In Brief - Education - March 7, 2012

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The Associated Press

Police: Students had weapons
BELEN — Belen police say four students are facing long-term suspensions and possible expulsion after they were caught with weapons on school grounds.

School Superintendent Ron Marquez tells the Albuquerque Journal that any type of situation involving weapons and student safety is taken very seriously.

Belen Police Chief Dan Robb says two unidentified Belen High School students were seen shooting each other with an airsoft pellet gun after school on Feb. 29.

A second incident occurred Friday when school officials say two sixth-grade students at Central Elementary School were seen exchanging something called a shocker, which looks like a small revolver, but gives off an electrical shock.

All four students are suspended until their case is heard by an independent authority.

ACLU: Teen humiliated
ALBUQUERQUE — A 15-year-old girl was initially kicked out of a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school then forced to stand before a school assembly to announce that she was pregnant, bringing public embarrassment to the eighth-grader, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Court papers filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Mexico said Shantelle Hicks, who is Navajo and attends Wingate Elementary School in McKinley, N.M., was embarrassed at an assembly by the school director and another staff member over her pregnancy. The lawsuit said Hicks was forced to stand before the entire school at an assembly and announced that she was pregnant, even though only three school staff members knew.

“It was so embarrassing to have all the other kids staring at me as I walked into the gymnasium,” said Hicks in a statement. “I didn’t want the whole school to know I was pregnant because it’s not their business, and it wasn’t right for my teachers to single me out.”

The ACLU of New Mexico said the girl’s discovery in October that she was pregnant came about three weeks before the assembly. Hicks and her mother said they told the director of the middle school and two other staff members.