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Students at El Sereno Middle School in Los Angeles in 2019. Photo: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Daily Breeze via Getty Images

Some states and school systems are letting students stay home for mental health reasons in light of rising youth anxiety, depression and suicide rates, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The suicide rate for people ages 10 to 24 increased by 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this month.

Details: Utah and Oregon have enacted laws allowing mental health days, and students in Colorado, Florida and Washington are pushing similar bills.

The other side: The laws didn't pass without controversy. Some lawmakers argued that students need to toughen up or that the new rules could affect athletics or absenteeism.

  • "The bottom line of this is there will be students that will abuse the system but there will be students that this will save," Oregon high school senior Derek Evans responded.

Go deeper: Why we're failing to stop teen suicide

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook refers Trump ban to independent Oversight Board for review

Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook's independent Oversight Board has accepted a referral from the platform to review its decision to indefinitely suspend former President Trump.

Why it matters: While Trump critics largely praised the company's decision to remove the then-president's account for potential incitement of violence, many world leaders and free speech advocates pushed back on the decision, arguing it sets a dangerous precedent for free speech moving forward.

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