District News Roundup
The U.S. Education Department's office for civil rights has cited the Kanawha (W. Va.) County Board of Education for keeping handicapped students on buses longer than is allowed under state regulations.
Ronald Gilliam, deputy director of the agency's regional bureau in Philadelphia, said the investigation was instigated by a complaint from a parent.
ocr began its investigation in May 1984 and cited the school board earlier this month, Mr. Gilliam added.
He said a spot check of 9,000 of the county's 38,000 students showed that 50 percent of the handicapped students traveled longer distances to schools than is allowed by state regulations, compared with 3 per3cent of the nonhandicapped students. The study included 2,000 handicapped students.
Edward Lakey, Kanawha County's superintendent of schools, said that under state regulations elementary students can be transported up to 30 minutes, junior-high students up to 45 minutes, and high-school students a maximum of one hour.
Mr. Lakey said the school board has agreed to hire a coordinator for transportation who will focus on routing special-education students. It has also agreed to study every student that rides a bus, "to ascertain the difference between regular and special-education students," he said.
Citing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Grove City College v. Bell, a Michigan judge has denied a 12-year-old boy's petition to be allowed to compete as a member of his6school's girls' volleyball team.
The boy, Jonathan Keenan, had earlier won a temporary restraining order prohibiting school officials from denying him the right to compete in interscholastic competition with the Traverse Heights Elementary School team. The school does not have a volleyball team for boys.
The restraining order expired earlier this month, however, and at a hearing to determine whether Jonathan should be allowed to continue to play while his lawsuit against school officials was pending, the judge ruled in the school's favor. The boy had played two games with the girls' team.
According to Grant Parsons, a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Richard A. Enslen, the judge ruled against the boy because both the volleyball team and the athletic program as a whole received no federal funds.
"The Supreme Court has interpreted the Title IX enforcement provision to apply to specific 'programs or activities,' not to a school as a whole," the judge said. "Thus the federal court's power can be invoked against the specific program or activity which receives funds and is managed in a discriminatory fashion."
Said Kent Engle, the boy's attorney: "The way the law is now, you're not going to win unless Congress changes the law."
More than 2,000 black high-school students are expected to attend in-school workshops in Cleveland, April 15 to 22, in the first test of a pilot project designed to increase the number of black high-school students going on to college.
The "Black and College Bound" workshops will be conducted by Barry Beckham, an English professor at Brown University and editor of The Black Student's Guide to Colleges, now in its second printing.
Workshop expenses are being un6derwritten by several community organizations in cooperation with the Urban League of Greater Cleveland.
"Black students especially need better information about the college-selection process," says Mr. Beckham, citing a 50 percent dropout rate among blacks in college. "They also need their confidence built up so that they won't be afraid to dream."
Each workshop participant will receive a copy of Mr. Beckham's 508-page college guide, a self-paced workbook on the admissions process with sections for gauging personal strengths, interests, and needs and matching them with institutional characteristics, and a set of financial-aid materials, he says.
Mr. Beckham, who has promoted, through Beckham House Publishers, Inc., which he founded, materials and concepts to aid minority students in the college-selection process, says the Cleveland workshops will serve as a model for school systems throughout the country.