Former editor's appeal to school goes unanswered

CALIFORNIA — The former editor of Troy High School’s student newspaper failed to be reinstated to the position after appealing to administrators who fired her in February for interviewing gay students without permission.

Administrators fired Ann Long from her position as editor of the Oracle because she did not receive parental consent before talking to students about their sexuality for an article that ran in December 2004.

Assistant Principal Joseph D’Amelia and Oracle adviser Georgette Cerrutti cited Section 51513 of the California Education Code when firing Long. The section reads, ”No test, questionnaire, survey, or examination containing questions about pupil’s personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality, and religion shall be administered to any pupil in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12 unless the parent or guardian of the pupil is notified in writing.”

In March, the American Civil Liberties Union lobbied the school district on Long’s behalf.

Long, now a student at the University of California at Berkeley, said she had hoped for an apology from the administration more than reinstatement to the position. She quit writing for the paper soon after because of the stress it incurred.

”All the editors were sketchy about giving me an assignment,” she said in an e-mail. ”They worried if I was allowed’ to write again, and whether or not they would get in trouble by my adviser.”