS will do what sickle cell anemia failed to do, exterminate your whole simian race,” reads one of three horrifying letters sent to Hawkins at the A-rated school.

Another of the vile rants, which are scrawled in childish capital letters, reads

“N—– and their Jew commie bosses are the scum of the earth.”

Police are conducting an active, ongoing investigation into the noxious letters and Education Department officials are investigating the matter as well.

Hawkins did not respond to calls for comment.

Parents and staffers at the controversy-stricken school were shocked to learn of the hateful letters their divisive principal has received.

“These are vicious attacks,” said Imah Ponce of Coney Island, whose daughter attends PS 90, adding, “We should be able to resolve things without resorting to name-calling.”

But a Facebook page calling for Hawkins’ firing, which popped up after she banned the patriotic Greenwood anthem from graduation, also has its share of nasty language.

“If you don’t like the USA You can get the f— out, you commie piece of s—,” reads a post on the page by Facebook user Johnny Mula.

City schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott defended Hawkins, noting that students recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing “America the Beautiful” at the start of each school day.

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Students Hope LAUSD Changes Tune About Threatened Music Program

It is one of the programs on the budget cuts chopping block

By Ted Chen and Yvonne Beltzer

Del Olmo principal Eugene Hernandez said LAUSD’s after-school music program is daycare for working parents, and a safe haven for students prone to gang recruitment. But the district has put the program on the chopping block thanks to budget cuts. Ted Chen reports.

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Children involved in an after-school music program in the Los Angeles Unified School District may soon be singing a sad song because the program is on the chopping block when the L.A. School Board meets Tuesday.

The Beyond the Bell program has served more than 170,000 students in the district, but the financially-strapped LAUSD is proposing to eliminate it.

The program has included music lessons as well as school sports and people involved it in claimed that it put children on the path toward a positive future.

“Music itself is something that allows a kid to grow imagination,” said William Glenn, a music teacher at Frank Del Olmo Elementary School in Koreatown, where a third of the students take part in the program. “These things that we as adults often forget, we’re able to instill in kids early.”

Creativity was not the only result supporters of the program touted.

The after school program is an early intervention that helps prevent children from becoming gang members, according to Eugene Hernandez, Del Olmo principal.

He said he was afraid of the repercussions if the program, which also serves as a daycare for working parents, was lost.

“A lot of these kids would go back to empty apartments. They would go back to watching television instead of doing homework. They would probably join gangs. They would probably roam the neighborhoods,” Hernandez said. “Having a place where they feel safe, that’s not going to be in existence anymore.”

Program advocates plan to protest at the Tuesday board meeting.


Education Is Key

How every student can get the best teacher in the world

By Marty Nemko

Imagine if every high school and college student, rich and poor, was taught by a dream team of the world’s most effective teachers. That sounds like hype, But I believe it can be done. Here’s how I propose schools go about it.

What if a company or, perhaps, the federal government combed the nation — or even the world — to find a handful of teachers highly honored for excellence in instruction? I am not talking about academic superstars. I’m talking about instructional superstars: individuals who, whatever the content, greatly improve students’ critical thinking skills and inspire them to become effective, lifelong learners.

Now, let’s say these superstar teachers would be hired to develop an online course as follows:

1. In a teleconference, they divide up the course so each is responsible for teaching the part of the course s/he teaches best.

2. Each of them, in collaboration with a computer programmer, develops his or her part of the course.

Especially in social science and humanities courses, the teachers in a dream-team-taught course need to present diverse perspectives.

Each lesson is created in three versions: slow-paced (perhaps 60 minutes), mid-paced (30-minutes) and fast-paced (15 minutes).

Instructors are encouraged to, as appropriate, supplement lectures with questions, graphics, video, one-question quizzes, and links to related content among other features.

Multiple-choice homework and exams would be included to help make sure the course is self-contained and does not require a live person at each school or college. Multiple-choice questions too often test memorization, but that is not inevitable. Careful item development can ensure that critical thinking skills are assessed with automatically recorded grades. At the end, a course grade is awarded.

A high school or college could decide to award course credit based only on passing this type of course. Or the institution could require students to attend a discussion or lab section in-person, at which the student would also take exams. That could reduce cheating.

3. The online courses would be made available to high schools, colleges, and independent adults who’d like to take such courses.

In this scenario, every high school and college student could be educated by dream teams of the very finest instructors. If anything could enable education to be the magic pill we’ve long hoped it would be, wouldn’t dream-team-taught courses be it?

How every student can get the best teacher in the world

Education Is Key – Education Is A Key To Success

Activists protest education cuts at Capitol; about 70 arrested

A coalition of student groups and labor unions supported the demonstration, billed by some as an ‘occupy the Capitol’ action. The protest reflected discontent over steady hikes in college costs amid budget cuts.

By Chris Megerian

Thousands of students and activists marched on the state Capitol on Monday to protest cuts in higher education, and authorities arrested 68 of them who refused to leave the building after it closed in the evening.

Four had been arrested earlier in the day, one on suspicion of possessing a switchblade.

The demonstration, billed by some as an “occupy the Capitol” act and supported by a freewheeling coalition of student groups and labor unions, was the latest sign of simmering discontent over steady hikes in the cost of attending state universities and community colleges.

Tuition has tripled at the universities over the last decade. “We’re getting pushed against a wall,” said Carson Watts, 23, a sociology major at UC Santa Cruz.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed a budget last year that slashed funding for the University of California and Cal State systems by 23%, did not attend the rally. But he said through a spokeswoman: “The students today are reflecting the frustrations of millions of Californians who have seen their public schools and universities eroded year after year. That’s why it’s imperative that we get more tax revenue this November”— a reference to his proposed ballot initiative to raise taxes.

Democratic political leaders largely embraced the demonstrators, most of whom stayed outside. Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom addressed the rally on the west steps.

“We’ve cut billions of dollars, and I’ve hated every minute of it,” Steinberg said.

The California Highway Patrol, in charge of security, declined to estimate the number of protesters.

About 200 made it inside the building and lingered beneath its 19th-century rotunda before Highway Patrol officers sealed off the area. Dozens more milled in the hallways or dropped into legislative offices to plead for more funding.

Sympathetic Democratic lawmakers urged authorities to be judicious in making arrests. The activists spent much of the afternoon debating what their demands should be. They shouted out several, including a tax on millionaires that some education activists hope to place on the November ballot.

By the time the building officially closed at 6 p.m., a few dozen protesters remained inside the Capitol. At 6:25, the Highway Patrol ordered them to disperse.

Activists protest education cuts at Capitol; about 70 arrested

Education Is Key

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