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Parents on Edge Over Solana Beach Plan to Vet Donated Books with ‘Debatable Topics’




In April, the Solana Beach School District implemented a new plan for how to vet donations of books and other media and officials said it will keep the decision in the hands of local schools and out of politics. But some parents and advocacy organizations are suspicious of the timing.

They’re worried about the plan to place some material dealing with “debatable topics” on a bookshelf only accessible to children who have parental approval with library staff guidance. They’re especially concerned because of the donation that preceded the plan’s adoption. 

District officials said they realized they needed a way to standardize how they vetted donated books after they received three separate collections of books in short succession. But critics believe parental pushback to one of the collections — a set of LGBTQ-affirming books donated by the nonprofit Open Books, formerly known as Gender Nation — played an outsized role in the district’s decision to create it.

Open Books provides age-appropriate books meant to affirm those with gender-diverse and LGBTQ identities to libraries and schools. The organization has been embraced by California officials, like State Superintendent Tony Thurmond who applauded a donation it made to San Francisco schools at a May event.

Open Books donated the collection to the Solana Beach School District last April at the request of a teacher but the books have remained out of circulation. It included titles like “And Tango Makes Three,” the true story of two male penguins who raised a chick, “It’s Okay To Be Different,” which celebrates children’s individuality and “Melissa,” about a young trans child’s journey to accepting their identity.

Despite being lauded by reviewers, “Melissa,” which is meant for children ages 8 to 12, has for years has been one of the books most challenged by parents according to the American Library Association.  

Keiko Feldman and Megan Walsh, the founders of Open Books, said the nonprofit has donated books to over one thousand schools, mostly in California, and that Solana Beach is the only one in which they weren’t immediately put into general circulation.

The pushback in Solana Beach, which began after a post celebrating the donation was shared on social media, comes as a wave of anti-LGBTQ sentiment has swept the nation. Proposed legislation that would limit the rights of LGBTQ individuals has reached a record level, and many of those bills focus on schools. According to the American Library Association, five of the top 10 most challenged books of 2021 had to do with LGBTQ issues. 

Simmering opposition to the books burst into public at a November Solana Beach School District meeting during which some parents spoke out both in opposition to, and in favor of them.  

Marina Fleming, whose nonbinary child was a student in the K-6 district at the time and chose to speak in favor of the Open Books donation at that November meeting, was initially supportive of early drafts of the plan. She especially appreciated the stipulation that library staff, known as Curriculum Resource Teachers, with subject matter expertise would be responsible for the vetting of donated content.

But when the final policy was revealed, Fleming was dismayed to read that books that “take a particular position on a debatable topic,” would be relegated to a professional shelf that is only accessible with the consent of a parent or guardian and the guidance of a Curriculum Resource Teacher. If a child is restricted from accessing a book, the policy instructs library staff to “gently and discreetly redirect students” to “other books or shelves that match those students’ interests.”  

Officials said that what constitutes a debatable topic would come from feedback from community and educational partners, but also underlined their commitment to not having their educational priorities derailed by potential feedback and to “provide materials on opposing viewpoints on debatable issues to enable students to develop critical thinking,” as is stated in their library plan. 

Jodee Brentlinger, superintendent of the Solana Beach School District, said their plan reflects the district’s belief that “it is our responsibility to make sure that our students and our staff have a sense of belonging, that they feel welcomed, and they feel included. That would include any of our gender-diverse students.”

But the vagueness and seeming flexibility about what could would be considered a debatable topic troubles Fleming, and Max Disposti, who runs the North County LGBTQ Resource Center. He’s concerned by the possibility of books from the Open Books collection ending up on the professional shelf.  

“This would really send a message to kids that this book and their identity is something that they should be ashamed of,” Disposti said. He also worries it will foster mistrust in the library staff by students. 

In May, Disposti’s organization sent a letter to district officials, which was cosigned by organizations like the local chapters of the Anti-Defamation League and American Civil Liberties Union and the California Library Association. It went so far as to say the plan could result in a “soft ban” on certain content. He did not receive a response, but Brentlinger called this claim “misinformation.”

“If material has the potential of arousing strong reactions based on one’s cultural beliefs or religious beliefs and philosophies, that does not preclude that material from going into general circulation,” Jennifer Goldston, director of instruction and educational technology at the Solana Beach School District added.

District staff are currently in the process of vetting the three collections of donated books and said thus far all of those reviewed would be placed into general circulation, including a number of books from the Open Books set. Brentlinger could not confirm whether any of them would end up on the professional bookshelf, which primarily houses reference materials that may be out of the age range of students, but called it a “remote possibility.” 

The plan also gives parents or guardians the ability to opt that their children be restricted from accessing “any topics, titles, or genres.” During group lessons or read-aloud sessions, if even one child in a class is restricted from reading a book, staff is instructed to select an alternate text.  

Jen LaBarbera, director of education and advocacy for San Diego Pride and a cosigner of that May letter, has a master’s degree in library science and questioned if the policy could allow a parent to restrict their child’s access to books mentioning the holocaust, or the civil rights movement simply because they would prefer they not have access to them.

She acknowledged that some books about these topics may not be appropriate for elementary schoolers but said there are plenty of kid’s books about affirming those from marginalized backgrounds that could conceivably be at risk.

“This pushback is starting with these books from (Open Books) about LGBTQ people, but I would be surprised if it ended there and people didn’t take advantage of this policy to try and cut other books out of circulation,” she continued. 

Brentlinger said that was unlikely and that the opt-out policy, which only applies to books in district libraries rather than those read in classroom settings, had been in place prior to the adoption of the new plan. Goldston added that in the past parents have primarily used the opt-out option to restrict children’s access to books that include things like war or guns, and also witchcraft or “potty humor,” such as Harry Potter or the children’s book series Captain Underpants, respectively. 

The policy is no different than parents having a say in what their children can check out of a public library, said Brentlinger. And any request to restrict children from accessing certain content would be reviewed by a student’s teacher and staff and prompt a conversation about the specifics between all parties.  

For Disposti, the children whose parents would opt to restrict them from accessing certain books, especially those having to deal with LGBTQ identities, may be the ones most in need of those resources. 

“We are concerned about the kids who have parents like that because those are the kids that are going to have the highest risk of suicidal (ideations),” he said. 

“I’ve seen them day in and day out and I see how much they suffer when they don’t get their parents’ support,” Disposti continued. “It’s devastating in their formation, their self-esteem, and it can take them years of therapy to recover.” 

Transgender and nonbinary youth are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts, with some data indicating 82 percent of trans youth had experienced suicidal thoughts. Emotional neglect by family and internalized self-stigma play a key role in those high suicide rates, though LGBTQ youth of color had the highest rates of suicidal thoughts

But research shows that gender-affirming care and increased support in schools can save lives. 

Even for children with parents like Fleming who embrace and celebrate their identity, the lack of representation can still affect them negatively, and can increase the risk of bullying on campus – another risk factor disproportionately experienced by LGBTQ youth that can lead to higher levels of depression and suicide. Trans youth who attended schools they felt were LGBTQ-affirming experienced lower rates of bullying.  

“These kids are there,” Walsh said. “You can’t make someone LGBTQ, just like you cannot make someone straight. So, we’re either going to honor and reach out our hands and our hearts to the children that are already there, or we’re going to ignore them shut them away and create a hostile school environment for them where they end up self-harming.” 

Solana Beach School District did recently develop a relationship with the nonprofit TransFamily Support Services, another signatory of that May letter, to provide guidance around these issues. While Fleming applauds that decision, she doesn’t feel it’s enough. 

Ultimately, Fleming believes the district’s plan will make teachers feel like they need to be careful about what books they choose in read-aloud settings. 

“I hope I’m wrong, but my experience was that my child’s teacher had trepidation in facing those concerned parents,” Fleming said. The lack of access to resources that affirm the diverse identities of students can not only negatively affect those children, she said, but can also prevent other children from better understanding their peers and lead to continued bullying. 

Fleming said that every month their child asked her if the books from Open Books were on the library’s shelves, and every time she was asked she had to tell them they weren’t. Eventually, her child stopped asking.

“They graduated from that school without ever seeing a book that represented them,” Fleming said. “I don’t want that experience for other kids, whether they are out or not.”

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Tulip Protocol Officially Integrates Chainlink on Solana Mainnet




Tulip Protocol Officially Integrates Chainlink on Solana Mainnet

Today, Tulip Protocol made the announcement that they have integrated Chainlink Price Feeds in order to better secure their yield aggregating platform that is running on the Solana mainnet. The team had previously stated their intention to integrate Chainlink Price Feeds, and at this point, the connection has been completely put into action. Chainlink is the premier decentralized oracle network in the world, safeguarding tens of billions of dollars in smart contracts. It has diversified its offerings across other blockchains, notably Solana, Fantom, Polygon, BNB Chain, and others.

In a recent blog post, the team behind the Tulip Protocol explained that they had integrated Chainlink to provide users with more confidence that leveraged positions will be liquidated equitably using extremely accurate price data and that the protocol will continue to be completely collateralized at all times.

According to Tomasz Wojewoda, Head of Global Sales at Chainlink Labs:

“We’re pleased that Tulip Protocol has integrated Chainlink Price Feeds on Solana, helping secure its yield aggregation protocol with highly robust, decentralized market data. With the high-throughput performance of Solana and the strong security guarantees of the Chainlink Network, Tulip Protocol is able to empower users with a performant and secure platform.”

Tulip Protocol Seeks To Take Advantage Of Solana

Tulip Protocol brings together lenders who receive a return on their deposits and borrowers who are interested in gaining access to leverage. Users who initiate leverage positions are responsible for maintaining a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio that has been previously established. The Tulip Protocol then uses the asset price data that is provided by Chainlink Price Feeds to verify that this ratio is accurate. If the value of the collateral falls below the threshold that was established by the protocol, then their position will be immediately liquidated to assist in guaranteeing that the lenders will be repaid.

Tulip Protocol intends to capitalize on Solana by giving users the ability to more regularly reinvest their income and grow their assets without having to pay exorbitant amounts of gas expenses. Chainlink oracles can now be natively integrated on Solana, making it possible for Solana-based applications to benefit from enhanced levels of security and transparency. Yesterday, OpenOcean made the announcement that they would be integrating Chainlink Price Feeds in order to help secure the limited order functionality on many chains. These chains include Avalanche, Ethereum, Polygon, Fantom, and BNB Chain.

According to Senx, Co-Founder of Tulip Protocol:

 “We’re excited to be using Chainlink Price Feeds on Solana to help secure our yield aggregation platform. By leveraging the most secure and reliable on-chain data available, we’re able to provide our lenders and borrowers with greater assurances that liquidations are based on accurate price data, and the protocol will maintain a healthy loan-to-value ratio through all market conditions.” 

Allowing Stakers To Benefit From Higher APYs

Natives of the blockchain as well as newcomers to the technology are beginning to understand that decentralization does not necessarily equate to a secure platform. Given that Web3 services are currently disclosing their susceptibilities to attacks from both within and outside the network, further initiatives should be undertaken to improve the safety of user assets. Fortunately, a growing number of blockchain businesses are beginning to add various levels of security to their services in order to solidify the trust of their existing customers and attract additional investors in the near and distant future.

Tulip Protocol is the very first yield aggregation platform to be built on Solana, and it features auto-compounding vault techniques. The dApp was developed to make use of Solana’s blockchain, which has a low cost and high efficiency, hence enabling the vault techniques to compound frequently. Stakeholders are able to reap the benefits of greater APYs as a result, without the need for active management.

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Is your SOL safe? What we know about the Solana hack




On this week’s episode of “The Market Report,” Cointelegraph’s resident experts discuss the latest updates concerning the recent Solana (SOL) hack.

To kick things off, we broke down the latest news in the markets this week:

Bitcoin realized price bands form key resistance as bulls lose $24K, significant whale activity between $22,000 and $24,800 adds to the complexity of the current spot market setup. Bitcoin (BTC) consolidated lower on Aug. 9 after familiar resistance preserved a multi-month trading range. When will we finally break out of this price range and make the move towards $30K?

Institutions flocking to Ethereum for 7 straight weeks as Merge nears: Report, “Greater clarity” around the Merge has driven institutional inflows into Ethereum products, according to a CoinShares report. Is the ETH merge finally around the corner and will it bring new all time highs to ETH or has the price already been factored into the current price?

Circle freezes blacklisted Tornado Cash smart contract addresses, Crypto data aggregator Dune Analytics said that, on Monday, Circle, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, froze over 75,000 USDC worth of funds linked to the 44 Tornado Cash addresses sanctioned by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) list. Could this mark the end for Tornado Cash or is there a way they can redeem themselves?

Next up is a new segment called “Quick Crypto Tips,” which aims to give newcomers to the crypto industry quick and easy tips to get the most out of their experience. This week’s tip: Have some funds ready to buy further downturns.

Market expert Marcel Pechman then carefully examines the Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) markets. Are the current market conditions bullish or bearish? What is the outlook for the next few months? Pechman is here to break it down. The experts also go over some markets news to bring you up to date on the latest regarding the top two cryptocurrencies.

After Marcel’s market analysis, our resident experts discuss whether your SOL is safe and the latest updates on the Solana hack. We also discuss why the network has been victim to so many hacks and downtimes. What exactly do these exploits mean for the Solana platform and if you should be worried.

Lastly, we’ve got insights from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, a platform for crypto traders who want to stay one step ahead of the market. The analysts use Cointelegraph Markets Pro to identify two altcoins that stood out this week: Radicle’s RAD and DigiByte’s DGB.

Do you have a question about a coin or topic not covered here? Don’t worry. Join the YouTube chat room, and write your questions there. The person with the most interesting comment or question will be given a 1 month free subscription to markets Pro worth $100!

The Market Report streams live every Tuesday at 12:00 pm ET (4:00 pm UTC), so be sure to head on over to Cointelegraph’s YouTube page and smash those like and subscribe buttons for all our future videos and updates.

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Web3-Based ZepetoX to Build on Solana




Web3-Based ZepetoX to Build on Solana

Singapore, Singapore , Aug. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the ZepetoX team (ZTX, announced its foray into the web3 space, sharing its vision to build an open world that empowers creators and communities to build, play and earn.

ZepetoX is the crypto metaverse initiative jointly incubated by ZEPETO – Asia’s largest metaverse platform with over 320 million registered users – alongside leading global blockchain organizations including Jump Crypto.

As the sole blockchain project comprehensively backed by ZEPETO, ZepetoX will have exclusive ties to ZEPETO in terms of IP including technological, design, and content assets as well as bridges to facilitate user onboarding between the two platforms. ZepetoX’s blockchain development efforts will be advised by Jump.

“ZepetoX is our official venture into the blockchain industry. We feel that web3 opportunities should be advanced through a crypto-native approach, which is why we are excited to have Jump as a contributor to developing a new platform that would have exclusive connections to ZEPETO. Overall, we believe that ZepetoX can build the ideal web3 platform to not only bring blockchain to our existing users but also to expand our footprint in the blockchain space through various disruptive initiatives,” said Daewook Kim, CEO of Naver Z – the operating entity of ZEPETO.

“We are excited to support ZepetoX’s efforts aimed at onboarding new audiences into the rapidly growing crypto space. ZEPETO’s expertise and technological know-hows accumulated over the past years from building an immersive social platform will serve as a springboard for ZepetoX,” said Saurabh Sharma, Partner at Jump Crypto.

Building on the Solana network, ZepetoX will offer a web-based 3D open world with varying levels of gamification integrated as well as opportunities for users to monetize via ownership of digital assets and social interaction. Ultimately, ZepetoX aims to empower self-expression through customizable avatars and lands that can be equipped with NFTs from a rich collection of assets created by diverse creators, DAOs, or communities.

“I am thrilled to see IP powerhouses like ZepetoX choosing to build their metaverse on Solana,” said Anatoly Yakovenko, Co-Founder of Solana. “Projects like ZepetoX create new pathways for onboarding millions of users to web3.”

“Our global team brings a depth of crypto native experiences and our goal is to build on the foundation of ZEPETO to spearhead the adoption of blockchain among metaverse users, developers, and creators,” said co-CEO of ZepetoX, Chris Chang.

In the coming months, ZepetoX will launch its first land sale. The lands will be tradable on the ZepetoX marketplace, which will feature a variety of different NFTs as the open world project evolves. Further details on the sale will be available on the ZepetoX website in the coming weeks.

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About ZepetoX: ZepetoX (ZTX) is a web3 company building an immersive content-driven platform for users to create, trade digital assets and enjoy social interaction. Founded in 2022, ZepetoX is the blockchain initiative of ZEPETO, widely regarded as the largest Asia-based metaverse platform boasting over 320 million lifetime users with over 2.5 billion virtual fashion items sold.



News Via KISS PR Crypto Press Release Distribution Media Contact

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