District News Roundup
A team of psychologists has been organized to help students at a special school for science and mathematics cope with the first on-campus suicide ever reported in the Fresno (Calif.) Unified School District.
The 15 psychologists were brought in to talk to students of Edison Computech, where a 12-year-old boy fatally shot himself in an empty classroom after school on Feb. 8.
The boy, whose name was not released, was considered quiet and bright by teachers and classmates. He had gone to school concealing a .38-caliber pistol, a hunting knife, and a vial of cyanide. School officials said several factors in the boy's life had come together to place him at risk.
About 150 students sought counseling in the first day after the incident. Teachers and school staff also were encouraged to seek counseling.
Faced with declines in enrollment and financial support, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee has begun a comprehensive study of ways to reorganize its schools on the city's South Side.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland last week appointed a commission to complete the study. It will make recommendations for restructuring the school system by the end of the year.
Three high schools, 40 grade schools, and 60 parishes would be involved in the reorganization, affecting more than 10,000 students.
Enrollment in the archdiocese has dropped from about 88,000 in the mid-1960's to 33,000 last year. Combining the three high schools into one, and merging several grade schools are among the ideas to be considered, officials said.
Officials at the Richardsville (Ky.) Elementary School last week asked the local health department to investigate what appears to be an abnormally high rate of miscarriages and children born with birth defects among employees at the school.
Principal Thomas E. Hunt said a committee of teachers compiled a list of pregnancy complications among staff members following the recent detection of a birth defect in one teacher's unborn child.
The committee estimated that there had been 13 instances of miscarriage or birth defects over a period of 12 to 14 years. The school employs 30 people, most of whom are women, he said. "What we are trying to do is determine if there is a common denominator," said Mr. Hunt. "If there is no common denominator, there may be no problem."
Health officials are expected to begin the investigation this week.
Sixteen Fairfax County, Va., school-6bus drivers have decided to drop a lawsuit seeking an end to a mandatory drug-testing program, but will "switch battlefields" by taking their complaints to the school board.
Joseph Slater, a lawyer who represents the drivers, said they dropped the suit after school officials agreed to make changes in the program and re-evaluate the drug-testing process in the spring.
The officials agreed to test the drivers on their birthdays instead of the anniversary of their hiring; to pay for work missed when positive tests were due to prescription medicine; to increase the security of program results; and to be more sensitive to employees' religious reservations about testing.
The drivers' suit contended that drug testing is unconstitutional when there is no prior suspicion that a driver uses drugs.
Nearly 600 drivers have been tested under the program.
Two who tested positive have been discharged.