Monday, February 21, 2005
NEWS SHORTS: AND THEY WONDER WHY PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Chatham, Va. – Parents of an 11-year-old boy have filed a $200,000 damage suit against the county school superintendent, the principal and assistant principal for making their son wear makeup, fingernail polish, lipstick and a bow in his hair as part of a “desensitization” exercise. The lawsuit contends that Matthew Scott Thornberry was also called “Mattie.”
-- Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jan. 23, 2005, p. 6
Ocala, Fla. – Two special-education students, ages 9 and 10, were charged with second-degree felonies and taken away in handcuffs by police officers from their school because they drew stick figures depicting violence against a third student. The boys also were suspended. Their parents said they should have been disciplined by the school and their parents, not police. In another Florida case, a 6-year-old was led away in handcuffs in an extreme exercise of school “zero tolerance” policies.
Suburban Chicago, Ill. -- There’s a showdown in Summit Hill School District 161: the superintendent of that suburban Chicago district has barred a parents' group from meeting on school grounds unless it gives the principal more authority over its decisions. The Arbury Hills School Association has refused to give the principal final authority in all decisions that affect students, including how to spend the money the group raises on behalf of the school. Board members point out that it is an independent organization with its own tax identification number. They say they worry that the money they raise won’t be spent entirely on children if administrators get the say-so.
It would be interesting to find out how many Nebraska PTA’s and PTO’s have bylaws that give veto power to a school employee over important decisions like where the money goes. I hope none. Anybody know?
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