Daily Dispatches
National School Shield Task Force Director and former Arkansas Rep. Asa Hutchinson
Associated Press/Photo by Jose Luis Magana
National School Shield Task Force Director and former Arkansas Rep. Asa Hutchinson

Midday Roundup: NRA winning gun control debate

Newsworthy

Arm the teachers. The National Rifle Association (NRA) issued a 225-page report yesterday detailing its recommendations to improve school safety in the wake of shooting rampages that have taken the lives of teachers and students. The nation’s largest gun-rights advocacy group wants schools to ensure at least one staff member is armed but stopped short of suggesting armed volunteers should patrol campuses. Both measures were part of recommendations the group made just a week after December’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 first-graders and six adults dead.

Going west, unarmed. Although the NRA’s plan has been met with limited support, President Barack Obama hasn’t made any progress in getting his gun-control legislation through Congress. The president traveled to Denver today to make another push for universal background checks and limits on certain weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. But even the background check portion of the legislation, which received at least initial support from the NRA, seems to have little chance of making it through either chamber, even the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Arresting teachers. On Good Friday, prosecutors in Atlanta charged 35 educators with racketeering in a massive standardized test cheating scandal that rocked the Atlanta Public Schools in 2009. At the top of District Attorney Paul Howard’s list of indictments—former Superintendent Beverly Hall, who turned herself in yesterday. Hall, who was named national superintendent of the year in 2009 by the American Association of School Administrators, was freed after posting a $200,000 bond.

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Official state religion? Several North Carolina lawmakers have filed a bill that would make Christianity the official state religion. The proposed legislation claims the state’s sovereignty gives it the right to adopt a religion if it wants to, despite clear prohibitions in the U.S. Constitution. The law is an attempt to protect several county boards being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union over explicitly Christian prayers offered at the beginning of public commission meetings. In a 2011 ruling in a similar case, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled prayers were fine, as long as they didn’t favor one religion over another.

Fired. Rutgers University fired basketball coach Mike Rice today after ESPN broadcast a video of him shoving and grabbing players and throwing balls at them during practice. He’s also accused of using gay slurs. The school’s athletic director viewed the video in November and suspended Rice for three games, fined him $75,000, and ordered him to attend anger management classes. The athletic director and school president now say they should not have attempted to rehabilitate the coach.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Atlanta and is the managing editor of WORLD's website.

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