Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Indiana in the spotlight again - and not the good kind of spotlight

Some of you might remember the plight of Amy Sorrell and her staff at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School in Indiana last year. Well, another case of censorship has reared its head in that state about 150 miles away in Franklin.

The staff of the Franklin Community High School student newspaper The Electron -- an uncensored open public forum for 25 years -- wrote a series of articles in a two-page spread on safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases. The principal, Craig McCaffrey, disagreed with the way the articles were written and felt there should have been more of an emphasis on abstinence. Now he wants prior review.

You can read all the details over at J-Ideas, which has reprinted an article from the local newspaper on its Web site. (Update: Here is the story from today's Indianapolis Star.) Essentially, the principal would like the ability to censor the publication because he disagreed with the content, something that is not protected even under the Hazelwood decision.

How can you make your voice heard?

If you would like to reach McCaffrey to voice your concerns about his unfounded censorship, you can reach him via e-mail here. If you would like to send a note of support to the adviser of The Electron or her staff, you can reach Carmen Mann-Lynch here. If you would like to contact the Franklin Community School Corporation's school board, you can find all five members' e-mail addresses here.

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