SN News, June 17, 1999

Offended teacher vandalizes student's property

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) - A fourth-grade pupil was reading a magazine when his teacher, Wanda Nelson, grabbed it, called it ``pornography,'' ripped up the offending pages and threw them in a trash can.

The magazine was National Geographic, and the pornography was an article on evolution that included drawings of naked humans.

On Tuesday, the Cherry Street Elementary School teacher received a written reprimand for ``inappropriate action.''

But the school superintendent did not believe censorship was an issue.

Bay County School Superintendent Larry Bolinger said he supported the teacher's right to stop what she considered a disruption, but he said she crossed the line when she damaged the magazine.

Sebastian Allen, 10, had taken his older brother's magazine, a rare collector's issue, to school after Nelson had encouraged students to bring reading material from home in case they completed a state assessment test before time ran out.

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