Social media sites, such as Facebook, are facing the issue of fake profiles, fake news, and other harmful actions. Some people believe it is the responsibility of the social media site to take action to prevent the controversial acts and others think that the user posting the material should be held responsible. Read more here.
In April 2017, the state of New York approved free tuition for students whose families make less than $100,000 a year. New York is the first state to offer free tuition for public colleges and universities in their state. To qualify for free tuition, students must make good grades, be enrolled full time and average at least 30 credits a year.
A high school student in Alabama invited his grandmother to his school prom as his date. The school will not allow the student to bring his grandmother to the dance due to maximum age restrictions. The school has stated that the restrictions are in place to protect the students at the dance.
In January 2016, a new bill was introduced that would require schools to provide at least 50 minutes of recess for students in grades kindergarten through 5th. Additionally, schools could not remove recess as a consequence for behavior unless the student's parent pre-approved the consequence.
Starting in the Fall semester of 2018, Arizona elementary schools will be required to teach cursive handwriting through the 5th grade. Arizona is the first state in the country to require schools to teach cursive handwriting.
Arizona Senate Bill 2494 prevents people from being arrested or sued if they use reasonable force to remove an animal or child left in a hot car. The bill states that people would need to first believe in good faith that the animal or child was in a harmful situation, notify the proper authorities before entering the vehicle, and stay with the victim until the authorities arrive. As of April 7th the Bill has passed in the Senate and moves to a final vote in the House before going before Governor Ducey. Read more here.
Currently, citizens must be 18 to vote. Advocates for lowering the voting age to 16 state that youth should have the ability to help decide how their country should be shaped since they will be directly affected when they become adults. Opponents state that youth will not have the knowledge they need to make an informed vote.
Singer/Actor Justin Timberlake recently (November 2016) took a selfie while voting early using a voting booth in Tennessee. He then posted the picture on social media with a message encouraging others to get out and vote. Taking pictures inside a voting booth is illegal in Tennessee and Justin Timberlake may face legal consequences. In Tennessee, the crime is a misdemeanor and consequences could include up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine.
Senate Bill 1080 states that teenage drivers cannot utilize their cell phone while driving within the first 6 months of getting their driver's license. The proposed bill does allow the use of audible GPS however, the GPS destination cannot be entered or adjusted while the vehicle is in motion. Read more here.
In November 2016, five students in Tennessee were fatally injured when their school bus was involved in an accident. Currently, Arizona laws do not require school buses to use seat belts.
In January 2017, the Senate Committee in New Jersey approved a bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 to get married. In Arizona, the law states that anyone aged 16 & 17 can get married with their parent's permission. If under the age of 16, marriage is allowed if they have their parent's permission AND the approval of a superior court judge.
State or Federal
In May 2016, the Obama Administration enacted a policy that was intended to prohibit the discrimination of transgender students in public schools. The nationwide policy allowed transgender students to use bathrooms on campus that aligned with their gender identity. In February 2017, the Trump Administration cancelled this policy and has determined that each state should enact their own policies regarding transgender bathrooms.
A high school student in Casa Grande was taking pictures as a finalist for his school’s all male beauty contest. The student wore 8inch high heeled platform shoes and short shorts for the photos. However, when the picture was featured in the school promotions, his photo was altered to picture the student wearing pants and dress shoes. The student feels he is facing discrimination.
In May, 2016, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) announced a regulation that would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18 and require a photo I.D. to purchase them. This regulation went into effect on August 08, 2016.
In December 2016, a man with a natural beard similar to Santa Claus, wearing a Santa hat and Christmas vest, was visiting an amusement park in California. When asked by a parent to take a photo with their children, the Santa look-alike posed for the picture and handed the young children candy canes. The amusement park employees asked the Santa look-alike to leave for breaking a park rule. For security reasons, the amusement park does not allow non employees to dress in costume while at the park. **In Arizona, a person must leave if asked by the property owner or they can be in violation of trespass laws.
President Elect, Donald Trump, is interested in serving as the Executive Producer on the reality t.v. show ‘The Apprentice’. Many are concerned about his involvement in the show since his administration will oversee media corporations. Others support his involvement stating that the president will either not work directly on the show or will only work on the show in his spare time.
In recent events, high school students have staged ‘walk-outs’ and protests in an effort to show their displeasure with political events and/or candidates.
2016 Pre-Election Poll
To make sure your vote counts in the 2016 Kids Voting Arizona Election, please ask your teacher to register their classroom here!
Two schools in Arizona were scheduled to compete in a soccer game. Both teams have mostly male players however, one of the teams had 2 girls on it. The opposing team refused to play unless the two girls were removed from the game.
Actress Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical, Grease Live) may have to pay a fine and pay restitution or appear in court for carving her name and the name of her boyfriend into red rock in Sedona. The incident occurred in February 2016 around Valentine’s Day. Damaging a natural feature on U.S. Forest Service land is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $5,000 fine.