WERU News Report 4/6/11

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing Producer: Carolyn Coe

Segment 1: The Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs heard testimony in Augusta today, on LD 1237 “An Act to Prohibit Bullying in Schools”. The legislation is sponsored by Representative Terry Morrison, who says that it would provide a clear definition of bullying, and guidelines for prevention that are consistent throughout Maine’s schools. Opponents, including the Maine Christian Civic League and representatives of some of the state’s school boards, spoke against the legislation. They say the legislation is unnecessary, removes local control and impedes free speech. The Maine Civil Liberties Union testified as neither in support nor opposed, citing concerns about the scope of the legislation, which they hope can be addressed in an upcoming legislative work session.
Everyone seemed to agree, however, that bullying IS a problem in Maine’s schools. Here is what the high school students who testified at today’s hearing, had to say.

Segment 2: Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh, who lives in Beit Sahour in the West Bank. He teaches at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities. He spoke at USM in Portland on March 27 during his book tour for his most recent book, Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment. His talk titled “Connections: The Palestinian Connection, Arab Popular Resistance, and the US” highlighted examples of sixty-two years of largely nonviolent Palestinian popular resistance and described US-Israel relations.