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The Englewood Cliffs, N.J., school board has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a requirement that its students attend a neighboring district's high school to keep it racially balanced.

In June, the New Jersey Supreme Court barred Englewood Cliffs, which lacks a high school of its own, from ending a longstanding agreement to send its students to the Englewood district for their secondary education.

The state high court held that Englewood Cliffs, whose students are mostly white or Asian, would be contributing to the racial isolation of students in Englewood's predominantly black and Hispanic high school if it stopped sending students there. (See Education Week, June 23, 1993.)

In its petition to the U.S. Supreme Court, the district argues that its students are being singled out in a race-conscious manner that violates their constitutional rights. It notes that children in other New Jersey communities are allowed to attend public school in any other community they wish, so long as they are accepted and pay tuition.

A district school board in Louisiana has been found in contempt of court for failing to abide by an order to revise a controversial sex-education curriculum.

State District Judge Frank H. Thaxton this month fined the Caddo Parish board $100, and Judy Boykin, the board president, $1 plus court costs, for refusing to follow his order to revise the curriculum.

Last March, the judge ordered the board to eliminate from the "Sex Respect'' curriculum and a supplemental text, "Facing Reality,'' passages that were deemed medically inaccurate and religiously based. (See Education Week, March 31, 1993.) The curriculum, which emphasizes sexual abstinence before marriage and has few references to AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, was adopted by the board last spring.

Judge Thaxton ordered that contempt proceedings be held after citizens complained that students could still read the objectionable passages because school officials had inadequately blacked them out.

The board is appealing both the original and the contempt rulings, said Fred Sutherland, a lawyer for the board.

A New York judge has given a Brooklyn youth the maximum sentence in connection with the killing of two fellow students in a high school last year.

Kahlil Sumpter, 17, was found guilty of manslaughter, but not murder, for shooting to death Ian Moore, 17, and Tyrone Sinkler, 16, in a hallway at Jefferson High School on Feb. 26, 1992.

The killing galvanized public concern in the city because it took place shortly before Mayor David N. Dinkins was to address the student body to decry violence and drug use.

This month, Mr. Sumpter received a prison term of 6 to 20 years, the maximum sentence for a minor convicted of manslaughter.

The jury had found that Mr. Sumpter was emotionally disturbed at the time of the killing.

The school has lost so many students to violent death that it has established grieving rooms where students can be counseled. (See Education Week, March 25, 1992.)

Vol. 13, Issue 03

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