The Rhode Island student who successfully challenged a prayer banner in Cranston public schools is getting an award from Hugh Hefner.
Jessica Ahlquist will receive a Hugh Hefner First Amendment Award at the playboy mansion in Beverly Hills. Ahlquist writes on her Facebook page that she is honored to be chosen but adds she is not expecting to meet Hugh Hefner in person. She says his daughter Christie Hefner will attend the ceremony, where Ahlquist will receive a plaque and $5,000.
A preliminary review of the University of Rhode Island’s response to reports of a shooter on campus finds campus police were forced to wait five minutes before they could enter the building where the shooter was reportedly located. The officers, who are unarmed, had to wait for local police to arrive before they could enter the building.
Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist urged lawmakers to pass a series of bills aimed at improving school safety in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during her State of Education speech on Tuesday. She also urged passage of the governor’s budget which increases funding for public schools, colleges and universities.
Brown University President Christina Paxson sent the following letter to members of the Brown community after receiving confirmation that a body found in Providence is that of missing Brown student Sunil Tripathi.
Members of the Brown Community,
It is with profound sadness that I write to share news that the state medical examiner has confirmed the death of Brown student Sunil Tripathi.
Actor turned Director Ben Affleck will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts during Brown University’s commencement next month. Affleck’s film Argo won best picture at the Academy Awards in February, but he was famously snubbed by the Oscar committee when it came to a best director nomination.
Brown will also confer honorary degrees on writer and MIT professor Junot Diaz and bacteriologist Stanley Falkow, along with three others. Falkow will host a forum on infectious diseases as part of commencement weekend.
A bill scheduled for debate Wednesday on Smith Hill would make student test scores no more than one third of a teacher’s annual evaluation. The bill’s sponsor is Senator Michael McCaffrey, a democrat from Warwick. The measure is slated for a hearing this afternoon in the Senate Education Committee.
The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear testimony Wednesday on a bill that would allow Rhode Island State College Police to carry guns.
The hearing comes after a scare at the University of Rhode Island about a gunman on campus, and Rhode Island is currently the only state in the country that does not allow armed campus police at public colleges and universities. The University of Rhode Island is also expected to release its preliminary review in the coming days examining how it responded to the report of a possible shooter.
The Rhode Island Senate has passed a bill requiring monthly safety drills at all public elementary and secondary schools. The bill also calls for two lockdown drills every year. Supporters say the requirement will make students and staff more familiar with school safety procedures.
The bill is part of a series of measures aimed at increasing school safety in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut. The incident killed 20 students and 6 staff members, and it has sparked a national debate about gun control.
A vote scheduled today in the Rhode Island Senate could change the way public schools conduct emergency drills. The measure is a response to the mass shooting in Newtown Connecticut, where 26 elementary school students and teachers were gunned down during the school day.
The bill calls for monthly emergency drills including lockdowns and emergency evacuations. The idea is to better prepare school staff to handle a situation like the one in Newtown.
Commencement speakers for 2013 are a mixed bunch. At New England Institute of Technology, quarterback turned sports analyst Terry Bradshaw will give the commencement speech on May 5th. The school is also honoring Taco, Inc. CEO John Hazen White, Jr. with an honorary doctor of humane letters, citing his leadership in the business community and his company’s commitment to education for employees.