Star Blazers Got Me Through The Shittiest Year Of My Childhood. Charlie Jane Anders: "I was a happy child, but I didn't have such a happy childhood. Other kids didn't get my weird vibe, especially in elementary and middle school. And one year in particular, we moved to a new city and a new school, and things got ugly. Only one thing kept me from losing my shit: Star Blazers..." [Previously]
Film is Forever is a 16 minute short film made by students in the Lights, Camera, Action! class at West Ridge Middle School in Austin, Texas in partnership with Creative Action -- a team of teaching artists who run interactive performances, community-based programs and arts residencies in schools. More student-created work can be viewed on their web gallery.
Forrest Park Middle Schooler Melissa Bell reads her Ashton Kutcher fanfic for the Spring Talent Show. (SLYT) [more inside]
After a fight with a former friend, reportedly over a "boyfriend situation", Rebecca Sedwick was suspended. When Rebecca reported she was being bullied, the school worked with Tricia, Rebecca's mother, to change Rebecca's schedule. Tricia had her daughter close her Facebook account, too. [more inside]
Who needs to wait a week for the Final Eight when instead one can just watch Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical? [more inside]
放浪息子 Hourou Musuko (often translated as Wandering Son) is one of the better depictions of transgender life in manga and anime (and maybe in any medium). It's a slice of life drama about two young people who are trans and starting middle school in Japan. The manga is being published in English by Fantagraphics, and the anime is officially licensed in English subs on Crunchyroll. [more inside]
The Avant/Garde Diaries interviews Jarad Dawkins, 11, and Malcom Brickhouse, 12, aka the metal band Unlocking the Truth. Here they are performing on Totally Biased With Kamau Bell [via]
I'm Human A video by the students of Liberty Middle School in Madison, Alabama. Featuring the students and faculty of Liberty Middle School, Bob Jones High School, and James Clements High School; and the music of Sigur Rós. (SLYT)
Baltimore area schools are using this Johns Hopkins program In an effort to combat rampant absenteeism and improve graduation rates, several Baltimore area middle schools are adopting the Stocks in the Future program developed by Johns Hopkins University program. Students are paid up to $80 a year based on their attendance and grades, which they are then allowed to invest in the stock market. Upon graduation, students keep their own portfolios (surprisingly, not all of them do). The program allows students to develop some financial literacy and has improved attendance rates.
Portland, ME school board approves distribution of birth control at King Middle School, where students are as young as 10. Students must have a signed parental permission slip to use the student health center, unless a student requests confidentiality, in which case birth control pills could be prescribed without a parent's knowledge.
The caferteria had garbage an all tables. At my middle school in Staten Island, thought the dean, this cannot stand. So he sent home a letter.
Sticking to the gay stuff: The ACLU is threatening legal action against a middle school in Arkansas whose administrators have gone to extraordinary lengths to punish a student for being gay, including outing him to his parents, forcing him to read passages of the Bible, calling him "abnormal" and "unnatural," and disciplining him for mentioning between classes to a female friend that he thought another boy was cute. (via CalPundit) [more inside]
Mmm...brownies...aaarrrgghhh... It seems a middle school lad in Santa Cruz, CA had something different in mind for extra credit. Clark said the teacher, who was aware the 14-year-old boy had past problems with marijuana, jokingly asked for one of the "pot brownies." The boy gave her one, and she ate it. Be careful what you ask for.
Whitwell Middle School Holocaust Group: Paperclip Project: During World War II, Norwegians wore paper-clips on their clothes to silently show their opposition to Nazism and anti-Semitism. The eighth-graders at this Tennessee middle school are learning about the Holocaust and are collecting 6 million paperclips as a reminder of what happened. [More inside]