Vigilance Required: Yearbook advisers Donald Watson and Stephen Arnold of Prince George's County, Md., accepted 10-day suspensions and agreed to publicly apologize for failing to catch racist and sexist remarks written in code in their school annuals.
Tenure Rights: A federal judge has struck down a Florida law that allowed school districts to strip teachers of tenure after their 70th birthdays. U.S. District Judge William Castagna ruled that the Pinellas County school board discriminated against Salvatore Maffei, a 73-year-old vocational-education instructor, when it revoked his tenure.
Church And State: Another federal judge, this one in New York, has ordered the Schuylerville Central School District to remove a student painting of a crucified Jesus that has been hanging in a high school auditorium for 25 years because it violates the constitutional separation between church and state. The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of two parents who said they felt "discomfort'' whenever they entered the auditorium and saw the 12-foot-by-6-foot painting.
Wedding-Bell Blues: Several members of the Detroit school board have come under fire for allowing Scott, Foresman & Company, an Illinois textbook publisher, to cover many of their expenses during a business visit to Chicago that included the wedding of one of the board members to a company employee.
L.A. Violence: The number of students attacked with deadly weapons in Los Angeles Unified School District buildings surged 36 percent during the last school year, from 278 in 1988-89 to 379. The number of guns found on school grounds last year totaled 354, up 29 percent over the previous year. On the positive side, serious assaults on school employees decreased 11 percent over the same period.
Independent Schools Gain: Despite a slight decrease in the number of school-age children in the United States in the 1980s, the enrollment in private independent schools rose 2.2 percent, from 305,144 in 1981-82 to 311,948 in 1989-90.