Student Web site still banned by principal, editor says

PENNSYLVANIA – The principal at Carbon CountyVocational-Technical School has not removed a computer network block on astudent-run Web site as was originally reported on Oct. 21.According toWeb site editor James Curry, The Babbitt site remains blocked on allschool computers, contrary to reports that Principal Paul Caputo said he removedthe block nearly two weeks ago.The Student Press Law Center as well asthe Morning Call of Allentown, Penn. reported that Caputo agreed to liftthe block on the Web site as long as it caused no disruption at school.In an article in the Morning Call, Caputo said, “the students have demonstrated the ability to report on theissues in a way that is balanced. It’s their opinion, and as long as theycharacterize what they write as their opinion, not fact, and stay away frompersonal attacks, we’ll allow access.”The Babbitt, anonline news site run by students, first drew the ire of Carbon County Vo-Techadministrators when it reported that a teacher had falsified a disciplinaryreferral form. Caputo alleged that the site had caused serious disruption whenhe initially blocked it in January 2002.Curry said he has tried to reachCaputo for an explanation and has received no reply. Caputo did notreturn voicemails and messages left with his office. Robert Keegan in theexecutive director’s office of the Carbon County Intermediate Unit, whichcontrols Carbon County Vo-Tech Internet service, could not be reached.

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