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Accord Bars Ala. Educator From School Grounds

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A former Alabama high school principal whose comments about interracial dating inflamed a community will be barred from visiting campuses in his district during school hours, under a settlement announced last week by the U.S. Justice Department.

Hulond Humphries, who until last year was the principal of Randolph County High School in Wedowee, Ala., will serve as a consultant to the Randolph County school board until at least July 1997. Under the agreement, which headed off a court battle, Mr. Humphries may not visit schools, although he will be permitted to attend "scheduled functions open to the general public."

The agreement on Mr. Humphries's employment followed the settlement last month of discrimination charges brought by the Justice Department against the school district.

The investigation into the district's practices began after Mr. Humphries's remarks at an assembly last February caused an uproar.

He threatened to cancel the prom if interracial couples at~tended and allegedly made a derogatory remark about a mixed-race student.

After complaints from black residents, the Justice Department in May accused the district of violating existing court desegregation orders. Last summer, a fire authorities suspect was arson destroyed the school building. (See Education Week, Sept. 7, 1994.)

'Hostile Environment'

Under the settlement federal authorities reached with the school board and a group of African-American residents, the district is required to remedy what the Justice Department called its "racially hostile environment."

The district must create a nondiscriminatory discipline policy, establish a committee to enforce fair personnel guidelines, and insure that minority students are not steered toward nonacademic programs or barred from certain extracurricular activities.

"This case was never about a few words uttered by one man, but about an entire school system that permitted an atmosphere of discrimination to flourish," said Deval L. Patrick, the assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights.

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