Class Dismissed

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Skid Marks On The Chalkboard

Tom Cruise's Days of Thunder may have brought stock-car racing to the movie screen, but the Charlotte Motor Speedway is bringing the sport to school. Officials at the North Carolina track have created "Racing in the Classroom," a curriculum guide designed to encourage learning among kids who are more interested in "King" Richard Petty than King Richard III. To link school to stock cars, the guide teaches students car aerodynamics, shows them how to map out famous oval raceways, and helps them write articles on NASCAR drivers. The speedway has also arranged for drivers Kyle Petty, Brett Bodine, and Dale Jarett to visit schools. The popular program is in its second year and continues to be right on track with students and teachers alike.

The Ultimate Bake Sale

When the Parent-Teacher Organization of Boca Raton (Fla.) Academy sells things to raise money for the private K-8 grade school, they don't bother with baked goods, candy bars, or car washes. At this year's fund-raising dinner, a waterfront house, an Alaskan cruise, and a brand new Porsche were on the sales block. More than 400 "friends and family" of the academy were on hand to bid on the luxury goods donated by parents, retailers, and local businesses and to buy raffle tickets—at $100 a pop—for a chance to win a 1990 Porsche 944 Cabriolet. The sale raised more than $95,000, $10,000 more than last year. The grand total could have been even higher, but unfortunately the four bedroom home—appraised at $407,800 and donated by the father of two students—went unsold. No one met the undisclosed minimum bid.

The Great Pumpkin? Don't Ask

The mother of a 2nd grader in Rocklin, Calif., has demanded that a teacher take back her statement that the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter bunny don't really exist. The mother said that believing in Santa Claus or the Easter bunny is like a religious belief and should not be discussed in school. The matter came up when the 2nd grader asked about the tooth fairy during a lesson on the difference between what is real and make-believe. The teacher and her principal both apologized to the mother, but the mother still wanted the teacher to explain to her class that people's beliefs about the characters may differ.

Hanging's Too Good For 'Em

The staff and students at Livingston (La.) High School can rest easy. The perpetrators have been apprehended and charged. Yes, the two graduating seniors, ages 17 and 18, who sailed paper airplanes at the teachers' section during Livingston's graduation ceremonies have been arrested and charged with felony mischief for their act. When asked why the school had insisted on bringing criminal charges against students for whizzing folded paper in the general direction of the faculty, assistant principal Frances LaFleur said, "It's just inappropriate to do that to a teacher or any adult."

Vol. 02, Issue 01, Page 88

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