November 28th, 2011
05:51 PM ET

FAMU drum major's family to sue after suspected hazing death

(CNN) - A lawyer for the family of Robert Champion, a Florida university drum major who died this month in what officials have called a hazing-related death, said Monday he will sue the school.

"We are intending to file a lawsuit to get answers" about hazing at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University, lawyer Chris Chestnut told reporters. "We are concerned about the culture of cover-up, that hazing has been covered up at the Band FAMU for generations. So, it's time now that we expose the truth, eradicate this culture and come up with creative remedies on how to continue the excellence of FAMU's band, but without hazing."

Chestnut said he was not at liberty to discuss the facts of the case and noted that the medical examiner has not issued a report on the cause of death of the 26-year-old musician. But, he added, the facts that have emerged to date "point to the fact that hazing was a cause of Robert Champion's death, and it was under FAMU's watch."

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Filed under: College • Extracurricular • Policy • video
Kansas governor apologizes for 'overreaction' to teen's disparaging tweet
Emma Sullivan says she's not going to apologize to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for a disparaging tweet.
November 28th, 2011
02:29 PM ET

Kansas governor apologizes for 'overreaction' to teen's disparaging tweet

(CNN) - Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback apologized Monday for what he called his staff's "overreaction" to a disparaging tweet directed at him by a high school senior during a state Capitol visit.

Emma Sullivan, 18, said late Sunday that she would not write an apology letter to the governor - as her principal had requested - that was due Monday.

In a statement, Brownback did not reference Sullivan by name or mention the prospect of any apology letter. He did emphasize his support for "freedom of speech," while thanking "the thousands of Kansas educators who remind us daily of our liberties, as well as the values of civility and decorum."

"My staff overreacted to this tweet, and for that I apologize," the governor said. "Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms."

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Filed under: Policy
Mills: SAT scandal shows tyranny of standardized testing
Samuel Eshaghoff of Great Neck, New York, is arrested in September for impersonating high school students to take the SAT.
November 28th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

Mills: SAT scandal shows tyranny of standardized testing

By Nicolaus Mills, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Nicolaus Mills is professor of American Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of "Winning the Peace: The Marshall Plan and America's Coming of Age as a Superpower."

(CNN) - As education scandals go, the news that students at some of the best high schools on Long Island paid others to take their College Board tests seems mild. The Long Island scandal pales behind the sex scandal at Penn State.

Yet the fears driving the Long Island scandal come with much broader educational implications than those affecting Penn State. The cheating scandal reflects the tyranny that standardized testing has come to exercise over higher education in America.

Just before Thanksgiving, Nassau County district attorney Kathleen Rice leveled criminal charges against 13 students for their part in the Long Island testing scandal. Rice was right to treat as a criminal matter the testing fraud, which, after seven arrests in September, now includes 20 Long Island students.

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Filed under: Policy • Practice • Voices
Kansas teen won't apologize to governor's office for Twitter post
A Kansas teen said she will not a apologize for her disparaging tweet about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
November 28th, 2011
09:22 AM ET

Kansas teen won't apologize to governor's office for Twitter post

(CNN) - A high school senior, who faces a Monday morning deadline to apologize to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for a disparaging tweet, has said she will not write the apology letter.

"I don't think I should write the letter, and I don't think it would be the best move for me," Emma Sullivan, 18, said late Sunday night. "At this time, I do not think an apology would be a sincere thing for me to do."

Sullivan said her parents and many of her peers support her decision.

The teen made national headlines last week for a tweet she said was intended just for her friends.

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Filed under: Policy