# Personal



An open letter to coaches in Iowa public schools

To the Iowans who coach student athletes or lead other public school-based activities:

As a new academic year begins this week, you may feel more emboldened to bring your religion into practices, games, or other school group gatherings. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was wrongly disciplined over his post-game prayers on the field.

Writing for a 6-3 majority in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Justice Neil Gorsuch mischaracterized Kennedy’s actions as a “short, private, personal prayer.” In fact, the coach sought public acclaim and extensive media coverage for giving thanks to God at the 50-yard line, sometimes surrounded by players.

No doubt the coaches who copy Kennedy will be celebrated in many Iowa communities.

I’ve been thinking about how coaches like him will change the school sports experience for students like me.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Flowers of Augusts past

The ankle I severely fractured in January continues to interfere with my wildflower outings. Although I’m able to walk a couple of miles now, I have limited range of motion, which makes it hard to cover much distance on uneven ground like unpaved trails or prairies. My ankle flexion is still too limited for me to feel comfortable doing the long bike rides that used to provide lots of material for this series.

This week, I struck out looking for the plants I had hoped to feature. So I dove into my files and pulled out a selection of wildflowers I’ve found in August over the past six years.

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Contraception is also health care

Shawna Anderson: Birth control pills may have saved my life and also helped me to conceive.

When the U.S. House approved a bill in July to protect Americans’ access to birth control, 195 Republicans voted no. Those House members, including Iowa’s Representatives Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Randy Feenstra, opposed codifying not only my right to access family planning, but also my health care.

As a 43-year-old married mother of two and grandmother, I never thought I would see the day that I needed to defend access to any reproductive care, but here we are. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned what I grew up hearing was the law of the land, Democrats are trying to ensure that people like me will have access to the health care we need.

A friend once told me we should call birth control hormone therapy, because that’s really what it is. Not only does it aid in family planning, but it can treat some medical issues. Let me tell you how birth control/hormone therapy may have saved my life and helped me to conceive.

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"Current events do not belong in history class"

Nick Covington taught social studies at Ankeny High School from 2012 to 2022 and became the full-time Creative Director of the Human Restoration Project when his teaching contract ended on June 1. You can follow Nick on Twitter @CovingtonEDU. This article was originally published on May 15 on Medium.

On Feb 25, 2022, I resigned as a social studies teacher at Ankeny High School, a position I have held since 2012, effective at the end of the school year. I will not be returning to the classroom this fall.

I have not told all of this story in one place, but I want readers to understand the full context of my decision to leave in its relation to our nation’s destructive and divisive cultural forever war.

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What is this day about?

U.S. Army veteran Joe Stutler shares his keynote address (as prepared) for the Cedar Rapids Memorial Day ceremony in 2019.

One Veteran’s perspective on the meaning of Memorial Day:

Good morning…..

You’re asking yourselves, “who is this guy and why is he here?”….I wondered the same thing when Linn County Director of Veteran Affairs Don Tyne called me several weeks ago from the Commission meeting to ask if I’d be willing to speak today.

Why me, I asked? I’m not a retired general, not a Medal of Honor recipient, not a Congresscritter or Governor or the like….heck, I’m not even running for office….

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