Skimm'd while thanking teachers

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MAY 07, 2020


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Skimm'd while thanking teachers


"It wasn't love at first sight" – Joanna Gaines, who almost didn't go on a second date with Chip. Sometimes, dating requires a little TLC.


The Story

The rules for how US schools and colleges handle sexual misconduct got a rewrite.

What do you mean?

Yesterday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos unveiled the final rules for an overhaul of Title IX. That's a 1970s-era law that bans sex discrimination, assault, and harassment in educational programs that get federal funding (think: grade schools, high schools, and colleges). The goal was to boost rights for accused students and clarify the types of cases schools are required to investigate.

Got it. So what's the rewrite?

The changes narrow the definition of sexual harassment to conduct that is especially "severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive." But they also make clear that relationship violence and stalking are punishable under this law. Then there's the question of what schools do about it.

Go on...

The rules limit the kinds of complaints schools have to investigate, mainly to incidents on campus and in school programs. And require colleges to hold disciplinary hearings that are more like something you'd see in court, with cross-examinations of both the alleged victim and perpetrator. Schools are barred from taking any disciplinary action against the accused until the process is over.

When does this go into effect?

August, before the start of the next semester. That is, unless the rules are held up in the courts. Or Congress reverses them, something that's not expected to happen under a Republican-majority Senate.

What are people saying?

Civil rights groups are calling the rule changes an "important victory" for the rights of the accused, a change from what DeVos described as an Obama-era process that lacked due process. But victims' rights orgs are worried – and warn that forcing victims to face cross examination could discourage them from reporting their assaults.


The education system has been through sweeping changes in recent weeks, affecting tens of millions of students. But yesterday's rule changes could outlast the pandemic, impacting students on schools and college campuses for years to come.


Where people want answers...

Georgia. Earlier this week, a video surfaced that appears to show the killing of an unarmed 25-year-old black man named Ahmaud Arbery. Back in February, Arbery was jogging when he was allegedly chased and shot to death by two white men – a former police officer and his son who claimed they thought he was a burglar. One prosecutor told police that the men had acted within Georgia's self-defense and citizen arrest laws, and the men were never charged or arrested. Now, a prosecutor says the case will be presented in front of a grand jury. It's unclear when that will happen since Georgia courts are closed until mid-June because of the pandemic. But Arbery's family wants arrests now. And their lawyer called the shooting a racially motivated, modern-day "lynching."

Who's hitting the undo button...

President Trump. Yesterday, he backtracked on his plan to phase out the White House coronavirus task force in the coming weeks – and now says it will continue on "indefinitely." But the focus will move toward reopening the country, as well as coordinating the effort to find and produce a vaccine. There could also be personnel changes, though Trump says 'don't worry' – Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx are here to stay, scarves and all.

What people are watching…

India. This morning, at least eight people were killed and hundreds hospitalized after a gas leak at a chemical plant in southern India. The factory –owned by the South Korean company LG Corp –had reportedly been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak and was preparing to restart. LG Corp warns that the leak can cause vomiting and dizziness and is working to help everyone affected. It's not clear how the leak started, but the company and local authorities are looking into it.

What's crunching the numbers…

Tech companies. Since last week, Lyft, Airbnb, and Uber have each announced layoffs. The rideshare companies have seen at least a 70% drop in ride requests in cities worst hit by COVID-19. And Airbnb's struggling with reservations as cancellations have become widespread. The announcements come as more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits – a number that could go up when the April jobs report comes out on Friday.

PS: Here's how to adjust your budget if you've been laid off, furloughed, or had your hours cut.

Who's got a new neighbor…

Earth. Yesterday, scientists said they discovered the closest black hole. It's only 1,000 light-years away. But if you have the Millennium Falcon, you may be able to make it.

...Oh and speaking of space, Tom Cruise is pairing up with NASA to Cruise onto the International Space Station for a new film.

Who's reminding us it's leviOsa, not levioSA…

Harry Potter himself.


Pro tip: Squeeze more life out of your produce…literally. Add lemon juice to sliced apples, avocado halves, and artichokes to prevent browning. And more trips to the grocery store. Nice for your salad and your wallet. We Skimm'd more ways to trim your food bill here.

PS: Want more money tips like this in your inbox? Sign up here.


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all in different ways. No matter your situation, sometimes you just need to press pause. Enter: our picks to help you take a break…

1. Science and art projects for kids. KiwiCo's monthly subscription box sends activities like a make-your-own biomechanical hand and a soap making kit. Cue happy, occupied kids...and some free time for you. PS: Skimm'rs get 40% off.*

2. A playlist to help you unwind. Because you're tired of listening your roommate's FaceTime sessions. With this playlist, you too can be relaxin' all cool.

3. An herb garden kit. So you can spend your thyme growing a mini kitchen garden. Beginners are welcome. Seasoned gardening professionals are too. Ok we'll chill with the herb puns.

PS: Sign up to get a list of things to do, watch, eat, and more to your inbox every Monday.


For when you've started rewatching "Orange is the New Black"...

Something to feed your obsession. Laura Prepon, actress and director, joined our latest episode of "Skimm'd from The Couch," sponsored by Estée Lauder. She talks about her childhood, starting out as a model, and her new book. Listen in.*

For when your main goal in life is to never pay full price…

A trusty sidekick for you. This free browser extension finds, tests, and applies the best coupon codes to your cart. And it works on over 30,000 sites. Think: food delivery, household essentials, and more. Add it now.*

For when your morning routine is a little different these days…

Give it a boost with this company's metabolism powder. It tastes great and helps you feel full and energized. So you can say 'see ya' to brain fog. Psst...Skimm'rs get 20% off. Up and at 'em.*

*PS This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Helping students shine...Andrea R (NC). She's a 5th-grade teacher helping students manage their studies from home. She talked to us about the challenges facing her students, including a lack of internet access, computers, or guaranteed meals. Learn how she and others have stepped up, and how you can thank teachers here.

Smell the flowers with...Lexie C (OR). She's the marketing coordinator at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. After news that the Oregon tulip festival had to be canceled, people began donating to have these tulips sent to seniors in isolation during the pandemic. So far, they've delivered to over 50 places in the state.

(Some) Birthdays...Adam Wenner (DC), Melinda Bakewell (TX), Chloe Gilbreth (MN), Benjamin Brady (NY), Jennifer Ingegno (NY), Rebecca Rothblott (IL), Brittany Panko (MO), Zoe Rafferty (VA), Caitlin Fowkes (MD), Megan Cottage (NY), Stephanie Matt (MO), Erica Ray (CA), Lyzz Lake (OH), Bridget Donahue (DC), Donna Slack (NY)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.