In Brief: Roundup
A Bad Trip: Robert Heffernan, an English teacher at Athens High School in Troy, Mich., says he suffered convulsions and hallucinations after drinking a cup of coffee spiked with LSD. A 17-year-old female student has been arrested on a poisoning charge in connection with the incident, and a school district spokesperson said in January that other arrests may follow.
Crossed Off: For the first time, the U.S. Education Department has stripped a school of its National School Excellence Award. North Beach Elementary in Dade County, Fla., was removed from the list of 221 schools recognized by the department in 1990 after a district investigation, prompted by a local newspaper report, revealed that grades, test scores, and attendance records had been falsified.
Board Bans Texts: Rejecting the recommendations of a state advisory committee, the Alabama board of education voted in December not to approve 10 textbooks that include controversial passages on human sexuality, AIDS, and suicide. The books had been the target of an intensive lobbying campaign by the Eagle Forum, a conservative group.
Tom And Huckleberry: The school board in Plano, Texas, has voted to keep The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer on the district's reading list despite appeals from African-American parents to remove the books. Students who find the two books by Mark Twain offensive, the board says, can choose alternatives.
A Tough Test: A tougher statewide achievement test adopted by Texas proved true to its billing; about half the state's 5th, 7th, and 9th graders failed to pass, according to preliminary results. Source: Education Week