News Briefs

April 01, 2001 1 min read

Parody Payoff

In 1999, Karl Beidler, a Timberline High School student, superimposed vice principal Dave Lehnis’ face onto Marge Simpson’s body in a picture featuring the cartoon character sharing an intimate moment with her husband, Homer. Beidler posted the parody on his Web site, along with other unflattering shots of the Lacey, Washington, school’s second-in-command. His efforts won him a suspension. But in February, Beidler carted home $10,000, plus lawyer’s fees, after filing suit. The court ruled that the site constituted free speech since it was operated off campus.


If a kid in Missouri’s Rockwood school district wants to slather on suntan lotion during recess or between classes, he or she needs a note from a parent and assistance from the school nurse. But 5th graders Emily Ladendorf and Chandra Dudley, who learned about the effects of ultraviolet rays in class, are lobbying to take sunscreen off the district’s over-the-counter drug list. That way, with permission slip in hand, they can apply the lotion themselves.

Radio Static

After parents called the Brockport, New York, school district to complain about randy radio lyrics, officials banned two FM stations from school buses. Broadcast from nearby Rochester, the stations had been playing a song that makes a crude reference to sexual intercourse. Since the turn-off, the district’s received some 30 calls, most applauding the decision.

Fallen Child

In a freak accident, a 5-year-old boy was killed earlier this year when a portable cafeteria table came crashing down on him. The death of the kindergartner prompted the Philadelphia school district to launch an inspection of thousands of tables. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission now recommends that they be locked up when children are in the room.