High school adviser loses job after failing to submit newspaper to principal for prior review

GEORGIA – When English teacher Lynlee Doar showed up in her classroomon Aug. 3, she thought she was dropping off some things for her classesthat would begin in a few weeks.

But she left school that day minus a title she had when she walked inthe door: adviser of the Southwest DeKalb High School student newspaper,The Prowler.

As Doar prepared for the unpcoming school year, Principal Stanley Hensonasked to speak with her. He told her that he was taking the newspaper awayfrom her.

“I was just dumbfounded,” Doar said. “My first words to him were, ‘Why?’and ‘You know I’m going to fight this.'”

According to Doar, Henson said she had failed twice to submit the paperfor his review.

“He laughed when I said I didn’t have to [show him the newspaper beforepublication],” she said.

Doar said she had failed to submit the paper for approval once in Marchor April.

“I was trying to get to deadline,” she said. “I apologized.”

Doar said she believes that her firing was fueled by censorship. Shesaid Henson had previously told her that he did not like the newspaper’s”negative” articles.

Henson did not return a call for comment. Doar said he did not tellher who would replace her. But she said it does not matter.

“I have a journalism degee,” she said. “I’m the most qualified person[to be adviser] in that building.”

Doar said she has contacted the area director, Henson’s supervisor,to meet with him. In addition, she has contacted all 15 students who wereregistered to work on the newspaper this fall, as well as some parents.

“My students love the paper,” Doar said. “I have drilled into theirbrains their responsibilities as a journalist. They also know they carrya huge responsiblity to their school and community.”