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The Elementary and Secondary Education Committee of the Illinois House of Representatives is investigating whether the firing of Chicago's superintendent of schools, Ruth B. Love, last summer was proper and legal. It will report its findings to the General Assembly early next year.

Representative Larry S. Bullock, a Chicago Democrat who is spearheading the probe, said the committee will examine whether violations of the Open Meetings Act occurred when the Chicago Board of Education decided to dismiss Ms. Love in favor of her deputy, Manford Byrd Jr. (See Education Week, Aug. 22, 1984)

He also urged the panel to probe whether Ms. Love was the victim of sexual and racial discrimination in violation of her civil rights.

The Peoria (Ill.) Board of Education has restored to the school district's libraries three novels by Judy Blume that were banned last month from school bookshelves. (See Education Week, Nov. 21, 1984.)

School trustees last week voted 5 to 2 to return the novels to the shelves but ruled that access to the books would be restricted to older students. Younger students will be required to obtain parental consent, according to a district official. The board left it to district officials to determine the age cut-off between the older and younger students.

The Hopkins (Minn.) School Board, which won a federal-court challenge to its prohibition against the distribution of religious materials on school premises, has lifted the rule pending revision of board policies on religious activities. School officials said both the case and the passage of the federal Equal Access Act made them suspend the rule.

U.S. District Judge Edward Devitt ruled in October that the constitutional challenge to the distribution policy was moot because the two Hopkins High School students who brought the suit had graduated. But the judge, in effect, urged the board to revise its policy. (See Education Week, Nov. 14, 1984.)

Superintendent of Schools Arthur Bruning speculated that the board's new guidelines on religious meetings and written matter--due by the end of this month--would put religious materials on the same basis as any other permissible materials with regard to in-school distribution. The new access law's guarantees for meetings of student religious groups might be construed to guarantee the right to pass out written matter about such meetings.

Vol. 04, Issue 15

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