Episode 157: The Kids Are Not Alright

32 minutes

11/19/20-- With just a couple months until President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, several #MApoli members are being eyed as potential cabinet members of his administration.

Stephanie has been cataloging them for the Politico Massachusetts Playbook, and she's got her eye particularly trained on Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who is being pushed for Labor Secretary by the president of the AFL-CIO. Other potential Massachusetts-based picks include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Maura Healey, Gov. Charlie Baker, and Congressman Stephen Lynch.


A new survey out from The MassINC Polling Group finds parents of K-12 students in Massachusetts anticipate negative impacts on their children due to a tumultuous start of the school year.

One of the first questions Steve wanted the poll to answer was simply, how are students being taught? It turns out, there's an even split between all remote and hybrid learning (46% each), while just 11% of students are attending school in person all the time.

There are significant demographic breakdowns in each of those categories, Steve explains. Black, Latino, and lower-income parents are far more likely to report fully remote school. Meanwhile, Catholic, private school, and high-income parents are more likely to have children attending school in-person.

Overall, around half (52%) of parents say the current school year is having a negative impact on their child in terms of academics. Similar numbers say the same of mental / emotional health as well as social / behavioral skills (both 49% negative).


A report from the Massachusetts division of the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that conditions at the Massachusetts Department of Correction are unconstitutional. As Jenn explains, the MDOC could be in violation of the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, if there was "deliberate indifference” to the known risk of self harm and suicide by inmates.

The DOJ argues that a combination of the housing conditions and issues with those who are supposed to be tasked with monitoring and safekeeping prisoners with serious mental health issues created an extremely unsafe situation. The report recommends the DOC improve their monitoring of prisoners on mental health watch.

The DOC has less than 50 days to act. Otherwise, the DOJ can sue the state.

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