News Briefs

February 01, 2002 1 min read

Not a Prayer

After September 11, Maryland school bus driver Stella Tsourakis started a daily prayer service on her route to comfort students; months later, she was praying that officials wouldn’t fire her for breaking the rules. Tsourakis says she stopped reciting prayers with riders in November after officials notified her that federal law prohibits public school employees and contractors from leading students in worship. However, her middle school passengers continued the practice on their own, prompting a school official to hitch a few rides with the driver to verify her claim that she wasn’t encouraging the kids.

Skip Solution

Get your kids to school, or you’ll be sent to the principal’s office. That’s the message the Chicago Public Schools is giving truants’ parents through a new initiative designed to improve student attendance. Under the program, administrators may haul parents or guardians into mandatory meetings, and even refer them to the state attorney’s office for legal reprimand, if their kids miss more than 18 days without a valid excuse.


Baton-twirling, yes. Excessive booty-shaking, no. Loosely translated, these are the marching orders the Chatham County, Georgia, school board has issued to Savannah-area cheerleaders, whose raunchy routines caused some parents to complain. The board has introduced a policy that prohibits “lewd gestures, inappropriate comments, foul language, and suggestive or vulgar movements” in student shows. Principals will determine which performances cross the line.

Fit to Be Tied

A 7th grade teacher in Pittsburgh recently resorted to extreme measures because she was at the end of her rope: She tied two students who wouldn’t keep quiet in class to her waist and made them follow her around. The district reprimanded the educator after a parent complained that the punishment traumatized her son.