Underground paper case settled

FLORIDA ‘ Following the settlement of a libel suit involving Leon High School, students will probably think twice before publishing offensive comments about their teachers and administrators.

The 3-year-old case was settled in October a few days before going to trial. Details of the settlement are confidential.

Rosalind Nims, a teacher at Leon High School, brought suit against nine students, who have since graduated, for comments they made in the 1998 issue of the underground newspaper Low Life, a parody of the school’s newspaper High Life. The publication referred to Nims, who is black, as a ‘nigger’ and called her ‘the most fucked-up teacher.’

‘This case should have a chilling effect on student journalism, but not in a way that is an unfair suppression of free speech,’ said Frank Myers, one student’s attorney. ‘A student journalist can still express his or her opinions about teachers, but using fowl, threatening, racist language is not in any way necessary to convey that student’s displeasure with a teacher.’