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‘What You Need To Know:’ VP Fights for Reproductive Rights and More

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Source: REACH Media / Reach Media

1. Assistant Principal Charged in 6-Year-Old’s School Shooting

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Assistant Principal Charged in 6-Year-Old’s School Shooting

What You Need to Know:


A special grand jury indicted a former school administrator at a Virginia grammar school in the shooting of a teacher by a 6-year-old student. Dr. Ebony Parker, a former Assistant Principal at the Richneck Elementary School, was indicted on eight counts of Felony Child Abuse by a grand jury in Newport News, VA. The charges stem from the January 2023 shooting involving a 6-year old boy who shot his teacher, Abigail Zwerner, in a classroom. 

In a $40 million lawsuit, Ms. Zwerner charged that on the day of the shooting, Assistant Principal Parker was warned several times that the child had a gun. Reports indicate that the boy’s backpack was searched, but no weapon was found. Another child told a teacher they saw the student pull a gun out of a hoodie pocket. Zwerner’s lawyers reported that the teacher rushed to the school office and asked permission to search the child, but was denied. The grand jury charged that Dr. Ebony Parker failed to take action. Each of the eight counts is punishable by up to five years in prison.

2. Fight for Reproductive Rights: Kamala Harris Heads to Arizona

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The Fight for Reproductive Rights: Kamala Harris Heads to Arizona



What You Need to Know:


In the wake of the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision upholding a 160-year-old near-total abortion ban, Vice President Kamala Harris is set to embark on a trip to Tucson, Arizona, this Friday. The timing of the visit is significant, coming just days after the court upheld one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws.

The ruling, which prohibits abortion at any stage unless the life of the mother is in danger, has drawn sharp criticism from abortion rights advocates. Notably, the law lacks exceptions for cases of rape or incest, further fueling concerns about reproductive freedoms.

Harris’s upcoming visit to Arizona was initially planned as part of a broader campaign trip, but the recent court decision has amplified the focus on abortion rights and access. The White House has emphasized Harris’s leadership role in advocating for reproductive freedoms, particularly in the face of escalating state-level restrictions.

3. Registered Dietician Maya Feller on Inclusive Wellness and Nutrition

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Registered Dietician Maya Feller on Inclusive Wellness and Nutrition

What You Need to Know: 


She’s founded a patient-centered nutrition practice, shared insights and recipes on shows like Good Morning America and Today, and inspired hundreds of thousands of viewers to take their health into their own hands.

Maya Feller, a registered dietitian, is making wellness inclusive and accessible for all. Learn how she found this passion, what inclusive nutrition means, and three wellness tips you can start using today.

Feller first learned how important personalized nutrition was while training for a marathon.

4. Jim Crow, Is That You? How Southern Voting Laws Will Impact Black Voters

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 Jim Crow, Is That You? How Southern Voting Laws Will Impact Black Voters


What You Need to Know:


Voting practices during the pre-Civil Rights era included ridiculous measures like White poll workers requiring Black voters to accurately guess how many jellybeans were in a jar, pay a tax equivalent of up to one week’s pay, or pass other tests to vote. Those practices were outlawed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. New voting restrictions in the South may alter the outcome of the 2024 election by lowering voting among Black Americans, who overwhelmingly choose Democrats.

Since 2020, states have further restricted who can vote absentee and who can turn in absentee ballots, passed stricter voter identification laws, and adjusted how they remove voters from the rolls. These changes could affect which presidential candidate wins the swing states of Georgia and North Carolina, the outcome of key congressional and state legislative races, and which party’s candidate wins a seat on the Alabama court that upended fertility medicine.

Louisiana Secretary of State Nancy Landry, a Republican, is asking the Republican-led Legislature to pass election integrity bills, including one to “further crackdown on absentee ballot harvesting” and stop people from helping with “more than one absentee ballot, except for immediate family members.”

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed a law in March making it illegal to turn in someone else’s absentee ballot and a felony to give or receive payment to collect others’ absentee ballots. Alabama is one of four states that doesn’t allow in-person early voting.

Texas created a felony offense for collecting mail-in ballots in exchange for benefits, such as payments or a job offer.

Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi have also changed voting laws concerning acceptable forms of identification and how homeless people can register to vote.

5.  The Reality of Autism in the Black Community

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 The Reality of Autism in the Black Community



What You Need to Know:


April marks Autism Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and advocating for acceptance and support for individuals on the spectrum.

As we embark on this month-long observance, it’s important to shed light on the complexities of autism and the hurdles faced by those living with this neurodevelopmental condition.

Often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, it’s crucial to grasp that autism isn’t a mental illness but rather a neurodevelopmental disorder, despite its classification in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 

A common misconception surrounding autism revolves around delays in diagnosis, particularly within the Black community. Deep-rooted implicit bias and racism within healthcare systems has led to hesitancy among Black parents voicing concerns to their child’s doctor. Many parents have reported disruptive behaviors being blamed on poor parenting or stereotypes. 

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