Michael Copps of the Federal Communications Commission had a lot to say about the importance of access to information and the Internet. But he remained tight-lipped on how and when the FCC would protect it.
Ten days after the election, I took our collies for their regular morning romp at one of Albuquerque’s dog parks. I pulled up alongside an ancient vehicle. In the window was a declaration: “If Obama is too stupid to understand what the voters said this year, we need to repeat the message in 2012.”
Dateline: Massachusetts—School administrators at North Brookfield Elementary School were forced to clarify policy after a teacher sent students home with a note stating that all writing instruments had been banned from classrooms. Earlier this month, sixth-grade teacher Wendy Scott sent a letter to all parents of sixth graders announcing that she and fellow teacher Susan LaFlamme were instituting a new rule banning students from carrying writing implements—including pencils, pens and mechanical pencils. According to the memo, students would be issued a pencil for use in class. That pencil would be collected at the end of the school day. The memo went on to say that any student found with a writing implement on their person or in their backpack after Nov. 15 would be assumed to be using it “to build weapons.” The memo said any offending students would be sent to the principal’s office for disciplinary measures. Within a day of the memo’s release, however, interim Superintendent Gordon L. Noseworthy explained that the teacher’s memo had not been reviewed or approved by either the principal or the superintendent. Noseworthy told Worcester’s Telegram that the memo was “over the top” and does not reflect any North Brookfield School District policy. Police Chief Aram Thomasian Jr. told the newspaper he was approached after the memo was released by parents of one student who had been suspended for having a pen that had been altered to fire a wadded-up piece of paper. “The student showed me how it worked. I'd be surprised if the spitball traveled 4 feet. And at that, I'm not even sure it had any spit on it,” he said. The school’s principal sent a follow-up memo to the families stating that no changes would be made to school procedure, Mr. Noseworthy clarified. “This was an attempt by a fairly new sixth-grade teacher to make changes that were not warranted. The student who was found with an altered pen was suspended and as far as administrators were concerned, the matter was put to rest.”