Daily VideoOctober 5, 2010
Schools Challenged by Homeless Students
Homeless kids face many challenges, including where to go to school when their family continues to move from place to place. One school in Seattle is trying to address that problem by catering specifically to homeless students and helping them regain their self-confidence.
Teachers say homeless students are often shy and withdrawn because they’re never sure when they might have to move on to another school. Under a federal law called the McKinney-Vento Act, all schools are supposed to provide certain accommodations to homeless students such as enrolling kids without requiring the usual paperwork and providing transportation if they move to another shelter in the area. But, some homeless families still struggle to get their kids the right treatment under the law.
School districts are also supposed to try to identify and accommodate students who may be homeless but haven’t admitted it. But, some statistics show that the Seattle school district intentionally failed to identify many homeless students because it wanted to save money. Similarly, two years ago, in New York State, 37 percent of school districts failed to identify even one student as homeless.
“There’s no other way to see that than that schools are not identifying homeless students within their midst, because identifying a homeless student may bring about a cost to the school district.” – Casey Trupin, attorney
“Without school, I don’t know where I would be. Math equations, two plus two is four, you can never get that wrong. I mean, the liver filters your blood. There’s no wrong in that. But when it comes to home life, it’s very confusing.” – Samantha Williams, homeless student
“I want to stay, like, in one place and be stable. It makes it hard for me to study. Then I lose focus.” – Ian, homeless student
Warm Up Questions
1. What does it mean to be homeless?
2. What does “stability” mean?
3. Why would it be hard to have to switch schools all the time?
1. What kinds of things did you need to be able to enroll in school? Why might it be hard for a homeless student to provide those things?
2. Do you know anyone who is homeless? What challenges do they face that people with homes don’t face?
3. Based on what you saw in the video, why might schools be hesitant to identify homeless kids?
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Schools in Baltimore, Maryland are experimenting with meditation as a way to help students deal with stress and trauma. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
February 19, 2017, marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s controversial executive order, which allowed the government to incarcerate Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
Dozens of cities throughout the United States have been deemed “sanctuary cities,” where local governments resist cooperating with federal immigration officials, including handing over undocumented immigrants who have may committed very minor offenses. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In order to address the homelessness problem facing students, a school district in Kansas City, Kansas, with over 1,000 homeless students, partnered with Avenue of Life, a nonprofit organization that brings students out of homelessness by supporting the entire family. Continue readingArts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld
In places where violent conflict makes it difficult for human rights investigators to observe, social media platforms now make it possible to document abuses.Arts & CultureEconomicsHealthScienceU.S.UncategorizedWorld