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A free summer seminar for experienced high school journalism advisers

From the 23 teachers who attended this workshop in July 2019, we have included Solutions Journalism Story Ideas, other Story Ideas for a whole range of topics and Tech Examples of something they learned, many of these for data visualization, plus some resources anyone can use in the future for these topics.

Solutions Journalism Idea

  • Idea
    • What can be done to help fight the rise of student vaping? Students are waiting in line for the bathrooms for a longer period of time due to students vaping in the stalls and administrators closing bathrooms to deter student use of e-cigarettes.
  • Covers a RESPONSE to a problem and HOW response happened
    • Due to the increased number of students using e-cigarettes/vaping in the bathrooms both during classes and between classes, administrators chose a two-pronged response: one was to close certain student bathrooms in the school and the other was to post monitors outside the entrance to the main student bathrooms across from the cafeteria.
  • Provides EVIDENCE of impact, looking at effectiveness, not just intentions
    • This could be difficult to determine, but it could be done in a couple of ways. One would be doing anonymous surveying of students to determine if the closing of the bathrooms and the implementation of monitoring have deterred them from vaping at school. Another could be asking administrators for data regarding the number of disciplinary actions needed for students being caught vaping in the bathrooms.
  • Provides INSIGHTS that can help others respond
    • Research various solutions and reach out to schools that have found success in combatting the vaping epidemic to determine what methods they’re using to deter the use of e-cigarettes. I’ve heard of schools implementing humidity detectors and removing the doors from the bathroom stalls. Some schools have also been focusing on the prevention and treatment of students addicted to the nicotine in e-cigarettes rather than or in addition to disciplinary action. I’ve found an article that contains insights into other districts’ responses and their effectiveness here.
  • Points out any LIMITATIONS or caveats of the response
    • Obviously, closing bathrooms is an unrealistic and harmful solution. Since a certain number of bathrooms are required by student, having a student body of approximately 1,300 kids would necessitate (or so I assume) almost every available bathroom in the school being open. The lack of available bathroom monitors outside each bathroom would also limit the administration’s response to the problem.
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