Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Why Aren't the Dexter School System Bylaws Being Enforced?
The Dexter Community Schools' Bylaws state that "In sponsoring a student publication or production, the Board is mindful of the fact that the publication could be available to any student attending the school, and must, therefore, generally be suitable for all students"
and that "The Board reserves the right to ... prohibit the distribution of publications and productions which ... contain obscenity or materials otherwise deemed to be harmful to impressionable students who may receive them." Bylaws, at section 5722.
"Does the principal have the right to run the paper as a public forum where anything the students want to say must be allowed even though this violates school board policy?"
The newspaper contains jokes about the statutory rape of freshmen and being "wasted" at school dances. And the most recent issue has photos of the actual banned "dance" move being performed by students.
By not reading the paper until after it is published the principal believes he has washed his hands of responsibility. He says the Squall is not the Dexter High School Paper. It is an independent public forum where the students have complete freedom to say whatever they like. He does have responsibility for it whether he chooses to read it or not.
Mr. Satterthwaite edits for style and grammar occasionally, but never for content. Even though the school is not permitted to run a public forum style newspaper, that is what it is doing.
Please email the board of education and let them know if you do not want to see the DHS paper used as a public forum. The board of education has the power to require supervision and age appropriate content. Just ask them to.