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A group of Hispanic residents in El Paso has filed a lawsuit charging that federal immigration officials have been violating their rights at or near a high school on the U.S.-Mexican border.

The federal class action against the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service and several U.S. Border Patrol agents claims that the agents have harassed students and a school secretary and brandished a pistol at a football coach from Bowie High School.

The Hispanic residents, represented by members of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of Texas, have asked a U.S. District Court to award them monetary damages for the alleged incidents involving the border agents.

The suit also asks that the I.N.S. be enjoined "from engaging in a pattern and practice of discrimination and denial of rights to persons of Hispanic descent.''

Border Patrol officials have denied harassing Bowie students and have contended they have the right to question suspected illegal aliens observed crossing school grounds. (See Education Week, Oct. 14, 1992.)

®MDBU¯Athletic programs and other after-school activities in Chicago's public high schools, which were facing elimination due to budget cuts, have been rescued for the time being. (See Education Week, Oct. 7. 1992.)

Corporate sponsors, along with the basketball superstar Michael Jordan, have come forward with contributions of nearly $1 million to bail out the programs, according to the sponsors.

In September, the 75 high school principals voted to shut down sports Nov. 1 and the other activities in January unless funding was restored.

Although the cut to the district's extracurricular budget from last year's figure was $800,000, school officials say additional funding was needed to offer all of the programs throughout the remainder of the school year.

Foot Locker, a retailer of athletic shoes, donated $400,000. The sports-apparel company Nike Inc. and Mr. Jordan, who endorses Nike products, each contributed $100,000 as did the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

"Foot Locker is doing this for the kids,'' said David Goldberg, a vice president of the retailer. "We want them to stay in school and become more well-rounded individuals and responsible citizens for tomorrow.''

®MDBU¯In response to national consumer protests, the makers of a new talking Barbie doll have agreed to erase from the doll's microchip the phrase "Math is tough.''

Parents and teachers complained that the statement reinforces the stereotype that girls and women do not do well at mathematics.

After the first round of national criticism of the doll, the Mattel Corporation offered to replace the talking doll with a mute one, but refused to delete the offending statement. (See Education Week, Oct. 14, 1992.)

The American Association of University Women, which launched a national campaign to protest the doll's anti-math statement, applauded Mattel's move as a step toward fighting sexist stereotypes.

"Math teachers have been reminded to remain vigilant and overcome the persistent image of math as 'tough' for girls,'' said Sharon Schuster, the president of the association.

Vol. 12, Issue 08

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