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Budget shortfall leads school to ask parents to donate toilet paper, other supplies

A budget shortfall sparked a call for toilet paper donations at schools in Washington state, according to the Kent Education Association.

>> Read more trending news 

“Due to the Kent School District budget crisis, some schools have been unable to purchase paper goods,” read a flyer, which was distributed to parents. “Educators are working to take some of the pressure off of the school’s budget by collecting necessary paper supplies.”

One line printed on the flyer reads “the end is near,” suggesting the schools, serving nearly 28,000 students, could run out of paper.

Donations are being accepted at Kent schools Oct. 9 through 12. In addition to toilet paper, construction paper, paper towels, reams of copy paper and facial tissue are being accepted.

The Kent School District, which has 41 schools, confirms it began the year with a nearly $7 million budget shortfall. Superintendent Calvin J. Watts said the shortfall was not a result of misusing district funds, but a miscalculation of enrollments.

Parents are asking for an itemized budget so they can see where the money went.

“Thirty-three percent of my taxes are going to the local school,” Lisa Adams, a parent of three students in Kent schools, told KIRO. “The superintendent had said it was a miscalculation of resources and funds ... How do you miscalculate $7 million?”

A budget passed last month fixes the hole by cutting $2.9 million in personnel and $1.4 million in operating costs.

World's biggest Chick-fil-A with 5 floors, rooftop deck to open in 2018

Popular chicken chain Chick-fil-A will open its largest location, a five-story restaurant with a rooftop terrace, in early 2018, Chick-fil-A announced Monday.  

>> Read more trending news 

But hungry Southerners hoping to eat at the massive restaurant, a 12,000 square-foot space, will have to travel to lower Manhattan’s Financial District.  

It will be the third Chick-fil-A location in New York City.

In a press release, Nathaniel Cates, design manager for restaurant development at Chick-fil-A, said the new location will have floor to ceiling windows and will allow lots of natural light. Visitors dining on the rooftop deck will have views of the Freedom Tower. A “monumental” staircase will connect the five stories.

The restaurant, located less than half a mile from Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial, will seat 140 guests across three levels. Two levels will house kitchen space. A semi-private multi-purpose space will feature white boards and cork boards for group trainings or meetings, according to the release.

“We are always thinking about how to make the dining experience feel as comfortable as possible for our customers,” Cates said

There is no opening date for the restaurant yet.

See illustrative designs of the restaurant below.

Florida teacher suspended after students flashed breasts, twerked in classroom, report says

A Duval County teacher is suspended without pay after students allegedly flashed their breasts and twerked in his classroom.

>> Read more trending news 

District officials began investigating after a school secretary heard about alleged inappropriate activity inside Brent Sawdy's seventh grade classroom on May 2.

Students had just gotten back to Lake Shore Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida, after a field trip when Sawdy told them they could work on school work or talk with friends in class, a police report says.

Sawdy put on a movie and worked quietly at his desk while the students talked, according to the report.

The report says the students got bored and someone suggested playing "Dirty Dare."

They began the game by daring each other to kiss one another, according to the report.

During the game, two girls allegedly exposed their breasts and a boy licked or kissed the girls' breast, the report says.

One student said she saw a student twerking on a boy and another student "sat on all the boys' laps" in the classroom.

When asked about what happened, Sawdy said he did not hear anyone say anything about playing "Truth or Dare" and did not see students do anything questionable.

He said he saw a male student slap a girl's leg. He took the student outside and told him that kind of playing could get him in trouble, he told investigators.

Investigators determined that Sawdy failed to provide adequate supervision in his classroom.

He was suspended without pay, according to documents.

Gap, Banana Republic closing 200 stores

Gap Inc., which owns Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and two other brands, will close hundreds of stores to make way for new ones. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Associated Press, the clothing retailer plans to close 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores in the next three years. The company plans to open 270 new Old Navy and Athleta stores during that time. 

The move supports efforts to leverage Old Navy and Athleta, which have reported rising sales, while Gap and Banana Republic have reported drops in sales.

Gap Inc., like many other retailers, has seen the impact of consumers’ preference to shop online, making it difficult for some brick-and-mortar stores to report significant earnings.

According to the AP, Old Navy is on track to surpass $10 billion in sales in the next few years, and Athleta is expected to exceed $1 billion in sales.

Read more at The Associated Press.

Chipotle to start offering queso dip at all restaurants

Chipotle Mexican Grill will start offering queso dip at all restaurants next week.

>> Read more trending news

The fast-casual restaurant chain announced it was going to “fulfill the wishes of queso lovers from coast to coast” by adding queso to its menu at all stores on Sept. 12.

The company has been testing queso in 350 restaurants in Southern California and the Colorado area.

Customers can order queso on their entrée or on the side in two sizes with chips. Prices vary slightly by city, but range from $1.25 to add it to an entrée to $5.25 for a large side order, the company said in a statement.

» RELATED: Chipotle food scare highlights issue that impacts thousands annually

“Although queso was the No. 1-requested menu item, we never added it to our menu before now because we wouldn’t use the industrial additives used in most quesos,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle. “Additives make typical queso very consistent and predictable, but are not at all in keeping with our food culture. Our queso may vary slightly depending on the characteristics of the aged cheddar cheese used in each batch, but using only real ingredients is what makes our food so delicious.”

Chipotle, which opened its first restaurant in Denver in 1993, now operates more than 2,300 restaurants.

Read more here.

How to score free Chick-fil-A breakfast this month 

Chick-fil-A often gives away free food, but with the latest promotion, you don’t have to dress like a cow to win. 

>> Read more trending news 

Through September 30, Chick-fil-A is dishing out one free breakfast entree to each person who downloads the fast food chain’s mobile app and either creates a new account or updates their existing app. 

>> Related:Chick-fil-A tests large family style meals

Customers who do so can choose between three options: A hash brown scramble, egg white Grill Sandwich or a chicken biscuit sandwich. 

“You’ll find it in your ‘available treats’ section on the main page of the app if you scroll down a little,” a Chick-fil-A spokesperson said. “In order to see this breakfast offer, you may need to scroll horizontally through your available treats if you have other treats available.”

According to Thrillist, “Once you claim the deal in the app, you have until the end of September to hit up your local Chick-fil-A restaurant during breakfast hours (until 10:30 a.m.) and redeem it for the free food.”

Easy, peasy. Enjoy!

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

School apologizes after teacher says students can't wear 'Make America Great Again' shirts

A high school teacher in Cherokee County, Georgia, recently expelled two students from her class for wearing T-shirts supportive of President Donald Trump.

>> Read more trending news

The incident happened Thursday in a math class at River Ridge High School in Woodstock, Georgia. 

"Her actions were wrong as the 'Make America Great Again' shirts worn by the students are not a violation of our School District dress code," a statement from the Cherokee County School District read. 

The school district told WSB-TV the teacher "additionally, and inappropriately, shared her personal opinion about the campaign slogan during class." 

Chief communications officer Barbara P. Jacoby said the school's principal met with and apologized to the students who were the class, in addition to their families.

Dr. Brian V. Hightower, the superintendent of schools, said he is deeply sorry the incident happened in one of the district’s schools, and that "it does not reflect his expectation that all students be treated equally and respectfully by our employees."

The school has not released any disciplinary action taken against the teacher at this time; however, it says that no students will face disciplinary action.

Girl not allowed to play football, prompts debate at private schools

Megan Garth, an all-area soccer player at Prince Avenue Christian School in Bogart, Georgia, discovered things she didn’t know about football this summer.

>> Read more trending news

The first was that she’s a pretty good field-goal kicker. With some help from Prince Avenue football coaches, Garth learned in just a couple of weeks to make extra points reliably and to kick field goals of 30 yards. Coaches told her that she might be the best kicker in the school. Garth was eager to join the team.

But Garth then discovered that her school would not allow it. As do many private schools, Prince Avenue has a policy that prevents girls from joining boys’ teams or boys from joining girls’ teams. Garth’s final appeal to the school’s board of directors was denied late last week.

“We’re obviously disappointed and we disagree, but we love Prince Avenue Christian and the people there, and we respect the decision and the deliberation,” said Branham Garth, Megan’s father.

Students have supported Garth, a senior who scored a team-leading 25 goals last season on the soccer pitch. A petition with some 300 student signatures was given to the administration in support of her cause. The high school enrollment is 275. Petitions also made their way to other local schools.

“I know that is probably not the politically correct answer, but we have boys sports and girls sports, and I believe we should stick with that,” football coach Wayne Brantley at Georgia’s Landmark Christian school said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We would not allow a boy to play girls basketball. Think of what might happen if that can of worms was opened -- a 6’7, 255-pound boy dominating in girls basketball.”

Brantley also cited concerns of safety and privacy.

“One big reason for me is the possibility of severe injury for the young lady,” he said. “Also, there is no way she could dress or shower in the same locker room. If I were to really take a little time, I could probably write you a book on why it’s not a good idea. Our main goal at Landmark in football is to build strong men who are warriors. We have other programs designed to build women of character.”

According to the Georgia High School Association’s 2016-17 participation survey, there were 49 girls playing football in Georgia last season. One of them, Lauren Pearson of Thomas County Central, made her all-region team as a kicker.

There were 1,992 girls playing football nationwide, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations. That’s about one girl for every 532 boys among the 1.06 million who played the game last year.

Prince Avenue Christian head of school Col. Seth Hathaway provided The Atlanta Journal-Constitution with a lengthy statement explaining his school’s position. It cited the school’s religious tenets, the covenant between the school and its Christian parents and a commitment to “uphold its community standards and the conservative temperament of the school.”

Hathaway expressed concern over precedents. He noted that a previous request by a male student to be on the cheerleading squad had been denied. He particularly stressed the need to establish guidelines that applied sensibly to a school that has students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

“While the school recognizes the changing roles of girls in organized sports, its covenantal partnership does not support the belief that mixed athletic contact sports should traverse a spectrum from high school varsity all the way down to the second grade,” Hathaway said in the statement. “This is a challenge unique to a Pre-K to 12 school that is not a factor in traditional ninth to 12th grade high schools.”

According to Hathaway, Prince Avenue Christian is not subject to Title IX provisions regarding mixed-athletic competition because the school does not accept federal funding.

Many other private schools do allow girls to play. This year, Hebron Christian, a Gwinnett County school, has a female kicker, Payton Johnson. Hebron Christian head of school Dr. Tracey Pritchard said her school allows mixed-gender participation, although it requires permission.

“We are always open to at least a ‘discussion’ and ‘evaluation’ of whether it is prudent and appropriate to allow mixed-gender participation for a particular sport at any given time,” Dr. Pritchard said in an e-mail. “We consider it on a case-by-case basis and within the guidelines of GHSA. Also, typically, participation consideration of a female on a male team is based on the needs of the team.”

Georgia High School Association rules state that girls may play boys sports if the school has no equivalent girls sport. For example, a girl could not play on the boys basketball team unless there was no girls basketball team. But the GHSA does not compel its members to allow mixed athletic participation.

Read more here.

Maryland private school bans Washington Redskins gear, citing ‘racial slur’

A Bethesda, Maryland, private school has made a decision about the Washington Redskins’ NFL logo and team name, saying it “feels profoundly at odds with (its) community’s mission and values.” 

>> Read more trending news

The Green Acres School website posted a pop-up letter from the head of school that announces that any and all Washington Redskins gear will be banned from the school premises heading forward.

In the lengthy letter, Head of School Neal M. Brown said third-graders and sixth-graders raising questions in class were the impetus behind moving forward on a long-time internal discussion.

The letter reads, in part, as follows:

“Last year, our community engaged in thoughtful and open discussions about the wearing of the Washington professional football team logo and the use of the term “Redskins” on campus. We first talked about it in the Staff Diversity Committee, then as a full staff, then with all of our Middle School students, and finally with several parents who joined members of the administration and the Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Students in grade 3 also raised the issue during their study of Native Americans, and then they and the 6th graders engaged in a discussion of ethnically and/or racially–derived sports team logos as part of last year’s celebration of MLK Day. “... The term ‘Redskin’ is a racial slur. Its use, whether intentional or not, can be deeply insulting and offensive. It is a term that demeans a group of people. Similarly, the team’s logo also can reasonably be viewed as racially demeaning. At best, the image is an ethnic stereotype that promotes cultural misunderstanding; at worst, it is intensely derogatory.”

Brown asserted that Green Acres is “an inclusive and uplifting community” that “welcome(s) people of any race, national or ancestral origin.”

“We cannot continue to allow children or staff members --however well intentioned -- to wear clothing that disparages a race of people,” he wrote.

Also on the website, the school describes itself as committed to the “principles of progressive education and to ongoing exploration of what this means in the 21st century.” The school teaches kids as young as 3 years old and as advanced as the eighth grade.

After the decision was made and the news got wind of it, Brown spoke with Fox 5 DC about his rationale.

He said that the football team name and logo, in his view, violated the school’s mission and diversity statement by being “at best ... an ethnic stereotype” and “At worst ... deeply demeaning.”

Green Acres School has been around in 1934. It was the first racially-integrated school in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Starbucks tests new sushi burrito

Select Starbucks locations will now be selling a combination of two of millennial’s favorite things -- a burrito and sushi all rolled conveniently into one easy to grab snack.

>> Read more trending news 

With the limited release of the sushi burrito, only those living in Chicago and Seattle will be able to give the snack a try and see if it stands up to previous Starbucks concoctions such as the autumn mooncakes or beef jerky cold brew.

RELATED: Chicago Starbucks are now donating all their unsold food to a local shelter

Part of the company’s Mercado menu, which is full of lunch meals for customers to enjoy, customers interested in the sushi burrito will be able to order a chicken maki roll, HypeBeast reported. Rolled up like a little burrito, the meal is jam packed with sticky white rice, shredded chicken, pickled cabbage, cucumber, onion and avocado.

What makes the sushi burrito a crossover of sorts is the tomatillo salsa and lime crema that tops it off before being rolled in a seaweed wrap. If the item does well in Chicago and Seattle, it is presumed that Starbucks will open the sushi burrito to all locations for everyone to enjoy.

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