Author

Margaret Mellott

Margaret Mellott

Margaret Mellott is a recent Emporia State University graduate of communication and journalism. During their time at ESU, they spent all four years on the campus paper, The Bulletin. She also spent one year with The Campus Ledger at Johnson County Community College. Outside of collegiate journalism, Mellott has also worked on projects for Vintage KC Magazine and Humanities Kansas.

Four panelists address critical race theory, gender identity and parental rights during a June 13 event by the Kansas Policy Institute in Overland Park. The panelists, from left, were Dave Trabert, CEO of KPI; Wilfred Reilly, author of “Hate Crime Hoax;” Robert Woodson, a self-described "racial exorcist;" and Mary Miller, a private school advocate. The moderator was Michael Ryan, right, executive editor of The Lion. (Margaret Mellott/Kansas Reflector)

Divisions over Kansas K-12 education spawn misinformation and anxiety at Overland Park forum

By: - June 26, 2022

OVERLAND PARK — As she sat in the back of the conference room, behind rows and rows of people, she listened to this panel of four talk about Kansas classrooms. How long have the people on this panel spent in public schools, she wondered. More specifically, how long have they spent in Kansas ones? This […]

While tabling for the office of Native American initiatives at the University of Kansas, Melissa Peterson (right), sits next to Lori Hasselman (left), Native American Student Success Coordinator. The Kansas Board of Regents appointed Peterson, director of tribal relations at the KU, to the Indigenous Education Advisory Council during its June meeting. (Submitted by Melissa Peterson)

Kansas creates American Indian education advisory council

By: - June 25, 2022

TOPEKA — The Kansas State Board of Education has established a temporary advisory council to improve and reform American Indian learning systems in the state. Cheryl Harrison-Lee, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents, said the creation of the council will help state education officials as they try to close enrollment gaps for underserved Kansans. […]

Kansas City protest emphasizes impact of Roe v. Wade ruling on marginalized bodies

By: - June 25, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hundreds of people came to Mill Creek Park on Friday despite the sticky summer heat to support reproductive rights and to protest the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Imije Ninaz, founder of the Nafasi Center, a nonprofit focused on providing resources to the Black queer, transgender, intersex and non-binary […]

Kansas political leaders, advocacy groups react to Roe v. Wade repeal

By: and - June 24, 2022

TOPEKA — Kansas lawmakers and activists across the political spectrum present emotional and starkly contrasting responses Friday to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, ranging from celebration to outrage to calls for action. With a proposed constitutional amendment on the August primary ballot offering a vote on whether to maintain a […]

Newly appointed Emporia State president plans to bring business practices to higher education

By: - June 22, 2022

EMPORIA — For more than seven months, the president’s office at Emporia State University sat nearly empty, filled only with necessities for the interim leader. Ken Hush didn’t plan on making that office his, but the time he spent as interim president persuaded him to apply for the permanent position.  On Wednesday, he was named […]

With the speech and debate nationals right around the corner, Jeff Plinsky helps a student practice an argument on June 8. Plinsky, a teacher and coach at Lawrence High School, said despite the environment for teachers right now, his students bring a bright spot to his job. (Submitted)

‘Death by 1,000 cuts’: Kansas teachers demoralized by current environment

By: - June 16, 2022

TOPEKA — Caught in a political crossfire and exhausted from the pandemic, Kansas teachers are putting down their books and leaving the profession. In a survey from the National Education Association, 55% of teachers indicated they were ready to leave the classroom. As of April 12, there were 1,381 teacher vacancies in Kansas, according to […]

Republican Louis Reed files to run for Kansas Legislature

Education, health care issues bring out candidates on last day to file for Kansas elections

By: and - June 10, 2022

TOPEKA — As the last day to file for Congress, the state Legislature and the Kansas Board of Education came to a close on June 10, many candidates say they hope to tackle education and health care if elected. “I’m running for my children,” said Olathe Democrat Matt Maciel, who filed for the 14th District. […]

Despite approved school security funding, Kansas leaders grapple with gun threat

By: - June 8, 2022

TOPEKA — The sunny Friday of Dec. 14, 2012, became one of the most horrifying days in U.S. history when a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school. Twenty-six people were killed, 20 of them children. “I remember going to pick up my own kids after Sandy Hook,” said Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, […]

Newman Regional Health partners with Flint Hills Technical College so its nursing students can complete clinicals, required training that provides real-life experience at emergency facilities. Before changing its policy on March 11, the hospital only allowed employees, not students, to requisition a vaccine exemption. (Margaret Mellott for Kansas Reflector)

Emporia nursing student who refused COVID-19 vaccine allowed to complete degree

By: - April 15, 2022

EMPORIA — Following Newman Regional Health’s “change in position” regarding students not vaccinated against COVID-19, a Flint Hills Technical College nursing student has been allowed to finish her degree. “Flint Hills Technical College announced in court (March 11) that they would reverse course and honor nursing student Molly Ellis’ religious beliefs and provide her nursing […]

‘Plant-based meat’ label debate results in House bill aiming for stricter requirements

By: - March 2, 2022

While there are strict regulations on meat labeling, plant-based imitation products have none. The Kansas Livestock Association wants to change that. House Bill 2530 would add new definitions to the prohibition on misbranded foods in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. This bill was brought before the Committee on Agriculture on Feb. 15. Any meatless […]

Kansas judge blocks college from failing nursing student who refused COVID-19 vaccine

By: - February 18, 2022

EMPORIA — A district judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday preventing a technical college from recording failing grades for a nursing student who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on religious grounds. The student, Molly Ellis, claimed unlawful discrimination in a lawsuit filed Feb. 2 in Lyon County District Court against Flint Hills Technical College […]

Tax council testimony: Kansas sales tax burden creates regressive system

By: - December 20, 2021

Nearly 38% of Kansas’ tax revenue comes from sales taxes, according to Donna Ginther, director of the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas.  “Kansas taxes are regressive because of our over-reliance on the sales tax,” Ginther said Dec. 17 at the last meeting of the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform. […]