Superintendent sides with yearbook in censorship fight

NEW HAMPSHIRE — After the principal of Dover High Schoolsaid two girls could not be elected "class sweethearts"for the yearbook senior superlatives section, the superintendentoverturned the decision.

Nicole Salisbury and Ashley Lagasse were overwhelmingly chosen– receiving 77 percent of the vote — over other couples whenthe yearbook staff conducted a survey in November. Principal RobertPedersen, however, said the results were not valid, and the girlscould not appear in the yearbook under the "class sweethearts"title because the ballot asked students to select one male andone female for the category.

"I advised that according to the ballot, the first couplewhich qualified, i.e. male/female, ought to be the winner,"Pedersen said in a statement. "I considered it unfair tochange the rules and intent of the balloting after the event."

On Tuesday, Superintendent Armand LaSleva intervened, sayingthe vote is valid, and the girls will appear in the 2002 yearbookas "class sweethearts."

If LaSleva had not stepped in, the yearbook staff had alreadydecided to eliminate the category, instead of selecting the secondplace couple, which was a female and a male, for the superlative.