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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2001

Fear prompts parents to keep children home from school

No harassing incidents have occurred, but families with Middle East ties say they’re uncomfortable

September 14, 2001

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Several Lawrence families with Middle East ties have pulled their children from Hillcrest School in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on the East Coast, Supt. Randy Weseman said Thursday.

Weseman said the children hadn't been harassed at school, but their parents felt it was safer to keep them at home indefinitely.

Hillcrest, 1045 Hilltop Drive, has the district's highest concentration of international students, largely because its near Kansas University.

"After this happened, several families came in and said, 'We feel uncomfortable right now.' They were going to keep their kids at home for a while," Weseman said.

The superintendent said no serious retaliatory incidents had occurred in the district's schools. There has been some name-calling in secondary schools, he said.

"We are keeping an eye on that," Weseman said. "I have no tolerance for that."

He said it wasn't uncommon for the district to temporarily educate a child in the home. The same policy will apply for these Hillcrest families.

"We'll work with them in whatever fashion they want," Weseman said.

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