State News Roundup
A small Christian boarding school in Calhan, Colo., remained closed last week following a raid by 25 state and local authorities investigating complaints that staff members physically abused students.
In the Aug. 29 raid, authorities sought to verify reports that Second Chance Ministries was using corporal punishment to discipline its 12 students. Social-service workers examined the students and arranged for their transportation home.
No charges had been filed last week. The district attorney's office said an investigation was continuing.
The state attorney general's office was also investigating whether the school was properly licensed.
Supporters of the school were outraged by the raid, saying authorities used excessive force by kicking in the door and scaring students--a charge the district attorney's office also was investigating. Jeff Nuziard, the founder and director of the school, denied any wrongdoing by employees and maintained that his school is exempt from state licensing requirements.
When thousands of Delaware students board their yellow-and-black school buses this month, their principals may be watching. The state is the first in the nation to outfit a portion of its bus fleet statewide with hidden video cameras to monitor student behavior and provide evidence to parents who question disciplinary actions.
About 80 of the state's 1,250 buses will carry a surveillance camera inside a black box affixed to the ceiling. The others will have an empty black box, but one-way mirrors will prevent students from knowing which vehicles contain a camera. Individual school districts around the country have also adopted the technique.
Delaware has budgeted $185,000 to purchase the cameras, equipment, and film, said Harlan E. Tull, the director of pupil transportation for the state education department. A successful pilot project in a school district last year convinced school officials to undertake the effort statewide.
One school bus that had had numerous discipline problems was "transformed" after the cameras were installed, Mr. Tull said. "People called it the bus from hell that went to church."
Vol. 14, Issue 03