Student free-expression bill dies

ALABAMA — Legislation designed to protect students’ freedom ofexpression in school-sponsored publications died Thursday after the bill’ssponsor withdrew it.

Cathy McCandless, a student newspaper adviser and supporter of the bill,said the legislation’s sponsor, Rep. Sue Schmitz, withdrew the bill becauseother legislators wanted to add amendments that would have destroyed theintent of the legislation.

According to McCandless, one legislator introduced an amendment thatwould have changed the wording of a section of the bill from stating thatno student publications may be subject to prior review by school administratorsto stating that all publications may be subject to prior review.

“I’m disappointed, but I’m not surprised,” McCandless said in referenceto the bill’s demise. “We know now who our opposition is in the House.”

The fight for a student free-expression bill is not over, McCandlesssaid.

“As long as I live in Alabama, and as long as I have a sponsor in theHouse, I will push this bill,” she said.