ARIZONA — A dissenting opinion has no place in the editorialsection of a newspaper. At least that is the way students andadministrators at Central High School reacted to a controversialcommentary.
Principal Nancy Kloss confiscated The Central Voice’s Feb. 14 issue after members of the Black Student Union opposed a scathingcommentary written by a former member.
The commentary addressed the unharmonious relationship amongblack students at the Phoenix high school.
The author wrote why Martin Luther King Jr. would be "disappointed"to visit Central High School because of the "hateration" amongblacks.
"How do you explain black on black hating? There’s nothingto say except that it’s pitiful, pathetic and as far as the haters,it makes other black people look bad. I’ve had my share of femalehateration and I’m sick, sick, sick of it all. Those black girlsdidn’t like me because, according to them, I didn’t act blackor talk black. So, in a sense, the black girls didn’t like mebecause I wasn’t black enough," part of the commentary read.
The author specifically mentioned how the Black Student Union is notrepresentative of "unity" and urged students to absorband understand the article, not to view it as an "attackon black people," but more like "constructive criticism."
The commentary included a negative opinion about some girlsin the group, said editor Andrea Lee, but no specific names werementioned.
Lee said the edition was approved by four different principalsand was cleared to be distributed. But the day before distribution,some Black Student Union members read the paper and "werevery upset about it," she said.
A meeting was set up between administrators and Black StudentUnion members. The Black Student Union was given the option torun a rebuttal to be inserted in The Central Voice or havethe commentary completely removed.
The Black Student Union chose the latter, deciding a rebuttalwas "not good enough," Lee said. The secretaries werethen forced to "cut out the page from each paper," shesaid, rather than not distribute the paper at all.
The paper has not taken any legal action against the administration.Instead, the staff used the incident as an incentive to writearticles on censorship.
Kloss did not return phone calls placed to her office.
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