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Success story: Teen accepted to more than 100 colleges, earns $4.5M in scholarships

There are no limits to what hard work and determination can get you. A teen from North Carolina is a perfect example. 

Jasmine Harrison, 17, has not one, not 10, not even 50 college acceptance letters. She has received 113 letters welcoming her to colleges and universities across the country. On top of that feat, she has been awarded more than $4.5 million in merit-based scholarships, WFMY reported.

>> Read more trending news 

But how does someone apply to enough schools to get 113 acceptance letters?

She used the Common Black College application to apply to 53 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and got into 26 universities, WFMY reported.

She also used the College Foundation of North Carolina College Application Month. Using the special time, she applied to schools in North Carolina for free.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

Then Harrison used the Common Application and applied to 20 more at one time.

So which school did Harrison choose to attend?  That’s Bennett College. She has a full scholarship and will major in biology. She hopes to become a NICU nurse, WFMY reported.

Harrison graduates from The Academy at Smith later this month and expects to have a 4.0 GPA, WFMY reported.

How to get free Chipotle on Teacher Appreciation Day

Chipotle will celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day on May 8 with a tasty deal: buy one, get one free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos at participating stores.

According to the restaurant chain's website, educators can claim their freebie from 3 p.m. to close Tuesday, May 8, by presenting their faculty ID.

>> Read more trending news 

The promotion is limited to "one free entree item per customer," available "for in-restaurant orders only" and "not valid for online, mobile, fax or catering orders," the website says

To be on the safe side, contact your local Chipotle to make sure it is participating in the offer.

Read more here.

Students spray-paint American flag in senior prank, angering veterans, parents

Some Heard County, Georgia, parents say a senior prank went too far when students spray-painted “Seniors 2K18” on an American flag and hung it from the school. 

>> Watch the news report here

The principal at Heard County High School told WSB-TV’s Christian Jennings that the five students responsible for the incident have to do community service and will face suspension.

Veterans in the area just hope the kids truly learned a lesson.

“I was hurt, I was upset, I was angry," Navy veteran Nikki Culpepper said when she saw the photo of the defaced flag.

Culpepper told Jennings that she served her country as an aircraft electrician and comes from a military family.

“It appeared to the community that it was an attack on the flag and after speaking with these children, I realized it wasn’t, it was just youthful ignorance,” Culpepper said.

ON WSBTV.COM:

>> Former NFL player arrested in Georgia: 'I thought I was going to die'

>> Atlanta mayor accepts several resignations in major shakeup of her cabinet

>> Nurse accused of stealing medications from patients at senior living home

It was a senior prank that residents in the small town of Franklin say crossed the line.

“They were just like, ‘We didn’t mean anything by it. We weren’t trying to be disrespectful,'” Heard County High School Principal Brent Tisdale told Jennings.

A picture of the spray-painted flag sparked outrage in the community when it quickly spread on social media.

“We really did want to make it a learning opportunity for these guys,” Tisdale said. 

>> Read more trending news 

In addition to suspending the students, Tisdale immediately rounded up a couple of local veterans, Culpepper included, to come in and explain to the kids why their actions were offensive and hurtful to so many in the community.

“We explained to them what it’s like to lose loved ones. My grandfather served 32 years and is buried at Arlington and (we explained what it was like) to see our friends and loved ones come home underneath that flag and how it made us feel as veterans,” Culpepper said.

“We’ve already talked to (the) VFW here locally. We’ve got the flag, so we’re going to include those guys in a retirement ceremony for the flag and make sure it’s done correctly and make sure they understand the gravity of what the American flag means,” Tisdale told Jennings.

The principal said the students told him they originally found the flag on the side of a road.

Driver evacuates students safely after school bus catches fire

A school bus driver in Florida remained calm and was able to safely evacuate students after the vehicle caught fire on Friday, the News-Press of Fort Myers reported.

>> Read more trending news

Carmen Chavez heard a noise in the engine and observed smoke coming from under the bus’ hood, according to the Cape Coral Fire Department’s Facebook page

Chavez immediately stopped and successfully and safely evacuated 25 middle school students who were on the bus. No one was injured, fire department officials told the News-Press.

The fire was quickly put out, and another bus took the students to school, the News-Press reported.

“I was just doing my job. I was protecting the kids,” Chavez told WBBH. “I am responsible for them, and they are like my own. I love my job.”

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, and another bus took the students to school.

The fire was ruled accidental due to a mechanical failure, according to the fire department. 

4 Ohio children arrested after 'hit lists' found at schools

Ohio police arrested four children after finding a concealed weapon and several “hit lists” at an elementary and middle school in Elyria, WJW reported.

>> Read more trending news

According to police records, on Tuesday a 10-year-old girl brought a large knife in her backpack to Franklin Elementary School. The girl was reported by a student to a fourth-grade teacher, and a 10-year-old boy was identified as working with the girl to write a list of students they wanted to “stab to death,” WJW reported.

"In some of her writings, it mentioned how she wanted to stab people," Elyria Police Captain Christopher Costantino told WJW. "So she actually not only talked about it but brought in something to follow through with her threat."

The list, which was thrown in the trash, was later found by a janitor. Police said the children added names to the list due to “them being mean and not nice to them.”

Also Tuesday, a 12-year-old boy at Eastern Heights Middle School was arrested after allegedly making a list of students to kill. He was discovered when a teacher overheard another student ask the boy to “show me the list of people that you want to kill.”

“The message is this: It's very clear we will not tolerate any type of threats against any students or faculty at any of the schools,” Costantino told WJW. “Each one of these students was charged with aggravated menacing and making terrorist threats and taken to the juvenile home."

The first of these threats was reported last week at Eastern Heights when a 14-year-old student allegedly said she was going to "shoot up the school.” The school’s principal observed a notebook containing a “hit list” containing the names of students and teachers, WJW reported.

“When you say something in a threatening way or in some way that might make others feel unsafe there are consequences to that, and it's essential that parents relay that information and have those conversations at home,” Amy Higgins, communications and marketing director for the district, told WJW.

Missing 15-year-old Kentucky girl found safe in Louisville, police say

A 15-year-old Kentucky girl who left school to leave with an unknown person has been found, WKYT reported Thursday.

>> Read more trending news

Amber Renae Wagers was found safe in Louisville, the Berea Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Wagers, 15, walked out of Berea Community School around 10 a.m. Wednesday to leave with an unknown person, police said.

Investigators believe she met the person through a social media account. She later messaged a friend saying she was possibly heading to Ohio and to call police, WKYT reported.

There were no details about how the police located Wagers, but the Berea police wrote on Facebook that thanks were due to the Kentucky State Police, Louisville Metro Police and the FBI.

Parents say North Carolina teacher played offensive song in class

Parents in Cleveland County said a teacher at Washington Elementary in Shelby forced students to listen to an offensive song last week.

The song "O’Susanna" is well known by most people and no one probably would have paid attention if the teacher played a modern version. But, she played the original version, which is about slavery.

“It was very offensive and uncomfortable,” student Harmony Washington told WSOC.

The 9th grader said she was in the class at Washington Elementary School when the song was played last week.

“I thought it was just coming toward people my color in the room,” she said.

The lyrics in the song mention a racial slur and killing black people.

>> Read more trending news 

Washington and others told their parents and their pastor at Washington Missionary Baptist Church right next door. Pastor Melvin Clark said he was stunned by the lyrics.

Clark said the teacher played the song for multiple classes that day. She warned the students about the language before playing the song but Clark said that is no excuse.

“Why would you even consider this knowing that these words was in this song?” he asked.

Clark heard that the teacher was suspended, but he said that’s not enough. He has a meeting with the superintendent this week and will demand the teacher's termination.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH WSOC’S REPORT (WARNING: OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE)

“There should be nobody wanting a teacher with that mentality teaching in the classroom,” he said.

School board Vice Chairman Richard Hooker said administrators have already taken strong action. He opposes termination but said the teacher may be moved out of this school. He wants sensitivity training for all educators.

“It will be a learning opportunity for us to continue to move beyond,” he said.

Clark said moving the teacher won’t solve the problem, and he and others will keep pushing until she is no longer teaching.

5-year-old claims teacher taped mouth, tossed lunch

A little boy from Michigan says his teachers put tape over his mouth and threw away his lunch and he says he was told not to tell anyone about what happened.

Abdul Dannaoui said it happened back on March 26 at Highview Elementary School, WXYZ reported.

He said it didn’t happen only once either. Abdul told his parents and WXYZ that he has been prevented from eating lunch and his snack up to 10 times. 

>> Read more trending news 

“I’m emotionally heartbroken. Disappointed. That’s his second home. That’s how they treat a child with asthma?” his mother Hoda said to WXYZ.

School officials told WXYZ that the taping incident happened at Great Start Readiness Program at Cherry Hill Baptist Church and that it was a substitute teacher assistant who scotch-taped Abdul’s mouth shut. The person no longer works at the school.

The Dannaouis have filed a police report and are considering legal action against the district, WXYZ reported.

They say a second adult was in the room at the time. That teacher is still working for the district. The family’s attorney, Nabih Ayad, told WXYZ, “One of the teachers was discharged. But, they kept the other teacher who said don’t tell your mom or dad, and even gave him a bracelet to entice him not to tell anyone.”

Abdul is changing schools after the incident.

Beyoncé, Google announce more HBCU scholarships 

Beyoncé has partnered with Google to give more scholarships this year.

The singer’s BeyGOOD initiative initially announced a $100,000 donation to four historically black colleges April 16, just after Beyonce’s Coachella headlining set.

>> Read more trending news 

The announcement last week said that $25,000 each will go to Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama; Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida; Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans; and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, as part of the Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-2019 school year.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

On Monday, BeyGOOD announced that Google.org will match Beyoncé’ original $100,000 grant with scholarships to benefit HBCUs at Texas Southern University in Houston; Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee; Morehouse College in Atlanta; and Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana.

Related: Beyoncé donates $100,000 to historically black colleges in four states

Texas Southern is in Beyoncé’s hometown, and Fisk University of the alma mater of her father, Mathew Knowles. Knowles is also a professor at Texas Southern’s School of Communication.

Mother says preschool banned daughter, other students from using term ‘best friend’

A Georgetown, Massachusetts, preschool is causing controversy by banning students from using the term “best friend.”

WFTXT reported that mother Christine Hartwell said she is outraged after a teacher at Pentucket Workshop Preschool told her 4-year-old daughter she couldn’t call one of her classmates her “best friend.”

The preschool defends its stance, saying banning the term promotes inclusion in the classroom, while Hartwell said it can end up having a negative affect on her daughter.

“How do you police a 4-year-old from expressing their feelings?” Hartwell told WFXT. “It’s outrageous. It’s silly (and) it hurts.”

>> Read more trending news 

Hartwell said she first learned of the ban after her daughter Julia came home from school one day acting differently. Julia told her mother she was upset because her teacher told her she couldn't call one of her classmates her best friend.

“When I asked her what was wrong, she said she was really sad about what her teacher did that day,” Hartwell said.

Hartwell said her daughter is now hesitant to call anyone her best friend, adding that she and her husband went to the director at Pentucket Workshop to find out more about the policy. Hartwell said it’s not spelled out in the school handbook.

The preschool sent a letter to the Hartwell family in response to the issue, saying they’ve done research on the pros and cons of using the term best friend, and that they’ll continue to discourage children from using it in group settings.

“It has been our experience (which spans decades) that the use of the term ‘best friend,’ even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded (...) which can ultimately lead to the formation of ‘cliques’ and ‘outsiders,’” the letter said in part.

Hartwell said having a best friend allow a child to feel more secure at school, and she is removing Julia from the preschool to find a new one where her daughter can still call someone her best friend.

“I want her to be able to express her thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, as children should,” said Hartwell.

The school said it has no comment on the issue.

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