Daily Briefs

School district changes handling of First Amendment following religious complaints

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan school district has changed how it handles the First Amendment after a civil rights group complained that some teachers' religious activities violated the U.S. Constitution.

The Grand Rapids Press reports that principals and administrators from Hudsonville Public Schools will undergo an Establishment Clause workshop in March. The Establishment Clause says public schools can't endorse or sponsor religious activities.

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists complained to the district in November about a Baldwin Street Middle School teacher who'd been engaging in faith discussions during school hours and an Alward Elementary School teacher who'd been meeting with students for lunchtime Bible studies.

Assistant Superintendent Scott Smith says handouts are being created to define the Establishment Clause, show how it applies to school employees and outline when actions are in violation.


Detroit man gets very late sentence for manslaughter

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man finally has been sentenced to a year in jail for fatally shooting another man in the back — six years after his manslaughter conviction.

Leroy Moon pleaded no contest in 2011, but he wasn't sentenced until Wednesday. The prosecutor's office says it lost track. The judge says she's still not certain what happened.

Moon, now 78 years old, shot a man who urinated outside his fish market in 2009. He pleaded no contest to manslaughter after two murder trials ended without a verdict. The deal called for a year in jail.

Moon says he's "truly sorry." He's mostly been free on bond.

Shawn Johnson's widow, Mildred Bryant, says she didn't know that Moon hadn't been sentenced. She says she cried after seeing his face on television.


Deadline for McCree Award nominations

Nominations are being accepted for this year’s Wade Hampton McCree Jr. Award for the Advancement of Social Justice. This award is presented by the Detroit Chapter of the Federal Bar Association to individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to the advancement of social justice in areas involving poverty, promoting economic or educational opportunity, or fighting discrimination involving race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or economic status. The recipient may be selected from any field of endeavor including but not limited to law, social service, community organization, volunteer activities, journalism, or academics.  This year’s presentation will be made on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at a luncheon to be held at the Westin Book Cadillac. Send your nominations by Friday, Feb. 2 to Cynthia Haffey, Butzel Long P.C., 150 W. Jefferson Ave., Ste. 100, Detroit, MI 48226 or email ­haffey@butzel.com.


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