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Education Reporter

Education Briefs 
A North Carolina school made headlines last month when a "lunchbox inspector" decided one mom's menu didn't meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards. A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School was not permitted to eat the turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice her mother had packed for her; instead, she ate three chicken nuggets from the school cafeteria. The girl's mother was upset to find she'd been billed for the chicken nugget meal.

A Long Island, New York school district plans to join the list of schools that use electronic bracelets to monitor students' heart rates, exercise habits, and sleep patterns in an effort to fight obesity. It's not known how — or whether — the district plans to protect student privacy. "When you get into monitoring people's biological vital signs, that's a pretty intrusive measurement," said American Civil Liberties Union spokesman Jay Stanley. Similar programs already exist in New Jersey and Missouri.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has strong ties to terrorist groups like Hamas — nevertheless, school officials say CAIR is welcome at Steinbrenner High School in Tampa, Florida. Dozens of parents gathered last month to protest the fact that a CAIR representative had addressed students in a history class last fall. "We do not have a problem with Islamic groups speaking with students, but we do have an issue with a group that has ties to terrorism speaking," said Randall McDaniels, head of the Jacksonville Chapter of ACT for America, a group seeking to stop CAIR members from speaking to students in public schools.

While school officials the nation over push for increased technology spending, the men and women who create the latest gadgets don't believe their kids should use them. A private school in California has banned computers from the classroom, and discourages students from using them at home. Most of the students at the Waldorf School of the Peninsula have parents who work for high-tech companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard.

March 2012 Education Reporter
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