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A former drama teacher at the private Phillips Exeter Academy who was convicted late last year on federal child-pornography charges was sentenced last week to five years in prison.

Larry Lane Bateman, 51, a popular and well-respected teacher for 12 years at the prestigious New Hampshire boarding school, must then undergo three years of "supervised release,'' during which he is to receive mental-health counseling.

After sentencing, Mr. Bateman was immediately taken into federal custody. The judge recommended that he serve his time at the federal prison in Butner, N.C., which has a sex-offender-treatment program, said Arnold H. Huftalen, the assistant U.S. attorney for the district of New Hampshire who prosecuted the case.

Mr. Bateman had been convicted of possessing and shipping child pornography across state lines. The maximum penalty was 25 years and a $750,000 fine.

During the sentencing hearing, the prosecution presented evidence that had not been admissible during the trial that Mr. Bateman had had sexual relationships with two men when they were students--one at North Shore High School, where Mr. Bateman taught previously, and another at Exeter, Mr. Huftalen said.

Current Exeter students are not now a part of the government's investigation, Mr. Huftalen said.

Mr. Bateman was fired from Phillips Exeter last July following his arrest and the seizure by police of hundreds of videocassettes from his on-campus apartment. (See Education Week, Sept. 9, 1992.)

A federal appeals court this month heard a request to overturn a court settlement that calls for closing two of Texas's state-operated institutions for people with mental retardation.

The appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit comes in an 18-year-old class action over state services for the mentally retarded. A long-sought settlement to the lawsuit was approved in December 1991. (See Education Week, March 25, 1992.)

Under the settlement, the state is required to close the Fort Worth State School in Fort Worth and the Travis State School in Austin and to move the approximately 950 residents of those institutions to community homes or to other state schools.

But the Parent Association for the Retarded of Texas, a group made up of some of the parents of those residents, opposes that move. In their appeal, which was heard by the court on Jan. 5, the parents said they feared the agreement could jeopardize previously ordered reforms in institutional care in Texas.

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