Official halts distribution of ‘disruptive publication’

FLORIDA — A high school principal canceled the distribution ofthe student newspaper in February because of a column criticizing schooladministrators and teachers that he called “disruptive to the school.”

Palm Coast High School principal Larry Hungsinger ordered students tostop distributing the remaining 200 copies of the Feb. 9 issue of PawPrints because of a column that criticized teachers and administratorsin the school district who had recently been arrested for different offenses.

The article did not mention any teachers’ names, but referred to informationused by local newspapers to cover the incidents, according to Jamie Rose,advertising editor of Paw Prints.

Before being published, assistant principal Neil McCoppin approved thepaper. Hungsinger, however, stopped distribution of the publication afterreceiving complaints from several teachers.

According to Hungsinger, the article stereotyped faculty members andupset teachers.

Following the incident, Hungsinger met with the newspaper staff andexplained his position. According to Rose, the explanation did not satisfythe newspaper staff.

The students sent e-mails to local newspapers with the hopes that theywill be interested in covering the story. They have also started a parent-studentsupport group to assist them in their fight against what they believe isa clear case of censorship.