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September 27, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-27

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 27, 1996 - 5

wn n +r i n

By Megan Exey
For the Daily
Signs urging local residents to
".Support Ann Arbor Teachers" have
dotted neighborhood yards and win-
lows over the past few weeks.
u Linda Carter, who heads the Ann
Arbor Education Association, said the
signs were placed in the yards of local
volunteers to inform the public of ongo-
ing negotiations between the Ann Arbor
School Board and the teachers union.
The Ann Arbor teachers are currently
operating under an extension of their
old contract, which originally was to
have expired in August of this year.
Negotiations for a new contract
stretched through the summer, but were
not completed by the time the old con-
tract was set to expire.
"Basically, we just want to make the
public aware that negotiations are con-
tinuing and both sides are working with
a mediator," Carter said.
"As of yet, there has not been any talk
of a work stoppage,' she said.
Joyce Willis, Ann Arbor Public
Schools District spokesperson, said the
teachers are working under the terms of
their previous agreement.
"The school board extended the old
contract in order to continue negotia-
tions and to allow the teachers to return
to the classroom," Willis said.
Though there are 26 issues on the
bargaining table, two points stand out.
First, the school board wants to alter the
nature of the instructional day, specifi-
cally hoping to maximize the time
teachers spend in the classroom.
"Currently, many teachers have to be
out of the classroom during the school
day, for workshops and personal plan-
ning time," Willis said. "The aim of the
school board is to restructure the work-
ing day so less substitutes will be need-
ed to replace teachers."
Willis said this means teachers will
attend workshops and schedule person-
al planning time outside the instruction-
al day. She said the school board
emphasizes the role teachers should
play in a new layout for the working
The other key issue in the negotia-
tions is talk of a salary increase.

Panel rejects referendum
on assisted suicide

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h. .
r ;.

Senate panel votes
down measure on a
3-2 party-line vote
LANSING (AP) -A Senate panel
yesterday refused to put the question of
assisted suicide before voters, instead
voting to require doctors to tell termi-
nally ill patients that assisted suicide is
The Senate Families, Mental Health
and Human Services Committee reject-
ed, on a 2-3 party-line vote, an assisted
suicide referendum proposed by Sen.
Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township).
Peters argued it was time to let voters
decide the issue that has bedeviled law-
makers since Jack Kevorkian began
attending suicides in 1990.
"People may not like the man. They
may not like his methods, but they do
believe it is a right they would like to
have" he said.
But opponents raised moral objec-
tions. "A concern I have is it takes
physicians out of the healing business,"
said committee chair Sen. Joel

Gougeon (R-Bay City).
He compared the measure to capital
punishment in the case of innocent
defendants and argued no one can be
completely sure that a diagnosis of a
terminal illness is correct.
"How do we ensure once we open the
door that we don't risk an innocent per-
son losing their life?" he asked.
Peters' measure would have put on
the 1998 statewide ballot a measure
allowing assisted suicide for mentally
competent, terminally ill people who
have six months or less to live.
The diagnosis would have to be con-
firmed by two doctors, and only doctors
could assist a suicide. The presence of
two witnesses would be required at the
Peters argued passage of the referen-
dum would make it easier to prosecute
Kevorkian under Michigan common
law since the retired pathologist has
lost his license to practice medicine in
After rejecting the referendum, the
panel approved, on a 3-2 party-line
vote, a measure to make terminally ill

patients more aware of their legal
The bill requires doctors to tell ter-
minally ill patients about:
Alternative treatments, including
ways to ease their pain.
Their right to refuse medicatreat-
Their right to designate a patient
advocate to make medical decisions
should they be unable to do so them-
Michigan common law which
makes it illegal for a doctor, other
health professional or any other infdivid-
ual to assist a patient in committing sui-
The measure also would also make
doctors immune from criminal prosecu-
tion or civil suit for prescribing pain
killers for terminally ill patients.
And it would make it a felony for an
individual to use fraud or coercion to
encourage someone to refuse medical
treatment in order to benefit financially.
The crime would be punishable by up to
four years in prison, a fine of up to
$2,000, or both.

House approves taking
DNA samples of convicts

Ann Arbor teachers picket In front of the public library on Wednesday. The teach-
ers are currently negotiating a new contract.

Though the proposals are just emerg-
ing, Willis pointed out that the teachers
and the board are far apart.
Willis said the school board was hope-
ful about the negotiations and is extreme-
ly pleased with the teachers' work since
the beginning of the school year.
Local teachers also have an opti-
mistic outlook for the negotiations.
"Overall, the parents of the kids that
we work with seem to be supportive of
our requests, but ultimately it's up to the
school board to make the final deci-
sions,"said a second-grade teacher who
wished to remain anonymous.
Retired Ann Arbor substitute teacher
Margie Orcutt predicted the negotia-
tions will reach a peaceful middle

"Traditionally, Ann Arbor is a com-
munity that values education," Orcutt
said. "When confronted, I think (the
board) tends to support the issues that
are best for the community."
Lisa Dengiz, parent and former pres-
ident of the Parent, Teacher, Student
Organization at Pioneer High School,
expressed her displeasure that a new
contract has not been reached.
"In my opinion, if (both sides) were
really interested in settling this whole in
an efficient way, (they) should be con-
fined to the high school cafeteria for a
whole weekend, made to eat the food,
and confront each other face to face until
they reached a consensus. I think they
would come to a mutual agreement real
quick," Dengiz said.

LANSING (AP) - Police would be
able to draw blood from convicted mur-
derers, rapists and kidnappers - and
use genetic informa-
tion in the blood to
identify repeat Som i
offenders - under
legislation approved are goin
by the state House.
Genetic informa- out and
tion from adult sex
offenders is already other cr
collected. Law_
enforcement offi-
cials say DNA sam-
ples also are a valu-
able way to identify suspects because
each person's genetic makeup is differ-
Some lawmakers and civil liberties
groups say the six-bill package approved
Wednesday violates prisoners' rights.
"DNA samples contain lots of per-

e day, they
19to get


sonal information not necessarily perti-
nent to the government's law enforce-
ment goal," Wendy Wagenheim,

They're the worst people we have,' Law
told The News. "And why is it necessary
we collect DNA evidence on them?

Rep. Gerald Law
people's genetic maker
Rep. Gerald Law (R
primary sponsor of thel
would be drawn only a
convicted of a crime.
"Who do you think tI

spokesperson Because some day, they are going to gel
for the out and commit other crimes.'
American Civil The Michigan Council on Crirde and
L i b e r t i e s Delinquency says about 45 percent o
Union of all Michigan parolees return to prisor
Michigan, told within five years.
The Detroit The legislation would allow blood tc
News. The be taken from juveniles convieted o
state would some crimes. Currently, the state car
have access to take DNA samples only from juveniles
medical infor- who have been tried and convicted as
mation if it adults.
kept data on Rep. Ted Wallace (D-Detroit)+votec
up, Wagenheim against the legislation, citing concerr
about the sampling of juveniles' DNA.
-Plymouth) the "Our emphasis should be on rchabil-
bills, said blood itating juveniles instead of cteating
fter someone is files that will destroy any possibility o
them getting employment or educa-
hese people are? tion," he said.

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