It’s a complicated world we live in. Students face new challenges, like threats of violence at school. But they also are opening up to old ideas that previously may not have been openly accepted, like nonbinary gender identity and the power of mindfulness in educational settings. Learn more through the articles below. Wish you saw these stories these sooner? Sign up for our newsletter here.

Assessing student threats

When a student threatens violence, how should schools, police and the community respond? What’s the best way to keep everyone, including that student, safe? This Inlander report discusses a threat assessment program in Eastern Washington. “We try to provide an intervention to slow that forward momentum on that path of violence and get back to a good place, by instilling services and support,” threat assessment coordinator Leon Covington says. “Let’s get them involved in something positive. Let’s get them more connected to the school community, as opposed to disconnected from it.”

Mindfulness in the classroom

There’s a school in Tennessee that’s tapping into the power of mindfulness to help cut the number of behavior problems. Data at that school and others show this potential solution is working. But this NPR report adds a few caveats: It takes time to teach mindfulness skills, teachers need to practice them, too, and mindfulness alone doesn’t make up for systemic racism and implicit biases, which can also lead to discipline issues in schools.

Gender expression in high school

For genderqueer students at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, the Gender Sexuality Alliance club offers a space where they feel safe. In this Nordic News article from earlier this month, nonbinary students talk about their experiences in high school and what could be done to make the community as a whole more inclusive of nonbinary gender expression. “It’s not rude to ask somebody’s pronouns, especially if they’re nongender conforming,” said student Bren Bartol. “We’re not going to get offended if you ask; we’re actually gonna be really happy.”