Girl Falsely Accused of Staging Hate Crime Settles With School
Sixteen-year-old Lucy Weber reached a settlement with the prestigious Middlesex Prep School in Concord, Mass. after a long dispute over the validity of several anti-Semitic notes she received while attending the school.
Weber, whose ancestry is Jewish and Protestant, reported to school officials that she received four notes at school that contained phrases such as "Gas for the Jew" with swastikas and defaced photographs. The school claimed that she was mentally ill and most likely staged the incident.
"We were victimized more by the administration than we were by the notes," said Katherine Weber, Lucy's mother. Lucy's parents believe the school was trying to protect its reputation by putting the blame on their daughter.
The police were called by school officials after the incident was reported and Lucy took a lie detector test, mandated by the school. Lucy's mother was told that her daughter passed the test, however school officials maintained that the results were inconclusive.
Deirdre Ling, head of Middlesex, reportedly told Lucy's father that his daughter suffered from multiple personalities and would have to leave the school. A psychologist hired by the family concluded that Lucy showed no signs of mental disorder.
Middlesex sent a letter to Lucy's parents in March stating that the police found that no hate crime had occurred "and that the student apparently targeted by the notes may herself have been the author of some or all of them." The police actually said there was not enough evidence to determine anything and dropped the investigation.
School officials sent a letter of apology to the family after the settlement was reached admitting to "misleading statements" in their previous letter. They said that their implications were "regrettable and unfounded."
Middlesex was the location for the filming of School Ties, a movie which addressed anti-Semitism between students at a prep school. The movie is shown to Middlesex students each year.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .