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Kids Are Facing a Mental Health Crisis. Is Social Media to Blame?

By Haven Hamre-Myers, age 15 and IndyKids staff

The reckoning on how social media is impacting kids’ mental health has begun. Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg personally, have been called out for knowing about the issues surrounding their platforms and for their failure to take action.

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Meet an IndyKids Reporter… Aida El-Hajjar, age 12

Twelve-year-old Aida lives in Milwaukee, Wis., and is a seventh-grader at Maryland Montessori School. She strives to help others and to try and make the world we live in a better place. Aida is keeping her options open for future career choices but knows that whatever she does, it will be rooted in writing, art and social justice.

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Tuskless Elephants Are Evolving to Evade Poachers

By Mona Delgado, age 10 and IndyKids staff

Researchers at Princeton University have discovered that many African elephants are evolving to not have their signature look: tusks. During the Mozambique Civil War, from 1977 to 1992, humans killed so many elephants that the species has evolved to become tuskless.

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Henrietta Lacks Receives Posthumous Award

By Sloan Becker, age 10

Henrietta Lacks received a posthumous award from the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2021 finally acknowledging her legacy and large contribution to modern medicine.

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Noncitizens Granted the Right to Vote in Local Elections in NYC

By Lucia Mejia Cardenas, age 13

The New York City Council passed a bill on Dec. 9 granting noncitizens the right to vote in municipal elections. Starting in 2023, green card holders, Dreamers and lawful permanent residents will be able to vote in local elections.

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Men Wrongly Accused of Malcolm X’s Murder Exonerated

By Jessie Mitnick, age 13

Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam spent 20 years in prison for the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. Aziz was released from prison in 1985 and Islam in 1987. The case was recently revisited, and the two were subsequently exonerated of the crime.

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Benton Harbor’s Lead Water Crisis Painfully Similar to Flint 

By Sami El-Hajjar, age 12

Benton Harbor, Mich., is struggling with contamination of their water caused by lead pipes, and residents are blaming the state of Michigan for ignoring the issue for so long. Since 2018, Benton Harbor’s water failed six consecutive sampling tests, and some critics argue that the lead levels exceed those found in Flint, Mich., in 2014, according to PBS.

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States Are Rebranding LGBTQ+ Support in Schools as “Too Political”

By Mila Lemoine, age 10 and IndyKids staff

Some state lawmakers don’t want pride flags in schools. They argue that LGBTQ+ flags are “too political” and “divisive” (something that causes a lot of disagreement and separates people) for classroom use. Several states have already decided to ban pride flags in schools and classrooms, including Oregon, Utah, Missouri, Florida and Texas.

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“COP26 Is a Failure”: Greta Thunberg Says COP Is Now a PR Event

By Aida El-Hajjar, age 12

The Conference of the Parties, or COP, is an annual gathering of world leaders to discuss one issue that has occupied billions of minds: climate change. This year’s COP26 was held in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021. Currently 197 countries participate in the COP. The conference, which was postponed last year because of the pandemic, was considered “a big check-up” to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

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Why is Critical Race Theory Under Attack?

By Luca Cantagallo, age 11 and IndyKids staff

CRT is a way of reexamining U.S. history through a lens of racism. The academic framework was developed in the 1970s and ‘80s and predominantly taught in colleges and universities. It centers on the concept that racism in the United States is systemic and ingrained in institutions⁠—like government, education and media⁠—which, it is argued, work to perpetuate white supremacy. CRT is a complex theory, and according to AP News, there is “little to no evidence that [it] is being taught to K-12 public school students.”

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Line 3 Pipeline Causes Controversy

By Dayanara Hernandez, age 16

Enbridge, a Canadian pipeline corporation, has recently faced an increase in protests from Indigenous, environmental and citizen groups in northern Minnesota opposing the replacement of the Line 3 pipeline.

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Argentina Officially Recognizes Non-Binary People 

By Josey Law, age 10 and IndyKids Staff

Argentina has become the first Latin American country to officially recognize non-binary people. The country is now allowing people to put an “X” on national identity documents if they do not identify as male or female.

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Proposed Abolition Amendment to Address Modern-Day Slavery

By Jessie Mitnick, age 13

The Abolition Amendment aims to revise the 13th Constitutional Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States. These representatives are fighting a so-called loophole in the 13th Amendment, which allows for involuntary servitude to continue as a form of criminal punishment.

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