The mother of a 3-year-old Iowa girl with herpes has filed a lawsuit against the teachers' groups that sought a federal injunction to prevent the child from enrolling in a special-education class earlier this month. (See Education Week, Jan. 16, 1985.)
The suit, filed by the mother under a fictitious name in the Pottawattamie County District Court, named the Iowa State Education Association, the Council Bluffs teachers' association, the local association's president and lawyer, and the Council Bluffs Community School District; it seeks an unspecified sum of money for "interest, costs, and punitive damages." The mother, her lawyer said, objected to the way the family's "most private affairs became a matter of public debate."
The original case drew national media attention after a federal judge issued a temporary order permitting the girl to attend class, but insisting that she arrive at school each day with a parent and be examined by a nurse.
Becky S. Knutson, a lawyer for the teachers, said she has asked that the temporary order be made final. But Daniel Stageman, lawyer for the mother, said he would ask the judge to dismiss the case.
In a similar case in Maryland, the Anne Arundel County teacher's association and parents last week asked the county Board of Education to adopt rigid guidelines that would prevent a 3-year-old boy from attending a special-education class when he has lesions anywhere on his body. Earlier this month, a temporary court order allowed the boy to attend class under established conditions which have been extended by the county superintendent until the board reaches a decision on the matter next week.
One week after an Idaho county judge released three brothers and their wives from jail after receiving a promise that they would not interfere with their children's government-approved education, six school-age children of one of the couples were taken from their home and placed in the custody of the Payette County court.
Robert, Floyd, and Sam Shippy and their wives were jailed late last year for three weeks after refusing to abide by an Idaho law requiring that children attend school or receive home instruction that has been approved by the local school board. They were released from jail earlier this month by Judge B.E. Behrmann. (See Education Week, Jan. 9, 1985.)
The Shippys' 16 school-age children were placed in foster homes in December and sent to public schools. But after the children returned to their parents' homes for Christmas break, one couple--Sam and Marquita--refused to return their children to the foster home and refused to send them to school, according to a Payette county official who asked not to be identified.
County officials took the children from the Shippy's home and placed them in another foster home, from which they will be sent to a public school, the official said.
Lawyers representing Ruth B. Love, superintendent of the Chicago public schools, in her $4.5-million damage suit against the city's school board have announced they will take depositions from Mayor Harold Washington and other high-ranking city officials, according to press reports.
Other top officials to be questioned by the lawyers in preparation for the trial, tentatively scheduled for May 20, include Corporation Counsel James Montgomery and Deputy Superintendent Manford T. Byrd Jr., who was hired to replace Ms. Love after her contract expires on March 25.
Last summer the board voted 6 to 5 not to extend Ms. Love's contract, a decision that it said was based on "a nonpolitical judgment." (See Education Week, Aug. 22, 1984.)
Ms. Love subsequently filed suit, alleging that Mayor Washington ordered school-board members loyal to him not to renew her contract because she refused to hire job applicants with political connections. She also alleged that she was dismissed because of her race and sex.
Vol. 04, Issue 19