Copyright 1988 Although a state law protects the tortoises, the land on which they live will soon become an apartment complex.
With the cooperation of the developer of the complex, the students are trying to find out how many tortoises there are on the 20-acre plot, so they can be moved to a safer place.
David M. Foxx, an ecology teacher at the high school, said his students have taken up compasses, hammers, and stakes to identify at least 157 active tortoise burrows.
An environmental-engineering firm has volunteered to relocate the slow-moving chelonians, once state officials issue the necessary permits.
"I think this has opened a few eyes," observed Mr. Foxx. "For city kids who haven't really come into contact with animals, they are very enthusiastic. Nowthey are more concerned about development in other areas."
A high-school mathematics teacher in Point Pleasant, W.Va., has been suspended for a third time for refusing to comply with a school-district directive that prohibits teachers from wearing jeans and T-shirts in school.
The dress code in Mason County, which went into effect at the beginning of the school year, originally required male teachers to wear a tie, but Bill Webb, who has not worn a tie in the last 15 of his 20 years as a teacher, said he would rather face the prospect of dismissal than show up for class in one.
Charles Chambers, superintendent of the Mason County Schools, said the dress code was implemented "because we had some teachers wearing bib overalls, sweat suits, and T-shirts."
"We feel that teachers are role models," said Mr. Chambers, and "dressing appropriately promotes respect for authority and facilitates teaching."
Although the tie requirement has since been dropped, Mr. Webb still refuses to teach his classes in the mandated dress pants and shirt.
The way in which a teacher chooses to dress has little to do with his ability to exert authority in the classroom or teach effectively, Mr. Webb maintains.
And he has refused to follow the county grievance procedures, which allow a teacher to contest regulations. The school board will hold a dismissal hearing on Dec. 1.
Demonstrators call for state funds to prevent closing of the Scotland (Pa.) School for Veterans' Children. The education department later provided the needed money, a spokesman said.