Tenn. university punishes student for stealing issue

TENNESSEE — Apparently one punishment was not enough to teach a Middle Tennessee State University student not to steal from the campus newspaper.

Jenny Crouch, adviser to Sidelines, Middle Tennessee State’s student newspaper, said a student accused of stealing a Sidelines newsstand has also been implicated in the theft of papers that contained an article detailing the student’s appearance in court on the original charge.

Nearly 90 percent of the newspaper’s April 4 press run was stolen. Crouch said she decided not to bring the second incident to court, even though the student might have faced felony theft charges.

But Crouch did pursue the matter through the campus judicial system in hopes of sending the message that Sidelines would not tolerate the theft of its newspapers.

Crouch said the student was found responsible for stealing both the papers and the newsstand. A judge placed her on probation for the newsstand theft, and campus administrators ordered her to perform community service — including cleaning out newspaper stands around campus and helping to clean the newsroom — as punishment for stealing the newspapers.