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The New York Library Association has honored two suburban Buffalo high school students, their school librarian, and two school board members for fighting to allow students access to a novel about teen suicide.

The group, dubbed the "Lancaster Five" because of their connection with Lancaster High School, were awarded the Intellectual Freedom Award last month from the Albany-based group and Social Issues Resources Series Inc., a Boca Raton, Fla., organization that provides educational products and services.

But they were unable to accept the award, which celebrates the right of free speech and those who work to protect it. State law prohibits elected officials from accepting cash awards, and so the $1,000 prize was returned, a spokeswoman for the libraries association said.

Students Nicholas Janiga and Christopher Palistrant, librarian Margaret Wahlgren, and school board members William Janiga and Leonard Vento were honored for their efforts to keep the Judith Guest novel Ordinary People available to students. The school board removed the book from its 9th grade curriculum last May after some parents in the Lancaster district complained. But it remained on the library shelves. The novel, made into a movie in 1980, tells of an adolescent boy's attempted suicide.

Bruce Springsteen went back to school last week, sort of, when he played to a crowd of 1,300 in his hometown of Freehold, N.J. The 47-year-old rocker gave an acoustic benefit performance in the gymnasium at St. Rose of Lima School, where he spent his grammar school days. Attendance was restricted to residents of the township, and proceeds from the $30 tickets will go to a church-run community center.

The Educational Testing Service has named Dean Nafziger its new executive vice president. Mr. Nafziger is currently the chief executive officer of WestEd, a San Francisco-based agency that provides educational research and developmental programs to educators. The ETS, a nonprofit organization in Princeton, N.J., produces and administers tests such as the College Board's SAT.

– ADRIENNE D. COLES [email protected]

Vol. 16, Issue 12

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