State Roundup


Art resembling Miley’s wrecking ball returning 
ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP) — A swinging sculpture that was removed from a Michigan school’s grounds after students used it to mimic a Miley Cyrus video in which she rides, naked, on a wrecking ball is returning to campus.
Grand Valley State University said the bifilar pendulum was reinstalled Tuesday outside of the Padnos Hall of Science. It was removed in September because of safety concerns after workers discovered the cable holding it was frayed.
Students at the Allendale campus had been riding on it more often since the release of Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” video, with photos and video emerging of people parodying the music video.
Tim Thimmesch, associate vice president for Facilities Services, said educational signs about the artwork, made by faculty and staff in the Physics Department and Art Gallery, also will be installed. The project is expected to be completed Dec. 6.
“The new installation will be representative of a scientific art exhibit and include a reconstructed site that limits access and compliments the original intent of the sculpture,” Thimmesch said in a statement.
The sculpture is nearly 40 years old and had been outdoors since 1995. Its return to the 24,500-student campus about 15 miles west of Grand Rapids comes after review by a committee that included physics and engineering students along with school officials.
Battle Creek
School reverses ban on t-shirts honoring student 
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan school has reversed its decision to bar students from wearing T-shirts honoring a 12-year-old classmate who died over the weekend following a long battle with cancer.
At least a dozen students on Monday wore blue or orange to Lakeview Middle School for sixth-grader Caitlyn Jackson, who died Saturday, the Battle Creek Enquirer reported. Blue was Caitlyn’s favorite color and orange is worn to honor those like her with leukemia.
Melinda Jackson, who works for the district as a childcare provider, said she learned about the T-shirt ban while returning from the hospital in Ann Arbor, where her daughter died.
“That hurt me to the point that I didn’t think I could be hurt anymore,” she said.
Lakeview School District administrators made the decision Sunday that they wouldn’t allow T-shirts, but parents weren’t notified. The school’s finance director, Amy Jones said the initial decision was made based on the district’s crisis management plan, which bars permanent memorials on the belief that they can remind students of their grief or make it worse.
“Certainly the intent of our decision was good,” Jones said. “Probably the ramifications of our decision caused more disruption than if we had let kids wear the shirts in the first place.”
Chuck Crider, a retired school administrator assisting the district, said T-shirts were initially interpreted as a more permanent memorial.
Students wearing memorial shirts on Monday morning were asked to change, turn their shirts inside out or put duct tape over Caitlyn’s name, the newspaper reported. That led to complaints from students and parents, and the district changing its stance.
“They said that they really liked the shirts, but that it just triggered too much emotion for someone who was really close to her,” said 13-year-old student Alyssa Jaynes.
Students were allowed to make cards for the family, Jones said, and students wearing blue and orange shirts without Caitlyn’s name on them weren’t asked to change. Students who were asked to turn their shirts inside-out were told to keep Caitlyn’s name “close to their heart.”
The decisions about the ban came as the school district’s superintendent was out of the country and Jones was acting as the district’s chief. Officials met with Caitlyn’s family Monday afternoon and plan to review the policies that led to the initial ban.