Education: Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
Filing charges: An assault charge against a teacher in Yorktown, Virginia, was dropped when a prosecutor said there was not enough evidence to bring the case to trial. Carol Comstock had been accused of cutting the fingernails of a nine-year-old girl pupil without permission from the girl's parents.

Crap game: A school in South Africa has hit upon a novel method of fund- raising that has earned them 300,000 rand (about pounds 35,000). They divided the school's cricket field into 4,200 squares, then ran a lottery based on which squares three elephants would defecate on.

School rage: A teacher's husband in Charleston, West Virginia, has been charged with misdemeanor assault, battery and trespassing, after police alleged that he slammed the heads of two students together, grabbed another around the chest and shoulders and challenged a fourth to a fight. According to police, Edward Hilts was "tired of his wife taking out her school- and student-related problems ... on him," so burst into her classroom and attacked her students. Mr Hilts said: "There really is much more to the story than meets the eye."

Bad sports: Two women students in New York have founded the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes. According to Kathy Redmond, a 1996 study by the Center for Sport and Society showed that athletes commit as much as 30 per cent of violent crime against women on campus despite comprising only 3.3 per cent of the campus population.

Wealth distribution: A young thief's generosity was his downfall in Stafford, Virginia. Police questioned an 11-year-old boy after he had been seen giving away $100 bills to friends at the local elementary school. The boy admitted breaking into a house and stealing $5,000; the owner did not realise the money was missing until the police told him. Investigators plan to discuss the case with juvenile justice officials before deciding what to do.