Principal stops newspaper because of ‘offensive’ language

\nMISSOURI – The principal at Parkway West High School removed\nall of the copies of the school’s student newspaper, Pathfinder,\nfrom the stands in March, because the words “crotch itch”\nappeared on the cover.

The newspaper was part of the sixth annual “Battle of the\nSexes,” a newspaper series that explores gender-related issues.\nThis year’s topic was “Beauty vs. The Beast,” and the\ncover displayed a prom queen standing next to a Neanderthal. \nThe prom queen is thinking, “Oooo tofu and carrots for lunch\ntoday!”, “It’s Wednesday … time for Dawson’s!”\nand “Bathroom break … where are the girls?”. The\nNeanderthal is thinking, “What’s wrong with her? Gotta be\nPMS.”; “Crotch itch, must scratch.” and “SEX,\nfood, SEX, Zelda, SEX.”

Principal Beth Plunkett, she said, also felt the Neanderthal demeaned\nthe boys at Parkway West High School, said Lindsay Morgan, news\nfeature editor of the student newspaper.

Morgan said Plunkett would allow the staff to distribute the newspaper\nonly if they revised the cover. The staff declined.

“Changing the cover would be like an admission of guilt,\nand we don’t think we did anything wrong,” Morgan said.

\nThe biggest loss to the paper, Morgan said, was the resignation\nof Terry Cottrell, adviser to student newspaper for 17 years.

\n”The bond of trust between her and the administration has\nbeen severed,” said Morgan. “The principal has asked\nher to reconsider, but she won’t come back. She feels betrayed.”

Morgan said the newspaper will continue to publish without prior\nreview by administrators, but still believes what Plunkett did\nwas wrong.

“It may have been legal, but was it the right decision morally?”\nshe asked. n