School board rejects prior review of student publications

By The Associated Press
01.25.06

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The School Board rejected a proposal to tighten the review of student publications that was suggested after a high school newspaper printed a four-page report on the medical and psychological risks of oral sex.

The board voted 5-2 on Jan. 23 against the plan that would have required all student publications to be reviewed by the district superintendent before being printed.

Recent public meetings on the proposal by board member Russell Barnard had drawn large crowds, with many speaking against the move.

Kim Green, the faculty adviser for the Triangle newspaper at Columbus North High School, said she was relieved by the vote. She had said she might resign if the new policy was approved.

"The kids have already moved on," Green said. "Their next issue has already come out, and they're planning the following issue."

Board member Jay Howard said he thought the students handled the oral-sex report responsibly.

"I think student journalists were attempting to do something to help their classmates and their friends to recognize that this is a real issue of importance and they can be doing harm to themselves without really being aware of the consequences of their behavior," he said.