SC teachers, advocacy groups voice concerns over Berkeley County schools reopening model | News

MONCKS CORNER — Teachers and advocacy groups from across the state descended on the Berkeley County School Board on Tuesday night to voice their frustrations at the district’s reopening model.

Under the district’s current plan, many teachers are required to juggle instruction to students both in person and those who are learning online at the same time. The model requires educators to teach one group of students face to face while also engaging a second group of online students, who usually sign on via video call.

A petition demanding school officials and board members allow teachers to choose one “learning pathway,” either in person or virtual, was started in late September. As of Tuesday, the petition had more than 1,820 signatures.

Teachers and groups from as far away as Columbia and Rock Hill traveled to Moncks Corner to speak to the board. Former Berkeley County teacher Melissa Soule helped organize

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Women’s groups band together to defend Kamala Harris

Anticipating that Harris will face even more vicious attacks due to the double-barreled biases that Black women experience known as misogynoir, women’s groups banded together this summer to bolster her. Combining their efforts and $10 million in digital advertising, four political action committees — BlackPAC, Planned Parenthood Votes, PACRONYM, and WOMEN VOTE!, an affiliate of Emily’s List — are amplifying positive Harris messaging in key battleground states.

“This level of collaboration is new,” said Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of BlackPAC. “These are the lessons from 2016, without a doubt.”

They have their work cut out for them.

President Donald Trump, known for belittling caricatures of his opponents, already has described Harris as “angry” and as a “madwoman” and called her primary debate performance “nasty,” the same term he memorably flung at Clinton in 2016.

In a phone interview on Thursday morning on the Fox Business Channel, the president called her

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Fashion groups transform back-end systems to aid bounceback

A growth in ecommerce during the coronavirus pandemic has helped some fashion houses and clothing retailers continue to do business even under lockdown. Industry experts now believe deeper digital transformation of distribution and sales could help fashion manufacturers and luxury brands with some longer-standing challenges posed by changes in consumers’ retail habits.

According to Goldman Sachs, fashion groups like Prada, Gucci and Ferragamo could bounce back faster than initially forecast, thanks to the recovery of the Chinese and American domestic markets. Analysts also expect brands that are focusing on digital marketing and ecommerce strategies will have substantial competitive advantages over their less nimble rivals. 

For Italy, where the fashion industry is worth almost 1.5 per cent of GDP, prolonged shop closures around the world have had a devastating effect on fashion companies’ results and weighed negatively on domestic suppliers.

Carlo Capasa, the president of Italy’s national fashion chamber, predicts revenue

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Franklin County groups get $900,000 for domestic violence prevention

Earl Hopkins
| The Columbus Dispatch

A collaboration among several Franklin County agencies received a $900,000 award for a new safety model to combat domestic violence and protect victims. 

The 2020 Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office for Violence Against Women, will establish the Blueprint for Safety model through September 2023, Franklin County and Columbus officials announced Tuesday morning.

Originally developed and implemented in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the new model will create a more-coordinated community response and enhance victim safety by focusing on collaboration and information-sharing among service providers.

The Blueprint for Safety, grounded in the experiences of victims of violence, will support agencies’ ability to intercede in new acts of violence, intimidation or coercion, and place added accountability on domestic violence offenders, officials said in a news release announcing the program.


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Wedding photographer, church groups challenge Virginia’s new LGBT rights law

In a case filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Loudoun County photographer Bob Updegrove asserts that the law could force him to photograph a same-sex wedding despite his personal opposition to same-sex marriage.

“The government cannot demand that artists create content that violates their deepest convictions,” Jonathan Scruggs, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious-liberty group representing plaintiffs in both cases, said in a statement.

State Sen. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who sponsored the Virginia Values Act and was the state’s first openly gay legislator, noted that the law also bans discrimination on the basis of race, religion, disability and status as a veteran.

“People have a right to be free from discrimination,” he said. “We’re moving into a Virginia that can accept that. And there are a few people who want to hold onto the past, unfortunately.

The other suit, filed Monday in Loudoun

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Amy Coney Barrett’s Nomination Energizes Democratic Women’s Groups, Boosts Fundraising and Planned Marches

Amy Coney Barrett is just the fifth woman to ever be nominated to the Supreme Court, but not all women’s groups are celebrating.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks next to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 26, 2020. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated Saturday to the Supreme Court, has been criticized by women's groups for her past rulings on reproductive rights.

© Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks next to Judge Amy Coney Barrett at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on September 26, 2020. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated Saturday to the Supreme Court, has been criticized by women’s groups for her past rulings on reproductive rights.

Planned Parenthood called her possible appointment to the high court an insult to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy of fighting against gender discrimination. The National Organization for Women has said that Barrett, if confirmed, will “turn back the clock on equality.”

Emily’s List, the political action committee that aims to elect Democratic female candidates in favor of abortion rights, echoed the view that Barrett’s nomination is a threat to women’s rights.

“This is

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