Christmas carols help us get in the mood to celebrate the holidays. But would they have the same meaning if we changed a few words? Parents of students at an elementary school in Michigan say, "No." A music teacher at Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City decided to change the word "gay" to "bright" in "Deck the Halls" for the children's Christmas concert. Her reasoning for the switch? First- and second-graders would not stop giggling when they sang the word "gay." Several parents were so upset about the change they went to the school's Facebook page to express their opinions. One parent said, "By taking the word 'gay' out of 'Deck the Halls,' you are making it a big deal. One word can have different meanings." Another parent voiced, "Can one word in a 150-year-old classic Christmas carol really offend someone?" The negative comments have since been deleted from the school's Facebook page, and wall posts have been disabled. Cherry Knoll Principal Chris Parker is on the parents' side, saying, "This would have been a great opportunity to teach that 'gay' has more than one meaning and is not a bad word." In response to the controversy over the word change, the original lyrics have now been restored.
Going to law school is a demanding endeavor that can cause a never-before-experienced amount of stress in an individual. And, it can get even more intense during finals. Students at George Mason Law School, located just a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C., are finding a new way to cope during exam time. GMU teamed up with animal rescue organization A Forever Home to bring puppies that need attention to its campus as a stress reducer. According to the Washington Post, studies show that the legal profession has above-average rates of depression and problems with substance abuse. So now, many law schools are not only teaching students about the course material, they're also showing students how to balance their school and life and preparing them for the legal profession. Administrators and faculty agree that law school is stressful and competitive, but say it's important to find an outlet for stress, such as exercise and other hobbies. The dogs help students relieve their stress by providing a calming effect. The puppies brought in for Puppy Day from Chantilly, West Virginia, were recently spared from euthanization. One law student said, "They are sensing our stress." Another student added that being with the puppies gives them a chance "to feel human again." On social media, people think Puppy Day should not be limited to law schools, tweeting, "It should be a thing everywhere in life." The Trending Now team could not agree more.