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South Cobb High students protest ‘racist’ comments
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South Cobb High students protest ‘racist’ comments

South Cobb High students protest ‘racist’ comments

South Cobb High students protest ‘racist’ comments

A comment about lynching students, censorship of essays with racial themes, a threat to throw a Latino student over the president’s wall, and questions about whether their families are here legally.

These are among the list of alleged teacher comments that South Cobb High School’s students say they have brought to the administration’s attention.

South Cobb seniors Malik Freeman, Rin Faith, and Naomi Yaledah-Bashaar spoke with WSB Radio’s Veronica Waters, recalling a series of racially-offensive comments made by teachers in the past year.

“Our band director once said to his students in class, ‘Is it cotton-picking season?’” Freeman says. 

“[A] teacher said to Hispanic students, ‘If you don’t get this question right, we’re going to throw you over the wall,’” Faith remembers.

WSB Radio
Rin Faith rallies outside South Cobb High School.
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Local students rally against school's racist atmosphere

Photo Credit: WSB Radio
Rin Faith rallies outside South Cobb High School.

Yaledah-Bashaar tells WSB a teacher once told a noisy classroom "that if we wouldn’t be quiet, he would have to hang us.”

All three students say this has tainted their love of their school and their trust in its administration and staffers. None feels safe in the place they spend hours every day, in a year that should be one of the best, they all say.

“I’ve never felt so unsafe in a school building, ever in my life,” says Yaledah-Bashaar. "I've always had respect for my teachers, I've always had love for the schools that I've been in, and I’ve always had a close connection to my teachers.

“But I no longer feel comfortable at South Cobb. I no longer feel safe. I no longer feel as though I'm welcomed or my opinions or values or me as a person is appreciated."

The trio says complaints have fallen on deaf ears. The teacher who made the lynching remark stood by his comment when Yaledah-Bashaar confronted him about it the next day. She taped the conversation, and shared part of it on Twitter. The instructor, who has since retired, insisted he was standing by his words because he "tells it like it is."

In a more recent incident, Faith says, a teacher assigned students to write about a controversial topic and present their essays in class. One student wrote about how most mass shootings in the U.S. are committed by white men. The teacher took offense, students say, accusing the author of not backing up his paper although he listed his proper citations, and began censoring the topics she allowed to be presented in class. One student was disciplined after questioning the teacher about her decision, the students tell WSB. 

The students are lobbying for apologies, and action – including having that student's disciplinary record cleared.

Freeman, a student government board member, hopes that something positive will be done to resolve this before he graduates in May, and that the administration will listen to their grievances seriously.

"It's my senior year at South Cobb High School, and it's been my worst year," he says. "It's been their worst year. All because of what we've had to endure."

He says the administrators put the onus on students to do research on the allegations and then talk to their classmates about what was happening.

“We’re sick of always having slaps on the wrists," Freeman says. "We just want something to be done about it. Whether that's reprimanding the teacher, her losing her job, whether that's bring the board out here and let's have a forum. We just want something to be done."

Students and parents accuse the administration is turning a deaf ear to them after they put together a package of statements from students about the comments they have witnessed. Although they met with their local school board rep, a promised deadline to give them some resolution by the end of January has come and gone and they have heard nothing, the group says.

Only five students demonstrated Thursday afternoon. The students and parents present say most other parents were afraid of backlash targeting their kids, so they did not allow them to attend.

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Local students rally against school's racist atmosphere

Faith says she understands the nervousness, but believes the stakes are high enough that she should protest publicly.

"We really just want to show people that you don't get to sweep this under the rug like you did everything else," she says.

Faith adds that the teachers who make racist, homophobic, or sexist comments should be disciplined or even fired, much like a student who says something considered inflammatory would be disciplined. "It's just sad to look around,” Faith says, adding, “You teach at a predominantly black and brown school. Are you really still thinking like that? 

“Issues like this [are] what keep us from progressing as a whole, and everybody should be more concerned about coming together despite your adversities and differences, rather than separating us further.”

WSB Radio
South Cobb High senior Rin Faith speaks with WSB Radio's Veronica Waters.
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Local students rally against school's racist atmosphere

Photo Credit: WSB Radio
South Cobb High senior Rin Faith speaks with WSB Radio's Veronica Waters.

Several community members came out in support of the students.

Calli McGregor is a Cobb County parent who does not have kids at South Cobb, but who is frustrated that these students are being ignored and made to feel unvalued.

“These students have done their best to go through the proper channels and chain of command, to get some resolution [for] these issues and so far, they have not,” McGregor says. "I think they’re very, very brave young men and women and I just want to be here to support them.”

Asked what she feels the district should do, McGregor says, “Just respond to these students. Make them feel heard, make them feel supported.

“And above all else, make them feel safe. Make them feel like they can go to school without having to feel discriminated against and marginalized.”

Leroy Tre Hutchins is another Cobb County parent whose children attend different schools, but is alarmed over continued missteps and offenses by staffers.

“To hear this and to hear some of the things that the teachers have said to these students, I can’t imagine the type of post-traumatic stress disorder these children are gonna have as a result of the people that we’re supposed to trust with our kids every day,” Hutchins says.

He adds that he thinks it is imperative staffers at South Cobb High receive immediate training on “explicit and implicit bias.”

“For every school employee; every lunch lady, the resource officers, the substitute teachers, all the way to the superintendent’s office,” Hutchins concludes.

Friday afternoon, John Stafford, senior executive director of communications and events for South Cobb High, emailed the following statement to WSB:

“We take the claims of racial bias seriously, and the safety of our students is of paramount importance. All allegations are reviewed thoroughly and appropriate action taken, as necessary.”

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  • A 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy died Thursday morning after a classmate opened fire on students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, injuring three other students before he attempted to take his own life, sheriff's deputies said. >> Read more trending news  Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to reports of the shooting just after 7:30 a.m. local time. Authorities found six people suffering gunshot wounds in the school's quad. Deputies said the injured included the suspected shooter. The shooter later died Friday afternoon at a hospital with his mother present, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Update 7:50 p.m. EST Nov. 15: Police say 16-year-old boy who shot five students at his Los Angeles-area high school has died. People who knew the boy described him as a quiet, smart kid who they’d never expect to turn violent. Update 7:30 p.m. EST Nov. 15: Authorities have identified the second student killed in a shooting by a fellow student at a Southern California high school. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office says 14-year-old Dominic Blackwell died Thursday along with 15-year-old Gracie Muehlberger. Two teenage girls remain hospitalized but are expected to be released over the weekend. A third student was treated and released. Update 3:20 p.m. EST Nov. 15: Los Angeles County coroner's officials on Friday identified one of the two teenagers slain Thursday after a student opened fire on classmates at Saugus High School as Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, according to The Los Angeles Times. The newspaper reported she celebrated her 15th birthday on Oct. 10. A 14-year-old boy killed in the shooting was not immediately identified, according to KCBS-TV. Update 6:37 a.m. EST Nov. 15: The suspect has been identified by two separate law enforcement sources as Nathaniel Berhow, CNN and the Los Angeles Times reported. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has not confirmed his identity due to his age, CNN reported. Neighbors described Berhow as a good student and typical teenager who was affected by the death of his father in 2017, CNN reported. Neighbors said Berhow found his father dead after had a heart attack, KTTV reported. His mother and father had divorced in 2016, CNN reported. There is no motive for the attack, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office.  Members of the community gathered near the campus Thursday night to remember the victims, KNBC reported. The Associated Press reported the gunman shot whoever was near him and that there was no known connection to the victims. Update 3:10 p.m. EST Nov. 14: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Capt. Kent Wegener identified the gunman as a 16-year-old student who opened fire on his classmates on his birthday. Wegener said video from the scene showed the teenager, who was not identified by name, taking a gun out of his backpack in the quad at Saugus High School on Thursday morning. He shot five of his classmates before turning the gun on himself. Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters Thursday that the suspect shot himself in the head. He was among six people transported to the hospital after the shooting. Two students died in Thursday's shooting, a girl and a boy. Authorities did not identify the victims by name. Update 2:30 p.m. EST Nov. 14: Authorities in Los Angeles County are holding a news conference Thursday to update the public on Thursday morning's deadly shooting at Saugus High School. Update 1:05 p.m EST Nov. 14: Officials with Henry Mayo Hospital confirmed a female died after being taken to the hospital following a shooting at Saugus High School. It was not immediately clear whether the victim was a student. Hospital officials said three other male victims were taken to the hospital with injuries after shooting. Two of the victims were listed in critical condition while the third was listed in good condition. Update 12:50 p.m. EST Nov. 14: Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said a suspect was in custody after Thursday morning's shooting at Saugus High School. Authorities were expected to provide more details at a news conference scheduled Thursday morning. Update 12:35 p.m. EST Nov. 14: Officials at Henry Mayo Hospital confirmed they had received four patients after a gunman opened fire Thursday at Saugus High School. Hospital officials said the victims included three males and one female. All the victims, aside from one male in good condition, were listed in critical condition in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. Update 12:30 p.m. EST Nov. 14: Parent Brian Skiba told KCBS-TV that his daughter ran into a classroom when she heard shots fired Thursday morning at Saugus High School. 'She heard the shots ... she in the quad, where it started, and ran into the band room,' Skiba told the news station. '(She) locked the door behind her and told everybody to get down.' Skiba told KCBS-TV a police officer was in the band room with about 50 students Thursday. 'I'm still pretty shook up,' Skiba said. Update 12:10 p.m. EST Nov. 14: Sheriff's deputies told KNBC-TV that they were surrounding two locations Thursday morning in Santa Clarita, including a home believed to be the suspect's residence. KTLA reported authorities believe the gunman was a student at Saugus High School. Officials asked residents in the area to stay inside and keep their doors locked as they continued to investigate Thursday. Update 12 p.m. EST Nov. 14: White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said President Donald Trump was monitoring reports of Thursday morning's shooting in Santa Clarita. 'The White House encourages all those in the area to follow the advice of local law enforcement and first responders,' Deere said. Update 11:50 a.m. EST Nov. 14: Officials with Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia said two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition after Thursday morning's shooting at Saugus High School. Hospital officials said three other victims were en route to the hospital Thursday morning. Their conditions were not immediately known. Update 11:45 a.m. EST Nov. 14: Deputies asked residents in the area of Saugus High School to lock their doors and shelter in place as they continue to search for a shooter who opened fire Thursday morning at the school. Update 11:30 a.m. EST Nov. 14: Authorities revised down the number of people injured in Thursday morning's shooting from seven to three, according to KNBC-TV. Sheriff's deputies warned the incident was active and ongoing Thursday morning. Original report: Deputies said nearby schools were placed under lockdown as authorities investigated. Officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department told KNBC that at least seven people were shot. Their conditions were not immediately known. Check back for updates to this developing story.
  • A 9-year-old child prodigy in Belgium is expected to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. >> Read more trending news  Laurent Simons, of Belgium, started studying electrical engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology when he was 8 and will complete a three-year program in 10 months, The New York Times reported. His final project is an electrical chip that is connected to the brain. “Then, I want to study medicine and do a Ph.D. and make artificial organs,” he told The New York Times. He was raised by his grandparents while his parents worked in the Netherlands. They are all doctors. He now lives with his parents. “His grandparents always taught us he’s very special,” father Alexander Simons told The Times. “We thought they were taking him too seriously.” Laurent, who has an IQ of 145, started school at 4 and was in high school at 6 years old.  'Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,' Sjoerd Hulshof, the director of education at the university, said in a statement, CNN reported. 'Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.' His instructors rave about his academic abilities. “Laurent’s absorption capacity is very high, which means that everything goes much faster and we can cover a lot more material in a short span of time,” Peter Baltus, a professor at the university and the boy’s mentor, told the Times. “It’s been quite special and enjoyable.” In his off-time, Laurent has interests similar to most kids, playing video games, posting on social media and watching Netflix.  Ultimately, he would like to develop artificial hearts. “My goal as a scientist is life extension,” he told AD, an online publication in the Netherlands. “My grandfather and grandmother are heart patients and I want to help them.”
  • The 19-year-old driver who struck three people, including two children, at a Forsyth County school bus stop now faces numerous charges including DUI.Deputies with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department say Christopher Ray Frachiseur may have been under the influence of drugs when he failed to stop for the bus on Buford Highway near Bonnie Brea Road just before 7 a.m. Friday. His Toyota Camry jumped the curb, traveled down the sidewalk and struck the three victims who were waiting at the end of their driveway to board the bus which had its signal arm out.
  • A Philadelphia 14-year-old has been charged with murder in the death of a well-known animal rescuer who was found tied to his bed, naked, and bludgeoned to death last week. The girl is also charged with robbery, possession of an instrument of crime, obstruction and tampering with evidence in the killing of Albert 'Al' Chernoff, according to Philadelphia court records. Her name is being withheld due to her age and the uncertainty of her status as a defendant. Jane Roh, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, told CNN on Monday that prosecutors had not yet decided whether the girl would be tried as an adult. CBS Philadelphia reported last week that investigators were also looking into whether the girl was a victim of a crime. Her connection to Chernoff and her reason for being at his home were not clear, but the CBS affiliate reported the day after Chernoff was found dead that detectives believed he may have been the victim of an escort who tied him up, robbed him and killed him. Court records show the teen is being held without bail at the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center. >> Read more trending news  Chernoff, who went by the nickname 'Alley Cat,' was found dead around 3 a.m. Nov. 5 in his home in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood of northeast Philadelphia, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was suffering from a massive head injury and multiple slashes to his chest, the newspaper reported. The 59-year-old previously appeared on the NatGeoTV reality show 'Rescue Ink,' which profiled tattooed bikers working against animal abuse. Police were called to Chernoff's home by a concerned neighbor who requested a welfare check, the newspaper said. Chernoff, who authorities believe was attacked around 10:30 p.m. Nov. 4, was pronounced dead at the scene. Tony Branconi, Chernoff's neighbor in the duplex where he lived and died, told the Daily Mail he called police because he 'heard a racket.' 'I have heard such noises before, but this was in the middle of the night,' Branconi, 70, told the publication. 'It was like he was building something.' He said he went outside and saw Chernoff's car parked in an unusual spot on the driveway. When he looked inside, he saw the vehicle had been ransacked. ‘A very brutal murder' Acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said last week that the case is an 'extremely troubling' one. 'It was a very brutal murder,' Coulter said, according to video shot by Fox29 in Philadelphia. Sources told ABC6 that Chernoff was killed with a nail-studded two-by-four, though Coulter declined to identify the weapon used in the crime. 'We're not going to release details about the crime scene itself until we have the evidence that we need,' she said. The commissioner said it was hard to grasp anyone committing such a grisly crime, but that it was even harder to imagine a child being involved. 'But then you have to look to why did this happen, and, you know, that's what the investigators are going to attempt to find out,' Coulter said. Philadelphia detectives trying to identify Chernoff's killer released surveillance footage Nov. 6 from inside the Army veteran's house. The footage showed the suspect, wearing red sweatpants, a black jacket and a pink top, walking through the living room of the home and into the kitchen, where she washed her hands and looked in the fridge and freezer before leaving. Some of Chernoff's 11 cats can be seen in the footage as his suspected killer walks though his living room. Listen to Coulter speak about the crime and see footage from inside Chernoff's home below. Witnesses also reported seeing a young woman leaving Chernoff's house shortly before his body was found, the Inquirer reported. The 14-year-old girl, accompanied by her mother and two defense attorneys, turned herself in to police Nov. 8 after family members saw the footage, CNN reported. Coulter told Fox29 that the girl's family brought her in 'because she was clearly the person on the video.' Once the girl was in custody, police officials removed the footage from their website. On Twitter, at least one person wondered if the footage was removed because the girl was a possible sex trafficking victim. 'Everybody talking about how good of a man Al Chernoff was,' another man tweeted. 'I just want to know why a 14-year-old alleged prostitute was in his home. I'm sorry, but if he was having sex with her, he got exactly what he deserved.' Howard Taylor, one of the girl's lawyers, told CNN the situation was a sad one. 'Troubled girl. There's a reason police aren't saying much,' Taylor told the network. 'There's a lot more to it.' When a reporter asked if the girl was a victim of some kind, Taylor said he 'wouldn't put it to that extent.' He said Chernoff 'wasn't totally innocent, either,' CNN reported. Coulter described Chernoff as a 'guy who went to work every day, well liked by his neighbors and co-workers.' She said Chernoff, who was a building maintenance supervisor at the Philadelphia International Airport, did not appear to have a criminal record. ‘A fierce and tireless advocate' Animal welfare activists in Philadelphia were stunned by Chernoff's death. 'If you help animals in Philadelphia, you've met Al,' Blake Martin of Philadelphia's Animal Care and Control Team told ABC6. 'He is a wild veteran who loves motorcycles and will talk your ear off about his motorcycles and cats.' Chernoff, who was known for building shelters for feral strays in the city, also founded a one-man rescue group, Alley Cat Animal Rescue. 'His generosity was incredible,' Martin said. 'You don't see a lot of that anymore, especially towards the animal community. 'It's been a tough day.' The Facebook page of 'The Cat Rescuers,' a documentary about cat rescue in New York City, described Chernoff as 'one of many amazing rescuers' filmmakers met during filming. The crew met Chernoff during a workshop on 'trap-neuter-return,' a method of managing the stray and feral cat population that Chernoff was known to use. 'He wasn't one of the main four we were following, but we were so taken by his warmth and affability when we encountered him at a (trap-neuter-return) workshop that we just knew we had to put him in our film,' the post read. A brief clip from the documentary shows Chernoff showing off his many cat tattoos. He tells the camera that he had a cat as a child. 'I just was always into cats,' Chernoff says. 'Cats and Harleys and tattoos. That's what I'm into.' Chernoff's Facebook page is filled with photos of his cats, 11 of them, along with photos of his building projects. Motorcycles and military memorabilia are also heavily featured on his page. Last month, he posted a wedding photo of his parents, along with his Army basic training photo, writing that he had just stumbled upon the pictures. Chernoff was not married and had no immediate family left, according to Philadelphia's Jewish Exponent. 'We tried the best we could to keep him family-oriented because he had no parents, he had no siblings and he had no children,' Chernoff's cousin, Beverly Levin, told the Exponent. 'He was with us for Rosh Hashanah just last month. We kept him as close as we could because he was alone in the world.' Since his death, friends in the animal rescue community and beyond have mourned Chernoff on social media. They have also contributed more than $18,000 to a GoFundMe page set up by Levin's son, David Levin, to pay for Chernoff's funeral and provide for more cats to be rescued. 'Al's kids were his cats,' David Levin wrote on the fundraising page. A private donor, along with Chernoff's veteran benefits, have taken care of the cost of his funeral and memorial service, which is scheduled for Nov. 24 in Southampton. All the funds raised by the GoFundMe campaign will be distributed to multiple animal rescues, David Levin wrote in an update. Chernoff's 11 cats, along with three turtles and two frogs, were rescued from his home following his death. Friend and fellow rescuer Gwen Cooper wrote that she was “shocked and saddened beyond the telling of it” to learn of Chernoff’s death. 'Al was a fierce and tireless advocate for rescue cats -- one of the staunchest protectors of cats I've ever known -- and I was honored and privileged to count him among my personal friends in rescue for many years,' Cooper wrote. 'My heart goes out to the people and felines who knew and loved him best.' She said she was certain the 'veritable army of cats' he saved over the years were there to greet him on the 'rainbow bridge' when he died. Chernoff was also active in the Jewish war veterans' community, the Exponent reported. 'He went out of his way many a time for people who suffered what used to be called shell shock and what is now called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),' M.B. Kanis, commander of the Jewish War Veterans Drizin-Weiss Post 215, told the publication. 'He recognized PTSD and knew that people with service animals could become more calm and relaxed and more focused. In the Philadelphia area, I know of at least three service veterans who he helped hands-on (with service animals).' Emily Petry, who described Chernoff as the 'best cat daddy ever,' said he was one of the kindest people she'd ever known. 'Nobody who ever knew you would have ever done you any harm,' Petry wrote. Ashley Foresta, a fellow animal rescuer in Philadelphia, told the Daily Mail she could not imagine why the 14-year-old suspect was in Chernoff's house. Foresta speculated that perhaps Chernoff had hired the girl to clean his home, but Branconi told the Mail he had never seen the girl at the duplex before. 'I just can't imagine for one minute that Al was the type of person who would have had an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl -- but at the same time I can't think of anyone ever having a reason to kill him,' Foresta said. 'To be honest, maybe part of me doesn't want to know the whole truth,' she said. Chernoff's family and friends weren't the only ones puzzled by his slaying. Coulter said last week that detectives were still piecing together what happened and why. 'Who it is, is identified, but the why and the rationale behind it is what the investigators are now working on,' Coulter told reporters. 'These things take time to get right. 'I know that everybody would like to have everything answered, and so would we, but we want to make sure that we do it in a way that the judicial process plays out fairly and everybody involved gets justice.
  • Lyft is eliminating its scooter operation in Atlanta, nearly a year after the devices were deployed in the city, a spokesperson confirmed Friday in an emailed statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The electric scooters will leave the city Nov. 22. The company launched in Atlanta Dec. 21, just two days after rival Uber began its own scooter service in the city.  “We’re grateful to our scooter riders in Atlanta as well as our partners in Atlanta city government,” read the statement. “We look forward to continuing to provide riders with other modes of reliable transportation.” The decision comes amid discussions about Atlanta’s regulation of electric scooters. The city is considering reducing the number of scooter companies operating in the city. RELATED COVERAGE: City of Atlanta fails to collect $200K in scooter impound fees The Lyft spokesperson said they’re focusing on markets that have the biggest impact. The spokesperson also confirmed the company is eliminating services in five other cities, including Dallas, San Antonio and Nashville.  Twenty employees are expected to be laid off as a result of the decision.  Lyft is the latest micromobility company to leave Atlanta. Uber’s electric bikes, JUMP e-bikes, left the city in September.  Like Intown Atlanta News Now on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter In other news:
  • The 2019 Leonid meteor shower peaks this weekend. >> Read more trending news  With clear skies, there's a good chance you may be able to see a meteor Sunday night and see the peak in meteor showers early Monday morning. According to the American Meteor Society, spectators can expect up to nine meteors an hour during this year’s peak time, which is expected to be around 5 a.m. Monday. 'Skywatchers may be able to see some meteors on days just before and after the peak, although the moon will continue to obstruct views,' according to Space.com. The meteors can be seen each year in November when Earth's orbit crosses with the comet 55P Tempel-Tuttle. The comet was discovered by German astronomer Ernst Wilhelm Tempel and American astronomer Horace P. Tuttle in 1865. Both astronomers discovered the comet independently. The comet “makes fairly frequent passes through the inner solar system,” according to David Samuhel, senior meteorologist and astronomy blogger at AccuWeather. “This lays out fresh debris in the path of the Earth's orbit every 33 years.” When it does make a close approach to the planet, stargazers get to revel in explosive showers. In 1833, stargazers reported seeing as many as 72,000 shooting stars per hour, according to National Geographic. Later, in 1966, a group of hunters reported seeing 40 to 50 streaks per second over the duration of 15 minutes. Scientists currently predict the next major outburst won't take place until 2099. But, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported, the comet will be returning closer to Earth in 2031 and 2064, meaning more intense storms are on the horizon. Smaller showers, like the one occurring this weekend, happen annually. While the 2019 shower won’t bring hundreds of shooting stars an hour, it’s sure to be a delight in areas with clear skies and the absence of moonlight. How to watch the meteor shower Clear skies are essential for prime meteor shower viewing. Skyglow, the light pollution caused by localized streetlights, will block out the stars and negatively affect your viewing experience, so head somewhere far from city lights. When you’re outside in the dark, lie flat on your back with your feet facing south and look up at the vast sky. Give yourself 30 minutes for your eyes to adapt to the environment. Be sure to bring warm clothing, a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair and leave your telescope at home.