TEXAS ‘ A high school principal yanked every copy of the school newspaper off the shelves, and then publicly said he was ’embarrassed’ by the student editor ‘ all in an apparent reaction to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.
Lane Haygood, editor of the Round Up of Andrews High School, wrote two stories in the Sept. 10 issue that drew principal Mike Rhodes’ ire. One was a humor column criticizing President George W. Bush’s domestic policy prior to the terrorist attacks, and the other was a staff editorial that denounced a government plan to store nuclear waste in the areas surrounding Andrews.
Even though the articles were written four weeks prior to the terrorist attacks on the United States, the newspapers did not hit the shelves until the morning of Sept. 11. What resulted was a case of bad timing that has left a bad taste in Haygood’s mouth.
After receiving complaints from the community expressing outrage about the articles, Rhodes pulled all the copies of the newspapers off the shelves. Haygood said approximately 1,000 copies of the newspaper were recalled ‘ issues that cost between $1,500-$2,000 to produce.
‘It is with humility and embarrassment that I would like to apologize for the two Opinion Articles in the AHS Round Up,’ Rhodes wrote in a letter to the editor in the Andrews County News on Sept. 14. He went on to ‘apologize for the irresponsible use’ of the school newspaper.
Haygood maintained that the purpose of his column was ‘political humor ‘ not incitement.’