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Today is Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, and a Royal Oak Middle School student has admitted to placing a noose in a school bathroom. The student has been removed from the school until “further notice,” the district superintendent said Sunday.

The discovery of the noose is the second incident with racial or ethnic overtones at the school this month. A day after the election of Donald Trump as president, some students at the school were videotaped chanting in the lunchroom “build that wall,” referencing a controversial campaign promise by candidate Trump to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. The incidents are one of many that have been alleged across the United States since the general election.

At college campuses in Michigan and across the country, students and sometimes university staff are creating areas — sometimes known as safe spaces — to work through issues. From the outcome of the presidential election, to racist and violent incidents on campus, students are creating places to process, protest, organize and find ways to move on.

And while they’re not necessarily new, safe spaces have become a lightning rod for critics who say college students are overly sensitive and ill-equipped to face different or opposing views. How do you feel about safe spaces in schools and on campuses? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @detroitnews.

Here's what else we are following today:

Giving thanks

  • Thanksgiving is on Thursday and that means the holiday shopping season is about to be upon us. Kick things off by grabbing a copy of The Detroit News a day early (Wednesday) and you'll get all the door busters and holiday savings. Sales start Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at the printing plant — 6200 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights, 48312 — and will continue into the afternoon. 
  • Love it or loathe it, Thanksgiving Day shopping is here to stay. But some stores are rethinking their strategies on whether it makes sense to be open on the holiday itself.
  • Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner? If you are, here are some turkey tips. Here are a few new takes on classic recipes from executive chef Alex Knezevic of Vertical restaurant. And if you're tired of the usual fare, you can try something new with these Turkey Day appetizer recipes courtesy of Kate Lawson. Don't forget the decorations! This is the perfect time to try a table centerpiece

Special permission

  • Pope Francis is allowing all priests to absolve the faithful of the “grave sin” of abortion, extending indefinitely the special permission he had granted for the duration of the just-ended Holy Year of Mercy.
  • Francis wrote in the Apostolic Letter made public by the Vatican on Monday that “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled” with God.But he also wrote: “I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life.”

When VP Pence went to 'Hamilton'

  • If Donald Trump is waiting for an apology from the cast of “Hamilton,” he will have to continue to wait. Actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr in the celebrated musical, told “CBS This Morning” on Monday that “there’s nothing to apologize for.” Dixon gave Vice President-elect Mike Pence an onstage earful about equality at the end of Friday’s performance. Trump has taken to Twitter to demand an apology.
  • Things didn't go so well for one audience member at a Chicago performance of the musical.  The man was arrested during a performance after audience members say he shouted “We won!” and other election-related comments from the balcony.

Is it easier to cheat?

Bracing for the 'The Game'

Detroit News at noon is a daily roundup of the most talked-about stories on detroitnews.com. For more anytime, like us on Facebook and follow us on TwitterInstagram (@detroitnews), Snapchat (Search for "Detroitnews") and LinkedIn

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