David DesRoches

David covers education and related topics for WNPR, and also mentors high school seniors who attend the Journalism and Media Academy magnet school in Hartford as part of Connecticut Public Broadcasting’s Learning Lab initiative.

David comes to public media after a career in newspapers, where he received a dozen state, regional and national awards for his work, including New England’s Reporter of the Year in 2013.

A native of central Virginia, David’s special education reporting in Darien, Connecticut, has been cited as one of the most comprehensive explorations of disability rights among children in the Unites States.

Before journalism, David ran a flyer distribution company, started a non-profit media organization in Ethiopia, and taught songwriting to people with physical and mental disabilities. He frequently contributes to various journalism seminars focused on education, investigations and First Amendment issues. When not pestering public officials, David enjoys pestering his friends at craft beer pubs, traveling to unpopular locations, exploring nature and playing music.

Over the last nine months, Connecticut's weather has wreaked havoc on school schedules, especially those in the western part of the state that got hit by the recent tornado. So some districts leaders have said they won’t be able to provide the mandatory 180 days of instruction, so they’re asking the state for a waiver.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that district administrators in Stonington did not respond to a request for comment. In fact, Stonington High School Principal Mark Friese responded to WNPR in an email before the story was published, and he provided his account of the day’s events, which is now included.

Stonington High School junior Caroline Morehouse was excited when she learned that her school would allow students to walkout of class to protest gun violence in a nationwide day of action on March 14. She'd be standing in solidarity with students from Parkland, Florida, who only a month earlier had lost 17 classmates in yet another school shooting.

School students around Connecticut joined a national school walkout in protest against gun violence Wednesday. But the way the event was handled by school administration varied widely from district to district.

Connecticut has spent over $50 million helping schools beef up security since 2013. Some of that money -- $3.2 million -- has gone to private schools, which are reimbursed at a higher rate than many public schools.

Students will be walking out of schools across Connecticut Wednesday to express their concerns about gun violence. School districts around the state have been responding to the effort in different ways. 

KendraLiz Gonzalez had been in cosmetology school for only two months when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, destroying her school. So she took her twin girls, hopped on a plane, and came to Hartford, where she's staying with her aunt.

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

Take a drive through Old Wethersfield and he's hard to miss.

Students from the University of Hartford have been taking to social media over the university's handling of a dispute between roommates that ended in an arrest.

It took about 20 minutes and two helium tanks to fill up the huge latex balloon. A rope dangling from the bottom held onto an assortment of gadgets, including a video camera, parachute, and a razor attached to motor that was programmed to cut the rope at just the right altitude.