• Ted Cruz’s Mexico trip has angered parents at his children’s school, Politico reported Friday.
  • Some are demanding the school enforces quarantine rules that will keep Cruz’s kids out of class.
  • Three weeks before the trip, the school sent out an email warning about international travel.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Parents at the private school of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s children are furious about the family’s trip to Cancun, Mexico, amid catastrophic winter storms, Politico reported Friday.

Three weeks before Cruz, his wife Heidi, and two daughters, Caroline and Catherine, embarked on their sunny vacation, the elite Houston school, called St John’s, reportedly sent an email to parents warning about international travel.

According to Politico, the email sent out on January 30 said that all students whose families decided to travel must quarantine for seven to 10 days upon their return, as CDC guidelines suggest

According to the school’s official website, St.Johns will remain closed with no online classes until February 29 due to the storm.

The email was in reaction to a previous controversy that gripped the school after some of its students had attended holiday parties during their winter break, leading to multiple COVID-positive infections.

All of the students in question, who were in grade 11 and grade 12, were asked to quarantine immediately.

ted cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz speaks to a group of students from Houston’s St. John’s School on the Senate steps on November 5, 2013.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images


Now, some of St. John’s parents are demanding that the school enforce the same quarantine rules, which will keep Cruz’s children, aged 10 and 12, out of class for several days.

“At the end of the day, he’s taking this heat for using his children as an excuse for taking a vacation. And that’s a mistake,” said Lara Hollingsworth, a parent of three kids attending the school, according to Politico. “From a parent standpoint, all I’m asking is the school follows the CDC guidelines, and I need to say I have no reason to believe they won’t.”

“You’ve got someone out here saying, ‘I did this to be a good dad.’ No one is trying to dispute that,” she added. “The question is, are you fully aware of the consequences of what you did? Does it make you a bad parent? No. Does it make you a bad senator? Maybe.”

Another parent at the school, who did not want to be named, told Politico: “It’s enraging to see this politician go out of the country like this, and there’s a concern that he would be putting the school at risk if he was trying to sneak out.”

“There are just a huge number of people who are very angry at Ted Cruz, like most people in the United States,” the parent added.

A spokesman for Cruz said the senator’s “daughters plan to follow the St. John’s policy ” upon their arrival.

Cruz is facing calls to resign after

At a time when the simple act of traveling through the United States often put Black people in physical danger, “The Negro Motorist Green Book” was an essential guide to safe spaces.

Published by Victor Hugo Green annually from 1936 to 1966, the Green Book helped Black travelers in the Jim Crow period find hotels, restaurants, gas stations andother businesses that would serve them.

The Academy Award-winning movie “Green Book” renewed interest in the publication, which had ceased publishing after major civil rights legislation passed in the 1960s. Today, a new generation of authors are illuminating the heritage with new books and a podcast decades after Green’s annual guide stopped publishing. 

“The Green Book enabled African Americans to travel with dignity and find safe harbors during a period in U.S. history when the vast majority of white-owned businesses, even in large urban areas, were not welcoming, even hostile, to Black patrons,” said Alvin Hall, host of the Macmillan Podcast series, “Driving the Green Book,” which launched in September.

Establishments in the book, most of them Black-owned, “welcomed not only their dollars but were also genuinely welcoming to them as human beings, an experience that could be hard to find during the days of segregation,” Hall said.

History: How Black History Month began and how it has changed to what it is today

How to visit: How to visit Green Book sites where Black travelers once found refuge

Essay: Black History Month 2021: The only way forward is through, together

Martinique Lewis, president of the Black Travel Alliance, told USA TODAY that after learning about the Green Book she was inspired to create her own, modern version. Her “ABC Travel Greenbook: Connecting the African Diaspora Globally” which catalogs Black-owned businesses and Black-focused experiences such as tours, among other resources for international travel.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, why have I never heard about this book?’ … I’m like the Black travel guru,” Lewis said, noting she bought every copy of the original Green Books that she could find.

Like its predecessor, Lewis’ book is more than a just a directory of businesses. 

“I give paragraphs and I’ll let you know: ‘There’s been this many cases of discrimination (at a given location) that we know about, be alert and be aware,'” Lewis explained.

In this June 24, 2016, photo, the closed De Anza Motor Lodge sits along Route 66 in Albuquerque, Nex Mexico, and recently has been highlighted as one of the few places that allowed black travelers to stay during segregated times.

In this June 24, 2016, photo, the closed De Anza Motor Lodge sits along Route 66 in Albuquerque, Nex Mexico, and recently has been highlighted…
In this June 24, 2016, photo, the closed De Anza Motor Lodge sits along Route 66 in Albuquerque, Nex Mexico, and recently has been highlighted as one of the few places that allowed black travelers to stay during segregated times.
Russell Contreras, AP

Lewis also includes personal experiences. For example, she lists one in which she was walking down the street and was called “a monkey.” She wants readers to to be aware of what could happen in certain places. 

“I always tell people do your research before you

Monarch Academy Annapolis, a public contract school with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, announces the launch of Transformation Theatre Company, a performing arts summer camp July 5 to Aug. 13. One- and two-week camp programs will be available for rising prekindergarten through eighth grade students in performing arts, instrumental rock music, choral music, songwriting, dance and drama.

Campers will have the opportunity to discover and develop their talents under the guidance of performing arts educators with performance experience. Each program will culminate with a showcase event for families. Academic tutoring will also be available upon request for children who would benefit from academic support during the camp day.

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“We are thrilled to offer a robust theatre performance camp this summer at Monarch Academy Annapolis,” said The Children’s Guild Alliance’s Chief of Educational Services Kathy Lane. “We are committed to the integration of the arts in our curriculum and school environments. We are excited to offer the families of budding thespians and musicians in our Monarch community, and throughout Anne Arundel County, this transformative opportunity.”

Broadway Bound, for students in third through eighth grades, is a weeklong camp from July 5 through July 9 focusing on the three main components of musical theatre: singing, dancing and acting. Director Vicki Smith is a performing arts and production specialist for The Children’s Guild Alliance and Monarch Academy schools and owner of StageWorkz Theatre Arts Project.

Monarch Rocks! is a weeklong music camp from July 12 through July 16 for beginner and intermediate students in third through eighth grades. Instruction will include making music and songwriting using guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and vocals. Students will work collaboratively writing songs and playing in a band. Monarch Rocks! Director Sean Lane is a music teacher and registered music therapist at The Phoenix Academy in Annapolis. He has maintained a full schedule of performances for the past 20 years and has performed at inauguration events for the past three presidents.

It’s Showtime is a two-week camp from July 19 through July 30 for students in third through eighth grades. On the first day, campers will learn the auditioning process, an opportunity for beginning performers to practice in a safe environment. It’s Showtime Director Karin Abbott has been teaching for 22 years and is the arts integration specialist at Monsignor Slade Catholic School. She formerly worked at Monarch Academy Annapolis. Abbott has provided musical theatre workshops and camps for children and teens in Anne Arundel County for 13 years.

Merry Tales is a weeklong camp from Aug. 2 through Aug. 6 for students in prekindergarten through second grades. Campers will explore and perform fairy tales. They will be introduced to theatre, speaking and stage presence, while they practice reading comprehension strategies. Merry Tales Director Meg Nemeth is the arts integration teacher at Monarch Global Academy Laurel. Additionally, she teaches middle school theatre and leads the school’s drama club in full-scale plays and musicals.

Kids First Chorus offers a one- or two-week camp for

ANNAPOLIS, Md.—The American Athletic Conference announced Navy’s 2021 football schedule Thursday morning, a slate that features six games at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in what will arguably be the toughest and most exciting schedule in school history.
 
Navy will play eight teams that qualified for a bowl game last year, including two opponents that finished the 2020 season ranked in the top 10.  Four of Navy’s first-five games will be at home.
 
“Today our staff is full speed ahead in our planning to host our alumni, friends and fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this fall,” said Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk. “Every home game in 2021 is a big-time matchup and our opponents project to not only be highly competitive, but are all of national stature.  A family atmosphere, fly-overs, march-ons, tailgating and great Navy football will bring us together again to enjoy one of the most special environments in all of college sports.”
 
Navy will kick off the 2021 season with back-to-back home games against Marshall on Sept. 4 and Air Force on Sept. 11.
 
The game against Marshall will be the first contest on the gridiron between the two schools as well as the first game for Thundering Herd head coach Charles Huff who came to Marshall from defending National Champion Alabama. 
 
Last year, Marshall finished 7-3 and was ranked as high as #15 in the country.  The Thundering Herd played in the Conference USA Championship Game against UAB and in the Camellia Bowl.
 
The Air Force game was moved from Oct. 2 to Sept. 11 in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and is the first leg in the battle for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. Air Force’s last two trips to Annapolis have resulted in thrilling come-from-behind wins by the Mids (34-25 in 2019 and 48-45 in 2017).
 
After an open week, the Mids will travel to New Mexico Bowl participant Houston on Sept. 25 for the first American Athletic Conference game of the year.  Navy won at Houston in 2019, 56-41.
 
The Mids will return home for back-to-back conference games on Oct. 2 against UCF and Oct. 9 vs. SMU. 
 
First-year UCF head coach Gus Malzahn will make his first visit to Annapolis with one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Dillon Gabriel.  UCF finished 6-4 last year and played BYU in the Boca Raton Bowl. UCF is the only AAC school (only played twice) Navy has not beaten since joining the league in 2015.
 
SMU finished 7-3 a year ago and was scheduled to play in the Frisco Bowl before that game was canceled. Navy beat SMU 35-28 in the Mustangs last trip to Annapolis in 2019.
 
Navy will have a short turnaround before heading to Memphis for a Thursday night showdown at the Liberty Bowl on Oct. 14.  The Tigers finished 8-3 last year, defeating Florida Atlantic in the Montgomery Bowl.  Navy’s last trip to the Liberty Bowl

Like so many events forced to reschedule (and reimagine) their plans because of the pandemic, the news came fairly early, relatively speaking, that the 2021 Academy Awards would be delayed until April of this year. Also adjusted was the eligibility window for films able to “open” in cinemas (virtual cinemas are allowed) and still qualify for this year’s awards, meaning films didn’t have to rush to screen before the end of the 2020 calendar year as they typically do (although many still did in order to be eligible for other critical bodies honoring the year’s titles, but that’s getting a little too inside baseball…).

Formerly known as the Best Foreign Language Film category, the newly minted Best International Feature Film Award is bestowed on the film deemed “best” from a country other than the United States, presented predominantly in a non-English language. The process for submission remains relatively the same: each country wishing to be considered submits one official entry on their nation’s behalf. The result is dozens of worthy narratives from countries with well-established cinema oeuvres (South Korea, France) and those with less of a known track record (Mongolia, Albania).

In the next month or so, the Academy will shortlist their top selection of international features and eventually announce the final five nominees. In the meantime, submissions from countries all over the world are available to watch from the comfort of home if you’re interested in getting caught up to speed on who’s submitting which films. At the Music Box Theatre, for example, new foreign films are being added every week to their MusicBox Direct platform where these features are available for rent alongside everything else the cinema features while they remain closed to the public (yes, cinemas can re-open now in Illinois, but the Music Box is taking its time to get it right). While there’s a lot to choose from, here are some insights into a selection of what’s now playing:

True Mothers

Image courtesy of the film

True Mothers (Japan)

A film by Naomi Kawase, True Mothers is a broad and expansive exploration of motherhood in several iterations, from the perspective of the women navigating their various experiences. Part mystery, part family drama and part journey of self discovery, a lot of what’s here is striking emotional work; much more of it, unfortunately, is lost in the confusion of which film, exactly, we’re watching at any given moment. As the two main storylines intersect and we individually learn more about the two women central to the narrative, just as Kawase gives us the space to invest in one of them, we’ve shifted over to the other and lost any earned momentum in a blink.

Satoko (Hiromi Nagasaku) and Kiyokazu (Arata Iura) Kurihara are a young couple living in a posh high-rise, raising their young son Asato (Reo Sato) with all the privilege and care they can afford. He goes to a good school, they dote on him at home; they’re picture-perfect parents in every way. Which makes

The Davis Academy is coping with a COVID-19 outbreak that has sidelined roughly 20 percent of its faculty and forced changes in which grades of the K-8 school will stay home for distance learning and which will hold classes on-campus.

The language in communications from school administrators to families during February suggested that some parents have not been truthful in reporting exposure to COVID-19 or in following the school’s protocols to prevent exposure and spread of the virus.

As of today, the Jewish day school reported 14 new COVID-19 cases, 12 among middle school students and one in the lower grades – the sibling of a positive middle school student – and one new teacher testing positive.

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At the beginning of this week, the school reported three positive cases among students and five among teachers, with an additional 12 teachers in quarantine.

“The pandemic is challenging for all of us, and we are doing our very best in a very difficult situation,” Amy Shafron said in a Feb. 8 video.

“Data collection and contact tracing indicate in the past 10-14 days that many individuals in the Davis community participated in social gatherings including group meals, celebrations, sleepovers, and/or sports activities which has resulted in increased cases especially among Middle School students,” according to a statement today addressed to “Davis Academy Families” by Amy Shafron, the head of school, and Drew Frank, the associate head of school and principal.

The plan for the coming week has all students at home for distance learning on Monday. Students in the third through eighth grades will remain home the remainder of the week. Students in the lower grades are scheduled to be on-campus, except for those with a sibling in middle school, who will study from home.

To bring all students back on-campus March 1, “During this next week, all students and faculty should NOT participate in any social gatherings or travel including group dinners, celebrations, sleepovers, and sports activities,” while also continuing “extensive risk mitigation protocols” that have been in effect since school resumed last fall, according to today’s statement.

Addressing compliance with the school’s protocols, a Feb. 2 statement by Shafron and Frank said: “The circumstances surrounding the most recent positive cases reported to the school confirm continuing activity and exposure outside of school as well as unreliably reported information provided to the school that is, quite honestly, concerning to us and to the members of our Health & Safety Committee. . . We rely on the honesty and integrity of our families to help us stay in school, yet we have indications that some parents may not be tracking and reporting accurately and honestly.”

That statement also said: “Our contact tracing and tracking have revealed that student risk is clearly greatest from participating in extra-curricular activities outside of school or household transmission. We ask you again to please not have your children participate in extracurricular activities

The Pittsburgh Penguins have launched the Willie O’Ree Academy, a free initiative specifically designed to help develop experienced Black youth hockey players in the region by providing unique training and support opportunities.

Penguins officials sought to honor O’Ree, the first Black player in the NHL, by naming the academy after him, and they hope that it will become a model for the League to adopt.

“I was so excited and thrilled that the Willie O’Ree Academy was being developed and ultimately now being launched,” O’Ree said. “The academy will continue the legacy I have worked so hard to create and maintain in this space.”

The academy, which begins June 15, is open to boys and girls ages 10 to 18. It starts with a nine-week training program for Black players who are already skating in the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey League.

The on- and off-ice training sessions will be held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, the Penguins practice facility. Participants will receive instruction from former NHL players such as Trevor Daley, who is the Penguins hockey operations adviser, and members of the Lemieux Sports Complex’s hockey and training staff. 

The academy’s year-round educational component will include cultural and identity discussions and provide career exposure to Penguins and NHL front office executives and Penguins corporate partners.

Funding for the academy comes through a partnership between the Penguins and Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is headquartered near Pittsburgh.

“We have a number of diversity programs that we will be rolling out in the next few months, but this one is special because it honors Willie’s legacy while creating unique growth opportunities for Black youth already playing hockey,” Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said. “They’re skating for amateur and high school teams throughout the region, but they don’t really know each other. The academy gives them a chance to meet, get together, skate and train as a unit in the summer and, maybe most importantly, share experiences.”

The academy was developed in consultation with Daley, who won the Stanley Cup twice with Pittsburgh and played 1,058 NHL games with the Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars; Penguins rookie defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph; Kim Davis, NHL senior executive vice president of social impact, growth initiatives and legislative affairs; and others.

The academy recognizes the lonely path that young Black players travel in hockey, often the only person of color on their team and sometimes subjected to racial abuse from opposing players, parents and even teammates.

Jim Britt, executive director of the Penguins Foundation, said the hope is that the O’Ree academy will provide participants with a safe space that allows them to bond and develop into elite players capable of playing in college, major junior, or even the NHL someday.

“The challenge that we’re seeing is that for some Black hockey players, they’re leaving the game because the game is not welcoming,” Britt said. “Whether it happens as teenagers or adults, the game is not showing