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Blake Shelton's name found in Oklahoma girl's 1980s-era textbook amid school funding dispute

An Oklahoma parent took to Facebook to voice her concerns after she claimed to find that her daughter was using the same school textbook that country music star Blake Shelton used decades ago.

>> Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani shop in North Carolina before concert

Shelly Parker of Ada posted a picture of the reading textbook Wednesday as teachers across the Sooner State continued to protest at the state Capitol over low education funding and teacher pay.

>> See the Facebook post here

The picture included an inside look at the book, where "Blake Shelton 1982" is written on the inside of the front cover. The book appears to date back to 1981.

>> Read more trending news 

Parker said that though her daughter was excited that her textbook had belonged to Shelton, she was embarrassed and called for teachers, parents and support staffers to fight for education funding.

Shelton, 41, is an Ada native. People magazine named him the sexiest man alive in 2017.

Florida teacher accused of hosting white nationalist podcast submits letter of resignation


Dayanna Volitich, the Florida social studies teacher who allegedly hosted a white nationalist podcast, has submitted a letter of resignation according to WTSP in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Mullen told CNN that the district received an email indicating that Volitich had resigned. 

The resignation is reportedly not final until the school board accepts the resignation when it convenes on April 10.


A Florida school district removed a middle school teacher who reportedly hosted a white nationalist podcast, the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday. The teacher, meanwhile, said through her attorney that she "employed political satire and exaggeration,” and that there was “no truth” to the views expressed.

>> Read more trending news

The Citrus County School District announced Sunday that Dayanna Volitich, 25, a social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School, has been removed from the classroom while it conducts an investigation.

The investigation comes after a Huffington Post report Saturday that alleged Volitich hosted a podcast called “Unapologetic” under the alias of “Tiana Dalichov.”

In a Feb. 26, podcast, “Dalichov” bragged that she kept her ideology a secret from school administrators and discussed white nationalism in her classroom, the Huffington Post reported.

Volitich could not be reached for comment. However, in a statement released by her attorney, she did not deny operating the podcast, NBC News reported.

She insisted, however, that her commentary was “for the purpose of attracting listenrs and followers, and generating conversation about the content discussed between myself and my guests."

In the statement, reported by NBC News, Volitich said she never revealed her political views to her students.

"The views 'Tiana Dalichov' espouses do not pervade my professional career," she said in the statement released by her attorney. "As an adult, my decisions are my own, and my family has nothing whatsoever to do with my social media accounts or my podcast.

“From them, I humbly ask for forgiveness, as it was never my intention to cause them grief while engaging in a hobby on my personal time."

Volitich could not immediately be reached for comment.

Crystal River Middle School, located about 80 miles north of Tampa, is nearly 90 percent white, according to the National Center for Education Statistics

Volitich became certified to teach in Florida in July 2016, according to state records. She graduated from Ohio State University in 2014 with a bachelor of arts degree, NBC News reported.

After the Huffington Post report, “Tiana Dalichov” set her Twitter account to private and deleted her podcast, the Times reported, adding that the Twitter account also has been deleted.

Texas teen accepted to 20 top-tier colleges, gets full-ride scholarships to all of them

A Texas teen has a big decision to make after he was accepted to 20 top-tier colleges – and scored a full-ride scholarship to each one.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

According to CNN, Micheal Brown, a senior at Mirabeau B. Lamar High School in Houston, wowed admissions offices at every elite school he applied to, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown and Vanderbilt. 

>> Watch his reaction to getting accepted to Stanford

The 17-year-old – who has a 4.68 grade-point average, 1540 SAT score and 34 ACT score – won "a combination of merit- and financial-based scholarships and grants" to the schools, the New York Times reported. He also earned other scholarships totaling $260,000, according to CNN.

"It's something I'm proud of because I see my hard work paying off, determination paying off, sacrifices paying off," he told CNN.

>> Read more trending news 

Brown – who participated in his high school's student government, Key Club, debate team and mock trial – said he plans to major in political science and possibly economics, CNN and the New York Times reported.

He plans to select a school May 1.

Read more here or here.

Alleged Howard University embezzler claims innocence after criticism on Twitter

Howard University has been thrust into the spotlight after a student allegedly stole thousands from the school’s financial aid office, according to recent reports. 

Last year, six employees were fired from the historically black university for misappropriating funds, WRC reported. Former student employee Tyrone Hankerson Jr. was purportedly at the center of the scandal. He’s been accused of stealing more than $400,000 of institutional funds used to help low-income students.

>> Read more trending news 

The Washington Post reported that a university investigation found that employees who got tuition benefits to cover the cost of classes also got university grants. The Post reported that the investigation found that the double dipping exceeded the cost of attendance and showed that the workers may have been embezzling.

On Wednesday, Howard President Wayne Frederick released a statement “to provide some relevant updates regarding Howard’s commitment to ensuring work integrity across all University offices, specifically the Office of Financial Aid,” he wrote.

Frederick announced in the statement that the school would be implementing new policies moving forward. He also confirmed that a previous investigation revealed several employees received grants and discounts that exceeded the cost of tuition and kept the difference.

Howard’s student newspaper The Hilltop reported that, in a follow up statement released later that day, Fredrick acknowledged frustrations about the incident.

“Hearing about the mishandling of funds at the University can be difficult to process. I can also understand how upsetting it is to feel that the University has not communicated with you regarding this incident,” Fredrick said. “The goal established at the onset of this investigation was to conduct it in a confidential manner that ensured a through examination of these issues without jeopardizing the integrity of the findings. However, that does not mitigate the sense of mistrust that many students and members of our community feel right now.”

Hankerson, who received his bachelors degree from the school and is a current graduate student there, released a statement Thursday through his attorney, writing, “I have done nothing illegal or wrong.”

On Thursday, the Howard University Student Association issued a statement to students in response to the news. The group also outlined questions about the alleged embezzlement, if the alleged embezzlement had been reported to authorities, and steps the university plans to take to reconcile student’s accounts that may have been affected by the alleged incidents.

“What this ordeal has revealed about the administration only confirms what many students have long suspected -- the leaders of our university are opponents of transparency and shared governance,” the statement said.

When news of the scandal hit the internet, many flocked to Twitter to express their thoughts. Several found the story baffling; some posted photos of the Hankerson in what appeared to be designer clothing.

Mom claims substitute teacher grabbed 8-year-old son by the throat

The mother of an 8-year-old said her child was attacked at an elementary school by a substitute teacher.

>> Watch the news report here

The assault happened Monday at Evans Elementary School in east Memphis, Tennessee.

WHBQ spoke with the mother and child. Tyler Tate said he was grabbed by the throat.

He said the substitute teacher called him to her desk and asked him what the N-word stood for. He said he replied, "Gangsta," and that's when he said the attack began.

>> Georgia teacher, coach accused of sex with student, touching another

It's the timidness of a child offset by the anger of a mother. "I feel bad because they're telling us that it's a safe zone and that they're going to keep him safe, and nothing should happen," said Contrease Tate, Tyler’s mother.

Mrs. Tate took photos after taking her child to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. He had scrapes on his neck and arms and was having trouble breathing after being grabbed by the neck, she said. 

"She punched Tyler. That's what Tyler tell me. She punched him in the chest, ran his head into the wall, tripped him in the hallway," said Mrs. Tate.

>> School cancels active shooter training due to trainer's 'inappropriate' social media posts

Shelby County Schools said via email:

"These are very serious claims, and school staff immediately notified the proper authorities for further investigation. This substitute will not be eligible to work in a school until the investigation is completed."

Mrs. Tate said she was never notified and only found out after school. At first, she said the principal blamed her son.

"They told me he was suspended for 45 days and that he couldn't come to school, but when I told her that we were going to Le Bonheur, she said he could come to school and that he's not suspended for 45 days," Mrs. Tate said.

>> Read more trending news 

WHBQ's cameras were there as Mrs. Tate received withdrawal papers from the school. She said her son will eventually heal from the physical scars. It's the mental ones that will take a little longer.

Memphis police and the Department of Children Services are investigating

School cancels active shooter training due to trainer's 'inappropriate' social media posts

Sam Rosenberg is clearing the air and defending his active shooter security training course after the North Allegheny School District decided to abruptly cancel his ASSERT program.

His McCandless area security firm, INPAX Academy of Personal Protection, was set to teach the free hands-on course to parents following the mass shooting at a Florida high school.

>> Read more trending news 

"We were surprised! We knew that there was a sort of concerned parent complaint," he said.

The district announced just before the Wednesday night class that it was canceled because of “unforeseen circumstances.”

The North Allegheny Schools Superintendent said, in part, that “a district parent shared concerns regarding inappropriate content on social media channels affiliated with INPAX.” 

The district alleged those posts violated district policy and weren’t in line with their mission or vision

Rosenberg said the old posts were dug up from his personal Facebook page and weren’t meant to cause harm, but the damage apparently had already been done.

"I was very surprised by that, but at the same time, listen... that was their decision. I understand it. I hope that we have an opportunity to continue our relationship," he said.

"We welcome everybody. This is not about anyone's opinions. About anything political or anything else ... this is about safety."

Georgia teacher, coach accused of sex with student, touching another

Detectives with Georgia's Gwinnett County Police Department have charged former teacher Brad Elliott, 37, of Waleska with one count of sexual battery and one count of sexual assault.

>> Florida woman accused of sexual relationship with boy

Elliott was a teacher and football coach at Buford High School. There were two female victims, both students in Elliott’s classes, police said. Both incidents reportedly occurred on Buford High School property during the current school year. 

>> Former 'principal of the year' accused of sex with students

He is charged with sexual battery for allegedly touching one victim on the buttocks. He is charged with sexual assault for alleged consensual sexual contact between Elliott and a second victim. It is illegal for a teacher to have sexual contact with a student at their own school, even if both parties are over the age of consent. 

>> Special-education teacher accused of sex with student in her classroom

Elliott recently resigned from Buford High School. He was previously a teacher at Roswell High School. 

Elliott turned himself in Wednesday evening and was in custody at the Gwinnett County Detention Center. His bail was set at $22,000, according to a release from the police department. 

>> Read more trending news 

Detectives are investigating the possibility of additional victims and encourage them to come forward. Anyone who has information about additional victims or crimes involving Elliott is encouraged to contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.

Same-sex couple in Mississippi petition to become prom king, queen

A same-sex couple in northern Mississippi have started a petition to be prom king and queen at Hernando High School.

>> Read more trending news

Mallory Boone and Kenzie Ellenberger have gotten more than 1,350 signatures on their petition so far.

They wanted Ellenberger to be placed on the ballot for prom king.

The couple said it was unfair that only a traditional couple could be named prom king and queen.

"Kenzie Ellenberger is trying to be nominated for Prom King. Our principal, Duane Case, has denied that she can be nominated (or) to even be on the ballot for Prom King, when he originally told her YES.” Boone wrote on the petition page. “We wanted to represent the people in Hernando Mississippi who are apart of the LGBTQ community, but with him denying us that wish, we need YOUR help! We will NOT give up! We will keep fighting for what we believe."

Boone told the Clarion-Ledger that she pleased by the response.

“I originally only wanted 200 people to sign and we have a thousand," Boone told the Jackson newspaper. "It's crazy."

The prom is Friday at the Columns in downtown Memphis. Boone and Ellenberger said they will attend.

The DeSoto County School District released a statement that said seniors are “nominated for prom royalty by their peers.”

“School administrators were asked about a couple that wanted to be Prom King and Prom Queen. Students were informed that individuals, not couples, are elected to the court,” the statement said. “Using an online nomination process, students select one male and one female student to represent the senior class. This process ensures that both males and females can participate and serve on the court."

Army, Air Force, Navy: Student receives appointments from 3 academies; which did she choose?

A senior at Glynn Academy High School, in Brunswick, Georgia, has received appointments for three military academies.

The mother of 18-year-old Bliss Hutchings tells Action News Jax, she received appointments to the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy.

>> Read more trending news 

Admissions into all three branches are extremely competitive, according to Prep Scholar. The acceptance rates for the U.S. Military Academy and Naval Academy is nine percent, meaning nine of every 100 applicants are accepted. Acceptance rate of the Air Force is 14 percent.

"This is largely unheard of," mother Shayna Hutchings-Dragotta said.

Hutchings has chosen the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Fake photo of Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez tearing Constitution stirs controversy

A fake viral photo and animated GIF of Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez ripping the Constitution are stirring controversy on social media.

>> March for Our Lives: Emma Gonzalez stands in silence for Parkland victims, stuns crowd

According to Newsweek, the original photo and animation, which accompanied a Teen Vogue article published Friday, showed Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, tearing a target from a shooting range. But the altered versions, which replaced the target with the Constitution, soon made the rounds on Twitter.

>> School district arms students, teachers with rocks in case of school shooting

Far-right website Gab and actor Adam Baldwin, who shared the altered GIF, called the meme political satire. However, several users who replied to their posts appeared to believe the animation was real.

>> Read more trending news 

Phillip Picardi, Teen Vogue's chief content officer, blasted the meme Sunday.

>> See his posts here

Read more here.

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