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He put inmates in a room with nothing but a camera and asked them to talk about their crimes.

They'll never see the outside of their prison again, but that doesn't mean they can't make an impact.

Something amazing happens when you leave a camera in a room with inmates who are in prison because they used guns. It's hard to watch, but it's an attempt to reach kids before they end up in the same kind of place.

"I took up a gun, I held it. And then this gun became my security. … I entered a movie theater with a group of friends. Then, another group of teens came in, yelling. Pretty soon, an argument erupted between my group and that group. One of them pulled out a gun and fired it. I returned fire. … I didn't think I was gonna hit anybody, but I did it anyway. A little boy was shot. He died that night." — Sing Sing inmate, "Voices from Within" video project

To jump straight to the project, skip forward to the 4-minute mark.


"I made a choice. A gun."

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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