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Massachusetts Math Teacher Murdered; School Shooting in Nevada

Aired October 24, 2013 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Today`s edition of CNN STUDENT NEWS begins with two tragedies involving school violence. There are seven schools in Danvers, Massachusetts. Yesterday, officials closed all of them. That happened after the body of Colleen Ritzer, a math teacher at Danvers High School was found in the woods behind the school. A 14-year old has been charged with the murder. Students describe Ritzer as an excellent teacher who wanted to help anyone in any way she could. The school said Danvers will feel this loss for many years. The news from Massachusetts came two days after a shooting at a middle school in Nevada. Authorities say a 12- year old wounded two students and shot and killed a teacher before killing himself. Police officials say the teacher, Mike Landsberry, appeared to be trying to stop the incident when he was shot. They described what he did as heroic, walking toward the shooter and giving other students the chance to get away.

Many of your schools have plans for dealing with violence. You might have practiced lockdown drills. Stories like this aren`t easy to talk about, if you do want to talk about school violence, there is a post on our blog for you to do that. Students 13 and older can go to Teachers, we`ve also included questions in today`s daily curriculum to help you address tough topics like this in your classrooms.


ANNOUNCER: Is this legit? The U.S. Surgeon General runs the Health and Human Services Department. Nope, not true. The Surgeon General is in the department, but it`s run by the Health and Human Services Secretary.


AZUZ: That position is part of the president`s cabinet. Right now, it`s filled by Kathleen Sebelius, she was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, but now Secretary Sebelius is facing some tough criticism. As the head of the HHS Department, she helps create and implement the president`s health policies. That includes the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In Monday show, we talked about some of the problems with the Obamacare website, CNN asked Secretary Sebelius about the plans to get it fixed.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: What can we tell people, because I mean there is -- there is a bit of a loss of confidence in this, so if you say as quickly as possible, that meant October 1st.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HHS SECRETARY: Well, what we can tell you, is that it isn`t where it needs to be. We are three weeks into a 26th week open enrollment period. People are enrolling every day. Not as many as we would like, not at the volume we would like and we will keep working on it until it is working as efficiently as possible.

GUPTA: The president`s legacy is part of this whole issue as well. I mean has it been tarnished by what has happened.

SEBELIUS: I think that what we need to do is -- is see the enrollment figures at the end of March of 2014. That`s when open enrollment ends, and what I know from what we are seeing in not only states that are run by the federal website, but states around the country, is that the interest is huge, that people are eager to have this affordable product and that the product is there. Insurance companies have to compete for one another, for people`s business, for the first time.


ANNOUNCER: It`s time for the "Shoutout." Which of these organizations was founded almost immediately after World War II ended? Is it the Red Cross? League of Nations, Organization of Petroleum Exploring Countries or the United Nations? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The United Nations was established the month after World War II ended in 1945. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."


AZUZ: It happened on this day, October 24th. That`s when the United Nations charter, originally signed by 51 countries, went into effect. The United Nations isn`t an independent government, it`s an organization, and today 193 countries are members. In honor of U.N. Day, here is a little more about the organization. How it works, and how it keeps up with the times.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It`s the United Nations, meeting place for the most of the world`s countries from the most powerful, such as the United States, China and Russia to the smallest and most vulnerable. For 68 years, the U.N. has been involved in everything, from assisting refugees to negotiating peace among nations. The top officials is the Secretary General, a position currently held by Ban Ki-moon of South Korea. The SG serves five year terms and Ban is in his second go around. Of all the languages in the world, the U.N. uses six to communicate: Al-Arabiya, Chongqing (ph), English, Francais, Ruskiy and Espaniol. In some combination of those six, the U.N. deliberates on global issues. For judicial matters, they look to the International Court of Justice. The Economic and Social Council, otherwise known as ECOSOC, deals with -- you guessed it -- the world`s economic Social and environmental issues. The Trusteeship Council helps countries becomes self-governed and independent, while the secretariat, another part of the U.N. family, tackles day to day issues that include keeping the press informed.

Where I`m standing is one of the more recognizable places in the U.N.: the Security Council. It determines threats to international peace and works to solve those problems right here in this chamber. A gift from Norway in 1952. And on top of that, this council selects the Secretary General. Who was then formally appointed by the General Assembly, the main representative body of the U.N.

The G.A., as it`s called, meets from September to December every year, but the world`s problems don`t exactly follow the calendar. The U.N. has to operate year round, and one of the ways they are staying current, is through social media. The organization`s Facebook page provides updates on everything U.N. to an audience of almost 600,000 people. On Twitter, the U.N. has over 1.7 million followers and over 21,000 tweets. And you can follow the organization in any of its official languages.

So, if you`re posting about the U.N. on Facebook or Twitter, and you want to sound smart for all of your followers, here is an inside tip: the six main bodies of the U.N. are called the principal organs, as referred to in Chapter Three, article 7 of the U.N. Charter. So, year, to impress somebody. For CNN, I`m Omar Jimenez, United Nations.


AZUZ: All right, school administrators in Aledo, Texas, are hoping the high school football team is placed in a different district next year, so that they can play against tougher competition. Aledo`s last opponent probably hopes so, too. Losing isn`t` fun, losing big doesn`t necessarily make it any better. But can a blowout be considered bullying? Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Running the ball into the end zone, Aledo`s Bear Cast (ph) Friday made one touchdown after another, winning their game 91 to nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s a cremation, that`s about that is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wish at some point, they could just OK, game over, why even finish it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A parent for the opposing team Fort Worth Western Hills considered it more than just a painful loss. Aledo IST says he found an official complaint online against its entire coaching stuff for bullying. Suggesting they should have instructed their team to ease up.

COACH TIM BUCHANAN, ALEDO HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH: I would never ask our kids not to play hard. I would never tell them -- now, go out there, and let them score. You know, that`s -- that`s not what you want to teach kids.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Coach Tim Buchanan says by half-time, he was actively trying to keep the score down, something in backup players letting the clock run, and instructing players to make fair catch calls.

BUCHANAN: You don`t want to embarrass. I mean I`ve been on the other side of those scores. In 2011, 62 points on us. That doesn`t feel good. It doesn`t make your kids feel good.

DEREK CITTY, ALEDO SUPERINTENTDENT: I have to do an investigation to make sure there is not any illegitimacy to it.

BUCHANAN: Superintendent Derek City says the district is following the same procedure it does with all bullying complaint. But he says for now, he`s confident his coaches acted appropriately.

BUCHANAN: There was nothing unfair about it other than the fact that our players were better than their players.


AZUZ: Some students at Western Hills, the losing school, say the lopsided loss stings, other say the blowout is being blown out of proportion. We want to hear what you say. If you`re already on Facebook, the place to talk about it is

Mascots and schools in today`s "Roll Call" are absolutely awesomely alliterative. Let`s go to the map. Exhibit A, the Alma Erdales from Alma High, in Alma Arkansas. Out in (inaudible), Utah, the Davis Darts are checking out CNN STUDENT NEWS. And the East from Rockford, Illinois, round out today`s "Roll Call" list.

If you start getting a little dizzy watching this, imagine how Mikayla Clark feels. She started practicing at the beginning of the football season, and at the homecoming game, she unleashed her performance 34 seconds, 44 back handsprings. At point, it almost likes she was speeding up as she went. Her record breaking turn beat the old mark by eight handsprings. We don`t have enough time to show you every single one, but I`m sure you can guess how her team (inaudible) when she finished. They totally flipped out. That kind of talent, you can start a handspring revolution, but I`m sure she`ll keep her feet on the ground and not let this newfound fame spin out of control. It`s time for us to go, but we`ll wind our way back tomorrow. With more CNN STUDENT NEWS.