City News Roundup
After first threatening to ask for prosecution of the under-age Yakima high-school students who bought liquor as part of an investigation for the school newspaper, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has started warning local stores not to sell liquor to minors.
At issue is an article researched and written by a group of student reporters for the October issue of the Five Star Journal, the student newspaper at Eisenhower High School. The article reported that a bearded, 17-year-old student was not checked for identification even though the student was described in the article as "obviously not 21."
When the article appeared, state liquor-agency officials asked the high-school principal, Robert Alexander, to identify the student for possible referral to the Yakima County prosecutor's office. Under state law, buying liquor under the age of 21 is a misdemeanor.
Mr. Alexander refused the state officials' request for the students' names, praising the reporters' "moxie" and asserting their right as journalists to withhold such information.
The journalists are considering a request from the liquor agency to supply the names of the stores, which were not mentioned in the story.
After dropping their request for the students' names, state officials began doing some undercover work of their own, as well as warning merchants against selling liquor to minors.
Over the unanimous objections of the present six-member board, the Lincoln Board of Education has become the second major school board in Nebraska to be elected by geographic district.
Lincoln voters approved the switch earlier this month by a two-to-one margin.
Previously, the board had been nominated by district but elected at large. The Lincoln Alliance, a coalition of churches, neighborhood groups, and others, combined with the Lincoln Education Association to put the proposition on the ballot by referendum.
Officials from the alliance and teachers' association argued that the change would make the board more responsive to neighborhood concerns, such as school closings, and would make it more feasible for more candidates to run for the offices.
Opponents, who admitted they were not as well organized as the proponents, respond that the plan will be divisive and permit citizens to vote on only one person from their area every four years, instead of the present three at-large choices every two years.
The change will go into effect in the spring of 1983, when the current board president and two other members will be up for re-election to 4-year terms. The Omaha school board is also elected by district.
Maybe no one was planning on storing any missiles there anyway, but the students at Malcolm Shabazz High School in Madison, Wis., have nevertheless voted to make their school a nuclear-free zone.
The idea grew from a course, "Four Minutes to Midnight," that explored the issues of the arms race and disarmament. The title comes from the "nuclear clock" created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; the closer the world is to nuclear war, the closer the hands move to midnight.
The students, said Michael Brockmeyer, who teaches the class, "were getting more and more depressed." Mr. Brockmeyer suggested that one way of alleviating their depression would be to take some action. A student who had recently visited the Washington, D.C.-area recalled hearing of a town that had declared itself a nuclear-free zone. The students decided that that would be one way of registering their disapproval of the arms race, Mr. Brockmeyer said.
The petition, signed by most of the school's 130 students, asked governments to remove the school from their list of targets, and pledged in return that they would allow no nuclear arms or weapons' research on school property.
Subsequently Mr. Brockmeyer and eight students came to Washington, and delivered the petition to the Soviet embassy, where they talked with a cultural attache. They also took a copy to the White House, but were less fortunate there--no one could speak with them, and they left the document in the mailroom.
Now, Mr. Brockmeyer said, "The students are very involved and are doing a lot. They've moved through that psychic numbing to the state where they feel that they're doing something."
Vol. 02, Issue 12