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Bullying incident leaves 9-year-old with concussion, black eyes

A 9-year-old Alabama girl is recovering from injuries she sustained earlier this week when another child at her school got angry with her because of her friendship with a classmate, the girl’s mother said.

Kelly Turpin told that her daughter, Lanny, suffered a concussion, two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to her face in the incident at L.E. Willson Elementary School. The school is located in Sheffield, a city of just under 10,000 people in northwest Alabama.

Turpin said she was called Friday morning to the school, where she found her daughter covered in blood. School officials initially told her that Lanny had been injured accidentally, she said to both and WHNT News 19 in Huntsville.

“My child started talking right then and said, 'No, Momma, I told them she grabbed me and pulled me and jumped on top of me,’” Turpin told WHNT.

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Lanny told her mother that she and other classmates were walking through an outdoor breezeway on their way back from art class when the other girl jumped on her. reported that Lanny’s head hit a metal pole before she fell to the concrete.

The other girl was angry because Lanny was friends with another student at the school, Turpin said. She told that the girl told Lanny after she was injured, “I’m so sorry. Don’t tell anybody I did it.”

Turpin had to take her daughter to the doctor, as well as to the hospital for a CT scan. Though in a lot of pain, Lanny is expected to be fine.

In photos she posted to Facebook the day of the incident, Lanny could be seen holding a wet paper towel to her bruises and bloody scrapes. In the post, Turpin angrily described the incident as "assault, not just bullying," and asked for prayers for her daughter, as well as for herself. 

"Pray for me to calm down (because) this mama is livid!" Turpin wrote.

Please pray for my baby lanny who was bullied by a little girl at school today and pushed into the concrete steps! Pray...Posted by Kelly South Turpin on Friday, February 3, 2017

Another picture Turpin posted a few days later showed Lanny's injuries as they began to heal. She said Wednesday that Lanny was feeling a bit better. 

Turpin and her husband are seeking the advice of an attorney and are considering homeschooling.

The distraught mother said her concern is the safety of her children in their schools, where her older daughter also went through bullying. She said the girl who hurt Lanny had been picking on her since before Friday’s incident.

“Nothing has changed when we've gone to the school about the bullying,” Turpin told “I just want them safe at school.”

Turpin said that, although she was initially told that her daughter’s attacker would be suspended for two days, she later heard that nothing had been done to discipline the child.

Tony Willis, principal of Willson Elementary, told that he couldn’t comment on the incident because Turpin had spoken to an attorney, but offered a general statement about how the school handles bullying.

“With any incident, we're going to look into it and follow our code of conduct to the letter,” Willis said. “We try to be proactive rather than reactive and make sure students are comfortable enough to talk with us when they encounter problems.”

Keith Lankford, superintendent of Sheffield City Schools, told WHNT that school officials were not informed of the bullying situation Turpin’s daughter was in until after the incident. He told the news station that the incident was under investigation and that the district would enforce the school’s code of conduct. 

Merriam-Webster adds 1,000 words to dictionary

Reference book publisher Merriam-Webster just added more than 1,000 words to its most recent edition of the online dictionary, including "terms from recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and words from tech, medicine, pop culture, sports, and everything in between," the company said Tuesday.

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Before this week's additions, Merriam-Webster hadn't updated its website listings since 2014, according to the Associated Press.

"Some of these we've been watching for many years, and some of these are very new words," said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large.

>> Merriam-Webster says Kellyanne Conway described false statements as 'alternative facts'

>> 'Surreal' dubbed Merriam-Webster's 2016 word of the year

Aranciniconlangmicroaggression, ghost, prospagnosiaSeussianface-palmnet neutralityabandonwarebotnetphotobombtown halltrutherSCOTUS and FLOTUS are among the new additions.

Here are some of the new listings and their definitions: 

BINGE-WATCH (verb): "to watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession"

BOKEH (noun): "the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field" 

FAST FASHION (noun): "an approach to the design, creation and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers"

FOOD INSECURE (adjective): "unable to consistently access or afford adequate food"

HUMBLEBRAG (verb): "to make a seemingly modest, self-critical or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one's admirable or impressive qualities or achievements"

MUMBLECORE: (noun): "a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action"

SANTOKU (noun): "a medium-sized, multipurpose kitchen knife of Japanese origin that has a lightweight blade with a straight or slightly curved cutting edge and a spine that curves downward to the tip" 

WAYBACK (noun): "the area in the back of a van, station wagon or SUV"

WEAK SAUCE (noun): "something inferior, ineffective or unimpressive"

WOO-WOO (adjective): "dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural or unscientific"

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe> <script src="//;border=false"></script> [View the story "M-W adds 1000+ words" on Storify]

Teacher suspended after showing students graphic anti-bullying video

A Lincoln County teacher has been suspended after showing a powerful video of the deadly consequences of bullying.

The 20-minute video called "Love is All You Need" follows a young girl named Ashley, growing up in a world where homosexuality is the norm, but she's attracted to the opposite sex.

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Ashley is bullied relentlessly by her peers, and as time goes on she becomes so distraught that in an emotional and graphic scene, she is shown slitting her wrists, taking her own life.

The video was shown in North Lincoln High School teacher Kimberly Fernetti's class, according to officials at Lincoln County Schools.

Some parents weren't happy about the content, alerting the superintendent's office, which led to Fernetti's suspension while school officials investigate.

But one student said told WSOC that not everyone is upset by the video.

"I think it's a great message to get out in the school," he said. "I personally have dealt with bullying, so I think it’s good to get the point across that 'Hey, it's not OK to pick on somebody.'"

That sentiment was echoed by a family member of another student outside the school.

"I don’t think it was vulgar or anything. I think it's better to be aware and to know the possibility of what kids' actions could do," that person said.

Senate schedules early-morning vote on Betsy DeVos, clears hurdle

The Senate had an early-morning schedule addition on Friday to help push through the nomination of one of President Donald Trump's most divisive cabinet nominees.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a procedural vote to end debate over the nomination of Betsy DeVos for secretary of education, The Hill reported.

A roll call vote was held early Friday morning to approve a motion to invoke cloture on her nomination.

McConnell needed a simple majority, or 51 votes, to end the debate and push her nomination to a full Senate vote early next week.

>> Read more trending news  

Votes that early are rare. One was held before 7 a.m. Dec. 24, 2009, to push through the Affordable Care Act. It passed on a party-line vote of 60-39, The Hill reported.

The reason for the early votes is Senate rules that require 30 hours between a vote to end debate and a vote on final passage of a bill. 

By holding the vote early Friday morning, Republicans can confirm DeVos late Monday. 

Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), have said that they will vote against DeVos.

The motion to invoke cloture passed 52-48.

Many Americans have been vocal against DeVos' nomination. DeVos is a backer of school choice and charter school programs, The Associated Press reported.

Collins and Murkowski broke Republican ranks and said DeVos does not have the experience to lead the department. 

DeVos has been described as a billionaire Republican donor who has pushed for charter schools, The AP reported.

"She appears to view education through the lens of her experience promoting alternatives to public education in Detroit and other schools," Collins said.

"I have serious concerns about a nominee to be secretary of education who has been so involved on one side of the equation, so immersed in the push for vouchers that she may be unaware of what actually is successful within the public schools and also what is broken and how to fix them," Murkowski said.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said he believes that DeVos will be approved as education secretary. "She is an unbelievably qualified educator and advocate for students, teachers (and) parents," Spicer said after Collins and Murkowski said they would oppose DeVos' nomination.

Trump threatens to revoke federal funds from UC Berkeley after protests

After a night of violent protests on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley against a planned speech from Milo Yiannopoulos, President Donald Trump came down hard on the university.

Via Twitter early Thursday, Trump threatened to withhold federal funding if “UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view.”

“If UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view -- NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” he wrote.

If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017

The riots Wednesday forced university officials to cancel the speech by Yiannopoulos, who was set to appear as part of a book tour. A self-proclaimed internet troll, Yiannopoulos is also an editor at Breitbart News, the far-right website previously under the leadership of Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, who has played a key role in many of the executive orders issued during Trump’s first two weeks in office.

>> Read more trending stories  

Berkeley is the flagship campus of the public University of California system. It received $370 million in federal research funding for the 2015-16 school year, according to the university’s website. It has been known as the home of the Free Speech Movement since the turbulent 1960s.

Yiannopoulos said the protests against his speech at the school were “ironic and sad” and called university students and personnel “no friends to free speech any more.”

School officials canceled the speech after demonstrators threw smoke bombs and flares at buildings. The protests grew violent, with some using baseball bats to smash ATMs. At a nearby Walgreens, demonstrators spray-painted the building with messages including “Kill Fascists” and “Kill Trump.”

Fresh paint at Walgreen's— Michael Bodley (@michael_bodley) February 2, 2017

The Daily Californian put together our reporters' tweets from the events on campus and throughout the city.— Daily Californian (@dailycal) February 2, 2017

UC Berkeley released the following statement:

“Amid violence, destruction of property and out of concern for public safety, the University of California Police Department determined that it was necessary to remove Milo Yiannopoulos from the campus and to cancel tonight’s scheduled 8 p.m. performance. “The decision was made at about 6 p.m., two hours before the event, and officers read several dispersal announcements to the crowd of more than 1,500 protesters that had gathered outside of the Martin Luther King Jr. ASUC venue. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display and deeply regret that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence and perspectives.”

Protests against Trump’s policies, including last Saturday’s massive turnout at airports in multiple major U.S. cities to decry the administration’s immigration ban, have mostly been peaceful. Yiannopoulos said on Facebook of Wednesday’s violence that “the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.”

“It turns out that the progressive left, the social justice left, the feminist, Black Lives Matter ... the hard left, which has become so utterly anti free speech in the last few years, has taken a turn post Trump's election, where they simply will not allow any speaker on campus ... to have their voice heard,” Yiannopoulos said. “They won't allow students to listen to different points of view ... The fact that on an American college campus -- a place of higher education, a place of learning in America, which I've come to as a visitor from the United Kingdom, where we don't have a First Amendment, hoping that this would be somewhere where you could be, do say anything, where you could express your views, express your opinions ... free from violent responses to political ideas, I thought America was the one place where that could be possible.” 

I was just evacuated from UC Berkeley.Posted by Milo Yiannopoulos on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

University fined after caffeine study almost kills students

A British university is being fined after giving two students a potentially fatal amount of caffeine, according to the Huffington Post

>> Read more trending stories  

Northumbria University gave sports science students Alex Rossetto and Luke Parkin the equivalent of 300 cups of coffee, which was 100 times more than the study called for, Metro reported. 

The two men were admitted to an intensive care unit for dialysis after the error led to violent side-effects, according to BBC.   

The university said it was “deeply, genuinely sorry" and was fined about $500,000 for its mistake, BBC reported.

Rossetto and Parkin agreed to participate in the study, which was looking to measure the effects of caffeine on exercise. Both men made full recoveries, but Rossetto did suffer from short-term memory loss, the BBC reported. 

In other odd caffeine news, too much caffeine recently got a man arrested for a DUI

Read more at the Huffington Post


Ohio college lost $1.7 million on debate, spent $2.6 million upgrading arena, report says

A final financial tally indicates Wright State University lost a little more than $1.7 million on the 2016 presidential debate it didn’t end up hosting.

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The final finances for the debate, released this week, also show the university spent more than $2.6 million on upgrading the Nutter Center’s internet infrastructure and repairing the arena’s heating and cooling system and smoke detection system, according to an analysis from the university.

Spokesman Seth Bauguess said the university planned to make the upgrades to the Nutter Center over the next few years anyway.

Wright State announced in July that it would pull out of hosting the first 2016 presidential debate. In August, Bauguess told this news organization the university had spent around $2.5 million on debate prep, but that officials were still crunching numbers to determine a final cost.

The university did not have to return a $220,000 cyber security grant it also received from the state.

The final debate expenses were announced as Wright State tries to figure out how to deal with its ongoing budget issues.

The first presidential debate was hosted at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

School district's social media coordinator fired for mocking student's tweet

A Maryland school employee is looking for a new job after her bosses fired her for mocking a student's social media post.

A student asked Frederick County Public Schools to "close school tammarow PLEASE" on the district's Twitter page, WHAG reported.

Katie Nash, the FCPS social media coordinator, was accused of responding to the student on the district's Twitter account, "But then how would you learn to spell 'tomorrow' :)".

>> Read more trending stories  

Nash met with supervisors for what she said was four minutes, then received a letter telling her that her probationary period as a web experience coordinator would end effective Jan. 13.

Nash said that the district was trying to be more interactive with students via social media.

She was hired in November to run the district's social media accounts, the Frederick News Post reported.

Despite the tweet going viral and receiving positive feedback, Nash was asked to delete the tweet while a FCPS supervisor called the student at the center of the spelling/tweet controversy to apologize.

The student wrote that he wasn't bothered by Nash's tweet and didn't take it personally.

Nash said she hopes the district learns from this experience how to use social media to reach out to the community.

94-year-old woman graduates college with honors

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

A 94-year-old woman got a big surprise after earning her bachelor's degree online with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

>> Read more trending stories  

Amy Craton, of Honolulu, has been keeping herself busy by taking online classes at Southern New Hampshire University.

Now, Craton is one of the oldest graduates to earn a bachelor's degree in the world.

"I couldn't see just sitting there watching Netflix all the time," she told WPVI.

Craton, who is a great grandmother, first enrolled in college in 1962. She didn't initially finish her collegiate career because she put her education on hold while she worked to raise and support her family. 

Although Craton wasn't able to attend the recent graduation ceremony in person in New Hampshire, SNHU's president, Paul LeBlanc, hand-delivered Craton's Creative Writing and English degree on a special trip to Hawaii. LeBlanc even surprised her with a party.

"Amy is an extraordinary student. At the age of 94, she earned a degree that was 54 years in the making and with a 4.0 GPA no less," LeBlanc said. "Amy is the epitome of a lifelong learner, and my hope is that her story will remind others that it's never too late to follow their dreams or learn something new. The entire SNHU community could not be more proud of her accomplishment."

"It feels good to graduate, but in many ways I feel I am still on the road," Craton said. "I have more to learn."

Craton said she plans to get her Master's degree next.

"I'm trying to live my life to the fullest," she told WPVI. "You have to live. You have to learn as long as you can. Go to college, go to college. Don't be afraid of it."

School social media director fired after correcting student's misspelled tweet

A woman who served as a social media coordinator for a Maryland public school system said she was fired on Friday after sending a tweet that corrected a student’s spelling, the Frederick News-Post reported.

>> Read more trending stories

Katie Nash was managing the Twitter feed for the Frederick County Public Schools. On Jan. 5, one student tweeted to the school’s account, @FCPSMaryland, asking to close schools “tammarow.”

Nash responded through @FCPSMaryland, “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?’ :)”

The tweet drew more than 1,000 retweets and likes and even earned a hashtag, #KatiefromFCPS, according to the News-Post. 

Nash and the student exchanged other tweets and the student insisted that he didn’t mind the lighthearted spelling correction. Nash told the News-Post that she was initially told not to tweet anymore, but still had access to the Twitter account. She added that she continued to tweet out school updates, but at the end of the school day Friday she was told she had been fired. She began working as the school district’s web experience coordinator in November, the News-Post reported. 

The tweets have since been deleted. 

Michael Doerrer, a district spokesman, told the News-Post that Nash was no longer employed with the school system, but he couldn’t comment on the circumstances.

 “As a new employee, I think I sort of would have expected that there would have been some counseling or some suggestions on how to improve,” Nash told the News-Post. She added that she had not received any direction about the tone of the account.

“Any social media manager is looking for increasing engagement, and that’s sort of the expected parameter,” she said. “I think a conversation about how we engage with students would have been completely appropriate and I would have welcomed that.”

One group has organized an online petition to urge the school district to give Nash her job back.

@FCPSMaryland's new celebrity: #KatiefromFCPS and her infamous tweet via @jbeowulf— Frederick News-Post (@frednewspost) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

I applaud #katiefromFCPS for knowing her audience. @FCPSMaryland board, don't be on social media unless you want to be social.— Colleen Murphy (@ColleenMurphDog) January 10, 2017 <script async src="//<oembedblock id="ULxXNwpO8Ha9eyB" oembed=""/>" charset="utf-8"></script</center></p> <p><center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As a parent/coach it is imperative to find engaging ways to comm. and connect. <a href="">#katiefromFCPS</a> nailed it and <a href="">@FCPSMaryland</a> dropped the ball.</p>— Chris Meinberg (@MeinBender) <a href="">January 10, 2017</a></blockquote><script async src="//<oembedblock id="UXsrUan9PNxB5sO" oembed=""/>" charset="utf-8"></script>

. @FCPSMaryland is more than a single person. TY to all who have expressed love this week. It isn't about #katiefromFCPS or #FreeKatie ...— Katie Nash (@katienash) January 13, 2017 <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

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