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Calif. principal pulls student newspaper over racy stories

By The Associated Press
12.04.06

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The previous edition of the weekly Trailblazer was withdrawn after publication because of an anonymous article comparing rowdy black students at a fast-food restaurant in the Los Angeles suburb to "a pack of monkeys."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


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