High school officials confiscate film from student journalist covering weapons search

FLORIDA — Miami high school officials returned film they had confiscatedfrom a student journalist working on a story about random in-school weaponssearches on Friday — after they developed the negatives.

Officials at South Dade High School had confiscated the film from LeandroLeon, a reporter for the student newspaper, The Scene.

Leon took one photograph of four security guards from the private VanguardSecurity firm preparing to search an English class at the school. Accordingto Leon, when the guards realized he had a camera, they cleared the classroomand locked him inside. The guards then demanded that he give them the film.

After about 20 minutes, Leon surrendered the film to the school’s studentactivities adviser, who then gave the film to the principal.

School officials returned the film to Leon two days later — after storiesof the confiscation appeared in The Miami Herald and on the televisionnews. The one photo Leon took before his film was confiscated was developedby school officials and returned to him along with the film.