Campus climate challenge

Is your campus up to the challenge?

A coalition of 30 environmental groups, including Greenpeace and the youth arm of the Sierra Club, has issued a “challenge to the generation: Can we overcome the mistakes of our ancestors, stop global warming, and build a clean energy future?” The coalition aims to “inspire, support and win clean energy and global warming campaigns” in 500 high school and college campuses by 2008.

To find out how to get your school involved, visit www.campusclimatechallenge.org.

Students refuse to censor newspaper

Students at Virginia’s Midlothian High School have stopped publishing their school paper, The Trojan Times, after MHS Principal Christine Wilson, angered by a sex survey published in the February issue, demanded that the newspaper change its independent editorial policy before publishing again.

The survey, which included statistics showing that 40 percent of the people polled “feel being drunk is a good excuse for cheating,” was meant, say students, to show the failure of the school’s abstinence-only curriculum.

According to the paper’s editorial policy, published on the Student Press Law Center web site, the Times “is an open forum for student expression” and the paper “will not be reviewed, restrained or withheld from distribution by school officials.” This is the policy Wilson wants to see changed.

‘Friendship 2006’ camp to open

Young people from the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus will gather for the June 22-24 Friendship 2006 festival, designed to promote friendly relations between three former Soviet republics that the U.S. and Europe have been trying to separate. The festival will take place at a tent camp at the Friendship Monument, located where the three nations meet.

An important component of the event will be a commemoration of all that was lost or destroyed under fascism. The date of the event was picked because June 22 marks the 65th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.

In addition to somber reminders of the horrors of war, the camp will include music and other cultural activities, such as performances by popular bands and the viewing of the Ukraine vs. Tunisia soccer game on a gigantic screen.

N.Y. City Council stops plan to ban cell phones

NYC’s Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg has begun enforcing a ban, dating back more than a decade, on cell phones in public schools, but massive public outcry may stop Bloomberg in his tracks.

In recent weeks demonstrations of high school students have taken place, and a petition with 3,000 signatures was given to the city’s Board of Education. Students say the ban violates their civil liberties, while parents argue that they need to be in touch with their children for safety reasons.

The City Council responded with a bill sponsored by a veto-proof 38 out of 51 members, saying that the rights of students to bring phones to school shall not be interfered with.

— Dan Margolis (dmargolis@pww.org)

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