UNC emails show long debate over tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones, who took job at Howard University instead


The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has released hundreds of pages of emails in connection with the controversy of its attempt to bring in 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones as a tenured professor.

She was initially offered a multi-year position to become the school’s next Knight Chair in Journalism – an endowed position that has previously included tenure. Once that was revealed, public outcry and threats to walk from Hannah-Jones prompted the school’s board of trustees to vote in favor of granting her tenure. The Pulitzer-winning alumna chose to go teach somewhere else anyway.

The UNC emails, obtained by Fox News, include a range of discussions on various aspects of the saga. As officials were drafting the initial announcement of Hannah-Jones’ hiring, they discussed trying to get a quote about her from Oprah Winfrey.

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 6, 2021, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones is interviewed at her home in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Hannah-Jones accepted a faculty position at Howard University amid controversy over whether she would be granted tenure at the University of North Carolina after critics questioned her credentials, specifically her Pulitzer Prize-winning work "The 1619 Project," which traces the country’s history with slavery. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File 1619 Book cover: Amazon)

FILE – In this Tuesday, July 6, 2021, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones is interviewed at her home in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Hannah-Jones accepted a faculty position at Howard University amid controversy over whether she would be granted tenure at the University of North Carolina after critics questioned her credentials, specifically her Pulitzer Prize-winning work “The 1619 Project,” which traces the country’s history with slavery. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File 1619 Book cover: Amazon)
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Meanwhile, Walter Hussman, a major donor to UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media and a newspaper publisher, raised flags about offering tenure to someone whose cornerstone 1619 Project had been called inaccurate by some historians and skewered by critics.

HANNAH-JONES CLAIMS INNOCENCE IN GUSHY CNN SEGMENT: ‘I JUST PRODUCE JOURNALISM’

In an email to David Routh, the school’s vice chancellor for university development and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, he said he was concerned about Hannah-Jones’ support for reparations.

“I would like to highlight a few of her statements in this essay which I feel will be quite controversial and divisive,” he wrote, before digging into a June 30, 2020 New York Times article by Hannah-Jones.

Separately, he forwarded a Politico article by a historian who said she had raised flags about the 1619 Project’s opening essay to New York Times fact checkers – only to have them ignored. 

UNC ROASTED AFTER NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES REJECTS IT FOLLOWING SCHOOL’S REVERSAL ON OFFERING TENURE

“On August 19 of last year I listened in stunned silence as Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter for the New York Times, repeated an idea that I had vigorously argued against with her fact-checker: that the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America,” wrote the historian, Leslie Harris.

Hussman previously denied trying to pressure the school over Hannah-Jones in an interview with NC Policy Watch, but he had acknowledged sending emails to school leaders about the issue.

Other emails show a debate about granting a tenured position to someone who had no experience teaching and whose name was linked to the 1619 Project.

Chuck Duckett, a member of the board of trustees, wrote an email to Provost Bob Blouin asking to “postpone-remove” a request for Hannah-Jones’ tenure from a board meeting in January.

“Can we remove this for now and take it up at [the board of trustees] meeting in March?” Duckett wrote. “Maybe another accommodation makes more sense for the university and the taxpayer?”

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES DECLINES UNC TENURE, ACCUSES COLLEGE OF RACISM: ‘JUST NOT SOMETHING I WANT ANYMORE’

He wrote that the tenure request left his committee with “a lot of questions and feedback.”

“FYI, the reasoning mentions appointment based on creative activity, reaching and service,” he wrote. “What does that mean?”

The files also include alumni statements that were both supportive of and opposed to tenure for the controversial writer.

“I am very proud of UNC today following the news that Hannah-Jones will not be awarded tenure,” reads an email from Erich Jacobs. “I think the decision was courageous…The 1619 Project, for me, fails on every point of academic rigor, and it’s author should in no way represent the university.”

Mark and Connie Meares wrote that the initial denial of tenure left them “both distressed” and argued that even without teaching experience, Hannah-Jones has a number of qualifications.

“Ms. Hannah-Jones is not only a UNC alumna, a Pulitzer winner, a MacArthur Genius recipient, she is also one of the founders of the Ida B. Wells Society of Investigative Reporting, which is now housed within the Hussman School of Journalism,” they added.

Lamar Richards, the student body president and also a trustee, later appealed to Guskiewicz, Blouin and board chair Richard Stevens to grant Hannah-Jones tenure.

FILE - In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

FILE – In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

“The tenure process here at Carolina, similar to most universities across the country, is led by faculty leaders,” he wrote. “They determine who they believe is worthy of having tenure; in this instance, they determined that Nikole was in fact worthy of such a distinction.”

The board eventually voted in June to grant Hannah-Jones, a UNC Alumna, a tenured position, but she took one at Howard University — also endowed by the Knight Foundation.

“I wanted to send a powerful message, or what I hope to be a powerful message, that we’re often treated like we should be lucky that these institutions let us in,” she told the Associated Press after announcing the switch. “But we don’t have to go to those institutions if we don’t want to.”

CONTROVERSIAL 1619 PROJECT CREATOR NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES WILL NOT JOIN UNC FACULTY WITHOUT TENURE: LEGAL TEAM

The New York Times’ 1619 Project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” Hannah-Jones is its lead writer. 

At a pair of seminars on the project in Oregon earlier this year, she told students and faculty that the U.S. has failed to live up to its founding ideals, that “what we call American history is really White history,” and that Black Americans are the founding fathers.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Several states, including Florida and Missouri, have included prohibitions on the 1619 Project with bans they’ve implemented on promoting critical race theory in public schools.

For her contributions to the 1619 Project, Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary last year. She was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “genius grant,” in 2017.



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UNC emails show long debate over tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones, who took job at Howard University instead


The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has released hundreds of pages of emails in connection with the controversy of its attempt to bring in 1619 Project writer Nikole Hannah-Jones as a tenured professor.

She was initially offered a multi-year position to become the school’s next Knight Chair in Journalism – an endowed position that has previously included tenure. Once that was revealed, public outcry and threats to walk from Hannah-Jones prompted the school’s board of trustees to vote in favor of granting her tenure. The Pulitzer-winning alumna chose to go teach somewhere else anyway.

The UNC emails, obtained by Fox News, include a range of discussions on various aspects of the saga. As officials were drafting the initial announcement of Hannah-Jones’ hiring, they discussed trying to get a quote about her from Oprah Winfrey.

FILE - In this Tuesday, July 6, 2021, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones is interviewed at her home in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Hannah-Jones accepted a faculty position at Howard University amid controversy over whether she would be granted tenure at the University of North Carolina after critics questioned her credentials, specifically her Pulitzer Prize-winning work "The 1619 Project," which traces the country’s history with slavery. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File 1619 Book cover: Amazon)

FILE – In this Tuesday, July 6, 2021, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones is interviewed at her home in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Hannah-Jones accepted a faculty position at Howard University amid controversy over whether she would be granted tenure at the University of North Carolina after critics questioned her credentials, specifically her Pulitzer Prize-winning work “The 1619 Project,” which traces the country’s history with slavery. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File 1619 Book cover: Amazon)
(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Meanwhile, Walter Hussman, a major donor to UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media and a newspaper publisher, raised flags about offering tenure to someone whose cornerstone 1619 Project had been called inaccurate by some historians and skewered by critics.

HANNAH-JONES CLAIMS INNOCENCE IN GUSHY CNN SEGMENT: ‘I JUST PRODUCE JOURNALISM’

In an email to David Routh, the school’s vice chancellor for university development and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, he said he was concerned about Hannah-Jones’ support for reparations.

“I would like to highlight a few of her statements in this essay which I feel will be quite controversial and divisive,” he wrote, before digging into a June 30, 2020 New York Times article by Hannah-Jones.

Separately, he forwarded a Politico article by a historian who said she had raised flags about the 1619 Project’s opening essay to New York Times fact checkers – only to have them ignored. 

UNC ROASTED AFTER NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES REJECTS IT FOLLOWING SCHOOL’S REVERSAL ON OFFERING TENURE

“On August 19 of last year I listened in stunned silence as Nikole Hannah-Jones, a reporter for the New York Times, repeated an idea that I had vigorously argued against with her fact-checker: that the patriots fought the American Revolution in large part to preserve slavery in North America,” wrote the historian, Leslie Harris.

Hussman previously denied trying to pressure the school over Hannah-Jones in an interview with NC Policy Watch, but he had acknowledged sending emails to school leaders about the issue.

Other emails show a debate about granting a tenured position to someone who had no experience teaching and whose name was linked to the 1619 Project.

Chuck Duckett, a member of the board of trustees, wrote an email to Provost Bob Blouin asking to “postpone-remove” a request for Hannah-Jones’ tenure from a board meeting in January.

“Can we remove this for now and take it up at [the board of trustees] meeting in March?” Duckett wrote. “Maybe another accommodation makes more sense for the university and the taxpayer?”

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES DECLINES UNC TENURE, ACCUSES COLLEGE OF RACISM: ‘JUST NOT SOMETHING I WANT ANYMORE’

He wrote that the tenure request left his committee with “a lot of questions and feedback.”

“FYI, the reasoning mentions appointment based on creative activity, reaching and service,” he wrote. “What does that mean?”

The files also include alumni statements that were both supportive of and opposed to tenure for the controversial writer.

“I am very proud of UNC today following the news that Hannah-Jones will not be awarded tenure,” reads an email from Erich Jacobs. “I think the decision was courageous…The 1619 Project, for me, fails on every point of academic rigor, and it’s author should in no way represent the university.”

Mark and Connie Meares wrote that the initial denial of tenure left them “both distressed” and argued that even without teaching experience, Hannah-Jones has a number of qualifications.

“Ms. Hannah-Jones is not only a UNC alumna, a Pulitzer winner, a MacArthur Genius recipient, she is also one of the founders of the Ida B. Wells Society of Investigative Reporting, which is now housed within the Hussman School of Journalism,” they added.

Lamar Richards, the student body president and also a trustee, later appealed to Guskiewicz, Blouin and board chair Richard Stevens to grant Hannah-Jones tenure.

FILE - In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

FILE – In this May 21, 2016, file photo, Nikole Hannah-Jones attends the 75th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

“The tenure process here at Carolina, similar to most universities across the country, is led by faculty leaders,” he wrote. “They determine who they believe is worthy of having tenure; in this instance, they determined that Nikole was in fact worthy of such a distinction.”

The board eventually voted in June to grant Hannah-Jones, a UNC Alumna, a tenured position, but she took one at Howard University — also endowed by the Knight Foundation.

“I wanted to send a powerful message, or what I hope to be a powerful message, that we’re often treated like we should be lucky that these institutions let us in,” she told the Associated Press after announcing the switch. “But we don’t have to go to those institutions if we don’t want to.”

CONTROVERSIAL 1619 PROJECT CREATOR NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES WILL NOT JOIN UNC FACULTY WITHOUT TENURE: LEGAL TEAM

The New York Times’ 1619 Project “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” Hannah-Jones is its lead writer. 

At a pair of seminars on the project in Oregon earlier this year, she told students and faculty that the U.S. has failed to live up to its founding ideals, that “what we call American history is really White history,” and that Black Americans are the founding fathers.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Several states, including Florida and Missouri, have included prohibitions on the 1619 Project with bans they’ve implemented on promoting critical race theory in public schools.

For her contributions to the 1619 Project, Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary last year. She was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “genius grant,” in 2017.



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Indianapolis funeral home shooting leaves multiple injured, including 4-year-old in critical condition: report


A shooting outside of a funeral home in Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon left five people injured, including a 4-year-old girl in critical condition, FOX 59 reported. 

Police were called around 4:30 p.m. to the scene of a funeral service, where they encountered the 4-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl, and a man who were all injured, according to the local news station. 

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department tweeted shortly before 5 p.m. that the 1100 block of W 30th St. was roped off for an active investigation. 

The 4-year-old was transported to a local hospital and police were called about two other gunshot victims who were seeking treatment at a hospital, according to FOX59

All the victims were in the parking lot of the funeral home. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett condemned the shooting, calling it “yet another violent incident.”

“Far too many residents have borne the consequences of the combination of firearms and failed conflict resolution and I join a frustrated community in calling for an end to this cycle of violence,” Hogsett said in a statement. 

“IMPD and the City of Indianapolis will continue to try every solution, incorporate every best practice we can. But we cannot do it alone. It will take neighbors sharing information, supporting those who are hurting, intervening when someone is headed down a dangerous path.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 



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Indianapolis funeral home shooting leaves multiple injured, including 4-year-old in critical condition: report


A shooting outside of a funeral home in Indianapolis on Saturday afternoon left five people injured, including a 4-year-old girl in critical condition, FOX 59 reported. 

Police were called around 4:30 p.m. to the scene of a funeral service, where they encountered the 4-year-old girl, a 16-year-old girl, and a man who was injured, according to the local news station. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department tweeted shortly before 5 p.m. that the 1100 block of W 30th St. was roped off for an active investigation. 

The 4-year-old was transported to a local hospital and police were called about two other gunshot victims who were seeking treatment at a hospital, according to FOX59

All the victims were in the parking lot of the funeral home. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 



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Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck caught kissing again during Italian lovefest


Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck gave the world another shot in the arm of their worldwide lovefest when the parading pair were spotted lovey-dovey aboard another boat – this time along the Mediterranean Sea.

Lopez, who just ushered in her 52nd birthday days ago, took it upon themselves to share a kiss while cozied up as their boat was docked in Naples, Italy.

Having just left Saint Tropez in the south of France, the re-burgeoning couple traded in a superyacht for the intimate confines of a much smaller vessel but make no mistake, Lopez and Affleck aren’t light on living lavishly.

MATT DAMON REVEALS THE ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN DIFFERENT ABOUT JENNIFER LOPEZ, BEN AFFLECK’S REKINDLED ROMANCE

Hollywood couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck pack on the PDA as they embraced in a kiss on a dock in the port of Naples, Italy.

Hollywood couple Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck pack on the PDA as they embraced in a kiss on a dock in the port of Naples, Italy.
(Backgrid)

Earlier this month, Bennifer 2.0 toured a palatial estate with Lopez’s kids Max and Emme in the famed Holmby Hills section of Los Angeles. The property is priced at a cool $65 million and includes eight bedrooms and 12 bathrooms across some 31,000 square feet. It also includes a bowling alley.

JENNIFER LOPEZ AND BEN AFFLECK ARE ALL LOVED UP AS THEY PACK ON THE PDA DURING STEAMY ITALIAN VACATION

The multihyphenate was later spotted touring a new development and in the snapshots, the singer is seen climbing a ladder with someone who appeared to be an architect and was showing her the property while exploring the Bel Air home which is still under construction.

For the outing, the actress donned black leggings, a white sports crop top and white sneakers as she took her time walking around and discussing the structure’s floorplans.

Lopez has also been seen perusing area schools for her kids – an indication that she could be looking to kick it on the West Coast on a more permanent basis.

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The “Hustlers” star and “The Way Back” actor were previously engaged for roughly two years. The two split in 2004 and Affleck went on to marry actress Jennifer Garner in 2005. The pair – who share three children together – divorced in 2018.

Lopez shares her two kids with ex-husband Marc Anthony.



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CDC's mask guidance angers parents heading into new school year: 'Stop the insanity'


With U.S. health officials recommending that children mask up in school this fall, parents and policy makers across the nation have been plunged anew into a debate over whether face coverings should be optional or a mandate.

The delta variant of the coronavirus now threatens to upend normal instruction for a third consecutive school year. Some states have indicated they will probably heed the federal government’s guidance and require masks. Others will leave the decision up to parents.

The controversy is unfolding at a time when many Americans are at their wits’ end with pandemic restrictions and others fear their children will be put at risk by those who don’t take the virus seriously enough. In a handful of Republican-led states, lawmakers made it illegal for schools to require masks.

In Connecticut, anti-mask rallies have happened outside Gov. Ned Lamont’s official residence in Hartford, and lawn signs and bumper stickers call on him to “unmask our kids.” The Democrat has said that he’s likely to follow the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TEACHER SLAMS ‘DEMORALIZING’ NEW CDC MASK GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS: ‘KIDS NEED TO GET BACK TO NORMAL’

The CDC on Tuesday recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status. The agency cited the risk of spread of the highly contagious delta variant, even among vaccinated people.

Alima Bryant, 33, a mother of four who organizes anti-mask parents in Branford, Connecticut, said she’s not a conspiracy theorist, but she believes scientists have overstated the dangers of COVID-19, especially for children. She said she will take her children out of school rather than subject them to wearing masks, which she believes are more likely to make them ill than the virus.

“Especially with little kids, I can imagine how often they’re touching dirty things, then touching the mask,” she said. “Also, in kindergarten, you have to learn social cues, and even with speech and everything, it’s so important to not be wearing a mask.”

But parents such as Ryan Zuimmerman, of Lenexa, Kansas, fear that approach will prolong the pandemic.

In Johnson County, Kansas, the state’s most populous county, five districts recommend but do not require masks. A sixth district has not yet decided.

Zimmerman, speaking at a recent meeting of country commissioners, said that if masks are only recommended and not required, “95% of kids won’t be wearing them.”

“This isn’t about comfort or control or obedience or your rights. It is not conspiracy or child abuse. It is about doing unto others as you want them to do unto you,” he said.

“I ask you this: If it was your kid who was high risk, what if you had to send that kid you had spent your whole life protecting to school in this environment?”

CDC HIT BY LIBERAL MEDIA OUTLETS FOR ‘CONFUSING MESSAGE’ ON WEARING MASKS

Another public meeting, this one in Broward County, Florida, had to be postponed for a day this week after roughly two dozen mask opponents waged screaming matches with school board members and burned masks outside the building.

When the discussion resumed Wednesday, it was limited to 10 public speakers, and all but one spoke vehemently against masks, saying their personal rights were being eroded.

Vivian Hug, a Navy veteran, brought her twins with her as she addressed board members, saying she was tired of the “fear mongering” and giving up “freedoms in the name of safety.”

“Please stop the insanity. You have already done damage to these kids having to wear masks,” she said before putting her daughter up to the microphone, where the little girl complained that masks make it hard for her to breathe and give her headaches.

But Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said there is no credible evidence masks are unsafe for children. She said the science is clear that face coverings have prevented the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“If we want to have kids in school this fall, and as many kids as we possibly can get into school, masks are a key component,” she said.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO TEACHERS UNIONS ‘INFLUENCE’ ON CDC’S SCHOOL REOPENING GUIDANCE

Amid the debate, there is also a push to get more older kids vaccinated. President Joe Biden has asked schools to host vaccine clinics for those 12 and older, and states are also beginning to discuss whether to mandate that school employees either be vaccinated or undergo frequent testing for the coronavirus.

“To me that seems very reasonable,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, the state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health. “You achieve the goal of providing a safe environment. You maintain some choice in there. And clearly most people are going to look at that and say it make sense for them to get vaccinated, given that context.”

The push to vaccinate children varies by country. Half of 12- to 17-year-olds in Estonia’s second-largest city of Tartu have received their first vaccine shot, and local health officials are working to push the number to 70% before the school year begins. Countries such as Denmark and France also are actively encouraging vaccination of children, while others such Sweden and the United Kingdom have yet to begin mass vaccinations for those under 18.

The Pfizer shot is currently the only U.S. vaccine authorized for children 12 years and up. Moderna expects the Food and Drug Administration to rule soon on its application for children in the same age group.

Moderna said Monday that it expects to have enough data to apply for FDA authorization for younger children by late this year or early 2022. Pfizer has said it expects to apply in September for children ages 5 through 11.

But some parents, such as Bryant, say they will not get their children vaccinated, even after the kids are eligible, until they know more about potential side effects. Bryant said she knows people who have had severe reactions and others who believe it has affected their menstrual cycles.

Kanter urges families to vaccinate all eligible children. He said the argument that they rarely get severely ill from COVID-19 is becoming outdated.

“As an absolute number, we are seeing younger individuals and kids get sicker in higher numbers and get more severe numbers with delta than they have before,” he said.

Young people themselves have been wrestling with misinformation and vaccine hesitancy among parents and peers.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Angelica Granados, 16, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, finally got permission from her mother to take a COVID-19 vaccine last month. She worried about a potential allergic reaction.

“I’ve always wanted to take it,” Granados said, describing the shot as a choice between going “back to normal living” or risking infection.

Her mother, Erica Gonzales, stood by as she got the injection and waited with her during an extended 30-minute observation period.

“I didn’t want her to take it, but I mean, that’s her choice. It’s her body. She knows it best,” Gonzales said.



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CDC's mask guidance angers parents heading into new school year: 'Stop the insanity'


With U.S. health officials recommending that children mask up in school this fall, parents and policy makers across the nation have been plunged anew into a debate over whether face coverings should be optional or a mandate.

The delta variant of the coronavirus now threatens to upend normal instruction for a third consecutive school year. Some states have indicated they will probably heed the federal government’s guidance and require masks. Others will leave the decision up to parents.

The controversy is unfolding at a time when many Americans are at their wits’ end with pandemic restrictions and others fear their children will be put at risk by those who don’t take the virus seriously enough. In a handful of Republican-led states, lawmakers made it illegal for schools to require masks.

In Connecticut, anti-mask rallies have happened outside Gov. Ned Lamont’s official residence in Hartford, and lawn signs and bumper stickers call on him to “unmask our kids.” The Democrat has said that he’s likely to follow the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TEACHER SLAMS ‘DEMORALIZING’ NEW CDC MASK GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS: ‘KIDS NEED TO GET BACK TO NORMAL’

The CDC on Tuesday recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status. The agency cited the risk of spread of the highly contagious delta variant, even among vaccinated people.

Alima Bryant, 33, a mother of four who organizes anti-mask parents in Branford, Connecticut, said she’s not a conspiracy theorist, but she believes scientists have overstated the dangers of COVID-19, especially for children. She said she will take her children out of school rather than subject them to wearing masks, which she believes are more likely to make them ill than the virus.

“Especially with little kids, I can imagine how often they’re touching dirty things, then touching the mask,” she said. “Also, in kindergarten, you have to learn social cues, and even with speech and everything, it’s so important to not be wearing a mask.”

But parents such as Ryan Zuimmerman, of Lenexa, Kansas, fear that approach will prolong the pandemic.

In Johnson County, Kansas, the state’s most populous county, five districts recommend but do not require masks. A sixth district has not yet decided.

Zimmerman, speaking at a recent meeting of country commissioners, said that if masks are only recommended and not required, “95% of kids won’t be wearing them.”

“This isn’t about comfort or control or obedience or your rights. It is not conspiracy or child abuse. It is about doing unto others as you want them to do unto you,” he said.

“I ask you this: If it was your kid who was high risk, what if you had to send that kid you had spent your whole life protecting to school in this environment?”

CDC HIT BY LIBERAL MEDIA OUTLETS FOR ‘CONFUSING MESSAGE’ ON WEARING MASKS

Another public meeting, this one in Broward County, Florida, had to be postponed for a day this week after roughly two dozen mask opponents waged screaming matches with school board members and burned masks outside the building.

When the discussion resumed Wednesday, it was limited to 10 public speakers, and all but one spoke vehemently against masks, saying their personal rights were being eroded.

Vivian Hug, a Navy veteran, brought her twins with her as she addressed board members, saying she was tired of the “fear mongering” and giving up “freedoms in the name of safety.”

“Please stop the insanity. You have already done damage to these kids having to wear masks,” she said before putting her daughter up to the microphone, where the little girl complained that masks make it hard for her to breathe and give her headaches.

But Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said there is no credible evidence masks are unsafe for children. She said the science is clear that face coverings have prevented the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“If we want to have kids in school this fall, and as many kids as we possibly can get into school, masks are a key component,” she said.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS DEMAND INVESTIGATION INTO TEACHERS UNIONS ‘INFLUENCE’ ON CDC’S SCHOOL REOPENING GUIDANCE

Amid the debate, there is also a push to get more older kids vaccinated. President Joe Biden has asked schools to host vaccine clinics for those 12 and older, and states are also beginning to discuss whether to mandate that school employees either be vaccinated or undergo frequent testing for the coronavirus.

“To me that seems very reasonable,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, the state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health. “You achieve the goal of providing a safe environment. You maintain some choice in there. And clearly most people are going to look at that and say it make sense for them to get vaccinated, given that context.”

The push to vaccinate children varies by country. Half of 12- to 17-year-olds in Estonia’s second-largest city of Tartu have received their first vaccine shot, and local health officials are working to push the number to 70% before the school year begins. Countries such as Denmark and France also are actively encouraging vaccination of children, while others such Sweden and the United Kingdom have yet to begin mass vaccinations for those under 18.

The Pfizer shot is currently the only U.S. vaccine authorized for children 12 years and up. Moderna expects the Food and Drug Administration to rule soon on its application for children in the same age group.

Moderna said Monday that it expects to have enough data to apply for FDA authorization for younger children by late this year or early 2022. Pfizer has said it expects to apply in September for children ages 5 through 11.

But some parents, such as Bryant, say they will not get their children vaccinated, even after the kids are eligible, until they know more about potential side effects. Bryant said she knows people who have had severe reactions and others who believe it has affected their menstrual cycles.

Kanter urges families to vaccinate all eligible children. He said the argument that they rarely get severely ill from COVID-19 is becoming outdated.

“As an absolute number, we are seeing younger individuals and kids get sicker in higher numbers and get more severe numbers with delta than they have before,” he said.

Young people themselves have been wrestling with misinformation and vaccine hesitancy among parents and peers.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Angelica Granados, 16, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, finally got permission from her mother to take a COVID-19 vaccine last month. She worried about a potential allergic reaction.

“I’ve always wanted to take it,” Granados said, describing the shot as a choice between going “back to normal living” or risking infection.

Her mother, Erica Gonzales, stood by as she got the injection and waited with her during an extended 30-minute observation period.

“I didn’t want her to take it, but I mean, that’s her choice. It’s her body. She knows it best,” Gonzales said.



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California TikTok star, 19, dies after 'Purge' theater shooting


Anthony Barajas, a 19-year-old TikTok star who was shot during a screening of “The Forever Purge” at a Southern California movie theater on Monday, died on Saturday morning, police announced. 

Rylee Goodrich, an 18-year-old who was at the movie with Barajas, was also shot and pronounced dead at the scene. 

The Corona Police Department said it is working with the district attorney to add an additional count of first-degree murder against 20-year-old Joseph Jimenez, who was arrested on Tuesday evening and charged with murder and attempted murder on Friday. 

Anthony Barajas, 19, passed away on Saturday morning, days after he was shot during a screening of "The Forever Purge" in southern California. 

Anthony Barajas, 19, passed away on Saturday morning, days after he was shot during a screening of “The Forever Purge” in southern California. 
(FOX 11 Los Angeles )

Barajas, who went by @itsanthonymichael on social media, had nearly one million followers on TikTok. 

DAD RESTRAINED AS HE CONFRONTS SUSPECT IN FATAL SHOOTING: ‘LOOK AT ME!’

Corona police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis said that only six tickets were bought for the movie on Monday night and they believe Jimenez acted alone in the shooting. 

“It was completely unprovoked, and the victims were shot without any kind of prior contact,” Kouroubacalis said Wednesday. 

Dave Goodrich, Rylee Goodrich’s father, confronted Jiminez during a court appearance on Friday. 

Joseph Jimenez, 20, allegedly shot and killed two teens in a southern California movie theater on Monday evening. 

Joseph Jimenez, 20, allegedly shot and killed two teens in a southern California movie theater on Monday evening. 
(Corona Police Department)

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“Look at me. Look at me!” Goodrich yelled at Jiminez as several people held him back, according to FOX 11. “That was my daughter.”

Theater workers found the wounded teens after the 9:35 p.m. showing of “The Forever Purge,” which is the fifth installment in the series that depicts a dystopian future of America where all crime is legalized for 24 hours annually. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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California TikTok star, 19, dies after 'Purge' theater shooting


Anthony Barajas, a 19-year-old TikTok star who was shot during a screening of “The Forever Purge” at a Southern California movie theater on Monday, died on Saturday morning, police announced. 

Rylee Goodrich, an 18-year-old who was at the movie with Barajas, was also shot and pronounced dead at the scene. 

The Corona Police Department said it is working with the district attorney to add an additional count of first-degree murder against 20-year-old Joseph Jimenez, who was arrested on Tuesday evening and charged with murder and attempted murder on Friday. 

Anthony Barajas, 19, passed away on Saturday morning, days after he was shot during a screening of "The Forever Purge" in southern California. 

Anthony Barajas, 19, passed away on Saturday morning, days after he was shot during a screening of “The Forever Purge” in southern California. 
(FOX 11 Los Angeles )

Barajas, who went by @itsanthonymichael on social media, had nearly one million followers on TikTok. 

DAD RESTRAINED AS HE CONFRONTS SUSPECT IN FATAL SHOOTING: ‘LOOK AT ME!’

Corona police Cpl. Tobias Kouroubacalis said that only six tickets were bought for the movie on Monday night and they believe Jimenez acted alone in the shooting. 

“It was completely unprovoked, and the victims were shot without any kind of prior contact,” Kouroubacalis said Wednesday. 

Dave Goodrich, Rylee Goodrich’s father, confronted Jiminez during a court appearance on Friday. 

Joseph Jimenez, 20, allegedly shot and killed two teens in a southern California movie theater on Monday evening. 

Joseph Jimenez, 20, allegedly shot and killed two teens in a southern California movie theater on Monday evening. 
(Corona Police Department)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Look at me. Look at me!” Goodrich yelled at Jiminez as several people held him back, according to FOX 11. “That was my daughter.”

Theater workers found the wounded teens after the 9:35 p.m. showing of “The Forever Purge,” which is the fifth installment in the series that depicts a dystopian future of America where all crime is legalized for 24 hours annually. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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‘Selling Sunset’s Jason Oppenheim, Chrishell Stause pack on PDA in Rome after she confirms romance with broker


Just hours after “Selling Sunset” stars Jason Oppenheim and Chrishell Stause confirmed their workplace romance, the pair were spotted locking lips in romance-laden Rome.

Photographers snapped the long-rumored couple engaged in a passionate kiss while out on a lunch date during a vacation to the Italian capital near the city’s famous Spanish Steps before they ultimately left and headed to the famed Trevi fountain where they tossed coins into the world-famous monument.

Stause, 40, confirmed she was dating her reality star boss, 44, in PDA-filled photos from their vacation to Capri, Italy.

In a photo posted on Wednesday, Oppenheim can be seen kissing Stause’s neck. He responded to the photos with a heart emoji in the comments section.

NETFLIX’S ‘SELLING SUNSET’ STAR JASON OPPENHEIM ON HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

'Selling Sunset' stars Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim passionately kiss during a romantic vacation in Rome. 

‘Selling Sunset’ stars Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim passionately kiss during a romantic vacation in Rome. 
(Mega)

Oppenheim previously dated Mary Fitzgerald – who also works at his brokerage and he told Fox News in November that balancing the intertwining business and personal aspects of his life is a breeze given the familial approach he takes to his employees.

“It’s not difficult at all for me. And the reason being is that many of the people at this brokerage are longtime, very close – some of my best friends and I love the people who work at this brokerage,” he said. “And yes, Mary and I had a romantic relationship.”

HEATHER RAE YOUNG SAYS TAREK EL MOUSSA WILL APPEAR ON ‘SELLING SUNSET’ AFTER ‘NETFLIX AND HGTV CAME TO AN AGREEMENT’

“But quite honestly, what I deal with, with Mary, which is both a personal/friendship relationship is the same thing I have with everyone, to be honest. I’m very close with everyone here,” he added.

While Oppenheim said it would be one thing if Fitzgerald was his only close friend, the fact that many of the agents are some of his best friends in life, everyone in their circle of understands the arrangements “and by the way, they’re all my really close friends, too.”

‘Selling Sunset’ star Chrishell Stause confirmed she’s dating famed real estate broker Jason Oppenheim, who also happens to be her boss.<strong> </strong> (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for Jane Owen PR)

‘Selling Sunset’ star Chrishell Stause confirmed she’s dating famed real estate broker Jason Oppenheim, who also happens to be her boss.<strong> </strong> (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for Jane Owen PR)
(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images for Jane Owen PR)

“So I don’t think it’s a problem,” he maintained. “I mean, two of my best male friends are at this brokerage, and let’s see, my best friend and his wife, who are also like two of my best friends have been at the brokerage, she’s been one of my best friends for ten years.”

He added: “Heather is one of my best friends. Chrishell is one of my best friends. My brother is obviously my best friend, Mary is one of my best friends, remains one of my best friends. So I’m not so sure that there’s that much of a difference between anyone else.”

CHRISHELL STAUSE CONFIRMS SHE’S DATING BOSS JASON OPPENHEIM

Stause was married to actor Justin Hartley for two years before he filed for divorce in November 2019. 

The “This Is Us” actor, 44, paid a tribute to his wife Sofia Pernas on Saturday in honor of her 32nd birthday.

Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim are seen on July 30, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Professor Sorcio/MEGA/GC Images)

Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim are seen on July 30, 2021 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Professor Sorcio/MEGA/GC Images)

“Happy Birthday to my beautiful Sofia! This amazing woman makes me laugh out loud every single day,” Hartley captioned an Instagram post. “Here’s to taking down oysters all over the world! I love you very much!” 

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Pernas, who recently tied the knot with Hartley, wrote in the comment section, “Can’t wait. I love you!”



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