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Arlene Pfeiffer, an unmarried mother whose membership in the National Honor Society was revoked after she gave birth to a child, has filed suit in federal district court on the grounds that her dismissal from the honor society at Marion Center (Pa.) Area High School represented illegal discrimination.

The suit names as defendants the state secretary of education, the Marion Center School District, the superintendent of schools, four members of the National Honor Society faculty council at the high school, the school board, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, which administers the National Honor Society.

Ms. Pfeiffer's suit states that her dismissal from the society violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibit sex discrimination and specifically prohibits discrimination against pregnant students. (See Education Week, Feb. 8, 1984.)

Faculty advisers to the honor society at the school stated in a letter to Ms. Pfeiffer last November that her dismissal was due to a "failure to uphold the high standards of leadership and character required for admission and maintenance of leadership." The lawsuit maintains that in separate discussions with the plaintiff's parents, the faculty members Continued on Following Page Continued from Preceding Page

said she was dismissed because of her out-of-wedlock parenthood.

A similar suit, filed by Loretta Wort against the Brown County School District, is currently under consideration in federal district court in Springfield, Ill.

The New York City Police Department is investigating allegations that John Chin, a central figure in the inquiry into the affairs of Schools Chancellor Anthony J. Alvarado, also loaned money to a large number of police officers in the city.

The department's Internal Affairs Division has interviewed dozens of officers, primarily those from the 23rd Precinct on the upper east side of Manhattan, after an anonymous tipster linked Mr. Chin to them, according to city officials.

Mr. Chin is a former employee of Mr. Alvarado's and allegations that Mr. Chin loaned the now-suspended chancellor up to $26,000 led to an investigation of Mr. Alvarado's financial affairs by the city's Department of Investigation and, subsequently, formal charges of misconduct against the chancellor by the board of education.

A disciplinary hearing against Mr. Alvarado has been set for May 14.

Mr. Alvarado's connection with Mr. Chin came to light when checks and a car registration in Mr. Alvarado's name were found during a search of Mr. Chin's apartment that followed his arrest on Feb. 27 for, among other things, firing shots into a neighbor's apartment.

Teachers at the Virginia McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, Calif., gave preschool children tranquilizers in order to transport them to locations outside the school to be photographed and to participate in what could be a prostitution ring, the Los Angeles district attorney's office has alleged.

At an April 6 hearing, Lael Rubin, a deputy district attorney, charged that tranquilizing drugs in liquid and pill form were provided to the children, rendering some unconscious, according to Al Albergate, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.

Ms. Rubin also alleged that the teachers may have been involved in up to 315 additional incidents of child abuse that were not listed in the original 115-count indictment. The district attorney's office is deciding whether to present the additional charges to the grand jury, Mr. Albergate said. (See Education Week, April 11, 1984.)

Also last week, an arsonist set fire to the vacant school, causing $10,000 damage. On a sidewalk outside the school, the words, "Only the beginning" were spray-painted. The incident is under investigation by local police.

In the case of the Little Angel Day School in Lynwood, Henry Anthony Lawson, who was charged with sexually abusing a student and his son, both of whom attend the school, was arraigned on April 6.

In statewide school-board elections held this month in New Jersey, local parents' groups successfully organized campaigns against some of the 113 candidates backed by Lyndon H. LaRouche's National Democratic Policy Committee.

Officials of the political party claimed last month that they were mobilizing a campaign in 17 of the state's 21 counties to influence the public debate on education. (See Education Week, March 14, 1984.)

But, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association, few of the candidates were elected. "From our understanding, we don't believe that any did succeed," said Frank Belluscio, a spokesman for the school-boards association.

Gov. John Evans of Idaho last week signed the Idaho School Improvement Act of 1984, which includes $20.3 million in new funding for teachers' salaries. (See Education Week, April 11, 1984.) The Governor also signed an appropriations bill that will set funding for education at about $226 million.

The additional money for teacher salaries will come from a 1-cent increase in the state's sales tax that the Governor also approved.

Last year's legislative session raised the tax from 3 to 4.5 cents, with the stipulation that the increase be discontinued by July 1, 1984.

Approximately 100 parents picketed outside city hall in Yonkers, N.Y., recently to protest a controversial plan intended to end a four-year-old school-desegregation lawsuit.

According to press reports, parents who participated in the April 5 protest said they were upset about the proposed closing of nine neighborhood schools. The parents carried signs that read "Only Fools Close Schools" and chanted, "Save our schools."

The desegregation plan, which would not rely on mandatory busing, was approved last month by the U.S. Justice Department, the city school board, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It calls for the closing of the nine schools, a minority enrollment of at least 28 percent in each school, and the creation of magnet programs to promote voluntary integration.

Vol. 03, Issue 29

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