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Education Reporter
NUMBER 302 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MARCH 2011

Education Briefs 
Florida state Representative Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) has proposed an unusual bill that would require teachers to grade parents with students in kindergarten through third grade. Parents would receive a grade of satisfactory, needs improvement or unsatisfactory on the following criteria: child's punctual attendance and physical preparedness (fed and well-rested); child's homework completion and preparedness for tests; parent responsiveness to teacher communication. Stargel said the bill wouldn't add much work for teachers because they already keep records on attendance, homework completion and parent conferences. (theledger.com, 2-23-11; wpbf.com, 1-31-11)

School officials in San Pedro, California committed a 6-year-old boy to a psychiatric ward against his mother's wishes after he drew a violent picture and wrote that he wanted to die. Syndi Dorman said she promised to ensure her son saw his therapist the same day, but that school officials "said they were in control and they could do this and had already called an ambulance." Dorman's son was released after 48 hours, but he doesn't want to return to school. "He's afraid they are going to take him away again." (arkansasmatters.com, 2-1-11)

Virginia high school principal Barry Hollandsworth pulled down copies of the Ten Commandments from several students' lockers, violating their free speech rights. Liberty Counsel, a public interest law firm, sent a letter to school officials explaining that censoring student religious speech while permitting expressions of school spirit, support of social causes, etc. is a constitutional violation. In contrast, officials in a Michigan school district revised their ban against weapons at school to accommodate the religious expression of Sikh students. Sikhs may wear a small dagger called a kirpan to school as long as the blade is dull, no more than 2.5 inches long, and the dagger is sewn inside a sheath that prevents easy removal. (lc.org, 2-28-11; Detroit Free Press, 1-31-11)

March 2011 Education Reporter
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