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Morning Brief: Helping Kids Process Violence

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(Illustration by Chava Sanchez/Classroom image by Chia Ying Yang via [Flickr](https://www.flickr.com/photos/enixii))
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Good morning, L.A.

Wednesday’s events in Washington, D.C. and around the country won’t soon be forgotten, and local educators are already taking steps to make sure that students — most of whom are returning to virtual classrooms this week or next — have the tools to discuss and contextualize them.

The L.A. County Office of Education and the Long Beach School District have each put together resources for teachers. Both encourage adults to process their own feelings prior to addressing the issue with kids, then make space for their students to talk.

In Long Beach, suggestions include reminding students that “violence and hate are never solutions to anger,” and “history shows us hate only causes harm.”

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Parents, caregivers and other adults are also responsible for helping young people process the events of this week, and their feelings and thoughts around them. But Brent Smiley, who teaches early world history and American history to middle school students at the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Reseda, believes teachers are in a unique position.

“Sitting in every classroom is a professional teacher who knows their kids better than anyone else in the chain of command.” Smiley told my colleague Caroline Champlin. “The message to the teachers? Go teach.”

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.


What You Need To Know Today

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L.A.’s Surge: The oxygen delivery infrastructure is crumbling under pressure in L.A. and other COVID-19 hot spots, jeopardizing patients’ access to precious air and limiting hospital turnover.

Faulty Tests: The FDA says Curative's cheek swab test for COVID-19 — frequently used in L.A. — has a high risk for false negatives, meaning our case count could be even higher than we think.

The Housing Crisis: In a new report on deaths of homeless people in L.A. County, officials say they’re worried about a dramatic uptick in fentanyl overdoses.

California Kids: Six of California’s largest school districts, including LAUSD and Long Beach, say that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for reopening classrooms sets unrealistic deadlines for compliance and will unfairly penalize low-income communities.

Local Clashes: These photos show a group of Trump supporters who marched through downtown L.A. in solidarity with the violent mob that stormed the capitol in Washington, D.C.

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Impeachment, 2021 Edition: Karen Bass says Trump should be kicked out, but that it's unlikely to happen given that his supporters in Congress are still under his “cult”-like spell.


Weekend Reads

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives, let alone to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, here’s what you may have missed:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital, which serves some of the L.A. neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus, has been pushed to the limit. (L.A. Watts Times)

The county is pushing for a “food handler” card, which would force delivery drivers to get certified. Some say it would hurt Black-owned businesses, and cause job loss for those who can’t, for a variety of reasons, take the certification course. (L.A. Sentinel)

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L.A. Democrat Ted Lieu is a co-lead on the effort to (re-)impeach President Donald Trump. (L.A. Mag)

Some Boyle Heights residents are waiting for their next federal stimulus check, while immigrants in the area who don’t have legal status can’t receive the financial assistance at all. (Boyle Heights Beat)

A plant delivery service, hand-poured artisan candles and Thai comfort food are just a few local small businesses that have faced unique, considerable challenges over the past year. (Los Angeleno)

Latina/o and Black people, if stopped by the police in California, are more likely to experience the use of force or to be searched than other racial groups. (San Fernando Valley Sun)

The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza sale was a back-and-forth of soap operatic proportions over the course of 2020. (L.A. Wave Newspapers)

Transportation was irrevocably altered by the pandemic — and some believe it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change things for the better. (Streetsblog L.A.)


Before You Go… Take A Breather From This Week

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Gallery1988 opens two shows online on Friday, including '30 Years Later: Celebrating Your Favorite Films from 1991.' (Image: Zita Walker, courtesy of Gallery1988)

It’s been a week, immediately following a year. Self-care has become a bit of a joke these days, but it’s vitally important for all of us to turn our brains off, if at all possible, and think about something other than the horrific situations with which we’ve been bombarded since March of 2020.

In that spirit, here are some suggestions: View pop art inspired by films released in 1991, listen to a livestreamed Rufus Wainwright concert, learn about Oshogatsu foods for the Year of the Ox, and more in this weekend’s best pandemic-approved events.


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The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft, and check LAist.com for updates on these stories and more. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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