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Up until now I’ve been focused on clearing out my pocket notes, starting with the oldest ones first. But I’m finding that there are some things that I want to talk about while they’re fresh and current, so I’m going to occasionally either split my posts or devote them entirely to current news. Today’s post is an example of the latter.

How do we talk to kids about the Trayvon Martin case? How do we contribute to the national conversation about racism that has resulted from its outcome? School counselors aren’t teachers in the strictest sense of the term, but our clients might to come to us with questions and concerns. When they do, what are we going to tell them?

Comprehensive sex education credited for California’s lowest teen birthrate in two decades. Whatever your stance on the teaching of sex education (and whatever your state’s guidelines are), it’s difficult to argue with results. This isn’t something school counselors have much influence on. We all work within the boundaries of local and state policies and laws. But when the teen birthrate drops it’s cause for celebration – no matter what the reason.

High school counselors may be interested in this and may, in fact, already be aware of it, but I thought I’d link just in case. The U.S. House of Representatives is considering an amendment that would make career readiness measures available on school report cards in addition to the graduation rates that are already required under current law.

Have you seen this story in The Atlantic? “In a desperately poor, dangerous part of town, Memphis Street Academy decided to ditch its metal detectors and focus on supporting students. Violence dropped by 90 percent.” Wow.

While hunting down the right link for the story on Philadelphia, I also came across this, from The Future Project. Today’s assessment driven policies don’t really leave time for this type of program in most of our public schools. Still, what a fantastic concept.