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Education Reporter
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A federal judge issued an order allowing students who have not received hepatitis B vaccines to return to school. The Jan. 26 order was the result of a lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of the parents of a 2nd grader and a 7th grader in the New York City public schools. The Board of Education evicted the 2nd grader from school on Nov. 30 because she was not vaccinated, then notified Child Protective Services accusing the mother of "educational neglect." The 7th grader was escorted from class for refusing the vaccination and was not permitted to return, despite the fact that her parents had filed a religious exemption. The state of New York allows exemptions from vaccinations on religious grounds, but it took the lawsuit to get the schools to recognize this.

Students at 35 public elementary schools in Pennsylvania have their fingerprints scanned before receiving their school lunches. The students' prints are entered into a database and a corresponding number is issued for each print. As a student files through the checkout line at lunch, he places his index finger on a scanner which matches his print to his student number. The price of the lunch is deducted from the family's account. The Libertarian Party issued a press release calling the program "another frightening example of how law enforcement-style technology is being used to monitor children in public schools." It posed the question: "Should children in grammar school be treated like criminals for the convenience of public school bureaucrats, or has schoolyard surveillance finally gone too far?"

The anti-drug program DARE is adopting a new approach in response to the body of research that shows it is ineffective. The University of Akron in Ohio is developing a new curriculum that will shift DARE's focus from 5th graders to 7th graders. Emphasis will be placed on changing the "social norms" among students in an effort to persuade them that they do not need drugs to fit in. Students will do more role-playing focused on decision-making. The new program will be piloted in six cities involving about 50,000 students in the fall of 2001.

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Education Reporter is published monthly by Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund with editorial offices at 7800 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105, (314) 721-1213. The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the persons quoted and should not be attributed to Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund. Annual subscription $25. Back issues available at $2.
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