‘Trauma Sensitive’ Schools

The most artfully devised curriculum means little to a student whose mind is fixed on last night’s shooting outside or the scary, violent fight between parents that broke out in the kitchen. Brilliant teaching often can’t compete with the sudden loss of a parent or friend. Yet incidents like these reverberate in schools and pose deep challenges to educators… “You might say in class, ‘Don’t forget we have a spelling test on Friday,’” says Joel Ristuccia, a child psychologist and member of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., who leads a certificate program at nearby Lesley University to help educators create trauma-sensitive schools. A traumatized student, he says, “might respond as if a saber-toothed tiger just walked in the room.”

Google Autocomplete Still Blocking ‘Bisexual’: LGBT Advocates Fight For Fair Treatment Of Search Terms

Type a search term into Google’s ubiquitous blue box, and there’s a good chance you’ll reflexively scroll down to the autocomplete suggestions. While you may not think much about those suggestions, you probably think even less about the ones you never see. Here’s why you should start: For about half a decade, bisexual advocates have been fighting to get Google Inc. to untangle the word “bisexual” from its complex predictive algorithm…. Jeff Hermes, director of the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard University, who has followed those lawsuits, said he believes similar autocomplete court battles would be “doomed to failure” in the United States, where Google has strong First Amendment protections on its side. “Fundamentally, it’s Google’s search engine and they can do what they want with it,” he told IBTimes. “They can impose whatever filter they want on particular results, so a legal claim there is unlikely to be successful.”

Committee Formed To Bring FAS Sexual Assault Policy into Line with Revised Univ. Standard

After months of scrutiny directed at the University’s policies concerning sexual assault, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith announced Tuesday the creation of an FAS committee charged with bringing Harvard’s largest branch into compliance with a University-wide sexual assault policy still being reviewed by the Federal Office for Civil Rights…The faculty members of the committee include…Law School professor Ronald Sullivan Jr., the master of Winthrop House.

School network consortium partners with Cyberlaw Clinic to create privacy toolkit for school systems

With the help of the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Consortium of School Networks (“CoSN”) has released the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit. The toolkit, issued in March as part of CoSN’s new Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, provides an in-depth, step-by-step privacy guide is to help school system leaders navigate complex federal laws and related issues.

Judicial Nominee’s Memos on Drones Stirring Bipartisan Concern in the Senate

President Obama’s choice for a powerful appeals court appointment is in peril from both the left and the right, highlighting how the fraught politics of an election year are threatening the president’s agenda even among his allies on Capitol Hill. The nomination of David Barron, who was a Justice Department lawyer at the start of the administration and is now a Harvard Law School professor, is mired in a maw of contentious issues. Republicans object to what they say are his radically liberal views on the Constitution. Democrats in conservative-leaning states, especially those who are up for re-election, are wary that a vote for him might backfire with voters at home. And members of both parties say they are disturbed by Mr. Barron’s authorship of legal memos that justified the United States’ killing of an American citizen overseas with a drone.

Senator Rand Paul may block selection of judge

An influential US senator from Kentucky has threatened to derail President Obama’s nomination of a Harvard Law School professor to fill a rare vacancy on the federal Appeals Court in Boston, the court that helps establish the region’s legal climate.
US Senator Rand Paul said in a letter to Senate leadership that he will block the confirmation of David Barron to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit until the White House releases controversial memos Barron drafted that justified the US military’s unchecked killing of American citizens overseas…Barron is married to former Boston Globe editorial columnist Juliette Kayyem, a Democratic candidate for governor of Massachusetts. His nomination was supported by lifelong Republican John F. Manning, a colleague at Harvard Law, and Charles Fried, also a Harvard professor and solicitor general to President Reagan.

Secret ‘Added Sugars’ Threaten Your Health: Will Disclosure Help?

An op-ed by Lauren Willis (visiting professor) and Marina Cassio ’15. “Of the 600,000 items in the American grocery store, 77 percent of them have added sugar,” says Robert Lustig in a recent article published in the MIT Technology Review. “You can’t even reduce your consumption when you’re trying to.” But proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label on every package of food Americans buy may help. Among other things, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is adding a line for “Added Sugars.” The goal is to encourage Americans to eat less added sugar to lower obesity and improve health.

Gary Becker Explains Your Dinner Check

An op-ed by Cass R. Sunstein. Saturday marked the death of Gary Becker, perhaps the greatest social scientist of the last 50 years. More than anyone else, Becker is responsible for the rigorous pursuit of the idea that human beings are rational and responsive to incentives. That’s a simple idea, but Becker used it to produce path-breaking insights into countless areas, including crime, discrimination, addiction, politics and the structure of the family. Becker was a colleague and a friend of mine, and he was a quintessentially rational man.

Harvard’s investments fuel protest

A blockade of Harvard University President Drew Faust’s office yesterday failed to convince school officials to divest from fossil fuel companies, but students pledged not to give up. “This is the first of many big steps we’re prepared to take,” said Kelsey Skaggs [`16], a Harvard Law School student. “We will continue to put pressure on the administration until they divest.”

When Can You Steal an Idea?

An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Aristotle said that when a general law doesn’t fit a particular case, the proper course is to rectify the law so it does fit. Today, in the last oral argument of this term, the U.S. Supreme Court grappled with his advice in the case of Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies.