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BYU is allowing Coca-Cola, caffeinated soda on campus and everyone is freaking out

On Thursday morning, Brigham Young University announced the university will offer caffeinated soft drinks – including Coca-Cola – on campus and fans couldn’t contain their excitement.

The BYU Twitter account posted the news along with a Q&A with BYU director of dining services Dean Wright on the decision to bring caffeinated soft drinks on the Provo, Utah, campus for the first time since the mid-1950s.

>> Read more trending news

BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and requires students to adhere to a strict honor code in line with the church’s beliefs. The honor code enforces a mandated dress code, personal grooming standards as well as abstinence from premarital sex, drugs and alcohol.

BYU is the largest religious university and third-largest private university in the United States.

>> Click here or scroll down for more

Texas students told ‘It’s the law’ to stand for Pledge of Allegiance

A presentation telling students that they have to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because it's the law has caused controversy at a Texas high school, the Houston Chronicle reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Juniors and seniors at Midland High School were given a presentation on the Pledge of Allegiance earlier this month, with a slide saying it's the law to stand during the pledge and stay silent during the moment of silence, KOSA reported.

“It's basically a law,” Seth Ortega told KOSA. “We need to stand to respect our country, and those who died.”

A 1943 Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia -- West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette -- protects students from having to say the pledge.

Lacy Sperry, executive director of communications for Midland ISD, told the Chronicle that the slide "was taken out of context" and that school administrators have addressed the issue. 

"According to the Texas Education Code, Sec. 25.082, we are required to have students recite the U.S. pledge and the Texas pledge at least once a day, and we are required to have a moment of silence following the recitation of pledges," Sperry said via email. "As a protocol, we ask students to stand and remain standing. We honor any parental request for students to opt-out of the recitation of the pledge on any of our campuses." 

According to the Texas Education Code, the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence is required from students daily. Students' parents or guardians can give written permission to have their children excluded.

A week after the controversy began, the Midland ISD released a second statement:

 "Midland ISD received an inquiry from CBS 7 regarding a slide included in a PowerPoint presentation to Midland High School students this week. The information included in the slide if viewed out of context is confusing. However the slide was used as part of a presentation to students detailing the activities during the school day. Texas Law from the Texas Education Code - EDUC § 25.082. School Day; Pledges of Allegiance; Minute of Silence, requires the inclusion of the pledges and moment of silence during the school day. However it is not a mandate for every student. MISD policy includes provisions for parents to request their child be excluded from participating. Once again, nothing has changed. The PowerPoint slide was part of a presentation and described to the audience. Campus administrators have reviewed the slide and rearranged the text to ensure that no one else is confused by the contents of the slide."

Comments supporting and opposing the presentation could be found on KOSA’s Facebook page.

"This is pure propaganda. There is no law stating that you must stand for the pledge of allegiance. This is actually against your freedom of speech. I can choose to stand or not stand," Jayson Brown commented on KOSA’s Facebook page. 

“You have the right to kneel but it's disrespectful to all the people who have died and suffered to give you that right,” Steve Benner said on Facebook.. 

"The pledge is a lovely patriotic poem, but is not embedded in our legal nor political systems at all except as a cultural expression of our love of country," Joanna Tousley-Escalante wrote. 

Deputies: Teacher accused of sex crime exchanged messages via Facebook

A North Carolina middle school teacher was arrested and charged with a sex crime involving a child, officials with the Rowan County Sheriff's Office said.

>> Read more trending news 

Parents of a student complained that Mark Dexter, 42, sent inappropriate messages to their child through Facebook, deputies said.

Investigators determined that it appeared the child and teacher were involved in an online relationship and the messages date to Sept. 9.

Deputies said Dexter was making plans for the child to come to his home, and more than 1,000 messages were exchanged resulting in more than 400 pages of evidence.

Detectives said Dexter admitted to exchanging messages with the student, and some of the messages were sent while at the school from his personal cellphone.

"You send your kids to school and you think they're safe and look, they're not," parent Elizabeth Padgett said.

Dexter is charged with taking indecent liberties with a student by a school guardian following his arrest on Wednesday.

"It definitely needs to stop,” nanny Savannah King said. “That's the problem with social media these days and young children. Sometimes they get into stuff they're not meaning to."

School officials said Dexter was hired at Morgan Elementary on July 27, 2004, and started at Erwin Middle School on Aug. 17, 2005. He taught math and social studies.

Dexter resigned Wednesday.

Dexter's bond is set at $150,000. 

In a statement, Rowan-Salisbury Schools officials said “We are sad and heartbroken any time we receive reports of inappropriate conduct toward any of our students.

“We will continue moving forward in keeping safety a top priority in our schools,” the statement said.

School suspends 5-year-old for making ‘terroristic threats’ about backpack bomb

A California elementary school suspended a 5-year-old kindergartner after he joked that he had a bomb in his backpack, his family said.

KCRA in Sacramento reported that Jackson Riley, of Modesto, was in his third week of school at Great Valley Academy, a public charter school, on Aug. 31 when he refused to take his backpack off. He told his teacher he couldn’t take his backpack off because a bomb inside the bag would explode if he did.

When the teacher asked to look inside the bag, she found nothing dangerous, the news station reported.

Jackson still received a one-day suspension, his father, Ian Riley, said. The letter his parents received stated the boy had “intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation.” 

“We said, ‘This doesn’t fit, and furthermore, we don’t really feel like our son was threatening you,” Riley told KCRA. “He’s got an imagination. In his mind, he’s being this hero that’s preventing you from being exploded from man imaginary bomb in his backpack.”

The Modesto Bee reported that the school told the Rileys that the code violation best fit what Jackson had done. When the family pointed out that the code applied only to students in grades four through 12, they received a second letter.

The new letter changed the violation Jackson was accused of to making “terroristic threats,” the Bee reported.

“My son never made a threat, never wanted to blow up the school,” Riley told the newspaper

Riley and his wife, Michelle, had a talk with their son about what is proper to say at school and what isn’t, and told him to follow his teacher’s rules -- including taking his backpack off when told to do so.

The suspension didn’t phase Jackson, his parents said. The next day, he was outside picking flowers to bring to his teacher. 

>> Read more trending news

His parents remain upset, however, because they’ve been told that the suspension will remain on their son’s permanent record. They are meeting with school officials on Friday to see if it can be resolved.

Great Valley Academy officials declined to comment on the incident, stating only that the school takes student safety and discipline seriously, the Bee reported

High school under fire after 'slavery lesson' outrages parents

A California high school is enduring harsh criticism after parents say educators took a lesson on slavery too far.

>> Read more trending news

Eighth-grade students at Whitney High School in Cerritos reportedly were forced to role-play as slaves while teachers pretended to be ship captains. Before the students entered the classroom, the teacher bound their hands with masking tape and made them lie on the floor and watch a clip from “Roots,” the San Francisco Gate reported.

>> On Rare.us: Social media backlash prompts video game creators to edit out this controversial scene from slavery education game

One mother took to Facebook to complain about the activity. She said she received an email from the school explaining the exercise and claims that when she complained, the department chair “mansplained the activity” to her and said “he thinks it’s great and will continue.” She also attached emails from the school in which an administrator said the exercise “is from a recognized supplier of curriculum” and that “the exercise is not designed to demean anyone, but to give them a glimpse into something that is very difficult for young people to wrap their minds around.”

>> See the post here

On Monday, school officials announced that they were removing the lesson from the curriculumCBS Los Angeles reported. Students interviewed by the station said that they agree with the decision to pull the activity. Multiple outlets have requested a comment from Whitney High School but have received no response.

'Move back to Africa': Teacher dismissed after alleged racist Facebook post

A Mississippi teacher has been dismissed from her job after a racist Facebook post appeared on her page.

>> Read more trending news

Officials confirmed to Fox13Memphis that Cammie Rone was dismissed from her position as a teacher at Mississippi’s Batesville Intermediate School. The school serves about 600 students in the second and third grades, according to the school’s website.

>> Related: Mississippi teacher under fire for alleged racist Facebook post

A post on Cammie Rone's Facebook page said: "If blacks in this country are so offended no (one) is forcing them here. Why (don’t) they pack up and move back to Africa where they will have to work for a living." 

It went on to say the government will “pay for it.”

In a second post, Rone claimed that she was hacked.

"If anyone knows me I post about cows, recipes, and home improvements. Not racism,” she wrote.

In a statement to Fox13Memphis, school district officials said Monday that they were aware of the incident and that Rone had been placed on administrative leave. A school district spokesperson told the news station on Wednesday that she was no longer an employee of the South Panola School District.

She has the option to appeal, officials said.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Parents outraged after teacher gives profanity-laced homework assignment 

A Georgia middle school teacher is out of the classroom after a controversial assignment for kids, including rap lyrics with racial slurs.

>> Read more trending news 

WSB-TV talked to a child and her mother Tuesday night who said she just had to act.

Mother, Crishana Wright said lessons are an important part of her youngest child’s education as Kalani Wright makes her transition into middle school.

But Wright said one assignment that came home had no place in the classroom.

"It was really against everything I try to teach them, you know?” Wright told WSB-TV.

She said she was stunned to read explicit lyrics on a worksheet that was handed out by a music teacher at DeKalb County's Bethune Middle School.

The assignment contained expletives, violence and sexually suggestive lyrics, all in print.

"I'm reading all these words, and I immediately asked her why she had this and she said it was an assignment," Wright said.

"I saw that and I was like, ‘My mom would be mad,’” sixth-grader Kalani said.

The exercise was for sixth-graders to take the rap lyrics and come up with their own positive words.

"I don't really see how you can make that positive but to say don't do it," Wright said.

Wright said she understands the purpose but says this wasn't thought out. Willis brought Wright's concerns to the school district.

In a statement, the superintendent wrote:

“The assignment was inappropriate, unacceptable and contrary to our standards. The employee responsible has been removed from the classroom and will be held accountable for such poor judgment. While we encourage teacher creativity, the expectation is that the instruction is always standards-based and age appropriate.”

"I think we all kind of know when it may be a problem, then if that's the case don't take the chance," Wright said. "You're dealing with children's minds; you have to be very cautious."

The teacher later issued an apology, saying, “At no time should students be subjected to this type of language at impressionable ages. Regardless of my best intentions, I failed miserably. I should have used better judgment.”

Three arrested in violent Georgia Tech protests after police shoot student

Anger over the police shooting of a Pride Alliance leader at Georgia Tech turned violent Monday night, as protesters set a campus police car ablaze following a candlelight vigil.

>> Read more trending news

Two police officers received minor injuries, Tech spokesman Lance Wallace said. One was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, treated and released, he said.

Three people were arrested and were identified by Tech authorities as Vincent Castillenti, Jacob Wilson and Cassandra Monden. It was not immediately clear if they were students at the university.

Wilson was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, and three misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass.

Monden — who was identified as Andrew Xavier Monden by the Fulton County Sheriff’s office — was charged with a felony count of interference with government property and inciting to rioting, which is a misdemeanor.

Castillenti was charged with felonies including aggravated assault on an officer and willful obstruction of an officer by use of threats or violence.

The three are expected in court for first appearance hearings Wednesday morning.

The parents of Scout Schultz — who had appeared earlier in the day with their attorney to question the deadly shooting — released a statement Monday night calling for calm.

“We ask that those who wish to protest Scout's death do so peacefully. Answering violence with violence is not the answer. Our goal is to work diligently to make positive change at Georgia Tech in an effort to ensure a safer campus for all students,” they said.

“This is how we will truly honor Scout's life and legacy.”

Students planned to set up tables across campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday for “campus members to write letters and on posters to show support for Scout's family and friends (as tonights vigil was interrupted) as well as GTPD,” according to a Facebook post.

The evening began with a peaceful vigil to remember Scout Schultz, a 21-year-old engineering student from Lilburn. Schultz was gunned down by campus police late Saturday night. The GBI is investigating.

But about 50 students left the vigil and began to march toward the Tech police headquarters at Hemphill Avenue and Ferst Drive.

At 9:28 p.m., Georgia Tech tweeted that students should “shelter in place” due to “violent protests on campus.” Officers from the Atlanta Police and nearby Georgia State University were called in to to assist Georgia Tech police.

Chad Miller, a Tech alumnus taking part in the march, said he thought tear gas had been deployed. Miller told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he was right behind the police car when it erupted into flames.

“All I heard was metal hitting metal,” Miller said. “I’m guessing it was fireworks, there were some pretty powerful ones.”

“I was marching with them until they got in front of the police station and then all hell broke loose.”

Miller said he saw one man who may have been a police officer throwing up and coughing.

Schultz was shot and killed after a confrontation with Georgia Tech campus police late Saturday night. Police have said Schultz had a knife and refused commands to stop.

But Chris Stewart, a lawyer for the family, said Schultz was carrying a small utility tool and the blade wasn’t out. 

Schultz’s parents have questioned why police didn’t use non-lethal force.

The GBI said Monday Schultz had left behind three suicide notes and called 911.

“Why did you have to shoot?” Scout’s father, Bill Schultz, asked at a news conference Monday. “That’s the only question that matters right now.”

Schultz was the head of the Georgia Pride Alliance, which had helped organize Monday night’s vigil. The group advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual individuals.

Dad challenges school dress code after 13-year-old daughter punished for 'distracting boys'

The father of a California middle school girl is standing up for his daughter after she was cited for violating her school’s controversial dress code.

>> Watch the news report here

According to KTVU, officials at Fisher Middle School in Los Gatos, near San Jose, informed 13-year-old Demetra Alarcon that the romper she wore to school recently was distracting to boys. Her father, Tony, brought her a change of clothes — jean shorts and a tank top — but school officials determined that outfit was inappropriate as well. Luckily, the father found a pair of leggings in the car as backup, but says the dress code unfairly targets girls.

>> On Rare.us: High school boys ticked about girls getting dress coded are raising eyebrows with their protest

“I mean, today it’s 90 degrees outside, and she’s wearing leggings because she doesn’t want to be dress-coded for wearing shorts. And it’s not OK. It needs to change,” Tony Alarcon told CBS News.

>> Read more trending news

He told the Mercury News: “Demetra isn’t alone. Just sit in Fisher’s parking lot, and you’ll see that. I’ve heard from multiple girls that they just want to be comfortable, but they feel like they’re being pushed into wearing leggings in 100-degree heat. I was told by an administrator that the girls’ clothes are a distraction to the boys. That shouldn’t be a concern.”

While Alarcon agrees students should be dressed appropriately for school, he doesn’t agree tank tops in extreme heat are inappropriate. He also added that it’s difficult to find girls’ shorts that meet the school’s 4-inch length requirement in most stores. He finds the regulations on girls’ clothing to be discriminatory, so he’s fighting back, saying, “You have to stand up for what’s right and that’s what I’m doing.”

>> On Rare.us: A Catholic high school is under fire for its prom dress code, which appears to body shame female students

The school district met last week to discuss the dress code but has not announced any changes. Fisher Principal Lisa Fraser defended the code in a statement that read, “There has always been a dress code. These are standards for reasonable decorum. I do reserve the right to set guidelines for the school, but I want to lead with the pulse of the community and reflect the community’s core values.”

Mississippi teacher under fire for alleged racist Facebook post

A teacher is out of the classroom after a racist Facebook post appeared on her page.

>> Read more trending news

Officials confirmed to Fox13Memphis that Cammie Rone is a teacher at Mississippi’s Batesville Intermediate School. The school serves about 600 students in the second and third grades, according to the school’s website.

A post on Cammie Rone's Facebook page said: "If blacks in this country are so offended no (one) is forcing them here. Why (don’t) they pack up and move back to Africa where they will have to work for a living." 

It went on to say the government will “pay for it.”

>> See the latest on Fox13Memphis.com

In a second post, Rone claimed that she was hacked.

"If anyone knows me I post about cows, recipes, and home improvements. Not racism,” she wrote.

In a statement to Fox13Memphis, school district officials said they were aware of the incident.

"We are aware of the alleged Facebook comment involving one of our employees,” the statement said. “That employee has been placed on administrative leave as we continue our investigation into the matter."

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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