Friday, October 24, 2008
News from surrounding towns
The following news items were extracted from material available online at www.wickedlocal.com.
• Parental-rights lawsuit denied. The Parkers and Wirthlins, the two Lexington families upset that books mentioning same-sex marriages were read to kindergarten and first-grade students, protested in 2006 by filing a lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, upholding earlier dismissal by lower federal courts. According to the lawsuit description they “do not seek to change the choice of books available to others but only to require notice of the books and an exemption, and even then only up to the seventh grade.” The plaintiffs have the option to take the case to the state court. (“Public school lawsuit runs out of federal appeals”, October 7)
• Efforts to curb bullying. Bedford’s John Glenn Middle School Principal Jayne Viladenis believes bullying is more pronounced in the middle school years. She has spearheaded a group of teachers, parents and community representatives to address bullying of all types – physical, non-physical and cyber-related bullying. “Treat people the way you want to be treated, be a leader and not a follower, and always do your best are three sayings” that the school hopes the students will practice. (“Middle School forms anti-bully group,” October 9)
Job training. The Northeast Correctional Center at Concord offers inmates educational programs. One of the programs offered is dog training. Once a week the inmates are trained to teach the dogs a variety of skills, including how to “identify and retrieve specific items such as leashes, phones and shoes, which they are also able to untie, remove and put back on.” During this program the inmates spend time with their assigned dogs which accompany them to their cell. The trained dogs are later matched with disabled veterans.
Another training program involves culinary arts, in which the inmates prepare, serve and manage a restaurant. “The restaurant, a popular luncheon spot for local Councils on Aging, is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and serves soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts.” (“Inmates find meaning, learn skills with community service,” October 8) ∆
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