Puzder resigns: Acosta to take place

image via CNN money
On February 15th, the Democrats finally scored a small victory against the Trump administration. This was the withdrawal of Andrew Puzder for his bid as secretary of labor; a bid that had garnered much controversy since the announcement. Ostensibly, the withdrawal was so he could “spend more time with his family,” but it was almost certainly because he and others in the administration felt he wouldn’t be confirmed by the Senate*.

Puzder, owner of the fast-food restaurants Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., was one of the most controversial nominees, along with Betsy DeVos and Rex Tillerson. For example, his opposition of the current, or indeed any, minimum wage practically incited riots on the left, and alienated many on the right. His opposition of rules that forced certain employees to be paid more for overtime also caused controversy, especially after it became widely known that his companies had been forced to pay 20 million dollars in lawsuits for violating these rules.

Despite the controversy surrounding his positions, he might have made it through – after all, Betsy DeVos and Rex Tillerson did, despite huge controversy surrounding them. However, the nail in his political coffin came when it came to light that he employed undocumented immigrants as maids in his house. Not only is this illegal, but it stands in contrast to much of the Republican platform, and because of this, it became impossible to get the votes needed for a confirmation. In addition, old accusations of spousal abuse hurt his image further, effectively sealing his fate.

Shortly after the withdrawal (during the same press conference where Trump thrice asserted he was not “ranting and raving”) the administration announced their new pick – Alexander Acosta, sitting Dean of Florida International University College of Law, and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil rights. So far, Acosta’s nomination has drawn far less criticism, and it looks like he should be confirmed with support from both sides.

*Puzder did later acknowledge that both accusations of spousal abuse and his employment of undocumented immigrants played a role in his withdrawal.

School lunches over the years

School lunches have been a topic tossed around a lot. What do you get to eat at school? Why do you get to eat it? How much should it cost? Should it be healthy? Does it taste good? These questions have been asked over the years in schools. Even though these questions never seem to change, school lunches themselves have changed over the years.

According to the website Mental Floss, in 1960, public schools and the Child Nutrition Act expanded the availability of school lunches in the U.S. They started to implement pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and enchiladas, not caring if the food was healthy or not. Then in the 1970s, fast food chains started to rise in the food industry and were put into the school lunches.

Soon after the fast food company’s took over in 1970 the USDA put out a statement saying that school lunches only needed to have “minimum nutritional value.” This led to ketchup being classified as a vegetable, due to the cuts in funding for school lunches that reduced the funds by $1 billion. 

Soon after this, in the 1990s, when fast foods had been in the school lunches for 10 years, obesity was at an all time high. Because of this, health concerns became a top priority for schools in the U.S according to the USDA. 

By 2005, schools were switching from canned vegetables to fresh vegetables, and grilled chicken to grilled jerk chicken. This made the obesity rates drop according to the website Mental Floss, but the schools also lost most of their money from the fast food companies. Since fast food was no longer being served for lunch, the companies no longer paid to be in the schools. Because of this, school lunches lost over half of their funding. 

5 years later, in 2010, President Obama was elected and he began the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This increased the funding of school lunches, and school lunches began to get healthier and better for kids in school.   

Personal Project

This school year’s Personal Project due date has passed, those who missed it can no longer turn it in. The Personal Project is for Sophomores, but information was given out during the spring of their Freshman year. The students are given a packet with what the project required from the students. The packet also had ideas or topics the students could possibly be interested in.

What is the Personal Project? The project is an IB-MYP project with the expectation that all students take on the project and create something unique and personal to them. The motive is to get students motivated about doing things that interest them.

Each student has their own Personal Project advisor who can help them deicide a topic, guide them with their paper, and answer questions students may have about the project. Throughout the student’s Sophomore year, they will meet their advisor at least 3 times to talk about the progress of their project.

The project has requirements to be completed. Students who decide to complete the project are required to physically turn in their paper along with five journal entries and five pictures of proof. The paper is where students write about their process of learning about their topic. The paper is then graded using the criteria on the packet.

img_8443Some ideas people choose for their project are: Learning a new instrument, joining the dance team, learning a new skill, or building their own computer. Many of the ideas are personal to the student and is something they would like to learn more of.