Hurricane Michael: Hurricane Michael blasted ashore near Mexico Beach on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, making it the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in nearly 50 years and the most powerful to hit the Panhandle since records have been kept. Schools in 21 Florida counties are closed again today while officials assess the damage, and five of those districts will be closed again Friday. Associated Press. News Service of Florida. GateHouse Media. Panama City News Herald. Pensacola News Journal. Northwest Florida Daily News. Citrus County Chronicle. Florida Department of Education. Tallahassee Democrat. Miami Herald. Tampa Bay Times. Orlando Sentinel. Palm Beach Post. WJCT. The Sarasota County School District cancels a digital town hall meeting because of the hurricane. Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Hair policies protested: The NAACP Legal Defense Fund is asking the Florida Department of Education to review what it calls “racist” hair policies at private schools that receive money from state scholarship programs. Several students have been banned from schools recently for wearing dreadlocks, braids and other traditionally African-American hairstyles. “The forms of racial discrimination most commonly seen in education have evolved. It is now rare to find a policy that explicitly excludes potential students based on skin color,” says the letter. “However, subtle rules and restrictions based on racial stereotypes and proxies have the same force and effect.” Step Up For Students, which hosts this blog, helps administer four state scholarship programs. Huffington Post.