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A 7-month-old baby on the no-fly list? Yup. But that's not the most absurd thing about it.

Babies can be terrors. But that doesn't make them terrorists. … Or does it?

A 7-month-old baby on the no-fly list? Yup. But that's not the most absurd thing about it.

In 2012, a 7-month-old baby was designated as a "known or suspected terrorist threat" by airport security and placed on the no-fly list.

That baby is now 4 years old and is one of 18 plaintiffs listed in a lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in April seeking damages for those who have allegedly suffered from being listed as "terrorists" without criteria or evidence.

Now, it might sound a little ridiculous to have a baby on the no-fly list. But there must be a good reason, right? This is a country that believes in due process, where even an adorable little poop monster is innocent until proven guilty! We wouldn't just brand someone a terrorist for life without some legitimate proof, WOULD WE?


Of course not.

So why how did this so-called "Baby Doe" (if that is his real name!) manage to land on the terrorist watchlist? I have a few different theories.

Photo by John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images.

1. Baby Doe is actually a terrorist, executing an insidious diaper plot against the American people.

This is the obvious, and perhaps most likely, scenario.

Photo by John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Perhaps Baby Doe refused to narc on his fellow babies.

Government authorities have a history of approaching people with no prior criminal backgrounds or reasons for suspicion and pressuring them into acting as secret informants. And sometimes, those who don't cooperate get placed on the no-fly list.

"Who me? I don't know anything!" A likely story! Photo by Masum Ibn Musa/Wikimedia Commons.

3. Or what if Baby Doe actually works for the Department of Homeland Security?

During a recent push to prevent people on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing firearms, it was revealed that 72 DHS employees were included on the list.

Photo by Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Image.

4. Baby Doe might have posted something suspicious on Facebook.

Baby Doe once allegedly hijacked his mother's iPad and posted "fdgislgbdgkudsgsghbwenfwepfnasfiu" to her Facebook page. Was it nonsense? Or a carefully encrypted message?

Photo by Emmanuel Dudand/AFP/Getty Images.

5. Baby Doe might share a name with another "Baby Doe" on the watchlist.

It could just be a clerical error. That happened to the Robert Johnsons of the world, 12 of whom shared their experiences with "60 Minutes" after a different Robert Johnson had plotted to blow up a Hindu temple and a movie theater in Toronto.

Photo by Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images.

6. Maybe Baby Doe is actually Saddam Hussein or another Bad Person™!

"Just because a person has died doesn't necessarily mean that their identity has died," said Donna Bucella, who previously oversaw the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center, in a 2006 interview with CBS News.

At the time, Hussein was listed on the no-fly list, even though he was on trial in Baghdad. The 14 alleged hijackers from 9/11 were also on the list.

Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

7. Even if he's not Saddam Hussein, Baby Doe could be a crucial witness in a major legal case.

Architect Rahinah Ibrahim previously took the DHS to court in order to get her name removed from the no-fly list after it had been placed there by a clerical error. When her daughter was scheduled to testify in court, DHS apparently took action to prevent her from boarding her scheduled flight.

Baby Doe and Infant X, criminals caught in the act. Photo by Dustin M. Ramsey/Wikimedia Commons.

8. Or this could all just be a glaring indicator of just how ridiculous, unfair, arbitrary, and, oh yeah, unconstitutional the no-fly list actually is.

Here's what really happened: Baby Doe is a Muslim-American child. According to The Intercept, he was boarding a flight with his mother when his passport was stamped "SSSS" to indicate the need for a Secondary Security Screening. He was patted down, searched, and subjected to chemical testing. They even analyzed his diapers. While no wrongdoing was found (and neither was common sense, apparently), his name was placed on the no-fly list, where it remains to this day.

He's not the only child to have been flagged by the Transportation Security Administration for suspected terrorist activity either.

Definitely a terrorist. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images.

Before 9/11, there were 16 people banned from flying in the U.S. due to suspicions of terrorist activity. Today? That number is closer to 50,000.

Government agencies have even admitted that the criteria for the no-fly list is based on subjective predictive assessments rather than any kind of quantifiable evidence, and at least one U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the government's attempts to restrict people's freedom of movement is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, the TSA has an annual operating budget of nearly $8 billion despite that a recent DHS investigation had people who managed to sneak mock weapons past airport security 95% of the time.

There's nothing wrong with taking a proactive stance against terrorism. Keeping people safe is a good thing. But if we need to encroach on the civil liberties of babies (not to mention countless others) in order to do that — well, then what are we really fighting for?

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

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The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."