Government failure



When Bill Roberts got a voter registration card addressed to his 10-year-old son, Kyle, he didn't give it much thought. But a few weeks after that card arrived at the family's Bowmanville, Canada, home, Kyle got a summons for jury duty.

Officials at Oklahoma's Parkview Elementary School gave 7-year-old Patrick Riley an in-school suspension for pointing his finger in the shape of a gun at fellow students.

When a loud noise woke Kenneth Jimerson one night, he thought a car had crashed into his Longview, Texas, home. Then several men ran in and pulled him and his brother James from the house at gunpoint. The intruders were officers with the city's SWAT team, and they searched the home while the James brothers were held in handcuffs. Eventually the police realized they were at the wrong house.

Students taking Advanced Placement world history at Virginia's Westfield High School got an odd set of instructions when they started the course: They could use only their textbook, class handouts, and class notes to complete assignments. Students caught doing any outside reading, or even talking to their parents about their school work, would get a zero on the assignment and receive an honor code violation referral. According to Principal Tim Thomas, the rules were designed to promote fairness, since some students might have access to more resources than others.

A council warden in East Sussex, England, warned Lisa Taplin and her sons not to feed white bread to ducks at a local pond. The warden told them it was unhealthy and said they should feed the ducks whole-grain bread or birdseed instead. 

Iran's Education Ministry will not allow colleges to open new departments in 12 academic fields, including law, management, psychology, sociology, women's studies, and philosophy. The agency will also review the curriculum in any existing departments within those fields. Ministry officials say the disciplines are under review because they're based on Western culture.

Police in Chatham, England, didn't notice the knife in Antoine Denis' dead body; it was the undertakers they called to take away the corpse who first realized Denis had been murdered. The police explain that they missed the knife because the room was dark and the body was on its back.

Anthony McCorkle is so broke that he has to borrow his brother's car for his job delivering newspapers. That's why many people along his route in Staten Island allow him to collect and sell the recyclables out of their bins. But the Department of Sanitation says its workers are the only ones who can collect recyclables. When they caught McCorkle with a car full of bottles, they impounded the automobile and threatened McCorkle and his brother with fines of $2,000 each.

When food service workers for the New Boston, Ohio, school system found weevils in a bag of dried egg noodles, they carefully removed the insects—and then boiled the noodles and served them to students for lunch.

Charles Oliver