Associated Press

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8:59am

Fri March 14, 2014
Politics

Bill Shields School Religious Displays from Suits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Legislation that would protect schools from lawsuits for allowing traditional winter celebrations and religious displays has been approved in the House.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Andy Holt of Dresden was overwhelmingly approved 83-4 on Thursday. The Senate version was unanimously approved 30-0 last month.

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8:18am

Thu March 13, 2014
Top Stories

Some Vandy Rape Case Records Made Public

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A judge has ruled that some records in the rape case against four former Vanderbilt football players should be released to a media group that argued the public has a right to them.

Davidson County Chancellor Russell Perkins determined Wednesday that some text messages, emails and other material collected by Vanderbilt University related to the case should be turned over to the coalition that includes The Tennessean, The Associated Press and other outlets.

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8:16am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

Bill to Derail Common Core Education Standards Fails

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal to dial back the implementation of Tennessee's Common Core standards has failed this session.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville was defeated 7-2 in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

The standards are intended to provide students with the critical thinking, problem solving and writing skills needed for college and the workforce.

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8:14am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

UT President Says School Can't Ban Sex Week Event

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is urging lawmakers not to pursue legislation that would penalize the school over its student-run Sex Week.

In a letter to Senate leaders, DiPietro argues that First Amendment protections prevent the school from ending the event that has raised the hackles of GOP leaders in the General Assembly.

The letter is in response to one written earlier by the chairs of two Senate committees, warning that new UT funding could be threatened if Sex Week wasn't put to a halt.

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8:13am

Thu March 13, 2014
Politics

Measure Would Prohibit Teacher Licensure Rules

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would prohibit standardized test scores from being tied to teacher licensing is advancing in the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville was approved in the Senate Education Committee 7-2 on Wednesday.

The Tennessee Department of Education recommended the new licensure policy, and the State Board of Education voted in August to support it. However, the board changed its stance in January.

Bell's legislation would prevent the policy from taking effect if the board approves it.

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