Series will Debut NBC News’ Latest Podcast ‘Southlake’ With Original Reporting on Clashes Over Anti-Racism Training in Schools Across the Country

PLUS: NBC News to Debut Results from a New Poll of Incoming College Freshmen on How They’re Coping During the Pandemic

Coverage Will Air Across ‘TODAY,’ ‘NBC Nightly News,’ MSNBC, NBCNews.com & NBC News NOW

August 27, 2021 –  Beginning Monday, NBCUniversal News Group will feature in-depth coverage of the challenges students face as they return to school amid the surge of the delta variant.  The week-long series, Kids Under Pressure, airing across TODAY, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, NBCNews.com and NBC News NOW, will also examine the national debate surrounding teaching critical race theory in classrooms. 

In conjunction with the series, NBC News’ national investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh and NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton will share original reporting from their new NBC News podcast, Southlake, which documents the high-stakes clash of students, administrators and families who are grappling with race, education and harassment in a Texas suburb. The six-episode series, debuting Monday, also explores how the town became part of the growing debate over diversity training in schools across the country. 

The reporting will also be highlighted in an upcoming special digital documentary, streaming on NBCNews.com, NBC News NOW and Peacock. 

Additionally, NBC News senior national correspondent Kate Snow will take the pulse of parents nationwide as children return to in-person learning without a vaccine for those under 12. NBC News senior Washington correspondent Hallie Jackson partners with Common Sense Media on how kids can be safe online and protect their mental health. And NBC News education correspondent Rehema Ellis will report on learning loss and how communities are trying to engage students who struggled to learn online, especially due to a lack of internet and resources. MSNBC Anchor Craig Melvin will also host a special ‘Back to School’ Q+A on MSNBC on Friday, Sept 3 at 11am ET, answering viewer questions with top experts.

Plus, NBC News will debut new polling results of incoming college freshmen on how they are coping during the pandemic, the challenges they face and their emotional well-being.

This week’s coverage marks the third installment this year of NBC News’ Kids Under Pressure series, which looks at the toll of the pandemic on student education and mental health. 

Additional programming highlights throughout the week include:

  • Anchor Lester Holt will report on public school students who have lost a year of education due to the pandemic. Holt will revisit a Newark, New Jersey high school teacher he spoke with earlier this year to see whether her concerns have changed.
  • NBC News senior national correspondent Kate Snow will reveal the results of a new study from the CDC and the National PTA, which focuses on how parents nationwide are feeling as schools reopen. She will then host a Facebook live town hall on Wednesday, September 1 at 1pm ET, and interview Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, with portions airing across NBC News.
  • On Friday, Sept. 3, MSNBC anchor and NBC News senior business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle will examine the intersection of education and economic recovery as the latest jobs report is released. MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Reports will spotlight the critical role education, jobs and childcare play in the workforce and economic progress.
  • Antonia Hylton will speak with Black and brown educators about the pressures they are facing as the battle over Critical Race Theory continues to gain national attention, and the challenges they face as teachers of color.
  • As the number of homeless students continues to rise due to challenges brought on by the pandemic, NBC News correspondent Erin McLaughlin will report on the administration’s plan to combat this growing issue.
  • NBCNews.com will feature an inside look at how the use of online tutors is being supported by federal funding and other entities as companies catering to these resources are experiencing a boom.
  • NBCNews.com will also report on the rise of schools using software to direct students toward colleges, instead of relying on guidance counselors. 


For more information, contact: 

Dana Klinghoffer
NBC News

Emily Passer
NBC News Digital

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