Friday, February 23, 2007

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: Tolerate Student Views

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette editorializes against Woodlan school administrators' decision to censor a student newspaper after they objected to a student-written editorial by 10th-grader Megan Chase encouraging tolerance of gays and lesbians. While I'm happy to see the paper weighing in on the subject, I'm disappointed at their rationale, which can be summed up in this paragraph:

But Yoder’s plan to subject the student newspaper to prior review contradicts the aim of school journalism to provide a forum for the exchange of student opinion. It contradicts the goal of allowing students to explore journalism as a career opportunity.

The newspaper's editorial offers no opinion on the subject of tolerance towards gays. Instead, they seem to lament the fact that Chase's message got a far wider audience than it otherwise might have because of the school administrators' actions. "Yoder guaranteed a wide audience for Chase’s student newspaper editorial when he responded to the Jan. 19 opinion piece with a letter to the staff and journalism adviser Amy Sorrell demanding that each issue of the Woodlan Tomahawk be submitted for prior review and approval," the editors wrote. Does the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette have a problem with Chase's editorial getting a wide audience?

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