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Education Reporter

Education Briefs 
Boy, 8, overdoses on Ritalin at school. An Oklahoma boy was taken to the hospital after reportedly eating all 25 Ritalin pills in a bottle given to him by the school secretary on the last day of school in May. Doctors are waiting to see if there is permanent damage. (KFOR.com, 5-20-04) In the same month, a New Mexico father who took his son off Ritalin because "he wasn't sleeping, wasn't eating" was reported by school officials to the state Department of Children, Youth and Families. A detective and a social worker paid a home visit and threatened to arrest the father for child abuse and neglect. (abcnews.com, 6-7-04)

Disabled girl's hair set afire at school; she, not her attacker, is told to stay home. A 13-year-old Denver girl with cerebral palsy alleges she was taunted for some time by fellow students at her middle school concerning her physical appearance. The bullying got worse in late May, when, she said, a 7th-grade boy pulled out a knife and someone set her hair on fire. After reporting the incident to the assistant principal, she was sent home and her mother was told the girl didn't need to come back. Her alleged attacker remained in school and was not investigated or suspended even though administrators confirmed he had a knife. The principal subsequently admitted her staff did not call police, did not interview potential witnesses, and did not conduct a proper investigation. (thedenverchannel.com, 5-27-04)

Mexico donates large numbers of Spanish-language books to U.S. school districts. Los Angeles County school districts recently received a gift of 27,000 textbooks written for 1st- through 6th-graders in Mexico. "About 45% of our students are Hispanic," a Los Angeles County elementary school teacher specialist said. "It's beautiful for all of our kids to have access to that." (latimes.com, 5-27-04) Colorado schools received 90,000 textbooks last year, the most of any state. The Mexican consul general has contacted Wyoming to offer Spanish books and instruction guides there, on subjects ranging from math to geography. (casperstartribune. net, 5-28-04)

Teen's right to wear pro-life sweatshirt is restored. A Virginia high school student prevented from wearing an anti-abortion sweatshirt to school in February may now wear it after the Thomas More Law Center raised the possibility of a lawsuit. The sweatshirt states in part "Abortion is homicide," and the student had worn it to school for about 2 years. The administrators initially cited a student handbook section banning materials that "convey an offensive, racial, obscene, or sexually suggestive message." The law center based its argument on a 1969 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of students to wear black armbands in protest of the Vietnam War. (dailypress.com, 3-19-04) Meanwhile, an openly lesbian teen received a $30,000 settlement from the New York City education department over her suspension for wearing a "Barbie is a Lesbian" T-shirt to school. (washingtonpost.com, 4-2-04)

July 2004 Education Reporter
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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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