News In Brief

April 01, 2002 1 min read

‘D’ End

Educators in Frederick County, Maryland, have found a way to ensure that no student earns a D in class: remove the letter from their grading scale. Starting next fall, any work marked less than 70 percent, the lowest possible C grade, will earn students an F, the Washington Post reports. The district decided that “if it’s not done well, it’s not done,” says Frederick high schools director Hank Bohlander.

Smog Attack

Playing sports is supposed to be good for kids’ health, but a new study shows that it can cause asthma if children live in smoggy areas. The report, published in the Lancet, a medical journal, concludes that children who play three or more outdoor sports in communities with high levels of pollutants are more than three times as likely to develop asthma as kids who stay inside. In low-smog areas, active kids develop asthma less frequently than sedentary kids.

Horror Story

Any newspaper article that contains graphic scenes of dealing drugs, injecting narcotics, and trading sex for drugs is sure to raise eyebrows. But when such a story appeared in the Manatee High School newspaper, the Macohi, in Bradenton, Florida, earlier this year, it also set off a debate about what’s appropriate for student scribes to cover. Some parents applauded the article, a profile of an anonymous Manatee student, for spotlighting important issues. However, the Bradenton Herald reports, the school’s principal said she would adopt procedures to stop similar stories in the future.

No Comfort Zone

Can comfy couches be hazardous to students’ health? The Coventry, Rhode Island, school district thinks so. Occupational-safety officials recently declared that old sofas, rugs, and similar items in classrooms pose fire and health risks and ordered teachers to remove them. Yard sale furniture, which educators often use to furnish reading areas, is particularly unsanitary and aggravating to students’ allergies, they noted.