Posts tagged with "Texas"

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

360 MAGAZINE, ALLISON CHRISTENSEN, ILLUSTRATIONS, APPLE

This Week’s Top Stories

By Cassandra Yany

Here are the some of top stories in beauty, entertainment and tech so far this week:

Apple Announces Sep. 15 Apple Event

Apple announced Tuesday that they will be hosting an event on Wednesday September 15 at 10 am PDT.  The ‘Time Flies’ event will take place virtually from Apple Park, the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA. It is speculated that the iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Series 6 will be revealed at the event next week. According to AppleInsider, there is also word of a possible new iPad or Apple Silicon MacBook. 

While some expect the new iPhone to be revealed next week, others say that the announcement will come a few weeks later, due to delays caused by COVID-19. According to The Verge, There will be four iPhone 12 models released this year: two iPhone 12’s that will be sold at a lower price point, and two iPhone Pro’s. These will include a 6.7-inch iPhone Pro, making it the largest iPhone to date. CNET reports that the new model will be the first iPhone to run on 5G. The new Apple Watch will allegedly feature added monitoring blood oxygen levels, updated sleep tracking, and a faster processor.

Selena Gomez launches Rare Beauty, Broken Hearts Gallery to Hit Theaters Friday

This week has been very eventful for artist Selena Gomez. On Thursday Sep. 3, she launched her makeup line Rare Beauty, which shares the same name as her most recent album that was released early this year. The line includes 20 makeup products and accessories, available in a variety of shades and colors. Items can be purchased on the Rare Beauty website, as well as online and in stores at Sephora.

Along with the makeup line, Rare Beauty also established the Rare Impact Fund to support the mental health of the brand’s community, employees and partners. One percent of all sales and funds from partners will go toward increasing access to mental health resources. The brand shared their mission via Instagram “to shape conversations around beauty, self-acceptance, and mental health.”

Broken Hearts Gallery, a film executive produced by Gomez, will be released in theaters on Friday Sep. 10. The movie features actors Dacre Montgomery of “Stranger Things” and Geraldine Viswanathan of “Blockers” (2018) and “Hala” (2019) as the two leads. Gomez took to Instagram on Monday to share a special trailer of the film and encourage those who see it in movie theaters to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.

These projects come just weeks after the release of Gomez’s collaboration with Blackpink, the virtual premiere of This Is The Year— a film she produced alongside former Disney Channel co-star David Henrie, who directed the film— and the release of her HBO Max show “Selena + Chef.”

McDonald’s x Cactus Jack Collab

McDonald’s launched its collaboration with Travis Scott on Tuesday. The fast food chain has added the “Cactus Jack” meal to their menu for $6. The meal does not come with a Happy Meal toy, but does include a Quarter Pounder with cheese, bacon and lettuce, medium fries with BBQ dipping sauce and a medium Sprite with extra ice— Scott’s go-to order. McDonald’s employees will be sporting new uniforms for the partnership, and the restaurant and rapper have also released merchandise to mark the event. The items are sold on Scott’s website and include t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, sweatpants and other accessories and household items containing his name and the restaurant logo.

Travis Scott visited a McDonald’s location in Downey City, CA to celebrate the launch, causing chaos amongst the large crowd, as seen in videos fans posted on Twitter. Scott went live on Instagram to share the experience with his followers. On Wednesday, Scott served customers the meal from the drive-thru window at a McDonald’s in Texas, as seen in a video posted by the TikTok account RAP. As part of the month-long collab, the artist and fast food chain will be exploring ways to support different charities and organizations. The partnership will run until Oct. 4. This is Mcdonald’s first collaboration with a big celebrity since they featured a Michael Jordan-themed meal on their menu in 1992.

COVID Mask Care illustration by Mina Tocalini

Study Shows State-By-State Reopenings Exacerbate COVID

As Summer vacations end in Europe and in the United States and students return to college campuses and primary schools worldwide, fresh waves of COVID infections are causing renewed restrictions after loosening in the Spring and Summer. However, a new study shows that this uncoordinated opening, closing, and reopening of states and counties, is making the COVID problem worse in the U.S., according to the authors of a new study released today. Using methods from their previous work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, MIT PhD student Michael Zhao and Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and author of the upcoming book The Hype Machine, have released the first comprehensive study of the impact of state-by-state re-openings on the COVID pandemic, spanning January to July, 2020 with surprising and troubling results.

After studying combined data on the mobility of over 22 million mobile devices, daily data on state-level closure and reopening policies and social media connections among 220 million Facebook users, the team found that reimposing local social distancing or shelter-in-place orders after reopening may be far less effective than policy makers would hope.

In fact, such closures may actually be counterproductive as they encourage those in locked down regions to flee to reopened regions, potentially causing new hotspots to emerge. This analysis demonstrates that travel spillovers are not only systematic and predictable, but also large and meaningful.

Arizona was one of the first states to open businesses, but in late June, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks were shut down for 30 days as the state became one of the virus’s new hot spots. One month after dine-in restaurants, bars, and gyms were allowed to reopen in California, Governor Gavin Newsom made the country’s most aggressive reopening reversal amid his state’s spike in COVID-19 cases, shuttering all indoor dining, bars, zoos, and museums in the state. Similar reversals have occurred in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, West Virginia among other states.

“We’ve seen a patchwork of flip-flopping state policies across the country,” says Sinan Aral, the senior author of the study. “The problem is that, when they are uncoordinated, state re-openings and even closures create massive travel spillovers that are spreading the virus across state borders. If we continue to pursue ad hoc policies across state and regional borders, we’re going to have a difficult time controlling this virus, reopening our economy or even sending our kids back to school.”

The new study showed that while closures directly reduced mobility by 5-6%, re-openings returned mobility to pre-pandemic levels. Once all of a state’s peer states (in travel or social media influence) locked down, focal county mobility in that state dropped by an additional 15-20% but increased by 19-32% once peer states reopened. “State policies have effects far beyond their borders,” says Aral. “We desperately need coordination if we are to control this virus.”

When an origin county was subject to a statewide shelter-in-place order, travel to counties yet to impose lockdowns increased by 52-65%. If the origin had reopened, but the destination was still closed, travel to destination counties was suppressed by 9-17% for nearby counties and 21-27% for distant counties. But when a destination reopened while an origin was still closed, people from the closed origins flooded into the destination by 11-12% from nearby counties and 24% from distant counties. “People flee closures and flood into newly reopened states,” says Aral, “we can’t avoid the travel spillovers caused by our ad hoc policies.”

These findings highlight the urgent need to coordinate COVID-19 reopenings across regions and the risks created by ad hoc local shutdowns and reopenings. In addition, the results highlight the importance of taking spillover effects seriously when formulating national policy and for national and local policies to coordinate across regions where spillovers are strong.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Boats Sink at Pro-Trump Parade

On September 5, 2020, participants at the ‘Trump Boat Parade’ needed rescuing after at least four boats sunk around noon on Lake Travis in Texas.

The New York Times reported, “Boaters were set to travel around the lake, which is about 15 miles northwest of Austin, at 10 miles per hour.”
According to the events Facebook page, they wanted to “really make a statement,” but organizers did not expect the event to make national news for the reason it did.

A call came in around 12:10 pm to report the first boat was taking on water and subsequently more boats faced the same fate. After mulling over the audio from these emergency calls, ABC News reported, “At least three boats went down in 30 minutes, according to dispatchers, who reported several sinking boats around Paradise Cove.”

“Five boats sank, three of which were removed from the water, the sheriff’s office said in a Sunday release,” USA Today stated. “Two boats remained submerged, it said.”

Strangely enough, this wasn’t the first time a a pro-Trump boat parade ended in emergency calls. “A similar incident took place during a parade on the Willamette River in Portland last month,” according to Bloomberg. However, there was less damage done with only one boat reportedly sinking.

While the the day brought good boating conditions, the large number of boats all starting their trek around the lake at the same time caused unsafe water conditions, CNN stated.
Organizers still plan to hold more boat parades in the future disregarding the tragedies of the past two parades.

FXXXXY releases new single from upcoming project which was announced in 360 MAGAZINE.

FXXXXY Releases “Paranoia/#1 Stunna”

A week after releasing his double-feature of a track “Paranoia/#1 Stunna,” songwriter/producer FXXXXY (Rule#1/Interscope Records) agilely whips up a new visual to compliment his latest release. Watch HERE

Directed by Erik Rojas, the Dallas star ends up in a challenging position with an ill-tempered woman keen on vengeance. Draped in fear, FXXXXY looks out the window to monitor the situation, before realizing the unknown lady found her way inside his home and ends up firing her gun at him. Fortunately, FXXXXY wakes up from his daunting dream and recaptures his confidence on the swaggering tune “#1 Stunna.” FXXXXY dashes through the hypnotic beat like a fireball with a sense of renewed energy, flaunting his bachelor pad and his new car. 

In 2020, the highly-sought-after producer notched several monumental victories, including a platinum plaque Future’s latest album High Off Life. His previous wins also include his earlier collaborations with Gunna (“Need You”) and Lil Durk (“Follow Me”), which further exuded FXXXXY’s innate skillset as a musical virtuoso. After landing co-writing credits for Future’s “Life Is Good (Remix),” Internet Money’s “Thrusting” and Gunna’s “Street Sweeper,” FXXXXY’s gifted abilities on the music front are creating a frenzy in the hip-hop space, making him the genre’s best-kept secret.

Photo Courtesy of Blair Brown

Photo Courtesy of Trevor Daniel on Facebook

Trevor Daniel’s National Television Debut

Trevor Daniel made his television debut Wednesday night, performing his songs “Falling” and “Past Life” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Daniel performed with a string quartet in the desert, even climbing into a hot air balloon for the second half of the performance, which you can see here.

Daniel hails from Austin, Texas, and resided in Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. He was forced to leave his home with only his music equipment. He decided to move away from his day job as a suit salesman and into the music industry.

He released his debut EP “Homesick” in 2018 with “Falling” as its leading track. The song reached the top 40 in 20 countries as well as second on U.S. Pop Radio and 18th on Billboard’s Hot 100.

He also collaborated with Selena Gomez on a new version of “Past Life,” which was released in June.

Daniel is fresh off the release of his first major album release titled “Nicotine,” and he’ll look to keep pushing forward as a charting artist and pop mainstay.

Kaelen Fenix illustration for homelessness in 360 MAGAZINE

Covid-19 Increasing Homelessness

By Eamonn Burke

A study back in May of this year by a Columbia professor found that the unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic could increase homelessness by 45%, following a peak unemployment rate in April of 14.7%. Using data from previous recessions as well as current unemployment trends, Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty estimated that another 250,000 people would become homeless this year, bringing the total number of homeless in the country to 800,000. Across the nation, evidence of this narrative coming to fruition is clear. In West Virginia, there are 10,000 homeless students. 125 homeless people have died this year in San Francisco. Homelessness is increasing in Ohio and Texas, and Residents of Long Island are petitioning for another homeless shelter. This is just some of data to show the trend of widespread homelessness as a result of the coronavirus.

Besides taking the lives of many through infection, the coronavirus has caused a massive recession, like likes of which have not been seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s. As of last month, 22 millions Americans are receiving unemployment payments, coming after one of the best economic stretches in American history.

In addition to unemployment benefits, many people were also protected by the moratorium under the Federal CARES Act, which has since expired, allowing evictions to resume. An Aspen Institute study estimates 30-40 million people could be evicted by the end of 2020. This means even more people out on the streets and more vulnerable to getting COVID, which creates a vicious cycle and creates more pressure on emergency services. Shelters are available but often overcrowded and unsanitary.

There is also the issue of those who are older and who have preexisting conditions, who have been identified as higher risk for COVID-19 and who also are becoming more prevalent among homeless populations. Over 100,000 people over 45 years old were estimated to be living outside on an average night in 2019. Another study showed that around 85% of unsheltered people had physical health issues in 2019. Lastly, a Harvard study revealed that roughly 11 million households spend at least half of their income on housing, making them vulnerable in a recession.

There is also a racial undertone of the homelessness crisis from Covid-19, as black and Latinx people make up a large portion of the population and 58% of black and Latinx people lack the sufficient liquid assets to survive a recession. This can lead to greater racial disparity in an already tumultuous period for race relations in the country.

The CARES act also provided $4 billion in funding, which the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, along with The National Alliance to End Homelessness used to develop a framework for how to use the money to fight homelessness. It focuses on five major points: services for the unsheltered, housing, shelter, prevention and diversion, and improving future systems.

It is expected that the rising homelessness rate with correlate with the projected rising unemployment rate through 2022. The homelessness rate was already rising with overpopulation, and the pandemic is acting as a catalyst for the issue.

Cedar Park Standoff Ends

Yesterday, three police officers in Cedar Park, Texas, were shot while responding to a call at a home. 

The officers, two of which went home Sunday night and one having had surgery on Monday morning, were responding to a 3:10 pm call from a woman who said her son had kicked a door in and was acting aggressively. The man barricaded himself inside the home, holding three family members (his mother, sister, and brother) hostage after the shooting. 

The Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, SWAT, Round Rock police, Leander police, and Williamson County’s sheriff responded to the incident, said Cedar Park Police Chief Mike Harmon

The man remained in the home throughout the night as negotiators contacted him via direct phone line in attempts to get him to release the hostages. A helicopter circled above and dozens of emergency vehicles lined the streets. 

The man released his brother, sister, and a small dog at around 8 am on Monday and his mother later that morning. By 9 am, the standoff had ended and the man had peacefully surrendered to the police after over 16 hours. Harmon said that the mother played a large role in getting her son to release his siblings and that officials were “counting on her help to get her son to exit the house and surrender peacefully.” 

Harmon stated that the police had a history at the residence, but did not provide details. 

“There are some mental health issues,” Harmon declared, and the officers want to “get this person the help they need.”

Mike Ramos illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Police Kill Mike Ramos

By Eamonn Burke

New footage of the shooting of 42 year old Mike Ramos in Austin, Texas was released by the Austin Police Department last week. On April 24 of this year Ramos was shot after being cornered by police when a 911 was placed reporting two people (the other was his girlfriend) doing drugs in a car. Despite yelling that he was unarmed, which it was later proved he was, the police fired non-lethal bullets at Ramos. He then tried to flee the location in his car, but was shot and killed. His girlfriend survived the altercation. 

Ramos became one of the names that was chanted in the streets of Austin during BLM protests over the death of George Floyd. There were demands for the termination of Austin Police Chief Brian Manley as well as calls for more systemic changes such as defunding the police in the city, which has a history of inequality and racism. 

The new videos of the murder from four different body cameras do not show the shots that killed Ramos, but they can be heard. The video was reviewed by the District Attorney Margaret Moore, and the Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit alongside Texas Rangers are working to determine whether there will be charges against Officer Christopher Taylor, who fired the bullets that killed Ramos. The attorneys for Taylor say that the video is misleading and should not have been released to the public. “No judge has ever even ruled on whether or not evidence the government has released will even be admissible at trial” said attorney Doug McConnell

Mike Ramos’ mother Brenda Ramos is devastated and believes that the killing was unjustified. “I’m going to be in pain for the rest of my life,” she says, and states that she is unable to watch the videos.

Mask illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Indiana School Quarantines on First Day

By Eamonn Burke

Greenfield Central Junior High School in Indiana opened on Thursday, as one of the first high schools to do so in the country. Within hours, the school had to quarantine when a student tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. It appears that the student was tested days before and went to school without knowing the results.

The emergency “Positive COVID-19 Test Protocol” that went into action following the testing involved isolating the student and a two week quarantine order for those who had come in contact. The schools superintendent, Harold E. Olin, knew the situation was coming but was “shocked it was on Day 1.” Nonetheless, Olin said in a letter that “It was very evident today that nearly all of our families and students were prepared to properly follow the safety protocols we have established”.

This comes amidst a national debate over the re-opening of schools in the fall. While most major school districts have announced a remote start, some in places like Texas and Florida, where the virus is running rampant, plan to open in the fall. Teachers unions have been vehemently opposing an in-person opening, threatening and executing lawsuits and strikes to make their point. They put pressure on Trump’s administration, who is urging for children to get back to school.

Further complicating matters is a study from Northwestern and a Chicago Pediatric Hospital found that children five years and younger carry the virus in high concentrations, although a study on their transmission rate has not been conducted.

On top of all the virus concerns is that of the mental health and success of students who are learning virtually. This spans everything from eye health to sleep patterns to ability to socialize. In addition, it can be harder for many students to pay attention and retain material when studying from home.