No Comment 17.2

By Stacie Williams and Catherine Capellaro

Bin Laden ‘Supporter’ Detained

In early October, a substitute teacher in Pittsburgh was surrounded by armed guards, detained for an hour, and suspended over notes he wrote about Osama bin Laden.

John Gardner had scribbled notes about bin Laden on a newspaper. Among them were the remarks, “Osama bin Laden did us a favor . He vulcanized us, awakened us, and strengthened our resolve.” Gardner said the notes were for a book he was writing.

Gardner is suing the Pittsburgh Public School District for violating his free-speech rights and is seeking damages of more than $50,000. (Associated Press)

$1,989 Allegiance Plaque

“To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Congress officially recognizing the Pledge of Allegiance, Treasured Expressions is offering a cast bronze “Pledge of Allegiance” feature plaque . the new feature includes the words to the Pledge of Allegiance framed by sculpted portraits of a soaring eagle, an ethnically diverse group of young children with their hands over their hearts, the Statue of Liberty and a waving flag against a background of mountains and trees. With the renewed spirit of patriotism that Americans are displaying, this feature will create a meaningful tribute in schools while evoking a sense of national pride. The plaque is offered for $1,989.00.”

Edison Sells Own Textbooks

The stock market recession has hit the already struggling Edison Schools, Inc. The day before school was to start in September, some Edison Philadelphia schools were forced to sell most of the textbooks, computers, lab supplies, and musical instruments for cash to break even, leaving students with supplies decades old.

A few weeks later, company executives moved their offices into the schools to save money on the $8,750/month rent at its Philadelphia headquarters. The Philadelphia school board subsequently kicked out the executives.

As of Oct. 30, Edison’s stock was trading at approximately 50 cents per share, a sharp decline from $21.68/share at the beginning of the year. (

School Dreads Dreadlocks

Sophomore Kisteesha Lanegan was suspended from Whitefish High School in Billings, Montana, for refusing to get rid of her dreadlocks.

School officials told Lanegan that her dreadlocks were “outlandish” and violated a school policy that bans certain hairstyles like mohawks.

After the suspension, Lanegan left Whitefish High Schools and enrolled in another nearby school. “It’s the principle of the matter,” she said. “My hair is totally irrelevant to my education at the school.” (Associated Press)