Screening News Update: Diploma Lie | Common App Change | Mass Drug Testing Trouble [Video]

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Screening News Update: Diploma Lie | Common App Change | Mass Drug Testing Trouble [Video]

  • Florida Candidate Caught in Diploma Lie
  • Common App Drops Criminal History Question
  • Laws Not Keeping Up with Legalization Efforts


Florida Candidate Caught in Diploma Lie

Melissa Howard wants to represent Florida’s District 73 in the State House of Representatives, but her race might be coming to an end. She has apparently not only lied about graduating from Miami University in Ohio, but has also been showing off a clearly faked diploma!  FLA News Online found the discrepancy when they searched the National Student Clearinghouse database for Howard’s degree. The candidate insisted she graduated, and even flew home to take a picture with her diploma. That’s when the real trouble began. University officials have already pointed out that they don’t offer the degree that’s on the diploma. There’s also a signature that is not supposed to be on an undergraduate diploma. Since the story became national news, Howard says she is busy caring for her ill husband. Many political watchers say it would be nearly impossible for her to continue in the race.

Common App Drops Criminal History Question

Speaking of getting a college education, starting next year, there will be no mention of criminal history on the widely used Common Application. The Common App is accepted by more than 750 schools and makes the application process much easier because students can apply to multiple schools at one time. Those making the decision to remove the question say students grow up a lot between 9th grade and their freshman year in college, so it would be foolish, and maybe even a bit unfair, to hold youthful indiscretions against applicants. They also say admissions directors are not always trained to differentiate between serious offenses and minor ones. But detractors say ignoring criminal history will cause security concerns. Some schools that have already removed the question from their individual applications have reported incidents involving violent offenders who were allowed to matriculate. The question about criminal history will be removed from the 2019 version of the form.

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Laws Not Keeping Up with Legalization Efforts

Massachusetts lawmakers are trying to figure out how to balance employers’ rights to drug test with their employees’ rights to smoke legal marijuana. The state legalized recreational marijuana use in 2016, but employees are still getting fired for testing positive for smoking on their own time. Bernadette Coughlin went to the Statehouse last week to try to lobby support from lawmakers to get the laws changed. After a fall at work left her with a broken wrist, Coughlin was required to take a drug test. Even though she says she only smoked in the evening after her shift, never smoked before work and was never impaired on the job, her employer was allowed to fire her just for testing positive for the now-legal substance. This is just one of the many legal Catch-22’s facing employers and lawmakers in states that have decided to go against federal law on the marijuana issue. We will continue to keep you updated as these states try to figure things out!

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