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Education Reporter
NUMBER 301 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS FEBRUARY 2011

Education Briefs 
The Texas NAACP has asked the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to review the new social studies standards approved by the Texas State Board of Education. The NAACP wants to prevent the implementation of standards it considers "racially or ethnically offensive." The complaint also charges the state of Texas with a general "miseducation" of minority students and with administering discipline in a disparate manner to minorities. (The Houston Chronicle, 12-20-10)

Middle and high school students in Oregon may now use computer spell check on state writing tests. State Superintendent Susan Castillo said the program helps catch typos that should not affect the evaluation of student writing ability. The program won't automatically correct words, but will provide options for students to choose from. (edweek.org, 12-16-10)

Vallejo Unified School District officials insist parents cannot opt their children out of pro-homosexual "anti-bullying" movies to be shown to students from kindergarten through fifth-grade. Parents pointed out that California law says they can opt their children out of sex education classes. Public information officer Tish Busselle countered, "This is not sex education. It is education about respecting differences." The district agreed to the "mandatory diversity training" for faculty and students to avoid a lawsuit threatened by the ACLU on behalf of an openly gay student who said faculty and staff harassed her. (wnd.com, 12-3-10)

The Montana Supreme Court said a Butte High School valedictorian's constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of religion were violated when she was not allowed to mention God or Christ in her graduation speech. Writing for the 6-1 majority, Justice Patricia Cotter said the district was unreasonable to conclude that Renee Griffith's "cursory references to her personal religious beliefs" could be viewed as a religious endorsement by the school district. (Associated Press, 11-22-10)

February 2011 Education Reporter
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