Thumbs up: A potentially expensive court fight has been avoided, thanks to York City School District officials acknowledging their mistakes.

A settlement agreement is pending between the district and two people who filed a federal lawsuit last month alleging the school board violated their rights to free speech.

Part of the agreement calls for the district to abandon the practice of restricting the subject of public comments, according to Sean Summers, an attorney for the plaintiffs who were silenced at a recent meeting.

On March 19, nearly 200 supporters of New Hope Academy Charter School attended a board meeting. Many of them — including some students — had filled out forms before the meeting to speak during the public-comment session.

But the board's solicitor announced before the session began the board would not accept comments related to New Hope. The board also limited comment to people 18 or older.

Summers said his clients will be satisfied with a change in the board's public-comment policy.

We think an apology wouldn't hurt, either.

Thumbs up: Shrewsbury Elementary school sixth-grader Mateo Vega turned the big "1-2" Saturday, but instead of a birthday party he and his team celebrated by raising money to help those with autism.

Mateo's mother, Jennifer Hisey, was already planning the party when he saw a sign for this year's Autism Expo & Walk for Autism, which was being held on his birthday.


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"And he's like, 'I don't need to have a party. I'd rather have the Walk for Autism,'" Hisey said.

They went online, got some information and sat down to come up with a team name, settling on Mateo's Wacky Walkers. The team, which planned to wear crazy outfits during the walk, set a $1,000 fund-raising goal.

Mateo explained he has two classmates who have autism and that he wanted to help them out.

"I thought it'd be interesting to do something for the people with autism," he said. "It sounds fun."

And Mateo, one of our online readers noted, "sounds like an awesome little dude."