She asked her young son about school shooting drills. His shocking response went viral.

Since the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida, parents across the nation have been in a tough position — discussing gun safety with their children.

The threat of gun violence in schools has become a painful reality for millions of parents, whether they're directly affected by recent school shootings or merely facing the possibility that their children could be in danger simply by showing up to class.

Tanai Benard, an educator from Texas, decided it was time to have an honest conversation with her fifth-grade son to find out what he knew, and didn't know, about school shooting drills designed to keep students safe.


My 5th grader and I were conversing on the way to work/school this morning. As an educator, I wanted to be sure he and...

Posted by Tanai Benard on Friday, February 16, 2018

Dez shocked and upset his Mom with what he already knew about gun violence.

To her surprise, Dez said he and his fellow students had already practiced school shooting drills, going into painfully specific details about how they worked together to make a classroom safe during an active shooter incident.

"Yes, we practiced it," Dez told Tanai when she asked if they had practiced a lockdown drill in class.

"The teacher is supposed to to shut and lock the door, put the black paper over the window on the door. Then myself and three other boys are suppose to push the table against the door. After that all the class is going to stand behind us on the back wall."

His willingness to put himself at risk to protect others initially upset her.

Tanai was horrified that her son, one of only two black children in his class, was being used as a potential human shield. However, before she lashed out, she decided to ask Dez why he was put in such a compromising position and his answer was even more shocking.

"I internally went from 0 to 100 real quick," she wrote. "Why did you get picked to stand in front of everyone else if a shooter came in your school?

"I didn't get picked," Dez answered. "I volunteered to push the table and protect my friends."

"Dez why would you volunteer to do that?" she asked.

"If it came down to it, I would rather be the one that died protecting my friends then have an entire class die and I be the only one that lived," he said.





Our children are paying attention. It's up to us where that attention goes.

While the adults debate what to do about gun violence in our nation's schools, young children are watching and waiting. It's not a coincidence that the response of students from Parkland, Florida, has become a major national story. Benard's story showcases the best and worst of what we're dealing with right now: the undeniable horror of gun violence and how it's affecting millions of children across America. They will respond with innovation and intelligence — kids almost always do. Now, it's up to the adults to change the narrative of what these kids are responding to.

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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