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A Row in the Rose Garden

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A White House ceremony honoring principals and teachers from 271 outstanding high schools and junior high schools ended on a sour note last week when the White House Press Corps began questioning President Reagan about his Supreme Court nominee, Robert H. Bork.

Although the reporters did remain silent during the ceremony, a shouting match began soon after the President had said, "class dismissed" to the educators. Bill Plante of cbs News called out, "Mr. President, it looks like the Bork nomination will fail in committee," to which the President responded, "Over my dead body."

Other reporters, including Sam Donaldson of abc News, joined the cacophony of shouted questions, prompting a teacher, identified as John Vasak, to reprimand them. "You're taking away the joy of the whole occasion for us," he yelled, drawing support from other educators.

Mr. Plante, in defense, said, "Why should this spoil it for you? You've had your part of the occasion."--jw

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