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upworthy

Leah Groth

The National Centers for Health Statistics at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report this week that shows the fertility rate and number of births in American are continuing to decline. Fertility has dropped to an unprecedented low and the birth rate has plummeted to its lowest point in over three decades.

There were 1,728 births per 1,000 women, signifying a two percent decrease from 2017 and a record low for the nation. The report points out that the low fertility rate is below the level needed for the population to replace itself, 2,100 per 1,000 women, a trend that has been continuing since 1971.

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In Philadelphia, PA, nurses used to have the right to keep an unvaccinated child out of school — until now.

Lincoln High School nurse Peg Devine explained to the Philadelphia Inquirer that, in her experience, exclusion — preventing a child from attending school until they are up to date on required vaccinations — “proved powerful.” In her 26 years on the job she kept only 15 students out of school and none of them ended up missing more than two days before proving immunization.

However, now her right to intervene has been taken away by the school district, which she finds especially concerning due to the local outbreak of mumps (so far, over 100 Temple University students have contracted the disease) and the measles outbreak in New York — less than two hours from Philadelphia.

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Parents whose children attend James Madison High School were taken aback when they received a letter from Principal Carlotta Outley Brown outlining a strict dress code they needed to adhere to while on school grounds.

“We are preparing your child for a prosperous future,” Brown wrote. “We want them to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for any setting they may be in.”

The list of banned items was pretty extensive. It included satin caps, bonnets, shower caps, hair rollers, pajamas or any pajama-looking attire, jeans “torn from your buttocks to all the way down showing lots of skin,” leggings “showing your bottom and where your body is not covered from the front or back,” very low cut or revealing tops, sagging pants, shorts or jeans, Daisy Dukes, low rider shorts, undershirts on men and dresses that are “up to your behind.”

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Writer slash mom Mathangi Subramanian recently witnessed some playground discrimination. Even more disturbing than the words that were thrown around by the children is the fact that their parents turned a blind eye to it.

“Still processing this, but two days ago, two blonde girls at the playground told my daughter she couldn't play with them because she doesn't have blonde hair,” Subramanian explained in a multi-tweet post. “The girls' parents did not intervene. You better believe I did.”

Her message to the children was blunt and to the point, yet totally reasonable. She didn’t attempt to “school them,” but carefully explained that excluding others is never cool. “I told the blonde kids at the playground that they can't exclude people,” she continued. “I did it calmly and politely, while their parents watched.” Um, yeah. They just watched. And said nothing.

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