News In Brief

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No Nudes

In October, Michael Moehler, superintendent of the Abilene, Texas, schools, prohibited students from visiting an exhibit at the city's Grace Museum because the show contained four nude paintings, the Dallas Morning News reports. While museum officials say they were surprised by Moehler's decision—"Our youth see far worse on the cover of magazines at the grocery store," said museum Executive Director Judith Godfrey—they removed the paintings, and the schools were allowed to visit.

A Spirit Thing

Students at the majority black Haralson County High School in Georgia voted in September to restore a painting of the Confederate flag on an exterior wall of the gym after it was vandalized. "Sentiment in the community is that it is a spirit thing for the school," says county Superintendent Greg Hunt. "It's not a racial thing."

Rasta Rights

Eight Rastafarian children barred from attending school in the Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, district last spring have returned to class following the settlement of a lawsuit their parents brought against the school board. School officials claimed the students' dreadlocks were "extreme" hairstyles prohibited by the district's dress code and feared that their knit caps could be used to conceal contraband. While the settlement allows students to keep their dreadlocks and wear head coverings, officials are permitted to inspect their caps daily.

Career Killer

The Covina-Valley Unified School District in California fired high school English teacher Andrew Phillips in October after he asked students to plot an assassination and write an essay describing how they would carry it out. Students complained about the assignment and the alternative task he gave them—describing eight to 10 motives for killing a person.

Vol. 12, Issue 4, Page 8

Published in Print: January 1, 2001, as News In Brief
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