fter a process that she described as,“David going up against Goliath,” former student media adviserJennifer Schartz agreed to settle the lawsuit she brought against her oldemployer, Barton County Community College.
In an Aug. 4 decision,Schartz said she decided to drop her lawsuit, receiving a $130,000settlement.
“I know the college didn’t necessarily admit itsguilt, but the size of the settlement proves this was not a triviallawsuit,” Schartz said. “I just hope that through this costlyprocess some important lessons have been learned by BCCC.”
Schartzfiled the lawsuit in 2004 after her contract as adviser to the Interrobang, astudent newspaper at the community college, was not renewed. Schartz suspectedthe decision was made after the paper published a letter to the editorcriticizing the school’s basketball coach, which the school called“a personal attack.”
SPLC View: Congratulations toMs. Schartz and her lawyer, Gene Anderson, for fighting the good fight. As niceas it is to have get a legal ruling like the one issued in the Ocean CountyCollege case mentioned above, there are 130,000 reasons why the outcome of thiscase is likely to cause school officials elsewhere to pause before retaliatingagainst student media advisers who refuse to censor theirstudents.