HUNTINGTON — Flurries swirled Tuesday in the Tri-State area as the calendar inches toward the official start of spring.
With a high temperature of just 34 degrees reported for Huntington, a hard freeze was predicted overnight into Wednesday morning, even as many spring flowers and trees have begun to bloom.
Temperatures are expected to improve Wednesday through the end of the week. Monday, March 20, the first day of spring, is predicted to be sunny with a high near 52 degrees.
HUNTINGTON — Cabell County Schools celebrated Pi Day in various ways Tuesday, with some schools hosting math game nights, pie-eating contests and even throwing pies at teachers.
Pi Day, an annual celebration of the mathematical symbol, takes place on March 14 each year to represent the 3.14 that begins the endless figure that is pi.
Cabell County middle schools celebrated Pi Day by throwing pies at teachers and pie eating contests, and celebrated their successes in completing work one of the district’s programs, Mathia.
“The students like doing it because it’s fun and they think their teachers are being a good sport and having fun with it,” said math interventionist Stacey Ellis.
“So I just think it encourages them. And once they see it — like this is new to our sixth graders and they have never seen it before, but our seventh and eighth graders saw it last year — but they see it and it’s kind of like an encouragement and they have fun with it.”
Milton Middle School had the highest average of completion for Mathia at 79%, so in addition to throwing pies at their own teachers, Superintendent Ryan Saxe was also pied.
Saxe said he was happy to be part of the celebration because not only does it encourage students and maybe help them view math as fun, but it also gives staff a chance to have fun with their school community.
“I think that it’s really important that we as educators not take ourselves too seriously and we allow ourselves to be a part of the fun that the students have,” Saxe said.
Saxe also said even if the students do not find math fun, they can be rewarded for learning math and working hard in the classroom through celebrations like Pi Day and by watching their teachers and administrators get pied in the face.
This is the second year Milton Middle has had the highest average of Mathia completed.
Saxe was pied by student London Gore, and Milton Middle Principal Curt Mann was pied by Hayes Stafford.
Students also competed in a pie-eating contest with last year’s pie-eating champion, technology integration specialist Bill Richards. While it was a close race, Tristan Bentley defeated Richards and claimed the pie-eating title.
At Cox Landing Elementary School, students and their families were invited to a math game night Tuesday evening leading up to eating pizza pies. Families could make their way out of a math-themed escape room, build pizzas with equations, exercise and more with the math-related games.
Jonathan Campbell said as the new principal, it was his first time experiencing Pi Day at Cox Landing and he was excited to welcome the students and parents in for a fun engagement experience.
Campbell said having the game night gave some parents who may not normally be able to attend school functions during the day a chance to not only participate with their children but also experience the school staff in a fun way.
“This is a great opportunity for them to come in, be with their kids in a fun environment in the evening, be with our teachers, be with our staff and just experience each other kind of in a new light other than just sitting in the classroom,” he said.
Sarah Ingram is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering public K-12 education. Follow her on Twitter @SIngramHD.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — For years, Jerry Miller was a fixture at legislative hearings in Kentucky, but this time was different: The Republican ex-lawmaker opened up about how his young grandchild could be hurt by a bill to ban access to gender-affirming medical care for those under 18.
“This bill condemns vulnerable children to an even more difficult life than they’ve already been born into,” Miller told a Senate committee on Tuesday. “Please don’t let a parent’s right to protect their children be collateral damage in the culture wars.”
Despite his emotional pleas, the transgender-related bill was approved by the GOP-led committee, sending it to the full Senate. Some Republican members, however, raised concerns about portions of the measure, which could temporarily slow its path through the chamber. The House recently approved its version of the measure.
The measure grew in scope before emerging from the Senate committee. The panel tacked on elements of other trans-related proposals introduced this year. One key addition would forbid Kentucky schools from discussing gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation.
Another addition would allow teachers to refuse to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns. It also would require that parents be given notice and an opportunity to review materials before content relating to sexuality is taught at their children’s school.
Nationally, state lawmakers are approving extensive measures against LGBTQ individuals this year, from bills targeting trans athletes and drag performers to ones limiting gender-affirming care. In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves recently signed a bill to ban gender-affirming hormones or surgery in the state for anyone younger than 18. The Republican governors of South Dakota and Utah have signed bans on gender-affirming care this year.
Miller, who retired from the Kentucky House after deciding not to seek reelection last year, returned to the statehouse Tuesday to speak out against the Kentucky measure — House Bill 470 — because he said it would affect his 7-year-old grandchild.
He focused on the sections that would ban access to gender-transition medical care for those under 18. It would apply specifically to hormone and surgical treatments. The measure would designate gender-transition care for those under 18 as unethical and unprofessional conduct by health care providers. Their licenses to practice would be revoked for providing such treatment if the measure becomes law.
Miller criticized the prohibitions as an intrusion into parental rights.
“Where is Kentucky’s compelling government interest in not letting a parent protect their own children’s safety and happiness?” Miller said.
He said his grandchild, from a young age, focused on “dolls, not balls” and started dressing like a girl.
“I hoped he would grow out of it, but that has not happened,” Miller said. “Do I wish he were a ‘normal boy’? Absolutely yes. I still screw up the pronoun thing, but regardless of anything, I’m going to love my grandchild and fight for what I think is best for (her).”
Supporters say the intent is to protect children from medical decisions that would be irreversible.
“I don’t think this bill could be strong enough,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Tichenor. “We’re talking about irreparable, permanent changes to a child. Their brains are not developed ... They have no idea what the consequences could be until they get to that age, and at that point you cannot undo what is being done.”
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