District News Roundup

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An Indiana school district has settled a lawsuit alleging that a principal barred teachers from discussing controversial school-reform initiatives with parents.

Pamela Stoelting, a teacher at Staunton Elementary School in the Clay County district, alleged in the lawsuit that the principal, Jane Anne Pychinka, announced last December that teachers should not discuss school practices outside the school.

The district denied that the principal issued a "gag order" prohibiting teachers from discussing matters of public concern.

In a Sept. 21 injunction signed by both parties, the district agreed not to ban Ms. Stoelting from discussing school practices with the public. It also agreed not to retaliate against her for the lawsuit or for past statements.

Cancer Claims Questioned

A union official has alleged that working at a certain Bronx high school may cause cancer, but New York City officials last week expressed doubts.

A local organizer for the United Federation of Teachers told the New York Post last month that nearly three dozen current and former teachers at Adlai Stevenson High School have been diagnosed with cancer, and at least one has died. The school may be on a contaminated site, he told the newspaper.

City health officials last week asked teachers about their medical problems as environmental officials studied the site.

Shootings Outside Dance

An 18-year-old man was killed and a 15-year-old youth was wounded in a shooting that followed a fistfight outside a high school dance in Seattle.

Darnell Duncan, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene. Gregory Mason, 15, was treated and later released from a local hospital for a leg wound.

Robert Hays, 18, was arrested in connection with the Sept. 23 incident on suspicion of illegally possessing a firearm.

Neither Mr. Hays nor the victims attended Rainier Beach High, police said. The shooting marked Seattle's first gun-related fatality on school grounds this school year.

Vol. 14, Issue 05

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