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More than 1,000 students at Plainview (N.Y.) High School boycotted their morning classes for a day last week to protest the breakdown of negotiations between the local teachers' union and the school administration.

The two-hour walkout was prompted by "anxiety over not knowing every morning whether there would be school that day or not," according to Louis Ferrara, superintendent of the Plainview-Old Bethpage district.

The district's 485 teachers and clerical workers walked off their jobs on Sept. 16, but a restraining order forced them back to work the next day.

Students left their classes and marched three blocks to the district's central office, where five student leaders met with the superintendent.

"The students said they were concerned about matters such as teachers refusing to process their college applications, and whether or not activities such as their prom would be delayed or cancelled," Mr. Ferrara said.

Warning: Violence will no longer be tolerated in the schools of Newark.

So says Columbus Salley, the newly installed superintendent of the New Jersey city's crime-ridden schools.

The new head of the 64,000-pupil system has vowed to turn around a situation that, he says, "undeniably has the characteristics of failure."

Mr. Salley, who had been with the U.S. Department of Education, takes over a district that last year reported over 1,000 criminal incidents in its schools, including 57 weapons charges and 41 arson arrests.

The new superintendent says he intends to "galvanize the community" to reduce violence in the schools.

"Only in a non-threatening environment are children able to learn and grow," says Mr. Salley. "We do not want to create a police state, but we will promise a safe climate for learning to every student in our schools."

In a tribute to tenacity, Dade County, Fla., has honored more than 300 Cuban and Haitian "boat children," who have excelled in the Miami-Dade County public schools since their arrival in the United States.

The celebration was sponsored by the school system and a committee formed by Latin-American businessmen to recognize academic excellence.

The awards, according to Dade County school officials, have reinforced the students' appreciation of their new country. One recipient, Grisel Sanchez, said she will go on doing what she likes best: "Living in freedom with my family."

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