U H S L A P I C N I R P D N A L OVER Janurary 2011: Principal Leon Lundie initiates “prior review” after Layout EIC Lori Schafer writes editorial of how she dealt with her brother’s suicide, calling it a topic that should not be covered in a school newspaper.
12 December 2010: Liebert Phillips breaks ankle at wresting tournament against Grandview. Lori Schafer The Overland Scout March 8, 2011 Death article Death comes unexpectedly. It does not wait for anyone. As second semester began, it did so a little more empty than before, as there was one less Blazer walking the halls who would never be returning. On January 1, sophomore Leibert Phillip passed away. “We miss him. We miss his presence. My English class seems empty. I always think ‘oh there’s so many kids missing’ but the other day, hardly anyone was,” said Student Achievement Services Teacher Susan Weber. Phillips enjoyed singing and dancing. He loved music and weight training. He was always willing to help and would greet everyone and make them feel welcome. “I look like a gentleman,” Leibert wrote on a paper he turned in to his teacher. “He perceived himself as a gentleman and he was. He was always well dressed,” said Weber.
8 March 2011: Principal Lundie objects to cause of death in article while enforcing his new “prior review” policy.
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March 2011: Memorial article written about Phillips by Schafer.
1 Janurary 2011: Phillips collapses and dies from blood clot caused by broken ankle.
Phillips adored his mother’s cooking and she loved to cook for him. “We were very close. He was the love of my life. I have his nephew here. They were like brothers. They were three years apart,” said Phillip’s mother Linda Kore. Everyone considered him to be their best friend. “He maybe had two or three best friends but you could ask anyone who their best friend was and they would say ‘Leibert’,” said Weber. Phillips left behind him his mother, his older brother and sister, and his nephew. “I had three but the Lord called my baby home. He was the love of my life. He is my pride and joy,” said Kore. “Mommy loves you very much. She’d do anything for her son. If he needed something she’d get it the next day. Mommy taught him many things. She loves him very much and that’s the most important thing is that I gave him love. I would give him all the love in the world that he needs and wants. I was a very supportive parent but now he’s gone and he’s in the arms of God. He joined his grandparents.” Phillips was on the school wrestling team and twisted his ankle at the home tournament against Grandview after his mom dropped him off at the school and went to work. She was not called and notified about his injury after it happened and found out from a student who saw her when she came to pick him up
When Overland English Teacher and Newspaper Adviser Laura Sudik was called into the principal’s office the morning of March 11, she knew she was in trouble, but she did not know she would be fired from her position as newspaper adviser in front of the entire administration. After a series of disagreements with the principal and administration over the boundaries of what the Overland Scout was allowed to publish, principal Leon Lundie made the decision to remove her from her position without any prior notification or representation.
from running Overland TV. “Lori and I just sat there because we knew trying to negotiate with Lundie would not work,” Gutierrez said. “The class was really upset and so are we, and after he left we tried talking to the class about what the lawyers are telling us, but right now the class just wants to negotiate with him. It was Lori and I against the rest of the class. Lori and I are still going to go through with [trying to take him to court] even if we don’t have the class’s backing. There are a couple of people who are still on our side, but people like the seniors are just thinking about right now and not what’s going to happen next year.” Schafer and Gutierrez
will not talk to Lundie directly, as he has threatened to write Sudik up if they do. The Scout has been under prior review since the publication of issue 2, when administration found an editorial, written by a black student, about loud black girls in the hallway, “racist and offensive.” Schafer also wrote a column about her brother’s suicide, which administration also found inappropriate for a school publication. According to Schafer, administration will not call it prior review; instead, they told the Scout staff that they simply wanted to help with editing, however, no grammar or layout edits have come
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The staff of the Scout was informed March 18 by Lundie that they will be allowed to publish issue 4, which they are currently working on, and a “senior issue,” but other than that, the class has been turned into a journalism class. Sudik was put back in place as a “journalism teacher,” but no one knows what will happen to the program next year, as all Lundie will say to the staff is that it will take a “new direction.” Two of the editors of the Scout, junior Layout Editor-in-Chief Lori Schafer, and Opinions Editor Jaclyn Gutierrez, are taking action against Lundie for censorship, and have already consulted lawyers. Sudik was also removed
Smoky Hill High school Newspaper, Issue 5, 2011.