By Christy Barritt
Proposed Bill Requires Behavioral Health Assessment for Students
A bill has been proposed in the Connecticut legislature that would require both public school and homeschooled children to undergo behavioral health assessments at various stages of their development.
The Homeschool Legal Defense Association, a national homeschooling organization, said that the bill would essentially authorize the state to conduct regular social services investigations of homeschooling families without provocation. Other critics say this bill would authorize an invasion of family privacy.
The originators of the bill, Senator Toni Harp and Representative Toni Walker, said that the measure is important so that lawmakers can monitor the mental well-being of youth in order to prevent another tragedy like the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The bill will be going before the legislature’s Public Health Committee for consideration.
Baker Refuses Same-Sex Wedding Cake
A Christian baker in Oregon is now under investigation by law enforcement officials after declining to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Aaron Klein, who with his wife owns Sweet Cakes by Melissa, told the same-sex couple that he would not be able to make them a cake because of his beliefs.
One of the women filed a complaint against Klein, saying that he violated
the Oregon Equality Act, which includes protections for sexual orientation in areas including employment, education, and public accommodation.
“My First Amendment rights allow me to practice my religion as I see it,” Klein told Fox 12, a local news station.
Klein could face up to $50,000 in fines. Still, he said that he’s willing to be penalized for his beliefs, if that’s what it comes down to.
Religious Symbol More Recognizable than Social Media Logo
Americans are more likely to correctly identify the Star of David as being associated with Judaism than they are to associate Twitter’s logo with the social media website. Those are the results of a new study released by the Pew Research Center.
The survey tested the news and political knowledge of 1,041 American adults and included information about visual images such as symbols, maps, and graphs.
Eighty-seven percent of participants correctly identified the Star of David, while only 79 percent could identify Twitter’s logo. Only 42 percent correctly identified the crescent and star as a symbol of Islam during a previous Pew study in 2011.
The study showed significant differences in news-related knowledge based on people’s age and education level. Political affiliation seemed to have little impact on what people knew.
Almost 13,000 Morning-After Pills Distributed in NYC Public Schools
Because of a new program called CATCH—Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health—the New York City Public School system was able to distribute nearly 13,000 doses of the morning-after pill to high school students last year.
The program is part of a citywide initiative to curb teen pregnancy. The program initially was only to be at 13 high schools, but the New York Post reported in February that there were 40 different schools in the city distributing the drugs.
Many are concerned about the program because parents must opt out instead of opting in. This means many parents never received the initial form sent home through students.
Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America, wrote an op-ed piece about the issue. “Ibuprofen isn’t even allowed without explicit parental approval,” Nance said. “The NYCDOE has placed their policies above students and their well-being.”
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.