District News Roundup

May 24, 1989 3 min read

The Nash County, N.C., school system is contributing to segregated schools in the adjacent city of Rocky Mount, the city’s school board has charged in federal court.

The board argues in a lawsuit that the county’s maintenance of a nearly all-white system is unconstitutional and siphons white students from the city’s schools.

Rocky Mount school officials are seeking an order allowing the district to annex all property and students that lie within the city limits but now are part of the county system. The current boundaries prevent the city district from providing equal educational opportunities to its dwindling and increasingly minority student body, they said last week.

The six members of the Troy, Mich., school board who proposed construc6tion of a new, $32-million high school have been recalled by voters.

As a result, Governor James J. Blanchard last week appointed three interim replacements to enable the board, which was down to only one member after the May 8 recall election, to continue working on district business.

An organization called Concerned Troy Citizens for School Board Recall led the fight to oust the board members, who had voted to proceed with plans for the school even after voters twice had rejected general-obligation bonds to finance the project. The sole member left on the board opposed the construction plan and was not a recall target.

A Twin Hills, Calif., school counselor was not legally obligated to alert the family of a student who threatened violence against his father and later shot and killed him, a judge has ruled.

The boy’s mother and sister sued the counselor when they learned that the 14-year-old boy had said, in a counseling session eight weeks before the shooting, “I am so mad at my father, I feel like I could take a gun and shoot him.”

The student was ultimately found responsible for voluntary manslaughter and confined to a state hospital for three years.

Superior Court Judge William Bettinelli of Sonoma County found that the counselor had acted reasonably and had not breached his duty in the case.

But Judge Bettinelli also said that school counselors have a duty to “exercise reasonable care” to protect parents if they have a basis for believing that a pupil presents a “clear and imminent danger” to a parent.

The ruling marked the “first known case in California to attempt to extend to public-school counselors a responsibility to warn or protect third persons of the potential violent conduct” of a student, Michael Seneff, a lawyer for the district, said last week.

Public schools in the wealthy Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe could close next fall if voters do not change their minds and renew the district’s tax-levying authority this summer, district officials have warned.

Last month, voters turned down a two-part proposal that would have extended the system’s basic property-tax rate and authorized an increase. With no legal authority to collect taxes, school officials were forced to send layoff notices to 720 employees.

But Superintendent John A. Whritner3, change to jp dists:

expressed hope last week that residents would agree in June at least to extend the basic property-tax rate, which will be voted on separately from the increase. If not, he said, the district will resubmit the issue to voters in August.

Voters in Tuscon, Ariz., have approved a bond package totaling $398 million--10 times the amount of a bond proposal they rejected last year.

A $360-million bond issue will be used for repair and renovation of existing schools and for construction of new facilities. About $12 million of that amount will be used to purchase computers for administrative offices.

The second bond issue, for $38 million, will be used for purchases of classroom and instructional equipment.

In February 1988, voters rejected a $40-million proposal for health and safety improvements in schools.

A version of this article appeared in the May 24, 1989 edition of Education Week as District News Roundup