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High school newspaper adviser suspended for arrest story

By The Associated Press

Editor's note: The Indianapolis Star reported that Franklin Central High School English teacher Chad Tuley adviser returned to the classroom on Nov. 22 after a week's suspension, but would no longer be faculty adviser to the student newspaper. Tuley said he would not contest his removal as adviser, according to the Star.

INDIANAPOLIS — The adviser of a suburban high school's student newspaper was suspended after it published a story about a student being arrested at the school on a murder charge.

Franklin Township Schools officials suspended teacher Chad Tuley on Nov. 12, the same day the Franklin Central High School Pilot Flashes printed the story about a 17-year-old junior who was arrested Oct. 26 on charges he fatally stabbed and beat a 67-year-old man.

Tuley said Franklin Central Principal Kevin Koers told him that the story was too sensitive for a student newspaper.

A letter from the school district cited insubordination as the reason for the suspension. According to Tuley, the letter also said Koers had directed him not to publish the story.

The 10-paragraph story, with the headline "FC student faces murder charge," recounted the student's arrest and included comments from a Marion County Sheriff's Department sergeant.

"I didn't see any legal justification for not running the story," Tuley said. "It was completely newsworthy for our audience, which has been talking about (the student's arrest) and is still talking about it."

District spokesman Scott Miley confirmed yesterday that Tuley had been suspended, but he declined further comment because it was a personnel matter.

Tuley said that it was after most of the 2,000 copies of the edition had been distributed that Koers told him he had been advised not to run the story.

"He, at that point, argued that basically this was not what I was hired for," Tuley said. "That the purpose of the school newspaper was to promote the school."

Tuley said he received a second letter yesterday indicating the district's superintendent had decided the suspension, with pay, was a sufficient penalty and that he should meet with Koers on Nov. 22.

Dennis Cripe, executive director of the Indiana High School Press Association, said the group was writing letters of support on Tuley's behalf.

"They've ostracized him completely from the school for, in my view, no good reason," Cripe said.

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