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The director of National School Safety Center, a key component of the Reagan Administration's effort to promote school discipline, has been relieved of his main administrative responsibilities, following staff turmoil that resulted from his dismissal of three employees.

In a May 16 announcement, Pepperdine University, which administers the federally funded center in Sacramento, announced that Ronald D. Stephens, an associate professor of education at Pepperdine and the official who has overseen the grant, had been appointed executive director responsible for "overall administration and personnel operations."

George Nicholson, who was relieved of some of his duties, will remain as director and chief counsel for the major programs of the $3.95-million center, which was established in March 1984 under a two-year, noncompetitive federal grant.

In a related development, the3General Accounting Office, the Congress's watchdog agency, is now investigating the safety-center's effectiveness and recent problems at the request of Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania and chairman of the juvenile-justice subcommittee.


Federal district and appeals courts would be barred from ordering busing for desegregation purposes under a measure recently approved by a Senate panel.

The Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution voted 4 to 1 on May 15 to approve the proposed public school civil-rights act of 1985, S 37. The measure now goes to the chamber's Judiciary Committee.

The bill would prevent federal courts other than the U.S. Supreme Court from entering orders requiring the busing of students in future school-desegregation cases. It is identical to a bill passed by the subcommittee last year but never acted on by the full Judiciary Committee. The Senate approved a version of the proposal in 1982 as an amendment to a Justice Department authorization bill, but that measure was never acted on by the House.

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