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Conservatives freak out after school cancels fifth-graders’ ‘Christmas Carol’ play to focus on exams

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Centerville Elementary School in Pennsylvania cancelled its performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and conservatives are freaking out — but they’re kind of confused about what’s going on, according to the Friendly Atheist.

The story, written by Dickens in 1843, is one of an extreme gap in wealth and industry, one of social stratification and capitalism. It’s not one inherently or overtly framed through the lens of Christianity.

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It’s a story where Tiny Tim utters the line “God bless us, everyone,” leading conservative media like Breitbart, Fox, and the Blaze to jump to the conclusion that the school’s traditional reenactment of the story was cancelled for that reason.

According to reports from ABC27, two parents did complain about the line, but that’s not why the annual performance was cancelled.

Shannon Zimmerman, a district spokeswoman said, “It’s not a part of the written curriculum of fifth grade, but students and teachers were required to participate in it and we can’t allow that to continue.” That’s not because of Tiny Tim.

In a message that was sent out to parents of Centerville Elementary School, Principal Tom Kramer wrote that this year’s cancellation was — more than anything else — due to a lack of preparation time because it was taking up to 20 hours to produce.

He wrote:

Over the years, preparations had evolved to take 15 to 20 hours of instructional (educational) time to produce this play. Given changes in state standards in recent years, we could not defend the commitment of this kind of instructional time to something not part of the fifth grade curriculum.

The teachers agreed that they did not want our students to be put at a disadvantage relative to their peers from other schools in preparation for 6th grade; therefore, the play was cancelled. In addition to focusing on high quality instruction, our decision is rooted in the desire to be respectful of the many cultural and religious backgrounds represented by the students attending Centerville Elementary.

One rumor we’ve been addressing is that one or two families influenced this decision. That’s just not true. The instructional time issue was our primary concern. Alternative solutions were explored for offering the play differently, including the use of non-core instructional time, but it was decided by the building team to not go down this path. We also looked at having rehearsals after school hours, but, at this time, parents nor staff members have stepped forward to take advantage of this possibility.

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Trump announces he has unilaterally decided to let Putin back into the G7 Summit: report

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President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he intends to let Russia attend the next Group of Seven summit.

Since 2014, Russia's membership in the organization has been suspending in response to Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea. That changed the name from the G8 Summit to the G7 Summit.

The announcement came from pool reporter Gabby Orr of Politico, who said Trump will also invite South Korea, Australia and India to the next summit, which he is postponing until September.

More via pooler: “‘I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries,’ he said. Alyssa Farah said this is bringing together our traditional allies to talk about how to deal with the future of China.”

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Seattle mayor imposes emergency curfew — set to begin only 14 minutes after her announcement

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The mayor of Seattle announced on Twitter that she would be signing an executive order imposing a curfew.

"I will soon be signing an emergency order and the city of Seattle will be imposing a 5 pm curfew soon," Durkin tweeted at 4:46 p.m. -- only 14 minutes before the order was set to go into effect.

"Crowds need to disburse from downtown immediately," she ordered.

"While many individuals gathered peaceful, some individuals have started fires and are destroying buildings. There are multiple fires downtown and it is an extremely dangerous situation. @Seattelfire (sic) does not have access to buildings," she continued.

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‘Stop it! Stop it’: Shocking video shows young girl in Seattle crying after reportedly being maced by police

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Video posted to social media on Saturday reportedly shows the aftermath after a young girl was maced by Seattle Police.

The girl can be heard screaming as protesters attempted to deliver first aid.

"Stop it! Stop it," she screamed.

Here is a thread Twitter user Kayvon Behroozian posted to Twitter, tagging local media outlets, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin and Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best.

Apparently Officer Campbell (see thread — mustache) of @SeattlePD maced the CHILD crying in this video. He did not provide his badge number upon request, unlike his colleagues. @seattletimes @Q13FOX @MayorJenny @carmenbest (posting on behalf of friend who took these videos/pics) pic.twitter.com/0ojb37RSJt

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