Friday Five: Returning kids to the classroom, and more

Welcome to the Friday Five! Every Friday we share our top five articles, stories, and quotes for you to read and share with your friends and church families. 

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1. CAROLINA JOURNAL: Defeating NCAE, parents and Republicans on the cusp of reopening schools

"Fresh off a solid re-election campaign centered around his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and just weeks into the first legislative session of his second term, Gov. Roy Cooper is on the brink of a major political defeat that could have wide-ranging ramifications for his remaining term as North Carolina’s chief executive. A Republican-sponsored bill that would mandate North Carolina’s public K-12 schools offer in-person instruction has passed both chambers of the General Assembly with enough Democrat votes to enact the legislation over the governor’s almost-certain veto.

The bill guarantees K-12 students the option of returning to the classroom, at least part-time. Students with special needs could choose full-time in-person learning, and it grants school districts wide flexibility in determining how best to operate in-person instruction while requiring they adhere to Department of Health and Human Services safety protocols"

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2. WRAL: Wake County, state record K-12 enrollment declines

"The first of many years of expected enrollment decline has hit the Wake County Public School System.

It’s the first drop in students in decades. The more than 3,000-student decline for the state's largest school district was buoyed by students not enrolling in or attending their traditional schools during the COVID-19 pandemic."

"More families are now eligible for private school vouchers. Opportunity Scholarship data as of Feb. 3 show 12,832 students have been awarded vouchers — more than most recent years — although fewer than half have enrolled, per the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority. A desire for in-person instruction is what prompted Jessica Arner to take her son Beckett out of Wake County public schools and place him in a homeschooling co-op."

"Nicole Cribbs, a Johnston County parent, withdrew her daughter Paisley and enrolled her into the private Kids R Kids kindergarten in Clayton so Paisley could learn inside a physical classroom."

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3. NEWSWEEK: “We Need Balance When It Comes To Gender Dysphoric Kids. I Would Know”

"I am a 48-year-old transgender man. I was thrilled when the medical community told me six years ago that I could change from a woman to a man. I was informed about all the wonderful things that would happen due to medical transition, but all the negatives were glossed over. Since then, I have suffered tremendously, including seven surgeries, a pulmonary embolism, an induced stress heart attack, sepsis, a 17-month recurring infection, 16 rounds of antibiotics, three weeks of daily IV antibiotics, arm reconstructive surgery, lung, heart and bladder damage, insomnia, hallucinations, PTSD, $1 million in medical expenses, and loss of home, car, career and marriage. All this, and yet I cannot sue the surgeon responsible—in part because there is no structured, tested or widely accepted baseline for transgender health care."

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4. FOX NEWS: Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio pioneer, dead at 70

"Rush Limbaugh, the monumentally influential media icon who transformed talk radio and politics in his decades behind the microphone, helping shape the modern-day Republican Party, died Wednesday morning at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer, his family announced."

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5. YOU’RE INVITED: Constitution Alive! 6-Week Citizen Guide to the Constitution

WHAT: North Carolina's Largest Online Constitutional Class in History - Hosted by Craig Seibert (Director of the US Civics Training Initiative) and other North Carolina Leaders.

WHO: Join David Barton and Rick Green, Constitutional experts and advocates for the original intent of our founding documents, in this one of a kind course on the meaning and purpose of the Constitution! It will give you hope! Learn about the Constitution like you never have before whether novice or expert. No experience with the Constitution necessary!

WHEN: 7:00-8:30 pm EST, March 8th, March 15th, March 22nd, March 29th, April 5th, and April 12th.

WHERE: This is a FREE weekly course and you can access to the digital workbook as soon as you register. Click here to register: https://www.patriotacademy.com/coach/register/796

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WEEKLY PRAYER: LIBERTY

LORD, you have blessed us with a spiritual liberty that is so wonderful and beyond description, that it can only be understood through experiencing a life-giving relationship with Christ. However, we also recognize that in your grace, you have blessed our country with a political liberty that enables us to openly proclaim the experience of a life lived in the freedom of the Gospel.

LORD, as individuals and as a nation, may we never take the inalienable right of religious freedom for granted. Right now our country has faced a rapid increase in the number of attacks made against this cherished right. We have seen groups across our public arena increase in boldness and frequency their smears against religious liberty. They claim it is bigotry, when we know it is the security of the greatest of all possible loves.

Be with your people and our country as it continues to protect the constitutional right protected by our nation's Founders. Be with legislators and the Supreme Court, as they determine through their actions the protection of this particular and fundamental freedom. 

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)

"For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Galatians 5:13)

"Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God." (1 Peter 2:16)


Amen

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Sincerely,

North Carolina Values Coalition

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