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Archive for Monday, November 28, 2005

Administrators seize student newspaper

November 28, 2005

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— Copies of a high school's student newspaper were seized by administrators because the edition contained stories about birth control and tattoos, stirring a First Amendment debate.

Administrators at Oak Ridge High went into teachers' classrooms, desks and mailboxes to retrieve all 1,800 copies of the newspaper Tuesday, said teacher Wanda Grooms, who advises the staff, and Brittany Thomas, the student editor.

The Oak Leaf's birth-control article listed success rates for different methods and said contraceptives were available from doctors and the local health department. Superintendent Tom Bailey said the article needed to be edited so it would be acceptable for the entire school.

The edition also contained a photo of an unidentified student's tattoo, and the student had not told her parents about the tattoo, said Superintendent Tom Bailey.

The paper could be reprinted if the changes were made, he said.

Thomas said she wasn't sure about making changes.

First Amendment experts were critical of the seizure.

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