Will Kennedy decision change the religious landscape in public schools?
School officials in Whatcom County say policies regarding religious practices for all parties have not and will not change as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.
Law into action: teaching sexual inclusivity in school sexual education
Local public school districts are preparing to meet new state mandates for teaching about sexuality and gender.
Tribal sovereignty education comes—slowly—to school curriculum
Public school districts are working with tribes to develop a crucial new curriculum on tribal sovereignty and treaty rights.
Confrontations, demands for parents’ rights challenge local school boards
Impassioned conversations are occurring nationwide as sometimes large groups of parents show up at once sparsely attended school board meetings — including in Whatcom County — with local issues including COVID-19 mask mandates, critical race theory and sexual health education.
Not taking it: the hows and whys of religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement
With some employees seeking religious or medical exemption from the state’s COVID-19 mandate, employers and workers both have continued to adapt over the past month to how that plays out in the workplace. Receiving a medical exemption is often relatively straightforward, but religious exemptions are less so, in the application and the approval processes.
In country, town and city, treatment for drug addiction is urgently needed
Harm reduction programs and collaborations among police, health professionals and society at large pave the pathways to treatment needed by those addicted to drugs, agreed an expert panel at the recent Ralph Munro seminar. Along with looking at why people turn to drugs and how to get them the help they need to overcome addiction, the panel offered ideas as to what’s needed in the way of policy.
On the street and in the forum: tackling homelessness with meaningful solutions
The complex and urgent problem of homelessness has been the focus of academics and policy makers as well as people with a firsthand knowledge of the experience, in two separate gatherings recently in Bellingham — and activists say that those most affected should be involved in creating solutions.
COVID-19 cases highest among 18- to 24-year-olds as students return to campuses
At the same time students were returning to university, community college and technical college campuses that had been closed to in-person instruction for a year and a half — and where full vaccination against COVID-19 is now required — the 18- to 24-year-old age group was reporting the highest number of cases.
Pack a lunch, don a mask: kids go back to school in person as COVID-19 persists
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, students are dusting off backpacks, packing lunches — and picking out masks to accompany their back-to-school outfits.
In an age of social controversy, the show goes on
Theater producers, actors and audiences are bringing new perspectives to the question of what play content may be inappropriate, offensive or even harmful. Responses to a recent choice by Western Washington University’s theater department prompted a debate of those questions among the local theater community.
Major funding, new policies aim to provide ‘basic necessity’ of broadband
State legislators approved a record $411 million in the capital budget this session to expand high-speed internet across the state, in particular in communities with limited or zero connectivity.
Books under scrutiny: censorship and cancel culture in a changing society
In a time of massive reevaluation of once widely accepted tropes, celebrities have been called out for past insensitivities and much worse, schools renamed and statues toppled. But what does it mean when books are brought into the discussion?
‘Crazy’ high school sports seasons arrive … better late than never
High school athletics have finally returned in Whatcom County after being delayed through the first half of academic calendars by COVID-19 restrictions.
Masked young adults key to beating COVID in the long term
With the number of COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County spiking among young adults, the county council has approved a public awareness campaign to influence young adults to adopt safer COVID-19 behaviors and help end the pandemic.
Internet connectivity has improved in Whatcom County, but many gaps remain
One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many more students in Whatcom County are able to connect to the internet for remote learning, thanks to communitywide efforts, particularly in rural communities with limited or no internet options. Still, a clear digital divide remains.
Community Voices / Powerful stories bring understanding, in celebration of Black History Month
The study and knowledge of Black history bring understanding to race and racism in the United States.