The Lookout
  • AP10100318806The mother of a 13-year-old boy who took his own life after being bullied for being gay is demanding that the Tehachapi Unified School District show her that administrators have a plan in place to prevent future harassment.

    Wendy Walsh also filed a complaint with the Department of Education's civil rights department, asking that its officials determine why the California school district didn't take action when Walsh complained that her son, Seth, was being harassed for being gay.

    "I want to keep another child from feeling helpless and hopeless and prevent another family from heartbreak," Walsh told Tehachapi News reporter Tina Forde. She may yet file a lawsuit through her American Civil Liberties Union lawyer if the school doesn't answer her demand for a written anti-harassment plan.

    The DOE confirmed that the agency is investigating the incident, in the first public sign that department officials are making good on the DOE's October warning to school administrators that they will face federal scrutiny and even sanctions if they do not prevent harassment. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also told schools that anti-gay bullying is a civil rights issue, because it can be considered gender-based harassment. (Sexual orientation is not explicitly covered by existing civil rights laws.)

    Read More »from Parents of kids who committed suicide hold schools responsible for bullying
  • Russian arms accord may come at a cost

    Y-12Many foreign-policy mavens are hailing the Senate's approval yesterday of a nuclear arms reduction pact with Russia  as a key step forward for national security. But in order to get the treaty approved, its supporters had to make concessions that some observers say may be moving our nuclear weapons program in the wrong direction.

    As a condition of support for the accord, Senate Republicans held out for a pledge from the Obama administration to modernize the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal. That demand, in itself, is not necessarily a problem. After all, many of the warheads, built in the Cold War, are rapidly degrading.

    But the modernization isn't likely to be carried out in anything like a rational, cost-effective way. Case in point: It will likely include more than $6 billion dollars for a uranium processing facility, to be built at the Y-12 weapons compound in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (pictured). Indeed, the states' two GOP senators, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, both said that money for modernization -- and therefore, in all likelihood, pork for their district -- was a key condition of their support.

    Read More »from Russian arms accord may come at a cost
  • PerryThe Obama administration is escalating a feud with the state of Texas over fighting global warming.

    Under Governor Rick Perry (pictured), a conservative Republican, the Lone Star state has refused to use its state permitting program to enforce new federal rules that regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act, and has sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the mandates. Now, the EPA is saying it plans to take control of the permitting program, to ensure that the rules are enforced, reports the New York Times.

    "The unwillingness of Texas state officials to implement this portion of the federal program leaves EPA no choice but to resume its role as the permitting authority," an agency official informed the state in a letter this week.

    Read More »from EPA to Texas: If you won’t regulate carbon, we will


(3,627 Stories)

Follow Yahoo! News