The board indicated they do not feel comfortable telling the students what is appropriate for the student body. "Everyone on the board may feel like oral sex is not an appropriate topic, but there will be someone out there who disagrees," Bonnie Everdeen was heard to say at the special policy meeting on July 22.
They stated they are planning to trust the student editors to make content decisions. The newspaper has already:
- published a nude photograph of John Lennon
- included high school drug dealing in a jobs feature along with practical information on how to get away with it
- advertised a dicey club where crimes have been reported as just a fun alternative to the school dances
- promoted as the #1 video of the year a youtube video that comes the warning: extreme profanity--do not view if under 18 ("went outside, smoked a bad of meth" "you're no better than the three holes you were born with" + profanity throughout)
- claimed a TV show (Tila Tequila) that "practically promotes alcoholism . . . must be cool" (squall reporter quote).
- published an informational survey of DHS students asking where they get their alcohol
- distributed the photograph of a clearly recognizable teenage girl in a sexual pose with another student after she told them she did not want it published (they later removed it from the website, but only after handing the printed copy out to all the students at the high school--and of course, the online fingerprint remains for anyone interested in retrieving the offending image).
We disagree. Especially in a school sponsored newspaper distributed directly to kids. Some very negative messages about women and their role in society are being given to impressionable teens (the boys as well as the girls).