• Public School Strike Ends in West Virginia

    West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced yesterdfay that a four-day teachers' strike in the state would come to an end after a deal was reached to give teachers a 5 percent pay raise. Teachers were protesting at the state capitol while schools were closed. The strike also resulted in a 3 percent pay raise for all other state employees. Schools will re-open on Thursday after a "cooling off period" today, a teachers' group wrote on Facebook. The strike was occurring due to a number of reasons.

    DIscussion Questions:

    • What do you think were the main causes of the strike?
    • Why do you think the strike ended?
    • Should public employees be permitted to strike? Why or why not?
  • Guns for Teachers?

    Democratic Governor Jay Inslee of Washington challenged President Trump on his controversial proposal to arm teachers with concealed-carry weapons, during a White House meetings with governors on Monday. Inslee said that both law enforcement and educators were concerned about teachers “packing heat” in classrooms. “So I just suggest we need a little less tweeting here, a little more listening,” said Inslee. “Let’s just take that off the table and move forward.” The president then called on Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott to explain how teachers are trained to carry guns in his state. Trump concluded his Governors Meeting on shootings today.

    Discussion Questions:

    • What do you think about Trump's plan to potentially arm teachers? Do you think it could be effective? Why or why not?
    • How do you feel about Inslee's comments? Why?
    • What do you think the meeting of governors ultimately accomplished?
  • Grieving Father Confronts Rubio during Town Hall

    A man whose daughter was killed in the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week confronted Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) earlier tonight on gun control. At a CNN town hall, Fred Guttenberg said Rubio and President Donald Trump were “pathetically weak” in their responses to the massacre. The remark drew a standing ovation from the crowd. “Were guns the factor in the hunting of our kids?” Guttenberg asked. Rubio said he would support legislation preventing an 18-year-old from buying a firearm, but he would not go so far as to endorse an ban of assault weapons.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think Rubio agreed to take part in the town hall?
    • How would you describe the parent's demeanor in questioning Rubio?
    • Do you believe Rubio answered the question well? Why or why not?
  • Student Advocacy in Wake of Latest Shooting

    A wave of student advocacy develops in the aftermath of the mass shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Dozens of students and staff from the school are headed to Florida's capital, where they plan to talk with lawmakers about safety and gun control. On Presidents Day, a group of teens and more than 100 supporters staged a "lie-in" outside the White House to pressure lawmakers to pass tougher gun laws. Students, teachers and staff nationwide are encouraged to take part in a walkout on March 14 to protest gun violence, while student survivors plan a march in Washington on March 24.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think students are demonstrating so much after this shooting?
    • Do you think these efforts will have an impact? Why or why not?
    • What do you think it will take to have a meaningful conversation about gun violence?
  • Trump, School Shooting, and Russia

    President Trump today said the FBI was so busy looking into collusion claims it “missed” warning signs before the rampage. Trump called it “very sad” through a tweet that the FBI “missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter.” “This is not acceptable,” he said. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign—there is no collusion.” The president’s comment came after the FBI admitted that it had failed to investigate a tip about the Florida gunman more than a month before the shooting rampage that killed 17 people. It also followed a federal indictment handed down by special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday that accused 13 Russians of conspiring to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, a charge that Trump says proves there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Moscow.

    Discussion Questions:

    • How do you feel about Trump's tweet?
    • Why do you think the FBI may have missed Cruz prior to the attack?
    • What do you think will happen in response?
  • Another School Shooting

    Seventeen students and adults were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The carnage began after a fire alarm was pulled and students started leaving classrooms. That's when police say 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student armed with an AR-15-style firearm, began shooting. He was arrested after reportedly trying to hide among fleeing students. It's at least the fourth school shooting this year and is among the top 10 deadliest shootings in modern US history. It happened in a place voted the safest city in Florida.

    Discussion Questions:

    • How do you beleive we can curb school shootings in the United States?
    • How do you think stricter gun laws could impact school shootings?
    • How do you think better mental health care could impact school shootings?
    • Do you think Congress will act in the wake of this shooting? Why or why not?
  • Trump Attorney Paid Stormy Daniels

    Michael Cohen, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, told The New York Times today that he personally paid $130,000 to a porn actress, Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. Daniels received the apparent hush money just before Election Day in 2016, The Wall Street Journal first reported. “Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed me for the payment, either directly or indirectly,” Cohen said. “The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone.” According to the Times, Cohen refused to answer questions about “whether Mr. Trump had been aware that he made the payment, what the motivation was or whether he had made similar payments to other people over the years.”

    Discussion Questions:

    • Do you believe Cohen's story? Why or why not?
    • What impact do you think this may have on Trump? Why?
    • How could this have happened without Trump's knowledge?
  • Former White House Insider Dishes on Trump

    Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the reality TV star and former Trump White House aide, says Americans should be “worried” if Vice President Mike Pence became commander-in-chief. “We would be begging for days of Trump back if Pence became president,” Manigault-Newman said on Celebrity Big Brother. “He’s extreme. I’m Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things.” She also said “we are not going to be okay” as a country. White House spokesman Raj Shah said last week that Manigault-Newman “has no contact” with the president anymore.

    Discussion Questions:

    • How do you think Pence differs from Trump? How are they similar?
    • Do you think Pence would behave differently than Trump if he became president? How so?
    • Why do you think Omarosa made these public claims?
  • John Kelly Steps into Mess over Porter

    White House Chief of Staff John Kelly claimed in a staff meeting this morning that he took immediate action against Rob Porter, the Washington Post reported, but some staffers found Kelly’s version of events to be untrue. Kelly said he started the process of removing Porter “within 40 minutes” of after finding domestic abuse allegations against him were credible. Staffers present “expressed disbelief with one another,” the Post said. Kelly defended Porter to the Daily Mail on Tuesday night after it presented claims of physical abuse by Porter's ex-wives. Kelly privately fought for Porter to keep his job as staff secretary on Wednesday, after a photo surfaced of Porter's first wife showing a bruised eye, which she claims was the result of Porter punching her in the face.

    Discussion Questions:

    • How do you think this hurts Kelly credibility?
    • Do you think Kelly can survive this episode? Why or why not?
    • How can the Trump White House rebound from this?
  • White House Struggling over Porter

    White House officials knew “for months” of the domestic abuse allegations against a top aide who resigned today, according to a CNN report. Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary, resigned earlier Wednesday and has denied the allegations against him, which came from two of his ex-wives. According to CNN, White House chief of staff John Kelly and other top officials became aware of the allegations “by early fall” of last year. The White House was defending Porter even after he resigned. Trump himself reportedly found out about the allegations this week. Kelly said he was “shocked by the new allegations released today against Rob Porter.”

    Discussion Questions:

    • Do you believe the White House knew earlier? Why or why not?
    • Do you think Trump personally knew? Why or why not?
    • What fallout do you think this could have? Why?
  • Immigration Violence in France

    Four people were shot and 18 injured after migrants clashed with each other in the French port town of Calais late last week. It's not clear what sparked the violence. Calais was once home to a so-called "jungle" camp that held hundreds of migrants hoping to make it to the UK. The camp was torn down in October 2016, but about 500 migrants remain in the city. France and Britain signed a treaty last month aimed at speeding migrants' UK asylum applications.

    Discussion Questions:

    • Why do you think this violence occurred?
    • How do you think this region could be stabilized?
    • Why do you believe immigration is such a hot topic in this area?
  • Brzezinski Shuts Off Wolf on Morning Joe

    MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski cut off an interview with Michael Wolff on Morning Joe this morning, after the Fire and Fury author said he never suggested that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley had an affair with President Donald Trump. To that denial, Brzezinski replied, “You might be having a fun time playing a little game dancing around this, but you’re slurring a woman. It’s disgraceful.” The exchange comes after Wolff recently appeared on Real Time With Bill Maherwhere he said he was “absolutely sure” the president was having an affair with someone, and alluded to who that person was in one paragraph of his White House tell-all—that person being Haley. The former South Carolina governor has vehemently denied any relationship with Trump. Minutes after Wolff was kicked off, he tweeted: “the President is right about Mika,” followed by: “The last time I was on Morning Joe off camera Joe and Mika eager to gossip about who Trump might be sleeping with.”

    Discussion Questions:

    • Do you believe Wolf? Why or why not?
    • Do you believe Brzezinski handled this well? Why or why not?
    • How do you think this could impact how readers view Wolf's book?