Administrators Criticized after Forcing newspaperAEs Release

Article excerpt

Byline: Russell Lissau By Russell Lissau

As a controversial edition of Stevenson High SchoolAEs student newspaper was released on campus Wednesday, student-press advocates criticized the administrationAEs decision to force the young journalists to publish the issue.

One questioned whether the school has the legal right to force publication of stories it may not own. Another said forcing students to put bylines on articles against their wills is a First Amendment violation.

"You just canAEt force people to sign their names to work they donAEt believe is theirs," said Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Virginia-based Student Press Law Center. "And the students donAEt believe itAEs theirs."

Roughly 3,500 copies of the November issue of the Statesman were released Wednesday, one day after officials at the Lincolnshire school ordered students to complete the newspaper. The Statesman staffers had proposed withholding their bylines from the issue u a tactic called a byline strike in professional journalism u but they were forced to include them as usual, Editor Pam Selman said.

The issueAEs release was delayed last week after administrators demanded a story be held. In a news release, the school said the article was pulled because it featured anonymous sources discussing alleged illegal activity, and it was not fit for print. …