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After-School Specials (ABC, 4-5 p.m.): One of the commercial networks' more public-spirited series is this one about social issues as they affect school-age kids. The season premiere, ``Boys Will Be Boys,'' was inspired by the true case of a girl who took the challenging step of suing her school after being sexually harassed.

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It begins when she is shunned and mocked at school, then discovers she is being victimized by rumors and graffiti on a restroom wall. Her parents and a school guidance counselor try to help, but get nowhere. Only then does the girl take legal action.

Ami Dolenz plays the girl; Joan Van Ark (who also directs) is her mother; and the popular teenage singer Jeremy Jordon portrays the ringleader of the boys doing the harassing. * FRIDAY

Firing Line debate (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Two court cases have recently heated up the historically contentious issue of church-state separation. So the latest topic of this hugely enjoyable program - one of the few full-dress debate formats on national broadcast TV - is on target: ``Resolved: The Wall of Separation Between Chuch and State Should Be Lowered.''

The fun is not so much in finding out who wins but hearing the rhetoric, which is often erudite, sometimes half-humorous, and occasionally heated.

In support of the resolution, host and ``Firing Line'' founder William F. Buckley Jr. leads a formidable team that includes professors Michael Paulsen of the University of Minnesota Law School and Lino A. Graglia of the University of Texas Law School, and the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, president of the Institute on Religion and Public Life.

``Formidable'' is also the word for the opposition, led by the renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor. He is joined by the Rev. Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for Separation of Church and State; and professors Norman Dorsen of New York University Law School and Ruti Teitel of New York Law School.

Please check local listings for these programs.

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