Good week: Student's rights 

May 18-24

It was a good week for...

CLOSE READING. State Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) wrote a column in the Washington County Observer criticizing President Obama for speaking in the first person too often in his announcement of the death of Osama bin Laden. Readers quickly fired back, noting that President Obama used the word "we" 38 times and the word "I" or an equivalent pronoun 10 times in his speech. In his column, Harris employed more than double that amount — 21 first-person singular pronouns.

STUDENTS' RIGHTS. Under pressure from the Arkansas ACLU, eStem Public Charter School agreed to change its filter to prevent blockage of the likes of support websites for gay youths. The Little Rock School District has said it is working on the issue, but has not yet made changes.

It was a bad week for...

PULASKI COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Federal Judge Brian Miller ruled that it was time to end state payments to aid desegregation in the North Little Rock, Pulaski and Little Rock school districts, which leaves in question the $70 million the state has budgeted for the districts for next year and potentially imperils the existence of local magnet schools.

MICHAEL NELLUMS and TIM CLARK. The Mills High School principal and Little Rock School Board member and the former Pulaski County School Board President, respectively, engineered a scheme to secretly videotape Pulaski County School Board member Gwen Williams in a manner in which she appeared to be accepting a bribe, according to a report released by Pulaski Prosecutor Larry Jegley. At press time, Nellums had been suspended by the Pulaski County School District with pay. Both indicated they wouldn't resign school board seats.

REP. MARK BIVIANO. The Tea Party Republican from Searcy blamed Democrat-Gazette coverage scrutinizing his role in a hit-and-run accident in early April outside of the Capital Hotel on a Democratic "vendetta" because he opposed health care reform.

The city of CLINTON. Barrels that had been filled with chemicals used in the fracking process to find natural gas were discovered in the creek that supplies the city water supply.



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