A federal judge last month reinstated a City College of New York professor who lost his department chairmanship after he made a speech that was widely viewed as anti-Semitic.
In his Aug. 4 ruling, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Conboy said that, while Leonard R. Jeffries had made statements that were "hateful, poisonous, and reprehensible,'' college administrators violated his constitutional rights to free speech when they removed him as chairman of the black studies department.
Moreover, the judge wrote, college officials were "dishonest'' in insisting that Mr. Jeffries was being removed for reasons unconnected to the speech, such as administrative incompetence.
The ruling was the second court victory for Mr. Jeffries since his removal as chairman. In May, a jury awarded him $400,000 in damages in a civil suit against the college. (See Education Week, May 26, 1993.)
Officials of City University of New York, of which City College is a part, plan to appeal the ruling.
A New Mexico district judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to prevent a school district from educating Mexican students free of charge.
In a ruling issued last month, District Judge Thomas G. Cornish Jr. said that state law allows the Deming public schools to educate children who live in Mexico without charging them tuition.
"This court will not interfere with the purely discretionary decisions of the school board,'' the judge said in the ruling.
Two local residents sought to bar the district from enrolling the children because they said the practice leads to tax increases. (See Education Week, March 17, 1993.)
Judge Cornish, who called educating the children from Mexico "a legitimate public purpose,'' suggested that the angry taxpayers attempt to alter the composition of the school board.
A suburban Chicago school system that was scheduled to close this fall because of financial difficulties has found the money to operate for the 1993-94 school year.
The school board for North Chicago School District 187, a 4,300-student district with a large minority population, voted in July to withdraw its application to dissolve after learning it would be able to close a projected $1.5 million deficit. (See Education Week, April 7, 1993.)
Martin McConahay, the district's business manager, said the schools will receive an additional $1.2 million in unexpected state aid as a result of changes to the state's funding formula and adjustments to the count of low-income students from the 1990 census.
Another $400,000 is coming in supplemental federal impact aid, and $280,000 is coming from the state as part of an incentive payment for reorganization.
In voting to dissolve, board members had charged that the state was not contributing a fair amount to the district and that the federal impact-aid payment of about $2.6 million annually for about 2,000 dependents of military workers fell far short of the district's $5,200 per-pupil expenditure.
A Florida appeals court has reversed a ruling that children have the right to initiate a lawsuit on their own behalf to sever ties with their parents.
The appeals court last month voided part of the ruling in the noted Gregory K. case, in which a Florida boy won the right to terminate his mother's parental rights and be adopted by his foster father, George Russ. (See Education Week, Oct. 7, 1992.)
The court maintained that children must have an adult bring such a suit on their behalf. While upholding the termination of his mother's rights, the court temporarily overturned the adoption order, arguing that it was procedurally incorrect to allow the adoption to take place before his mother had exhausted every avenue of appeal.
But the court allowed the boy, now named Shawn Russ, to remain in Mr. Russ's custody in the meantime.
While some viewed the appeals ruling as a setback for children's rights, in other recent lawsuits, children have been granted standing to sue their parents.
It was unclear last week whether the Florida boy's lawyers would appeal the decision.
Two California sisters were expected to join their classmates for the opening of school last week, ending their exile by school officials because their father was seen as a threat to them and others.
Angelica Toscano, 11, and her sister, Veronica, 8, had been receiving instruction at home in Santa Clara, Calif., since April on the recommendation of police who warned that their father, a fugitive wanted in the slaying of the girls' half-brother, was dangerous. (See Education Week, May 26, 1993.)
However, Assistant Superintendent Sherry Garvey said late last month that police had reassured the district that Rafael Toscano is not in the area but in Mexico, where he is actively being sought.
School officials were not planning any unusual security precautions for the girls' return, Ms. Garvey said.
The parents of a 6-year-old girl who was killed by falling wreckage from a plane crash over the playground of a Philadelphia suburb two years ago have reached an out-of-court settlement with the two aircraft companies involved.
Lauren Freundlich was one of two 1st graders killed when a plane carrying U.S. Sen. John Heinz collided with a helicopter above Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion, Pa., in 1991. Senator Heinz and four other passengers of the aircraft also died. (See Education Week, April 10, 1991.)
The terms of the settlement were not revealed. Neither Sun Company nor Lycoming Air Services Inc. would comment on the settlement. Both companies deny any wrongdoing.
Vol. 13, Issue 01