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Education Reporter
Education Briefs 
District bans Halloween for fear of offending real witches. A Washington state superintendent prohibited observance of Halloween this fall in any of the 31 schools in Puyallup, a suburb of Seattle. One of the reasons: "Witches with pointy noses and things like that are not respect[ful] symbols of the Wiccan religion," a district spokeswoman said. (abcnews.go.com, 10-21-04) A Wiccan spokesman protested the ban, assuring the school board that Wiccans "are not offended" by Halloween celebrations.

Boy, 10, asked to sell racy lingerie for school fund-raiser. A West Virginia mother was upset that her 10-year-old son was given an Avon catalog at his elementary school, featuring G-strings and women's underwear with "sexy" written across it, to sell as part of a school fund-raiser. "He hasn't had sex-education classes yet. We haven't even had 'that' talk with him. He came home with a paper that told him how not to threaten girls, and telling him not to draw sexual pictures. But this? This is R-rated," she said. (wvgazette.com, 10-5-04)

New Mexico reaches deal to import Mexican bilingual teachers. New Mexico joined California in making an agreement to invite K-12 teachers from Mexico to teach classes in the state's bilingual programs. The state constitution explicitly supports the development of a bilingual citizenry and New Mexico was the first state in the nation to pass a bilingual education law.

Acceleration urged for gifted students. A study released September 20 exhorts schools to allow students to skip grades, start school early or take other steps to push ahead their learning. "A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students" points to research showing that students permitted to skip ahead in school outperform by almost a grade level equally bright students who stay within their own grade level. Yet general educators often resist making adaptations for their smartest students. The report, by University of Iowa education professor Nicholas Colangelo and others, was funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

December 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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