Alex Blaze

Woodlan High School principal further retaliates against school paper

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 20, 2007 11:38 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Amy Sorrell, Ed Yoder, Megan Chase, school newspaper, woodlan high school

Man, oh, man. Remember that school newspaper advisor, Amy Sorrell, at Woodlan High school who was reprimanded for allowing an opinion piece to be published that said it was OK to be gay? Well, she's in more trouble now. She's been placed on paid leave. The school district won't comment on why... but let's make an educated guess here (no one's accused her of extorting money from the paper).

It appears that the problems from the Chase editorial were just the beginning. After that editorial, the principal said that he would review every paper before publication. Well, that wasn't such a hot idea. From the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:

The updated policy, in part, led the Woodlan students to stop publishing their newspaper.

Sorrell said students submitted an edition for review March 6 but didn't receive it back until late March 8. That gave the students only one day to make revisions or miss their publication deadline, she said.

Instead of having outdated stories run, the students decided not to print that edition. Students also didn't like the idea of running the policy naming the principal as publisher as Yoder requested, Sorrell said.

Students are now studying court cases related to freedom of the press instead of working on a new edition of the paper, she said.

"We're not technically required to print a paper," she said.

I'm thinking, why did the principal take two days to review the paper? I remember that my high school paper was about 16-20 pages long. And my Hoosier high school was larger than Woodlan High. To check out each headline and read the lead paragraph for controversial content would only take about ten minutes. This principal isn't that good at reading or he felt the need to read the whole thing and had other, better things to be doing so he put it off. Either way, it shows that his policy after the Chase editorial was pretty lame. And that he didn't get his homework turned in on time. Great example.

What's even worse about this is that Sorrell is being punished for something about which school policy wasn't clear. She just had to run controversial articles by the principal, and there is really nothing controversial about the editorial unless you live in a gays-should-repent-or-burn-in-Hell world, which really shouldn't be confused with planet Earth. This seems like a scorched Earth strategy against something that should be taught in class: tolerance.

I'm really not all that letigious, especially when it comes to public schools, but after reading this article I think that someone should sue the pants off this school.

-The News-Sentinel hit piece on a high school sophomore
-Fort Wayne area principal retaliates against pro-gay student editorial
-Full text of the Chase editorial on Advance Indiana

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