News Update

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

The New York City school district's plan to provide anti-drug education to religious-school students at "neutral" sites has been rejected by Thomas Sobol, the state commissioner of education.

Mr. Sobol this month directed Chancellor Richard R. Green to propose by this week a new plan for providing the services on religious-school campuses.

In its application for funds under the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986, the district had proposed spending the $739,035 available for religious-school students in 1988-89 for counseling and education programs at community centers and other non-campus locations.

School officials said the district was prohibited from providing on-site services by the U.S. Supreme Court's 1985 decision in Aguilar v. Felton, in which the court ruled that a public system could not use federal compensatory-education funds to place remedial teachers in religious schools. (See Education Week, March 29, 1989.)

Catholic and Hebrew educators filed ap6peals challenging the district's refusal to provide the anti-drug counseling in their schools. The proposed program, they argued, would not be equivalent to the services provided public-school students at their schools.

"The drug situation in New York City is at such a crisis level that we need to take extraordinary steps to ensure that drug-education programs are in place in all schools," said Linda Fisher, a spokesman for Mr. Sobol.

Melanie Radley, Mr. Green's special assistant for the press, said the matter was under review.

"Channel One," the news and advertising program aimed at high-school students, ended its seven-week test run last week at six schools across the country.

Whittle Communications, which developed the project, plans to evaluate the test before making a decision on whether to proceed with it on a national basis.

The program has drawn sharp criticism from a number of national education groups. (See Education Week, March 15, 1989.)

Vol. 08, Issue 31

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories