Some teachers in Maine took time from their planned lessons to address the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Paul Clifford, a social studies teacher at King Middle School in Portland, Maine, said many of his students are familiar with Boston and the city's sports teams and some shared stories of relatives in the race, while students at Portland High School learned about Chechnya and grappled with how a teenager could be a suspect in the bombings. "We had such a rich conversation. It was really a great teaching moment," said Ericka Lee-Winship, who teaches Advanced Placement history and social studies at Portland High School.
Some teachers said news of bombings at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent manhunt caused them to alter their lesson plans to address current events. Besides helping students process the tragic news, teachers in New York said they tied the events as much as possible to their curricula. Martha Cruz, a social studies teacher at Flushing High School in Queens, asked students to tie the events to historical circumstances and look at maps, while Alex Pajares, a social studies teacher at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business in Manhattan, said his students discussed issues including the role of the media, social media and privacy.
Student Town Government Day in Dedham, Mass., was marked by 38 high-school juniors and seniors taking on roles on the Dedham's School Committee and within the town's other administrative departments. The students sat in on meetings, shadowed town officials, including restaurant inspectors, and got a taste for the operations of local government. Selectmen Chairman Carmen DelloIacono encouraged the students to take photos and share them online, adding, "Let everybody know what happens here."
Students increasingly are posting pictures of themselves performing illegal or potentially illegal acts on social media websites such as Facebook, some school officials in Minnesota say. However, the availability of such information and images has complicated how schools respond to incidents of students' misbehavior and also led educators to issue warnings to students to be careful of what they post online.
Ward Melville High School, in Setauket, N.Y., held its second annual voter registration week and the results were 312 newly registered voters, representing almost half of the Class of 2013. Social studies teachers discussed voting rights during class and announcements included facts about voting. "These students are really on their way to becoming adults -- full members of society," said Tracy Beauchamp, head of the high school social studies department.