First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
News Story
Calif. principal pulls student newspaper over racy stories

By The Associated Press

CARSON, Calif. — For the second time in two weeks, administrators at Carson High School have pulled the student newspaper, citing its racy contents.

This time, opinion pieces on legalizing marijuana, the benefits of masturbation and sexual freedom for teens were the sources of concern for the school principal, who said the paper needed to carry better writing and alternative viewpoints.

The previous edition of the weekly Trailblazer was withdrawn after publication because of an anonymous article comparing rowdy black students at a fast-food restaurant in the Los Angeles suburb to "a pack of monkeys."

Both sides agreed at the time that the issue would be reprinted without the offending piece.

This time, however, the paper's editor-in-chief, Alex De Vera, threatened to fight.

"I am angry," De Vera said. "These articles are simply opinions. If we have to fight, we will fight."

Principal Kenneth Keener cited school district policy, which states controversial subjects should be presented in depth and with a variety of viewpoints. Board policy also bans obscenities and any material that advocates breaking any law.

"Even if you are presenting an opinion piece it should include pros and cons," Keener said. "The article about legalizing marijuana doesn't talk about any of the consequences of breaking the law or talk about research that marijuana is a gateway to other drugs."

The masturbation piece lists slang expressions for what it calls "America's favorite forbidden pastime." The story on sexual freedoms argues that young teens should be able to decide for themselves whether to act on sexual yearnings.


Calif. student newspaper finally prints controversial articles

School officials relent, allow Bakersfield students to publish stories written last school year that were based on interviews with homosexual students. 11.08.05

Tenn. principal pulls copies of student newspaper
Oak Ridge High School administrator cites stories about birth control, tattoos and body piercings as reason for recall. 11.28.05

Student magazine alleges censorship over abortion stories
Michigan high school removes, rewrites material, claiming state law bars schools from providing anything that looks like an abortion referral. 05.04.06

Ohio parents object to principal's censorship of son's column
Couple argues that Evan Payne's piece criticizing football team shouldn't have been ripped out of Princeton High School's magazine. 01.09.07

K-12 newspapers & yearbooks

News summary page
View the latest news stories throughout the First Amendment Center Online.

print this   Print

Last system update: Monday, September 22, 2008 | 21:25:27
About this site
About the First Amendment
About the First Amendment Center
First Amendment programs
State of the First Amendment

First Reports
Supreme Court
First Amendment publications
First Amendment Center history
Freedom Sings™
First Amendment

Congressional Research Service reports
Guest editorials
FOI material
The First Amendment

Lesson plans
Contact us
Privacy statement
Related links