Page 12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, June 1, 1984
Indian school holds first graduation
WILSON, Mich. (UPI) - Switching
schools just before senior year might be
traumatic for some, but to the four
members of the Hannahville class of
1984 it may have meant the difference
between receiving their diplomas or
becoming drop outs.
Michigan's firstsand only Indian-run
school graduated its first class last
night at ceremonies attended by proud
* 'o* E L A 1/0TRAY
State's only tribal school
produces first four alumni
family and friends and two members of
the State Board of Education.
TOM MILLER, the fledging district's
administrator and principal, said some
of the students might never have com-
pleted high school without the switch
to the new school.
"We've had a history of failures at
the local high school and public school
because of cultural and special needs,"
Miller said. The Hannahville Indian
School is Michigan's first and only
"tribal contract school" and one of just
64 in the nation. Tribes have the option
of opening their own schools, under the
funding and jurisdiction of the U.S.
Bureau of Indian Affairs, rather than
using public schools in their area.
The Hannahville school opened for
kindergarten through eighth grade in
1975. Last fall, it accepted its first high
school students. It serves residents of
the nearby Potawatomi reservation
and Indian students in the surrounding
THE SCHOOL system now hasa total
of 85 students and is located in western
Menomonie County, about 18miles west
Miller said many of the students had
problems learning in regular public
schools and had difficulty meeting at-
"We had to be pretty flexible," he
said. "We approached it just like jobs.
No one was passed just to pass."
Despite operating with just 3.5 high
school teaching positions in a building
he describes as "piecemealed
together," Miller said the students
received a well-rounded education and
scored well on achievement tests.
A MICHIGAN Department of
Education spokesman said he is not
certain if the Hannahville class is the
smallest in state history, but said he
believed it to be among the tiniest.
Graduate Diane Halfaday said she
felt more "comfortable" at the Han-
nahville school than she did among the
30 class members at the public Bark
River High School she formerly atten-
"We all knew each other since we
were kids," she said of her Hannahville
senior classmates. "There was not so
much pressure all the time."
HALFADAY, 18, plans to attend Nor-
thern Michigan University in the fall,
but it is not yet certain what she will
The other graduates are Kenneth
Metzger, John Decotah, and Ruth
Despite the small size of their class,
the Hannahville seniors managed to
experience some high school and
graduation traditions. They started a
school newspaper and they had the
usual disputes over the color of their
caps and gowns.
"AT FIRST they were supposed to be
silver and black, but we didn't want
that," Halfaday said.
The class of 1984 decided on light blue
and dark blue.
The graduation ceremony and
celebratory feast at the Hannahville
Bingo Hall was replete with tradition
and one of few in the state attended by
State Board of Education members,
Annetta Miller (D-Huntington Woods)
and Carroll Hutton (D-Highland) were
scheduled to attend.
Halfaday believes her soon-to-be
alma mater will encourage more In-
"I already see lots of kids going back
to school that were not going before,"
Private college fears federal control
WASHINGTON (UPI) - The presi-
dent of a private Pennsylvania college
that is struggling to keep free of govern-
ment regulation warns that a civil
rights bill now in Congress could mean
more federal intrusion into private
Charles MacKenzie, president of
Grove City College near Pittsburgh,
warned a Senate panel Wednesday that
the legislation is a "giant step" toward
"Government domination of private
The civil rights legislation has wide
support in Congress. It was introduced
to undo a Feb. 28 Supreme Court ruling"
involving Grove City, a 107-year-old
liberal arts college that accepts no gov-
The ruling upset civil rights groups
by narrowing the reach of a key sex
discrimination law, which bans bias
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against women in schools receiving fed-
But it also was a defeat for Grove
City because the justices ruled that the
school, even though it accepted no
government aid, had to sign a federal
anti-bias pledge because some of its
students received federal education
grants and loans.
To overcome the court decision, the
school is no longer enrolling any stu-
dents who accept federal grants or
loans, MacKenzie told the Senate Judic-
iary subcommittee on the Constitution.
But even that might not keep the gov-
ernment from interfering in the school's
affairs if Congress passes legislation
now before it to undo the Supreme
Court decision, he said.
"If this bill passes in its present
form," he said, "we fear that we may
never be able to go far enough to disen-
gage the college from the federal gov-
ernment. . . . Someone, somewhere,
will attempt to trace a federal dollar
to Grove City's treasury."
The Reagan administration opposes
the legislation as written as too broad,
particularly because its coverage
sweeps to all "recipients" of federal
In testimony last week, Assistant
Attorney General William Bradford
Reynolds warned it could lead federal
officials to enforce laws against sex,
race, age and handicapped discrimina-
tion even in grocery stores that accept
The U.S. Civil Rights Commission of-
ficially took no stand Wednesday on the
bill, which alresdy has won the ap-
proval of two House Committees and
could be acted on in the full House
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