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The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to review lower-court decisions that a Louisiana school district was not required under the Education of the Handicapped Act to provide written notice to the parents of a retarded girl when it transferred her to a new school.

Federal district and appeals courts had ruled in the case, Weil v. Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Case No. 91-347), that the Ouachita Parish school board's transfer of the student from a private school to a public school with a similar program was not a "fundamental change" in her educational placement.

Also last week, the Court let stand a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that ordered a federal district judge to reexamine a desegregation lawsuit against the Talladega County, Ala., school beard.

The black plaintiffs in the case accuse the beard of making racially motivated decisions in the period since the school system was declared unitary in 1985.

The appellate court said the district judge erred by not allowing lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to participate in the case and by not allowing the plaintiffs to add the Talladega City school system as a defendant. The case is Talladega County Board of Education v. Elston (No. 91-346).


The Surgeon General and the American Medical Association have launched a campaign to reduce family violence.

Under the Physicians' Campaign Against Family Violence, all doctors will receive a set of guidelines that will help them recognize and treat victims of family violence. The guidelines will be published early next year.

The A.M.A. said it was getting involved in this issue because many physicians treat battered women, children, and the elderly, but lack the training to stop such abuse.


President Bush last week nominated William P. Barr for the post of Attorney General.

Mr. Barr, currently the deputy attorney general, has served as acting attorney general since the departure in August of Dick Thornburgh, who quit to run for the Senate.

President Bush passed over several better-known candidates for the post. Those who had frequently been mentioned as prospects included former Gov. George Deukmejian of California, Gov. John Ashcroft of Missouri, and Secretary of Transportation Samuel K. Skinner.


Herbert D. Kleber, the deputy director for demand reduction in the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is resigning.

Dr. Kleber, who left his job as a professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine to join the office in 1989, oversaw efforts to expand drug treatment, rehabilitation, research, and education.

Dr. Kleber, whose resignation is to take effect on Nov. 4, will become a professor of psychiatry and the director of the division on substance abuse at Columbia University Medical School.

Vol. 11, Issue 08, Page 28

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