Page 1

Spring 1994 Vol. XV, No.2

Hazelwood Marches On


CO NTENTS

CONTRIBUTORS

ROUNDUP

Calls to SPLC increase

Jack Dickason

AJlI'

Ke/ttI E. Marshafl Robert McBr1de

Alan Miller Amy SWearengin

Bob staace JaM TrCNbano Josh Toblessen

Adam Van ww,

3 3 .3

. . . " ••••.•... . • . . . •.• _. . . . . .

Governing college publications book out

COVER ART

Jim Brondefsas Aaon S. Cole Jock DIckason Pat..d KlnseIlo

....

Student electronic farum up and running

Mlke·Hlestand

..

.. . .

.....

H IGH SC H OO L CENSORSH I P Restrictive poIkiet iIlwdt high sdtooIs _.4 Dade County removes � terms Durham paper wins right to print names Ohio district writes policy after complaints ill . paper must submit topics list . Satirical paper wins rights in Wash Utah studmlS mspeoded for advice column Pre gnancy ads in Md. cause prior review TIL students distribute only 10 copies Fteedom 0( expression biDs flounder ..

. . . . . . .... . .. . . . . . . ...

... . . . . .

..

...........

5 6 7 7

8 .8

... ... ..... ...

.

..

can

9 9 10

... .

_ .. .

. . . . . . .. . .

ACCESS Disdplil:lary recorda debate OOIltinUe8

Court rub recads DOt open in La . R.epolten have arresting experiences Kan. coach's contract is plIbllc . Ala. paper 1<l!leS suit apnst university Sex video caught in baule, in Minn. Court deoies Okla. proressor audit records Reporters banned from Tbalch� Q and A Utah repor1C'8 want natne8 Hawaii students fight for info Detroit News intern gets repreive New Va. law gives repotJrn crime access .

.

. . . . . . . ..

. . . . . .. .

13 . 14 . lS . 17 17 18 .18

__

. . . . . .. . . .

.. . . . .. . ..

. . ._ . .

.. . .

...

......

. . .

_ ...... . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . .......

. . . . ._ .

..

.. .. .

. . . . ..... _ ...

LEGAL ANALYSIS Advice on using juveniles' names

.......

..... .

.. ..

..

19

20 21 21 22 23

COUEGE CENSORSH IP

Column riles Miss. administtatioo problems in W. Va. Student government closes paper in N.Y PIa. paper "blanIcs" on news IDdepeodent paper seized in Calif. Stanford Doily not amused by spoof U.Va. funding denial did not violate law

Cartoon

. ._ . . .

causes

.. . . . . .

.........

...... . . . .. ...

.

... . ..

. . ... . . . . .

_ . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

NEWSPAPER THEFT More tbieves, but Uttle punishment The list of thefts goes on . . .. . . .

. ._ _ . •

_ . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . ..

La. theft case thrown out of court Md. passes anti-theft bill

....

. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .

. . . .... .. . . . ...... . . . . . . . . . . .

POLITICAL CORRECTN ESS Mich. speech code 100 vague . William and Mary � discipline . . .. . . . ..

.

. . . . . . .. . . . .

. . .. . . . . .

24 25

26

1:1

28 29 30 31

32 33

33

35 36

LI BEL

Tennis player settles suit in Ill. Monkey picture daim causes

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .

. . ..

. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .

Promiscuous ads hurt SUNY paper

..

.. .. ... . . ..

37

37

37


Student media can connect via info highway Student journalists from aU ovec the world can now meet in Cyberspace. STUMEDIA. a discussion group on the Inlrmet. was created in December 1993 to p-ovide a faum specifically for stu­ dent jownaIists. So far, about 200 stu­ dent journalists have signed up for the free service. A few of the Iq)ics recently addressed include: layout and design ideas.. media law, COIllpUU2' problems, staffing. censodbip, student press coo­

ventions. job searches. bot story �, multicultura1ism in the newsroom , the cootroversy over naming rape victims. j-ccbool bona' stories and politiClll cor­ reclDeSS. The list provides student jour­ oalists with a � resource and support oetWOI'k - oc just a place to blow off some steam. While the list is primarily geared to­ ward college student joumalislS. all are Weicc:Mne. To subscribe to S1UMEDIA. send an e-mail message to �V@UABDPO.DPO.UAB.EDU

wilh the following command in thebody oftbe1.eUer. SUB S11JMEDIAfoUowcd by your real name (Example: SUB STIJMEDIA John Doe). For more in­ formation, comact thelistOWDC'Z,Kenny Pace. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, at this e-mail address: cba0027@uabdpo.dpo.uab.edu.•

The Report Staff Sherry Davis Cooper is a gradwue student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, who plans to return to the mountains and break in hez new fly-fishing rod. Dee Henry is a Decembel- 1993 graduate of North Carolina S tate Uni­ versity where she was news editor for Tuhnician, lhe school's award-win­ ning newspaper. She plans to attend law school in fall 1995 or find a rich man to live off of. She has had bel­ major beliefs in Ufeand mankind reaf­ firmed while in WashingtOn, espe­ cially the one about the "squeaky wheel"

Calls to SPLC increase WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Student Press Law Center saw an 8 percenljump in the numberofIequests for legal help it received from sb1dent journalists in 1993. According to its annual survey, the Center received 1.4 73 legal requests. up from 1.364 in 1992. The legal requests came from 1.377 bigh schoo l and college jou:malists and their advisers. In addition ro legal re­ quests. the SPLC responded to 433 in­ quiries from 3TI fepor1el"S and � seeking COPlDlent or background infor­ mation on Sludeot press-re1aIed matters. Legal assistance ranged from provid­ ing basic legal advice or information over the telephone to drafting opinion leuers to making referraJs to local attor­ oeys who arc members of the Student Press Law Ceo�'s pro bono Attorney Refeml Network. Over the past six years, calls to the SPLC have increased almost 170 pee­ cent. Much of the increase is believed ro betberesu1tofthe U.S. SupremeCourt's 1988 decision inHazelwoodSchoot Dis­ trict v. KuJrlmeier. a case that provided scbooloffici.als with signUlCaDtly grealtr authority to censor JIWly high school Sbldent publicaOOns. 'Ibe number of questions from stu­ den18 wid! ceosorship-reWed problems once again topped the list at 54S (or 29 percent of me total number of ques­ tions). This was follo wed by questions

�g�ofuu�onmw (237/12 percent). libel and invasion of privacy (235/12 percent), access to cam-

pus crime information (l26n percent), miscellaneous legal questions (t 17/6 percent), copyrighf/trademarldaw (106/

6 percent), advertising (Jl/4 percent) and shield lawS/reporter privilege (36{l. percent). As in the previous year, calls from studentjoumalists at public coUegesrep­ resented almost half of the SPLC' s total calls (818147 peccent). Public high school students acCOWlt.ed for 407 calls (23 petcent), private col lege students 243 calls (14 percent) and private high school students 18 calls (1 percent). The re­ main ing 268 calls (15 percent) came from the commercial media, attorneys

and other non-students. Calls came from each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and a couple of foreign counbies. California, with 147 ca1ls,replacedNew York (142) as the state recording the most calls. PeMsylvania (93), Texas (84), Virginia (84), Ohio (81). Florida (77), illinois (63), Massachusetts (53) and Maryland (53) rounded out the tOp ten.

Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been the only nationallegaI assistance �ency and infonnation clear­ inghouse devoted exclusively to pr0tecting and educating the student press about their freedom of expression and

freedom ofinformation rights. The SPLC is a 501(cX3) nonprofit organization. All legal services are provided to the student media free of charge.. -0

New book explores wide variety of media governing structures A second edition of!. WilliBm Click's book, GQ�rning Colltg� Stlll:UllI Pub­ liCa/WIIS, is now available. Click ana­ lyzes a number of the governing docu­ ments and structures for college student publications employed by institutions of all types from around the coUDtty. Other topics addressed include: the role of a SbJdent publication board, business

and editorial staff and operations manu­ als and incorporation. Approximately two dozen actnal student publication polic its, including the Student Press Law

Center's Model Guidelines, are included, checklist for constructing a govemingdocument. The book costsS9 and can be ordered by calling College Media Advisers at (901) 678-2403._ as well a

SPlC Report 3


Policy Invasion Hazel wood awareness prompts administrators to wri te

A

s

restrictive pol icies for student publ ications seventl stories in this issue

of the Repon indicate, a growing number of high

school journalists

across

the nation

are facing baules with censorship. The.y are losing their press freedom as a result of school disDicts lha1 are writing more restrictive stude nt pub­ lications policies. These districts are inCluding more

vague term! and phrases in their poli­ cies that allow for censorship. So if more scbools are writing more re­ slrictive phrases, does this mean that reslrictive policies for student jour­ nalists will lead to higher 'eve.1s of

responsible journalism

as some

school administrators maintain? lohn Bowen. chair of Scholastic Press Rights Commission of \.be Joumalisms Education Associati on.. said the reason schools are writing

more restrictive policies is because

they are becoming more aware of the

u.s. Supreme Coon's 1 988 Haul­ wood School District v. Kuh/�ie' decision that gave school adm inis· taters grealCr authori ty to censor

school-sponsored student publica­ tions.

''The Supreme Coon has given them the opportnni ty to control and they're IJlk..i ng advantage of it.." Bowen said. He believes lha1 the goal ofa school

shouJd be In educate rather than cen­ sor. Bowen said that scbool districlS should be more concerned with pro­ d ucing good joumalism by hiring qualified newspaper advisen who leaCb students bow 1.0 conduct 8

4 SPtC I?eport

proper interview aDd

10

avoid Libel.

Bill many high school dislricts arc laking full ad vantage of Haulwood even Lhough they are undet' no obligation to exercise the conuol it allows.. For example. at Madeira High School in Ohio, students are living with a newly creac.ed policy that restricts sbJdents with

vague \emIS.. Tbe new policy allOW! adntinistnlIors to censor me publication ifltley decide lhaJ. rnalCriaJ submitted for publication is not up ID the uncertain standards written in &be JX)licy. For ex­ ampie, an article may be censored if the �hool principal decides it Iw been "in­ adequaae l y researc bed." (See MUS­ TANGS, page 7.) At Pekin High School in Dlinois. the school board adoptt.d a revised policy tbal i.ocludes Ihe righl lO censor by the administmtioo. (See TOPICS, page 7,) The new policy begins by reaffirming the students right 10 freedom of expres.­ sion. but continues to Stale Ihat the g;hoo l will baIaDce that frtcdom or expression wi Ih the duty of "educating studen ts in an orderly manner."

If school districlS clearly defUlCd the vague terms or removed them from their

policies and gave sbJdents significant press freedom , wouJd students deliver good publieatioos? One school district, Dade County in Florida, has found that free expressiOD docs produce responsible journalism . Their student publications policy has served as a national model because it places responsibility for the content of

studcot media on the students. Thcschool

board has said

it believes the policy encourages responsible journalism .

But evcn Dade County students

recen tly had 10 baule resistance to the

pollcy from some school officials.. (See DADE COUN1Y, page S.) II high schools in Dade County had to struggle with censorship, then StlJ­ dents in other school districts widt more rcstricb ve pol icies arc undoubt­ edly fi gh ting tougher baules. l..il.lian Lodge KopeolulYer, jour­ nalism !yofessor and an associate dean at Florida

mlemationaJ University in 1.0 develop the Dade County student publications policy in the earl y t980s. When asked wh y high school dis­ tricts arc writing more restricti ve poli­ cies, Kopenhaver said, '1 think it's a misreadin g of HaulwoDd. .. Miami, helped

She said Haulwooddidglvepowet to the school districts but with l imiJJt­ lions. But she said Haulwood should not diclate bow schools run their pu)).

lic.ations.. "A 101 of good journalism is going on in this coonuy." she said. "Stu­ dents are acting responsibl y and prav tieing goodjownal ism. So why would you wan t 1.0 restrict this when they 're exercising their F� Amendmcnt

rights?" Kopenhavcr said that she believes

adm inislnllOrS, advisers and srudenlS and shou ld work togcther to de­

can

yelop Sl100g policies. "I do a IoL of rcscarch in this area and I ' yc found that a 101 of students don · t have anything in writing," she said. "When you stan OUI with thaI problem . th e n i t leads LO m o re

problems ....

SprIng

1 994


Dade County board reaffirms 'hands off' policy Superintendent halts Hazelwood bandwagon, appoints task force to remove vague tenns FLORIDA-One of the nation's larg­ school districts has reaffumed its "hands off'" student publications policy and voted to make the policy more clear by removing vague terms. TbeDade County School Board reaf­ firmed its policy in February to protect stUdent press rights and requested that the superintendent appoint a task force

est

to remove

vague tamS.

The task. foo:e has completed the as­ signment and the new policy to be

According to the Miami Herald, Damianos asked the editor to publish comments in support of the test date in the same publication. The stndents could DOt find someone to express an opposing view before their deadline, so the editors were fon:ed to change their editorial to include the 0p­ posing view. AfU:r this incident, the students complaioed of censorship. The Miami Herald reported that

presented includes the language "no

prior review" by

school administra­ tcI'S.

cbanged to allow for prior review. But when the questi on came up to change thepolicy, board members voted to reaffirm their support for student press fTtedom. Brenda Feldman. a member of the policy revision task force and an adviser in the district, said that after four meet­ ings the task force has completed the [mal draft to present before the board in May. "The task force agreed on language to strengthen Dade County's m edi a guidelines t.rutt now extend to broadcast­ ing." Feldman said. "But the most impor­ tant thing was to in­

Tht. action re­ sulted from reportS

clude the language no prior review <'The Dade County school board recog­ nizes that an unfettered student press is essen tial in establishing and maintaining an at­ mosphere of open

of censorsbip at County Dade

...

schools. The cen­ sorship first became public at Miami Norland Senior

Higb School when

Principal Fred Damianos began demandingpriorre­ view of lhe SlUdent

discussion, intellec­ tual exchange and freedom of expres­ sion on campus." the

newspaper THOR. The review began after an article ap.­ peared about a stu­ dent who was shot to death at a restau­

rant near the school's campus. In addition to prior review. Damianos required "counterpoint opinions" to be included in all editorials. The StUdents were not allowed to pub­ lish an editorial that criticized the dress code of Norland High School because editors could not find a student who supported the school's dress code. The struggle grew more intense be­ tween the students and the principal when another editorial was written that criticized the scheduling of the high school competenCy test on Saturday. Spring 1994

Damianos said he read the paper for libel or obscene material. but denied that he

required the students to change the edi· torials. The district's publications policy places the responsibility for determin­

ing the content of student publications on the students. In the past, the policy has been a mode l for many school districts in the nation. but after the publicity surround­ ing the Norland situation, some Dade County school officials wanted thepolicy

policy states. "It is therefore the policy of Dade Councy schools that student journalists

shall be afforded protection against ceo­ sorsbip.'" And the language "no prior review"

provides that protection. Teresha Freckleton. editor of the THOR. said the new policy will mean more freedom. "We'U be able to cover topics that before the principals were censoring," she said.

"Now we can write pretty much what we want No more roadblocks, it's freedom.·.. SPtC Report 5


School board overrliles decision by superintendent and principal NORTIl CAROLINA A slUdent newspaper' s coverage of an incidental a student government beach retreat prompted the school board, superim.en­ den1and principal 10 aoal'f'l£-tbescbool ' s publications policy. A Durham scbool board panel over­ turned a ruling in February by abe super­ intendent and principal to prevent the student paper at Jordan High School from publishing names of eight disci­ plined student leaders. The students were disciplined for drinking dming a student council retreat to Myrtle Beach, S.C in September 1993. The Falcon's Cry was told the story by two of the disciplined studems.. The students and administratico dis­ agreed in interviews with the Fa/con s Cry about the details of punishment -

••

'

Four of the eiglu: suspended students kept their positions on the student couo­ eil but were required ro complete com­ munity service, while the other four � signed from their positions. The four students claimed they were forced to

marion about students under 18 without the consent of their parents. The paper went ahead and published the story for the November edition. but with the names of the eight studenlS

resign while the administration claimed

Superintendent Owen Phillips.

the students chose to do so. Two of the eight disciplined students told the Falcon's Cry their perspective on the incident in October, but Principal Harold Rogers ruled that the newspaper could not publish any of the students names in the November issue. Roger's ruling included the two students that chose to speak on the record because he claimed that a school board policy pre­ vented the release of that information. The policy statf:S that the school can­ not release persooall y identifying inf()£-

blacked out. The smff then challenged the censorship and took the mauer to In

January, Phillips agreed with

Rogers except for the names of two students who chose to speak on the record. Phillips ruIed the paper coo1d print those two names. Phillips said in the Falwn's Cry he based his decision on North Carolina laws which "evidence a very strong public policy of proteCting from disclo­ sure and public scrutiny information regarding miscondoct by students and ocher young people." The Falcon' s Cry appealed to the school board. which overruled the su­ perintendent and the principal and al­ lowed the eight names to be published. The throe-member panel of school board members ftrstoverru led the prin­ cipal and superintendent in January and said the paper could publish the names in the February issue . But after com­ plaints from parents of the punished

students who were

not

represented at

the hearing. the panel met again in early February to hear concerns of more par­

ents.

The Falwn of Cry considered the first ruling to be fmal and objected to the serond hearing because the publication schedule would be postponed. The panel reaffumed its January de­ cision and ruled that the names could be published. The panel members stated their reasons for the decision in the Falcolt 's Cry. «II am not convinced that there is a legal reason f()£ censoring the publica­ tion." panel chairman Arnold Spell said. Beverly Washington-Jones said she based her decision on the school board "Censorship in this case kills not only (Su JORDAN, page 12) '

6 SPLC

Report

Spt1ng

1 994


Mustangs chewing on vague terlDs in policy

I:".§ij�{·';i"� i: Topics list reviewed after superintendent

School district writes rules after complaints

considered letters racist

R.L1NOIS - A superintf"ndent c0nfis­ cated a SIUdent newspaper after it � lisbed Iettel'S to the editor that be consid­ ered racist. In lhe farure, a coouniUee may review a list of topics the paper will cover.

The two letters to the editor publisbcd in the PdiMU at Pekin High School were written by students at the school.

SoperintendeotJack Wilt said be c0n­

omo - After a student complained of censorship. a schoof lhat had no wril1en poUey on slUdeiu publications finaliy adopted one. But the new pol.i4;y still allows restrictions on studentpress free.­ dom. Problems at � High School be­ gao during Sepcemberafter Amy Harrod. edilDr of the MustaIfg Echoes. sold an advertisement to her uncle who was a school board candidate. The sale ofan ad was a class requirement, but Harrod' s ad was rejected for publication in the stu­ dent newspaper. Aftertbe ad was rejected,:Rarrod wroIe 1ft editorial explaining what had hap­ pened and expressed bet belief that her First Amendment rights bad beco vio­ lated.. The publications teacher and the priDdpaI rejected the editorial for pobIi ­ cation. The school had no written publi­ cations policy at the time. Aft:er Harrod conl3Cted the Student Press Law Center, the center referred ber to Cincinnati attorney Richard M. Godtler, who on Harrod ' s beha.lf asked the school board to write a student pub­ lications policy with the input of stu­ dents and school leaders. The school board did adopts policy, but withoutany discussion with slUdents or teacbas.

sidered the .1etters racist and ordered the confiscatioo of700 copies of lhemoothly paper ioJanuary. The edition was � lished without the leuers. Instead the newspaper published the word -cen­ sored" and-a swementfrom me superin­ teDdellt explaining the censorShip. One response letlet claimed the Ku KlUJ( Klan is"oo longer a violentorgani­ zadon" and that interracial dating gives the school a bad name. The other 1eUcr

Hanod and GoehJec found vague terms and phrases in � policy that could still illow administrator.i to ren­ sor. For example. me newspaper ooo1d be censored If the cootent "interferes with educational programs. teaching methods, school work or discipline," witboul defining those phrases. Tbe policy also allows censorship of mare­ rial thalia "ungnunmaticai. poorly writ­ ten, inadeq1J8le1y researched, biased or prejudiced, vulgar or profane. or UD­ suitable for the maturity of its audi-

-

_

ence.

� keeping whltebloodliDes �·

cially pure" and suggested that the read­

"

The portion of the policy that ad­ dresses underground publications pr0hibit students from advocating "racial. religious, or other socially unaccept­ able forms of discrimination.., lnaleUet evaluating tbepolicy, SPLC Executive Dire<:1Ol' Mark. Goodman questioned what the policy meant by "socially unacceptable" and whether the policy would. for example, allow discrimination againstbomosexuals but Il()t against women. "Our Constitution protects the right of those who adYOC81e discrimination to explain their views," Goodman stated. Goehler suggested in a letter to (See MADEIRA. fHl8e $)

whir.e supemacy group. Latec Wih wrote an article in response 10 the incident in Ibe Pekiltois. The ar­ ticle said the school district would not toletaIe prejudired and haleful speech in .. student publications. Diana Pedcham, advisee 10 the news-­ paper said the coofiscation conflicted with the free press rights c:llbe students Sbe said the IeUfncontBined DO obsceoe or libelous matmal and that the students could have used the situation to discuss the issue of raciJm instfad of "hiding behind a rock." Sbe indicatr.d that she had neverexperienc;:ed a newspaper con­ fiscation in 22 years. But according to the school 's publica­ tions policy. "material advocating preju· dice [or] hatred will DOt be toIented." The policy also staleS. 'Ibe School ers contact a

,

-

(S.. PEJ(]N, P<'I" 12) SPLC R8port 7


Underground •

paper wins minutes for distribution

WASIDNGTON High school stu­ dents in the Highline School District in Tacoma can now distribute non-school sponsored newspapers on the school's campus. The agreement was the result of a lawsuit filed by a student who was suspended for distributing a satirical underground newspaper. The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington reached an out-of-court settlement in January with the school district on behalfofformer student, Karl Kearney, who was suspended in 1992 for distributing The Subterrestrial. The newspaper criticized administra­ tors' policies and behavior through sa­ tirical cartoons. One edition was distrib­ uted in the school bathrooms with a condom attached. The lawsuit sought a change in dis­ trict policy and the removal of a three­ day suspension from the student's per­ manent school record. The district settled the suit by agreeing to both of Kearney's demands. ACLU spokesperson Doug Honig said the new policy allows students to distribute papers 1 5 minutes before school hours, during lunch and after school hours. But students must notify district officials two hours before distri­ bution. According to Honig, the ACLU sup­ ported Kearney because "publishing a paper of your own is a basic right ... and this was a case where the school tried to squash that right" Pam Andrews, attorney for the school district, said the school district is work­ ing with the students to clarify the new policy and make copies of it more avail­ able in the schools. Honig said the ACLU pursued the lawsuit to serve as a strong reminder to other students that schools cannot take away students rights to distribute their own publications .• -

8 SPLC Report

Students suspended for writing offensive parody advice column

UTA U Suspensions flourished this spring at Dixie High School in St George when students distributed an underground newspaper. Lars Medley and Nate Pendleton, writ­ ers for the Frequent Flash and top stu­ dents at the high school , received five­ day suspensions for including phrases the principal considered offensive in the paper. In addition, the students printed the newspaper with the school's copy machine. Five other students, who also wrote for the paper, recei ved three-day suspensions. But the students did not have to serve the whole suspensions. The Frequent Flash, which is a spin­ off of the official student newspaper, Flyer Flash, was criticized by the school's administration when the students pub­ lished an advice column titled "Ask Gunted" The parody column answered questions with answers such as "Have sex with him," and ''Who Cares? To hell with you." Joel Campbell of the Utah Society of Profes­ sional Journalists said, "Principals are treating this as a student error and not as a First Amendment rights issue." John Palmer, attorney for Dixie High School, said nobody is attempting to ig­ nore the students' First Amendment rights and that there were provisions in the school's policy that prohibited offensive ma­ terial. Palmer said the school officials concluded that some material should not have appeared in the pub­ lication and that the stu­ dents acknowledged that. He added that some par­ ents felt the students went -

overboard and he hopes they will not publish offensive material again. The students will continue their publication but will publish and distribute the paper off campus. Jeff Hunt, a local attorney and expert in media law, said, "I ' m disappointed they [the students] agreed notto distrib­ ute on campus, even though they have a First Amendment right to do so, but that was their decision." Lars Medley said the paper's second issue was a lot like the first, but this time it was not as negative. "They haven't punished us for this one yet." Medley said the first time they distnbuted the newspaper the students that· contrib­ uted w� punished within an hour. ''We just wanted to make a good newspaper that was better than theother school paper - so far it's worked." •

' .-<IQ

rls:.�

'Z��

Spring 1 994


Court okays

Pre.gnancy ads create com p laints froID p arents Superintendent appoints review committee MARYLAND-EdiIOrS ofhigh school smdeol newspapers in the Fredcriclc ScbooI District may have to present cbcir newspapers 10 a commi uee for review before publication. Tbeappointmeotofa review commit ­ toe, which includes two students, two pareDes and two teachers, came about becauJe a small group of parents 0b­ the WaDctnville High School newspaper paid for by !be organizations Planned

jected to advertisements in

Parenthood and Birthright. Principal Jay Bema said the superin­ teoden1 empowered the principals to relet any problems to a committee for review. bot &he review will happen only if the principals deem it necessary. ""I appoved the committee to have it . Bemo said. there only if needed.to Acoording to Bemo. Walkersville had the policy of review in pta,ce , but it was for the yearbook and not all student publications.

Madeira

(ConJ�.d from page 7)

Supe2'inteodentDenois Hockneythal the school board adopt. a policy lhat

guides lhe students and school 00minis "Vague terms sbouId be elimi­ nated and undefined Ienns should either be defined or, if they cannot be defined, they sbould be delered. As we have urged since the outset. Madeira needs a scbool pOOcy which clearly staffS what students cannot publish and what an adminiscr3tor can properly censor undel' the rllSt

Amendrnenl.," GoehJer stated. But Hockney said that the school board would deal with vague terms when they are used to cetlS(Y spe­ cifIC content of student publications. "The board adopted the policy on

In 1986, the adopted a policy

board of

education

that allows a commit­ toe to review and approve yearboob

and non-scbco1-&pOnSOred publications.

The newproposal is to include all school­ sponJOred publications in die policy. "What's inlereStiog is when all this began. the ads had hem in the Frederick High ScbooI newspaper," Demo said. "'The ads had appean:d foryears without any conrplainl'l from parents." Amanda Burdette, editor in chief of the newspaper at Walkersville, said she is against the forming of the coounittoe because it would be �p if the committee were aOowed to take a story

out "1 feel we have done a good job and nothing was ever questioned before," she said UOtbernewspapmhaveprinted [the ads] in the past."

But she added that Superintendent

Gadra has been fair in working with the students .•

legal advice and we're satisfied with it," he san HockDey added that if censorship occurs then the student may go lhroogh an 8AJe8l.s process. Hanod said the primaty problem witblbe policy is thalthe vague aenns are 00( defined.

"I still feel [the poIiCYl i'i far

100

restrictive, but it also gives studcnlS something 10 wm willi." Harrod said hu battle was impor­ tant "because it's somedting that never came up before. People didn't realize that [censorship] waswrong." She said she wiD not challenge the new policy because she is a seni(J'

and does DOl have the time. "If [censorship) bappeBs to other studenl'l then they will challenge it, .. she said. "Now at least [the students] have a policy that they can work with ....

limited ban on pamphlets ll..LINOIS - Ten copies are oby. But 1 1 could get you kicked out of scbool. That is now the rule at Wauconda Junior High School after a federal comt of appeals upheld a portion of the 10eal school district'5 policy that, among odIcr things, fCW'bids students from distribut­ ing tn(X'e than ten copies 01 material that is "primarily pl� bynoo-students. " The controvexsy at Wauconda Junior Higb began in 1990, when ' Megan Hedges, then an eighth grade student at the school, tried to hand out a Christian pamphlet called Issues aM AnswD's to other snuIents before they entered school in the morning. Princ:ilXd O:u:istine Go1denconfiscaled thepamph1ets from Hedges's classmates and told Hedges not to distribute such 1iteta1w:e again. Golden pointed to the school district policy that prohibiled el­ ementary and junior high school stu­ dents from distributing "written nwo­ rial that is of a religious nature," in addi tion to libelous, obscene and sub­ stantially disruptive materiaL Hedges and two ethel' students flied a lawsuit against the school district to

protest the policy's common treatment

of obscenity, tibel and religion. The dis­ promptly declared the 1990 poticy unconstitutional. and in t'99 I , lbe school district adopted a ne w Policy. The 1 99 1 policy. which applied any­ time a student(J' group ofSIUdeIllBsought to distribute more than ten copies of the same written material, required that stu­ dents notify the priocipal 24 hours prior to distributioo . It also stated that stu­ dents could only hand out their maleria1 from a table located at the main entrance of the school . Distribution was limited to a half hour at the beginning and end of the school day. The policy did not, how­ ever. require that students provide ac­ tual copies of the mau:rial to school officials for approval prior to distribu­ tion. ($� WAUCONDA.pDle J J) trict coon


State expression bills have tough seas 011

he

Four bills die during winter session,jour still alive but have slim prospec/s o/passage

T

sping and winter have been tough for !he eight student freedom of expression bills up for rntificalion . . this 5eSSIOO. The bills are an anetnpt to get around !he Haulwood decision, which gave school administrators grea&er powec to censor school.sponsored student publications as long as they cooId give an educ:atiooal jD8ti6catioo for their decision. Th.e bills give. �lOriai control back 10 the smdents. In Missouri, DO action has been taken on Rep. Joan Bray's (D-UniversilY City) HB 1105, whicb was reintroduced this January after dYing in FebruaJy 1993. According to an aide to Bray. she is looking into attaching her legislation onto another bill to gel it passed in next year's session. "Dead in the � is bow Rep. Stan Furman (D-Pboenix) dtsaibes Arizona's freedom of expression bill Furman said the oewJ)resideDl of the senate was one of the major opponentS of Che bil.f when it failed 10 get through the senate a few years ago. This year> s bill, which was.reinuoduced IbisJanuary , was never assigned 10 a comm ittee and died early .in the session . Furman wiJlnotnm for office next year, but said he will pass on his bills to his successor. OkJahoiDa'S HB 1876 was put to a verbal vote in the House ludiciai Conimiuec inmid-March, wbereil died by abouta lWo

margin, said Rep. Ron Kirby. A student freedom of expression bill died for a third time in

ro one

• 10

Stales that have passed laws

SPlC Report

Wisconsin. Brad Kelly, an aide 10 A3semblyman Peter Bock (D-Mllwaoke)e . said he doubts they will II)' the bill again. "The support's just not there," KeDy said. He said the assembly sees no problem with&DdeDtpublic8tions and there­ fore. no need for tbe legislation . In Nebraska.. LB 1 166, which was introduced in January, i:!i still in the Education Commiuee and is not expected to go anywbere this session.. A spokesperson for the Nebruka State Education Association, which supported the b� said they will try again next year. New Jersey 's freedom of expression bill was reintroduced Ibis session alto- dying in January, butooaction bas been taken 011 it Michigan' 8 bill is stalled in the House Judiciary ConuniUee where it is waiting to be assigned a bearing date. Barbara Crowshaw, a high school newspaper adviset in Idaho and supporter of that swc's legislation" said the 1994 bill died in the House Education Commiuee on March 1 I. Despise strong opposition from legislators dtis y�. Crowsbaw is optimistic fornext year, saylng Ihat she expect! tbebill lOenjoy bi-partisan support at that time. California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Massachuseus are the only saates tbaJ: have passed legislation proteCting student press rights. •

f: �:j: J States where bills have died in 1994


Wauconda (COfllin�dfrom page 9) In ad(liJ.ioo to regulating dislribntioo. the new pOlicy also prohibited abe fol­ lowing categories of speech: 1) male­

riallhat \Ii'ould cause subsmntial disrup­

tion to the !lfChool; 2) material that vi0lated abe rights of olhm (for example.

Libelous or copyrighted materiaI); 3) literature that was socially inappropri­ are for the age group in questioo (in­ cluding material that was obscene, vul­ gar or pornograpbic); 4) commercial advenisemellLS; 5) material that was primarily prepared by non-students or �.concemed the activities

01 meet­

ings' or non-school-sponsored organi­

zations; and final] y, 6) malClial lhJu eXpressed.religiousbeticCs thai students "'would reasonably believe 10 be spon­ sored, endorsed or given official impri­ matur by the schOOl." including reu· giousObjeclSofworsbip such asJD)'er5. Bibles and other religious litera· ture and any religious material that at­ 1J'aCtS,

tempted to JWSelytize odler srudents. Citing this DeW policy. Principal Golden prevented Hedges from hand· ing out more than ten copies of l�s

and Answers or a flyer inviting her classmates 10 a gathering at her church where students would send postcards to soldiers in the Persian Gulf. Golden allowed Hedges to distribute a "position paper" chat stated '1 Believe in God. Won't Y007" The paper quoted the F"U'StAmeodment and a speecb given by Abraham Uncoln that referred to

God. Once again Hedges sued, claiming

that the district's new policy restric­ lions - especially those sections that singled out religious and nOD-student speech - violated her First Amend· ment rights. She also objected 10 the rules that limited. the time and place of distribution. The lower court agreed with Hedges and ordmd the school district to stop enCorc:ing the policy. The school district appealed. In late Novembo" 1993. the U.S.Cir· cuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. affirmed part of the lower court decision and struck down the rest. SpMg

1994

Wrltingfor 8 aJm:e..judge panel iJJH�glS

Wauconda COMJrUlllitySclw<Ji District, 9 F.3d 1295 (11.h·Cir. 1993), Jud� Fnink v.

H.Easterbtookagreed.withtbelowetcourt thallhe school had gone 100 far in attempt­ ing to dislanCC �tself from Hedge's reli­ gious Speech.

"Wauconda proposes 10 throw up its hands, declaring lhal because misconcep­ Lions (about school-sponsorship) are p0s­ sible it oiay silcDcc its popils, that the best defense against misun�g is cen ­ sorship. What a Ics.son Wauconda pr0poses to leach its swdenw" EaSlc.rbroolc criticized me school for taking the "easy way out" by trying to suPPJt:SS all private religious speech in·

stead of ..educating students in the mean­ ing of the Constitution and the distinction between private speech and public en­ dorsement ..... which he said. "is... what schools are foc."

Contrary to me lower court opinion, however.liastt2brook found that limiting

the disuibution of noo-scbo-spo ol osored student expression 10 a special table be­ fareand afterschool didDOt suggestscbool

sponsorship and was permissible. Finally, Easterbrook said that the

policy's ban on the distribution of wrinen nuuerial prepared primarily by non-stu· deus (whicb included the Iss�s aIlIi An· swers pamphlet that Hedges badsougbt to distribule) was constitutional. While liastt2brook said rhat the district

court's determination that Wauconda Junior High Scbool was a closed fo­ rum was "not clearly erroneous," he questioned, wbetber application of the public-forum doctrine. which he noted was becoming increasingly complex. awroPIiat.e. Nevertheless, he noted that schools have generally been p� of strict was

regimentation, with schools being given the right to forbid or regulate many kinds of speech and be found that the rule distinguishing between student and non-student speech was

reasonable. While the judge conceded that adopting the words of another person is a fonn of free expression. he said that it was the school's job - not that of the Constitution - to determy.e bow best to educate it students. In this case, the judge said. school officiak had decided dUltstudents teamed best by doing their own WOIL In addition, he believed that the Wauconda policy provided a reason­ able compromise between the ina'. CSIS of the school and student free expression rights because it did not completely prohibit students from passing out non-student nweriaI if they agreed to hand out ten copies or less. The decision was DOt appealed. • SPl C

Report 11


(C�frompag� 6) policy on student publications. The policy stales."Student publicaaions sball

contain written maa.er which . clearly threatens 10 C8l& a marerial and subsWldal dismptioo of normal classroom acdvity. any normal school function, or otbet school activ­ ity." "I see in no way that a subslantial disruption will come from the publica­ tion ofthe names ofthestudeolS.,.. Wash­ ington�Jones said at the hearing. ., (eel that all the names should be prinaed." Panel member MozdlRobinson hued her decisioo on whether d:Ie stU.dell t

not

.

causes or

Students still have rights to free speech andfreedom of the press.' I

Kim Alston

feature editor "I had to look at the cwrent policy aDd determine Ihat the student records poIicy- was not being violated, and 1 dettnnined it wasn't" Marcie Pacbino, adviser to tbe Falcon' $ Cry, said the paper needed 10 pubtisb &he names of the eight students for seveml reasons. Tbe � were elected public officials who bad broken !he rules. She said the st£Jry was incom­ plete without their names. Pacbino said the peper had in the past princed oames ofathletes who were not .•.

academicaly l eligible. The grades were

also a pan oftheir school records, yet the &dministration allowed dlis information about the athletes tD be publisbed.. "This information (conceming !be eight studentsJ was in stndent records, but it was commonly known informa­ tion," sbesaid. "'We unlbuaDdwe can 't go to student recoo:!B 10 get information, but this was widely spoken and well known. " Pachino said that the paper covers the student counciJ Ihoroughly. "We doD't wsnt to be open 10 future Report

portunity for appealing

a

principal's

decision 10 cemor. "Bm the most impcrtant thing is it gives student jounul1i5ts rights [that] HQZelwood doesn't," she said referring 10 the SUJUme Court's 1988 decis:ion that cut back on SlDdent F"lCSt Amend­ ment protections. Kim Alston. feamre editor (or the Falcon's Cry. said, "Personally for me, [the incident] was frustrating [after} going so loog with the administralion never censoring anything we've done," AlImo said she thought they would lose in their appeal to the school board be­ cause there was strong testimony on the other side, but it was good to see the school board stand behind the policy and the paper HStudents still have righlS to free speech and freedom ofthe JnSS., Alston .

"

said.

records policy was violated.

1 2 SPLC

claims of double standards . The school board has a policy and what we did was follow chat policy. We would like forme superintendent and the principe.l to fol­ low it as well. .. Pachioo said they like the publica­ tions policy because it provides an 0p­

Elisabeth Tornlinsoo , oo-news ediCDrt said she was pleased thatfceedom of the press bas been upheld even though the publication was initially censored when parents pressured school officials. Tomlinson said the students put in long hours to prepare for the appeal. "It was a lot ofextra w(l'k for us in addition to � at the paper ... .

Pekin

(C�fromfNl8e 7) Board reserves the right to edit or delete material whicb it feels is inconsistent with the district's educalionaI mission ." According to the policy, the superin­ tendent shall also set � for reviewing student publicarlons before final printing and distribution. Because oI lhe controversy ovet the leu.ers. W"dt penoaded the school board 10 add a provision to the policy that swes, "A student's right to freedom of expression must be b8Ianced against the duty of educating students in an orderly manner and protecting the rights of all "

Wilt said this sentence was added be­

he is concerned about language that reflects hatted. Wilt said that stu­ dents are allowed to discuss race issues but they should talk: about them in a responsible manner. The new policy at Pekin High School provides for a committee of two princi­ pals and the superintendent who receive a list of topics that students are writing on to review before publication. But the topics list will not teO how a story is written, mther only what students will write about. If the committee has any questions about what is written, then the matter will be discussed with the ad­ canse

viser. Wilt said the school board has not appointed a committee and that for now

the advisu has the final word on what will be published in the paper. Angle Durham, editOr of the newspa­ per, said, "We dido 't want the principal to have to read all of our stories before they went to prinL" But the prior review of the topics list does not bother Durham. "I think it's useless , it won't do anything," she said. "It won 'tchange what we write abont. ... SprIng

1994


AGE of

INNOCENCE? The Department of Edueation gets input from stt1de�ts, educators and the media

as tbe fight for access to campus j udicial proceedings and records continues

C-

a time of fun !Pld revelry, a time oftesting the

oUege is

the first time many students bave been away from their parei1ts. Somctimes SWdCllLS get caugbt 'up in criminal activities while waters,

at school. When this

happens, shooJd. the en­ suinglpnxeedlngs and rec� be open 10 tile publK:. 8$ a IlOO-Sl.OdeDt'S would

be in a court of law. or should the school ptOl.CC t.lIlal, studenl from pub­ lic disclosure? �t ques·jon is a hot 'lOpic, causing disputes between coUege jownaJiSIS and administrators around the OOIln­

try.

Under wile freedom ofinfonnalion

or

"sunshine" laws, lhe public has

"a

right of acc ess to mOSt meetings and records 'of governm ent agencies. in­

cluding lpublic schools. BUI many schools believe lhauheir judicial pmceediogs and records are nO I covered by the laws and should be c100ed to the public. Although the GeotgJa Supreme ColD1ruled in

11993 thalcampusd.isci­

plinary proceedings and records mUSl be open Wlder their stale law, a loui­ siana coon decided in March LhaL pub­ lic access was not ,required in thal swc. (See COURT, page 14.) Two studenl journalists. 011e at

Flonda A & M Uni:versity and the o lller 81lhe Uni,versiLy of Missouri al 51. Louis, have g'one as far as being

SprIng

1994

LakexJ into coslOdy by the police for trying La gC/i into closed student hearings

disclosure.

on campus. AI Rorida

100.

A & M. a closed campus hearing, in March re�'1Jlted in a protest by aboul80 students who IhOughllhe hear­ ing shouldi be open. Wben Ii grouplricd to push open a door ,of lhe byilding where the bearing was 10 be held, a student reporter was taken mlO custody and, detained for about an hour. (See' FLAMBEAU, page 15.) A similar incident happened at. the Univ.ersity of Ml s....c;ouri at SL Louis,.in Jilfluaty where I.be student newspaper editor was handcuffed by poUce and r.aken inro custody after trying 10 anood a closed judidalJltearing. (Sec POUCE, page IS.) Most, schools use l1le federal Family Ed UC3liona I RjghlS and Privacy Act, commonly referred 10 as the 8u:clcley Amendment. as their jostification fot keeping tbe:ir records private. TIle a.�l Stales that schools ilial ,reveal slUdents' education records:can lose federal fund­ ing. The problem is inJdeciding whal are '�edocabon record�"J" The U.S. DcparoncnlofEducation is now drafting regulations dial will de­ dde, if sludc.ntjudidal rocgrru faU wilhin thai term. In February. the Education Dcpartmcn'l a:sIced ollege edutlI1OCS. slUden tsand thcmedr8 fOf comment!l on its proposallhat judicial records be in­ cluded in the dermition of c(JuC8l!ion records and thus not, open fOT public

The responses, numooring over were not surpristng . Most stu­

dents and joumalists responded nega­

tively to the suggestion and school administnllOrs wrote in favor of iL Two schools of though.! appeared in the responses, one saying that dis­ closure would assure swdents a fair trial and provide access 10 valuable details aboul campos atm:e, lheotber saying disclosure would defeat the prinwy )lwpose of Sludent IriaIs, which is to educate rather than pun­ ish Ibe &lUdenL Those in opposition lO the proposal also thought disclo­ SlUe woold ca:use SbJdeolS to recon­ sider reponing offenses.

J. Malon Southerland, the viee president for student affairs a1 Texas A&M University, pointed OLlI that the atmosphere 00 a campus is dif­ ferent than other p�.

"Dig;iplinaty proceedingsw Texas A&M University are administrative

Ilearings lhroogh which we 8llCmpl to maintain the orderly

operation of

ethical and cultural values. [n pursuit of this mi:ss:ion. we hold students lOa higher stmldarc;1 of behavior than individu­ !he institUlion and teach

als are held to in the Iargcr sociery ,"

Southerland

wrore.

Hecontinued thai coUcgcis prepa­ ration for life in that larger society. "Students8re in n I:t'aOSilional stage (See RECORDS, e 14) SPlC

Report 13


�ourt says j udicial records not pen to public in Louisiana - The Ireasure hunt for campus judicial proceedings 'fered a blow after a state court denied dent and professional journalists Be­ :s to records concerning charges of bezzelment against members of the dent government association. �chene Millhollon, a reporter for the mgest at Louisiana State University ;hreveport. requested the records of a ciplinary hearing that involved two denlS who were acc used of taking

mISIANA :ess to

the Family Educational Rights and Pri­ vat:.y Act. commonly referred to as the BucJcJey AmendmenL The court found that a privacy provi­ sion in the Louisiana Constitution pr0tected the records and to open them at this time would be "deleterious to LSU­ S [and] its students." The court said that to satisfy the public's desire to have access to the information. a university audit of the organization would be open when completed.

Records

(ConJirw.edfrom pag� 13)

between adolescence and adulthood and providing them with the protection of nondisclosure while teaching them the ethics and values of our culture so to prepare them for responsible citizen­ ship seem s a small price to pay." Robert Lystad, an auomey for the Society of Professional Joumalists.. said students should not receive special treat­ they are in school

ment because

"l.T]hese students are adults. They should be treated as such. Ifcolleges and universities keep secret acts of criminal conduct, they are not holding the stu­ dent who commi t the crimes account­ able for their actions," Lystad wrote. "On college and university campuses, records of students' non-academic im­ proprieties should be treated just as the records of other adults. They should be open to the public." John W. Breeden II, the editor in chief of Frostburg State University' s The Bottom Line, listed many reasons he opposes the proposal. FtrSt. he notes hypocrisy in the sys­ tem.

ney from a student government-run lk: exchange. But Gloria Raines, vice mcellor for student affairs, rejected request.

r1ilhoUen and the Shreveport chapter the Society of Professional Journal ­

: filed a lawsuit for violation of the te open records law in October. A tl in the case was held in February and Jta1 of 17 witnesses testified in the

e. Witnesses included seven college from around the state, � students and three professional malists. Among those who testified upport of public access to the records re Associated Press newswriter �Iyn Carlson, who heads thenational

ninistrators

;rety ofProfessi onal 1ournalists Cam­ : Courts Task Force, and SPLC Staff

orney Mike Hiestand.

lie court ruled in SPJ ". LSU-Shreve1 that the information Millhollon re­ :sled feU within the Louisiana Public :.ords Act, but was also part of the :lents' education records covered by IPlC Report

The court stared that there was no "compelling reason" to order the re­ lease. In closing, the court expressed re­ �t for the position of journalistS and the public's right to know, but said the applicable law was "clear, compelling, and must be enforced." Raines said she believed the federal law was clear but the stale open records

contradicts it. "This places us in a temble predica­ ment. All we were trying to do was foUow the law," she said. MillhoUon said without having ac­ cess to the hearing records, the paper had to try to persuade students involved in the proceeding to give them the infor­ mation involving the taking of funds. "It [the court decision] means we're going 10 have 10 work harder," Millhotlon law

said.

As the R�port went to press, no deci­ sion had been made on whether to ap­ peal the ruling.

"r have personally heard accoun ts of people who are known underage drink­ ers, and student jurors. sentencing other students foroffenses that thejurors them­ selves commit on a regular basis," he wrote. He added that he thought having cases publicized would increase the number of cases reported rather than be the de­ terrent the proposal's supporters said it would be. "'If it was known that a reporter were

there

to

guarantee the fairness of the

process, more victims of crime might come forward without the fear that a [biased] board would ignore their claim," he said. William Thygeson, the director of stlldentaffairs at 'Thomas Jeffe� Uni­ versity in Philadelphia. said he thought that many college students make unsubstantiated claims against other stu­ dents to get revenge or in an emotional moment Therefore, these accusations could be damaging to the accused stu­ dent

(See RECORDS, page 18) Sp1ng 1 994


Reporters ' crash ' judicial hearings Flambeau reporter detained by police

Police take editor away in handcuffs

a closed student disciplinary bearing 81 Florida A&.M UniVel'8ity in Tallahassee ended with campus police taking a student reporter away in haodcuffs and detaining him for about an hour. Mite Caescr, a law student at Florida Stale University and a IqJOIter for The Flambeau, was taken ioJo custody after he,

MISSOVRI - It bas beC'll said tha1 lhe squeaky wheel gelS !:be grease. Clint Zwiefel has proven the old saying true. As edit« of the Univcnity of Missouri at St Louis' student newspaper, The Current, Zwiefd was frustrated by the fact that the school 's judicb1 proceedings were closed to the press . even though the school 's by-laws contained no provision

FLORIDA - The ruckus over

along with other protestess. tried to force open the door of the building where a closed hearing was being held in March. Caeset said he bled to prop open the door with his foot when

campus police off«:erS pulled him into the building and band­ cutred bim. was Caeser charged with dis­ obeying an officer and 1l'eSp8SSing, but aftez being held for about an hour. was allowed to lea ve widl a waming, Caeser was parlof a group of around 80 students protest­

requiring such closure. In January. an appeals hearing was held for a group expelled from die student government association for missing too

many a.�ation meetings. Even though he was told the hearing would be closed. Zwiefel decided to attend - a decision that resulted in him being handcuffed

and led from the meeting by police.

Zwiefel stressed he was not arrested . " [The police) made me promise

not to do it again and let me go," he said. "It was more than a slap on the wrist" Zwiefel's ac­ tions resulted in an open forum be­ tween the student government, theju­

ing the closed hear­

ing of student Lany

Tait. Tail was facing charges, which have since been dropped, related to his maga­ zine, Tho ughts, which he describes

freedom of expression maga­

as "'8

zine.. " The Associ­ ated Press described tbemapzineascov­ ering "topics from cafeteria food and sex to racial strife." Tait said students submit various fonns of licenuure to the magazine and all are published without editing. "It's basically uncensored," he said. "1t's been a vehicle for students to criticize the adminlstratiOll-.. Things really started to bappen when Tail announced his candidacy for student body president 'lbatscared [the administration] even fiuthfr, so they brought up these charges," Tail said. Tail was charged with four violations of campus rules. Tait said he was temporarily removed from the ballot because of the (Su A &. M. ptJIe 16) Spftng

1994

dicial board and staff members of T� Current. The

discussion

ended

with a proposal to mue all student COWl hearings open

to the press. Zweifel and other campos officials agrud that the results of the Ifucu.ssion were positive. "I think a lot of good came from it, said Kel Ward, chief justice of the student judicial board. "I'm pretty thrilled we could come to a decision because there was a lot of tension before the meeting," according to Andy Ms.sIers, studenl government president "I was pretty pleased with the way the students debated the issue,.. SBDdy Maclean, vice chancellor for student affairs, said. pnUsing the depth of the debate. (See IT. WU/S, page 17) n

SPLC Report 15


A &M (ConIiNI.ed/rompage 15) charges against him. He eventuall y

won the office in a

laDdslide. He said he did DOt see any validity to any of the charges, but one in particular really apsethim -disu:ibuting a newspaper without a distribution rack. He said that his publiauioo had been apJXOved by the school for two y�. During that lime, he bad left stacks of his publication around campus for students to pick up. Richard Flamer, vice president for student affairs, had a different view of the situation. "The reason he was removed from the ballot bad nothing to do with Thoughts." Flamer said. Tail was removed from the ballot, Flamer said. because be did not comply with the rules. Acrording to Flamer, when Tail petitioned the student court to get his name on the ballot, the court agreed. but with reservations. F1amer did admit !hat he does not care for the publication. "There's nothing socially redeem ing in the magazine," he said. Regardless, be said he did nothing to stop its distribution after beiog warned by ajomnalism professor and the school's lawyer that he would be violating the First Amendment if be did.

"The only thing I wanted him to do (was to use a distribu­ tion rack]," Flamer said. "He had 10 be treated like any othel' vendor." Flamu itressed that the h�g was solely over Tait's refusal to get a distribution rack. "The reason [the charges] were dropped was lhat anothez administrator told him thaI he didn 't have to comply," he said. More problems occurred when Tait and his lawyer, War­ ren Wilson, a.rri.ved at the campus hearing. They found the building closed despite Tail's request for an open hearing. When Tait and Wilson tried to enter the hearing, Tait said a studentjudicial officer stopped Wilson. "We didn ', know who...{WiIson] was. He looked yOtDlger than Tail... Flamer said.. Flamer said the confusion happened because of the large group of studenu outside the building. "We thought be was a student," Flamer said. BothWilson and Tait thenrefused to attend the bearing and instead attempted to talk 10 the school president. Tait said they found the stairwell leading 10 the president's office locked as was abe elevator. It was at this pointTail found out the school's attorney was not aware of his bearing. "Flamer and [Henry] Kirby [acting director of student affairs] were trying to railroad me without the proper people knowing," be said. After being IOId by the school's lawyer that Wilson must be allowed in the hearing, the school relented. but still refused to allow reporters. 16 SPlC Report

The reason given to Tait was to proteet the privacy of the students serving on the judicial committee. F1amer said that there bad beeD a problem in the past with a student committee member being threatened because of her involvement in a

proceeding .

Tai, was told the student serving on the committee did not want to be mentioned in the press, but he contends the student gave up that right when she joined the committee. Flamer said that closed hearings are a "tradition" at A&M. "Usually, a closed trial on our campus means absolutely nothing. Usually it doesn't geoerate interest [because of the caliber of the charges] ," be said Flamer dismissed the idea that Florida's Sunshine Law re­ quired schoo l hearings to be open. '"That's for meetings. But this is not a meeting; it's a judic:W bearing," he said. The committee decided to postpone the bearing indefinitely. The elections were also postponed until Apri1 15 so that Tait coold run if he was found innocent. Although the charges against Tait were dropped.. be is stil1 not satisfied with the outcome as he says the administration is still blaming him for the problems. "It' 8 interesting bow they made me !he villain when they started everything themselves," he said As for the arrest of Caeser, Tait called Caeser "a good guy" adding that the whole incident was regrettable. Caese2" said the charges against him did not bother him as much as the reason he believes the police chose him to take into

custody. "I overlleard [the police] saying 'Yeah, we're arresting him. He's widt the press ," Caesc:r said. Flamer said he doubted this charge was valid.. "Mike Caeser is weU-known on campos by name, but DOt in person," Flamer said. Tait said be feels the admiAisttation 's detainment of Caeser speaks for itself. "When you're doing wrong, you're always scared and para­ noid. There was no reason for it to happen," Tait said.. •

SprIng

1994


University Dlust disclose full contract Attorney General says coach's bonuses are public information KANSAS- TheKansasAuomeyGeo­ cral bas ruled that a public nnivemty most di9cJose details about the salary. beDefitsaod boau.sesofadlJeticc0acbe8. Ricbsrd Pretorius, editorial page edi­ tt. tbeMlIIIhattaA Mercury requested details of football coach Bill Snyder's 1 O-yearcontract with KansasSwe Uni­ •

vttSity.

But the attooley's office at the uni­ versity rejected the request claiming thatlheSIaU: openrecords law exempled public disclosure or CMain personnel

records.. The univenity would CIlly release was the coacb's annoal salary, leogtb of service and position. The joamaIistB and the scbool dia.­ agreed over the definition of "salary." Pretorins requested the de.tails of Snyder' sempJoymentthat iDcl.udedba8e salaty sod boouses. but the university defined salary as base salary only. PreIOrlus contacted-the Auomey Gen­ el3l of Kansas for help with his request for access.

St. Louis (COIIIWJdfrOlnPfJge 15) And bow does Zwiefel feel after the

factl

"Ob, it was definitely worth it," he said. '-'We were able to make the policy more specific... and add accountabil­ ity. " � said thediscussion convinced him that accoun tability was something that is very impOllant in Dials of any kind. He realized that holding hearings behind closed doors only raised suspi­ cions about the judicial board. 'We got a clear understanding of the role of 8 campus oewS)lapeC," be said. The proposal was voted on and ac­ cepted by the student body April 6. It makes the hearings open but the board's deliberations private with no petition provision. '" think it was pretty sensible and that's the way it works in real life," Masters said. • SprIng 1994

The Attorney General Robert T. Stephen respooded 10PltkJiious' request. He WI'Ofe that details of the c:ontma in addition 10 the base salary must be dis­

closed, butonlywbeo they are�

and when the amoont ofabe bonuses bad been detennioed and JIlid 10 the em­ ployee. The details of Snyder's oonU'aCt that the amiversity ulti.rnalely revealed in­ cluded the annual bonus. annual sum for radio and 'IV shows, family member­ ship and use of a golf cart at 8 country club and use of two vehicles. According to Pretorius, public money

at public qencies may be �mingled

with private dooations. bu1 still the pub­ lic money most be accounted for. He added that the p-oblem is in how people view public agencies. "We don't loot at public univessities the same 88 Health and Homan Services C1l agencies like tba1. and by not doing so, we do our public a disservice." Pretorius said that a public agency belongs to the students and the taxpay­ ezs, DOt to peop1e who wort for the agency at a given point in time.

"It's important [to have] loyalties

school. but unive�i1ies instillltions. ". our

are

10

public

Court declines to open access to records alleging NCAA football violations at Auburn The Abhama Su­ ALABAMA preme Court declined to open a university's records in Man:h.. TIte Birminghmn Ntws sued Au­ bw'D University for access to records in which tbe NCAA accused the foot­ baD lXOgrBDlofviolatingNCAA ndes. The alleged violatioos included fi­ D8DCW aid and gifts for the playas. But LIIe UDiversity_argaed that the records were confidential and should not be disclosed.. 1be SupremeCourt sent theNCAA -

case back to !he trial comt to decide the

The COWl staled that the trial duly coos.ider the prom ­ ise and the policy of confidentiality in deciding whetber each documenl should be disclosed." The trial conn must decide if Auburn's response to the NCAA in­ quiry of the football program is 8 public writing covered by the Slate open records law. A trW cowt decision is expected Ia1ei this year. case.

court "should

'{?P .

.

SflLC

Report 17


Newspaper sues for sex video

Prof is denied

with scenes of gymnastic coaches

right to view audit records

MINNF.SOTA- The Minnesota Daily Min­ neapolis is suing the university for ac­

at the University of Minnesota in

cess to the video of two fonner gymnas­

tic coaches making love. The married couple, coaches Gabor and Ka1alin Deli. prepared a training

video two years ago for the members of the gymnastics team in which a scene of the couple's lovemaking accidentally became a part. After the university learned of the video, the coaches were dismissed from their positions. Marshall H. Tanick, lawyer for the newspaper, said if the basis for tenninat­ ing a government employee is given, then the information relating to that de­ cision must be made public under the state open records law. "The university says the tape is em­ barrasis ng, but if the government can withhold material that is embarrassing, then it may set a precedent." Tanick said. However, University General Coun­ sel Mark Rotenberg said the Minnesota Data Practices Act does not require the release of the videotape. He said that the university sought le­ gal opinion. "We're following thatopin-

Records

(ConJinuedJrompage 14)

"Even a cursory review of the Chronicle of Higher Education will show that campus officials nationwide are acutely aware of and sensitive to this issue and, in many cases, are even overreacting to accusations made by one student about another," Thygeson wrote. Robert Bienstock, the associate uni­ versity counsel at the University of New Mexico in AlbuqueJqUe, said that if disciplinary records were open to the public, changes would have to be made in the school 's disciplinary pr0cess. "[O] ur student discipline officers are not trained in identifying criminal condUCL If an exception to [the federal

18 SPlC Report

ion. If Minnesota law says to disclose it then we wiD ," he said. "We're a public

institution."

Rotenberg added. "Freedom of the press was not intended to allow a waste of time and money. They're [the news­ paper] wasting fees litigating some­ thing that has no value." Lucy QuinIand, edita" of the newspa­ per, said the Minnesota law outlines instances in which information belongs to public institutions. ''This act was intended to make more [information] public than private ," Quinland said. According to Quinland, the struggle over the video is important because it could set a precedent for denials of access to other govenunent informa­ tion. In the past. the newspaper has had problems with closed meetings, she said. "This videotape bas been viewed by one person and placed in police custody and in a safe at the police department," Quinland said. "I don' t have a real desire to see the tape or em barrass this person, but it's a matter ofprinciple and what constitutes privacy," she said. '1t's a matter of access - purely.... Fam ily Educational Rights and PrivacyAct] were created for conduct which might be criminal, we would need to import law enforcement ex­ pertise into our student diScipline pr0cess to malce that defennination, " Bienstock said. Amanda Sedovic, a student at the University of South Carolina at Aiken, said the release of such information could ensure fair treatment "It is my understanding that this act is to protect the students from further punishment by outside forces. What about the infernal forces - the ad­ ministration and school officials?" she wrote . The department has set no defmite date for a decision on the final word­ ing of the regulations. •

OKLAHOMA - A state court denied a

professor access to documents regarding the use of public money at the University of Oklahoma in March, but said access would be required after an investigation is completed. Bill Loving, an assistant joumaIism professor at the university and a member of Freedom of Information of Oklahoma requested the records of several univer­ sity departments after President Richard Van Horn initiated an investigation of complaints offinancial irregularities. FOI Oklahoma is a private, non-profuorgani­ zation whose interest is to preserve the public's right to know about government information . Loving said his own suspicions fD'St came up when Van Horn promised to release information as it became avail­ able but never did. Records requested by Loving were those that had been collected for an audit of the offICe of administrative affairs, the university food service, a hotel on the university' s campus and the university's golf pro shop. Loving said the university gave him 400 pages of documents but none had a total spending figure for each area the documents related to. So he filed a law­ suit for access to the records However, the district court of Cleveland County found that Loving did not produce suffi­ cient infonnation to show thatthe public 's right to know outweighed the privacy interests of those employees who might be named in the records . The court fOWld that the investigation was still in process and all documents would stay under review until investiga­ tors have given their fmal opinions. After opinions have been rendered, then "the public's right to know will outweigh any privacy interests, subject to further re­ view by this Court upon request by either party." Thecourtsaid that certain records might remain ex empt if they relate to .

(See PROFESSOR, page 19) SprIng 1994


Reporters banned froIll Q and A session Lady Thatcher wanted to do 'something special' for William and Mary students VIJlGINIA - When a oaJiooally re­ DOWDCd figure speaks OD a college cam­ pua.&bcadminislradoo lLallIy welcomes &be pabUclty Ibalcomes along wilh COY­ casc by &be press. Bill wben Lady Margaret Thalcbc:r, formrz Prime Minisc« of Britain, spoke It die College of William and Mary in early Fchroary, both abe student aod professional press were baDQCd from covering lbeevent. On SaIDn:Iay, Feb. S, 'fbarcbel' MIl inducted as the DeW chan­ cdJor of the coUcge-a position lba1AmicarClIrioe, the Dewspi­ per of William and Mary's law scboo1. desaibesas one of"rep­ J'CIIClOring William and Mary's iJJIcrcsIs in LoDdon." 1'be posi­ tion U mainly a ceremonial one. created ..,hen the college was cbanemi by King Wllliam ill and Queen Mary II. The chan­ cellor officiates at ceremonies such as abe spring c0mmence­ ment aod Charter Day, which commemorates the school's

stories about the ban. The SlUdent newspaper. 1M Fitu Hat, ran a edUorial about the ban, but sent 00 reportfn. Walker said be CUI undc:rsIand both ran

stances..

1bey [lhertpOlterl] badeveryrigbt

T'bey made the deci8ioo.Jt was their right as a journalist. be said. to aumd iL

to

founding.

ThaJcher succeeds formex Su­ preme Court Justice Warren Burger as cbaocellor. The i.odDclioo COOk. p1ace as part of the college's Foondec' sDayce1ebmtioo and

public aDd Che press. But Friday. Thatcher held • question and amwer session with students, faculty

was open to lhe OIl

and .staff oflhe coUege. This session was closed 10 rq>oners.. '"The decidoo [to close the session] was based OIl the fact that Mrs. 1batcbeJ' wanted III do something 'special' forme students," Bill Walker, universi ty fda.. tions director, said, adding tbatThatcbrz had requested someching informal Out of1he local media. only TM Rem114111, an independent student newspa­ per, and die law scbooI papeor sent re­ porters to cover the meeting. The re­ porters were able to get inside the meet­ ing since they WC%C students. The Daily Press of Newport News

"When you make that kind of demand [on an editor], that pa'IOIl bas a difficult decision to make... Leanne Marris, editor for the law scbool's paper, said die administration never gave them a JOOd Je8IOD for clos­ ing the meeting and 10 her, Ihe d�ision reall y was DOt thai toIlgh. "1be Worst abet can bappca [as a re­

sultoCoul'llcodioa arepom:r] isifthey're uncoopcntive wi1h us in lbe fumre. " she

said. She said Ibat 8iDc:e the scadoo was open to an SlUdents.. tbeir repoott was able II) jast walk: up and get a ticket. Jobn Crouch was that reporDer. He sayI be was not aware d abc ban and is DOW trying 10 increase awareness of

'I1Wchtr's comments.

"In [Saturday's speech] , she covered only the AngkrAmerican alliance and

bericagc, while in her Friday session !be also expressed firm and unorthodox

viewsooBo8oia.Russia. Ewopcan unity

and world b1Ide, Crouch said. "What­ eyer Ibe purpose of the media ban may to

have been, it bas so far succeeded in confining to the campus the circulation of 1balcber's Friday remarks." Sean Tarter covered the event for The RemNJ1Il. Like abe law school 's paper, Taner said T� Rt1f1ltQlrJ received no official DO­ tic.eoftbe ban.. However,be added that this did not surprise biro, as the coDege does not keep in close oontact wi1h the paper. '1becoUege has been abysmal about letting us know about things," he said. Amicus Curiae I3D an editorial on abe ban, summing up students' thoughts in !he last paragraph . "We can appreciate that Thatcher wanCCd to 'do s0me­ thing special' for tbe College. But if that 'something special' means that the College c0mmu­ nity must relinquish its rights 10 free speech , then we most re­ spond by saying, ' Tbanb, Maggie , but no thanks! ' That's one of the reasons !his country broke with En­ gland in the first place... .

Professor (C�from page 18) aUOOley-client privilege.

Following the decision, Loving filed motion for �detation of the (X'­ der. He stated that he believed the uni­ versity madecleartbrougb its statements that the investigation was already com. pitted. Loving said the � issue was im­ portant. "I believe OU should be accounl8ble to the public.... a

SPle Repcri

19


Campus . p olice refuse to release victims ' names Student paper enlists aid of loeal lawyer to get full crime reports UTAM - Studentreporten at SaltLat.e solving their differences with campus police out of coart, but &he road (0 the soJution was lOllg and bumpy. '[)espite the 1991 GovermnentR.ecords Access and �t Act. which mates initial contact repo1s of police departments in the stale public informa­ tion, the campos police were refusing to release crime victi1ns' names from their Community CoI1ege are

reports. The staffofHorizon, 1hestudent news­ paper, made their first request for cam­ pos police reports Nov. 19, which the police denied. When the paper submit­ ted a written request, ti called fOl' by the law, the reportS were sent - with alJ victims' names blacked out. In early January, the paper was inves.­ tigating an-alleged harassment case and f&led another open records request with the police. But the school never re­ sponded to the request. The paper submitted an appeal to Katherine Boswell, an ass istant to the college president. The paper did not hear back from Boswell within the 30 day peJiod allowed by the bw. Brent Goodfellow, executive assis­ tant to the college's president, said that the campus police and the newspaper staff agreed that rather than sending a reporter over fO abe police swion. the police would send a weelcly report to the newspaper. The report would include

Hunt gave two reasons why victims' should be released. rtrSt is to enable the media to do an adequate job names

in their reporting.

"I think that 10 judge the veracity of the complaints and to report the inci­ dent. yoo have to havethe victim's nmne. That's an essential piece of informa­ tion," he said. The second � he gave was to enable the media to act as a watchdog of the police. "You can't tell if the police are doing a good job of investigating crimes if you don't have the victims' names because you woo't know who the victims are [to be able to I.alk to them]," Hunt said, As to the law excepting victims' names from contact reports. Hunt said Goodfellow was in error again. ''The law does not specificall y protect victim infonnation. In fact, the opposite is true," he said referring to the defini­ tion of uinitial contact report" in the law. According to the stale slatUte, an ini­ tial contactreport .is "an initial writterJ or recorded report ... prepared by peace of­ ficers engaged in public patrol or fer

sponse

duties. . .

w bich . . . may

�.,.(ii) names of victims.. ,"

Hunt said the ooly exemption to the law was if release would constitu1e an unwammted inmonofprivacy, whicb is usually determined by the nature of the crime. Goodfellow also argued dlat !here is a difference between a city's police department'8 contact reports and the college's reportS. A larger departmen t would bave a separat.e initial contact report while she college' s initial contact report is the same as their complete report. Hunt said that Ihe dc:pertment was using che exception for victims' names provision in the law aB e blanket ruling, instead of applying it on a cas,e...by� basis as it was intended. HlDlt was in­ strumental in getting the 1991 opM records law passed. Horizon editor Larry Curtis agreed with Hunt "Our problem is that there's a blan1cet restriction on an victims' names," Curtis (Su NAMES. page 22)

infOIlllati on about the incident, the date, time and place it occurred.. But he said

initiall y the victims'

names were pri­ vate. "It's victimizing the victim once

again, .. he said. '''The [open records) law specificallyallows that infortn3tion does not ba�e 10 be

conWned in the report... Jeff Hunt. a local media. lawya- who often advises the paper on Jegal issues, said thatGoodfel1ow was wrong on both counts. '"This law was crafted after years of discussion and advice by an kinds of groups, including victims' rights groups," Hunt said. 20 SPlC

Report

Spt1ng

1 994


Students want disciplined

Detroit intern

officers ' nalDes released

no longer held

HAWAD Even the presence of 500 uniformed police officers in court may not have succeeded in stopping the re­ leaseoftbe names offourofthe officers' -

disciplined e»-workers.

A recent court bearing in Hawaii de­ tetmined die names are public informa­ tion under state law. BUl 10 minutes before the names were to be released. the police Off1CeR' union filed a request to extend the stay on the release of the names and asked -the swe supreme coan lO hear their case. Tbecomtputa hold on the names until it could look into the situation. The student cbapter of the Society of

Professional Journalists at the Univer­ sity of Hawaii in Manoa has been trying to get the names released under state law since August 1993. The disciplined of­

ficers' offenses ranged from being late to work to more serious charges, The city police department was ready to release the names to the students in February, but the police officers' an.ion got a tempc:JraI)' restraining order, S1Op­ ping the tdease for 30 days. The officers were afraid the release would subject their families to ridicule. A trial was held on March 29, bring­ ing oot the 500 police officers in a court­ room show of support. "They said it was a peaceful presence

Spring 1 994

and they weren't ttyiDs 10 intimidate 8D)'{)De. But let me een you, it WlL! in­

timidating," Paula GiJljqbam. presi­

dent of the student ebapter. said. JIJdge JobD Lim called fur the case to reconvene the next day. "I chink he was trying to diffuse the situa1ioo in hope tbal SOO police officets [wouldn't] show up," Gillingbam said. The next day, Lim decided in favor of !he SIUdeocs, ruling me names bad to be released by April S. The dday was to give the officer's lawyers time 10 appeal the decisioo, which they did. Ulf ever there was a judge who is the press ' friend, it's this roe," Gillingham said. Bodl Gemld Kato. me cbapfc" s ad­ viser, and Gillingham remain positive about the case.

"Basically, now we're just waiting to

hear from the Supreme Conn." Kato said.. Gillingham said the officen' reaction from the beginning bas surprised bet, "It's almost as if dIere's a different culture there in the poUce force." she said. "And they don*t really care about the public's right to know," Gillingham said she did see some va­ lidityin theofficerg' CODCelD!, bat agrees

(Su HAWAll. page 22)

in comtempt MICHIGAN - 1baJlksgiving came early for Santiago Esparza last year. Espar7a. a Wayne SLate University student and an in&ern for the Detroit Newl. wu held in contempt of court 11m year after be Wlwittingly called a juror during a trial he was covering. Espa.rza got the news on Tuesday be­ fore Thanksgiving that lhe prosecu­ tion hadagreed with hisappiaJ and his coovictioo bad been reversed. Doring his trial in which Judge Gettge Crockett m found him gailty ofcriminal contempt oCcourt,Esparza testified tbatbe had accidentally called the juror while compiling a list of phone numbers for use after the trial.

Reporten are not supposed to have any contact with jurors before the

verdict to presecve the jurors' impar­ tiality. Croctett saw no excuse for the reporter's actions and sentenced him to five days in jail. CrockeJt added a twist to the sentence, stating that Espana would serve it in the court­ room, dressed in a prison unifonn. Esparza never had to serve any of !he senltDCe becaoBe he received a stay and immediately filed his appeal . •

SPlC Report 21


U. of Richmond reporters get Dlore access with la w VIRGINIA Thanks to Gov. George Allen, SOJdent repc:x1el'S at some private colleges in the stale will oow have ac­ -

cess to tbeitcampus police department' s

records. The bill, which Allen signed in April. makes the reports of any college police department authorized to enforce the law of Virginia public record. SOOle­ thing that makes Dawn ZiegenbaJg and Michael Grossman of the Univezsity of Richmond happy. The two students, who are the editor in chief and news editor of The Colle· gimt, contacted DeL lay W. DeBoer CD­ Petersburg) to draft Jegislalion mandat­ ing campus crime records be open. The previous Col14gian editor had unsuc­ cessfuly l tried to sue the school for the infonnatioo. Publ.ic school policerecords are aheady covered by the law. As a result of the Jaw, Grossman said the paper has achieved an agreement

with its campus police depaJtnlellt. The paper will have one crime reporter who will go to die depanment and pick up reports on a weekly basis. These I'ep(XtS will not iDclude names, but die reporter can receive that .information by n:quest­ ing it in person. Also, information about minor infmc.tions, like underage driok­ ing. will. DO( be incloded aldlough more serious rn.isdaneanors will. Ziegenbaig said their main argument was student safety. "I think it's a good thing and me studenlS will be mach safer." she said.. Grossman is also pleased with the outcome.

"We worked out a thing that's going

be good {or both [the paper and the department}," he said. "I guess it shows what you can do when you really want

to

something." The law goes into effect July 1.

(CI»'IIiIwedfrom page 20)

22 SPLC

Report

student was receiving, on sl:aff mem­

Hawa ii

Names said. Goodfellow asked for advice from the Salt Lake Sberiff' s Department and de-­ veloped a release policy in March, wfUch will decide each request on a case-by­ case baRl. "We will releue victims' names., how· evec, we will reserve the right not ao release victims' names if it has some possibility to cause .!he victim harm or if the case is ,sliU Wldcr investigation," he said. But Alison Smith-ThomlOn, the � ciaIe editor of lIoriw!l, said that the paper did DOt accept the new release policy. She said the paper wa. DOt happy with the possibility thal requests {or the victims' names might still be denied and planned to pursue the mauer. Hunt is writing an explaqation of the will sign. law that they hope both parties she said. .

I

(C�dfrDm. PQg� 2/) with the decision that the harm mUSt be suffered in order to have a free society. '1 hopeihal these (�flBC��nsJ aren't so erroneous Wl l.beu families do suf­ fer," she said. In response to the students' request

Ult's almost as if there 's a different culture there in the police force. "

Paula GiJling ham SPJ President

ror the names of the disciplined offic­ e:rs, Michael Joy, 'thc inlerim busines manager fOf the police un ion , made his own official freedom of information request 10 the schoo CI' informa­ tion, including name., address, grade point average and any financial aid !he

bers of the school's paper. Ka uo 0 Hawaii. Joy failed to differeoti8le be­ tween the newspaper staff and the SDI­ dent cbapter of SPJ. The. SUlff� for !.be most part, are not members of IDe chapter. "Joy didn' t even bother 10 scparaIc

!.he SPJ from the student newspaPer. It h i m he was inlimididn'L even bo dating smdenlS thai. weren ' t even in­ volved." Gillingham said. '�l Cdr be was showing how Wlinformed he was about the law." The request was answered by ,the school, but rno of I.be requested infor­ mation wasdc.nied based on the federal Family Educational Rights and Priacy Act, commonly refe.rred to as the .

Buckley Amendment Many students 9IODder why t:be unm

I

..,."... ..... the infmnation and bow they will use iL '-'We don't have to give a reason," Joy said. 'The problem we soe with the law is LhaI. you don ' t have 1.0 give 8' 1 to gel infonnalio n. •


Printing juveniles ' names Government officials are sometimes prohibitedfrom releasing information about minors, but student publications can still publish names if they obtain them by

Jean Maneke Missouri Press Association Editors note: Not surprisingly, the Stu­ dent Press Law Center receives a num­ ber ofinquiriesfrom studentjournalists about using the names of minors in a story. The misconception thai juvenile names are strictly «off-limits" has reached epidemic proportions and apparently not just among the student press. Attorney Jean Manea operates the Missouri Press Association legal hotline and recently published the fol­ lowing article, which we reprint here with permission. -

*

*

*

Frequently, calls come into the hotIine regarding the use ofjuveniles' names in news reports. There are several prin­ ciples to consider in handling such st0ries. In many states, the juvenile cowt and instihltions that administer such records are required by state law not to release the names of juveniles in connection with matters under their jurisdiction. This does not mean, however, that the media is also restricted from using the names of juveniles in related stories. The rlJ"St Amendment provides the press with the right and privilege to use the names of juveniles who have been charged with crimes freely in stories where desired.1 So, the fIrst rule to re­ member is: Ifa reporter lawfully obtains the name and wants to use it, go ahead without concern over it being legaL2 While many news organizations do not, as a rule, publish the names of minors, this is an editorial decision -not a legal one. Frequently, these names are obtained from other than official sowces. In de­ ciding whether to use the name, the only issue to consider, other than news value, which is beyond the scope of this article, SprIng 1 994

is whether the editor is certain that the name is true and accurate. Since the name likely will be obtained from an unofficial somce and not from public reconl, there is no public record defense to rely on if the name is wrong. Obviously. numing an incorrec t name raises concerns about libeling an indi­ vidual who is named incorrectly. Therefore, it is wise to thoroughly check the information being used in the story to avoid this risk:. Once the infor­ mation has been checked and the editor is certain of its accumcy, then there should be no difficulties in using the name. There have been instances where a juvenile's name appeared in what would otherwise be a public record. In a few instances. 1ocal law enforcement offi­ cialshaveauempted to close such records entirely .reIying ona provision in a state's open . records law exempting "juvenile records."

Generally, such cases are the result of an UIU"t'aSOnably broad interpretation of the juvenile records exemption. First, unless the statute declares otherwise, there is no rational basis for asswning that the name ofa child in an adult record means that the entire record relating to the adult shall be closed. Indeed, most state freedom of information laws re­ quire that any exemption be interpreted very narrowly. In such cases , there is a presumption that all records created by a state agency are open to the public lUl­ less there is a clear exemption in the law that allows for their closure. Further, the argument can be made that if the name of a child is in an adult record and for some reason the local police believe that they cannot release this name, then the police should be able

to block out the name of the child and thereby release the additional informa­ tion that otherwise is public to those requesting it. In fact, most state laws . require this, directing government offi­ cials to release as much of a record as they can after "redacting," or deleting, only the exempt information. • 1

Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing

Company, 443 U.S. 97 (1979)(footnote

added).

2 A very narrow exception to this rule may exist in cases involving the publication of the names of juvenile victims of sexual abuse. The nlinois Supreme Cowt recently ruied that a reporter admitted to a juvenile proceeding under an lllinois statute could not publish the names of two minor children that had been sexually and physically abused by a parent. The reporter had learned the names during the course of the proceedings. The cowt explicitly noted that its decision applied . only to victims and only to juvenile hearings. The decision did not, the cowt said apply to iss ues that might arise in criminal or civil proceedings against, adultor juvenileoffenders. Additionally, the cowt indicated that if the reporter had obtained the names from a sowce other than the juveoile proceedings which the court said the i'eporter was admitted to only on the condition that he would notreveaI the children 's identities - it could not have prevented the newspaper from publ!shiJtg the names. In re A Minor (11IinoiJ v. Champaign News-Gazette), 149 11LU '247, 595 N.E.2d 1052, 20 Med. L. Reptr. 1 372 (IU. I 992)(footnote added). ,

SP\.C Report 23

.�


Column makes administration ' hot and bothered' Millsaps College paper shut down/or ten-week content review MISSISSIPPI - � Laymon bas never been known for playing it Safe. The opinion columnist for' tbe Pwpk aM While at Millsaps College in Jack­ son, Miss. , took on the fraternities and sororities on campus in November 1993 . not something for the weak�-heart considering "Greeks" make up about 98 percent of the student population at the

school.

I...aymon criticized fmtemi1y row for the amount of drinking tbal occurred in the houses. calling it the "isle of inebria-

bon." So began

a

...cowtsbip" of sorts be-­

tween Laymon and the "Gtteks" &C­

coo:ting to paper cdilOl' Andrew Libby. Laymon. � abe columns; the mem­

bers wiote angry letters to the editor responding. Laymon attributes therese­ !ion 10 the met that he is oon-Greet and non-wbile on a campus where both are the majorily. "It sbouldn 't be, but there's bound to be some peqlle thal get upset [in lbat sitnarioo 1, " Laymon said.. 1ben LaymOD wroce a column expos­ ing possible nscial problems on the cam­ pus wben a female African-American student who tried to join a sorority was allegedly the target of hBrassment. But the adminimation did not noCice this series ohrticle8. Another ootumn, which adrninisttation said W88 the cnl­

minatioo ofLaymon 'S8Rgtt, caughttheir eye and resull2d In tbePurple aNI White being shut down fOr 10 weeks. The column appeared in the Novt:ftl­ bel" paper and was, according to Ltl>by.

"done as satire." Laymon caUed it 8 "conunooalities and differences" 001umn suggesting group � as a method forpeople to overcome lbeirdiffcxeoces. "I wonder if 'tbe want of orgum' is the only ca&alyst caprabJe of lr'amCeod­ ingrace,geodcr, geJWal oricnwioo, elMs, sisterly and fmtemaI difference." the coIumn began. "I was poking fun.. .even at m yself. [t

just came across the WroDg way, " Laymon said. /

24 SPlC Report

After this column was published" the .tministration toot action as m8D)' alumni and trusIeeS of the college alleg­ edly thmlIcned to withdraw money from

the school. uDby CODCends mOlt of the pesswe from outside came from "dt.ep pocket typeS." including a threat to withhold a million dollar grant

to

the school be­

cause of the peper's conlenl.

Laymon said the reac1ion surprised him. espociaIly since his 0Ibet columns about what he considers more troubling . topics, like 00sm and brnssment, did not get any adminisIrative reaction. "It's incredible to me that we can get mad about whatonckid thinks." Laymon said. Despite being upset over the fact that the administnItion overlooked his ear­ lier collanns., Laymon said his goal bas nevec been to pIeMe the administratioo. "It makes me mad that wben they did rake notice. it was in this manner," he said. Brit S ben ,ChaiJPenOO ofthe college' s student affairs comrnit1ee, said the papez was shut down by agreement between the adminisaation and Libby. SheD sajd the administraboo wan&ed the paper 10 develop standards for taste and decency during the teo-Md closing. He added that the paper was also baYing finsncial

diffio1ties. libby admirs that these were financial problems with the paper's budget, but he said be nevez agreed to the shutdown. When

they tried to set up a meeting With Harmon. bot a meeting never� Libby said. "We tried to meet with him four days am he never hooored [the meetiog] ," libby said. libby did agree 10 crea&estandards for taste and deceocy for the paper. The staff contacted The New York Tunu 10 get its Sbmdards and ended upalsoasing tbeedlics code of abe Society forProfes. siooaI Journalists and abc social guide­ lines of the United Methodist Cbmcb. with whom !be scbooJ js affiliaIed. libby said both the paper and abe administration received IeUera agaimt the column, which the paper was willing

to print.

�e got some let&el'S here {aube pa­

per], the administration got some but they wouJdn 't let us print them ," libby said. adding tIw some of the teeters contained racial epithets aboot Layman.

However. he added the 1ettezs of sup­ port, some from faculty and stodents. OUb'llunbered the complaints. Hannon had his say in a oolumn pul>­ lished in the spring issue of cbe alwnoi newsIeaer. In the colunm. FWmon de­ aied Laymon's column. "In my judgment and, I believe., the judgment of the vast majority of the campos community, (the column] is pocxly written. tasteless, offensive and

unwonhyofpoblicaboo anywhere.mtdl less the Millsaps CoDege saudent news(See COWMN. pag� 29)

t h e s I a f(

heard

rumon

about

the ad­ minis­ tration

hut­ l i n g

8

down

tbe pa­

p e r , Spring

1 Q9.4


Adminstrator takes offense, doesn 't think cartoon is ' cool ' WEST VIRGINIA - That mischie­ � duo from MTV is causing trouble

apinl

A cartoon depicting two West Vir­ ginia State University administrators as

�IWI. 1M! �� M,.. W. 'i.� ."\'hu m � � e....a t- ....,.... 41\ � P"�" IctlMt Vl�.t �·"'�I ... .. \ II.\,\ ill till .

"Beavis and Butthead" caused the

9Chool's vice president for SlIIdent af­

fairs to hold production of the January 27 edition of the student newspaper, 17ae YeUow Jacket. Ervin Griffen 's actions caused some to cry censorship. TIle cartoon was a commen taboot the school's Upward Bound program's 1992 trip to Disney World., taken by approxi­ mately 106 people affiliated with the

group. including Griffen and the program's director, Barbara Cary. The

program gives educational opportuni­ ties ro children whose parents did not attend college. After reviewing the trip, the fedelal Dep61tDlCl1t of EdncaLion charged nUs­ Iae of funds and asked (or repayment of at least $37,700. Griffen and Cary were depicted in the � as the duo, laughing about how "cool" it would be to take the trip on taxpayers' money. Lawrence Smith, the �'s Dl8D38ing editor and Ihe artist of the cartoon, said Griffen had heaJd about the cartoon and called the paper before it went to the princer to ask Smith for an explanatioo. "He felt [the cartoon] was inaccmate..Jhat it didn't tell the IrUdl .. Smith said, refemng to the spending :x

taxpayers' money. Griffen caUed 101m Nelson, the editor

in cbief, into his office laler that mom­ ing and told the printer to botd printing until be gave funbet instructions. Smitb said production was held up 45 min�, causing some of the papers to be distrib­ uted a day late. The paper received a memo from Griffen latetin the week infanning them that he was taking over as adviser to the peper for the rest of the semester. SprIng

1 994

BUTT- HERD iBUIT HER D"

"He appoinled himselfdespire the fact be bas DO background in joomalism," Nelson said. "He appointed himself de­ spite the fact thereareotbe:s moreqoali­ tied... "As vice president for student affa.ir8. supcrvisiOfl of The Yel/QW Jadel and other student publkations falls under the realm of my department as outlined in 'Policy and Procedures Pmaining to West Virginia State College Student Pubtications,'" Griffen wrote in a SWb­ meot ro die Report. "Since the official advila was dismissed from hU position with the College, I stepped in, on an interim basis only, so that the student �wspaper would not be functioning without supervis.ion." Some wonder if Oritfco is planing to ccosor the paper in his new role. "He gave a hint of [wanting to see matuial before it was printed,]" Smith said. "But he's keeping a low profile... In his written statement, Griffen said be planned to follow the college 's policy in defining his job. "[The policy] states that the adviser

US " ,

should lead the staff to recognize that the pubUcation represents the College. and that the wortd beyond the campus will . in part, judge the College by the prod. uct." be wro4e. Still upsetover the situation , thepaper wroco

a

letter

to

university president,

Ham Carter. Caner's reply was that he felt Griffen had acted correctly. o.Among Dr. Ervin Griffen 's numer­ ous administrative responsibilities as Vice President for Student Affairs if the responsibilily for aD student organi7.a­ nons (including the Yellow lacket). Additionally, be chairs the [StudentPut>­ licatinns Advisa:y Board] and, in the abseooe of an adviser, serves as interim advist7 to The YeUow Jadut," he wrote in a 1ettet' 10 the newspaper. Carter went OIl to say he did not see any credence in charges of prior re­ straint. "I have found no evidence that would lead me to conclude that Dr. Griffen sought to control or coercively influ­ ence the content of the cartoon," he (Su CAKTOON, page 7.7) SPLC Report 25


Student government closes paper over differences Paper 's staff accused of 'questionable behavior, ' hit with 11 charges NEW YORK The student oewspa­ y � ma be reopened at Corning Com­ munity College in New Yark. but feel­ ings are still running high between the staff and the student govemmeot after the paper was closed in mid-February. The editor of TM Crier, Chrystal Daugherty, and the staff foond them­ -

selves locked out of their offices on the morning of Feb. 16. A memo from Mary Swasta. president of the school 's student association, was left on the door telling why the paper had been

down.

shut

" Chrystal Daugherty and the entire

Executive Board of TM Crier have exhibited questionable behavior in their functioning as the controlling body oC the Coming Community College stu­ dent newspaper." the memo read in

DaugtatycaDed the reopeninga"ges­ ture" to auempt 10 show that tbe dis­ agreemen t was DOt a First Amendment issue. but said it does not make up for what happened. "What's done is done and they can't undo it. Daugherty said. Aftez a March 21 meeting with the student govermnent, Hall said the con­ flict was ended. The groups are still in ..

negotiations over several guidelines for theirfuru:rerelatiooship. Thepaper would

agree to an open membecship policy and a revised constitution. The student ass0ciation would serve as the paper's pub-

Iisher. which Alicia Elwood., IlJIOthcr editor 81 the paper. said means they are subject to the association's rules as laid out in the student handbook. However, the association would have no ediIOrial power over the paper And the paper's adviser, for the time being, would be the lawyer they obtained to help them fighl the censorship. The association would also agree to drop the charges. Elwood said the paper is ready to get back to business as usual. "We just want to get this behind m and keep the � running," she said. • .

YESSIR, WE GOT 'EM RIGHT WHERE WE WANT I E M !

part. The student association brought I I charges against the paper based on its refusal to allow a former editor a place on the staff and for rekasing informa­ tion to the local media about a student senator bribing another student for votes. The association considered the information confidential. The same morning the papez was closed. the college's SlDdent activities director. Forest Knowles, confiscated the keys of ODe newspaper staff mem­ ber, and la:A:r that day the Jocks on the doors were changed. Daugherty said the staff was allowed in the offices "onder strict supervision" in ordel- 10 get their persooa1 belong­

ings.

The paptt was shutdown Wl1il March

9, during which time, the staff, student association and adminisu'ation were in­ volved in conflict resolution meetings.

The paper's adviser, Sandra Hall,

stepped down from hetposition during Ibis time, but says it had OOtbing to do with the problems the paper is experi­

encing. Hall said she still wants to be involvedin the resolution ofthese pr0b­ lems and uJtimaIely wants T� Crier independent of all campos groups.

26

SPlC Report

Spffng

199.4


Paper runs blank page to

protest story delay

FLORIDA It looked like something out of George Orwell's 1984. But it happened on the south campus of Mana­ tee Community College in V en ice, Fla. -

'The front page of tile school's paper, Southern Knights, was blank except for a headline- " President PostpOnes Lead Story" - and three lines of copy. The missing story followed math pr0.­

fessor Joseph Pappy through evalua­ tions and campus hearings that resulted in his continuous contract being changed

tooneofannual review. Pappy

said

he thinks his de­ motion was due to the fact he is East Indian, and to bad him and the direc­ tor of his depart­ ment

So u t h �rn Knights staff writer

David Valentino was assigned to the story in September, after hearin g rumors about Pappy s situ­ ation. A p ublicatio n date was set for November. However, at publication time, the board of trustees had still not made a decision about Pappy's con­ tract . S chool President S tephen Korcheck called the paper to request that the article be held until after the '

decision was fmal.

Valentioo said that he and the paper's adviser, Mike Temple, agreed that the

request was reasonable and that they would hold the story for the December issue. But on deadline day for that issue, Valentino said Korchek changed his mind and wanted them to wait until the January issue for publication since a decision had not been made by the board. This time, Valen tino and Temple de­ cided to run the blank: page, which 19Q4

Valentino Ialer published the article an independent publication cal led Outtakes which he and some friends distributed to students. He says he still does not understand why Korcheclc. stopped publication of the himself in

story.

"We're supposed to be learning how to be good reporters. That means doing good stori� that means doing contro­ versial stories," he said. Va le n t in o added that the ten­ sions between he and Korcheck have increased since the

feelings between

Spilng

Valentino said "had the desired effect."

incident. s ay i n g that Korcheck has distributed litera­ ture that questions the integrity ofbolh Valentino and the publication of 0 UI­ tak.es, to the school 's faculty. Korcheck denies this allegation. "[Korcheck1 says the students are the

most important thing to him, Valentino said. 'What am I, chopped liver?" Temple said no discussi ons between the paper and the administration have oc.curred. "I've attempted to Ialk ID Korcheck several times and he wouldn't t.al.k to me," he said. Korcheck would com men t on ly briefly on the situation. I did what I though t was rig ht ... and i t got blown way out of proportion," he said, referring to the large amount of media coverage given to the event. The board made its decision regard· ing Pappy on Jan. 17. An updated ver· sion of Valentino's article was pub­ lished in Southern Knights Feb. 9. Vale nti no is n ow editor in ch ief of the paper . • ..

"

Cartoon (ConJinMedfrom page 25) "If there is a possibility of the CoUege being held liable for something published in The Yellow Jacul, I want an adrninistnuor of the College to be aware of that potentiality, even if the article (or in this case the cartoon) is wrote.

published."

Tensions between the newspapez sWf and the administration have continued

escalate. On Monday, Feb. 28, members of the school 's student government., upsetova a sparsely atlended address ID the stu­ dent body, arranged a discussion with the vice president for academic affairs. The students felt that Barbara Oden's refusal to cancel classes during the speech ID

caused the low tw'Oout Smith accompanied the group to the meeting, taking a tape recorder because he had to leave the meeting early "I put the tape recorder" down on the table in plain view," Smith said. "She saw it sitting there, and there have been four other SGA members to say it was in .

plain view."

Oden, however, said that she was un­ aware of being taped during the meetin g

and as a result, confisca1:ed the tape after the meeting and destroyed it.

Pat Dickenson, development infor­ mation specialist and acting coordinator of the university's news service, said

Oden felt the students had taken advan­ tage of her. "'She felt like [the meeting] was being done in good faith and when she found the recorder, she felt that faith had been violared," Dickenson said. Dickenson said that Oden first no­ ticed the tape recorder when everyone was leaving the meeting. Oden asked for the tape and a Sllldent. who was taking the recorder back ID Smith , handed it

over willingly. The paper is

not contemplating any legal action. "Our emphasis is to put this ou t and let people know what's going on," Smith

said. •

SPlC Report 27


Calif. college reaches new ' low ' with campus sponsorship policy Administration seizes and bans distribution of alternative magazine CALIFORNIA - "A war of tettees." That is how Mark Cromer, pubUsher of low magazine, describes his feud with Mt San Antonio College. Cromec. a student at CalifantiaPolytechnic State University at Pomona and (ormer student at ML San Antonio College, publishes and distributes his magazine that covers issues rang-

ing from street gangs to pornography.

Also present in the magazine are ads for local stores that sell drug paraphema1ia... The school says Cromer violated its distribution policy by failing to get

sponsorship from a student group be�

fore distribution and has banned his publication. Cromer says the school objects to his magazine's content and is violating his First Amendment rights.

"This is just a wholesa1e banning

and seizure." Cromer said. The feud continues with no face.. to-

facediscussions betweenCromerand the coUege administration, only

cor-

respondence between his lawyer and that of the college - with the help of the U.S. Postal SetVice.

reasonable 00.. ha viol from the administtation," Cromer said. "They have not responded once to any efforts at nego-

"There's been

no

tiations." The conflict began in September,

when Cromerdecided to distribute his magazine on the ML San Antonio

Co Uege campus. The issue distributed had a picture of a bikini-clad woman on the cover, a bottle of beer between her legs and a cigarette in her hand. The school admits to having a policy against the distnbution of any publication with references to nicotine or alcohol. "We put a single distribution rack in front of the l ibrary and it was gone the 28

SPLC Raport

next day:' Cromer said. He said he contacted the school' s student affairs office and was told that the magazines and stand had been confiscatod. "Tbey admit to seizing the stand. They say they have the rig ht to do il, he said. Cromer said Glen Cunningham. student center facilitator , told him he had violated the college's policies by not getting sponsaship for distribution of his publication, giving the administration the right to conf� the magazines. "[CWUlingham] said he'd thrown the issues away; he said he saw no reason to keep them," Cromer said. How many issues were lost is being "

contested. Cromer said the school is estimating only three copies were destrayed. but he believes the actual num-

According to the school's policy, any outside publications must get spoosor_ ship from a SlUdent group on campos in order to distribute. Local papers 8Je sold only in the campus bookstore. If a publicalion is distributed wilhout sponsorship. the administratiOn has the

prerogativetostoptbepub�'sdistribution. Cromer said the whole idea is wrong.

"The administration has convinced

themselves that they

can

legitimately

control publications," be said. "1 think their goal is to have DO pub1icatioos.. [Having free speech] is going to rock their boat and they don't want to deal •.

with it.. Cromer said he does not understand this attitude from a college. "Even if they had the authority to seizepublications. you'd think the whole idea would be reprehensible to them

her is betwee n 75 and 100. A couple of weeks later, Cromer decided to try again. This time he put out two racks - one again in front of the

considering what co1Ieges are supposed to stand for." he said. He added that he

Hbrary. B oth stands and the magazines

tien continues this practice.

were confiscated. The administration is justifying its actions by saying that under California law, the college is not an open forum as defmed by the Fast Amendment. "Mt. San Antonio College has never opened itself up as a complete public forum .... Mary Dowell , the school 's legal counsel, said . .. And it is not required by law to be an open forum." She went on toexpwn that. the level of an institlltion 's openness is determined by its history and practices. Cromer attributes the distribution problems to both the administration and the students of Mt San Antonio Col-

lege.

"It's a very tightly-controUed community college. It's a commutec college and there's a lot of apathy," he said. "When an irreverent private publication came on campus, it was a shock."

sees problems

arising if the �

"If ML SAC wants to create anarchy on campus, censorship is the best way to do that because it forces ideas underground," he said.

Cromer said he is disappointed in the length of time it has taken to get as far as he has. adding that be expecrro to be

disnibuting on campus by now. "I guess we could resolve this quickly if we gave in, but there's something reprehensibJe that someone is looking over a publication page by page." Dowell sai.d that Cromer is the bin-

drance in coming CO a solulion. "The biggestproblern with low mapzine is the magazine's Wlwi.llingness ro comply with the coUege's time, place and manner regulation," she said, refer-

ring to the sponsorship requirement Dowell said she sees no credence in the

charges of prior restraint on the pact of (See WW. page 29) Spring

1 994


Daily fails to see any humor when Chaparral distributes spoof is sue

CALIFORNIA - It looked lilce a nor­ mal Sl4II/ord Daily. But a closet look revealed some eye-opening facts. A pictureofaprofessor CODdocting an air friction e:xperiment by throwing his baby offofa campus tower. The football cadi teaching his players to "sit" and

"stay,"

Thi:sinformation came to the Stanford University student population in March thankJ to the staff at The Clwparral. Stanford' s twice--quarterly humor news­ paper. Since the spoof issue was distributed, the DajJy's staff has cried copyright infringement while the Chaparral has countered with accus.ations of infringe.­ ment of their Fust Amendment rights. When the spoof issues were distrib· uted. the papers were put in DajJy distri­ bution boxes. Since the Daily had just pu t out an issue, the staff decided to collect the spoofissues put in their boxes. The Chaparral says this action viobted their Ftrst Amendment right to distrib­ ute their paper. ''Themain concern was that [the spoof) was placed in our distribution boxes across campus, leading people to be­ lieve that we bad something to do with it." DajJy editor Gr¥e Lee said. "It's clear to the students [that the � was not a Daily], but they're not the entire readership." Lee added that the Daily offices did receive calls from people who did not realize the issue was a spoof. Chaparral statl'fr Peter Marts said the reaction from Daily staff members was divided on !be decision 10 confis.­ cate the spoof issues. He said the deci­ sion was truIde by � few" individu­ als. "'The Stanfooi campus is vtrY much in support of us," he said. Daily staffer Andy Dworkin said his paper's reaction also surprised him, al­ though he said be would not describe the paper's staff ai being divided but rather as there being a wide range of opinions. Sp1ng

1�

"I thought it was an overreaction,"

he said.. "There were some people who were upset and went out and got the Chaparral... somepoopJethooght [con· fiscating the spoof issues1 W3.1 censor· ship. Everyone has a. different opin. ion ."

The c::rits of copyright infringement from the use of pictures belong· ing CD the Daily. Lee said she was sure that none of bee staff gave anyone on the Clraparrol permission 10 use the came

photos. "It's unclear bow they obtained some of the pbotoB," Lee said. Tony Sima, The Chaparral's editor in chiet, said the idea for this issue came from his wanting to do some­ thing unexpedtd. He thought a spoof of the campus student new spaper fit

the bill. "It had been about four years [since the wt spoof ofiheDailyJ. Most of the students on campus didn't reroembtt the last one, so we had that element of

surprise," Sima said. Sima said he contacUld a former Chaparral editor to see iftheir spoof of

the Daily bad caused any problems. The former editor said most of the

complaints they received were from tbeDaily's advertisers, some of whose ads � spoofed. "We av� that by using our own advertisers or ones that knew what they were getting into." Sima said. But the Daily's editor has a different opinion, sWing that many of the spoofed ads w� of companies that do business with the Doily. The Daily also bad trouble with their

advertisers caused by the disappear­ Week:" issue. Lee said thal issue is Jargerthan the normal Daily and comes out the week before exams, When the Chaparral' s spoof issues weteput in Daily distribu­ tion boxes, theyeithetrepiaced orwere put on top of the "Dead Week" issues. The missing Daily issues were later ance of their "Dead

recovered

from trash cans on campus.

"It's still not clear who [took. the cop-

iesoftheDailyl,butit is a concem ," Lee said. '"There' s an e&ementofcoincidenee that can't be overlooked"

Lee said she wanted the paper's COOl -

plaints to be understood..

"'It's DOt the fact that it's a spoof that bothers us. But we would like for them to know cet1ain legitimateprot,Iems that we had," she said. •

low (CortJilwedfrom page 28) the college. "Prior restraint would go 10 the content of the magazine," she said. '!hal would be if they said, 'We just won't let you do it because we don't lilce what you say, The college administrarion refused to ,ft

comment on the situation, referring all questions to DowelL Cromer distributes his poblicalion at California. Polytechnic State University at Pomona. the Claremont Colleges, Art Center CollegeofDesign in Pasadena and California State University at Fullerton. He has not had 10 get permission or spoo­ sorship to distribute on any of these cam· puses, he said. •

Column (Co�d�page 24) paper," he wrote,

The paper and the administ:nltion even· tuaIly came 10 an agreement 10 get the paper publishing again. The paper created a five-person editorial board that must approve each story unanimously before publication. The school is now offez:ing journalism classes for aediL As for Laymon, he said be thought of more cootroversial topics he would like 10 write. about for the paper's fIrst edition after the shutdown. But. for once, he de­ cided 10 play it safe. He wrote about

"grits." •

SPlC Report 'R


Court ruling says V.Va. did not violate religious group 's First Amendment rights But court finds significant limitations on school's ability to deny funds VIRGINIA A federal appeals court ruled .in March that the University of -

Virginia did notviotaae tbeF'"ust Amend­ meat by refusing to fund a student reli­ gious publication.

Wide Awake Produccions, a swdenl

organizati on founded by Ronald Rosenberger while he was an under-

graduate at the univeni1y in 1990. pub­ lished a magazine called Wide Awake. The publication was intended to provide "a Christian perspective at the Univer­ sity of Virginia" according to its an­ then. Although the group did receive recognition as an official student orp­ nization, in February 1991 a student government committee denied Wide Awake Production's request for student activities fee funding to support the costs of its magazine because of me group's religious focus. The university's gui� lines prohibit the fanding of a �ligious activity," which is defmed as "an activ30 SPlC Report

it)' wlDch primarily promotes or mani­

fests a particular belief(s) in or about a deity or an ultimate reality." In July 1991, Rosenberger and OCher Wide Awake members flled a lawsuit against the university for violation of their rights UDder the ConstinKion. In 1992, a federal distria court decided the

case

in favor of the university and

Rosenberger appealed.

In affirming the Irial court's decisioo,

the U.s. Coon of Appeals f� the Foutdl

Circuit mx>gnized that lbere were sig­ nificant First Amendment limitations on the ability of public schools 10 deny

funding roJlUdentorganizations, includ­ ing SWdent pubJicatio.os 'LO}Dc.e [student aaivity) .funds are

made available 10 studait groups at the

university, !hey must be distributed in a viewpoint-oeucral manner, absent the showing of a compeUing state interest." the c:ourt ruled in Rosellherger \I. Rector

tvtd V"uilors of Ulliversity af VirglnitJ, 18 F.3d 269 (4th Cir. 1994). Oen.ial of a. student publicatioo 's requesl for_ fODd­

ingbasedoo itsCOPteDtwill be� lively unconstitutional, tbeopinion said.

Despite the fact that Wide Awite's funding denial was clearly bated ,00 Its religious content. the court found !bat

the university had overcome the pre­ sumption of uoconstilutionality. The judges said that thescbool bad a compel­ ling Slate interest in restricting funding awards that have the primary eft'ect of advancing religion and thal J't3u1t in an excessive entanglement with religion. Thus !be F"ust Amendment rights of the studentorgaoization WC2'e not infringed. Michaet McDooald, an aaomey with me Ceott'Z for IndividualRigla in Wash­ ington. D.C• • who is repesenting Wide Awake memben, said they wiD ask the U.S. Supreme Comt to bear the case• • SpMg

1 994


The New Censorship I

I

Newspaper thefts increase because few thieves pay a price

is fast becoming Lhc censorship 1001 of choiceon campuses across the nation. If a group of students do not want others 10 read a story printed in lbecampos newspaper, they gather a few friends and make 8 nighl of confiscating the papers. And me price the conf1SC8.lOrs pay is usually cheap as some administra­ tions consider Ialcing student news­ ,papers only "a prank" and most do DOl caaegorize if as a crime claiming something ,lha& is free cannol bellO­ lien. Al Duke Universiry in Marcb, the vice president for Sl'Uden1 aifairs over­ wmed th e uDdergradaate judiciaJ board's decision to po:nisII newspa. per thief Niko Tynes. Tynes was found guilty of lhdt by ,the board aDd pul on probation after admiuing IOtakingcopiesofTM Dw Review Jast September. Janet Dickerson. actiog, as an ap­ pellate judge. conferred wilh tbe school's legal counsel and decided tba1 the board had unjustly conviclCd 1'yues by using a new defmition of " Ihel\" retroactively. "CounseJ advised that a fundamen­ tal principle of due process is lhat people have the right 10 fair warning of condoctlhal wiU give rise 10 pen­ alties," she wrote in her decjsioo. "Thus. allhoogh I find me student"s conduct in this case offensi� and inimical 10 the free exchange of �. I cannot condOne the ,panel's defani­ lion of thefL .. R� editor Tony Mecia said be does f1O( understand the decision. "It docso', make any sense 10 me because that's whal ajodicial board is SprIng

1994

for.. . 10 make prccedeot." be said.. 10 another' SUIdeot court decision 'in February, two female StUdents It the University of MaJ:y1and were found guilty of intedering with freedom of e�ool on campus. The two weJe up on charges for tbe.ir role in the laking of IO,cmcoples ofT1t4 DiamoNlback last November. They said they look the papers because or ils t"fac,.

isl natme." Gary Pavella, the director of judicial programs a' the univc:rsity. said the.sbl­ denll' punishment is four-fold. Borh were put on probation: any future breech of Ithe student oode will result in expuI­ sioo. They must also perfonn 16 hours of community service and write a paper OD student press censorship. ThescOOol wiD keep a disciplinary file on the SbJ­ dents for a year, aftt.r which they must petition to get lbe fiJe closed. Drew Weavt:l,1he paper's ed.ilOr, was not sure about the leve.1 oJ lbe punish­ menl, but did see some merit in iL "1 thJnk·the penaJLies am a lillie light, but tl'iey did the job of stDding the mes­ sage." Weaver said. "I can see the tmivmity's point of view; let's make this a Icamina expericoce. .. Pavella said the key 1O'lhe leniency or the punishment � !he fact that the two admiucd their actions w� wrong. '1 think thete would have been, a dif­ ferent outcome if you'd had dcflance," he said.

The day before two Tufts University students were to eppear ill the student judicial coon in Dccanber for slealing thousands orcopies oCTile Observer last November, one or the BCQIse.d students confessed , e�onerating the other. The conviclOd student was fmcd and has &0

auend a Corum on almptlS media, as

weD as wit a Ieuer of apology 10 Lhe

paper IS bis punistlmenL

The SI8ft' of the student newspaper Bllbe University of MaryIand·Balti­ ntOI't CooDty is feeling good about me OUICome of lheir case. The starf accomplished all five of their objec· tives set when they began trying 10 punish a gJOUp or students fOt:' bOOng their papers in November after an editorial was published questionin,g the outcOme of ,the Reginald Denny trial, relating to the 1992 Los Angeles

riots.

..It WIS a heD of a bauJe for a wh ile.

bulllh.lnk we came out on lOp," Jay Livingsron, the editor of TM Rt­

�r.said. First. the suff succeeded in gening me admin;stnldon 10 lake thcircom­ plaint seriously. Tbe univcrsilY'! president, woo had refused 10 make a qemeot on the thefts, released one in January. deDOUDCing the laking. Tbe paper succeeded in having the student conduct codes reinterpreted 10 make paper theft an offense. ins ur­ &nee that simil.. incidenlS will nor happen �, Livingston said. 1bey'bave also recerved a commie­ IDeOt,from the scbool's president· that be wiD sponsor a rust Amendment forum at me \Uliversiry. One of the peoplo who claimed respoD$iblliry fo r the Ihefts from the. beginning has been broughl up on disciplin8ty charges.

Livingston said the admirusLnUors had said some things thaI thc.sta ffhad inlClpre1cd as a threat. to close the newspaper. The adminiscration has (Su TIlEFT, page 12) SPlC Report 31


�tt:¢';1:n1Pj;li:'3i' Theft

(C�frompage 31) assored the staff that this behavior will stop . LivingstOn said the paper also put out a First. Amendment issue, runniog pictures of the conftscated papers and stories about the thefts and the adminisaalion 's reaction to them. He sajd the adminislnuion was against the issue. Ibere was some grumbling, but tbe:re was a lot of support for our issue,.. Livingston said. 'rrhe imponant thing is that a student newspaper made a stand we're not backing down and if you want to shot US down. go right ahead." "We approached the whole thing from the beginning as an educalional device for all involved... LivingstOn said ., think taking that stance rather chaD getting involved in a confronta­ tion with a group of studenu is the only way to go." • -

The list goes

on . . .

1 9 thefts reported since last issue of Report to the Uniyemtyof Maryland-Baltimore Comtty incident. newspaper thefts have occurred at 18 other col­ leges and universities since the Winttt 1993-94 issue of the Report: Stevens Institute ofTecbnology, Hoboken, NJ. Some­ one from the admissions office removed about 1 .250 copies or TM Sruu before a tea Cor prospective students in November. The copies were reIumed after the event The staff believes a stDry abota an assaull 00 campus was the reason for the

!naddilioo •

-

removal.

Univenity of Califomi.a at San Diego - 2,000 copies of MommJum., a student newspaper targeting Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, were taken in November after the paper ran a "satirical" article dcoouncing Asian American males. The article used SIeteOtypes offensive to some Asian males. The papers were allegedly taken by members of an Asian American fraternity. The paper has ftJed a grievance with the judicial affairs office. Brandeis Univemty. Waltham, Mass. Half of the Justice 's press run, or abouI 2.000 oopies, were taken in Decemkl after die paperran lID ad questioning the occurrence of the Holocaust The staff agreed to run the ad with a disclaimer and tocootribute therevenue from the ad to !be U.S. Holocaust Memmorial Museum in WaWngton, D.C. New copies of the paper� distributed two days later under police •

-

guard.

Webster Univentty, SL Louis Between 900 and 1 200 copies oflhe Wd>Sler Jountal disappeared in J anuary � the paper published a SIOr}' about a student being expelled for sexual misconduct. A staff writer wiIne8sed two people, who admitfCd to being friends ofthe expelled student, taking copies. Campus police are looking into the case. Nort.beastcm State University, Tahlequah, Ok.la. The staff of the Nortl&t.a.rtern believes a janitor was respons.ible for as many as 1.200 copies of their paper disappearing on a •

32 SPLC �

-

-

routine basis after being distriboted. Thedisappearances starttd d�g the fall semester and cootinued into January. The disappearances have stopped since the paper mn an article and the editor wrote the administration about the problem. Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan. --2,000 copies of Co/kgio were taken in late FebrUary afttt the paper pm. lished a SIOIy about a sodomy that allegedly took place in a campos fnltemity home. The papet' s adviser and staff mem­ bers witnessed the theft and believe fraternity members were •

involved.

University of Detroit Mercy, Detroit, Miclt. Aboot. 200 copies of Varsity News were taken in February during an •

-

alumni event on campus. The issue devoIIed the entire frmt­ page to a story about chemical damping on campus.. EastTennessee State University Johnson City. Tenn. -SO copies of the East TOIIIes� were reported-missing in � mary to the paper's manager and were recoYeI'ed from the trash . The papers were taken from adistribubm rack in the post office locat.ed downstairs from the paper's office. The follow­ ing week., the whole rack was vandalized and stolen. No suspects have been identified and the executive editor believes the thefts were not a reaction to anything the paper pubIisbed. 4 MarsbalI University. HuntingtOn, W. Va. About 800 copies of !he Stalesmall. an independent conservative student publication. were taken in 1aI.e February after the paper pol>­ lished an article criticizing the student. government p-esidenL Asecood theftoccum:d March 21 when 500 � were 1Jlten. Campus poli<:e have refuted to investigaae the mens. Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colo. About 400 copies ofTN b.depen.tk1l1 were caken from a campus dislribution ljn in Marcb and were later recovered from a nearby dumpster. The staff believes the stDdent government may be responsible •

-

-

(Su usr, page 34) Sp1ng

1 994


't'ltitri4iii:tji� Newspaper theft case thrown out of court, called a 'college prank' LOUISIANA

After a ruling that threw a newspaper theft case out of court and a campus disciplinary hearing, the problems stemming from the taking of 2,000 copies of the Lion' sRoaratSouth­ eastern Louisiana University continue. Criminal mischief charges were filed against former student government as­ sociation president Mark Morice in March 1993 for allegedly asking frater­ nity pledges to steaJ 2,000 copies of the school's student paper. The newspaper staff believed that Morice did not want the issue to circulate because of an ar­ ticle critical of the student government. Judge James E. Kuhn threw the case out of court Jan. 13, stating that the prosecution had not proven that Morice committed a crime "beyond a reason­ able doubt." Kuhn said he thought the case should have been handled on cam­ pus. He noted that there was no stated limit on how many papers one person could take. Probably the most convincing factor in the case for Kuhn was the surprise testimony of one of the accused pledges. Ryan Pruett had been charged with felony theft in connection with the tak­ ing of the papers. He entered a frrst time offenders program with a plea of no contest. In Morice's trial, Pruett testified that, although Morice had asked him to steaJ the papers, he had later recanted his request, saying that he would take care of it himself. Pruett testified that he had taken the papers on his own. The other pledge accused of taking copies of the paper was never indicted because of a lack of evidence, said Re­ becca Fitch -DiBetta, who was a reporter for the paper at the time of the thefts. Pruett's version of events not only surprised the prosecution, but also had some people accusing Pruett of chang­ ing his story since he had not mentioned Spring 1994

-

Morice's change of mind during his grand jury testimony. Dori C01ona, edi­ tor in chief of the paper at the time of the thefts, was one of the accusers. Corbett Ourso, who represented Pruett in a campus disciplinary hearing, said the charges have no basis. "They say he changed his story, but if you go over the testimony and go over the police reports... you'll find that the problem was that no one ever asked him the question, Ourso said. Morice's attorney, Michael Field, agreed with Ourso. "No one ever asked him if [Morice] withdrew the request," he said. Assistant district attorney Jimmy Dukes, who prosecuted the case did not return phone calls for comment. Ourso added that he did not think Pruett was trying to cover up for Morice. "I do know that [Pruett] was scared to death. I don't think he was trying to help (Morice]. He was asked to answer the questions," he said. Judge Kuhn also criticized Lion' sRoar for taking the case off-campus for a resolution. "As the attorneys stated. this isa 'col­ , lege prank. It should have been ad­ dressed by normal school disciplinary procedures for 'pranks, " Kuhn wrote in his decision. However, Fitch-DiBetta said that the only reason the school had not taken action against Morice was a restraining order issued in April preventing it from doing so. That order was signed by Kuhn. Both Fitch-DiBetta and Colona also expressed concern over the fact that Kuhn is employed by the university, teaching classes in history, gov ernment and criminal justice. "I believe if we had had someone away from Southeastern trying this case, it would have turned out differently," Colona said. She added that the problem to

,

'

was finding someone who would take the case seriously. "No one wanted to take this case," she said. "Everyone treated it as a 'light' case. I feh we were not taken seriously by any of the judicial system." Colona said that she found the results of the case disheartening. "Judge Kuhn had the opportunity to show people that [newspaper theft] is important," she said. "He had an oppor­ tWlity to make an important decision... and he threw it out of court ." The newspaper staffwas disappointed not only with the results of the Morice trial, but also with Pruett's disciplinary hearing, which was held in February. Fitch-DiBetta planned on acting as adviser to Colona during the hearing. however, she was not allowed into the proceedings. This action, she said, is against school policy. "You don't have to give notice [of

(See PRANK, page 34)

Maryland law makes taking newspapers a misdemeanor MARYLAND Maryland is getting closer to being number one - the first state to enact a statute explicitly mak­ ing stealing free newspapers a crime. Senate Bill 183 made its way through the state senate by a landslide vote of 46-1 in February and on April 11, " passed the house 89-33. The bill makes taking "newspapers with the intent to prevent other indi­ viduals from reading the newspapers" a misdemeanor,punishable by a fme of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to 60 days. Four newspaperthefts have occurred -

in Maryland since the beginning of 1993, prompting the bill, threeinvolv­ ing college newspapers, one a Wash­ ington, D.C.-based gay and lesbian newspaper, The Blade. The bill is expected to be signed by Gov. William Donald Schaeffer be­ fore the end of May .•

SPLC Report 33


List

(CDfIlinMedfrOln page 32) because of an editorial abou t the govc:rment's interference in a SIUdeot body vote 00 the scbool·s Wclcname, The Cavalry Men. which some Native American studencs find offensive. North Carolina Stale Univttsity. Ra­ leigh, N.C. - An undetmninednurnber of copies of Technicinn, the student newspaper. were taken in March after the pap& published a stOry criticizing the student government treasurer", who was running for student body president at the rime. St. Bonaventure College, S t. Bonaventure, N.Y. - Between 700 and 1 .000 copies of ThL 80M VenIJUe were IBken in March. The paper's staff be­ lieves the theft is in connection with complaints they received from a female studenta.fter the paperpublished 8 fronl­ page picture of her kissing a male stu­ dent during a Sl Patrick's Day celebra­ tion. The paper is still investigating the •

theft.

University of Michigan. Ann Arbor,

Mich. - About- 2.500 copies of the •

Prank

(ClHIIlUuu4from page 33)

widl you] unless that person is not involved with the school," Fitch-DiBetra said. She added that Pruett brought two people into the bearing with him - his attorney. who spoke during the pr0ceedings. and his mother - neither of whom have any aCftliation with the university . "Basically, we're dealing with the good 01' boy network: down here," Fitch-DiBetta said. Student reporters were also barred from the hearing. Susan Daniels, student editor of the Soulh� Journalism Review, an English department publication, was one of the reporters denied aa:ess. Daniels said the students tried to get a restraining order to stop the trial or open i t to student reporterS. But Judge JeffHughes told them they would have to be denied access before they could

bringing

someone

34 SPlC Report

Michigan Jndependent were taken from campus distribution points in March. The issue contained a story alleging anti·Semitisrn in !he graduate school ' s srudent government. No snspects have been identified and campus police are refusing to investigate. University ofRocbesItt. Rochester, N.Y. - Around 600 copies of the Cam­ pus Times were taken in April after the paper published a special section about the upcoming student elections. inc1ud•

31 incidents of newspaper theft have occurred in the 1 993-94 school year. ing ihe paper's endOrSements. campus police refused

to

investigate.

-

get the order; it was not illegal for the

administration

to merely

were going to hold a

say that they

private mee.ting.

When they arrived at the trial. Dean Leonard Garrett blocked the enttance to the hearing room , telling them the pr0.­ ceedings were closed. "We lOki him about what the judge had said, Daniels said. , But he said he ..

-

The issue included an endor.iement of a student body president atodjdate. The � were taken oo1y from biDs to front of campus polling places. Campos police are investigating the incident. Franklin &: MarsbaU College, Lancaster, Pa. Approximately I JOO copies of � Stude1U Reporter weze taken from campus newsstands in April. Nearly 1 .300 undamaged copies were recovered from the trash. The issue cov­ ered sanctions being taken against tbe school ·s Blac1c:: Student Union (or sev­ ero! policy violations. Scbool offici.aIJ are investigating the theft.. University of Louisville, LouisviDe. Ky. About 2,000 copies of The Car­ rBnal were taken in ApriJ from various campuslocations. No suspeclS have been identified. The editor in ch ief believes the thefts may be due tQ an editorial criticizing an mdMdu.al woo regularly engages in campus protests and demoo­ strations. A toW of 3 1 incidents of newspaper theft have �D reported to_ the SPLC sincethebegiruling. of the 1993-94 �l year. . •

-

-

C.W. PostCollege, Brookville, N.Y.

About 4,000 copies of Pionur were taken from distribution bins in April. An unidentified witness told campus police that a group of srudents, some wearing school fraternity sweatshirts, took a large number ofpapers from a bin. The issue covered the upcoming sWdent govern­ ment elections and included the paper's endorsements. University of New Orleans, New •

Orleans, La. Approxima.lely 1.000 copies ofDri/twoodwere taken.inApril.

.

didn t care. "

DanieIsrefused 10 ave, tellingGarreu they would have to arrest her. At one point, Garrett grabbed her arm and lried to force her to leave, she said. The reporters then sat down onfSide the hearing room . According to Daniels, Deborah Hubert, assistant dean, asked the reporters to move, fearing they might be able to hear the proceedings. Barring the reporters from the hear­ ings has resulted in another COlDt case. "Southeastern [will] have to have a hearing before ajudge to show why they clidn·t allow [the reporters] in, Daniels explained. Should the judge rule in favor of the •

"

students, any decisions made in Pruett's hearing would bermJlified. Colona said. Anotherreason the hearing bothered some was that the participants were asked to take a vow of sileoce. While Colona, who had gradnared at die time of the hearing, took bee vow aeriously, Ourso did not see much basis for it. ''They were asked to keep tbin&s private." he said. bot added, "We're [he and Colona] not connected with the university, so they can't gag us." Through all of the disagreements. Colona and Field did agree on one point- what a school papeI' should do to help protect itselffrom future thefts. "All they have to do is put a restric­ lion [on how many papers a person may take] on therecqJtlCles. . put it in the student handbook and then they have a case," Field said.. "Make sure that when you have a prepaid paper thal you have it in writ­ ing thsteveryone can l3keone paper." Colona said. "Have it folly docu­ .

.•

mented ... .

Spttng

1 994


1"·)··j[l4e·)dijHj�lf}r Federal court in Michigan rules that vague speech code is unconstitutional Coach's use of racial epithet justified frring, but policy thrown out MICfDGAN-Anothercowthasruled that a public university speech code \hat pnXUbtls�off�veexpresgon� unconstitutional .

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Cleland ruled in November that Central

Michigan University's "disc:riminaIory

tlanwment" policy was tmcOOStitutiona1 because it was overbroad and vague. The case arose in the spring of 1993 after university officials infonned the school's bead baskeWall coach, Keith Dambrot. that his contract would not be renewed for the following school year. Thecoaclt 'sremoval fonowed published reports that he had used the word"niggex" to refer to several black and white play­ � when addressin g the team. Although black members of the team told school offICials they were not offended by the coach's use of the word. an affirmative action OfflCef informed Dambrot that his use of the word was a violation of the schools discriminatory harassment policy no matter what its context The coach and several players on the team filed a lawsuit in April 1993 claim­ ing that both the school's policy and the coach's fuing violated the F1rst Amend­ ment

The wrlvasity policy prohibited "any intentional, unintentiooai, physical, ver­ bal, or nonvedlal behavior that subjects an individual to an intinUdating, hostile or offensive educatioua1. employment or living environment by demeaning or shming individuals through written IiteralUre because of their racial or eth­ nic affiliation or using s ymbols, [ephithets] or slogans that infer negative connocatioos about an individual's ra­ cial or ethnic afti1.iation." The court said lhat it was "not much of a stretch" 10 imagine bow a student term paper or a cafeteria bull session that explored the source of ethnic conflict could resnlt in a claim that it "demeans" or "slurs" individuals because of their "racial or ethnic affLl.ia1io.n " "h suffices to say that speec h which enjoys fWidamental FlI'St Amendment proJeCtion can be effectively suppressed by the policy at issut\.. the COtIIt ruled in Dambrol v. Central MichigQII Univer­ sil)',839F.S�.477(E.D.Mich.1993). "On its face this policy is overbroad. " The court also said !hat the policy was constitutionally void for vagueness. U[A1 person of ordinary intelligence would have 10 guess at the meaning of .•.

'{A] person of ordinary intelligence would have to guess at the meaning of the prohibition. '

U.S. Distn'ct Court Judge Robert Cleland

the prohibition," the opinion said. The imprecision of the policy only invited "arbitrary, discriminatory and overzealous enforcement" of its provi­ sions.

Despite its ruling that the policy was unconstitutional, the court said that the school had the legal authority to remove the coach from his position. Public

employees who claim cbey have been t.enninated in violation of the First Amendment must show that their ex­ pression was on a matter of public con­ cern.

'The court said that

a

private.

locket room convenation to players and

coaches did not satisfy that requirement

This decision is the third to rule that speech codes at public colleges and uni­ versities that punish offensive expres­ sion are unconstitutional. In 1989, a University of Michigan policy was � elared unconstillltional in Doe v. Uni­

721 F. Supp. 852 (E.D. Mich. 1989), and a University of Wisconsin system policy was thrown

versiry of MichigQII,

OUl in UWM Post v. Board of Rege1U.S. n4 F. Supp. t 163 (E.D. Wis. 1991)" SprIng

1994

SPLC

Report 35


9'g.],j.It'K·'ij;lB'ij1f}j William and Mary publications council will no longer discipline editors or media But student publications could still lose funding if (general quality' is not up to par VIRGINIA - The College of William and Mary has reaffltTDed protection for student publications and defIned new responsibilities for the school's publica­ tion

council.

The appointed committte in chargeof writing the new guidelines, ru..\ed lha1 the publications council. which guides

government cannot regulate the content of publications."

The new policy states that the role of the publications council is to mediate if a dispute arises instead of discipline. "Through both interest and experi­ ence, council membezs are knowledge­ able about the need to preserve free

student publications, can no longer discipline editors and publications for complaints. However, the council cou1d � move fundingbasedoo the "gen­ eral quality" of the publication. TtrnOlby J. Sullivan, president of the pubUc college, appointed the committee to review the policy after some students com­

questionable.

The policy staleS, "In appoint­ ing editors and fixing budgets.

the council may consideI' the

general quality ofa publicadoo (but not any particnlar cootcnt)

if that publiauion was WJned at least a year prior to the deci­ sion in question." The policy adds tbal the ques. tion of quality is in addition to the frequeocy of publicatioo, extent of disttibutioo , handling offunds and OVIMwuities for a broad base of studenU. Iemny Snider, editor of The Pillory, said lhe new policy is

were racist..

The commiueeoutlined pOOcy changes in February 1994 that gave the publications council 8 new role. The old publications council was responsible for choosing an editor for �b student publica­

accepted standards for determinin g the validity of a complaint about content,"

the policy states. "Second, even if lhere

were such standards , an attempt 10 regu­ late conduct would be inconsistent with

the function of a uni versity. Third, with only narrow exceptions notrelevanthere, American public law makes it clear that

36

SPlC I?eport

Jack Edwards, professor of gowm­ ment and commiaee chairman, said, "It is very much a free expreaioo docu­ menL" He added that a policy chat pr0tects free expression is in the best iDIer­ est of everyone. The DeW policy, like the old ODe, prevents die council &om remov­ ing funds of a publication for

particular content Howeve-z. the new poIiey still provides the council with the ability to remove funds if die "geoeral quality" of the pnblicatioo is

plained in Apri1 1993 that car· toons in The Pillory. a student publication and satire magazine,

tion in its jurisdiction. allocat­ ing funds for � publk.ation. and specifmg penalties if acorn­ plaint ftled against an editor or a publication is deemod justified. But the new policy st.a.Ul8 that the publications counciJ will not punish editors and publications for their oontenL "First, there are no widely­

dispute," the policy states.

positive, more

WOlb.ble and much

realistic than the old

policy. "Overall, I'm pleased."

expression yet sensitive to those who are aggrieved by that expression. Thecoun­ cil (or some designated part of it) should

call together the interested parties 10 discuss the complaint The goal would be twofoM: to inform �h actor about !he ideas, beliefs, and needs of the other actors, and 10 search for resolution oCtile

But the policy will affect ocher student publications as weD. Lee Banville, editor" of the studeat newspaper, the Fial Hat, said some students expressed coram about the new policy because it is not clear what me defmition of "general qoa1ity" will be. "But on the whole. it is much less a punishment clause," be said "I wish it were a lia.Ie bit more clear....


Match between tennis player and paper over illustration is settled out of court ILLINOIS - A tennis player and a stu­ dent newspaper have finally seU1ed the

score over a photograph. The Daily IlliJU at the University eX

JlJlOther photo ol a female college stu� dent to illUSb'ale a boot review about Avery Coonan '8 novel. Prized Posses­

Illinois in Champaign ran a featore stoy in March 1991 onthemen'8�isteam. The srory included an action shot of Malt Krajewski, who was one of the

sUms. The 8UXy deals with campus dale rape and the plot centers 00 a freshman who is raped by an upperdass tennis star

team's players. Six weeks later, the IUi1fi published the same photo of KIajewslci and added

a

from

a

wealthier family. The IUW �

the headline "DaLe

Rape Through Man's Eyes" along with the photo. The

student

editors

altered

Yearbook monkey humor not funny to one student

CONNECTICUT - Mookey busi­

ness turned into serious business in Hartford as Philip Colello, a student

at Wethersfield High School. sued his yearbook for printing his name under the pictme of a monkey. Colello did not submit a ph0to­ graph for the yearbook: so the "clip art" cartoon of a monkey appeared instead. The monkey was similar to the character Cwious George.

The yearl>o(*

was

published in

June 1993 and Colello filed the soit in the state superior court in December asking for damages of $15,000. He stated in his complaint that the yearbook was offensive and that he ...... suffered emotional distress, sus­ taining embarrassment, hwniliation, anguish, hun feelings and injury 10

Sptlng

1994

his reputation , which has or will hinder his enjoyment of life." In the complaint, Colello claims that loan Clarke, the ycarboolt ad­ viser, should have gathered "proper

and infonned consent" before pub­ Lishing the monkey cartoon. Colello charged that Clarke acted willfully

with the inceotion 10 "inflict em0tional distzess... Colello also charged in his com­ plaint thathewaspresenltd in a "'fal&e light before the public" and that "loan C1aJke was negligent and careless in

het' teaching and yearbooIc adviser

duties and in her supervision of the publication and distribution.. of the

yearbook.

Clarke said she was not able

discuss the �..

Krajewski's � by cropping the JixXo

and darkening his face in order to keep him from being recognizable. But Krajewski believed he had been identi· fted in the photo and sued the lUi"; in August 1991 for $25,000 claiming libel and invasion of privacy. The case, Krajewski \I. IlUni, was dis. missed when the parties settled out of court in January. Glenn Stanko, attorney for Krajewski would not comment on the terms of the case. Larry 10hns0n, auomey for the Illini Media Co., also declined comment on the case o<her than adYke for editors. "Be careful when you print pictures," he said.

Former student receives

$25,000

for classified ads NEW YORK -

A fooner student at State University of New York at Broc:kp<xt reached a $25,000 seu1ement

in February with the student newspaper

and others named in htt libel. Adori Masci filed theS300,OOO suit in fall of 1993 after 1M Stylus published. personal ads widt her name claiming she was promiscuous. The ads said: "Adora is a C III Don't get near her . ... After 21 guys she probably has ., A !" ..All guys who are looking for a show ... ask Adora. She'll masturbate in front of you for only $30 w hat a dealI " The lawsuit named TIte Stylus, State University of New Yode at Brockport, Darcy Davis, who was accused of plac­ ing the ads, and Eric Coker. former editor. Others named in the suit were the Brockport student government that pr0vides funding for the newspaper, and Albert Skaggs. a communications pro.. fesSOf' who allegedly used the ad in class to show an example of libel. ___

___

to

SPlC Report 37


The Swdent Press Law Center grate.­ fully acknowledges the generous sup-­ port of the following instinttions and individuals without whose support de­ fending the free press rights of student journalist would be a far more diffi cult taSk. (Contributions from November30. 1993. t.htoQgb April 29. 1994.)

Benefactors ($SOO or more)

Association for Edualion in Journalism &. Mass Communication. Scho­ Iastic Joumalism Division College Media Advisers Thomas E, Eveslage (PA) Great l..ak4s Interscholastic Press Ass0-

ciation

The In.tkpend,ent Alligator (FL) Journalism Education Association Scripps Howard Foundation (OH) Soutbweslml Journalism Conference Washing1OO. Journalism Education Assoc� Supporters ($100·5499) Karen L. Bosley (N1)

Richard Cameron (CA)

Colorado ffigh School Press Association

Freedom Forum (VA) Timothy Gleason (OR)

Indiana High School Press Association Indiana University Iowa High School Press Association The ItMCan. Ithaca College (NY) Jane IGrtley (VA) Journalism Education Association of Northern California Norman MaI1ard (DC) Eileen M. �y (MD) Patricia L Penrose (CA) The Red and BIac.k Publishing Co. (GA) Tom E. Rolnicki (MN)

Rebecca S. Sipos (V A) Soulb Carolina Scholastic Press Asso­ ciation Howard Spanogle (NC) Tile Uni�rsity Daily Kansan. University of Kansas Youth News Services. LA B ureau Contributors

($25-$99)

Julian Adams (CA) Dorothy Bowles (1N) The Colleg� Times. Utah Valley State CoUege . Society ofProfessional Joumalists. Uni­ versity of Hawaii Chapter Vickie A. Taylor 38 SPlC

Report

-

A

ew

book

-

",orth

Prea

-

,1Dd Edi�D) , New

reading. Now includes Hazelwood Y. Kuhlmeier supplement

of the StUdent

Coming m FaU l994! --

-

--I

L..w of the Student Press. a four·year pro� of the Studilnt Prea Law Center, is the first boo k ever w offer an exam ina lion o( legal i9sues confronting American's student joumaIista, 'adviseJ1l and education admini!(rnw!'S on both the high !lChooJ and coUege levela. TIMI book La undentandable and ffildable ",-ithoul giving up the _ntial material needed for 8J1 in-depth undentanding of the 1�1 relationship.. involved in the production of studel>t newspapers, yearbook's lind electronic media. Topica covered include libel, ob&cenity, copy­ -right. prior review, cen90l"II hip and roodel. publiC4tions guidelinell.

Low of 1M Studmi has jj available I!()W. Copiea are only 11.50. To order, ICDd thaI amOlln t, p8.Y1Ibie to �QuiIl and ScroIl," to:

a

ebeI:k for

Lsw of tbe StudDnt Press Qu ill and SeroU !khool of JourwiBm and Mus CommUDicatioD University or Iowa Iow a City, IA 52242

Other SPLC Publications Th e H(JZ41WQOd Packet A swnrn ary of the Supreme Court decision that dramatically changed the

face of high school journalism with current coun interpretations of i t Includes SPLC Model Publications Gu idelines. Single copy free with stamped. sel f-addressed envelope. Additional copies $2 each.

Haulwoo4 and the CoDege Press A description of the legal impact of the Hazelwood decision on the college media. $2 per copy, IRS Form 990: A Public R«ord for the Private School Journalist How to get and use the tax returns fi led by non -profit organizations including private schools. $2 per copy. Send your order to the SPLC.

Internship opportunities with the SPLC are availableeach school and during tbe summer for college and law students witb an interest in media law. Interns write and produce the Report. handle requests for infonnation on stUdent press rights and semester

conduct research on legal issues. Interested individuals areencouraged fO write or call the SPLC for more information.

Drawings, cartoons and news tips are welcome and needed by the Report staff. Help us

infonn the student joumalism community by contributing your slrills and information. Write or call us at Student Prtss Law Ctnter Suite 504, 1735 Eye Street, NW Washington, DC 20006

(202) �5241

Wlntef 1 993-94


re�law

___ ce�___

t Discovering hidden treasures.

Your subscription supports the work

of the Student Press Law Center.

The Student Press Law Center is the only national organi ­ zation devoted exclusively to protecting the First Amendment rights of high school and college journa1isu. The Center setves as a national legal aid agency providing legal assistance and information to students and faculty advis­ en experiencing censorship or other legal problems. Three tim� 8 year (Winter, Spring and Fall), the Center publishes this magazine, the Report, summarizing cumnt cases. legislation and controversies involving student press rights. In addition, the Report expJaj� and analyzes the legal issues that most often confront sUldentjoumalists. Defending your rights isn't cheap. Subscription dollars fonn a targe part of our budget. Your subscription and contribution will help US continue to serve as the national advocate for the rights of student journalistS. All contributions are tax-deductible. All orders must be accompanied by a check, money order or signed school purchase order.

If you have a legal question Ol' problem relating 10 your rights as a student journalist or faculty ad v iser call the Student

Press Law Center at (202) 466-5242. SprIng 1994

,

Please enter my subscription to tbe SPLC Rtport a 1 year for $15 Along with this blank r have enclosed a check.. money order or signed purchase order payable to: Student Press Law Center Suite 504, 1735 Eye St., NW

Washington, DC 20006

Nrune

______________________________ __

Title or position

Ad�

_ _____________________

__ __ __ ________ __ __ __ __ __ __ ____

a I wish

10

support the woB: of the Student Press Law

Center with a tax-deductible contribution in the foUowing

amount:

______ _

Total enclosed:

________ _

SPLC Report 39


Extra ! Ext ra ! Read a l l a bo t it ! Rights, Restrictions &: Responsibilities

Access to Campus Crime Reports,

A new booklet from the SPLC about

Second Edition

the legal issues confronting yearbook

The updated SPLC booklet that tells

journalists. $6 per copy, $4 per copy for

how you can use state and federal laws

five

to get information about crime on your

or

more (includes postage).

RIGHTS, RESTRICTIONS & RESPONSI BI LlTI ES

campus. $2 per copy (includes postage ) . Access To Campus: Crime � --"' '-"....... Reports

--

Send your order to:

SPLC, 1735 Eye S1., NW, Suite 504 Washington, DC 20006

STUDENT PRESS LAW CENTER 1 735 EYE STREET, N.W., SUm: 504 WASH I NGTON. DC 20006

Non·p'ofit Org. u.s. postage PaId Washington, DC Pesmrt No. 4702

I,;

ATTENTION: STUDENT PUBLICATION

Spring 1994  

Vol. 15, No. 2

Advertisement