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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Halls of Shame adds two from New Jersey

It’s been awhile since we’ve inducted anyone into our Halls of Shame for tossing the First Amendment out the schoolhouse window.
But it’s time to turn up the heat again.
Publication of The Pioneer student newspaper at New Jersey’s Clearview Regional High School has been held up this week because school administrators don’t like an editorial cartoon that takes aim at anti-sex education activists, according to a story in the Gloucester County Times.
The cartoon shows a Teen Prevention Education Program volunteer “being burned at the stake by two Pure Pioneers, designated as such by their pioneer-style caps. The Pure Pioneers is a group of parents that has been vocally opposed” to the teen program that has older students educating younger ones, with teacher supervision, the paper reported this week.
“Once the administration caught wind of what we were doing, they brought in an attorney and now the issue is in prior review," senior Jordan Rubin told the paper. “This is the first time in The Pioneer's history that we've been in prior review and considered for censorship."
It’s unclear why school leaders got so freaked out about the cartoon since the district’s attorney wouldn’t talk, citing “attorney-client privilege,” the paper said. That the attorney obviously doesn’t comprehend that he works for the taxpayers, not some backward school superintendent doesn’t seem to matter. And the censors themselves? They had nothing to say.
There's nothing quite like censors who are so contemptuous of freedom that they don't even see a need to explain their thinking, such as it is.
So let’s honor Principal Kevin Kitchenman and Superintendent John Horchak with a spot in our Halls of Shame. They apparently would rather dishonor the Bill of Rights than tell some mouthy parents to back down and get out.
Instead of showing students what it means to live in a free country, they’re busy teaching their community that censorship is fine, that students have no right to an opinion and that the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply in Harrison Township, New Jersey.
We hope that the student paper will go to print quickly when officials realize how badly they’ve screwed up.
And we trust that the student journalists who are trying to do what newspapers should will realize that they’re entirely in the right in this dispute. Don’t back down, kids.

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Copyright 2008 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Tattoo cartoonist has many talents

Take a look at what talented Tattoo cartoonist Justin Skaradosky can do:

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Copyright 2008 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Afghan soccer player

Those of you who read Katie's Jordan's pieces in 2004 might enjoy knowing what's happened to one of the girls who played on the Afghan team that Katie wrote about. The New York Times has a story, pictures and video online today.
What's particularly interesting for The Tattoo is that the girl that Katie talked to four years ago, who lived in Afghanistan, is now going to school in New Jersey with one of our Tattoo writers today, Kathryn Middleton. It's funny how things turn out.

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Copyright 2008 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Teen writers focus on Obama vs. Hillary

Mary Majerus-Collins/Tattoo photo
Teens at a Hartford rally for Barack Obama: (left to right) Abigail Oliveras, Devin Smith, Theresa Govert, Amanda Smith, all from East Haddam, Conn.

It wasn't easy, but our young writers churned out four stories Monday night about Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's election eve rally in Hartford to complete our latest issue. Talk about deadline pressure!
The issue also has two stories about Hillary Clinton's campaign that reporter Rachel Glogowski wrote last week. (They've been posted at for the past seven days, in case you happened to see them already.) We also have two stories from the other side of the world with teens from Kuwait and Afghanistan reacting to the killing of Benazir Bhutto.
One of the two, newcomer Sana Ali, drove through Karachi that night and saw cars burning and eerily empty streets. It's a striking reminder that politics isn't the same everywhere.
Daniel Lee, a California teen, weighed in as well with an analysis of President Bush's final State of the Union address last week.
We do want to brag just for a bit, though, about the way our Connecticut crew came through after the Obama rally. Writers Beth Pond of Bristol and Wesley Saxena, Luke Pearson, Kiernan Majerus-Collins and newcomer Mary Majerus-Collins, all from West Hartford, collaborated to compile four different stories between 9 and 11 Monday night that covered the story pretty well. Check out their work and you'll see why we're so happy.
As always, we welcome constructive criticism, tips, suggestions, donations, and help of any sort.
Please feel free to forward this to anyone in your life who might like to see what our young writers can do -- teachers, journalists, other teens, parents, counselors, anyone who needs a window into the world of young people.

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Copyright 2008 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Watch on Super Tuesday for The Tattoo's coverage!

Tattoo photo. Copyright 2008.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in Hartford on February 4, 2008.

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Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.

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