Fifth-grader starts petition to rename middle school after Ruth Bader Ginsburg
via Wake Forest University

Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at the age of 87 earlier this month and she leaves an unparalleled legacy of fighting for gender equality and women's rights.

One of the most important aspects of her legacy is how she has continued to be an inspiration across generations, and is particularly popular among young women.

"I think it is absolutely extraordinary that Justice Ginsburg was both a hero to the women of the 1970s and then an icon to the little girls of today," Abbe Gluck, a Yale Law School professor and former clerk of Justice Ginsburg, told ABC News.


"She was an amazing teacher and her influence remains with me today and will remain with me forever," she continued.

via Yashmori / Flickr

Many young people learned about her fight for equality through a 2016 children's book, "I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark," by Debbie Levy.

A wonderful example of RBG's influence on the younger generations comes out of Portland, Oregon. Ruby Waas Shull, a fifth-grader at Bridger K - 8, has started a petition to rename nearby Kellogg Middle School after Ginsburg.

The school is currently being rebuilt as part of a modernization project and she believes it should reopen with a new name.

Ruby's mother, Rachael Was Shull, says her daughter has been trying to get a school in the district named after Ginsburg for years. However, Portland Publics Schools' naming policy requires someone to have been deceased for at least three years before being considered for having a building named after them.

In the wake of Ginsburg's death, Ruby has sent two letters to the district requesting the name change, the most recent made a case for waiving the three-year qualification.

"We are working out next steps, but Ruby's goal is to present directly to the school board," Racheal told Scary Mommy. "We are all feeling excited about the possibility of better representation in our monuments and institutions."

The school district says that the children's voices will be taken into consideration when deciding on renaming school buildings.

"PPS is very committed to the student voice and the renaming process," the district said in a statement. "This summer we proposed a new process that aligns with our PPS Vision, our values, commitment to Racial Equity and Social Justice, and is culturally responsive."

The refurbished Kellogg Middle Schoolvia Google

In the meantime, Ruby is garnering support for the renaming process through a Change.org petition that already has over 2100 signatures. The goal of the campaign is to reach 2500.

"I feel strongly that we should change the name of Kellogg Middle School to Ruth Bader Ginsburg Middle School," the petition reads. "We have a lot of schools (far too many, in my opinion) named after white businessmen. Lastly, if kids go to schools centered only on white males then kids who are not those two things may feel unimportant, or worthless even."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was known for her persistence and Ruby is a fine example of how her dedication has had a tremendous influence on subsequent generations.

"It just really impresses me that [Ginsburg] hasn't ever given up, even when people said no," Ruby told WHAM.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less