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Amherst middle school teacher uses Shakespeare for bullying lesson

Eighth graders at the Regional Middle School will learn about bullying from the Shakespearean context next month.

English teacher Heather Sullivan-Flynn is teaching “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which includes characters fighting and insulting each other while under a magic potion, she said.

“I’ll have the students think about how this would look here in 2013, with social media, how easily this could ruin someone’s reputation, turn to cyber-bullying and what could prevent this, or be a better choice,” she said.

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Parents who are wondering if school will be cancelled or delayed because of snow can call 362-1898 or go to the district’s website, arps.org. When making the decision about cancelling school, Superintendent Maria Geryk must consider not only Amherst weather but that of the hilly terrain of Leverett and Shutesbury, where snowfall can be heavier.

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The Middle School Science Club is creating posters to remind college students to respect property and be courteous to residents on weekends. The campaign, sponsored by the Amherst and University of Massachusetts police departments, will involve the placement of the posters in places where college students gather.

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The Amherst Regional High School Council is presenting UMass filmmaker Lynn Phillips, who will show her film “Flirting with Danger” and discuss sexual abuse Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. The event is part of the School Council’s “Roots of Resilience” series.

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ARHS seniors can apply for scholarship and citizen awards from the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee. They will be presented at the annual King breakfast Jan. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon at the middle school. Students should contact Richmond Ampiah-Bonney at rampiahbonney@amherst.edu for more information. There will be no school on Monday, Jan. 21, which is Martin Luther King Day.

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The Amherst School Committee will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the high school library to discuss next year’s budget. ... The math curriculum will be the topic of a discussion with Rhonda Cohen, the director of teaching and learning, next Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the middle school library.

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Chicken yassa, African peanut stew with millet, black-eyed pea salad and banana peanut cake will be on the menu at a West African dinner at the high school cafeteria Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults, and proceeds will benefit the high school’s African Scholars Program.

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