Parkland School Students Prepare For Return To Stoneman Douglas High School After Massacre

An assembly Sunday (Feb. 25) helped eased students back into the space 17 people lost their lives. 

On Sunday (Feb. 25), Stoneman Douglas High School held an orientation just a few days before students make their return to campus since the tragic Feb. 14 shooting.

ABC News reports the orientation included plans for continuing classes, which will return on a modified schedule Wednesday (Feb. 28). Classes in full will begin March 5. But naturally, parents and students are both hesitant. They’ll sit in classrooms on the grounds where just two weeks ago gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people, including members of the faculty.

The memory is one ingrained in the repertoire of an entire nation, a reminder that danger always skulks. Parents worry that the school is still missing the protection that they needed to be assured of in the first place. One father told the outlet, “I’m sending [my son] back on Wednesday with no progression on gun control, no progression on school safety.”

Still, others are hopeful. Some returned to the school wearing shirts that read “MSD Strong”  or walked in hand in hand with other survivors. Building 12, where the shooting took place, will not be reopened. There are also reports that the building might be demolished and replaced with a memorial for the victims.

Members of similar communities like the survivors of the Columbine High School shooting have reached out with tips on how the school administration should approach the upcoming weeks. “The first few good days you have can also be the hardest,” Paula Reed, an English teacher who survived the 1999 attack said. "You think you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's actually an oncoming train."

Frank DeAngelis, principal of Columbine High School, says the slightest thing can trigger victims like the sound of the fire alarm or what was cooked in the cafeteria the day of the shooting. Speaking with USA Today, DeAngelis explains those changes as well as counseling for teachers should be implemented.

"If they don't take care of themselves, it will be impossible for them to care for anyone else," DeAngelis said. "They’re going to want to put on a tough face for the students, but they are also hurting. You have to remember that you're not in this alone."

READ: Parkland Shooting Survivors Confront Marco Rubio & NRA Spokeswoman In Emotional Town Hall

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Rihanna And Twitter CEO Donate $4 Million To Help Domestic Violence Survivors Amid Pandemic

Rihanna and her Clara Lionel Foundation are teaming with Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, to donate a combined $4.2 million to aid domestic violence victims amid the global pandemic.

“We’re joining forces with Twitter/Square CEO @Jack today by co-founding a $4.2 million grant to the Mayors Fund LA to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order,” reads a message posted to the Clara Lionel Foundation’s Instagram account on Thursday (April 9).

Dorsey pledged $1 billion towards COVID-19 relief, which he announced earlier in the week. The $4.2 million donation ($2.1 million from Rihanna's foundation and $2.1 million from Dorsey) will provide 10 weeks of support which includes shelter, meals and counseling for domestic violence survivors and their children “at a time when shelter are full and incidents are on the rise.”

Domestic violence rates have spiked around the world amid the coronavirus outbreak. Advocates fear that mandatory stay-at-home orders, loss of employment and economic stress along with school closures and court closures will make it harder for people in abusive relationship to seek assistance.

“For someone in an abusive relationship this is kind of a worst-case scenario,” Alyson Messenger, a managing staff attorney for domestic violence organization, the Jenesse Center, told the Los Angeles Times. “Compound that with the fact that access to service is more difficult than ever.”

In addition to her latest act of generosity, Rih Rih has donated $5 million in COVID-19 relief aid and sent supplies for health care workers in New York. She also sent a ventilator to her father after he contracted the viral disease.

 

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We're joining forces with Twitter/Square CEO @Jack today by co-funding a $4.2 million grant to the #MayorsFundforLA to address the current crisis for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles as a result of the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order. These funds will provide 10 weeks of support including shelter, meals and counseling for individuals and their children suffering from domestic violence at a time when shelters are full and incidents are on the rise. #startsmall #CLF

A post shared by Clara Lionel Foundation (@claralionelfdn) on Apr 9, 2020 at 2:30pm PDT

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Colin Kaepernick Reportedly Hopes To Join An NFL Team In Time For 2020 Season

Colin Kaepernick is reportedly looking to return to the NFL by the start of the new football season. Kaepernick was trending on Twitter on Thursday (April 9) after a Sports Center parody account tweeted that he inked a one-year $9 million deal with the New York Jets.

The story was fake, but according to TMZ Sports, Kaepernick could be interested in becoming a member of the Jets team. While it’s not clear if the Jets would consider adding Kaepernick to the roster, the website claims that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback plans to reach out to the Jets and other teams with hopes of getting him back on the field in time for the 2020 NFL season, which begins in September.

The 32-year-old athlete hasn’t played on a team since becoming a free agent in 2017, and devoting much of his time to social activism. In November, Kapernick participated in an ill-fated workout in front of multiple NFL teams.

“I’ve been ready for three years. I’ve been denied for three years,” Kaepernick said at the time. “So we are waiting for the 32 owners, 32 teams and [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell to stop running. Stop running from the truth, stop running from the people. We are ready to play. We are ready to go anywhere.”

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Usher And Diplo Weigh In On The Weeknd Claiming He Inspired “Climax”

While the internet remains divided over whether or not The Weeknd inspired “Climax,” Usher and the song’s producer, Diplo, are weighing in on the matter.

In response to all the hoopla, Diplo took to Twitter on Thursday (April 9) to confirm The Weeknd’s assertion that his House of Balloon mixtape inspired Usher’s 2012 hit single. “The production on Climax lends itself to House of Balloons era @theweeknd,” tweeted Diplo. “When I heard those early records they blew my mind - soulful in their silences, and a spacey iconic voice that felt uniquely internet. the idea of R&B having dark edges was what I wanted to bring to @usher.”

The Weeknd replied by accusing the media of blowing the story “out of proportion” and noted, “Usher is king and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on ‘Climax.’”

Of course media blows things out of proportion and takes things out of context. Usher is a King and always an inspiration so it was flattering to hear what him and Diplo did on climax. XO https://t.co/GdLX4xD58a

— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) April 9, 2020

Usher hasn’t directly responded to The Weeknd but he tweeted an analogy for fans to decipher.

Have you ever seen the moon bark back at the dog?

— Usher Raymond IV (@Usher) April 9, 2020

On Wednesday (April 8), the “Don’t Waste My Time” singer took to his Instagram Stories to kick off the #ClimaxChallenge with an acapella performance.

[email protected] joined in on the #ClimaxChallenge on Instagram. But first, let’s hear some of the entries, shall we? 👀👂🏾 pic.twitter.com/B7rEC8j5tQ

— Vibe Magazine (@VibeMagazine) April 9, 2020

The Weeknd made mention of Climax during an interview with Variety magazine where he stated that his House of Balloons mixtape “literally changed the sound of pop music” right before his eye.

“I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f**k that’s a Weeknd song,” said the Toronto native. “It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right, but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”

The 2012 Diplo-produced track, which was co-written by Elijah Blake, was the lead single off Usher’s Looking 4 Myself album. When “Climax” first dropped many assumed that song was a sexual reference. Usher later explained that the track was actually a break up story wrapped in a double entendre.

“When you’re in a relationship, or what you figure to be a relationship, and it’s kinda reached the climax of where it could go, you gotta’ let it go if you’re not going to commit,” he shared in an interview with Atlanta’s V103 radio station. “It’s not about sex, it’s about an out of control experience and the person has reached the peak of that experience.”

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