District News Roundup

September 16, 1992 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

School districts must provide special-education services to disabled children whose parents have unilaterally placed them in private schools, a federal court has ruled in a case involving the Montgomery County, Ala., public schools.

In his Aug. 24 ruling, U.S. District Judge Truman Hobbs ordered Montgomery County school officials to provide speech, occupational, and physical therapy to 4-year-old Jacob Tribble. The boy, who has Down’s syndrome, had been in a private-school program since infancy, and his parents elected to keep him in the program because it was offered five days a week. The school district’s program was offered only three days a week.

School officials had argued that, under federal special-education policy guidelines, they were not required to provide the necessary related services for the boy because his parents had placed him in the program on their own. Judge Hobbs noted that several due-process hearings called to resolve such special-education disputes have rejected the federal policy on the matter.

A lawyer for the district said school officials would ask a federal appellate court to review the decision.

The first girl to try out for varsity football for the Carroll County, Md., schools has filed a lawsuit against the district, alleging that no one had warned her of the dangers of the sport, from which she sustained serious injuries.

In the suit filed last month in circuit court, Tawana Hammond charged that the district failed in its duty to warn students of the potential for serious or disabling injuries as a result of playing football.

The complaint also seeks medical expenses that Ms. Hammond and her family incurred when she was injured during a practice scrimmage in 1989.

Moreover, the suit contends that Ms. Hammond’s coach had erroneously informed her that she was covered by a health-insurance policy even though her family had not yet paid the premium.

William H. Hyde, the assistant superintendent, said the district had no comment on the suit.

A Florida grand jury has indicted the entire five-member Hernando County school board for allegedly violating the state’s open-meetings law.

The grand jury did not suspend the board, however, because it did not consider the charges indications of “extraordinary malfeasance.’'

The board members were charged on criminal and noncriminal misdemeanor counts. Most of the charges stem from alleged private and unannounced board meetings and telephone conversations last spring concerning the naming of the district’s first appointed superintendent, Harold Winkler.

Susan Cooper, a board member who announced the indictments, said she went public with the charges to highlight alleged political maneuvering to preserve the pension benefits for the outgoing superintendent.

Ms. Cooper, who faces five criminal charges, claimed that her vote had been illegally influenced by a fellow board member, Diane Rowden.

Ms. Rowden, the board member who faces the most criminal charges--13 second-degree misdemeanor charges--downplayed her role in the controversy.

If convicted, three of the board members could be fined up to $500 and jailed for up to 60 days on each count. Two others face only fines. Arraignments for the board members begin this month.

A high school boy in Bethlehem, Pa., has the constitutional right to try out for a girls’ field-hockey team, a U.S. District Court judge has ruled.

To counter years of gender inequities in athletics, Pennsylvania has permitted girls to vie for spots on boys’ noncontact sports teams. But boys cannot necessarily try out for girls’ teams.

John Williams, a student at the district’s Liberty High School, wanted to play field hockey but the sport was not one of 10 offered to boys. The girls, who are also offered 10 sports, had a field-hockey team. When Mr. Williams was blocked from trying out for the girls’ team, he sued, arguing that he was the victim of reverse discrimination.

Noting that girls had 22 teams (including the boys’ teams and two that are coed) for which they can compete, compared with only 12 for boys, the U.S. District Judge E. Mac Troutman determined that girls have more athletic opportunities than do boys.

The district has appealed the decision.

It contends that girls’ participation in sports could be restricted if they must compete with boys, who generally have a physiological edge.

“You are essentially knocking the female athletes back to the second-class-citizen level,’' said Stuart L. Knade, a lawyer for the district.

A version of this article appeared in the September 16, 1992 edition of Education Week as District News Roundup

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP