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Teacher Sues Over Ban On Videotaping School Defects

A Johnston, R.I., teacher who was forbidden to videotape health and safety violations in her school has sued the district over the issue.

Administrators at Johnston High School barred Marie Cirelli from recording conditions she believed to be a danger to teachers and students, said Mark Gursky, a lawyer with the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The A.C.L.U. filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Cirelli, an art teacher, late last month.

The teacher wanted to use her video camera to show that the school had not corrected several safety problems discovered by state health inspectors, Mr. Gursky said.

Among other things, he said, Ms. Cirelli was concerned about a broken exhaust fan and blocked vents on a kiln.

Stephen M. Robinson, a lawyer for the school district, said last week that officials were still investigating the teacher's claims.

Student Strike: Approximately 100 students from the South Royalton School in Vermont staged a one-day walkout to protest their town's refusal to restore school funding.

The protest late last month came after a town meeting at which residents voted without discussion not to reconsider the 1995-96 school budget, which had been significantly reduced at a meeting in March.

Seventh- to 10th-grade students from the K-12 school left classes and marched around the village green carrying posters and shouting "save our school," Principal Shaun Pickett said last week.

The protesters were successful in raising awareness, Mr. Pickett said. But "there's very little they can do in terms of this year's budget," he added.

In accordance with school guidelines, the school-skippers were suspended from weekend extracurricular activities.

Vol. 14, Issue 33

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