Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Canadian Teen Commits Suicide After Alleged Rape, Bullying, CNN

The family of a teenager who committed suicide after she was allegedly gang-raped and bullied is urging Canadian officials to reconsider filing criminal charges.

Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old high school student from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was taken off life support on Sunday, three days after she tried to hang herself. Her family told CNN they met with Canadian justice officials on Wednesday and the officials assured them they would take a fresh look at filing charges.

The teen was bullied for more than a year after the alleged sexual assault, which happened in November 2011 when she was 15, her family said.

Authorities confirmed that a photograph allegedly showing Parsons having sex with one of the boys was circulated to friends’ mobile phones and computers. As a result, her family said she developed suicidal thoughts.

Charter School’s Entry Fee is Illegal, The Houston Chronicle

Houston Gateway Academy, a public charter school that serves mostly low-income families, was charging parents fees to enroll their children in violation of state law, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Applicants to the school received a letter saying the fee – $100 for one child or $200 per family – was required for students to land a reserved spot next fall.

The school described the mandatory payment as an “activity fee” that was “for but not limited to special activities, P.E. equipment and other supplies, bus transportation for field trips, enrichment activities and/or renovations district wide.”

Charter schools and traditional school districts are allowed to charge for materials, student clubs, identification cards and a few other areas under state law, but the fees cannot be tied to admission, said TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe.

Best and Worst Restaurant Meals for Kids, The Houston Chronicle

A nonprofit consumer advocacy group is urging restaurants to take greater steps to encourage kids to eat healthier.

A recent report by the Centers for Science in the Public Interest looks at nutrition information from kids’ meals in some of the country’s top restaurant chains and evaulates the meals based on nutrition guidelines laid out by the National Restaurant Association’s Kids LiveWell program.

The study, performed by CSPI and the University of North Carolina at Asheville, looked at the 50 top U.S. restaurant chains but could only find nutrition info for 34 of them.

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