The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee on August 3, 1995 · Page 14
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee · Page 14

Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 3, 1995
Page 14
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c 1,; iiM 3 W'' TIPPER GORE tf y4 ' She'll address l conference iV Page 3B Briefs Deaths Weather 2B 5B 6B B THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 1995 GirFs mother imdicted on imiirder cfa Autopsy shows blind, deaf child neglected By WENDI C. THOMAS Staff Writer SPRINGFIELD - Three weeks after the death of a blind and deaf 10-year-old girl at her home here, her mother was indicted yesterday by a Robertson County grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder, investigators said. Mary Mitchell, 30, of 1922 S. Main St, was arrested yesterday afternoon in the death of young Fiona Mitchell, said Jo Ann Gregory, Schools told to hire medical help Teachers advised not to minister to disabled By DUREN CHEEK Staff Writer School systems across Tennessee will have to hire nurses or other medically trained personnel to handle medical procedures for children with disabilities, education officials said yesterday. Teachers have been advised in a memorandum from the state Department of Education that they are illegally practicing medicine without a license when they perform such procedures as catheterization, in which a tube is used to drain the bladder of children unable to urinate. State lawmakers will discuss the issue tomorrow at a meeting of the legislature's Education Oversight Committee. Kathy Woodall, president of the Tennessee Education Association, says more "medically fragile or technologically dependent" children are being moved into regular classrooms and teachers are being ; asked to perform increasingly so-; phisticated medical procedures. ' State Education Commissioner Jane Walters said yesterday that school systems will have to hire professionals to step in and take over the medical procedures. "We really don't have a choice," Walters said. "In some systems it is going to entail hiring professionals to do these procedures, and in some systems it will be very costly." No federal money is available to help, and little is available from the state, she said. ; In addition to catheterizations, Woodall said, teachers are being asked to perform such procedures as Diooa glucose tests to determine the blood sugar level of diabetics; nose and throat suctioning; and Crede's maneuver, where pressure is exerted on the lower abdomen to force urine out of the bladder. Woodall said her organization is telling teachers to follow the advice outlined in a memorandum Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 3 Springfield police domestic violence officer. "I never thought I'd ever see anything like this in the United States. In Ethiopia, maybe, but not here," Gregory said. Autopsy photos show Fiona, frail in a dirty yellow shirt and a filthy diaper. Investigators said the diaper covered maggot-infested bedsores. Malnutrition and dehydration contributed to Fiona Mitchell's death July 12, but an official cause of death will not be available until toxicology reports are completed, said Stan Carney, an assistant to former state medical examiner Charles Harlan. "There was obvious neglect there," Carney said. Gregory said prosecutors felt an aggravated child abuse case was supported by evidence of neglect, and the law allows for a murder charge if such abuse leads to death. A bout with meningitis as an in fant left Fiona deaf and blind and with the mental maturity of a 3-month-old, officials said. While her siblings seemed to thrive, Fiona was basically banished to a room in the trailer they lived in, Gregory said. Mary Mitchell had received $438 per month in Social Security payments for Fiona's care, Gregory said. When arrested yesterday in Springfield, she blamed the Department of Human Services for her daughter's death, the officer said. The 48-pound girl had not seen a doctor or had any contact with DHS in five years, Gregory said. "According to her Mary Mitchell, it was everyone else's fault but hers," Gregory said. Mitchell had already left for work when Fiona's brother, Varek-ko, 13, noticed that his sister wasnt breathing, Gregory said. He called 911 at 4:31 p.m. and at the instruction of the 911 operator, tried to perform CPR. But when medics arrived, they found that rigor mortis had already begun, Gregory said. The stiffening of muscles after death takes about 12 hours to begin, Carney said. The body's condition could put I tf , I ii j iff ' . 1, K - " - - " '- ' 7 -- -' to . - -. . . ....a.... Delores DeMn Staff THAT'S ONE COOL CHAPEAU A wet towel helps Nashville. It's been a hot week, and today should be no Kathie Parks keep her cool in the sweltering heat as she exception: The temperature could climb to 92 degrees, with waters flowers off Elm Hill Pike near Percy Priest Lake in a low of 73 expected tonight. New magnet selection still leaves some out By LISA BENAVIDES Staff Writer Jennifer Smith got her second chance, but she didnt get into Metro's Hume-Fogg Magnet High School. Smith's parents fought a three-month battle to get the Metro Board of Education to change the way it picked students for its three academic magnet schools, after discovering the selection process was not truly random. The board agreed last week to change the process and create new slots at magnets Hume-Fogg, Martin Luther King Jr. High School and Meigs Middle School. They'll move a portable classroom and hire three more teachers to accommodate the students. This week they sent out ac- to 11 more stu- 5MUH dents for Hume-Fogg and 23 more students for Meigs. They had been excluded from the initial magnet school selection because of a computer program using the letters in ( their name. No additional students were picked at Martin Luther King Jr. because none had been left out of the initial selection. "I was really hoping I'd get in," said a disappointed Smith. "But as long as it's fair, we didnt ask for any special treatment" Smith and the hundreds of other students qualified for the academic magnets that didnt get in still have a chance if they are high on the waiting list for each school. With help from a statistician at Middle Tennessee State University, Metro created new waiting lists. Metro will use these new lists to send out acceptance letters on Friday to 50 more students at the magnet schools 19 for Hume-Fogg, 18 for Martin Luther King Jr. and 13 for Meigs Middle. Metro Schools Director Richard Benjamin wrote "although this is a task that our staff or others in Nashville could do, we believe credibility will be enhanced by having someone not directly involved do the actual randomization." Jeffery Allbritten, assistant dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences at MTSU, randomized the waiting lists. 3- tmmi ",, f 1 if 1955 graduation photo "We were taught not to bring shame to our race. ...We learned that it was a matter of respect, not just for yourself, but for your teachers. " - Dorothy Knox Robinson Lessons created leaders Haynesgrads honor school that equipped them for success in segregated times ByAISSATOUSIDIME StaffWriter Imagine a school that produced award-winning students when the county refused to provide textbooks for the school. Haynes High School did. At 5:30 every morning, Principal Clinton Derricks began collecting students around the county in his car. When the school acquired a bus, Derricks and coach Harvey Sims drove more than 200 miles each day taking those children of sharecroppers, shop owners and domestic workers to and from school. "Our teachers loved us," Dorothy Knox Robinson said. "And we loved them ... Some of us were from truck farms and some had just enough to feed the family. "But there were no big Ts and little you's. They wanted us all to do well." This weekend, the classes of 1945, 1955 and 1965 will celebrate the dedication of coach Harvey Sims, history teacher Artie Adams and other teachers at their reunion. Haynes High School, which is now Haynes Middle School on Trinity Lane, was the only county secondary school open to African-Americans until desegregation in 1967. The county provided funds only for Haynes elementary school, coach Harvey Sims said. With the support of parents and clergy, Haynes faculty Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 1 I jr. W' S 1967 yearbook "What it has left on me indelibly is reflected in my extracurricular activities with 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee. " - Richard Jackson the time of death as early as 7 a.m., Carney said. Mitchell left for work at 3:30 that afternoon, Gregory said. There were no other known instances of abuse in the Mitchell home, Gregory said. Mitchell's four other children have been in DHS custody since the girl's death. A sixth child, 8-month-old Destiny, died in April 1994 of meningitis. Her death was ruled to be of natural causes, Gregory said. Mitchell will be arraigned Sept 1. She was being held yesterday in the Robertson County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. VU: Prof misused funds Winbush resignation forced, officials say By LISA BENAVIDES Staff Writer Vanderbilt University forced Ray Winbush to resign as head of the black cultural center after an audit revealed mismanagement and misuse of funds for personal use, school officials confirmed yesterday. - Winbush's announcement this" week that he was joining the faculty at Fisk University included criticism of Vanderbilt's diversity efforts. Yesterday, he said Vanderbilt disclosed the audit in retaliation for his statements. "To say that's the reason I was dismissed is ridiculous," Winbush said. "The issue is the cultural center had become too independent of what the overall motive of the provost's office was, which was to change it to a multicultural center." Winbush said any money misappropriated by the center's staff had been repaid, and he was never given the chance to correct the organizational problems. He said he was vocal about plans to leave Vanderbilt before the internal audit was requested by the provost's office in December 1994. "They didn't want me to walk away, and they're trying to deflect what occurred," Winbush said. "I did not steal anything from Vanderbilt" Winbush was told of the audit's results on June 16 and then asked to resign, school officials said. Vanderbilt's general counsel, Jeff Carr, issued a statement yesterday that read, in part: "We do not expect to comment further about Dr. Winbush's resignation, and offer this statement only because it is necessary to add a perspective to the matter not evident from Dr. Winbush's comments." Winbush was at Vanderbilt for a total of 14 years. He had left in 1984 and again in 1989 for other job opportunities. Asali Devan, who will be a senior at Vanderbilt this fall, voiced support for Winbush. "There are a lot of people here that don't like Ray because of his strong viewpoints," Devan said. "Instead, they want someone in there that's going to be more compliant with the things that administration wants." Devan said that Winbush made no secret of the fact that he was planning to leave Vanderbilt because of the administration's lack of support for the black cultural center. "I think that if someone is saying that he left because of the audit, it's a deliberate attempt to assassinate his character and it's wrong," Devan said. WILLIAMSON Bunk beds, trap doors, hidden staircases, a soda machine and a giant screen television. Kids ages 6-10 can plan elements of their dream house during four Sunday classes in architecture for children. Instructor Candace Wolff Sanders will Instruct building of two- and three-dimensional models. The class meets from 3-4:30 p.m. starting Aug. 13. Cost Is $70. For more Information, call the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department at 790-5719. CATHERINE TREYiSON DAVIDSON Ready or not, summer vacation is winding down. The W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School is holding registration for the upcoming school year 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 28-31 at 1414 Edgehill Ave. Children ages 8-18 from low-income families can take private and group classes in band, orchestra, instruments, voice, guitar and piano. An Introduction to music class for 8-year-olds is another offering. Classes start Sept. 6. Call 255-8355 for more information. USA EfNAViDES - - DOM! SECTION EDITORS City editor Tommy Goidsmith, 2594095, Regional editor Day: Frank Gibson, 726-5907; Lisa Green (database editor), 259-6095; Robert Sherborne, 259-8080. Nightweekend: Dwight Lewis, 726-5928; John Richards, 259-8090; Richard Stevens, 259-8090; George Zepp, 259-8091. Fax: 259-8093. E-mail new tip MONTGOMERY Jhe Humane Society of Clarks- ville-Montgomery County will be the benefactor of a fund-raising stunt planned by Q-108 radio personality Lee Erwin, who plans to be "frozen alive." Erwin says that beginning today he intends to spend 48 hours with 5,000 pounds of ice in a staging area at Gary Mathews Motors, 1100 New Ashland City Road, while under the supervision of a hypnotist. He said the public is invited to visit his "arctic tomb," with donations raised going to the society. TERRY BAJEY TENNESSEE A new grant program tor state high schools will combine learning and volunteer service. The Skills for Action program will pick 20 teams from public and private high schools to do a three-day training program that Includes technical assistance and $500. Schools must apply by Aug. 31. For more information, call Susie Geist at the Tennessee Commission on National and Community Service at 532-9252, or Lewis Butler at the Tennessee Department of Education at 532-6254, -USA ECNAVSSESl

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