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January 13, 1999 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-13

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2- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 13, 1999 NATION/ WORLD
High court to rule on harassment

WASHINGTON (AP) - Supreme Court justices,
hearing a sexual harassment case that will affect
schools nationwide, questioned yesterday how to draw
the line between children's playground taunts and
something more sinister.
"Little boys tease little girls," said Justice Sandra
Day O'Connor. "Is every one of these incidents going
to lead to a lawsuit?"
In considering a case involving a fifth-grade boy in
Georgia who groped a classmate and made crude
remarks, the justices must decide whether schools are
to blame if educators willfully ignore and do not stop
boorish conduct between students.

"How does the school define ... the harassment, as
distinguished from teasing," which may be wide-
spread and based solely on a student's sex, Justice
David Souter asked. "In the first grade, boys tease
girls because they are girls."
Several justices questioned whether the court-
room is the best place to settle classroom problems
between boys and girls.
Justice Stephen Breyer said school teachers, prin-
cipals and psychologists deal with disruptive stu-
dents. Courts have only lawyers, he said.
"I don't think the latter group of people is the right
one," Breyer told a lawyer for the family of LaShonda

The girl and her mother say they complained
repeatedly to school officials in Monroe County,
Ga., that a classmate known in court papers as
"G.F." had grabbed LaShonda's breasts and
crotch, simulated a sex act and made threatening
The family sued the school, claiming officials did
nothing to stop G.F.
The school allegedly refused even to move the
boy from the seat next to LaShonda, whose grades
suffered during the five months of alleged harass-

Court refuses ballot restrictions
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court yesterday struck down a state's aggres-
sive effort to regulate ballot initiatives, in a decision extolling the free speech rights
of people who circulate such petitions and sending a strong warning to legislators
who try to rein them in.
In a split decision, the justices rejected Colorado's requirements that peo e
who circulate petitions wear identification badges, be registered voters in
state and be subject to requirements on how much they were paid to collect
The decision is likely to be carefully evaluated by states lawmakers around the
country who have been overwhelmed in recent years by a flurry of ballot initiatives
designed to buck the political status quo. The initiatives are permitted in 24 states
and Washington, D.C., and have been used to rewrite state laws governing every-
thing from term limits and tax caps to gay rights and the legality of assisted sui-
But as the populist tool has developed into a multi-million-dollar industry dom-
inated by professional firms and powerful national lobbyists, states increasingly
are trying to devise ways of regulating the process. And Colorado, which has se p
an abundance of initiatives on the ballot this decade, has been at the forefron
that effort.


Spelling bee
bans contestants
from Jamaica



WASHINGTON (AP)-The nation-
al spelling bee - as innocent as apple
pie, right? - has spawned an interna-
tional incident of sorts.
Young spellers from Jamaica,
home of the reigning champ, have'
been banned from this year's compe-
tition. The island nation is in an
uproar. A spelling coach is quoting
scripture in his defense. Even Jesse
Jackson has entered the fray.
And it doesn't end there. Some
people in spelling bee land wonder
whether Jamaica is drilling students
to be super spellers to beat the
"The idea that there's this crop of
kids spelling their minds out in a
spelling factory is not accurate at
all," says O'Neil Hamilton, a
spokesperson for Jamaica's embassy
in Washington.
It all started last May when two
spellers from the United States and a
handful of other countries traveled to
the 71st annual spelldown in
Washington. The event is sponsored
by Scripps Howard, part of the
Cincinnati, Ohio-based E.W. Scripps
Co., which operates newspapers and
television stations.
Worried that some youngsters
might be getting extra time to study,
spelling bee officials imposed a new
rule: To be eligible for this coming
May's competition, spellers had to
win a qualifying regional or local
contest held no earlier than this Feb.
1. That would require a change in
Jamaica, which for nearly four

Michigan Union Bookstore
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decades has held its spelling bee the
August before the event.
Jamaica's bee, however, was held
again in August. Scripps Howard then
disqualified the sponsor, Phillips &
Phillips Stationery Supplies Ltd., from
sending spellers to this year's competi-
"Some people have taken this
action as anti-Jamaica. We have not
banned the country," said Paige
Kimble, director of the spelling bee.
"It's a specific move against a spon-
sor, not a country."
But the action hit hard in Jamaica,
which has sent spellers to
Washington only twice - both with
good results. In 1997, Jamaican
speller Jason Edwards James placed
eighth and last year, Bettina McLean
finished sixth and Jody-Anne
Maxwell became the first non-U.S.
citizen to win the competition by
successfully spelling her final word
C-H-I-A-R-O-S-C-U-R-I-S-T (an
artist who works in lights and darks).
"She's a folk hero. She's like Michael
Jordan," Hamilton said of Maxwell.
Karen Thomson of sponsor
Phillips & Phillips says she didn't get
written news of the rule change until
two weeks before Jamaica held its
bee on Aug. 12.
Bee officials claim the sponsor
tried to qualify two contestants for
this year based solely on their previ-
ous qualification to last year.
Thomson says that's not true - that
she only was inquiring about rules
for repeat contestants.
Continued from Page 1
"I think making an effort to donate,
is tough right now," McCarthy said. "If
the school were to set up a blood drive
then more people would be apt to
LSA junior Aditi Vijah, a member of
Alpha Phi Omega - a co-ed commu-
nity service fraternity - said the
group's semi-annual blood drive has
been scheduled for early February.
"Typically there is a blood shortage
at this time of year," Vijah said. "We are
planning another blood drive to run
from Feb. 1-5."
Students interested in donating blood
can contact the American Red Cross
and set up an appointment by calling
ST. AT 7:30 P.M.
JAN. 1|9 AND 21i

FDA approves new
cornea implants
ROCKVILLE, Md. -Tiny, trans-
parent rings implanted onto the
cornea may help correct mild to
moderate nearsightedness that
plagues 20 million Americans, offer-
ing an alternative to popular but irre-
versible laser surgery and costing
about the same.
The key to KeraVision Inc.'s Intacs
implants: If the patient doesn't like
the result or suffers a side effect such
as glare, doctors can remove the ring
with a_ good chance of returning the
patient's eye to its condition before
"People who know about the ring
can't be talked into having the
laser" surgery, said David Schanzlin
of the University of California, San
Diego, who led KeraVision's clini-
cal trials.
"It's the idea that if this doesn't
work, you can take it out."
Advisers to the Food and Drug
Administration voted unanimously yes-
Haitian president to
dissolve legislature
Bypassing a hostile Parliament, Haitian
President Rene Preval told the nation he
will create a new government by
decree. Hours later, motorcycle gun-
men launched an attack yesterday on
Preval's sister, wounding her and killing
her driver.
Preval's announcement late Monday
aimed to break a 19-month stalemate
that has left Haiti without a budget or a
functioning government and halted the
flow of aid to this impoverished
Caribbean nation. But it also ignited
fears that Haiti's fledging democracy
has failed, leaving the country on the
road to dictatorship once again.
The motive for the shooting yester-
day afternoon in Bois Verna, near
downtown Port-au-Prince, wasn't
immediately known, and there were no
Two gunmen on a motorcycle opened
fire at a vehicle carrying Marie-Claude
Calvin, wounding her and killing her

terday that the implants - two cres-
cents about the thickness of a contact
lens that form a ring around the
cornea's edge - should be sold.
But the panel stressed that Intacs can
cause side effects. Removing the
implant will often, but not alw
relieve the problem.
Woman on trial for
husband's death
EASTON, Md. -A man was found
dead in his smoke-filled hotel room
last year after he and his wife attended
a murder mystery play staged for the
Yesterday, a prosecutor told a j
the case is no whodunit. Kimbey
Hricko went on trial on charges of mur-
dering her husband, Stephen, during
what was supposed to be a romantic'
Valentine's weekend getaway.
She stood to collect on a $200,000
life insurance policy and had talked
about killing her husband to end their
dull marriage, prosecutor Robert Dean
said in opening statements.
driver. She was shot in the neck, chest
and leg, but her injuries weren't life-
threatening, said Dr. Bernard Leveque
of University Hospital, where Calvin
was being treated. Earlier, doctors said
they would operate on Calvin.
Netanyahu to fund
social programs
JERUSALEM -After more than two
years of tight fiscal control over the
Israeli economy, Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu has decided that it
is time to loosen the economic reins and
boost spending on popular social pro-
The decision is not sudden, the pri
minister insists. And it has nothing to do
with his battle to win re-election May 17,
he says.
But Israeli opposition leaders and
political commentators said yesterday
that Netanyahu's recent reversals -sup-
porting legislation to provide free nurs-
ery school for 3-year-olds, for instance,
and rejecting a proposal to cut benefits to
senior citizens - are blatant election-
year economics.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.

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