Schools Prosecutors: No charges for Southern High student in 'Confederate Lives Matter' posts

Anne Arundel County prosecutors have decided not to pursue charges against a student who allegedly harassed and threatened a transgender boy at Southern High School on social media, Anne Arundel County police said. The State’s Attorney’s Office determined that graphic language and threats of physical violence posted by the student on a Snapchat story called “Confederate Lives Matter” in October did not constitute a crime. The posts included photos of the student wearing a hood made from paper towels that resembled a Klu Klux Klan garment. (Capital)

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Lineboro-Manchester Lions revive program offering free youth vision screening

After a hiatus of about a decade, the Lineboro-Manchester Lions Club is again offering free vision screenings for children between 6 months and 6 years old. The screening is set for Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon in the North Carroll branch of the Carroll County Public Library, 2255 Hanover Pike, Hampstead. The program requires no registration and is first-come, first-served for testing services. If a problem is discovered with a child’s vision, the tester will write a referral for an eye doctor. (Carr. Co. Times)

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McDaniel student African Drumming ensemble hosts first performance

Dressed in black and white, the students of McDaniel College’s African Drumming ensemble made their way through campus Thursday night carrying their djembes through the cold for the group’s first public performance. Led by instructor Pape Demba “Paco” Samb, the group took audiences on a tour of the music of Senegal, sharing the rhythms and pieces of storytelling of the culture. Samb is a Senegalese griot, someone who passes down history and culture through music and performance. Samb was born from griot culture, and he performs in order to share his story to others, he said. (Carr. Co. Times)

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November 30 // Pre-K funding, calendar flexibility sought by schools officials at delegation meeting

When addressing the Anne Arundel County State House delegation Tuesday night, Board of Education President Julie Hummer listed expanding pre-kindergarten, maintaining construction funding, exempting substitute teachers from sick leave legislation and school calendar flexibility as priorities for the system during the 2018 legislative session in Annapolis. Hummer and schools Superintendent George Arlotto attended the delegation meeting Tuesday night, along with officials from the City of Annapolis, ARC of the Chesapeake and others, to lay out their legislative priorities. (Capital)

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Johns Hopkins researchers discover mutation that may be key to return of popular nasal spray version of flu vaccine

Johns Hopkins researchers believe they’ve figured out how to fix a popular nasal spray vaccine that federal authorities told people to stop using last year because it offered little protection from the flu. That would be welcome news for needle-averse children and adults who dread getting a shot even if it protects them against the respiratory virus that infects millions of Americans every year and can be dangerous for the elderly, chronically ill and very young. The researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health discovered a previously overlooked mutation in one of the influenza strains used to build the spray vaccine that could be altered to make it work better, according to a paper published recently in the journal Vaccine. (Balt. Sun)

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Proposed Sharpsburg Elementary granted last variance request

The Washington County Zoning Appeals Board granted the last setback variance Wednesday night for the proposed new Sharpsburg Elementary School. Washington County Public Schools requested the setback for a playing field east of the planned new school be reduced from 100 feet to 12 feet. The zoning board granted other variance requests regarding setbacks for the proposed school earlier this month. This particular variance approval was delayed because there was a glitch and this variance request had not been properly advertised for the Nov. 1 meeting. (Herald-Mail)

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FCPS staffing plan could have media specialists split time between schools

As schools continue to grapple with large class sizes, the district is looking for creative solutions to get class sizes back to levels it hasn’t seen since 2015. Frederick County Public Schools staff received a consensus from the Board of Education to move forward with a staffing model that would have media specialists in elementary schools with fewer than 300 students split time between that smaller school and larger elementary schools such as Centerville and Hillcrest Elementary. The time split would send the media specialist to the other school once every couple of weeks, said Superintendent Terry Alban. (News-Post)

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Immunologist walks Carroll students through the future of vaccination

The basic concept of vaccination — that by giving the immune system a small taste of an infectious disease it will learn to mount a defense against a full meal — has been around a long time. As National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases immunologist Wolfgang Leitner told a group at Carroll Community College Wednesday, a coarse version of modern vaccination was in use against smallpox in China centuries ago. “It was basically scabs from an infected person that you shoved up someone’s nose,” he said. “If you were lucky, you were protected from infection; if you were unlucky, you got the infection.” (Carr. Co. Times)

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