December 12, 2004 in Nation/World


Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Student arrested for having scissors


A 10-year-old girl was placed in handcuffs and taken to a police station because she took a pair of scissors to her elementary school.

School district officials said the fourth-grade student did not threaten anyone with the 8-inch shears, but violated a rule that considers scissors to be potential weapons.

Administrators said they were following state law when they called police Thursday, and police said they were following department rules when they handcuffed Porsche Brown and took her away in a patrol wagon.

“My daughter cried and cried,” said her mother, Rose Jackson. “She had no idea what she did was wrong. I think that was way too harsh.”

Police decided the girl hadn’t committed a crime and let her go.

However, school officials suspended her for five days. Administrators will decide at a hearing whether she may return to class, or be expelled to a special disciplinary school.

The scissors were discovered while students’ belongings were being searched for property missing from a teacher’s desk.

Governor wants nude statue out of office

Montpelier, Vt.

Gov. James Douglas is doing some tidying up in his office and one thing he thinks can go is a table lamp that sometimes makes him red-faced.

The lamp, installed on his desk recently as part of a Statehouse restoration project, is a replica of a famous 19th century nude statue that cost $2,500 and is plugged into an overhead chandelier.

“The governor does not object to the art,” said Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs. “It may, frankly, be awkward to explain why there is a nude Greek slave on the governor’s desk to a third-grader.”

Another reason for removing the lamp is its own safety. Gibbs said that during the legislative session, which begins Jan. 5, the ceremonial office is often crowded and the lamp could be knocked over and damaged.

“We thought that it would be risky for it to remain when so many people use that office during the legislative session and so many student groups come and often sit at or around the governor’s desk,” Gibbs said.

The lamp is a replica of “The Greek Slave” – a chained female slave crafted by a Vermont artist in 1843 that became an icon of the abolitionist movement before the Civil War.

Councilman demands removal of Bush photo

Lancaster, Pa.

A Democratic city councilman is demanding that a baker remove photos of President Bush from his stand in Lancaster’s farmers market, saying the city needs a “healing period” following the bitterly contested election.

City Councilman Nelson Polite asked baker David Stoltzfus last month to remove the pictures. When Stoltzfus refused, Polite threatened to try to enact an ordinance that would ban political material from public places.

“I just feel that since it was a close election and the city’s so divided, that we should have a healing period,” Polite told the New Era of Lancaster on Friday.

Stoltzfus, 54, of Lititz, and his wife opened the Upper Crust Bakery stand in March 2003. A Bush photo is attached to the stand portico and a photo of the president and first lady Laura Bush sits on a shelf.

The baker said he is enjoying the attention, and other standholders have shown their support by putting up photos of the president.

“It’s fun,” Stoltzfus said Friday. “Even the Democrats come to me and tell me, ‘Don’t take that picture down.’ ”

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