This Teacher's Last Request Has Started A Debate About School Funding

If you’re lucky, you will leave behind a legacy that honors your life. A woman named Tammy Waddell is getting national attention after her death for doing just that. Waddell died on June 9, after a long battle with stomach cancer. She was 58.

Her cousin, Brad Johnson, shared a tweet describing Waddell’s last wish: that in lieu of flowers, people send school supplies in her memory to a non-profit called Project Connect. The organization provides backpacks to students in need in her Georgia community.

Waddell had been a teacher for 30 years in Forsyth County Schools, according to ABC News. Even at the end, she wanted to help kids get the education they deserved. A photo of backpacks waiting to be delivered after her funeral on June 13 has everyone weeping:

Johnson said close to a hundred teachers who had met or worked with Waddell showed up to retrieve her backpacks for Project Connect.

He shared a photo of them all lined up with the donations:

In an interview, Johnson told Good Morning America, “She was very inspirational in me achieving all that I have. She was as quick to give a hug as she was quick to give supplies to students who needed it.”

People are finding Waddell’s story so inspirational, they want to send backpacks, too:

And everyone is deeply moved by how one person can keep helping others even after they’re gone:

Waddell had a son, Kevin Waddell, who also works in Forsyth County Schools. He told GMA that he wasn’t surprised by his mother’s request.

“Part of what I loved about my mom was the passion she had as a teacher. It’s one of the inspirations that led me to the profession,” he said.

“She lived life by loving others and she was never worried about attention … she was just focused on the love,” he continued.

“The message she would try and deliver at this point is donate to your local schools. It doesn’t have to be here specifically.”

Kevin Waddell has said he’s heard from people wanting to donate supplies from as far away as Great Britain.

There it became a more controversial discussion about how Waddell’s gesture shouldn’t be necessary: fund schools and give kids supplies, wrote commenters.

It’s not possible to tell from Waddell’s obituary what she thought of school funding, but it does say she was “had a passion for literacy and believed that every child deserved an opportunity to learn.”

And that is a legacy people will remember.

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Band Sparks Debate On Gender Pay Gap In Music Industry After Firing Their Manager

Band Sparks Debate On Gender Pay Gap In Music Industry After Firing Their Manager

A recent law in the UK stipulates that companies with more than 250 employees are required to reveal gender and wage gap data between all of its workers, and there have been some troubling findings as a result. It confirms the wage gap still exists, despite some companies faring better than others. (Sony Music UK, for example, shared a less than 5% wage gap).

Transparency is the first step in identifying which industries need to address the gaps in pay between genders, which is why many industries with murky and hush-hush compensation policies are so difficult to handle. Like music festivals.

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This inevitably leads to “unknown” bands being paid less than headlining acts, and at some festivals, nothing at all, for the chance to share a stage with a band that has a huge following. Which is a problematic payment structure to say the least, and could deter many burgeoning new acts who often lose money for a chance to pursue their art. Combine that with the staggering gender-wage gap issues in the music industry, and for artists in general, and it’s not difficult to imagine new, female musical acts losing out on a lot of potential earnings.

The payment structure of music festivals and the wage gender gap became a hotly contested issue on social media when HAIM revealed they fired their booking manager after learning they received 1/10th the amount of a male act at the same festival.

In an interview with Italian magazine, Grazia, Danielle Haim, one of the three sisters who makes up the quartet revealed a familiar struggle that many up-and-coming musicians face when playing festivals with well-known headlining acts:

“We had been told that our fee was very low because you played at the festival in the hope you’d get played on the radio.”

“We didn’t think twice about it, but we later found out that someone was getting paid 10 times more than us. And because of that we fired our agent.”

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Festivals typically compensate bands with larger followings and a record of consistently high-volume ticket sales more money – even if the acts haven’t put out new music in a while.

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The Smashing Pumpkins were set to receive $ 1.27 million for four shows played at the 2015 Soundwave Festival in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, and Adelaide. Soundgarden was slated to make $ 2.1 million, Slipknot, $ 1.65 million and Faith No More: $ 750,000.

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This study analyzed 600 chart-topping hits from 2012-2017. 22% of the songs were performed by female artists, 12% of them were written by women and a dismal 2% were produced by women. The music business beast, from all accounts, is heavily dominated by men.

When it came to the comments regarding HAIM’s festival fees, many of the comments centered on whether or not the band should’ve expected to be paid as much as Muse.

Some claimed that HAIM firing their agent without revealing the name of the band they were getting paid less than doesn’t mean they were earning less because they were female, but because the other band may have been considered a “bigger” draw.

Others are saying that HAIM firing their manager for being paid less at a festival isn’t a “gender issue at all” and more of a question on which band will bring in crowds.

Some argued that HAIM’s demand for fairer pay is less about the economics of music festivals, and more about equality for hard working artists.

HAIM, formed in 2007 was nominated for a “Best New Artist” distinction in 2015 and had two top ten billboard albums with “Days are Gone” and “Something to tell you” in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The band has sold some 330,000 albums worldwide (accounting for CD sales, digital downloads). As of this writing, HAIM accounts for 1,806,293 monthly listeners and their top 10 most popular tracks were played a collective 245,293,775 times.

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Muse, formed in 1994, has 4 Grammy nominations and 2 wins for Best Rock Album for their 2016 Drones and The Resistance. They’ve sold over 20 million records and have been featured in major studio film soundtracks, most notably the Twilight films. They currently account for 6,452,400 monthly listeners on Spotify and their top 10 tracks were streamed 812,750,854 times. They also are the first band to sell-out the newly renovated Wembley Stadium, which has a 90,000 seating capacity.

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HAIM will share the stage with Muse at the end of June at Rock in Rio festival.

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Wife And Husband's Instagram Photos Go Viral And Spark Body Image Debate

Jasmine Owens is a 25-year-old student and mother of two from Honolulu who recently took to Instagram to share a vacation photo of her and her husband. A caption alongside the photo includes an inspirational note about learning to love her body as it is, and the message is going viral. 

The post received over 70,000 likes and hundreds of comments, which were largely positive. But many weren’t, and Owens shared a screenshot of one such comment that told her to, “stop your delusion, these pics are gross and has already been shared as a meme.”

She replied to the comment by saying:

“Earlier this morning I got this very negative comment! Starting this journey publicly I knew that I would get some negative comments and I TRIED to prepare myself for the day that they started. But when I saw this comment no lie it hurt! It stabbed me hard, harder then I thought it was going to!” 

“So I had to take a step back and think to myself .. why would someone be so hateful of another person! Why would they say such rude things. But then I figured it out! People like this hate on others because they are not happy with themselves! This person does not know me! They don’t know that I am VERY healthy and WILL live for my kids! They don’t know that I eat healthy, hike, go to the gym all the time and can most likely out lift them any day!” 

“Just because I’m a big girl doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy and promoting being unhealthy! I’m simply promoting loving yourself the way you are! Never did I say unhealthy is the way to be. So for others that want to downplay me as a person and what I am trying to accomplish, go ahead leave your negative comment! They will only be used as fuel to my fire of promoting happiness!!”

Jazzy told the BBC that she’s grown accustom to comments like the above, but that she also received thousands of messages of support.

She went on to explain that she made an Instagram page to share her battle with depression and how she learned to love her body. 

Her husband, Keenan, says that he’s always been supportive of his wife sharing her fitness progress on Instagram:

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SNL Summed Up Ken Bone's 15 Minutes Of Fame In Their Town Hall Debate Sketch

The absolute farce of the US political process that is this year’s Presidential election might be depressing, but it’s a been a gold mine for comedians everywhere, especially the cast of Saturday Night Live. The town hall debate between Trump and Clinton is no exception for Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin, who reprised their roles as the candidates with hilarious results.

Like when McKinnon nailed down Hillary’s attempts at coming off as casual.


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And, well, just Baldwin’s face whenever he impersonates the Donald.


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But the real star of the sketch was Ken Bone…just like the actual debate itself.


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Check out the entire hilarious bit below.

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The 31 Funniest Tweets About The Second Presidential Debate Of 2016

If you thought the first presidential debate was bad, then you weren’t prepared for the show the free world was just treated to.

Between Trump’s surprise pre-debate guest panel, his (admittedly hilarious) quick quips, and constantly giving answers to questions he wasn’t asked, you could tell from the moment that they started the debate that he came to fight, and boy was it a show.

When both parties met on stage, the customary handshake was declined. The first half hour was akin to relatives arguing at Thanksgiving dinner. The famous Trump sniffle also returned, along with a potential 3rd candidate that crashed the party by landing on Hillary’s face, and the entire 90-minute SNL-esque event leaves us all wondering what to expect in 10 days, when the third and final debate takes place.

People had plenty to say on Twitter tonight, mainly because there was plenty to comment on. They’ll be talking about this for days.

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Republican candidates troll the Democratic debate

Republican candidates troll the Democratic debate
Republican candidates and operatives spent the NBC News-YouTube Democratic debate Sunday trolling the candidates – and one candidate in particular – with press releases, tweets and stunts. With front-runner Hillary Clinton facing a renewed challenge …
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Did Giants' Odell Beckham Jr. troll Carolina Panthers' Josh Norman again?
Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. hasn't forgotten about the on-field fighting with Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman that led to a one-game suspension. PLUS: NFC Championship game playoff TV schedule. Or at least it would appear that way with …
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