Across South Carolina

School bus collision sends 40 to hospital

SUMMERVILLE --- Nearly 40 elementary school students were sent to hospitals for observation after two school buses collided near Charleston on Friday afternoon.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Bob Beres said a bus from Reeves Elementary School was traveling east on a two-lane road in Summerville around 2:15 p.m. when it collided with a bus carrying special-needs students from Newington Elementary School.

The second bus was pulling out from another two-lane street.

Cpl. Beres said 39 students from both buses and the driver of the first bus were sent to hospitals to get checked out as a precaution.

The driver of the special-needs bus, Alzita Miller, was charged with failure to yield the right of way.

Principal criticized for bringing in two Santas

ST. STEPHEN --- A Berkeley County principal is being criticized for separating children at her elementary school by race when she brought in two Santas to take pictures with them.

White pupils took pictures with a white Santa; black children took pictures with a black Santa.

"It was just an opportunity for my kids to be exposed to a Santa who looks like them," Principal Willa Norton, who is black, told The Post and Courier of Charleston. "I just want my kids to know that everyone can do all kinds of things."

About three-quarters of the students at St. Stephen Elementary School are black.

The primary criticism from some parents and two civil rights organizations is that Ms. Norton didn't tell parents there would be two Santas.

"I don't care if (Santa) was Chinese or Puerto Rican," said parent Marguerite Lyons, who is black. "Everyone's the same."

Berkeley County School District spokeswoman Pam Bailey said the district thinks the principal had good intentions.

Ms. Norton said she plans to do things differently next year, and parents will be told what the school is planning.