Prior Review or Review a priori

I’ve been following the local case of a school newspaper staff being reminded of the rules of prior review by the principal. The high school is Woodlan Jr/Sr High School (outside Ft. Wayne, IN) and the adviser is Amy Sorrell–a teacher with 7 years experience and also teaches AP English Language and Composition.

The story’s conflict begins (or, at least heats up) when a student writes an editorial about homosexuality and is trying to reason with her audience (and perhaps herself) of being a bit more tolerant of one another. Sorrell, who usually runs “controversial” stories past her principal, Ed Yoder, but she thought this particular editorial wasn’t that controversial. Yoder instructs for stronger prior review and student newspaper staff contacts the SPLC.

(Here is a copy of the initial news report with the editorial in question).

The student newspaper decides to not publish anymore after a delay in prior review in early March. And that’s where I thought the story would stop.

But today, the local news (along with being sent via AP wire) states that Sorrell has been put on “paid leave.”

This will–most likely–open the debate of the provisions of the Hazelwood decision and the allowance of prior review by school officials and what exactly that means.

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