Only in America
An Ohio middle schooler was suspended for seeing something but not saying something. Beth Mertel says she agrees her son should have told teachers that a fellow student pointed a toy gun at him, but feels that the suspension is an unduly harsh punishment. “They’re 11 years old,” said Mertel. “He doesn’t want to be the snitch.”
An Alabama middle schooler, meanwhile, has been suspended for saying something. On the school bus, the unnamed student heard another student talking about bringing guns to school, and promptly dialed 911 from his cellphone. Police surrounded the bus, causing what a school official called “needless panic and chaos.” The caller was suspended after it was determined that his classmates were discussing harmless Nerf-brand dart guns.
Boring but important
White House proposes skimpier health plans
The Trump administration launched its latest attempt to chip away at the Affordable Care Act this week, with a proposal that would allow insurers to sell cheaper, no-frills health plans. The plan would loosen restrictions on short-term plans, which aren’t required to provide coverage for people with preexisting conditions or include Obamacare-mandated benefits like mental health care and prescription drugs. Insurers can currently only offer such plans to consumers for a 90-day period, which the White House wants to extend to one year or more. It’s estimated that as many as 200,000 people enrolled on the health-care exchanges would move to the cheaper plans. Critics say the exodus of mostly healthy customers will cause premiums to rise.