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Amy Maplethorpe's tennis-ball chairs
Amy Maplethorpe, an elementary-school teacher in Round Lake, Illinois, lined chairs with tennis balls in an effort to help her autistic students. (Image credit: Tennis Channel.)

This teacher lined classroom chairs with tennis balls in effort to help autistic students


This teacher lined classroom chairs with tennis balls in effort to help autistic students

WATCH | Tennis Channel's got the story of Illinois teacher Amy Maplethorpe, who lined some of her classroom chairs with tennis balls in an effort to provide relief to her autistic students. (Full disclosure: Tennis Channel is owned by Circa's parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group.)

Maplethorpe showed off her chairs in a Facebook pic that's been shared over 91,000 times.

Maplethorpe modified her chairs by cutting tennis balls in half and affixing them with craft-store staples.

"Sensory seating is used for students who may have difficulty processing information from their senses and from the world around them," reads the post on Raymond Ellis Elementary School's Facebook page. "Tennis balls on the seat and backrest provide an alternative texture to improve sensory regulation. Students with autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, etc. may benefit from this seating option."

Tennis community still reeling over outdated German anthem verse

In more sobering news, the tennis community is still reeling after an outdated stanza of the German national anthem, which has been associated with the Nazi regime, was sung during the opening ceremonies of a Fed Cup quarterfinal Saturday.

As Tennis Channel notes, the outdated stanza "translates to 'Germany, Germany, above all, above all in the world,' which became identified with Adolf Hitler's Third Reich."

'Worst thing' to happen to Andrea Petkovic

Competing in that match was Andrea Petkovic, a Bosnian native who was raised in Germany. "I thought it was the epitome of ignorance, and I've never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup, and I've played Fed Cup for 13 years now, and it is the worst thing that has ever happened to me," she said, according to Bleacher Report.

USTA issues apology

The U.S. Tennis Association apologized in a statement: "The USTA extends its sincerest apologies to the German Fed Cup team and all of its fans for the performance of an outdated national anthem prior to today's Fed Cup competition. In no way did we mean any disrespect. This mistake will not occur again."

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