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Report: Man dressed as elf at school Christmas photo shoot is sex offender

A man who dressed as an elf and took Christmas photos with children at an Arkansas elementary has been revealed as a sex offender, KARK reported.

Joshua Duvall was arrested by Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday, the television station reported. He faces a charge of being a registered offender on a school campus, according to court records. 

Friday, the Pulaski County Special School District announced changes to its school visitor scanning process, KARK reported.

The television station, citing a report filed with the sheriff’s office, said Duvall dressed as an elf and went with a man dressed as Santa Claus at Lawson Elementary in Little Rock on Dec. 18. The man dressed as Santa was known to school staff and is a grandparent to one of the school’s students, KARK reported.

The man dressed as an elf was reported as a sex offender by a parent to the school’s principal. The principal reported the information to school district officials, but “no actions were taken” until the principal filed a report with deputies, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Pulaski County Special School District Superintendent Charles McNulty released a statement, saying the Dec. 18 event “fell outside of our normal process of vetting personnel that we allow on district property.”

McNulty added that vetting processes will be followed for all visitors to “ensure our students’ safety.

California high school senior banned from wearing MAGA hat

A California high school senior is fighting a ruling that banned her from wearing her “Make America Great” hat on campus, KGPE reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Maddie Mueller, who attends Clovis North High School in Fresno, belongs to Valley Patriots, a conservative activist group, KOVR reported. The group asked members to wear their MAGA hats Wednesday, but Mueller said school officials denied her permission, citing school dress code rules, the television station reported.

Mueller said her First Amendment rights were being violated.

“How does being a patriot in trying to show pride in your country, how is that inappropriate?" Mueller told KGPE. "To my knowledge (President Donald) Trump is not a logo it's a last name, it's just our president. You can't claim the president is a logo, sports team or affiliated with any gang."

Kelly Avants, spokeswoman for the Clovis Unified School District, said the ruling was a matter of safety.

"Bottom line for us is the dress code is for kids to feel safe at school and free of distractions so they can focus on learning." Avants told KGPE. "Here we are closer to shouting fire in a crowded theater."

According to former federal district judge Oliver Wanger, while Mueller’s First Amendment right is being infringed, the school may have the right to do it.

"If the hat is something that could invoke violence or invoke controversy, then for the sake of the safety for students the school is in their legal right,” KGPE reported

Mueller said she will continue to fight the ruling.

"I don't care if I offend anybody, I'm just showing support for the President and what I believe," Mueller told the television station.

New York City driver jumps curb to pass school buses

New Yorkers are known for being impatient drivers, but some Brooklyn children were put at risk by one person who swerved onto the sidewalk to get around a school bus, WPIX reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The incident occurred Wednesday afternoon in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. Surveillance video shows the driver stuck behind school buses, and the person jumps the curb and tries to go around the vehicles, the television station reported.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind said word spread quickly about the sidewalk driver’s identity, WPIX reported.

"The last thing you imagine is that they might get on the sidewalk outside the school because someone is in a rush," Hikind told the television station. "This guy is a calm guy, nice guy. He's not some guy who lost it, which makes it even more incredible.

"I know who it is. Police are looking for him, local guy, family guy -- hey, it could have been his kids," Hikind told WABC. "That's the message to everybody: don't pass school buses."

6-year-old boy poked, scratched 2 girls with syringe at elementary school, police say

A 6-year-old Arizona boy used a syringe that he found to hurt two girls at a Tempe elementary school, authorities said.

According to KNXV-TV, police said the boy, a student at Scales Elementary School, scratched one girl's face and poked another girl's arm with the syringe on Valentine's Day.

The school's nurse examined the children, and officials alerted their parents, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

Although police said there was no needle on the syringe, one victim's mother, Amanda Sappia, told KTVK that she believes it may have snapped off at some point.

"Being subject to a used needle, it's just scary," Sappia told KTVK. "You don't know what that person had, if they had any contractible diseases or anything."

Police are trying to determine where the boy found the syringe. He will not be charged, KPNX reported.

Teacher denies hitting 5-year-old girl in the eye with ruler: 'Her eczema was acting up'

A 5-year-old student from Memphis, Tennessee, reported a “major infraction” against her Cummings Elementary kindergarten teacher. She told school administrators the teacher hit her over the eye with a ruler. 

>> Watch the news report here

Hailey Turner’s mother told WHBQ last week that the teacher – Tierra Lewis – was back in the classroom less than two weeks after the incident. 

>> On Kindergarten student hit in the face with ruler for 'tattletaling,' family says

“No one should be able to hit my daughter in her eyes without, you know, receiving any consequences or me not knowing the actual story of what happened,” said Ciara Morgan, Turner’s mother

WHBQ got the family the answers they’ve been wanting after they said the Cummings Elementary principal refused to meet with them. We received the documents the Shelby County School District filed in the case.

The report details an “allegation of overly aggressive use of force with a student.” 

It goes on to say an adult heard the “pop” sound of Lewis hitting the student, but Lewis denies it all. 

Turner’s mother said Lewis called Hailey’s aunt and said, “It was a rash. Her eczema was acting up.”

Lewis told labor relations that Turner’s skin was irritated because of her eczema. Lewis admitted to applying ointment on Hailey’s eye that she didn’t have permission to use, officials said.

When asked what the ointment is for, Lewis reportedly replied: “I’m not sure what it’s used for – healing or whatever.”

>> Read more trending news 

Turner’s family said it was not eczema. 

"I actually cried because she had a big bruise around her eye," Morgan said.

The SCS labor relations adviser wrote to Lewis: “I do not find that you were being honest.” 

Lewis, who had been removed from the classroom for six days, was suspended without pay for two days. Now she is back at the school. 

Lewis has less than a year and a half of teaching experience. The Tennessee Department of Education is now reviewing the incident and will decide if Lewis can keep her license. 

The girl’s family decided to remove her from Cummings Elementary for good. She is now at a different elementary school. 

Kindergarten student brings loaded gun to elementary school, officials say

A loaded gun was brought inside a Pittsburgh elementary school Monday, officials said.

>> Watch the news report here

WPXI-TV reports that the weapon wasn't found until after school, when another student told a bus driver that someone had a gun.

Children are not required to go through the metal detectors at Pittsburgh Faison Elementary School in Homewood, but a district spokesperson told WPXI that there are going to be changes in security measures starting Tuesday morning.

>> Read more trending news 

The kindergarten student had the loaded gun, with the safety on, in his backpack, inside his locker.

Officials told WPXI that parents got a notice from the district's phone system.

WPXI is working to find out if the child's parents will be charged.

Papa John's offering free college tuition to corporate employees

Papa John's is tossing a new benefit to employees of the pizza chain.

>> See the tweet here

In a news release last week, the company announced that it has partnered with Purdue University Global, an online university, to offer free tuition for its 20,000 corporate workers under a program dubbed Dough & Degrees.

>> Embattled Papa John’s Pizza founder John Schnatter resigns amid backlash over racial slur

"The new program allows eligible employees to expand their skill set, build leadership and management expertise, and prepare to advance their careers by selecting an online degree program that matches their career goals," the news release said. "Papa John’s team members can enroll in any of Purdue Global’s online associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, including business, information technology, cybersecurity, accounting and finance."

>> Read more trending news 

To participate, employees must have been with the company for more than 90 days and work at least 20 hours a week, WJW-TV reported

The company also said its 70,000 franchise employees can receive "significant tuition and fee reductions" through "an additional education program through the alliance with Purdue Global."

Papa John's is just the latest of several companies that have introduced tuition benefits for employees, including Walmart, Starbucks, Chipotle and McDonald's, according to USA Today.

Read more here or here.

Delaware girl, 7, writes poignant note on arm during school lockdown

A poignant note scrawled on the arm of a Delaware second-grader during a bomb threat at her school has gone viral, the Delaware News Journal reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Vanessa, a 7-year-old who attends the Odyssey Charter School near Wilmington, wrote the message "Love Mom and Dad,” with a purple marker during the lockdown Feb. 7.

Vanessa’s mother, Shelley Harrison Reed, posted the heartbreaking photo on Facebook, and it has been shared more than 111,000 times on social media. 

"So my kids (sic) school had a genuine lockdown today," Reed wrote. "Some whack job called in a bomb threat. Police came and everything was fine, Thank God!"

Reed told WPVI her daughter "had found a little nook in the classroom beside a bookshelf and kind of tucked herself in there.”

Reed asked her daughter why she wrote the message on her arm. Vanessa’s answer brought her to tears, WTXF reported.

“In case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know I love you,” Reed said her daughter replied.

"I can't seem to shake this awful feeling, feeling of sadness, fear and plain disgusts (sic) for this new 'normal' our kids have to deal with on any given day," Reed wrote on Facebook. "It's a very scary and disturbing society we now live in, and it's heartbreaking."

Reed's post — made one week before the anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and injured 14 others — appears to have struck a nerve online. 

Reed told The Hill she did not expect her post to go viral and was not trying to make a statement about gun control, the News Journal reported.

"That's not what this is about," Reed said. "It was just about our children feeling safe in school."

Flooding traps nearly 250 kids attending after-school program

Nearly 250 children in southern California were trapped at the site of their after-school program Thursday after rains flooded the two roads to the building, KNSD reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Flooding Thursday blocked access to the After School Learning Tree in San Diego just as the children were preparing to leave for the day, the television station reported.

"I kinda expected it ’cause the rain was super heavy this morning, but I didn't expect this long,” parent Jie Kyn told KNSD

Kyn said she had to wait more than an hour to pick up her son and daughter, the television station reported.

Eventually, the water levels receded enough so the children could be transported by van to a nearby train station to reunite with their parents, KNSD reported.

3 boys buy Valentine's Day flowers for every girl at Kansas middle school

Three boys at a middle school made sure that every girl felt special on Valentine’s Day.

>> Read more trending news 

It’s not surprising that one of the Kansas cupids was named Valentine.

Eighth-grader Tristan Valentine, seventh-grader Kyan Rice and sixth-grader Lincoln Holmes pooled their money to buy flowers for all 270 girls and 70 female staff members at Summit Trail Middle School in Olathe, KMBC reported.

The three boys got to school early Thursday with buckets of carnations and passed out the flowers to every girl at the school.

“We wanted every girl to feel important and special on Valentine’s Day,” Valentine told KMBC. “We worked hard to make sure it was going to be a surprise to everybody. I only told a few friends, and the girls seemed surprised and happy.”

"I thought it was a great opportunity to give back because being able to make every girl in school at Summit Trail happy on Valentine's Day means a whole lot to everybody," Rice told KSHB

>> Man gives roses to single women for Valentine’s Day 

Summit Trail Principal Sarah Guerrero knew about the plan in advance and eagerly approved it. She told KMBC it was “refreshing to see three young men go out of their way to make others feel happy.” 

“I got chills seeing it happen,” Guerrero told the television station. “The ladies were so excited. It gives them something to look up to and feel good about themselves.”

Holmes said other boys said they wished they had thought of the idea.

“One guy even tried to buy a flower for $5 from me,” Holmes told KMBC. “Summit Trail is a special school. And who knows, maybe we started a new tradition here.”

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