Only in America
April 27, 2018

A Massachusetts preschool has banned children from using the term "best friend." Parent Christine Hartwell says she learned about the ban from her 4-year-old daughter, who'd come home sad from her day at the Pentucket Workshop Preschool. When the Hartwells complained, school officials explained that "best friend," "even when used in a loving way, can lead other children to feel excluded." The Week Staff

January 12, 2018

A nationwide fitness chain has banned cable news from the TV sets in its gyms, saying that today's toxic political climate is incompatible with its "healthy way of life philosophy." Life Time Fitness, which operates 128 gyms, says the move comes in response to numerous customer requests. Gym-goer Peter Glessing of St. Louis Park, Minn., says he will miss the stimulating indignation provided by cable news, which gave him "an extra motivation for exercising." The Week Staff

December 1, 2017

A Colorado coffee shop is under fire for an advertising sign that read "Happily gentrifying the neighborhood since 2014." Hundreds of local residents organized a boycott against Ink! Coffee for flaunting its racial privilege in "gleefully colonizing" Denver's largely black Five Points district. Owner Keith Herbert apologized, but the store was vandalized twice this week and new protests were scheduled. The Week Staff

November 17, 2017

Stove Top, the turkey-­stuffing maker, sold ­elastic-waistband pants to make it more comfortable to overeat at Thanksgiving. The $19.98 pants feature a stuffing-motif cummerbund that will expand to twice its original size over the wearer's abdomen. They're already sold out, but those who were lucky enough to purchase the limited-edition pants will be able to "enjoy more of Thanksgiving in comfort and style," Stove Top said. The Week Staff

November 10, 2017

A Virginia woman has been fired from her job because she gave the finger to President Trump's motorcade while cycling. After photos of Juli Briskman, 50, flipping off the passing motorcade went viral on Twitter and Facebook, her bosses at Akima LLC, a government contractor, told her she had made an "obscene" gesture on social media that could hurt their business. The Week Staff

November 10, 2017

A private school in Miami is offering parents a $120 bulletproof plate to fit inside their child's backpack. The flexible panel can stop most handgun bullets and weighs only 1 pound, says chief of security George Gulla of Florida Christian School. "I'd rather be prepared for the worst than be stuck after saying, 'Wow, I wish we would’ve done that,'" Gulla explained. "We want to protect our students' center mass." The Week Staff

October 27, 2017

A Colorado Cub Scout has been kicked out of his den for asking a state senator why she backed a bill that would let domestic violence offenders buy guns. At the time, GOP State Sen. Vicki Marble praised Ames Mayfield, 11, for his "thorough" questioning. But later, the den leader told Mayfield's mother the question was too political, and the boy was no longer welcome. "I don't feel I did anything wrong," Mayfield says. The Week Staff

October 20, 2017

A Mississippi school district has removed Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird from its eighth-grade curriculum because it "makes people uncomfortable." The book is a harrowing tale of racial injustice in a 1950's Southern town. James LaRue of the American Library Association objected to the removal, saying that the "classic" novel "makes us uncomfortable because it talks about things that matter." The Week Staff

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