August 28th, 2008
07:19 PM ET

Cheerleading Uniform Compromise

Following up...

Here's the compromise offered by the Ohio school district:  Monroe High School cheerleaders get special T-shirts to wear during class to show their school spirit (rather than wearing their uniforms).  And next year, the school pays for new uniforms that fit the dress code.

Doesn't sound like a bad deal to me, unless you're a senior.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: News Coverage
August 27th, 2008
09:47 PM ET

Politics: Who Cares?

I wasn't political at all as a kid.  In fact, I wasn't even into politics when I was in college.  Some of my friends were, and I respected them for it.  But if there was a meeting of the Young Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians or whatever, I was miles away.

It was only when I started working as a journalist that I got exposed to all this stuff - from the rhetoric to the strategy to the tricks the parties use to get or take away votes - and that's when it got interesting.  I'm not saying I'd ever want to BE a politician, but it's fun to watch them go after jobs and each other.

You, on the other hand, are more informed than I was.  If you're reading this blog, it's because you watch CNN Student News.  You've seen the DNC this week and will see the RNC next week.  You know who the candidates are and, hopefully, a little bit about what they stand for.

So I wonder if it surprised you at all to see the sixth-grade girl cover the DNC or the 11-year-old political Web site creator.  And on a slightly more important level... I'd like to know if you care about politics.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
August 26th, 2008
08:53 PM ET

Striking Out

There's one thing here that everyone can agree on: Nine-year-old Jericho Scott pitches like nobody's business. The kid may be the best in his league. But when I first heard this story, I couldn't imagine why another team would forfeit a game because of it. Think of the Padres going home because they heard Brandon Webb was pitching! I think an attorney hired by Scott's family had a good point: He said that though it's tough to play against someone better than you, doing it "is part of life's lessons." And I'd add that a good way to get better yourself is to play against someone who's better than you are.

Fine. But, as in every controversy you hear about on our show, there's another side to this. Some folks feel that the league Scott plays in is a league for beginners - kids just starting out and learning to play - and that it's not fair for them to have to face someone as talented as Scott.

I'd argue that there's always someone better. I get passed on mountain bike trails by better riders. I lift less weight than some of the guys at my gym. I see better news anchors every day. But I try to learn from them; none of that keeps me from doing the things I love to do.

Can you convince me why Scott shouldn't be allowed to play?

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 25th, 2008
11:52 PM ET

Cheerleading Dress Code Controversy

Y'all usually side with the students on stories like this, and I don't blame you:  At a lot of high schools, cheerleaders wear their shirts and skirts to class on the same day that the football players wear their jerseys.

Now guys don't usually wear football pants to class - just the jerseys.  So there's no risk of any dress code violation there.  And it's important to point out that, at the Ohio schools mentioned in Tuesday's show, the cheerleaders are still allowed to wear their skirts - but only at games and assemblies.  So no more uniforms during class hours, unless they're worn over long shorts and T-shirts.

So I guess it comes down to how important you think it is for cheerleaders to be able to wear their uniforms in class.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
August 20th, 2008
09:51 PM ET

Drinking: How Old Is Old Enough?

The university presidents who signed on to the "Amethyst Initiative" say the legal drinking age encourages a culture of dangerous, off-campus binge drinking.  A government report says drinking by high school seniors has dropped by 25 percent since the National Minimum Drinking Age Act was passed in 1984.  (It also notes that teen binge drinking is down.)

Now it's not surprising that many people under 21 would support lowering the legal drinking age, but would that stop binge drinking in the U.S., on or off campus?

(I don't have the answer to this one; you'll probably get a different take on it depending on whom you ask.  I just want you to weigh in on the debate as someone who won't be 21 for awhile.)

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 20th, 2008
07:23 PM ET

University Course Controversy

As a public school student, I remember evolution being taught as a theory about the origin of life. But I don't think Creationism was taught at all at school; we learned about that in church.

So I was really interested in Thursday's story about the University of California not offering credit for certain courses taught at Calvary Chapel Christian School. One student there argued that she learns about everything from intelligent design to evolution - more than what some public schools offer.

The university system says it has no problems with religious instruction; it considers whether courses provide "adequate instruction." Officials added that the course approval rate for religious and secular (non-religious) schools is the same.

We'd like to know where you stand on this after seeing the full report.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 18th, 2008
05:12 PM ET

Economy's Impact

Even though gas prices have slid a bit over the past couple weeks, they're still through the roof, and you've probably noticed that the stuff you buy has gotten more expensive over the past year.

The economy has seen better days.

So here's your first sound-off of the academic year:  Have you noticed anything different in the first days of school?  I read a story today about longer walks to bus stops, canceled field trips, higher school lunch prices...  Tell us whether you've noticed anything in your area, and you might see your comments in an upcoming report on our show!

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 17th, 2008
05:12 PM ET

How Was Your Summer?

The weather may still be warm, but the vacation part is pretty much over...at least for us.  And in Monday's show, you get a sense of what we've been up to besides the Webcasts we've posted every two weeks.

Now we'd love to know what you did over the last couple months, and you're welcome to talk about it right here.  But for extra credit, tell us in an iReport.  It's as easy as recording yourself on a camcorder, getting your parents' okay, and submitting the info to CNN Student News.  And who knows?  We may post it on our site, our blog, or our show!

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 14th, 2008
12:54 PM ET

Summer Headlines?

A big one we're watching right now is the Georgia-Russia conflict.  You can expect to see coverage of that in our first week back on the air, which kicks off next Monday.

Did y'all keep up with the news over the summer?  If so, tell us what major headlines you remember.  If not, well, we'll get you back in the swing of news next week!

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
August 11th, 2008
12:58 PM ET


Just one week to go before we kick off a new school year!  Our first, daily show goes on the air next Monday, August 18th.  You can tape or DVR it on Headline News at 4:00 a.m. EST (no, I'm not up that late), watch it at CNNStudentNews.com, or download it on iTunes.  And for extra credit, you can find us On Demand; we do a weekly special for Comcast that should resume airing in another week or two.

And of course, teachers can find FREE educational materials at our home page, which links you to our Ten Questions, Newsquizzes, Learning Activities, One-Sheets, Quick Guides, Transcripts...

I'm looking forward to getting back in the anchor chair and bringing you your daily broadcast of CNN Student News.  Hope you're enjoying the last days of the summer!  And we also hope you'll keep in touch throughout the '08-'09 year, giving us regular feedback and shouting out your questions on this here blog!

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
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