Best Education Stories Of 2013

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First graders huddle in the bathroom while practicing a lockdown drill in Oakland, Calif.
First graders huddle in the bathroom while practicing a lockdown drill in Oakland, Calif.

After the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, lockdowns became a new reality in classrooms across the country in 2013. Youth Radio started off the year covering school safety and went on to explore programs for young undocumented college students and the phenomenon of cyberbullying on social media sites. Finally, we took a hard look at the violence one Oakland school has to deal with every day. Check out the highlights of our year below.

Castlemont High: One School Struggles With Daily Violence, By Denise Tejada

Castlemont High, in East Oakland, looks like many other California schools — colorful box-style buildings with big windows — but young people here deal with ongoing violence in their neighborhood. Between March and October of 2013, there was an average of three shootings a day within a mile and a half of Castlemont High, including one last April where bullets came through the front door.

When Cyberbullying Gets Real, By Bianca Brooks and Sophie Varon

Despite the heavy media attention paid to cyberbullying this year, according to a poll given to dozens young people across California, physical bullying remains a lot more common than cyberbullying.

Teaching Puberty Earlier, By Donisha Dansby

Youth Radio investigates the evolution of sex education as more and more girls are hitting puberty earlier than a generation ago. By the time many girls get their first sex ed class—usually fifth or six grade—they’re already well into puberty. Reporter Donisha Dansby listened in on classes, talked to kids, and tapped experts to tell this poignant story about how schools are and are not responding to earlier-onset puberty.

Teach-In: The History Of Sexual Violence At UC Berkeley, By Sofie Karasek, By Robyn Gee

A junior at UC Berkeley, Sofie Karasek, testified before the California State Legislature about the University’s sexual harassment and sexual assault policies. After being assaulted her freshman year, she developed this presentation charting the problem of sexual harassment on the UC campus over decades.

The Link Between Suspension And Dropout, By Robyn Gee

Former teacher and Youth Radio producer chronicles the experiences of teachers, students and school districts, trying to understand the latest research on the academic and social outcomes of students with a history of suspension.

Young Immigrants Torn Between Their Futures And Their Families, By Luis Flores

Tucked away in the student center at University of California Berkeley, the Undocumented Student Program is designed to be a national model. It makes college possible for students without legal status.

Here’s The Drill: Inside A School Lockdown, By Robyn Gee

What’s it like to be a six-year-old preparing for a shooter in your classroom? Scary. With a class of 21 first graders, Youth Radio’s Robyn Gee takes listeners through a school lockdown drill as it happens. The goal: fit every child and the teacher inside a bathroom in a matter of minutes.


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