Published Online: October 12, 1988

People News

A Hall County, Neb., judge has ordered a Roman Catholic school to re-admit a student expelled for getting married in a civil ceremony.

Anthony Murphy, 17, was expelled from Grand Island Central Catholic High School after officials learned he had not sought church sanction for his marriage. Bishop Lawrence McNamara ordered that Mr. Murphy be punished because he "broke the law of the Catholic Church."

In a suit against the school and the diocese, Mr. Murphy argued that the school handbook establishing rules for expulsion did not mention marriage in a civil ceremony, according to his lawyer, William VonSeggern. The student has asked Judge Joseph Martin to make permanent his temporary injunction against the school.

The Grand Island diocese has argued6that allowing Mr. Murphy to attend school would violate church doctrine.


Lynn B. Dean lives comfortably enough without the $7,200 he earns annually as a member of the St. Bernard (La.) Parish school board. So, he said, he gladly gave up the salary so that Superintendent of Schools Daniel Daste could have an official car.

Mr. Dean became angry last month when board members discussed leasing a vehicle for the superintendent. It would be far cheaper to buy a car instead, he argued.

In the heat of debate, the self-described "maverick" spontaneously put his salary on the line to buy the car. The surprised board members unanimously accepted the offer.

"I don't expect to ever get a big payback for this," he added. "But I don't need their danged money."


Richard Oyer, a math teacher in Kalona, Iowa, can testify to the power of money as an incentive to learning.

He recently gave his students at Mid-Prairie Junior High School an extra-credit assignment: Find a word whose letters, when assigned a dollar value according to their place in the alphabet and multiplied together, would equal $1 million. Thus, A would be worth $1, B worth $2, and so on.

The basic idea of the project came from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Mr. Oyer's breakthrough, though, was to place a dollar sign before the numerical value of each letter.

"I tried the same thing last year without adding dollar amounts and it didn't take off," says Mr. Oyer. "But this year, there was a much more enthusiastic response."

So far, he reports, students have come up with three solutions to the puzzle: Typey, which means embodying the ideal characteristics of its variety or breed; teaette, a variant of tea maker; and "beddy-bye."

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