Jan. 20th Macomb Daily photo by Craig Gaffield
Lake Shore High School students Christina Cantrall, left, and Kim Trombley before attending a Lake Shore Public Schools Board of Education meeting to discuss censorship and board policy concerning the school newspaper, The Shoreline.
For years, the student newspaper at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores, Mich. has had an open policy of printing what students want.
But maybe not much longer.
District Superintendent Brian Annable is trying to "tidy up" a problem he mysteriously discovered after the paper printed a contoversial column about teen sex last May. It seems the paper shouldn't have an open door, he said, because that's never been the district's formal policy.
Kim Trombley, an 18-year-old senior and co-editor of the Shoreline, told The Detroit News the administration is "trying to change our editorial policy so that it ultimately has editorial control." Annable pretty much admitted just that.
He told the paper, "The kids are great and they have done a great job over the years with the newspaper. The bottom line is, it's a practice vehicle as opposed to what people normally define as a newspaper."
A practice vehicle?
So that weasely superintendents can dictate stories instead of budding journalists?
We don't think so.
But a story in The Macomb Daily makes it a little more clear why the superintendent suddenly cares.
It quotes school board President Gerrit Ketelhut dismissing the students' First Amendment argument.
"The press always likes to use freedom of speech," he said.
"We're upholding what we think is right for our kids," Ketelhut said. "We're elected here and have to uphold our policy."
He went on to castigate the teen sex column as "trash."
"That's not journalism," he said. "Make no mistake, journalism is fair and honest reporting."
Here's some fair, honest reporting for you, Mr. Ketelhut.
You've earned yourself a treasured spot in our Halls of Shame as one of the bigger jackasses in education today. Congratulations.
And kudos to the kids who are fighting this idiocy. Don't let them trample your rights.
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