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Is Beauty a Beast in Eye of Beholder?

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Is it merely a conversation piece or is it a disruptive influence in the classroom?

Lory Marques, a 16-year-old sophomore in Marietta, Ga., thinks that her pink and black mohawk hairdo is neither, but she transferred from local Wheeler High School to Smyrna's Kenwood Continuing Education Center after her appearance be-came an issue on the first day of school.

According to Ms. Marques, she attended morning classes at Wheeler but by lunchtime she was called into the administration office.

There, she said, Principal Roger L. Russell requested that she restyle her hair into something less "disruptive" before returning to school.

"I was told not to come back until I did something about my hair," she said. "I would have liked to stay at Wheeler, but since they didn't want me there, and I wasn't going to change my hair, I transferred."

However, according to Mr. Russell, Ms. Marques was upset and came into the administration office voluntarily to talk with the assistant principal.

Mr. Russell said Ms. Marques completed the school day but chose to leave Wheeler on her own.

"I talked to her and said, 'Undoubtedly, you've got a problem in the hallway and in the lunchroom. I think you need to go home, talk to your parents, and get yourself squared away before coming back.' I did not tell her she couldn't come back. She decided to enroll in Kenwood,'' Mr. Russell explained.

Ms. Marques said none of the students or teachers at Wheeler harassed her. But she does not regret her transfer to Kenwood.

"I like it there," she said. "The teachers and the students are really nice."

Carol Doherty, the former president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, has been appointed by Gov. Michael Dukakis to help set up an institute that will provide continuing education and professional development for public-school teachers.

Susan Lane, deputy aide to Governor Dukakis, said Ms. Doherty will serve as acting director for the field center for teaching and learning. The state-funded center will provide a variety of programs to support teachers and administrators, Ms. Lane said, from seminars and workshops to funding for sabbatical leaves.

Ms. Doherty said the idea for the center was born in February, after Governor Dukakis conducted regional discussions on public education.

The center, which will begin some programs in the spring and open with a full schedule by next fall, will be a semi-autonomous organization, partially connected to the state board of regents, Ms. Doherty said.

Ms. Doherty had served as president of the state teachers' union for the past four years. Before that she was an elementary-school teacher and guidance counselor. She said she hoped to be appointed permanent director once the center opens.

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