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Removal of Student's Drawings Brings Cries of Censorship

An aspiring artist and his art teacher at Portsmouth High School in Rhode Island raised a ruckus over freedom of expression by posting the student's drawings of nudes in a school hallway.

Not long after the teacher set up the exhibit last month, the principal removed several sketches he feared would offend passers-by--including members of the school committee, which was scheduled to meet there a few days later.

Both artist and teacher cried censorship, and soon students put up signs protesting the administrator's actions.

The principal, however, stood his ground.

"There are still some people who feel offended that [the drawings] were taken down--and there are some who feel relieved," Superintendent Mario Mancieri said. "We've taken the position that anything that's being hung needs to be reviewed if there's going to be traffic in the area."

The teacher has moved the pictures to her classroom, Mr. Mancieri added.

Student Sentenced for Spiking Coffee

A 12-year-old Detroit girl has been sentenced to probation for spiking her math teacher's coffee with a diet aid.

The juvenile court in Wayne County last month ordered the girl to serve 12 weeks of probation after she pleaded no contest to charges that she drugged a middle school teacher's coffee on Sept. 21.

The girl said she put a capsule in the coffee, but thought it would be harmless.

The teacher told Detroit school officials that she suffered intense pain and internal bleeding and that the drug had aggravated her lupus, an inflammatory disease. The teacher has not returned to school, a spokeswoman for the district said.

The student was suspended for two months, and district officials have ordered her to re-enroll in another Detroit school.

Tickets for Troublemakers

Administrators in a Vermont district plan to hit students who misbehave where it hurts the most--their pocketbooks.

A plan being considered by the city would allow Rutland school officials to have police issue tickets to disruptive students.

Police could give the tickets, carrying fines from $50 to $500, to students for such misbehavior as drug abuse or repeated disruption of school activities. The penalties could also be levied on other youths or adults on school grounds.

W. Richard Brothers, the superintendent of the Rutland district, said the tactic could help involve parents in disciplining their children and provide administrators with a compromise between suspension and criminal prosecution.

Rangers Rebuffed

A Tennessee elementary school principal has delivered a body blow to kindergarten fans of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers by banning paraphernalia from the popular children's show.

Jill Carroll, the principal at Ball Camp Elementary School in Knoxville, said teachers complained about the disruption caused by 165 kindergartners imitating the noises and martial-arts movements of characters on the show.

The ban applies only to kindergartners, she said. "Most of the older kids understand and are mature enough not to act up in class," Ms. Carroll said.

The adventure show has spawned a host of toys and related products. It features adolescent characters who transform themselves into super-heroes, using martial-arts techniques to defeat their foes.

Confiscated Power Rangers goods are turned over to parents with the understanding that they will not show up at school again, Ms. Carroll said.

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