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The December 14 'MHP' Syllabus

One year after Newtown and one day after Arapahoe, we'll ask: how do we police our schools without policing our kids? Much more at 10am ET on msnbc, #nerdland.
JoAnne Allen, right, hugs her son Alex Allen, 17, after a school shooting on December 13, 2013 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado.
JoAnne Allen, right, hugs her son Alex Allen, 17, after a school shooting on December 13, 2013 at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado.

If there is one thing we’re confident all sides of the political debate can agree on, it is that schools should be safe. How to make them safe–and exactly what safety means–is the real debate.

On Friday afternoon, even as we were working in the office on a discussion about school safety and policing, we were shocked to see the breaking-news alerts, just a day ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Newtown shooting anniversary, of a shooting in a school, in off all places, Colorado. How could something like this happen again?

As we pause to remember the events that occurred in sleepy Newtown, Connecticut exactly one year ago this weekend--and now to Friday’s shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado--one of the questions that comes to the forefront of the gun debate is whether kids are safer in school when they are protected by armed guards. National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre certainly thinks that they are, and made that abundantly clear in the days immediately following the Sandy Hook tragedy.

But when you are a student in a community riddled with gun violence like Chicago’s South Side, the presence of armed guards can feel more threatening than protective. Our show on Saturday will highlight this ongoing debate in addition to bringing you the latest details about Friday’s shooting incident.

Do we have a deal? That was the question Members of Congress were asking Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan and Chair of the Senate Budget Committee Sen. Patty Murray as they hammered out the final details of a new two year budget. Though neither party is completely satisfied, the House passed the budget 332 to 94 leaving the final word to the Senate who will hold its vote on Tuesday. Yes, it’s good that Congress finally has a bipartisan budget to vote on. And some are celebrating that the Murray-Ryan budget will cut the deficit by $23 billion and restore $63 billion in sequester cuts. What is less appealing is the way the budget will accomplish these feats. As they say, the devil is in the details.

On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, we will unpack the budget deal and discuss which party is winding up with the better end of the deal.   

In other economic news, the Volcker Rule passed this week. A major part of the Dodd-Frank law, the rule will work to regulate banks in order to avoid another financial crisis. The final version of the Volcker rule is far stronger than previous drafts and will protect clients from losing money due to risks taken by big banks. Confused? Never fear! We will break it all down on this Saturday’s MHP.

The state legislature in Michigan this week passed a law that will require women to purchase additional insurance to cover abortions. Denounced by opponents as “rape insurance”--though our guest Jessica Valenti argued against that term in The Nation--legislation bans private health plans from covering abortions unless women purchase an additional plan that specifically covers the procedure. Michigan's Republican governor Rick Snyder vetoed the bill earlier this year but the group Right to Life was able to override him using a citizen’s petition which allows the legislature to pass laws without the governor’s signature. Host Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel will bring you all of the details from Michigan.

As 2013 winds down, it’s time to look back on the past 12 months and take stock of what we, as a society, have experienced and accomplished. For women, while at times it’s been quite an exciting year, it’s also been a year rife with the perpetuation of derogatory stereotypes by various media outlets. The Representation Project has taken the media to task with a new video titled "How The Media Failed Women in 2013" by juxtaposing the victories and struggles women have had this year, and we'll welcome "Miss Representation" director Jennifer Siebel Newsom to #nerdland!

And then a segment that started to take shape at about 12:30am in Friday morning. It has just a one word description for now: Beyoncé.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.