District News Roundup
Following a protest by U.S. Representative Parren J. Mitchell, the Continued on Following Page Continued from Preceding Page
Baltimore City Public Schools' local Congressman, the schools will no longer use South African food products in school cafeterias.
Mr. Mitchell brought the situation to the attention of Superintendent of Schools Alice Pinderhughes after he found on a recent visit that cans of pineapple, labeled as products of the Republic of South Africa, were stocked in some school cafeterias.
"It is simply incredible that at a time when the racist government of South Africa is becoming even more repressive, showing even more contempt for blacks of South Africa, that we would utilize South African products in our public schools," said Mr. Mitchell, who was recently arrested outside the South African Embassy in Washington with other protesters of that country's apartheid policy.
Ms. Pinderhughes spoke with officials in the city's Bureau of Purchases, where all school-cafeteria items are bought through competitive bidding. Future specifications for bids, she said, would be changed to ask that South African products not be purchased.
The action is apparently the first of its kind taken against Rema Foods, a division of Universal Food Corporation in Carlstadt, N.J., and the distributor of the goods.
A 16-year-old honors student--suspended for five days from Fallbrook (Calif.) Union High School after publishing an underground newspaper that offended school administrators--intends to file a lawsuit against the district, according to the student's lawyer.
Earlier this month, the local school board rejected a $9.5-million claim by the student, Daniel Gluesenkamp, who maintains that the school's refusal to let him distribute the newspaper last September deprived him of his First Amendment rights.
According to the boy's mother, the school administrators objected to the "off-color language" used in the newspaper and were upset that it was distributed without prior approval by the school.
But Robert DeKoven, the student's lawyer, maintains that by suspending the student, the school officials acted in a "totally irresponsible way." No legal basis exists for schools to discipline students for distributing such a newspaper, Mr. DeKoven said.
Local school officials were not available last week for comment.
Ivan Gluckman, general counsel to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said court rulings on students' First Amendment rights in publishing and distributing materials have varied widely. "It has been a difficult area for schools in the past 10 to 15 years," he said. "Schools usually have an uphill battle in these cases."
The superintendent of a suburban Washington school district is considering a plan to encourage student desegregation by establishing several "work-place" magnet schools located near employment centers and major thoroughfares, a special assistant to the superintendent said last week.
The proposal "could provide high-er quality education and may assist the school system in furthering its desegregation efforts," according to Kathleen Snyder, an assistant to the superintendent of the Prince Georges County, Md., public schools.
According to Ms. Snyder, the five proposed magnet elementary schools would feature extended days beginning at 7 A.M. and ending at 6 P.M. ''They would be located inel10lhigh-employment areas of the county or near high-traffic areas so residents who work in [the District of Columbia] could drop off their children on the way to work and pick them up late in the day," she said.
A federal district judge ruled in 1983 that the district had never fully complied with a 1972 desegregation order. He ordered the district to maintain each school's enrollment at no less than 10-percent and no more than 80-percent black. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard the school board's appeal of that ruling earlier this month.
U.S. District Judge Frank A. Kaufman also appointed a panel headed by the president of the University of the District of Columbia to make recommendations on how the district could meet his racial-balance guidelines. The panel is to report to him by Feb. 1.