Episode 190: Remote Learning During Coronavirus; The Town That Brought Back A Mascot Critics Called Racist

This week on NEXT, elementary school teachers scramble to put together remote learning for students as schools close amid the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, the backlash in a New England town that reinstated a school mascot critics say is racist. And the resilient journey of an ESPN editor whose headline went viral for the wrong reasons.

As Schools Close, Teachers Ramp Up For Remote Learning

Leslie Torres-Rodriguez, superintendent of Hartford Public Schools, helps a young child with his meal served by the district’s food and child nutrition services. (Joe Amon/ Connecticut Public/ NENC)

With school closures now in effect across New England, teachers are facing an unprecedented challenge: how to teach their students remotely for the next few weeks, or longer. Schools are figuring out how to get meals and computers to students in need, and teachers are brainstorming how to keep students engaged while isolated at home.

NEXT  Wants To Hear From You

We’d like to hear how you’re feeling about remote learning. What worries you? What are you looking forward to? Do you and your kid have the tools you need to make remote learning possible? Call 860-275-7595 and leave a comment, or record a message on your smartphone and email it to us at next@ctpublic.org.

Coronavirus News And Information From New England States

Killingly, Conn., Ditched The School Mascot … Then Brought It Back.

Redmen large on the floor as the cheerleaders perform during halftime of the Killingly High School varsity basketball team on January 14, 2020. (Joe Amon/Connecticut Public)

The town of Killingly, Conn., has reinstated a mascot that’s offensive to some Native Americans. Last year, the Killingly Board of Education agreed to remove the “Redmen” high school mascot following a recommendation from the Nipmuc Nation Tribal Council. But in January, the board voted to restore the name in what may be the first reversal of its kind in the U.S. The move has brought national attention to eastern Connecticut.

“Naming a team a skin color in 2020 is just ridiculous, really,” said Barbi Gardiner, a Killingly High School alumna and member of the Chaubunagungamaug Band of Nipmuc Indians.

After A Botched Headline Is Interpreted As Racial Slur, ESPN Editor Turns To Priesthood

(Courtesy Anthony Federico)

Jeremy Lin was the only Asian American basketball player in the NBA in 2012, and he was on fire: leading the New York Knicks on a seven-game winning streak. Then on February 17, 2012, Lin had a bad game. Anthony Federico was an editor at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., and he wrote a headline trying to capture Lin’s unusual poor performance.

“A headline that I had used myself many times before, and that sports media sites had been using for years,” Federico said. “And, about a half hour later, I realized that it had been going viral for the wrong reason.”

This is the story of how one of the biggest social media controversies of the past decade prepared Federico for the priesthood.

Also On This Week’s Show:

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host/Producer: Morgan Springer
Executive Editor: Vanessa de la Torre
Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Sarah Gibson, J.D. Allen, Frankie Graziano, Martin Kessler and Cariad Harmon.
Guests: Andrea Hermans and Barbi Gardiner.
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” and “Waiting” by Goodnight Blue Moon, “To Meet You There” by Anjimile and “Dangerous Man” by Chris Ross and the North.

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